News From The Woods.40


By Bob Ketchum

Originally Published July 17, 2000

"Independence Eve 2000"

This just in concerning my band "Spilt Milk":
Well, we survived the July 3rd Independence Eve Celebration, despite Mother Nature's committment to rain us out! I swear, as we watched NEXRAD radar on the Internet throughout the afternoon, there was only ONE storm cell moving through our area. Once it got to our county it just "hung" there - seemingly right above our very heads. It rained from 2:30 to about 5PM and then slacked off enough for us to get a false sense of security. We loaded up the gear and took off for the ferry landing, located two miles from the studio. But as soon as we arrived and started unloading the gear it began to pour. In the five minutes it took us to grab the drums and bring on board we were all drenched from head to toe. It rained for a solid hour. By 7PM (the scheduled time to depart shore) the guests had all arrived and we were still setting up our gear. The cloud hovered stubbornly over the main body of the lake (also where the fireworks were to be set off) and would not budge. We finally motored the barge up the lake about 4 miles where the rain had subsided to only a trickle. Finally, by 9PM - scheduled starting time for the fireworks display - we made our way back to the main body of the lake. There were a thousand or more boats sitting there in the twilight waiting for the fireworks to begin. And I must say, to my pal Kent Jones' credit, he pulled it all off despite the inclimate weather. I don't know how he managed to load all the mortars and get everything set while it was still raining, but he somehow did it, and without even delaying the start of the show. All in all, it turned out to be a great evening on the lake after the rain stopped. I think we only had about 6 people who didn't show up due to the weather, and many old friends who hadn't seen each other in years renewed old friendships. Like the old saying goes: "A good time was had by all"


A good friend of mine recently visited the studio and took some digital photos of our audio/video control room. He then returned to his facility where he seamlessly integrated these images into a 360-degree panorama, then using Javascript he created a way to view the image on the Internet. The result can be viewed here. By using your mouse you can pan to the left or right and do a complete circle of view within the control room of the studio. Furthermore, by using your "A" and "Z" keys you can zoom in and out of the image. With the image zoomed in you can then use the mouse to go up and down in the image. It's a pretty cool way of viewing the control room. For more of these "Virtual Tours" I invite you to go check out Dave Almond's site here. I understand he's getting a LOT of business from local real estate companies who maintain online services. I have visited some of the sites he has set up with his "virtual tour" panaromas and they are impressive. It's pretty nice (as a potential home buyer) to actually "see" all around the back yard or do a 360 of a large, expansive living room.

The new editors of NewTekniques Magazine, which I write articles and reviews for, have decreed that NO LONGER will their online content require a password !! Previously, one had to subscribe to the hard copy version of the magazine in order to find the "hidden password" which enables you to actually go to the online content section. While this certainly promotes buying a subscription, I have always felt it also crippled the online section and kept content from being accessible to the masses who search the Internet for information. Apparently the new editors agree with me and have opened up the "bonus" section online for all to see. I have therefore listed all my online articles in one place for easy access. This means you don't have to go to the main NewTekniques index page and weed your way through all the sections on each individual issue in order to find my articles. My contributions are called "The Idea Factory", and can be accessed directly from HERE.

And now, in addition, I have been commissioned to start writing a series of articles on audio, as relating to the NewTek Toaster/Flyer system. The introductory column can be found HERE.

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