More Moon Stuff

Making a a little more progress with the $99 digital camcorder with the stupid good zoom… ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿ˜’ 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. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿค“ 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.

Display.Land Tests

I fell asleep around 7p last night, woke up a few times during the night, but didn’t truly wake up until 7a. Twelve hours of sleep… finally. Between that and the nice day, I decided to grab my phone and get to work making some crude 3D models (w/improving results) with this photogrammetry app called Display.Land

(Sorry about the vertical video… it’s the only way it’ll spit ’em out. I suggest going full screen.)

It’s easy to collect the images that are used to build the models, as it works on video rather than photos… I mean, it uses still images from that video, but it’s all done in the cloud so you don’t need to leave your phone open to do all of the calculations. Once the render is done, you do have to go and crop each one in 3D space and create a camera path “trailer” for app users to see. (If you make your scans public.)

If someone sees your preview and thinks it looks interesting, they can click on it and be presented with the actual 3D model that they can pan, scan, zoom, etc at their own whim. I dunno, another totally not-useful thing that I’m trying to get better at. It has been a nice little distraction throughout the day though.

SpaceX Flight Abort Test

If it would have taken off at 9am as planned, I probably would have gotten to see it live… but since I had to be on the road shortly after that, I had to wait until getting home this evening to see how things went with the SpaceX “Crew Dragon 2” abort test. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Luckily, Scott Manley (what a name… heh) had already thrown together a nice little video covering the whole event. (Check out his channel if you’re into space stuffs.)ย ๐Ÿค“

Interestingly enough, Genesee is actually in Florida right now… but unfortunately on the wrong coast. ๐Ÿ˜„ Apparently you can see SpaceX launches from around the Tampa area when they are conducted at night, but I’m not sure what kind of luck they’d have trying to see it during the morning hours. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

This launch was of particular interest to folks because not only were they conducting their first test of the escape vehicle, designed to detach and “rocket itself away” from the main booster, but after the capsule successfully flew itself away – SpaceX planned to self-destruct the rocket mid-flight, rather than allowing it to fall back to earth (well, the ocean) and risk some sort of potential problem along the way or at impact. ๐Ÿ˜ง That must have been a heck of a sight to see if you were in the area. ๐Ÿ˜ฏโ˜๏ธ๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐ŸŒฅ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜

Being planned, this wasn’t one of SpaceX’s famous “Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly” moments. ๐Ÿ˜

Trying To Be Productive

Cassi and Steven came down for a visit yesterday evening. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was kind of a short notice thing, and they ended up staying a couple of hours, so it had my brain wound up to where I wasn’t able to fall asleep until around 2am. ๐Ÿ˜ด Me and Steven ended up talking about car stuff almost the entire time, so that was nice to pick his brain about this and that… but they’re getting ready to move, and they’ll be busy with all of that for a good bit – so after last night it’ll be a while until things get settled enough for me to drop in for a visit.

I woke up again after only about an hour of sleep, so I tumbled out of bed and I stumbled to the kitchen… to get myself a bottle of water. ๐Ÿ˜ Heh… I used the “9 to 5” lyrics for the previous sentence, but “tumbling out of bed” was exactly what ended up happening. ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I nodded off with the water bottle in my hand, still sitting up, and (likely) a short time later I woke back up as my dumb ass was falling out of bed. Not my most graceful moment, that’s for sure. I’m surprised I was able to fall back to sleep so easily after that. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜

Despite that, today started off well… if a bit later than originally planned. Went in town and grabbed some burgers for a visit with Dad around lunch time, and then after that I finally… finally… made it to the Walmart vision center and got my new prescription and glasses ordered. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿฅณ I’ve only been “planning” to do that for about a year now I think? I tend to be rough on my glasses, so I spent a little more to get titanium frames with double hinges on the temples. ๐Ÿง๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป More of a squared off look than my last few pairs, so I’m excited to get them to not only see how I look, but also to actually be able to see with 20/20 vision again.

They did do eye-health tests along with just getting the Rx, since it’s been a few year since they last saw me, but everything apparently looked good. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ However, the combination of the glaucoma test and then the drops to dilate my eyes… ๐Ÿ˜ณ I ended up with a huge headache which still hasn’t gone away. Luckily I only had to run through the store real quick to grab some cat food, litter, pop, and some other grocery essentials – but then I was able to head straight home, pull the curtains, and turn off all the lights. ๐Ÿค•

Since my IC hearing got postponed, that leaves tomorrow free for me to call (or go visit) the pharmacy to get this month’s WC med situation taken care of… ๐Ÿ˜  plus I’ve gotta make a call regarding a stray insurance policy that’s taking far too long to process. (Another thing that I’ve been meaning to do for months.) Those calls will be mildly-annoying at best, but it’ll feel good if I’m able to get these things handled. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Okay, headache is starting to flare up again… time to get away from my screens.

Let’s Get It Started (& Finished)

Furnace guy came and ran some checks on all the internals, and it turned out that the big fat capacitor that goes to the blower was dying… only storing about half the charge that it was supposed to at the time that he tested it, so luckily even though it was one of those intermittent things – he was able to tell with his meter which part was dying. He replaced that part, oiled the blower, and she’s working great. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Once he opened it up, he dated it as a 1987 model… or “a dinosaur” as he put it. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿฆ• (I cannot disagree… heh) I was surprised that he had a replacement capacitor in his van, but apparently it has remained a common part over the years. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ The only other thing that’s going bad is the induction fan. It’s rated to draw 1.4 amps, but testing showed it was pulling nearly 2.5 amps when running – so that’s not awesome. ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Like he said, it’ll keep working… until it doesn’t. So I told him to price a replacement, and I’ll likely end up having that swapped out too – ‘cuz I’d rather do it now than lose it in the middle of real winter weather. ๐Ÿฅถ

(Unrelated video, other than the title of this blog entry reminding me of this song… or vice versa… ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ )

I also recovered from that brain fart and remembered that I loaned my drill to someone early last year, so I went and picked it up. (That shows how often I need / try to be “handy” around here. ๐Ÿ™„ ) That was “just in case” I’m able to get to the mailbox before Rick comes over to install the garage door opener. ๐Ÿ“ช๐Ÿ”จ๐Ÿ˜‹ Oh, that came today as well. (The new ๐Ÿงžโ€โ™‚๏ธ 3/4hp opener)ย  I shlepped the box into the house but haven’t opened it yet, but before I go to bed tonight I’m gonna at least open it up and make sure there’s no apparent damage before I give Rick the go ahead to schedule me in.

And the final thing, for the moment at least, is that my tires arrived at the store – so I’ll give them a call when I wake up to see if I have to make an appointment or if I just show up and get in line for them to mount, balance, and align them. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ”ง๐Ÿš˜ They’ve got several bays, so I don’t imagine I’ll have to wait long either way. (But still… anxiety has been extra-strength lately, so the sooner I’m done and back home, the better.)

But boy, between all that and then the other random things I’ve been dealing with… heh… just a little bit “too much stuff” going down all at once for my taste. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ But at least it’s all good stuff. The AC last year was basically “buy once, cry once” when I got it, but the furnace repair will be relatively cheap, the tires were reasonable(ish) since they were no-name, and only having to get new springs and a new opener when I was pretty sure that the whole garage door might have needed replacing… ๐Ÿ˜ง๐Ÿง๐Ÿค” Well, maybe I should wait to be happy about that one until Rick puts it up and we see how she does.

I’m (currently) optimistic though. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

Wait, There’s A Purpose

Yeah, I know I said I likely wouldn’t be doing any more time-lapse videos of the clouds, considering they’re probably only interesting to me… but it was finally cool enough today that I thought I could put the fully charged iPad out back, capturing at one frame every three seconds, to see how long the battery would last. How long of a video I could make on one charge. ๐Ÿค”

I rendered it out at 4K, 60fps… but then adding music to it in iMovie, I’m not sure if it saved it at those same settings or what YouTube will do to the video if it did. But it sat out back for a long time – until the sun started to come into view, causing it to overheat and stop taking shots. ๐Ÿ˜’ Once it cooled off, it showed the battery level still at 60% – so there’s a chance that I could shoot a dawn to dusk video once the days are much cooler. It might need my little power bank connected to it, but yeah… there’s a chance.

That’s not really a big deal with the view that’s currently featured, but if I happened to find a space that’s much more scenic – perhaps a place where I could actually stash my iPad and just leave it for the day… ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜„

I know I’ll probably never actually do that. Just let me do my tests and act like I might some day though.ย ๐Ÿ˜…

(Hey, I had to do something nerdy during my “nothing” day today. ๐Ÿค“ย )