Waiting…

Killer headache at the moment, so I’m gonna refrain from making a real blog entry… but I figured I’d throw this video up from my dashcam in parking mode from earlier today when I had to spend more time in town than I really wanted. Clouds were okay, but this would be much better in more severe weather. Not that I wanna be out and having to park in the open when shitty weather hits. ๐Ÿ˜ (Best in HD of course…)

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…)

Too Late, Too Early

I stayed up until around 2am last night. Mostly just because I couldn’t fall asleep, but also because I wanted to step outside and see how many meteors I could see from the Lyrids meteor shower. ๐Ÿค“ I stood outside for a little over ten minutes, freezing, and saw a grand total of none. ๐Ÿ˜… I know that I was looking where I was supposed to, so they were either lighter than expected or I was just blinking at the wrong time. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

No big deal, since if I had seen several of them I probably would have been wishing I had figured out the needed settings for my cameras so that I could have captured them. ๐Ÿ˜’ But earlier in the evening I did mess with the phone and camcorder a bit, to see if I could quickly figure out how to get a noise-free, well exposed photo of the stars in the sky, while also being able to capture any shooting stars… and it’s not as easy as you’d think, at least not with an iPhone.

It’s funny, I’ve got it down where I can get a decent exposure of the night sky, but I know from trying to also capture a few passing planes in the frame – that the way I was exposing the image requires the stars to “stay put” for about 30 seconds, and any moving source of light just wouldn’t be captured. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ Meh… I’m fairly confident with my regular star exposures, so if the sky is clear tonight I might plug up the phone to power and leave it out back to possibly get a decent time-lapse. On a full charge, using just the internal battery, I was only able to get one hundred 30 second exposures, forming this bitty 10 sec time-lapse… ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚

(As usual, best viewed in HD, full screen… and this time, in a dark, dark room. I’m gettin’ there…)

So it was after 2a before I went to sleep, and then I woke up around 7a because my brain knew I had a doctor appointment at 9:30a – so it was sleeping lightly, waiting for any excuse to make sure that I’d wake up and not sleep through it. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ Obviously I’ve had early doctor appointments before, but this one was different, so I’m certainly not complaining that I had to wake up early for it today.

This was my first experience with “telemedicine” as I guess it’s called. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Staci called a little early, at 9a, to see if I was awake and able to go ahead and start… and she then sent a link via text, I clicked on it, it opened a page that started the AV connection as fast as a regular Facetime call would start, and from that point on it was like a regular doctor appointment. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ

She did her normal “pre-doc” stuff of all the typical information that they gather before the doctor actually comes in, she then put me on hold for about 30 seconds, and then my doctor clicked back in and we wrapped up my appointment in less than ten minutes. ๐Ÿ˜Š Still covered everything that we would have covered in person, and in fact – because I didn’t have to experience the anxiety of the in-person visit, I probably felt better than at a “normal” appointment. That also meant that I didn’t ramble on about any minor “this or that” which often happens when I’m actually there and able to bitch. ๐Ÿ˜…

So yeah, I could definitely get spoiled by something like that. ๐Ÿค— I realize though that a doctor does have to be able to physically interact with a damaged person at least every couple of appointments (to confirm the level of their damage) but it would be nice if I could do two of these, then a regular appointment, two more of these, then a regular, etc. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜• Unfortunately they probably aren’t able to bill insurance at the same rate when they do “virtual” vs “real” appointments, so once they feel that the COVID risk isn’t as high anymore, everyone will be going back to the regular routine. ๐Ÿ˜’

Heh… this is probably my longest, most coherent pre-10a entry I’ve ever written. ๐Ÿ˜‹

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. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป Shooting one frame every five seconds, she was able to last for nearly seven hours. ๐Ÿ˜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… ๐Ÿ˜ although this one was more of a test of the battery. ๐Ÿคจ 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. ๐Ÿค“ 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. ๐Ÿ˜… ie: I still wanna be creative, but I have a hard time motivating myself enough to get away from the house to do it. ๐Ÿ˜’ 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. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ So, instead, I decided to stick the camcorder out back and let it run in time-lapse mode until the battery ran out. ๐Ÿค” 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… ๐Ÿ˜

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.ย ๐Ÿคจ

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.

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. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜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. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ”ญ๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒฒโ˜๏ธ

(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. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ 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. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

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. ๐Ÿ˜