Day 693 – Crisis averted. Stand down, Vlad.

Months of build-up, rhetoric and sabre-rattling have brought us to the point where a Russian invasion of Ukraine seems basically guaranteed, despite the repeated assurances of Putin and his government that they have no such plans.

It’s a crisis situation. Numerous envoys from numerous countries have tried – and seemingly failed – to negotiate some sort of solution to the potential invasion. In truth, it’s quite difficult to threaten sanctions or military action in order to get someone to not do what they say they aren’t going to do anyway.

But when all else has failed, if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them…
maybe you can hire The A-Team Namibia.

Clearly, other countries weren’t quite sure what exactly was required between Russia and Ukraine, and this was probably a bit of a stumbling block in any negotiations. Imagine you go in to chat to Vlad. He asks you what you want, you say that you don’t want him to invade Ukraine. He laughs and says he’s not going to do that anyway, so why are you here, what do you need? You stumble… er… I don’t really know. Why are you here? What is needed? A cup of tea would be nice, please. Hold the Novichok. Thanks.

Not Namibia. They’re bang in there with the big statements, like:

Peace needed between Russia, Ukraine.

That wisdom, tho’!

The world had been on the edge of its seat, hanging on a thread, attached to a tenterhook, awaiting Namibia’s thoughts. And now those thoughts have arrived and they say: Peace needed between Russia, Ukraine.

Cometh the hour, cometh the second least densely populated sovereign nation on the planet.

The crisis has been averted. Stand down, Vlad. As you were.

First try

Let’s run you through the timeline here.

In January, I got the Mavic. And when the South-Easter had subsided for a few moments, I flew the Mavic and I took some photos. And then I took a lot more photos. And taking photos was rather fun and editing photos was rather straightforward, because I had taken and edited photos previously.

Videos, though? Videos were much harder. Not only had I never really shot or edited videos before, but I also had to learn to try and fly the Mavic at the same time. And that was basically too much stuff for my small brain to handle in one go.
Thus, I was dealing with poor quality footage and basically no skill: really not a great combination. Oh, and to add insult to that poor quality footage and basically no skill, the Mavic’s output was so good (in digital terms) and so big that my computer couldn’t handle it.

And so, a new computer and a some new editing software was called for. And that’s how I ended up with a new laptop with more RAMs, and a subscription to Adobe Premiere Pro (“Pro”? Me? Lol!) CC 2018. It should be noted that I still don’t have much good footage to go with these sparkly new additions yet, because only now I have them do I see what sort of good footage I need.

So, with all those disclaimers piling up against the door so that I don’t have to face the slings and arrows of outrageous criticism, here’s some footage that I shot on our Orange River trip back in April, hastily cobbled together and popped onto Youtube. Do watch it in one of the 3 different HD options, because the Mavic does HD very nicely.

I’d like to think that my flying skills have improved quite a lot since I shot this back in April. And I’d also like to think that my editing skills will also improve with more practice and better raw material.

So this goes down as a benchmark. Something to look back on in n months or years and see how far I have come. To that end, please be gentle: I, more than anyone else, recognise that this is far from perfect. If it was perfect, then I would be wasting my time trying to improve, wouldn’t I?

No post is good post

I almost forgot to blog again. Yikes.

We did a bit of (expensive) shopping for our upcoming trip today. I can’t bring myself to share how much we spent, but it was “significant”. April 2017 will therefore be a month remembered for the number of meals consisting of 2 minute noodles or dry Salticrax. And – hopefully – a really good trip to Namibia. The food on that one was included in the price of the holiday, so at least we’ll be able to eat for a few days.

Right now, I need to sit down and relax in a large tub of decent brandy, as I try to forget our spending today.

Also, mental note to self: how are you going to blog while you’re away?
If you get a house sitter and a beagle sitter, can do you also get a blog sitter?
Maybe I need one of those to remind me to blog on the days when I am here…

Photos and the NDCA

I have put a whole four photos up onto Flickr. [Author’s note: Actually, there should be another one. I wonder where it went?] You can see them here. We had some fun once the wind had dropped a bit on Monday evening, although my night shots aren’t really improving much.
Sadly, the wind didn’t drop enough for any Mavic fun.

And talking of the Mavic, there’s not going to be a lot more from me today because I’m spending my spare time filling in a FSS-GEN-FORM 081/14 form for the Namibian Directorate of Civil Aviation in the hope that I can take my little flying friend there next month.

They’ve been super helpful with their communication so far, but blimey, guv – they want quite a lot of information!