A few of my favorite 2017 things . . .

This has been a very interesting year in my household. It certainly seems to have flown by as well. I’ve been fortune enough to have discovered some really cool stuff this year, and they certainly show where my priority lies outside of the office and family. My wife was charitable enough to let me travel back home to Chicago to attend this year’s Axpona where I discovered what would become my favorite thing of this year, the Sony MDR-Z1R headphones. I’ve really enjoyed Axpona over the last few years, lots of incredible audio systems on display and a really welcoming community. This year the seminars were very disappointing compared to previous years, but they made up for it with more live music acts. One of my favorite things about Axpona is the Ear Gear Expo, a great collection of booths from the growing headphone community. I’ve gotten a lot more into headphones the last several years since my wife has trained my daughters to complain every time my system got above a whisper level. I wish I could find out how she bribed them. I took the move to Scotland as an opportunity to get rid of my two channel set up and refocus on headphones, and another system I’ll talk about in a bit. Continue reading

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Animation Throwdown Rumble Strategy Guide

Incredibly Biased and Probably Daft
Peter Kraatz, aka KinzuaKid
Last Updated December, 2017


This is a strategy guide for Animation Throwdown Rumble Play. I wrote this guide with my current guild in mind. Thanks for the feedback, Robot High Council! Yes, there are zillions of videos and tons of strategy discussions on Reddit and Kongregate but I’m not a Redditor (FARKer here) and I hate watching people play games. I play them. I don’t spectate. Also, you could just play the game and learn all this yourself but that’s not helping or you wouldn’t be reading this. It’s way too long and complete garbage on several points, so take it all with a grain of salt.

Naturally, all game images below belong to the publisher and are included here for reference only. Continue reading

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It’s been awhile

Howdy. It’s been awhile since I’ve darkened this particular internet doorway. Peter’s been doing a standup job keeping the site running and churning out interesting content, much thanks to him! A lot has happened since I last checked in, I’ll try to catch you up on the interesting parts and talk a bit about what’s to come.

I was approached in late 2015 about an opportunity with a key EMC customer (now Dell Technologies customer!) and after a few conversations and a quick trip to Scotland I was seconded to a large Bank to act as their Head of Cloud Services. It’s been interesting creating an entirely new role inside my home organization, Resident CTO, and acting on behalf of the Bank for the last two years. I’ve learned a lot about our products and how they’re optimized and consumed, and a lot about what it takes to drive value from these solutions. I’ve moved to Scotland with my family, selling what I thought would be my last house in the process (and my Tesla 🙁 …), and have been supported by Darlene and the girls throughout the whole process. We’ve settled in rather nicely, it is beautiful here and the people are great. I don’t know what 2018 is going to bring but the last two years have been great.

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Livestream (yes, again)

Oct. 25, 2017 | 2 p.m. EDT | 11 a.m. AZ

This time I’m hoping the entire state doesn’t jump on the Internet simultaneously and shatter our data flow. No promises, though, because I’ll be sitting with Juan Orlandini and Irwin Teodoro. Unlike me, people like them.

We’ll be talking about Cloud, Workload Alignment, and the evolution of IT and infrastructure services. If you’re in the business, I’ll probably drop some jokes only insiders will get and nobody will appreciate. If you’re a family member, here’s your one chance to see what I look like this year.

Visit the link below to register:



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KinzuaKid Does Science

I heard recently there’s this eclipse thing coming on August 21 and while I’m going to be doing much the same as Randall Munroe’s character on the street (staring mouth agape at awesomeness) I’ll be pretending a bit at some actual science, too. We’ll be live streaming the view from our vantage point on YouTube, here. Continue reading

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The Message and the Medium

edit: updated video link
edit: H/T to my brother, Paul Kraatz, for pointing to the one episode of The Office I had not seen for the video below.

I’ve been meaning to write this post for years now but it took the combined efforts of a thousand-person bureaucracy to shake it loose. That bureaucracy is the Oceanside Unified School District.

Now this isn’t a rant about the awful OUSD. On the contrary, they’re mostly nice folks who do a pretty decent job but they, like many other districts, are a horror show when it comes to communication media. So are you. This is why they’re the perfect example to trot out in the hope that you embrace a little self-improvement.

As parents of schoolchildren, the district needs to notify Mrs. Kid and me of many different goings on in the schools. For a time it was restricted to snail mail and phone calls home. The district soon discovered cell phones which led to calls and text messages, followed by e-mail, then Facebook, Twitter, and I think the last few bricks thrown through my window came from them. It’s hard to say with all the spelling errors on the threatening note but that was either the local gang or my son’s English teacher, probably the latter. Their motto: “if one communication channel is good, all of them are even better!”

They’re “Wuphfing” me.

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Three Shut Up

shut UpAnother year, another new crop of Analysts has suffered through my Speech Communication bootcamp. We ran out of time for one of my favorite sidebars, though, so I’m bringing it to you now, here: the “Three Shut Up” rule.

The origins of the Three Shut Up rule are mysterious and clouded in apocrypha. The only thing we know for sure is that it works and a whole mess of you folks need to start using it.

Right off the bat I need to credit my colleagues Julie Goldklang, Sunil Ahuja, Bryan Delorme, John Mulach, and Ed Crowthers. They’re the ones who have held the torch on Three Shut Up for the last decade or two and as far as I know, this is their creation. I’m just instructing you on its use and abuse. I’m sure I’ve missed someone who will naturally get all butthurt over that and if that’s you, use one of your shut ups at this time. Continue reading

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The Rule of 7…


You Don’t Have to Be Lonely

When I roll out a new sales campaign, delivery toolkit, or training of any kind I am gently reminded by well-meaning colleagues about the “rule of 7.” You marketing wonks will be very familiar with this concept but for the rest of us the premise is this:

If you’re trying to sell a product the audience needs to hear your message up to 7 times before they will make a purchase. The “rule” breaks down a bit in the online economy but the reasons boil down to some basic elements of communication theory. Simply put: you don’t want to hear advertising, so to get you to hum the Farmers Only jingle we’re going to hammer you with it during every commercial break until your head explodes.

Or, preferably, until you visit the Farmers Only website “as a joke” and browse the farmgirls and cowboys. Even if you don’t subscribe and pay, the Internet advertising revenue still has the potential for healthy returns. They call it a rule because it works.

Good Rule, Bad Application

Good intentions nonetheless misapply this rule for use with an internal audience. Continue reading

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Old Business: The Cue Ball Speaks

I participated in a panel event in April, 2016 and completely forgot about it. The Dallas CIO Forum “2016 Future Trends” panel had a couple good moments. The ugly mug flaps his gums starting at 10:58.

Update: I found another, more permanent link, here: http://www.hmgstrategy.com/rrc/video-grid-cat.asp?CatID=24

…problem is you’ll have to search for it a bit.

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Almost as awesome as Brexit


This is why we can’t have nice things. On the brighter side, I predict a LOT more Tor relays and exit nodes will be popping up in the UK soon.

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