This guy is now four years old:
I know it’s not much of a birthday being isolated from a worldwide pandemic in a new and unfamiliar home still full of moving boxes, but Happy Birthday, kid.
The adventure’s still just beginning.
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Main draw was Hypersmooth 2.0, built-in stabilization, which made for some decent sledding videos — and for cool TimeWarps: smoothed time lapses with smart speed adjustment. I tested this out on a snowy day in late winter (audio added later from a non-timelapse walking video, the squirrelly effect from sped-up footsteps was unexpectedly comedic):
Amy’s also been finding the camera useful for art education, prerecording art lessons and project timelapses for her classes. Meanwhile, though I enjoy the Hero8 for its stabilization, features, and high quality video, I kind of missed the old “little cube” form factor of the Hero4 Session, so I got a used replacement off eBay.
They live together now, sharing a case and accessories. Watch my GoPro playlist for updates, I guess.
Some recent media appearances, all relating to PicPedant suddenly being back on the journalism radar lately:
Quelles sont vos bonnes résolutions pour 2020 ? 🤔 ❓
👉 Pour bien commencer l’année, @PicPedant vous donne 3 conseils de bons réflexes à avoir sur @Twitter pour éviter les #intox ! pic.twitter.com/GUgGsY7jDH
— Info ou Intox 🔎 – France 24 (@InfoIntoxF24) January 6, 2020
I’m not sure why, but the run-up to each of these interviews has been giving me more personal anxiety lately. In retrospect I feel like I should have done PicPedant anonymously, or under a pseudonym. Too late now, that train has sailed.
Also we live in a place with nice walkable forest paths and scenic lakes; just have to make sure to walk on the other side of the trail from anyone passing by.
One of us goes out for groceries once a week; the stores are limited-entry with socially distanced queues. Also been ordering eggs, cookies, bath bombs, and other staples via delivery from Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market. We try to disinfect all our shopping before storing, out of an abundance of caution; this is probably the most stressful part of the week.
I’ve come around to mask wearing and found a keffiyeh to tie bandit-style over my nose and mouth. (Also lucked into a pack of washable cloth masks online; they feel like Face-Speedos.) Fabric isn’t N95 surgical-level protection, but properly folded and tied, it’s enough to keep me from breathing and speaking moistly on others, so in case I’m an asymptomatic carrier I can try to be moistly harmless.
Keeping in mind that “romanticization of the quarantine is a class privilege,” be sure to be generous, tip more, be kind to front line workers, and do your part to help overthrow the kakistocracy.
Mass shooter in Nova Scotia killed several over the weekend.
Killer was a Canadian denturist who loved guns and wanted to be a Mountie, even owned a replica RCMP cruiser and uniform that he used to lure more victims. Partial screenshot of his Facebook profile before it was pulled. Note the American flag paraphernalia; he was Canadian but seemed to adore all things USA. His denture clinic in Dartmouth that we sometimes drove past (photo by tony07 on Flickr:
Coming from the Philippines and the USA I’m so horribly inured to daily news about nearby gun massacres that it didn’t sink in for me how much this has affected my Nova Scotian and Canadian friends and neighbours. Seeing hearts and flags and blue NS silhouettes in house windows, hearing from online acquaintances who knew the victims’ families.
(And no one—that I’ve seen anyway—screaming about crisis actors or that the solution is more guns as would be more common in the US.)
Empty toilet paper aisles at stores, as the world is currently being swept by a highly contagious viral respiratory disease. We’re on our third week of social distancing: staying home, avoiding physical contact with people (min. 2 metres distance), and only going out to stock up on groceries once a week or so.
Since we’re reclusive introverts who already wash hands frequently, living in a low-density neighbourhood with access to uncrowded outdoor areas, working jobs that can be done over the internet, in a country with free universal medical care, we’re adapting okay—but I wish we could say the same for others. Everywhere, thousands have lost work and income. In the US, it has not gone well.
The world has become a bit more fearful, our connections to each other turned tenuously electronic. “Together apart” and “flatten the curve” have become the catchphrases of the day, “stay safe” the farewell of choice. Weeks later, at least toilet paper is available in the stores again, though hand sanitizer is still in short supply.
Useful resources for this modern era of plague-avoidance:
And then, in January 2020, boom.
My younger brother Javi was in Canlubang at the time and got this photo of the eruption plume:
Various satellite and radar views from YouStorm:
Visible lava fountains would follow soon after.
From NASA Goddard Earth Observatory, satellite views of the eruption, and before/after satellite views of devastation on the volcanic island.
At the time of this writing Taal’s alert level has been lowered to 1.
Ezra went sledding for the first time! (Not caught in this GoPro video was his actual first sled ride when he got in the sled before we were ready and accidentally went down the steepest side of the hill by himself.)
He also built a snowperson with Amy.
Nova Scotia is at its coldest and snowiest through February. Lots of shoveling, but also lots of picturesque vistas blanketed in white powder, air sparkling with diamond dust.
Other times instead of snow we’d get frozen rain which would glaze everything in a thick layer of ice.
Temps would drop as low as -19C and the snow stayed on the ground all month. Now this is the Canadian weather we signed up for when we moved here. Still haven’t gotten tired of it. (Okay, maybe a bit achy after shoveling, though.)
Flew back to the Philippines to see my youngest brother Javi (and now sister-in-law Eka) get married, and spend time with family for Christmas and New Year. This was also Ezra’s first trip to the Philippines.