Feb
24
2009
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The daily grind…

It seems that in life we always strive for stability and routine.  Of course too much of anything is said to be negative, therefore stability and routine cannot be allowed to become complacency.  Ironically however, some attempt to rebel against these ideas to the point of making chaos their routine.  I would love to tell you that I am the latter.  A romantic figure worthy of a Palahniuk novel, but my mind and body are constantly imposing their will.

A few days, maybe a week will go by and suddenly I’ll realize that a new pattern in behaviors had emerged.  Occasionally I place a wrench on the cogs, spinning the machine out of control, but invariably elves or nanobots or some other inner Mr. Fixit puts the machine back in working order and I’m back to my daily grind.

It sounds like I might think of this as a problem, but there is a certain amount of routine and stability that I enjoy and wish to maintain.  As long my routines don’t turn into hackneyed phrases like “I woke up one day and I was forty.”

As I’ve been pondering my current routines I find that I keep landing on only things I do before noon.  A good poop, making coffee, catching up on my personal email and favorite websites, and the series of events in which I groom myself.  Rarely, I think, do people put much emphasis on evening routines.  There may be a just got home from work routine, or a just before bed routine, but these are often skipped, and little discussed.  The fulfillment of an evening routine is dependent on the previous days actions.  Was it a good day, or a bad day?  Do you have more work waiting for you at home, or a dinner to go to?  The morning however always starts out the same way – wake up and get out of bed and therefore is itself part of the morning routine.

All that said, here is a little peak at my first and favorite routine of the day – making and consuming coffee.

Written by John in: Ramble,Video | Tags: , ,
Feb
22
2009
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Life in motion

I have never owned a video camera, but I have often used the video function of my digital camera to capture the nuances of time and space that sometimes eludes two-dimensional photography.  Having a video often gives the sense of 2.5 dimensions.  In recent history I had been fine with simply shooting the video and archiving it unedited believing that the raw footage was somehow better.  Something has changed and now I feel compelled to convert my perfectly good memories into more artistic visions.

Unfortunately, I find that while I’m a creative problem solver when math, processes, and electrons are involved, this does not necessarily translate into the arts.  A few years ago I was very interested in audio creation and production and became versed in the ways of Audacity, Sound Forge, Garage Band, Fruity Loops, Pro Tools, and Reason to name a few.  While I know know an incredible amount about how music is created and produced using these programs, under my direction, bad techno is still bad techno regardless of whether I’m using an intro program like Garage Band or and advanced tool like Reason.

Now comes my new found interest in video production and editing.  Currently I am trying out several different programs.  The first post from yesterday was done using Avidemux and VirtualDub (both open source and free).  Today I created a similar video using iMovie just to compare the processes and workflows of the programs.  While iMovie is definately easier to handle, I feel the options lost (and the fact it requires a mac) limit it to only certain basic tasks.  So welcome everyone to my amateurish films, hopefully with time they will become more intriguing and complex.  Along the way I hope to share why one thing worked and another one didn’t.

Now to continue yesterday’s theme of hitting the open road, here is some old footage of a drive through southern Australia on the Great Ocean Highway from Melbourne to the Twelve Apostles.  Pardon the pixelated and choppy nature of the video, it was shot with a 8 year old Sony camera in which high quality mode was 320×240 @ 15fps.

Written by John in: Ramble,Travel,Video | Tags: , , , ,
Feb
21
2009
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Get out on the highway

I like to think of myself as a green individual – I recycle, I use low wattage light bulbs, I ride my bike when it makes sense, and I strive to do much more.  That said, I cannot give up a purely recreational drive.  When the ignition turns and an unknown stretches of coiled road lay before me I get a giddy feeling in the sub-cockle region.  I have often jumped in my car and headed to no better place than “around”.  For example, I was fortunate some years back to travel to Australia and for one entire day I rented a car and drove along the Great Ocean Highway only stopping for coffee and gas. It’s the views and the open road that get my heart racing, not landmarks and opera houses.

In Austin, “around” was in the hill country on the west side of Capitol of Texas Highway.  One of my favorite routes was to start at Mopac and 2222 heading west, take a left on City Park Road and follow it all the way down to the river.  Toward the end, City Park forks and you take a left on Pearce Road, which winds in a big loop back to City Park Road.  I cannot condone speeding, but the more rubber burnt the better.  After eight years of trekking around Austin, I had run out of roads that would interest me, but with the recent relocation to Colorado I am presented with a much greater wealth of curving asphalt to explore.

This past weekend I decided to drive to Winter Park.  On this particular journey I did have a destination in mind – to go snowboarding, but really the drive was just as fulfilling as cruising on powder.  It better be because a day trip from my house to Winter Park results in equal parts time spent driving and snowboarding.  I must recommend that you take some time for this.  It’s one of those “smell the roses” activities.  Of course if you are just too busy, join me on a road trip at 6x normal speed.

Written by John in: Ramble,Video | Tags: , , ,
Feb
07
2009
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No pain…no gain

May be it’s the nice weather, maybe it’s my squishy body, but something has given me workout fever.  An unused membership has been repeatedly charging itself to my credit card reminding me that I’m paying for my ill health.

Today that changes – although my plan is not as you might expect.  I am driving down to the gym, working out, and…wait for it…canceling my membership.  No longer will I pay to be unhealthy.  Instead I’m doing this Balboa style.  It’s time to run through snow up mountains, escaping communists and building lung capacity.  It’s time to hang from the rafters and do ab splitting sit ups and there’s nothing Dolph Lundgren can do to stop my montage worthy workout.

It has been almost a year since I exercised in any serious fashion, so most likely I’ll just end up like this:

This is how I'll feel in about an hour

This is how I'll feel in about an hour

Wish me luck, I’m going to need it.

Written by John in: Ramble,Video | Tags: , , , , ,

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