Do you hear that?

Across the back yard, past the neighbor’s house? That rumbling sound? It’s a lawnmower! A lawnmower! It would never occur to you that one could mow his lawn in January, and yet it’s true. The weather has been sunny and dry for the past several days. The grass is long (because you never got the end-of-year mow in that you wanted), and giving it a trim sounds like an excellent way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Time to hang up your blogging cap and put on your yardwork cap instead…

Speaking of minor miracles: when I came home today, all the cats but Nemo crowded around for attention. I sat in the parlor to write. Simon jumped on the bench in the bay window. Toto hopped onto the arm of my chair. Meatball climbed onto my lap. They sat together and purred peacefully — Toto didn’t hiss once.

It was a fine weekend in which we got to be social, but we also got a lot done. I’m pleased when my Sundays set up the week for productivity.

I hit a wall today, though.

I’ve finally been importing the seven hours of video I took during our 2004 cruise to Alaska. Now that my hard drive is nearly full (video takes a lot of space), I’ve begun to edit the footage. Here’s the first part:

I’m compressing each hour to ten minutes (or preferably less). I don’t really know what I’m doing, but I’m having fun. The real problem is that it takes time, and lots of it. I spent all day today editing parts two, three, and five. I didn’t get any box-work done. I didn’t get any blogging done. I only edited video. This is not good. Now I’m no longer ahead in my work. If I do this any more, I’ll actually be behind.

I can tell you this: I want to take a video camera on our European vacation this summer!

9 Replies to “Minor Miracles”

  1. Jenn says:

    I’m sure you have learned your lesson and will never take this much video again. Experience is the best teacher.

    Also, I think you could have edited out a lot more video. You usually only need a few seconds to get the idea. You want to maek this watchable for the future.

    I can watch my wedding video for about 8 minutes, any more and I’m bored out of my mind! So why not condense my wedding to an 8 minute video of the very best stuff. Now that I could watch on every anniversay!

  2. J.D. says:

    Oh, I still think it’s important to take that much video. It’s the same idea with photography: the rule of thumb is to take as many photos as humanly possible, but only keep two or three out of every hundred. Professional photographers don’t necessarily make better photos than the average person — they just take a *lot* of them, and have learned to self-edit. The same principle applies here, I think.

    I agree that I could edit even further. And I actually have a plan.

    In the first stage, I took seven hours of video. In the second stage, I am reducing each hour-long tape to ten minutes of footage. Each ten minutes is a “chapter”. Ideally, I’ll actually compress this all to a single hour. This is the “family version”, for when we want to reminisce about the entire trip. (I’ve had a lot of fun watching these.) In stage three, I’ll create a “best of” highlights reel of maybe 7-1/2 minutes or 23-minutes in length. (These might seem like arbitrary lengths, but they’re not.)

    The real problem is that tape #4 — the whale-watching tape — is jammed. The camera refuses to play it. Yikes.

    Also, although I hauled that video camera with me *everywhere* in Alaska, I didn’t take it for the four hours we were off the boat in Sitka, which is a damned shame. Sitka was the highlight of the trip for me and Kris: kayaking on a cool morning in the midst of spawning salmon. Absolutely brilliant. But I didn’t want to risk ruining the camera in an overtipped kayak. Turns out we would have been fine. *sigh*

  3. Max's Not-So-Secret-Admirer says:

    More pictures of Max. We love you.

  4. jenefer says:

    where are you going in Europe?

  5. B says:

    Aren’t the tapes cheap enough to catalog and archive? You can still create highlight reels (and archive them to tape), but it doesn’t seem worth anyone’s time to edit all that footage.

    I haven’t had any trouble with mini-DV tapes and we have some that are 10 years old. No way we could afford the hard drive space to even keep the highlight reels on our computer.

  6. Amanda says:

    More cat photos! More cat videos! Mr. Anonymous can go . . . oh, well, I’ll be nice.

    But we still want more! 😀

  7. Mr. Anonymous says:

    It just gets old after a while, listening to stories about Cats over and over… 😉

    But I do agree with Secret-Admirer… you can post all the pictures you want of my buddy Maxie… he’s such a good cat, just like his brother Gordo.

  8. Mr. Anonymous (aka The Cat Whisperer) says:

    P.S.– The reason Gordo and Max are such good cats is because they were both my buddies before being rescued from the place with the fast-moving roo-doo-doos.

  9. J.D. says:

    I just showed the Custom Box cleaning woman video of Max. She loved those kittens. “He is so handsome,” she told me. We talked about how we both miss Duke — we liked him better. “Blackie, he was so special,” she said in her thick accent (but with good language skills). “He had, um, more character. He was dumb, but he was more fun.” Then she asked me about Chicken. “Where is the rooster?” she said. “Oh, he’s still out there. I’m not taking it home.”

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