29 March 2012

Also, Zoe now has a bike. Victory.

Evening.  Cool, but crisp and clear.  CARA and TOMMY are walking their favorite long walk, snaking through the side streets of Squirrel Hill.  ZOE MAE is in the stroller, and ROCCO is being a dog. There are an unusually large number of people out and about, given the relative cold.  Halfway into the walk, ZOE interrupts:
ZOE MAE: I want a steamboat. I want a steamboat. Zoe steamboat? I want a steamboat.

CARA and TOMMY exchange puzzled looks.  ROCCO doesn't seem to notice.
ZOE MAE: I want a steamboat!  Steamboat?

ALL stop walking.  TOMMY crosses in front of the stroller and bends down:
TOMMY: You want a steamboat?

ZOE MAE: Please?

27 March 2012

Sayonara Big Tree

All things must come to an end.  That's what a huge London Plane tree found out yesterday morning, which we decided to eulogize with a bluegrass crawfish tune:

You see, I wanted to watch them take the tree down, since I'm a curious fellow and it was a massive tree, overhanging houses and growing through power lines.  An interesting task to be sure!  However, I'm buried in work, and dissertations don't write themselves.  So rather than waste a day watching it in real time, I'd just set my phone on the windowsill with the camera rolling, and get back to working on my dissertation.  That way I could just watch the whole shebang distilled down to a few minutes once they were finished...

So here's a time-lapse of the tree's last moments, before becoming mulch.  Unfortunately the best bit of the decommissioning - the removal of the canopy - was lost to a technical glitch.  I've never shot a time-lapse with my phone before (wait - time-lapse with a phone? what is this, the future?), and I made the amateur mistake of attempting to use a free app to do so.  Thus, the amazing pre-lunch activity of an incredibly agile arborist top-roping the tree and leaping from limb to limb with a chainsaw is lost to history.  The post-lunch felling of the main trunk, however, has been immortalized.

For those of you lamenting the loss of such a huge and pretty carbon-sink, she received the death sentence because she crossed the line one too many times.  Her roots had just breached a water main in front of a neighbor's house - a mortal sin in urban treedom.  Thus, after much civic hemming-and-hawing, the city called in some professionals to nix the tree so that the water supply could be repaired.  Fair enough.  Sayonara you gigantic london plane, sayonara.

For those in the iphoney world, the app I used is called "Time Lapse Camera HD" and it cost a whopping 99¢.  I don't generally like paying for apps, but I love time-lapse photography, and this app works on both the phone and pad, and it works as advertised so far.  Net win, even at almost a buck.

09 March 2012

ZOE SLIDE: un mor time [the film]

Well looky here, it's Wee Zoe's first film. Sorta.  Anyway, click this bad larry to full screen, and enjoy.

Our deepest condolences if you get ADHD from watching the rapid cutting, in HD no less.  This is a hilarious, and seriously simple, way to make little movie trailers, courtesy of Apple's iMovie.  The template is all done, you just drop in videos and voila, you're all done.

In other news - notice some new things appearing on the left side of the blog.  As blogger is developing, it's giving us more options, so we're investigating.  So there's a survey at the top, as well as a spot further toward the bottom where you can enter your e-mail address to get notifies anytime we post something.  Tempting, eh?  

It's Papa time!  (clearly)