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Blog Archives for September 2011

Rochester Fall Crawl

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 - Comments (0) in Life

This past weekend was the 2011 Rochester Fall Crawl.  This sort of thing usually isn't my scene since I'm not a big drinker, but a friend of mine has a band that was playing at one of the bars and another friend was supposed to run the sound for them but had to cancel at the last minute due to husbandly responsibilities. I was asked to fill in for him.

In case you aren't aware, when I was in college I used to work for the RIT Tech Crew doing sound for various events on campus from speaking engagements to concerts. It has been quite a few years since doing anything like this, but it's just like riding a bike. All the gear belonged to my friend Ed and I was familiar with most of it.

They were supposed to start playing at 6pm so we all arrived at The Pig around 4pm. As expected the stage was not setup and nobody was around. It wasn't until 4:45-5pm when the stage was setup and I could finally start setting stuff up. The setup was simple, a 12 channel board, an amp for front of house, an amp for the two monitor mixes and like 7 or 8 inputs (mics/instuments). The last thing I had to do was plug-in the monitors when I realized I was missing a few 1/4" cables. I needed two to go from the board to the amp and they were nowhere to be found. Once I got over my heart attack I just decided to run the monitors off the less powerful amp built into the mixer. This was decided and done at about 5:55pm while people were starting to show up, nothing like pressure. There wasn't any time for a soundcheck so I just flew by the seat of my pants. It brought back some great memories.

I did try to record the audio using a laptop but just couldn't get it working well enough with time and equipment. Of all the laptops I have, none of them have a line-level inputs, they only have mic-level inputs. In real-world terms that's like the difference between whispering in someone's ear verses screaming at the top of your lungs into their ear. The laptop was expecting the whisper...so when fed a line-level signal out of the board it was really crunchy and clipped no matter how low I set the output. Oh well, maybe next time.

The show ended up being great. They played for about 2 hour then we packed it all up and hung out. It was a great time. I was totally beat by the end of the night so I didn't last long. We were a couple blocks from our favorite cupcakery so we took a walk down there on the way home and got some treats.

Outer Banks Season 4

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 - Comments (0) in Life, Vacation

It's the end of summer, so that means it's time to go to Nags Head for vacation! We did things a bit different this year; rather than flying down to Richmond and staying with my sister the day before and drive to NC, we left on check-in day and flew to Norfolk where we rented a car and drove directly there. This scenario cost a bit more having to rent a car but worked out better in the end because we had our own car and only had to drive 1.5 hours to get there. The drive from Richmond is 3+ hours usually with heavy traffic.

We stayed at the same house as the last three years: Sunny Daze. I really like this house; it's big, comfortable and has great accommodations. My only annoyances with the house are splinters I get from the deck, the loud sliding door and the lack of a VGA input on the flat-screen TV.

me on the beach

Claire on the beach

The weather was beautiful the entire time we were there. Unfortunately, we were only there for 4 days. The last week in August is also in hurricane season and Irene was making her way toward us. Wednesday night we found out that all visitors were being evacuated from Dare county, so we had to leave. I got on the horn with Delta and got our flight switched from Sunday to Thursday and we packed up and left at 6am the next morning. That's when the shitfest started.

I was slightly worried about hitting traffic on the way from Nags Head to Norfolk because of the evacuation but it wasn't bad at all. Around 20 miles into the trip Claire decides to blow chunks. She's never thrown up in the car and the last time she puked was a long time ago when she was sick. We get cleaned up as much as possible and back on the road. You can imagine what the car smelled like. Luckily there was a huge swamp fire in Virginia and the car just smelled like smoke by the time we got to the rental car drop-off. Our plane was a few minutes late and then we boarded and got on the runway. Then we sat there for an hour because JFK wasn't accepting flights. When you have 2 square feet of space and a squirmy 1.5yr old on your lap an hour is an eternity. We finally get to JFK to find that our connecting flight to ROC was cancelled. I spoke with the people at the desk and they said they put us on standby on a 4pm flight and a 10pm flight. This kind of irked me, there were seats available on that 4pm flight but they said they couldn't just assign them to us we had to go standby. Of course that first flight was delayed a couple times but eventually we did get on that flight - got the last 2 seats. We checked 3 bags in Norfolk, one suitcase each and our puke covered carseat. Guess which bag they didn't lose? Yup, that puke covered car seat was the only thing on the carousel. And the final WTF for this day was while trying to pay and leave the parking lot at the airport, the machine ate my ticket and wouldn't accept any credit cards, it just locked up. There was no attendant so after getting someone on the intercom we had to wait 15 minutes for the supervisor the drive over and manually let me out of the lot. During this time I considered just ramming the gate or going "out the in" but I was a good boy.