A tiny video

Kevin and I made a short stop-motion video tonight.  I wanted to show Kevin how easy it is to do a little video magic with the camcorder, so we made this short video.  It took a total of about 1/2 hr of time–which was perfect for his short attention span–going from auto-recording 1 frame every 3 seconds, to transferring to his computer, adding some music, and rendering it out in H.264 video, then uploading to YouTube.  It has a few bad frames where it caught me touching, but otherwise I think it turned out pretty neat for what is definitely the shortest video I’ve ever made.  Take a look.

Wow, Déjà vu – Waukegan Windstorm 2011!

As I parked my car in the hospital lot early this morning, the sky suddenly got darker and darker, the winds picked up a lot, and a tree branch flew through the lot and hit my back window.  It was all too familiar–and way too soon to be happening again.  I locked the car and started walking into the hospital when the sideways rain started, and along with it the tornado sirens started up, just as I entered the building.  I thought “here we go again!”

Sure enough, there was a lot of damage, this time centered around the Waukegan area.  A lot of downed trees again, all of the traffic lights out, and our hospital was (and still is) without power all day today.  It was an interesting day for the IT Department, to say the least.  No damage at home though.  There were tree limbs all over the place on the ride home up Sheridan road this afternoon, and all of the traffic lights were out all the way from Waukegan through Winthrop Harbor.  Magically, once I crossed the Illinois/Wisconsin border, things looked normal again and our traffic lights worked fine.

Mother Nature has a real attitude this season, and she’s moving SOUTH…in a hurry!

Cars 2

Fire KindlingKevin and I went to see Cars 2 today.  I was very curious about it, since Kenosha News shot it down, saying how horrible it was, how it’s the worst Pixar movie ever made, and how they trashed Kenosha-made vehicles in the movie.  Prior to reading that article, I wasn’t even going to see the movie in theaters.  I was content to wait for the DVD release.  But I knew, after reading such a horrible review, it just had to be skewed.  Pixar movies just aren’t that bad. Ever.  They pride themselves in taking years to work through every tiny detail, joke and frame in their movies.  So I just had to see for myself.

Just as expected, the movie was great, and the Kenosha News article was a load of crap.  The Kenosha News complained that the “bad guys” in the movie were Kenosha-built Pacers and Gremlins in horrible never-seen-on-the-road colors.  Some were, sure.  What–a “bad guy” never came from Kenosha before??  Kenosha has never had an actor that played a “bad guy” in a movie before?? Oh the horror.  And gee, did Pixar really “mess up” when one of these “bad guys” says he’s from Detroit in the movie?? Duh.  Check Wikipedia for “American Motors”.  It’s headquarters was in Southfield, Michigan–a suburb of Detroit.

Kenosha News’ writers really need to do a little research before they just bash a movie so harshly just based on a few viewers’ opinions.  I thought the movie was great, it had all of the Pixar touches and attention to detail I always love, and I was completely satisfied with it.  It’s a great animated movie about cars classic, new, and in all shapes and sizes (and reputations)–and even explains the value of dents!  There was also a great “Toy Story” short before the movie, which was a real treat for us.  And if it wasn’t for the little kid sitting directly behind me, constantly kicking the back of my seat until I turned around, gave her a mean look, and moved over a few seats, it would have been perfect.

Oh, and we’re going to have a nice fire this evening… Guess what we’re going to use for kindling!  Click on the photo.  If you zoom in close enough using the “View all sizes” option in the upper-right corner of the Flickr page you can even see how they even slammed it with a big headline on the front page, see who wrote the article and even read a bit of it… Uh-oh, now I’m going to get in trouble from the Kenosha News (again) because I re-published something from their paper.  Burn the evidence! Quick!

Kenosha wind storm 2011

Kevin looks at downed treeFor those not aware of it yet, we had a huge wind storm blow through Kenosha Thursday evening.  It did a lot of heavy damage to the area.  We have taken some photos, so I create a collection of them on my Flickr page.  As for us, I think we fared pretty well compared to the damage many others (including our neighbors) suffered.  We lost power at the start of the storm, around 8pm Thursday, but it was back on Friday afternoon.  Kevin certainly learned a good lesson about many of the luxuries of having electricity, since he didn’t have any video games or movies (after his iPod battery died), and we had no lights or computers to use.

After all of our home repairs that Jay and I did a couple weeks ago, the porch was spared.  The security lights Jay installed for us, however, are now shattered, so I’ll have to replace them, and the brand new door closer I installed on the back door was ripped right off the back screen door.  The closer survived intact, but a chunk of the back door was ripped out and still attached to the closer and the wall!  That was it though, no other damage to our house, luckily.

This morning Kevin, Socks and I walked down by Eichelman and Wolfenbuttel parks and the new marina and took a few more photos.  When we got to the tot park I realized that the new marina slips had shifted way north, and into the duck pond!  Most of the boats are still docked in them, so I bet there was quite a mess at first, with overturned and sunken boats during and after the storm.

Today more of the roads are open again and more traffic lights are working, so we’re getting back to normal.  I still see a lot of tree services hard at work and We Energies trucks driving around though, so they still have a ways to go.