Fountain of Youth

Want to live forever? Don’t drink from a water fountain in the waiting room of your doctor’s office.  What were they thinking putting a contagion-collection contraption in the midst of so many microbes, free for sharing?

So I was not-patiently doing what patients do in those special holding cells that are the first and largest of the series of containments one goes through for the purpose of a simple annual doctor’s visit.  I waited. For two hours, pushed to the last minute so I could still make  a meeting in town. Not happy.

But there was entertainment, at least: a corner-of-the-ceiling television whose volume and juvenile content could not be controlled and could not be ignored. Techno-torture.

And there was the people-watching that takes on a different character in a doctor’s office. You play the guessing game for signs and symptoms.

For many, the prevailing disorder underlying the reason for their visit appears so often to involve poor or no education, poverty, personal neglect, terrible nutrition and the manifestations thereof.

Doctor’s office waiting rooms and emergency waiting rooms seem to attract a hugely disproportionate sampling from just this population.

But where was I? Oh yeah, the people watching. Not to leave out the acoustic experience. For an hour, back and forth, coursed two very small, very loud, very out of control children. They discovered the water fountain right in front of me.  It entertained them for a full ten minutes, responsible adults–irresponsible and powerless.

And the next time my wife cautions me NOT to drink out of a public water fountain EVER, I will remember why.

What I missed in this short segment of maybe five minutes of snotty fingers dabbling in the public fountain was what happened just seconds after the end of the video:

The boy-child dropped to his knees and began sucking water out of the large, dark puddle on the carpet that his sister had created.

Shudder. Some things you see and you wish you could replay and erase.

Earth and Sky

The first month is free, so in thinking I have “forced” myself to shoot more video, I’ve got an out. But I hope I find the Vimeo Plus account for $60 a year worth the expense to my little biz.

I’m thinking that it would be neat to embed short videos in my “multimedia” presentations (or future Prezi packages) that to date have used only my digital stills plus background music or spoken word or text over image.

I now have some tools for use with my iPhone 5s for both low light, slow motion and time-lapse video. I still have the HandyCam 260v that I stopped using partly because I was running out of hard drive space. The new internal 3TB drive fixed that.

So here’s the first use of the Time Lapse app, OlloClip wide angle clip-on lens, and my ancient tripod, in place for only 25 minutes.  More, I’m reasonably sure, to come.

I need a source for free legal music (if such a thing exists). I’m a little disappointed (but not surprised) that there is a good bit of aberration in the lens–more by far in the fisheye lens that is part of the kit. (The newer 4 lens kit I think has improved on this defect.)

Visual Aides: Near and Far

Bluebells Not Ringing Yet

We’ve looked, but there is no sign yet of the Virginia Bluebells we transplanted 15 years ago. They remind us of Walnut Knob where we dug them up–my first Floyd County home out on the Parkway in 1997. And they are a symbol of spring. We have not arrived, so this image will have to suffice. Mouse-over the thumbnail for enlarged view.

A Matter of Perspective

I highly recommend this new look at Life, The Universe and Everything–at least to the extent that we have been able to extend our vision via the Hubble Space Telescope. This piece I come back to at low points, as a frame of reference. Funny, first time I mistyped frame of “reverence.” [Don’t even think about watching this without audio on or at less than full screen.]

And Closer to Earth…

And definitely worth a look for those who love, live in or long for views of Floyd County, Virginia–this new promotional video that offers a glimpse of who and where we are. The what and why are harder to portray in nine minutes.

We live in an amazing place in time and space, and walk around like numb, ungrateful zombies most of our waking ours. If we comprehended it all, our heads would explode. Reverence. Humility. Gratitude. And awe. Open those filters all the way and take another look.

Streaming the Ordinary: Small Pond Video

Just to indict myself and vindicate the folks at Vimeo, and since the link was not interesting enough to click, pig-in-a-poke, I put up the little garden clip I couldn’t get to work yesterday,.

I’d not tweaked a permission in settings to allow embedding. Vimeo is much more customizable than YouTube. This is both a strength and (for non-tweakers) a liability. As a baby video-photog, I’m creeping into it, especially with regard to adding more expenses to this aspect of digital story-telling.

I could purchase Final Cut Pro. I could subscribe to VideoBlocks for sound and visual clips. I could subscribe to Vimeo Plus for storage and access. That’s starting to add up some expense, especially for a hobbyist not likely to ever get any return for investment–not monetary, anyway.

But I’m ahead of where I was a month ago. FloydFest should be a challenge–to film an hour in several dozen blocks to get a three minute edited movie.

Garden 2012 from fred first on Vimeo.

Late June garden. Things come in so slowly in our cool valley, and the shorter days of sunlight between ridges makes gardening a challenge. This year, the heirloom “goose beans” and black beans climbing up the tomato cages hold promise. We’ll see.

Falling Waters: Nameless Creek Gorge

Summer’s not the best time to get a feel for any piece of these mountains. So much is hidden behind a wall of green. Even so, I carried the camcorder with me on our walk a bit farther up Nameless Creek gorge than we usually go, and brought back several short clips of some of the ledges and small falls that are visible below from the trail along the “New Road.”

The New Road, so called by some of the old-time locals because in the 1920s it was new, built by hand, as a postal road connecting the much more active than now community along * Goose Creek with the community of Simpsons, now also mostly an intersection of King’s Store and Daniel’s Run (supposedly named after a certain Mr. Boone.) You can still see the stacked slatey-black rock in places ten feet or more high, that holds up the old road, now a walking path for not very many feet.

Hurricane Hugo came along in 1989 and blew down numerous large trees across Nameless Creek. (I have no idea if anyone else has ever named this creek, and finding no record of such, I have called it Nameless Creek since I started writing about and from along side it.) So it’s not an easy walk. New blowdown since our last visit was barely possible to crawl under.

Photographically, there are not many clear shots of the water itself, for limbs and branches leaning into the view. These foreground objects play heck with the autofocus on the camera. But it is what it is.

* Goose Creek was the name given by the early settlers to the coast of Virginia to what is now known as the Roanoke River. Settlements sprung up near the mouth of that stream where it met the ocean. Our Goose Creek represents the western-most tributary of the Atlantic coastal river. We live less than two miles from its source. Three miles downstream, Goose joins Bottom Creek to form the South Fork of the Roanoke River, and our water merges with the sea a few days after it burbles and chuckles past our front porch.