Thur. July 25, 2019 – ch ch ch changes…

67F and 68%RH??? Crazy talk. It stayed slightly cooler yesterday with lower humidity than normal. Today looks like it might be similar, so OF COURSE I’m headed to the site of a recent tornado…

On a more serious note, supporting the idea that the world is going through one of its periodic geopolitical realignments, there certainly is a lot of change going on…

Turkey, Russia, Brexit, China, Venezuela collapsing, the whole post WWII world order seems to be shifting. This can be a time of tremendous opportunity, but it is also fraught with risk. Wounded animals are most dangerous and so are wounded empires.

Every thing points to a ‘conservative’ strategy, while staying alert for the big move that might be necessary or prudent.

Be prepared to take care of yourself, since mice get flattened when the elephants dance.

——-

I’ll be getting packed and then traveling most of the day. I should be able to keep a normal schedule for the next 8 days, but might be a bit late opening the door here if I have connectivity problems or family commitments. If it gets to be 8 or 9 EDT and I haven’t unlocked the door and flipped over the Open sign, someone jump in…

If everything goes to heII I’ll be in the worst possible place, and my options are going to be very limited. Depending on the threat, I’ll be headed for Texas, Michigan, or trying to find security locally. Possibly Canandaigua NY if that seems like a good direction. Hopefully it will just be a nice visit with family, like 99.9% of the time. You never know though do you?

nick

43 thoughts on “Thur. July 25, 2019 – ch ch ch changes…”

  1. Finish with the studio upgrade. Everything is HD, digital, with the exception of the broadcast. Studio switcher has an analog SD output that is used for the broadcast and recording. New screens, new projectors, looks amazing. Had to rewire the studio to remove several converters, move some connections around, etc.

    This is a diagram of the final wiring for the studio. It is actually much simpler than before as several analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters were removed.

    Most of the signals are SDI. The switcher has four SDI input ports and four SDI input ports. Thus some conversion is involved from auxiliary devices into the switcher. The monitors in the sanctuary are all HDMI thus requiring conversion from SDI to HDMI at the monitors.

    Had an interesting experience Sunday. I started the broadcast playout and the sound from the playout was in the sanctuary. Not possible through the three sound boards the audio to the studio travels. Found out it was because the volume was turned up on the monitor TV’s. SDI carries audio and so does the SDI. Thus the sound from the studio DVD was being played on the sanctuary monitors. Really confused the sound guy until it was figured out what was happening.

    We did not have an audio cable from the studio to the balcony sound board. Now we do by simply extracting the audio from the SDI and connecting the output to the sound mixing board.

    It has been an interesting project that was started a little over three years ago. The final phase sometime in August of next year is to replace the graphics computer and relocate the device to the studio from the sanctuary balcony.

  2. that’s a big project Ray and you should be proud of pulling it off so smoothly.

    I’ve been involved in upgrades that didn’t go anywhere near that well.

    n

  3. That should be four SDI inputs and four HDMI inputs for the switcher. Finger fart.

  4. The Roku channel is next, Ray.

    A channel for our private use around the house serving converted TiVo broadcast recordings has long been on my list. The big problem with TiVo To Go is that the upload speed is limited on my old Series 3, just fast enough to stream TiVo’s proprietary formats but no more than that.

    I believe that my uber-cheap AMD APU-based home server can handle the video conversion quickly enough to process shows overnight, but the beauty of AM4 is that an upgrade without swapping anything but CPU is guaranteed to be easy for a few years.

     

    We had a new guy quit without notice this week. Two months and out. I looked over Tuesday afternoon, and he had vanished along with the name plate on his cube. Management finally told us today.

    Senior hire. And they told me that they viewed hiring me for that level was “too risky” considering my employment gap punctuated only by the Seattle fiasco.

    Thankfully, the guy wasn’t too far along in climbing our steep learning curve — he didn’t even like the first step — and no institutional knowledge goes out the door.

    I’ve only quit without notice once. As much cr*p that flies at this job, I’ve yet to see anything that matched what pushed me over the edge in Seattle to the point that I walked. My only regret is not suing the company six years ago because they were finally bought out last year and their patented IP forms the core of Nokia’s new mesh WiFi routers.

  5. @ Nick: Depending on the threat, I’ll be headed for Texas, Michigan, or trying to find security locally.

    It’s not a secret here that I live in Massachusetts. I assume you are flying into Logan and then renting a car for the rest of the visit. If the S hit the fan so hard that you felt the need to strike out cross-country in a rented vehicle I would probably be affected also. But I could offer you a provisioning stop to get some supplies before a multiday trip west. Maybe a defensive item that the TSA wouldn’t let you carry on the plane.

    I assume you can see the email address I use to post here. That would be the way to get in touch with me.

  6. @JLP, thanks a lot! I never really expect there to be any trouble, but I was in NY/NJ for 911 and we ended up driving home. It is always good to have friends along the way.

    Dave Hardy grew up in the same little towns as my wife’s family and I knew where his place was. And RBT if I was headed south…

    Despite my better judgement, wife didn’t want to get a car for this trip so we’re dependent on family for transportation. I hate that.

    I appreciate the offer, and hope to never take it up!

    nick

  7. Despite my better judgement, wife didn’t want to get a car for this trip so we’re dependent on family for transportation. I hate that.

    The rental could have a free upgrade to interesting bug-out transportation if GM is pushing the trucks on the fleets hard enough.

    Six months ago Arlington seemed to have a direct pipeline to ABIA.

    Of course, part of the reason GM slipped to #3 in trucks was too much gadgetry, especially meaningless fuel saving tricks, which wouldn’t be good in a grid-down situation for long.

    Looks like the CVT may be the end of Nissan.

    Nissan!

  8. Cut the Cable TV cable last month. After constantly climbing Xfinity (Comcast) bills I had had enough and had them cut off our TV service. Keeping only phone and Internet. Why phone? Because we had used Vonage happily for over 15 years until about 18 months ago, about 20% of our inbound calls we just had dead air, no sound. After an analysis we discovered it was always the same phone numbers and the percentage of “dead” calls were increasing. A little research determined that other Xfinity Internet customers had a similar issue. It seems that Xfinity was blocking some of the protocols used by older Vonage equipment. So rather than fight with Xfinity, I decided to give in and switch to their VOIP service. After that, no dead calls. But I digressed. I had Xfinity cut our TV service at the end of the June billing cycle. Yesterday I received the July billing. it was HIGHER than my June billing. I contacted Xfinity and they admitted that they had received my cut-off request in June but they said that the work order had been “misplaced” so the work was never done. I told them that wasn’t my problem and refused to pay more than the Internet & phone fee. Xfinity is not my favorite comm company. Wait, I don’t have ANY favorite comm company. They are all lousy. But at least Xfinity delivers relatively (94%) reliable high speed Internet. After Jan, we will be getting service from SuddenLink in our Bogey house. We have had the service there for 4 months and the son says it’s been reliable and he can watch all the Netflix video he wants.

    Update: I have both the Roku TV and YouTube TV Internet services. The advantage of YouTube TV is that 1) I can watch some movies free that Roku or Amazon charge me for and 2) YouTube TV has excellent live TV feeds from most of the local and cable channels we want.

  9. Looks like the CVT may be the end of Nissan.

    https://news.yahoo.com/nissan-cut-12-500-jobs-072211413.html

    The cars are weird to drive since they went all out with CVT. I took a serious look at a used Sentra back when I had a 100 mile round trip to work at CGI in Belton, but I ultimately decided to wait for a more reasonable commute where I could drive something better.

    The Sentra was solidly built. Too solid. Despite a 170 HP engine (stock Trans Ams had 180 HP in the 80s), acceleration was pathetic due to a 2800 lb curb weight. Add in the weirdness of the CVT, and the current generation is a hard sell compared to a Corolla … well a Corolla from a few years ago.

  10. Just saw The Lion King. WOW! It was entirely CGI and was absolutely fantastic. The difference between real animals and the CGI animals would be difficult to detect. If that represents the current state of CGI then any visual experience is now possible.

    For computer propeller heads and geeks the movie is worth seeing just to experience the computer generated animation.

  11. RE: Lion King
    Took the great granddaughter to see it last week. She enjoyed it. If memory serves, it was almost a shot-for-shot remake of the animated version, except for one jarring & humorous bit near the end. The animals (and landscape) were amazingly photo-realistic. While an amazing accomplishment, my feeling was that it distracted from story. In the animated version, the animals were designed to clearly mirror feelings and emotions, joy, fear, anger, etc. But real animals don’t emote, they don’t engage the viewer as the animated ones did. In the case of Pumba, the comic relief wart hog, it detracts. Real wart hogs are seriously ugly and at times threatening looking, at odds with the silly, happy-go-lucky personality of the character. Two thumbs up as a technical achievement, but not nearly as engaging as the original IMHO.
    NOTE: The “I just can’t wait to be king” song sequence is MUCH better in the original while the remake turns it into a hide-and-seek exercise.

  12. @Ray / @Harold
    Re: Lion King
    How scary for a 7 year old girl who has been shielded from screen violence?

    We have tried to keep her off screens and heavily monitor and screen what she does watch. She saw most of animated Lion King (not on my watch) a month ago and found it scary but not terrifying. The death scene in Dr Horrible put her in a shrieking fit for a few minutes (my screw up – I was remembering how great the music was and forgot poor Penny).

    I like taking her to movies but it can be tricky. I usually prescreen them. There’s so much real violence I figure she doesn’t need it normalized.

  13. “Our New Planet Is Going to Be Great!”
    https://www.takimag.com/article/our-new-planet-is-going-to-be-great/

    “For example, in 1991, when Omar’s family fled Somalia due to their complicity in the genocidal regime of the dictator Siad Barre, the population of Somalia was only 7 million.”

    “Today, 28 chaotic years later, Somalia has more than doubled in size to 15 million despite immense outflows of emigrants. The U.N. forecasts that Somalia’s population will reach 35 million in 2050 and 76 million in 2100.”

    “The U.N. forecasts that the population of sub-Saharan Africa, which was 504,000,000 in 1991 and is 1,066,000,000 today, will grow to 2,118,000,000 in 2050 and all the way to 3,775,000,000 in 2100.”

    “Do American and European white voters have the right to say no to the hundreds of millions of blacks and Muslims who will want to flee the messes they’ve made of their own countries?”

    YES ! No more muslims in the USA ! ! !

    Do these people do anything other than reproduce themselves daily ? That population growth chart is astonishing.

  14. If memory serves, it was almost a shot-for-shot remake of the animated version, except for one jarring & humorous bit near the end.

    And without Matthew Broderick, among the whitest of white actors, in the lead role in a movie about African animals.

  15. I believe all Subies are CVT. Maybe not the little sports one. Acceleration is what you would expect from station wagons. The sedans might be better.

  16. I believe all Subies are CVT. Maybe not the little sports one. Acceleration is what you would expect from station wagons. The sedans might be better.

    A lot of vehicles with four cylinder motors are CVT now. The Honda CRV is a CVT which is one more reason that I bought the wife a Toyota Highlander (the primary reason was a CD / MP3 player). “CVTs are most commonly used in Mitsubishi, Nissan and Subaru cars and sport utility vehicles. Honda and Toyota are now including them in a wider range of models as well. They’re still far more common among Japanese import brands than the domestics or European imports.”
    https://www.carfax.com/blog/CVT-pros-and-cons

  17. We got the 2005 Honda Civic back yesterday. The new A/C condenser is awesome. The wife actually had to turn the a/c down after a couple of minutes. A good $450 investment for our backup car.

  18. A lot of vehicles with four cylinder motors are CVT now. The Honda CRV is a CVT which is one more reason that I bought the wife a Toyota Highlander (the primary reason was a CD / MP3 player).

    Every trick in the book to increase fuel economy. I can live with Toyota’s tricks, but I’m not as happy with this car as I was with the last one.

    I thought Honda learned their lesson about transmissions 15 years ago, however.


  19. How scary for a 7 year old girl who has been shielded from screen violence?

    Fairly mild. There is some implication at the end when Scar gets attacked by the hyena’s but nothing actually shown. I personally think a 7 year old could handle it and understand. No blood or ripping of limbs or graphic violence. Hard for me to actually gauge as each parent has their own standards and has different levels of what they think is acceptable. But if you get upset for my opinion I want it settled on Judge Judy.

  20. @MrAtoz: A friends $30k Subaru just ate its own CVT at 105,000 miles. The warranty was for 100,000. He tried contacting the dealer he’d bought it from, and had had it maintained at, and it was “Sucks to be you, pal”.

    His wife loved it, talk about p*ssing away brand loyalty.

    A used tranny from a wreck, and a quick sale to CarMax, and he’s in the market for a new (non-cvt) Toyota.

  21. Wife asked me if I realized that as of tomorrow we will have been married 44 years.

    I said, yep, three of them happy.

    I should be out of traction in about two months.

    The 44 years part is true.

  22. The last ten days have been awful. On Tuesday of last week (July 16th) I discovered in mid-morning I had no internet service. I called my ISP – Windstream our local telephone company) – and reported this. We played the “troubleshoot following the script” game and they finally agreed that they needed to dispatch a technician to my house. Friday “sometime before 7 pm” was the best they could give me for an appointment.
    Friday evening I called to advise them that no one showed or even called. Tech support had no record of my call on Tuesday. They scheduled a repair dispatch for Tuesday, sometime, etc. My last comment was I bet I could get internet service via cable faster. I called Spectrum and got an appointment for Sunday morning and yes, I had internet service by 12 pm Sunday.
    Windstream again was a no show on Tuesday. I had planned to keep both for a week or two while I updated my email addresses to a gmail account that I used irregularly and that would be my permanent account as I am relocating to Montgomery AL from North Carolina soon. I canceled my Windstream account with their customer department who were surprised about my reason. They could see that I had called several times to their tech support line but they could see no record to any appointments to fix my problem.
    I updated a few friends and family with my gmail address yesterday. This morning I decided to update my Amazon account. I noticed that Outlook was unable to connect to Windstream and soon discovered that I was locked out of the Windstream account. Amazon of course wanted to send an email to my Windstream to verify I was who I said I was. I finally got an Amazon Customer service person and was able to verify I was who I said I was.
    I gave her my gmail account name and she said that had to send an email to it with a code for me pass back to her to confirm I had access to the account. I minute or two later she told me that account name was in use by a Rachel Sprowl and was I sharing this address.
    I assured that I was not sharing the account, that I never heard of Rachel Sprowl and that I had been using this account for several years. She asked me to log out of the browser tab that was accessing gmail and to log back in. (Before I logged out I saw that I had an email confirming one another account updates early this morning.) I logged out but when I attempted to log in I was told my password was invalid. Somehow my gmail (rvsprowl@ etc) account is no longer mine.
    Now I will need to update all of the people, businesses, etc. previously updated a second time. My new geemail address is robertvsprowl if anybody here cares.


  23. The last ten days have been awful

    It is even worse when a spouse dies and the accounts are in the deceased individual’s name. My best friend of 28 years died and I had to help his widow navigate the accounts and get them changed.

    The classic one, from a couple of companies, was that they needed to speak to the account holder to change the account. We explained he was deceased. Not good enough as it was company policy that only the account holder could make changes and unless they could speak to the individual no changes would be made.

    Thus I impersonated her deceased husband on a couple of the accounts. I guess they just needed a male voice as the widow provided all the pertinent information to confirm “my” identity. Easier to lie than to jump through hoops.

  24. @MrAtoz: A friends $30k Subaru just ate its own CVT at 105,000 miles. The warranty was for 100,000. He tried contacting the dealer he’d bought it from, and had had it maintained at, and it was “Sucks to be you, pal”.

    If something like that happens and you bought the vehicle new, always contact the manufacturer.

    Dealers have their uses, but they aren’t going to go to bat for the customer over a transmission after 100,000 miles. Their incentive is to sell a new car.

    The reason you don’t hear about transmission problems on mid-2000s Hondas and Acuras is that the manufacturer is quietly doing the right thing with new customers.

  25. A used tranny from a wreck, and a quick sale to CarMax, and he’s in the market for a new (non-cvt) Toyota.

    I have my doubts about the 8 speed Toyota is putting into all their new vehicles. At 15-20 MPH, the transmission in my 2018 Camry doesn’t quite know what to do with the gearing.

    I complained to the service rep at the first oil change, but, after checking it out, the response was that everything is normal. I’ll be surprised if I get more than 100,000 miles out of the vehicle as I have with my last car and my wife’s 4Runner.

    I *know* the Exploder will be done well before 100,000 miles. We have two recalls sitting on my desk right now, one of which is the carbon monoxide issue. God, I’d love to see that expand to a class action situation where Ford buys the vehicles like VW had to do with the emissions “problem” in the diesels. Where do I sign?

  26. Apropos Nick’s comment of yesterday in re the special-needs girl being attacked in Chicongo: The CBS Evening Snooze actually mentioned the video on this evening’s broadcast. Apparently the incident went so viral that even the legacy media couldn’t ignore it.

    Color me amazed.

  27. It would seem to me that an email account tied to your local ISP is not a good thing.

    Better, IMHO, to have a ‘global’ account like gmail. Yes, I know gmail is evil. So what? It’s good at getting rid of the spam. Everything else just works. I don’t even mind the marketing stuff I get – it gets into the “Promotions” folder, and easy enough to delete – although there is sometimes good stuff there.

    I tried to get Jerry to change to a gmail account years ago. His email account at his BlueHost hosting place was getting tons of spam. He downloaded it all to his local Outlook server, but there was still tons of spam, even with SpamAssassin and other hosting-based anti-spam enabled. He had lots of local rules to keep his local Outlook mailbox clean. And every six months I had to spend several hours deleting old email – including spam – from the hosting place.

    But a problem such as Bob Sprouls’ indicates that using an ISP-based email is not A Good Thing.

    YMMV.

  28. But a problem such as Bob Sprouls’ indicates that using an ISP-based email is not A Good Thing.

    YMMV.

    I have a paid att.net account which still receives spam, but mostly from places with whom I have a previous business relationship. Beyond that, the filters from … Verizon (?) … do a pretty good job of keeping the account clean.

    Anything I don’t want Google seeing goes to att.net.

    My problem with Google isn’t the privacy issue as much as the possibility that they could decide to pull the plug on mail one day if they conclude that they can’t monetize it properly. I don’t think it impossible that they pull the plug on Gmail in the future.

    Yes, I’m still sore about losing Picasa.


  29. I believe all Subies are CVT

    Except for the sport sedan WRX, I believe true for all 2019 and up models. Consequently, when my 2004 Forester blew its head gasket and cracked the block at 200k miles, I searched for and found an ’18 model with 6 speed manual. Subie CVTs are made by a Nissan subsidiary, who also supplies most other non Honda, Toyota brands.

    BTW, the ’04’s 5 speed was on its original clutch.

    Blame CAFE.


  30. using an ISP-based email is not A Good Thing

    Comcast, as evil as they are, will let a former customer keep the email account after leaving the service. Even so, I do maintain a GMAIL account. Comcast’s policy may change.

  31. Update: My son and I are able to use the old account name without any problems.

    Also, I just signed into Amazon and changed my email address to the old gmail account without any problems. I wonder why I had the earlier problem.

    And the gmail password problem seems to have disappeared.
    Huh??

    Bob

  32. One more historical nautical visit to consider; the whaling museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts. https://www.whalingmuseum.org/

    I visited New Bedford and Mystic Seaport on my way home from the Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI. All the states there are pretty small; not like Texas (or California, for that matter).

  33. Got here safely. Flight was even a bit early.

    Haven’t decided on attractions for tomorrow yet. Everything is an hour away, and return is during Friday rush hour.

    N

  34. Haven’t decided on attractions for tomorrow yet. Everything is an hour away, and return is during Friday rush hour.

    Coal fired pizza.

    I couldn’t get that in Portland (Coal!?!), and the crew at the closest place here in Austin is still working out how to use the oven.

    FL has a good chain, Anthony’s. Capone’s, a chain concept under development in Fort Myers isn’t bad either. CT is the place for that kind of pizza from what I understand, however.

  35. ”Black perps, presumably white victims. Had it been reversed, it’d be all over the media.”

    Full video is on ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC, at least.
    CNN has a still shot.

    Perps’ race is readily apparent in all of these.

  36. “It would seem to me that an email account tied to your local ISP is not a good thing. Better, IMHO, to have a ‘global’ account like gmail.”

    Our compromise: We own our domain name, and have email addresses under that. The domain name used to point to gmail, until we became convinced that Gmail is evil. Then we pointed it to a simple, cheap web-hosting account that includes email. It’s easy to change DNS, so if the web-host ever gives us problems, we can just go elsewhere. The advantage is that I have had the same email address for decades, and intend to have it for decades longer, independent of whoever actually hosts it.

    Interestingly, for such an old address, I get surprisingly little spam. Not none – of course – but no more than half-a-dozen messages a week make it through the standard spam filter.

  37. ISP hosted email is an attempt to make your account “sticky”. It is a lot of work to leave if you have used that email address everywhere. I had exactly that situation and had to move a bunch of other sites to using a non-ISP email before I went ahead and cancelled the service from Bell Canada for an VAR (value-added reseller) – same service at half the price. That took a number of evenings and I have still forgotten a few sites. Now, I just use email addresses from Gmail, Microsoft and Yahoo. Yes they are evil as in no privacy (free in exchange for scanning content). ISP email is evil in another way (free but sticky). Pick your poison, nothing is ever really free.

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