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Friday, July 28, 2017

American Dreams Acoustic & Electric

Song #3

Digging It

Sure would be fun to play in this band!

Hey You! What's Your Number?

To me, it's funny how MS Word is so divisive on the Techwr-L list. When one person says "Word is fine for small documents," another chimes in with the comment that that person has "been using Word for long documents since the early nineties without problems. I'm talking 250, 500, 750 page projects, and larger." This is the thread I have been reading:
Side note: The original thread does not display in the thread index, only a reply, as shown below:

Moving on to the actual point of this post, MS Word and numbering is something I have dealt with in the past. It was not long ago when I was fighting the linked MS Word documents in my RoboHelp project.
Here are some links about numbering:

Editor's Note: Unsure whether Shauna Kelly is given the gratitude elsewhere on this blog. She passed away in November 2011. Read more here.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Agree With This Assessment

Brock Lesnar Must Lose Universal Championship at WWE SummerSlam 2017

The Future!

Wish I had Seen These 547ish Days Ago

“I am sorry we are letting you go” What to do next.

And while being laid off from Pearson wasn't being "fired" - it was a layoff - I think the ideas expressed in this article are spot-on: Six Ways I Learned To Improve My Mental Health After Getting Fired 

The 8

WD has now released a portable SSD drive - $99.99 for 256 GB; $199.99 for 512 GB; and – the biggest – 1 TB for $399.99. If it’s 1 TB for $399.99 and I want 8, that’s $3199.92!
Still thinking about this one:

Maybe today, during my lunch hour, I will run down to the Coral Ridge Mall and pick it up.

Seven Years of Lies Cease with a Rumored Deal

Seven years. That's how long Republicans have declared they will repeal & replace ObamaCare. All they could talk about was doing so and that's all it has turned out to be: talk. Instead of having a plan, instead of laying out a clear roadmap, the Republican Senate leader - Mitch McConnell - is reduced to a rumored backroom deal with Democrat Senate leader Charles Schumer, though this is a rumor, per the article Rumors of a Deal Between McConnell and Schumer on Obamacare Non-Repeal.

A rumor.

Seven years of promising to do something has been reduced to a f-cking rumor.


As expected, people are not happy:
Might as well write the obituary for rock and roll!

Line 1 - Kiss' Rock and Roll All Night

Line 2 - The Who's My Generation

Line 3 - Neil Young's My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)

Line 4 - David Bowie's Future Legend

Line 5 - Billy Joel's It's Still Rock and Roll to Me

Line 6 - The Rolling Stones' It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (But I Like It)

Line 7 - AC/DC's For Those about to Rock, We Salute You

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Free Metal

I love this riff.

From: New Jersey Man Stands Out On His Lawn To Play METALLICA Riffs For Everyone

True! So True!


I were to buy a ticket for each game on the 2017 Iowa football home schedule, it would cost $480.
Sept.  2    $45 each Wyoming (11 am)
Sept. 16    $45 each North Texas (2:30 pm)
Sept. 23    $95 each Penn State
Oct.   7    $60 each Illinois (11 am)
Oct.  28    $80 each Minnesota
Nov.   4    $95 each Ohio State
Nov.  18    $60 each Purdue
Total =     $480
I really can't imagine going to those games. If I was to take a kid with me, it would cost $960! And, if the four of us were going to go - if going to football games as a family is what we did - it would be $1920!! That's pretty darn close to what we pay for our seasonal spot for our camper in Elkader, just to give perspective.

The UX Unicorn

Whenever I think about UX, I think about the designing "Windows Screens" work I did at Quintrex. I remember I did not embrace the work when first presented to me. I thought it was work I wouldn't be good at and that any hours I spent doing that work meant less hours in the work week for the technical writing work I felt like I needed to get done. Vividly, I remember calculating how many hours were in my backlog of technical writing work. In order to make my changes to the documentation prior to the deadline, it would take a miracle. Yet, somehow, I got the work done. I feel good about how I was actually able to balance the two full-time jobs. Sometimes, it was stressful, but overall, I think I was successful. That's why when I read this article - Complementing Your UX Skillset with Business Analysis - it was this quote that resonated within me:

A UX unicorn is someone who can deliver broadly on the UX skillset, plus something else that most would consider rare—though perhaps not mythical, as the term unicorn might imply!

I felt like a unicorn because I was relying upon my technical writing skills in order to deliver UX, if that makes sense. I have no formal training in UX so every thing I learned, I learned from listening and researching and experimenting. I also relied heavily upon BSS, my friend.

And, because it's related, remember how happy I was on Monday about a potential moonlighting gig? No? Well here's a refresher:

I spoke with the recruiter and he told me that the client changed their mind about going forward, deciding to try out someone internally. While I'm disappointed, I also have the faith in God to realize that it wasn't His plan for me to do that work. It was my plan and all things are done according to His plan. Getting the courtesy call from the recruiter was a reminder of that truth in my life.

30 Years Ago Today

The description claims this is the best Vince Neil performance you'll hear. If that's true, Vince Neil totally sucks ass as a lead singer.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Just Like You

Sound Great

I think The Who sound great in these two videos.

If they came to Iowa, I would try to see them in concert.

Overrated!!!....Overrated!!!....Overrated!!!.... C'mon Everybody!

The Top Ten Most Overrated Drummers Of All Time

From the article:
Lars Ulrich – Metallica is simply the most revered, best loved metal band of all time. And guess what – they’re drummer sucks.
Question for the author - did you meant to write "And guess what – they are drummer sucks."?

How to Edit

I do not have an editor at work so I use these tips to edit my work.

#10 is one I was told about at my first TWing job in 1995!

Praise for The Phantom Menace?!?

I haven't seen the "Valerian" movie yet so, sadly, I can't say whether this article is 'right' or 'wrong'. If you don't want to know details about the "Valerian" movie, don't read the article - there are spoilers about it (I'm guessing) because it talks about plot and characters.

Process Flow for My Daily Work

With the help of an intern - Joaquin - this is a process flow of how I do my work. I think it looks great!

Editor's Note: Change "Creates" to "creates" in box 1.1 because none of the other verbs in the boxes are capitalized.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Nope, It Can't Be Better than This

From an email I received with the subject "___________":

.... has a contract opportunity to help a life insurance client update their SOPs. Background with life insurance ideal, as well as experience with RoboHelp. Work can be completed remotely. Are you interested? If so, please send me your Word resume and I would be happy to discuss.

Our client provides life insurance. They have existing policies and procedures that need to be updated. The existing P&Ps are completed in MS Word. They are looking for a skilled Technical Writer to review the existing P&Ps and add any needed updates. The updates range from new forms to changes in procedures to newly acquired companies being combined into one set of P&Ps. The work can be completed 100% off-site and will require occasional WebEx meetings to exchange information. They would like to begin the work immediately. Once completed they would like to look at the possibility of converting them in RoboHelp to create an online resource for their Underwriters.

Best regards,

Priority 1 has been assigned to revising my resume!

Uh, No. Boys do not Have Periods

I read the Huffington Post just to get a different perspective, but this is ridiculous! This analysis by Erick Erickson of the article is spot-on. I'll include the link to the HP piece as well as the EE analysis below. First, EE's analysis:

Transgenderism is not science based. It is a mental health issue. We do not get to choose to be boys or girls and we should not take anyone seriously who thinks otherwise.
The most hilarious part is that the very people who think this is a powerful photo of all sorts of truths will call you anti-science if you raise any question at all about climate change.
  1. Here's the full analsys by EE Huffington Post Goes Anti-Science: Shows a Girl Dressed as a Boy, Claiming Boys Get Periods
  2. Here's the original article:

Then there's this from If the GOP Continues Funding Planned Parenthood, Christians Should Defund the GOP:

They told us to give them the House and they’d repeal Obamacare. We did that in 2010. Then they said they needed the Senate. We gave them that in 2014. Then they needed the White House. We got that for them in November 2016.


When I worked at Pearson, we tried to write a style guide. I wish I would have known about this site back then:


I like this guy - Ben Shapiro - for his ability to cut through a logical fallacy.

Editor's Note: MMP = Monday Morning Politics

Archie & the Demos

This was published on on 12/1/2006. It is now 4018 days (11 years) later. Is it still true?

RIP Carroll O'Connor (August 2, 1924 – June 21, 2001).

It's been 6007 days (16 years, 5 months, 1 week, 3 days) without your talent - I hope you're busting guts with George Carlin, Robin Williams, and many more.

Sometimes The Fear is Criticized Unfairly

Watch this scene and tell me it's poor acting and not engaging.

I think "Fear the Walking Dead" gets unfairly criticized for being boring - I call this good TV.

Cray Cray (Last) Friday

It was a crazy day on Friday.

From: Emergency Management
Sent: Friday, July 21, 2017 4:01 PM
To: Hospital Broadcast; Clinical Departments Broadcast; CLAS-Epic-Notify
Subject: Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Outdoor Threat
Importance: High
The following message is distributed by Hospital Emergency Management.
A Severe Thunderstorm warning has been issued for Johnson County until 4:45 PM. The storm contains 60mph winds and up to quarter size hail, which is primarily an outdoor threat vs. to those who are indoors. Please notify those in your area and refer to the Emergency Operations Plan (Disaster Plan).

From: Emergency Management
Sent: Friday, July 21, 2017 4:14 PM
To: Hospital Broadcast; Clinical Departments Broadcast; CLAS-Epic-Notify
Subject: Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Intensifying
Importance: High
The following message is distributed by Hospital Emergency Management.
A Severe Thunderstorm warning has been issued for Johnson County until 4:45 PM. The storm is increasing in intensity, now 70mph winds and up to 1.75 inch hail. Please notify those in your area and refer to the Emergency Operations Plan (Disaster Plan).

From: UIowa Hawk Alert
Sent: Friday, July 21, 2017 4:45 PM
To: UIowa Hawk Alert
Subject: HawkAlert
National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Johnson county until 5:45pm. Seek immediate shelter.

From: UIowa Hawk Alert
Sent: Friday, July 21, 2017 4:51 PM
To: UIowa Hawk Alert
Subject: Hawk Alert: The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for Johnson County until 545PM. Seek immediate shelter.
Hawk Alert:
The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for Johnson County until 545PM. Seek immediate shelter.. For more information, visit

From: Emergency Management
Sent: Friday, July 21, 2017 4:54 PM
To: Hospital Broadcast; Clinical Departments Broadcast; CLAS-Epic-Notify
Importance: High
The following message is distributed by Hospital Emergency Management.
A TORNADO warning has been issued for Johnson County until 5:45 PM. Please notify those in your area and refer to the Emergency Operations Plan (Disaster Plan).

From: Emergency Management
Sent: Friday, July 21, 2017 5:44 PM
To: Hospital Broadcast; Clinical Departments Broadcast; CLAS-Epic-Notify
Importance: High
The following message is distributed by Hospital Emergency Management.
The TORNADO warning has been extended for Johnson County until 6:30 PM. Please notify those in your area and refer to the Emergency Operations Plan (Disaster Plan).

From: Emergency Management
Sent: Friday, July 21, 2017 6:12 PM
To: Hospital Broadcast; Clinical Departments Broadcast; CLAS-Epic-Notify
Subject: Severe Weather Moved Out Of Metro Area
Importance: High
The following message is distributed by Hospital Emergency Management.
The severe weather has moved away from the Iowa City metro area at this time. The facility can stand down and return to normal operations.

I made it home safely.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Change of Plans

I had intended to go see "The Big Sick" with Karen, Megan, and Alex at the Coral Ridge Mall Theater today, but after learning it was rated R, we decided to not go to it. Then I happened to see that "47 Meters Down" was playing at the Collins Road Theater. That place is so awesome! Four tickets was $20 and all of our pop, popcorn, and candy was ~$20. It is $7.75 for a matinee movie at Coral Ridge Mall Theater so, just to get in, would have been $31. I remember posting the trailer for "47 Meters Down" elsewhere on this blog. It's the movie about the two sisters who go into a shark cage and then run into issues. I remember thinking there was no way Karen would go see it, but she agreed. She says I squeezed her hand too tight during one of the scenes in the movie. While it was a good movie, I will say I'm glad it was PG-13 because I wouldn't have survived the movie if it was rated R - and I'll leave it at that.

The bigger news about this weekend is that Comic Con happened in San Diego and new (awesome!!) trailers were shown:
  1. Thor - Ragnarak
  2. The Walking Dead
  3. Justice League
  4. Fear the Walking Dead
  5. Avengers - Infinity War - Not officially released, but here's what I saw.


Alex & I are going to Best Buy in Coralville today to have the Geek Squad look at his laptop regarding if anything can be done to make it faster. I was looking at the Best Buy weekly ad and came across an external hard drive with a 8 TB capacity that is on sale for $159.99, which is $140 off of the regular price or 46% - one hell of a deal!

The next question became whether or not all of my existing external hard drives would fit on a single 8 TB external hard drive. Here are my drives and their capacities, as of today:

Drive LetterUsedFreeCapacity
B1.93 TB1.70 TB3.63 TB
Drive M & N - the WD Cloud1.35 TB1.32 TB2.68 TB
U1.60 GB223 GB1.81 TB
V479 GB452 GB931 GB
Y2.16 GB1.47 TB3.63 TB
Z1.02 TB808 GB1.81 GB

Side note: Google is awesome! I entered this string into the search box:
1.93 TB + 1.35 TB + 1.60 TB + 479 GB + 2.16 GB + 1.02 TB
and google spit out

(1.93 TB) + (1.35 TB) + (1.60 TB) + (479 GB) + (2.16 GB) + (1.02 TB) = 6.38116 terabytes

See for yourself - it's quite remarkable!

Then, I entered

3.63 TB + 2.68 TB + 1.81 TB + 931 GB + 3.63 TB +1.81 GB

and got this for an answer:

(3.63 TB) + (2.68 TB) + (1.81 TB) + (931 GB) + (3.63 TB) + (1.81 GB) = 12.68281 terabytes

It's like a present for English majors! <grin>
Finally, this is the amount of free space I have:

(1.70 TB) + (1.32 TB) + (223 GB) + (452 GB) + (1.47 TB) + (808 GB) = 5.97300 terabytes

So. I have a vision for copying all of my files to a single 8 TB external hard drive, which will have its cord far FAR away from my feet so I don't accidentally cause it to fall to the ground and discontinue working, and then to manipulate the storage space so as to use my current external hard drives as backups, perhaps by file type, perhaps not. I should probably plot out my strategy so as to have a single plan and a single idea as to what it will all look like when it is done.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Never. Going. To. Happen.

I will never play drums like this guy. He's impressive, but this is not my cup of Mountain Dew.

Awesome or Crap

Tagging with both the "awesome job" tag and the "crappy job" tag because I have zero clue which type of job this is:

Same Issue

My main RoboHelp project is not cooperating with me. I cannot go to File > Close. I need to get this straightened out before Wednesday, July 26th, which is when I am showing my manager my progress in preparation for our weekly meeting the next day with his boss. The following week, I am on vacation. When I return from vacation, I will have that week to wrap up any loose ends. I will likely 'freeze' a copy of the project on Thursday, 8/10, which is the day of our weekly meeting with my manager and his manager. From 8/10 - 8/16, I will work on a copy of the project for a very good reason: I won't want anything to get messed up before Wednesday, 8/16.

Why is that day important? Well, early in the AM, we - Karen, Megan, Alex, and I - will go up to Cedar Falls to move the kids into their UNI dorm (Alex) and UNI apartment (Megan). I need to leave Cedar Falls no later than 2:00, which would get me to North Liberty at 3:30(ish) which will be in time for a 4:00 PM meeting with the IT auditor, my manager's boss, and other senior directors in the department. On that day, I will have zero time to work on this RoboHelp project so I must have every thing absolutely frozen prior to leaving work on Tuesday.

To troubleshoot my project, I am going to make a copy of the HTML files 

I found some posts in the RoboHelp forums about it:
Hoping I resolve this today.

Different Vibe

If I had not seen the Cooper cover of Megadeth, I wouldn't have clicked to see all of his drum videos and I wouldn't have seen that he posted a cover of Charlie Puth, who I had never heard of until this AM.

This is the original:

It's a different vibe than Megadeth, to be sure!


When Megadeth played "The Mechanix" at Chicago Open Air, I think many people wondered why they were covering Metallica's "The Four Horsemen," which is funny, because "The Mechanix" is the song that became "The Four Horsemen" on Metallica's "Kill 'em All" album.

At this moment in time, I have not found a "full concert" video for their Chicago Open Air concert. I did find the setlist they played at Rock Fest and the set list they played in Chicago.
July 14, 2017 Chicago Open Air
July 15, 2017 Rock Fest
1)    Hangar 18
1.    Hangar 18
2)    The Threat Is Real
2.    The Threat Is Real
3)    Sweating Bullets
3.    Sweating Bullets
4)    She-Wolf
4.    She-Wolf
5)    Mechanix
5.    Skin o' My Teeth
6)    Tornado of Souls
6.    A Tout Le Monde
7)    Dystopia
7.    Mechanix
8)    Symphony of Destruction
8.    Poisonous Shadows
9)    Peace Sells
9.    Tornado of Souls
10) Holy Wars... The Punishment Due
10. Symphony of Destruction

11. Dystopia

12. Peace Sells

13. Holy Wars... The Punishment Due
That's too bad as I like the "Skin o' My Teeth" tune because of the drumming, as Cooper shows off below, but see below to see the comments left on this video:

The Juice is Soon to be Loose

Crime Went Down

One of the comments is this: "These illegal aliens are not illegal aliens, they're people"

"Science has weighed in."

Technical Writing on the High Seas

This would not be something I would want to do:

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Survey Says!

Received a survey from Chicago Open Air.
There were two instances where the year was incorrect - "2016" wasn't changed to "2017" and "2017" wasn't changed to "2018" - within the survey:

 I liked what I wrote for the following two survey questions:

What was your overall favorite part of Chicago Open Air this year?

I thought the overall vibe of the concert was great and that made it a great weekend. I saw people help each other up in the pit; I saw many people help a guy who fell going up the steps at the end of Sunday. The chant about Nickelback during Stone Sour's set was fun. Sure, there were jerks that started fights on the floor, but there were more people there to have "fun" than to be jerky. The costumes people had on added to it too - the guys dressed as the Power Rangers, the guy dressed as Jesus - just made it fun.

Since there's been no other place to write this, here's some other ideas:
1_ Have a lottery to get 2 passes to sit on the stage that Paul Stanley sang on. Put a barrier around it and make it easier to get to it, but really, that would've been the BEST seat in the house. Have a bucket at each entrance and a slip to have people put down their name & cell # to get a text by, oh, 2 hours before the final headliner to meet at the soundboard, show the security people that you are the one, and then be allowed to go up to the seat. Have a lottery each day, for the three final acts of each day.
2_ From a pure 'crowd control' perspective, it would be a great idea to have some sort of toilet on the floor for the main stage. When a band ended, there was a huge influx of fans going up the steps.
3_ Tap into some other pop culture things that metal fans share. For example, I don't smoke pot - and never have - but I watch WWE. Have some WWE superstars come and do autographs. Have a standup comedian tent for someone like Jim Breuer from That Metal Show to appear - but not during a metal icon's time on stage. It could be before the bands on the main stage start up.
4_ FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, get unique videos to show between the bands on the main stage - the Cooking Hostile show was funny, but not after every single band. Work out some sort of royalty deal with Mike Judge to show Beavis & Butthead episodes or SOMETHING so we don't see the same videos after every band.
5_ One thing that I think would be cool is to have a place for musicians to connect with other musicians. I thought the "Music Experience" place was going to be like what they had at Memphis in May 2004. They had a trailer set up with a room with a drum set, guitars, bass, mics, and you could go in there and jam. They had a guy that monitored the flow of people in and out - so no one would steal anything which, sadly, you'd need to have - and a second guy who was kind of the 'host' - like at a jam session. A second thing would be to have a 'musicians wanted' board or a place to put business cards for metal-related services, whether it is for music websites or producers or writers or stage crew or whatever - there were so many people connected to metal but no way to knit people together.

Overall, I really enjoyed the concert. We went all three days.

What is the #1 thing we could do to improve Chicago Open Air in the future?

Sorry, you're going to get more than one.

1) If pinned down and forced to choose one, I would say "Don't make heavy metal bands choose between icons who are scheduled immediately after each other. Slayer ending 5 minutes before Ozzy was the worst decision of the weekend."

Here's why it was a choice we had to make. My son & I had a good view for Ozzy by the soundboard so we didn't go see Slayer because we knew we wouldn't get that good view back. It wasn't fair to fans to have to choose. Truthfully, Ozzy only "won" because I saw Slayer previously - back in 2004 - so I knew what they were like. My son didn't know their songs so he was okay with seeing Ozzy.
Side note: What would have been MOST EXCELLENT would have been to have Slayer, Anthrax, and Megadeth on the same stage, in a row on the same day, and to market it as "3/4ths of the Big Four are playing at COA!"

2) Decide on security policy and stick to it.

___a) We read "water bottles must be sealed" and that was fine. On day two, security insisted that we open our water bottles. I didn't want to drink my water immediately - was saving it for when it was hot. On the third day, some security let the water bottles remain sealed while others security people made them be open. Truthfully, all you have to do is bring a cap from another water bottle in with you to seal it.
Also, on this subject, once inside, some vendors would sell bottled water without taking off the cap; others insisted upon removing it. Consistency.

___b) Why can't a dad put their young daughter - I'd guess she was between 8 - 10 - on his shoulders so she could see better. This dad and his daughter were standing in front of the soundboard so no one's view was blocked. Since I was closer to them than the security guy, I had to be the one to tap him on the shoulder and tell him. It broke my heart. Our youth are the future of supporting the heavy metal genre!

___c) It would also be cool to have giant "Right side = going to the floor; Left side = leaving the floor" signs. Also, the steps next to the VIP section needed better crowd control. There were people trying to go up and down on the same side of the steps - security at the bottom should tell people to go to the next section to go up.

___d) The sign for the 'crowd-surfing policy' made it look like Ozzy was reading a teleprompter - it is kind of funny. I get the whole idea behind needing to post the 'official policy' and I'm fine with that. I thought the security people went a little too overboard. It was like they thought because the sign was there that no one would crowd-surf and they acted annoyed when crowd-surfing began. Look, I've been going to concerts since 1986ish and THERE ARE ALWAYS CROWD SURFERS AT THE CONCERTS! Frankly, if the security people are going to act annoyed for what has been standard at countless concerts for the last 31 years, they shouldn't be hired.


If I could change anything about my Ludwig Vistalites, it would be to not mount my tom on the bass drum. I would love to mount it to a cymbal stand, as shown below:
Perhaps what I should change first, before implementing the above configuration, is to find a band!

Chicago Open Air Day 3

Just realized I didn't post my Day 3 pictures so... here they are!


Your First Look at the 100% Real* Script for the Fan-Made Star Wars: The Last Jedi Remake, Which is Definitely Happening