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I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

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Thanksgiving is a US holiday where we purposely focus on being thankful for our lives, and the people and things in them. Families get together and enjoy each others company,Thanksgiving - Epic version

Yep, it's a chick flick. And a period drama. The last movie I watched that combined those elements was Vanity Fair, which just about killed me to watch, so IReview: Sense and Sensibility

Looks like I am officially blogging. I am too cool for words. (Ironic, isn't it.)Check it out...

Well, apparently you guys are really interested in my death. The last post, I want to end my life, but I'm too lazy, has been the top of the pageMaking a suicide pact

If you're not a parent or don't want to talk about the logistics of sickness, move along... nothing to see here. You've been warned. So after Thanksgiving dinner was over and weNot for the queasy - where to get sick

[caption id="attachment_795" align="alignright" width="227" caption="Is Watchmen unfilmable?"][/caption] I've seen the trailers. I've seen a bunch of clips. It looks good. The visuals are great. Hard to say much else about it,Quick thoughts on Watchmen: unfilmable?

The Players: Dad - in the upstairs office, working Mom - ...indisposed 3-year old, aka "Little Mommy" - playing in playroom 2-year old, aka "Stinky" - playing in playroom So I'm sitting in my office,Little Mommy drops the... um... ball

Last week I showed you something embarrassing: my desk. [caption id="attachment_1463" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="My "Workstation""][/caption] I promised that I would show you a clean desk by Tuesday. Honestly, I wasn't sure itMiracles DO happen!

JMSNews J. Michael Straczynski, the creator/writer/producer of Babylon 5 and Crusade, has been writing for television for twenty years. He's been pretty successful at it, too. He doesn't just write forJMS deluged with attention

In the last month or so, it seems like Murphy is camped on my front step. Computer - dead. Motherboard, presumably, is fried, based on research. Car inspection - over $500 moreUnexpected costs, things that have broken lately, and lessons learned

Is it the "training industry" or the "learning industry"? (Yeah, I know there are plenty of alternates to make this even more confusing, but let's stick to these two forTraining vs. Learning

Way back in the distant past... I had an idea for a short web comic. Unfortunately, I have ZERO skill at drawing. Luckily, I know someone who has that skill inTime Travel Is Tricky

I just watched Disc Three of the Crusade series, written by J. Michael Straczynski (JMS). Luckily, I was apparently watching one of the early discs produced since it had hisCrusade: What would have happened

A long time ago, before I knew how to embed videos, I linked out to a David Letterman clip showing Steve Martin and Earl Scruggs (and a bunch of otherTuesday TubeWatch: Banjos and Steve Martin (and Star Wars!)

So we've got a new look here at the old blog. Not too drastic, but updated. I'm not finished tinkering, so things might change again soon. See if you canCh-ch-ch-ch-changes...

Drum roll, please!

I’ve always loved drums. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t “drumming.” I put that in quotes because I’ve rarely actually had a drum at my disposal. I’ve beat rhythms out with wooden spoons, sticks, pencils, pens, toilet paper tubes, pipe insulation, toy drumsticks, my hands… anything at my disposal. (I actually had to stop doing it so much in my car; the head of my gear shift came off once while driving because I had loosened the screws by beating on it.)

So, can you guess who my favorite Muppet was?

Yep. Animal was the quintessential drummer in my young eyes. Totally uninhibited and always wanting to let loose with everything he had. Then one day another drummer was on the Muppet Show as the guest star. And he had a drum battle with Animal! Best. Show. Ever. (Yes, even better than the Star Wars episode.)

Anybody who could leave Animal wide-eyed with his jaw on the floor was worth some attention, in my book. I asked my Dad about him and learned that Buddy Rich was a drummer from the Big Bands era, and was possibly the best drummer alive. I don’t think there’s been anyone since who’s taken the lead in that race.

Here he is in a 1978 solo in The Hague. This isn’t even his best work, IMO, but it’s one of the rare clips I’ve found that has a wider range of “tricks” in it.

The only other drummer I’d put in the same breath with Buddy Rich is Gene Krupa, another great from the Big Band era. Gene was the drummer for Benny Goodman and is the beat behind one of the best swing numbers of all time, Sing, Sing, Sing:

Krupa and Rich got together for their own “drum battle” on Sammy Davis Jr.’s show in the 1966. Nice stuff. It shows the difference in their styles, as well. Krupa has those cross-overs nailed, but I think Buddy is a bit cleaner.

There are some far-and-away excellent drummers today, but those two are the gold standard in my book.

And in case you’re wondering… no, I don’t play the drums myself. I did, long ago, and was pretty good for my age – at least in my school, but due to stupidity it didn’t last. That’s a story for another time, though.

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