Age, covid, dementia, something is going on that is messing with my life. Simple things I can't remember how to do and my mind is totally empty when I go to draw on the memory, often comically. It just ain't there.

Considering that a few months ago I was writing state of the art web code, wow... I have to accept now that code writing is over, not that it was going anywhere anyway.

Life is so interesting and I am grateful to have lasted this long. Granted I have been depressed by recent events, but that emotion is crap, I have no use for it and I have adventures to live.

How this memory thing is going to affect those adventures remains to be seen, yet there is no other direction to move but forward, with a smile on my tan face and a fit body.

My neighbor scooped me up today and we headed out for Amish goodies in a pouring rain.

First up was a bucket of organic strawberries that melt in your mouth and some giant tomatoes

Then a homemade Amish fried fruit pie.

And finally a little sign that sums things up around here from the surplus store coming back into town.

Click it...

Recent life...

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My new camera shoots 4k/60 and I like to throw that acronym into my blog posts, but for those not wrapped up in this stuff like I am, allow me to break that down.

Most modern computer displays have resolutions of 1920x1080, which means 1,920 pixels across and 1,080 pixels down, and they display at 30 frames per second.

4k/60 is twice that, 3840x2160 or 3,840 pixels across by 2,160 pixels down, and captures 60 frames every second. In post production (running raw footage through a video editor and outputting a new video) I can cut the speed in half, output at 1920x1080, 30 frames per second, and it looks great. Then I upload it to YouTube.

To shoot 4k/60 from a small camera mounted on a stabilizing gimbal, is pretty damned cool. Thanks for reading this far and I hope you learned something.

Bonus notes: The resolution numbers may seem odd but they have a foundation in the lowly computer memory entity called a byte, that I learned about in my very first computer science class in 1969. There are 8 bits in a byte and it can represent a value from 0 to 255 (256 characters).

The numbers that have evolved into the video world are in multitudes of 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256 etc... 4K (4,000) is a roundup of 3840, which can be divided evenly by any of those numbers. And 60 frames per second is really 59.94. :-)

Filters are an integral part of my new camera system and normally come in a pricey set of four, offering different levels of shutter speed adjustment to compensate for bright areas. They're magnetic and just pop on over the lens.

I just picked up a combo filter that handles all four types with just a twist of the rim. I'll get out there today and shoot some footage with it...

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I rescued a puppy today down on Shoal Creek road. It was just walking along the side of a desolate road, totally out of place and looked lost. This was not the way I planned on spending my afternoon but I had no choice but to pull over and stop.

He came right to me so I picked him up and put him on my passenger seat and brought him back to my place. I fed him some cat food with water but he just wanted to get close to me and come inside the house, howling on the front step like a baby.

It was 1430 in the afternoon, places shutting down soon, no way could I allow this flea-ridden adorable little thing to spend the night with us. I looked up Animal Shelter and found one really close, up a few side roads from my house. An animal control officer answered and said if I could get there by 1500 she would take him. I was there in five minutes.

Two women met me at my truck, they fawned all over him, rescue done. I managed to shoot a little footage at the house and it's waiting to be watched below.

After smashing my sunglasses with my boney butt last week I went searching for my next boneheaded stunt, and proceeded to lock my ignition key on gym strap inside my truck, only to discover my spare key had gone missing.

No problem, I'll just call Farmers Roadside Assistance and a local outfit will come down and have me unlocked quickly. I'm writing this post with a purpose because I'm sending this link to my Farmers agent.

It was 1400 on a Friday afternoon and a Farmers computer bot started sending me messages every 10 minutes saying they were still looking for someone. At 1500 it said they found someone and they would be there at 1810. Cool, at 2000 I called the nice Farmers lady down in the Philippines and asked where the truck was and she said that due to privacy issues the tow truck driver was not allowed to contact me directly because he wanted to make sure I was still locked out before driving 45 minutes to get here, and bailed. There is so much wrong with that answer I'll just let it sit.

I said find somebody local for the next morning! She said ok and we said good night. Good thing I'm home and not out on the highway.

The next morning, it started all over again and the nearest they could find was 45 minutes away in Columbia. This time I looked the tow outfit up and called them. They couldn't figure out why they were being dispatched from so far away and they were going to charge me $150 because they didn't trust Farmers to reimburse them. I said cancel.

I ended up calling a local guy and he had me unlocked in a jiffy and charged me $40. So, this turned out to be a total fail of Farmers Roadside Assistance and I'm droping the receipt off with my agent this morning hoping to get reimbursed.

Update: My agent took care of everything, said it's just that local availability for services around here suck and that's out of Farmers control. I get that.

Hmmm, now what stupid move can I do next?

The reader board at the local church today read "Thank you God and Mary for Jesus". I assume this is a Mothers Day reference but I always thought Joe was the real dad.

Those that give birth and nurture deserve acknowledgement today, regardless of who the father is.

That's me on the left, older brother Dana on the right.

I recently discovered the spot where water is extracted from Shoal Creek and pumped to the big treatment plant up on the hill. From here, to my tap.

The creek that flows from the lake in the park merges with Shoal Creek just upstream from here, which means we get their water also. The spot where last years tubers ended their run is, just upstream from here, in fact, this is the dam we warned them about if they missed their stop.

So, everybodys crap flows right down to our water supply, and yes, that is a dogs tail lower right...

The pumping station above:

My camera design is now at version two. The whole thing was too tall and unsteady with the center grip, so I pulled it. The unit is now closer to the ground, rock steady, and the collapsed tripod makes a great new handle.

I also picked up a braided C cord just the perfect length for the back and put a protective case around the phone.

I was in downtown Lawrenceburg yesterday and jumped out of my truck to take this shot, throwing my expensive prescription shades on the seat, then proceeded to sit on them when I got back in. Smashed, but a lovely lady at the place I bought them put them back together for free. Gotta love small towns...

So here's the linemen and some raw video footage of the rescued birds:

Met these characters at the bird rescue pens this morning.

I used my RideQue map to capture the Belize island Caye Caulker. It's a cool dragable map you can scroll down the island with. Just click the image below and explore.

Fifty years ago I walked into Melvin Newton's office at Merritt College in Oakland, CA with my cute blond girlfriend and we asked to join his new class on Black Studies. Melvin's claim to fame was his brother Huey Newton, the head of the Black Panthers, on trial for murder at the time.

He sat behind his desk and smiled with amazement. He said the class was going to be filled with black kids expressing their outrage and anger against the white society that was repressing them. Did we really want to subject ourselves to that?

We said yes, and finally he said no. He felt it would be disruptive and the students wouldn't be able to express themselves freely.

Do such classes exist today? I don't know, maybe...

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All the pieces came together today for my new Pocket 2 rig. The mounting bracket secures the phone and the camera's USB C connection, and attaches to the tripod. The battery pack on the back provides an all day charge to both the phone and camera.

It's light as hell, feels balanced in my hand, and I can't wait to take it to Belize.

First walk around Shoal Creek with my new DJI Pocket 2. Shot at 4k/60, post down to 1920/60. Uploaded to YouTube as 60fps.

These are my handheld tripods. The one on the left mounts my Sony mirrorless and is what I took on that cruise and is my main rig. It's great, but lugging it around all day takes a toll.

The new guy on the right has these amazing bendy legs that you can shape into a really solid connection with the ground. They also bend straight down so they're out of the way when you want. The phone and camera will mount to this and I'll have a lightweight stabilized video system with a big high resolution screen.

I bought a new camera today! It's a handheld 3-axis gimbal stabilizer with a 4K camera called the DGI Pocket 2.

You can use it stand-alone or hook it up to your cellphone, which I plan to do.

It shoots amazing physically stabilized video, as opposed to computer stabilized, and I can control it completely on the phone.

I also picked up a great phone clamp to secure the whole thing to my tripods and handgrip.

Arriving tomorrow :-)