Friday, March 31, 2017

Winding Down

Didn't Like Number 10

Another Top 10 Best Metallica Songs

Ghostbusters in March

Am I in a Dying Career

I heard on Rock 108 this morning that UNI men's basketball coach Ben Jacobson has agreed to a 2 year-extension. He will now be the UNI men's basketball coach until 2027 - the next decade! When I heard that and after I read this article - Software technical writing is a dying career (but here’s what writers can do to stay in the software game) - it made me think about what I will be doing in a decade. I sincerely hope and pray that I am still a technical writer. If it holds true and I work as a technical writer on 2/10/2027, my career will have spanned 32 years as 2/10/1995, the day I was hired at Network Data Processing (NDP) in Cedar Rapids will always be used as my 'beginning date' of this journey I'm on right now. I will be 20887 days (57 years, 2 months, 6 days) old. Megan will be 30; Alex will be 28.

Live long and prosper!

62 is Young for Mr. Young

I heard on Rock 108 a little bit ago that Angus Young, guitarist for AC/DC, is 62 today, 3/31/2017.

I saw AC/DC in concert in November 1990. Fred, my former co-worker, bought tickets for him & I to see them at the US Cellular Center (then called the Five Seasons Center) in downtown Cedar Rapids for my birthday. I remember Love/Hate opened the show because only bands with a / were allowed on the tour - I don't know if that is actually true or just a quip I read somewhere. I remember that Chris Slade was drumming for AC/DC and that he had a shiny bald head. As for Love/Hate, this is the only song I remember knowing at the concert:

And as for Mr. Young, here are

Top 10 Angus Young Guitar Solos, per Enjoy!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Some Justice for the World

New Tune from Gavin R

Life Behind the Curtain in Front of You

Living in or Entering a Country Illegally or without Legal Permission

This sentence - Self-proclaimed immigration activists are eager to tell you that 'illegal' is a slur, even though it is absolutely, positively accurate - in this article - Fully Documented Lunacy - is the way I feel about illegal immigration.

Editor's Note: These were posted the next day about the same topic: by Erick Erickson by Bill O'Reilly

Challenge Accepted

Great stuff here:
  1. The Walking Dead season 7 finale episode trailer breakdown: What to expect in the action-packed last episode
  3. The Walking Dead cast tease this weekend's 'heartbreaking' season 7 finale

What a Journey

Pearl Jam Celebrate Rock Hall Induction with Career Spanning ‘Alive’ Video

Celebrity Metalhead

To single out "Rogue One" from among the extensive list of movies Forest Whitaker has been in seems odd to me.

I liked him in "Bloodsport" as the government agent.

Comparing Old SW and New SW

Using Your Good Powers for Evil

I know a little bit of something about macros that increase efficiency when I use Microsoft Word. off the top of my head, and without opening MS Word, I know I have a macro that will "update all fields" in a document, that will "delete unused styles" in a document, and "convert all tables to text" in a document. Macros are powerful. They are not good or bad - they just exist. My purpose for using a macro is to automate one or many tasks that would take longer if I did performed the steps manually. I have been using macros for nearly as many years as I've worked as a technical writer.

That's why, when I read an article like this one - The scam that knows your name and home address – here’s what to do - I feel sad.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Just came across a band - Downward Fall - who state that the following:
We cover songs from
  1. 3 Days Grace
  2. Black Stone Cherry
  3. Breaking Benjamin
  4. Candlebox
  5. Cavo
  6. Chevelle
  7. Chevelle
  8. Disturbed
  9. Drowning Pool
  10. Eve 6
  11. Foo Fighters
  12. Godsmack
  13. Good Charlotte
  14. Jet
  15. Kid Rock
  16. Korn
  17. Limp Bizkit
  18. Lit
  19. Papa Roach
  20. P.O.D.
  21. Rage Against the Machine
  22. Red Hot Chili Peppers
  23. Saliva
  24. Seether
  25. Sevendust
  26. Shinedown
  27. Slipknot
  28. Soundgarden
  29. Staind
  30. Sublime
  31. Toadies
  32. Theory Of A Deadman
  33. Tool
  34. Velvet Revolver
  35. White Zombie
What a great list of bands!

Snapshot of Reactions

James Hetfield: The Song on New Metallica Album I First Thought Would Be the Biggest Hit
And here's a snapshot of the reactions to the above article:

Time Passes By

Seven years ago today, Fran McCaffery was named @IowaHoops head coach.


Hey... You!!

Pointing a Finger but Feeling Fortunate

Yesterday was my 1 year anniversary at work. I was already feeling humble to recall the trial I went through during the 62 days of purgatory - 1/26/2016 - 3/28/2016 - but to then read about Turkey. Turkey? Bear with me.

America is a great country because of our freedoms that brave men & women fought to give me. I felt humbled to live where I do, to have the possessions I have, to love who I love, and to work where I work when I saw this article - Turkey's jailed journalists 'Sometimes I laugh at this farce': six writers on life behind bars in Turkey Six persecuted writers describe the mental and physical toll of living in the country that jails more journalists than any other - and thought God really must have a plan for me. Truth be told, I also thought, "Those people in Turkey are idiots!" or, as WWE personality / lead singer of Fozzy would say, "Stupid idiot!"

It made me really think about who I am and how fortunate I am who I am.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Download a Folder using FTP

From How to download a folder containing multiple files on an ftp server to a desktop?
  1. Open an Explorer window. Click on the Start menu, then select My Computer.
  2. Type the ftp url in the the address bar. For example:
  3. If a login is necessary, a dialog box will appear.
  4. A listing of all directories and files of the server will appear.
  5. Copy the files just as you would with a normal folder.

Riveting Article

My Husband Is Not My Everything


I'm excited enough about the 4 TB EHD arriving enough to officially christen the drive with a drive letter: B. Why B? The color of the drive is blue. Duh.

I'm looking forward to firing it up later today and being able to use it as a backup for my y: (primary) EHD.

The Build to The Thrill Ride

  • Recap from last night's Monday night Raw episode
  • The biggest news is the lineup for Wrestlemania has been updated
      • WWE Universal Title Match -Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg (c)
      • WWE Title Match -Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt (c)
      • Fatal 4 Way Elimination Match for the RAW Women’s Title -Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley (c)
      • WWE United States Title Match -Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho (c)
      • WWE Intercontinental Title Match -Baron Corbin vs. Dean Ambrose (c)
      • Triple Threat for the RAW Tag Team Titles -Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (c’s)
      • SmackDown Women’s Title Match -Mickie James vs. Carmella vs. Natalya vs. Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss (c) (other participants possible)
      • Non-Sanctioned Match -Triple H vs. Seth Rollins
      • "Regular Match" - Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker
      • "Regular Match" - -John Cena and Nikki Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse
      • "Regular Match" - -Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles
      • Kickoff Pre-show: WWE Cruiserweight Title Match -Austin Aries vs. Neville (c)
      • Kick off Pre-show: Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal -Mojo Rawley, Apollo Crews, Big Show, Curt Hawkins, Goldust, R-Truth, Primo, Epico, Curtis Axel, Jinder Mahal, Bo Dallas, Braun Strowman and others TBA
  • How Paul Levesque used the lessons he learned as a wrestler to build WWE’s new brands
  • Watch this ‘Savage’ WrestleMania promo for Triple H versus Seth Rollins
    • This link has a link to the promo video that uses Metallica's "Am I Savage?" (from Hardwired...To Self-Destruct) - hashtag/AmISavage 

Only in Dubuque

In alphabetical order, these are the Craigslist > Musicians pages that I check fairly regularly for potential bandmates. Here's today's report:
  1. Cedar Rapids doesn't need any drummers...
  2. Des Moines doesn't need any drummers 
  3. Dubuque needs a drummer:

    Can an ad be any more generic than that one?!? At the very least, I'd like some initial information about
    • Set list ideas
    • Potential gigs
  4. Iowa City doesn't need any drummers...
  5. Waterloo doesn't need any drummers...
My hope is that on this day in the future, I will be a member of my Ideal Band.

Monday, March 27, 2017

99 Percent Off

Twilight is Short-Sighted

The way this article - Twilight of the Rock Gods - laments "the recent flood of celebrity deaths has been overwhelming:
  1. David Bowie
  2. Glenn Frey
  3. Prince
  4. Leonard Cohen
  5. George Michael
  6. Chuck Berry
is so short-sighted and so disrespectful of the musicians who are creating music today. Did not those 6 musicians all go to bed and all get up each day... until they didn't? Not ONE of those celebrities led a life that is more valuable than anyone else on this planet. That is what I think about when I read articles like the referenced one above and this one - Bowie's death marks the Twilight of the Rock Gods - and really ponder life and death.

Those celebrities are NO DIFFERENT from:
  1. the 100 year-old who passed away and whose obituary was in the Cedar Rapids Gazette yesterday
  2. the 103 year-old who my father-in-law told me about yesterday
  3. my mom
  4. my neighbor's mom
  5. Lee Knutson, my high school friend
  6. Andy George, my high school friend
  7. Ron Rath, my friend's father
  8. Penny C, my former co-worker who committed suicide
  9. Susan D, my former co-worker who was riding her bike and got hit by a truck and died
  10. Katelyn, my former co-worker's daughter who, one morning, didn't wake up
  11. Alan, my wife's uncle, who succumbed to Alzheimer's
  12. all the 100s more that I'm not mentioning specifically
Death is the great equalizer. Yes, it positively sucks. 

UD in Agile Dev Team

I agree with Robert Lauriston:

I think the more I know about a system, the more I can pick & choose what information is important.


I only discovered this band today - Special Providence - and I wonder where have I been? I only found out this band existed when I saw this Drumeo video and was amazed after a few moments.

Then I went to and found these three videos:

6 days From Now

WrestleMania 33 Card
Goldberg vs. Brock LesnarUniversal Championship
Bray Wyatt vs. Randy OrtonWWE Championship
The Undertaker vs. Roman ReignsSingles Match
Shane McMahon vs. AJ StylesSingles Match
Bayley vs. Charlotte vs. Sasha BanksRaw Women's Championship
Alexa Bliss vs. All Available SmackDown Women's WrestlersSmackDown Women's Championship
John Cena and Nikki Bella vs. The Miz and MaryseMixed Tag Team Match
Dean Ambrose vs. Baron CorbinIntercontinental Championship
Chris Jericho vs. Kevin OwensUnited States Championship
Neville vs. Austin AriesCruiserweight Championship
The Club vs. Enzo and Cass vs. Sheamus and CesaroRaw Tag Team Championships
Participants TBAAndre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal


Tool Drummer Sits in with Kids

May Be Temporary

Kickin' ass in SA!

Metallica played Lollapalooza Brazil on Saturday night.

00:06:00 Intro
00:07:06 Hardwired
00:10:50 Atlas, Rise!
00:17:00 For Whom the Bell Tolls
00:21:48 The Memory Remains
00:26:50 Kirk's solo (guitar)
00:28:38 The Unforgiven
00:45:08 Moth Into Flame
00:49:30 Harvester of Sorrow
00:56:13 Halo on Fire
01:05:17 Rob's solo (bass)
01:09:28 Whiplash
01:13:00 James Hetfield Thanks all Metallica fans
01:14:38 Sad but True
01:20:15 One
01:28:41 Master of Puppets
01:36:45 Kirk's solo (guitar)
01:40:00 Fade to Black...
01:47:45 Seek & Destroy...

Changes in NC

The Fall of the House of Thompson

The Real Problem

Bowling 2017

Combined, I bowled the 2 best games of my life yesterday at Creslanes in Dubuque. In the first game, I had two strikes, but I didn't get any in the second.
Combined & compared to my father-in-law, Lou, I won 279 to 211, a 68 pin difference.
Combined & compared to my wife, Karen, I won 279 to 214, a 65 pin difference.
Combined & compared to my sister-in-law, Chris, I won 279 to 224, a 55 pin difference.

Glassdoor. Is. Worthless.

As I reach my 1 year anniversary at work, I think it's time to unsubscribe from emails related to my 2016 job search. Especially when Glassdoor thinks "Generator Field Service Technician" is a good match for someone looking for a "technical writer" position.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Warrant ... Rocks?

Now, seriously, does "Only Broken Heart" sound anything like Warrant? Listen to the new tune

and then listen to a tune from the height of their popularity
01-All 4 U-0:00
02-Andy Warhol Was Right
03-April 2031-7:17
04-Bed Of Roses-12:23
05-Big Talk-16:27
06-Blind Faith-20:11
08-Cherry Pie-29:08
09-Dont Say Goodbye Demo-32:29
10-Down Boys-36:25
11-Family Picnic-40:30
13-Hair Of The Dog-48:55
15-Let It Rain-56:16
17-Ode To Tipper Gore-1:04:02
18-Sad Theresa-1:05:00
19-Sometimes She Cries-1:08:26
20-Stronger Now-1:13:10
22-The Bitter Pill-1:21:28
23-The Hole In My Wall-1:23:35
24-The Power Demo-1:29:06
25-Uncle Toms Cabin-1:32:06

and then tell me they sound like the same band.

Editor's Note: from


Just sent in additional details to Adobe Tech Support about my linking Word styles in my RoboHelp project...

Sadly, No, There's Zero Progression Towards the Ideal Band

A band playing "3 - 5 times" a month is not an ideal band.
Playing djembe, tabla, congas is not an ideal band either.

Editor's Note: There has been zero progress towards securing a gig as a drummer in a band.

It's Not in this Picture
I work in a building that is located on the right side of the highway - it's not in this picture. I live in a house that is located on the left side of the highway - it's not in the picture. Above the white water tower are businesses and that's where my dentist's office is located.  

Before We Shift from Basketball until Fall 2017...

Kansas DOMINATED Purdue and won by 30ish points last night in the NCAA Tournament.

More Political Funny Stuff

It's funny that someone has to actually write this about the leader of the greatest nation on earth, no?

The single greatest thing President Trump could do to improve his Presidency would be to stay off Twitter. There are times he has positively moved the needle on the medium. The media seems increasingly inclined to go down rabbit holes in pursuit of silver bullets to topple his administration. The President, with one tweet, can send the press corps scrambling. He can transcend media narratives, create his own, and bypass the traditional press to get his message out in 140 characters.

Editor's Note: Since this is tap dancing in the landmine of politics, check out all the articles that have been posted to The Resurgent website about obamacare - it is quite enlightening. Here's the link:

More Funny than Political... (I believe that anyways)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Redefining New

Is 2014 new in 2017? seems to think so.

Three Types of Numbering for One

Obviously, the technical writer that was responsible for this help text has issues with ordered lists. Why else would there be 3 types of numbering


within the same help text?

Crazy Research

Tried and Denied

I tried out a new layout for a while and I don't like it. Going back to the future...

Probably Elsewhere but Still Awesome

What Could Have Been...

SLASH Was 'Really Pissed Off' He Didn't Land Guitarist Gig In POISON

Literally Going Around the World

Beartooth is one of Alex's favorite band. They are from OH and their song "Hated" is one that has been growing upon me - videos embedded below. Alex saw Beartooth in concert at Gabe's Oasis in April 2016. This was prior to "Hated" being released to radio and I wasn't ready to see them. Alex recorded the following videos of that Gabe's Oasis show:

Shortly after the concert, Alex began calling Ned, a cool Rock 108 DJ, and requesting Beartooth and, day after day, Ned would say that he couldn't play them. Well, now Rock 108 is blasting "Hated" fairly often.

Beartooth now have concert dates on a tour with Bring Me the Horizon and Underoath. These are some of their upcoming tour dates and I only mention it because they are literally going around the world. The following is not all of their concerts, but just meant to show what April 2017 - June 2017 is going to be like for them. They go from the Western US (4/1 - 4/8) to the Eastern US (4/28 - 5/7), play in their home state of OH at Rock on the Range, (which has Metallica in the lineup) then leave 8 days later for England, Netherlands, Germany, France, then back to Germany (5/27 - 6/03), then have 2 weeks off before they play in Australia (6/18 - 6/24), then are back in the US to join the Warped tour (6/28 - 7/1 are shown below but the tour goes on beyond that).

4/1 Seattle, WA @ WaMu Theater**
4/3 San Francisco, CA @ Warfield Theatre**
4/6 Los Angeles, CA @ Shrine Expo Hall**
4/7 Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre**
4/8 Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint**
4/28 Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena
4/29 Fort Myers, FL @ JetBlue Park
4/30 Jacksonville, FL @ Metropolitan Park
5/07 Concord, NC @ Charlotte Motor Speedway
5/19 Columbus, OH @ Mapfre Stadium
5/27 Birmingham, UK @ The NEC
5/28 Leeds, UK @ City Centre
5/29 Hertfordshire, UK @ The Forum
5/30 Eindhoven, Netherlands @ Dynamo
5/31 Hannover, Germany @ Musikzentrum
6/01 Savigny Le Temple, France @ Empreinte
6/02 Nurburg, Germany @ Rock Am Ring
6/03 Nurburg, Germany @ Rock Am Ring
6/17 Adelaide, Australia @ Thebarton Theatre
6/18 Melbourne, Australia @ Festival Hall
6/22 Moore Park, Australia @ Hordern Pavillion
6/24 Brisbane, Australia @ Riverstage
6/28 New Orleans, LA @Port Of New Orleans ^
6/29 Atlanta, GA @ Aaron’s Amphitheatre @Lakewood ^
6/30 Orlando, FL @ Tinker Field ^
7/01 St. Petersburg, FL @ Vinoy Park ^

The thing that is so crazy is that Alex saw them at Gabe's Oasis in Iowa City in April 2016 and now, in April 2017, they are out touring with Bring Me the Horizon & Underoath. Then, they will tour the world.


If I were them, I would take the two weeks between Germany and Australia to see other countries 'on that side' of the world. I wouldn't want to come back to the US, deal with the time zone changes, and then go from, say, OH to Australia. Since I've never traveled to 'the other side of the world' in my life (and doubt I ever will be able to), I am speculating that shifting time zones frequently is not good for your body, but I can't be certain.

Speaking of the Warped Tour, of course Alex wants to see one of their dates (listed below) in the Central US. I wonder - when did going to Chicago Open Air 2017 not enough??!?

7/18 Cuyahoga Falls, OH @ Blossom Music Center ^
7/19 Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center ^
7/20 Indianapolis, IN @ Klipsch Music Center ^
7/21 Detroit, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills ^
7/22 Chicago, IL @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre ^
7/23 Shakopee, MN @ Canterbury Park ^
7/24 Milwaukee, WI @ Marcus Amphitheatre ^
7/26 St. Louis, MO @ Hollywood Casino ^
7/27 Bonners Spring, KS @ Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre^

Here are some more versions of Beartooth's "Hated" tune:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Tribute to the Legend that was Chuck Berry

Editor's Note: At the age of 90, legendary musician Chuck Berry passed away.

Does MS Excel have a Future?

Interesting question. It ties into the idea that what is "hot" and "used by everyone" to perform their work duties is not permanent. Years ago, there was a HAT called ForeHelp, which was a good product. The company that created it went out of business. There have been a number of HATs that have gone that route. In non-HAT software, when I was in college, I typed all of my assignments using WordPerfect and, had I thought about it during college, I likely would have said that I would never use another word processor after, of course, explaining to me that WordPerfect is a word processing program. After all, I had no idea I would ever be typing pretty much all day, every day, for the first 20+ years of my professional career since I thought I'd be a high school English teacher and teaching, not typing, during my career.

This is the article that asks the question I used as a post title:
Prior to clicking this link, I was hopeful there would actually be a macro that had anything to do with styles.

When I got to the page, I pressed Ctrl+F and entered "Styles" in the search field. There are two places where the word "styles" is used on the page:

As I mentioned yesterday, I am trying to get my linked MS Word docs to display correctly in the output I generate from my RoboHelp project so, I thought, a macro with 'cleaning up a messy document format and styles using macros' would be worth my time.

In this specific instance, the article and the time I spent reading it was wasted.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Trump = Negan

No, The Walking Dead’s Negan Isn’t an Allusion to Donald Trump

Whew! That Was Close!

We have SouthSlope, a local company, as the provider of our Internet, TV, and landline services. We have 3 TVs - one in the bedroom, one in the living room, one in the basement. The DVR in the bedroom died and would not boot up. I had called SouthSlope earlier in the day - around noon - and asked to have someone give me a call at home around 4:30. When I got home a little after 4:30, there was no message on the answering machine. I gave them some time, but eventually, I called SouthSlope back at 5:30. The customer support rep took me through all the troubleshooting steps I had done previously, plus checking if things were plugged in down in the basement. Of course, they were. There was no record in the customer support rep's system that showed I had called earlier in the day.

After I got off the phone with the customer support rep, a very nice technician called and then arrived on my doorstep. He replaced the box in the bedroom and left shortly before 7 PM, which is when Monday Night Raw begins so because he left shortly before 7 PM, I was able to watch WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from March 20 on the TV in the bedroom.

Wrestlemania 33 is 12 nights away!

Continuing my war with linking Word docs into my RoboHelp project

I began a thread in the RoboHelp forums - Linking Word docs - Style differences - and I hope, in the future, I will look back at it in amazement that I could be as dumb as to think I was convinced it should work the way I think it should. I hope that between today and a yet-to-be-determined date in the future, there will be an 'a-ha!' moment that makes me feel sheepish.

Blurring the Line

This seemed to relevant to me, as a person, to tuck away as link # 123 on Get Your Political Opinions Here, despite my proclamation all links to articles about politics would be quarantined to that page. When I read this quote, I was compelled to post it as a "post" instead of on the aforementioned quarantine page:

Abortion is the destruction of a precious, innocent human life. It may be necessary when that life verges on causing the mother to die. But as a matter of elective options and rights, abortion is murder. The arguments for abortion are the same arguments used to justify and defend slavery. Abortion advocacy, in fact, derives from the progressive movement’s desire to stamp out black and disabled people in the early part of the twentieth century.

It is a quote from this article - No, You Cannot Support Abortion and Be Conservative/ - by Erick Erickson, who is one of the Conservative authors I quote frequently.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Presidential Declaration

Monty Py

$22.99 will get you this poster... if you have a place to put it, which I do not.

Tech Tango

Moth In 1989

Rare Met

From 5 Rare Live Metallica Videos You Need to Check Out

Making of Halo

Accomplishing the Quick Task

Tasked with wanting to export all of my Firefox browser history, I found this:

Spring Break 2017 - A Recap and News

This was taken as we passed through Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, 3/15/2017, en route to the Twin Cities & the Mall of America.

Spring Break 2017 was great. Spent time with family in the car. Played a game where one person names a band and the next person names a band that ends with the previous band so if Person A says, "KISS," Person B could say, "Shinedown," and Person C could say "Nazareth." It was surprising how many band names Alex and Megan knew. Karen didn't play because she didn't think she would know many bands but she did.

On the way back from the Twin Cities, there was a stop at Karen's brother's band's gig at Lofty's. It was a big place. We left Waterloo ~10:30 and arrived home around midnight.

As for this blog, the Inbox is flooded with emails. There are 789 unread emails and 286 of them are in the Inbox, which means I need new rules in Outlook to handle those 286 emails and to move them to specific folders. As the 789 unread emails are reduced, I am sure there will be multiple posts on this blog.

There is one more thing to note about Spring Break 2017. Cell phone ceased working and went into a reboot cycle. After a trip to US Cellular, then to Digital Docs, and a phone call to LG technical support, the cell phone is going to Fort Worth, TX, later today for motherboard repairs that will take 7-9 days. As noted previously, not using a cell phone was given up for Lent - it's like God is telling me that's a good idea. A ballpark 'return to me' date is the Friday prior to Palm Sunday. That is okay...

From a year ago...

Time flies...

Geeky Writing Stuff

An Oxford comma changed this court case completely

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Legacy Begins

I was not even a teenager on 3/14/1982 - 12 years, 3 months, 1 week, 3 days old - when Metallica played their first gig.

Read more here.

Robohelp 11-Link Word documents

Robohelp 11-Link Word documents


This band is seeking a drummer in the Twin Cities. If I lived in the TC, I would not attempt to join this band.

The vocals are hideous.


I think this first video is awesome.

Under that video, on the page, is this comment:

A woman was drowning. I look at her from the dock and said, "I know you do not want me to "fix" your situation. I want you to know that I know what your feeling, the desperation, the fear, you see I almost drowned, so I can relate, I sympathize and have compassion for you. I am sorry this is happening to you. The woman died, but I feel very good that I provided her with the comfort of my sympathy and compassion and did not upset her by "fixing" her situation.

I saw this video and had to watch it... then I had to watch Part II.

WARNING: Adult themes & language.

WARNING: Adult themes & language.

Missing the Link

When I come across a website like this one, I wonder why the writer chose to mention the user guide, but didn't think it was important enough to tell the user where the user guide is located.

Why People Change Jobs

I saw this online and it made me pause and reflect.

In my career, I don't believe I'm in the 75%. Every job that I've left voluntarily was because the destination job was supposed to be a step forward in career advancement. Except for the hellhole in Kalona that doesn't get mentioned by name, that has been true. I've worked for several different managers, each with their flaws and perfections. I don't believe in the "perfect manager" because only God is perfect. I could easily list traits of each manager I've worked for that I would want to have as a manager if I were a manager. That said, I have zero desire to be a manager as I think I would not like being a level 'over' the actual technical writing that needs to be done on a daily basis.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Big Toe Talent Deficiency Revealed

This video

led to the discovery of this video

and after watching both, the people involved in those two videos have more talent in their big toe than I do in my entire body. I wouldn't have the first clue how to create either.

Friday, March 10, 2017

I Answer Yes

Is Metallica the musical equivalent of Star Wars?

Ninja Drumming

New AV Covers

This is a rockin' classic.

This would have been a new song for me to learn.

Over Until the Fall

Panic for a Moment

Yesterday, around 11:30 PM, I plugged in my y: EHD in to my laptop.


No light. No popup window saying that my laptop recognized a device had been plugged in.


My stomach immediately started churning.

I began to rationalize what it would mean if this EHD had 'suddenly' died. It can happen. An EHD is not a living / breathing entity. It has no personal vendetta against me or the files I store on it and doesn't care if it's providing a service to me or not.

I had a work-related email to address so I began to work on that.

But I also unplugged the USB cord and plugged it back in. I tried a different outlet in my workspace.


Then, since I drive less than 10 minutes to arrive at work, I decided to go home and try a different USB cord and a different plug. I hadn't eaten lunch and thought I'd grab a sandwich at home.

Instead, when I got home, I went to the den immediately. I tried a different USB cord.


I tried a different electrical plug from my box of cords.


I unplugged the electrical plug from the z: EHD and plugged that in to the y: EHD.

A light shone, not like the sun or like in the movies, but a light lit up on the y: EHD. I unplugged the USB cord from the Z: and plugged it into the y: EHD.

A popup window saying that my laptop recognized a device had been plugged in.

I began to feel better. I slipped a CD into the CD drive to be ripped and returned to work.

Later in the day, I looked at & for a 4 TB portable EHD, thinking I would go purchase one after work. Neither local store had one in stock.

All of that happened yesterday. Today, when I plugged in the y: EHD, still using the z: EHD electrical plug and the z: USB cord, it all worked. Perhaps I can relax that the y: EHD is perfectly fine. Then, I opened Outlook and began reviewing my emails. An email with a link to this article - Best hard drive recovery software to retrieve data for free - was in my Inbox. Is that a signal that I still need to purchase another 4 TB EHD and use that instead of the current y: EHD?

Why do you think I have a browser window open to right now?

Editor's Note: It appears doesn't want it to be easy to find a 4 TB EHD as the options for "size" on their website. It is not user-friendly for anyone seeking a 4 TB EHD when the options for "size" are as follows:

A return trip to yielded this result, which is for a larger 5 TB EHD:

Is not bigger a better option when considering a new EHD?

Thursday, March 9, 2017

You Make My Dreams Come True as I Shout!

It's on the Monday after Karen's birthday.

User Defined Variable in Title field

Recently, I created a RoboHelp project for a new system. When I did, I defined a user defined variable for the name of the system. Earlier today, I was informed the name of the system was being changed. I opened my RoboHelp project and changed my user defined variable to the new value and recompiled. I then discovered that while my TOC & text within the topics had been updated, the tile of the help system that displays had not changed.

I knew the title is set in the Title Bar field on the General tab, as shown below.

On a whim, I pasted the UDV into the Title Bar field:

When I recompiled, I saw this, which tells me I cannot paste the UDV into the Title Bar unless I would want the name of the tab to be extremely odd...

As I feared and as confirmed by RoboHelp guru Rick Stone, there is no magical way to tie the value in the Title Bar field to a User Defined Variable. That is disappointing, especially since the title of the topic allows inserting a User Defined Variable.

Plucking the Peacock Feathers for My Tooting


The days of the paper manual are over. Many devices, like the iPhone, don’t even ship with manuals anymore. While this is definitely an improvement, no one has ever claimed corporate websites are well designed. There’s a little skill involved in tracking down an instruction manual!

This is the challenge I have pursued and conquered for the past 8063 days (22 years, 3 weeks, 6 days) as a technical writer. I could write the very best documentation, choose the very best words, choose the very best help authoring tool, and choose the best format to present the content to the audience, but if the user of said documentation cannot find what they need, it's an ineffective exercise and an ineffective use of my time.

Because This Will Be Useful


My current macro code (see code below) finds all instances of the following three string formats (which are work order #'s) in a Word 2010 file (the file can be anywhere from 10 to 100 pages) and pastes them into a new Word file, one string per line:
AAA-#### (where AAA could be any letter from A – Z, followed by a dash, then 4 numbers)
####-####### (4 numbers, followed by a dash, then 7 numbers)
AAA-##-#### (where AAA could be any letter from A – Z, followed by a dash, 2 numbers, a dash, then 4 numbers)

Two changes I would like to make to the above current macro:

I would like to update the macro so it only searches for one of the three text strings above (as the other two text strings have since become obsolete) to then paste into a new Word file, one string per line:

####-####### (4 numbers, followed by a dash, then 7 numbers)

I would like the macro to generate an error message as a dialog pop-up box at the first instance it comes across a text string that does not follow the approved format as outlined above (####-####### [4 numbers, followed by a dash, then 7 numbers], with the error message that includes the problem text string (work order #) to assist the user in locating the erroneously-entered work order number in the document and fixing it. Once the user corrected the work order number, the user would then re-run the macro.

The two instances of wrongly formatted strings for the macro to detect and generate an error message are as follows:
####-###### (4 numbers, followed by a dash, then 6 numbers)
####-######## (4 numbers, followed by a dash, then 8 numbers)

The error message will ensure going forward that we are not missing any work order numbers being transferred by the macro to the new Word file due to the user mis-keying in the work orders by accidentally adding or subtracting one digit.

I've attached a sample Word file showing the two examples of wrongly-formatted text strings that can occur and for which I would like the macro to generate an error message.

And here's the answer:

Sub Extract_WOs_ADCs()
' Extract_WOs_ADCs Macro
' Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+y
Set Activedoc = ActiveDocument
strRes = ""
Dim reg As Object 'VBScript_RegExp_55.regexp
Dim Match As Object ' VBScript_RegExp_55.Match
Dim Matches As Object 'VBScript_RegExp_55.MatchCollection

' instanciation
Set reg = CreateObject("VBScript.RegExp")
With reg
.Global = True
.MultiLine = True
.Ignorecase = True
.Pattern = "\b\d{4}-(\d{6}|\d{8})\b"
Set Matches = .Execute(Activedoc.Range.Text)
End With
For Each Match In Matches
ActiveDocument.Range(Match.firstIndex, Match.firstIndex + Match.Length).Select
MsgBox "Value: " & Match.Value & " is wrong"
Exit Sub
Next Match
reg.Pattern = "\b\d{4}-\d{7}\b"
Set Matches = reg.Execute(Activedoc.Range.Text)
For Each Match In Matches
strRes = strRes & Match.Value & vbCrLf
Next Match

If strRes <> "" Then
Set newDoc = Documents.Add
newDoc.Range.Text = strRes
MsgBox "No Matches"
End If
End Sub

Do you know what's really cool about this website? In the comment with the code above, there are these tools that are extremely helpful:
  • Select all
  • Open in new window
That is awesome!

Totally helpful.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

You Should Purchase Flare?

I routinely receive emails from Madcap Software, the company that sells Flare, which is a direct competitor to RoboHelp. Usually, I don't invest a lot of time, if any, in reviewing the email, but I just did. When I went out to the case study for HP - - I wasn't blown away. In fact, the first help system I reviewed didn't have icons in the output:

So then, I went to look at another example, and saw an entirely different look & feel from the first system:

Now, I understand that there are different audiences and such, but it looks as if the authors at HP really don't know what the hell they are doing. First of all, there's the icons not displaying in the first screen capture; in the second screen capture, the layout of the glossary is totally different. That took me back to the case study where I read this:

The information engineering team also makes extensive use of snippets, variables, and conditional tags in MadCap Flare to maximize content reuse for its different outputs.

To me, that tells me that whether you use Flare or not, there will be inconsistency. Why is the Glossary in the first screen capture laid out with the letters across the top while the Glossary in the second screen capture does not have those letters? If Flare is such a great tool, why would it allow icons to not display and why would the authors chose to have two Glossaries with different layouts?

I don't have the answer.

Cheers to my HAT, RoboHelp!

From RoboWhat to RoboWow: A Tale of RoboHelp 2017

WM Season is ON

SPOILER: "It doesn't really feel like WrestleMania season until Undertaker arrives."

Okay. Read more.

Star Wars Meets Calvin & Hobbes

Editor's Note: It is with great surprise that such an iconic comic strip like "Calvin & Hobbes" label had to be added because of this post.

Baby Baby Baby!

Awesomeness from Veritas who is based in Des Moines

There was a time - December 2015 - when joining this band as its drummer was something I was thinking about pursuing. I had some email conversations about auditioning but I bailed. Hearing this, though, it makes me wonder what could have been.

This is really strange. I was writing this post as I was listening to the tune and didn't get back to to pick another video before this tune began:

That is really strange.

Judging the Cover by the Original

I had never heard Iggy Pop so when I saw that Metallica played "T.V. Eye" with Iggy Pop in Mexico City, I watched the original first:

Then I watched the cover.

Damn You Steve

I have many talents. Watch this video.

I do not have the ability to create the animation that Katy Davis (AKA Gobblynne) did.



Well done, Katy Davis (AKA Gobblynne), very well done.

When A is Unequal (in EVERY way) to B

In my Indeed Job Alert email, I saw this:

Ever curious, I went out to the ad to review it and what I viewed made ZERO sense! How does a company advertise the position "User Experience Writer" with this description:

The Manager, Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) is responsible for the management, configuration, testing, security, business process design and maintenance, data integrity, and end-user system training for various Human Resource systems. This role manages data integrity, feeds, and reporting. The position leads and unleashes the capabilities of Workday.

The analogy that sprang to my mind was to release a movie trailer that has "Star Wars" as the first words that are seen, but the first character you see is Captain Kirk.


User Experience Writer has absolutely nothing to do with that text?!? Read the original ad below:

Working at TaxAct used to be a good idea as taxes are not something I know a lot about and so I had always thought, in the deep crevices of my mind, that working at TaxAct would require me to master a new subject matter. It would be added to the list of other industries I've worked in:
  1. life insurance
  2. hazardous materials management
  3. telecommunications & billing
  4. equine management
  5. fleet management
  6. medical devices
  7. education
  8. disaster recovery (current)
But if they can send out an ad for "user experience writer" with the obviously wrong description and NO ONE caught it?

Editor's Note: The decision to use the labels "idiots" and "stupid people" are a result of extensive arguments behind-the-scenes.

Monday, March 6, 2017

A Drum Solo with a Twistie

From See Metallica Guitarists Join Lars Ulrich for Drum Solo in New Live Show Segment, it appears that Kirk, James, Lars, & Rob are playing a drum solo in the middle of "Now That We're Dead," as shown below:

Pretty sweet!

Think Before You Take Little Kids to R-Rated Movies

Warning: The article @ the other end of this link has the f-word in it. Click cautiously... Parents: Think Before You Take Little Kids to R-Rated Movies

Good Ideas (No Teaching Required)

4 good computer habits every teacher should have

1000 CDs for $500

From CL > milwaukee > for sale > cds / dvds / vhs - by owner

rock country,jazz,classical,soul,etc.
$2 each
buy 1 or buy all

Not interested.

Some Statistical Fodder

This is a snapshot of my external hard drives, showing the space used and space free:

Drive Letter Used Free
M* 1.46 TB .859 TB
N* 1.46 TB .859 TB
U 1.55 TB 274 GB
Y 1.69 TB 1.94 TB
Z 1.76 TB 52.96 GB

The amount of space used is equal to 5 TB. I noticed Best Buy has a portable 4 TB external hard drive on sale this week for $119. While I am still gathering the duplicate file statistics for the M, N, U, and Z drives, I do know there is 0.396946556521 TB (396.946556521 GB) of duplicate files on the y: drive. Once I know the statistics for the M, N, U, and Z drives, I can determine if a new 4 TB drive would benefit me. What would be REALLY cool is if I could copy all of my duplicate files to a single drive as a means to keep files as a backup.

* The M & N drives are shares on the MyCloud device.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Home Finale for the Men

Today is the Iowa men's basketball home finale against Penn State. The team is on a 3 game win streak, defeating Indiana, Maryland, and Wisconsin. The Maryland and Wisconsin games are significant because they were outside the comfort of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. There are two seniors on the team - Peter Jok and ... Jones, who has been hindered by injuries throughout his career. He has not been a significant contributor to the team this season. I hope Iowa wins today and I hope they go at least two games 'in' when the Big Ten Tournament begins as doing so is likely the only way they play after today. The "experts" have stated that the team will not make the NCAA Tournament. I'm really hoping they do, somehow, play in the NCAA Tournament or the NIT tournament.

Chaos, Not Order

I'm a sensible kind of guy. I like order more than chaos, especially when it comes to the future. I realize that is often not possible, but I also realize when simple order could have been applied. After the video below, there's a list of 24 movies that are tentatively being released in 2018. They are not presented in alphabetical order and they're not presented in release date order. Is it cliche to think one of those orders would be appropriate?

My use case for a video about future movie dates is to open up my hard-copy calendar and make a note on the release date. Especially for the summer movies, when we are likely to be in Elkader, it's information I'd like to know. The movie theater in Elkader is a cheap way to see a movie as a 3D movie is $6 and a non-3D movie is $5. I cannot count how many movies I've seen in Elkader over the years.

I digress. Here's the video about summer 2018 movies.

  1. Han Solo | 0:19
  2. Avengers: Infinity War | 1:01
  3. The Predator | 1:23
  4. Bad Boys for Life | 1:46
  5. Pacific Rim: Uprising | 2:23
  6. Ant-Man and the Wasp | 3:00
  7. Wreck-It Ralph 2 | 3:32
  8. Black Panther | 4:08
  9. Aquaman | 4:38
  10. Tomb Raider | 5:05
  11. The Incredibles 2 | 5:40
  12. Jurassic World Sequel | 6:07
  13. Mission: Impossible 6 | 6:37
  14. A Wrinkle In Time | 7:00
  15. The Flash | 7:30
  16. Jungle Book | 8:07
  17. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them 2 | 8:37
  18. Mary Poppins Returns | 9:08
  19. Avatar 2 | 9:43
  20. Maze Runner: The Death Cure | 10:15
  21. Ready Player One | 10:49
  22. Rampage | 11:22
  23. How The Grinch Stole Christmas | 11:50
  24. Deadpool 2 | 12:24

Club Scene in JW

The video below is from a movie that was rated R by the MPAA. Viewer beware!