Where have I been, updated on stuff.

Ok, so I have been not updating the site since I have not really been working much in the office and basically not in the field since the start of the year.

Back on Jan 5th, a trucker driving a Freightliner lost their brakes on their truck on Interstate 94 when I was heading towards the Twin Cities metro to do some shopping. Unfortunately before I left that morning I cleared out the always on dash camera memory card and formatted it but failed to cycle the power to get it to begin recording after it was cleaned from the prior days driving. Yeah I was pretty pissed when I found out nothing was recorded. Since I was not chasing, the big dash camera was not on recording anything so alas, it is just a memory for me. I credit the fact that when the big truck lost control on interstate and slammed into the passenger side and pealed it open like a tin can as it slammed me up into the rock hard snow along the center barrier of the interstate, the tires I had just installed helped me keep traction and control to not spin, flip or roll. And some driving skills on my part.

After the accident I did however get the other driver saying on my Sony A7R4 when I was documenting what happened for the insurance that it was his fault and that he lost his brakes since his boss was in another truck that was following him. It was a commercial vehicle and as of now their insurance is covering things for the loss of the truck and medical bills.

What really does suck is that it did take out the Toyota Sequoia that was all setup to be the chase vehicle this spring. I just got it ready for spring with all the necessary work including new tires and suspension work and flush of all the fluids.

So, what does this have to do with not posting? So driving along minding my own business and the truck next to me lost its breaks, slams into me and I saw it coming since I was trying to avoid it and was like WTF is this dude doing creeping into my lane as I moved to the left towards the shoulder and he kept coming and bammm… Yeah it was like one of those scenes of oh crap, this is going to hurt and tensed up. Well my Chiropractors here in St. Cloud that I have been seeing to keep my back in place for years pretty much told me tensing up before the wreck was the worst thing I could have done. Yeah sure, you try not to tense up when your driving a Toyota Sequoia (BIG SUV) and a truck that dwarfs you, runs you off the road and then hits you and slams you around. So, my back got messed up.

Now it is back to the non stop headaches that pretty much made me extremely irritable that are still plaguing me going on four months. Also the right side of my back from the mid back down to the right hip has been locked up where pretty much just in pain constantly so making long drives is really not in the cards for me. I did do the Chaser Summit drive and that took a lot of Advil for that trip and yes I hurt like a MOFO after that trip which pretty much made me gun shy to any long road trips for the foreseeable future. .

Why don’t I just get some drugs, some “fun pain killers” and numb the pain? Yeah um no, no thank you. I need to be mentally sharp and not strung out on narcotics. Plus I can’t fly a drone if I’m on any drugs other then Advil. And I just don’t want to be doped up and strung out “Comfortably Numb” when I Choose Freewill.

What I have been doing for the last three months is simple, instead of seeing the Chiropractors 1-2 times a month just to keep things in check, I have been forced to go their so fn much that it’s really becoming extremely annoying and look forward to the weekends when I might be in more pain but I can focus on family and work without spending 60-90 minutes a day, 3-4 days a week going into the Chiropractors to get adjusted, acupuncture and having my back muscles worked on to try to get them to relax. Add in the fact that the Covid scare is still not over, having to go into a public place like the Chiropractor is just a little nerve racking on top of the back pain stress.

I have estimated that I have lost at least 60+ hours of work time just in the office and I could forget about being able to cover the rest of the winter season for blizzards in western Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas or chasing the early severe down south in Iowa. Yeah this pretty much took me out of the game for at least until May, if not through the summer.

And the other really crazy part is just shopping for a new vehicle to replace the Sequoia. With the shortages, it is pretty much impossible to find a vehicle that I would use to replace the Sequoia since I knew all the maintenance that was done and made sure the timing belts and other required maintenance was competed. Every Sequoia I have looked at since has not had the required work and some even look as if they went 15 years without the timing belt being replaced (01-07 Toyota 4.7L engines) which if they did not replace the belt, you know they did not flush and fill the fluids or suspension work.

So right now I’m pretty much in a medical induced chasing doldrums until I can safely get back out without worrying about throwing my back out in the middle of nowhere. On a plus side, I might be renting out my camera gear this season to my crews to shoot on some high end gear since it looks like I might be still dealing with this through May. I pray I can get things back in order on my back by the time Hurricane season ramps up.

The other plus side silver lining is Laura is really enjoying having Dad around all the time.

Hartland, MN Rare December Extensive Tornado Damage and Close Lightning 12/15/2021

Epic Lightning on the tornado warned storm in Freeborn county just south of the town of Hartland that was hit with a possible tornado. Footage then continues with an extensive damage survey of the down showing numerous building and homes damaged including damage to the back side of the post office, a destroyed bank and several severely damaged businesses and homes. I split these up into two videos to since it took a while to edit the Komodo footage.

Hartland, MN Storm Damage
I love this camera, no rolling shutter on the lightning footage. #ShotOnRed
Snow on the ground and lightning fills the sky. Image from the Sony A7R Mk4

And it looks like a busy holiday week with weather in Northern Minnesota. Still checking the forecast for the rest of the country but I an trying to figure out how I can get caught up with work and get out to chase the next severe event to document more lightning footage next month with some of the Southern Storms.

Winter Storm, Pile Up On I-35 and Metro Heavy Snow 12-10-2021

I was out at it again in southern Minnesota in the middle of the winter storm and stuck close to the hots spots of known travel areas where traffic is known to pile up. It did not take long and one area just to the north of Faribault had a pretty bad pile up. I did not hear about any serious accidents but the Interstate was shut down for hours due to the numerous jack knifed Semi Trucks.

Winter Storm, Interstate 35 Pileup, Faribault MN 12-10-2021

As the storm progressed, the worst of the heavy band of snow was setting up around the south side of the Twin Cities metro area. I shot the following footage around Minneapolis to the south end of down down by Burnsville, MN and Bloomington, MN.

Winter Storm Creates Slick Roads In The Twin Cities – 12/10/2021

Overall this was an interesting event that was the far northern end of the historic tornado outbreak that impacted the region from Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Still Alive in 2021

Hello World, Again… Yes still around, still alive and still being me. I have not updated the site in months and well, sorry about that, not much to report. The Spring was pretty much a dude for me for weather and then the summer was a huge drought.

I did get back out for the Auroras the other night.

Aurora Borealis over Minnesota
Aurora north of Saint Cloud, MN

Yes I did get video of this event and that is up on our Youtube Channel.

Vivid Auroras Fill The Night Sky Over Minnesota 10/11/2021

What else is going on. Well we survived getting Covid. That was not fun but we are alive to talk about it but unfortunately we did lost a good friend and chase partner, Dan Fruechte, to the damn virus. https://www.millercarlin.com/daniel-dan-fruechte/

Laura is now officially a Kindergartener with attitude.

Pretty much just working on stuff behind the scenes for SCV and trying to keep up with the every rapidly changing world and life.

I will be updating the site more as I’m pretty much off Crackbook except for the 15 minutes a day I have allotted myself for work. I’m still using Twitter but even that is limited as well. Not bringing the cell phone with everywhere or carrying it around all the time as I’m enjoying more freedom from being connected 24×7 with automation taking over more of my work.

It is late and don’t want to wake the family up as we all have to be up at 6am to get ready for the day.

Bye for now and I will be working on back log of updates and what the heck I have been doing and currently doing.

Welcome Back, we survived 2020

Wow, its been so long since I updated the personal blog page that I don’t know where to begin. It is kind of like writing a letter to an old friend to say what has been happening with the family and life in general.

Limited my time on Anti Social Media, yeah I saw that one coming. Been working on back end stuff for SCV and taking more personal time to work on other side projects. The stuff I want to do, not the stuff I have to do.

I have also been doing a ton of reading and audio books. Always trying to keep learning and I will say I did have a laugh a few months ago. I just finished up a book by Survivorman Les Stroud and I was listening to his audio book when out of the blue at the worst timing as I was rush to go and pick up Neva at the court house since she just got done with Jury Duty, I received a phone call from a unknown number that did not get flagged by the several spam and robo caller app’s that I use to avoid the scams. The guy on the other end was asking the standard questions about rates and how to get video. Since I was driving and rushing I had to cut him short and asked if I could call him back. I asked him what his name was, he said “Les Stroud”… I was like WTF and said “Survivorman?” He said “yeah that’s me” Told him to give me five minutes as I was picking the wife up from Jury Duty and I would call him right back.

Yeah, I had that Holy Shit moment where the song BU2B came to mind “The universe has a plan…” I called him back and depending how 2021 goes with Covid, lock downs, travel restrictions and such, we could be doing some cool new productions if the stars align. But it was still pretty cool to have someone whose work you admired for year’s with how they did all the camera work by themselves for their TV show and then out of the blue they call you. I kind of see how musicians feel when someone they have admired and listened to for year’s calls them up and says hey, we should do something together.

So what about the insane 2020 Hurricane season? Well due to Covid and injuring my foot with a nice deep hole from a planters wart and not wanting to be walking in waste water with open wounds, I was told to sit out most of the season. I did make it down for Hurricane Delta where I chased with Simon Brewer and that was probably one of the funniest chases of my life. Here is the video from that chase. https://youtu.be/ZqiVJPfCKHE

Winter has been so so for the season but like I said, I have been working on other side projects for what I want to do and not what I have to do. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks the SteamPunk computer system will be operational . I just sorted through the life’s work and organized about 100 Terabytes of data and removed duplicated data and then backed up everything. Once the Steam Punk setup is up and running, I’ll post some photos of it. It is several computers and editing systems in a custom painted half rack. Trust me, it will look cool.

Otherwise not much else is new. Laura is going to be five next month and time does not stand still at all. Off to read the shortest book on my book list that just came in today. Neil Peart’s Illustrated Quotes. 100 pages of quotes from the legend. This should take me about 15 minutes to read.