Spiral Light Candle
Sauk Centre, Minnesota: near the corner of Ash Street and South 9th.
(Please, be patient. The live streaming video starts after a (relatively) short canned commercial.)

Monday, December 27, 2010

No Picture? Please be Patient

Like I said in "One Computer: Many Tasks" (December 24, 2010): "If you check in on this webcam regularly: Thanks you!"

Also, this webcam is offline from time to time. I make an effort to announce 'down times' on my Ustream account, where my screen name is Aluwir:There are times when that isn't possible - like now, around noon Central time, December 27, 2010: when a software glitch happened.

If you don't see the picture, please be patient: I'll try to have things up and running: "soon." "Soon," of course, being a slightly subjective term.

Friday, December 24, 2010

One Computer: Many Tasks

If you check in on this webcam regularly: Thanks you!

I enjoy the view out my north window, and am glad to share it.

You may have noticed that the webcam isn't always online.

There are several reasons for that, including:
  • Communications trouble
  • Sauk Centre, Minnesota, has pretty good communications infrastructure
    • We also have central Minnesota's climate
    • Even in perfect weather, technical troubles happen
      • Sometimes
  • In-house technical issues
    • Nothing's perfect in this world
    • Including my
      • Computer
      • Webcam
      • Software
  • My webcam's software, and the service I use, don't play well with other software I use
  • Sometimes I need to update my system
    • Occasionally that means restarting the computer
  • I try to keep predictable interruptions
    • To a minimum
    • At night
      • When there's less to see outside
One of those predictable outages is coming up in a few minutes. Please be patient: I plan and hope to be back in a few hours.

Maybe less.

Maybe more: but I expect to be back online by morning.

One more thing: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Sauk Centre's Eye-on-the-Street webcam's Back: Again

A few minutes ago, I came to the computer. The screen was dark: no surprise, since the screen saver does that.

Problem is, I couldn't get the display back.

Eventually, I rebooted.

The webcam's back online now: but may have been off for hours.

I'm checking now, to see if I can figure out what happened, and keep it from happening again.

As before, in situations like this: thank you for your patience.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sauk Centre's Eye-on-the-Street webcam's Back!

The video feed's back - thanks to my son noticing a slight discrepancy in my computer's system.

I'd downloaded a driver for the webcam - from the right company, but for the wrong webcam.


Please be Patient: Still More Technical Issues

So, I've got my soon-to-be-certified computer tech son working on the webcam issue.

And - we still don't know what's going on.

Actually, we do. The computer works, the peripherals work - all the way up to the webcam. Which was working four and half hours ago.

So far, though, the webcam and the new computer are not on speaking terms.

There is a solution: but we haven't found it yet.

Please be Patient: Technical Issues

First, the good news: I've got a new computer, which should provide more reliable service.

Now,the bad news: I'm having some issues with the new computer and the old webcam.

No surprises there: but it's frustrating.

I'll have the video back - as soon as possible.

Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

On 24/7/365: Except When I'm Not

I'm taking the webcam offline for an hour or so soon. It's something I do most evenings. If your view of my neighborhood streets gets cut off abruptly: Sorry about that!

Not all of my software plays well with what supports the webcam - and I've only got this one computer.

When it's gone, the picture's usually back in an hour or so. Except those rare occasions where I've got some - interesting - technical issues.

Thanks for watching, and please be patient.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Webcam's Back: For Now

My power supply had been acting up, which explains this webcam's absence for the last day or so.

It's behaving itself now - but I'm not letting this computer out of my sight. Or, rather, it gets shut down when I'm not around.

That's not an ideal solution: but it's working for now.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Just a Little Power Supply Issue

The webcam is offline - and probably will be for a day or so.

My computer's power supply fan has taken to making ugly noises at odd intervals: and I'm not at all convinced that it will remain running when I'm not within earshot.

Sorry about that: A replacement part has been located, and will be installed in a timely fashion. At least, that's the plan.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Technical Difficulties: DNS Servers, Apparently

This webcam dropped offline earlier this evening.

I gather that the DNS servers for my ISP went down for - maybe an hour this evening. That's not official, but my son reports that he could ping IP addresses - and access one website on his browser using its IP address.

Not much help to me, but at least we knew that we didn't have a local problem: and could relax while technicians somewhere else worked to restore service.

I'm hoping that there won't be any more surprises for quite a while now.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I took some photos yesterday afternoon, from 'webcam' window. The folks across the street from us lost a branch that's maybe three or four inches in diameter.

Mid-afternoon on South 9th. October 26, 2010.

A closer look at that downed branch. October 26, 2010.

About 4:20 in the afternoon: brisk weather for a walk. October 26, 2010.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Well, That's Odd: Webcam is Back Online

This webcam was offline for - several hours, most likely - today.

It's back, though: showing the end of a gray October day here in central Minnesota.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Getting Ready for Winter

I took the hummingbird feeder in yesterday afternoon. It's long past the time when they're supposed to be headed for points south.

Last winter there wasn't much interest in the food block I set out: so that may or may not happen again this winter.

Meanwhile, there are vehicles, people, yards and sky to see.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Technical Difficulties: Again; Still

Ustream dropped the live feed somewhere in the last few hours. My monitor page looks okay, and indicates that all's well - but the video's not getting out.

Sorry about that - I haven't been in a position to do frequent checks today. The webcam should be back online in 20 minutes or so, based on previous experience.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Technical Difficulties: Well, That was Odd

I'm back on - after trying one more time: and logging in twice, once from one page on the Ustream site, once from another.

I hope this is a temporary glitch.

Related post:

Technical Difficulties: Again; Still

I can't log into Ustream, the service I use to provide live streaming video from my webcam. Or, I can log in - and as soon as I get to the screen where I start 'broadcasting,' I'm sent to a login screen again.

I rather hope that Ustream is able to get control of its system again.

I'll try again, after daylight.

Related posts:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Few Changes: Make that "Improvements"

I've edited this blog's introduction, but mostly I've added a page of video clips from this webcam.

The whole point of a webcam is to provide live streaming video: but that's not always possible. Besides, at night there really isn't all that much to see.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Technical Difficulties - Good News, For Now

Good news: is back online.

Technical Difficulties: Ustream's 'Off the Air'

Sorry:, the service I've used to get this webcam online, is 'off the air.'

There's an 'under construction' page where their domain used to be.

Oh, well: it was good while it lasted.

I'll be looking for a replacement: in the meantime, please be patient.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back to Business as Usual: Almost

My neighbors are still getting their home fixed, from that fire. S. B. Restoration Services is back today: along with Klein Electric.

I turned the webcam back toward the edge of Ash Street and South Ninth, since the restoration work has moved inside.

On an unrelated topic: School started on Tuesday of this week, so there's a torrent of teens and elementary students going past each weekday afternoon, around 3:00.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fire Next Door: Fixing the Damage Day 3, Done for Now?

I haven't noticed any work going on across the street since yesterday afternoon. If that means the job's done for them, fixing up after the fire: good news.

So, I've swung the webcam back, to look at the hummingbird feeder, bird bath, and part of the corner of South Ash Street and 9th.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fire Next Door: Fixing the Damage Day 2

Most of the work is getting done inside today. They've set up a woodworking bench in the driveway, at the picture's right side.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fire Next Door: Fixing the Damage

My neighbors, across the street north, have been doing a lot of work on their house: new siding, and probably more maintenance on the inside.

Then, Friday afternoon, part of it caught fire. Starting this week, I've been seeing another set of panel trucks and SUVs parked across the street - they're obviously having damage from the fire repaired.

A few minutes ago, my wife pointed out that I could turn my webcam a little, and show what was going on. While experiencing that 'why didn't I think of that?!' feeling, I did so - and will be showing the worksite until they've wrapped things up.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Technical Difficulties

That's frustrating: The Ustream monitor said the webcam was online - but when I checked here, - it wasn't.

Which may explain why nobody's checked out the view since morning.

Anyway, it's back now.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Technical Difficulties: Power Failure

Power was out at my house, and quite a bit of Sauk Centre, Minnesota, this morning.

It's back now, and will, I hope stay that way.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Technical Difficulties

At about 3:00 p.m. today, my household's cable got cut. Not the tree-removal crew's fault: the guys who laid the cable went over a tree root, instead of cutting through, or digging under. The cable was, essentially, lying on the grass.


We got re-connected, thanks to another contractor, about five minutes ago (7:15-7:20, give or take).

Our service provider's tech will be out around Wednesday. I hope.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hummingbirds, Stearns County Fair, and Technical Difficulties

Yesterday, I cleaned and refilled the hummingbird feeder. High time, to, since it had gotten rather empty.

Then my household lost our Internet connection, phone & cable.

Not right away: the trouble started around midnight, and lasted until at least 1:30 a.m.

Frustrating, rather.

Today, you'll see more vehicles parked on the street: this is about as close as folks visiting the Stearns County Fair can park, legally, for free.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hummingbird Feeder Filled Again

I cleaned and refilled the hummingbird feeder again this afternoon. It's gratifying to see that the birds are using the 'nectar.' Also, fun to watch them flit in, dip their beaks, and flit away.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hummingbird Feeder & a Tornado Warning

I washed and refilled the hummingbird feeder about 40 minutes ago. The hummers had nearly drained it.

And, I see there's a tornado warning for areas just to our north. That would explain the clouds.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tornado Warning

About 3:00 p.m. CDT the sirens went off and the family and I went to the basement.

That may be when we lost the webcam: which is back online now.

Apart from a whole lot of rain and wind, nothing much happened in our part of Sauk Centre's south side. For which I'm thankful. I hope everybody else is okay.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I cleaned and filled the hummingbird feeder again yesterday: a routine event.

The hummers are either hungrier - or there are more of them. After six days, they'd gone through most of the cup of 1-to-4 homemade nectar I'd set out. The level was well below the red plastic: I've been refilling a bit before that point's reached.

Granted, I'd waited six days this time, not the five-day interval before.

My guess is that there are more hummingbirds coming now: I've noticed at least two approach and exit routes in use, and am spotting them more frequently.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I cleaned and re-filled the hummingbird feeder yesterday. The hummers are going through the nectar faster now, I think. I may have more 'clients.'

At least, I saw two at the feeder at the same time: neither seemed comfortable with the other's presence.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Fourth of July Weekend 2010

It's day one of Independence Day weekend: so there'll be more folks coming and going on motorcycles, hauling boats, or parked in front of friends' or relatives' houses.

I grilled lunch - but that's on the other side of the house.

In the spirit of Public Service Announcements: have a fun and safe holiday weekend.

Friday, July 2, 2010


I cleaned and re-filled the hummingbird feeder yesterday afternoon: but haven't seen any of the hummers since then.

Which isn't surprising, since I haven't been watching all that much. I'm hoping to kick back and relax a bit this afternoon, and spot one.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

No Phone, No Web, No Internet: Not a Single Webcam Live

I intended that title to go with the title song of Gilligan's Island.

Around midnight last night, this webcam went offline. The webcam and my computer were working fine. The problem was that my household had lost our connection to the Internet - and telephone service.

I kept checking, and at 1:30 a.m. decided that sleep was important. And slept until almost noon. I'm not a 40-year-old kid any more. (Through One Dad's Eye (June 29, 2010))

I sincerely hope that we don't have another service interruption like that again, any time soon.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Webcam's Off Air? Yes, But There's More to It Than That

Sorry about that, if you visited this page and didn't see a live webcam's image.

A few minutes ago, I discovered that the feed out here shows that the webcam's offline. You can get at recorded video, but not the live feed.

That was an unpleasant surprise to me, since at my end, using monitoring features provided by Ustream, the service that's handling the feed, everything's just fine. Nice, (fairly) clear image and all.

Here, where it counts? Not so much. No live feed at all, in fact. Not good.

I've decided to re-start the feed periodically. Maybe that'll clear up this problem. We'll have more off-air periods of several minutes - but may reduce the number of times the webcam's unavailable for (probably) hours at a time.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Shockwave Flash: New and Improved? Not So Much

I trust that most Shockwave Flash users are quite satisfied with their recent upgrade. I made the mistake of installing mine - and have had issues with it and/or the service that usually delivers this webcam's feed to you.

If you've checked in and found no picture: that's one of the times I didn't catch the crash soon enough.

A couple happened today - and I'll admit that I'm a bit frustrated.

But, that's my problem.

I'm hoping to (eventually) find a solution. An all-new computer and camera system would be nice. But so would a million dollars, tax-free. ;) I'm looking for another alternative.

Thanks for your patience!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Technical Difficulties: It's Always Technical Difficulties

Well, it feels like all I post about here are the glitches (or maybe one recurring glitch).

This is something new, though. Around 2:00 this morning, judging from a log entry, some piece of software tried to get an update: and experienced a psychotic break. Or something. By the time I got to the computer, about 3/4 of an hour ago, all I saw on the screen was blue.

Now, a bit of rebooting and fiddling later, I'm up and running again. Smoothly, I hope.

Thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Technical Difficulties

Another day, another glitch.

Actually, no: but it feels that way.

Small Town America: Minnesota's webcam is once again on speaking terms with the service I use. The issue may involve new-and-improved Shockwave flash. Or, something else.

Bottom line: the webcam's back. Sorry about the interrupted service.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Technical Difficulties: Another New One

This webcam was offline for - some period of time - this morning.

It's back, and I expect it to stay that way. Make that "I hope" it'll stay that way.

This time around, something went wrong with the Flash extension in the browser I use to keep the webcam and the online service talking to each other.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Oops! Cable Troubles

Around mid-afternoon today, we discovered that whoever put in the coaxial cable that feeds our house covered it with sod - but not much more than that. It was just a few inches below the grass.

So, when the guys who were digging out space for brick paving got to where the cable was, they cut it.

Putting this webcam offline for a few hours.

Good news: they called somebody out to do a temporary splice.

Better news: the cable company is coming out - tomorrow, I think - to do a more permanent repair.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hummingbirds! Or Maybe One Hummingbird

This afternoon, and evening, I've seen a hummingbird come to the feeder. Or maybe several, all of the same species. Either way: The hummingbird feeder's being used.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hummingbird Feeder's Out

A few minutes ago I re-filled the birdbath - 2/3 of it, with #1 daughter taking care of the last third - and set out the hummingbird feeder.

I'm getting that feeder out a little late this year - but I trust that the hummers will find it. The question is, how long will that take?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Technical Difficulties: Or Maybe Operator Error

If you tried viewing this webcam in the last seven hours or so, and it was offline: Sorry about that!

It's back. The software at my end was, as far as I can tell, which isn't very (I'll explain after this paragraph), was working okay - but I'd lost the internet connection.

I caught some sort of bug, slept through most of Tuesday: and am still not feeling even close to 'up to par.'

It's been raining for days - and previous experience tells me that there can be issues with internet service in this area when that happens. The situation is getting better each year - which tells me that the maintenance folks are on the job. (Thanks!)

I hope the webcam stays online for the rest of today. But, we'll see. And, more to the point, I'll be keeping a (somewhat bleary) eye on it.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Technical Difficulties: A New One, It Seems

Well, at least this wasn't the same old glitch.

The webcam was offline for an as-yet undetermined length of time this evening. Sorry about that! Apparently the webcam was bumped off the service I use.

Odd: but as long as it doesn't happen again, I won't worry.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Small Town America Neighborhood Streets, Yards: and now a Birdbath

My son and I set up a birdbath near the webcam, a few minutes ago. I trust that birds will find it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Good Grief, Not Again?!

This time I think it's human error that kept the webcam offline for the last few hours.

Sorry about that!

For what it's worth, I've got what I assume is a cold. Or maybe allergies. Whatever the case, I'm definitely not running at 100% efficiency. Not even close.

I hope this will be the last service outage for a long, long time.

On the up side, between warm air, rain and sunshine: the grass is turning green.

Not Again!

Update (April 15, 2010)

I've got indirect evidence that the webcam was offline for about four or five hours, starting around 8:00 a.m. today (Central Time). Give or take an hour or so.

Which doesn't help a bit, if you stopped in this morning and saw - nothing on the feed.

Again, sorry about that.
So I oversleep (I've got a cold - I hope), check in at the computer: and get a 'Windows is Shutting Down' message. The iron idiot is apparently stuck in that mode.

No problem, I think: A simple reboot fixed it.

But this webcam has been offline for - it could be almost nine hours. Sorry About that!!

But it's back now: showing a beautiful, clear, blue-skied spring day in my part of Minnesota.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Good Grief, Now What?!

This webcam went offline for some reason, earlier today.

I didn't notice it until about a minute ago. Sorry about that!

It's back - to stay for quite a while, I hope.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Technical Difficulties: This is Getting Monotonous

The webcam's been offline off and on this morning. I think it's a combination of software updates at inopportune times and my pushing the limits of my system resources. (There's something to be said for opting for manual updates only - but I'm not expert enough to know which are relevant and which aren't.)

I hope, sincerely, that there won't be more unexpected breaks in the feed.

Thank you for your patience.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

About Those Interruptions of Service

First, the good news: I've got a new router, which should take care of some of the craziness I've experienced with the household Internet connection lately.

Now, the bad news: a member of the family hooked up about an hour ago - without letting me know first. Job well done, but when I know something like that's going to happen, I leave a 'heads up' message at Ustream.

If you were watching when the webcam went dead: sorry about that!

I'm hoping that this is the end of technical difficulties: for a few days, anyway.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Technical Difficulties: This is Getting Monotonous

The webcam was offline today. Again.

For hours, probably, before I noticed was was going on. Or, rather, what wasn't.

At this point, I'm assuming operator error at my end.

Sorry about that!

And, more to the point: I intend to watch what I do online more closely. And, check the webcam's status more often.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Technical Difficulties

The webcam and my Internet connection were fine: but the computer I use picked up a rather nasty bit of adware this morning.

Sorry about that!

Before logging back into the service I use to bring you the streaming video, I needed to go through a rather long process of de-worming my system.

That's the bad news.

The good news is that the webcam's back, and should stay online.

Thank you for your patience!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Technical Difficulties

If you tried viewing this webcam earlier today, you may not have seen much. There seems to have been a service interruption - probably during the last few hours (evening, here in the Central time zone).

Sorry about that. I'm still not certain what happened, but I've re-set the software I use, and will be monitoring the situation.

Thanks for your patience!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Comments, Spam, and Having to Wait

Comments on this blog will be moderated from here on.

Partly to keep me from missing comments like the one left by someone who lived "just around the corner" from this webcam.

Sorry about that. I like to see the comments I make show up right away, and figure that you probably do, too.

On the other hand, I've been getting too much obscene spam: which I don't like to see, and figure you may not, either. Particularly if you understand the language it's written in.

I rambled on about this more, in another blog:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Back Online

The webcam's back. Good news.

Technical Difficulties

I can't seem to get a user's connection to Ustream, the service I use to get my webcam's streaming video online.

And now, the Ustream site seems to be offline.


Since I (desperately) need sleep, I'm signing off for now: and will try again in the morning. Later in the morning.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Webcam's Back! Yet Again

I'd say that "technical difficulties" had this webcam offline for part of the evening, at least. Truth is, I may have pushed the wrong button. I'm checking out other possibilities, too.

Anyway, the streaming video's back: and should be for hours to come.

Thanks for your patience.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Blizzard Coming: Maybe

There may be something to watch tonight. The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for the part of the country.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Power Outage

Well, that was interesting.

Power came back, about 10 minutes ago. It took me that long to re-boot the computer, and get my software to talking with me again. So to speak.

I trust there won't be more interruptions tonight.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Something a Little Different: If You Can't Tell the Difference - - -

Yesterday I installed Google Chrome on my computer, and started using Chrome as the browser that helps send this streaming video to you.

If you can't tell the difference - that's the way I want it.

The reason for this change is that I've been having to take the webcam offline for a few minutes (sometimes more) each day, to deal with my browser and free up system resources.

The new arrangement should cut down on the offline time. Significantly.
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