Petaluma you ask? Part Two

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If you haven’t read Part One of this series of posts, click here to read it first.

August 22, 2018

I had considered going to see Windows Weekly being recorded, but I thought that I was probably overstaying my welcome as it was. On Wednesday I spent the morning sorting through my packing  some more before going shopping for food, and waited until afternoon to go over to the studio to watch the recording of This Week in Google. Though I watch the podcast from time to time, I am not a Windows fan, and only watch the podcast when Windows has been in the news.

The morning was a good time to practice my driving. I had sold my car 10 months before, and hadn’t driven since. Most everything I needed was in a short drive of the where I was staying. The motel did not have a refrigerator so I had to be careful to buy food that could be left out overnight, and make frequent trips to the market. There were a few restaurants within walking distance of the motel, but I really didn’t feel like eating the heavy sort of food that is found in american restaurants. Also by this time I was getting worried as to how much money the trip was already costing me. I was intrawled at how much lower the prices were at the Petaluma Safeway then they were in the Honolulu Safeway, I used to shop at, but still it added up.


On my way to the studio, I saw three adorable border collies sleeping in the back of this truck, parked alongside the sidewalk. Unfortunately by the time I got my phone out to take a photo they were watching me.


Stacey Higginbotham is on the monitor to the left and Joan Donovan to the right. In this photo you can seen the red string laying on the floor next to the table, which indicates how high the table needs to be raised to use the tall chairs.

This Week in Google featured Stacey Higginbotham and Joan Donovan, who I always love to see on the casts. I was a little disappointed that neither lady was an in-studio guest, but it was still fun to see how a podcast is recorded without an in-studio guest. I was impressed at how Leo was able to keep the energy up, even though he was talking to monitors. It was during this time, I heard Leo mention that Father Robert would be in studio some time that week. I was really excited, since I had thought that he had already gone of to Rome, and that I had lost my chance to meet him.

August 23, 2018

The first podcast of the day on Thursday, Know How, didn’t start until 11am, so I was able to putter around for a while before heading over. I had sorted through my stuff and selected nearly seven pounds of gear I decided I didn’t really need in South America. It just fit in a large one rate box. I took it to be mailed it off that morning. I had everything in the box, but didn’t have tape to seal it. Holding the box carefully, slid it into a paper shopping bag. It just fit and the bag held it closed until I could buy some tape at the post office.When I went in and explained to the clerk that I had to seal the box. She told me to grab a roll of tape, seal the box, and get back in line. As I was working on the box I struck up a conversation with a woman who told me that she needed to buy tape too. I told her that she could have my roll when I was done. Since I had only used a little of the tape, she insisted on buying it for us.

I had plenty of time to make a run to Safeway before parking my car at the motel and driving over to the studio. I know I could have parked at the studio, but I wasn’t getting enough exercise as it was. When I got to the studio, I tried to open the front door and found it locked. I took a step back before I heard a click. When I went inside Mo was talking to someone. I realized that on the other days he had seen be approaching the door via a security camera, and had unlocked the door before I was close enough to hear the click.  He must have had his head turned away from his monitor as I came up that day.

Mo waved me through and told me to go to the big studio. The big studio is where most of the podcast are recorded. The only other studio I am aware of is Leo’s Office where he records The Tech Guy.


Florence Ion to the left and Megan Marrone to the right are hosting 12 weeks of Know How, it a transitional period after Father Robert Ballecer, SJ headed off for a stint at the Vatican. Jason Howell, will be doing the next 12 weeks.


While Florence and Megan were setting up for recording, I noticed that one of huge, cheap, bottles of champagne left over from TWIT’s last Live New Years Eve Special was tucking under one of the sets.


Before recording started, I noticed that one of the IOT devices which was setting on the table was one that I bought. When I pointed out that it wa the smart plug I was traveling with, Megan told me that she was sorry to say, that it was on the show because it had a firmware vulnerability. I still haven’t had a reason to use it, so I haven’t updated the firmware yet.


The two monitors let Florence and Megan see what the viewers are seeing and see what is being said in the chatroom.

After Know How was wrapped up, I headed out to one of the few lunches I had from a restaurant in Petaluma. I took my meal back to my hotel so that I could have a glass of wine with my sandwich. At the same time I bought a second meal for my dinner, since I what I had bought at the supermarket that day, could last until the next. It was irritating that I had to be so careful with food. I will have to make sure that any motel I book into has a fridge. I really had not thought that there were some that did not when I booked the place.

After lunch and some time goofing off, I headed back to the studio to watch Tech News Weekly being recorded.


Strangely enough, even as tall as Jason Howell is he can’t be seen behind Megan in this photo.Burke McQuinn, a Studio Engineer, is seen to the left. He participates in the podcast as an off camera voice, which adds to the fun of the cast.


Burke and John, setting up for recording. It is really a lot of fun watching the set ups. Most everyone in the studio seem to be having a great time, even though it is their daily grind.


Megan is short enough that when she is working with Jason, she uses a booster cushion to be a little taller.


The studio is decorated in some interesting stuff. I think that this is an old camera. The studio has a steampunk sort of vibe.


This was the first time I had seen teleprompters close up. There are quite a number of small cameras in the studio, about the size of an old fashioned DLSR all around the studio.


One of the crew adjusting a camera. I am afraid that I didn’t catch his name.

After the show was done, I slipped out quietly without talking to Jason and Megan. I had already spoken to Megan that day. It was late and I was tired. I knew that I would have a chance to talk to him later him later.

Petaluma You Ask? Part Three


Categories: Geek Life, United StatesTags: , , , , , , , , , ,


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