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.

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.

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.

Today’s to-do list. Drop Laura off to Daycare and then go storm chase…

Today started off crazy, woke up early from the weather alarms going off and then looked at the radar and knew I had to get Laura to daycare earlier then normal. The storms where not severe but the amount of water in them was pretty decent that I knew we would get at least several inches in about an hour.

I was able to get Laura off to daycare before the roads flooded and made for a mess. I finally got a shot I have been looking to get on camera for a while of someone stalling out in the flooding and at 53 seconds, someones day just turned out pretty bad before 8:00 a.m.

Footage shows lots of flooding in the area. One of the funny things I saw was this, “Here’s Your Sign…”

Large Hail And High Winds In Overnight Storms in Corcoran, MN

Did not get a chance to get out to the Dakota’s today for the storms but just after 9:00p.m after we got Laura to bed finally… (but wait, I need this, but wait I want another hug, hey, i got out of bed, tuck me in again…) I was going to wrap up some things in the office then get to bed early. Well that did not go as planned as severe storms with some insane lightning fired up to the south of town and I got the urge to go chase.

In the video above, you can see I made it to the northwest side of the metro where the hail was large but luckily I managed to avoid the big hail while under cover. This week is starting to shape up to an active week.

Day Two of chasing for 2020

As odd as it seems and and strange as it feels, the weather co-operated for a second day in a row to get out and storm chase locally.

The storms where just to the north of home on the north end Benton County and around Little Falls, MN.

It was a little off on the social media post as the GPS said I was in Benton County but the storm itself was over Little Falls, so I will call it Little Falls with some big lightning.

Every year I need to get back into the groove of shooting for the type of weather I’m chasing and I’m in the middle of the summer but its only the second active day of chasing for 2020 for me. There have been some days in early May but those don’t count as I never even took out a camera.

So after a few days of chasing and active photo and video work with multiple cameras, I’m getting back into the groove now. I’m am not a fan of the 4K Rolling Shutter and lightning as it was a major headache today. Looking into some options and ideas to avoid it without having to give up 4K but that might not be cheap ether.

I was able to get a couple decent lightning photos with my signature road to nowhere or as others call it, me standing in the middle of a desolate road trying to photograph lightning or something… Below is the best one from the day.

Here are the stats, ISO 200, 35MM, F22 for three seconds.
The image is not cropped and other then cleaning up a couple of dust bunnies on the sensor for the image, this is raw.

Back On The Road To Nowhere 6/29/2020 – Doug Kiesling

Now onto the video. The first part is the crazy lightning and the second half is the flooding around Little Falls, MN. I did put in one 240FPS slow motion lightning clip as the second clip that was from the same bolt of the first clip but on the slow motion camera. Just watch the video, you will figure out what I’m saying. It is 3:30 AM and I have to be up in three hours for Laura to go to pre school so if I continue to type, its going to be gibberish.

Dusted off the camera’s and chased this weekend.

Yes, the 2020 dumpster fire, weather drought finally is starting to change a little with storms this weekend in southern Minnesota.

Their actually was a Tornado Watch, I think the first one of the season for Minnesota and while the storms had some decent rotation, there where no wedges, no major damage, not even much lightning on the storms near Rochester, MN that went severe through Mower county.

Tornado Watch

So while the storms where a decent reprieve from the dry dusty boring or as I’m calling it now “Protest and Riot Weather” for the Twin Cities and the rest of the state it has been pretty much SOCAL or Southern California like weather with no rain, low humidity and clear sky day after day after day after day…

Sorry, I’m just not use to this weather, this perfect weather, day after day. So when the chance to go chase what looked like a half decent setup lined up with my schedule, I literally dusted off the camera gear and got the Jeep ready and headed south.

I intercepted the storm near Elkton, MN and followed it through Mower County to just east of Racine, MN. Beyond that point to the east you start to get into the really bad chase area of the hills and trees and I just called it before sunset.

Mower County, MN Severe Storms And Possible Tornado – 6/28/2020

At the end of the chase on the way home, I stopped near Cannon Falls, MN and got a time lapse of the shelf cloud just to make this a complete 2020 chase video 🙂

Wow, 2020 turned into a Dumpster Fire…

With the new year there was the new hope of 2020 being the year everything was to come together and be in focus.

What a crock of crap that turned out to be. As the new year began, China gave the world the Wuhan Flu. Complain all you want but it is the Wuhan Flu, just like forest fires are named after the area they started in and tornadoes where they formed near. Remember the Happy Tornado? Happy Texas!!!

So with what a lot of chasers where calling the WuTang Flu at ChaserCon turned into a major dumpster fire and the world went into lock down. Toilet paper become worth its weight in gold, food started to get scarce as farmers started loosing all their clients since the entertainment industry and hospitality industry shut down so crops rotted and were plowed under as live stock was killed and burred… Like I said, Dumpster Fire… News of almost 100,000 people in the USA have died of Covid 19 or as I like to call it “The Rona” things started to look like it was getting better, the weather was almost perfect for those that like nice weather. Even the sky was a deeper blue most days as there was a lack of air traffic.

Just as we thought we could come out of the bunker, now it was Asian Murder Hornets… But that lasted about a week in the news.

So, after months of lock down and then news of Murder Hornets, The Rona which was played out to be as what some called The New Ebola but turned out it sucked but not anywhere near as bad as Ebola. With everyone going a little insane and wanting to get out and try to get back to life as normal, my home town of Minneapolis says “Hold My Beer”…

I did not go and cover the protests since I knew it would turn into a riot after dark, I avoided that scene. As my friend Chris who is a photojournalist at a local news station put it, would your daughter want you going to cover that story or stay home where it was safe? He said his kids where worried about him covering the story. Fast forward a few days later and now we get news stories about several journalists being shot at by the police and even arrested on live national TV.

Yeah, Cluster Fuck is a term that is pretty much describes it. I do know of some chasers that did go and cover the looting and riots and even one that covered the people setting the police station getting set on fire. All I can say is good luck with the FBI Investigation over when they come knocking and asking questions.

Over all this spring chase season has been dead. There have been very few tornadoes and the Storm Prediction Center only issued a record 10 tornado watches in the Month of May. So I did not get out more then a couple of times and those days where pretty much busts.

Now fast forward to June, thing are starting to pick up but the still far below normal. This mean’s that while I’m not chasing any tornadoes, I have been able to play around with side projects and stuff that I have been wanting to do for years. Back in 2014 I had a Canon 70D customized to remove the sensor filter. Thus it made the camera into a Full Spectrum camera that would not filter out any Ultra-Violet or Infra-Red light.

Using custom lens filters for IR and UV light, I was now able to capture images of a very unique area. Earlier this week I finally dusted off the customized camera and got back out to play with it in the lightning.

Here is one of the daylight lightning images in the IR spectrum from near Cosmos, MN.

6/2/2020 Infra Red Lightning image from near Cosmos, MN.

Remember, this is not a black and white image. The camera sensor was only able to see the Infra Red light wave lengths.

I know it has been a while since I updated the site and the blog, damn social or Anti Social media keeps getting in the way. I will get some of the past blogs that where never finished up published this weekend. Now it is time to tend the garden and get everything finished planting and watered.