Sunday, August 29, 2010

MP 154 Revelation: I Can Post Videos

I likely belabor the obvious when writing this, but I am far from competent in the land of technology. If it weren't for the fact that Blogger makes blog creation almost painfully easy -- even I have created a few -- this and some other small points in the Blogosphere would not exist.

That written, I learned how to create small videos and then, the past day, learned how to upload them to YouTube. Surely that is a remarkably easy feat for yourself but a massive step ahead for the CCBIs (Computer-Challenged Blithering Idiots) like myself.

I am not new to shooting video; I've had a Sony DCR-VX2000 since 2002 and possess many hours of trackside video in MiniDV. That camera has taught me much about tilting, panning, framing, white balance, and possession of a proper tripod with fluid head. Now, with all that footage, I need an editing system and a computer with the horsepower to pull it off.

The breakthrough for me came with my purchase of the Flip Slide. This is an HD-compatible videocam about the size of an elongated pack of cigarettes. Its convenience is also its greatest drawback. In my sixth decade of life I don't "hold" quite like I used to when I was freelancing in my early 20s. It's damned tough for me to keep the Flip still, particularly when shooting where there is nothing on which I can lean.

One final bit about the Flip Slide: I don't yet have an HD TV at home, so I played the various Flip videos on an HD unit at work; I was absolutely stunned by the resolution, clarity and color saturation. Unfortunately, it also emphasized the point that my videos resemble those of the guy that shot Cloverfield.

My first video uploaded to YouTube, up to bat:

The video was taken during the making of this post. I am standing next to UP 5652, a GE C44ACCTE locomotive, as its 4,390-hp engine idles.

There is, I must admit, nothing like standing next to a four-stroke diesel locomotive engine, even as it idles. You can literally feel your lungs vibrate. Every few moments there is a throttle blip which helps to keep the engine clear. The first hiss you hear is the air tank (for the braking system) venting to keep from overpressurization. The second, shorter hiss is the air dryer venting.

For those who may not know, air dryers are installed on all GE and EMD locomotives. Any time you compress air (required for a locomotive's braking system as well as those of the trailing train cars), you get condensation. Air dryers remove all condensation before air is introduced into any air lines on the locomotive or the brake pipes of an adjoining train. Absent completely dry air in the pipes, the lines, fittings and connectors would start to rust. Air dryers then vent this condensation, under pressure, to the outside atmosphere.

When playing the video, turn up your speakers. If you can adjust bass, do so. You might then begin to approximate what it is that I heard during the recording.

Enjoy. More videos to come. Please let me know your thoughts and opinions.



Milepost 154 said...

Wonderful. Now the video won't play. I can't even get it to play on its original site on YouTube.

See? I TOLD you I was an HTML and a computer idiot. I'm trying to repair this, ladies and gentlemen, and I'm not having a good or competent time.


Bloviating Zeppelin said...

It played just fine for me, a few minutes ago. Maybe things fixed themselves. There's always "hope" and "change."


dmurray said...

Congratulations on the addition of videos to your blogs. Keep up the good work!

Leticia said...

Ummm...I think I might have busted my speakers! lol!!

My youngest son loves trains and it all started with Thomas the Tank Engine.

If we are waiting on a train he will yell for me to lower all the windows so he can hear it better, and yes, even during the winter we do that just for him.

I personally prefer trains than airplanes.

Old NFO said...


Bloviating Zeppelin said...

DM: thank you so kindly, sir. And I still hope you treasure your 47th Birthday Video, my good friend! Despite the fact that I produced it on VHS and not DVD. . . heavy sigh.

Leticia: very nice. Your son obviously has discriminating taste. Your lowering the windows allows him to connect with American industry.

NFO: oh, golly, the things I could show you around here. . .


dmurray said...

In fact I have retained the video. It is still a scream, too. I also have a machine to transcribe it to DVD. I'm all out of Sacagaweas, though. ;)