Kevin’s $5 Of Fun – Fallout: New Vegas

You need to jump on this one fast as it expires in just four hours from when I’m posting it.

This week’s $5 of fun recommendation is the PC game Fallout: New Vegas. It received a Metacritic rating of 84 and is normally $20 so be sure to jump on this if you’re a fan of first person shooters and post-apocalyptic stories.

I’ll write up a review once I’ve played the game myself.

Order the game through Steam.


Box Center Episode 2011-12 Show Notes


2011 Medina Community Band Veterans Day Concert

The Medina Community Band will be performing its annual Veterans Day concert tonight at 7 at St. Francis Xavier Church in Medina. The concert will last about an hour and will feature both musical performances from the band and speakers from the military and public officials.

The musical repertoire will be:

October (Whitacre) – Curtis Amrein, conducting
Star Spangled Banner (Key/Sousa) – Denise Milner-Howell, vocalist
Chester (Schumann) – Curtis Amrein, conducting
Themes Like Old Times (arr. Barker) – Denise Milner – Howell, vocalist
Keep the Home Fires Burning (Novello) – Denise Milner- Howell, vocalist
White Cliffs of Dover (Kent) – Dan Doty, vocalist
Ancient and Honorable Artillery (Sousa)
Salute to Bob Hope (arr. Barker)
Symphonic Beatles (arr. Cacavas)
God Bless the U.S.A. (Greenwood/Holmes) – Dan Doty, vocalist
Armed Forces Salute (arr. Lowden)
Stars and Stripes Forever (Sousa)
God Bless America (Berlin/Leidzen) – Denise & Dan, vocal soloists

More information can be found on the Medina Community Band website

Hope to see you there!

Kevin Marching Arts

Help Matt Hartwell KILL CANCER

Matt Hartwell is a former marching member (FMM) of the Cavaliers drum and bugle corps. Matt is also someone who, like many of us, have been touched by cancer, losing both his grandfather and uncle to the disease. Matt is taking action and is taking part in the Shamrock Full Marathon in Virginia City, Virginia, on March 18th, 2012, and is looking for sponsors and donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training (TNT). Matt’s goal is $1500 in fundraising. The team’s is $6000. To help Matt and his team reach their goals, go to this website and donate. There are set amounts as well as the choice to name your own donation amount. Please help Matt and TNT KILL CANCER.


Craig Knox Clinic

Tom Lukowicz, Principal Tuba of the Canton Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Professor of Music at Kent State University, and a member of Pittsburgh Brass, sent me the following information which may be of interest to my fellow brass players:

Notre Dame College will be hosting Craig Knox, Principal Tuba of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Center City Brass Quintet, on January 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm. The clinic will be held in the Regina Auditorium. Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road, South Euclid, OH, 44121.

Details on the college can be found at and More details on how to getvto the auditorium can be found at


Best Technology: Keep Your PC Clean As A Whistle

My second weekly contribution to the Best Technology website. This week, I write about what you can do to keep your PC physically clean from dust and dirt.

The workplace is not kind to computers. It doesn’t matter how clean, how cool, or how dry your office is, there are environmental factors which will do their best to shorten the life of your PC. Thinking about all of the harm which can come to your computer while at work can be enough to make some PC users tech hypochondriacs. Fortunately, there are basic maintenance tips which, when performed regularly, can keep your computer running fast and smooth.

Full Article


Best Technology: Make Your Password A Needle In A Haystack For Hackers

This is an article I wrote for the Best Technology website last week on how you can make your password difficult for hackers to crack, with assistance from Gibson Research Corporation’s Steve Gibson in a recent TV news interview.

Passwords may be the most annoying thing about computers which nobody talks about. It seems like everything with even a minor level of importance requires a password, from your PC at work to your bank account to even your social media profiles. So many activities require passwords that the average user has a hard time keeping track of them all and easily falls into the habit of both making passwords easy to remember and using the same password multiple times. Needless to say, this is a security risk. Fortunately, as security expert Steve Gibson points out in this news item from KABC-TV in Los Angeles, it’s easy to create secure and unique passwords which are also easy to remember.

Full article

Show Review

2011 DCA Alumni Spectacular Review Released

The September 2011 edition of Drum Corps World is now available for your reading pleasure. Just go to High Velocity Media, enter your email address, and choose either the desktop version for the desk and/or lap reading edition or the mobile version for that fully portable drum corps reading experience. My review of the 2011 Drum Corps Associates Alumni Spectacular is on page 24 of this month’s issue, so be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below.

Here’s some photos I took of the event from the press box. Enjoy!

Marching Arts

2011 DCA Finals Impressions

This is the last show of the 2011 North American drum corps season. You can follow the play-by-play action by myself and the rest of the DCP crew here. You can also get my one-shot thoughts on the performances at my Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus accounts. I’ll also update this thread after each show.

Bushwackers: You had a tough year, but you got through it and have a great foundation for the future.

Windsor Regiment: A strong start to the competitive portion of the night. Welcome to DCA!

Carolina Gold: MUCH better performance than last night, setting the bar high for Class A.

Fusion Core: A good performance, but was it good enough to stay ahead of Gold and move up?

Govenaires: A well balanced performance from all sections. I think you keep the title for another year.

Tampa Bay Thunder: Nice job making DCA Open Class Finals in your first year!

Kilties: Another corps which celebrated being in DCA Finals tonight. Powerful performance!

CorpsVets: Guard really shines in this corps. Music program needs to step up to that level in 2012.

Alliance: First total package of the night. Music really shined. Visual may have been overwritten.

San Francisco Renegades: Loud is good, and Renegades give us plenty of that. I think they stay in 6th.

Hawthorne Caballeros: Horns really know how to rip face. Couple rough spots, but still might pull an upset.

Connecticut Hurricanes: Wow, Hurcs, what did you eat for dinner tonight? That performance was incredible!

Empire Statesmen: Good performance, but I wouldn’t put the show ahead of Hurcs. Close call, though.

Reading Buccaneers: MUCH better performance than last night. You’ve made your case for the top spot.

Minnesota Brass: That was a championship performance, hands down. Minnesota sweeps DCA tonight.

DCA South Regional Class A Champion – Shenandoah Sound
Class A High Colorguard – Carolina Gold
Class A High Percussion – Carolina Gold
Class A High Music – Fusion Core
Class A High Visual – Govenaires
Class A High Brass – Govenaires
Class A Best Drum Major – Govenaires

Class A scores:
4. Windsor Regiment – 78.3
3. Carolina Gold – 83.85
2. Fusion Core – 83.93
1. Govenaires – 84.93

DCA South Open Class Champion: Alliance
Showmanship Award: Hawthorne Caballeros featured dancer
Best Honor Guard: Empire Statesmen
Best Color Guard: Minnesota Brass
Best Brass: Minnesota Brass
Best Visual: Minnesota Brass/Reading Buccaneers
Best Percussion: Reading Buccaneers

Open Class Scores:
10. Tampa Bay Thunder – 78.95
9. Kilties – 82.23
8. Atlanta CorpsVets – 85. 00
7. Alliance – 89.00
6.  San Francisco Renegades – 90.18
5. Hawthorne Caballeros – 93.13
4.  Connecticut Hurricanes – 94.35
3. Empire Statesmen – 95.55
2.  Reading Buccaneers – 97.45
1. Minnesota Brass, Inc. – 98.35

Marching Arts

2011 DCA Alumni Spectacular Impressions

The Drum Corps Planet crew is in the process of covering today’s DCA Alumni Spectacular. You can follow our coverage on DCP, but I am also posting my thoughts on the show on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. Here’s what I thought of each corps:

Freelancers Alumni: Great G bugle sound. Bari solo by DM was especially sweet.

Toronto Optimists Alumni: Fun show, very jazzy. Loved the Canadian color presentation.

Reilly Raiders Alumni: Thunderous drums and awesome soloists. This corps knows how to work the crowd.

Bridgemen Alumni: Who else can make fun of a cop and donuts and still pay tribute to the heroes of 9/11?

Boston Crusaders Senior: Drum line was impressive playing rudiments on Kevlar heads.

Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni: A classic alumni corps with a classy performance. Thanks, St. Joe’s!

Park City Pride: Another tight drum line. A tight drum corps all around, in fact.

Preston Scout House Alumni: Proving again that Bb horns are not a bad thing in drum corps. Also glockenspiels.

New York Skyliners Alumni: They could just play Elk’s Parade for 10 minutes and we’d love them for it.

Hawthorne Caballeros Alumni: That performance alone makes me want the CDs from this event