Here’s To Printed Stuff

IMG_20150616_174741

My home studio is built around NewTek’s TriCaster Mini. I can’t overstate how important it is. It is my control room.

As with most computer applications, knowing how to operate it was pretty easy. I’m a tech envelope stretcher. It’s when you get down into the weeds that it gets a little more complex.

The TriCaster comes with the manual as a PDF file. I’ve tried to read as much as I could.

Still, I didn’t feel I was getting all that was there. I decided to see if a printed manual would make a difference.

As far as I can tell NewTek doesn’t print manuals, so I went online and found a printer who would… all 529 pages. Printed in black and white the shipping more expensive than the finished manual.

I thought I had explored the manual thoroughly before. Seeing it in print has me convinced otherwise.

I understand why tech companies do this. Why spend money on a manual which will never be opened?

Trust me. This was money well spent. Think of it as upgrading Geoff.

A Mickey Mouse Move From Walt Disney

Mickey_Mouse_normal“When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you”

Recently the Walt Disney Company wished for lower IT costs. Voila. Wish granted.

From Computerworld.com:

At the end of October, IT employees at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts were called one by one into conference rooms to receive notice of their layoffs. Multiple conference rooms had been set aside for this purpose, and in each room an executive read from a script informing the worker that their last day would be Jan. 30, 2015.

They were replaced with Indian workers here on H-1B visas. In order to receive their severance the displaced workers had to train their replacements!

Disney isn’t the only bad actor here.

From hreonline.com

Earlier this spring, a group of former employees filed suit against Southern California Edison charging the utility with abusing the H-1B program. The plaintiffs say they, too, were laid off and forced to train their replacements.

For years companies have been screaming for more H1-Bs. At the same time older workers have been screaming H-1Bs allow them to be replaced with cheaper workers from elsewhere.

This is not how H-1B is supposed to work.

From the NYTimes.com

According to federal guidelines, the visas are intended for foreigners with advanced science or computer skills to fill discrete positions when American workers with those skills cannot be found. Their use, the guidelines say, should not “adversely affect the wages and working conditions” of Americans. Because of legal loopholes, however, in practice, companies do not have to recruit American workers first or guarantee that Americans will not be displaced.

There’s a growing divide between what corporations want and what’s best for America. Disney and Southern California Edison might not care about their employees, but I do. This needs to be changed yesterday.

Worried About The Wabbits

_MG_1419

_MG_1436

_MG_1443

There were two bunnies chewing on grass as Doppler and I stepped onto the lawn this afternoon. They really are adorable with brownish grey fur and white accents around their eyes and nose. It’s only when they lift their tails a little, you see a white cotton ball!

The bunnies are out in plain sight all the time. Even with Doppler along, I easily get within eight or nine feet of them before they bolt. They are fearless. Bad idea for wabbits.

Bunnies are not the top of the food chain. We have coyotes nearby. They loved locally sourced meals.

They look so vulnerable chewing away… like bunnies. I want to warn them. I could offer our yard as a bunny sanctuary. They’re not listening.

They’re fun to have around, but for how long?

I Am Befuddled

I’ve watched the president’s proposed trade deal over the past few months. Much of that time has been spent shaking my head. Why is the president so anxious to get this deal? It seems so unDemocratic (the party, not the system).

As I understand it, the trade deal is being negotiated in secret. Even Congress has limited access to the details.

Big business has had a big hand in these negotiations. The public has been shut out.

With all due respect to big business, over the past few decades their goals and my goals aren’t usually aligned.

The few tidbits that have come out are scary. I’m sure I’m oversimplifying, but in some cases this treaty will trump or negate American law. If it’s anything like our last few trade deals the American worker and taxpayer will be the loser.

Here’s what Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a Republican, has to say:

Americans do not want this, did not ask for it, and are pleading from their hearts for their lawmakers to stop it.

The same people projecting the benefits of leaping into a colossal new economic union could not even accurately predict the impact of a standalone agreement with South Korea. The latter deal, which promised to boost our exports to them $10 billion, instead only budged them less than $1 billion, while South Korea’s imports to us increased more than $12 billion, nearly doubling our trading deficit. This new agreement will only further increase our trading deficit: opening our markets to foreign imports while allowing our trading partners to continue their non-tariff barriers that close their markets to ours.

When was the last time I agreed with this guy? Probably never!

Strangest of all the president and Republican majority are strongly aligned. The Dems are mostly against the president’s plan. When was the last time that happened.

The deal couldn’t pass muster in Washington today. A big defeat for the president. Already Republican congressional leaders are looking for ways to try again next week.

There’s more here than meets the eye. What I can see stinks.

The Traveling Relatives Hit A Snag

Southwest  WN   542 ✈ 09 Jun 2015 ✈ KSNA   KCOS ✈ FlightAware

We had a great time with my sister and brother-in-law. A long weekend was perfect for relaxation and battery recharging.

Alas, getting home was a problem!

Their flight from Orange County to Denver left on time, but ran into thunderstorms as it approached DEN. They diverted and landed in Colorado Springs to take on more fuel.

By the time they arrived in Denver, Milwaukee was out of the question. The last non-stop had left. There were no good connections.

Oh… also no hotel rooms! They spent the night at the airport.

Originally Southwest wanted them to wait for a flight this evening. Too late. Too long. Too frustrating.

Somehow they found a routing via Kansas City and Atlanta to Milwaukee. I think they’re home now. I’m scared to call and wake them.

So, SNA to MKE is really SNA, COS, DEN, MCI, ATL, MKE!

Is that what Southwest means when they say, “You’re now free to move about the country?”

Hello Blanca

This is sort of weird. Unexpected. Here I am working in Palm Springs, but in my second week talking about a hurricane. Tuesday we get a little touch of Blanca… the ragged little blob of moisture that remains. Rain is VERY unusual in Palm Springs in June. Since 1893 the greatest rainfall ever on June […]

-read more-

Does Anyone Recognize Me?

We walked into the coffee shop and before we got to our table a woman yelled out, “Geoff Fox.” Before I could catch my sister’s reaction the woman continued, “from Hartford.”

-read more-

I Am The Battery King

I ordered some higher current AAs from Amazon. As far as I can tell they wear out just as quickly as the standard batteries. The only difference was the cost. Live and learn.

-read more-

Here They Come

Trudi and Jeff arrive tomorrow morning. That’s my sister Trudi and brother-in-law (and serial first name misspeller) Jeff. They’re heading here from Milwaukee. I believe they’d like both their phones placed in a Faraday cage for the duration. They want to be off-the-grid. Guests here means prep. The carpet cleaner was in this morning. It’s […]

-read more-

Let’s Talk Weather

As you know this is the time of year the desert heats up. June 1st the average daily high at PSP (Palm Springs Int’l) is 98. The Sun is relentless. The sky is mainly cloud free. Weather stops happening. Well, not exactly. Around thirty percent of June days have any clouds at all. We average […]

-read more-