The Techno Deep End

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I was just involved in a discussion about codecs. I have truly fallen into the techno deep end.

We’re gearing up for Nebraska. It’s safe to say we’ll be on as soon as we’re ready… and that’s soon.

At the moment I’m in the midst of doing things that only need to be done once–never again. Adobe Premiere is converting background animations into 300 still file collections. It’s a slow process, but allows my TriCaster to make believe it’s more powerful than it is!

After the conversion, looping animations will play without using one of my two video players. It’s a big deal, trust me.

Every time I try something new I learn more about what this box can do for me.

Next up, preparing forecast page fonts offline. The TriCaster can do it. I just have no idea how, yet.

Happy In The Hospital

11215868_1061850353826563_5621723490089645460_nMy dad is still in the hospital. He’s comfortable and getting the attention he deserves. He’s happy in the hospital.

“You know, Geoffrey, if it wasn’t for Jerry I probably wouldn’t be alive today.”

Jerry is one of my father’s neighbors at the assisted living facility. It was Jerry who called 911 to get an ambulance. My dad just wanted to go back to his apartment.

“You’re sick, Harold.”

The decision was made for my dad… the right decision.

Thank you, Jerry. You did a mitzvah.

My dad’s upcoming procedure is called TAVR, transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Replacing heart valves isn’t new. Replacing them without cracking open the chest is. At nearly 90 my dad isn’t a candidate for anything truly invasive.

So far he has undergone one major prerequisite test with another to follow. The cardiac team is very conscious of my father’s already compromised kidneys. They’re allowing the dye used in the tests to be fully processed before moving on. We’re hoping the TAVR might take place this coming week.

He’ll also be getting a pacemaker somewhere in this process. Exactly when is unclear. My dad tries very hard but never hears all the words.

Let’s face it, just being 90 is a fulltime job!

I called a little while ago. He sounded great and why not? He has a fresh audience for all his jokes. He is surrounded by young people who call him by name and show him deserved respect. Meals are delivered. He’s got his iPad and WiFi.

Stef, who is with us today, got on the phone. He liked that too.

My dad isn’t in the hospital without great family support. My sister, Trudi, and brother-in-law Jeff have been there every day. They are the ones bearing most of the work. Having a parent in the hospital is a fulltime job too.

What’s going on is very delicate and dangerous work. We all understand the risk, no one more than my dad. And yet we’re all confident this is the right path and the outcome will be just what we wanted.

In the meantime, my dad’s got a captive audience.

Not A Good Time To Be In Florida: Erika

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Erika in the Atlantic is a threat to Florida and much of the Caribbean. A legitimate, scary threat.

Experiencing a hurricane only sounds romantic. Most people are terrorized once they realize the storm might be stronger than their home. By then you’re stuck.

As of 12:30 AM PDT

* TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* PUERTO RICO
* VIEQUES
* CULEBRA
* U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
* BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC FROM THE NORTHERN BORDER WITH HAITI EASTWARD AND SOUTHWARD TO ISLA SAONA
* SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS
* TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
* ST. MARTIN
* ST. BARTHELEMY

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC FROM ISLA SAONA TO PUNTA PALENQUE
* CENTRAL BAHAMAS

It looks like Erika will slice Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic as a tropical storm or smaller hurricane. It will strengthen as it transits the Bahamas. From there it’s a swing into the warm Florida Strait and Florida itself.

Moving north through the state, Erika would expose the Florida East Coast to very strong winds.

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Based on the HWRF, a hurricane specific forecast model, the East Coast of Florida gets 35-55 mph winds with higher gusts. High rises will feel significantly stronger winds.

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Also astounding are the rain projections. A small footnote on the rain map says there’s a max of nearly 36″ from Erika. Even the average rainfall will be significant.

Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic today. The Bahamas Saturday and Sunday. South Florida, early Monday morning.

It’s a bad place for a hurricane.

Hurricane data is very time sensitive. Always use the latest available information for decision making. That’s probably not my blog.

The Iconic Good Guys Sweatshirt — Yeah Yeah

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This is the story of a birthday gift. It’s a belated gift from my cousins Michael, Melissa and Max. It was well worth waiting for!

There were two top-40 radio stations in New York through most of the 60s. WABC was the big dog. WMCA was the obvious lower cost operation. Here’s one of their most memorable jingles.

However, WMCA had one iconic feature. Multiple times every day WMCA gave away Good Guys sweatshirts.

As far as I can tell it was the world’s first use of the smiley face!

I really, really, really wanted a WMCA Good Guy sweatshirt… and now I’ve got one!

My Dad’s In The Hospital

dad in the hospitalMy dad is in the hospital in Milwaukee tonight. He was short of breath and had pressure in his chest yesterday. That gets you lights and sirens!

My dad’s health issues can be summarized in the one sentence he has said to me more than once.

“You know, Geoffrey, I’m old.”

That he is. My father will be 90 in October. He has a long list of health concerns. His most pressing problem is a blocked and leaking heart valve.

Until recently he’d be out-of-luck. Heart surgery is more than he can take. There’s a new procedure to insert the valve through a catheter, then open it once its in place.

The New York Times had a major story on this in June.

With the procedure, a new valve is folded up and slipped into a catheter — a thin, flexible tube — which is then put into a blood vessel in the groin. When the catheter reaches the base of the aorta — the large blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body — the doctor opens a balloon that inflates the valve. The old valve remains, pushed aside by the new. Patients are awake and only lightly anesthetized.

“You are putting a valve right above the heart,” said Dr. Lawrence H. Cohn, a Harvard heart surgeon. “If you are not careful, you could obstruct one of the coronary arteries, causing a big heart attack. This is not child’s play. It is not for the fainthearted.”

Tests that were going to span a month have been accelerated. Yesterday’s incident has squeezed the timeline.

My sister is in charge. She was at the hospital yesterday and today. You would want Trudi to be your medical advocate. She’s tough when she needs to be.

If the surgery is successful, as we hope, the change for my dad should be instantaneous. As soon as his blood flow improves his strength and stamina will follow suit. It will be as if a switch had been thrown!

Ninety is still ninety. My dad has one eye, trouble hearing and shakes like a leaf fluttering in the fall breeze.

But he is mentally sharp. He enjoys life. He’s not done yet.

This Is Not A Horse Race

There was no substance. Since when are presidential campaigns covered the way US covers the Kardashians?

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Like Jumping On A Speeding Train

I have jumped onto a speeding train! There are emails and conference calls and loose ends everywhere. I’m doing my best not to fall off.

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Heroes

Meanwhile, pilots are flying ancient DC-10s, chosen because of their low speed handling and ability to climb fast, not far above the treetops. Their job is to drop thousands of gallons of flame retardant to snuff out the flames. They follow smaller guide planes which lead them in.

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I’m A Travelling Man

A lot of lane changing is necessary.

It is by far the most challenging road I’ve driven on a regular basis.

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Bring Your Dog To Work Day

He was in the parking lot as we drove up and immediately picked Doppler up and held her. She peed all over his shirt! That’s a definite first.

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