There's one thing I've observed from watching my parents and their contemporaries as they've aged: The ones who have fared the best have remained active and engaged, and have not been afraid to adapt to changing technologies.
I hope that is something that factors into my outlook on life as I get older. And it's one of the justifications I'm using for time I've spent this week that on the surface, doesn't appear to be productive.
I've shot a lot of video lately, but have little to show for it. I like working with video, but I'm not good at it. I think I get better with each project I attempt -- but it's a slow process, and I'm hampered by the fact that I'm not a Mac user and am relying on whatever Windows editing program I can get for free.
My husband recently digitized all of our old camcorder videos. He also discovered a videocassette my father made from old home movies, and digitized that, too. I've been trying to winnow out a short clip from that file, but have been flummoxed by the limitations of my software.
The .avi file crashes every time I try to open it in MediaImpression, so I switched to Adobe Premiere Elements and managed to put together a workable edit (although I couldn't figure out how to control the precise length of time that titles appear on the screen, nor could I find a way to fade in or out -- even though there are about two dozen other transition effects available in the program).
But the most frustrating part of the Premiere Elements package my husband has installed on this computer is that once the project was finished, I was unable to export it into a file that could be uploaded to YouTube. So while it was nice to get a feel for how Elements works, I had to start all over again in some other package.
I finally got it all to work in the latest version of Windows MovieMaker (which is free -- you just need to have a Windows Live account). Yes, there was a learning curve -- and the final version of the clip is actually the second one I made, because the program crashed on me right after the first one. (One of these days I will learn to ALWAYS save these kind of projects after completing each step).
I even added a silly autotuned music track from GarageBand on my iPad and a pre-fab title theme.
This footage was shot by my dad, who may have tried harder if he'd known that some 50 years later, I'd be putting it up on the Internet (but how could he?) And aside from the cool, retro look of Disneyland in 1962, this clip is notable because it documents my first encounter with a celebrity: