the most annoying sound in the world

as much time as i’ve spent in the live music world, it’s odd to say i still have my hearing.  Actually i have fairly accurate hearing.  It’s extremely annoying though hearing the high pitched whine from external power-supplies, CRTs or even LCD monitor inverters.  It’s like wearing a hearing aid 24 hours a day.  I guess i should consider it a blessing though.  I can usually tell when a PS is going faulty before there is any notable deviation in it’s output. 

So i’m sitting here in my office trying to get work done and hitman is sitting next to me eating this bag of some chex-mix stuff.  The crunching sound is so loud it’s driving me crazy.  Gordetos i think is what’s it called.  it’s not like he’s doing a billy open mouth smack and munch thing.. 

And just now Jay walked in and is now threating to go get some too.  I’m going to scream.  If i had any cash in my wallet i would go buy out that machine right now.  the sound is so deafing i can’t think of anything else.  i was going to put on my ipod to try and drown it out but decided not to bring it this morning.  go figure. 

it’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood

ever had one of those days when you feel like skipping down the hallway or jumping up and kicking your heals like in the old Toyota commercial?  no.. well.. too bad.  It’s been one of those days.  It’s actually been one of those weekends.  Yesterday i reformatted my vista laptop.  Helped tori work on another video.  She’s been recruited by two different classes to make videos for them.  I think it’s kind of cool that they are asking her rather than the KMAC kids to do this stuff.  She came up with some really cool stuff.   The last load of laundry in the house was in the dryer when i left this morning.  The house is clean, the filing is done.  Even my itunes library is clean! 

This morning went to Hannah’s science class to talk about what i do.  as much of a science freak as i think i am, it was fun.  i tried to keep it all under their heads but there only so much you can do to talk down radio engineering.

and it’s been so fun, greating people with a smile here at work, they hear the chipper in my voice and somehow that transpires to them and now i think i have everyone around here walking around with a bounce in their step.  it’s been a good day.

As the world turns

these are the days of our lives.

Seams like this past week everything has revolved around the middle school formal.  I remember when we’d have our 8th grade dances.  it was just in the school cafeteria, move the tables out of the way, play some music and that was about it.  Now a days you’d think it was prom.  We took Hannah to get a dress, ended up finding a nice one at David’s Bridal.  Patti and i are sponsors so now we have to get dressed up.  Had to get my jacket altered, get some pants, and of course a shirt and a tie to match hannahs dress.  then patti went dress shopping yesterday.  and of course shoes and all the fixings.  Oh and they are having this thing at the country club.  yeah…

Oh well.. your only 13 once right (Thank God, couldn’t pay me enough to try that one again)

It’s just all kind of a reminder about how fast all the kids are growing up.  She tried on the dress yesterday after i picked it up from the alterations.  She doesn’t look like that kid that used to bounce around the youth building in a walker while patti was doing her puppet things.  *sigh*

Elaine, website, visitor pack, and projector network.

We’ve had Elaine at church since Saturday.  Tonight is finally the last night.  Not that it’s been bad, but i’ve missed being at home.  On top of Elaine, we’ve had a projector problem that actually revealed three problems.  overheating caused by clogged filters.  but can’t change the filters because when sonnie installed these, they didn’t use the right mount plates so the ones they used blocked access to the filters.  so Randall made a new mount interface so i could use the proper plate.  The overheating took it’s toll on the projector so that needs to be sent in for repair.  While the 2nd projector was removed from the video chain, i noticed the the other projector was acting funny.  the sync isn’t in balance anymore and that’s revealed a problem with our video distribution equipment.  that stuff is over 11 years old.  so that’s getting replaced.  On top of all that, pastor is still bugging for the new visitor pack dvd.  I’ve been spending most of my free time (ha!) rebuilding the church website.  you can see the Release Candidate or ABGRACE RC1.0 here.  The official launch is Saturday.  It’s built on wordpress and the podcast is linked to the iTunes store.  Hopefully everything will be functional and ready by saturday.  I can’t afford to wait on this anymore, i need to finish that dvd and not to mention make a master of the elaine hollar series.  Oh well.. next week will be back to normal.


After talking with the wife we are pretty much in agreement that i’m not spending enough time at home. I mean, look at this week.

Sunday morning, church. after that uploaded the services, began preparing the radio show, setup the family life building for the evening service, left church for a while to go to Marc’s leadership meeting and lunch. a good break, but then after that back to church to repair the DVD which apparently recorded the entire worship service without any audio. (and no one in the control room bothered to tell me that they couldn’t hear anything until the announcements began) so had to rip the dvd, add the audio from the cd, then burn back to dvd. finally got home around 8
Continue reading impasse

you people and your demands

pastor rented out the main building to the edinburg school district for some training thing they are doing. he has the bad habbit of giving out my cell phone number to anyone who asks. so needless to say, they have been calling me for a few weeks now. no kidding, i’ve spoken to like 5 people and have had atleast 10 conversations with them asking them what they want, and what they need. They wanted to use the projectors, i was like fine- you need 5pin RGB (H and V Sync) and the responces ranged from “ok.. so we just need a laptop?” ” What’s that” “Uh, let me get back to you” so they show up today and i recite the recording i’ve already memoriized. They bring in their tech people and they try and figure out a way to make it work. Finally they decide they can decode to composite, then input into the Echolab, use the Extron to convert the composite and back into the projectors. I was suprised they were able to come up with that much. So despite the chanting of aaron, i gave in and decided to help them out to make it work. They would have to deal with the fact that they are going to have to use low-resolution 640×480 video, interlace-flicker and the fact that their laptop isn’t sending me a sync signal so the projectors may lose sync at any point, they agreed and when i finally left- it was working. i wonder how they ended up.

back among the living

wow.. what a week, or month. Of course, this is always the busy season for us. Stock show, spring break, Easter programs, traveling. it’s just never really easy.

as spring break approached, venues at SPI were getting ready to do their live broadcast from their locations. We use ISDN phone lines for these broadcast. When a new client has signed on and wants to do an ISDN broadcast, they usually call on me to go to their location before hand and make sure they got their act together. So we get out there and find the demark, sure enough there is an isdn line there, but it’s not going anywhere. great, this means we are going to have to get the line from the phone box outside to the sound booth inside. if it was one building it would be easy, but this was a bunch of outdoor buildings. So we first try and figure out how to run the wire. The booth already had a jack wired up to it but it was dead. We ended up finding the wiring closest, but most the the wiring was dead too. Normaly i could just put my tone generator on the jack, use the probe to hear the tone in the wiring close and vola, i’m done. except i left the tone generator in my car. we were in teh station vehicle. so i’m trying to improvise. ended up taking a XLR cable tester with a test tone on it, wiring it up to the end jack, and used the butt set to find the other end. Finally we got it al going. the wiring that is. The spid numbers were not labeled on the demark. It’s not like a phone that you just plug in and it works. You have to tell your equiptment how to talk to the network with the spid numbers.

it’s usually a 9 digit number with a binariy number at the end. We called the owner and he gave us two “spids” 956-772-xxxx-0101 and 956-772-yyyy-0101. We plug it into our equiptment and get “SPID error” call up ATT and the ISDN dept is closed. we go back the next day and come to find out that this is a wierd line. the spids are a harligen number, but their is a DN number of that 772, port isabel number. never seen that before but ok… we plug in tihe new spids, DIsco, we are up. i dial up the station, it took a long distance call but it worked. ok.. done.

they did the broadcast a few days later and they coudln’t dial them up. so they did the entire broadcast with LD charges. We went back one more time, pluged both the spids and the DN number, dialed the DN and we were cooking.

Then their was the stock show. That one wasn’t quite as bad. another isdn broadcast. but i’ve been doing this long enough that i made it as simple as possible for the jocks. that was pretty uneventfull. as for the stock show itself. i wasn’t impressed. it’s like someone to a show from 10 years ago and just kept replaying it over and over.

also been getting ready for patti’s two easter programs. Eye to Eye and Spetical. Eye to Eye is an outdoor Pasion Play. Speticaly is a serious comedy. Both are really good. So we’ve been getting all that stuff ready. Patti turned the backyard into a large staging area and had everyone over one day putting it all together.

Thursday i got out of work early and took simion with me to get what we needed from the store and to start loading the trailer. Had no idea how much stuff we had.. or could fit in there. We did come up with some really good ideas for when Patti finally decides to make this touring thing a regular part of the schedule.

We got out there and the wind was not behaving very well. And for the first time it was going to be hot. like 100’s hot. Spent that day setting things up.. it really didn’t take us long to do the tech stuff. Patti was having a hard time with her sets though. My stuff is pretty heavy and stayed put… but the props were taking a beating from the wind. At one point i was sitting on the backstage, behind a curtain and a prop from in front of the cutian fell over and landing on me. Ended up leaving a good size bruise.

Saturday we got an early start, pratice went ok. But we had to scale down ALOT to make it work. Didn’t get to use any DMX, half of the walls, none of the curtains.. the actual performance wasn’t bad. We’ve done much better but everyone seamed to enjoy it. The pastor from out there was happy…

Thank you John and Patti for all your enthusiasm and help. You sure are a blessing and are used by our Lord to proclaim His good news to all people. I know we can say with all its word MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

So i guess all in all it turned out ok. We loaded up that night, came home, unloaded and came back to church the next morning. The wind was still bad, so bad that the power kept flickering on and off all through service. I let the guys have the morning off, turned off the cameras and projectors.. and just let it ride. i woke up that morning though with a horrible headache and tummy ache. and it just kept getting worse and worse. if i was going to be able to pull off the program this evening i would need some rest. went home and patti ended up postponing the program. So i slept the rest of the day. woke up feeling much better. must have been the heat.. or exaustion.. or both.

the kids are on spring break this week, so they are bored i’m sure. hannah went to ATF this past weekend and seamed to have a good time.  i’m ready for a vacation now.   friday is our do nothing day.  saturday going back to the ranch for easter.  sunday it’s easter here.

make the madness stop

so i took the easy way.  I voted republician. 

 and i went for early voting.  in this day and age, why would anyone put themselves through all that on the day of?  it’s just unescesary brutatlity if you ask me.  of course it’s probably for the same reason that i like to go mall shoping the night before christmas. 

yesterday had to make a run to all of the transmitters to upgrade their satelite systems.  just another way to be controled by the man if you ask me.  came back the studio and met up with adrian and lupe and drove to the island to setup a club out ther for broadcasting from.  well.. the client ordered the line himself.  first mistake.  we get there and whatever tech installed it didn’t label it right.  Dual channel ISDN uses two SPID numbers.  We have to put those numbers on our equiptment to make it work on the line.  so i open the box.. no numbers.. so i ask the client and he gives me two numbers.  plug them in and get a “SPID error” so call ATT and they say.. everything works fine.  so finaly 5 comes along and att closes..  so we woudl be comming back tommrow.  but on the way home had to stop by the kvns tower in brownsville to upgrade that one.  didnt’ get home until after 10 that night.  today went to the stock show to hook up the trailer for the broadcast from there starting friday. i had already tested the line (with the spids clearly labled) so all i had to do was wire that up tot he trailer.. but the power i asked for two weeks ago wasn’t setup.  so we call the eletrican and he never showed.  fine.. we’ll go back the island and test again we get there.. plug in.. and agian still doesn’t work.  called up a friend at att and he’s like.. they gave you the wrong spids.  put the right ones in and everything worked.  go figure.  went back.. still no power.  went walkign around the grounds.. found the guy myself and he said he’d have it up by tommrow.  i’ll belive it when i see it. 

on top of all of that..  our new server will be here tommrow.. i need to install that and get it online so they can begin setting it up.  also we are doing a major software upgrade on our music system.  and then starting next week they will be here to finish the transition.   oh and mr meek wants to do an overngiht tommrow night. 

enough already…. 

voting, jonas, and drama

friday was the 29th, and after going through some email realized it was the deadline for upgrading all of our satellite remote control equipment.  it’s mostly some upgrades to give corporate more ability to take over all of our transmitters.  so i went out to the mission transmitter first to begin the upgrade.. the early versions of the satellite equipment required a rescue kit to make the upgrade work.. and what do you know.. ours all need the rescue kit, which requires a serial cable with a null adapter on it.. all of which are at the station.  needless to say.. made for a long day.  i got to have lunch with patti- any excuse i can come up with get to be with my wife.  later that day went to the law office and got a lot of stuff finished there.  that was actually quite a bit of work but the type that you actually feel accomplished once you can get it all figured out.  Saturday was errand day.  patti and i woke up early for angelfood.  after that went to the thrift stores looking for props for the upcoming Easter programs.  after that hannah had a birthday party, and after that was the jonas brothers concert.  patti had the “privilege” of taking hannah and two friends out there.  i got to stay home.  megan was at the beach, tori was racing so i had the whole house to myself.  a few years ago i would have loved to get to spend the entire evening by myself.. just me and my cat.  after about the first 30 minutes i was already lonely and ready to be back with everyone.  i thought i would spend the evening working on a problem i was having at the law office… well that took all of 10 minutes.

by the time everyone came home, the kids came in singing “SOS” in the way teenage girls can only do.  3 was pretty shrill.. i couldn’t imagine how 6000 of them sounded like. 

today patti and i are going to the ranch to start preparing the people out there for the easter program we are putting on in a few weeks.  it’s all comming together.  hopefully things will settle down once all this drama is over.