Tuesday, December 13, 2022

One Breath at A Time

Never let it be said that I don't have a thing for gizmos. I like things that help people communicate. 

This is a online app called Jiitter.Video. It helps you to make gifs and videos. The good thing about it (and I'm serious) is that it limits you to 60 seconds.

Image of woman performing a meditation practice .

It is designed to help you quickly make motion graphics, text animation and moving doo-dads.

I like it because it is not freaking After Effects. No disrespect intended. 

After Effect is a great program. Wonderful but stiff learning curve, the cost is high and I have yet to make time to learn how to work with it.

Because I haven't got any time.

Anyway, this service allows me to tippy toe into it.

So I'm making small baby steps of progress. 

Like I should be doing because I do not know how to do the whiz bang kinda stuff.

I want to make visuals to help inform folks about stuff.

That has been a long time goal.

I might be getting close to making something...acceptable.

The reason I like the limitation is that with other software that does similar stuff I get lost or overly hyped on what I could do. 

Two hours later, I haven't done a thing because I don't know how.

This rascal limits the duration of the video or gif. If you want more you can have it. 

Sixty seconds at a time.

This means I have to figure things out before I can go forward. 

Now they do have templates and a person with a lick of talent could knock something out in ten minutes. 

I only have a shred of it so it takes me longer.

That is okay. 

I want to teach with it. Not to make a knock off of a soda pop commercial.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Lusting After Duck Fat

It has been a while. I have to re-learn how to do this and convince myself this is what I should do.

Not that I don't want to blog. I do.

But being sucked up into the vortex of information makes it seem like other people's stuff is so much better than your own. 

It isn't. It is just different.

And the time thing. Other things I should be doing that I don't because I'm not good at them.

And when Mr. Toxification came to town, (No, not that guy, the other guy), it made it easier to break free. But I haven't. More like easing my way out. 

Because I have real life and virtual friends in the joint.

Anyway, this is about Duck Fat.

I was messing around Woot. Which I should not do because I get frustrated.

Epic Rendered Duck Fat found on Woot.com

Duck fat is expense. But it is also dang tasty.
Especially on fries.

Being a birth frugalista, it is hard for me to justify buying a jar of duck fat. And lord have I tried to crowbar a reason to buy some duck fat.

Most of the time, the price helps keep me away from it. Usually sells for at least $18 to $20 plus dollars.

But on the day I'm typing this, it is as close to affordable as it is going to get.

I should do this.

  • It taste good.
  • I could put it on brussels sprouts and broccoli. I need help getting them down my throat.
  • I'll never find it cheaper.
  • Potatoes!

I shouldn't do this. 

  • I've never cooked with it before.
  • I'm not supposed to have potatoes on a regular basis.
  • It is the lust for the deal, not the value of the deal. Except it does have a value.

So, one of two things will happen. 

I will fret on this all day and not buy it.


I will buy it and then chastise myself that this might be or not be a good thing to do.

Neither one of those methods are healthy. But it is what I got at the moment.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Experiementing with Caption Audio

When I participated in AudioMo 2022 I learned a lot. 

Sure, making an audiogram is increasingly easier than it has been in the past. But I didn't necessarily want to have a video that had nothing to do with the topic.

The audio is the means of communication. However, when posting audio on Twitter it forces the users to another screen or device.

On Twitter the video stays put. 

And for folks that can see the text in the video it communicates the same thing.

This works for folks that prefer sighted communication.

Folks that are learning English as a second language.

Users that cannot turn on audio but want the content.

Not 100% happy with it. I want to fill up the space which is not the point of the video.

The original format of the video is square 1:1 but YouTube is 16:9 aspect ratio.

Nothing I can do about it because posting video on Twitter is 1:1 and I don't really want to make three or more versions depending on the platform.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

AudioMo and a Single Picture Audio Text Video

I was pleased with the audio text video. But I wanted more. Not much more. Because some of the things to share really need an image. 

Or maybe me taking the time to figure out how to descript a very visual image.

That time thing is tough.

Yes, you can talk about comic book in a purely audio format. You can talk about the history, the cultural force that affect them and much more.

But what if the comic book character in question was not popular?

Almost everyone has their vision of Batman, even if they have never touched or seen the comic book.

But what about the being known as Fantomah? I can describe her literally being two faced but taking a look at a bit of a cover image saves a lot of time.

This version was created using a service called Headliner. You can upload the audio and image. They will do the transcription and then combine all into a audio-Text video with an image.

I know there are spelling mistakes. I made a poor choice of background and text color. On Twitter it is much smaller so it is hard to read.

Conceptually, it work.

But it doesn't.

But it does.

Figuring Out AudioMo and Audio Text Recordings.

It has been a while since my last post. Pandemics. Social and political upheavals. Embedded stupidity.

Parts of me want to zoom and go. Other parts just need a refrigerator and a blanked and let the world go by.

For the past twelve years in June, audio blogging aka AudioMo has been happening on Twitter. I've enjoyed listing and every once in a while plunk a recording up.

This year I wanted to participate. It had been such a long time since I've done any group participation type stuff. And I can talk about what I want.

That is usually stuff nobody else in their right or left mind wants to talk about.

Sooo, I'm mindful that audio recording shuts a lot of people out of voice communication. People have been taking about it for years.  Problem is that on the consumer level, software and technology did not make it easy to do open or closed captions to audio. 

Still hasn't really.

So this is a work around is to use audio with open captions in a video. Not a talking head video with captions.

An audio recording with text transcribed on the screen.

For example: a brief take on the 1938 Superman and the need for heroes and superheroes.

I created the video using a company called Descript. It is a service that provides transcription services, some light audio editing and the ability to take two minutes of audio and create a podcast text video clip aka an audiogram.

It does a lot more but I am still learning how to use it.

It works well. But the standard plan only allows for two minutes of text video.

This is both a good and bad thing

I can upload to Twitter and Bob's your uncle, I have an accessible audio recording.

It maintains the spirit of an audio recording. Those that can't turn on the volume or are not native English speakers a way to check out the action.

Work in progress but it is a start.

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Status Report - Moving Forward is Hard Work

It has been a while. Much and little has happened to me. I still have doves cooing in the morning. Still have crickets doing their thing. Especially as I try to record the podcast.

For me, it it hard to say I'm happy. I'm not. 

There is bad stuff in America and the world. Which is why I consciously make sure I listen to the doves in the morning. 

They know there are cats in the neighborhood. 

They coo for love. 

They coo for protection.

They even coo when they fight. 

 And doves do fight. Two or more non-relatives on a branch can cause a commotion.

What else?

I'm starting to work on a health literacy certificate. I have an idea about a concept.

I want and need more training so I'm hanging out at the National Medical Library to get a move on about it.

I've restarted the Create Video Notebook but this time I'm only posting once a week-ish on functional and accessible creative tools for media creation. Probably viewed through a frugal lens but hey, I'm a frugal (but not cheap) person.

Re-entry into the world is a bit tough, but I'm doing it. Need a new pair of shoes and have to wait until I'm vaccinated to get them. But will hobble to get vax'd.

Oh, on-line grocery shopping.

This is a big one for me. I never thought I'd do it. 

For me, it works about 70% of the time.

My preference is to shop for food in person. When I couldn't, I had to switch.

It made me more thoughtful about my purchases. I could order exactly what I wanted without concern about how was I going to get it home. Or reject an item because I couldn't carry it home.

Now I can order or try out things I wouldn't have.

However, I do not have access to items that I would have found in an Asian or other markets. There is also limited brand selection with one of the services I used. 

And the meat situation was not acceptable. I'm not paying $16 for a whole chicken. $28 for a piece of beef. 

Plenty of process meats but not good deli style. Processed deli if you get my drift.

And if you don't order within a certain range of you will see sold out. 

A lot.

So yeah, I will be ordering groceries about twice a month. A combination of actual retail and on-line grocery when I work from home. 

Now prepared food delivery. Probably not again.

It hurts. It hurts the restaurants. It hurts the delivery folks.

Damn sure it hurts my wallet. 

Only thing about it that works is the delivery. But I've had food 3/4 cooked delivered. Or forgot my drink. Or the dish overly salty.

Nah. I can do bad on my own. 


I'm good. Doing ok. Have plenty to do and I'm grateful.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Something from long ago

 4:30 a.m.

sounds of leaves scraping across cement

sounds of electrical power and steel on steel

neighbor's tv with old movie fighting the night terrors

"Is it always going to be this way?"

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

A Memory About Gas, Life and Death

Just a memory. As a kid, there were times in my life where there wasn't enough money to pay the gas bill. The heat would be cut off in the dead of winter.  One or two degrees below zero. Or more. Broke folks learned to find ways to stay warm.  

It was miserable.

You quickly learned that old lady x down the street died because of freezing. Or across town. The numbers would rack up. Every year local papers reported the number of deaths.

 Every year the Gas company would shrug shoulders and say it's not my problem. 

It was a constant thing and never really a question about life over profits.

Finally there was a negotiation between the gas company and the city that the gas would not be turned off during a set period of time in the winter.  

There was still a bum rush to do it before the cut-off date.  Also the implementation of state and local programs to help folks pay for utilities.  

In the 2021, do citizens have a say in how their power infrastructure is designed and constructed? 

We are about to find out.