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Entries about time

What time is it?

Solar eclipse time!

View Roadtrop on mormolyke's travel map.

I have to get this off my damn chest.

What. Is. Up. With. Time. Zones.

Time zones: they're not rocket science, right? You'd think not. And yet, they have several times stumped two otherwise reasonably intelligent people.

Here is what I knew about US time zones before going on this trip: there are four of them, Eastern (EST), Central (CST), Mountain (MST), and Pacific (PST), and they are each an hour apart. I always figured time zones went by state. I also figured all the states on our Roadtrop Map participated in daylight savings, so the time zones we'd deal with would be EDT, CDT, MDT and PDT.

The first WTF moment involving time was on our drive from Knoxville to Nashville, both in Tennessee. When I hopped into the driver's seat in the morning and loaded up the GPS, I thought it was odd that the drive was shorter than it appeared to be in my notes. A couple of hours into it, I suddenly realized that to complete the journey by the time of arrival, I would have to drive at 140mph. Wait ... Nashville is in a different timezone to Knoxville? Yes, apparently so, even though a world clock website that Matt looked at suggested otherwise. Western Tennessee is on CDT, while the east of the state is on EDT. I guess the divide is between counties or something (not enough precious bandwidth for me to Google the answer).

The second WTF moment was yesterday, the day of the solar eclipse. At the City of Rocks visitor center in the morning, we picked up an information sheet that said the eclipse would start at 6:30PM, with annularity around 7:37PM. I had in my notes that the eclipse would take place an hour earlier, so we realized that Arizona was on PDT, not MDT. OK, that's an easy adjustment.

Then, as we were driving to Canyon de Chelly National Monument, where we wanted to view the eclipse, I noticed that, according to the GPS, we were short on time. We bypassed Petrified Forest and kind of rushed the end of the Coronado Trail to make sure we were in place to view the eclipse on time. However, at about 4:00PM PDT, I realized that something was off in the opposite temporal direction. I was driving a 60-mile-long stretch of highway at about 80mph (shh), but the GPS was telling me I needed two hours to reach the end.

Oh, good lord. Canyon de Chelly National Monument is on a Navajo nation reservation, which does not observe daylight savings. So my notes were in PDT, but our eclipse observation site, they were marking PST, which is actually the same as MDT, so in practice, the info sheet from City of Rocks was correct after all.

Shoot me in the face.

Anyhow, it all worked out for the best, because we arrived at Canyon de Chelly early, and could get set up in time to witness the start of the eclipse. Unfortunately, we couldn't get the T-adapter for my telescope working with Matt's camera (would love to Google a solution when I reach civilization i.e. decent wifi), but I got some pretty great shots by screwing basically every filter I own onto my PowerShot, and sandwiching a grade 5 welding goggle lens between my ND4 and UV filter. Then I shot at ISO 80, shutter speed 1/4000, and with the manual focus at infinity (I think the camera was having a helluva time autofocusing through all those filters). Here are some pix of the set-up:

Canyon de Chelly National Monument: Ready for the eclipse

Canyon de Chelly National Monument: Ready for the eclipse

Canyon de Chelly National Monument: Filters for my Canon Powershot, and sleeve adapter

Canyon de Chelly National Monument: Filters for my Canon Powershot, and sleeve adapter

Canyon de Chelly National Monument: 10mm, 20mm and 4mm eyepieces

Canyon de Chelly National Monument: 10mm, 20mm and 4mm eyepieces

Canyon de Chelly National Monument: 2x Barlow with T-ring adapter

Canyon de Chelly National Monument: 2x Barlow with T-ring adapter

Canyon de Chelly National Monument: Welding goggles with number 14 lenses

Canyon de Chelly National Monument: Welding goggles with number 14 lenses

Canyon de Chelly National Monument: Orion SkyScanner

Canyon de Chelly National Monument: Orion SkyScanner

And here's the eclipse itself:

FLICKR SET: Roadtrop: Solar Eclipse at Canyon de Chelly

Posted by mormolyke 10:24 Archived in USA Tagged arizona eclipse time solar canyon_de_chelly time_zones Comments (2)

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

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

sunny 84 °F

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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