Karla’s Lego video

Karla was excited to pick up her latest Lego project.  The “Friends” kit, featuring a Lego ferris-wheel and rollercoaster, had been on lay-buy at the local toy brick store (“I’m Rick James Bricks” in Pakenham) for some time.  Karla decided to use some of her birthday money to pay it off and get it home so she could start building.

Making a Lego video

We decided to make a video about this Lego project for Karla’s YouTube channel. I was going to set up a time lapse, but decided to film the construction at normal speed, so when it came to the edit I could insert interesting bits amongst the fast motion.  By the time Karla had finished putting all the Lego bits together, we’d shot over seven hours of video!  Some how I managed to squeeze most of that into less than 14 minutes, including a couple of minutes from the shop and in the car.

Check out the video below showing a very determined 8 year old building her favourite Lego kit.

Adelaide Road Trip

My 13 year old son, Brad, is really into football and Essendon in the AFL.  As a treat to him, we made the trek over to Adelaide during the Easter long weekend to see Essendon play the Crows.  I’ve said many times that I don’t mind a good road trip, so a quick interstate trip behind the wheel was a treat for me too.

As I’ve revealed in the last couple of blog posts, I’ve discovered a new interest in making videos for YouTube, so this was a great opportunity to make a short movie with Brad.  Check out our Road Trip video below.  At 15 minutes the film is a bit longer than I would have liked, but it tells the story of two days on the road, budget accomodation and a loosing football match.

The YouTube bug

In my previous blog post, I talked about making YouTube videos with my daughter.  Now I think I’ve got the YouTube bug!

Making videos

Karla and I have started a video series on her YouTube channel of playground reviews, which have been a lot of fun for both of us to film.  I’ve also enjoyed editing them together in iMovie on my MacBook Pro.  We’ve got a few more ideas on the drawing board for future videos for her channel, but I’ve also started thinking about my YouTube channel, which has been the family YouTube account since 2009.

I’ve just put together a couple of unboxing videos, featuring my wife’s new iPad, and my new MacBook Pro, to feature on my channel.  Unlike some boring unboxing videos you often find online, I’ve tried to keep mine interesting by keeping them short (2 minutes) and adding music.  Any tedious parts of the unboxings were edited out or sped up.  Still pictures have been inserted to break up the single camera angle of the video.

I didn’t know what I was going to do with the unboxing videos when I shot them, but in the end I’m happy with how the edits turned out.

Check out the videos below, and as YouTubers say, don’t forget to “Like” and “Subscribe”!

 

Making videos with iMovie

Since moving from the Windows PC world over to Mac, with my new MacBook Pro, I’ve been on a learning curve as I find my way around the Apple operating system.  Overall using a Mac has been pretty easy.  Yes it’s different, but a quick Google search will tell me how to do something that doesn’t work the way it did in Windows.

iMovie

This week I had to fire-up iMovie, the native Mac video editor, and I was expecting it to be hard to use.  Even though I haven’t done much video editing in the past, I have used Microsoft Movie Maker and Nero’s video editor, but was expecting iMovie to be difficult to learn.  I watched one short tutorial video on YouTube to get myself started and was then able to get stuck into making movies without too much trouble.

Karla’s videos

My daughter, 8 year old Karla, has an interest in videos.  Like many kids these days, she likes to watch videos on YouTube, but Karla wants to create videos too.  She pestered her mother and I for some time to be allowed her own YouTube channel, and around her seventh birthday we finally gave in.  I was able to create a seperate channel under my Google/YouTube account, so I’ve got complete control over what get’s published.

At this stage Karla is only interested in being in front of the camera (she’s too wobbly when holding the camera, and doesn’t yet have the computer skills for editing or uploading), so that means I’m now her personal camera operator, editor, producer and publisher.  At first we were just uploading single clips, but now we’ve progressed to some creative editing.

The first video I put together with iMovie was Karla’s potato science experiment last week.  Yesterday we made a video about the birthday presents from her Nana.  Today we’ve taken our home movies to the next level by including captions and background music in a video about our trip to the football.

YouTube

It sounds like my daughter and I will be making more and more videos, so why not check out her YouTube channel (and maybe even subscribe).  Hopefully the videos will get better as I learn more about using Apple’s iMovie software.

2017 AFL Footytips

Tomorrow night the 2017 AFL footy season kicks off between Richmond and Carlton, but I’m more interested in Saturday night’s game between Hawthorn and Essendon.  The Hawks are missing their big names from the last few years, while the Bombers have their big names back from last year’s drug suspension.

My footy tips

I’m tipping Richmond to win tomorrow night, and Essendon on Saturday.  For 2017 I’ve decided to publish my footy tips on this site, but I don’t want football to take over the blog feed, so I will keep them seperate from my blog posts.  My wordPress theme allows you to publish blog style posts as a “Project”, seperate to the main blog.

You’ll find my 2017 footy tips at simonyeo.id.au/project_tag/afl-2017-footytips, plus I’ve added a link in the main menu.

Round One

Below is a screenshot of my Round One AFL footy tips from, available at… simonyeo.id.au/project/2017-afl-footytips-round-1  
NOTE: My Fremantle tip was changed to Geelong on Sunday morning before the match to be the same as my official tips.

screenshot of my round 1 footy tips

I’ve also had a go at predicting how the AFL Ladder will look at the end of the Home and Away season.
Read this post simonyeo.id.au/project/2017-afl-ladder-prediction or see the screenshot.

I’ll re-visit these predictions at the end of the season to see how wrong I was.

my 2017 ladder prediction

My stolen photo

Last weekend we decided to have a look at a house being sold a few doors up from us.  During the “Open For Inspection” the realestate agent, Craig Currie, invited prospective purchasers to visit his website for a floor plan and more information.  We are 12 or 18 months away from being in a position to purchase a house, but decided to look at the website anyway to see the floor plan.  I went to craigcurrie.com.au and clicked on “Properties” and was shocked to see one of my own photos had been stolen and used without permission.

Realestate website screenshot with my stolen photo

Screenshot

I immediately recognised the photo as one I had taken in 2011 with my first DSLR camera.  I was experimenting with long exposure shots of the Lakeside fountains, Pakenham, at dusk.  I wrote a blog post at the time about shooting long exposures, but back in 2011 I was publishing photos to my Flickr account.  Checking the photo I’d uploaded to Flickr in 2011 against the picture I was able to copy from the realestate webpage confirmed they were exactly the same.

Fountains at Lakeside, Pakenham.

My original photo on Flickr

Realestate website photo

Photo taken from the realestate website

The “Properties” link on Craig Currie’s website actually linked to his realestate.com.au page, which is where my photo was appearing, so I wasn’t exactly sure who had infringed my copyright.  A search of other realestate.com.au profiles of Pakenham agents didn’t show any similar photos, so I was suspecting Mr. Currie.

When Craig Currie contacted me by text message to enquire if we would like to make an offer on the property, I responded by informing him that he had used a photo that was copyright to me.  I asked him to either remove the picture or compensate me for its continued use.  His response was to claim the photo was supplied by someone called “Photojenik” and to ask how much it would cost to continue to use the photo.  I told him $200 would be a reasonable amount, but he instead promised to have the photo removed.

Craig Currie reiterated several times that he had never heard of Flickr and that the photo was supplied by Photojenik, who he said was a local photographer who specialised in realestate photos.  Mr. Currie said he would pass on my phone number for her to contact me.

To Craig Currie’s credit, my copyright photo was removed, but I haven’t heard from Photojenik.  I know photos are stolen and copyright infringed all the time, but that doesn’t make it right.  If Photojenik is a real person or photography business, then stealing another photographers image is pretty low!  But is Photojenik real?  I cant imagine a photographer without any online presence, however Google and WhitePages searches for that name come up with nothing.

Coincidence, a new Mack and a new Mac

I’ve just realised the coincidence about my last two blog posts, a new Mack truck and a new Mac computer.  The common name was purely accidental.

The big difference is that the Mack truck was on loan for a couple of days for work, the Mac laptop (Apple MacBook Pro) is mine to accomodate my photography and blogging hobbies.

Mack Superliner with a load of roller-doors
Macbook Pro box in the shipping box.

I bought a Mac

I’ve had enough of Windows 10

I’m sorry Microsoft, but I’ve had enough of Windows!  My home-brew PC ran fine on Windows 8, but ever since my horrible upgrade experience to Windows 10,  I’ve had no end of problems.  There have been so many Blue-Screen crashes that I’ve lost count. Even completing a fresh Windows install is wrought with danger, with the process failing or crashing countless times before a successful install was achieved.  Even with a fresh install, some pretty common programmes, like iTunes, simply refuse to run.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Windows.  I’ve embraced every iteration since Windows ’98.  I really like the latest design of Windows 10, but I’ve had too many problems.  My two sons have issues with their Windows 10 computers too, although not as bad as me.  On the other hand, my wife’s W10 laptop works fine.

Then there are the quirks that make me question the latest Windows, like when you cant find what you want in the Windows 10 “Settings” screen, you can click through to the old “Control Panel”, with the same appearance as the old Windows versions.  This gives me the impression that the Windows 10 design has just been tacked on top of the older Windows versions, rather than being a completely new operating system.

I know there are thousands of people who use Windows 10 without any issues, but my experience has not been pleasant.  The final straw was when my desktop started freezing, not necessarily freezing during intensive tasks, but often just during simple web browsing!

So I bought a Mac

I’ve chosen the latest 13 inch MacBook Pro with Touchbar, Core i5 and 16GB of Ram.  This laptop is small and light, about the size of a magazine, and not much heavier, yet it’s powerful enough to handle my photo editing in Lightroom.  I may even try my hand at video editing.

The Retina Display is amazingly clear, the track-pad is amazing big and the USB plugs are…different.  Apple have done away with the traditional USB plugs, and rely on the new USB-C for everything, even charging.  This laptop doesn’t even have an SD card reader, but neither did my Windows desktop, so all I needed was an adaptor to connect my USB card reader to the new plugs.  I ordered the usb to USB-C dongle for $12 when I ordered the MacBook online.

USB to USB-C dongle to connect my card reader

USB to USB-C dongle to connect my card reader

I’m still finding my way around the Apple Mac operating System (“MacOS”), but so far I’m really happy with my new MacBook Pro laptop.  It connected to our network printer and NAS easily.  There was no problem installing software like Adobe Lightroom and Microsoft Office 365.  I’ve found the big trackpad really easy to use, editing hundreds of photos from White Night without a mouse wasn’t a problem, the trackpad is that easy.

The Keyboard

The only thing that’s slightly negative about the MacBook is the keyboard.  It’s noisy – tap, tap, tap, click, click, click.  So typing in bed while my wife is sleeping isn’t a good idea.  Apart from the noise the keyboard makes, it’s comfortable and easy to use.

No more problems

The more I use this MacBook, the more I learn the Mac way of doing things, and the more I like it.  Now I can spend less time stressing about, or fixing my computer, and more time on my photos and blogs.

I’ve been driving a new Mack Superliner

With a few of our trucks in the workshop, there’s been a brand new Mack Superliner “loaner” truck at work.

The Superliner is very nice to drive and it rides very well, but most trucks do when they’re brand new.  I think the woodgrain dash panel is overkill in a truck, I guess it’s supposed to portray luxury, but trucks are made to work.

I was surprised to see both a traditional AM CB radio along with the more common UHF.  These days the UHF CB is the communication tool everyone uses on the road.  I thought the AM radios had faded away over a decade ago.

The 600 plus horsepower was nice, but the reality for me is that the Mack Superliner is like most modern trucks.  It’s comfortable and gets the job done.  Because this rig is brand new, it still looks really nice with it’s clean paintwork and shiny chrome.

The reason for this post?  To upload some of the photos I took while working with the new Mack, which I’ve also added to my “Trucks I’ve Driven” gallery.