Showing posts with label Skype. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Skype. Show all posts

Feb 3, 2013

More Fun With Darwin

This afternoon I had a great time chatting with Wendy and joking around with Darwin. He's more exciting every time I see him, and in addition to a few rounds of peek-a-boo, he's become pretty good at playing it by himself by covering his own eyes with his arm over and over and over again, haha.  He's walking now, and has really started to master Dave's signature head-back-wide-eyed stare.  Nothing like a little dose of long distance hanging out to put me in a good mood.    

Oct 28, 2012

Sunday Chat and Baby Talk

Last Sunday I had a great conversation with my friend Wendy over skype.  Darwin had already gone to bed and so it was looking like I wouldn't get to see him, but then only a few minutes into our discussion Wendy heard him crying and decided to bring him out for a bit.  It's always a lot of fun seeing Darwin's little face.  

Mostly I just wanted to share a few of the screencaps I took while Darwin was chilling out with us online.  As Wendy went to grab him a bottle, he gave me a few waves as he mimicked me before turning his attention back to where his Mom had gone.  He's a little sound effects machine these days, and I can't wait to hear him talking soon.  I just wish I were closer so that I could wrestle him and play with his toys like we did last time.  For now, the skype calls go a long way. 

Aug 26, 2012

Catching Up With Wendy

I have to admit that I love taking unsuspecting pictures of people while chatting with them on skype.  I realized just how apparent my fascination was when I looked back at my library of screenshots after catching up with Wendy on Thursday night.  

The last few days have been kind of a blur and having not talked with Wendy on a one on one basis in a while, it seemed like the timing was right.  The death of my grandma early in the week couldn't have come at a stranger time if I'm honest.  It was only a few weeks from now just last year that my friend Dave passed away, and with the preparation I've been doing with my Searching Salvation project, having another funeral for someone I was close to just seemed to further engage some emotions that were already resurfacing.  It was nice to connect with Wendy, not just because of Dave, but because at this point it feels important to me to me to help move the conversation forward without constantly dwelling on the past.

Wendy and I discussed everything from Darwin's 1st birthday to personal projects, relationships, and what the future of the old Regina-crew might look like.  The weird thing that hit me during our conversation was that Wendy was actually filling a role that Dave used to play for me.  It was nice to be able to bounce ideas and thoughts around with someone who could relate to a lot of my feelings at the moment.  I think we're well on our way to a new beginning.  

Aug 10, 2012

Week Long Staycation

Despite the week off from work there wasn't really an abundance of down time like I had convinced myself there would be.  The problem with taking a staycation is that you realize there are a ton of things that you've been putting off and should probably get done. Sleeping in (although amazing) only emphasizes this by making the days shorter and turning most mornings into a complete write-off.

I did manage to clean up my kitchen cabinets, DVD collection, and wardrobe to free up some space. Not very pressing activities, but things that I had on a to-do list since the beginning of the year.  I spent an afternoon giving my store room and car a thorough cleaning as well, however both of these activities seemed to spur more side projects.  In between this I got in some editing, a couple of small trips to Drumheller and Red Rock Coulee with my friend Andrea, went out for a few dinners, and spent an evening on skype catching up with Tyler.     

I can't complain about a week off, but I suppose in actuality I want a pause button more than time away.  In my mind I had pictured myself doing a lot of nothing.  Literally nothing.  It's tough to justify laziness when you take a week to hangout in the same place where all of your projects are though.  It's not really a holiday then, the wasted time just becomes a more formal kind of procrastination. It's almost like not needing to work for a living would somehow be better (read with extreme sarcasm).      

May 21, 2012

Long Weekend Chat

I've been enjoying my long weekend, but admittedly things haven't gone exactly as planned.  Originally I intended to make a trip to Regina to meet up with friends, enjoy an evening out, and discuss our upcoming trip to Las Vegas in September.  Work ended up dictating my schedule so I was stuck in town, but on Saturday I got a taste of what I was missing over a skype session with Wendy, Mike, Erin, Tyler, and little Darwin.     

It was great to see everyone, and was the next best thing to being there.  The last time we'd all hung out was over New Year's, so just getting a chance to chat with everyone together felt like we were finally making up for lost time.  Next month I'll be doing my best to take the road trip I missed this weekend for some actual face time.

Darwin is getting bigger every time I see pictures of him, and he only seems to get more entertaining.  He was certainly moving around and making more noise than before, which was pretty hilarious.  Darwin also has a knack for reacting appropriately to Tyler's antics, which means he's well on his way to becoming a worthy sidekick, haha. 

Between the work and personal projects, the lengthy skype session was a reminder of what I've been missing a lot of these days.  But, it's also a bit of foreshadowing for the busy summer ahead and all of the various meet ups already planned.  I've got some pretty great friends and I can't wait to see everyone soon!


May 11, 2012

The Lettuce is Always Greener

My favorite burger in town is the Classic with Cheddar at Local.  This could be because of the frequency in which I have it, but it takes a pretty nice picture doesn't it?  Barb and I met up for a beer on Wednesday night and enjoyed hanging out on the patio for the first time this year.

We always seem to come here when we're in the middle of the latest project at Stream Media, or because we're overdue for a hangout.  This time it was a bit of both really. And being in a place that's become so familiar it was interesting that the topic of the evening was centered around change. 

It seems my contract work could really start to change as Stream becomes even more of a mediator for sourcing out projects - and sending editing gigs my way.  I'm not sure what it means quite yet, but I'm always nervous about upsetting the relatively fragile work situation I've built for myself here.

I've been wrestling more lately with my potential in a place like Medicine Hat and I do feel like between Stream and the video and photography work I do for the Weddingstar website, there's no new benchmark to expand to - at least not that I can see yet.  Barb even noted that my Around the Hat photo series almost seemed like a way of saying goodbye to the city, especially with my recent set of the Citadel building.  There might be something to that.

All of this was kind of a precursor to the discussion I knew I'd be having that evening with my friend Tyler over skype.  I knew he was going to tell me that he had decided to move to Ontario from Saskatchewan.  It had me thinking about Regina, the place we all went to film school, and what it meant for future hangouts if we were all living further away from one another.  All of my friends, it seems, are further spread out than they've ever been and if it weren't for the weddings or planned trips, I know we'd almost never see each other.

It's scary, if I'm honest, to be on the cusp of big changes that aren't your own.  I can feel things are moving again, and I tell myself it's just the growing pains of entering a new phase of adulthood. On one hand the life I've built here is pretty darn good, but as if it's a downside, it's become comfortable and all of the recent shifting has seemed to emphasize it.

I'm addicted to change in a lot of ways.  This blog began as a way of documenting and holding myself accountable to it.  Yet, it's tough to feel like a spectator when it's simply happening around you.  As I sat on the patio that night, about to take another bite of my favorite burger, I couldn't help but think that as good as it was, there were no surprises in having the same thing again.  

Apr 9, 2012

Hangout and Hungover

In a year quickly filling up with meet-ups, group trips, and reunions, it was fitting to visit with my old film school buddy, Tyler to coordinate some of our upcoming plans.  Tyler drove in from Regina after a whirlwind trip to Toronto to meet up with his 'friend' Kristine who he hadn't seen in person in years.  So, yeah, there was no delay in getting the conversation rolling.

A few beers in we then headed off to Local to continue the discussion.  Strangely enough we ran into my old friend Leah, who I went to high school with and who everyone expected to be in charge of organizing our 10 year high school reunion this year.  It sounds like things are going ahead with that too, and the chance meeting actually seemed fittingly on-point with the evening's theme of discussing our plans for the year. 

Tyler and I and few of our other friends are working on a trip to Vegas in September, I have trip with my family in July, and a few weddings to round out the summer (one of which is for Tyler's sister).  It should be simpler than it is to make a lot of this stuff work, but somehow there's always one more thing to consider.  Really though, it's a good kind of busy.

After getting back to my place I think we were both sufficiently sauced, but continued with a few Skype sessions with Kristine and then our friend Wendy back in Regina.  It was a lot of fun, and as is typical of a night where you can let yourself go a bit,  I recall a lengthy discussion with Wendy as I took a bath in my swimsuit . . . as you do.  Tyler meanwhile caught up on his sleep.

The next day we checked out American Reunion, another fitting reminder of our own reunions this year.  We added a few more green bottle beers to my collection, and we made our routine-middle-of-the-night trip to Hat News and Tobacco. The long weekend always goes by quickly, but it would seem there's going to be more than enough opportunities to create some great memories in the coming months.  So much for planning, I think it's time to start doing.

Feb 12, 2012

A Conversation Between Film School Buddies

All of my friends from Regina have moved all over the place since my film school days, so it's not always easy to stay in touch.  I'm no longer in Regina myself so meet ups often require some strategic planning to coordinate visits.  Jen and I in particular have been playing facebook message tag for the last few weeks trying to work out a time to Skype with one another. Last night we finally got the chance.

Things are going well.  Jen and I shared our stories about work, about leaving Regina, and about the continuation of our post-university ambitions.  I'm here in Alberta, Jen is out in Toronto, and despite how different our daily lives are, we still seem to relate to things like hardly any time has passed.  It was actually refreshing to be reminded of some of those film school hangouts and how we're still finding ways to reinvent and conquer the goals we had back then.

Skype has become a regular part of my life these days, and I love it.  My friend Tyler and I (also buddies from film school) Skype often just to pass the time and have a couple of beers.  Despite the distance, it's great knowing that it's easy to have some face time with your good friends and share some of your stories outside of the everyday bubbles we're each in.

The talk Jen and I had last night was fun, and I guess it seemed noteworthy because it feels like the start of something new again.  Of course, a conversation between film school buddies wouldn't be complete without referencing one of the random projects we made in class together.  Ladies and gentlemen, Hip Hop Ninny Shoe Satisfaction.  

May 10, 2011

My Portable Edit Studio

Much of this year has been about upgrading, refining, and organizing all the aspects of my editing equipment and software.  Balancing the demands of corporate editing with my future goals of making more ambitious personal films has been at the forefront of all of these decisions.  I've already started tackling my home edit suite, but for the moment I've become focused on creating a studio that I can use on-the-go.

It's perhaps a bit surprising, but up until last week I'd never owned (or even saw the value in owning) a laptop before.  So I suppose the real question is, why now?  Here are the main reasons I finally changed my tune:

1. Shooting on Flip Video
Since I began using my Flip HD I've loved capturing home videos and random events on the fly.  For an evening out it's no problem, but for any extended period of time it doesn't quite cut it by itself.  Having a laptop with a powerful video card and a large hard drive means that not only can I preview what I've shot on a larger screen, but I can also batch my footage right there and then.  In the meantime, the Flip HD can recharge itself through the USB port making it an ideal companion for travel.

2. Easy Communication
From blogging to email to YouTube it's nice to have that connection available through your laptop when you're away from home or just looking for a change of scenery (I could get used to blogging in bed).  The real feature here is the integrated webcam and microphone though as Skype has become a bit more essential when discussing editing projects between various locations.  

3. Separating Work and Play
There are times when my desktop edit studio is bogged down with hours of HD footage rendering, multiple pieces of software open, and the desk itself is covered in notes.  The laptop provides an alternative way to access email, waste time on facebook, etc. while eliminating the possibility that I might accidentally close the wrong program.  In that sense, a portable option keeps my main editing hub more efficient and dedicated to the task at hand. 

4. A New Way to Screen Media
The ability to access the web or bring a library of video files with me on my laptop means it's easier to share a lot quickly.  With an HDMI output it's so easy to plug into my TV and screen high definition footage from the web or directly from the laptop without any hassle - no DVDs, no uploading, no FTP required.  As an added bonus, it makes watching online television on my big screen a breeze.

5. Backup
Purely for the sake of having another option if I need it, this portable addition to my edit studio is a great investment.  Photoshop, editing software, final draft, etc. it's all there if my desktop is tied up or having issues.

In short, my portable edit studio isn't about replacing my main edit suite at all, it's about complimenting it.  Versatility is only becoming more and more important, especially in the case of an independent editor like myself. It always feels better to have options.

On a personal level it's also a great feeling to know that you have room to breathe and expand with the projects you want to take on - a bit of flash doesn't hurt either.  Like all equipment, it's only as good as the use you can get out of it.  As far as I'm concerned I can already see how much use I'll get out of this, and for that I feel this upgrade has already paid for itself.