How I Keep Technology From Ruling My Life

Ironic note: I wrote this article entirely on my smartphone. It was originally a comment on a Connie Schultz Facebook post.

I am an IT professional. My work computer has SIX monitors so I can have multiple dashboards up showing me the status of my department and our clients. I also own a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 smartphone (the one with the stylus), a Samsung Chromebook Pro laptop (also with a stylus), and my home laptop which has a 50 inch HDTV plugged into it so I can watch movies online or from my personal collection.

In short, I’m a geek. I make a living and have an obsession with technology. I’m the guy my family turns to when they can’t get their tech to behave. Continue reading How I Keep Technology From Ruling My Life

How To Follow The Australian Open Online

We’re barely halfway through the first month of 2018 and it’s already time for the first Grand Slam tournament of tennis, the Australian Open! As the geeky tennis fan I am, I want to stay on top of the Open as much as possible. While that mainly entails turning on the TV and watching the actual matches, I’m not always going to be home or, for that matter, where a television is. Fortunately, there are many ways to follow the Australian Open and tennis in general online.
Continue reading How To Follow The Australian Open Online

2018 Ohio Indoor Performance Association Premier Event

The 2018 indoor season gets underway on Saturday, January 21, as the Ohio Indoor Performance Association presents their annual premier event! Color guards, percussion ensembles, and wind ensembles from all over Ohio and beyond will converge on Marion Harding High School in Marion, Ohio, to kick off the new season. I will be there with my trusty camera and smartphone to keep you up to date on every performing group via social media, but why not join us? Whether you’re a performer, staff member, volunteer, parent, friend, or just a fan of the activity, be sure to be at Marion Harding when the show begins at 10AM.

I hope to see you there!

The First Apps To Install On Your New Android Device

Christmas season has come and gone, but those of us who got new Android devices as gifts now get to play with their toys!

For Christmas, I got hold of a Samsung Chromebook Pro. This device has the ability to run Android apps similar to a tablet and is becoming my productivity device of choice for both personal and work uses. Since I already use many Android apps on my smartphone (also a Samsung, in fact), I have a stable of apps I already use which also will run on the Chromebook. Here’s my list of apps which I recommend you install on your new Android device. Continue reading The First Apps To Install On Your New Android Device

2018 Indoor Season

It’s Christmas Eve, which is exciting unto itself, but it’s also just under a month away from the 2018 indoor season! Winter guards, drum lines, and winds groups are already hard at work designing and perfecting their shows, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us all.

Here are the shows I plan on attending:

WGI and FloMarching also announced their 2018 streaming schedule. If you’re a FloMarching subscriber, you have access to all of these events as part of your subscription.

Will you be at any of these events? If so, please let me know and/or try to find me. I’m always looking for the chance to connect with old friends and meet new ones.

2017 Ashland Tubachristmas

I will be playing at the Ashland Tubachristmas this Saturday. For those of you who don’t know, Tubachristmas is pretty much what it sounds like – A bunch of low brass players getting together and playing Christmas carols. We even invite audience participation by singing along! The concert is free to the audience so you don’t have an excuse to come and join in on the festive holiday fun!

Ashland Tubachristmas:
Saturday, December 2nd
Ashland University Hugo Young Theater
Concert starts at 12 Noon
Performer registration at 10 AM ($10 registration fee)
Performer rehearsal at 10:20 AM

See you there!

Joe Deninzon Stratospheerius CD Release Party This Saturday!

While there won’t be explosions like you see in the video of this incredible cover of Muse’s Hysteria (we hope), you WILL experience your mind blowing over the raw power and skill of Joe Deninzon and Stratospheerius performing this and many other songs at their Guilty of Innocence CD release party this Saturday at Wilbert’s in downtown Cleveland!

FloMarching Update

Yesterday, I wrote what can best be described as a tirade about the customer support I received from FloMarching while experiencing multiple issues with their live stream of the DCI Southeastern premiere event. You can read that article here.

Since then, I have received incredible response from members of the FloMarching team. Specifically, I have heard back from Erik Kosman, an audio engineer consultant; Andy Schamma, content creator; and Wesley Sullivan, senior manager of rights acquisition. Because of their proactive response, I’ve come to understand that the people at FloMarching themselves are not the issue. They are passionate about what they are doing and are going above and beyond to make the live stream experience incredible. Customer service, however, is under the generic FloSports umbrella, and out of the control of the FloMarching group. This means that they are just as frustrated by my experience as I am, if not more so.

Erik and Andy make sure that I received a response from FloSports Support and I am now working with one of their support team members regarding last night’s experience. Wesley is also doing everything he can to make sure that my experience was the exception instead of the rule. All three members of the FloMarching team have demonstrated the type of customer support and service which I try to give to my clients. Because of this, I am now considering renewing my FloMarching subscription and am even watching tonight’s Wake Forest Tour of Champions show. So far, it’s been a clean streaming experience.

FloMarching Review

I was experiencing issues with the FloMarching feed from tonight’s DCI Southeastern regional. At around 7 PM Eastern, I sent an email, per FloMarching’s recommendation, to their support, explaining the problems I was having and, well requesting support.

Some of the problems I experienced tonight:

  • Getting a “Sorry, there was an unkown error with the video media.” error (and, yes, “unkown” was spelled like that) on the multi-cam feed, sometimes 4-5 times during a single corps performance.
  • Later in the night, multiple times where the multi-cam feed rebuffered, again sometimes during the same performance
  • The video freezing on the high cam feed.

These all happened on a Roku Premiere with the FloSports app and an Internet connection which averaged 85 Mbps down, more than enough to handle a live stream

I heard nothing from them the rest of the night, had more problems with the live stream, and, at 10:45 PM Eastern, sent the following email:


I sent my request to you almost four hours ago, during a live event. I have received NO SUPPORT whatsoever and now I am experiencing significant issues with both the multi-cam and high cam feeds. If I do not receive a response by the end of tonight’s webcast, I am requesting immediate cancellation of my account and a pro-rated refund of my subscription. This is unacceptable support. If I treated my clients like this, my company would be shut down and defending lawsuits.

Kevin Gamin

Again, no response.

I’ve cancelled my subscription. Looks like the only way I’ll experience DCI, BOA, and WGI is live and in person.

The problem wasn’t even that I was experiencing problems. The problem was the complete radio silence from FloMarching support. That’s horrible and unacceptable customer service. As I stated in my email, I would lose business and my company would be out of business in no time if we treated our clients like that.

Well, FloMarching just lost my business, and I’m sure I’m not the only one based on the many complaints I’ve seen throughout the season.

If you haven’t signed up for FloMarching yet, I would recommend you stay that way. Save your money and your state of mind.

2017 Legends Drum Corps Open Photos

I took some photos of the various drum corps performing at last Saturday’s Legends Drum Corps Open. Please feel free to take a look at them. If you’d like to share any of the photos, please be sure to give me credit. Finally, if you’d like, you also have the option to join the Google Photos album for the show and add your own photos for everybody to see!

2017 Legends Drum Corps Google Photos Album