Watch Pearl Jam’s entire 2013 Vancouver show at Rogers Arena (video)

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Originally posted on Vancouver Sun:

Did you miss Pearl Jam at Rogers Arena last December? Were you there?

Either way, you will probably want to revisit the band’s epic three-hour concert by checking out the video below, which is a complete version of the event assembled from multiple HD camera angles shot by fans.

The audio sounds like it’s taken straight from the board, and was recorded in 24-bit FLAC format. The YouTube user who posted the video (Better Than Nothing Videos) recommends watching the video at 1080p, which is probably the best way to fully experience the legendary Seattle alt-rockers’ concert.

Pearl Jam – Rogers Arena, Vancouver, Dec. 4, 2013 set list

Can’t Keep
Low Light
Mind Your Manners
Why Go
God’s Dice
Lightning Bolt
In Hiding
Even Flow
Setting Forth
Not For You
After Hours
Gonna See My Friend
Improv 12/02/13



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How a quarter led to the worst beating I ever got

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SplatGreenMy mom had a reputation around the neighborhood as my brother and I were growing up as being the “Dragon Lady.” She was a strict disciplinarian and any violation of her rules ended in being yelled at for five minutes or being spanked with her hand, belt, switch, paddle, etc. That discipline extended to our visiting friends as well.

They knew that when they came over, they needed to be on their best behavior, otherwise the Dragon Lady would attack. You obeyed the rules, went to bed when she told you to and kept the house clean.

To those that know my mom now, they would never think that. She is the sweetest woman anyone will ever meet. Back then, in the late 80’s and early 90’s, she was not to be crossed.

When we accompanied mom to the grocery store every other Friday during the summer—dad was paid bi-weekly—we would sometimes get rewarded for good behavior while she shopped. One of those rewards oftentimes was a quarter for use in the in coin-operated toy vending machines, where all of the toys were contained in little plastic eggs. They held an assortment of items: rings, jewelry, little cars and football helmets to name a few. They selection seemed to change every time we went.

One of our favorite things to get—and our mom’s least favorite—was the slime. We could play with it for hours by sticking it on things, throwing it at each other, and trying to make different shapes out of it. There were probably other uses that I can’t remember. That was probably twenty-five years ago. They came in a variety of colors: red, green, blue.

My mom hated it because it got into EVERYTHING. If we stuck it to fabric, it would get intertwined with all of the fibers and was nearly impossible to get out. It was a pain to clean off of hard surfaces. But the worst was if some got into hair. Just shampooing your hair wasn’t enough. To get the slime out of hair usually involved a session of sitting on the sink while mom took a dull pair of scissors to remove the slime.

If that happened on a weeknight, we would have pieces of our hair missing for days while we waited to go to the barbershop. I sometimes think mom could have taken us to see our barber the next day, but would rather wait until the end of the week, just so we’d have the messed-up haircut and have to explain to our friends why chunks of our hair was missing.

This one time, both my brother had been on our best behavior at the grocery store, and we both chose to get slime. I think I had blue slime and I remember he got the green. The reason why I remember him getting the green slime will be apparent in a second.

We were in my brother’s room late in the evening. It was dark outside during the summer, so it was probably after nine. We were roughhousing and playing around. Making a lot of noise. We kept the door shut to both muffle the noise and so our parents couldn’t see what we were doing.

My dad was probably asleep in the next room. He often worked twelve to fourteen hour days running an in-loader at a coal mine. He was a heavy sleeper and could sleep during anything. I don’t know if serving in Vietnam helped him to be able to sleep any chance he had or not.

We made a couple loud noises that ended with a THWAP!

A few seconds later, mom threw open the door and asked what was going on. She was mad already.

I looked over at my brother sitting in the floor from where I sat on the edge of his waterbed by the door. The look in his eyes likely mirrored mine: pure fear.

We were both shaking nervously, unable to say anything. He was eight-years-old and I was nine.

She looked at both of us. “Come on! What are you doing in here! Your dad is trying to sleep!”

At this time, I looked up, and my fear increased rising to a panic. Above me, and just in front of my mom, was a green blob of slime clinging desperately to the popcorn ceiling. The little popcorn balls of paint seemed to be helping the slime stay in place.

“We’re just playing,” my brother said courageously.

She eyed us like an FBI investigator. I wilted from her stare. I felt like my life could end soon.

She looked around and realized something was missing. She saw the slime in my right hand, but she couldn’t see Noah’s. I prayed that she didn’t look up.

“Noah, where is your slime!?”

He looked at me, speechless, searching for an answer. Waiting for his older brother to step up to the plate and come to his defense.

I knew where his slime was. It was on the ceiling. My slime was in my right hand. I am left-handed. The THWAP that caused her to come running came from me throwing my brother’s ball of slime at the ceiling.

“Well, mom—, “I started to say.

Then, in what seemed like slow motion, the grip that his green slime had had on the ceiling ended. It made a valiant effort to hang on for as long as it could, but at last, it lost its fight.

It fell in slow motion. I remember staring intently at my mom’s face as her gaze cut into us. She caught the slime’s fall just as it got to the top of her head. She watched it fall to the floor no more than six inches in front of her face where it landed with a resounding—in my head—SPLAT!

I don’t remember anything after that. The Dragon Lady struck, and I assume the beating that followed erased my memory of the aftermath.

That was the last time I recall being allowed to get slime from the little vending machines.

Matty wins the Super Bowl

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Cam Newton got hurt at the start of the season for the Panthers. They looked for someone to fill in for him near Charlotte. After a tryout, they found their starting quarterback for the next 30 years in Kannapolis: 6-year-old Matty Davis.
He came in and took the NFL by storm. He was a good passer, but he loved to run like a running back.
He led the Panthers to Super Bowl 44 against the Buffalo Bills. His older brother and enemy, Dylan, played on defense for Bills.
Matty was the smallest player on the field by far. All of the other guys were five times bigger than Matty. They were huge!
That did not bother him. He was brave.
He could do a few things they couldn’t.
He could pass better than anyone, but mostly he was fast. So fast he could run circles around and through all of the Bills’ players except one: the freckle-faced Dylan Davis.
It was down to the last play of the game and the Panthers needed to score a touchdown to win.
The center hiked the ball to Matty, and he dropped back to pass. He couldn’t see any player to throw the ball to, so he ran!
He went left and around one of his players and was gone. The other team didn’t know where he was!
He started running through the big guy’s legs. ZOOM! Left then right and left again. No one could catch him!
The crowd came to their feet to watch.
Matty ran through one guy’s legs and saw the goal line in front of him. He had one more player to beat: his brother Dylan!
He looked mean! Dylan picked on Matty at home, but not here. This was Matty’s game. He wanted to win against his big brother.
Matty smiled and put his head down as he drove to the goal line. Dylan ran at Matty and tried to tackle him. Matty held onto the ball with his right hand and stuck his left out in front of him.
He and Dylan met with a big hit. Matty knocked Dylan on his back and jumped over him into the end zone!
The Panthers won the Super Bowl and Matty scored the winning touchdown. The crowd cheered loudly and his team mates put him on their shoulders and took him off the field to celebrate with ice cream.
He was a hero to all in North Carolina. He used the money they gave him to buy the coolest and fastest go-cart ever.

Prologue to Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure

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What follows is the prologue to the novel I have been working on in bits and pieces since last fall. I’ve had a lot of good feedback from conversations with others concerning the plot, and thought I’d share the opening pages of it with you.

Enjoy, and let me know what you think. Thanks!

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Saying goodbye to a longtime friend

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   Today is a bittersweet day. I am saying goodbye to a friend that I have had for over 16 years. Read the rest of this entry »

Are you prepared for the new era of SEO?

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  In the old days of Search Engine Optimization (SEO for short), Google and other search engines based how often pages showed up in searches base upon keywords on your pages and inbound links from other sites and frequency of changes made to pages or blog posts.
   With the explosion of social media, Google changed their search algorithms to include how people interact with websites through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.). They found that people’s browsing habits have changed considerably over time. Instead of going to Google or Yahoo! Start their browsing, they spend their time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and click on links found there to move elsewhere on the net then they share what they find with their friends and followers.
   Is your website optimized for this shift in consumer’s internet browsing habits?
   Does your business utilize social media accounts? Are the details about your business on Yelp!, Foursquare, Google, Yahoo, etc. correct? Do you know how to get those details corrected if not? Do you have the time to go through them all? 
   Then, when the groundwork has been laid, we would work together with you to develop a marketing strategy which would build a potential customer base using existing clients and those people in which we attract to your various social media profiles. Then, as we progress through the times and seasons, we adjust the strategy to keep people’s attention and continue to turn these followers into customers.
   Are you ready to progress your business to the next level? Give us a call at 980-622-3179 to discuss your needs or fill out the contact form found here.