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!


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!


Day 23: Solving the “Die Hard” Christmas movie debate

The duck and I are super excited for Christmas. Actually, I have been so excited that I’ve come down with a cold (what did I bake that second batch of Christmas cookies for if I can’t taste them?). That, however, means that the duck and I had plenty of time to watch Christmas movies and to come up with a proposal that shall forever end the debate whether Die Hard can be considered a Christmas movie. Sharpen your cookie-cutters and see for yourself:

Movie execs, call us!
Do you consider the original Die Hard movie to be a Christmas movie?
(The gingerbread remake, of course, would be one of the best Christmas movies out there!)


My dog sells hats 2.0

We finally did it, you guys! The duck and I finally finished the second dog story that we may have mentioned waaay back when we first stumbled across our favorite Duolingo sentence (to this day): 私の犬は帽子を売ります。My dog sells hats. After months of lazing around drawing furiously, we finally gave up on finished the visual representation of the story about our hat-selling dog. Enjoy!

Actually, it took the duck and me so long to work on this that we are not even sure that this gem of a sentence even still exists on Duolingo. But we sure hope so, as within it lies a great potential to save lives (or at least to brighten up someone’s day)!
That shall be it for our 99th post. We’ll sleep for at least 99 days now!

Duck, dog and me – OUT!


After some more walking… in Akita

Oh my gosh, you guys! It happened! The duck and I have decided to finally resurface after our prolonged absence that was a fun mix of extreme laziness and working on this last (at least in a while) Japan video that has taken us so much longer to edit than all the other ones, partly because our wonderful microphone decided to be even more dramatic and rebellious than usual by recording so irregularly that we couldn’t even fix it in post (or maybe I’m just incompetent, or maybe it’s a mixture of the both) which meant re-recording the voice-over over and over for it to be at least somewhat consistent. My hereditary inability to properly enunciate at times did not make this any easier, neither did the duck’s conviction that “one should only reveal one’s voice once a certain degree of fame is reached” (yeah, whatever).
Anyway, after giving up on having perfect sound (I hope it’s not too intrusive), we actually did finish editing this video and can now finally add some movement to our Akita photo sessions and that wonderful oshiruko that we had a while back. So, sit back and enjoy another installment of Sometimes My Camera Work Is Particularly Shaky.

That’s the video. I hope you enjoyed our little Japan adventure video diaries and can’t wait to go back to the duck and my days of complete laziness.
Actually, we’ll do that right now.


Climbing Mt. Takao in spring

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? The duck and I have been enjoying our (way too hot) summer and just could not escape this mean heat-induced laziness that kept us from updating our blog… until a few days ago, that is, when we finally decided to tackle all that extra-shaky footage we got during our climb up Mt. Takao back in early spring. Because it was the middle of the popular sakura season, that one short week that makes everyone pack their picnic sheets or don their hiking gear, the mountain was pretty crowded for a weekday and we even got to follow a TV crew around (can you find them in the video?) that, same as the duck and me, thought that climbing Tokyo’s resident mountain with a few trees that were blooming in pretty shades of white and pink along the way was even cooler and totally smart when you wish death upon all the evil pollen! Anyway, I’ll quit the rambling now and finally present to you this one video that the duck and I were not sure would ever come to see the light of day :

This time we decided to go back to our first two videos and spare you the weird rambling that graces the more recent ones. I hope you appreciate that, hahahahahah!

That shall be it for now.

Too. Much. Typing… Can’t. Move. My. Fingers!


“An afternoon in Kichijoji” is NOT the title of our video

This post concludes our little Kichijoji series that we started over a month ago but didn’t get to continue due to unforeseen circumstances (of laziness).
A few (ehehe) weeks ago, before we were even thinking about cherry blossoms, the duck and I spent an afternoon wandering around this pretty neighborhood, accompanied by my loyal camera and weak arms. Actually, this video is a contribution to the Wandering Bard – a wonderful project that I can highly recommend checking out!
Now, feast your eyes on our beautiful, characteristically shaky, camera work and your ears on those weird mumbles that I’m considering sparing you from in the future, at least in the next video or so (you’re welcome):

We hope you liked this most recent manifestation of our weirdness and are looking forward to welcoming you to our next moving picture (in the least glorious sense possible) in another three months or so, hahahahaha!

Your movie stars,

the duck and I


Seeing off Autumn in Kyoto

Now that we’re in the middle of winter and constantly complaining about the cold, the duck and I thought that it’s the perfect time to look back on our little trip to Kyoto back in December (where it was also freezing, but at least it was still fall). Of course we took my camera with us to document all the pretty sights we were sure we would come across. And I’m super glad we did because now we can share all those pretty things we got to see with everyone who has found their way onto this blog:

The camera work is still pretty shaky, but editing this filled me with so much joy (this is definitely my favorite video editing adventure on this blog so far – well, it was, until it took me two days to figure out how to export the video with kinda decent audio levels) because autumn is the duck and my favorite season and autumn in Kyoto with wonderful company adds at least three extra layers of awesome on top of our love for it (and all its food)!
But, man, Kyoto sure was cold! And, even though we did miss the peak of the autumn leaves (紅葉) which, we thought, would leave us with fewer tourists because the very keen would have come in November, we learned a valuable lesson during our trip:

In Kyoto it’s always peak season!

That’s unbeleafable!


Stalking people in Hikarigaoka

Some weeks ago the duck and I were in Hikarigaoka and decided to go people watching there. We did not come to any conclusions but we made a video about our little journey and discoveries. After failing again to please our self-proclaimed top video music critic in our Shibuya to Shinjuku journey documentation (apparently the track is featured in every other video on Youtube) I decided to, instead, take on a good friend’s constructive criticism and give the whole video thing (yet) a(nother) makeover. What do you think?

The camera work is shakier than ever which I think gives our videos a charming touch of incapability, don’t you think?

Anyway, after having spent way too much time on narrating and editing this little collection of moving images, I’ll have my imported Sainsbury’s lemon ginger tea now and then I will not give the duck a back massage (where do all of those crazy ideas come from, duck?!).


Walking from Shibuya to Shinjuku

Why are we always so slow to post updates, you ask? Well, let me tell you a little story instead: The other day the duck and I had an appointment in Shibuya. After getting lost for nearly half an hour despite using a map, we had to record our first severe instance of being late in Japan. That was a bit of a shock! After the meeting, we decided to walk it off on a little stroll from Shibuya to Shinjuku – to get some exercise (okay, we wanted to save money. That’s the main reason. But we did walk quite a bit, so there was an exercise aspect to it, too). I had taken my camera with me so I could document this strenuous walking tour through the blazing afternoon sun because if we do something as stupid as that, you can bet your bottom yen that we’ll let everyone know about it! This is the little video that came out of this exhausting hike through the wilderness (of Tokyo).
For my previous attempt at making a video, I got feedback that it was pretty “lame,” so for this one, I tried something a little bit different. Now, please sit back and take part in our walk from Shibuya to Shinjuku (see what I did there?):

We hope you enjoyed the product of our two-week editing adventure. I will work on my arm strength for less shaky videos, so maybe there will be more. One day. If we have the time… and energy. But first, we gotta change the water in our footbaths.

Duck, be so kind as to fetch me some of those herbs from the shrubbery behind our house, will you? No? Ugh… brb.