DNA Lounge: Wherein we are re-opening!

Ladies and Gentlemen, DNA Lounge will be open for your indoors, in-person festivities on Saturday, June 19th!

Our lineup that evening begins with Hubba Hubba Revue at 7pm, the full, seated Big Show; then at 10pm, we bring you the triumphant return of Bootie Mashup! And in Above DNA, Xile Collective presents Lower Underground!

Obviously the Feds or the State might pull the rug out from under us on this, but our understanding as of today is that in mid June, all restrictions will be lifted in California, and we get to party like it's 2019. Or, "The Full Florida", as I've been calling it.

We are all incredibly excited to invite you back into our house, show you our lovely remodeling and upgrades, and return to something like normalcy -- after having been closed for (what will have been) fourteen months!

I'm sure you have questions. I probably don't have answers. We're all still figuring this out.

Tickets are on sale now.

Oh yeah, and also we're hiring!

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jwz mixtape 227

Please enjoy jwz mixtape 227. I dunno what happened last month -- my faucet of new music videos seems to have slowed to a trickle for a while there. But, it's back now.

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Current Music: as noted

Animated map projections

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Wacky 90s fads!

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Today in Hot Superyacht Probs

Jeff Bezos' superyacht is so big it needs its own yacht.

The world's richest man is buying a boat, though that word feels inappropriately sensible for the monstrosity going to Captain Bezos: a 417-foot superyacht that's so massive it has its own "support yacht" with a helipad. The estimated cost, not including the boat's support boat, is $500 million.

Half a billion bucks is an inconceivable amount of money for most people, but it's a small fraction of the $75 billion that Bezos gained in 2020 alone. His total net worth stands just shy of $200 billion. Amazon stock rose a staggering 75% last year. [...]

Recent quarters for superyachts have been record-breaking, one analyst told Bloomberg. Makers of extravagant yachts can barely keep up. "It's impossible to get a slot in a new-build yard," the analyst said. "They're totally booked."

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DNA Lounge: Wherein there has been a lapse of time

I made a time-lapse video of the dance floor installation!

This is the first two days of the floor installation. They also came back for a third full day of sanding, but that wasn't very interesting to watch; and now we're going to paint it, which will take another day or two.

(We do have an older video where you can watch paint dry, if you're in to that sort of thing.)

We set up a laptop recording 24/7 all weekend with OBS, and that generated a 98 GB TS file. Fun fact: guess what Quicktime Player, VLC and ffmpeg really don't like to deal with? That's right, 98 GB TS files. So my plan to just scrub through it and find the timestamps to extract didn't work because no player would let me scrub. I ended up splitting it into 10 minute segments with:

    -map 0 -f segment -segment_time 10 -reset_timestamps 1 $encode_options

With "-codec copy" it wouldn't split at all, so I had to re-encode it. Then I was able to manually page through and delete the segments that were in the middle of the night. Next, I time-lapsed like this:

    -f concat -i file_list.txt -vf 'tblend=average, setpts=PTS*0.01, tmix=frames=30' -r 30 $encode_options

The "tblend" filter is what gives the ghostly motion-blur effect on the people walking around. Without that, time lapses have a much more flickery, stuttery quality to them.

That final encode took twenty hours to convert 22 hours of source video into a 13 minute time lapse on a 3.2 GHz iMac Pro. So this is maybe not the ideal procedure.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein we have a new dance floor!

Thanks to three generous donors who prefer to remain anonymous, we have a new dance floor! And it looks fantastic.

The existing floor was a festive pancake of concrete, then a quarter inch of neoprene for springiness, then two layers of plywood. After two decades of dancing, the old plywood was extremly torn up, meaning the surface was rough and splotchy and paint would no longer stick to it well. It was a finished surface but a soft wood, probably pine or Douglas fir.

After repairing some soft spots in the old floor, we laid down a new layer of 3/4" birch. That is the same hardwood that we used on the go-go boxes and the Dazzle dance floor, which have held up exceptionally well. It turns out that we didn't need to tear up the old floor first. The new layer is glued and screwed on top of the old floor, which means that you are all now 3/4" taller.

Before:

During and after:

We hope to have you dancing on this new floor very soon.

Birch is normally one of the more expensive woods, but as it turns out there's some kind of supply-chain fuckery going on affecting most of the softer woods, so this is currently the least expensive plywood available, because the price of the lower quality stuff has gone through the ceiling!

We're going to paint that gray, like the old floor. We considered staining and varnishing it instead, since we can always paint it later if we need to, but the downside of that is the varnish would make the paint adhere less well. So we're just going to go with paint from the start.

I must say, I am surprised and gratified that my Hail Mary "Wanna buy us a dance floor?" post succeeded. Without these donations, we would have just kept lumbering along with our fairly-scruffy old floor. Thank you again, dear anonymous donors, you are the best!

We do have a few other renovations that we'd love to do if there are any other generous folks out there willing to help...

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DNA Lounge: Wherein we break a mighty wind.

We finally got our fan controllers replaced. And there was much rejoicing.

We have two gigantic fans on the roof, and about a decade ago the controllers that let us operate them at variable speed broke. Those controllers were many thousands of dollars each, so we just tore them out and replaced them with a pair of on-off switches, meaning the fans were either on at 100%, or off. This kind of sucked (see what I did there).

Well it turns out, the price of the controllers has dropped a lot since then, so we finally got new ones, and now we can run our fans more sensibly. We now have choices lying on the continuum between "sweatbox" and "arctic hurricane".

Why so expensive? Why aren't these controllers just a potentiometer knob? Because that trick only works for DC motors. DC motor speed is controlled by the voltage, so a resistor slows them down. AC motor speed is based on the input frequency, which is typically 60 Hz, so to run them at a different speed you need to vary the frequency, which is complicated. Also, big AC motors like the ones on our roof usually run off three phase power, meaning a separate feed to each of the motor's three coils, with both the input signal and the physical coils being 120° out of phase, because science.

So that's why it takes more electronics than a pot. The controllers also do other stuff like having an attack/decay ramp to avoid stressing out the motors, and for some reason there's a 5kHz "carrier frequency" which I don't understand. Some kind of in-band signaling for fancier motors than ours?

One thing that occurred to us, now that we have these new controllers, is that one technique for clearing away the years of confetti that are gumming up the outtake vent above the stage would be to just run that fan backwards and blast it all out into the room again. Then we can pack it all up in a box and mail it to Adriana.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein we pour some floor

"Son, what's your dirt doing in Boss's hole?"

Sometimes we get soft spots in the floor, typically where liquids pool and can't evaporate. The floor underneath the photo booth got particularly destroyed, after only a couple of years of the booth sitting there. And the floor under the ATM was also pretty bad. When that happens, sometimes we can just use this stuff called "Rot Stop" which is a two part epoxy that is runny enough to penetrate pretty deeply into the wood and makes mushy, soft wood as hard as a rock. It's pretty magical.

But when the area is too large, it's time to just cut it out and pour concrete. Mostly these aren't in "dancing" areas, so that's fine, but it does move the wood/concrete interface farther out into the room, which is not great as that's where things tend to go wrong in the future.

Check out these sweet fractals we found under the floor! I think the first one is a mycelial network (though we can't activate our spore drive for some reason) and the second is from termites.

It's been a little while since the room didn't look like a construction site:

Oh, and some City money finally showed up! Given all of my bitching about how none of the various recovery programs had paid out anything, I thought I should mention that one finally did. There's a program called "Jobs Now" that will subsidize a few months of payroll for laid-off SF residents whom we re-hire. It finally kicked in, so we were able to bring a few people back to help us get to work on some of the stuff we need to do to get this place open again.

We are hiring!

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DNA Lounge: Wherein we've got gas.

We had to replace our big CO2 tank. It had a slow leak, which was costing us money, and so we had been using smaller rental tanks instead of the big one for quite a while, which was also costing us more money. And Airgas had been pretty unreliable about those deliveries; it seems that the schedule that they are comfortable with is, "we'll probably fill up the big tank from the street on our own schedule sometime within a six week window". Anything other than that, and they could hardly be bothered. We often had to drive down there and pick up tanks ourselves at the last minute. Like animals.

The leak was somewhere in that maze of pipes and valves bolted onto the top of the tank, rather than the tank itself, so you'd think that they could just un-bolt that octopus and bolt on a new one. But apparently their policy is, "Fuck that, buy a whole new tank." I'm like 90% sure we're being ripped off, but on the other hand, they probably have more experience with tanks full of 500 pounds of liquid CO2 exploding, so what are you gonna do.

This is the exciting nightclub content that you are here for.

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