The Vanishing Quilldancer

Regular followers of this site and/or the dudes have probably noticed that, on several occasions lately, you, ah, can’t follow these sites.

No, the computers haven’t caught the same virus that’s been bugging Q lately. Nice try, though. And yes, she’s recovering nicely, thank goodness.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba posted an explanation here; should it happen again, word will (we hope) appear there again. For all that this anti-tweeter and accidental-billionaire phobe knows, Quilly’s getting the word out via those apps as well.

Have patience, Prudence. It’s not our fault. Really.

Brain Freeze x2

I was asked to run the church’s brand new audio-visual equipment for our second Christmas Eve Candlelight Service (more about that here — The Christmas Party).  I practiced, and I practiced, and I marveled over the state-of-the-art equipment and the primo presentation software.  I knew what I was doing and I was all set to go.  Sylvia had stressed to me how important it was to stay focused, and I already knew a bit about that because I often ran the A/V stuff at Heritage UMC in Vegas.

I was diligent.  Everything from “Welcome” to Pastor’s sermon went smooth as silk.  During Pastor’s sermon the screen goes dark, and I managed to listen to the message and still be ready for my cue to bring the Nicene Creed up for Communion.  After the Nicene Creed, when Communion was actually being served and the music team was playing, the screen goes dark again.

When it was time for the screen to come up again, I was Janey-on-the spot.  As is common in many churches, we ended the Candlelight service in candlelight and singing Silent Night.  It is a wonderful tradition and I love it.  Despite being at the controls I stood and sang the first verse along with everyone else in the sanctuary.  As singers we moved on to the second verse, but the screen did not change!  I frowned.  What on earth was wrong with the system?  Not now, I thought.  And then it dawned on me that the only thing wrong with the equipment was that the operator hadn’t pushed the “next” button.  Oops.  That’s me! PUSH!

Sunday Sylvia was still off-island visiting her family, and the Pastor’s wife was to operate the machine.  We’d trained together and before the service she went over everything with me again.  She was set and I knew she would do a good job because she’s one of those competent people that make the most challenging things seem easy.

The “Welcome” screen came up right on time and remained up during the pre-service messages.  Then the praise music started.  Everyone stood, the Praise Band started the first song … and the welcome sign remained on the screen.  I looked over my shoulder.  No one was in the audio-visual booth.  Oh-oh.

I figured that the pastor’s wife, because she is the pastor’s wife, was called away on an urgent duty and hadn’t gotten back in time.  I stood and made my way to the back of the church.  Halfway down the isle I see the PW standing off to the side at the back.  She flashed me a bright smile and waved.

I know I looked at her like she was nuts. I pointed at the screen where the welcome sign still glowed.  She did the Macaulay Culkin “Home Alone” Face Slap and then ran for the A/V booth.  I chuckled my way back to my seat.  After church was over we both decided it wasn’t so bad not being perfect if we could be not-perfect together.

I Need a Video Converter

I am working with the 5th and 6th graders at church. They came up with a really cool video idea and the head of the Sunday School department called me. She said nobody in the Sunday School department had the technical expertise to help the kids, could I? I said yes, and I do have the knowledge to help them, but I am short a couple of tools.

I have already found a couple of video cameras (multi-angle shots) and camera operators lined up. I have the kids busy designing their storyboard and deciding on locations, stars, etc. The kids have to do all of the coordinating. This is their video. Their teacher is available for support and guidance. I am running/teaching the tech (and occasionally providing support and guidance for their teacher who knows she’s over her head).

What I still need is a good video converter. The scenes are going to have to be edited and spliced. I know how to do it but I am far from an expert.

One of the 6th grader’s parents said she had a video converter for Mac, but I’d have to use it at her house because it came bundled on their Mac desktop.  I don’t want to be stuck in their house at the mercy of their schedule and they likely don’t want me underfoot all the time, either. I need a program — it can be Mac or PC, but with Mac software I could get Amoeba’s help — that is easy enough for me to use and teach 11 and 12 year-olds, but will still produce a quality video. Anybody have any experience or products they recommend?

WordPress.Com — Screwed Up!

Gotta love it — best platform on the net?  Right.  All of my WordPress sites have the same set of stats.  No matter which blog I am on, I get the stats for Quilly’s Camera — even my hosted blogs that aren’t on I use the WordPress platform to blog with and it is universally scrambled.

That’s not the best part though.  Next, I can’t log into any of my blogs.  None of my passwords work and I tried requesting a new password.  Great that seemed to be working — except it isn’t a password for my BLOG, which I requested, it is a password for their support forum.

At this point I am really frustrated.  I go to their support forum to see what’s up — and nothing about this little glitch is anywhere in sight.  Furthermore, I cannot find anyway to add the problem or ask a question.  I used to like WordPress because support was accessible.  I won’t be saying that anymore.

Do not even mention Blogger to me — but does anyone else have a blogging platform they like that is accessible and has SUPPORT?

By the way, Amoeba is so ticked because he can’t get into the Dudes, that he’s ready to delete the Dudes, OC & Quilly, and my sites, too.

UPDATE: WordPress support is back up.  Progress is being made.  Of course, the forum is crazy with folks as confused and irate as me, so the folks at WP are probably wishing support was still down! LOL!

Epic Fail

Oceanic Time Warner Cable lost most of a state today.  Something major went wrong with their network, and most of Hawaii was without cable TV and internet.  I understand that Oahu wasn’t effected, but all of the other islands suffered the outage to some extent.

We were without net all day.  Ella and I were forced to go to the beach against our will.  We would have so much rather have stayed inside and blogged.  (You believe that, right?)