March 18th, 2008

Celtic Cross

Green Monday

I actually got out of the apartment at a reasonable(ish) hour for the second day in a row yesterday - it felt quite odd.

I loaded my speakers in the car, and drove off - a stop-off at Valley Fair, which included a pleasant lunch at CPK (though I still can't believe I ate the whole damn pizza), a ramble through Guitar Center, and much more of a ramble through MicroCenter.

I now know what I want to get to fix supersniffles's computer. It's been a little complicated, mostly because she has DDR memory and two IDE connectors. Modern low-end boards tend to do DDR2, an IDE connector, and a bunch of SATA. Exactly like the bundle I'm looking at, but it at least comes with 1GB of DDR2, and there are SATA to IDE converters available. At $16 each, which is regrettable, but at least they're available.

So after deciding what to buy, I found they were out of the pieces necessary (despite the big signs they were displaying), but may have them in today or tomorrow. Oy.

So I contented myself with buying a set of security screwdriver bits (I've wanted one for quite a while), and a can of cherry Bawls, because I'd never had cherry Bawls before. It was good, too.

It was still a little early, like 6:30pm or so, but I made my way to the bar, intending to sit and surf on a bench until Paula showed up. I got there to find the bar open, with both Paula and timenchanter hanging out - I'm still not sure what happened. But it gave me more time to experiment.

I was going to fix that damned noise problem!

It turned out the AV switch I was looking for was still in the old case at the bar, so I first hooked that up, giving me a way to bypass the house mixer entirely. The first problem, of course, being that my system doesn't exactly put out amp-ready signal levels. But I could push some sound out the speakers by setting the sliders to maximum.

I could also hear clicks and pops.

So I dragged my speakers and speaker stands in, and set those up. Surprisingly good sound, actually - I was able to fill the bar pretty well, and had somewhat better highs in the process. Pain in the ass to set up, especially with the two cables per speaker, but functional.

And no noise problems at all. I even had Timmie sing a couple of songs at full volume, just to check.

So that's what I ran with all night, with no problems at all. Well, I heard maybe three clicks all night, but they were likely disc ripping errors. I really need to get on that whole "more correct disc rip" process.

So, since it's unlikely that both amps suddenly developed the same problem, I can fairly safely reduce the source of the problem to: the connector cables. I sorta had the right idea last night - the connection I'm using right now involves a couple of XLR to ¼" adapters, followed by a pair of ¼" to RCA cables. I'd somewhat suspected the RCA connector side of things (they have a tendency to go bad), and I even used some contact cleaner on those last night. But that side of things hadn't been played with while I was in NYC.

However, bluize disconnected the other side of them the other day, pulling one of the cables out of the connected adapter. Last night, I was just figuring that the adaptor to cable connection had gone a little wonky, and brought the rack home with the intention of putting in the ¼" jacks I've been meaning to add for a few months.

Waking up today, I remembered that she's not all that careful with equipment, and probably pulled the cables by the wire. I'd be willing to bet that there's a broken solder joint in at least one of those cables. I'll likely be a little late to dinner_and tomorrow, so I can grab them to take a look Thursday.

Meanwhile, back at the party...

The bar was fairly dead until about 9:00pm. We had one couple come in looking for some entertainment, who finally left around 8:45pm.

But from 9:00pm on, things were pretty busy. I had a total of about 18 singers last night, and fit in 6 rotations before closing down at 1:45am. princesskiti22, candiddani, and celticnoor were there all night, at least partly looking for the Sunday boys.

But the [noun describing female predatory towards those physically or emotionally younger than herself, plural, deleted] were frustrated. The boys, not too surprisingly, never showed. I'm sure they went to one of the Irish places on Castro.

I'm fairly certain the girls had a good time, anyway - we did have quite a party going. Keri took a while adapting to the whole "not hostessing" thing, but eventually settled in.

koc_hex returned after a long absence, and the lovely electrichobbit showed up with the also lovely (but never trampy) moahb. We also had a revisit from Eme and Karen, without Jeff this time.

In terms of people, the biggest news of the night was hogarthhughes fighting through his stage fright and singing. Multiple times. There is now a "Nhât" envelope in the collection.

I was actually fairly "on" in song selection last night. There were certainly songs turned down, but not all that many. spawrhawk would disagree with me, but then, as was pointed out, he'd complain about songs picked from his envelope.

And he would. I know. He has in the past...

I got bored with picking songs from the jar (I've done them all, already), and so asked Keri to go through the book at random, flipping to a page, picking a song from each page, and only writing down the song number. I don't know if that's what she did, but a good fraction of the bar got involved, and the results were definitely entertaining. I certainly didn't know I could do Jezebel that well...

And I still suck at Step By Step.

A very fun night, and quite a welcome change from some of the Mondays we've had recently. The bar did quite well, and in fact the weekend was noticeably over average. My pocketbook approves.

What with having to take down the speakers, shutdown was a pain. In this case, literally. I slipped while lowering one of them, and managed to mash my left middle finger between the speaker and the stand. And, of course, as I stood there dealing with the pain, I got to watch the speaker fall over, bounce off the fireplace, then the firewood, then land on the floor.

So shutdown was further delayed, as I reconnected the speaker and verified that it still works. Not only does it, but the scratches are surprisingly superficial. I'm so glad I went for an ABS enclosure...

The finger, on the other hand, is not particularly happy. It has interesting colors on both sides, and some internal pain that says I may have some entertaining nail issues for a number of months. But it's fairly obviously not broken, and I can type with it, so on the whole I got off easy.

Then a pleasant supper at Denny's with Cindi and Timmie, and then home, where I unloaded and passed out in my chair. But at least I only did that for a couple of hours before climbing into bed.

And now, I think I'll do some more of that "climbing into bed."
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