Saturday, November 25, 2006


It's been a good weekend to give thanks. The weather was absolutely fantastic. Thursday and Friday we hung out around the apartment cooking, burning DVDs, drinking wine, playing with the cats, watching movies, and smoochin'. It was great to have some time where we have nothing planned, to figure out when and what we want to do.

Last weekend, I took Mandy to Glenlaurel Inn in the Hocking Hills of Ohio. This is the south-eastern edge of Ohio, about 2 and a half hours from where we live. The drive was amazingly fun, especially the last 45 minutes. For this short period, the road goes nuts. It's like driving through the Scottish Highlands, or so I'd guess it would be like. The weekend was great. We ate a 7-course dinner in their wonderful inn and enjoyed an evening of fireside talks and hottub bubblings. This area of Ohio is really interesting.

Years and years ago, my mom, Vickie (my friend Ian's mom), and myself marched up the "Shale Trail." A trail that runs up a flat limerock riverbed that runs about 25 miles. We fought hordes of mosquitos, biting flies, and biting snakes, but eventually made it to the delta at it's end. It was one of the more exciting experiences of my young life: Carying my gear on my back as I waded through miles of Ohio river for three days, I learned a lot about what a person can endure - which, in turn, helped me survive my Austin biking trip.

(Shot at Glenlaurel, in the Hocking Hills of Ohio)

Saturday we cleaned up after the cooking adventure the night before, made breakfast, and headed out. The day was beautiful - sunny, in the lower 70s. We headed downtown Cinci to Zoo. The Cincinnati Zoo is usually counted among the top three zoos in the US. While some of the exhibits had been shut down for the winter ("Sorry! Edgar the Lemur is resting!") the crowd was really small and parking was very decent. The zoo runs a Holiday Festival of Lights thing where they decks the cages and plants with Christmas lights. And, seriously, put a baby Jesus in the petting zoo barn. Alas, we headed out before they charged us an extra $10 to see baby Jesus all aglow with blinking lights. As we left, we noticed the crowd to get in was enormous.

(Damn. Makes me want to watch the amazing King Kong again)

We headed from that side of town to Mount Adams to check out the area. Mt. Adams is a kind of cross between college hanging out and yuppie hobnobbin'. There all kinds of restaurants that contain words like "Bistro" and bars with buzzing neon palm trees. We went to a fantastic Thai restaurant called "Teak." We split an order of spicy tuna and spider sushi rolls, then had a plate of "Spicy Thai Chicken" and a small carafe of sake. It was all amazing and really reasonably priced. I can imagine that this area of town would be great fun in the summer, when the daylight is longer, and the nights are warm. The views from this high vista overlooking the Ohio River, Cincinnati Downtown, and parts of Newport on the Levvy are amazing. We're planning on spending more quality time in this area of town.

(The sushi is oddly transparent)

On our way home, down southbound I-75, we passed the exit to the Cincinnati zoo. It was backed up for miles. I guess we got out of there at the right time...

The Wedding DVD is complete. Finally. After playing around with "Roxio Easy CD Creator 9" and having endless problems, I decided to look into Adobe Encore 2 - a pro tool used for authoring. It's quite a bit more complex, but it is so much more deep in terms of functionality that I'm glad I took some time to learn the basics. When I decide to take the plunge into Mac or PC for hardcore editing, I know I'll be sticking with this tool. We are just printing off labels, cutting, and placing. It's down to rote reproduction, which is a nice change from having to learn new programs to accomplish specific task.

The main thing I learned doing this is: DVD authoring is one of the most annoying things I've ever come across in my 10+ year A/V history. From incompatible codecs to menu linking to DVD player incompatibility, it's a ton of work.

The thing I've come to respect most from doing this: Chad. He's done half a dozen of these films. Not only that, but they were for people he didn't necessarily care that much about. It goes to show the depth of his professionalism when he can go through the 100+ hours it takes to produce a DVD and do them so well, even though he wasn't necessarily emotionally invested is astounding to me. I have a little more understanding as to why he politely brushed me off when I would nag him about starting a wedding DVD production company.

1 comment:

dolemite said...

didn't see you guys online so i'm chosing this avenue...i say there, watch this vid