Mar 13 2010

The (new) Movie Page

by andrew

So, let the movie parties begin! I have finally come out of the video editing, rendering, and uploading mire bruised and scarred but victorious. After no less than 3 attempts on each, uploads and deletes, codec woes, and other sundry technology battles – Episodes 1-3 of Journeys (the quasi-documentary) are LIVE!

The best way to watch them is on the new page I created just for this purpose. I’m playing with a very sweet new tool by Apture, and I think you will find the viewing experience quite fun! – Go to The Movie (up in the top menu) to watch all the Journeys episodes. I will also update that page as I add episodes in the future.

Or, you can also watch them on my YouTube channel.

I’ve also updated The Map with the last legs of our travels.

We are getting ready to leave Georgia in a few short days and work our way back up to Pennsylvania for spring. We’re hoping to swing through Hampton Roads (VA) and Washington, DC along the way and drop in on some friends in our old stompin’ grounds.

Mar 6 2010

Day 328: The Journey Thus Far

by andrew

I’m writing this after a pretty tough week – not like, dramatic tough, just self-inflicted tough. I stressed myself out over a couple projects that really didn’t have any stress attached too them. And stress is not the right word either, but it’s the closest I can get to communicate the point. I don’t actually really ever get stressed out about much of anything if you can believe it. But I do have this condition where, once I sink my teeth into a project, it takes more than v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}}, a band of wild horses, an international crisis, and a New Kids on the Block song to pull me off of it. Unless of course I actually finish it. This week was not so perfect on finishing things. But in all the mundane chaos I did make  progress… with a few priority casualties along the way.

Traveling is so much better for writing-inspiration, actually. There’s not all that much to write about. This week and the week before it were pretty much the same pasty flavor: Work. Don’t get the wrong idea – I love my work. I love what I’m good at. I love solving, fixing, and fusing technologies. I’m just a little grumpy because I didn’t get much sleep this week or spend enough time with my family and that’s my own fault.

So, it all comes to a nice, relieving end with Sabbath and some time for reflecting. Next week will be different and that feels really good. I need some work on that incredibly elusive thing called Balance. I mean, that’s one of the major reasons we’re doing what we’re doing and what’s the point if I’m going to squander that and put myself in my own private rat race? Arg but it’s so comfortable there as bizarre as it sounds. I can imagine that most people (including me) – if asked – would say that they’d prefer to have a life that resembled a perpetual vacation. Seems like the ideal right? But I’ve had glimpses of what that is like at times along the way and it is not ultimately rewarding or peaceful. I’ve also experienced the opposite: moments where it feels like I have no choice but to work 25 hours a day, because otherwise where is the food-money going to come from?

And maybe this is just an Ecclesiastes moment, but really, that’s all quite meaningless. Especially because there is no joy or peace in either extreme. Especially because there is no success or reward or rest without Balance. And these things cannot be measured.

So. That basically sums up the past two weeks. My incredible wife has been amazing – patiently carrying way more than her share of the family side of things through it all. She’s supportive and knows the work I’ve been doing is really important. But I tend to set these unrealistic demands on myself and dare myself to meet them anyway. And I’ve got to learn how to let go more easily than a pit bull that has chomped down and fallen into a vat of wet cement that then immediately flash-hardens.

So, in the spirit of reflection, I am finally wrapping up one of those projects that I have had my mind on for a while without ever really sinking my teeth in. I am here, officially, kicking off our serial documentary (using the term more loosely than a weasel dipped in baby shampoo) “Journeys.” There will be more soon – I just have to combine all the clips, but here are the first few episodes (I am also playing with a new web toy I found this week):


As destiny would have it my resolve to find Balance would be tested even before I published this post. I had 4 episodes of “Journeys” ready to post with this entry today (which I wrote last night while kicking off the uploads to YouTube before going to bed). To my horror, I awoke to discover that the audio tracks did not make it… should have remembered to AAC (mp4) encode them rather than mp3… grrrr… A second attempt was also thwarted when I re-encoded the audio tracks and re-uploaded only to discover that they were insufferably out of sync with the video now. Back to the editing table. But the show must go on! So I am publishing this sans videos… so much for having anything related to the title in this post.

But the Journeys episodes are coming! Some time! Whenever it is balanced to post them. And then you will see my new web toy too. Stay tuned. And have a fantastic day!

Dec 3 2009

Day 236: The Plot Thickens

by andrew

This was my typical atypical day – as many days are becoming more and more so lately.  I know this post is going to feel like it’s turning into a commercial here pretty quickly, but I can’t help it: that’s just the way my life is now.

I rolled out of bed at about 10:30am… I think. It might have been closer to 11:00am actually. My night had been interrupted by a couple hours of work from about midnight to 2am. But I actually had a nap before that for once. The new normal is that 2am is my routine bed time. Some times later. I have been entrenched in a project for two weeks now that is proving to be a total blast.

My partners and I at Garlic Media signed an agreement yesterday to provide full-blown marketing campaign services to La Vie Labs ( Our efforts and initiatives span the entire spectrum: internet presence, SEO, web design, social media integration, networking, product placement, retail, wholesale, video production, media leveraging… the works.

La Vie Labs is an incredible company that has assembled the connections and resources necessary to  bring a breakthrough anti-aging, skin care product to market. What makes this facial serum called Clairte so special? There are a million anti-aging creams, serums, gels, lotions, and liquids already out on the beauty market today. However, unlike every other product in its class, Clairte is made from only 6 pure, natural, and concentrated ingredients. It’s primary potency is found in the immense nutritional essence extracted from placental stem cells through a proprietary process. Clairte represents the latest cutting-edge technology advancements in ethical stem cell research. There are still many misconceptions about stem cell research – I once held a lot of them myself. For instance, most research has now shifted away from embryonic stem cells, which are actually inferior in terms of nutrient potential compared to placental stem cells. Modern, ethical stem cell research is turning what were once essentially waste products – human placentas – into regenerative treatments and serums that have amazing properties.

If you (or someone you know) might be interested in trying Clairte to solve wrinkles, large pores, or any number of other skin-related issues please check out the web site for more information. And since you are gracious readers of my lengthy, rambling accounts – here is a coupon code for a FREE Travel Pack of Clairte ($39 value) to use at check-out: EDGEVIP1  – or, better yet, here’s a discount code for 33% (!!!) off your first bottle: EDGEVIP9 – Take advantage of these discount codes quickly, because they will expire in two weeks (on Dec 17th). Also, they are only valid for 1 use per person, but share them with your friends and family! Tell them to come read about our adventures here, and if they create their own account at La Vie they can use the coupon codes above for themselves too!

So, after navigating through a torrential downpour of emails between 11:30am and 1:00pm (the results of a great meeting with La Vie Labs yesterday), we piled the kids in the truck as the snow was falling and headed for some lunch and a visit to the local indoor monkey gym (

On the way I had to pull over and stop in a parking lot to somewhat concentrate because I got a call from Videography Magazine. I did an interview with them that Shutterstock facilitated based on an article I just wrote for them. My article was about stock footage and the challenge of finding a niche in a very competitive industry (click to open my article).  So, it looks like awesome folks at Videography Magazine are going to run an article about my adventures in filming for stock and traveling as a lifestyle – what a fantastic and thrilling blessing, to be sure. They will also be featuring this blog in the article! How COOL! I am having copious amounts of fun through all these opportunities! And no I am not making any of this up.

Finally at Monkey Bizness after that, the boys and I spent a couple hours getting most of our boy energy out for the day. Chasing them is hard work! Oh, and the girls had fun getting their energy out too. It was an official family afternoon. We all came home tuckered, but we managed to hold it together long enough for supper to be ready. Reading the next chapter to Bennah and Reayah from A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (whom my uncle in New York knew personally) certainly helped pass the short minutes, which can seem long to tired-hungry-grumpy kids. Finally, we had some of my mom’s amazing home-made turkey soup and Renee’s super-yummy biscuits.

Then, the bed time rituals, and my work day began. I’m still hacking a buddy’s old seized up Blackberry to recover what I can of his 901 contacts. I’m up to 418 so far after 2 days of working on it… I will get the rest though! Then I had a Skype conference call to Thailand with several other participants here in the U.S. Ugghhh. The call kept dropping. Busy night on the Skype pipelines I guess. Or maybe it was all the Macs trying to stay on the call in an older version of the client. Then, back to work on La Vie Labs initiatives like transcribing an amazing testimonial video we are getting ready for the web site and many other things.

Then, I had to draft this. I should have gone to sleep a long time ago instead, but now this is one less thing I have to do later.

Thanks for all the comments by the way. We’re having fun in Colorado and learning and growing like Renee wrote. A huge part of that learning and stretching has come with the overall shift from more or less vacation mode to me working full time again. But it is still awesome to have so much flexibility in my schedule… I just have to remember to use it wisely and guard priorities. [published the following evening]

Nov 9 2009

Day 211: Our Incredible Life

by andrew

You can’t even imagine what I’ve been up to these last couple weeks… I can scarcely believe it myself. If only income was based on how “interesting” one’s life was, we’d be insanely wealthy by now. But our Creator continues to provide for us faithfully even as we stare down the bottom of the savings barrel. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Nor would I trade all the money in the world for a life even one bit less interesting.

I will work backwards and try to remember the most noteworthy details.

  1. I just started a course in the Ancient (pictograph-based) Hebrew language
  2. Bennah slept outside in low 40 F weather by himself
  3. I’m currently working on editing a training DVD from the footage a buddy and I shot of a seminar at a Filipino martial arts class
  4. Renee and I became founding members of a company that offers every media service known to man (from video production to web sites to marketing to traditional print, writing, and editing, to technology consulting, and more).
  5. I went dumpster diving with the boys to find materials for the airplane they are building to escape to Pennsylvania. I am not making this up. They are convinced they can pull it off.
  6. I took Renee and the kids to visit the Air Force Academy (where I graduated in 1999)  and told them a few stories at the places where the adventures actually occurred.
  7. I was on the video crew and manned the lead camera at a big Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event in Denver.
  8. I started submitting photos again to the stock agencies I’m with and also ramped up video submissions significantly.

I thought the list would be more fascinating without extra commentary, but here are some additional details about each item with resources and links for those with time for chasing fun bunny trails:

  1. The course is offered on-line here: – It turns out that the modern Hebrew characters represent at least 3 or 4 evolutionary transitions distant from the original pictographs that would have been inscribed on the tablets of the Commandments at Mt. Sinai and used in the original writings of Scripture. Not only this, but the original pictographs also restore the grounding of the language in its original, agricultural, cultural, concrete, and practical-every-day-life base. Not only does Hebrew (ancient and modern) read from right-to-left, but the original meanings and understandings are often completely opposite from our modern interpretations. For example, we think of the past as behind us and the future as in front of us. Not so in Hebrew thought where the past is in front of us (after all it is visible and completely known) and the future is behind us (for we cannot see it and do not know what it will be). How can we correctly interpret the Scriptures when we approach it with our backwards modern thinking and expect it’s meaning to conform to our cultural biases and preconceptions.
  2. Actually, all the kids wanted to sleep outside the other night. They made a tarp “tent” in the back yard and bundled up in 10 layers of clothing each. One by one they all came in… except Bennah. He toughed out the whole night. I was so proud of him. I wanted to go out there and sleep through it with him, but I knew that he had to handle this one by himself – he had to know that he could do it without any help.
  3. The instructor of the seminar was Rico Cortes of Filipino Combat Systems hosted by and It was an awesome class. I’m looking forward to getting the DVD ready for sale and am seriously considering going back to the great folks at the gym there to continue my own training.
  4. The name of the company is Garlic Media Group and we’re in the process of spinning up the website now. I know the name sounds a little funny, but it’s good for you! And it encapsulates our character and emphasis: we can offer a spectrum of media services and packages to any company, but our forte and mission lands squarely in the arena of health, wellness, and wholeness of body, mind, and spirit whether we’re generating marketing material for another business or creating entertainment for diverse audiences. There are 4 primary couples involved at this point and among the 8 of us we have: an award winning director / producer / editor / filmmaker; a published author / nutritionist; a chiropractic doctor; musicians; a programmer / technology consultant; a connector (marketing and PR genius); artists; a graphic designer; writers; editors; our own private think tank; several children; videographers; photographers; …and… someone who has worked at the White House… sorry, just had to throw that in, as it makes this COMPLETELY TRUE list even more outrageous. We’re excited to see where it goes.
  5. That about speaks for itself… I actually interviewed my 8 yr old, 4 yr old, and 2 yr old boy and they told me all about their plans for the airplane. If I ever dig my way out of all the video I have to edit, maybe I’ll post some stuff from that project.
  6. The Academy has and hasn’t changed much. The SMACKS still run on the strips at least. The cadets took the hill at noon meal formation as army helicopters flew over and dropped thousands of little “go Army beat AF” slips of paper (the two Academies were playing each other this weekend). You can still get pizza and watch movies in Arnold Hall. But now all the cadet areas are secured by gate-fences with keypads and there are new id badges. I’m guessing that all went into place after 9-11. The pay phones in the back of Arnold Hall – the ones I used every weekend as a freshman – are gone. And it seemed somehow much quieter from the outside looking in.
  7. The MMA event was my first time shooting with high end equipment. I had to learn how to shoot with a shoulder-mount full manual camera, walk backwards, track the fighters making their grand entrances, and somehow not trip over the 250 feet of cable I was tethered to all that the same time. For starters. Then, after the fighters were in the cage, I was up on the platform mounted to one of the posts, shooting right down into it. Yes, these were cage matches. I was on one of three cameras and our director was switching between them live, giving us instructions and heads-up as necessary in our headsets; the feed was going to the massive screen for the event and streaming live over the internet. The 3 hour event evaporated in what felt like about 30 seconds of adrenaline.
  8. Starting to have to get serious about every potential revenue stream… I had a pretty good couple months with my stock video work and wanted to invest a lot more time and energy in that since it was starting to pay off. But it’s a massive ship and slow to accelerate. Photo efforts have an immediate affect, but on a much smaller profit scale. So, it’s all a balancing act. And I’m still LEARNING what works and what doesn’t.

There’s more, but that will have to wrap it up for now… I have to get back to work editing video. Stay in touch!

Sep 3 2009

Adventures with Andrew

by andrew

Introducing one of the media threads I hope to maintain periodically: Adventures with Andrew.

I was in REI a couple months ago in Missoula, MT and this little guy caught the corner of my eye – the HERO camera ( It caught my eye because my dad had told me about it just a few weeks prior and sent me the link. It was easy to justify the purchase because I wanted to see if I could also use it to produce acceptable stock video clips using it’s rudimentary time-lapse features. Yes – the business angle.

In fact, some of my initial experiments have already been accepted at Shutterstock, for example:

Those were all shot using the HERO camera. I’m in the process of submitting them at a couple other stock footage sites, and I’m looking forward to squeezing more stock-worthy content out of the little camera. But enough about business… this particular introduction is about having some FUN with the new toy.

So, I had this idea to start up a little series of episodes connected by a particular theme along the lines of exploring some strange places and attempting some adventurous (i.e. crazy) escapades… and I’d capture chunks of the adventures and edit them together into fun little YouTube clips. Of course, they would have to be called something cheesy like “Adventures with Andrew.” Maybe I’ll even start taking requests for Adventures through comments here and on YouTube… for example, if you give me a crazy (but it better be good) idea of something to try or somewhere to go, I’ll shoot the adventure with the HERO cam and you can have your very own made to order vicarious adventure with me. You’ll almost feel like you were there!

And then again… maybe the world is not ready to go on Adventures with Andrew yet. But I guess we will find out. I have several more episodes that I’m still editing to post, but here is the first one in all its glory.

A few interesting facts about this particular adventure:

  • Location: West Cost, USA near Lincoln City, OR
  • Time: very very early
  • Water temperature: not as cold as the ocean itself (at least 55F)
  • Air temperature: about the same as the water
  • Gear: Vibram Five Fingers Footwear, swimming suit, dry bag, t-shirt, fleece
  • Original video length shot: over an hour, but most of it was really boring, just crawling through overgrown bush on a steep incline that you can’t tell was steep on the video

Adventures with Andrew Episode 1: Exploring the Foggy Forest Timber Playground

Andrew swims across a river to explore an otherwise inaccessible overgrown wasteland of fallen trees and wild bush. He climbs, hangs, jumps, crawls, walks, and slides over the seemingly impassable terrain. Join him on the very 1st Episode of Adventures with Andrew. Ok. It’s cheesy, but you love it.