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Froggy the Great

Randomness XIV: THE FLOOR IS LAVA!

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There are flashing lights in the shopping center parking lot a couple blocks away and a young woman walking briskly past in a cat costume told my kid the police exploded a half stick of dynamite.

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Up til now it had been a fairly classic and nice Halloween. Lotsa little kids in cute costumes. 

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@Pezler the Polychromatic

 

Sorry for your loss. Never a good thing to lose a friend like that, never.

 

Typical Halloween here. Around 4 doorbell rings tonight. The one I answered had the "Official Ontario" costume on, a "Scream" mask. At least it had blood stains on it. Normally it's just white face paint with blacked out eyes & a hoodie. I guess this is a upgrade.

 

When my wife & I went out to Wallyworld for pizza tonight, seen a kid in a SUV. He of course had the official outfit on. <_<

 

Other then the 4th, tonight is one night I'd rather have off. I walk to work, as it's about 6 to 8 blocks away, no biggee. So, who knows what might still be out & about, doing whatever. 4th is worse due to it's warm & it's July.

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And another boom, just now. :blink:

 

This bites.

 

 

Our eldest is checking Twitter, Facebook, and friends. Someone told her the local police scanner is going crazy and someone thinks it probably more likely to be fireworks than dynamite.

 

it was a pretty big bang, though.

Edited by Pingo
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Halloween was a total rainout here. Thunder being the only sound FX. 

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1 hour ago, Pezler the Polychromatic said:
On 10/30/2018 at 6:37 PM, Pezler the Polychromatic said:

One of my closest friends has gone missing since yesterday afternoon. I'm a little stressed out by it all.

I'm afraid that I have an update, and it's not a good one. My friend was found this morning and he had taken his own life. The entire gaming community here is in shock right now, he was one of my two friends that ran the Gamer's Guild here and even though he no longer lived here, he and his wife made the trip every month to make sure that it was running and teach people the joy of boardgames. He was an amazing dungeon master who was one of my closest friends, and the loss hurts even more because of how close our little group was. We lost a man whose creativity and imagination brought so much joy in our lives, and it's not easy to take in right now, no matter how many times I've felt loss in my life.

 

I'm very sorry to hear that, Pezler.  It's a tragic loss on multiple fronts.

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1 hour ago, Pezler the Polychromatic said:

I'm afraid that I have an update, and it's not a good one. My friend was found this morning and he had taken his own life. The entire gaming community here is in shock right now, he was one of my two friends that ran the Gamer's Guild here and even though he no longer lived here, he and his wife made the trip every month to make sure that it was running and teach people the joy of boardgames. He was an amazing dungeon master who was one of my closest friends, and the loss hurts even more because of how close our little group was. We lost a man whose creativity and imagination brought so much joy in our lives, and it's not easy to take in right now, no matter how many times I've felt loss in my life.

At a time like this, mere words are so inadequate.

Please take what comfort you can in knowing that the thoughts and prayers of myself and so many others on these forums are with you in your time of grief.

Please remember all of the good times and treasure those memories while you go through your personal grieving process.

Hold fast to those memories in the future, for as long as your friend is remembered a part of them lives on.

GEM

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2 hours ago, sumbloke said:

Hang on... if it's a "no questions asked warranty", what intermediary steps could they possibly have?

LOL!  Good point.  My guess is that the intermediary steps are to make sure it really needs to be exchanged.   You know, because sometimes there are problems that can be fixed by a reboot/reset/reconfiguration, etc.  I know I've done that before - customer calls me convinced that they need a new part and I manage to help them get it working with no parts necessary. 

So I suspect that if I had just contacted them saying "My daughter's tablet has no audio" they would have run me through a bunch of steps first. 

 

1 hour ago, Green Eyed Monster said:

Do yourself a favor and pronounce it dead, with no possibility of a resurrection spell working short of te cost of brand new equipment installed plus a percentage to be named later.

The guy has had at least an eight year heads up that his equipment was beyond its usable date.

If he hasn't banked enough money in those eight years to pay for the new equipment, then its all on him.

GEM

Oh how I would love to be able to be that direct.  But the CEO of the company has repeatedly assured him and a couple other owners that we would help them keep their equipment running  as long as possible (charging them, of course). 

That means I can't outright say that in so many words.  So I have to be more subtle.  But with the parts to repair them being harder and harder to source, it's a little easier to do - especially since we convinced the CEO to stop buying used boards back since we couldn't fix half of them anyway.  And years back, we used to run the techs/owners through some pretty thorough diagnostics and troubleshooting of various voltage measurements to identify the problem down to the chips on the circuit boards.  With over half the replaceable chips on those circuit boards being obsolete and completely unavailable any more, there is no point in doing that now.  So know we have a document that says "Replace these eleven chips on these four circuit boards."   If it still doesn't work, it generally means it's something on one of the circuit boards - and 3 out of 4 of them are completely obsolete and no longer available.   

At that point, it's up to the customer to source their own replacement boards or replace the teller.  Unfortunately, this particular guy is known to buy up used equipment, and every time I think he might finally have no more spare boards, he manages to come up with one. 


I did write the guy an email tonight that was practically begging him to start an upgrade plan now while all his tellers are still working, so he would have some extra spares. Even though he says he can't afford to buy at least a couple new ones, i pointed out how he literally can't afford not to in the long term.  I reminded him that way back in 04 or 05 there was that storm that rolled through his town that knocked out his equipment at half his locations and how it took us days to get him back up and running - and that was when we had abundant parts.  If that happened today, it would likely put him out of business for good, especially since we're down into the double digits on how many of these tellers are still left in North America in working condition. 

I doubt it will do any good, but one can always hope. 

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For those having "too much excitement" my sympathy.

Know that some of the larger fireworks have a lifting charge that packs a pretty good wallop if let off outside of a proper mortar tube.

Kinda quiet around here.

Mr. Pumpkinhead only had about a dozen visitors.

The most amusing were the two skateboard kids sharing a [very nice] clown mask.

They convinced themselves that I was a robot, it couldn't possibly be a real person because "elderly people live there, and they're probably resting".:lol:

Featherfoot is going to have a Magnet Implant to give him sufficient gripping power to stay put on my shoulder, with a suitably stable metal plate for a perch. The elastic strap he came with popped loose, after sliding down off my shoulder about a dozen times.

GEM

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6 minutes ago, kristof65 said:

LOL!  Good point.  My guess is that the intermediary steps are to make sure it really needs to be exchanged.   You know, because sometimes there are problems that can be fixed by a reboot/reset/reconfiguration, etc.  I know I've done that before - customer calls me convinced that they need a new part and I manage to help them get it working with no parts necessary. 

So I suspect that if I had just contacted them saying "My daughter's tablet has no audio" they would have run me through a bunch of steps first. 

 

Oh how I would love to be able to be that direct.  But the CEO of the company has repeatedly assured him and a couple other owners that we would help them keep their equipment running  as long as possible (charging them, of course). 

That means I can't outright say that in so many words.  So I have to be more subtle.  But with the parts to repair them being harder and harder to source, it's a little easier to do - especially since we convinced the CEO to stop buying used boards back since we couldn't fix half of them anyway.  And years back, we used to run the techs/owners through some pretty thorough diagnostics and troubleshooting of various voltage measurements to identify the problem down to the chips on the circuit boards.  With over half the replaceable chips on those circuit boards being obsolete and completely unavailable any more, there is no point in doing that now.  So know we have a document that says "Replace these eleven chips on these four circuit boards."   If it still doesn't work, it generally means it's something on one of the circuit boards - and 3 out of 4 of them are completely obsolete and no longer available.   

At that point, it's up to the customer to source their own replacement boards or replace the teller.  Unfortunately, this particular guy is known to buy up used equipment, and every time I think he might finally have no more spare boards, he manages to come up with one. 


I did write the guy an email tonight that was practically begging him to start an upgrade plan now while all his tellers are still working, so he would have some extra spares. Even though he says he can't afford to buy at least a couple new ones, i pointed out how he literally can't afford not to in the long term.  I reminded him that way back in 04 or 05 there was that storm that rolled through his town that knocked out his equipment at half his locations and how it took us days to get him back up and running - and that was when we had abundant parts.  If that happened today, it would likely put him out of business for good, especially since we're down into the double digits on how many of these tellers are still left in North America in working condition. 

I doubt it will do any good, but one can always hope. 

Congrats on the easy replacement of the tablet.

As to the guy who insists in shooting himself in the foot by trying to keep morbidly obsolete electronics functional - You have done your due diligence.  I hope the chips that are known to need replacement are at least socketed and not hard soldered.

I'd like to point out that even though he claims he can't afford to start an upgrade to current tech, he seems to have all the time and other resources needed in order to keep applying duct tape and bailing wire to a system that is only going to continue to fail at an ever faster rate as more and more of the components age out and give up.  At what point does the ongoing breakdown problems translate into customers giving up and seeking other places of business that are reliably functioning when the customer needs the service?  Unless this guy has an absolute lock on the market he's going to reach the point where, instead of making some small lifestyle adjustments in order to keep his business functioning he will have to face a sudden and forced change in lifestyle as his business goes completely toes up.

GEM

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My condolences, @Pezler the Polychromatic. That's an incredibly harsh thing to have to go through. There aren't words that can help with something like this but you and your friends are in my thoughts.

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1 hour ago, Pingo said:

...it was a pretty big bang, though.

Here’s hoping it proves to be some bozos fooling about with M-80s or cherry bombs. 

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9 hours ago, klarg1 said:

 

Yep. I've had more success than failure, but I have had failure, so I thought I'd mention it.

 

Oh, I know failures happen. Surprisingly, the only failure I've personally seen was the predecessor to this tank. My dad left me this tank when I bought the house from him, and the first one he bought had a side that wasn't properly sealed. So it had a small leak in the corner, that turned into a giant "sploosh" about an hour after he set up the tank and it split the side open about halfway.

 

3 hours ago, Pingo said:

There have been intermittent sirens outside and I think I just heard a very big explosion somewhere not too close.

 

UPDATE: Ugh, it was a half stick of dynamite a couple of blocks away which the police were called on or found, I guess. Much closer than I thought. A very rumbly “boomf” it was.

 

Most of the time people say "half a stick of dynamite" or "a quarter stick of dynamite" they're typically referring to large fireworks, not actual dynamite. Most of the time, it's people screwing around with gunpowder in various quanitites. But these days it could also be people messing around with tannerite.

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