I haven’t been knitting for the last couple years. My vision has been so bad, I just couldn’t see both my pattern notes and stitches well enough to work.
My cataracts were removed at the beginning of the year. It’s been a few months, and the ophthalmologist has been treating some diabetic changes in my left eye. It’s starting to improve.
Spinning, art work, and even sewing has also been on hold. It’s time to handle all of it.
First will be some needed projects for colder weather. Socks, fingerless gloves, knitted headband, a ruana or asymmetric front sweater. A triangular shawl that will be woven, then felted will be a nice addition in hand spun wool.
There is a substantial stash of yarn in both commercial and hand spun.
I’ve been having a rough time. Not to get into details, but I have multiple doctor appointments coming up.
My primary doctor is probably going to adjust my diabetes medications this week. That’s been the roughest bit.
Rahn and I are going to go to the gym this week. I really need to start getting some more exercise and so does Rahn.
One issue has been more backaches when I’m on my feet too long, so I plan to put in some exercise time in the pool at the gym. Some time on the stationary bike is also in my plan.
Another thought is to just do some walking around the property, but the backaches are making that less attractive.
Sleep hasn’t been great, either. My eyes have a tendency to drift open while I sleep so light can easily wake me. I either need to wear a sleep mask or darken my room some more. Then there is the temperature in my room. I like a cool room, but not too cool. It was either too cold or too warm in my room last night, so I need to find a better setting on the space heater.
The fall equinox was only five weeks ago, and now we’re getting a hard freeze this week. Sheesh.
It may even be a new record low for the date.
I have a new space heater in my office.
The image is from a while back when Rahn was installing most of the insulation in my office. That needs to get finished before the weather really gets cold.
We just got a new space heater for Rahn’s room. He likes the 3D wood fire effect.
Rahn is working on getting the living room organized today. He also detailed how he plans to build the raised planter boxes and a new mailbox / planter box combination.
I need to work on study and more writing today.
I just watched a quick video on product photography that will save me endless amounts of work getting images for Amazon Handmade.
Next tutorial is a 6 hour course on Adobe Premiere Pro.
I may go upstairs and get my sock knitting so I can put more attention on the tutorial. I also need to start some new knitting projects. I’d like a knit headband and fingerless gloves. A new sweater would be a nice thing to have.
Some Observations for Best Practices in YouTube (or other platform) Videos
A video has a very short period of time to catch a viewer’s attention, and a number of things can make a viewer click away. Here’s my nope list:
Obvious click-bait title
Badly-shot video with dizzy, jerking camera motion
Bad audio without noise cancellation
Unpleasant, grating voice or difficult to understand accent
Disorganized content, slow & boring
Too-loud or poorly chosen background music
Video is just too long
Too common topic / overdone content
Good writing, some investment in basic equipment and software can avoid many of these. An honest assessment of the speaker’s voice and delivery is needed.
Showing, not telling, can be very effective. One channel that I watch regularly has no narration at all, not even captions. The projects shown are interesting and the pace of the video allows me to follow the steps. I am researching, not plagiarizing their ideas. I’ll be making my own videos with my take on the content.
Using tripods will cut way down on the annoying camera motion. Where I would normally hand-hold, I’ll help stabilize my camera with a monopod. My camera also has an anti-shake program. I also have an inexpensive “B” camera for a different angle.
I just got a decent set of wireless lapel mics, and I will be taking advantage of the audio processing within Adobe.
Rahn and I both have pleasant speaking voices without a lot of accent, though Rahn is unmistakably a Texan. I’ve picked up some Texanisms, but I’ve bounced around the country enough that my own accent has been moderated.
Practice of scripts and experience will improve pacing and understanding. Another help is using titles and text within the video and staying off camera. If a craft video, hands and art work with off-camera narration would be more effective.
When speeding up motion to edit the duration, make sure camera audio is off. Few things are more annoying than unintelligible squeaks.
I prefer instrumental music for background. Vocals add another layer of complexity during editing. Adobe has some powerful tools to adapt and remix audio to match audio with what is going on in the video.
Edit, edit, watch again, trim the length, edit some more. Study other videos. Compare with as honest an appraisal as possible.
Rahn and I were discussing when we plan to get more chicks.
There are a number of good hatcheries. We use Murray McMurray. We’ve always had good results with their chicks.
Chickens are a great choice for even a person beginning a off-grid lifestyle. They are pretty easy to keep healthy and you get breakfast!
I plan to order chicks to arrive in mid-March. That way, they’ll have a period inside and go to a sheltered brooder pen after last frost in early April.
This year we’ll order all females. I’m not sure on breeds this year. I’d like some more Brahmas. Because of a bird flu disaster at Murray McMurray, I wasn’t able to get any last year. Brahmas are generally considered to be a breed better suited to cold areas, but have done quite well here regardless.
Rahn plans to send the rest of the roosters to freezer camp (Yes, that’s an euphemism for slaughter, clean and freeze for food.) at some point this winter.
Historically, food animals were processed during the fall when the weather cooled and before food for animals ran short. People kept the animals that they planned to breed for the next generation, or needed to keep for eggs or milk.
New chicks arrive at our post office only a couple days after they hatch. The post office calls me as soon as they arrive, so I can drive in to pick them up.
We set up a brooder box indoors for their first week with a heat lamp, chick starter food, and a chick waterer. We get each chick to drink, and make sure that they are warm enough. We don’t want the chicks to have to pile up to get warm. That’s a fast way to get chicks to smother the smaller and weaker chicks.
We keep them indoors until they have feathered out. When we do take them outdoors, we keep them in a protected part of the chicken run apart from the older birds until they are large enough to not get bullied.
The best time to integrate the new birds with the older birds is after dark. The two groups have had a couple weeks with a fence between them, and after dark the birds are more interested in sleeping than chasing each other around.
Most breeds of chickens start to lay eggs at about six months of age.
Planning some things for this week. I need to do a lot of study, writing, and work on production.
I need to get my head wrapped around Adobe Premier Pro as well as the YouTube Creator programs.
I’ve curated quite a few YT videos for various categories. “Nerd Stuff” includes various technical tutorials. Adobe platform, solar energy, even some Ham radio. I went through and changed the play order of the tutorials so all of the Premiere Pro was in the order I want at the beginning of the folder. This is several hours of tutorials.
I need to put together a number of new posts for the website, posts on Substack (and website posts can be duplicated on Substack) and start writing scripts for new YouTube videos.
I’d like to make at least two dozen posts this week.
This is where I really need to put my attention. I need to organize my YouTube channels, organize my supplies, and come up with an extensive project list.
There are several main divisions in the themes in our website, and this will be duplicated with different YT channels. There are also other video platforms, and I need to look into getting set up on them also.
Homestead – Talking about construction, off grid power and water, heating and light
Farm – Animals, gardening and harvesting
Music and Art – Learning Saxophone, Rahn’s guitar and bass, my various art projects.
Fiber and Fabric – Spinning, weaving, sewing, raising flax and cotton
Recovering Health and Fitness – Cooking and food storage, diet, exercise, and posts in conjunction with my doctor. He practices with a Christian perspective, and wishes to express some advice and reassurance that something can be done to improve medical issues.
Organizing supplies needs to happen. I have paints, fabrics, sewing supplies, sculpting tools and air dry clay, wood burning tools, jewelry supplies, embroidery threads and tools. Once I can get them in order I can start turning out projects for sale on Amazon Handmade with video tutorials of the making of them.
A short list of planed projects includes:
Bead pendant necklaces Embroidered and beaded bracelets Sculpted multimedia boxes Sculpted knitting bowls
Beaded stitch markers
This list needs to be considerably expanded with specifics.
I just had to replace my router. While there are no moving parts, routers suffer from power surges and can short out.
This radio power supply died of a direct lightning strike. Not mine, thank heaven! You can see that it got completely blasted. The owner stated that the outside antenna, the surge protector / power bar, the radio power supply and the router were all destroyed. Fortunately the house had a good ground and there was not a fire, and his computers and TVs were all okay.
Storm damage hit a couple of the local internet towers. This one lost the top thirty feet or so.
And this one completely broke over the building and took several weeks to replace.
Another tower took a lightning strike and most of the radios had to be replaced. That took about a week and a lot of climbing. When it’s over one hundred feet up, it takes a fit and fearless person to handle the job!
Of course, the tower climber is not going up when there are still electric storms in the area!
From October 15 to December 7 every year is the Annual Enrollment Period, where you can change certain things about your Medicare. The deluge from “agents” (read: sharks) has the one upside that you can’t say you didn’t know about it.
The attempts to shock or scare people into changing things that may not be to their benefit can be overwhelming.
This is also when the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment for the next year is announced.
I just looked at the damage.
The Cost of Living Adjustment this year is a paltry 3.2 percent, when my real world cost of living has gone up by at least 10 percent on groceries, and 30 percent on gasoline. Neither of which are included in the official figures.
The premium for Medicare part B has a $10 / month increase. My agent tells me that part G generally goes up 3 to 7 percent yearly. I don’t know what the part D premium increase will be yet. I expect that my COLA will be swallowed up by increased Medicare costs.
A third of my social security income goes right back out to pay for my Medicare. I can’t do anything about it, but at least I have the coverage.
Yesterday I finished wrapping up leaving the promotional project. I believe I have managed to become more philosophic than shocked by the loss.
If you don’t fail, you aren’t trying new things.
This image is a 3D printed electric spinning wheel known as a Nano. It’s a lot of fun, and I have toyed with the notion of taking it to the gym and spin while spinning on the stationary bike.
I think that would be a cute video. Not today, however. Rahn is having a lot of back pain yesterday and today. I was hoping we could go to the gym today, but he is not feeling up to a ride in the truck.
I have an appointment today and some errands. I’m planning on sitting down at my large spinning wheel when I get home and work on spinning flax.
My Jensen spinning wheel was built for me thirty years ago by a skilled wheelwright in Wisconsin. I have spun miles and miles and miles of yarn with it.
This pile of yarn was spun on my Jensen wheel and is about two sheep’ worth of wool.