Los Angeles 2001
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The Grand Trip
This one is called the grand trip
three major destinations in
more than meets the eye and more than what most would want. I got very tired after this trip. In a span of 40 days, I ended up in Los Angeles
for three weeks, Denver for a week and then Dallas for some five days to finish up a very
hectic October and November.
This period blew my mind. I
never realized that things could get this wild and so quickly as well. What started off as a request for a mini-tour of
the Los Angeles basin area turned into something that was literally spinning out of
control before we knew it. Those California
always have to make a big splash it would seem. We do things differently here on the
There were certainly plenty of stories to tell this time as so many
interesting things happened and I nearly hit a client for the first time (Nearly). He was being so annoying and stupid that I almost
could not restrain myself. I did, of course
and so I figured that I would get my little revenge by writing about it. The names have been changed to protect the guilty
even if they really deserve it.
I got into Los Angeles on October 4 to kick off the month. This trip would last three weeks and I pretty much
commuted to everyones home from my Aunts place in Hacienda Heights. After the events of Sept. 11, I really thought
that this trip might be in doubt, but things came together and we all pushed forward. The airport security was tighter now than ever
before, but it never did delay me too long. Getting
into LAX was wonderful this time around. There
were no people in the terminal except passengers and those that worked at the airport. I was very used to stepping off the plane and
being assaulted by a barrage of religious fanatics looking for money or trying to convert
me to their god
Now all I need is your credit card number.
They were all gone
it was wonderful. I got off the plane, took the short walk to the
baggage claim area and then it was out the door to catch the rental car bus. They did not even have to check my baggage tickets
like they always did so many times before. I
took a Ford Taurus this time as I wanted to get the feel of how these large North American
cars felt. In Atlanta, I had an Intrepid, in
Minneapolis, I used an Alero, now this time
(In Denver, I would
use a Subaru Forrester.)
I got in by noon time and I was off to my first customers home
for the afternoon. Laptop map navigation
continued to work like a charm. The first of
33 calibrations in 21 days. First on the
look for a Walmart type store for necessary tools and jungle supplies. There is always something like that along the way. Like death and taxes. Found a Target store and that was good enough.
The first client was a Lawyer type and he was just getting into the
Home theater scene. He had a 50HX81 Toshiba
and my first go at the new line. The more
things you learn the more you do. Bummer. Calibration was routine without any surprises, but
it was interesting to see the husband / wife conflicts whenever the mother tried to get
the son to do his home work rather than watch the calibration guy at work. Sometimes, dad was not helping
and I am not
involved at all. I should note that this
years Toshiba sets have the horizontal blanking on the set much closer to 5% than I
would like on the sides. Previously, you
might be able to take the left/right overscan down to 2%
but not anymore. The cut off appears at 4% or so. The image just blanks beyond that.
The big concern here was that HDTV off the antenna locally was much
better than what was coming off DISH. At
least that was the perception. There had to
be something wrong with the installation of the dish.
But with a high signal strength, the HDTV image simply was that way. Material originating in film always looked more
grainy than something from real HDTV camera equipment.
Sometimes this can be hard to grasp and I think this reasoning was lost.
I met up with my aunt after the initial job and it was good to check
into a home where I was more familiar with. Even
my aunts dog was still there even though he is getting on in years. I still call him dog as I dont
know what his name is. I think my aunt calls
him dog as well. The dog was given to her
daughter, but left behind when the daughter went off to college. My only reservation about this home was the bed
they do bite. Each and every time
I visit her home. Plenty of ankle level
I was off to Melrose area this morning to work on a 65 Toshiba
set. I was carrying along my Cinema 7 remote
so that I could turn on the 3:2 pulldown feature on the H80/70 series TVs that I
would encounter. Another straight forward
calibration, but the place was rather odd. Something
odd about the neighborhood
and about the home that I was working in. I couldnt quite place my finger on it, but
my aunt would shed light on this strange feeling that evening. Explaining just what the Melrose area is all
This was another 65H80 Toshiba, located in a predominately
Hispanic/Asian neighbourhood. At least that
was what the client told me. He was the only
Caucasian in the entire apartment building, but the rent was reasonable so there he was. This was definitely a relatively small space. The client was a lawyer, but he lived in this
bachelor suite and cramp was the order for the day. How
he managed to use a 65 set as his home theater center piece along with some
significant audio had to be seen to be believed. The
TV was the room and the room was there for the TV. We
had to literally walk around the TV and all the associated audio gear all the time. And somehow he managed to fit his desk into this
place as well. I have to credit him for
mentioning to me that I should not point out any deficiencies with his TV if I could not
fix them. He did not want to see it. No ghost line issue or raster ringing. I took the protective screen off and did the
grayscale and at the end, I put the screen back in place because he was expecting some
kind of service call form Toshiba.
I started to mull over my secondary project in LA outside of the tour
itself. I knew that I needed to start to
build my aunt a good entry level home theater system.
She had been living with a 17 Sony TV set for the longest time. Well, I was having none of that and I was
determined to upgrade her while I was around. I
got her a DVD player the last time I came. This
time I would have to work on a larger TV and an audio set up with cable or satellite. Build it slowly and one piece at a time. It is here that I start to think about the Star
Trek analogy from the episode A private little war. I was introducing a serpent to the garden of Eden
or rather, I was that Klingon chap giving the new and improved rifle to the villagers.
The destination this morning was in the extreme northwest area of Los
Angeles County. It was almost at Ventura
county if not slightly over there. The set
was a 65H80 unit powered by a home theater PC solution and a separate table top non
interlaced Panny DVD player. A routine
calibration, but the client had one guest over to watch.
That guest had used LA local ISF man about town, Robert McJimsey for his Pioneer
With the job completed, I knew that the next location would be one of
the longer drives of the tour. I had to make
it out to Juniper Hills by Edwards AFB. A
quick detour to Frys. I was looking at
both televisions to buy and portable DVD players. I
needed something to help pass the time on those long airplane flights and waits. A portable unit was in order and I had planned for
this because I brought with me some 19 discs full of Japanese Anime along with my usual
collection of test material. I ended up
getting a Panasonic unit with a 7 screen. Definitely
a cool toy. Although I had wanted to get a
5.8 Toshiba 480P portable instead.
So I was off to Juniper Hills, the home base of the LA tour
organizer. I grumbled a bit because my car
mapping program let me down for a while and I kept having to pull off to the side of the
road to get better information from the laptop navigation.
I eventually made it there and now the road system started to get me worried. Picture if you will, I am heading to Deans
the main road ends and I am then on a gravel road. Then I find myself climbing up the side of the
mountain for a bit
and then the road grade got worse. The car was bouncing up and down due to the road
condition. When the gravel road ended, I
started to worry even more. The roadway
became a small hikers trail and I really started to get worried. Deliverance
and I was not ready to die yet. He lived in a log cabin on the side of a mountain
It turned out that Deans home had both a wonderful view of
Palmdale and the AFB further to the north. Another
straight forward calibration, but what made this one memorable was that the home had no
central heating system. Just a wood stove in
the living room. There were also some rather
huge moths all over the computer screen when I checked my e-mail later that evening.
The cats come with the house.
I had a long drive back to LA on this morning having spent the
evening at Deans home. This one was a
56H80 unit, but the first thing I said to the client was that his Pioneer 434 unit was
so he rushed out to add a Panasonic RP56.
Noteable things with this calibration was that the TV was rather poorly set up. I fixed that.
This calibration was also one in which the client suffered from some
colour deficiencies. He had troubles with
both the colour red and green. Needless to
say, it changes your perspective a bit when you meet someone like this. What they perceive as a proper colour palette is
rather different from most of us, but his wife was happy with what she saw so I was happy.
Before heading off to the next job, the client showed me his grand
piano and that was something. A $40K piece
of work with a built in computer system that had the ability to play back the music from
someone that may have died along time ago. You
can actually record them playing with all the emotion and then play it back
(Somehow, this just isnt right and things like this should be stopped now before it
is too late
The evening was with the Disney man as I put it. An animator.
The set was a TW65X81 that had previously been worked on by Robert McJimsey in the
LA area. The set had undergone some repair
work and my arrival was to put back what was previously done and then a little extra on
top of that. It was a fun evening though as
the client and I talked about the various upcoming Disney projects as well as how Disney
changed a major sequence of a certain upcoming feature about an alien in order to remove
something similar to the Sept. 11 incident.
A drive into the heart of the entertainment capital. Hollywood! An
interesting location as the home was located in a converted Hotel that was pretty old and
probably had many tales of ill repute to tell. The
client had a 65H80 Toshiba and he already took the protective screen off. Pretty straight forward calibration job except for
the end when the client requested that I eyeball the geometry in all the other TW modes as
my eyeballing was apparently much better than his. Since
I was finishing up early anyway, I set up the green grid on the three TW modes so that he
could finish the convergence later. Since his
mother was the apartment manager of the complex, I told him that I would give her 50
Toshiba 4:3 set a complimentary grayscale calibration.
That took about 10 to 15 minutes and I was off.
I also had my first taste of Del Taco
not that you needed to know that.
I went TV shopping first in the afternoon for my Aunt and found a
36 Toshiba for about $800 at Best Buy. I
wasnt really shopping for price, simply a set that would have a decent image and
that I could calibrate with ease. They did
not have the TV in stock so I had to wait a few days or so I thought. Seemed their computer glitched and gave me a
delivery date of five weeks from then.
The day concluded with another Toshiba 65H80 in Yorba Linda. I was probably glad I spent the afternoon shopping
since the light control at this townhouse was not the greatest. However, with an evening arrival, calibration went
smoothly. I just cannot remember much more
about this job or the client.
Another return trip to Yorba Linda and this time for a Mits 46
married to a crappy Pioneer progressive scan 434 unit.
I made my feelings clear to the client and he went out to buy another RP56
Panasonic. At $200 and change, it is a great
little entry level unit. A couple of memorable things from this calibration visit was that
the client was doing some major home renovation work upstairs and there were some heavy
duty fumes of paint thinner or worse seeping downstairs.
Not the best environment
one spark and the whole house could go up
J Well, maybe not.
The guy was a fireman after all. The
most frustrating part of the calibration was in trying to fix the overscan and the
horizontal position of the image. I could
not even take this one less than 7% on one side as the image literally started to wrap on
to itself. This experiment to try to fix it
took about 90 minutes and with no success. I
put it back to where it started. Very
problematic overscan. Which seemed to occur
with Mits sets more than others. There was
also a very large dog out side the patio window staring at me.
I drive out to Irvine to visit a surgeons home. It is a duplex design in a secured neighbourhood,
but once I walked in the front door, it was apparent this was no typical duplex. 4300 sf
and a bit too large for my liking. The memorable part of this evening was that the
Toshiba 65H80 they had was the worst looking one that I have ever encountered. Awful doesnt even begin to describe the
images this set produced. Two of the three
guns were so out of focus that the entire image was a rich haze. I commented that the clients never noticed that
anything was very wrong with their set? Thats
just the way these things are. Well, I told
them that I would completely skip any pre-calibration activity and jump right into the
good stuff. No way I was taking
pre-calibration readings off this unit. It
was simply too painful to look at. Now by the
end of the session things were looking better. Some
much better for the clients that they commented that the image gave them a sense of
vertigo. It made them dizzy in its clarity.
I drove out to Vista to work on a Pioneer Pro 610. The client told me that he was also colour
deficient in some ways. There were plenty of
cat hairs around this home and It was amusing to see the client take off every few minutes
to watch his beloved Houston Astros on the TV upstairs.
The DVD player at hand was the venerable RP91 but this was I time when I and most
others had no idea about its centering issue. So
when I centered the image, it threw off the other stuff.
Bummer. I would later try to talk the
client into repositioning the Pioneer TV image because of the DVD glitch. With the recent Version 236 firmware, this
centering issue appears to have been solved. I
had some worries coming out of Vista though as the electrical system on the Taurus
appeared to fizzle when I started out. The
car would run, but no electric equipment was operating.
Im saying to myself, Im up S..t creek
and it was time to
do hand turning signals. This was one
headache that I did not need. Turned into the
closest parking lot to figure out what was wrong.
I made a quick stop at the Best Buy in Carlsbad and found an open box
RP56 unit for $190 so I bought it just for kicks. It
would also serve as a good demo for people without progressive scan units.
Getting back into LA again, the next set was a 55 Mits for a
patent lawyer. A man with a British accent
and the name of a dead president. Learning
my lesson from the Mits 46 I was not over zealous with the overscan. It was a fun evening as we traded stories about
the loves in our lives and the people that hurt us the most. I finished up the evening by calibrating the
Clients older 32 Sony as well.
Another Toshiba 65 unit, but this time married with a Philips
DVD player. I hooked up the RP56 unit as a
way to demonstrate the advantages of progressive scan for this client. At the end of the calibration session and the
demonstration, I started to pack up the Panasonic DVD player and the client asked me where
I was going with that DVD player. He bought
this unit off me without a second thought. Quite
convincing, the advantages of progressive scan, but you have to know how to demonstrate
it. Do it right, make everyone a believer. Too bad stores just do not do this.
I noticed that the client had a huge Ford Expedition vehicle so I
asked if he would assist me in shipping a 32 Toshiba flat screen set to the home of
my Aunt. Another piece of here home theater
puzzle. He agreed and we went to pick up the
Toshiba tube set and carried it into her home. The
box got a little too heavy as we were moving it to her back patio door. My strength just gave way and the box came down in
slow motion onto me and the ground. Luckily
the TV survived the slow motion fall.
A long drive out to Newport Beach this time and a 60 Mits 4:3
HDTV unit. The session was pretty straight
forward except for removing the protective screen. The
frame was rather awkward so I ended up taking the whole frame apart. Add to that, the wire connected to the front panel
that had to be disconnected. I needed four
arms to do that and fortunately the client was there to help out. All the time, I could hear the meowing of two cats
in the bedroom. The set calibrated nicely,
but there was one issue at the end which was some interference on all the inputs generated
by the TV. We could not figure out this one.
The evening finished up with me driving at some extreme speeds on the
LA freeway system back to my Aunts home. Everywhere
in LA is 20 minutes.
This was a relatively relaxing day as I only had one set to work on. The 56 panny from last year. The calibration of the set was fairly straight
forward with nothing strange. By the numbers
and a nice image to go with it. No more SVM. What was more interesting was the conversation
during the session. The client had a
friend/neighbour over that was there just to talk to him.
The neighbour was apparently just a bored housewife and she spent the entire
afternoon with us just talking about stuff in general.
I dont know if I could take being a house husband and sitting around all day
looking for someone else to talk to. I did
not mind the conversation though as the lady was also very pleasing to the eye and was
wearing a rather revealing dress. I kept
expecting her to leave at some point, but she never did.
We all went for a late lunch at the end of the session and she told us about the
laser eye surgery that she had. A good chance
to stare into her eyes to see the damage. Im
not convinced that I would do that to myself anytime soon.
Well we had fun and I got a quick tutorial on the health inspection rating system
that the city uses for restaurants.
In the evening, I got to relax and finish up my calibration of the
Toshiba 32AF41 flat tube. Luckily I was only
buying it for a relative. I would never
consider the set for myself since it had a few too many geometry quirks for my liking.
I took the day off and went to Universal Studios with some friends. Nothing like going through metal detectors to
enter the park.
A last minute addition to the tour via a recommendation from fellow
tweaker Tom Herman. This was a morning trip
back out to Redondo Beach for another in the long line of Toshiba 65 units. This was a cool visit because it turned out that
the client was an FBI agent and he gave me an FBI T-shirt.
He had a stalky build but you knew he worked out a lot. He was pumped.
I had a great time talking to him about his line of work and what it took to join
the FBI. Some of the things surprised me and
yet made a lot of sense as well. We talked
about guns and training and education. Very
neat and definitely a great memory.
I spent the rest of the day installing a DISH system at my
aunts home and getting the unit activated.
Only one job on this day as I had to get back out to Carlsbad for a
43 Toshiba HDTV. The client worked for
a public relations firm and he was sharing the condo with a computer programmer that never
slept. Since the programmer worked at home
all the time, he had the strangest hours. He
was in many ways just like the father in Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang. He would go off to the computer room and vanish. Another interesting item was the visits from the
an elderly gentleman who kept having trouble with operating his VCR and
modest stereo system. These guys made the
good Samaritan mistake
because once you help them, it never stops. I guess I do that enough as well.
I head into the outer burbs of San Diego in the morning to tackle yet
another Toshiba 65 unit. During our
conversation, I mentioned that I was intending to quit my day job when I returned home. The client referred me to a web site called
iresign.com where I could find form letters for resignations of all flavours. A way to get out without burning bridges.
It was back to Los Angeles again after this stop and this time I was
headed to Aliso Viejo. The set was a
57 Toshiba tied to a jury rigged pro-logic system and HDTV satellite box . I cannot say much about the calibration in itself
aside from the fact that I hate working on hardwood surfaces as they are murder on my
knees. I usually use a large pillow for these
locations. While the TV itself was not that
far out, I took the opportunity to completely rewire the clients A/V system. Even the simple pleasures like PIP were no
available in their current configuration. Since
I was running early, I decided to do this as a favour to the client. In the end, I think his wife appreciated the new
functionality of the system more than just the calibration itself. They had an a/v system that made sense
finally. It does make me wonder just how bad
some other peoples systems are.
The man with the yacht. A
very nice home indeed with lush landscaping and completely open to sunlight. This meant bad news for the Pioneer Pro-710 that
he used in his bedroom. He and his wife had
actually assembled a complete home theater system mere days before my arrival. Everything from satellite HDTV to receiver to VCR
to DVD player. Now how was it all hooked up? A nightmare.
I do joke that just because there are additional connections behind these
components does not mean that they should all be used.
Video Inputs from one device do not go to the video inputs of a second device. The calibration itself was straight forward aside
from the well lit room. The most time was
spent on rewiring the entire system to something that made sense. In the end, I ran through a tutorial for the
client about the use of each piece of equipment and the sequence of things that needed to
be done. I could see the client busily
writing down all the instructions and he was confusing himself in the process.
I grabbed the pad of paper from his hand and did up a simple device
diagram with a few arrows. It provided him
with all the steps needed to do anything he wanted with the system. Watch HDTV
the following steps. Watch DVD
the following steps
Fortunately and unfortunately, this took the better part of the
entire day so a five hour session became eight hours.
It took so long in fact that the sun was finally setting and it allowed me a chance
to take a second look at the grayscale on the TV. The
intense (direct) lighting had affected the earlier readings (as I had feared) so I had to
re-do the grayscale again. Blankets did not
help this time as the room was too bright to begin with.
I got to the clients home well after the sun set. It was about 6:30 or so but I figured it was okay
because it was another 50 Toshiba HX81 unit. Again,
a straight forward calibration. Then a
scream from the upstairs. The clients
girl friend came running down the stairs all flustered.
She was opening his mail and some powdery substance came out. Here I am calibrating the TV and I say to myself
Man, all I need to do now is get Anthrax. It was a false alarm as she was opening the letter
the wrong way and mistook paper fibers for spores
mmm spores. The client worked for UPN and he gave me a neat
Enterprise NX-01 cap. I dont think that
terrorists were too interested in targeting such a station.
I figured that they were already doing a great job of destroying America with their
programming line up anyway.
Because of his relationship to UPN, I was able to ask the question on
So how does the crud like Special Unit 2 ever get
renewed for another season? The answer
was very surprising as he agreed with my assessment of the show and said that many at UPN
also agreed with the assessment. Its
crud and they know it too. But the show
continued because it was the pet project of some high up person at Paramount. Welcome to Hollywood.
It should have been a quick one this morning as it was just a Sony
16:9 tube set. But things never turn out to
be as easy since the client forgot about the appointment and was at work. The neighbourhood was not the friendliest to be in
what with people working on their cars in the lot and all the huge metal cages on the home
doors. And of course things get uncomfortable
still when a big African American comes up to me and asks why I am sitting in his
neighbours parking space. (Turned out
he was a nice guy so images of being left for dead dissipated quickly.) After a delay of about an hour or two, the client
came home and we proceeded with the calibration. I
was lucky that this was not an evening location. Tubes
are easy to do and the Sony was no exception. Very
nice grayscale tracking.
The neighbourhood seemed like a normal middle class area. This was supposed to be a straight forward
calibration. And it was. The set was a Panasonic 47 that had a few
issues with focus. Quite frankly, it
wasnt too great although no where near as bad as the 65 Toshiba that I had
worked on previously. The problem was
figuring out how to fix the focus here. The
issue quickly became more than just focus as adjusting both the E-focus and M-focus
resulted in still something that was unsatisfactory to my eye. It was better than where we started, but I felt we
should be better than this. In the end, I
ended up better than even this, but still not where I wanted to be. There was something wrong about this particular
sets focus. The 50% solution as I put it
found a balance between the edges and the center for all the three CRTs. While I was not jumping up and down in my brain,
the client was pleased because this was much better than where he had started.
With the calibration completed, the client said to me that the truth
could now be told. It appears that just a
week or so prior to my arrival, the apartment had a rash of shootings and other gang
violence. A son of one of the tenants was
dating an Ex-girlfriend of a gang. This
apparently resulted in two to three incidents where rival gangs showed up and tried to
take out this person dating the girl. It made
for an ugly sight as the client put it. Gun
battles in the street, vehicles smashing into each other
just like the movies. (I like my violence to be make believe thank you) The family was evicted when this information came
to light and things settled down again.
I did have a great time with the client though and we went out to a
faux-Chinese restaurant in the evening for dinner. Aside
from the potential death thing, this was a great experience meeting the client and his
girl friend. (Will reserve what I would like
to say about her.) So I feel like using that
Danny Glover line from the Lethal Weapon series. Im
getting too old for this sh*t.
The man who does air combat simulation programs for the military. A neat occupation.
He had a 56 Toshiba hooked up to a HTPC in his bedroom. He was still living at home with the parents. Things progressed well and the set was calibrated
without a hitch
or so I thought. Little
did I know that by the time I got back to my Aunts home in the evening to check my
e-mail that some emergency had come up. The
message talked about the image being horribly wrong.
Too green. Not right. Must be something I did. My fault. All
I will come back on Saturday afternoon!!
Actually a nice break between jobs afforded me the time to catch up
on a few more Anime programs in the car as I sat and waited for the client to come home. I was early.
The set was a 56 Toshiba that had been previously worked on by Robert
McJimsey. But because he was currently
unavailable, I was brought in to recalibrate the unit to match a change in the equipment
configuration as well as implement a few more recently discovered tweaks. By the numbers aside from the fact that I had to
help the client disassemble a huge sofa set in the viewing room so that I could access the
back of the TV. Sometimes, it is also nice to
be left completely alone to do the calibration. Things
go more quickly.
I had a client in the morning who lived close to where I was staying
so I was able to fit him in at the last minute. When
I got to his home, he was in the middle of packing as he was moving back to Michigan. The client was a tweaker himself and it actually
got on my nerves a bit at the beginning given the way he was speaking. I was saying to myself that I probably would not
like this guy at all and just wanted him to
But as it turned out, it was just his manner and we ended up getting
along just swell. The calibration was easy
enough and so I also worked on his Sony 36 XBR unit while I was there to make up for
the stuff I didnt have to do on the Toshiba.
So I am out of there early
and I call the Friday client up and
say that I am heading over to his place. Time
to get to the bottom of what he was complaining about.
Well, lets just say that this person was the first person that I almost
wanted to smack on the side of the head.
Getting to his home and back into the bedroom, I looked at the image
off the set and it looked fine to me. I put
in my usual demo DVDs to see what if anything was up.
All the scenes looked exactly as they did when I finished the work the previous
day. It was still great looking and it looked
as it was supposed to look. So what was wrong
here? He got me to come back to look at
things begin to degenerate a bit as I am losing my temper just a bit. He wasted my time.
I ask him
So what is wrong with the image? He says it is too green. I ask him just how he knows that it is too green? It looks the same as before.
Remember, the client is running the DVD from his HTPC. He also is using a 21 Sony computer monitor.
His answer was
It is too green because it does not look
like what he sees on his computer monitor. Huh?! And what makes you think your monitor is correct
and the work that I did was wrong? Im
getting really ticked off now so I take the analyzer to his monitor to take a reading. It reads higher than 12000K on the red/purple
side. And this is what he was comparing my
It gets even better. The
monitor is set for 9300K and not 6500K as well. So
what made him think that the monitor was correct and that my work was not? Answer
because the monitor has settings
so it has to be right. Okay.
I tell him that staring at something that blue/purple would
definitely make the TV image look green. So
stop staring at the wrong image. I would make
him shut up if I simply calibrated his computer monitor.
So I did. Now there
computer monitor looks like the TV
I dont want to hear anymore about this
And now the kicker
but the people in The
Matrix still look green.
Aaaugh!!!!! They are supposed to be green!!! It is an artistic decision!!!
And I dont want to hear that the lens flares in Saving
Private Ryan are a fault of my calibration either!
So I said good bye to the client, hoping never to see him again, but
vowing to write about this particular episode as a warning to all those generations to
I head over to fellow tweaker Tom Hermans home to meet him for
the first time. We had corresponded over
e-mail for so long and yet we had never met. It
was great meeting Tom and then heading out to dinner with him
walking the ocean
side streets of Manhattan Beach. I also got
a chance to look at Toms Toshiba 65H80 unit and a certain issue that his set has.
What a nice person and Im sure I will get together with him the
next time I am out that way.
A day to rest and hang out with my cousins and eat dim sum.
I bid my aunt good bye in the morning as I headed out to the stretch
run of the tour. The final three in Ventura. I had some time before needing to arrive at the
clients home so I spent the day store hopping.
Youd think that of all the TVs that I play with all the time, that I
would choose something else in my spare time. Well,
you were wrong. I spend the spare time
pursuing DVDs and looking at TVs at the various big box stores. It is an illness I tell you.
The first person and only person this day had a Toshiba 56 and
the calibration was straight forward but on the hardwood that I dislike so much. Fortunately, there were pillows galore here. It was the second time that I had heard the term
ISF God jokingly used by a client. We
had a good laugh about that. It was also a
birthday party night and I had both dinner with the family and then cake. Interesting family since the husband was the
person cooking dinner and his Greek Chicken was pretty good. He also had two dogs that behaved strangely like
cats and dogs.
Im still in Ventura and it is just a quick hop skip and jump to
the morning client. This one was a 65
Mits. To describe this person as interesting
would be understating it a bit. You knew
something was up when you saw two of those funny bicycles where you lay back to peddle. And at $10K or more each
A very lively client and he reminded me of a particular actor. No sooner that I thought he sounded and looked
kind of like Jim Carrey did he walk up behind me and say
riddle me this,
Batman. Its at this time I nearly
threw up in laughter. Luckily I was not
drinking anything at the time.
We swapped a few stories about lost loves and the pangs of
Before I knew it, the calibration was done and then I was off to the
next and final location.
There was something strangely fitting about this final calibration. It was at a home that was right on the edge of the
right at the sea wall. The ocean
and I got to watch my first ocean sunset.
The TV was a TW40X81 unit and it was pretty straight forward to calibrate although
the proximity of the home to the beach mean that sand was always in the house and one
would find it in the components too. Not that
great, especially the salt air.
A really nice client and we had some real Italian Pizza for dinner. Let me say that I was rather unprepared for this
as it was like nothing I had tasted before. No
cheese. It was just so different. I want to keep my own delusions for a little
longer though. I keep telling myself that
Taco Bell food is really Mexican food.
The evening ended with a bit of hysterics as there was a mouse on the
loose in the house and the family was trying to catch it for a few days. I was reminded that there would be traps all over
the home before I went to bed. Front
toward enemy. He also had a dog that
was a mouser
I flew home.
I quit my day job."