Erich Friend's Blog (131)

Checks and Balances

The procurement process is a mystery to some, an opportunity for others, and a nightmare for many.  A few come away feeling good about it, the rest want to take a shower to wash-off the spooge.



We generally don’t put a lot of effort into our buying decisions, unless a large sum of money is involved, then we can become quite miserly. …

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Added by Erich Friend on August 29, 2013 at 12:21am — No Comments

That new car smell

It’s that time of year again for many that are school teachers – school is back in session soon.  For a fortunate few, this may include moving into a new or renovated performance facility.  Oh yeah.  It’s like Christmas.  New Toys.…



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Added by Erich Friend on August 15, 2013 at 1:49pm — 1 Comment

Keep The Painter’s Eyeballs Happy, Part Two

Last week we looked out across our workspace and realized how many different shades of 'white' there are, and how it messes with our perception of colors as we pass design ideas through the work flow.  This week, we'll look at how we might make adjustments to the lighting so that we have a more consistent illumination as we move from space to space.  To move forward, you must move backwards through the work…

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Added by Erich Friend on July 25, 2013 at 4:00am — No Comments

Keep The Painter’s Eyeballs Happy, Too

Rich Dion's blog post last week struck a chord with me.  The older you get, the worse your eyesight becomes.  For painters, their vision is key to plying their craft.  You can’t paint what you can’t see.  And if you can’t see what you just painted, you are really in a bind.…

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Added by Erich Friend on July 18, 2013 at 4:00am — No Comments

Getting To The Root Of It

Root Cause Failure Analysis, also known as “The Blame Game”, getting down to the basics of what caused an equipment and/or operations failure can get messy.  It involves looking at the motivations behind the decisions.

NASA’s Apollo 11  Flight Controller, Christopher Craft, is famous for saying: “Failure is not an option.”…

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Added by Erich Friend on July 4, 2013 at 4:30am — 1 Comment

The ankle bone is connected to the leg bone . . .

The element of cause and effect can become a powerful tool in the design process.  Almost everything we do can be defined by a decision tree.  If this, then that.  With drawings, be they 2D or 3D, this can be used as a basis for automating simple and often repeated design tasks.  A few minutes or hours saved by reducing the tedium can be better used to address some other issue.…

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Added by Erich Friend on June 13, 2013 at 1:39am — No Comments

A 400 HP Pencil

As I have grown-up in the engineering and design business I have seen many levels of sophistication applied to the simple act of drawing a picture.  We all start-out with a box of Crayons and pencils, and the occasional paintbrush and felt-marker, too.  At first we can’t stay inside the predetermined lines, then later we can.  Our theatre design is similar, but reversed:  First we are told to do things a certain way and we…

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Added by Erich Friend on June 6, 2013 at 9:45am — No Comments

What is your Legacy?

As we work along in our careers we move from venue-to-venue, work with various supervisors, many different Performers, Stage Managers, Directors, and show support personnel.  With each comes a ‘reputation’, a ‘history’, and your own personal experience with that person.  Sometimes the place / person’s history is interesting and worthy of asking questions about, some have reputations of being prima-donnas and being…

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Added by Erich Friend on May 29, 2013 at 10:21pm — No Comments

How you screw-around defines your professionalism

When I find myself working on electronic racks, motorcycles, or even fixing the washer-dryer, it can quickly become evident to me if some bozo had worked on the device before me.  Here’s the dead giveaway:  the screw and bolt heads are buggered-up.  Some fastener types are quicker to give-up their story than others, due to softer metal or simpler ways to damage them.  Regardless, the results are the same – the…

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Added by Erich Friend on May 9, 2013 at 5:00am — 1 Comment

May is Electrical Safety Month

Electrical Hazards abound in most theatres, and one of the most common items seen are the frayed ends of wire jackets that leave exposed conductors.  This problem develops for several reasons:

  • Yanking on the cord rather than grasping the connector to extract it from the socket.…
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Added by Erich Friend on May 2, 2013 at 5:12pm — 2 Comments

Maroon 5 Tour - Time Lapse of Show Load-In & Strike

Note that if you have a High-Def screen, this is available in High-Def!

Added by Erich Friend on April 25, 2013 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Arbor Day Approaching – Time to check ‘em out!

Every year we advance the sustainability of our world by planting more trees.  We can also advance our personal sustainability by making sure that we don’t get annihilated by flying rigging parts.  Use Arbor Day as a calendar reminder to inspect your arbors.  In the US, Arbor Day is officially the…

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Added by Erich Friend on April 25, 2013 at 11:30am — No Comments

Murphy's Law is misunderstood

You know the phrase: “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.”  It’s a catch-all for our frustrations in life.  Most people focus on the "will go wrong" implying that we are helpless against it.  Maybe we should reconsider the implications.  What we believe to be true, consciously or unconsciously, can become what we live.…

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Added by Erich Friend on April 18, 2013 at 4:00am — No Comments

Balcony Railings – Not the place to be fooling-around

A man was sprawled across three entire seats in a theatre.  When the usher came by and noticed this, he whispered to the man, “I’m sorry sir, but you're only allowed one seat.”

The man groaned but didn't budge one inch.  The usher became impatient.  “Sir,” the usher announced, “If you don't get up from there, I'm going to have to call the…

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Added by Erich Friend on April 4, 2013 at 4:00am — 1 Comment

A left and a right, then take the Schloshen exit

The last few weeks we explored moving the perceived source of a sound image along both the “Y-axis” (up and down) and the ‘Z-axis’ (from downstage to upstage) as ways of helping the audience achieve a better sonic placement of performers and instruments.  This type of adjustment can be accomplished by manipulating the signal delay of each sound source and each speaker system so it aligns to or precedes the sound emanating…

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Added by Erich Friend on March 21, 2013 at 4:00am — No Comments

Pulling your head out of the clouds

Last week we discussed moving the perceived source of a sound image along the ‘Z-axis’ – from downstage to upstage, so the audience can get a better perception of where the sound is coming from.  This type of adjustment can be accomplished by manipulating the signal delay of each sound source so it aligns to or precedes the sound emanating from the sound reinforcement system.…

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Added by Erich Friend on March 14, 2013 at 4:00am — No Comments

There will be a slight delay

Live sound for both theatre and music events always seem to have an echoey aftertaste to them, and the aural image presented appears a bit out-of-focus.  It is difficult to close your eyes and really know where the sound is coming from.  Aside from a room having bad acoustics (that’s a whole other issue), one of the key aspects of sound is the arrival time.  Sound does not travel instantaneously from one place to…

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Added by Erich Friend on March 7, 2013 at 10:56am — No Comments

Measure Twice, Cut Once

The Journal of Light Construction (www.jlconline.com) is a building trades web site that serves the segment of the building industry that doesn't involve huge I-Beams and multi-story concrete buildings.  This is mostly single-story business and residential type work, which, as it…

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Added by Erich Friend on February 21, 2013 at 12:47pm — No Comments

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the theatre

Added by Erich Friend on February 14, 2013 at 6:07pm — No Comments

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