COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43931.31

Combating boredom. Continuing with the back porch activity while the weather holds up. I’ve started capturing 4k video clips of life in the back yard. Once I have enough material, I’ll probably start producing short videos to append to my daily journal of the American nightmare.

Trudy and I ordered replacement iPads yesterday. They should be here today. We bought our old iPads back in 2013 and they are stuck at 16 gigs of memory with batteries that are failing. We ordered his and her basic 128 gig models with cases and also grabbed an AV adapter so we can connect them to a HD Television, which should come in handy once we get the cabin in Red Feathers opened. Lots of streaming options to choose from, best to have the hardware that will take advantage of it.

Laundry. All caught up. I smell clean and fresh and the food stains on my sweatshirts are now hardly noticable.

Toilet paper / paper towel inventory. Still hanging in there. We know though, at some point we’ll have to get more. Probably on our next supply run next week, if there is anything on the shelves.

Weed inventory. Normal draw-down rate. It helps with the anxiety and boredom and general body aches of a more sequestered lifestyle. Not like we’re laying around stoned all the time though. Mostly used at night after dinner to erase the memories of having to listen to Donald Trump saying stupid shit. Marijuana may be a cure for political bullshit.

Happy thought inventory. Today’s happy thought is knowing that everyone in my family is as healthy as they can be with no reports of infection by this virus. It’s drawn us together as a family, even if we can’t visit each other in person. The occasional phone pinging tweet-fests on group messaging provide a welcome reminder that we all love and care about one another.

The hunkering down continues, extra hunkering is in effect.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43921.22

Combating boredom. I’ve been cycling through my collection of baseball caps on a nearly daily basis. There’s a pile of them on top of the camera cabinet. Some haven’t been used in over 10 years. I think I prefer the “Dad” hats, which are basically the style of caps that were popular in the 1990’s. It’s okay though. I’m a dad and I lived through the 90’s.

Good news inventory. California doctors are “cautiously hopeful.” Wow, that’s it.

Dog poop scooping. It’s become a way of life. Trudy and I get a little daily exercise with the encouragement of the dogs bowels. 10 minutes of walking in circles and staring at the ground. Day after day after day. Looking for the golden turd.

Weed inventory. 70 days.

Toilet paper/paper towel inventory. Still wiping everything we touch, and still touching everything we wipe. Riveting.

Camera battery. 85%. Did you know the camera battery will slowly drain down even if you don’t turn the camera on. Did take some photos yesterday, which used a little more battery than usual. Watching the battery drain is something akin to watching paint dry. Simple pleasures.

Laundry status. Did a load of clothes and a load of towels yesterday. Don’t want things accumulating in the laundry room and smelling like rot or anything.

Still no positive test result from the family member. The assumption at this point is she was fortunate and didn’t contract the virus, however, the poor health condition is still worrisome. None of us are getting younger and we don’t need no other medical stuff sneaking around and coming in through the back door.

I decided a week or two back that I would have my future medical prescriptions sent to me through the mail. It’s probably a better idea than driving 30 miles to stand in a room full of sick people to pick them up. We’ll see how that works out. I’m awaiting my first shipment. Maybe today, or tomorrow.

I’ve noticed that over the last week or so, the website has been loading erratically. Not sure if it’s a WordPress problem or a problem with the hosting service. Of course, getting an answer from the hosting service isn’t going to do me much good. As far as GoDaddy is concerned, everything is working fine. But it’s not. Could just be the Internet in general getting clogged up with millions of hunkered down people reading my blog. Naaaaa. There’s something else going on. When my hosting contract expires, I think I’ll find a new service.

First responder activity. Nothing to report.

The hunkering down continues, extra hunkering is in effect.

Still alive and well here in Denver.

2019 By The Numbers

Photograph of an American Bison in the Snow
Bison in Morning Light on a Cold Winter Day

Happy New Year to all my readers.

Not that any of this is important in the grand scheme of life, but it’s always fun to numerically describe key events from the past year.

A quick look back at 2019 from my view of the road, by the numbers.

50.61 Percent Increase in Website Page Hits

29,550 Words Written on My Blog

0 Hours Spent Working For The Man

5 Months of Mountain Cabin Time

60 Soaks in the Hot Tub

0 Traffic Tickets

0 Traffic Accidents

4 New Tires

1 New Windshield

8 Trips to Denver International Airport

10 Lbs Weight Lost

1 Close Friend Passed Away

0 Visits to the Dentist

4 Snow Blower Activations

4 Photography Contests Judged

13 Days of Moose Photography

7,787 Moose Photographs

5 Days of Autumn Photography

518 Autumn Landscape Photographs

2 Days of Deer Photography

641 Deer Photographs

14 Days of Bird Photography

4,368 Bird Photographs

2 Days of Mountain Goat Photography

1,260 Mountain Goat Photographs

1,084 Stock Photographs Submitted

65 Stock Photographs Rejected

2,230 Photographs Sold

0 Cameras Purchased

1 Camera Sold

1 Lens Purchased

4 Lenses Sold

0 Equipment Failures

365 Morning Kisses For My Wife

365 Days of Retirement

0 Regrets

More on 4k Video

Expanding upon yesterday’s blog entry, I combined two different 4k video clips into one clip for comparison. This tests the 4k fps rate, first half being 60 fps and the second half being 30 fps.  Kinda boring stuff, but the idea was to see if creating 4k video using budget video editing software was viable.

Short answer, yes it is.

What I’ve noticed is that when using Corel Video Studio 2019, the preview video in the editor runs a little herky-jerky. The software is barely able to keep up when editing. Editing the same video clips in OpenShot video editor, there is a bit of improvement in the viewing panel, noticeably less choppiness, but still a little. This leads me to wonder if a full blown high end editing solution is going to improve the editing experience. Something like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premier Elements, Filmora, or something like that. Hard to say at this point, as I don’t have the software and I’m not going to drop hundreds of dollars on it to find out.

Another consideration of course is the actual PC hardware. I’m not really state of the art here at the moment. Running a 4th generation Intel based i7 on a 5 year old motherboard with a budget graphics card could quite well be a limiting factor for the smoothness of the editing experience. But, that’s why I’m testing it. Does 4k video require the latest-greatest hardware and software to be a usable proposition for an average Joe out there trying to achieve a 4k video creating solution.

Everything starts with the camera though. If one wishes to delve into 4k, one must have a camera capable of 4k recording.  Which leads to the thought about current DSLR’s vs Camcorders vs Action Cameras.

Another consideration is the frame rate of the 4k video capture.

With most cameras on the market being capable of capturing HD video, shooting high definition with 60 fps capability seems to be commonplace. The most common frame rates are 24, 30 and 60 fps. 24 fps being the cinema video standard, 30 fps being standard consumer grade HD video and 60 fps being more suitable for those wanting to capture moving objects and creating smoother slow motion. High Def 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps is about where the state of the art is for consumer level electronics, but as you can tell from all the marketing hype, 4k is now becoming more common.

Resolution is doubled with 4k, at a base of 3840 x 2160 pixels.  The associated files sizes are growing as well, with a 60 fps clip being twice the size of a 30 fps clip. As with all things in the technical specs of consumer electronics, you can be certain that within the next few years, 4k video is creeping in as that new standard and for it to be a solid standard, we’ll have to see 60 fps as a minimum capability. If you’re buying a camera or camcorder that doesn’t support 4k at 60 fps, you’re buying into an already obsolete standard and to move up, you’ll have to replace it.

I found an article on “Camera Jabber” that lists the top consumer grade cameras for shooting 4k at 60 fps, so if you’re looking to get this deep into the 4k craze, this is pretty much where you should be starting. Anything less and you’ll be buying into obsolescence.

Here’s the link to that article.