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Pensacola, and Mississippi's surprise Space Center

The blog post that time forgot

sunny 85 °F
View Roadtrop on mormolyke's travel map.

I was going through the pictures on the newly organized pix.roadtrop.com, and realized I totally forgot to blog about two of the sets therein:

FLICKR SET: Roadtrop: Pensacola to Biloxi
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May 13: After a marathon twelve-hour drive northward through Florida in heavy rains, we arrived in Pensacola to visit our friend Jordan, who joined the Navy a few years ago and is stationed down there. Jordan, Matt, and I used to create music together under the name Tears for Agnes years ago when we all still lived in Central PA. (Hopefully the project is not dead; we still hope to continue collaboration online ... whenever we all have spare time.) Sadly, our time in Pensacola was too short to do any proper jamming (being short on time was a theme that ran through our entire trip).

We were both really pleased to see and hear that being in the Navy has really agreed with Jordan. A few weeks later, while watching Prometheus in a cinema, I couldn't help but notice that Jordan pretty much looks like one of the "Engineers" now.

N.B. Believe it or not, this is a still from the movie, and not Jordan. I have never seen Jordan in his underpants.

N.B. Believe it or not, this is a still from the movie, and not Jordan. I have never seen Jordan in his underpants.

The next day, after accidentally attempting to drive onto the navy base while searching for Starbucks (apparently they have a Starbucks on the base for navy personnel only, who knew?), we set off for New Orleans through first Alabama, and then Mississippi, which has the honor of having the worst math and science scores in the country. Imagine our snobby Yankee surprise, then, when Matt spotted a highway sign for the Stennis Space Center. A space center? In Mississippi? Neither of us had even heard of it, but since we had already stopped at Kennedy and were on our way to Johnson in a few days, we figured we had to drop in.

Stennis Space Center's new Infinity visitor center only opened three weeks previously, and many of the displays were still in development. It were still fun, though; we arrived only about half an hour before they closed, so everything was pretty much deserted, and we could jump in and do whatever we wanted. It may not have had quite as much flash as its larger cousins, but it was not crowded with screaming middle schoolers, a definite plus. Helpful staff members all but gave us a personal tour of the facility, although perhaps that was more about getting us out the door so they could go home. I bought a nice pair of earrings.

FLICKR SET: Roadtrop: Stennis Space Center
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Posted by mormolyke 11:49 Archived in USA Tagged florida mississippi pensacola stennis_space_center Comments (0)

Bite sized Roadtrop time-lapse videos, hot off the renderer

The Everglades, Key West, and going north through Florida.

sunny 84 °F

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The last two days' time-lapse videos are a bit different from the previous crop, for rather silly reasons. Two days ago, after we wrapped up lunch in Key West, I turned the GoPro on, and forgot to change it out of it's default startup mode of 'video', so the last half of the day was recorded as full HD 1080p realtime video, which I could probably take the time to cut down to a time-lapse version, but time on this trip is precious, so I'm just excising it. Most of it is us driving around Key West, and these sorts of videos are more interesting (to me) when we're going down long stretches of highway, or if we've planted the car in front of something interesting.

The following morning, while an amazing amount of mosquitos flew around our car and tried in vain to get through the flyscreens we magnetically attached over our sunroof and windows, I sat down with the GoPro manual and had another look at the settings, as I hadn't had much time to get to know it before the trip. I discovered that I could set the camera to record the pictures upside down, saving me from having to rotate the video in Vegas. I also discovered the different exposure modes, notably, the one that's designed for mounting it on your dashboard pointing outward. With the new default mode being set, hopefully I won't miss any more of our travels.

Since the Day 7 video was so short, instead of playing it back at half-speed, it's actually at quarter speed, and if you're one of the 7 or 8 people who watches these things, please comment and let me know if you prefer that to the speed all the other ones play back at, or if it doesn't really matter. And in a break from the musical backgrounds we've been including and composing, the Key West video simply uses field recording from the street where we were parked for a bit in Key West. It'll be interesting to see if YouTube identifies the music in the background and chastises me for it.

Day 8 was long, long slog from our camping spot, located at the end of the one road into the Everglades, stopping at the Robert Is Here Fruit Stand (it's really so much more than a fruit stand) and pausing at Starbucks for our morning upload, then driving up through central Florida, ultimately heading west into Pensacola, where we stayed with an old friend of mine, Jordan. He's stationed there with the Navy, after having spent a while in Gitmo- as medical staff, not as a detainee! The drive was something to the tune of 12 hours long, it was definitely 12 hours boring. The magic of the GoPro intervalometer has transformed that into two short minutes, where even in HD mode, you'd have to strain to see all the bug splats before we hit the storm that helped wash them off our windshield, if not our bumper.

We recorded the music for that video a few nights ago while staying in Homestead. I didn't get as much time to work on this. Actually, it's about as raw as you can get - it's just Melissa playing over a beat I wrote. There are more important things to do on this trip than fleshing out musical sketches - but I really like that we're making music as we go. Given how much American Routes we are consuming via streaming audio on the drive (to AT&T's chagrin, according to a text message I got) I wonder how long before what we record starts to sound like rootsy blues/jazz/country/rock. That actually works as a nice wrap to this post, as our next stop is New Orleans! We have to go to Basin Street Station and give them a fat donation for the binge streaming we've done over the past week.

Posted by leviathant 09:31 Archived in USA Tagged florida key_west time everglades pensacola lapse gopro time_lapse robert_is_here Comments (2)

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