Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day One In The Barn at World Equestrian Games

1st reining competition and the Opening Ceremonies are done. Today it's 7 AM and there are already two venues going.

One of CBS's NFL trucks, Super-Shooter 10

That CBS logo is already hidden under tape.

These days, a full HD production truck is actually two double-blowout trucks connected by a power bus and a data bus.
This is Super-B, which is essentially an edit suite here.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Monument to Rolex

Rolex isn't just a sponsor here...they are an object of worship. Here is the altar, all 8,000 lbs of it.

Does this horse have brass balls?

Just a thought. I'll check and get back to you.


Looks like the Scoring & Timing network has plenty of bandwidth!


T3 speed on the download side (34 Megs)

T2 speed on the upload side (6 Megs)

Just like Alpine Ski World Cup @ Lake Louise! (Not)

Friday, September 17, 2010

World Equestrian Games

After 2 1/2 years of preparation, it's finally here.

A lot of work ahead, but I've got my own office. With a T3 line! Wheeeeeeeee!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

TSA - Could it Be That John Pistole Is Actually Doing His Job?

With a few minutes to kill before driving to the airport today, I happened to surf onto the TSA blog, and saw the following comments from John Pistole, the head of the TSA:

"There seems to be a trend of TSO’s not recognizing TWIC cards at our checkpoints. As a result of your feedback, I will ensure that TSA officers receive the necessary refresher training to recognize TWIC cards and other government-issued ID's (Including NEXUS cards) brought to the checkpoint.

Thank you for raising this issue so we can improve our security screening process moving forward."

My bullshit detector went off like a nuclear bomb, given my experiences trying to use my Nexus card as ID at Kahului airport (OGG - the land that time forgot).

Pistole's comments were dated 8/20 (about three weeks ago).

As a refresher to my loyal readers, a Nexus card is several security levels above a passport. Obtaining one requires first getting a passport, then applying for Nexus status, agreeing to have your background investigated by the Feds, attending a personal interview with a TSA investigator, getting your retinas scanned, and undergoing a proctological exam.

Just kidding about the last part.

I haven't even attempted to use my Nexus card at OGG all summer, as the highly-trained TSA numbskulls are so clueless that they seldom even know what it is - even though it's 5 levels above a passport and about 25 levels above a drivers license - and when they do, they won't accept it anyway. Even with a printout of the TSA list of qualifying IDs, they never once have accepted it as my ID.

So, arriving at OGG plenty early, with no line whatsoever at TSA, I whipped out my Nexus card.

First TSA Agent: "Oh cool, a Nexus card. Hey Joe, check this out, a Nexus card".

Joe: "Hmmm, wow. I've never seen one either".

Both examine it carefully, front and back.

First guy, to Joe (who's apparently a supervisor): "The scan code is on the back, right?"

Joe: "Yes, same code as his passport".

First guy puts it under his light.

First guy, handing it back to me: "Very cool. Have a nice flight".

Me: "Thanks. That card is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Takes me a maximum of 15 seconds to get through Customs, no matter how long the line is".

First guy: "Nice." appears that John Pistole, head of the TSA, is actually doing his job. Given my faith in the US Government, it could have been a fluke. But perhaps not.

You could have knocked me over with a feather.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

They're Packin'm in At Spruce Meadows

Nations Cup day. What....are they giving away free beer? The place is packed.

Not one empty seat in this grandstand.

Nor in this one.
Also Holland day. Tulips and clogs.

The Americans won! Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!

Holland: Close but no cigar.
Look at that fabulous video wall interface. Who is the ingenious programmer who came up with that? Oh yeah, that would
Big flags on the video wall for the Nations Cup. Big sponsor logo (BMO) too.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

It's Raining..... It's Pouring..... And Q.E.D, The Old Man....

.....the old man must be in Calgary for The Masters at Spruce Meadows.

Soggy at Spruce.

Must be The Masters - says so right on top of the grandstand.

One good thing about rain: the gloomy skies make the video walls look like they're a few billion candlepower.
Foul weather gear.

Friday, September 03, 2010

No Bullseye

Damn. If any place on this planet deserves to be flattened by a natural disaster, it's the US Open. But not this year.

A few rain delays is all they got out of Earl.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Will Earl Hit The Bullseye At The US Open?

Should be an interesting weekend at the US Open, with Hurricane Earl bearing down on Long Island.

On one hand, I feel sorry for my good friends at That Sports Technology Company From Jacksonville, because bad weather only makes a terrible event even worse. WAY worse. Adding insult to injury is the fact that the roof of The Batcave leaks - directly onto my former desk.

A bad-weather shout-out to Lloyd, Trampass, Dingo, Cockroach, and all the other poor bastards marooned in Hell. Break out the trash cans, boys!

On the other hand, I do SO enjoy reading about USTA officials squirming and ahem-ing and haw-ing at those contentious, weather-delay press conferences. Trying to explain how they managed to spend $270 million of USTA members' money on a poorly designed, poorly built, leaky stadium. In the midst of a blighted, violent slum. Which was obsolete before it was finished. And which remains the only Grand Slam tournament without a retractable roof (Melbourne has TWO, Wimbledon's Centre Court has one, Roland Garros' roof will be ready in 2011).

Answering to a bored, pissed-off, stir-crazy press corp is the yearly cross the USTA must bear for amazingly bad decision-making and incompetence.

The middle weekend is, in relative terms, the best time for a hurricane to hit The Open. If the weather has been decent for the first 4 or 5 days, the schedule collapses from 16 to 10 courts. The Juniors can wait, or they can always be farmed out to local indoor facilities. But the ticketholders get screwed. Let's say you flew in to NY from (wherever) for Labor Day Weekend to enjoy some tennis. Odds are you'll get back on the plane without ever having seen a ball struck, with a "rain check" for a Monday or Tuesday session you'll never attend. If this was the Australian Open in Melbourne (by far the best tennis tournament in the world), you'd have gotten a belly full of tennis at Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena, both of which have retractable roofs.

Labor Day weekend tix to the US Open are the hottest tickets in NY. This year, it looks like they may be worthless. And the USTA has nobody to blame other than themselves.