Sunday, February 28, 2010

March 2010

OK, not sure what has happened, but our web statistics are going through the roof! We had over 2,300 unique visits, with 4,122 page views in January 2010 alone, that’s darn close to our highest visit count in any one month since we went live back in 2005. February is also blazing with visitors, shoot, I might have to start providing add space on the site.

More Controllers: Light-O-Rama had their secrete sale on February 27th, Yes, we bought 2 more controllers, 1 - 16 Channel PC kit, and our first 16 channel DC controller. The PC kit will get us the channel count we need to be at if we get everything built for the 2010 season, and the DC controller will enable us to implement the new Rainbow Wall Wash and Blizzard elements to our display. We started on our first 7 foot tree build; lots of obstacles will have to be overcome to make this a working element for years to come, but we will get there.

The Controller Calculator has been rebuilt, we identified a few new bugs and have them worked out, and our big delay is the new user’s guide for the Controller Calculator. The user’s guide will be a comprehensive guide, currently 19 pages; the biggest obstacle is explaining the ideas and concepts that we originally designed the calculator for. We have done lots of research on this guide and it should be a great addition to the calculator. We are hoping to release it very soon.

Little League: Well we had our draft for the Major (12U) Dodgers, Paul and I entered thinking we would probably do pretty good having to only replace 5 players, however we did awesome! We thought we might get lucky and pick up two studs (top 90% players in draft) but we ended up with 5 top ranked players to add to our already powerful team of 6 very strong and competent 12 year olds. Our pitching rotation is solid at 7 pitchers. Like I said last month, this will be my final of 15 straight years in Little League Baseball; maybe I learned something after all! Winning isn’t everything! But it sure makes the game a lot more fun and whoever takes over our team next year will have 6 solid players to build from.

Nate has been asked to participate on the Ventura DRays, a Connie Mack league team. The Connie Mack league is an 18U high level, big exposure wood bat league played in the summer. The DRays carry a 30 man roster, and competition for a spot is fierce. I have coached several players’ from previous squads or had the opportunity to play against them in the past; these are really great ball players. It will be a pleasure to watch Nate play with real champions of this sport.

Monday, February 01, 2010

February 2010

What a month! We received our 4 AC controller kits, all have been assembled, tested, and ready for enclosures. The new controllers will bring our controlled channel count to 128, enabling us to do quite a bit of new things with the display, which we will begin, building this month.
We are also testing a few new kits; the Blizzard and the Rainbow Runner. The Blizzard really excites me as it will add a feature rarely seen in personal displays. We are also looking at purchasing a new DC controller this year that will enable us several more possibilities with different products. DMX will probably not be in the mix until 2011, as this will a DMX controller as well as a host of other items.

We have finally started work on the Controller Calculator again, adding several new features, including calculations for DC, I know; A DC watt is the same as an AC watt, but I have had several folks ask for this feature and I decided I might as well include it also. We will be working on the 50 Controller calculator this month also (Imagine have 800 channels to sequence…..insane!) hopefully we can get version 3 uploaded for the extremists among us.

We have uploaded 10 sequences for download to the site, as well as our favorite Christmas Vacation sound bites; a must have for in-between songs. We will be uploading several more sequences trough out the year as we get them zipped and uploaded. I have also added several links to other sites of which the designers are also offering sequences for download.

We will be adding a few new pages to the web site to help organize things a bit. One new page will be for the many links to other displays, vendors, sequence sites, as well as other useful Christmas tech forums.

We will be starting work on our new display elements either this coming week or next; more than likely with the vertical corner stones, and leaping arches. Our corner stone’s will be one of two designs we have developed, we will make the prototypes first, try them out and go with the one with the most effects. We will document the progress of the corner stone lighting since we have several obstacles to overcome getting the implemented.

We bought 5 – 7 ½’ Christmas trees during the holidays, not sure how they will do, what we thought we bought is not what we actually bought; the trees we bought have individual removable branches, which may create an issue on pre-setup, since we wanted to semi-permanently attach the lights to the branches, so this will take some thought on the actual procedures we develop on the final assembly, if at all possible on these specific trees.

Nate was invited up to Cal State East Bay D2 (San Francisco/Oakland area) to try out for the college baseball team. He didn’t have a bad performance, but I know he is capable doing better. Last summer when he was a HS Junior I watched him dominate Westmont College roster from the mound, giving up 1 hit in 4 innings, he commanded the field so much, I thought Westmont just wasn’t capable of hitting the ball until they relieved Nate, Yes, they could hit the ball, 1st pitch from Nate’s reliever was out of the park, 2nd pitch to the next batter; again out of the park……pretty much the same results for the next four pitchers, they got lit up like they were part of our Christmas display.

Nate has been accepted to Cal State Northridge D1 (CSUN), and will be attending their 8 week training camp this summer, hoping to gain more interest in his abilities. All we have to do is keep him focused on the big picture and his choices that will make the rest of his life.

Little League Baseball has started up again for 2010, this will be Bubba’s last year of Little League Baseball, and will again play on the major dodgers (12U). This will also be my last year of Little League; I have spent the last 15 years as part of Little League either as a coach, manager, board member, or umpire. I have lots of memories in this organization and I have seen many of the kids I coached the fundamentals of baseball to play college ball, none pro yet, they are still too young, but I hope I made a positive impact in their lives.