Author Archives: Ray

Mirboo North Italian Festa – 2019

Once again with Summer in full swing it’s time for the Mirboo North Italian Festa. And swing is about the right word as the temperatures have been going up and down from mild to searing hot on a daily basis (20C differences from one day to the next). Now in its fourth official year, the Mirboo North Italian Festa has grown from an uncertain but promising start, into an anticipated feature at the beginning of each New Year; the biggest event in Mirboo North today. People travel from far and wide to attend and, as the event has matured, the rough edges are beginning to be smoothed out and it’s become quite an event to behold. The theme is the same, but as interest has grown, additional activities have been brought in to expand on the Italian culture that the Festa represents.

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Zero Alcohol

After 45 years of daily drinking (alcohol that is), I’ve suddenly stopped cold. Why? I don’t know, but first some history. When I started university in the early 70s, I was a residential student at Monash University and the orientation day involve the consumption of copious quantities of alcohol, all for free. Naturally I made full use of this and paid the penalty many hours later. It wasn’t the first time that I’d had alcohol, but it certainly was the first time that I’d had it in such a large quantity, at a continuous pace and in such a short period of time. I suspect that those days may well be over at universities, given the nature of today’s environment where all such things tend to be frowned upon and litigation just waiting around the corner. Were such orientation days appropriate? At the time I thought nothing of it and even today don’t have any issues with such activities, though I suspect many would frown upon such thoughts.

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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K – Pt 9

There seems to be a never ending progression of change when it comes to my camera rig, but given the flexibility with the way that the rig is assembled, it’s not too difficult to move things around. It’s a bit like moving into a new home and working out how the furniture best fits for daily use, and what looked OK at the beginning, a few days or weeks later proves to be a poor choice and changes follow. That’s pretty much what’s been happening with my camera rig, especially as I get more hours of use under the belt. Video is so far removed from stills photography, where the camera setup really doesn’t change at all over its life unless you consider swapping lenses a change. So once again I’ll go over a few additions/changes that I’ve made to the camera rig which may or may not be subject to further change.

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Food Nazis

As I wrote in ‘The Nanny State‘ there seems to be a never ending push by government/s to control our lives, egged on by government funded entities (food Nazis) trying to make themselves relevant and justify their continued taxpayer funding. It hasn’t been completely government driven, as there are other groups pushing their own wheelbarrows filled with personal agendas, such as PETA, that wants everyone to become neurotic vegans and live in mutual misery. And given how they behave, it certainly appears to be a miserable life. However, a new entrant has entered the scene by way of The Lancet, who has now declared their own set of rules as to how the world (notably the western world) should, or must, live in order to save the planet from every perceived misery, including the mandatory climate-change baggage-carousel. These professional misery merchants seem to be appearing everywhere with the intent to force people into lifestyles these same misery merchants invariably never have to live themselves, given their positions of wealth.

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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K – Pt 8

One thing that I’ve come across on numerous forums regarding the BMPCC4K are questions about ways to effectively power the camera and get more recording time than what’s available from the standard battery. There are two regular ways to provide power to the camera, apart from using the internal battery option, and the first is by using a dummy battery connected to an external power source and the second is by using the camera’s external power connector to an external power source. It’s the external power source that seems to cause the most issues and raises the most questions regarding what external power source to use, given that many want to power accessories and not just the camera. The power requirements can be quite high if using a field monitor, external SSD, audio recorder and microphone all of which will tax a battery’s capacity.

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Non-Approved Books

My wife recently came home with a box of children’s books that she picked up from our local op shop; books dating back to the last century and ones that you’d likely never see published again (not in this lifetime anyway). Both of us find something enjoyable about these old books that come from a more innocent era when they were written with no offence intended, no double meanings and written for pure joy and entertainment. It was a time when boys could be boys and girls could be girls, living adventures that they found within these books when televisions were few and far between, mobile phones weren’t even imagined and computer games non-existent. I wrote about this some time ago and this collection of books made me revisit that story with a short update and some new thoughts.

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Understanding Dogs

Being a dog owner for nearly 40 years and having grown up with dogs since a toddler, one of the things that always amuses me are articles extolling the latest research where intrepid scientists breathlessly announce that their research shows that dogs are not very intelligent. Their view is that we are anthromorphising when we treat our dogs like furry kids and insist that they understand us emotionally as well vocally (or verbally). I’m pretty much convinced that these ‘scientists’ have never owned a dog (more likely a cat) and have some sort of aversion to dogs to come up with these sorts of ‘scientific’ results. Everyone that I know who owns a dogs, or has owned a dog, can tell stories of how their dog shows clear and unambiguous understanding of not just words, but of emotions, and can even anticipate the actions of their owners. Some of this may of course be a Pavlov’s Dog conditioning case, but in my view there’s a lot more to this than what many would admit.

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Disability Discrimination Act

The other day I received a comment (which I deleted) stating that my blog wasn’t compliant with Australian human rights legislation and that it wasn’t compatible with screenreaders (it certainly was with the ones that I’ve tested). What bothered me was the tone of the comment, an ostensibly threatening tone citing Australia’s anti-discrimination laws, rather than taking a conciliatory approach more clearly explaining the issues. That it came from a gmail account was warning. I suspected that this was a spam comment, though this one must have had a human behind it as it passed the CAPTCHA test. As it turns out, this was indeed another instance of spam, as it appears that it’s being sent to numerous other websites, with exactly the same wording, same name and apparently originates in the US. That’s by the by, as it does raise an interesting point and gave me an opportunity to investigate anti-discrimination legislation and discuss its real world applications and implications in our electronic age.

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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K – Pt 7

Finally I’m having some success. As I pointed out in Part 6, as a last desperate measure I’d ordered an inexpensive powered Saramonic SR-M3 directional microphone (shotgun mic) to see if that would alleviate my need for the Olympus LS-14 audio recorder. It arrived and I have to say that I was apprehensive given that there was so little information available with regards to this microphone when it came to use with the BMPCC4K. Actually, I couldn’t find anything informative. Every review was about it’s use with a DSLR or mirrorless camera for vlogging purposes, something that wasn’t going to be its intended use. I wanted to use it as a field microphone for general use on my rig, which may not have been ideal, but that’s what I needed.  As an aside, for once a product was available locally at considerably cheaper price than anything available overseas. I never cease to wonder at these price variations. There are plenty of general reviews of the Saramonic, so I’m not going to do a general review but will go straight into testing

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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K – Pt 6

No sooner had I thought that Part 5 was the finale, I made a few more adjustments and modifications that I thought would be beneficial to describe and record. It’s possible that this could go on for some time as things change and as I get used to using the camera rig and finding better ways to do things. I guess that’s the benefit of a camera rig that can be modified to suit one’s needs, but it’s also a double edged sward as you get tempted to modify things perhaps too much at times. Though I must admit, the changes that I’ve made have been for the better, especially as far as handling goes, and that’s the important thing over anything else. Mind you, I haven’t made that many changes to the overall structure of the rig, so it’s not like I’m moving the furniture around hoping for a better arrangement to arise. Continue reading