Quirks, Clocks, And Bugs

Every now and then, I get the video editing bug – but I don’t do the most obvious things when I get such a bug.

Nearly ten years ago to the day, and before such “animation” could be done on a video editor – I created a ten-minute clock on a green screen for use on YouTube. Many people commented something like: why on Earth would I want to do a thing like that? I didn’t know what they meant by that, really – that I took the time to make the clock, or why I put it on a green background.

For one, I thought it would help other video editors out putting it on a green background – because that background could be edited out by using an effect called chroma-key. When your local weatherman is showing you the conditions and the various maps, they are usually standing in front of a green screen. The stations chroma-key in the various maps and graphics, and that’s how you get local weather – a concept television has used for decades.

It also used to annoy me back in the space shuttle era that unless they were showing the old, massive countdown clock at the Kennedy Space Center, or unless the launch commentator briefly mentioned it – you had no idea how much time remained at various points before the launch. For one launch video in 2009, I did just that – superimposed the “green screen” clock so you knew at all times how much time remained before liftoff, up until there were just 10 seconds remaining.

I’ve always said I’d do another video someday for a 15-minute clock, and thanks to modern video editors available for free like ShotCut, it’s a lot more easier to do now. DaVinci Resolve looks like another nice free editor, but I only have 4GB of RAM on the machine I use everyday – which is more compatible for Shotcut’s purposes.

I guess if you wait long enough, everything you want to do you can do for free – is that the moral of the story?

A Way That Doesn’t Work

Over the years, I’ve shared a bunch of tips regarding the wave of telemarketing calls originating from India or thereabouts. Eventually, all of these plans have flaws – one way or another.

I have recently come across a YouTube clip that suggests playing an old message that your phone line is no longer in service can trick them. Sadly, I’ve concluded this method doesn’t work either – for a few reasons.

The various telemarketers (and I used to be one, and hopefully never will be again) use different angles of attack when they call you. Some of these companies use pre-recorded messages to entice you to press a digit, like 1 or 9, before you get the chance to speak to someone live. Others put their telemarketers on live immediately when the call starts.

Either way, the message that your number is disconnected may confuse a few of them – but not all of them. If you waste their time, they keep calling you. If you let voicemail go through to them, they keep calling you. Tell them to put you on the do not call list, and they ignore you because they are a foreign entity. If you tell them you’re not interested, it’s almost an invitation for them to call back.

When nothing works, keep trying until something works – that’s what I always used to believe. At the same time, I’m tired of these morons – so I think voicemail will be their permanent home from now on.

Flashback: “More, More, More” by the Andrea True Connection

Until Stormy Daniels or someone else in adult films records a bigger hit record (and stranger things in pop music have happened), this is the biggest US pop hit performed by a porn star, going to #4 in 1976 for Andrea True.

Mueller? Mueller?!?

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After viewing the assertions of former special counsel Robert Mueller this 24th day of July 2019, there seems to be little chance for the impeachment of the President before the 2020 elections. The Democrats and the so-called “Deep State” may be treading in hotter water, however, for foisting this fraud on to all of us.

(Yes, I still hate, with a passion, the use of the phrase “The American People.” You, the American politicians, don’t speak for all of us, so would you please stop using that phrase? Please, and thank you.)

Mueller looked a bit like a bumbling professor at the witness table today, or a grandfather in dire need of a nap. I’m sure at one point in his career he could bring his A-game, but this was not such a day. The Republican members of congress drilled holes in the logic of his arguments with ease – while Democrats seemed to have trouble presenting even leading questions to him.

The only question that lingers is what happens to all of those who bore false witness on the President? Then the whole Jeffrey Epstein matter is left to be settled, and that may be problematical for a lot of celebrities and politicians stupid enough to be in that mix.

One For The Irish

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This weekend marked only the second time in the history of the British Open (simply called The Open over there) that the event didn’t take place on the island where England, Scotland, and Wales reside. It was played one island to the west over, in the British controlled Northern Ireland for the first time since 1961.

Irish golfers had won The Open before – that in itself was not a big deal. But an Irish golfer winning in Northern Ireland? That had never happened before.

Being three-quarter Irish myself (the other fourth is Danish, thanks to my paternal grandfather whom I never met), I watched the progress of Shane Lowry with a great deal of interest. He had come close to winning a major golf tournament before, but by Sunday’s play – there was little doubt he would wind up on top.

The 2019 major golf season began with the joyous return of Tiger Woods – it ends with the celebration of an Irish golfer winning The Open not all that far from home. In a way, a good way to begin and a good way to end.

Aircheck: CBS, 7/20/1969

As this clip begins, it is roughly 4:12pm Eastern time on Sunday afternoon, July 20, 1969, The lunar module of the Apollo 11 spacecraft is a few minutes shy of touchdown on the lunar surface – the first such attempt in manned space flight history.

It was a moment of high tension – a lot of things had to go right on the way to the moon and back, and as we nearly learned with Apollo 13 a few months later, potential disaster and tests of fate always seemed to be lurking. But on those eight days that wound up being the greatest adventure Man has yet to take – things went remarkably smoothly, all things considering.

The landing created the most tension, which is why I’m showing this – and not the moon walk itself. There are a few computer alarms that made the scheduling of the landing itself a bit tighter, and when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin finally touched down – they used up all but a few seconds of the fuel budgeted for the landing. Had they run out – they would have had to cancel the landing at the last moment and go back home unsuccessfully, and let Apollo 12 take the next crack at it.

A remarkable feat made even more so by the commentary of Walter Cronkite and astronaut Wally Schirra – who let the audio coming from Apollo 11 paint the pictures for the most part. In the end, even the hardened Cronkite was at a loss for words at the accomplishment, simply saying – “Man on the moon!”

Flashback: “In The Year 2525” by Zager And Evans

Zager and Evans are short for the duo of Rick Evans and Danny Zager, and this song was a #1 song for six weeks in 1969 – and on top of that, the top song on the Billboard charts as Apollo 11 successfully landed on the moon.