2016-Oct-10, Monday

Autumn already

2016-Oct-10, Monday 16:10
texxgadget: (Default)
To start, this morning was interesting.
I was passed in traffic by an auto transport with only 1 car on it.
The logo on the side said "Detroit Police"
The rear bumper said "001" on 1 side and "Police" on the other.
The license plate was a non govt personalized plate and I couldnt make out the state.
Across the edge of the trunk lid was "Robocop"
Im wondering if its going to or from some "Con" or something.


At a week shy of July 4, I managed to get people from our local CERT communications team to FINALLY show up to the CERT tent at July4.
Thats when I found out that CERT had totally dropped the ball for the 3rd year running and the Fire Dept didnt have manpower to man it themselves.
We kind of vindicated ourselves by bailing out CERT.

I logged some time over there in addition to my duties at main stage and looking after the KECG-FM studio backhaul. We are coming to grips that we need to spread out the work load as the whole crew is aging.
As usual, load out continued after dark and we ended up at Coreys for lasagna at midnight.

I worked for Lodema at Scottish games. I got a pair of historically accurate "ghillies".
I spent a chunk of time out with the re enactors and saw a "spring pole lathe"
Its human powered with a foot pedal and a small pole used as a spring.
The guy was turning a bowl with it.

The usual run of radio support for public events has been running since April.
The final was this last weekend.

As a kid, our family hiked the Dipsea trail at least once a year between Mill Valley & Stinson Beach.
In college I stopped doing so and in the early 2000 through public events, I began to relearn portions of the trail. Ive relearned the trail from Santos Meadow to the beach.

I dont even remember the part coming out of Mill Valley, well until this weekend.
In the past, Ive been a radio operator usually somewhat stationary, or perhaps assigned to a medic team but the range was rather close. Some events use the while Dipsea Trail and others only use parts of it.

Theres a website dedicated to the Dipsea race ( www.dipsea.org ) with pictures of portions of the trail.

Last year was my 1st event actually walking, tied to a trail sweep.
I did Santos Meadow to Cardiac and back. This year I did that one again.
This past weekend, I did Mill Valley to Windy Gap, then parallel to Panoramic Hwy, back across it, down pipeline and back to "the stairs" and back to Old Mill Park in Mill Valley.

I dont remember the stairs as a kid, and since 2000 Ive only heard about them.
This weekend changed that.

The event was a benefit for Breast Cancer.
I was assigned to a group of fitness trainers midway in the pack.
Another radio operator was assigned to the sweep.
There were 2 routes, 1 a mile longer than the other.

I got "dusted" part way up the 1st course of stairs.
Theres only 700 of them, BTW.
At Windy Gap, I was reunited with the group, but at that point, they were hooking up with the other group of trainers and had decided to hike all the way to Stinson Beach.
This meant they would not be giving aid along the trail.
I was not up to Stinson Beach and back, plus my ride home was out of Mill Valley.

A brief chat on the radio and I was reassigned to the trail sweeps.
It was a great trip back.
Most of the crowd had gone when we got back, but there was a great jazz quartet and lunch.
This all women quartet call themselves "Dandelion".

I rode with Stanton & Judy so on the way home we stopped off at this cafe in Mill Valley.
Its called "Mamas Royal Cafe".
It has the ambiance of a dive with a mix of Hawaii Caribbean & Mexico vibe.
Its a "must-visit".

This coming weekend is the Pacificon ham radio convention.

After that, I go into "Dickens Faire" mode for the rest of the year.

In early September was my HS class reunion.

This is not to be confused with the all class "fine arts dept" reunion every July.
The fine arts reunion is everyone from music and theatre all class years from our school.

About 10 years ago, we ditched the dinner dance format and just started renting the city community centre,
with a no host bar. In the past, there was usually an after party, but in 2011 & this year, it didnt happen.
I think the aging process is catching up with us.
A couple of us hit one of the local bars for another drink and that made US the ones who stayed out the longest.

Like the last one, the dress code was supposed to be casual, but in 2011, I wore a suit.
This time, I went formal. 2 of us actually did. One of my classmates runs a Limo service, so he was in a tux.
I went "Highland Formal" I was the highland equivalent of "black tie". Argyle jacket & vest, wing collar shirt, formal fur sporran etc. A number of people wanted their picture taken with me, despite the fact that they wouldnt speak to me in HS. ( Ill take victories where I can find them )

I picked up green flashes, bow tie & pocket square at Scottish Games.
Being that I usually wear black or grey hose, I wore cream because school colors are green & white.

In HS, I helped build an 10 watt FM radio station.
110,000 watt KQED FM spent 6 years of listener donations trying to quash, so go ahead and listen to them but DONT send them any money!
A few years back, I met the current broadcasting instructor and got pulled back into KECG.

I decided it would be fun to have to business cards made with the KECG name.
Green ink and an ivory card stock.
I made a couple trips to Pacifica to access one of the presses we bring to Dickens Faire.
Don & I took a shot at a type setting technique neither of us had ever done before.
We ran the KECG FM across the short side of the card and my name & contact info the long length of the card.
It took us an evening to get the type to lock up because we were setting in 2 different axis.

I was having trouble with the registration pins, so some of them printed at a slight angle, but I got enough that looked good enough to use at the reunion.
I "tied up" the type after (wondered where the term came from?) so I can print more at Dickens without having to set it again.

In the process of all of this, we had a chance to do a bit of maintenance.
We are exploring methods to de glaze the rollers without dissolving them.
We have over the past few weeks generated a rather intimidating "To Do" list for Faire prep.
Not helping is that Northern Fair is running right now and half the print shop staff is at "Ren".
We really need to readjust the presses to make sure the machine closes "true"
(IE: the type contact the paper exactly the same distance across the page)
A wee bit of steam cleaning would help.

We are also fine tuning the process of making harder photopolymer plates.
The new material is a bit tricky to get right.

The bags have arrived that we will print on for "Cuthberts Tea Shoppe" at faire.
The "make-ready" to ensure that the image is uniform across the bag is quite fiddly.
Shopping bags vary in thickness across them so this complicates the "packing"portion of the "make-ready" process.
We are going to experiment with "flexography" to see if it speeds things along.

Across from Cuthberts Tea Shoppe at DCF, "Elite Printing" will be for the 2nd year.
Its at the far end of "Olde London" so some people miss seeing us, but its convenient when we need a "cuppa" tea.

When they set up the tea shoppe, they have a whole kitchen operation set up and the wall between the shoppe and the kitchen is supported by stacks of these huge crates that the shop is stored in during off season.
Kids of the staff play in these stacks of crates.
It seems Cuthberts has "Brats in the Belfries".

We have been calling it the "Cuthys" job for a while, but some people took umbrage at our shortening the name.
Ive recently started calling it "The Bag Job" which REALLY raises eyebrows.
Sharon said that calling it that "sounded dirty".
I asked "Whats wrong with THAT?"

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