Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

I have been playing drums for over twenty years now and I consider myself a pretty savvy buyer when it comes to drums and cymbals and all the things that go into building a drum kit out of something other than felt and cardboard. That said I just want to put out a word of caution for those of you who ‘beat the skins’ like me, but may not be the most mechanically inclined. Like me.

I have had many people compliment me on my drum kits over the years and it is a testament to the level of OCD that I therapeutically release upon them. I like my drum kit to look as good as it sounds and I have been lucky enough to find cymbals, drums and such for a lot less than the retail they usually go for. On occasion though I have to do some upkeep on them and I have always gladly taken to such things as they come up. But not being very mechanically inclined as I am has brought with it some challenges to say the least. All I know is that I don’t mind the thought of dying while playing my drums, I just don’t want to die while fixing them..;-)

I know some of you must be thinking; “So what are you getting at Scott?” Good question..

I have a double bass drum pedal on my kit so I can play double bass stuff without having to lug around an entire second bass drum just to do it. It makes my kit fit on a lot more stages and is more visually pleasing because you can actually see me behind my kit instead of being hidden behind a wall of drums. The pedal I have I got used for $75 bucks which was a great deal because they retail for at least three times that amount.

I have had the pedal for several years now and the springs that make the pedal come back off the head when you are playing I had noticed were not as strong as they once were. I had adjusted them as far as I could and there was no more room and I was having to bury my foot into the pedal just to get the thing to do what I wanted. So I got the great idea to replace them. Easy right? Riiiight..

I was alright with taking them off the pedal and such and not breaking or killing anything in the vicinity. I went to the music store I frequent and asked if they had replacements and they referred me to my choice of hardware store. I was amazed for some reason to think that the guys at the music store would not be able to help me. Am I the only person who has ever wanted to replace the springs on his bass drum pedal?

It gets better..

So I take the springs with me to an ACE hardware near my house and a nice older lady helps me find springs that are roughly the same size so they will fit in the area of the pedal for them and to make things even better they are at least two or three times stronger than the ones I was replacing. Awesome I thought, I will not have to adjust them all the way out, I’ll have some ‘wiggle room’ and it should leave me room to adjust them later if I wish. I buy them and rush home to install them and get cracking on learning some new songs for a band I am trying out for next week.

I installed them easy as pie, they are stronger just l like I thought and the pedal feels better than brand new. I am doing all kinds of cool double bass fills I haven’t been able to do for some time and having a grand ole’ time…

All of a sudden, PING!

I instinctively duck out of the way as one of the connectors that holds the spring to the pedal fulcrum snaps and ricochets off the ceiling above my head, off the floor tom, back off the ceiling, off my snare and then veers to bounce off the far wall of the room and disappear into thin air never to be found. If it had hit me I am certain that I either would have died or had quite the scar to wear proudly for the rest of my life. I wasn’t sure if I needed a drink, or a depends..

Note to self; If your going to replace springs that are a lot stronger than the ones you had, you should replace the connectors too. Oh and your shorts in case you poop in them from the scare it gives you.

Needless to say I went back to the hardware store and got some small plant hangers made out of real steel that I then bent slightly to fit and son of a gun if my pedal is not working fantastically and I am alive to tell the tale of how I almost killed myself doing what I love..


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I was on the SPOGG Blog a destination for all who have the Grammar Bug and I came across this piece written by Jeff Owens. It won their Copy Editing Contest.

This is now my Anthem too.. 😉

The simple fact is that while good copy editing saves much writing from clumsiness, inelegance and error, it can’t save the world. True, many copy editors—a charmingly if not irascibly OCD bunch—behave often enough as if it can, but it can’t.

Don’t worry about the world, though. The world will take care of itself with or without us.

What copy editing can do is help save the language, and brother, never was that mission more urgent than it is right now. It’s a shameful embarrassment how many otherwise functioning (more or less) U.S. adults managed to finish high school but still can’t write a sentence—let alone a letter, an essay or even an e-mail—without sounding like one of the Clampetts. And then there’s marketing, corporate-speak and the digital age; all relentlessly tearing away at written English like piranhas (I’ll step outside with anyone who thinks impacted can be used by anyone besides dentists).

Copy editing takes the great literary wilderness of poor grammar, style, usage and spelling used by the Great Unwashed every day and attempts to impose its own sort of manifest destiny on it, and to impart sensible order and structural soundness (to say nothing of good spelling and factual correctness) on a sprawling language that is constantly evolving. It doesn’t even have to make writing great—just making it not suck is often good enough.

Copy editing, then, is no less than a bastion of civilization. The world doesn’t need saving. But the word does, and copy editing is what fights the good fight.

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Today I was promoted to Editor-in-Chief for LXer Linux News. Here is the post on LXer.com.

Introducing Scott Ruecker

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Hello, My Name is Scott Ruecker. I am the Editor-in-Chief of LXer Linux News located on the Internet at LXer.com. I want this blog to be a record of my writings, and my thoughts on them. I will quickly populate this blog with my writings and then going forward, keep this place up to date regarding them. I will also post things of interest to me concerning Writing and Music as I find them.

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