A Pair of Time-Lapses

On request.

One of my Facebook friends who seems to really like the time-lapses I do from my deck encouraged me to do more. Yesterday was a perfect day for it. It started off foggy and slowly cleared up. I set up the camera a bit late, but not too late to get plenty of images that show the clouds moving throughout the valley before dissipating up into the sky.

I left the camera running overnight. Although the full moon illuminated the sky enough at times to see the movement of clouds, the resulting time-lapse was a bit too dull to share. But when the moon set, it drifted into the frame. It disappeared into the horizon as the sun rose and illuminated the valley. You can see it here:

This second video’s sunrise is pretty much what I see most mornings. The sun illuminates the mountains to the west first, bathing them in a golden light, that drifts down and brightens until the valley is full of light. It’s a beautiful way to start the day and a view I never get tired of.

When you watch these, try full-screen at the highest resolution available. Sorry there’s no sound.

Cheap Power in a Great Place to Live

Summed up in a video.

Last month, my electric bill was $27.73. The month before, it was $37.24. And my August bill, which covered the brutally hot July we had, was only $40.07.

And yes, I do run my air conditioner. That can be pretty frequently, since I’m home most days in the summer. I also have all electric appliances: stove, dryer, water heater, etc.

The power in Chelan County is supposedly the second cheapest in the country. (The cheapest is supposedly across the river in Douglas County.) Our current electricity rate is 2.7¢ per kilowatt hour. Compare this to the last place I lived, in Arizona’s Maricopa County, which was 13.27¢ per kilowatt hour. The national average is 9.84¢ per kilowatt hour.

Rock Island Dam
The Rock Island dam is just downriver from where I live.

Washington’s power is cheap because it’s renewable energy from numerous hydroelectric and wind turbine sources. The Chelan PUD is especially proud of its hydroelectric plants and the work it’s done along the Columbia River to enhance the lives of residents. I’m referring mostly to the numerous parks and publicly accessible boat ramps, many of which are free.

Back in 2014, I did some flying work for one of my video clients. Here’s the resulting video. (All of the aerial footage was shot from my helicopter.) But what I really like about the video is what is says about life in this area of the country. This is really a great place to live.

Our Public Power: The Next Generation from Voortex Productions on Vimeo.

Construction: January 24 Walkthrough

A video progress report.

Here’s another walkthrough of my work-in-progress. This time, it’s showing off the nearly completed drywall.

I promise the next video — which I’ll do in about two weeks after they paint and clean up — will be better.

MacVoices Interview Now Online

Watch it!

Chuck Joiner & Maria LangerChuck and me through the miracle of Skype.

Chuck Joiner interviewed me recently for his excellent MacVoices video podcast. We talked about flying, my Twitter courses for Lynda.com, and social networking with Twitter and Facebook, and working with Lynda.com.

Chuck is a great interviewer and he really knows what to ask to get me talking!

You can see or hear other interviews with me on my Appearances page.

MacVoicesYou can also go to the Show Notes page to get the free 7-day pass for Lynda.com that I mention in the interview.

Where I Live Now and Why

A video that tells part of the story.

I’m extremely proud to be a small part of the team that created this Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce video. Created by the talented folks at Voortex Productions, this promotional movie combines ground and aerial footage, narrative, and original music to show and tell what Wenatchee is all about. Watch it and you’ll see why I made the move here from the dying Arizona town I lived in.

We are Wenatchee from Voortex Productions on Vimeo.

All of the aerial footage was shot from my helicopter. It required quite a bit of tricky flying. Because the videographer sat in the seat behind me shooting out the door, certain shots — such as the downtown flight — required me to fly sideways at about 30 knots. The final reveal from behind Saddle Rock required a smooth vertical climb with gentle but noticeable wind currents in the canyon behind the peak.

The air-to-air footage of Miss Veedol was challenging but fun. It required me to keep up with the plane as it flew around Wenatchee, putting the videographer in the position he wanted: above, below, in front of, behind. I’m amazed by how well the shots that day came out and tickled that my property in Malaga can be seen behind the plane in one long sequence.

Many thanks to the folks at Voortex Productions for giving me the opportunity to prove how great aerial video can make a production even better than it might otherwise be. I especially appreciate their understanding of the safety and performance aspects of the helicopter, enabling us to keep the ship light so these shots were possible.

Shoveling Snow Time-Lapse

I shovel snow for the first time in 16 years.

It snowed last night. Finally.

Yeah, we did have some minor snowfall way back at the end of November or beginning of December, but it wasn’t much. I bought a snow shovel at the local Habitat for Humanity shop for $5 but was better off just sweeping that snow away.

But last night we had the real thing. About four inches of the stuff, slightly wet but otherwise powdery. I saw it in the dark when I woke up and let Penny out. She ran to the edge of the porch, saw the white stuff on the walk and in the yard, and turned tail, running back into the house, obviously afraid. It was 30 minutes later, after she’d finished most of her breakfast and really had to go that she stepped out into it. That’s when I got an idea of how deep it was — she sank in up to her little body and wound up doing her business under the porch.

I walked out, still in my slippers, and stuck a forefinger in the fresh snow on the walkway. My finger was buried before I touched the ground.

At least four inches. Whoa!

I waited eagerly for the sun to rise. I was actually looking forward to using that new shovel.

Those of you in winter wonderlands who have had snow dumped on you all season probably think I’m nuts. I’m not. I grew up in the New York Metro area where the weather was a bit colder in winter than where I am now — and a lot colder than where I lived in Arizona for 15+ years. I didn’t realize how much I missed the snow until I got here, prepped for winter sports, and then waited for the snow to fall.

It didn’t.

Until last night.

Anyway, at about 8 AM, I donned my winter pants and jacket and boots and fashioned my Buff into a balaclava. Then I pulled on my ski gloves and went out to do a chore most people hate: shoveling snow. Of course, I created a time-lapse:

I don’t have to shovel the driveway, which is quite long. The man who owns the house I’m living in right now has arranged for snow plow service if the snow gets too deep. Right now, I don’t think it’s too deep at all — my Jeep has big, gnarly tires that won’t even notice the snow. Besides, temperatures later this week are expected to rise above freezing — heck, it’s already 31°F outside right now — so I don’t expect the snow to linger.

Maybe that’s why I was in such a hurry to get out there and shovel? I didn’t want to miss my opportunity.

Besides, once it starts melting, I suspect it’ll be a lot heavier and harder to move.

November Full-Day Time-Lapse

A recent time-lapse from my home in Malaga.

I love time-lapse photography. Although there’s nothing terribly special about this 2-minute compilation, it’s my first effort at a full-day time-lapse movie shot from my new home in Malaga, WA. The view looks northwest, toward East Wenatchee (center) and Wenatchee (left).

The formula: one shot every 10 seconds compiled at 30 frames per second. This was shot on November 3, 2013.

It’s interesting to note that because there are tall cliffs south of my property, in the wintertime, I don’t get direct sunlight on my home until late morning. I suspect that’ll get even later as the days get shorter. In the summer, however, I get nearly a full day of direct sunlight — perfect for gardening!