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!

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.