Oct 17

‘There’s a magic in the sound of their name’

Where am I? One last clue from earlier this morning:

OK, one more clue:

Yes! Notre Dame! How did you guess? How do you do it? The exterior photo above is of O’Neill Hall, a building they’ve just recently opened after a $25 million dollar gift that helped change everything about the football stadium. Which is why I’m visiting. I’m taking a tour of their new television facilities. They have a gorgeous new setup and it is being used for classes, athletics and for the church. It is a unique situation Notre Dame has, of course, and it sounds like they are putting a great strategy together.

When you hear about 4K or HDR shoots, it is probably coming through a camera like this.

That’s a pretty nice multiview you have there, Irish. This is one of a handful of control rooms that are are all tied together. They built out a quality facility:

It was a nice day trip. We had breakfast, heard about how they built their gear out, enjoyed a fire alarm, had lunch, took a tour of their new production facilities and then it is time to get back on the road.

Incidentally, I’ve now enjoyed two fire alarms in two college buildings on two college campuses within 24 hours.

Anyway, this is an exterior shot of the famed Notre Dame Stadium:

Apropos of all of that, you can see the highlights from my previous trip to South Bend here and here

It was such a lovely, gray day in South Bend that I took a walk in some of the off-campus touristy areas. And I saw this:

You lose two shoes, well, that’ll happen. You lose one shoe, that’s a story.

Also, I discovered that they have Limebike. No locks or bike mounting system necessary. They charge $1 per ride and, like a good pusher, your first ride free.

On the way back, I stopped off at IKEA. It was their opening day. I went to IKEA during the grand opening.

It wasn’t as bad as Christmas shopping, to be honest. And I managed to pick up all three things I wanted.

Sep 17

Operation Splinter, part three

I did not give you the update on Wednesday, but there was work done on the current super secret project. For more on how little of this I’ve told you about it, you can find part one here and see part two here.

Anyway, on Wednesday I spent about three hours working on my cereal smuggling submersible project. As I mentioned previously, I am on step two of the build. This second step has three phases. Last week I progressed through the first two of those three phases. Wednesday, I made it into the beginning of the third phase of the second step of the project.

(Everybody got that?)

And so it was that I found myself under a threatening rain cloud on a Friday afternoon, driving way out into the countryside to pick up a few tools from a co-worker who was kind enough to loan me some speciality items. You can’t just build a cereal smuggling submersible project like this with a hammer and nails alone, no sir. This third phase will involve, as I said last week, two precise series of calibrations. I’ll lay all of that out tomorrow and complete step two over the course of the weekend.

The good news is that laying the keel the third phase of step two of my cereal smuggling submersible project will go quickly, and I may also get to the beginning of the third step this weekend, too.

And if I make it through the third step with my sanity intact or without breaking too many things then the end will be in sight. Step four has two parts and the fifth and final step is really just a question of putting the cereal smuggling sub in the water installation.

So if you come by this weekend, you’re in for a treat.

Also, you’re in for another sort of treat. Today is the first day of Catember. Use that link, or just visit every day, for the last on The Black Cat’s adventures.

Aug 17

What do you think he’s thinking?

Saw this guy on the way back from lunch today. It was cloudy when we set out, started raining before we got back inside and then waited it out before going back to the office. So the timing was just right and the preying mantis was probably wondering where all that water came from and why it suddenly stopped when we happened by.

Preying Mantis

And what’s the story with these creatures holding these rectangular things so close to my face? Don’t they know I could eat them?

Isn’t it interesting, that when you anthropomorphize a creature you give it some rational thought processes, create the cute barrier between them and us by a valley of not understanding some aspect of our lives like cameras, but then give them the power of understanding human constructs, like shapes?

It’s like a two block walk back to our building. I have time to think a few things through, is what I’m saying.

Hey, here’s a book, let’s look in it!

Reader's Digest

I have a stack of my grandfather’s books. Text books, technical manuals, encyclopedias and old magazines. A little at a time I am adding some of the cooler things to the site. You can see the first few things I found in this 1960 Reader’s Digest here. You can see the entire collection right here.

Aug 17

Hurry up, cookie

With this evening’s dinner came this good news:


The obvious reply is … Well?

And the obvious retort is “You got lucky numbers on the next line, pal. This is an American thing, not some ancient mystic wisdom. This is from a factory in Manitowoc, Wisconsin or some place and not from a specifically catered-to-you diving insight. We use a javascript the boss’s nephew wrote to randomize these notes, after all.”

Which is funny in its own way. The last time we ordered Chinese we got four cookies. Two cookies each! My fortunes were identical. So someone in Manitowoc needs to step it up.

In our undying effort to set the record straight, Wikipedia will now tell us where fortune cookies are made:

The largest manufacturer of the cookies is Wonton Food Inc., headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. They make over 4.5 million fortune cookies per day. Another large manufacturer are Baily International in the Midwest and Peking Noodle in the Los Angeles area. There are other smaller, local manufacturers including Tsue Chong Co. in Seattle, Keefer Court Food in Minneapolis and Sunrise Fortune Cookie in Philadelphia. Many smaller companies will also sell custom fortunes.

So be on the lookout the next time you get a fortune cookie. Then maybe you start a spreadsheet and see whose cookies have the highest rate of prophetic accuracy.

Here’s a fine looking building:

Monroe County Courthouse

Find out more about it on the historic markers site. There are more interesting and important local places you can see right here.

And I think you should read this on Twitter:

It’s nice to see the public-facing Bill Murray have such a nice year. Seems the least the universe can do.

I hope he didn’t steal my luck, though. The fortune cookie came to me, after all.

Aug 17

There’s a lot of odd stuff in this post, so, the usual

Do you know the significance of this building? It has some important history.

You’ll learn about this building on the most recent addition to the historic markers site. If you just can’t get enough of the historical markers you can see them all right here.

Today I helped put stickers on cameras for a few minutes. All of that Sunday school training paid off. Except for on the few stickers that were a millimeter or two off-center here or there. (But don’t tell.) Four stickers per camera. One on the body, one on the lens, another on the power adaptor — it does a slow focus pull in video mode — and another on the external microphone.

This is the funniest cruel thing — is it the funniest, cruel thing or the cruelest, funny thing? — that I’ll watch. The premise is the expert explains the topic over hot peppers. Some people get through it just fine, this lady tells an interesting story and she’s really hurting. And I’m sympathetic to her plight. But I learned some neat things:

We watched this last night. Just an incredible hour of television, which took place in 2005 and I just discovered. It is amazing, in a way, that this made it to network television. And it was the fourth highest rated episode of the last season of West Wing. And of course, this would never happen in real life, ever. But it is a fun watch:

The West Wing S 7 Ep 07 – The Debate

Or maybe you just have to be a certain kind of viewer to appreciate that. But I enjoyed that, didn’t want it to end. I dreaded it ending, and how often do you say that about a single episode of television? I realized why Alan Alda is there and put away, for an hour, my Unifying Theory of Alda, because this was more important, than that. Which is saying something for a fictitious debate in a non-existent presidential campaign in a world that we don’t live in — with issues similar to ours.

But, then, I spent a lot of my master’s degree working on debates and writing and researching campaign material, so maybe you have to be an especially specific kind of viewer. I’m going to have to stop it during the opening credits right now, or I’ll end up watching the thing again …