Rankyn Phyle.com

…just another face in the crowd.

Archive for August, 2012

This is Why I Can’t Watch TV with Normal People

Posted by Rankyn Phyle on 30th August 2012

I’m sitting here in the control room watching the monitors for ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox all showing Romney speak at the RNC.

Now, I’m not the least bit interested in what’s being said (there’s no audio anyway) but from a technical standpoint, it fascinates me and I’m wondering how they’re doing it.

First, there’s a delay.
I’m not sure what the true delay to live is but the NBC and ABC feed are running together, Fox is about a half second behind and CBS is 7 seconds behind.
I assume that they’re all pulling from the same pool feed so it’s probably some sort of network delay.
Even so, I wonder if CBS is the only one to do a true signal delay or are they delaying it even more than the other networks.

The other thing I wonder about is just how the feed works.
I mean, it’s clear that they’re all using the same feed but they don’t always show the same cutaway shots and that’s what’s got me curious about it.

If it was a single feed from the convention floor, all 4 networks would show the same cutaway shots.
If it was 4 separate feeds from a common pool of cameras, we’d see cutaways at different times.

But neither is the case.
All 4 networks take cutaway shots at exactly the same time (adjusted for the delay) but they don’t always show exactly the same shot.
Sometimes they do, but other times different networks will have a different shot.
And then they all come back to Romney at the same time.

I’d really like to know how that was done.

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Junk Food Fail

Posted by Rankyn Phyle on 26th August 2012

I decided that I really wanted to have a root beer float this weekend.
To that end, I stopped by my local CVS on the way home from work Friday night to pick up supplies.

Root Beer
For some reason, despite selling most every other Coke product, CVS only has A&W root beer.
A&W root beer is inferior root beer.
The best root beer is IBC, but it’s needlessly expensive.
Barq’s is a close second so it’s what I usually buy.
Mug is a distant third.
The only time I’ll buy A&W is when there aren’t any other options… such as when I’m buying it from CVS.

Ice Cream
I’m a big fan of Blue Bell ice cream.
I don’t dislike other brands, but I refuse to buy the needlessly expensive stuff.
When it comes to making root beer floats, there’s nothing better than Blue Bell’s “Homemade Vanilla” flavor.
It’s their most popular flavor so stores always stock a lot of it but CVS always buries it at the bottom of the freezer.

So anyway, I grab a bottle of A&W, fish out a half gallon of Homemade Vanilla, check out, head home, stuff it in the refrigerator and freezer, and then promptly forget about it until Saturday afternoon.

My plan is to make a float and then kick back and watch an episode of Star Trek: Voyager.
All the pieces are in place so I sit down to assemble the thing but when I open the ice cream, my immediate thought is, “WTF is this chocolate swirl in my Homemade Vanilla ice cream??!?”

Upon closer inspection, it turns out that what I had actually purchased was a flavor called “Homemade in the Shade” which is basically the Homemade Vanilla flavor with a chocolate swirl.
The package is identical to regular Homemade Vanilla and apparently when I was fishing it out of the freezer at the store, I saw the word “Homemade” and figured I had what I wanted.

It’s not optimal but maybe this stuff will make a decent float so I pour some root beer on it and give it a try.
It turns out to be quite disgusting.

Oh well, it’s not a complete loss.
I won’t get to enjoy a float but I can still have a bowl of ice cream and drink some root beer.

It is at this point that I discover that I was apparently sleepwalking while I was shopping the night before because I took a drink of the root beer and discovered that I had purchased the only thing that tastes worse than A&W Root Beer despite specifically identifying it on the shelf as something to avoid before I picked up the bottle next to it: Diet A&W Root Beer.

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Lady, Your Child is a Moron

Posted by Rankyn Phyle on 23rd August 2012

Have you seen that Totino’s Pizza Rolls commercial where the kid calls his mother because he wants a snack?


I’m not sure exactly which thing bothers me more:

1) The child, who is old enough to be home alone with a friend, is unable to scavenge for food.

2) The child is not bright enough to see Ice Cream and Pizza Rolls that are right in front of his face, either of which would satisfy the need for junk food.

3) The child must be given specific directions for searching the FIVE items that are less than 6 inches from the end of his nose, one of which is a bright yellow color.

4) The child leaves the phone in the freezer.

5) The child appears to walk away without closing the freezer. It looks like he closed it off-camera but, given his track record, it is more likely that it slowly closed on its own.

6) Did this child with the mental capacity of a turnip manage to heat the Pizza Rolls or are they simply eating them frozen?

6a) Did he have to call his mother for detailed instructions for operating the microwave?

7) Did the ad agency seriously think this ad through or are they just trolling people like me?

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