Christmas Light Show 2016

This is my second year using the Light-O-Rama show controller system to create a Christmas light show.  My big change was that the show was in both the back and front yards.  I added two CTB16PC-ReadyToGO controllers that I got from WOW lights for a total of 4 light string controllers.  Each controller controls 16 lights strings for a total of 64 light stringss.   I reused the signing christmas tree that I made last year,on some of the songs that I got from Holiday Coro.  However it is only in the back yard and I ran out of time to include it in more than one song.

The big change was the addition of a RGB Pixel MegaTee, “CCR” Pixel MegaTree Kit – 12 Strips/Ribbons / 600 Pixels / 1,800 DMX Channels from Holiday Coro.

The way the entire show is set up is that there is a mixture of sequences that have a lot going on and then there are intermission sequence which are there so you can enjoy the lights.  10 sequences in all.  These recordingss are from the front yard.

Christmas 2016 Light Show Sequence #1; Carol of The Bells – David Foster

Intermission: Christmas 2016 Light Show Sequence #2; The First Noel – Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Christmas 2016 Light Show Sequence #3; Feliz Navidad by José Feliciano

Christmas 2016 Light Show Sequence #4; God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Christmas 2016 Light Show Sequence #5; Let It Go – Idina Menzel from Disney’s Frozen

Intermission: Christmas 2016 Light Show Sequence #6; NutCracker Tea Dance

Christmas 2016 Light Show Sequence #7; A Mad Russian’s Christmas – Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Intermission: Christmas 2016 Light Show Sequence #8; O Come All Ye Faithful – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
This video is a walk up our driveway – so you can see all the front yard lights. If you want to see just the tree go to my youtube page at https://www.youtube.com/user/boswellrascalharley

Christmas 2016 Light Show Sequence #9; Christmas In Sarajevo – Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Intermission: Christmas 2016 Light Show Sequence #10; O Come O Come Emmanuel – Integrity Worship Singers

Check out more of my videos on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/user/boswellrascalharley

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Christmas Light Show 2015

This is my first attempt at using the Light-O-Rama show controller system to create a Christmas light show.  The show was only in the backyard as I was using the lights from the wedding (and I was learning).   I used two CTB16PC-ReadyToGO controllers that I got from WOW lights.  Each controller controls 16 light string for a total of 32 light stringss.   I also included a signing christmas tree – that I got from Holiday Coro – on some of the songs

The way the entire show is set up is that there is a mixture of sequences that have a lot going on and then there are intermission sequences which there so you can enjoy the lights.  15 shows in all.

Christmas 2015 Light Show Sequence #1; Part of Hark how the bells (I thought I had the whole thing)

Intermission: Christmas 2015 Light Show Sequence #2; God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Christmas 2015 Light Show Sequence #3; Angels We Have Heard On High – Reliant K (With Singing Christmas Tree)

Close up of Singing Christmas Tree

Intermission: Christmas 2015 Light Show Sequence #4; Christmas Concerto – Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Christmas 2015 Light Show Sequence #5; A Mad Russian’s Christmas – Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Intermission: Christmas 2015 Light Show Sequence #6; Christmas 2015 Light Show Sequence #6; The First Noel – Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Christmas 2015 Light Show Sequence #7; Mele Kalikimaka – Bing Crosby (Singing Christmas Tree)

Intermission: Christmas 2015 Light Show Sequence #8;

Christmas 2015 Light Show Sequence #9; Let It Go – Idina Menzel
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Christmas 2015 Light Show Sequence #10; Hallelujah Chorus – Reliant K

Christmas 2015 Light Show Sequence #11; Feliz Navidad by José Feliciano

Here’s a close up of the singing christmas tree

Christmas 2015 Light Show Sequence #12; O Come O Come Emmanuel – Integrity Worship Singers

Christmas 2015 Light Show Sequence #13; The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late) – Alvin And The Chipmunks

Intermission: Christmas 2015 Light Show Sequence #14; O Come All Ye Faithful (Instrumental) – Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Christmas 2015 Light Show Sequence #15; Christmas Chimes Are Calling (Singing Christmas Tree)

Check out more of my videos on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/user/boswellrascalharley

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Connections

Connections

by James Burke

  • ISBN-10: 0316116815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316116817
  • First edition (1978)  Reprinted many time

ConnectionsConnections is the companion volume to the BBC television series “Connections” produced in the Autumn of 1979.  I originaly read connections after watching the BBC series on my local PBS station.

Connections explores an “Alternative View of Change” (the subtitle of the BBC series).  Burke thesis us that technology advancement is the result of a web of connections between separate events.   Each event is the result of  one person or group acting as the result of separate motivations.

Each chapter  begins with a particular event or innovation from Ancient or Medieval times and traces a path through a series of seemingly unrelated connections to a essential aspect of the modern world. For example, the chapter “The Long Chain” traces the invention of plastics from the development of a type of 16th century Dutch cargo ship.

Burke has three corollaries to His thesis;

1.  History is driven by individuals acting only on what they know, with no concept as to where their actions will eventually lead.   Therefore, we will be surprised to what the innovations of today eventually will lead.

2. History progresses because of the synergistic interaction of past innovations.

3. As history progress, the number of innovations increases and the number of innovations accelerate.

Burke concludes by asking what happens when this rate of  change  becomes too much for the average person to handle?  What will this mean to our freedoms?

Overall it is entertaining to see by the connections Burke is able to weave among past events to today’s advancements.

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Wedding Light Showing

Light show during Jenee and James’ wedding reception created by Bob Somers using the lights I had put up. Given that the reception theme was Disneyland, the Main Street Electrical Parade music was used for the light show. This version has been enhanced. #jjwedding

 

Check out more of my videos on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/user/boswellrascalharley

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Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed:

Collapse:

How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed:

  • ISBN-10: 0143117009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143117001
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; 1 edition (December 29, 2004)

CollapseThis is the follow up book to Jared Diamond’s  “Guns, Germs and Steel”.   “In Guns, Germs and Steel” he discusses the geo-factors that enabled Europe to dominate the world for a few hundred years.  In “Collapse” he shows how people’s behaviors make the difference between a society’s success or failure.

He looks at the current situations in Rwanda, Haiti, Australia, China, and the state of Montana and then compares them to  ancient societies that collapsed due to environmental failure;  Easter Island, the Anasazi of the Southwestern US, the Mayans of the Yucatan, and the Norse of Greenland.  These ancient cultures depleted their natural resources and then disappeared from the face of the earth. Diamond believes that these collapses were not inevitable.  An example of this is the survival of the Inuit society that occupied the same general area the Norse Greenlanders who didn’t survive, even though they had been there for 500 years.

He discusses civilizations successful addressing of crisis in a top-down matter such as the deforestation that was turned around in Japan early in Tokugawa Era (1603-1867) and in bottom up as was done in-the New Guinea highlands and contrasts how their management of their environments contrasted to the collapsed civilizations.

Diamond’s hypothesis is that historically, societal collapse can been attributed to one or more of these factors:

  • Deforestation and habitat destruction,
  • Soil problems (erosion, salinization, and soil fertility losses),
  • Water management problems,
  • Overhunting,
  • Overfishing,
  • Effects of introduced species on native species,
  • Human population growth,
  • Increased per-capita impact of people.

To these Diamond adds four factors that are a product of our modern society. They are:

  • Human-caused climate change
  • Buildup of toxic chemicals in the environment
  • Energy shortages
  • Full human utilization of the Earth’s photosynthetic

The book is divided into four parts, the first part is a short discussion of the environment in Montana. Part two covers societies which have “collapsed”in history.  Part three looks at current societies which are in danger of causing their own collapse.  In part four Diamond looks at why societies make decisions that lead to disaster.

Diamond concludes the book with a summary of the most serious problems facing us today and the negative impact to us if we don’t solve them.  He does gives us some reasons to hope because of the examples of societies faced with collapse that addressed their problems and survived.

 

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or SucceedCollapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the follow up book to Jared Diamond’s ”Guns, Germs and Steel”. “In Guns, Germs and Steel” he discusses the geo-factors that enabled Europe to dominate the world for a few hundred years. In “Collapse” he shows how people’s behaviors make the difference between a society’s success or failure.

He looks at the current situations in Rwanda, Haiti, Australia, China, and the state of Montana and then compares them to ancient societies that collapsed due to environmental failure; Easter Island, the Anasazi of the Southwestern US, the Mayans of the Yucatan, and the Norse of Greenland. These ancient cultures depleted their natural resources and then disappeared from the face of the earth. Diamond believes that these collapses were not inevitable. An example of this is the survival of the Inuit society that occupied the same general area the Norse Greenlanders who didn’t survive, even though they had been there for 500 years.

He discusses civilizations successful addressing of crisis in a top-down matter such as the deforestation that was turned around in Japan early in Tokugawa Era (1603-1867) and in bottom up as was done in-the New Guinea highlands and contrasts how their management of their environments contrasted to the collapsed civilizations.

Diamond’s hypothesis is that historically, societal collapse can been attributed to one or more of these factors:

Deforestation and habitat destruction,

Soil problems (erosion, salinization, and soil fertility losses),

Water management problems,

Overhunting,

Overfishing,

Effects of introduced species on native species,

Human population growth,

Increased per-capita impact of people.

To these Diamond adds four factors that are a product of our modern society. They are:

Human-caused climate change
Buildup of toxic chemicals in the environment
Energy shortages
Full human utilization of the Earth’s photosynthetic

The book is divided into four parts, the first part is a short discussion of the environment in Montana. Part two covers societies which have “collapsed”in history. Part three looks at current societies which are in danger of causing their own collapse. In part four Diamond looks at why societies make decisions that lead to disaster.

Diamond concludes the book with a summary of the most serious problems facing us today and the negative impact to us if we don’t solve them. He does gives us some reasons to hope because of the examples of societies faced with collapse that addressed their problems and survived.

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Building a Launch Foundation in the Cloud @ Kythera

Presentation Abstract: Launching a new product requires support to identify the right target customers, approve content, and equip commercial teams. Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, maker of a newly-approved injectable aesthetic treatment, will discuss its journey from clinical development to commercialization, including critical components of a launch foundation. The session will highlight how bringing everything together in the cloud helped speed Kythera’s product to market.

Presentation at the 2015 Veeva Commercial Summit, June 10, 2015 Philadelphia

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Life When You’re 100% Cloud

Here’s a post I did on 5 March, 2015 as a guest author for the Veeva Blog.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of KYTHERA Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. 

During a career span of nearly 20 years in the life sciences IT industry, I have witnessed my share of tools and technologies come and go—from clinical development to commercial operations, our industry has adopted hundreds of solutions over the years. Almost without fail these tools and technologies have been siloed and heavily customized. After years of steadily proliferating on-premise systems—and the array of hardware and software that comes with them—we’re finally seeing technology move in the opposite direction. In today’s IT department, the next big thing isn’t the pursuit of more—it’s consolidation, harmonization, and shifting to the cloud. At Kythera, I run an IT organization that is 100% cloud-based, and the difference in efficiency is having a significant impact on our agility and the bottom line.

Standardizing on using the cloud has eliminated the time, expense, and hassle of maintaining hardware and software in-house. As Kythera makes the journey from a clinical-stage biotech to a mid-sized commercial business operation, we don’t worry about maintaining, updating, and validating dozens of systems. It may be hard to imagine, but we don’t even have a data center facility. The only hardware we maintain are employee laptops and iPads and network equipment. When it comes to securing our data, we focus on internal policies and rigorous audits of our cloud providers, which eliminates the need of an onsite security team. The vendors we’ve chosen can implement security and disaster recovery measures that far exceed what most companies can provide with their own resources

With the thousands of hours IT is reclaiming, we’re adding higher-level value. For instance, we were heavily involved in the optimization of our document management solutions. We worked with our internal business groups to design a more efficient way to get documents reviewed and approved throughout the organization. Kythera is filled with industry veterans accustomed to the struggle of legacy systems, and we’re able to deliver solutions that work. We are more agile now, so can respond quickly to changing business needs and ultimately deliver results in a timely manner.

In line with our “cloud-first” strategy, we standardized on Veeva’s solutions across our commercialization process. Veeva Vault helps us manage our content from study to launch; Veeva CRM enables more effective selling and marketing; and Veeva Network Customer Master delivers key reference data, software, and services.

In most companies, business groups don’t always expect IT to serve as a strategic partner. Our experience with Veeva and other cloud providers has been positive enough that it’s actually changing their perception of IT. We are included in strategic planning off-sites, which acknowledges the crucial role IT is playing within the organization.

When people ask me about being one of the first Veeva Vault customers, I tell them innovation is the lifeblood of biotech and that it permeates everything we do. As a company dedicated to continuous innovation, we wanted to live it and innovate across the board.

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The Great Bridge

The Great Bridge

The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge

by David McCullough

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; (January 12, 1983)
  • ISBN-10: 067145711X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671457112

The-great-bridgeThis is the story of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge by John Augustus Roeblings and Washington Roeblings — a father and son team.  In the book whole story including the competitors and the corrupt politicians come to life.   It is also the sad story of how their lack of understanding of what it meant to work in a pressurized environment resulted in painful suffering from the bends.

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the great engineering feats of the 19th century.  100 years later, it still functions as one of the major accesses to Manhattan.  Few other bridges from that period survive, which demonstrates how cutting edge the Roeblings were.

One of the fascinating techniques was how the stone towers were built in the east river.  They used caissons and dig out the dirt underneth while using pressure to keep the water out.  They then piled the stones of the tower on top of the caissons as they lowered.  I found it fascinating how they arranged the airlocks to keep the pressure in and the water out.   When they got to fifty one feet (a pressure of 24 pounds) they started to observe that some of the workers experience terrible pain when the left the pressurized work.    By the end of the project Washington Roeblings was bed ridden from the unknown disease.

The book covers the how the cables were weaved.  When corruption in the quality of the  cables was discovered, Roebling worked around the problem. The test of time says he was right, the bridge still stands.  The corruption of the Boss Tweed era of New York creates both encouragement and risks to the building of the bridge.

Another outstanding book by David McCullough.

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Busting the Top 15 SEO Myths of 2014

CIO published an article on July 16, 2014  by James A Martin that explains what knowledgible people have determine is really happening in the SEO world in the post Panda, Penguin and Humming Bird Google algorithm updates.  There are a lot of myths that are going around about the impacts of Google’s changes and if you take them as truth you will be at a disadvantage in getting your content found.

The article includes a list of 15 SEO myths that they claim aren’t 100% true. For each myth there is a brief discussion that give some informed opinions on what is really happening here.

The list is

  • Myth 1: Link Building is Dead
  • Myth 2: Content Marketing Has Replaced SEO
  • Myth 3: Google Ranking Is All About Links
  • Myth 4: Social Media Signals Directly Impact Search Rankings
  • Myth 5: Google Killed SEO Value of Press Releases
  • Myth 6: It Helps to Optimize All Anchor Text With Keywords
  • Myth 7: Google Authorship Helps SEO
  • Myth 8: Guest Blogging is Bad for SEO
  • Myth 9: No Follow Links Have No Value
  • Myth 10: Mobile Search is the Same as Desktop Search
  • Myth 11: Lots of Internal Links are Good
  • Myth 12: Google Can’t Read JavaScript or Ajax
  • Myth 13: You Need to Rank Nationally in Search to Succeed
  • Myth 14: Quantity of Indexed Pages Helps You Rank Higher
  • Myth 15: SEO Alone Drives Business

As I read through all the myths,  it really reinforced a point that I’ve already made in other posts that if your doing something just for SEO purposes, then it not going to work anymore, but if you are building a helpful to your readers presence throughout-out the web then those efforts will pay off.

It just really hard to fake it any more.  Which is a very good thing.

The article is well worth the read.  Click here to read the whole article.

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The Path Between the Seas

The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914

By David McCullough

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; (October 15, 1978)
  • ISBN-10: 0671244094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671244095

The-path-between-the-seasWe recently went on a Disney Cruise through the Panama Canal and realized I had not published a review of this great history of the building of the Panama Canal.    I’ve include a couple pictures of our trip through the Panama Canal.

David McCullough the tells the history of the building the Panama Canal.  He starts with the impact of the California Gold Rush on the Panama Isthmus’s 51 mile separation of the Pacific and Atlantic. The 49ers transit across the isthmus was by boats up the often dangerous Chagres River and then by mules for the final 20 miles over the old Spanish trails – which had not been well maintained.

The railroad -built in 1850 – became one of the most profitable in the world, charging up to $25 per passenger to travel cross the isthmus.  Until the opening of thePanama Canal, it carried the heaviest volume of freight per unit length of any railroad in the world.

McCullough tells of the sad story of French entrepreneur Ferdinand de Lesseps who went bankrupt while trying to build a sea level canal.

Then President Theodore Roosevelt enters the picture by orchestrating a revolution that removed the Panama Isthmus from Colombian rule.  The new Panamanian government allied the US to  placed The canal zone squarely in American Control.

The story of the Panama Canal is complex, full of heroes, villains, and victims. McCullough’s long, richly detailed, and eminently literate book pays homage to an immense undertaking.

Pictures of Panama Canal

Here are some pictures of our trip through the Panama Canal on May 9, 2014.

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