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Zack Urlocker
Santa Cruz, CA
Software executive, runner, guitar player
Interests: Music, writing, running, cycling, IF
Recent Activity
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Writing a book is grueling. And writing a book in a month, the basic premise of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), is like running a marathon. A year ago, I wrote the first draft of my novel “Gumshoe Rules” during NaNoWriMo, clocking in at 55,000 words. This was the first... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2018 at Z-Machine Matter
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My novel, Gumshoe Rules, is now is now available for order at Inkshares. They are running a Mystery & Thriller contest and if I can get enough people to order then it becomes a legit published book. It has long been my dream to write and publish and this seems... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2018 at Z-Machine Matter
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Recently, I was fortunate to have some business travel take me to Cape Town South Africa. Since I would be traveling 20+ hours to get there, my wife and I decided to take a short vacation in the Sabi-Sands area on safari. I didn't realize most people plan these months... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2018 at The Yak Whisperer
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Prolific Interactive Fiction author Chris Huang has published his debut novel "A Gentleman's Murder" published by Inkshares. This is a classic "golden age" detective story set in London in the 1920s, rich in atmosphere and colorful characters. Huang's writing style will appeal to fans of Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Martin... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2018 at Z-Machine Matter
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The Toronto Bike Network (TBN) runs a series of rides outside of Toronto each year called Cyclon. I had the good fortune of taking part in their long weekend rides in Waterloo, Ontario this year with my brother Mike and my longtime buddy Bruce. We rode Friday evening, Saturday and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2018 at The Yak Whisperer
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Congratulations to Duo Security, which announced that it is to be acquired by Cisco Systems for $2.35b. This is a great outcome for all involved, and I'm very proud of what the team has accomplished. I worked with Duo for... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2018 at TheOpenForce.com
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It looks like 2018 will be the strongest year in tech IPOs in recent history. Although some of the largest companies (Airbnb, Uber) are still waiting on the sidelines, so far we've seen a large number of very successful IPOs... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2018 at TheOpenForce.com
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BBC Radio 4 in collaboration with NRK, the national radio of Norway, has launched a new podcast "Death in Ice Valley." It's a modern cold-case investigation of the mysterious 1970 death of a woman in a remote part of Norway known as Isdal, or ice valley. It's one of those... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2018 at Z-Machine Matter
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Jerry Leger & The Situation are one of Canada's best bands in years. I wrote a review of their album "Nonsense & Heartache" after seeing them live in Toronto a few weeks back. Now, they're on their first ever European... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2018 at GuitarVibe.com
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It was great to see Barenaked Ladies be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the Juno Awards in Vancouver recently. And even better, founding member Steven Page rejoined the band for a short performance. Although the Page... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2018 at GuitarVibe.com
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I had the good fortune of seeing Jerry Leger & The Situation live in Toronto recently. They have a strong local following for their regular gig at Castro's Lounge in the Beaches area of town. While guitarist and pedal steel... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2018 at GuitarVibe.com
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March 9 marks Mickey Spillane's 100th anniversary. He was a helluva writer, but he rarely got the respect he deserved. His first published book "I, the Jury" was written in 3 weeks earning him an advance of $1000, the amount needed to buy land and build a house. Even though... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2018 at Z-Machine Matter
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I'm a sucker for books on writing. Sometimes, I even read them. Stephen King's book "On Writing" is a classic. I also recommend just about anything by Lawrence Block, whether it's his noir fiction or essays on writing from his years as a columnist for Writer's Digest. There's no shortage... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2018 at Z-Machine Matter
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I'm a bit behind in my posts, so I'll keep this one short. Paul Weller did a US tour, following his fall European tour, and I managed to see him live in Detroit at St Andrew's Hall. I'd seen Weller... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2018 at GuitarVibe.com
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Paul Kelly has been one of my favorite musicians since a trip a few years back to Australia. A buddy set me up with an iPhone full of Australian music and Paul Kelly's "Songs of the South" greatest hits album... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2018 at GuitarVibe.com
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I was able to see quite a few good shows this past year, including Paul Weller, Paul Kelly, Wishbone Ash, Jethro Tull and more. But the best gig by far was a December show by Greta Van Fleet. Although they're... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2018 at GuitarVibe.com
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Prolific game designer and IF author Emily Short has written her first play for radio entitled "Game Over" now available on BBC 4 Radio. I was lucky enough to be traveling in Canada where the show is accessible. I'm a fan of Emily Short's interactive fiction and I appreciate her... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2017 at Z-Machine Matter
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If you know one thing about the obscure prog rock band Klaatu, it's that in the late 1970s they were rumored to be the Beatles. Of course, that wasn't the case, as legions of Beatles fans later realized when they,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2017 at GuitarVibe.com
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This October, I undertook a 5 day ride from Austin through Hill Country. There were three of us, carrying our gear and staying in hotels and AirBnB rentals. We cycled 80-110k per day and the weather was excellent; dry with temperatures primarily in the 60s and 70s F. Although there... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2017 at The Yak Whisperer
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This year, I was fortunate to be able to participate in National Novel writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. The idea behind the Z-Machine Matter had been kicking around for a couple of years getting scant attention. I knew there was a good story to be written, but I just never seemed... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2017 at Z-Machine Matter
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Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, one of my favorite bands in the last twenty years, is on tour promoting their first new album in seven years. Although the album "The Hanged Man" was mostly composed and performed by Ted Leo... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2017 at GuitarVibe.com
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If you grew up in the '70s Jethro Tull was a band that was hard not to notice. They had a slew of FM radio hits and a distinct flute-driven sound ranging from blues to hard rock to prog to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2017 at GuitarVibe.com
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The indie rock flick "Rumble" has been hitting some of the film festivals this year and I managed to catch a showing up in Traverse City. It's a great film for those who like music, especially rock and blues. The... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2017 at GuitarVibe.com
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I'd been looking forward to Anthony Horowitz's "Magpie Murders" since I first read about it in an interview in 2014. Horowitz is a prolific author and television screenwriter ("Agatha Christie's Poirot," "Midsomer Murders," and the classic "Foyle's War") and I've long been a fan. He's written two authorized Sherlock Holmes... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2017 at Z-Machine Matter
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For a lot of people, Joe’s Garage remains one of the most approachable of Frank Zappa’s works. Technically, a triple album when released on vinyl in 1979, it's long since been reissued as a double CD combining Acts I, II... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2017 at GuitarVibe.com