July 9th, 2015

Fernley House

Water Discipline

We just got the water bill for June. We were gone for most of the first two weeks of the month and turned the water off entirely at the main because we have nothing that should be using water while we are gone. I'm pleased to see that our bill is for what amounts to the lowest amount we could possibly be billed without being totally gone the entire month: 1 unit, which is 1,000 gallons. (They only bill in 1 kgal units, so I reckon even one drop counts as one unit). We'll have more this month despite having been gone for a week because the swamp coolers (two of them) use water, but I still think we're doing a decent job of conservation here. And we're really happy that Lisa found that leak when it came to the surface. Another reason we turn the main water off when we go off on a long trip is that we don't want to come back to find a watery surprise like an undermined foundation.

Westercons and Bids at the San Diego Fannish Inquisition

We finally got Fannish Inquisition videos for the seated Westercon and bids for Westercons posted. The Westercon Inquisition was two hours before the Worldcon one, and it's how we learned that the P2 camera's built-in microphone just won't pick up much of the ambient sound in the room, particularly for the people who don't know how to speak into a microphone. (I'm an exception, as is rono_60103.) For the Worldcon Inquisition, we were able to get a microphone line directly into the camera, and that worked wonderfully for the sound.

Because of worries about the new P2 camera, Lisa also was rolling the older Sony DSC-H2 on which she has been recording meetings and inquisitions for the past several years. Somewhat to our surprise, the tiny microphone built into the Sony was slightly better than the P2's microphone, so we used that as the source for these three videos. It wasn't great, but it worked. Unfortunately, due to a technical limitation on the length of videos on the Sony, it cut off before Denver finished. (Lisa forgot to cycle the Sony between presentations like she did on the P2.)

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Lisa intends to roll both cameras at Worldcon as well so that we have spare recordings if the primary ones fail at any time.

We'd prefer to film from two different angles, including one from the head table; however, this would require extensive post-production editing for which I know we will not have the time. As it is, we'll probably be ripping lower-resolution recordings off the camera at 30-minute intervals and dumping the MP4 files straight to YouTube rather than including any titles, credits, or anything else. Given the interest in the 2015 WSFS Business Meeting, I anticipate that speed and good-quality sound (not necessarily video) is more important than any glitzy production values this year.