icing on the cake

As if yesterday wasn’t horrible enough…

still trying to find the cause of that stray relay. DAR (Daily Activity Report) isn’t showing any indication that the system is causing these relays. The Viewer is however showing something specious but not obvious. knowing that it would be another late night at the radio station i skipped out on dinner with the leal’s hoping i could spend the even (or dinner at least) with my wife before errands took over. Hannah had to get picked up at a football game but Murphy’s took over and like gravity, you have to obey murphy’s law. left to the station without dinner, around 10 decided i was hungry only to find my wallet was missing. if it’s not 1 thing it’s ten other right? ended up having to reboot every computer in the music system network. Rebooting a normal computer isn’t much effort. rebooting a computer completely automating a radio station is a bit different. Have to transfer the music and commercial log off the main computer into another computer that’s wired into the air-chain switching unit. then have the backup computer resume the music hopefully at the exact same spot the main computer is playing at. switch audio source, then begin the reboot process. And while i was rebooting, might as well apply the MS updates. wait for the systems to resume, swap the log played back on the main system and try and rejoin back at the exact same spot the other computer left off at. yeah, multiple that by 5 stations and it can get tedious.
my window of opportunity was short lived too. the problem i am trying to fix only exist between 5am and 11pm. wasn’t much point working past that. by the time the drive home came i didn’t even feel like playing anymore. just give me my blanket and let me hide from the world. hopefully the sun wont’ come to soon.

had to be back at the station early to kick off some meetings going on all week for the insurance benefits changes for next year. on top of all that my phone wasn’t charged, and i still can’t find my wallet. the meeting was boring. an hour and a half of FSA, HDSA, HA FEMA, etc etc.. was just too much for me. i guess i do need to sit down and figure out how much i’ve spent in health care this past year. Actually i don’t think i had a single health claim last year. i did use my dental insurance several times. And i had all this stuff piling up on my desk of things needing to get done. traffic order in ccas, scanning for ascap reporting, arbitron numbers not working on the OM’s computer, weird msi errors on one of the sales reps computer, sandy’s new laptop, auto cad needing to be reloaded on my laptop, (havign to reburn the iso’s for autocad) print out some color reg. boxes, meeting with the gm about ccomr, johnny o had some stuff he needed posted on wild’s website, yeah.. i think that was it so far. oh. .and then one of the ladies here brings me her pc from home to take a look at. which i don’t mind. it gives me something to do when i need a mind break. but this computer.. argh. you’ve heard me talk about people needing licences to user a pc. yeah.. this is one of those. upon starting up the desktop bg has been taken over by a messaing saying the computer is infected, click here to download the program taht will fix it.. and a pop up looking like the vista approval box saying something similar (on an xp box) the system continually tries to get on the internet, what ever is kicking it off is in the task manager, but it has also disabled access to the task manager so it can’t be killed by normal processes. (a shotgun may help) the add/remove programs has things like “targetsaver” “web buying” winpop, etc, etc. and they wonder why there computer is running slow. and what urks me the most is that i’ll go through this effort to clean it up .. only to see it again in a month in the same condition.

the past few days have been rough. i just have not been feeling my normal chipper self. it all started the other day. patti was cleaning the closet still unpacking and found her old 8mm video camera. i got some rca’s and wired it up to her tv. they’ve been spending the last few days watching old home movies. i guess what’s got me upset about all this.. and upset isn’t even the right feeling… what’s got me… down? almost depressed? is that these are memories of there lives that are obviously great memories.. but memories that i totally missed out on. I wasn’t around for them when megan was working on her GT project, or when tori did her video of the capital.

and i don’t have any memories like this from when i was there age. i have a batch of polorids from bryan.. a box of 35mm film in storage somewhere (and even those are before i was born) you can go through my photo gallery and most all of that is stuff within this decade. It’s like my life before age 19 didn’t even exist. the only memory of it is that of what’s left in my head. and those memories are even fading. i woke up the other night in a near panic because i had forgotten the color of my mom’s eyes.

if this relay thing doesn’t work today i will have to come back to work tonight. tomorrow after work going to try and redo lunch at the leals, then i have practice at church, then the finleys that evening, then back at church to try and finish off these autocad labels. friday i have to load up for the outreach, and then get to the outreach that evening till who knows when. tori has a game but probably going to miss that one too. she’s doing this awesome solo and so far only have gotten to see her preform it at one game on the visitors side. Saturday angelfood in the morning, the afternoon is the STARS event so i’m going to have to get that broadcast up and going for the afternoon show and tori is marching again. sunday is the NOW so as soon as service is over in the AM i’m going to reprogram the dmx console as well as the softpatches in the recording decks. at this rate i’m not going to see my wife until that evening during the now itself. i was so tired last night i walked in the door and fell straight asleep. surprised i even made it in the bed. the night before wasn’t much different.

this relay stinks.

throw in the towel?

there is this office that I do work for occasionally.  A few weeks ago I put together a list of things that they should do and a few things that they need to do to get there operations into decent repair.  Then some sales guy comes by and tells them how bad of shape they are in.  List off a few things and I’m just shaking my head.  “isn’t that the same things I told you about two weeks ago?”  It’s just really frustrating.  Expeically since some of these problems are serious enough that if something were to go wrong, they could really go wrong.  And who do you think they are going to blame.  I’m just at the point that if they don’t do something i’m going to just walk away and let someone else inherit the problems. Why should i be caring so much when they obviously don’t.

Maybe i just frustrated with people who shouldn’t be infront of computers to begin with.  Today at the office, i showed one lady how to send appointments via outlook for some meetings.  She sent two appointments, one for 10am and one for 2pm.  with instructions, “click accept for the one you want” what do they do?  they click accept for both.  when she asked them why they did that, “I just clicked whatever”

Argh..  and they wonder why there home computers are full of popup’s and spam.

On another frustrating note, I’ve been trying to chase down a problem with KTEX.  Nothing major but it’s been bugging me off and on for about two years.  Yesterday i found something that i thought sure enough was the cause of the problem.  But after undoing Mr meek’s mistakes it still hasn’t fixed my problem.  i’ve tried everything short of replacing the computer that runs the entire station.  What’s happening is.. the station has an log that tells the computer what to do and when.  in that log, we can tell it, flip this switch.  that switch can be attached to anything that needs a switch to turn on.  In this case, the switch is hooked up to the Emergency Alert System that triggers the weekly required test.  All my other stations are hooked up this way.  When i hooked up ktex just like the rest, all of a sudden i noticed that it was sending off alerts not just once a week but once an hour.  really annoying after a while.  the log doesn’t have any instructions telling it to flip the switch, the wiring isn’t hooked up to a different switch, when i unplug the switch controller the problem goes away, i changed controllers the problem stayed.  i’m about out of options. 

i just hate being defeated like that.  either by a sales rep or by a phantom problem that just wont go away.

not exactly a soccer step-parental-person

Friday I got to take Patti out on a Date.  It was fun just to get away for a few hours, leave the phones in the car and just enjoy each other’s company.  I think that’s one of the things i like the most about Patti.  I love how we can hang out and i find myself not wanting to be anywhere else.  Doesn’t matter what we are doing or where we are, as long as I’m with her, things couldn’t be any better.  Like Ozzie.  He will like to be in the room your in.  Not necessarily in the middle of what your doing (though he does do that too sometimes, especially on Patti’s desk)

Saturday Hannah was cheering at a football game so we went to go watch.  That was actually fun.  It was in the middle of the afternoon so the sun was  abit hot.  Football games are always kind of nostalgic for me.  The stadium lights, the band, the half time shows, the concession food.  well, jr high games are a bit different- but it was stuff fun.  She did a really good job too.  It was kind of funny afterwards.  I was carrying the camera bag, the umbrella, the drinks, and Hannah’s cheerleading bag.   I guess this is what it’s like having a kid in middle school. 


Later that evening Randy had a birthday party.  He made the best food. He’s actually always been a really good cook.  He makes the best guacamole dip. 

Sunday after church we got lots of errands done.  Tori wasn’t feeling very well so Patti took her to the Dr.  Hannah and her friend decided to wash cars.  It was a good thing too because i decided to side swipe one of those big traffic barrels the other day.  Didn’t really hurt the car but left some scuff across the front end so they got all that off.  Patti made enchiladas that evening but i didn’t get to have to many had to run off the the radio station.  Spent most of the evening waiting for Verizion to show up.  They finally got done just after midnight.  Good cause i missed my wife. 

More HD Radio in the Valley

I remember back when HD radio was just a panthom of our imagination.  Going through the time line it appears we got

KHKZ on HD on 11-8-04, almost three years ago.

KQXX on HD on 11-14-04

KBFM on HD on 5-24-05

KTEX on HD on 5-24-05

It looks like December of 05 was when i really sunk my teeth into the project and got HD2 running on all the station.  Just recently i began playing with HD3 and moved one of the importers back to the station.  I may end up moving more but one step at a time. 

KVLY was on HD about a year ago, and then disappeared for quite a while.  They are back on now.  Up until now we were the only ones broadcasting PAD data, the scroll on your HD radio that shows the title and artist.  Today i noticed that KNVO is on HD, with their main channel on there HD2 channel, the MPS channel doesn’t have PAD but the SPS1 channel does ?!  or did.. now i can’t pick it up anymore.  KHID/KMBH has been doing a big push on there HD Radio stuff lately.  They did a big share-a-thong and were giving away HD radios to people who made big donations.  So now there are more HD radios in the market and they are talking about being on the air October 1.  They are now showing up in the master list though…

Station List

All of this technology is licenced by a company called Ibiquity.  They are the ones makeing all the money off of HD. 

They are actaully selling HD radios now though.  I always like going into the stores like Best Buy, Circut City, Radio Shack, and even Walmart.  I usually start by asking if they have HD radios.  And then asking them if any stations in the valley broadcast in HD.  The ususally either don’t know or say No.  It’s usually no holds bard after that.  I haven’t done that in a while though.  I’m up for a good laugh, i may just go do that. 

Ronald McDonald

Shortly after I started working here, we had the st. jude radiothon here at the studio.  I remember standing back watching all these guys try and make this work. I couldn’t help but shake my head wondering how they ever got it working.  They hired some contractor to come run all the lines into the room and then used a dial up scoop to call into the hybrid of the studio and place calls from the phone bank into the studio that way.  i was still really new so didn’t make any effort to try and show them the light.  a few months later however, they had the mcdonald radiothon.  they wanted me to go and help them do the live broadcast from there with ISDN and with scoops.  ok.. i can do that.  so i get their the day of and you know how they were making this work?  they had smartcom lease a toll free number into their hunt group. then used the office phones to answer all the calls.. so one of the wall phones in the kitchen, one in the front and one in the office.  that was there phone bank.  we were dialing up on the scoops making an 8 hour long call on two stations.  well.. those two lines were the same ones the fire alarm system uses and if it doesn’t sense dialtone then it starts beeping over and over and over.  (really annoying)

so they are all trying to figure out what they are doing wrong, about this time i stepped up and dispatched someone to wallmart to pick up 4 desk phones.. i then wired up a cat5 cable with 4 RJ45’s on one end, and hardwired the other end directly up to the demark.  This became the radiothon cable that i have been using ever since.  i then also took the main office lines and rethreaded them into the firealarm system to make it happy.  I’ve since then taken a 2nd cat5 cable to the set totaling 8 jacks, with a single RJ45 on the ends so it can be wired directly into our patch bay here at the studio…  it’s done two radiothons a year now. 

Another year in the middle of the radiothon some construction people took a backhoe to the phone lines cutting off everything.  I then rerouted the toll free number to the McDonalds corporate office in mcallen and they took the rest of the calls.  Jeff Schmatz and Dawn Price both seam to think I’m some sort of Radiothon guru now. 

Yesterday was pretty uneventful.  It was nice that everything worked smoothly, all the prep effort obviously paid off, but the lack of excitement and early start to the day had me yawning by noon.  i actually fell asleep to some weird sport on TV,  they called it football but there was no band, no cheerleaders, no blimp.  just a bunch of guys kicking a ball with there head.  shouldn’t it be called headball? 

Channel 5 was there too… Jonathan Owens was doing his weather from out there all morning.  Afterwards he wanted to get back to the studio and i wanted to get back to the internet for a while so i drove him back. He’s actually a pretty cool guy.  Really knows allot about the business and enjoys what he does.  I ended up heading home around 4 to finally get some sleep only to head back around 8 to pick up all my stuff.  till next year…

because it’s a mac…

5215so this guy who used to work here at the station brought his laptop over for me to look at.  i though, ok this should be easy.  he brought it over and the first thing i saw was the mac logo.  argh.. then i saw something sticking out of it.  “opened” it and this is what i saw.  um.. yeah.  normaly this would upset me.  i belive that people should be licensed before they can own a pc, but since this isn’t really a computer, it wasn’t so bad.  actually it’s kind of fun to see this thing on my desk like that… sort of a “see what you get”