Sun. Nov. 25, 2018 – one month until Christmas….

66F and saturated this late am. Everyone slept late.

Office cleanup and reorg continues slowly here. I made some minor changes to my radio layout, and spent some time dialing around the bands last night. Had some weird pockets of DX, and noise levels changed dramatically over an hour or two. Heard some fun music for a change.

Started putting some Christmas stuff out. Maybe more today. Neighbors are putting up displays, which is nice to see. We were the only ones on the street when we first moved here.

Looks like Brexit will continue. My very uninformed take is that it looks like most stuff will continue as it did. Which makes sense, no one that really runs things wants much change.

I wonder if the rioting in France, which doesn’t look like the usual suspects from the pictures, will continue or lead to a more general unrest. Some people are mentioning the general dissatisfaction with the diversite’ and what’s become of traditional France. Maybe they’re waking up like Germany.

I guess we’ll see.

In the mean time, I sure wish I had gotten some garden in this fall…….

n

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28 Responses to Sun. Nov. 25, 2018 – one month until Christmas….

  1. mediumwave says:

    Thought for Thanksgiving

    Therefore, when we give thanks for nearly anything, we are giving thanks for CO2. Reducing CO2 means, ultimately, reducing Life.”

  2. Jenny says:

    …office cleanup…
    I’m hoping to tackle that today, though it’s more desk and room nook clean up.

    Pulled down the fake tree. I prefer real but they’ve gotten crazy expensive and needle cleanup is a hassle. Trees we get are invariably frozen and consequently drop needles like a shedding Corgi.

    Bathed all three Cardigan Corgis this week. My 14 year old still likes baths however no longer has the rear end strength to remain standing thru the process.

    My drains will never be the same. So. Much. Hair.

    Picked up two 30 pound turkeys from Costco. $1.29/lb and $15 off per bird. Cheap and tasty protein. Trying to figure out how to give a turkey to a neighbor who is struggling financially without damaging their pride.

    Crazy weather continues in Anchorage. Today we’ve got a skim of snow over a sheet of ice with rain forecast Tuesday. Bleh.

  3. nightraker says:

    Trying to figure out how to give a turkey to a neighbor who is struggling financially without damaging their pride.

    Just a thought: Bring it to them and claim it is extra because of some change of plan and/or no room to store. Would they do you the favor of taking it off your hands?

    Phrased that way, the story doesn’t have to bear close examination.

  4. paul says:

    Phrased that way, the story doesn’t have to bear close examination.

    Yes. “It was a good sale and I thought I had enough room in the freezer.”

    I bought a 12.5 pound bird. As usual, I get the “That’s too big!” complaining. But, no it isn’t after it is cooked and deboned with the bones and giblets in the stock pot. Opening the bag drained at least a cup of water.

    I should buy some kitchen scales.

    I have a bowl that looks about 3 quarts plus compared a 2.5 liter Pyrex. It’s packed and wedged full of turkey. All meat. Just right.

    The stock pot is just started to get a rolling (roiling?) simmer. Bones, neck, etc. with an onion, three good sized carrots, and the top third of a bunch of celery. Smells good.

  5. brad says:

    We’re getting back into sausage making, some fresh and some dried. Processed 8kg of meat yesterday.

    Here as elsewhere, I find that low tech methods work best. Use a fancy food processor attachment to fill the sausage skins? What a pain, a low tech cranked machine is easier.

    Same for my pumpkin pies. When I made the pie dough, it’s easier to do it by hand, than with a mixer. Faster and less cleanup. I’ll probably do cinnamon rolls tomorrow – same thing, I make the dough by hand, it’s just easier that way.

  6. Ray Thompson says:

    Well the studio racks are stripped of equipment. Racks have been sanded and painted flat black. Well, at the least the part that shows. Under the console is still the boring Sony tan (matched the previous Sony equipment). I have reinstalled the sound distribution system as the installer will not do that part of the install. Have to have have three sound outputs; Studio Switcher which distributes sound to the digital recorder and the streaming box; the DVD recorder (SD as sometimes people like copies of the service), and to the Cable Modulator for the live broadcast.

    Cameras have been placed on the tripods. Camera backs will be here tomorrow along with the focus control adapters for the lens and the zoom control adapters. Camera backs ($2K each) will allow the use of the existing multi-pin cable for power, control (exposure, white balance), and return video (generally the preview line). HD video from the cameras will travel over coax as the existing cable does not have enough bandwidth to support HD.

    A crew will arrive tomorrow at 9:00 and start the installation of the studio equipment in the racks. Several monitors, cameras monitors, level indicators, a matrix switch and some format converters. Need to convert HD to SD for broadcast and recording, SD to HD from some external sources, and a couple of SDI to Composite converters. Most of the signal within the equipment will be SDI/HD, just the older external stuff needs converted. The cable broadcast is SD as that is all that is allowed on the channel on which we purchase time. To go HD about triples the price. Most of our audience still has VCR’s blinking 12:00 so HD would be a waste of money.

    The converters are fairly intelligent. You don’t specify the source format as the box figures out the format. You only specify the output format desire. It is also no longer necessary to have GENLOCK for any of the devices. The devices will sync themselves to the signal and generally only have a half frame delay if any. The wonders of digital.

    It has been a long time coming. Church was able to raise $102K in about six months, purely donations. I only needed $82K but allowed for some unforeseen issues. Turns out the dealer had me wait a couple of months for the order as JVC would be running some specials. That saved us some money and got us better cameras. Even with the extra parts we needed we will be close to or slightly under what we paid and the vendor will refund the overage.

    We did use $12.K of the money to get new speakers for the sanctuary. One side was almost completely out with dry rot cone supports. So new speakers were needed.

    Next project is to replace the screen projectors with laser projectors. The video supplier indicates they can get laser projectors for about $4K each. We need two. Add about $2K for installation (wiring and new brackets in a really high ceiling) and the church can probably get it done for $10K. There is a walkway in the ceiling but it is not fun. Narrow, lots of stuff in the way, and stooped over in many places.

    Current projectors have bulbs and produce a lot of heat. The bulbs are good for about 1500 hours before they need to be replaced at $500 a bulb. The laser projectors lasers are good for 30,000 hours before they need replacement. Laser projectors will be brighter, clearer, crisper, and full HD 16×9.

    The joys of being a media director at a church. At least I get paid about $1K a month for my efforts.

  7. SteveF says:

    Trying to figure out how to give a turkey to a neighbor who is struggling financially without damaging their pride.

    I usually approach it straight-forwardly as “neighbors helping neighbors”. Leave it open-ended so that when they can, they can pay it back or pay it forward. The “I don’t have room for this one please take it” line is standard and may be generally accepted but I don’t use it myself. (But I have a thing about lying, even “little white lies” or social politenesses, so YMMV.) For what it’s worth, I don’t think a bag or a cart full of groceries has ever been refused when I’ve offered it, and we’re talking dozens of people over decades. The recipient sometimes hesitated, probably wrestling with pride, but in the end accepted the food because the cupboard was bare.

    If these don’t fit the circumstances, try roasting the spare turkey and inviting the neighbors over for dinner, then pushing as many leftovers on them as you can. I’ve had good results with this approach, too, especially when it comes to getting a good meal into their kids.

  8. SteveF says:

    We’re getting back into sausage making

    That’s not a porn industry euphemism, is it? It’s hard to tell, especially with Ray’s following comment about the studio, video, and someone’s rack being stripped.

  9. nick flandrey says:

    Decided to do some cleaning and went thru the back of my truck. Lots of work stuff and some auction stuff too. Found I ‘d buried a mostly empty flip top crate. Dug it out, added some canned water, and organized.

    n

  10. SteveF says:

    One side was almost completely out with dry rot cone supports. So new speakers were needed.

    Can the cone supports be replaced? This is mostly idle curiosity, but in line with Nick’s fix-it posts on many electronic and other items, it got me wondering. The cone supports look like thick, soft cardboard (assuming we’re talking about the same thing) but there’s presumably more to replacing them than twisting a replacement piece into the frustrum of a cone. If I were to speculate, I’d speculate that the speakers are old enough that replacements are not available, so the speakers get trashed or at best parted out.

    $500 a bulb

    !!!!!

  11. nick flandrey says:

    @stevef, the projectors I used to put in got 1000 hours of life and cost about $3700 each to replace bulbs and filters…..

    They would explode if run too long, and send shotgun like blast of glass chunks thru the rest of the projector. They could strip the components off the motherboard, if everything went wrong. Happened in one of the rooms I maintained.

    @ray, when it’s time to replace the projectors, ping me. It’s what I used to do for a living, and I can sanity check their recommendations.

    n

  12. lynn says:

    Bathed all three Cardigan Corgis this week. My 14 year old still likes baths however no longer has the rear end strength to remain standing thru the process.

    Lady does not like baths. Lady does not like water. Lady is a freaking British Cocker SPANIEL with webbed toes front and rear. She swims well. Right to the nearest get out point if she can find it.

  13. Ray Thompson says:

    when it’s time to replace the projectors, ping me

    Will do. For now I will use the company that is doing our video install. The do many Trump rallies and have to provide big screen projectors. They clued me in to laser projectors.

    $500 a bulb

    !!!!!

    Yep. Not cheap for big projectors.

    Happened in one of the rooms I maintained.

    That must have been exciting.

  14. lynn says:

    Dilbert: Shame on you Wally !
    https://dilbert.com/strip/2018-11-25

  15. Greg Norton says:

    Dilbert: Shame on you Wally !

    Back in the 90s, I saw it pretty bad, but, as of late, everyone is so overworked that office politics becomes a game of who will absorb the most management stupidity until someone cracks and jeopardizes their career pushing back. The people who stay silent win, getting the promotions/raises *and* benefiting from whatever brief introspection management conducts.

  16. nick flandrey says:

    Yeah, I wasn’t ever good at staying silent. In fact, I would go the extra mile and put it in writing. I would occasionally get email from other (non-corp) accounts with “ballsy” or some other similar comment.

    They didn’t even do an exit interview when I eventually quit. Within a few months they abandoned the Houston oil and gas area, and within a year the whole group was dissolved. I guess some people ARE irreplaceable. As are their personal relationships with the customers.

    n

  17. SteveF says:

    I guess some people ARE irreplaceable.

    I’ve been fired several times, for various excuses but usually for “he points out uncomfortable things and asks awkward questions”. Several of the (formerly successful) projects I was on subsequently failed. I think that’s because the massive managerial incompetence was covered up by my greater-than-expected competence. Pardon the ego, but I’m really good at what I do, both technically and in terms of work ethic. In programming medium-sized projects, with teams of say three to twelve developers, there’s sometimes one person who carries the team. I’m that person.

  18. mediumwave says:

    Could someone please explain to me why any intelligent person would want to program for a living?

  19. lynn says:

    My 14 year old still likes baths however no longer has the rear end strength to remain standing thru the process.

    BTW, I forgot, poor guy ! Hopefully he is not face planting everywhere like Lady is. We are trying to keep her from jumping everywhere as the front legs or the back legs collapse when she lands. I reach down and pick her up for most elevation changes now.

  20. lynn says:

    Could someone please explain to me why any intelligent person would want to program for a living?

    Code to live, live to code !

  21. lynn says:

    I’ve been fired several times, for various excuses but usually for “he points out uncomfortable things and asks awkward questions”. Several of the (formerly successful) projects I was on subsequently failed. I think that’s because the massive managerial incompetence was covered up by my greater-than-expected competence. Pardon the ego, but I’m really good at what I do, both technically and in terms of work ethic. In programming medium-sized projects, with teams of say three to twelve developers, there’s sometimes one person who carries the team. I’m that person.

    Back in 1989 to 1993, I was working on a project to re-architect an existing software product that was shipping on Vaxes with a custom graphics terminal attached. And we were rewriting from F77 to C. The project manager did have the vision but could not execute to save his life. I was programmer #8 if I remember correctly. Yes, Joel on Software wrote an entire column on why you should never do this.
    https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2000/04/06/things-you-should-never-do-part-i/

    My team (I was #3) was converting the database management app from the F77 database code to the new C database code. I was the only person on my three member team who even knew how to write C code, especially with all of the pointer manipulation in the new database code. Yes, freaking disaster and yes, the project manager was gunning for me because I was the son of the company president. He would go see my father and tell him that I was totally screwing up the project. In reality, I was getting the database code to working, it had never been debugged !!! I would turn in database code fixes and the other team manager would come scream at me for crossing the database API line. I would show her what the problem was (horrendous pointer issues or horrendous memory leaks) and she would then walk away embarrassed after she realized the problem. Database queries were taking up to five minutes EACH and I surreptitiously installed an object cache that got the queries down to five seconds or so.

    You would think that I would have gotten an attaboy but nope, they hired more programmers and added two more layers of managers in order to meet the totally arbitrary delivery dates. And then the project manager had us change platforms from Dec Vaxstations to Apollo Domain Unix boxen. If I did not know better, I would have sworn he was trying to make things worse. About a month or two after, I walked into his office and he was sitting at his desk, crying. I just turned around and walked away.

    So of course, the project failed and essentially took the company with it. The company that I run now is a do-over of that company.

  22. Greg Norton says:

    Could someone please explain to me why any intelligent person would want to program for a living?

    I’ve been trying to figure out what else to do for 25 years.

  23. nick flandrey says:

    AMX or Crestron control systems. WAY easier than straight up programming. MOSTLY designing GUIs. ONE IDE for each system. Crestron will let anyone have their tools and program, AMX is way more picky.

    A good AMX guy was worth $1500/day 7 years ago. My buddy in Canadia made more than that, in cash, setting up whole house audio and video system, but most of it is for corporate board rooms and meeting rooms.

    n

  24. JimM says:

    >”Could someone please explain to me why any intelligent person would want to program for a living?”

    It was both fun and lucrative for a long time.

  25. JimL says:

    ”Could someone please explain to me why any intelligent person would want to program for a living?”

    Because they can. If you need a job, and you can code, then you code. When you have a family to feed, you do what needs to be done.

    I’m a problem junkie. I see a problem and I want to fix it. I want to use the stuff I just learned. I did software for about a decade-and-a-half, which was half-a-decade too long. I solved interesting problems.

    Then I get bored. I’m tired of doing the same thing for more than a few years. In fact, I’m looking for something new now. The problem I have is that my employers always want me to continue to solve the same problems, again and again. They don’t see that I need new challenges to keep me occupied.

    So my self-employed side sees the problems and works with it. The employee side winds up finding a new 9-5 every few years.

  26. Miles_Teg says:

    Programming was the best job in the world, until the “managerial” types wrecked it.

  27. TG says:

    It’s not just the “managerial” types that wrecked programming. The extraverts who can’t cope with spending five minutes alone and insist we all have to sit together and constantly talk to each other, instead of focusing on the work, have something to do with it.

    By the way, I previously worked for a company that got acquired by CGI, and I recognise much of Greg’s observations of CGI. The division of the company I was in split off before the takeover, but it sounds like the two companies were a perfect match. Even so, it was one of the better companies I’ve worked for.

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