Friday 4:30pm I turn on the CFPB sound board to check video audio. After checking I leave the board on. Friday 6:00pm I go back to the board to turn on music outside in the breezeway for CFPB's Friday night small groups, only to find the board off (and everything else on).
Fear grips me. We've blown the power supply. To a non-techie that doesn't seem to be a big deal. However, when you're using an older, analog Soundcraft MH4 board - it gets a little trickier. The power supply costs about $3k new, and renting probably wouldn't be difficult - except it's Calle Ocho wknd in Miami, and most of the gear is already rented to be used for the huge outside block party.
I grab my iPhone and start making calls. CFPB sound guys hadn't noticed anything unusual. Mike Melcher @ Revelation Sound is coming over to take a look at the supply. Maybe it's fixable...From 6-9pm we try to fix the power supply. Doesn't work. We have a Plan "B", hook up a completely new sound board - but with the intricacies of our setup at CFPB I was not real excited about having to rewire/get levels for all of the devices.
What came after was a series of God events. I get home and after eating a McDs dinner at 10pm, I get on Google and start calling random people listed on the Internet who live in Miami and deal/sell/rent Soundcraft gear. Surprisingly, a lot of people answered their phones (considering it's 10pm on a Friday). Some were helpful. Two guys had the piece of equipment I needed, but they were needed Sunday AM so it really wasn't beneficial.
Then I got on Twitter. Started talking with some buddies, tapping into their resources. Started calling other people in other cities. Fort Lauderdale. West Palm Beach. Orlando. Tampa.
After midnight, I talked to Pat. Never heard of Pat. No one I know had ever talked to Pat. But Pat owns a company called "ESI Audio" in Tampa. He says to me "Yeah, we've got those Power Supplies. Where are you? Miami? Yeah, if you want to get up here, I'll let you borrow our Power Supply."
That was a little before 1am Saturday. I was in Tampa by 8am to pick up the gear. And when I tried to "rent" the gear by giving Pat some $$$, he declined saying "I'm giving these to you for free. Just bring them back." Literally, ESI Audio gave me probably $7k in gear to use for multiple days w/o even as much as a thought. Who does that?
Aside from ESI Audio's generocity, the other thing I enjoyed (no, not the monotony of Alligator Ally twice in 9 hrs) was the Twitter experience. I'm a big Twitter fan. I'm not Mr. Popular, but I have fun (I recently changed my name to @jdreed - feel free to follow!)
I spent some time consolidating all the Twitter's surrounding the Power Supply debacle (or as @Jorriss would call it, the "Tampa Trainwreck")... Truly was a hilarious and helpful group. If you're a Twitter fan, or you're into truly sarcastic humor at the expense of a weary Production Director, then feel free to read the Twitter view of the Tampa Trainwreck. Maybe I'm goofy from all the swampland I've driven, but I think it's hilarious.
Was driving to Tampa at 3am worth it? Undoubtedly. At CFPB I know that lives were changed during the Saturday service (one of the largest non-event Saturday services we've ever had). I'm sure they were at Sundays as well (I was a CFDT on Sunday). And the message was recorded successfully for Video Teaching and Television, so thousands of people were able to experience worship and teaching in person and via video.
in a stable environment.
God, thank you for the experience of the Tampa Trainwreck. I'll never forget it. Oh, yeah, and thank you that my vacation started today. Talk about "divine timing."
UPDATE March 16, 2009: I missed a HUGE portion of the TWITTER TRAINWRECK (mostly Friday night). These 20+ posts have now been added. Consider these missing tweets part of the "Lost Archive."