So long, and thanks for all the mold.

American Tower bought out Dickland.. I mean Richland… And they started cleaning house.



The mold on the walls is being removed… And the HVAC works now



The gaping holes in the entry panel have been plugged



A door mat!



I’m a happy engineer.



Boo yeah.

They still have some work ahead of them though. The tower’s elevator is hosed.



Unlike Richland, they are actually trying to get it fixed… Dickland had told me before that they wouldn’t even touch it till October. Foul demons. Ding dong the witch is….. Downsized out of a job.

Publix in 2014, for when it all changes.



Someday years from now we’ll look back on this in amazement and nostalgia – this is how the supermarket used to look. Funny how that will eventually work.


Publix, Hollywood Mall, Hollywood, Florida. (The second most famous Hollywood.)

Publix: Where shopping is occasionally perplexing

I’d wanted to put in that edited strip here with “No Meat Touching” and Heathcliff wearing the Kafkaesque hat but couldn’t find it… anyone have that saved somewhere?

So I was at a Publix somewhere out in suburbia and confusing things happened. There was what appeared to maybe be a high school football or basketball team shopping there, like 20 kids, and they were very much defying conventional logic on how anyone is supposed to shop for groceries… or… well, anything.

When I arrived at the store, there was one older lady sitting at the front who had a Kenwood commercial type handheld radio and was talking to the people from the team(?). Okay then…

I go into the store and start looking for stuff and her kids are just shopping in the most baffling manner. It seemed like each of them had a list that was a printout of an Excel spreadsheet, each line was numbered and they were calling out numbers to each other as they got the items on the list…

The odd thing was, though, they were broken up into four(?) groups who would just descend on a section in a Blitzkreig-esque manner, shove other shoppers and their carts out of the way, unload a whole section into an empty cart, then run to one of the main aisles where they’d pick over that cart then return it and its contents to shelves…. in near totally random order.

Probably half the store’s staff was cleaning up after them including the manager.

On a whim I decided to look for their choice of frequency and found it – GMRS, 462.600 mhz, no PL tone. I waited for a lull in their traffic and hopped on, well, to be a jerk.

“This is WQRZ855*, do you guys have a license to use this frequency?”

There’s this wonderful sound as about five people key up on top of each other like “what?”.

“This is an FCC authorized station, WQRZ855, is your group licensed to use this service?”

The radio goes silent and the group starts kinda yelling at each other then rushes to go check out as if they’ve just been caught doing something far worse than making a mess of a Publix…

They pretty much aborted their shopping at this point and all rushed to the front to go check out… consuming all eight of the open checkout lines, and leaving merchandise scattered everywhere.

The manager, meanwhile, was right next to me when I had this exchange with them over the radio and she just about doubled over laughing while telling me that this group shows up every week and makes a colossal mess of her store and this is the first time they actually listened to anyone.

Why hasn’t she used her managerial banhammer yet?

* Seriously, I’m like one of three people I know of actually having a GMRS license. Why do I have one? Because I’m a nerd, that’s why. Apparently it comes in handy to yell at people.
It’s not hard to get, basically all you have to do is sign up for ULS then log in and buy it. Or… just wait a couple of years, the licensing requirement will probably be dropped because nobody bothers to get licenses. However, you might not want to do that, as there’s a good chance the service will get nerfed and repeaters will be disallowed when that happens, unless you’re a grandfathered in licensed user… who the heck knows.

Dear severely annoying people of the internet

Here is your precious damn Ryko R7B.

You may now shut up and stop trying to ferret out my contact information to harass me over it.

Thank you.

Fixing the Thomson transfer switch

Poor thing got stuck in generator position and couldn’t go back on line… the problem only became apparent watching the mechanism cycle.
ignore the fact that I say “short of the limit switch”, it should have been “final position”. whatever. brain cheeze.

The limit switch was getting pressed early, causing the robot arm to stop moving with the breaker juuuust on the edge before actually closing. The reason for this was that the locknut got loose on that screw that activates it and the screw backed out a bit.

I readjusted it and tightened the nut. I then used some of the same nail polish I’m wearing in the video on the threads to keep it from backing out again.

Then I sang to it.

Rock over London, rock on, Princeton. Exxon: Put the tiger in your tank!

The Little Cell Site that Couldn’t

It’s not even trying to give me anything beyond 1xRTT tonight. looks like Sprint is finally starting to clean it up though. I spy a new DC power system and what’s likely an LTE upgrade in progress.



Dumbest connectors ever.


These pieces of turd infect some Harris Broadcast products to this day.

Sure, IDC connectors seem like a good idea at the time except… A) they use them on stranded wire, making them failure prone, and B) they put them on cable assemblies that experience vibration from blowers….

It’s a surefire recipe for very difficult to troubleshoot problems.

Same great taste, new package

And none of that Grocery Shrink Ray thing Consumerist whines about either.

I kinda liked how the old theme looked but there were things utterly broken in it … like the line spacing. It never made any logical sense or conformed to my wishes in any way, so I changed to a theme that actually works.

Here, enjoy this secret message that wouldn’t have worked before: