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  • Anhyrdous ammonia is some serious stuff, it's used as a nitrogen source in commercial agricultural fertilizer, and also as the working fluid in both absorption and DX chillers (air conditioning and process refrigeration). People die from exposure rather regularly.... consider yourself and everyone around you very lucky.

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    • You guys ever work a show that wasn't as described?

      Last night Pebblestar & I sure did. The way it was described to me was "outdoor singer-songwriter gig, plenty of PA provided, stage, 50-75 people, 4-5 acts playing, you guys headlining."

      OK, I like those. Not much to bring, not much to set up and tear down, right?

      You think I'd have learned by now.

      First clue was even with the address it was impossible to find the place. When an address doesn't show up on MapQuest you should start to worry.

      Called the place and got directions. Drove by three times before I saw it, mostly because it's not fronting on the street, it's fronting on an alley, and the one tiny sign that would have been visible from the street had a large pickup parked in front of it, completely obscuring the little sign.

      Still could be good, right?

      Parked and checked out the situation. Not good. First thing I notice is it's not even a bar, no alcohol for sale. After spending a couple of hours there, I'm still not exactly sure WHAT the place is, though I noticed some photographs and hand made items for sale.

      No alcohol usually means no people, and this time was not the exception. I arrived early only to find everyone waiting on me. I asked why the act before us wasn't playing and was told, "She finished up early and left." Great. Everyone is standing around talking and watching me unload. Everyone is about 10 people, by the way.

      But there really was a stage and a PA. The stage was not much, but I've played on worse. It was at least sturdy and roomy enough for the two of us and then some. But the PA (with monitors, we were told) was actually two boxes with 10" and horn (I didn't know anyone used less than a 12") and of course the small, ubiquitous Yamaha-esque powered mixer. No monitors.

      When we do these small shows, we bring a drum machine which is actually an MP3 player in disguise. We have mix minuses of our band, usually just the drums and bass plus a little keys. We find that having horns or backup vocals in there is "jumping the shark" in Austin TX, meaning a step too far that is regarded as "cheesy." Sometimes when we get to the show we don't even use the drum machine, if it feels like that wouldn't be accepted. If there are other singer songwriters there just playing acoustic guitar with no bass or other instruments it might be like bringing a gun to a knife fight so we might refrain.

      But then there are nights like this one, that aren't really gigs at all. You know the kind, just a few goofballs hanging out together who wouldn't go to a real show. They're going to cheer and tell you stories about themselves even if you can't play and sing in tune. It feels like playing for "friends" at a party, except you've never met these folks before. Not much is expected, so you can use a night like this to rehearse or jam or take some chances, because it doesn't "count" at all. All you have to do is get to the finish line, like running a drag race when the other guy doesn't show up. Not even any other musicians remaining to see us.

      So I decide to use the drum machine, as a useful exercise since I've just redone the mixes and I'd like to see how they sound through a PA outdoors. Plus we need the practice as Pebble & I have been playing full band only lately.

      First problem is we are shy one cable. This is because I grabbed stuff in a hurry, and had planned on miking the acoustic guitar. The "venue" has not even a single guitar cable to loan us. But when we mike it, we discover just how bad the PA really does sound. Ditto the drum machine, of course. So we 86 the drum machine, use that cable for the acoustic, and do a warmup number with me out in the "audience" to check the balance. To my horror, the "club" has provided a "sound person" who is anything but. Not good.

      I am polite, of course, but determined to sound as good as possible. The sound person seems determined to make it sound as bad as possible, so after playing the first tune, without saying a word, I disconnect everything from the PA head except vocals and just plug it all into my Roland KC-300 keyboard amp I'm using for guitar. I kick one of the "mains cabs" around facing us.

      Everything is immediately much better and we start to play the set. Pebble's acoustic is a little thin on the first tune, so I ask her to boost the bass on the guitar a little. The first and only humorous moment of the night occurs as the sound person hears what we're saying and says, "Don't do that, I already turned up the bass on the acoustic in the PA."

      The guitar is not connected to the PA. But I guess the soundperson already cranked the bass and "heard" it get louder out front.

      Already a seasoned pro at 24, Pebble simply says, "Oh, thanks!" with a big smile, while covertly boosting the lows on her guitar controls.

      If it was me, I'd have been meaner. I'd have asked the soundperson to give me more guitar in the "monitors."



      Terry D.
      Telling Stories releases 2nd CD, see our WEBSITE! Please check out my GROUPIE STORY and Tales from the Road.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by MrKnobs
        When an address doesn't show up on MapQuest you should start to worry.

        Terry D.


        Screw MapQuest. I and I don't know how many other people I know have had that stupid thing give bogus directions. I drove around Philly for 3 hours trying to find the Electric Factory once, because MapQuest sent me to the other side of town. (only the drunk guy knew where it was, and he was too sloshed to be able to much more than point in a general direction)

        Use Expedia.com.

        -Dan.
        <div class="signaturecontainer"><i>Well, I've been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones.</i></div>

        Comment


        • Speaking of ammonia.

          Last year two of my kids and I went to a white water kanoeing class. We put in right next to an Ocean Spray plant. Ocean Spray is billion+ juice company with a big emphasis on health.

          So we fight the whitewater all day (nothing dry left on yours truly) and finally drive back to the put-in point to retrieve the remaining cars. Being pretty pooped at this point, getting home to hot shower and food seemed like a very attractive propostion. But then we encounter law enforcement in large mannitudes. As it turned out the Ocean Spray plant had a major ammonia leak and the cops had evacuated several miles around the plant. Our cars, infortunately, were right in there and the cops simply said "No" (for good reason).

          We had to wait several more hours, until the cloud had dispersed enough, so we could retrieve the cars. I still don't know why they need massive amount of ammonia in a juice plant, but I don't think that we'll ever have Ocean Spray again.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by IsildursBane


            Screw MapQuest. I and I don't know how many other people I know have had that stupid thing give bogus directions. I drove around Philly for 3 hours trying to find the Electric Factory once, because MapQuest sent me to the other side of town. (only the drunk guy knew where it was, and he was too sloshed to be able to much more than point in a general direction)

            Use Expedia.com.

            -Dan.


            Don't feel bad. I've lived in the area 8 years and still don't know where the Electric Factory is. I've been lost here so many times I'm surprised I'm ever home.
            .....

            Comment


            • Originally posted by boseengineer
              Speaking of ammonia.

              We had to wait several more hours, until the cloud had dispersed enough, so we could retrieve the cars. I still don't know why they need massive amount of ammonia in a juice plant, but I don't think that we'll ever have Ocean Spray again.


              Process refrigeration... they have to cool the juice (quickly) after pasturization. They probably exchange heat with the ocean or river water via a cooling water loop on the amonia condensing side.

              (I'm an ag. engineer too)

              Comment


              • I went to school in Lawrence KS, and there's a big fertilizer plant on the east end of town. I used to ride my bike over there to work out during college. Anyway, depending on the winds, there was a constant ammonia stink coming off of the plant. There were very few homes in the path (mostly farm land) but for about a 3 mile stretch it smelled like a freshly-cleaned bathroom. Not particularly nice when you're huffing and puffing trying to get some exercise. Yuck.
                <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"><i>OS is kind of like imaginary numbers-- something theoretically useful, but who doesn't acually exist.<br />
                <br />
                Only in OS's case, instead of generating recursive fractals, it's simply that the mass of **************** which fills him is greater than the mass of a similar, hypothetical mass of **************** at 0 degrees Kelvin.<br />
                <br />
                I call this phenominon &quot;dark ****************,&quot; and while it is useful to explain OS, dark **************** violates a number of laws we know about matter.<br />
                <br />
                -scarecrowbob, 1/6/07</i></font></div>

                Comment


                • Originally posted by agedhorse


                  Process refrigeration... they have to cool the juice (quickly) after pasturization. They probably exchange heat with the ocean or river water via a cooling water loop on the amonia condensing side.

                  (I'm an ag. engineer too)

                  Makes sense. I just hope they keep the juice and the coolants apart

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Craigv


                    Don't feel bad. I've lived in the area 8 years and still don't know where the Electric Factory is. I've been lost here so many times I'm surprised I'm ever home.


                    It's on the northeast side of town. I don't remember the name of the street, but it's basically just an alley.

                    About a year after the concert, I was looking at the ticket from that night, and realized that right on the front of the ticket it says "between Callohill and Spring Garden," which were very clearly marked on my map.

                    -Dan.
                    <div class="signaturecontainer"><i>Well, I've been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones.</i></div>

                    Comment


                    • STICKY DIS ****************!! NOW!!
                      <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;Fear: Won't keep you from dying but sure as hell keep you from living!&quot;<br />
                      <br />
                      How much wood could the wood slapper whack off jack if the wood jacker spank off could shaft wood?<br />
                      <br />
                      GEAR<br />
                      <br />
                      Gibson SG STD HC<br />
                      Marshall JVM 205H<br />
                      Clavia Nord Lead 2x<br />
                      Roland SH 101<br />
                      MacPro with Fireface 400 running Ableton Live 8<br />
                      Effects 'n pedals 'n whatnot<br />
                      Sometimes use of additional whatnot</div>

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by MrKnobs
                        OK, here's a couple of risky stories to tell. It's really two separate stories, but I suddenly realized they're connected as I told them over on Open Jam. I hope Mike G. doesn't rat me out for this, all these stories are about real events that happened to real people, and the internet has made the world a smaller place!


                        Who me? I have not seen, heard, or experienced anything like this in my life. Just don't ask me to take a poly.

                        MikeG
                        now working for the govt.
                        <div class="signaturecontainer">MikeG<br />
                        <a href="mailto:SA.BM59@yahoo.com">SA.BM59@yahoo.com</a></div>

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by grimaila


                          Who me? I have not seen, heard, or experienced anything like this in my life. Just don't ask me to take a poly.

                          MikeG
                          now working for the govt.


                          Hey bro -

                          Glad to see you're back on your feet after the political BS.

                          Whose government are you working for?

                          T.
                          Telling Stories releases 2nd CD, see our WEBSITE! Please check out my GROUPIE STORY and Tales from the Road.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by MrKnobs

                            Whose government are you working for?


                            Ours.... of course

                            MikeG
                            <div class="signaturecontainer">MikeG<br />
                            <a href="mailto:SA.BM59@yahoo.com">SA.BM59@yahoo.com</a></div>

                            Comment


                            • bump
                              "Some men see things as they are and say why - I dream things that never were´╗┐ and say why not."-- George Bernard Shaw

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                              • Well...i do remember one other stupid sound realated thing I have done...I registerd on the Harmony Centeral User Forums.


                                *DOH*




                                <div class="signaturecontainer">C++ for dummies:<br />
                                do.this()<br />
                                do.that()<br />
                                on.error(<br />
                                blame.microsoft())</div>

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