Category Archives: equipment

summer 2013

it is june, that time of the year when i am grumpy (29 years as of June 10, RIP MGH) but also sort of amazed and glad to have a lot of light and sun and nice weather.

well it has been raining nonstop here in NYC, but summer, in general, as a principle, seems to be here and/or coming.

freaking raining non-stop

freaking raining non-stop

so i have a couple of summer projects.

Synology

i’m beyond frustrated with how many files i have, how impossible it is to find stuff, and the fact that i have duplicate copies of things like my itunes library (in various iterations) in multiple places. plus the fact that i need to deal with Frank’s vital records archive. aagh.

so i decided to do Network Attached Storage (NAS) and got a Synology. very reasonably priced. and two Western Digital reds in a RAID setup.

i took loads of pictures during the unbox and installation, which i hope to do in a more detailed blog post but for right now it’s broad strokes time until i feel less sour about stuff.

this is it, fast forward, up and running.

my Synology NAS, next to my new TrippLite ISOBAR strip. see the blinking lights. they are staring accusingly at me

my Synology NAS, next to my new TrippLite ISOBAR strip (at left).
see the blinking lights? they are staring accusingly at me

so that is one summer project.

Greenery

the other summer project is that — from the hours of time i seem to be keeping my balcony door open lately — i was inspired to actually try to get some greenery out there on the balcony. i need to liven this joint up if i’m going to be home so much.

so i got an EarthBox Junior (organic). yeah it might be a nightmare / overkill but i wanted a kit and it looks sort of cool.

as a hedge — and just in case it looks to be a long-term project similar to the Synology (which is taking longer to play with than i expected) — i also got the following:

Garden-in-a-Pail (Lavender)

Catnip Kit

and for the EarthBox, couldn’t resist the idea of a non-controlled, semi chaotic bomb name….:

Wildflower Seed Mix (2)

Pet Dog & Cat Grass (2 bombs)

i like purple. and don’t mind the smell of lavender.

don’t have cats, though i plan on skilling up to them here chez moi hovel. but i read catnip retards mosquitos, which seem to mercilously bother me here at the hovel. so the smell will hopefully help mitigate that.

flowers… yes!

this pet grass should also help with greening up the joint and fill the EarthBox. it is an uncontrolled plan / experiment.

and so

am feeling a little burnt out on the blogging, social media, screens, etc. so this is a brusque, less friendly blog post than i usually aim for.

Mandala i colored in

Mandala i colored in

i am trying to keep it on the road, stay in the driver’s seat, keep on truckin’, etc.

Keep on Truckin (in homage to R. Crumb)

Keep on Truckin (in homage to R. Crumb) photo credit flickr user St0rmz, some rights reserved

but this under-employment situation is not a comfortable fit for a workaholic, no-life person such as myself. i am pretty discouraged and yet at the same time i am not trying hard enough.

though i feel very strongly that the right fit is out there for me, the right position with the right team of people and please oh please god a manager / supervisor / mentor who appreciates what i bring to the table, can provide structure and guidance, and will let me, well, blossom.

i know, a tall order. we shall see.

onward June…

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it’s electric!

…long strange trip[p]

whenever i hear the name Tripp Lite, i think of the lyrics from The Grateful Dead’s song, Truckin’, off their amazing American Beauty record.

Sometimes the lights all shining on me
Other times I can barely see
Lately it occurs to me
What a long strange trip it’s been

Truckin’, Lyrics By: Robert Hunter Music By: Jerry Garcia/Bob Weir/Phil Lesh

one of those things people don’t think or talk a lot about is surge suppression for their electronics equipment.

look how gorgeous she is! the Tripp Lite ISOBAR8ULTRA8-Outlet Premium Isobar Surge Protector with 12-ft Cord and All-Metal Housing

look how gorgeous she is! the Tripp Lite ISOBAR8ULTRA
8-Outlet Premium Isobar Surge Protector with 12-ft Cord and All-Metal Housing

i found out about these Tripp Lites when i worked at Scott Rudin‘s office, first as an intern and then as an on-site office manager for his business manager, Terry Bird.

the office was undergoing extensive renovations where they were putting in high density storage. the new file room had a lot of networking / VoIP equipment. and i noticed they had these very industrial looking power strips. i had never seen anything quite like them. have to say, it was sort of like love at first sight….

these are not your grandparent’s power strips! in addition to providing reduced noise and interference, there are four fuses that will take the direct hit if there is a power surge. so freaking cool!

The Electric Companyloved this show when i was a kid

The Electric Company (1971-1973)
loved this show when i was a kid

HEY YOU GUYS!
We’re gonna turn it on
We’re gonna bring you the power
We’re gonna light up the dark of night like the
brightest day in a whole new way
We’re gonna turn it on
We’re gonna bring you the power
It’s coming down the lines, strong as they can be through the courtesy of The Electric Company
The Electric Company
The Electric Company!

god i miss the 1970s. so many cool things about the pop culture then…

anyway…

a friend of mine lives in a very large pre-war building near 79th and Broadway.  his whole building had a massive electric surge and it fried a large number of tenant’s electronics, including his computer.

i had been singing the praises of the Tripp Lite ISOBARs so he got one for his computer, answering machine, printer, router, etc. the surges happened again but this time the Tripp Lite took the hit and his electronics were protected.

West End Avenue Houses

my building is one of the oldest sets of brownstones in the neighborhood. it was built in 1892-1893 by the architects Schneider & Herter. and is now thankfully landmark protected.

my building on West End Avenue

my building on West End Avenue (recent view)
note the Keith Haring drawings on the first floor balcony windows.
(at least i think it’s Keith Haring)
they were “cleaned” off when the “naked man” moved out a few years back
sob….

Keith Harin on the Street

Keith Haring (R.I.P.) in the subway near one of his pieces

the image below is from around 1910. none of the stoops remain, sadly. the brownstones are in the Queen Anne and Romanesque Revival styles.

Manhattan: West End Avenue - 102nd Street Source: NYPL Digital Collections

Manhattan: West End Avenue – 102nd Street
Source: NYPL Digital Gallery

the point is my building is freaking OLD. and it is a wood structure. i worry a lot about the wiring, even though my apartment was renovated when i moved in (over 20 years — gulp! — ago).

so i have Tripp Lites everywhere and plug all of my electronics into these surge suppressors. it really gives me peace of mind that things in my apartment at least are covered.

if you can afford it, i recommend looking into these Tripp Lite ISOBARs.

Image Title:  Manhattan V. 7, Plate No. 36 [Map bounded by West End Ave., W. 102nd St., Amsterdam Ave., West 99th St.]Creator: Sanborn Map Company -- PublisherItem/Page/Plate: 36Source: Atlases of New York city. / Insurance maps of New York. / Manhattan / Atlas 121. Vol. 7, pt. 1, 1912.

Manhattan V. 7, Plate No. 36
[Map bounded by West End Ave., W. 102nd St., Amsterdam Ave., West 99th St.]
Creator: Sanborn Map Company — Publisher
Item/Page/Plate: 36
Atlases of New York city. / Insurance maps of New York. / Manhattan / Atlas 121. Vol. 7, pt. 1, 1912.

i love these old Sanborn Maps. this is my neighborhood, a view from 1912.