Sun & Packages

This was interesting… and it shows that me and Genesee still have a pretty good link with each other… because we both received packages today from each other, with neither of us having told the other person that it was coming. πŸ˜„ Not only that, but both of our packages were based around the same thing. The Child, otherwise known as “Baby Yoda” from The Mandalorian.

It was months ago when we were both watching the series at the same time, but several states away of course, and we both had the idea to get something “Baby Yoda” for each other. 😊 But Disney wanted to keep the character a complete secret / surprise, so they didn’t even have any Baby Yoda stuff in production yet, let alone manufactured and ready for sale.

So, without even knowing it, while I was sitting here pre-ordering her a Baby Yoda stuffy doll that makes noises, she was pre-ordering me a couple of Baby Yoda figures to add to my toy shelves. 😳 Err, my “collectibles” shelf. 😁 It was so long ago when we placed the orders, that when the figures arrived today I wasn’t sure if I had pre-ordered them for myself or what… because I was looking at them hard for a potential purchase, but ended up not pulling the trigger – thinking I’ve got enough toys for a grown ass man. πŸ™„πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ So, yeah, that was pretty kewl… I’ll try to throw a pic of them up here tomorrow.

Second half of the day was just too nice to stay inside the house. (Unfortunately most of Lancaster apparently had that same thought, ‘cuz there were so many cars out on the road and in line at the fast food joints.) I was originally planning on just going to the nearby park and sitting there for a while, mostly so I could listen to Agust D’s new “mixtape” album on my car’s stereo. (Agust D is the alternate name that Suga from BTS goes by for his solo releases.) So even though we aren’t going to see them in concert tomorrow as planned (Boo. πŸ₯ΊπŸ˜Ÿ ) it was nice that he dropped an entire album today.

But the weather was too nice, the clouds too kewl, so I continued into town to make a loop of the city, get some air, and listen to the whole album before heading home. 😊 I clicked the dashcam to save several 30 second clips, then threw together a video showing the variety in the sky. πŸ€” I don’t know if they were extra pretty like it felt like, or if it’s just because we haven’t seen the sun in forever… but yeah, this afternoon ended up being the first time that I’ve actually felt almost good in quite a while. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚

(As usual, click the bottom right to put it into full screen mode and make sure it’s at least in 720p)

Weird Clouds

Went out earlier to pick up some groceries for Dad via the Kroger quick pick-up thing… and I have to admit that I was surprised by how quickly they had the order together and loaded into my trunk. I might have to look into using that service myself. On the way home I noticed the clouds were looking particularly picturesque – so I threw the old camcorder out for a time-lapse. (Because of course I did… heh)

(As always, best viewed in HD at full screen… and I think the iPhone 7+ does it slightly better than this…)

Almost Seven Hours

My sleep has been screwed, so I was actually awake before dawn yesterday… and since my iPad was fully charged I decided to throw her out back to take a time-lapse video for as long as she could. πŸ€”πŸ€žπŸ» Shooting one frame every five seconds, she was able to last for nearly seven hours. πŸ˜ƒ It starts around 6:30a, just a little after dawn, and does eventually go from “bleh and cloudy” to “half-way decent” before it’s over.

(Like all of these time-lapse and sky/astronomy themed vids, it’s best viewed in HD and full screen.)

And I know, it’s essentially the same thing I’ve been doing over and over again here at the house… 😏 although this one was more of a test of the battery. 🀨 So at least now I know that if I set it out there and have one of those booster battery packs already plugged in, there’s a good chance that I’d be able to do a dawn to dusk time-lapse of a single day without it having to be plugged in. πŸ€“ The trick then would be figuring out which day would have dramatic enough clouds without also having pouring down rain.

Meh… all of this stuff is kinda like my brain just tolerating eating generic, frosting-free “toaster pastries” when it would really prefer the brand name, frosting covered, goo stuffed, delicious Pop-Tarts brand toaster pastries. πŸ˜… ie: I still wanna be creative, but I have a hard time motivating myself enough to get away from the house to do it. πŸ˜’ But hey, this one gets kinda pretty around the middle part, so there’s that…

Meh…

I think technically it was still a full moon last night, but I couldn’t muster the oomph or the motivation to get back out to try and perfect my exposure, focus, zoom, etc. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ So, instead, I decided to stick the camcorder out back and let it run in time-lapse mode until the battery ran out. πŸ€” I was just curious how it holds up against the iPhone 7 Plus, and other than having a tighter field of view, it actually looks pretty darn good. Oh, and while the iPhone can do 4k time-lapse, the camcorder “only” does 1080p. But yeah, it was just kind of a half-assed attempt at capturing some clouds yesterday… and I think it ran for about 5 hours or so.

Sped up and thrown onto YouTube for your viewing pleasure… 😏

I really need to go out and find somewhere with a better (or at least wider) view into the distance, where I can “plant” this camcorder for an afternoon and then go back to (hopefully) pick it up and see what I got. 🀨

More Moon Stuff

Making a a little more progress with the $99 digital camcorder with the stupid good zoom… 😏 with its only major drawbacks being the purple fringe around some things in certain conditions, the lack of 4k resolution, and then of course the more you zoom the softer the image looks. πŸ˜’ I thought I had the focus as sharp as I could get it, but I’m thinking that there may have been a haze that was also affecting the output video. Might try again tonight, probably just full-zoom stuff, since the time-lapse in the beginning here is pretty meh.

(Make sure this is set to play in HD, full-screen, for the best results.)

Since the moon was lighting up the clouds, I did some more fiddling with the phone to get the brightest exposure possible (while still using only a 1/3 sec shutter speed) and I was gonna get a much faster time-lapse of the clouds out back… but of course they cleared up shortly after I started recording. However, you’ll notice a couple stars bright enough to be picked up, so I’m hoping that on a clear, moonless night I might be able to capture the rotation of the earth in the movement of the stars with this new method. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ€“ Will have to wait a couple weeks to give that a shot, but even though the video’s overall speed is too slow – you should still be able to see that there’s some movement in the stars.

Before I Fall Asleep…

Last night the moon seemed particularly bright, with a shadow being cast onto the lawn by the big pine tree out front. πŸ˜―πŸ˜ƒ I knew the camcorder still had some juice left in it, so I went ahead and put it on a tripod, set it up out there in the driveway, and aimed it up towards the top of the tree. πŸ€“πŸ”­πŸŒ•πŸŒ²β˜οΈ

(I set it to record one frame every 5 sec, for however long it stayed powered on. Best viewed in HD / full screen.)

I wasn’t expecting anything amazing, but I was just curious if the clouds would spice things up by time the video was complete. And then I fell asleep about 15 minutes later and slept all the way through to 8am. πŸ˜³πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ As soon as my eyes opened I realized what I had done, so I went out and grabbed the dew covered camera, dried it off, and then put it near the space heater to hopefully dry everything out. 😬🀞🏻

The video isn’t bad… there’s one part where the clouds look more like bubbling water flowing across the sky and over the moon. But the battery did last long enough for the moon to make it out of the frame, and the camcorder itself is now dry and currently charging as we speak – so with any lucky I didn’t accidentally sacrifice it for a mediocre video like the other dozen I’ve done just like this one. 😏

Sunny Sunday

It sure was a beautiful day today. Almost unfair, considering that we’re not really supposed to be out in it… at least not around other folks. 72 degrees, sunny, big poofy clouds, and lots of gusty wind to blow through the house. I ran out of pop last night, so I knew I was gonna have to go somewhere today, and that somewhere ended up being the gas station / quicky mart up the road.

They had the front double doors and the side door propped open, so the wind was blowing through the store just like it was outside. They also had signs that let people know that they only wanted five people at a time in the store, and asked folks to wait outside until someone left if the store was already “full.”

There was only one other customer inside the store when I went in, and she was over in the Subway part of the store. (I can guarantee you that I’m not buying a sub with fresh, cold, been-sitting-out-in-a-bin-all-day toppings on it.) So I grabbed some pop, some pretzels, some smokes, and then hit the road. The fella behind the counter didn’t seem too stressed, even though we both stood back from the counter except for the few moments when it was unavoidable.

But I was so distracted by the amazing weather that I found myself just sitting out on the porch, messing around with the phone to make a crude 3D scan of the houseΒ (works best w/touch interface), taking the cat out to smell the trees and the grass, and generally not doing anything productive the whole day. It really felt like a weekend day.

Oh, I did watch the iRacing NASCAR 125 race from “virtual” Texas in the afternoon, and it was pretty darn good like last weekend’s was. The race even had a sponsor, although I can’t remember who it was, and it looked like drivers and teams had some sponsorship deals going on as well. Looks like it might be sticking around for a while.

So yeah, it was nice to “waste” a day when it was as nice as it was, and when there was good stuff on the TV to distract. Getting ready to watch “Bad Boys for Life” here in a few, and then I’ll gather up all my mail and bills and shit so it’ll be ready for me sometime tomorrow after the grumpy from waking up wears off. I hope y’all were able to have a decent day as well.