Am I asking too much??

Sometimes I like having advance notice if I’m about to get several hellish marathon workdays in a row. You know, more than 8 hours ahead of time is nice.

But that’s not how it works when dealing with crazy shit up a mountain.

Image only abstractly related.

How to stir the pot with bad statistics

This one TV station keeps posting news stories about InSANeLy HiGh gAs PriCeS!!!LOL to Facebook and it stirs people up.

Each time they’re going on about $5+ gas.

Each time, they are using a Chevron station somewhere as an example, and I’m guessing they’re using one near the rental car return at LAX.

You know…. That One Station That’s Always A Couple Dollars High.

Here’s an example from the comments:

It is also worth noting that Chevron is usually more expensive than other brands.

Yeah, uh….

No

Ok, it’s Pizza Mountain now

From now on I have a standing rule that our site with the three ArmNOPEs is Pizza Mountain, because if I have to go up there to fix anything the company is going to have to buy me pizza in exchange for doing so.

Our engineer from the two markets down south sent me this picture of where the transmitter for the “Power” CHR station… well, it had a power…. problem. Its latest trick was to roast the primary lead to the plate transformer.

A couple weeks ago I went up there at night and reset the breaker to put that thing on air. I had no idea the reason it likely tripped was that it was slow-roasting itself to death internally. OH WELL!

So that’ll be spinach, mushrooms, extra cheese, roasted garlic, and Canadian bacon, please…. I still have to fit one of the other transmitters up there with new motors for the input tuning caps in a “nobody’s made this gearhead DC motor in two decades” situation, gee, where have I seen this before?

So, to be fair, Pizza Mountain is a ridge you get to prior to reaching a taller mountain range to the west. I tried to drive up there to explore a bit but got SNOped out, oh well! I should go up there in summer and see what’s beyond here. I know this highway eventually goes over the other side and lands in the Mendocino Forest.

say, isn’t this what led the donner party to expand their culinary horizons?

Brain sludge.

Earlier this morning while actually feeling the effects of my brain trying to malfunction its way into full on migraine headache, I started to ponder for a moment if years of living with stress, sleep deprivation, and anxiety had left me with the brain chemistry of an abandoned swimming pool.

Nah. It’s not that bad— migraines just suck. Basically, the brain entirely misfires and screws up, best I can understand of the medical science behind it. It’s like when you’re playing a pinball game and a multiball begins and the balls all immediately loft off of each other and off of the slingshots and other unpleasant parts of the playfield and suddenly drain at the left and right outlanes and SDTM (straight down the middle).

But then I had this one intrusive thought, or more like, memory, that keeps haunting me to this day. WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT MYSTERY PARTY EVERY WEEKEND?

 

It was, oh, 2004 or so. The Quad was a neverending source of excitement in my neighborhood but there was one thing that I could never, ever figure out. It was fairly harmless, except to one’s sense of logic and reason, trying to figure out what it was or why it was happening.

 

Our house was in the middle of the block on the south side. On the northeast corner of the block was a house on a slightly large lot which had a big yard and a large covered patio on the back. There was an extended family living there, which isn’t uncommon at all. Every now and then they had parties which had a lot of people in attendance – seemed like most of them were family for the most part.

 

I suspect the house changed ownership as I saw different vehicles outside and an older lady who used to walk around the block every day wasn’t there anymore. I never really spoke to them much as the language barrier was pretty bad – I’ve never spoken enough Spanish to hold a conversation and they didn’t speak English. Everything thus had a kind of mystery about it— but then came the really… really big mystery.

 

The family there started holding parties every weekend and brought in a DJ (by which I mean some guy who had a mixer, iTunes, and a set of speakers). The first couple of weekends, it was just blasting salsa, reggaeton, and random pop music, with his voice occasionally booming over it all distorted. The music was POWERFULLY loud and was very audible inside our concrete block house, probably a good 300 feet away. They’d start up maybe 1 or 2 pm, and it’d be over by like 6 or so, never running into the night (thank goodness). Cars would be parked on the swale all over the block from the people in attendance. Following these first 2 or 3 unremarkable parties, they developed a unique and bizarre format, and that is what haunts me to this day. What was this and WHY?

In radio, a lot of programming adheres to a format clock which dictates what goes where in each hour. There are certain times for the break, station identification, locally inserted advertising/sponsorship, etc. In television it’s the same way but a little more standardized between shows. These parties—- they… could have had a format clock, because they all ran exactly the same. I don’t know what the hell they were doing but it was like this:

12-1 PM: Setup with random music playing, no voice.

1:00 PM: Music cuts off, followed by talking on the mic

1:05 PM: Beginning of Dragostea Din Tei loop.

…..

6:20 PM: Burst of shouting followed by the party ending.

 

Now, the loop is the super perplexing part.

Each cycle of it started with the guy shouting. His voice was heavily distorted, and I was hearing the reflection off houses and the back side of the speakers so it was muffled beyond recognition. I was never once able to understand what he’d say on each cycle.

He’d start shouting something (unintelligible due to the distortion and echo between the houses) then start playing what’d be 30 seconds of the chorus of Dragostea Din Tei.

(this video is not set to autoplay, if it does for some sick and twisted reason decide to autoplay, please inform me so that I may go drive down to San Francisco where this server is located in a VPS container in a datacenter, pull it offline, and fill it with beans)

The first 15 seconds would play out clean.
The last 15 seconds would have a police whistle blown on the backbeat.
The last 10 seconds had the whistle blown on every beat.
The last 2 or 3 seconds were covered by the whistle blowing constantly.
Then he’d yell something again and seconds later the pattern began over again.

This…. went on for hours. Pretty much the only time this pattern ever changed was the one week that I knew myself and the three neighbors in between were all getting very tired of this, and I just happened to have a single weird damaged PA speaker that came from the university’s surplus warehouse and had a strangely narrow dispersion angle. I put it up on the edge of the roof and blasted tracks from The Conet Project in their general direction. This caused the Dragostea Din Tei loop to end and be replaced with the guy shouting occasionally instead…. until my amplifier overheated and shut down. The brief shouting and Dragostea Din Tei resumed IMMEDIATELY.

 

This continued up through when the neighbors who lived directly behind us moved out and someone else bought the house and turned it into an entirely unauthorized and horrible banquet hall. That was….. a whole new form of fresh hell, but at least it did not leave me with a baffling, bizarre mystery that will haunt me until the end of days.

funny, I usually see Aqua Net recommended for adhesion on a glass bed, but I guess Rave works fine when you’re printing a dickbutt

Bleeuuuggggghhh

I’ve been working a couple of insane days for the end of this week so the company has me staying in a nearby hotel they have trade with. As not to piss anyone off I won’t name it, but it’s in a beautiful place outside the city, on the bank of the river. They make a big deal about being a LEED certified facility.

Last night I got there, checked in, and went to my room. I picked up one of the coffee mugs and it had a waxy feeling mess on the outside and smelled like hibiscus blossoms. There were bits of the same inside the mug.

I figured it hadn’t been washed properly so I looked underneath. The “made in China” paper sticker was still fully intact. I sanitized it by boiling water in it in the microwave, let it cool, and used paper towels and isopropyl alcohol I had in my car to clean it out.

The next evening, the mug I had used was back under a paper dust cover and this time both of them had a thick coating of the waxy junk.

On the bathroom counter are two pump top bottles… One’s a hand soap that smells like lavender. One’s a lotion.. ….

Which smells like hibiscus.

You didn’t– really? Seriously???

Sonicwall, schmonicwall

How to forward ports on a SonicWall:

Okay, it’s easy, just start steeping some hemlock into the blood of a virgin in a quartz flask upon an altar of old single sided floppies and get to work—-

you will not know this horror unless you experience it for yourself and i recommend you not.

sonicwall was clearly developed by someone who had a raging databases-where-databases-are-not-due fetish.

you do not just specify addresses. you do not just specify ports.

No.

You create address objects.
You create service objects to define ports.

Then you define NAT rules.

HOWEVER…. if you manually enter or edit anything about a NAT rule, for arcane and horrible reasons that have apparently never been addressed in over a decade worth of firmware versions, they break. The only reliable way to create these rules is to go into Quick Configuration and use the Public Server Wizard. There, you can create your objects (or select them if they’re existing already) and bake them into a NAT rule.

Then maybe 40% of the time it works and the rest of the time you’re frantically SSH’ing into a remote shell somewhere else and crying into your coffee over the output of nmap.

FUCK SONICWALL.

Oh that’ll wake you up

The RMT for this month came through just GRRRRRRRRRRR-EAT!!!

Warning: Replaying these files on any broadcast station or cable TV system is a violation of FCC rules. Yes, there are people who would be ignorant enough to try it otherwise (oh hi Bobby Bones show).

This is the end result with Billy and Patrick being very very confused…

The actual audio received by the SAGE Endec:

Had this been an actual emergency, uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

FNORD!

AaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAA

there are no words. Someday I will try to come up with words in the process of writing a notice of retirement, but that day is not today.

The really fucked up one is an Armstrong tube transmitter from the mid 1990s.

The tape wadded splices are in the ~8000 volt plate supply. Also in this collection, a Nautel that ate a BNC lead that then ate several expensive RF transistors.

🎶 I am barely breathing, I can’t find the air 🎶