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Bill Dodd
Attended Tiki Bars, Frequently
Lived in Spanish Fort, AL
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Bill Dodd

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Go Fly a Kite

Wishing you a Happy Easter.   Join me in my spring tradition and wherever you are if tomorrow's weather permits, go Fly a Kite with people you love.   :)
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Monday Commute

Wishing you a speedy, safe and stress-free Monday commute :)
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Five Rivers

The Mobile, Alabama Delta
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Beautiful shot +Bill Dodd
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Orange Beach / Alabama Point from 750ft
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David Wilkerson's profile photoMelody Migas's profile photoSamantha Bowlin's profile photo
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Cool!

My favorite bridge, too.
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Have him in circles
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Bill Dodd

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Everything is Awesome!

I had a chance over the weekend to finally catch 'The Lego Movie' with my kids.    It was a fun movie, my kids really enjoyed it.  Lots of creatively block-styled animation and tongue in cheek humor of the characters poking fun at their personas.  

Though, I was struck that I'm a little like the Villain in the movie.   A dad-figure who wants everything in it's place, and thus commits plans to use Krazy Glue to permanently affix legos in their built form.    I've totally threatened to do that.      I guess, the completely built Lego X-Wing is way more interesting to me than the pile of legos said x-wing can quickly be distilled down to.. :)

But, I digress.

So, in the movie there were these not-so-subtle jabs at social conformity.   Everyone watches the same pointless TV Sitcom, everyone is known for "one thing" in the way we often build simplified stereotypes of those around us. Everyone listened to the same song, ostensibly called, "Everything is awesome!!" that spread the virtues of teamwork and conformity.   Sadly, that two-verse song is stuck in my head now.

Though, at least when sitting on a mostly abandoned beach watching the sun fall below the horizon in blazing spectacles of color and sounds of gulls laughing and waves lapping:  Everything is pretty awesome! :)
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Had a fun time presenting at the Eastern Shore Camera Club Meeting this afternoon.     The topic was a show and tell on camera drones.   Quick introduction video is here and slide deck materials with links to awesomely inspiring videos from people who are way better than me can be found here: 

http://www.graffitivisuals.com/blog/2014/3/13/attack-of-the-drones.html
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.. and the sun set on Fairhope..

Nice calm day after some setup at Help Portrait Baldwin County. Couldn't resist thirty minutes in flights along a mostly deserted Fairhope Pier Beach Area.

On to more important things..

Tomorrow, the Eastern Shore Camera Club, about the nicest group of people you'll ever encounter, come together to provide spring portraits as part of Help Portrait. More info on help portrait here: http://help-portrait.com/
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SOHO Events and Rentals's profile photoDavid Wilkerson's profile photo郭政霖's profile photo
 
I just liked your photo page on facebook, didn't know you had one there, been holding out on me haha...
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Always a pleasure to meet smart people, +Andria Jensen    
Thanks for time on the phone today. ;)
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Star Wars Trilogy Pinball Resurrection

"Hey I found this pinball machine on Craigslist.  It looks like a great deal! Should I buy it?"

Here's a cautionary tale. :)

About 9 months ago, I talked to this guy about 100 miles away that had a Star Wars Trilogy Pinball.   I never saw the machine but had his description and a third party account of the condition.

 We couldn't get together on price, so I walked away.

Last month, perusing Craigslist, I found the machine available for sale. The price listed was considerably less than my last offer, it was for sale by the same guy. 

I called and he didn't recognize me at first.   His situation had changed, and he was hard up for the cash to pay some unexpected bills.  Hey, we've all been there.  

I told him I was interested and pressed for details about the condition of the machine.

"Man, this machine is wrapped up in plastic, that's how it has been for 2 years but let me tell you it is Not Junk!   All it needs is a $2 part and you are off to the races."

I agreed to buy it, arranged to have it brought to me and wrote down on a post-it note $600 in repairs.   :)

Fast forward to today.    
The CPU board was in need of extensive repair,
As was the Power IO Driver board
ROMS were mis-matched
Playfield toys where broken.  
Two bad coils
6 playfield wiring snafus
A broken reed switch
1 Broken Drop Target
Dirt.. Oh My God.. The Dirt and Grime ..
Missing a Starter (Fluorescent)
Bad Ballast (Fluorescent)
The Coin Door Was wrong / Didn't Engage the Interlock 
The Coin Door Had a Huge Hole from some card-based validator
1 Pop Bumper was out
2/3 of the Playfield GI bulbs were out
Stupid Hacks on the Playfield, like Wood Screws used as Stand-Offs

The total invested...

$30 Fluorescent Rebuild Kit
$100 Cointaker LED's 
$15 X-Wing Replacement
$24 TIE Interceptor Spare
$40 2 Coils
$14 New Ball Set
$455 New White Star MPU w/ New ROMS
$95 Repair of Old White Star MPU w/ New ROMS
$399 New Sega/Stern White Star Power Driver
$95 Repair of Old Sega Power Driver 
$12 Reed Switch
$220 New Coin Door and Wiring Harness
.. So we are at $1469 in repairs

minus $320 for selling the Repaired Boards 
..  $1159

So the moral of the story is..   Be sure to be able to test drive a pinball before buying it.   B/c that $2 part the guy mentions it needs, may  just be a load o' crap.

Am I sorry?   Nah.  I have the Star Wars Trilogy Arcade machine and wanted to make the matching pair.   At some point I had to weigh location / proximity into the "should I buy" decision matrix.   The odds of finding another one within driving distance here in Southern Alabama, isn't real great. :)
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That's a lesson for any electronics on Craigslist (I've been burned, too) but still .. you are the proud owner of a sweet machine ... that's the silver lining (or ball as the case may be) ... Enjoy and may the Force be with your paddles :D
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People
Have him in circles
4,083 people
Steve Burns's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Photographer, Technology Guy, Software Dude
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
Spanish Fort, AL - Robertsdale, AL - Mobile, AL - Borden, IN - Louisville, KY
Story
Tagline
Photographer, Technology Guy, Software Dude (not necessarily in that order)
Introduction
I'm a christian, dad, husband, software and technology guy that sails, digs astronomy, shoots guns & carries a magical box that captures and converts photons to bits.
Bragging rights
I'm capable of dressing myself tastelessly without injury.
Education
  • Tiki Bars, Frequently
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Male