Wednesday, May 13, 2009

broken stuff

I don't like broken stuff.

Currently:

Our main pulpit/lecturn mix suddenly for no apparent reason completely died. No signal, *nothing* any more.

About half the outputs of the audio distributor. Why? I dunno.

The door request form box (as of about a month. The carpenter finally came around yesterday, and said maybe he'll get a chance to fix it sometime in a few weeks time...)

Two more of the TVs in our "Main Lounge" auditaurium seem to be going on the blink, just a little.

The main desk connector for the camera control unit doesn't seem to be able to last longer than about a month. It's broken again.

The door between our main and forward lounges. This time the carpenters don't seem to know how to fix it or what to do.

The main stage floodlights dimmer knob has become suddenly wobbly and probably the whole unit needs taking off and fixing.

The port side BOSE speaker is making funny noises. It sounds like it's bust a cone or something. Fluttery. I need to investigate that as well sometime soon.

The main rack preview monitor is (I think) giving out some kind of weird electrical/magnetic/radio/something interference on to every other video signal in the vicinty. As soon as it's switched off, a whole bunch of problems go away.

The AV room amplifier/speakers are distorted.

Almost all of the mics seem somewhat wobbly on the ends of all the cables, and occasionally drop out.

For some reason I've not been able to get our usual wireless bodypack to connect to the violist's pickup/bodypack, and so have had to use a SM57 for him for about a month. It always worked before, and I can't see anything that's changed. We only ever encounter problems like this during a 10 minute line-check and so don't have time to fully explore what's not working.

I've only got 3 mostly working DI boxes left.

I've got 4 VHS tape players in the rack, because they are all only capable of playing some kinds of VHS tapes correctly.

All of the amps have been dropping out occasionally, randomly.

The book shop sound system is falling apart, I fear. The fan in the amp sounds about as loud as a whole fanroom is supposed to.

The main computer VGA->composite video scan converter is distinctly unhappy, and takes about 10 minutes to turn on.

The computer sound input is *very* noisy. I don't know why.

I have two wireless mics in the UK for repairs right now. Hopefully they'll make their way back here in a fixed condition at some point.

The video distributor for the Book Ex screens seems to be glitchy.

All of the jackfield/patchpanels are somewhat ... odd. I'm working my way through cleaning them all, but some of them just seem sad and tired. the sockets wiggle about and the connections as glitchy as you would expect.

The folding doors between our port and main lounges seems a bit squint and is now very hard to open or close.

The rubber mats on the starboard side one is equally falling apart.

Our chair broke again today.

The beanbag is more like just a bag now.

All of the music stands are slightly broken.

All of the mic stands are slightly broken.

And that's just off the top of my head right now.


...

I'm just plain tired of it all.

I have no training or knowledge about anything. I'm just a headless chicken, running around bleeding all over the place.

And I suck so much at delegation and actually getting other people to get things done, that it feels like nothing is getting done.

I know that's not true.

I'm just tired and complaining. I should shut up, finish the port shedule, and go to bed.

--

Oh yes. I just remembered the whole point of this post.

Yeah. Anyway. So, we've got so much *stuff*. It's insane. So many things. We're incredibly blessed, I guess is the good christian way of saying it. We could do without so much. We don't, honestly, NEED a lecturn mic. Yes, a mic on a stand next the lecturn looks ugly, but hey, looking good isn't a need, right? Most of what gets actually spoken through it is boring anyway. And we don't need non-distorting preview speakers in AV. Just enough to hear "oh yes, there's sound!", right? Most of the sound we have to play sounds bad in the first place, so what's the point of telling just exactly how bad it is? And it doesn't matter if there are wavey interference lines all over all the TVs, becauase as long as the audience can see at all, anything else is just "nice" but not "needed"?

I dunno. I'm frustrated. I don't know what is actually needed or what is just nice. I could make most shows happen with just a boom-box, laptop, and kareoke mic. It would sound and look a lot worse than currently, but it would still happen.

So much of the musicians themselves are so undertrained and unarranged, getting better speakers in the ceiling would help a little, but somehow persuading them "y'all don't actually have to strum every single chord in every single bar in every single song!" would help a lot more...

I've lost perspective, I think. I'm working out of what I think I can kind of expect, given the current state of things, but it's hard to know what stuff is my vision for improvement, what stuff is worth replacing, what parts of the work should be continued, what should be scrapped, etc.

The grass is always greener, though, hey?

If I could actually spend my whole time teaching music theory, I'd wish I could just do easy stuff like fixing mic cables and not have to worry about how to explain syncopation.

Funny. Being human and all.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

2 comments:

St├ęphane K said...

somehow persuading them "y'all don't actually have to strum every single chord in every single bar in every single song!" would help a lot more...

Absolutely!

Claire said...

I feel your pain. really, I do.

Can I share a few things that help me put things into the right perspective whenever I start to notice how bad a job I do at things, and start to feel that people would be better off without me on the job...

Who I Am In Christ

I am accepted...
Colossians 2:9-10, I am complete in Christ.

I am secure...
Romans 8:1-2, I am free from condemnation.
Philippians 1:6, I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me.
2 Timothy 1:7, I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.

I am significant...
Ephesians 2:10, I am God's workmanship.
Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
John 15:5, I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life.
John 15:16, I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.
1 Corinthians 3:16, I am God's temple.
Ephesians 2:6, I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm.

This is just a wee selection that I find really applicable to my feelings of inadequacy in my job :)