Most of the day was uncommitted so I decided to spend some time in the auditorium and try to get the technique and setup for a hybrid zoom event worked out. Here I made an embarrassing mistake.
Part of this is to get the video from our one house video cam into the zoom, as the video from the host. We have an HDMI cable with the camera signal, connected to a little video capture device whose output is USB. The USB goes into the host’s laptop. You start the meeting and select “Camlink 4K” as your video in place of your laptop’s builtin cam. Presto, the view from the camera, which is mounted on the ceiling above the audience, facing the stage, shows up in place of the host’s ugly face.
Or not. In my case it showed up as a black screen. I fiddled and farted and then got mad and wrote a rant email and sent it to the list for my AV committee. Five minutes later, Jerry appears in the auditorium and takes a look at the setup, and says, “you forgot to assign the camera to the recorder” and he taps two buttons on the control panel for the system and boom, the video appears on my laptop.
Thing is, I knew that had to be done, it’s just one of the tricky little setup items and I just forgot about it. So I had embarrassed myself to my squad of nerds. Blush.
Late in the day Yadira, one of the staff admins, sent an email to me and to Pam, the head of the Events committee. I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned how, at Channing House, there is no staff entertainment coordinator. All the planning for lectures, trips, parties, movies, concerts, sing-alongs, etc. that are the staff of life in a senior residence, are planned and run by residents. So the Events committee is a big deal. Also a big committee because there is one member for each event series of which there are at least 20. Sunday @ Home (residents talking about their experiences), Book Talk (authors talking about their books, I did one of those early on), and on and on.
So Yadira was writing to me as chair of AV and Pam as chair of Events, to say: staff don’t want to administer the Channing House Zoom account any more and would one of our committees take it over. I immediately asked, would staff cover the $200/year price of a “small business” Zoom account, or what? And she quickly replied, no, it should be covered by Events, or maybe by the Heritage Circle.
Fortuitously, the Events committee has its monthly meeting this coming Monday. So we will talk about it then.
BTW I have immense respect for Yadira, she is a top-notch admin. She’s the one who, back in the summer of 2020, initiated the extensive paperwork to get us Covid vaccine, before any other residence did. We got our first shots in December 2020, months before others, thanks to her initiative.
The Heritage Circle is a fund established decades ago, that gives annual grants to projects that improve the quality of life for residents. It is run by, and funded by residents. My neighbor Patty, who is on its board, put the arm on me in my first month to contribute a lump sum to it. Which I did, $5000. I believe the whole fund is up over $3M now, and gives out over $50K a year from its interest income. This year one of the grants is buying a bunch of bike lockers. The Events committee usually gets a grant around $10K to fund things like bus rides to events and stipends to outside musicians or speakers. So probably they can afford $200 for Zoom.