Video

A touristy day in Heidelberg

Last month, I mentioned that the duck and I took our new camera on a cinematic adventure after testing its photographic abilities at our raw cake munching session. Our chosen location: the romantic city of Heidelberg. Even though it’s a popular tourist destination and had been recommended to us as a fun place to explore by several people, the duck and I had never been. When our friend T suggested we accompany her on a day trip, we instantly accepted. She had planned to meet an old friend who’s also a semi-local and thus would double as our tour guide. While we all reminisced about the good old days and updated each other on what our shared friends and acquaintances were up to, the duck and I also made it a personal challenge to be perfect tourists and see as many famous Heidelberg sights as we could in our limited time in this picturesque city. Here’s how that (and our first outing with our new camera) went:

Working with slightly more stable video from our new camera was much more relaxing than trying to turn the shaky footage from our UK visit, taken by our non-stabilized mini camera, into something somewhat presentable. Now we only have to learn how to capture better video and audio. And familiarize ourselves some more with our editing software and learn how to use more of its tools. Maybe we should edit more videos… Later! At this moment, the duck and I need some well-deserved lazy time after spending way too many hours/days on a video that doesn’t look like we did… once again (and rushing to finish it as long as it was still winter for us because we don’t want to lie). And be glad we finally visited Heidelberg with our friend and have something to show for it.*

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… faraway couches

Earlier, I disclosed that having almost all our friends live at least an hours-long train ride away has taken a toll on the duck who is much more social than I am. We’ve had a long talk in which I apologized for not honoring the duck’s extravert needs, and the duck promised to give me a heads-up before sending off any villain-club application forms. Like the duck, I don’t love living far away from most of our friends. But I also think it isn’t all bad. When I asserted that in our discussion, the duck demanded scientific proof. I laughed. The duck stared at me with a straight face.

Befuddled, I grabbed a pen from my neverending stash, some paper, and a couch catalog for the duck to peruse as I composed this list:

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Faraway friends…

The duck and I have lived in a few different places. As have nearly all our friends. As a result, we don’t live near most of them these days. Seeing a friend face-to-face once or twice in a decade (if we’re lucky) has become the norm. In the past few years, however, the duck and my laziness has almost entirely squelched our ambition to travel (that, and that other thing). Because of that, we have delayed long overdue in-person get-togethers even more than usual. Fortunately, we can use the internet and snail mail (though our trust in the German postal service has reached a new low) to exchange life updates. Unfortunately, the duck and I are lazy, so it usually takes us months to respond to messages and arrange digital catch-up sessions. We’re lucky to have such understanding friends who don’t judge us too harshly (to our faces) for our intense laziness.
While I function well with little social interaction (past the everyday kind), it’s tough for the duck to have me, a self-proclaimed small-talk adversary, as the only available conversation partner most of the time. That’s why, a few months ago, the duck started striking up conversations with every dog, cat, horse, crow, goose, mouse, and earthworm we encountered on slow jogs or walks around the neighborhood. At first, I was happy the duck had found a way to satisfy those social cravings. However, a few weeks ago, I saw the duck had transitioned to engaging in lengthy one-sided conversations with characters inside the TV.

When I caught the duck composing an affectionate letter to an antagonist in a movie we hadn’t watched together in months, I realized I needed to pay more attention to what entertainment the duck consumes. I can’t have the duck join any fictitious villainous circles now, can I (note to self: revisit 1984 as a negative example)? Who knows what real-world repercussions that could have?! And maybe, just maybe, it’s also time we put away our laziness and do some more traveling so that we can once again catch up with physical friends on couches worldwide. Having had only one of those longer-distance catch-up trips in the past three years is embarrassing, even for someone as naturally reclusive as me. As is having the duck strike up imaginary friendships with not-very-nice people.

Video

Extra shaky UK travel memories

The last time the duck and I posted a video about one of our adventures on here, I mentioned that we were having trouble with our usual editing process. We were in a state of “meaning to look into other software and workflows” for two years. Finally, last month, when we reminisced about our delicious bento lunch, the duck and I did it; we reviewed some of our earliest video footage from a time when the duck was still whispering nocturnal messages about moving to Japan and starting a blog in my ear, and our tiny camera of choice was especially susceptible to my shaky camera work. And we finally (somewhat) familiarized ourselves with this editing software that’s been sitting on our computer, untouched, for a good year. Since we are lazy and masterful procrastinators, it took us most of this past week to finish about 80% of this video so that it would be ready today. We spread around 5% of the work over the summer and decided to save the remaining 15% for another project. You should always leave room for improvement, you know. So, today the duck and I present an edit of some footage from that fateful trip that solidified our plans to live in Japan for a while, planted the seed in our minds that we might want to try taking up jogging one last time… a few years later, started the duck’s fascination with trains, and gave us our (possibly our) first bento memory- all in less than a half week! We had a few bonus adventures after that. But for now, the duck and I are happy that we have some sort of video to share today:

After working on this for quite a bit longer than the end result suggests, the duck and I are surprised the footage wasn’t as terrible as we had remembered (or that our powerful editing software was able to salvage a lot of it). And we’re excited about next night’s absolutely restful sleep. Oh, the joys of being master procrastinators!

Have a wonderful day, everyone! We know we will!

Gallery

Seagulls!

(Stop it now!)
It’s summer. Unlike last year, when the duck and I mistook August for September, this year’s heat ensures we don’t. So far, we haven’t been on any fun beach adventures (except last month, in our imagination, when we wished we were on an island). So, we revisited our beach post from last year and remembered that our favorite vermin of the sky wasn’t nearly featured enough in our photographs. How highly untypical, considering I love constantly following them around with our camera friend! Today, we shall change that with this photographic selection featuring some of the duck and my favorite encounters with my favorite audacious spirit animal:

The duck still chuckles at the memory of me being personally welcomed (I’ll leave it at that) by a representative of the seagull clan. We had been observing the beach from the railing around a supermarket parking lot with a new acquaintance who promised me that my encounter signified luck. I reminded myself of that when I threw my jacket into the washing machine for a premature wash. Nonetheless, I remember last year’s beach memories, including those with our feathered rat friends, fondly 😆
P.S.: There is a song from the mid-2010s that has consolidated the duck and my seagull obsession. More on that some other time.

An unspecific timeline of a long layover

Even though the tagline of this blog was “adventures of the traveling duck” at some point, I wouldn’t consider the duck and myself frequent travelers. We’re too lazy and chronically broke for that. Despite that embarrassing lack of travel experiences for the self-proclaimed travel enthusiasts we are, there is one specific category of travel experiences that the duck and I could easily do without: spending too much time at Heathrow Airport. Some time ago, I learned that we would get to add another seven hours to the tally, this time bound to a comparatively tiny terminal 2, an experience the duck and I had been lucky to have avoided up until that point. Can you imagine the stress I felt beforehand, considering that falling asleep to then miss my flight or have my stuff stolen is one of my biggest travel fears? Thinking about all the things that could go wrong wasn’t fun. But the duck and I made it through and even ended up somewhat enjoying it –
airport memory duckwith the help of some purchased pals once the voluntary ones had left to catch their flight. This picture shows the duck among our seven-hour layover exploits, remembering this unexpectedly entertaining (and surprisingly expensive) airport session. Here’s how we got there: Continue reading

Gallery

An evening at the beach

Even though the duck and I sometimes forget about it (we actually spent the whole of August thinking it was September), the calendar reminds us that it is still summer. What a splendid opportunity to share some of our most recent beach photos:2021beachtrip 1 Continue reading

Gallery

Ravensburg

It seems that this is a summer of flashbacks. Well, let’s continue, then: About two years ago the duck and I got to explore Ravensburg, the town known for sticking its name on cat puzzles and family games about labyrinths and such. We love games, but, to be honest, we wouldn’t have visited Ravensburg if our friend Jl hadn’t suggested we come see her while she’s calling it her ‘tiny home’. Ravensburg isn’t that small, but after having just come from Tokyo it did seem very cute and cozy with its population of about 50,000. One of our favorite things about Ravensburg is that it has a medieval touch to it which made us regret a tiny bit that we didn’t bring one of our favorite fantasy novels along for the perfect setting (I’ve just realized that the duck and I might be obsessed with perfect reading circumstances). But we were there to see a friend we hadn’t seen in a while, so maybe it’s good that we didn’t. The duck and I took quite a few photos during our town exploration session. Here is a selection:

If you’re ever in Southern Germany, why not plan a day trip to Ravensburg? It’s pretty pretty if you ask the duck and me. If you’re not there to visit a friend, why not bring a novel to fit the setting?

Video

Oberstdorf revisited

Last week I mentioned that the duck and I have been working on a thing, and that we were having technical difficulties. In fact, they were so technically difficult that every single minute that I was working on this, I was wondering whether I was ever going to be able to finish it. I’m talking about the video that goes with last weeks photos.
It all started when I couldn’t use our usual mode of color correction, and then I couldn’t import our material, the editing program crashed consistently (I guess our sweet computer is getting too old for Avid) and when I had finally finished editing (or rather stopped at a place where what we had was ‘acceptable’ and even more crashes weren’t), we realized that the project was too complicated for our old computer to export. So, we looked at some more crashes. This morning, finally, I found yet another workaround, so that I can now present to you the product of months of tears and sweat and clenched teeth and beaks:

Oh well, at least we learned how to do basic color correction in Avid (and that we would probably constantly burn our hands in the fire that we spit out of maximum frustration if we ever were to become professional video editors), and the many ways you can export a video of which, luckily, one worked out for us. I’m not going to write any more about this. I’ve had enough. But not of cows and ducks. Never of cows and ducks!

Anyway, that’s enough rambling for now. The duck and I hope that you’ll be having a wonderful week and that you, as well, can go on exciting adventures in your imagination!