Saturday, January 27, 2007

At the zoo

Ewan and I went to the zoo last weekend.

I have a nice digital camera. Of course I forgot it. It gave me a chance to explore the limitations of my phone's built in camera.

The Little Steamer was not running so we rode the carousel a few times.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sing me a song Daddy

Last Tuesday I was driving down to Santa Cruz on a work errand. My phone rang and I heard the words, "Your son has a request." Okay. She put Ewan on and he said, "Sing Dirty Old Town Daddy."

Dirty Old Town is a song I sing to him when I put him to bed at night or for a nap. It's a Pogues song, written by Shane McGowan. It is a sweet mix of melancholy and happy.

I actually had trouble singing it since I got a bit misty and choked up. It was the highlight of my week.

I met my love
by the gas works wall
dreamed a dream
by the old canal
I kissed my girl
by the factory wall

dirty old town
dirty old town

Clouds are drifting
across the moon
cats are prowling
on their beats
spring's a girl
on the streets at night

dirty old town
dirty old town

I heard a siren
from the docks
saw a train
set the night on fire
I smelled the spring
on the smoky wind

dirty old town
dirty old town

I'm gonna make
me a big sharp ax
shinning steel
tempered in the fire
I'll chop you down
like an old dead tree

dirty old town
dirty old town

I met my love
by the gas works wall
dreamed a dream
by the old canal
I kissed my girl
by the factory wall

I'm going to have to record that one so Ewan can listen to it at his Mom's house. I also sing Lullaby of London for him most nights, but that's for a different post.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Other videos

These two videos were both made in the same basic fashion. I mounted my camera on a tripod which was braced in the passenger foot well of my car. The first, and more successful, was made while driving home from San Carlos. The sky was very dramatic. I had inadvertently set the color balance setting on the camera to incandescent, which lent a blue hue to the sky. I used photoshop to post process the sky in each frame and up the contrast and emphasize the blue.

Crazy Sky

(oddly this video isn't loading as I write this. I've also noticed that all of these vids seem much darker on, and it impacts this one more than some of the others, I may adjust it and re-upload it later)

The second one is from a much longer drive. I left home around 6:30am, stopped at the office in Emeryville, then continued to San Jose. After I was done working, after 7pm, I drove home. This time I headed up the peninsula so when I got home I had completed one lap of the bay. Since the sky was very booring, I aimed the camera more towards traffic. The good part starts about half way through. The drive home at night was in the dark so I had to use very long exposures and got great motion blur.

One Lap of the Bay

Our Fun Train Videos

Ewan and I (well mostly I) have been having fun making movies with Quicktime. It's not pro quality but video editing for $30 can't be beat. I've been looking into different ways to share the videos, and I finally settled on using google video to host the files. It's easy, free, and anyone with internet access can watch them.

I made the first one the same day that I bought Quicktime. It sure is easy to loose track of time when editing. It has footage of various train related fun things that Ewan and I had done recently. It's called "Daddy's Train Video."

Here is a direct link to Daddy's Train Video. By following this link you can watch it full screen!

The next one that we made was a slide show of an outing on BART (that's Bay Area Rapid Transit for you non-locals). No soundtrack this time.


After that we had some fun filming Ewan's birthday present, which was a Lionel O-Scale Thomas the Tank Engine, and the table and layout I made for him. The cool thing here is that Ewan supplied the sound effects. Towards the end you may hear a "chuffing" noise. That is Ewan, and he did that without any prompting.

Thomas Rides Again

This one was lots of fun to make. I set up my camera on a tripod buy the train table. I would tell Ewan, "Move Thomas until he touches my finger." Ewan would run around the table and move the little train. Then he would run back and push the button to take the picture. We did this over, and over, and over... That's the nature of stop motion video.

Stop Motion Thomas

This last one we shot a week or two ago and I edited it down earlier this week. Ewan's Lionel Thomas has been in the shop since early October. For over two months he would ask me every day, "Maybe Thomas is better? Maybe we can go get him at Gunnings?" As Christmas approached I knew I wanted Ewan to have a train around the tree so I bought another train. It is a used K-line train. It's not nearly as cute but it is a neat train.

Fun With Ewan's Train

WoooHOO! Now I have a video blog!!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Holiday Vacation

Since Ewan's Mom was willing to trade Thanksgiving for Christmas, Ewan and I were able to go to my Dad's house in Utah for a short Christmas vacation. Thanks Melissa!

It was a nice low key break. We got to hang out with family. David and I went skiing at Alta one day. Ewan got to play in the snow.

Here are some pictures from Christmas:

Ewan and my brother Will

Ewan and my sister Amy

Ewan and my sister's baby, Megan Charlotte

Me and Megan Charlotte

Ewan and my Dad

My website has an update. There are several new pictures of Ewan's artwork. Very exciting.