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Thursday, December 14, 2017

He Got Took

Man's Data Recovery Dilemma Costs Hundreds

I really REALLY need to get signed up for BackBlaze to back up all my external hard drives for $5 a month!

I will Not Commute to Moline Daily

Manager, Public Relations & Social Media
John Deere 1,618 reviews - Moline, IL 61265
Title: 50751038 - Manager, Public Relations & Social Media - 35922
Primary Location: United States (US) - Illinois (US-IL) - Moline
Organizational Group: PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Personnel Area: 9000 - World Hdq
Function: Communication
GJE Job Title: Manager, Public Relations II
Job Grade: 10
Exemption Status: Exempt
Hiring Manager: Kenneth B Golden
Employee Referral Bonus: $2,000.00

Your Responsibilities
As Manager, Public Relations and Social Media , you will help protect and enhance John Deere’s reputation by leveraging social media and traditional communication strategies and tools. You will lead and align the enterprise social media program with the company's Strategic Public Relations activities and objectives. In addition, you will:
Provide leadership and counsel for social media activities globally to individuals, teams, councils, and external agencies working on behalf of Deere at the division, region, or country level with an objective to ensure consistency of approach, process and message.
Manage the enterprise social media team and external agency and facilitate consistent use of the company’s content management system, processes, policies, and rapid response process.
Lead development of and provide counsel for social media content and projects that help build the corporate brand or market products, services or events.
Research and deploy new features of various social media platforms used by the enterprise social media program and research and recommend potential new platforms, if needed.
Ensure alignment of the enterprise social media program’s processes, practices, and content with legal, compliance, regulatory and other corporate concerns.
Manage a paid promotion social media strategy to enhance the overall visibility of company messaging.
Ensure that employees who are assigned social media responsibilities throughout the global Deere enterprise receive on-boarding and training in the tools and processes of the enterprise social media program.
Lead social media activities as needed for crisis and issues communication.
Assist in implementation of various social and traditional strategic public relations activities.
US visa sponsorship is not available for this role.
What Skills You Need
4+ years of experience with responsibility for developing and executing communication plans.
4+ years of experience working in brand management, marketing communications, employee communications or a related field.
3+ years of experience in a position requiring effective writing skills related to corporate communications, public relations, marketing communications, employee communications or journalism.
4+ years of experience working in business communications.
2+ years of experience developing or managing digital content or managing a digital or social media platform.
W hat Makes You Stand Out
4+ years writing experience in public relations, journalism, or company communications.
4+ years of managing successful projects related to communications.
4+ years of broad background in business within or outside the company.
Experience in protecting and enhancing brand and reputation of an organization.
Marketing or communications campaign experience.
Experience as a public spokesperson.
Experience working on cross-functional projects and initiatives.
Education (or equivalent experience)
Bachelor's degree in a discipline related to Communications, Journalism or Marketing or equivalent experience.
What You'll Get
At John Deere, you are empowered to create a career that will take you to where you want to go. Here, you'll enjoy the freedom to explore new projects, the support to think outside the box and the advanced tools and technology that foster innovation and achievement. We offer comprehensive relocation and reward packages to help you get started on your new career path. Click here to find out more about our Total Rewards Package.
The information contained herein is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of individuals performing the job. The qualifications detailed in this job description are not considered the minimum requirements necessary to perform the job, but rather as guidelines.
John Deere is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to, among other things, race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, status as a protected veteran, or status as a qualified individual with disability.

Hot in NL

Family pets killed, home a total loss, in North Liberty fire

Getting the Funny Bone Tickled


I was relieved to come in to work today and find the following:

It feels good to know I have a backup of my music!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

If Only I was in Boston - this Guitarist needs a Drummer

Give Me Justice!!

What is the 6th Noble Gas?

I Love This

My Ludwig drums have a 13" mounted tom & two 16" floor toms. I would love to have the two drums in this ad, but I'm not in Boston & and I'm not going to pay $525 for two drums.

Really, Just a Find and Replace (Mentally)

I like how this article - Generating a Consolidated Output from Multiple MadCap Flare Projects – Part 1 - explains the strategy of breaking up a large project into smaller projects. I also think, in my head, I can pretty much replace "Madcap Flare" with "Adobe RoboHelp" and have a pretty good strategy. For example, I suppose I could create 16 projects - one for each critical system in the disaster recovery documentation - and then create a 17th project for storing all the common elements between them all.

With My Interests

I really am blessed to work where I work. I was walking in this AM and a co-worker held the door for me. She said, "I know you belong here." I said, "It took a long time to get here figuratively and literally" and she chuckled. I walked from my house to Premier Automotive this AM to pick up the GMC Canyon since it had a new battery, an oil change, and snow tires put on yesterday - that was the 'literal' part. I worked in software documentation for 20 years, 11 months, 2 weeks, 2 days (7655 days). I'd like to describe the world I am in at work.

It's a world of working with RoboHelp, thinking about Knowledge Management, and planning for the recovery after a disaster (disaster recovery documentation). There was an email this AM about how professionals with my interests are watching a list of these five videos:

Starting at the top and working down,
  1. I'm not thinking about DITA, chatbots, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). 
  2. I'm not sold on the premise that content should "delight" due to the philosophy that the writing I do when I am 'technical writing' is not a romance novel; it's not a poem; it's certainly not a Shakespeare stage production. It is telling someone reading the documentation what to do after a disaster in order to restore critical systems.
  3. I'm not sold on how I can establish a consistent tone throughout all of the disaster recovery documentation with a consistent tone with as many people as there are writing the Word files or creating the CSV files or capturing JPG files or creating PDFs or creating PPT files or creating TXT files or creating VSD files or creating XLS files - I suppose I could create a consistent 'tone' for the names of the ZIP files, but that may just be a fool's errand.
  4. I'm not thinking about adding a lot of images and videos. 
  5. I'm not thinking about how to validate the disaster recovery documentation because the individual teams in my department are responsible for actually maintaining it and ensuring its technical accuracy, not me.
To elaborate more on the fifth idea above, let me tell you about a recent sub-project. I am on a committee that meets and talks about Business Continuity documentation. It is led by one of our Senior Directors. During one of the meetings, I learned that the Business Continuity documentation Earlier this month. She had 16 Word documents on a SharePoint site. Some are the same I have already integrated into my RoboHelp project; some are not. I thought it would make sense to create a single Word file with all 16 of those files and replace the 16 individual files with a single file.

Anyways, after sending the Senior Director the file, she noticed that there was obsolete information and so I responded, after doing some research.

Here's the point: because I don't "own" the content, I don't feel like I can just go and remove the obsolete information from the Word file. I didn't write it; I don't own it. This is 1000% percent different from the work I did as a software documentation technical writer because I was the owner of the software documentation I wrote and edited. I have been doing this new approach to technical writing for 1 year, 8 months, 2 weeks, 1 day (625 days) so I have much more experience 'owning' content than 'not owning' content. It's fun and exciting!

Two more brief work-related topics:
  1. A friend of mine that I worked with at Pearson was laid off from Pearson and then hired at ACT. I found out yesterday that he was let go from ACT - my friend got a package from him yesterday at his house. Being on a job hunt absolutely SUCKS and I wish him the best and that his job hunt is a small blip. I was told he has an interview with a different area within ACT later this week.
  2. Without disclosing any proprietary information, I can say that there are changes that may impact my work that involve working with another group. I am excited to say that one of the critical systems in the disaster recovery documentation has presented an interesting opportunity to begin working with that group. To that effect, I have a meeting tomorrow at 10:30 AM with a co-worker in my department and four in the other technology group. 
    • I have a monthly status meeting with my manager's manager and other Senior Directors about the disaster recovery project scheduled for Thursday afternoon at 4. I happened to see my manager's manager yesterday and briefly mentioned to him that I have the meeting tomorrow. He was very positive about my initiative in working with the other group, which I was happy to hear. He then told me to tell him how the meeting goes. Since I have the meeting tomorrow, I will use that meeting to report about the meeting at 9:30 AM.
Editor's Note: This information has been released to the public:

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


Sheet Music here:

Spoiler for The Walking Dead Within

SPOILER for the Season 8 mid-season finale!!! Don't click unless you have seen the episode!!!

Things Wrong with the Windows 10 PC

Maybe it Will Work

I am backing up the g:\music_shell folder to b:\music_shell2 as a means to test whether the b: External Hard Drive (EHD) is dying or not.

It's over 1/2 way done - 54758 was 1/2 way and the job is 4580 beyond that. Frankly, I have a mess. When I was convinced that the b: EHD was dying, I was desperate to copy files off of it to the g: EHD to the degree that I created duplicates, as illustrated in having the same Wayne Kramer album in the g:\music_shell\03_Spindle folder as well as in the g:\music_shell\music folder, as shown in the following graphic:

I was going to start deleting files from the g:\music_shell\music folder that had the same value in the Composer column but then thought a backup would be a good idea. Thus, once the backup completes to the b:\music_shell2 folder, I will eliminate the files in the g:\music_shell\music folder that also exist in a NNNN_Spindle folder, where NNNN is the spindle on which the CD is stored.

In the meantime, I have made some progress on Spindle 38, but am unlikely to finish it today, tomorrow, Thursday, or Friday. I am uncertain when it will be finished.

So Unfortunate

As the world spins, so do those who want more that is not theirs.

Tech support scammers get even slipperier

If you give control of your computer to a remote online technician, you may be in a fix instead of getting one, reports the Chicago Tribune. The Better Business Bureau is tracking a growing number of tech support scams in which users facing crashed computers give online access for repairs that do nothing more than drain their wallets.The technician typically extracts a $500 fee via credit card, scours the computer for sensitive data and inserts malware to continue snooping. Other shady tactics include placing online ads that generate fake error messages adapted to each victim's computer setup and exploiting workers at fraudulent call centers who may not even realize they are part of a scam, reports Fast Company. To protect your computer and wallet, keep operating systems patched, use security software to filter out malware, avoid browsing dodgy websites and be wary of unsolicited messages from anyone claiming to represent companies like Microsoft or Apple.

I've thought this many times: if the stupid idiots who do stupid things like take advantage of non-technical people would use their knowledge for 'good' instead of evil, it would be a wonderful world.

On This Day

  • 2000: George W. Bush becomes president-elect as a divided U.S. Supreme Court reverses a state court decision for recounts in Florida's contested election.
    • I remember this.
  • 1997: Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the international terrorist known as "Carlos the Jackal," goes on trial in Paris on charges of killing two French investigators and a Lebanese national. (Ramirez was convicted, and is serving a life prison sentence.)
    • I don't remember this. It would be nearing Megan's second Christmas so I'm pretty sure I would have been focused on other things.
  • 1977: "Saturday Night Fever," a Paramount Pictures movie starring John Travolta, premieres in New York.
    • I do not recall watching "Saturday Night Fever" in its entirety. I remember seeing parts of it, maybe on TV, at some point, but never all of it. I kind of remember the Travolta's character's brother is a priest and that, maybe, he worked at a paint supplies store? I know it's one of those movies everyone is supposed to see because of its statements about the 70s disco culture and such, but eh, I have no real interest in watching it.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Free Cat!

Apology Accepted

Josh Homme Kicked A Woman In The Face: Then He Shared An Emotional Apology Video
By Feyyaz Ustaer - 11 December 2017

What Been Could Have Right

How Metallica could have saved Load and ReLoad

... In our hypothetical alternative reality, “Load” and “Reload” was only “Load,” and “Load” was a single disc offering, showcasing only the cream of the crop from the album sessions. The tracklisting looked something like this:

  1. Fuel
  2. The Memory Remains
  3. Devil’s Dance
  4. Until It Sleeps
  5. Bleeding Me
  6. Ain’t My Bitch
  7. 2x4
  8. Hero of the Day
  9. King Nothing
  10. The Outlaw Torn

That's a fairly good lineup of tunes. Personally, I like "Bleeding Me" and "The Outlaw Torn" so I'm glad to see them. I *almost* like "Ain't My Bitch" as an opening track over "Fuel" but I get why "Fuel" is a good choice for the opener. It's interesting. If "Load" only had the above 10 songs, would there have been as much of a fan backlash?

The Windows 10 Beast

Recently, the Windows 10 PC I bought to rip CDs with has been a bust. While I thought I had found a solution - and posted about it within the month - that solution has proven to be a false hope. The problem is that I don't have a valid license key for Windows 10 so if I were to reset it to the factory default, I'd have an issue if I am prompted to enter the Activation key. Trust me, I've searched for the CD to enter it, but no luck. This looks interesting to me:

So does this article: Selling your Windows 10 PC? Don’t forget to do all of these things by Tristan Greene

As far as whether I should build my own PC to my own specifications, I read this article - - and it may as well be written in Klingon.

T Minus 4 Days!!

Beautiful Tune

gitzengirl 07 Breath of Heaven

Master Documents


When I need to find the template for work instructions, here it is: Template-Work-Instruction-Job-Aid.docx

Shane's Best Scene

Met in E


0:00:00 Intro/Hardwired (cut) (October 22nd, London, England)
0:03:35 Moth Into Flame (September 2nd, Copenhagen, Denmark)
0:09:42 Through the Never (September 4th, Amsterdam, Netherlands)
0:13:56 Blitzkrieg (September 6th, Amsterdam, Netherlands)
0:17:40 The Day That Never Comes (September 8th, Paris, France)
0:26:26 Helpless (September 10th, Paris, France)
0:30:41 Battery (September 12th, Lyon, France)
0:34:57 Of Wolf and Man (September 12th, Lyon, France)
0:39:10 Atlas, Rise! (September 14th, Cologne, Germany)
0:45:12 Seek & Destroy (September 14th, Cologne, Germany)
0:51:58 Confusion (September 16th, Cologne, Germany)
0:58:53 Whiskey in the Jar (September 16th, Cologne, Germany)
1:04:23 Fuel (October 22nd, London, England)
1:08:24 Halo On Fire (October 22nd, London, England)
1:17:44 Spit Out the Bone (October 24th, London, England)
1:24:54 Leper Messiah (October 24th, London, England)
1:30:41 Harvester of Sorrow (October 26th, Glasgow, Scotland)
1:36:45 Now That We're Dead (October 26th, Glasgow, Scotland)
1:46:28 ManUNkind (October 28th, Manchester, England)
1:53:28 Stone Cold Crazy (October 28th, Manchester, England)
1:56:53 The Shortest Straw (October 30th, Birmingham, England)
2:02:37 Am I Evil? (October 30th, Birmingham, England)
2:07:17 Damage, Inc. (November 1st, Antwerp, Belgium)
2:11:49 Dream No More (November 3rd, Antwerp, Belgium)
2:19:01 For Whom the Bell Tolls (November 3rd, Antwerp, Belgium)

Holy Dead Walking The!

Last night was the last The Walking Dead episode until February. Last week, Chris Hardwick, on the Talking Dead show, teased that there would be a 'shocking' moment at the end of the episode and, thanks to the videos I watch, I had a feeling that the shocking moment would be ________'s death. While it wasn't exactly shown, ________'s death is imminent, which was confirmed on the little bit of the Talking Dead episode that aired immediately afterwards. I only watched about 5 minutes of it so I don't know more than that.

________'s death is an interesting choice - I can kind of see where it will make sense in the overall arc of the story. I did like the way it was handled - it's clear ________'s death will happen because no one survives what happened to ________ in the show. It's a difference between what happens to ________ in the comic book (which I do not read) and the TV show. I will rely on Trevan2's youtube channel to provide more details about that in another post. For the time being, I'll just say I liked the episode and I think that it will be an interesting twist that I look forward to seeing play out in February when the season resumes. There is one thing about the episode I didn't like, which is that I expected Morgan's story to have more of a role in the overall episode. I don't know how his character will be linked to Fear the Walking Dead, but I have until June 2018 to figure that out.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Funny, but Explicit


Leistikow: Hawkeyes protect timeouts, let game slip away

Relevant to what I do EVERY DAY at Work

The Best Way to Break Down Complex Ideas So Anyone Can Understand Them

Damnit! and AWESOME

Sunshine Part II

I'm guessing on 12/8/2016 that season 8 of The Walking Dead will begin in October 2017. As of today, it has not been announced when the first episode of season 8 will be on TV.

Also, I really do not know if the Daryl character will even be alive when season 8 begins.

Editor's Note: Season 8 of The Walking Dead began on Sunday, October 22, 2017, which was also Alex's 19th birthday.

Thursday, December 7, 2017



So This is Sweet

There's a website - - that allows you to set up automated steps for completing tasks that are otherwise manual. I have use for this website. I routinely send myself an email with a link to a YouTube video or a link to an article that I want to create a blog post for, but at the time I send the email, I am unable to create a blog post. Thus, as I looked around the website, I eventually found this page - - which would allow me to send an email to myself and to automagically create a blog post.

Saying It

I'll say it: being a referee in high school athletics has to be an awful job.When Alex played basketball in the North Dodge Athletic Club league, there were officials that would referee the game and, as a coach, I understand how difficult being a referee is. It is true even at the level of second through sixth graders playing in a recreational league. I cannot imagine what being a referee at the high school level would be like except to say it would be HELL. In fact, that may be why there is a shortage, as this article pointed out:

My former neighbor was a basketball referee at the high school level when he lived across the street from me. He told me some stories about what he had seen. I don't envy that job in even the tiniest bit.

Was Honesty a Mistake?

Adobe sent me a survey about their product. These are some of the comments I sent to them to consider.

The sample projects are for version 9 or 10 or 11; the documentation rarely has navigation information - it says what widget to set but not how to get to the screen with that widget; I've sent inquiries to tech support that required me to follow-up because I had no response within a week; the youtube videos are a joke - there's only outdated information about RoboHelp while FrameMaker has a bunch of up-to-date videos; the only Word document provided to set up linking to Word functionality has all Normal style - not headings or even a "Body Text" style so it's absolutely worthless; the only videos I've seen about linking to Word documents are for version 9; when you do the conversion settings, every Word style in every linked Word doc is included and there's no way to figure out which style came from what linked Word document; there's no way to link to Word docs in multiple folders without going to each folder - you can't select a base folder and tell RoboHelp to create a link to every *.docx file in all the sub-folders; there's no reporting for linked Word documents - even the ability to run a report that says "there are X number of linked Word documents in this project; I can create a folder in the Project Manager tab and it will not show up so if I try to create a folder a second time with the same name, RoboHelp tells me the folder exists even though it doesn't show in my Project Manager; the .fpj files are an absolute joke as I delete all empty directories but because the directory is listed in the .fpj file, it is always recreated, even though it is an obsolete folder and unnecessary; editing the .fpj file in Notepad has led to countless times of going back to a backup - I run a back up of my project folders because I am unsure whether there is going to be some new & mysterious error that corrupts my linked Word documents.

All that said, I LOVE RoboHelp - I would still chose it as my tool. I was a RoboHelp MVP many years ago and understand the way the tool works most of the time. The above is a list of where there is a gap between what the tool was intended to do and how I am using the tool, which in some cases may be a fringe use case - I get that. You asked for my opinion....

Oh, and when I go to Help > About, the information scrolls. I had to quickly type the version before it disappeared or wait until it scrolled through again.

Authoring: Right To Left language support - will never use
Authoring: Support for creating tabbed content - don't know what is meant by this
Collaboration: Integration with other CMS connectors - what other CMS connectors?
Collaboration: SharePoint integration improvements - what improvements?
Collaboration: Support for real-time multi-author topic creation (e.g. Google Docs) - this would be HUGE!!
Collaboration: Web based review workflow - sounds interesting - would depend upon how it is implemented
Publishing: eBooks output enhancements - no need for this in my world
Publishing: Improvements in context sensitive help - not linking to an application so not relevant
Publishing: Out-of-box publishing to wikis - THIS would be HUGE. The other side of it would be to be able to import an existing Wiki by entering a URL and automagically creating RoboHelp topics in a RoboHelp project and having the same type of linking that exists between Word documents on a network and the pages in a Wiki
RoboHelp Server enhancements - not using

I may seem to be negative in this survey and I don't want anyone reading this to be ashamed or to feel bad. I am using RoboHelp to link to Word documents on a network drive to create comprehensive disaster recovery documentation. I feel like I'm working with the linking to Word documents in a fairly 'real world' situation and because of that, I run into gaps, such as being able to generate a list of the linked Word documents in my project; where styles are coming from when I go to map between the CSS and the Word template and, on top of that, I was told that even if I delete a style in a Word document, that style will still show up in the list of styles - which caused me to almost fall over in shock when I read that in the email from Technical Support! If I delete a style in a Word document and there are no other linked Word documents with that style, that style SHOULD NOT BE LISTED (can you tell I feel passionate about this?!?) in the window where you link between the CSS and the Word doc.

I will also say that I wish there was a way to set up content reuse within the linked Word documents. I created a Word document with bookmarks and then, within my linked Word documents, I set up references to that Word document with fields. I did that mainly so I could have consistent headings across all of the linked Word documents. I am in the infancy of implementing this concept but I see a value in eventually expanding what I am doing to include what i would create a snippet for, if all these linked Word documents were imported into RoboHelp and not linked to the project. The reason I am linking to the project is because other teams in my department are actually the ones responsible for authoring the content. There is content in many formats - CSV, Excel, PDF, VSD - and I am providing a single place to get all of that information. Again, I realize I may be a fringe use case.

And, as I said earlier, I DO like RoboHelp - I think it serves my purpose decently. Madcap Flare forces you to import your Word documents, which is not an option. Doc-to-Help makes your primary authoring environment be Word, which I didn't want.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

I Majored in English

Read this article - I’m a Software Engineer Who Majored in Psychology and English - for some ideas.

Hit that HIGH Note!

Drums in AK

I like it when I read or see something that makes me gain a new perspective. Perhaps that is why I watch MSNBC as much as Fox if I'm in the mood for politics and yes, that does actually happen to me. I was reminded of that tendency when I saw this gorgeous Ludwig Vistalite set (the same kind of drums I have in my basement storage room until my Ideal Band calls) for sale in Alaska. Now, I've seen Ludwig Vistalite sets for sale in Texas, California, Boston, and New York, but I can't recall seeing a Ludwig Vistalite set for sale in Anchorage before. It made me realize that there are drummers in Alaska.

I hope someone ends up with this kit!

I'm Not Racist


  • The following video has EXTREMELY adult language... like EXTREME!! If you are sensitive to the f-word, DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO!!!!
  • So why post it? It is included because race is a political issue and this video attempts to open the discussion about it. I am not a fan of the adult language, but I am a fan of the discussion so here it is:

Editor's Note: This post is duplicated on the "Get Your Political Opinions 3.0" page as well.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

No NCAA for You

Iowa dealt another loss thanks to stagnant offense, turnovers Hawkeyes gave up runs of 14-0 and 18-0 in fifth loss in last 6 games

MH Awakes

Danger of RC Leaving?

Glad my application with Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids never got off the ground when I read this:

The economic impact if Rockwell Collins left Cedar Rapids would be mind-numbing awful as thousands of people work there.

More DMS


I admit to being late on the Kate Steinle verdict, but thought this was a reasoned approach to the issue of illegal immigration.
Conservatives, Let's Hold Our Horses on the Kate Steinle Verdict.

To be clear, I favor immigration. I respect that my ancestors, at some point, came from Norway to America for the chance of a better life. I get it. I'm on board that train. That said, America should get its collective act together and have a legal process that does not take an unreasonable amount of time between 'submitting the application to become a US Citizen' and 'becoming a US Citizen.' I understand that all this talk about illegal immigration can get too lofty and that the illegal immigrants are PEOPLE with FAMILIES just like my ancestors.

To be clear, just because the current legal path to citizenship is too long, I do NOT favor circumventing the process. Cities should never be able to pick and choose which laws to obey - that leads to anarchy and chaos. If it's "okay" to pick and choose whether to detain an illegal immigrant, is it then going to be okay to pick and choose whether to obey other laws. I'm not trying to be Tucker Carlson, but it's a point he does make when he discusses this issue. If you can ignore Law A, what's stopping you from ignoring Law B? A law is a law. It's not okay to ignore any of them.

There should be consequences if you do ignore the law. That's why the whole 'cameras on I-380 are bad' controversey in Cedar Rapids, IA, made NO sense to me. The camera was there to take a picture of any license plate if the vehicle is going faster than the posted speed limit. If I'm going 70 in a 55, yes, I should get a ticket. There was always a way to 'fight' the ticket, the same as there is if a police officer pulls you over for speeding. You can appeal. Sometimes it works; sometimes not. Those cameras were never about 'penalizing' out-of-state vehicles; they were never about 'Big Brother' watching over us, as one of my former co-workers suggested at lunch during the height of the controversy. It was about freeing up a police officer to perform other duties that need to be done. And I'm saying all this after I received a speeding ticket on Christmas Eve as we drove through Cedar Rapids on our way to Balltown. I didn't fight it - I WAS speeding so I SHOULD get a ticket.


Iowa radio announcers fired after decrying opposing team's "Español people"

Monday, December 4, 2017

Page Layout Fail

For the love of God, have a technical writer look at the pagination of documentation is not a waste of time!

Found this PDF here.


I saw this when I paid a bill online:

Have I mentioned lately how much I adore HTML coding at work? I am doing so now.

Not Built for PC

This was made with 2 guys in my basement in 2006. All improv and hilarious. We switch instruments on grocery store. I'm on guitar. It's kind of a joke on the world that I'm releasing this stuff. It's not built for public consumption.
Josh on drums
Joe on vocals
Christ on guitar

This is what it would be like if I released Assume or Old Stew recordings.

Is There any Music President Trump is Passionate For?

In today's age of political divisiveness, where Catholics state they are pro-abortion, perhaps just so they are not aligned with President Trump (I don't know - I'm Catholic and pro-life so I can't speak on their behalf), maybe music is a way to unite our country. Of course, no matter the genre, President Trump would not benefit. There are a trillion sub-genres and I'm betting he could not state he liked a single sub-genre without causing controversey because I have a feeling that if President Trump said he liked:
  • Metallica, metal fans would suddenly be Beyonce fans
  • Garth Brooks, country fans would suddenly become Classical music fans (because there are no words)
  • Ice-T, the liberals would immediately point to the lyrics of "Cop Killer" and call Trump a hypocrite
The teaser for this article - Denmark’s Prime Minister surprises Indonesia’s President with a Metallica box set Posted by Zenae Zukowski on November 28, 2017 - asked the same question that I used for the title of this post:

I think it's a fair question. Has someone tweeted the question to President Trump? Maybe he would answer for my birthday present - I am 48 today.

Victory and Defeat

Over the last 17532 days, I have had many victories and defeats.

Top Ten Victories

  1. Embraced God's love for me
  2. Married Karen - mentioning specifics would take too long and fill up the Internet
  3. Welcomed my two kids into the world & have been honored to watch them grow
  4. Made many friends that I cherish - not a complete list - and I capped the list @ 10
    1. Brian Gravel
    2. Serbi
    3. John Rath
    4. Kevin Herren
    5. Jim Schepker
    6. James Goodrich
    7. Todd Eadie
    8. Matthew Helmke
    9. Jeremy McCollum
    10. Ken Schmitt
  5. Quit drinking booze
  6. Found employment doing a job I love
  7. Bought a house I am proud of
  8. Learned what my passions are:
    • drums
    • Metallica / Bayside / Count the Stars
    • writing - both technical and personal
  9. Passed high school math
  10. Played drums on Beale Street in Memphis, TN

Top Ten Defeats

  1. Started drinking booze & had many mistakes caused by it
  2. Haven't laid my mother to rest after 3 years, 11 months, 5 days (1436 days) & lost or buried many friends and family  - not a complete list - and capped @ 10
    1. Lee Knutson
    2. Tracy Carstensen
    3. Grandma Simons
    4. Alan Jackson
    5. Stella Bietzel
    6. Randy Kaneally
    7. Susan DeSotel
    8. Andrew George
    9. Senora Richardson
    10. Caitlyn Abben
  3. Ceased working at the Unnamed Hellhole in southern Iowa; was laid off from Pearson
  4. Student teaching in fall 1991 was a failure on the surface because it taught me I didn't want to be a teacher as a career
  5. Not giving 100% to my athletic career - high school swimming & basketball
  6. Ratio of 'jobs I interviewed for' to 'jobs I was hired at' is skewed not in my favor
  7. Relationship with certain family members - in-laws included - may have not been what they should be over the years
  8. Graduated from high school & from college, which you'd think would be a victory, but I have many regrets about the choices I made during both of those times in my life that I can't go back and change.
  9. Losing things - such as the Christmas tree base leg (November 2017) & Karen's papers (September 2017) are the most fresh in my brain, but by no means the only things.
  10. Failing strangers, friends, and yes, my family, when I did not do what I should have done, solely because doing what I should have done was a more difficult choice than what I ultimately chose to do.


Twenty-third anniversary of my 25th birthday is today.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Simple Resolution

Over the last few days, when I've been in the den to rip CDs, I haven't been able to rip CDs with the Windows 10 PC. No matter what folder permissions were changed, file permissions were changed, or how many times I rebooted, nothing worked. I was ready to look into tearing apart two PCs that are dormant and residing under the desk and pirating a CD drive from them and hooking it to the Windows 10 PC with a USB to SATA cable to see if I could rip CDs that way when I found this site:

Sure enough, when I looked at the Options, I saw that the Allow audio files to convert in the background check box was cleared. I selected the the Allow audio files to convert in the background check box and inserted a CD into the CD drive.

After days of not being able to convert a CD with the external CD drive hooked to the Toshiba laptop AND also convert a CD with the Windows 10 PC, I now have both CD drives humming away! Of course, it's now 10:32 AM and I've been in the den, ripping CDs to MP3 with only the external CD drive hooked to the Toshiba laptop converting the CDs. I have made a lot of progress today - I'm not disappointed with my accomplishment - but imagining how much further I'd be if I had been able to rip 2 CDs at the same time for the last 3.5 hours makes me wish I had figured this out... 3.5 hours earlier!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Why Microsoft Gets a Bad Rap for their Online Help

First, a picture, then an explanation.

Now what did you just look at in the above picture?
  1. I wanted to delete a style.
  2. I saw an error message with a Help button. I clicked Help
  3. I see the Word Help window and instead of showing me information even remotely related to styles, the window includes the text Results for "", which indicates that there was no parameter passed from the Help button to the help system. Thus, the first result I see in the list has NOTHING to do with deleting a style!
That is so wrong and why I, as a technical writer, can't justify a suggestion about how to access Knowledge Articles through our instance of Cherwell because I don't want to follow "the Microsoft standard" due to seeing shit like this!

What Could Be

I came across the Iowa Contingency Planners website and noticed on this page, a member is working towards her Master of Science in Business Continuity, Security, and Risk Management from Boston University.

I never knew such a degree existed so I used Google and ended up on this page - - which leads me to the question: what if I were to work towards MY Master of Science in Business Continuity, Security, and Risk Management from Boston University? Is there a similar degree at the University of Iowa? Hmmm...

Slick Fill

Slick Fill

Triplet Timing Downbeat Accent

Choo Choo Breakdown

Practicing with Mirrors

Trip to the Past

I came across this page - - and wow, that is SO cool that there is a WinHelp file about the Legion of Super Heroes. I offered to convert the WinHelp file to a CHM file, using RoboHelp. I don't know if the owner of the page wants a CHM file, but I'm excited about dipping my toe back into a file format I used extensively in my career as a technical writer.


This is a post in which I will gloat about how what took 365 days to do in 2016 only took 333 days to do in 2017. I'm talking about the number of posts I've had. Before this specific post is published, this is my status:

I may break my arm for patting myself on my back so much.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Great Drum Solos

The "Take That Deep Breath and Reflect for Four Minutes about Life" Soundtrack

SS 02

An oral history of the first Elimination Chamber: How everything went wrong, but still turned out alright at Survivor Series 2002

All Sorts of Crazy Here

In today's edition of aLl sOrTs oF cRaZy HeRe, we have this article stating that Mary Kay Kusner is also a "Roman Catholic Womanpriest" which is wrong on the following counts:
  1. I entered can a woman be a catholic priest into and got a long list - "About 2,330,000 results" - and in just glancing through the links and the lines of text that display on the search results page, I didn't read any that said, "Yes, a woman can be a Roman Catholic priest."
    • This is not to say that women should or should NOT be Roman Catholic priests. I can wish they were & I can even believe with all my heart, mind, and soul, that they should be... but at the end of the day, if you are Roman Catholic and you claim to be Roman Catholic, you follow the rules. Just because I don't want it to be the rules doesn't mean I can ignore the rules.
  2. "Womanpriest" is not a word.

Read the entire article here.

Best Year in 25 ... and Burying a Hatchet

LARS ULRICH: 'We're Having The Best Year For METALLICA In Probably A Quarter Of A Century'

While the players in the latest KISS feud - Vinnie Vincent & Gene Simmons - appear to have buried their hatchet, per this article - VINNIE VINCENT: 'I Love And Respect GENE SIMMONS Like A Brother' - as always, it is fans who won't let it die, as demonstrated in the Comments section below the article. When I read the article, I saw that there had been 40 comments - these three were the most recent:

Johnny Angel · Works at The Talisman (King & Straub novel)

Pound for pound the best KISS line-up was 82-84 with Vinnie Vincent and the late great Eric Carr...
Like · Reply · 6 mins

Lee Staples · McKinney, Texas

It's amazing how each day this world gets more twisted. Now when someone tells the truth its considered "trash talking"? When has Gene ever trash talked Vinnie? He's always praised his talent and said he was one if the most self destructive people he's ever met. Considering Vinnie hasn't worked in over 20 years, and Gene and Paul have multiple lawsuit victories over him (in fact Vinnie owes them over 80 grand in lawyers fees as dictated by the judge in one lawsuit) Gene has hit the nail on the head concerning him. I guess some people can't handle the truth. And for the record, I love the first Invasion album (except for the garbage solos) and wish he was still in Kiss to this very day.
Like · Reply · 1 hr

Chris Hicklin

Classy response. More than Simmons deserves.

Build a bridge and get over it.

Verbal Acrobatics Right?

15 Seconds of AWESOME SAUCE!!

AUDIO: Judas Priest preview Firepower title track

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

41 Things I Might Have Known

41 Unbelievable ‘M*A*S*H’ Secrets Revealed



I'm not sharing this page because I want to break the 'put politics on the "Get Your Political Opinions Here"' rule and I'm not even using the labels I typically use on political posts for this post. Rather, here's the thing I saw on this page - -

This is the HTML code that renders the above text in Fireforx that I pasted into a Notepad file:

It just looks odd to have the text repeated twice.

EHR Vendors

While I do not work with Epic directly, I am aware of the system. This is a table of Epic's competitors from this site.

Hospitals with at least 1 certified criteria coming from this vendor: 

Freq. (%) 
Epic 393 (27.4) 
Cerner 360 (25.1) 
MEDITECH 282 (19.6) 
McKesson 141 (9.8) 
MEDHOST 109 (7.6) 
Healthland 71 (4.9) 
Allscripts 60 (4.2) 

It's interesting to look at the way the EHR market shakes out.

No Shot = No Job

Being "right" can't be cashed or deposited at a bank.

If you don't have a job, you don't have a way to meet your financial responsibilities, including but not limited to paying for mortgages / rents / cell phones / TVs / Christmas presents / food. Yet, the 50ish workers that were fired because they refused to have a flu shot apparently think they can pay for those things because they are "right" about not wanting a flu shot. You can read the article here: Essentia fires about 50 workers over refusal to get flu shots The Duluth-based health system says many employees ultimately got vaccinations, and that patients will be safer. By Jeremy Olson Star Tribune November 21, 2017 — 9:44pm

My opinion? I get a flu shot each year; Karen had an allergic reaction a few years ago and doesn't get one.

Great Scene in Ultron Age

Really Disturbing

A married teacher in Oklahoma was charged with rape Wednesday after allegedly having sexual relations with an underage male student

Monday, November 27, 2017

Where's the Canary?

Of the following Police tunes, I think "Canary in a Coalmine" is the most obvious missing entry.
  1. Message in a Bottle
  2. Synchronicity II
  3. Walking on the Moon
  4. Voices Inside My Head /When the World Is Running Down
  5. Don't Stand So Close to Me
  6. Driven to Tears
  7. Hole in My Life
  8. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
  9. Wrapped Around Your Finger
  10. De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
  11. Invisible Sun
  12. Can't Stand Losing You / Reggatta de Blanc
  13. Roxanne
  14. King of Pain
  15. So Lonely
  16. Every Breath You Take

Not Me

I Know My Dad Listens to Them All the Time

Are You Going to This?!? Answer below


Tool, Avenged Sevenfold + Alice in Chains to Headline 2018 Rock on the Range Chad Childers November 27, 2017

  1. Tool - HEADLINER
  2. Avenged Sevenfold - HEADLINER
  3. Alice in Chains - HEADLINER
    And the rest, in alphabetical order....
  4. 10 Years
  5. A Perfect Circle
  6. Andrew WK
  7. Anti-Flag
  8. Asking Alexandria
  9. Atreyu
  10. Babymetal
  11. Baroness
  12. Black Foxxes
  13. Black Sun Rising
  14. Black Veil Brides
  15. Body Count
  16. Breaking Benjamin
  17. Bullet for My Valentine
  18. Cane Hill
  19. Code Orange
  20. Dance Gavin Dance
  21. Emmure
  22. From Ashes to New
  23. Godsmack
  24. Greta Van Fleet
  25. Hawthorne Heights
  26. I Prevail
  27. I See Stars
  28. Joyous Wolf
  29. Like a Storm
  30. Like Moths to Flames and Shim
  31. Machine Gun Kelly
  32. Miss May I
  33. Mutoid Man
  34. My Ticket Home
  35. New Years Day
  36. Power Trip
  37. Quicksand
  38. Senses Fail
  39. Shaman's Harvest
  40. Spirit Animal
  41. Stick to Your Guns
  42. Stitched Up Heart
  43. Stone Sour
  44. Stone Temple Pilots
  45. Tech N9ne
  46. The Bronx
  47. The Fever 333
  48. The Used
  49. Them Evils
  50. Three Days Grace
  51. Trivium
  52. Turnstile
  53. Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown
  54. Underoath
  55. We Came as Romans
  56. While She Sleeps
  57. Wilson
  58. Yelawolf

He Got Took

Man's Data Recovery Dilemma Costs Hundreds I really REALLY need to get signed up for BackBlaze to back up all my external hard drives ...