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Comments Require Review

As a reminder, you can comment for 30 days after a post is made.  All of the comments on this blog have to be reviewed before they appear on this site.  Unless you state your desire to the contrary, your email address will not be published on this site if you send a note to me or comment on a post.

Discussion, feedback, and comments are welcome as long as they are relevant and insightful. I reserve the right to edit, as appropriate, and to delete harassing, profane, vulgar, obscene, abusive, irrelevant, or spam comments.  If necessary, repeat offenders will be blocked.

Each response is reviewed as quickly as possible, but I can’t guarantee that your reply will be reviewed as promptly as you might like.  As you would expect, I am the sole arbiter of what is appropriate for this website.  Thanks in advance for your understanding and appreciation of my intent in this matter.

As always, thanks for your continued support!

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Building New Computer

I’ve been experimenting more and more with video.  I don’t have enough confidence in my results to date to post any of my creations, but I’m learning quite a bit about how to make a video, from shooting it to post-processing.

One of the things that I learned was that after editing the video, usually taking out the boring parts of the recording, the entire video has to be re encoded.  Unlike a photo, if you edit a video, you have to re-build the entire thing (that’s a technical term that I’ve already learned), from start to finish.

In the process of re-coding a video in 4K, my computer made a “pop” sound and stopped working.  I looked over the hardware and discovered that the reason for the unexpected shutdown was excessive heat.  After letting the computer cool for about 15 minutes, I re-booted it and it ran without further incident.  The only caveat was that I couldn’t encode my video.

All of which drove home the point that I need to build a new computer that will have the ability to encode my videos without going “pop” and shutting down.  (I guess I could increase the cooling in my current computer, but that’s not nearly as much fun as building a new one!)

I’m bringing this up because I suspect that I’ll run into some unexpected issues that I have to resolve before I can finalize my latest computer build.  What that means is that I might have a delay in getting back to some of you.

I’ll try to stay current with your comments by using another computer.  The issue isn’t the lack of computing technology, it’s the lack of time.  I can’t be building a new computer and responding to your thoughts and comments simultaneously.  (Okay, I guess I could multi-task, but I couldn’t do it to my satisfaction.)

If I’m a bit slower than normal in replying to your comments and emails, you’ll know the reason why.  I hope your can understand and appreciate that I’m not ignoring you, I’m just busy working on something else that will consume my time and energies.

If you’d like to share your thoughts, please contact me.

As always, thanks for your continued support!

Testing New Equipment Update

Last week I mentioned that I was playing with, um, I mean diligently testing, new equipment from several manufacturers.  On the heels of that post came a lot of requests for additional information.

What did I test?  What were my thoughts on it?  When will it be available?  How much will it cost?  Could I post the reviews for you to read?

Those are all good questions, but I can’t address any of them.  As a condition of testing the equipment, I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).  The manufacturers didn’t want me, or others who examined their gear, to run off at the mouth, either positively or negatively, before finalizing the specs of the gear.

When my company made computer hardware, I had reviewers sign NDAs so that they didn’t spill the beans ahead of our marketing and research timeline.  I can understand the same request from the people whose equipment I reviewed.

I know this isn’t the answer that many of you wanted to hear, but that’s the one I have to give you.  When the equipment is released, the NDA is no longer binding and I’ll consider posting my reviews on this site.  Fair enough?

If you’d like to share your thoughts with me on this or some other issue, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

As always, thanks for your continued support!

Playing with New Equipment

A significant number of you sent questions to me wanting to know if I were distracted from this blog.  Rather than reply to each of you individually, and to share the same information with everyone at the same time, I’ll share a secret with you.

I’ve had the good luck to test (play with) some new gear from several manufacturers.  I gave the equipment a though once-over and then shared what I liked and disliked about the latest and greatest gear headed to market.  As always, I didn’t receive any pay for my efforts.  Instead, I used the opportunities to offer possible ways to overcome the weaknesses that I found in some of the new equipment.  Only the manufacturers know if any of my suggestions will ever see the light of day.

I mention this to assure you that I haven’t forgotten about this site.  In fact, truth be told, I enjoy hearing from you more than you will ever realize.  I took advantage of the opportunities presented to me with the hope that I might be able to lend a hand and make products better.  I didn’t ask for or receive a nickel in return.

Some may say that not taking any money or hardware makes me a poor businessman.  I’d maintain that I was free to share the good, the bad, and the truly ugly with the companies who asked me to review their equipment.  They had no leverage over me and didn’t influence my remarks.  Several firms politely accepted my reviews and then said they didn’t have anything else for me.  Others appreciated my comments and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing more of their products in the days ahead.

If reviewing products continues to grow, I’ll consider putting the reviews on this site.  This will be trickier than you might think because part of the review process is the mandatory signing of non-disclosure agreements which prohibit those of us who reviewed the gear from sharing our thoughts, and even its very existence, with you until authorized to do so by the companies whose equipment we tested.

I don’t want to become another review site, but there are some products that I thought were so outstanding that I’d like to be able to share my thoughts with you on them.  There were other products that I thought weren’t ready for prime time and I’d like to be able to share that news with you as a precautionary tale.

Stay tuned.  I don’t know what will happen, but I do know that just when you think you have life figured out, you discover that you didn’t have it figured out as well as you thought you did.  At least, that’s been my experience.  If you’ve managed to have your life work out just the way you planned, good on you.  (If you’d sent me a note on how you did it, I’d like to post it because I’m sure that a lot of people would appreciate learning your tips and tricks.)

If you’d like to comment on this post, share your thoughts with me on this topic, or just drop me a note, please contact me.

As always, thanks for your continued support!

Editing Self-Evident Truths

On June 4th, I posted a blog sharing with you that my latest book, Self-Evident Truths, was still in the works.  Specifically, I said that editors hadn’t finished their parts of the puzzle and I didn’t have a firm date for its release.

Several of you volunteered to help edit the book in an effort to get it released sooner rather than later.  A couple of you have advanced degrees in English and work experience in the publishing industry.  The talents of those who follow this blog never cease to amaze me.

Intrigued by the offers you made, I made some phone calls and sent some emails to gain some additional insight into your offers.  Without going into all of the hub-bub that occurred, suffice it to say that you’re going to have to wait a bit longer for the release of Self-Evident Truths.

I sincerely appreciate your offers of assistance.  My current editors weren’t quite as smitten with the idea of new sets of eyeballs reviewing my efforts and passing along their thoughts to me.  My current editors made comments about too many chefs in the kitchen spoiling the dinner.

If you’d like to share your thoughts with me on this topic or something else, please contact me.  As I’ve said in the past, I read every comment.  I don’t respond to all of them, but I read everything that comes to my attention.

As always, thanks for your continued support!

Surprised You!

Quite a few of the Fourth of July Ride participants felt the need to give me a hard time about getting the follow-up blog posted as quickly as I did.  Yes, I hate to admit it, but I can get sidetracked on other things, usually involving something shiny, and not get blogs posted as quickly as I could or should.

However, in the case of the Fourth of July Ride, I think I showed that I can get a summary post on this site pretty darn quickly, even if I do say so myself.

Several of you said that you were convinced the site was hacked because I usually take a tad longer, okay more than a tad, to follow up on our activities.  Despite all of the good-natured kidding, I made good on my promise to get the summary posted with all due haste.

The only question left is, Did I surprise you more than I did myself?

If you’d like to comment on this post, or share your thoughts on something else, please contact me.

As always, thanks for your continued support!

Fourth of July Ride Follow-up

Those of you who follow this blog never cease to amaze me.  The Fourth of July Ride went off without a hitch.  As with any undertaking of this size, we worked our way through a number of issues.  After the dust settled and we all returned to our usual haunts, I have a number of people I need to thank.  Without their efforts and determination, the ride would have been much less fun.

Robert, Bonnie, George, Clive, Austin, Jason, Michelle, and Stephanie all volunteered to help make the ride a success.  From providing the first and last group riders, to make sure that everyone made the right turns, to lining up the hotel rooms and food stops, we owe this group our thanks.  Let me be the first to tip my riding helmet to each and every one of you!  The good humor you showed, even when tempers could have flared, is something that none of us will ever forget.  Sheila, the American flags on the bikes were an unexpected touch.  Thank you!

Based on the comments I heard during the ride and those shared with me after it ended, it’s safe to say that everyone enjoyed himself.  I know that I found several familiar faces quite welcoming and several new faces quite refreshing.  Thanks to everyone who rode with us or worked so hard to make it all happen!

I could drone on and on, but let me cut myself short and say that the way in which the group conducted itself was a tribute to everyone who participated.  There were no stupid motorcycle stunts, no alcohol-induced brain fades, or uncalled for remarks aimed at other participants.  It the span of two days, the group came together far more then I thought it would.

Thank you!  If the smiles I saw were any indication, we all got a lot of enjoyment from the magnificent scenery and our riding companions.  The only thing I would have done differently is to not make the trip on the Fourth of July.  (I know, you have to hold a Fourth of July motorcycle ride on July 4th, but the traffic was a bit of a mess.  A lot of people were out enjoying the sights at the same time we were!)

Here’s to old friends and new ones!  If you’d like, we can do this again.

If you’d like to share your thoughts with me on this or some other issue, please contact me.

As always, thanks for your continued support!

Happy Fourth of July!

Please take a moment out of your day today to remember that this is the birthday of the country we call home.  We’re fortunate to enjoy a level of freedom and individual liberty that simply isn’t found in all-too-many other nations around the world.

Consider and celebrate the historical significance of this day.  Then go on with your regularly scheduled events.

Happy birthday, America!

If you’d like to share your thoughts with me on this, or any other topic, please contact me.

As always, thanks for your continued support!