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.)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Webcam, Software, and All That

I discovered that a new bit of software does not play well with my webcam. Actually, it's rather old software: but newly-installed on my computer.

This has happened before, so I know what is the easiest solution: Not run the two at the same time. That has the regrettable effect of taking the webcam offline for an hour or so on some days.

I'll try to have most of my planned outages in the evening, when there's not much to see.

Thanks in advance for your patience. Like everything else in this world, the present situation will change.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Few Power Outages, a Brownout: Otherwise Okay

I hope that power is back to stay in my part of Sauk Centre's south side. We've had several power failures, and at least one brownout so far this morning.

My computer seems to be okay, and the webcam's working - so, unless or until something else happens: there should be a live feed from near the corner of Ash Street South and 9th.

That's the second time this month that we've had power problems. Oh, well.

Related post:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Webcam's Back!

When I got home this evening, I discovered that there'd been a power outage in our part of Sauk Centre: a brief one.

That sort of thing happens now and then, and normally I'd check the webcam soon after the power came back on.

This time I couldn't, since I was out of town. Sorry about the interruption.

Good news: your look out the window at my corner of small town America is back online.

Bad news: it wasn't available for at least several hours today.

More good news: As far as I know, I won't be going anywhere for quite a while. Which is just as well. The last 10 days have been hectic, and that's another topic: for another blog.

Not-completely-unrelated posts:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Offline, Again: "Service Unavailable" - **Frustrating!**

Sorry about this: "Service Unavailable" is all I get from, the folks who provide the online presence for my webcam.

The good news is that there's a new message now, reading: "The service is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later." The word "temporarily" looks hopeful, so - I'll "try again later."

Again: Sorry about this.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Offline, Back Online, Again

I'm not sure why, but the webcam's service provider stopped picking up my feed during the night.

I've re-established a connection, and hope this will last a while.

Thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Back Online - Finally

A storm, more than a week ago now, interrupted power to part of Sauk Centre. My computer's fine, so is the webcam. But I was in Pennsylvania at the time, and didn't think to have someone here at home get the system going again.

Everything seems to be working okay now, for which I'm duly grateful. It's been a big ten days or so - and I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep.

What I was doing in Pennsylvania is another topic:

Monday, August 8, 2011

Offline For Now

This webcam's offline, and there isn't much I can do about it at the moment. The good news is that I expect to get it up and running again later this week. The bad news - as far as the webcam is concerned - is that I'm in Steubenville, Ohio, with #2 daughter and my son-in-law.

I spoke with my wife the other day: we're okay, but a tornado passed north of Sauk Centre. The weather there's been lively.

What's a Minnesotan Doing in Ohio?

I've been traveling with the young couple, mostly to help at a trade show where they showed off the new Spiral Light Candle Corp.'s self-filling candle. Also my son-in-law's video production company.

More about the trade show and me:

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Let's See How This Works

In a few hours, I'll be leaving for Philadelphia - 'near Philadelphia,' anyway. I'll be the gopher at a trade show there.

That means that this webcam will be on its own for - almost two weeks.

Not entirely, of course. But I don't expect the rest of the family to check in on it as often as I do. And even then, it's been offline and unnoticed at this end for hours. And that's another topic.

I've still got some preparation for the trip to do, so - here's hoping for the best.

Related post:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Same Streaming Video, New Service

As of a few minutes ago, I started using Livestream's video streaming service. (

We'll see how well this works.

So far, the video quality seems to be higher than with my old service.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

You May - or May Not - See Streaming Video Here

Something's decidedly odd about the feed I've been getting from Ustream, the service I use for this webcam.

Some time this afternoon, the image apparently froze - and stayed that way until a few minutes ago.

I logged out of Ustream, logged back in, and finally rebooted my computer, in an effort to restore somewhat-normal service.

If it's noon in Minnesota, and you're seeing a freeze-frame of dark streets, or if nothing seems to be moving, or you see something weird - sorry about that, but I don't know what the problem is.

You could try clicking the arrow/triangle that (I hope) appears in the center of the image. When I did so, I was taken to the Ustream page that features this 'show.' After a commercial (probably 30 seconds long) that you may or may not find offensive. The ones I got were selling some sort of snack food.

Or, you could check out some other blog, or get a cup of coffee, or something else.

Your choice.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

1st Hummingbird

An hour or so ago, I saw my first hummingbird of the season at the feeder. And there's one there now.

Whoops. It's gone. Those things are fast.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

First Batch for the Hummingbirds

About an hour ago, I mixed this year's first batch of 1-to-4 sugar water, and set out the hummingbird feeder.

It's late - I've heard that the hummers start coming in May. On the other hand, we had a cool spring, so maybe I haven't missed all that many.

Now, it's a question of how soon one or more finds the feeder.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Not-Exactly-Technical Difficulties


This webcam hasn't been online for - hours, at least.

Possibly because I didn't restart it properly, the last time I rebooted the system here. Or maybe something else happened.

It's back now, though.

Thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

No Internet, No Phone: Call Tech Support?

My household's Internet connection - and telephone service - went out, rather abruptly, at about 10 minutes after midnight this morning. This webcam's video feed went with it, of course.

I'm back online now, and hope to stay that way.

If you don't see live video here, there are the usual possible reasons:
  • I'm using software that doesn't play well with the webcam feed
    • I try to do so during 'off peak' times
      • But nobody's perfect
        • Especially me
  • My Internet connection's not working
    • An increasingly infrequent event
      • Happily
  • My computer's not working
    • It's fairly new
      • So that shouldn't be an issue
        • For a while
          • Famous last words?
  • Something else is going on
    • Or, the famous "miscellaneous" category

- - - Which Reminds Me of an Amusing Story

Conventional wisdom in those 'how to be an after-dinner speaker' books is that one should establish rapport with the audience. By opening with a joke or amusing anecdote.

Some folks are good at this. Others have been known to open with statements like "as I cast my gaze over this assembly, I am reminded of an amusing story...." Then the poor fellow tells a joke that has nothing at all to do with the folks he (or she) is talking to.

This is a little more connected.

A few years ago, here in central Minnesota, interruptions in Internet, phone, and cable service were more common. All three didn't necessarily go out at the same time.

Once, when the Internet was gone and a deadline was looming, the phones worked. I'd finally finagled my way through our ISP's customer 'service' menus, and was talking to a human being.

I explained that I didn't have any connection to the Internet. At all. None. He, in a reasonable and helpful tone, suggested that I look on the ISP's website, under "customer service."

Taking tech support and customer service calls isn't the easiest job in the world: I've had both.

Even so, my voice probably had a sarcastic edge when I asked him how I was supposed to use their website, if my Internet connection was gone.

The fellow was smart: he caught on right away, and we finally found out that everybody in this area was offline. That was almost good news: There wasn't anything I could do, except (try to) relax and let someone else deal with the issue.

Somewhat-related post:

Friday, February 25, 2011

No Picture? Here's Why

This webcam was off for a few hours today. That happens from time to time, since some of my software doesn't play well with the webcam video feed. Today I also was updating my computer: including Windows 7 Service Pack 1.

The point of all this is to explain what was going on, if you stopped by and didn't see a picture. Thank you for your patience.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Technical Issues: The Sequel

I don't know why - but I lost the webcam's connection again this afternoon. If this keeps up, I'll be bringing in some technical help.

Technical Issues: Again

The webcam went offline last night, or maybe early this morning. My son got things running here, and I expect to be 'on' - until I decide to use software that I know doesn't play well with the webcam service.

Sorry about that: I try to keep this webcam in service for dawn and dusk, and much of the day. Unhappily, there isn't someone on duty at my end 24/7: so outages happen from time to time.

Thanks for watching: and being patient!
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