billroper: (Default)
I got more and less accomplished this weekend than I might have hoped. I never did make it to the studio to do any mixing. But the house is ready for the cleaning lady to come tomorrow, thanks to a couple of rounds of cleaning over the weekend.

And the ceiling in the bathroom is finally painted. The girls had a lovely sleepover with one friend and a pool party at a different friend's house today.

I am now ready to go to the bank to handle a variety of deposits that need to be made to sort out various financials. The late sales tax return for ISFiC was filed.

And the steaks, which I had purchased to grill on Saturday, were finally introduced to the charcoal today. :)

I so needed this weekend. :)
billroper: (Default)
Something is seriously wrong down on the studio computer. I'm not sure what, but I'm getting errors when opening projects in Cubase 9.0.20 complaining that some of the UA plugins are disabled. There are plugins in some of the projects that I've disabled, because I have dropped them out of the mix, but wanted the option of dropping them back in. That's never been a problem before.

Of course, I'm not sure that I've actually tried doing anything with Cubase 9.0.20 since I loaded the upgrade. I do know that the menus vanish when I open a project, although you can see each entry as you mouse across it. And some of the things seem to work, but whenever you try to close a project, Cubase hangs up in interesting ways and crashes.

I tried loading the latest UA software, but that didn't help. I also tried loading the latest video drivers -- same result.

It's possible that the second Mackie Control unit representing the X-Touch Extender is causing Cubase to lose its little mind. I can try disabling that later and see what happens.

Or it could be a Windows Update that's taken the whole thing over the edge.

But there's a whole lot that's not right at the moment.

In other news, one of the screws broke off in the wall for the banister leading upstairs, so I have had to remove it from the wall before someone kills themselves on it.

And I almost got four loads of laundry done today, except it looks like the last load somehow contained a load of polyester fiber fill that completely clogged the lint trap on the dryer and is going to require a lot of vacuuming and the rewashing of the entire load. I'm not sure exactly what was in there, but it clearly didn't belong there.

I would like to know who has been feeding the mogwai after midnight.

And who got them wet.
billroper: (Default)
There is no softball today, nor baseball, nor parties -- other than the end-of-season pool party for the softball league this evening -- so it is time to start moving the pile of things that need to be done. So far today, I have:

  • Bought memberships for Musecon
  • Reserved hotel rooms for OVFF and Windycon
  • Gone to Sam's Club to pick up staples and things for dinner
  • Started three loads of shirts
  • Updated the video drivers on the studio computer
  • Put the broken banister back up on the basement stairs
  • Thrown the ball for Ruby

    As far as that last, well, you have to have priorities or nothing gets done. :)
  • billroper: (Default)
    The phone arrived today, a day earlier than FedEx had predicted, but on schedule for what Ting had promised. Score one for Ting. :)

    The mics are still apparently in transit. As things worked out today, there wasn't time to plug them in anyway.

    The phone is now (mostly) configured and up and running. I am happy to report that it has working GPS...
    billroper: (Default)
    The new back for my phone arrived today, I having ordered one to replace the back that had lost two of the locking tabs right next to each other at the top. I popped it on and then went to test a few things. Unfortunately, the camera wasn't working. So I took the back off and started disassembling the phone. It turned out that when I had popped the motherboard out, I had inadvertently left the connector for the camera underneath the board and disconnected. So I fixed that.

    Unfortunately, the GPS still isn't working since I pulled the phone apart to fix the power switch, which is making Ingress (and anything else that needs GPS) increasingly problematic. I'm working on some ideas here, but so far, no luck.

    On the other hand, the new arms for my desk chair arrived today. These, from a different source, are not the same as the original arms, but they do fit on the chair perfectly.

    So it's progress.
    billroper: (Default)
    Some days, you get things done in dribs and drabs.

    We swept up the generalized debris from the floor, as Katie had friends coming over to rehearse for the talent show and it was best that they not step on anything that Ruby the Dog had reduced to rubble.

    I extracted a globe from one of the two remaining medium boxes in the library and we ended up putting it where a bottle brush plant had died. It looks better than the dead plant. :)

    Gretchen and I sorted out a bunch of stuff on the kitchen table. This doesn't seem like much if you haven't seen our kitchen table, which is where all things in the house go to disappear. And I skimmed through the pile of newspapers that had been on the table, which means that we have kennel fodder for some time to come.

    And we pulled all the known Dodeka invoices and wrote checks to pay them. (Well, save for one that needs to go out via PayPal where I need to check the address.)

    The stuff that was supposed to go to the basement has yet to make it to the basement, but it'll do for today. :)
    billroper: (Default)
    Gretchen had threatened an assault on the library, which still has a number of boxes left unpacked since the renovation in the summer of 2015. Late this afternoon, I decided to take a run at it.

    I managed to empty and break down three medium U-Haul boxes. Not all of the things in them have arrived at their final resting places, but it's progress. This gets us down to two medium boxes in the room, both of which seem to contain mostly "kid-stuff" of one kind or another.

    In the meantime, we found (in no particular order):

  • The Raiders of the Lost Ark framed mini-poster that Gretchen gave me, which will hang over the pinball machine in the basement once it is unearthed.
  • My SCA knife
  • The French language manual for the Yamaha mixer, which has now gone into recycling
  • Julie's Fluttershy stuffed pony
  • My missing baseball glove :)
  • Two Cardinals baseball caps, one that fits, one that doesn't
  • A whole bunch of Cubs bobblehead dolls from ballpark giveaways
  • And other items too numerous to be listed here...

    Hey, it's progress!
  • Oops

    Jan. 3rd, 2017 10:54 pm
    billroper: (Default)
    It appears that my bedside alarm clock has been dropped on the floor by little girls one too many times, because it did not go off this morning, despite being set to do so. This meant that I woke up to get ready for my first day back at work after vacation about 40 minutes later than I'd intended to.

    I've ordered a new alarm clock which should be here on Thursday. In the meantime, I have my phone. :)
    billroper: (Default)
    Julie (for a variety of complex reasons) wanted to watch a DVD on the player in our bedroom. After arguing with her for a while, I fired it up.

    "Fired" being the operative word.

    The player lurched along trying to play the disk, but not actually seeming to send any signal to the new TV. Eventually, I smelled the nasty smell that indicated that the magic smoke had escaped from the electronic device, which had reached the end of its life.

    Of course, the DVD was still in the player, so I had to disassemble it to get the DVD out.

    And I found the six-sided die someone had stuck into the VCR slot of this seven year old combo unit.

    I don't actually think the die had anything to do with killing the player. The VCR half, maybe, but not the DVD side.


    Must be time to buy a new disc player. (But not a 4K one. Those are still damnably expensive.)
    billroper: (Default)
    I believe I have now spent enough money for the moment.

    I have recently purchased:

  • A new NAS, because I needed more storage.
  • New tires for Gretchen's van, because it needed more tread.
  • A new chair for the studio, because I needed a place to sit there that didn't wreck my back.
  • A new TV for the bedroom, because the old TV was in the process of failing and the Black Friday pricing on the set that I really wanted to replace it with was good enough to push me over the edge.

    The last two of these arrived today. And although there will be Christmas shopping, I think I'm going to try to avoid any more major capital purchases. :)

    (Katie has laid claim to the old chair from the studio which I'll move upstairs in a few days. I need to have time to swap the casters on it for the casters that are safe for the hardwood floors that are on the chair that she wants to swap out for it.)
  • billroper: (Default)
    When I got my Behringer X-Touch control surface, one of the first things I did was to make little tiny labels for the buttons so I could remap it for use with Cubase. This was easy to do with my Brother P-touch label maker.

    Of course, all I had was white tape. The white labels stood out. Like a sore thumb.

    Earlier this week, I was poking around on Amazon and found a source for black tape with white lettering, which -- even on the gray parts of the background! -- was likely to look a lot better than the white labels. So I ordered the tape, which arrived earlier this week.

    There was then the question of finding the time to do the relabeling. But after today's early morning softball game was rained out (finally, while we were on the way there after getting up earlier than usual -- not the coach's fault in any sense, but the local park district taking their sweet time reaching a decision), we were able to go to the pancake breakfast at the girls' school. Then I came home and paid the bills, after which we took Katie to Glenview for a birthday party. And after we got lunch and picked her back up, we came home and a bit later, I got to relabel the control surface.

    Nice looking bunch of labels there. Shame you haven't actually mixed anything...

    Ikea Redux

    Sep. 24th, 2016 11:53 pm
    billroper: (Default)
    Having bought a chair for Katie's desk, I found myself taking Julie to Ikea today after the girls' softball game. We had picked out and shared with Julie a nice wooden chair looking at the online catalog. Julie had approved of it.

    Until the moment that we were heading toward the store. And she asked, "Can I have a chair with wheels?"

    Well, Katie had a chair with wheels. "OK. As long as it doesn't cost too much."

    After Julie sat in every wheeled chair in the store (some of them twice), we eventually settled on a nice little task chair with a blue frame and sky blue cushions that would fit nicely in her room and under her desk.

    I also bought new cushions for the other lawn chairs while I was there that will go into storage until spring.

    And I bought some tablet and laptop stands for the girls and for the studio.

    Dangerous place, Ikea.


    Sep. 17th, 2016 10:09 pm
    billroper: (Default)
    A bit of online research confirmed that there were likely some suitable desk chairs for Katie at Ikea. Better yet, they had cushions of the right size for our patio furniture for a good bit less than we'd found them for online. So Katie and I headed in that direction today.

    We didn't end up with the chair that I had initially looked at the night before, but the one we found was eminently satisfactory. And the cushions that Ruby chewed up from the patio furniture have now been replaced with cushions that are substantially better.

    I'll count this as a success any day. :)
    billroper: (Default)
    Julie's precious blanket, Buni, turned up missing tonight while I was at the Windycon meeting. When I got home, Gretchen headed back to Walmart to see if she could find him there, but failed. There was much misery when she returned.

    And a moment ago, Julie popped out of her bed, looked in our bedroom, and found Buni in a laundry basket underneath a giant stuffed hedgehog.

    billroper: (Default)
    We went out for lunch today and by the end of our odyssey, we had accomplished our furniture buying, going to two thrift shops, Target, and the furniture store with the desk of Katie's desire. Sadly, the last of the four was the one with the fixed delivery charge instead of my being able to pick up the desk there next week, but the desk should show up on Tuesday. The hutch, well, that's backordered until November, which I suspect has something to do with the arson fire in their warehouse.

    Anyway, Julie acquired a desk at the first thrift store which filled up the back of the minivan. The second thrift shop supplied Katie's new/old dresser which I picked up after decanting passengers and desk at home. And during the expedition, I'd put in a call to Sam and Bonnie, because I realized we were about to be overmatched by furniture.

    Sam and Bonnie arrived shortly after I got home and helped as we played furniture Tetris:

  • Move my old recliner chair from our bedroom to the hallway near the office.
  • Move my bookcase full of comic collections from Gretchen's corner of the bedroom to the spot near the door that the chair had occupied, pausing to move the loose comics into a long box.
  • Move the highboy from Katie's future bedroom to the place where the bookcase had been.
  • Move the chair into one corner of Katie's future bedroom, but then into the opposite corner as it became obvious what a bad plan the first corner had been.
  • Bring the dresser upstairs and put it in place in Katie's room.
  • Bring the desk upstairs and put it in place in the girls' current room.
  • Collapse in a heap.

    But Julie loves her new desk and has already set things up around it. Katie wants to be putting clothes in her dresser, but Gretchen plans to Febreze the drawers and line them with shelf paper first.

    And we still need to clean out the closet in her future room, which suffers from debris of all kinds, some of which has been in there since the room was our recording studio some time near the end of the previous millennium.

    It's progress. And I am grateful to Sam and Bonnie for coming out on short notice and making all of this furniture moving possible without killing someone. (Probably me.)
  • Last Swim

    Sep. 4th, 2016 10:14 pm
    billroper: (Default)
    The neighborhood pool is open for one last weekend, so we went over there with Sam and Bonnie today and swam around for an hour and a half or so. The weather was just warm enough for this to be reasonable. :)

    The pool's open tomorrow too, but we'll be off to the Cubs Family Day down at Wrigley Field. This year, Katie and Julie intend to take their baseball gloves and throw a softball around on the field. I guess I'd better bring a camera. :)

    In other news, another minor project was accomplished by putting plastic shelf liner down in the linen closet over the two wire shelves that are holding "all the things that fall over on wire shelves". This also allowed us to get rid of a great many expired medications.
    billroper: (Default)
    Yesterday, I finally finished up the C++ code to fix the calculation problem that had crept into the new builds of our product. This happened because I've done some massive rearrangement of the calculation architecture so that more things are directly data-driven rather than relying on writing a formula that has to be updated. This is a good change in general, because the data-driven calcs will execute more quickly on average, but it requires getting all of the various rules in the right order.

    Anyway, I got the fix in, put little girls to bed, and went to watch Heroes: Reborn with Gretchen. (This is the last survivor of last season's television that Gretchen is actually willing to consider watching.) When we finally finished and were heading off to bed, I realized that I was going to have to port all of the fixes from C++ to Java at some point over the long weekend and if I did it right away, it would stop hanging over me like the Sword of Damocles.

    So at 1 AM, I started porting code.

    At 3:30 AM, I crawled into bed with the port complete.

    Apparently, the old models read successfully, so I didn't mess it up too badly...

    This, however, meant that I slept very late today, so we didn't finish up getting lunch until after 2 PM. And when we got home, I set out to finish cleaning out the van, an operation that I had started while waiting for little girls to straggle out on their way to lunch.

    By the time I finished, it was around 4 PM and I had badly derailed the schedule for the day.

    The van is clean now though.

    Julie hates it.

    billroper: (Default)
    It seems that I now own a reciprocating saw.

    Why, you ask? Well, a few months ago, a friend of mine came over and helped me fix the fence to keep Ruby in and to mount the new gate hardware to make sure that the gates stayed closed. The problem was that the gate in the back fence had shifted over the years and the new hardware that I had bought would not fit in the spot that the old hardware had occupied, being of a substantially different design.

    Ted suggested shifting the hardware to a lower position on the gate, I agreed, and he screwed it all together. And life was good.

    Except that the screws holding the latch that was attached to the gate went through a single cedar plank. And given a certain amount of abuse, they loosened and one of them fell out and became lost.

    I took a look at the situation. OK, I would need two new screws and a piece of scrap wood that I could stick behind the holes and I could make this work. I picked up the screws at Home Depot and they were good enough to let me salvage a piece of scrap and home I went.

    When I screwed the new screws through the cedar plank and into the scrap wood that I'd tacked to the back of the plank with some nails, the scrap wood fell apart into pieces. This was not at all what I had in mind.

    Time to reexamine the problem. The gate swung freely at the bottom, but the cedar plank was a problem up near the top. Let's pop it off and see what everything looks like. After all, I had spare planks in the garage. The aged plank was removed and it now became apparent that the problem was with the piece of wood 2x4 at the top of the gate which had been inserted to anchor some older revision of the gate hardware at some time during the 20 years that the fence has been up. It stuck out too far.

    Well, I could fix that. If I had the right tool. But I didn't actually have a hand saw at this point in time.

    I had, however, been musing about the general usefulness of a reciprocating saw for a while now.

    So back to Home Depot I went. I checked out the rechargeable saws and determined that they were damnably expensive; I then purchased the cheapest Ryobi corded saw I could find and an extra 100 feet of extension cord in the interest of avoiding a three tripper for this project.

    Gretchen stabilized the gate while I used the new off-brand Sawzall to remove about an inch from the end of the offending 2x4. (Somewhere during the middle of sawing off this inch of extremely damp wood, it decided to rain and we unplugged and retreated to the house for ten minutes, since I think trying to use a plugged-in saw in the rain is just asking for it.) The gate now swung freely. I installed the post-side hardware, then nailed the new plank onto the gate. Screwed the gate-side hardware back in and the gate closed happily.

    And then I went back to the house to grab the saw, lopped off the excess length of cedar plank at the top, and declared victory.

    I am sure that I will find something else that I need a reciprocating saw for.

    It will come in handy some day.

    billroper: (Default)
    The new fridge arrives tomorrow. Tonight's late night activity was cleaning off the kitchen table so that we have space to temporarily store the contents of the refrigerated side while the new fridge goes in. The contents of the freezer will go in the coolers. :)

    This might work...
    billroper: (Default)
    So I need the documentation for one of the third party packages that we're using with our application at work. Normally, this would not have been a problem, because when I installed the package, it installed the documentation along with it. (Sadly, that documentation is not available online.)

    Of course, I haven't actually used the package for anything other than builds (for which we've got copies of the DLLs that I built with the installed package) in quite some time. In fact, I haven't used that package since I got the new computer and had to turn in the old one.


    Well, maybe I backed up the documentation when I backed up the old machine. Let me find the backup hard drive.

    I said, Let me find the backup hard drive.

    Apparently not. In the process of cleaning off my desk, I found a great many other things:

  • Gretchen's missing camera
  • A lot of pictures that Julie gave me that are now safely stored in a file folder in the drawer
  • My spare calculator
  • A missing stapler
  • A missing hole punch
  • Various fragmentary song lyrics for songs that were never finished
  • A bunch of USB cables
  • Other items too numerous to list. (Now how much would you pay?)

    But no hard disk.

    Eventually, it did turn up. In a place where it should have been, but under several things that had gotten piled on top of it in the cubby.

    Sadly, I did not back up that documentation.


    Time to find an installer...
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