Sun. Feb. 18, 2018 Sunday morning open

64F, low humidity, some sun. Might be a nice day today.

Fun night out with neighbors, met our local bee keepers. Tasty stuff.


Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

22 thoughts on “Sun. Feb. 18, 2018 Sunday morning open”

  1. Saw lots of Travis/Austin weirdness at the new H-Mart in Cedar Park last night. It seemed like every foodie in the region was lined up for Sunday Bird’s Korean fried chicken.

    I was reminded that the store is still inside the city limits of Austin when we went to check out. Paper bags, no plastic, and IIRC, the merchants either eat a tax for the bag or pass the cost along.

    I wonder what kind of tax breaks H-Mart received.

  2. We now have an off duty police officer from the city of Oak Ridge who patrols our church during services. The church pays the city who then pays the officer, over time pay of course, to stay on duty for a couple of hours. I have also been instructed that in case of any kind of attack to immediately terminate our live broadcast but keep the cameras operational. I am to seal the studio door with the dead bolt and the camera operators are to abandon their posts. The police and the insurance company consider our church the highest target in Oak Ridge since we producing a live broadcast. With the police officer on duty apparently the liability in case of any attack moves from the insurance company to the city of Oak Ridge. So I suspect the insurance company is driving most of the decision.

  3. @ray, that is really interesting. Most theaters used to have a big button near or on the lighting control board labeled “House Panic”. Hitting that would bring all the house lights up to full no matter what else was going on. It was intended to give people light to see their way out.

    Did you get any instruction about lighting or sound? When I was working in Vegas, our front of house sound (ie. the big PA stacks) was tied to the emergency notification. Fire alarm would cut our PA. We saw similar during the Vegas attack. Lights up, sound down, GTFO.


  4. “Overheated claims on global temperature records”

    “Over and over, we are confronted with claims that last month or last year was “the warmest on record.” Each claim is accompanied by dire warnings that the alleged new records portend “unprecedented” chaos for wildlife, humans and planet.”

    “Virtually never do these scary press releases mention that the supposed change is mere hundredths of a degree higher than previous measurements. Never do they admit that the margin of error in these measurements is far greater than the supposed increase. Never do they suggest that a little more warmth would be infinitely better than a colder world, with less arable land and shorter growing seasons. And most certainly, never do they admit to the massive deficiencies in the system that supposedly tracks Earth’s temperature … and always blames any increases on humans and fossil fuels.”

    In other words, the climate data sucks and does not show the global temperature rising trend that the so-called climate scientists are claiming verifies the need to pauper ourselves.

  5. Did you get any instruction about lighting or sound?

    No instructions. Only real concern is the broadcast and sending images that we really don’t want to send. I generally don’t have anything to do with the lighting and sound. The sound guy is really good, the lighting guy is an idiot. Lighting guy keeps things too dim and uneven for a good broadcast. Says the people in the choir complain the lights are in their eyes. Old farts who think AM radio is high tech.

  6. “Old farts who think AM radio is high tech.”

    No, no, no……….. FM radio is high tech.

  7. 12.5 mhz narrow band on 2 meters…….

    In other news, it was a nice day today. Got one car washed, pruned the orange and grapefruit trees, moved some stuff around the yard, packed some ebay shipping, and hooray- the pipe I bought for $5 will work to replace my antenna mast, and give me 5-8 ft additional height. Doesn’t sound as good as +10 feet, but it was cheap. I’ll keep looking for taller solutions. It’s fairly easy to change out.

    Oh and sanded some drywall mud seams for the ongoing closet/safe room project.

    I feel like I got some stuff done today. And that despite a flareup of lower back pain.


  8. “No, no, no……….. FM radio is high tech.”

    No no no! Morse code is high tech.

  9. “Stereo or Monaural?”
    Channeling OFD: should be “Stereo or Monophonic?” …unless you meant using one ear to listen. /snark

  10. On Friday, I mentioned finding a configuration error in my WLAN, and things suddenly worked much better…

    …until they didn’t.

    In a belated tribute to Jerry Pournelle, I started swapping out network components. And found the real problem: a bad cable, apparently one with an intermittent contact. Presumably, when I had manually reset the access-point, I incidentally wiggled the cable, which made the contact (temporarily) work again. A day later, the same old problems were back, presumably as the cable relaxed back into its usual position.

    As Jerry always said: check cables first. That said, intermittent contacts are always a pain to find…

  11. One of the reasons I always prefer purchased cables over hand terminated, and all cables need to be tested before use. And we still get problems like that. Usually on cables that users have contact with. If it moves, it breaks. Static runs never seem to go bad.

  12. Barbara,

    I’ll be passing near Sparta on Tuesday afternoon. Let me know if there’s anything I can help you with, even so minor as carrying a box down from the attic.

    I’d have mentioned it before, but didn’t realize I would be near until I saw the sign for Sparta as I was driving south on Rt 77.

  13. should be “Stereo or Monophonic?”

    Posterior orifice! /jerk

    all cables need to be tested before use

    I have a Fluke network tester that works for cables. It provides wire map, can inform cable length and where a break is located, ping services, gateway determination, etc. Mostly use it to test cables. I have never had a self terminated cable that was bad. Used to do that when cables were expensive. Now I just purchase. Cheaper than making my own. But I still test the cable.

  14. I’ve got a very expensive Agilent network cable verifier. Of course, I got it for 1/20 of new cost at an auction. We weren’t running data over our cables, but digital video. Manufacturers of the extender/converters would list distances using cat5 and cat6, but I never got good results. They always blamed the cables. I bought the verifier with my own money and started verifying every single cable, end to end. The cable was not the issue. As soon as I could say “Look, it’s a 75ft run on Liberty xyz, tested and verified to cat6 performance with an Agilent zyx verifier…” the tech support guys with the extender manufacturers would FINALLY listen and exchange units.

    One thing I discovered was that certain pairs of extenders worked better than others, and once you had a pair, and a cable run that worked, you needed to KEEP IT TOGETHER. They were not completely interchangeable.

    I’ve pulled and terminated 1000’s of cat 5 and 6 ends. Takes me about 50 seconds per end if I’m set up right. No reason not to test and verify every single run. Call backs and troubleshooting are MUCH more expensive.

    We used to just use a wiremap tool, but the verifier is worth the money and time.


    (I used to teach the local labor how to terminate cables. It’s not hard, just takes the right product and practice. We got very low failure rates if the guys were just focused on cable and weren’t distracted.)

  15. We have a Fluke unit and are very happy with it.

    IT takes me 3-4 minutes for my first, down to a couple of minutes when I get up to speed. Big hands and not-so-good eyes. Taking the time to do it right is the best way to get it right. I occasionally get it not quite right and the tester tells me right away. Once in a blue moon I flip the wires. Embarrassing.

    The only good reason I can think of to terminate cables are custom runs that we can’t punch down and jumper. Panels look neater, are easier to punch, and are (IMO) easier to get right. Of course, most of our customers runs are shielded and terminated.

  16. I used to teach the local labor how to terminate cables.

    When I was at the credit union and changing IT vendors from EDS to Summit one of the things that had to be done was to run CAT5 cabling from an equipment closet to all the work stations. I demanded they run two or three cables to each outlet where there was a need. I got overruled by the Summit folks saying it was unnecessary. I objected and said “future proof”. It is easier to it now than later.

    After about three months they needed more outlets in a couple of locations. Box at the location was too small, conduit was too small, major issue. Of course I was to blame as I had not objected strongly enough. Really, I mean really pissed me off and I let the installation folks know it.

    Then a month later the CU opened another branch. I wanted network installers to run the network cables. They guy in charge of the construction, Brent Edwards, said the electricians knew how and would run the cables. Yeh, right.

    I had a need to go to the branch and look at computer locations so I took the chance to look at the network wiring. I have no idea what color schemes was used and it was different for each line. On the ends of the cables, both ends, the electricians had stripped about a foot of insulation, unwrapped the wires, and connected the wires to the punch down blocks and termination points. The cabling was complete and total crap.

    Cutting back the wire to where the twist was still in place made the cables too short. The every helpful electricians that were still on site offered to splice the cables. In no uncertain terms I told them to get away. Called in some network wiring specialists and had the wiring redone at a not so trivial expense.

    Of course this pissed the CEO off and Brent Edwards lied and said he asked for my advice when that was not the case. I wound up being the scapegoat. Another nail in my coffin.

    Currently installing new firmware to the video switching equipment at the church. Must update the computer software and all the firmware to the same level. Not too bad this time as you can update over the ethernet rather than USB which was a pain. Need to update the computers, control surface, switcher, tally box and Hyperdeck recorder.

  17. I used to work with the Spyder video switcher/controller/compositor/blending box…

    It was a constant chore to have the laptop control software and the firmware on the box match as we went from installation to installation. We were constantly up and down grading to match the hardware.


  18. It was a constant chore to have the laptop control software and the firmware on the box match

    Used to be a real pain for BlackMagic Design equipment. You had to have a laptop and connect a USB cable. One piece used an older style UBS cable, the old A-B type, other equipment used a standard USB. It was necessary to connect each device and update. The same software was used for each device and the software would determine the device and load the firmware.

    A couple of updates ago BlackMagic made the change to allow updating over the Ethernet. All the equipment is connected via Ethernet and is how the devices communicate. You can have multiple devices operating the same switcher. Thus it is easy to make one person responsible for graphics and another responsible for switching.

    Now when you install the software on a PC, bring up the software, the software will immediately inform you that the firmware must be updated and will show each device. You just click on an icon and the firmware gets loaded. You still have to manually power cycle each device.

    Of course that power cycling blows away all your settings in the switcher, which also contains the button mapping. Fortunately you can back up the settings on a connected computer and can restore from the last backup. All the switcher settings, graphics, button maps and other items. I learned the hardware to back up weekly immediately after loading new graphics. Graphics are also loaded from a laptop using Photoshop. You create the graphic and export the graphic into a graphic slot on the switcher.

    It’s a nice system and a good product. Learning curve was steep because I was clueless on video switching and how it all operates. I have learned a lot over the last few years but am sometimes still an idiot.

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