We ended up buying the e-bikes that I was thinking about. They've been great! Definitely happy to have a motor to help me up some of the steep hills in this neighborhood. Even with the electric motor at full, and on the lowest gear, some of them are quite tough, so I definitely wouldn't be managing this on a non-electric bike.
After a few trips out, my husband found a nice circular route for us to ride which has been our de facto route recently. It starts with a climb up a into some hilly neighborhoods, and just when I'm getting exhausted it ends with a nice downhill coast most of the way back home.
We got a little bit of rain last month so the hillsides are looking nice and green. Here's one of my favorite views from that route:
A few months ago, I was perusing the YouTubes, as one does while social distancing during a pandemic, and it served up a video review of an e-bike. It's been a while since I owned a bicycle, so the tech was new to me, and I watched enough videos that now YouTube thinks I'm an e-bike fanatic or something.
So after months of watching videos I thought, hey, I should try riding one of those things. So, today Heiðar and I went out to test ride a few.
At the first stop, I tried out a Trek Verve+ 2, and (I think) the Trek Verve+ 3. They were both quite nice! They've got a "mid-drive" electric motor, situated down between the pedals, that assists you as you pedal. Even if you turn it off completely, the bike rode quite nicely despite the extra weight.
At the second stop, we tried out a brand whose name I'll avoid mentioning. When their sales guy heard we'd tried a Trek earlier that day, he spent a lot of time telling us how bad it was. He claimed mid-drive motors are worse because they're harder to pedal when the assist is off. (I did not find this to be the case, and in fact, the bikes he was selling with hub drives in the wheels seemed harder to pedal with no assist.)
Still, he was nice and we each tested a few different models. I'm both out of practice and out of shape so we called it quits for the day, but I'm looking forward to trying some more later this week.
I'm trying to decide if the expense will be worth it. I'd like some activity to get me out of the house, and biking sounds fun. We're thinking e-bikes because the neighborhood we live in (and San Diego in general) is pretty hilly, so having something to help get up the steeper hills would be nice. But there's always the chance that after biking for a while the novelty will wear off and we'll have bought ourselves a couple expensive, electrified dust collectors.
FeoBlog v0.3.0 is out and it supports file attachments. Everyone knows The Internet is for pictures of your cat, so here we go.
It's funny. I'm way more interested in writing FeoBlog than posting to it. Sometimes I feel my own words are boring or tedious, so I'd rather just read others'.
I've been having fun working on the next version of FeoBlog. It's going to have comments, as well as some other features I worked on along the way. (Faster loading of items. Relative timestamps. Some style updates. Uhh... other stuff I've forgotten. Don't worry, there'll be a changelog. 😛)
Today I recorded a screencast demoing some of the features of FeoBlog. I'm excited to share it with the world, but first I had to brush up on my video editing skills. (... as if I had any to start with.)
If I were on a Mac, I'd probably have just used iMovie. But, since I recorded using OBS on my Windows PC, I thought I'd just edit the video there.
So Windows used to have an app called "Windows Movie Maker". Apparently that's just been folded into the Photos app in Windows 10. After I used OBS to "remux" my files to .mp4 files, Photos was able to edit them. Basic trimming worked, but when I went to export things, the resolution was limited to 1080p, though I'd recorded in 1440p.
I was a bit worried about things becoming blurry since some text was unfortunately already a bit small, so I looked for alternatives.
After some googling, I found that I needed to go to Settings → Display Method → OpenGL (instead of DirectX). That seemed to let it render my videos, but despite having really beefy hardware, things were still really sluggish.
I briefly tried out OpenShot, which has a much nicer site than Shotcut, but it had even more performance issues. (At one point, it took ~15 seconds to close after I'd clicked the close button, and all it was doing was playing back video clips I had put into the timeline.)
Back in Shotcut, I was able to edit things into a somewhat nice state. Tips for any beginners:
If playing video/audio becomes choppy, save the project and re-launch the application.
Save often. I found myself accidentally pressing keys that mapped to shortcuts I didn't know about. Having a restore point is handy.
Though the app tells you it'll auto-detect your video size & frame rate from the first video you attach, it does not seem to do so for 1440p. You'll need to add a custom video mode in Settings → Video Mode.
I'd neglected to do this, and my first export shrank my 1440p video to 1080p, then upscaled it back to 1440p since that was the export resolution I chose. Took me a while to figure out why just exporting my video had made it so blurry. 👎
Exports are still really slow, unfortunately. My 21.5 minute video is taking over an hour to export. It looks like a lot of operations may be CPU bound. I wonder if it would've been faster to just copy things over to my old MacBook Air and use iMove.
🐱 stares at my feet
🐱 looks up at my face, then at my feet
Oh! Uh... is this the first time you've seen me in socks? 😆
So we adopted a cat about a month ago. We named him Giles. There are some pics on Instagram.
It's been nice seeing him come out of his shell. He was quite shy when we got him. Before we let him have free roam of the apartment, he would hide behind between the shower curtain and the front of the tub. Once he had access to the whole apartment, he lived under the bed until we started fishing him out from under there and having "no bedroom access" time.
Now he'll happily spend time with us in the living room or in my office, even when he has access to his hiding spot. But sudden movements do still send him running for cover. We can't scold him for anything because he seems to constantly think he's already in trouble. Poor thing!
... on my personal account, at least.