It’s All Over In Palm Springs

geoff palms out

It’s all over for me in Palm Springs. It’s been an open secret I’ve known about for a few months. Still, I’m very sad.

Friday was supposed to be my last day, instead it’s yesterday.

KMIR was an incredible opportunity to show my idea works. There’s no necessity for the meteorologist to be at the station as long as he or she cares about what they’re doing. I was on-the-air every day from my garage studio, 105 miles away.

It looked so good few knew and no one cared. Am I allowed to say it felt like my best work?

A few months ago a new general manager came to the station. He made it clear his biggest weather goal was to have someone “who would visit kindergartens.”

I was offered the job, if I’d move. I said I’d prefer to complete the deal I already had. They terminated my contract.

They are allowed to do that. Cancellation was built in should my plan be technically unfeasible. What they did was OK by the letter, not the spirit.

I very much enjoyed working for KMIR. More so, I REALLY love what the Coachella Valley is. It is unlike any other place I’ve worked. An unusual mix of people drawn together. It’s wonderful.

A manager told me there’s been a steady stream of calls and emails since my replacement was announced. They wanted to know if I’d be permitted to stay.

I’ve been in the market less than a year. He was surprised. I was gratified.

I assume more will call Monday when this becomes clear.

It’s on to Nebraska, where we’ll have four stations before the end of the year and I’ll have lots of weather to forecast. They get lots of weather in Nebraska.

Happy Birthday Gets Sprung

happy-birthday-sheet music

You know which song you never hear on TV or sung by the waitstaff at Friday’s? Happy Birthday.

The reason is simple. Happy Birthday is owned by Warner/Chappell Music Inc. At least that was their claim.

For years they’ve collected millions in public performance fees. That stops today.

U.S. District Judge George H. King determined the song’s original copyright, obtained by the Clayton F. Summy Co. from the song’s writers, only covered specific piano arrangements of the song and not its lyrics. The basic tune of the song, derived from another popular children’s song, “Good Morning to All,” has long been in the public domain. – AP via Yahoo!

Expect to hear it on the radio a lot over the next few days.

This will surely be appealed. Happy Birthday is the goose that lays the golden egg. It seems silly how our copyright laws have been twisted to prevent just what copyright limitations were supposed to allow!

A Cable? Seriously A ****ing Cable?


My studio’s control room was rebuilt this weekend. Everything is fantastic. I’m very happy.

But the story doesn’t end there…

Starting Sunday night I noticed a few random hits on my video between the control room and my ‘transmitter’. On Monday it got worse.

The Dejero VSET LIVE+ was throwing a fit. As soon as one of these bad patches of video hit it, it would unlock the sound and picture. Out of sync! Then it would freeze.


I began to troubleshoot the problem. I’m not going to detail everything, but I wiped the TriCaster clean then reloaded all the software and patches… twice. I swapped cables and plugs and everything else swappable.

Twenty hours and a boatload of angst later I think I’ve found the cause. A cable. A ****ing.

This cable has been lying in place since I built the studio in January. One end was moved a few feet this weekend.

I ran out of alternatives. It was the least likely thing to check. I ran to Home Depot to fetch a temporary replacement.

A problem like this can turn your life upside down. It did mine. All of this is my responsibility. I can’t call Al in Engineering.

I was eating my kishkes out.


HDMI HDCP error message

With my additional desk real estate comes two changes to my studio.

First, there are two additional monitors and a laptop. My TriCaster, running on a PC and the focal point of the desk, is never used as a PC. The laptop is my office computer. The two other monitors are for my prompter and controlling the Dejero VSET LIVE. Its monitor used to sit on the floor!

Second, I brought down the cable box from my upstairs office. It’s HDMI. My TriCaster is HDMI. Why not wire it in so I can watch TV?

Right. There’s no way AT&T or any rights holder is going to let me have unprotected video in my switcher. They should. I’m a paying customer.

HDMI is protected by HDCP. Try to watch cable on anything but a TV. It stops working. Your cable company in action.

HDCP stands for High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection, a copy protection scheme to eliminate the possibility of intercepting digital data midstream between the source to the display.

There is a way around this. The cable box also outputs unprotected YPbPr video. It’s analog and will have to be converted to HDMI. In other words, I can use it if I allow it to be crapped up first and spent $30 for the box and cables to do it.

This is one reason (of many) people are cable cutting. Rights protection is making it too difficult to use what you’re paying for. And these locks only keep out honest people.

It’s Mission Control



My studio produces some beautiful video. But, to see it… that’s another story.

The studio was built by me and there were lots of guesses made. That included my desk. On it sat nearly all my equipment. Terrible choice.

It looked like Uncle Ernie’s basement ham radio ‘shack.’

I asked my design team, Helaine and Stef, to find an “L” shaped desk. More space was the goal.

They came home smiling. Actually, more grinning.

“Mission Control, Greg.” That’s all Stef would say.

She and Helaine had gone to a new and used office furniture store and found a huge “U” shaped desk. My guess is it was so big they couldn’t get rid of it. It was a steal to be delivered Saturday morning.

I spent much of Friday night dismantling my studio. A new desk meant starting over. That’s not all bad news. I’ve caught on to how all the pieces fit. Equipment can be placed in a more logical fashion.

The desk is immense and perfect!

All the equipment is plugged in and turned on. Nearly all the wires are out-of-sight. Five monitors sit on the desk.

Everything works!

Stef was right. Mission Control!





Too Complex And Sophisticated To Be In A Garage

Any technical snafu means a redo. You learn to make fewer mistakes. Snafu’s suck and I can only get mad at myself. Helaine laughs because I sometimes chastise myself aloud after a screw-up. I call myself, Geoffrey.

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I Swear This Is True

This evening Helaine told me of her plans to go out Friday. I stopped to tell her it was a bad idea. Friday would be rainy with thunderstorms. Then I realized, that’s Nebraska. Seriously, I did. I am juggling two very different places right now. Palm Springs is in the desert surrounded by mountains on […]

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Fox Family Health Report

I spoke to my dad and sister today. This was a good day for my father with excellent news. As it stands now, my father still needs the TAVR procedure, which means he needs another scan with dye inserted into his bloodstream. The dye used is tough on kidneys. My father’s kidneys are already compromised. […]

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The Cold Saga: Day Three

A lot of coughing and sneezing today. My throat’s not too bad. My nose hasn’t been stuffed, yet. Small miracles. I’m thankful. This weekend’s Festival of Naps seems to have paid off. Having time to nap is a luxury. I understand. So far today I’ve done eight segments on four newscasts (plus recorded safeties) for […]

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Cold Update

Colds are squirrely things. This one’s abandoned my throat and moved to my nose. I can no longer safely be more than a few steps from a tissue. You can be sick in so many worse says, yet a cold is its own special hell. This was another multi-nap day. I might have broken a […]

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