Out With The Old

Haven’t been sleeping great… a couple hours here, a couple hours there, but I did manage to wake up at a normal time today and get some of my errands done. Not sure if my attorney will be calling tomorrow or not, but at least all of that stuff is in motion and more work will be done on it soon. Was gonna stop in and see Dad on my way home, but it was a little too warm today for a visit outside, so hopefully we’ll find a cooler, nicer day sometime this week. I’m actually looking forward to when we can take a ride up to Millersport to check out all the old haunts. But yeah, over 90 degrees is not anyone’s idea of a good time for sittin’ out talking.

So I headed home and decided to go ahead and start the process of setting up my new phone. I got a normal iPhone 11… the new SE is just too small, plus I wanted to get something decent at a decent price instead of being tempted by the iPhone 12 Pro Max with it’s LIDAR camera setup. πŸ˜―πŸ˜ƒ Want? Yes. Need? No. 😏 I barely leave the house these days, let alone do anything that resembles photography, so no sense in blowing money on a fancy camera phone that I’d probably only use to scan dumb shit around my house. πŸ™„πŸ˜’

But I think I’m gonna be happy with this phone. It’s basically like my old one, just with a bigger screen, better dual cameras, faster everything… and even though I could have just had the battery replaced on my old one, they’re only gonna update iOS on those old models for so long. With this one I’ll be set for another four years or so. The more that I think about it, I actually did pretty good in keeping the old one as long as I did. πŸ™‚

But that’s when the afternoon turned tedious. The race got rained out… or at least it got rained on for long enough that I forgot to even check back in to see if they got going… but part of that was because I was dealing with customer support from Boost for the better part of two hours. 😣 The phones themselvesthey knew what was up… the new phone asked for the old phone to be placed next to it, then the old phone started sending over all my apps and data – so the new phone looks almost exactly the same as the old one. That process went fine… but the new phone still wasn’t working as a phone.

I tried to use the portal on their site to “swap phones” as they put it… and, at least on the dashboard, it looked like it worked. Had the exact model number, serial number, etc… even a picture of the phone… but calls no longer worked on either phone. πŸ˜’ After chatting with three different support techs, the last one finally realized that the previous two were entering the wrong sim card information into the system… something that he handled in about three minutes. πŸ™„πŸ˜‘ You know how you get when something is supposed to just work, but then you spend hours effing with it? Yeah… it was one of those evenings.

But it’s all good now. There’s still gonna be lots of little “this and that” that I’ll need to do to make it just like the old phone, but it’s more the fun type of fiddling. I’ve already got all 1600+ of my “liked” songs on Spotify downloaded for offline play, and tomorrow I’ll get to carefully attempt to put the tempered glass screen protector on and get it seated in its case so I don’t feel like I’m gonna snap it in half every time I handle it. 😏 Meh… I’m just rambling now since it got me all wound up… I’m happy. New phone, new stuff to play with, so I’ve got nothing to complain about. Just wish I felt even a little bit sleepy… πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Oh, and I’m finally catching up with Dad… heh… he’s been using online ordering for a couple months now when it comes to grocery shopping. And tonight I finally finished setting up my own account so I can avoid all the dirty asses in the grocery store as well. πŸ˜… Will probably place my first order tomorrow. πŸ‘πŸ»

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.

Alternate Tests

So… no clouds tonight, so no “clouds zipping past the moon” time-lapse test was possible. However, with the sky as clear as it was, I figured I’d try a different app for my phone that let me set the ISO to 64, the exposure to 30 seconds, and let it run for about an hour and a half – capturing images of the SW sky with the top of my house and some trees in the frame for a bit of context. It was a success in theory, since I now know how to get all my settings right to capture stars and planets – but since the moon was lighting up the sky, it left everything looking washed out. But yeah, I can see potential in this method…

Then the other thing I tried was an 80x digital zoom time-lapse of the moon as it crossed the field of view of the camera. Another thing that I should have realized, was at that zoom level – the motion of the moon would be visible enough to the eye in real-time… so doing a time-lapse with a one second interval made it cross through the frame way too fast. πŸ€”πŸ˜’ So, that’s why this looks all jerky… it’s actually a time-lapse that was slowed to 1/4 of its original speed. But again, decent test – which unfortunately reveals there’s not enough manual control available in this camcorder for exposure and brightness. You’ll see how it comes into the frame overexposed, looks good for a bit, and then gets blown out again as it exits the frame. Still, pretty good for a cheap ass digital camcorder. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ (And another nice distraction for the evening…)

Don’t forget to click the little HD icon as well as making it full screen for the best result. πŸ€“πŸ˜Ž

Creeping Beauty

Lately I’ve just been using my phone to capture various (weather-based) time-lapse videos, long exposures, lightning, etc… πŸ˜―πŸ“·β˜οΈβ˜οΈπŸŒ©οΈβ˜οΈ basically anything that can be done a few steps from my front door, which unfortunately is about the extent of my “hobby of photography” at the moment. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜•

But last night after the lightning clouds passed through, I decided to grab my camcorder to remind myself what it’s capable of when it comes to low light and time-lapse video. πŸ“ΉπŸ€” Now, when I say camcorder, what you’re picturing is probably not what I’m actually talking about. It’s a JVC digital camcorder with 40x optical zoom, 80x “decent” digital zoom, and then some ridiculous 800x digital zoom that makes everything look like garbage. πŸ˜… But it shoots in 1080p/30 HD and saves to a standard SD memory card, so it’s good enough tech for what I’d want to use it for.

The video below… it’s theΒ firstΒ true test of that camcorder in a couple of years. I just slowed the shutter as much as possible, boosted the exposure, tried to manually focus it properly (since it will lose and regain focus over and over in the dark), and then set the time-lapse interval to 5 seconds. πŸ€“πŸ˜’ I didn’t realize, when I pressed record, how fast the clouds were already moving… so from now on I’ll shoot with an interval of one second and then just speed it up if necessary. But yeah, this is what I ended up with…

(You might need to click the little “HD” and “Full Screen” in the bottom right for highest quality)

It was a full moon last night, and will look essentially the same tonight, so I’m gonna go ahead and charge her up in case I’m awake that late – to where I can plop it out in the back yard, hit record, and let it run until the batteries are empty. πŸŒβ˜οΈπŸ“ΉπŸ€“πŸ€žπŸ» Right now, in the afternoon, there is a good mix of open sky and random clouds… so we’ll see if that stays true through the evening and into the early morning hours.

The storm came along at the right time last night to distract me from my “meh” thoughts of the day, to where I just let myself get lost in watching the ominous looking clouds and lightning as they approached from the distance. 😌 (It’s in my DNA… πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I just love severe weather.) The rain did me a favor, so I didn’t even have to scramble to grab my phone (or the camcorder) before it all got soaked once the storm got here… since it never actually got here, passing just to the south instead. πŸ˜³πŸ™‚

So, wish me luck… gonna try to capture somethin’ perty tonight. 😌 And God willing, if I start feeling good enough and my motivation returns for at least a few nights, maybe I’ll actually go out somewhere to do a similar experiment. Somewhere more “scenic” than home. 🀨 The views from my house are fine… they’re just a little bit cluttered due to trees, nearby buildings, power/cable lines, etc… on top of the stray, unwanted light from cars’ headlights as they pass by. πŸ€”πŸ˜’

So yeah, even though I’ve done a ton of these over the years, I’m counting everything as “testing” still… 😏

That’s Just The Way It Is

It looks like I can just count on one week out of every month being horrible thanks to the runaround I get regarding my medication. πŸ˜’ A full one-quarter of my current existence on this planet, already set aside for fuckery and feeling physically and mentally miserable. 😣 So, starting this month, I’m gonna have to start rationing – so that way when there are extended delays in getting stuff approved, I won’t be going completely without and feeling the affect of that accordingly.

I don’t even have the energy to get into it. πŸ˜” I’m just hoping that it doesn’t mean that I lost my court hearing weeks ago. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I still haven’t gotten any paperwork on it, but I’m guessing the magistrate is probably close to making a ruling if he hasn’t already. But yeah, when I’m already having a hard time functioning like a human, knowing that I’ll lose a week each month like this certainly doesn’t help matters.

But anyway… in an attempt to not think about that for a while tonight, I put my phone on airplane mode and set up a short time-lapse shot. I think the elapsed time was actually about two hours, but it plays out in a minute or so. I used an ISO of about 1200, an exposure of 1/3 of a second, with digital light trail enhancement of 3 seconds. πŸ€“ I’m actually fairly pleased with the result, although I’ve already thought of what adjustments I need to make next time so there’s less grain, brighter stars, and longer light trails.

So yeah… this is just another thing I have to adjust for, the same way that I need to adjust the amount of shit that I do when I’m feeling good – since I know that too much moving around will screw me up. 😐 Meh… it’s almost too hard to explain how complicated it actually is – the stuff that I can actually somewhat control – so when stuff that I can’t control gets added on top of it… yeah, things start to get bad bad. I’ll figure it out. Eventually. But hey, that video is kinda neat, no? πŸ™‚

(I might try to capture the movement of just the stars next time we have a new moon.)