Dennis Spielman

The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

2015-07-24 Crop Circles-01

“Crop Circles”

Leslie and I took a bike ride Friday morning and she noticed these “crop circles” near the OU campus.

MOB Grill Interview

For Uncovering Oklahoma, I did a mafia inspired interview from inside my car truck with food truck owner, Seth Barker, of MOB Grill. The whole thing started off as a silly joke on Twitter when I tweeted:

MOB Grill replied saying it sounded like a fun idea and after an email exchange to make sure they were seriously interested, we actually filmed the interview in my car trunk. We of course took safety precautions. Leslie stood outside the car, the trunk was never completely closed, the car was equipped with a handle inside the trunk, and the back seats to the trunk were down as well. We both got hot and sweaty rather fast, but it was quick interview and it was worth it to do something unique.

After the video was released, Seth sent me an email saying, “That is AWESOME!!! The video is fantastic, you did a phenomenal job! My phone is blowing up with people talking about. WOW! Thanks a million times over!” His response made my day.

This was my first time using my new Panasonic GH4 camera for an interview. Still learning everything about it. I’m happy as to how well this whole video turned out!

Road Trip: Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Turner Falls

Today I took a road trip to doing some hiking at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur, Oklahoma. I was there last fall and wanted to go back to see the area filled with water since the drought ended last month.

During the trip, I also stopped at Bedré Fine Chocolates for some chocolates of course and the scenic lookout for Turner Falls in Davis, Oklahoma. Above are my favorite pictures from the trip.

First Impressions: Pebble Time

Pebble Box
I was part of the group of the first 10,000 Kickstart backers who got the early bird special for the new Pebble Time watch! Since I loved my original Pebble, I’d thought I would write about my first impressions.

The Pebble Time Unboxed
On Friday, June 5th I finally received my Pebble Time in the mail. However, due to some drama and/or issues with Apple, the required companion app wasn’t available on the iPhone app store until the next day. Still, I pulled the clever cardboard zipper and opened the box. I couldn’t do anything without setting it up with the companion app first, but now it’s all set up and on my wrist.

The Pebble Time on my wrist
My first impressions are positive. I love the color screen and I’m able to read it in bright and low light with a shake or button press to activate the backlight. There is a setting to always leave the backlight on too.

I can feel the lighter weight difference immediately on my wrist. While washing dishes, cleaning house, playing videos games, writing, and bike riding the watch never got in my way, unlike my headphones that wanted to get caught on everything…

Timeline with Backlight On
The timeline feature is fun, which I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about it at first, but I like it now. Pressing the down arrow to see my daily outlook is a nice compliment to my Today Notifications on my iPhone, but does not have the detail, such as driving times, to replace it.

The vibration of notifications is as strong and noticeable as the original. If you’ve never had a smartwatch, I recommended getting one to cure phantom phone vibrations.

As with my last Pebble watch, I felt it got better as updates were pushed out and I’m sure the Pebble Time will be the same. Being an iPhone user, the microphone is useless at the moment.

This is a minor gripe, but I am going to say it so people can be aware of it. The Pebble Time did require a smartphone to set it up. Without setting it up, it won’t even tell the time. This may have been logistics solution for the first batch of watches. In their defense, why would buy such as watch without having a smartphone? Thought I’d mention it anyway.

With it being brand new, not every app has been updated for the color screen yet. None of the apps I own at the moment have an icon for them in the menu screen like Pebble’s Music and Settings. It’s just text. There’s a loading bar when opening some apps, which may be a feature to save on battery/memory.

Pebble Time's Music App
The first thing that has bugged me has been some the smaller text, like the time display in music. I have to bring the watch closer and steadier to my face to read it than I did with the classic Pebble watch. It could just be me, my surroundings, and the automatic backlight I had it set on. In any case, I bet there will be some update tweaks to make everything better.

Overall, I’m excited to own the new Pebble Time and I’m looking forward to future updates.

I updated this post on June 7 to elaborate more. Follow me on Twitter for more updates.

Band Photos: Trouble Clef & the Bass Reality Boyz

Band Photos of Trouble Clef & the Bass Reality Boyz. The band included: Kyle Gossett, Noah Taylor, and Blake Fisher.

I took these band photos with my new Panasonic GH4 at a Birthday Party improv show for Kyle Gossett and Kendon Lacy. It was a great live action field test for me. I loved how all the photos turned out and so did the band as they requested copies for publicity use. 😎

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