From The Ground Up: More Progress (And Some Behind-The-Scene Deets)

August 17, 2014 by Stu Chisholm

Sunday, August 17th, 2:45 AM

Have you ever gotten an idea… one of those really great ideas where, if you could pull it off, it would change everything?  It might’ve even seemed like a really simple thing that made you wonder, “Why didn’t I think of this before?”  I don’t think I can count on my hands anymore the amount of times this has happened to me, and no matter how simple the idea seemed at first, without exception, there have always been surprises along the way.  Another commonality is that, while we can instantly imagine our ideas as fully realized, they always take much longer than expected to implement in the real world.

Thus began the previous week.  In order to frame this properly, though, I’ve got to spill my guts about some side details to put this all in context.  First, when I say I “work from home,” my home is actually an apartment.  I’ve lived here since the mid-80s for the simple reason that I absolutely loathe moving.  I hate it with a passion.  I was uprooted so often as a child, I get physically ill at the prospect of doing it all over again.  Thankfully, my needs are few and my wife feels the same way.  Apartment living, though, entails cooperation, and that was enforced by a knock on my door Monday morning.  Work crews had arrived to install new windows.  We had an hour to clear a path for them.  Biggest problem: my production studio is set up immediately in front of the largest window.  It’s extremely heavy and complex.

To prepare, we’d gotten a storage unit and had moved a lot of stuff there, because of another thing we’ve got going on.  While I’m busy upgrading my mobile DJ business, my wife is building a state-of-the-art video production studio.  Yes, in the same room.  Having cleared boxes of household stuff that cluttered our space already, her massive boxes of equipment began to arrive!  Until they’re unpacked and set up, let’s just say that the International Space Station is much roomier than my workspace.

So, while we disassembled and moved my studio, we also took advantage of having access to a small part of the room that has been blocked-off since Bill Clinton was in office.  After the workmen added to the mounds of dust and debris, we went on a massive cleaning binge, enough so that we burned out our vacuum cleaner and had to rush out and grab a new one.

Keep in mind that, while all of this is going on, I’m trying to RUN my DJ business, too!  So I’m taking phone calls, doing e-mails, etc., as well as preparing for my weekend gig.  (Thankfully only one this week!)

But wait, there’s more!

Adding to all of the above, I’ve also launched a new side venture, having recently obtained my NRA certification as a firearms instructor, teaching classes to mobile entertainers and small business owners who want to get a concealed carry permit.  In short, I’ve literally added a second business to the mix, with all of the work and expense that entails.

So the news of the arrival of my new roll-up door for my truck on Wednesday came as both a relief and added pressure.  The old door, badly rotted and falling apart, had to go and go FAST.  I just didn’t think it would be this week, roughly a full month faster than expected.  So on Thursday morning, Vanzilla was dropped off at the truck repair facility and, roughly four hours later, was equipped with a shiny, sparkling, beautiful, brand new door that surpasses even the original when it was new!  Turns out that the composite material is heavier, yet slightly thinner than the old wood, and rot proof.  Plus, I ordered stainless steel hardware, so I’ll be replacing the whole truck before I ever need to mess with this door again.  It also came with new latching hardware, which presented another problem: the locking mechanism.  Or, rather, its size.  My old 1″ oval Master padlock doesn’t fit in the hasp, which has a new flange on it making it slightly wider than the previous version.  Lucky for me, I carry multiple back-ups, one of which is a gigantic Master padlock of traditional design.

You other truck and trailer owners might know why I find this a bit distressing.  First, the lock has no protection from bolt cutters.  Secondly, winter is coming, and traditional padlocks have no way to keep water from running down inside the mechanism and freezing, rendering it difficult if not impossible to open quickly.  Even my old oval lock had to be shot through and through with graphite each winter.  I’m not sure that will be enough for this new version which I might just be stuck with.  But at least the problem is solved for the time being.  And it’s beautiful.

Door repair complete

New roll-up door!

2014-08-14 Door 02 Resized

If you’re extremely observant, you might also notice that there’s not much space between the bottom of the latch hasp and the deck plate (floor), so my huge Master lock needs to be swung sideways to access the key lock and opened.  In the immortal words of Run DMC, it’s tricky.  You might also note the truly rusty deck plate that runs between my nice new door and my newish aluminum rear bumper that a buddy fabricated for me to replace the rusted-through diamond plate steel original.  This detail will be dealt with when the body gets done.

Last, but certainly NOT least, my ruggedized, outdoor-viewable tablets have been ordered and are on their way for my systems build.  Still no final word from Ben on software or controller config just yet.  Hopefully all of that will fill my time next week, along with helping a local banquet venue fix their ailing PA system.  Livin’ la vida DJ!  Until next time, thanks for following along!

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Stu Chisholm Stu Chisholm (45 Posts)

Stu Chisholm had been collecting music since he was about eight years old and began his DJ career in 1979. After much hard work, trial-and-error, and a stint at the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts, he studied the DJ arts with famous Michigan broadcaster, Bill Henning, at a local college. Stu interned at Detroit’s rock powerhouse, WRIF. To his radio and mobile work Stu later added club gigs at Detroit’s best venues, and voiceover work. He has shared his extensive DJ experience through his Mobile Beat columns, as a seminar speaker and through his book, “The Complete Disc Jockey: A Comprehensive Manual for the Professional DJ,” released in 2008.


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