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Sauk Centre, Minnesota: near the corner of Ash Street and South 9th.
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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Distinctly Unsmooth stream? There's a Reason for That

Maybe you've noticed a lack of smoothness in this webcam's stream.

Sorry about that, but there isn't much I can do about the situation: short of either shutting down the webcam entirely, or providing an image that's a few dozen pixels across. Even then, I'd probably get the "Your computer or your internet connection cannot handle your current quality setting" message.

I've tried.

Aside from that message from the service I use to broadcast the webcam's stream, my computer is working fine. Every few minutes, a website will load at a rate suggestive of chilled molasses oozing out of a bottle: and then load normally.

We've had quite a bit of rain lately, which almost certainly accounts for the sluggish Internet. There's a very new data cable just south out town, but other parts of the regional network are distinctly not-new: and may not have been top-quality when originally installed. Or maybe they were, and time has had its usual effect on equipment.

Anyway, I've cranked back the 'quality' settings on my webcam, will keep on noting the "cannot handle" message, and get back to work.

Related posts:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Off Again, On Again

The webcam's back online.

It's been unavailable since before dawn last night. I found out this morning. My computer was frozen, thoroughly. Not even the manual power/reboot switch on the 'tower' worked. Walking around to the back and unplugging it did, of course, and I was back to normal in a few minutes.

The culprit this time was probably a routine malware sweep. The software I use is a 'resource hog,' and may have grabbed too much this time.

Now that I've got my other morning routines out of the way, I'll check the log of that last malware sweep. If things go well, I'll find nothing unusual.

Related post:

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Off For Five Hours: There's an Explanation For This One

Sometimes this webcam is offline, and I can't figure out why. I just shut my system down, reboot: and generally that's enough to get the picture back.

Sometimes there's nothing I can do. My household's Internet connection is on the fritz, or my computer needs skills I lack.

There was no streaming video from the north window for over five hours: and I knew exactly what the trouble was. A routine overnight sweep for malware found two troublesome objects. Dealing with that involved software that's thorough, but slow. That took care of the first two bits of malware, found two more: and a final sweep with my virtual equivalent of a seek-and-destroy team showed that all four were gone.

I've put the webcam back in operation, caught up on the five hours writing that I'd lost, and finally remembered to write this post. I'm hoping that this will be the last unexpected outage for a long time.

Somewhat-related post:

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Back Online

The webcam was offline for a few minutes, or maybe an hour, this afternoon. I noticed the situation when I returned home, and got the picture back in a few minutes.

My guess is that we had a temporary interruption in Internet service here. There's been rain, lightning, and thunder since roughly 2:30 local time.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Filled the Feeder

I let the hummingbird feeder get unusually low before refilling it this time, but the hummers don't seem to mind.

Friday, August 2, 2013

AIII! Frozen Computer

The first thing I noticed about my computer this morning was that the screen was black. That's not unusual: at all. My 'screensaver' is a plain black screen.

Moving the mouse gave me an unusually dim screen for a second or two: and then one where I could move the mouse, read 'not responding' messages on the two windows I leave on 24/7: and that's about it.

My son and I decided that the computer was frozen: and that the usual 'push and hold' restart procedure wasn't working either. Eventually we coaxed this thing into 'wakefullness,' and so far it's behaving well.

I've had intermittent trouble with getting the webcam's feed working: but this is the first sincere 'freeze' that either of us has seen in years.

Related posts:

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Street Work and Sinclair Lewis Days Parade

Sunday, July 21, 2013. A crew dug a hole in Main Street between South 5th and 6th on Wednesday. My guess is that they were doing some unplanned utility work.


That was quick. Main Street was patched up, with nothing to show for the previous day's work except a sandy patch and traffic cones. July 18, 2013.


Minnesota's four seasons: fall, winter, spring, and road work. Or, in town, street work. July 18, 2013.


The folks at Arvig had some sort of major get-together on Thursday. My guess is that it was part of Sinclair Lewis Days. July 18, 2013.

Sinclair Lewis Days ended yesterday, with the usual parade. There's a street dance on Sinclair Lewis Avenue, downtown, after that: but for me the parade is the grand finale.


Some folks have their spots picked and folding chairs in place by late afternoon. By the time the parade starts, at 7:00 p.m., the route is packed. July 20, 2013.


A somber start to the parade - - - July 20, 2013.


- - - followed by sunshine and clowns. July 20, 2013.

I've got quite a few pictures from the parade, but those will wait until another day.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Frozen: in July?!

The webcam 'froze' some time last night, well before sunrise. Restarting it was simple, once I noticed the situation

Related post:

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hummingbird Feeder Filled

I filled the hummingbird feeder again a few minutes ago. There hasn't been much use of it so far this year, but I'm hoping that will change, now that summer is warming up.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Back Online

My son discovered why the webcam wasn't working. Basically, nobody had told the software that it was okay to get information from the camera. It's fixed now, and I've got another 'look for this' item for the next time there's technical difficulties.

Related post:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

No Picture, No Clue

I'm hoping that the webcam will come back to life on its own. I've checked the connections, rebooted the computer, done all the usual 'maybe this will work' stuff. But the result is the same: absolutely no picture.

At all.

I'll keep trying, though, so stick around or check back later - or, not.

Still here? Thanks for your patience!

Related posts:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hummingbirds, Again

It's been some time since I saw hummingbirds at the feeder. There was a little less nectar than I remember putting in, so I figured that something was feeding there.

A few minutes ago I had the pleasure of seeing two hummers perch on the feeder and get an evening fill-up.

Related posts:

Monday, May 27, 2013

First Hummingbirds of 2013

Yesterday I put the hummingbird feeder out. This morning #1 daughter told me she'd seen a hummingbird use it: around noon, I saw a hummer perch on the feeder. In a few minutes it was joined by another, briefly.

Related posts:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Calling All Hummingbirds

I put out this year's first pint for the hummingbirds about an hour ago. It's anyone's guess when I'll notice the first one: not that I'll be spending every minute watching the feeder.

Related posts:

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It's Back

Good news: It wasn't my fault, unlike last time. (April 19, 2013)

Bad news: With no Internet service, the webcam wasn't available for several minutes.

More good news: Internet is back, and so is the webcam.

Friday, April 19, 2013

I'm Back: So is the Webcam

Sorry about that. I've been out of town for a few days, and didn't have a chance to reboot my computer. Technical issues resolved, a software update, and we're good to go. Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Webcam's Back

My household's Internet connection is back to normal, and I've restored the usual resolution to my webcam's feed.

The sluggish connection had an unexpected benefit: asking my son about his connection speed turned into a long talk about software, games, and an old cartoon series.

Related post:

Spring, and the Usual Internet Problems

There seems to be a problem with my Internet connection and/or computer. I'm guessing it's the Internet connection, since the 'in-house' performance seems normal. We tend to have trouble as spring approaches, and during heavy rain.

Sorry about that.

I hope this clears up soon: until then, I've reduced resolution/picture quality rather dramatically.

So it's not you that's got the problem: those postage-stamp-size pixels are about the best that I can coax out of my connection now.
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