Monday, July 26, 2010

2010-07-23: Ted Nugent

07-23-2010: Ted Nugent, with Val Halla
Where: The Surf Ballroom, Clear Lake Iowa
Went with: Steve

My new litmus test: WWTD?

Ya. I’m gonna get in trouble for this one…

I LOVED the Ted Nugent concert. I left me so inspired to LIVE LIFE! Nowhere else have I experienced such passion and purpose, or to paraphrase, “…to suck the marrow from the freshly-killed gift of life that feeds the fire-breathing, rock-igniting soul for another beautiful day of freedom-filled defiance-breeding ROCK. LIVE AT THE HIGH DECEBELS

He is 62 years old and rocks like nobody else. He’s got some killer guitars, including 2 custom PRS (zebra striped and camouflage), a few Gibson Byrdlands, and a couple Gibson Les Paul guitars. Below is his American Flag Gibson Les Paul:


He really loves his guitar…and his country…and rock and roll…and guns…and hunting…and…just loves living!

I felt summoned to the front of the stage to declare from the TOP OF MY LUNGS: “I, Greg Hintermeister, Declare to LIVE LIFE filled to the RAFTERS with purpose, passion, drive, DISCIPLINE, and Laughter! I will wake up EVERY MORNING THRILLED TO BE ALIVE and squealing with delight thanking God for what I get to do this VERY day…IT’S A FREE-FOR-ALL!!!”

I know. I should be quoting bible verses…but The Nuge lit the fuse…

I should also say I’m reading his book “Ted, White, and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto”. I declare EVERYONE should read this book. I don’t care if you agree with anything he says. He’s got strong opinions with logical arguments to back them up. If you don’t agree, good. You’ll be given the gift to define YOUR arguments against his. It made me think hard, “Well, what do I think about that?!?” I consider that a must-read. I’m going to have my oldest read it, not to tell him what he should think, but to show him HOW to think and debate, and decide for himself what his PASSION is.

DISCIPLINE!!! He spoke of pure, honest, GET-OUT-OF-MY-WAY-I-DON’T-WANT-NO-HANDOUTS-I’M-COMING-THROUGH kind of discipline. I could tell from his playing (and TV, writings, and volunteer service). He practices hard. He plays hard. His band practices and perfects. They were one rockin’ band (did I say he’s been sober for 62 years?). I was blown away at his skills.

OK. Back to the concert: This is his “Hurdle the Weak and Trample the Dead” tour. He played at the Surf Ballroom, the location of Buddy Holly’s last concert. It was a really great place…hotter than a pistol, but maybe that made the night amongst 2000 other Ted Heads even more memorable.

We got there at 7:30, doors opened at 8, so when we walked in, we could walk RIGHT UP to the stage. 4 feet away at most. Here he is with his Byrdland. Georgous guitar.

Nugent2 Oh, and guess what? He busts his CAJONES to give us a great sweat-drenching ear-blowing show. But he also works hard to provide for himself, his family, but even more to provide for others. He could be sitting on his laurels while his Cat Scratch Fever residuals roll in, but in his ‘spare time’ he’s, dare I say it, doing God’s work.

When he’s not on tour face-melting (6 MAMMOTH 5150 Peavey head/cabinet guitar amps blasting away…we were almost beaten up when we started to put our ear-plugs in) he runs, among other things, ‘wounded warrior’ and ‘cancer-kid’ hunting/shooting events. I don’t care what you think about his opinions, the fact that he spent his own time and money giving a 6 year old one last wish to go hunting…the smile on the little kids face…is golden. Or the wounded warrior, former sniper, paralyzed with only a straw to communicate: Uncle Ted spent his own $$$ developing a way so the warrior could sight the gun and fire using just the straw in the mouth. His joyful smile gave me chills (in a 90 degree room) and a lot of respect for The Nuge.

OK. Again, back to the show: His opening act, Val Halla, a girl rocker…rocked out. The caption says it all…

Nugent4“A thing of beauty…the curves, the neck, what a sparkling blonde piece of work.”

Of course I’m talking about the guitar. LOOK AT IT! She just rocked with that thing…some sort of custom Guild. We talked with her a bit and then mostly the bass player. He seemed really cool. A funky and solid 6-string bass, wicked drummer, and a great lead.

Back to Dr. Ted. The Nuge closed with a great encore, leaving everything on the stage. One odd event, though: The Surf Ballroom security yellow-shirts wouldn’t allow ANY photos…including from phones…of course that means I only took 60 photos instead of 100 :-) Really funny thing was the ‘man in yellow’ was in the middle of a ‘no picture stare’ while The Nuge was yelling “DEFIANCE!!!”.

I think Defiance won the night. And, yes, that’s a full native-American headdress as he sings “Great White Buffalo” with a drop-dead gorgeous custom white Gibson Byrdland.


There ya go…an inspiring night with St. Nugent. Ya he swore. I actually learned that some of the fiercest swear words are compliments :-) But for me, I could learn a thing or two about taking a big bite out of life and not only aspire to live with a purpose, but actually DO IT. LIVE for something. BELIEVE, be passionate about making a difference.

Now I’m LIVING. I’m PLAYING. I’m LOVING, I’m WORKING with Fire in my belly to do what I LOVE!

I can say it now: WWTD?




Read other robot concert thoughts

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gotta Climb That Fence

It all started here:

2010-07-17 San Mateo

This is the fence that, at 2 years old, I decided to climb (right photo behind the bushes in our home in San Mateo). I stood next to my older brother in the back yard staring at that immensely tall barrier between me and adventure. I just HAD to see what was on the other side. I’m still not sure if my brother cheered me on, helped me over, or just stood with our dog Chestnut and waved good-bye. All I know is that my mom found me 2 blocks away near a church enjoying a conversation with a policeman.

I know I gave my mom grief and great worry, and I’m sure she would have rather I just stay safe in the yard. But we found out that’s not how I’m made. I needed the adventure.

I Just had to climb that fence.

In Junior High, I was stuck. Stuck in my small little world, bumping into the fence of bad language and poor choices. Then I joined Battalion, a kind of Christian boy scouts. I saw the kind of adventure I could have if I climbed that fence. I eventually applied to be a counselor for the whole summer at an all-boys camp, Camp Nathanael. I had never done anything like that before. It was risky, dangerous, and there were lots of unknowns. But I had to climb that fence. I just had see what was on the other side.

Camp Nathanael 2007 016

I know I gave my mom grief and great worry, and it did result in an episode of serious burns. But it was filled with amazing memories and friendships I’ll never forget. It shaped my beliefs, introduced me to the passion of piano, and the love of the raw outdoors. It laid the foundation for much of what I am today.

I’m so glad I climbed that fence.

In my third year of college, I was burnt out. I could see my safety fence surrounding the path that lay before me… graduation > job > wedding > kids > retirement > hospice. Then Up With People called. They offered adventure. A glimpse at the other side of the safety fence…to travel the world playing guitar, visiting famous places, living with host families, and make life-long friends.


I know I gave my family and girlfriend (now wife) grief and great worry. It would mean a year apart from them, and quitting my great truck-loading job at Dayton’s. But I just had see what was on the other side.

I just had to climb that fence.

There have been other long ‘safe-spells’ in my life. I look back now and they are also the ‘dull-spells’, ‘sad-spells’, ‘temper-spells’, ‘lonely-spells’ in my life. I need to climb those fences. I need to live the adventure on the other side. Whether it’s the adventure of travel, writing a song, performing, or whether it’s the shared adventure of raising 4 kids with my stunning wife, I need to be challenged, need to be intentional, need some unknowns, risk, and thrills to look forward to. (Maybe that’s why our family travels together so much. Maybe I’m teaching the kids how to climb their own fences.)

I need fences in front of me that force a decision: Stay in your current safe place, or take a risk and climb that fence. You may fail, but if you succeed, there’s a whole new place to explore, and you’ll be a better person for it.

I just gotta climb these fences. It  feeds me. It defines who I am. It makes me thrilled to be alive.

I just have to see what’s on the other side.


I’m currently traveling the world this summer for IBM. 56 days of travel from June through October. US, Australia, Europe, Africa, Singapore. I gotta climb this fence, too. This adventure beaks the safety of my current job and mixes travel, performance, risk, challenges, and reward all into one.

I know I’m causing my family and wife grief and great worry, and I know they would rather have me safe in the yard. I feel the grief, too. All I can say is that I love them, yearn for them, and wish they were along for the adventure.

But they also know that climbing fences is a part of who I am, which is why I love them so much.

I love you, family. Wife, we’ve climbed many fences together and I love the life-long adventure we’re on. I look forward to the next fence we can climb together.

I can’t wait to see what’s on the other side.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Everything I Know About User Experience I Learned from Jimmy Buffett

I am very excited to share that my 75th published article (mostly in systems management trade magazines) can now be found in Interactions Magazine (click for online magazine preview), an industry-leading magazine on human-computer interaction.

Article: click HERE to read

I’ve been waiting nearly a year to share this.

It’s inspired by the Jimmy Buffett concert I went to with my wife. I submitted the article last August, it was accepted in September ‘09, but had to wait until now so that it fit with the theme with other articles.

Enjoy. We sure did :-)

Karyn's iPhone 144 2009-07 cabin and Jimmy Buffet 045


Note: While I authored this, I want to honor the reproduction specifics by listing the content below. If you like this, there are many articles like it…check the magazine out!

Volume 17 ,  Issue 4  (July + August 2010) table of contents
SECTION: The mystery of product development table of contents
Pages: 6-8         Year of Publication: 2010


©2010 ACM  1072-5220/10/0700

Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee.

The Digital Library is published by the Association for Computing Machinery. Copyright © 2010 ACM, Inc.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

2010-06-28: The Les Paul Trio

06-28-2010: The Les Paul Trio, Featuring Bucky Pizzarelli and Frank Vignola
Where: The Iridium, New York City
Went with: Myself
Times: 2nd

When we get to Heaven, Monday nights will be “Les Paul Trio” night. Crazy thing is, it won’t be any different than Monday nights at the Iridium in NYC. This is just my second time there (The first was with my wife in Sept 2009), but each time I experienced this “bubble of Heaven”.

As soon as I walked in, people are smiling. There isn’t a large crowd so I get a table that’s butted against the stage. Apparently this place isn’t very well known. Or it’s well known but not many believe it’s really that great here. Every person greets me and makes me feel welcome. From Les Paul’s engineer of 25 years (below),  to main guitarist Lou Pallo (farther down), to the couple from Montana who let me sit in the front table with them. They all greet me. They all assume I’m way into guitars just as much as they are. They are all there not for themselves, but to honor the Man whose name is on the door. The food is great, desserts are great, beer is great. And, the guitar talent flows like milk and honey. image

Just like Monday nights in Heaven.

Throughout the night we clap, gasp, cheer, and laugh at awe with the music pouring from the stage. At first it makes me want to throw all my guitars a way knowing I won’t be able to attain the perfection coming from stage. But here I’m accepted for who I am. They assume the best out of me. They’re just happy I’m there, listening and learning…and it makes me want to become better.

Just like Monday nights in Heaven.

I wasn’t even supposed to be there. It was a last minute flight to NYC to teach the first of a 2 day workshop I developed. While I planned on working, I didn’t plan on the pure joy I ended up experiencing at the Iridium on Monday night.

Just like Monday nights in Heaven.

The night had guest performers. I wasn’t familiar with all of them but wow, where they good. Seems the best guitarists serve the ‘stars of the day’, and while the stars tend to fade, these guitar servants keep playing well into their 80s.

Just like Monday nights in Heaven.

IMG_0060Here is guitarist Lou Pallo with a guest bassist (normally it’s Nicki Parrott). Below is amazing jazz pianist John Colianno).

First guest was Blondie Chaplin, who sang and recorded with the Rolling Stones and Beach Boys.IMG_0062

He sounded awesome. He was just sitting in the back and was asked to come up. Very cool.

The main guest was Bucky Pizzarelli. I felt like a newbie since I didn’t recognize his name, but his guitar partner, Frank Vignola and him ripped amazing guitar licks for the next 30 minutes. At 84, he played some beautiful music. I didn’t know much of it, but their artistry made the whole experience inspiring.


Most amazing is that each got more joy out of playing rhythm for the other than soloing. They really did want to serve so the other could shine. When the other did shine, they smiled. At the band, at me, at all of us. With one smile they were shouting “Look at this guy play! His God-given gifts are simply awesome! What a privilege it is to support him!”.

Just like Monday nights in Heaven.  

I left wondering: Could this bubble of heaven show up in other places? Could every day be filled with joy watching another shine while I play rhythm in support? At work? At church? At home? I might be surprised to learn that while my support makes them shine, it makes me better, too. Even if I try for once a week…It’s worth a shot.

Maybe on Monday nights.


Here’s your invitation from me to shine…

…Here’s your chair…

…see you on Monday nights…

…I’ll be the one playing rhythm for you.

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