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Why did I write this down?

March 28, 2014

I just don’t know what this was all about.

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My Hip Flexors

June 21, 2011

I keep thinking about posting an entry. I keep thinking about it but when it comes time to do it, well…

So. Here I go!

My lower back is bothering me and I think my mattress is partially to blame. It’s the left side of my back mostly. It’s tight, there’s a knot and it’s making life unpleasant. My husband and I were at the Cincinnati Zoo this past weekend and there was so much standing and walking my back started to get to me and I got much more tired over the course of the zoo visit than I should have.

I believe that some muscles are in constant spasm because of weakness and inflexibility in my leg muscles and I think it’s rooted  in the fact that I was carrying around a large fibroid tumor on the left side of my uterus until Dec. 2009. And my abdominal muscles are still adjusting and recovering from the surgery to remove said tumor and uterus.

So I feel like a mess.

I stretch a lot and I’ve been going to the gym to do strength training and that has made me realized how weak my hip flexors and abductors are. Here’s a look at the hip flexors. I think my Psoas Major on the left side is particularly troublesome.

Hip Flexors provided by Beth ohara

When I Googled hip flexors I found a recommendation on laurensfitness.com to do overhead lunges. I found this type of lunge referenced for flexibility at this site as well. I’m going to try these asap.

They look like this.

Over head lunges on Stronglifts.com.

The other thing I need to do is get back into doing a regular yoga practice.  The Warrior I and II poses provide a good hip flexor stretch (Warrior I especially).

Warrior I from Yogajournal.com.

That’s one of the things that’s  been on my mind lately.

I’ll talk about the massage I got in the next post.

Change of Direction or Simply an Expansion

June 3, 2011

So this is supposed to be my blog about being an Information Technology professional and I’ve written a few things about my life in IT, specifically the things I do for work.  But lately I’ve found that I’m just not inspired to write this blog. I’ve written about podcasting which is most of what I do at work so I  wonder what else is there to say?

I considered just scrapping the IT idea and writing about the things that do inspire me but I’ve got this url lauraontech.wordpress.com. The word tech would lead people to believe that this is a blog about technology so how could I change the focus? I would have to just scrap it and start a new blog with a more apt url.

But then I thought “what if I expand my concept of technology?” What is technology anyway? I googled the word and found this in Wikipedia:

Technology is the making, usage and knowledge of tools, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or serve some purpose.

Okay do I have problems to solve in my life? Is there a purpose to my existence?

The answer to those questions is yes. That being said, what are the tools I use to solve problems and give my life purpose? What is my technology?

So that’s the new focus. That’s what I’ll explore.

And I think I need to adjust the blog’s title. So I will.

Little by Little

April 26, 2011

I’ve been watching Illustrator CS5 Essential Training on Lynda.com.

Here are two things I’ve done so far. Not much but it’s a start. I’m actually using the clip of the piece of paper in IT Help Quickcast #75.

First Things First

April 15, 2011

I sometimes describe myself as a frustrated graphic designer or a graphic designer wanna-be. I don’t think I can ever be a “real” graphic designer for a few reasons.

First, I don’t draw very well. I’m slowly learning how to draw. I’m getting better at it and I enjoy doing it but I’m not there yet.

The first reason leads to the second reason. I don’t have any formal training in art or design and I probably won’t ever get such training because I have a day job and a husband and a father. My spare time goes to fitness and then thinking about my various hobbies.

So I don’t know the rules of design, I don’t know color theory. I don’t even know all of the things that I don’t know.

What to do  with my frustration?

Make art!

I’ve been flirting with digital scrapbooking for some years and now I think it’s time to get serious about it. I think it’s time to set some goals.

Goal 1. Get better at Adobe Photoshop

Goal 2. Learn Adobe Illustrator

Goal 3. Start scrapbooking and doing other art. Maybe eventually sell that art. Or just enjoy doing it.

Goal 4: Stop talking about and thinking about doing things and actually do things.

Yeah those goals need to be refined. I need specifics, I need to set dates but hey at least I’m thinking of it and saying it out loud in a blog.

I have been watching videos about Illustrator on Lynda.com and I’ve been playing with the software. I’m not clueless anymore and that’s a start.

The other thing I’m thinking of to make life more interesting is to see what it would take to become a technology trainer. More on that in a future post.

What’s All this Then?

March 28, 2011

So I know  a little bit about video and audio production. I know very little but it seems to be just enough to create the kinds of productions that my colleagues are looking for. The question I have for myself is do I want to know more? Do I want to know enough about this stuff to move to the next professional level?

Right now I’m observing the guys in UITS’ Media Design and Production group set up for CIO Brad Wheeler’s presentation about the new UITS building. They’re shooting video of the talk and streaming it live on the web and there’s a remote site so it’s also a video conference. There’s a PowerPoint presentation that will be displayed so that will get patched in (patched is probably not the word I want)  separately from the video of Brad. There’s a lot of audio sources too. Audio will need to sound good to people at the remote site and audio from the remote site has to sound good. People at that site will be asking questions. In the main location there is a microphone at the podium for Brad and there are mics to pick up sound in the room.

To make sure this event goes off without a hitch the guys started setting up about a day in advance. They do this type of thing a lot so they’ve created a portable tv studio rack.

MDP’s manager Ralph Zuzolo explained the equipment setup to me and  I’m thinking wow this stuff is complicated and wow I need to go to broadcasting school to learn how  to do this. Ralph tells me that he actually went to film school.

I do want to learn more so I’m looking for resources in the podcast arena. I discovered the DV Show podcast which is more than just a podcast. The DV Show website has lots of resources including tutorials for video specialists. In the podcast the host answers listener questions about digital video production. I found that most of the questions were about stuff that was either way over my head or of not much interest to me at the moment.

I started following the DV Show’s Twitter feed and found that some of the  tutorials they reference there are only available to subscribers. The subscription cost is $5/month after an initial $39 dollars which isn’t bad but I’m not sure if I’m ready to commit to using the site at all.

Do I really want to go deeper?  I was looking at a few of the videos I’ve done in the past and I thought “that’s not bad.” I think I have a knack for this work but all of the talent in the world won’t do me any good unless I do some hard work and serious learning.

The IT Help Podcast-A Brief History (Part 3)

March 3, 2011
tags:

Step Three: Record the voice over.

So the script is written and printed out. I take the the script, my Macbook Pro, the  little box that contains my microphone, mic stand and preamp and a cup of tea or coffee into a conference room. It’s a conference room not a studio. There’s no special treatment on the walls to absorb the sound, but there is a thermostat so I can turn off the heat or air conditioner if it comes on. I think the main reason I go into a conference room is for privacy and so people don’t have to hear me. My microphone (a Shure PG-48) is unidirectional or cardioid so it doesn’t pick up much background noise. It does however pick up the sound of my cats meowing when I record at home .

I record the script and edit out my mistakes as I go. I use Apple’s GarageBand

GarageBand screenshot.

Click image to enlarge.

by the way. I’ve been using it since day one of these podcasts. I like the way my voice sounds with the ‘Female Narrator’ effect and I like having background music loops available to use for the music bed. The recording is exported to iTunes as an .m4a. I convert it to .wav so it’s Camtasia compatible.

Step Four: Putting it together with Camtasia.

Camtasia Studio screenshot.

Click image to enlarge.

Here’s where I record the PowerPoint animations with Camtasia. Each animated screen is saved as a .camrec file and appears in the clip bin for the project. There’s a video track and two more audio tracks. The second audio track is for the music bed. Lately I’ve been using Creative Commons licensed music from Jamendo.com.

Through the magic of editing I put it all together render it out in iPod format with a separate .mp3 file for the audio only version.

I use iTunes t0 insert metadata and then I upload the final product to the IU podcast portal, podcast.iu.edu.

Metadata in iTunes.

Click image to enlarge.

This is quite an involved process but I’ve been doing it so long that I’ve developed a worflow for myself that works.

Time to move on to another topic I think.