Hey there, this site is pretty old now. I've decided to leave it up as I put a lot of work into it and would hate to see it disappear.


Oh Deer!

Oct 17

Well, after shooting a deer last season, tracking it and never finding it I felt a bit let down about hunting. I hate to injure an animal and let it go to waste (I.e not get any meat from it). This year was my year for redemption.

I woke up at 4:45 this morning (on a normal Saturday I'd have another 7-8 hours to go for sleep) and got ready. We were out in a friend's deer stand around 6ish. It was still much too dark to hunt but supposedly you have to get out there early and then stay real quiet before shooting time so they come out from their hiding spots to eat.

After waiting maybe 45 minutes I spotted what I thought was two deer eating out in a field. Then I got out my scope out and looked closer. Sure enough there were two deer out there. One bigger than the other. Dad and I spent about 5 minutes ensuring they were does (since you can't shoot bucks right now) and then I got ready to shoot. Having remembered last year I aimed a bit further in the midsection of the deer to make sure I didn't graze it. I pulled the trigger, then deer fell down and ran off. After that I saw the smaller doe run away and then what I thought was my doe full out sprinting into another field.

Map of the field I shot it in

Dad and I headed out to the spot we saw it last and then began tracking it. I sort of enjoy tracking deer, it reminds me of a crime scene investigation where you're looking for blood droplets on the ground and following them. Unlike last year this deer was making it easier on us and after about 15 minutes of tracking we found it laying in some tall grass. Yay my first deer!.

Most people that deer hunt want a giant buck with big antlers. I on the other hand just hunt for the food. Hunting deer is a relatively cheap source of food. For a $24 license you can shoot two deer. From my one deer alone today I got 52 packs of meat which one pack is usually enough for supper for me. That means I just nabbed 52 dinners for 50 cents! If I shoot another deer that goes down to 25 cents a meal. That's the price of Ramen Noodles, lol. I'm also having some of it made into hamburger which will raise the price a bit but regardless it's a cheap dinner.

Having just had $600 in car repairs I'm only a medium life problem away from being broke so cheap food is right up my alley.

Overall it was an exciting day and some good quality time with my Dad. I'm happy to have a Dad who will take me out and teach me about these kind of things since I'm pretty much a city slicker. I'll probably go out again during opening weekend up north since that's always a fun time.

Neal 1, Doe 0

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Cars & Calories

Sep 29

Well I'm happy to say, my car search is over. I'm a car owner again. It's been about 6 months of borrowing my Mom & Dad's car and it was definitely time to give them back their car. Before jumping into what I bought I'd like to talk a bit about my method for finding a new (used) car.

Online Good, Offline Bad

At first I decided to check out some local car dealerships in Oshkosh. That was pretty much a futile effort because I simply couldn't find a car at a dealership that was within my price range (poor). I wasted a night doing that and then decided to turn to the internet(s).

I tried a couple different sites but finally settled on Autotrader.com. The great thing about this site was I could get really really specific with my searches. I already knew the exact types of car I wanted (Ford ZX2, Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla or Nissan Altima). I liked Autotrader but I was too lazy to check the stupid site everyday.

RSS Feeds For The Win!

I then moved to Craigslist thinking I might get a better deal on there, since Autotrader was mostly dealers. The great thing about Craigslist is every search you do on the website comes with an RSS feed. (Note the auto-discovery RSS feed icon in your browser is a broken link...Craigslist fail!) Here's an example of a feed I subscribed to - ZX2

With RSS feeds every time somebody posted a new car listing, I would be notified immediately in Google Reader.

Car #1

1999 Ford ZX2 The first car I looked at was a 99 Ford Escort ZX2. It only had 70,000 miles on it with power windows, locks, etc. On paper it sounded like a great, affordable car. When the Cragislist poster replied to my inquiry I happened to get their first and last name. Naturally, I did a Google Search on the person of interest only to discover they were recently in court testifying against a friend who had accidentally killed their boyfriend! Naturally my next step was the totally awesome Wisconsin Circuit Court website where I discovered the seller had a long list of offenses, some even with the car I was looking at!

So I took a half day vacation and my Dad and I headed to Manitowoc to look at the car. It ended up being a huge failure. The car had hail damage all over it, the driver-side mirror was held on with a deck screw, the bumper cover was held on with bailer wire, the windshield wiper switch was snapped off and finally the hot/cold knob was laying on the console with tape on the back of it (the seller was trying to hide the fact that it was broken off). With so much fail in one car we ended up not even making an offer on it and just walked away.

Car #2

1997 Toyota Camry Having wasted a half of day of work already I was starting to worry about my car search. Checking my RSS feeds again a few nights later I noticed a car listed as being from New London. This sparked my interest. It was a 1997 Toyota Camry but was a few hundred dollars more than I wanted to spend. Regardless I ended up calling about it and the next day Tyler and I checked it out. Tyler thoroughly looked it over so I made an offer. The guy ended up rejecting my offer so I talked to my parents and they loaned me a couple hundred bucks. (Note I could afford the car, just didn't have enough cash on me at the time).

So I'm now the proud owner of a 1997 Toyota Camry. The car has 99,000 miles on it, power everything and rides really nice! It's also a larger car (which I like) but also gets good gas mileage since it's only a 4-cylinder. It's not perfect though. I'm already taking it in to get the tires balanced and I think a strut might be going bad on it as well. Regardless I think it should be a good car for me. I also posted a few picture in my Photo Gallery so check it out.

Enjoy Saves the Day's Cars & Calories via iMeem.

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My New Home!

Aug 16

I'm happy to announce that I have a new home. Before you get excited (thinking that I sold my house, which I assure you I haven't) I'm actually referring to the new home of my website nealgrosskopf.com. After almost 4 years with the hosting company 1&1, I've finally switched. For the entire month of July my site was going down left and right. After contacting my old company 1&1 over 7 times with them doing nothing to fix my problem, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I also determined that it wasn't just my site going down by using a service that checks other sites in my shared hosting environment. With this I could tell if it was a server-wide issue or something specific to my script.

On July 15th I started tinkering with PHP via Portable XAMPP on my computer. After that I started converting my old site over from Classic ASP to PHP. Then on July 22nd I signed up with the hosting company FatCow.com and bought the domain name HtmlB.org (a combination of HTML and Borg...from Star Trek). It was also a very short domain name and a domain hack so I figured I could do something with it someday.

I finished converting the site this Friday the 14th, after about 3 weeks of stressful nights at home programming non-stop. Then, on Saturday I started changing all my 1&1 DNS settings. For whatever reason, 1&1 sticking with their usual lousy customer service, decided to take two days to update my DNS settings which I finally got notice tonight (Sunday, August 16th) at 6:23pm that the DNS switchover was finished!

1&1 Fail

Like I mentioned 1&1 was failing me majorly. I even completely ceased writing articles and promoting my site, which usually results in only getting less than 200 visits a day, yet the site still went down. If you still don't believe me take a look at a graph from Google's Webmaster Tools showing how Google's crawl of the site came to a screeching halt in the beginning of June/July:

Google Crawl


Next I started using a service called AreMySitesUp.com which will basically check your website once every hour to see if its up. What I found is that my site was going down every hour and often times for 10-15 minutes at a time. If the service found that your site was down, it would then do a couple follow-up pings to see when it comes back up again. By finding out that my site was going down (even more than I was aware of), I started converting it to PHP at an even faster rate.


So far my I have a high opinion of FatCow as a host. A week after I signed up with them, they actually bothered to call me to see how things were going. I was pretty impressed with this. I also feel that their online control panel is quite robust with features allowing me to customize my site however I want.


I also feel pretty comfortable with PHP+MySQL now. There will still probably be some issues popping up on my site from time to time, but I'm tracking all the errors that occur and trying to address them as they come up.

If you run into any problems let me know.

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Summerfest 2009

Jul 08

Summerfest Well, my 4th of July weekend is over so I thought I'd write a blog about it. Sunday (the 5th) I went to Summerfest with my friend Mike. Looking back through my records, I haven't been to a single Summerfest since 2004, which is quite sad. Now that I'm single again, I've found myself able to go to more things than I had in the past, and I think Summerfest was a causality for the past three years.

I primarily went to Summerfest to see Reel Big Fish, a Ska band that I've liked since 9th grade. The only other band I was semi-interested in wasRelient K. I originally saw Reel Big Fish in Oshkosh way back in the day at Waterfest (June 29th, 2004 to be exact). I don't think Waterfest has had a single Punk/Ska band since then so it was exciting to go to a show again.

Relient K

I have seen Relient K once before at Lifest in Oshkosh (July 9th, 2006) which was a pretty good show back then. The Relient K show this time around was sort of sucky. Probably the worst thing about it was we were stuck up against the bleachers and people were walking in and out past us the entire time. There was barely any standing room available so it was sort of annoying with people nudging by us. The other thing that probably made the Relient K show less fun for me was they played a lot of their new songs that I didn't recognize.

Reel Big Fish

After that show we headed over to the Reel Big Fish stage. By the time we got there all the bleachers were filled so we got as close as we could in the standing room only area. Little did I know, the area Mike and I were standing at would be the main mosh pit area.

Once RBF started playing, our area immediately went crazy and people were jumping and moshing like crazy. I was a bit startled at first because I wasn't expecting it so I got pushed up against the fence that was the edge of the summerfest grounds. I stayed in that spot for a song or two and then got into the pit with everyone else when RBF played a couple old songs that I really liked. Some other moments from the show was Mike losing his cell phone twice. The first time someone picked it up and 10 minutes later he got it back, and the other time, he dropped it, I noticed a kid picking a phone up and grabbed it myself.

It was probably my first full-blown mosh pit I've been in with people crowd surfing, skanking and thrashing around. People fell down several times, but it never got too out of hand because almost immediately after falling, somebody else would throw down their hand and help them up, and others around them would try to slow down if possible although it usually wasn't.

The RBF show was awesome, and the best show I've been to by far. Below is a set list of songs they played at Summerfest if you're interested. Also I found a guy on YouTube who recorded much of the show so I created a YouTube playlist for Reel Big Fish @ Summerfest 2009.

Turn the Radio Off

Why Do They Rock So Hard?

Cheer Up!

We're Not Happy 'Til You're Not Happy

Monkeys For Nothin' And The Chimps For Free

Fame, Fortune, And Fornication


Overall it was a great time and hopefully I'll get the chance to go again next year. Below is a picture I found on Wikipedia of RBF, and ironically Aaron is wearing the same white suit and the stage looks pretty much the same as the show I was at in Summerfest so I thought I'd include that on here:

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Soundtrack of a Divorce

Jun 16

Well, it's over (although not really since I've pre-written this blog post). Throughout my entire divorce I've been tracking the music I've been listening to just out of curiosity, via Facebook's iLike application. The app allows me to choose the songs I'm listening to which I've done for the past 7 months now. And now on to this glorious 7 month in the making blog post -

November - The Beginning

It all started November 1st, 2008, the day we went our separate ways. The soundtrack, literally, to this brief moment in time was hands down the CD "Class of 98 by 98 Mute"

The song I listened to on repeat was "Short Fuse" because that's more or less how I felt for that hour or so. I also listened to "Election Year" a lot because, it was after all election time, and that song captured much of the same energy and anger that "Short Fuse" also had. 98 Mute is a 90's hardcore punk band and I usually only listen to them when in a terrible mood.

Class of 98 by 98 Mute

November - Second Half

After a more hardcore styled start to my 7 month journey I moved on to some of Blink-182's more emo-ish songs and also started listening to Creed for the first time in my life. Most of the Creed songs were quite depressing and I've always felt, that to get over depression, you need to "fully go through it" i.e get it all out of your system usually by crying it out. The Creed songs pretty much sucked it right out of me especially "One Last Breath". I also listened to "One" & "My Own Prison" quite a bit.

Weathered by Creed Self Titled by Blink 182


After much of that very depressing music for some reason I moved on to something a bit more upbeat with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones (MMB) & Bob Marley. My MMB CD I was listening to was a CD I owned for a long time but never bothered to listen to. I found that many of the songs on it were really good and this cheered me up briefly.

Then there was my "One Love: The Very Best of Bob Marley & the Wailers" CD which I had got from my brother in-law Nick. This would be a reoccurring CD throughout the entire divorce. Whenever life got hard I turned to my Bob Marley CD. "Three Little Birds", was my theme song and the song Will Smith listens to throughout the movie "I Am Legend". The song also had great, reassuring lyrics such as:

Don't worry, about a thing. Cause every little thing, gonna be alright

Bob Marley calmed me down and kept me straight lined throughout the whole process. This was a CD I listened to pretty much the entire 7 months.

Question the Answers by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones One Love: The Very Best of Bob Marley & the Wailers

December - January

I next moved on to another CD I owned but didn't listen to frequently which was "The Swiss Army Romance by Dashboard Confessional". This is an all acoustic CD which is something I usually don't listen to but the lyrics on this CD are just awesome and the acoustic guitars play in an unusual way. One song that really stuck out was "Turpentine Chaser". At this time I let my guard down and started noticing girls again, which was a huge mistake for me at this juncture. I think the lyrics below explain how I was feeling, essentially just wanting to being with someone just for the sake of it but at the same time, really just wanting to be left alone.

All I want, is not to need you now / All I want are vows of silence now

Another great song was "Again I Go Unnoticed" which ties into what I was talking about above. After my stint with Dashboard Confessional I realized that being single is really the best and only choice for me.

The Swiss Army Romance by Dashboard Confessional

January - February

Now it was January, which was below zero almost the entire month! (Most people seem to forget that now in June and feel like complaining about 60 degree weather). The car I was driving at the time sucked really really bad at playing CDs when it was cold out. For some reason the only CD I was able to get to play was "Full Collapse by Thursday". Thursday is an emo band or more like the emo band. Their music is very depressing, but at the same time I think that accurately describe me during those cold months.

The song I listened to over and over again on this CD was hands down "Standing On The Edge Of Summer". Just the title alone, described me, i.e. waiting for my divorce to be final in summer. This first set of lyrics reminded me how fast the years leading up to my marriage went, and then how quickly it seemed to end:

Driving in your car, Miss the stop sign, fall in love...Just to get knocked down

The next set of lyrics alludes to how fragile my relationship was and the fact that we had recently bought a house:

In this house of cards we're all holding hearts and spades. (One breath, one step could knock it all down)

And more alliterations to "a deck of cards" and the demise of our relationship:

When the people you love get lost in the shuffle, (When you leave, you leave nothing but broken hearts)

I also listened to "Stay What You Are by Saves the Day" a lot during this period. Their lyrics are a bit more angry and less elegant than Thursday's but still a good listen.

Full Collapse by Thursday Stay What You Are by Saves the Day

March & April

For the months of March and April I started listening to some more positive upbeat music in the form of pop-punk. I discovered a great Blink-182-esque CD from Britain called "Welcome to Loserville by Son of Dork". I also started listening to my "Mmhmm CD by Relient K" and later my "A Hangover You Don't Deserve by Bowling for Soup". All of these are really poppy upbeat CDs. I think I was doing this to try to counteract my less than optimistic outlook on my job because it seemed certain that our company was going to go through another set of layoffs. By April the layoffs didn't come but I stuck with the pop-punk music.

Welcome to Loserville by Son of Dork Mmhmm by Relient K A Hangover You Don't Deserve by Bowling for Soup


For the month of May I continued to listen to pop-punk but for this month it was some of my faster, more technical guitar laden music. This was due to the fact that I started playing guitar again, for the first time since early November. Two of my all-time favorite speed pop-punk CDs are "Cheshire Cat by Blink-182" & "Perhaps, I Suppose by Rufio". I admire Tom Delonge's work on Cheshire Cat and still feel that it's the best Blink-182 CD despite some of the more mainstream CDs they have released.

The Month of May was a relatively exciting month because I was getting a lot of movement on my house and the divorce appeared to be moving along smoothly without any problems.

Cheshire Cat by Blink-182 Perhaps, I Suppose by Rufio

June - The Final Month

The countdown to June 15th began but almost as quickly as I started the timer, a giant roadblock appeared. Despite the problems I was facing, unlike earlier in the year when I would have turned to some angrier music I kept my cool and turned to Ska, which is like really fast reggae with horns and is generally very upbeat and happy. I turned to my CDs "Throwing The Game by Lucky Boys Confusion" & "Why Do They Rock So Hard by Reel Big Fish". "Why do they Rock so Hard?" was the first ska CD I ever bought and I still consider it the best. It is also the most upbeat CD I own and it's almost impossible to feel sad or depressed when listening to it. The "Throwing The Game" CD is also very upbeat.

Throwing The Game by Lucky Boys Confusion Why Do They Rock So Hard by Reel Big Fish


And so that brings me to today, 7 months later. Looking back I can see a trend with the style of music I listened to through the 7 months. In the beginning it was angry, hardcore punk. Then depressing emo during the winter months moving on to happier pop-punk during spring and finally upbeat, happy ska once summer hit. The style of music I listened to had less to do with the season and more with me healing from the breakup.

The Soundtrack to My Divorce
  1. 98 Mute - Short Fuse
  2. 98 Mute - Election Year
  3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps
  4. Creed - One Last Breath
  5. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Toxic Toast
  6. Bob Marley - Three Little Birds
  7. Bob Marley - Could You Be Loved?
  8. Dashboard Confessional - Turpentine Chaser
  9. Thursday - Standing On The Edge Of Summer
  10. Thursday - I Am The Killer
  11. Saves The Day - At Your Funeral
  12. Son Of Dork - Slacker
  13. Blink-182 - Touchdown Boy
  14. Rufio - Dipshit
  15. Lucky Boys Confusion - Child's Play
  16. Reel Big Fish - Down In Flames

Well I hope you enjoyed my little research experiment and I applaud you for caring enough to read this far! Perhaps you've even bothered to click-through on a few CDs to get inside my musical psyche. Thanks for reading!

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