A Blogline of the Day. Plus taking the ‘Grok to the next level

First, just let me leave this here:

Lions Eat Suspected Rhino Poachers On South African Game Reserve.

Just(ice) desserts.

(H/T: Instapundit)

I have been busy lately.  REAL busy, so blogging has been light from me and my thanks to Steve and Mike for picking up the load.  Part of that will be see tomorrow at the CNHT Annual Picnic (consider it Old Home Day for Conservatives) – political issues, political speakers, candidates for political office, and a whole LOT of conservative activists yakking away during the event. We will be attempting to livestream the event.  Oh, before I forget:

12 noon to 3pm at the Young-Richardson American Legion #59 (538 W Main St., Hillsborough, New Hampshire 03244). Tickets are $15 for adults (go here or at the door)

About that “attempt”? Part (but only part) of taking GraniteGrok to the “next level”?  Yeah, this:

Livestream Studio

GraniteGrok started out as a hobby for me – a place simply where I could just wright down thoughts and opinions. Then it became more of an obsession during the 2008 Presidential campaign (which NH residents know, started back in 2006 when we opened our doors here at the ‘Grok) running around to all the campaign events.  While we lost our other co-founder, Doug, I have been extremely fortunate and BLESSED to have found other like-minded folks along the way that felt the same about Liberty, Individual Freedoms, limited Government, and the like who volunteered their valuable time to write for GraniteGrok.

During that time, I’ve had folks ask “why aren’t you doing this, or that, or this other thing?”. Well, mostly because all of us had full time jobs and families so go back to that “hobby” level.  Except for me as I was an empty nester for most of this time – and then again not when the Grandson was handed to us by DCYF (and has now been TMEW and mine since March!). And except, now, I don’t have a job – at least in the full sense of the word.  GraniteGrok (and a couple of software products that are politically oriented, ‘natch!) is taking up most of my time.

SOOooo, back to “attempt”.  Our “livestreaming” camera died.  Our livestreaming provider, UStream, was just bought out by IBM and the “freemium” business model UStream had has been canceled.  Thus, I’m moving us to Livestream and I’m trying to learn, in two days, all of the ins and outs of their encoding / “tv studio” software called, appropriately enough, Studio (above image).  Our livestream camera that served us well for 10 years being a “consumer” level camera was just replaced yesterday by a professional level camera by JVC:

jvc_gy_hm250_4k_uhd_camcorder_1400279

Even spending all day yesterday on it, I’m having my doubts of knowing ENOUGH to make it stream correctly. And today, two Mevo streaming cameras (like the above) will be arriving – professional level but more on the “hand sized” level than others. While they (and the JVC) will record, it’s more of a case of getting them all to stream correctly. Add to that, the Legion Hall’s cell reception isn’t all that good so even doing a hotspot ‘Net connection may well be iffy.

MevoAnd today, two Mevo streaming cameras (like the above) will be arriving – professional level but more on the “hand sized” level than others.  While they (and the JVC) will record (and all of them can stream independent of each other AND apart from Studio), it’s more of a case of getting them all to stream correctly together.  Add to that, the Legion Hall’s cell reception isn’t all that good so even doing a hotspot ‘Net connection may well be iffy.

And still I have to work at learning the new Studio interface. So, the operative phrase is “throwing myself into the deep end of the pool to learn how to swim)”. I can be such a masochist at times.  And my good friends, the other Groksters, tolerate this behavior from me.

Oh, some other enhancements – our Daily ‘Grok (our daily digest that is emailed to you when you leave us your email address (see above, right sidebar, “Get the Daily ‘Grok!) has been fixed – we’ve been using their freemium model for years and finally we grew to the point that we outgrew their “free” limitations (in fact, you all have been signing up for it as quite the rate – up almost 35% since just the end of March) – we’ve gone “pro” with that as well.  Sign up for it – we will be expanding its usefulness in the mid-term future.

Yep, another thing for me (or one of the other Groksters) to learn.  Isn’t living WONDERFUL – all these new nuggets of knowledge out there just waiting to be plucked!

And lest I forget – Grok 3.0. Our dear friend Carolyn and assistants at Perceptions Studio have been hard at work on it and we’re hoping to have the unveiling soon. We’ve been able to view the ongoing work for a little while now and all of us like the look that is starting to take shape; I am pleased.  It won’t be as much as a “jarring” experience as when we moved from Grok 1.0 that I built with Moveable Type back in the day (hey, I’m a software engineer and NOT a graphics designer if you remember back that far!) to Grok 2.0 (which Carolyn ALSO built for us) but will give you folks more and we Groksters a LOT more functionality in bringing newer and better content to you.

And those are just the “technical” things that are already in process.  We have other ideas that all this new tech will provide a platform for us to try and carry out.  While being a software guy is fun, and I love writing code and dealing with other tech (video, audio) outside my primary problem domain, I’m really looking at all this (sigh, and the dollars it takes to do it) as really just being a platform and not a means and end in itself.

If it can’t make us better as bloggers, better as opine-ers, as better at bringing “stuff” back to you, our readers, that you are interested in, what good is it?  We’re watching the other media in NH moving leftward – even that once hard rock of Conservatism, the Union Leader, is moving as the Left keeps moving the Overton Window their way as they continue to seek to change the social culture to be able to sneak in more socialist politics. To paraphrase William Buckley:

“GraniteGrok stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so or to have much patience with those who so urge it.”

because we know, after watching what Progressive “progress” has done, that we must seek to stop such “progress” furthers the Progressives “Arc of History” that has brought such horror, poverty,  and sorrow throughout its history and in ways that will harm us all in the long run. Instead, we fight to return us (and not the Progressive slur of “regress”) to the traditions and values that proved to make this country (and this State) successful.

So, the lesson is – don’t let yourselves be eaten by lions while you’re trying to pursue something dastardly – do nice things instead!

by Skip

Co-founder of GraniteGrok, my concern is around Individual Liberty and Freedom (and how Government is taking that away from us). My fight, from a Conservative (with small “L” libertarian leanings) and evangelical Christian perspective, is with the Progressives that are forcing a collectivized and secular humanistic future upon us. As TEA Party activist, citizen journalist (and pundit!), my goal is to use the New Media to advance the radical notions of America’s Founders back into our culture again.