October 1, 2013

  • News and Notes for October 2013

    I don't think I even posted a News and Notes for last month.  Lots of stuff going on in life and at work. Nothing seems to be going on at Xanga. (for me, anyway.) One comment on my previous post. Oh well, no need to complain. Here's a rundown real quickly, as I've got a lot of work to do.

    HEALTH: Two months ago I mentioned the pain in my left arm and shoulder. I'm pretty sure it's bursitis. I didn't go in to the doctor for pills. I seem to remember this has flared up before. I just stopped weight training altogether until such time as the pain goes away.

    I think I'll go in for my yearly checkup either this month or next month, so I can get a flu shot ahead of the season. (I didn't get one last year, so I'm susceptible, and this season is going to be as bad or worse than last year.) I'll talk about my shoulder, and perhaps get a cortisone shot if that's advised. I won't train until I hear from my doctor. I'm not in pain now, and have a full circle of rotation, but I can tell that pain is evident. I passed the due dates for both referrals from my last physical. I have been taking my cholesterol pills, and keeping my diet, but I didn't go in for new spectacles (cost issue, mainly, the retro horn rimmed "Buddy Holly" specs I want are "back" but they're a premium buy, and I'll get them next year.) The colonoscopy can wait too.

    WEALTH: I'm buying stuff with my own money. I am using credit cards in "emergency purchasing situations" (see MikeVideo below) but for the most part, the budget is good. I'll have the consolidation loan paid off in March, granting me the equivalent of about a week's pay in my pocket each month. Didn't refi the car. I found out I'm already underwater on the loan. Oh well, it's only two years old, and I drove my last car for 11 years, so I still feel like the Lancer is "new." I'm feeling great about my chances for leveling my personal economy and in fact actually saving money, and perhaps begin to travel next year, and this  morning the government of the U.S. is shutting down. Hopefully, this too, shall pass.

    MIKEVIDEO: This section contains my latest and greatest news.  I got a new top of the line computer a couple of months ago.  I aimed to purchase a top of the line Pro video editing program, plus an HD videocamera as soon as possible, now that I've got a current (well, Windows 7 Home Premium is from 2008, but I didn't like Win8 and feel blessed I found a new computer with 7premium) operating system, since most programs nowadays don't even "recognize" Windows XP.

    When Xanga announced they were perhaps "going out of business", I considered subscribing to Adobe Creative Cloud, which adds web hosting, blog hosting, and access to all those great Adobe video and image programs (like Photoshop and Premiere) for $49.99 a month. Too pricey right now, and my budget didn't allow that option. The program I've been using for video for the past five years, Sony Vegas Movie Studio, has a "big brother": the professional video editing suite called Vegas Pro.

    Vegas Pro costs $599.99. That's a lot of money. I figured when Sony Creative Software offered a "half price sale" later in the year, I'd get the program then. They sent me an email just last week, announcing the sale. So I jumped at the chance. (I'm  so "old school" I wouldn't download the program into my computer. I wanted a "physical" representation of my purchase, so I had them send me the DVD-ROM. I just couldn't get my head around paying even $250.00 for something I couldn't "touch." LOL.

    I got a new videocamera from Amazon.com . Here's a link to the Panasonic HD-720.  It's my first all HD videocamera. It even takes stills with more information than the two cameras I have now! (Although I'll have to do more investigating to find the best picture settings.

    I've been playing around with the camera and the editing program all weekend. I spent over four hours creating the 9 second opening credit sequence! I'm back in my element, and shall hopefully begin to post some amazing footage. HERE's a vid of a sailing ship I shot in "miniature mode" (a special effects mode in the camera) from about a 1/4 mile away on zoom. (At 1500X zoom with a tripod, I'll be taking some beautiful moon shots too as soon as it's full!)

    MikeVideo is now fully "21st Century." (I think I can make "3D" video too! There's so much to learn!)

    XANGA: Still amazingly disappointed in "the new Xanga". I can post, like I'm doing now. Thanks to some fellow Xangans, I've learned how to import photos. Xanga itself doesn't seem to be of ANY help. The standard things one should be able to do with a blog program (like add a header image, my personal pet peeve) are not available. Nothing seems to have changed with "themes' or the "dashboard" since the changeover. (Meaning there are no themes and some controls which are shown on the dashboard won't work!)  There still is no "front page" or "top blogs." A lot of Xangans seem to have developed groups of social networks. As usual, I don't feel a part of this because I don't blog as much as most folks. I did "answer" all my comments from my last PhotoPost, which got quite a few, but only one comment on my ElectricPoetry post.

    I've taken much too much time writing this post. And I don't want my frustrations with Xanga to trump my excitement about my new video capabilities. My next post will hopefully have some links to YouTube videos I'll be posting. So far, only two snippets have made in online to Facebook (including the one I link to above.) My YouTube Channel is linked in my haphazard "header post" at the top of this blogpage, so if you subscribe, you will get updates when I post new video footage on the channel.

    Pretty soon, I intend to have a lot of great stuff online.  The latest MikeVideo is called "HD Dreams" and will, of course, be presented here on my blog, (with "director's commentary) as has been usual over the past 10 years. (Another thing I hate about paying for this "new Xanga" is that all my videos have disappeared, and I just don't have the time to re-insert the YouTube links and embeds on dozens of old posts!)  Well, the less I think about Xanga the more I think about my new video capabilities is best.

    I can't even end this post with my usual emoticon. Here.....I'll have to "type" it.    :)

Comments (33)

  • I would feel more optimistic about the new xanga's potential if there were some communication about the team's progress and what we can look forward to. The site was supposed to continued changing and growing after the initial switchover.

    I hope you get the pain in your arm and shoulder straightened out. It's so annoying to be limited by pain!

    Glad your money situation is looking up.

    Have an enjoyable October!

  • Hey, Mike!
    Good to hear an update from you!

    Sorry to hear about your arm and shoulder. :-( Hope you get some relief soon!

    I had a colonoscopy when I was only 30, because of some pain in my body. But I had my first official one this year. Ack. :-P

    Oh, I'd love for you to get some Buddy Holly specs!!! :-)

    YAY, I can't wait to see your new vids! Please provide links here! But, I will see about sub'ing to your YouTube channel!

    I'm sorry for all your troubles with Xanga 2.0. :-( It is frustrating! :-( I've been blogging more on my WP site because Xanga 2.0 doesn't seem to be advancing in the ways I'd hoped.

    HUGS!!! :-)

  • I think I finally got subbed to your YouTube and I left a comment there!
    HUGS!!! :-)

  • Xanga2 has a ways to go and is frustrating - but still offers some people of interest. I'll stick with it for a while. LJ is easier to use but harder to develop a following on than it was in the good old days.
    Sorry to hear about your shoulder- mine has disintegrated due to advanced arthritis and unlike my knees, replacements are not as sure a thing. Cortisone shots help but I think you will find that the MD wants to limit them - apparently too many destroy the shoulder muscles and tendons. The best thing for me is to remember not to strain it.
    The new computer, camera, and studio program sound good - I'm hoping for a really professional result at your youtube site.

  • I'm sorry to hear about your arm and shoulder. Hope you feel better soon. I, too, do not like Xanga 2.0 as one cannot subscribe to friends and I miss the front page of Xanga 1.0.

  • I'm missing out on a lot of Xanga posts, apparently. Yours don't show up in my reader. I have to go through my list of "followers" and click on them. fauquet said he goy some help from the Xanga team, but I don't know why they don't tell us anything. Anyway, I'll try to stop in more often.

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