Logitech Drums (Wii/PS3/XBox) with MIDI (finally)


I bought one of these to have more fun with a Nintendo Wii during RockBand, Guitar Hero, Band Hero, etc.:  Logitech Wireless Drums

Lots of people stared at the back of the control unit and thought

(Hey, it’s got MIDI! see right-side of unit photo below) But alas, no, it was for “future expansion” as a MIDI In (?…more triggers?)

So…we wait for technology to finally catch up and listen to all the complaints about lack of cross-talk adjustment, velocity curves, gain adjustment.

And then Alesis delivers it with their Trigger|iO unit – street-priced around $130, it can handle 10 dual-zone triggers. plus hi-hat pedal and dual-footswitch (for changing kits and patches and such).

With a handful of 1/8 to 1/4 stereo adapters (the little black thing next to the original Logitech drum plug), you convert the Logitech triggers into the right plug size for the standard Trigger|iO MIDI unit.

Out goes MIDI to what have you (or just use USB to your computer and play using the built in sound-card, if that’s what you have). For Windows, you could use Sekaiju, or for Linux perhaps QTractor.  I use both since there are great analog and digital kits in my keyboard arranger, but having real samples works well, too.  Trigger|iO also comes with a free-Lite version of EZDrummer from ToonTrack.com which has a few nice sampled kits in it.

Anyway, with the Trigger|iO you can adjust all the velocity curves and various settings to tune the rather stoic Logitech triggers into very playable surfaces, and get 2 things back out of your original purchase.  Or… an electronic drum kit for about $300 that actually sounds decent and a lot more playable than a Pyle or ION kit (and still controls RockBand, Guitar Hero, Band Hero…etc.)


MTC’s Christmas Variety Show Extravaganza


MTC's Christmas Variety Show Extravaganza

MTC’s Christmas Variety Show Extravaganza!!!

Metamorphosis Theatre Company’s biggest and brightest stars take the stage to bring you a holiday show that is so much fun, you’ll want to share it with the whole family! You can’t miss this holiday extravaganza! Dec. 14 – 17, 2011 at 7:00 pm at the Fremont Centre Theatre!

LA Times – Lodging and Resort Industry Supporting Bees

Lodging Industry gets on Bee Bandwagon (LA Times 11/20/2011)

Nice article on hotels and resorts adding local beehives so support everything from spa ingredients to cocktail enhancements (as well as having lots more flowers and happy plants).

Oracle 12c (for Cloud) launches WebLogic everywhere

http://www.oracle.com/us/products/middleware/application-server/weblogic-suite/index.html – Oracle 12c middleware is all WebLogic, includes auto-recognition of middleware clustering (ala RAC), and deploys as standalone, or included in various packaging, including the new Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c.

EBS R12 certification forthcoming.

And “no installation required – unzip and launch” – a different concept for Oracle; wondering what happens to the OraInventory now?

[ABC] Out at the Salvation Army Santa Ana Voc Rehab Facility

October 27, 2011 – about 100 Aramark Building Community (ABC) volunteers joined forces to re-create the interior and exterior of this central Santa Ana vocational training and education center.

I had fun producing the “Pride City” mural.

The CPU for Sep2011

CPUSEP2011 Critical Patch Update – September 2011

Oracle Security Alert for CVE-2011-3192 was released on September 15th, 2011.

Update Patch  - 1279441711GR2 ( DB Tier - 12828071 CPU OCT2011 (rev
12 Molecule Bugfixes

Oracle Critical Patch Updates and Security Alerts


Oracle Security Alert CVE-2011-3192

Wet comb still makes wax in the solar dryer

I discovered yesterday that drying the washed honeycomb was not necessary to process completely in the Solar Dryer.

Oracle OpenWorld 2011 Networking Opportunity Events

Where I can keep track of the special events (note: these are not “parties” as so many people are misled to believe) at OOW:

  • NAmer Presidents Reception, Saturday 5:30p-6:30p, Westin Hotel
  • OOW Opening Reception, Sunday 7p-10p, Yerba Buena Gardens
  • Oracle ACE Dinner, Sunday 7p-9p, <tbd>
  • IOUG Member Gathering, Monday 6p-7:30p, The Chieftain
  • My Oracle Support, Monday 6p-9p, <tbd>
  • interRel Cust. Appreciation, Monday 6:30p-9p, Waterfront Rest (Pier7)
  • Oracle Retail Appr, Monday 7p-10p, Banana Republic Flagship
  • OOW OTN Night, Monday 7:30P-10P, Yerba Buena
  • Cisco Exec Appr, Tuesday 5:30p-8:30p, Pier40 Yacht Cruise
  • Data Intensity, Tuesday 6p-9p, E&O
  • Oracle Press Authors, Tuesday 6p-9p, Roe Restaurant
  • Exxova, Tuesday 7p-10p, Sir Francis Drake Hotel
  • OPN/Titan Awards, Tuesday 7p-9:30p, SF City Hall
  • OAUG Appreciation Event, Weds 6p-8p, Weinstein Gallery
  • OOW Appreciation Event, Weds7:30-10:30p, Treasure Island
  • OOW It’s a Wrap, Thurs 4p-6p, Yerba Buena
Feel free to post your own additions in the comments. 

Dem Dryer Vent bees have been moved…

Jeremy (owner of the Vent Bees) captured the history of what the trap-out on this looks like this video:

And here you see the early buzzin’ and pawing at the new box, which was packed with a bunch of old comb from an earlier cut-out:

And here’s some photos of the pre-relocation work:


So, Jeremy’s Dryer Vent trap-out worked about 50% – they managed to be orderly enough to persist in slowly entering the trap-out cone one-by-one over the past 3 weeks.  After taking the box down for inspection, some of the trapped-out bees had set up home inside and started caring for the uncapped brood and building burr comb to attach it to the frames and box walls. But with neighbors starting to complain about the buzzing, we decided to move ’em out.

The vent has a 5″ x 6″ opening, leading to a 1.5′ x 1.5′ x 8′ non-functional space left open to the outside world.  (and filled with not only bees, but also paper wasps, wood borer beetles and a couple of roaches).  This was the result of a interior remodel, which should have included sealing-off or at least screening-off the opening.

Putting in a borescope (from ThinkGeek) only showed a lens absolutely full of bees (rather curious bees poking at the LED lights and wondering what creature this was).  Brought out the bee vacuum and captured most of the visible first layer off of the trap-out cone face, and those visible from the vent.

There was about 1/2″ thick stucco surrounding which would cause too much siding damage, so we opened up the dryer vent using tin snips like a can, folding aside the flaps. Puffed in a little smoke, but the sound change sounded wrong, and I noticed the bees had vacated the entire first layer of comb when the smoke came in.  So we put the smoker aside and instead decided to opt for the gentler sugar spray and leave them on the combs method.

Inside revealed 7 – 6″ x 7″ combs neatly built parallel to the wall-face.  All new comb, and about 1.5 combs of honey.

Yuka had to vertically slice some of the combs to fit through the opening, but one-by-one was able to gently remove each comb, with most of the bees still on the combs.
After all the combs were out, another session of vacuuming to remove the straggling bees and finish by foaming the vent with a backer board using self-expanding foam to keep out the future intruders.
Final tally, 6 medium frames of comb. And a foamed up vent.  And Jeremy now has his first experiences with trap-outs, light demolition, vacuuming, framing, packing up a moving hive

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And the Lemon Tree bees of Atwater will be moving to a new home!

This was originally classed as a “difficult” to “impossible”cut-out because of: 1) rather sensitive bees that were really bouncing off of veils at the slightest vibration of the tree, and 2) the lemon tree had been left to grow untrimmed for probably the better part of a decade and all of its branches had become intertwined into a nest of inter-connected twigs without a central trunk.

Yuka and I spent about 2 hours carefully pruning with a sharp Fiskars pole pruner (without the saw blade) until we had cleared to the main branches.  Once the outer frass of branches was trimmed away, an extension ladder fit nicely against 4 central branches to get a closer look.  Turned out the colony had placed 90% of the comb mass against only the main branch, and the others were simply growing around it (with a little burr comb to further strengthen the mass.)

I guessed at using pruning loppers to cut free the top-most branches and the comb stayed nicely intact only on the main branch.  This allows a “standard” t0p-bar cutout rescue similar to what I did with the palm frond colony (snip both ends and lower the whole thing to a receiving box and trim to-size).  Because the branch is quite curved, to maintain the uprightedness of the colony, we chose to sit one end on the box bottom, and support the other end with a forked stick from other tree trimmings.  One more in the middle braces the mass, and duct tape creates the desired side-to-side stability for movement.

No smoke used at all.  Only 1:1 sugar water spray with vanilla.  Bees stayed completely sane the entire time all the way into the box.  We dimmed the lights around before cutting and used my head LED red light to do the downward movement – but they didn’t mind white light while I was cutting.  This is how I really like to see relocations work.

Closeup of hive in the box cradle.

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Happy Relocation Day (and a little warmer evenings in the TBH)

These are from a recent rescue over at the American Lutheran Church of Burbank (living quite happily in their new filebox TBH – it’s a small colony).

And next door, they have a new fascia that helps keep it warmer at night.

Kirkobeeo is spotlighted in the LA Weekly’s 8/12/2011 Article on Beeks!

LA Weekly 8/12/2011 Beekeeping Article

So cool when local efforts are recorded for posterity.

Here’s Kirk’s personal site: http://www.kirksurbanbees.com/

If you Care a Little More, Things Happen. Bees can be dangerous. Always wear protective clothing when approaching or dealing with bees. Do not approach or handle bees without proper instruction and training.

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