Algonquin Park to Ottawa at 16,000 KM per hour – or, how to beat an erroneous YouTube Copyright claim

As we were leaving Algonquin Park at the end of August, I decided I would try the time lapse feature in iOS on my nifty new iPhone SE to make a short video highlighting the drive home.

I used my trusty hand-held tripod and phone mount and turned it on and off at various points on the trip. Next time, I’ll see about some kind of mount so I don’t have to hold it.

Initially, this was going to be done real quick. Then I crashed into the wall of reality at Mach 13. There was WTL confetti everywhere.

I decided on a minute long video to make it quick and digestible, then started looking through my library of music that I have rights to use online.

After an hour of flailing around through my collection, I couldn’t find anything that met my… acoustic vision, so it occurred to me that I had a copy of GarageBand installed.

After a few minutes of reacquainting myself with GarageBand, I started clicking on samples and began to build the piece. Forty minutes later, I had something I was happy enough with, and finished under my self-imposed one hour deadline.WTL-2016-Algonquin-to-Ottawa-Background

I exported the video with the music mixed in, uploaded it to YouTube, and made a note to myself to write up a blog post for the following Monday to release it.

Later that day, I received notification from YouTube that there had been a copyright claim made against my freshly-uploaded video.YouTube Copyright Claim notification

I read through my options, and decided I would dispute it; it *was* all my content after all.

Fortunately, I tend to keep things, so I re-opened the GarageBand project for the tune and made a quick screen recording video explaining how I made it, and played the song through, commenting on a few parts, exported it and dropped it into my Dropbox public folder, and wrote my response:
The video was shot on my iPhone. The music was composed by me in
Garageband using the default samples installed by Apple. Here’s a video of the Garageband project:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/xxxxxxx/Garageband-of-Algonquin-Park-to-Ottawa-2016-09-23.mp4

This part was pre-written:

I have a good faith belief that the claim(s) described above have been made in error. and that i have the right(s) necessary to use the contents of my video for the reasons I have stated. I have not knowingly made any false statements, nor am I intentionally abusing this dispute process in order to interfere with the rights of others. I understand that filing fraudulent disputes may result in termination of my YouTube account. I understand that my video will be viewable by the claimant(s) so that they can review my dispute.
YouTube Copyright dispute filing

Satisfied, I clicked Submit and waited. Four days later, I received an email stating that the copyright claim to my material had been released.YouTube Copyright claim released

In the scheme of things, I think it went pretty well – I’ve read of other folks having a nightmare of a time. I’m glad I thought to make the video documenting the GarageBand project showing how I arrived at the final piece.

The song is available for your use licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License and can be found on the audio samples page. I’ve even included the Garageband project to make changing it easier.

If enough people would like, I’ll whip up a quick tutorial on how I made the tune in Garageband (basically a lot of clicking and listening).

Thank you all for saying yes.

This all started when I found out my friend Laurie was too ill to make it to this year’s Ottawa ComicCon. Over Skype we plotted a few ways she could visit the convention safely – I suggested we get her a functioning biohazard suit with mask – a cool *and* functional costume.

While that would likely keep her safe, it wasn’t worth the risk, so she reluctantly stayed home.

Working the Ottawa Browncoats booth is fun; we basically hang out, promote our big fundraiser in September and generally just talk to Browncoats and sometime encourage people who haven’t seen it to watch it. I promised to take plenty of photos; which I did do, but I had an idea.

I started asking people who stopped by the booth if I could take their photo and record video of them wishing Laurie to get well soon.

This is where I was impressed with the ComicCon community. Every single person or group I asked immediately said yes, and I rapidly accumulated over seventy videos plus a few that Tracey (my wife) and Gailene shot.

My goal was to surprise Laurie, so I had to construct a bit of a ruse at the beginning of the video so she would think that it was just a bunch of photos set to music, then started the get-well videos.  If you want to jump straight to the well-wishes, here you go.

I’m pleased to report that the video worked as I’d hoped. She was surprised and moved.

As a community, I thought it was important point out that a bunch of people spending a two minutes each of time can really help someone going through a tough time. Thank you all for saying yes; it reaffirmed my confidence in people.

Sometimes, it’s the little things, right?

A new desk with a wacky video

Freshly installed standing desk

Freshly installed standing desk

Since our move in August, I’d been using Tracey’s old desk, and since then I’ve been researching standing desk options. I looked at about ten different manufacturers over the months, and narrowed it down to my final choice:

An UpDesk Maple Series 3 medium standing desk.

The desk lists for $999USD on their site. Taking shipping (~$250USD) and the unfavourable exchange rate, the desk ended up costing me about $1,500 CND.  Not cheap by any stretch, but I’d been putting money aside for it for a while.

I’ve been using it daily since March 9th, and I have to say, I really like it – except that the digital readout is in inches and not metric (come on America, throw off one of the last shackles of British Imperialism), but UpDesk has been working with me to resolve that.

Once I stopped playing with the bubble wrap that covered everything (it’s free fun therapy!), I got the desk assembled pretty quickly.  Then I drilled a couple of extra holes and mounted a power bar underneath the desk to reduce the number of cables going up and down, and zip-strapped the bundle of cables to make it look cleaner.

I also took the opportunity to clean out my Mac Pro and change some things around before reconnecting everything.

Having a standing desk has had a profound effect on me – I love being able to stretch, stand on one leg, two, shift my weight around, and (somewhat alarmingly) has led to a dramatic increase in my dancing on the spot while working and listening to tunes.

I’ve noticed a productivity boost too – I seem to be getting more done, which is always awesome.

One other thing I’ve been trying is twice a day (morning and night) is to lower the desk about ten centimetres and doing horse stance for as long as I could and continue working. Initially, it was a touch over two minutes. As of today, I’m up to three minutes. I’m going to try lowering it another few centimetres to lower my stance, but I’m not that flexible, but I’m working on it.

I don’t stand all day – I still have my fancy-dancy chair which is currently stowed under my desk and I alternate, but I do largely stand most of the time.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that it’s improved my posture considerably. If I catch myself slouching, I raise the desk a bit more, which forces me to stand up properly, with my back straight.

Okay, okay. I promised you a video. Enjoy!

I’m fortunate that my friend Chandra (who happens to be a local professional belly dancer) was here having a new dance costume worked on (for those of you who don’t know, my wife makes bridal wear, dance costumes, and other custom projects), and when I pitched the idea, she didn’t need any convincing that this would be funny.

Sprocket on the other hand wasn’t as keen on the concept, but with a bit of motivation thanks to some bacon bits, she got with the program too.

And of course, Tracey helped out because she’s awesome like that.

Lowertown snow clearing operations: A dance of machines.

Ever wonder what goes into clearing the snow off the streets of Ottawa? I got curious too, and took the opportunity one night to record the whole thing, then edited it down to a manageable two and a half minutes for you:

By the time everything was done, just shy of three in the morning, I was surprised by the number of vehicles required to do the job properly. A dance of machines.

How to rotate video with QuickTime X

This is something that I get asked reasonably often and thought I’d make a quick video to show just how easy it is.

The process is simple; open the video in question in QuickTime, go up to the Edit menu, go down to the Rotate Left or Rotate Right and select it. You’ll see there are also options to flip the video horizontally or vertically as well.

Once done, click to close the window, and save the video. All done!