Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Dilemma

We're getting ready for a trip to the coast.

And I find myself staring at my travel journal.

This is the setup --

Canvas case, moleskine notebook and various tools. Usually shoved in the suitcase because there are scissors in there. Wonder if a person can have scissors in a carry-on now days?

It has seen me through multiple trips, including being stranded in England because of a volcano eruption and an emergency appendectomy in Scotland. At one point, I realized my travel journal was reading like a horror novel. Nobody vacations like we do.

But now there are other options as I've found Midori Travelers Notebooks. Already have two.

The passport size, I carry around town, it has a calendar, two notebooks and its own multi-pen. I've used it to keep myself occupied while I was waiting for something else to happen. Analog distraction tool.

The regular size, I've used when I've traveled to seminars or taken classes in town. Analog distraction tool on the road to further education.

But now, should I use one as my regular travel journal?

And what about the old setup which has seen me through time and time again?

Old reliable or something new and better?

Can't make up my mind.

Complicated by the addition of these.

Smart phone -- so I always have kind of a camera -- and a polaroid printer that prints business card size prints from an app on the phone.

Certainly is taking PACK LIGHT out of the equation.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Goofy Stuff That Turned Out To Be COOL.

I blame Jet Pens.

Free shipping with orders of $25 is the siren song few can resist, so I found myself adding a MULTI-PEN to my order for the last few bucks needed to reach $25.

My opinion then was that people who used pens with multiple inks were probably those people who dotted their “i” with a little heart.

So, this arrived.

 Then this.

Well, I have two desks. One for each desk. See?
And then I had to get this …

Tombow Compact Multi-Pen
to go with this …..

Passport Midori Traveler's Notebook
 And then my daughter gave me this for Christmas.

FIVE, count 'em, five in one pen. 
Then I saw the famous Bic at Target and thought – why not – it has a pencil too!

So, now look.

And I wonder, how DID this happen?
The reason I found the pens worthwhile is gel ink. The Tombow and the Bic are ballpoints, but the others have a very nice gel ink that makes them hard to resist. Although, the ballpoints are much improved over the old gloppy, leaky messes ballpoints used to be. Gel ink is ruling the place around here right now.

What can I say? Writers like writing instruments and moments that offer procrastination opportunities.

Multi-pens. Who knew?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

You May Be in Montana ...

... if Spring looks like this.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Everywhere, A Critic

I was practicing my ukulele in the yard,


a bird pooped on me.

I tried not to take this personally.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Wild Audio

I never agreed that the on-board GoPro mic was all that bad – even muted by the cases – waterproof and otherwise, but there were a lot who complained that the camera produced crap audio.

Sennheiser has come up with a solution. The Action Mic for GoPro Hero 4.

Wind screen
It’s not cheap – $200. For that you get the mic, connections, waterproof back door for Hero 4, two spacers, and an innovative windshield

Unlike a dead cat or standard foam wind screen – this one is immersible in water – no problem.

Cute as a box of puppies
Take your waterproof Hero 4 case, remove the backdoor, snap on the Action Mic’s backdoor, plug the connection into the usb mic slot on the camera, if you’re not using the battery backpack, add the blue spacer, carefully close up the back door – mind the wire and make sure the seal is good and even all the way round. *

I live next to a creek, so I fitted up my Hero 4 Black, and took the whole thing for a trial run. Nothing exciting, like boating over a cliff, just a dip and dunk in the creek.

First, I tested the audio around all sides of the camera – clear, distinct with no fall off when the mic was on the far side. Then down into the creek we went.

Wow. It was loud. The little tink-tink-tink sounds are debris hitting the mic. This creek moves pretty fast.

Afterwards, disassembled and allowed (as advised) to air dry. Pretty cool. 

I plan to mount the rig on the front of my kayak, control it with the remote and I’ll probably get excellent audio of fish jumping, birds chirping and me swearing at the power boat people. Once Montana decides to give us some summer.

The only down side I see is, rigged with the mic, the GoPro is a sizable chunk of wind resistant object. Although the mic handles the wind well, some people might object to the size with regards to weight and balance. 

Although, I am nobody’s audio expert, I have been experimenting with adding a mic to the GoPro for a quite a while. Here is what I’ve tried.

Olympus, Rode, iGo and a Takstar. The Rode’s the best by far. The Olympus is okay. The iGo is convenient but average (especially when the other camera is mic'd with the Rode. And the Takstar was when I was shooting video with a DSLR and let’s just say, I don’t do that anymore. And of course, none of these are waterproof.

Sennheiser’s Action Mic is an expensive but excellent solution for great audio in all weather video.

* I’m a worrier.