I don’t have a doorbell on my house. I haven’t had a doorbell since I moved in. It looks like they took the doorbell off and covered up the wiring when they did the vinyl siding, and I believe I took out a transformer when I replaced the electrical panel. So there was a doorbell at one point, and the wiring is probably still there. Somewhere. However, there is no easy way to get to that wiring, between the vinyl siding and the now finish ceiling around the electrical panel.

I’ve been looking at that Nest Hello, the smart wi-fi video doorbell, and I thought I wanted one. So, I went out and got one. I think it was on sale for 150 bucks or something like that. And then it sat on my desk for a month and a half before I finally got around to installing it and the Nest thermostat that was sitting next to it.

I don’t have a Nest thermostat story. That went pretty smoothly and my only issue being that I should have shut off the “learning” function initially; of course I did not. Very warm in the house the next morning.

Back to the doorbell. I ran a new wire from the front door to the basement mechanical room, where I had installed a transformer. Then I ran a second wire from the doorbell chime to that same transformer in the mechanical room. So, I had two pairs of wires that I needed to wire up to make this thing work as opposed to a single wire that went from the transformer to the time to the doorbell. Here’s what I didn’t have:

Nest Hello wiring diagram

I’ve done a lot of wiring so this is not a big deal. or at least I thought this wasn’t going to be a big deal it turned into a giant pain in the ass that had nothing to do with fishing the wire through finished walls from the basement.

Just to reiterate, at this point I have a brand new 24-volt transformer, a brand new nest doorbell, a brand new doorbell chime, and all new wiring. Everything is new. My situation looks like this:

my wiring

I wire everything up and the doorbell comes to life. The camera works. It’s connected to my network. It’s connected to the Nest website. Easy peasy. But wait, it chimes every 30 seconds or so, continuously. I’d just like to point out, right now, that the doorbell I picked up at The Home Depot says right on the box that it works with all the video doorbells. They lie.

I double check everything. Swap my wiring at the transformer and the chime continues this aberrant behavior, but I lose the camera. I checked my wiring at the doorbell time doesn’t make any difference I checked the doorbell itself doesn’t make any difference. I’m moving wires and swapping things around and, of course, by this time I’m getting frustrated and I can’t be bothered to cut the power everytime I change something. So what happens… come on, you know. I shorted out the transformer and killed it.

I few days later I come home with a different doorbell, a new button, and a new transformer. I wire everything up very careful to check all my connections and wiring setup. Nothing. No camera. But the doorbell continues to ring every 30 seconds or so. So, I pulled off the Nest and put in a regular illuminated push-button. Everything works great. No issues.

I took the Nest Hello and plugged it into my computer and it works perfectly. What the hell.

It’s back in the box and sitting on the corner of my desk. I’ve read about adding relays to make it work, but it shouldn’t be necessary. Eventually I’ll put together a test board and wiring it up for proper testing, but for now I’ve got a regular old doorbell and that’s good enough for me and better than what I had before. Later.

I was making another parody/homage intro for the arohenRADIO podcast, but to make it I had to enlist Microsoft David and Microsoft Zira to help Scotty and I out. But then I started to get worried that Microsoft might not appreciate my using their stuff. I’m sure that violates their usage agreement somehow. So I decided to scrap this bit of audio. However, I thought it was amusing enough that I wanted to share it with you in a way that will never be monetized, my blog.

Also, this is the first thing I’ve done with Adobe Audition and I thought it was going pretty well, right up to the point where I lost my nerve. So here is a bit of partially edited tape from the recording booth. It’s not finished quality, but it’s not terrible either.

First, a little background. I’m trying to put three or six podcasts together before I release the next one. That’ll give me a little cushion and should cut down on these insanely long delays. But for each episode I’m doing a little homage/parody intro, much like I did with Star Wars in the first episode. Anyway, this one is based on a skit by the Dead Alewives that made the rounds in the gaming community 10-15 years back. The Mountain Dew line still gets repeated at least once every time my gang gets together …you know who you are… Here’s the original or at least what I found on YouTube.

And here is what I came up with but decided against using due to the unlicensed voices. Maybe you’ll like it. Maybe you’ll wonder why I spend my time doing this stuff.

dead alewives parody

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you my story about trying to install a Nest doorbell. Later.

My wife left me on Thursday and I spent the last few days in a bad way.

Well, I imagine that grabbed your attention. Not to worry. Nothing crazy has transpired. Lady Ronn will be back on Monday or Tuesday, I should probably know which, but I have husband ears and such matters require little more than a nod or simple acknowledgement. They don’t require actual listening. She is off visiting her mother, and seeing a concert. Whatever. I’ve been left alone to fend for myself, the pets, and the plants at a time when I don’t want to do any of those things.

I’ve been ill, sick, possibly transforming into a being of pure energy. Not summer cold sick. No. This is more like something entered my system, dissolved my internal organs and discharged them at regular 30-minute intervals using a high pressure sulfur gas. It seems to be over now, but it was not great. I did not love it. But, I made it through without suffer to badly from dehydration.

Saturday, I did very little, but I did take the four boxes of game books and infuse them into my office space. This involved relocating a lot of stuff. It feels a little to crowded and cluttered for my comfort, but most everything is still there and the boxes are gone.

Here’s a gallery of my office. Some of the thumbnails are cropped and all the thumbnails link to larger pictures.

Today, I’m feeling much better. Just in time for work on Monday. I mowed the lawn, did the laundry, took out the trash, and all the usual weekend nonsense was condensed into one day. No progress was made on projects this weekend.

In the event that you do not fully understand the magnitude of board games that were on display at last weekend’s Doug Con, I present you with this picture collage of what I was faced with when I arrived. We did not play all of these, but we did play some. I even had my first virtual reality experience playing a game where you disarm a bomb. Very cool. But until they can reduce the size and bulk of the headset, I don’t think VR is going to catch on.

so many board games

I came home from Doug Con with a haul of 4 banker’s boxes of my old RPG stuff. I knew that I had left stuff in the care of my good buddy, Doug, but I did not realize just how much stuff he had. Hell, some of this stuff I don’t even remember having. Where am I going to put all this? I’ll probably post more about this stuff as I sort through it. Some of it is kinda cool and nostalgia factor is high.

treasure trove of old rpg stuff

Mostly, Dungeons & Dragons 1st and 2nd edition stuff, but there is a mix of other stuff in there as well. Rifts, Star Wars, Shadowrun, and Champions. There’s a four book set of Marvel character references, a Stephen E Fabian art book, and some cardboard heroes and other Steve Jackson stuff. This will take some time to go through and time to find places for all this stuff. Later.

I said the Truckcast was done, but nothing is ever really over. And so, I’ve put the wheels back on the van and hit the road with my recorder on… anything for the fans.

This past weekend was the world renowned Doug Con and I’m going to take this opportunity to let you in on all of the fun and probably tell you about a few other things as well.

It is time for the biggest event of the summer, July 4th-7th, somewhere in the metro Detroit area…

doug con

This is it! The biggest basement board game bash in years. Virtually non-stop gaming. Beer, sandwiches, pizza, or Thai, or maybe burgers… heck, there might be hotdogs. Hell, this thing is going on for 4-days, it might be all of those things. Whatever works. People will be eating and what they’ll be eating will be food. I guarantee it.

many dice will be rolled

Prepare yourself to sleep on a camp mat, bunk bed, or maybe in the free bedroom. First come, first choice. But bring your games… all of them. You’re going to need them.

Okay, so this thing started yesterday at my buddy Doug’s house, but it was the 4th and I spent that here with the fam. Today, I’m stuck at home waiting on delivery of a very expensive motor for my “nuclear pharmacy”. I call it that because they make and distribute all the radioactive stuff for treating cancer and what not. Anyway, they’ve got some broken shit and I need to fix it, but the motor didn’t arrive yet and the tracking info says today. Hopefully sooner rather than later. once it gets here I’m off to gaming nirvana.

stuff and things