Progressing with green and blue screen testing this weekend…

Shawn was able to join us this weekend, and we built a frame for the screen so we can move it wherever we want. We also did some blue screen testing in the side yard – came out awesome. 

And the free trial version of Adobe After-Affects expired. I guess I’m going to have to buy the thing…

More improvisation and trying to make each other laugh…

And now, Behold the 4000 Beings!

Learn how to quickly travel to the moon!

See confirmation that ‘Spicolli’ really is ‘Holy’!

Discover how many beans it takes to fill a Vegan!

Revel in the true wisdom of Scooby!

Finally know beyond the shadow of a doubt who REALLY did it, where they did it and with what it was done! (Major spoiler alert)

Relive the reason I spent two weeks in the hospital four years ago!

Become enthralled in the dramatic buildup to the final confrontation!

Beware of the consequences of underestimating the 4000 Beans!

Witness the Sad Demise of Jezebel!

Listen to, and Stare in Wonder at, my Closing Monologue! 

Observe why you don’t wear a green shirt when filming in front of a green screen!

Watch me become Translucent! 

And find out what Steve really thinks of this effort!

Another fun filled weekend preparing for the beginning of production. 

This week we continued working on developing our skills with the Green Screen and editing tools as well as doing some development on the script/story line and began testing the camera dolly…

We started out by creating a makeshift track using our fully extended dining room table and the table at the entry to the house. Fortunately, they are both about the same height. 

The idea was to practice moving the camera along while I walked back and forth just to get a feel for how the thing works. But in order to do that, we had to move a bunch of furniture around to make room for the scene to be shot…

Once we had done that, the whole idea changed, and it became improvisation time again…

And the table cloth came in handy…

The ‘track’


A Man And His Tiara 

Started working more into the green screen practice. again, none of this is part of the film, it’s just practicing and figuring out how to do this stuff. 

Sky Diving… How not to…

First Time In France?

Let’s Try France (Again)

My youngest son, Steven Kammerer, was up this weekend.. It’s always fun when he is here. This was sort of a working weekend for us. As one of my “newly retired” duties, I am working with Steve, Billy and Shawn on a cinematic production – we are making a movie. Should be done around mid 2017.

We spent this weekend checking out locations and figuring out how to use the props and other hardware and software we have.
One of the things we tested was the green screen. Got it all set up, found a bunch of lamps to work with ( Note to self – need to get actual lighting fixtures) and we were ready to go.
Except that we didn’t know what we were going to do with it.
So we made it up as we went along…

And this was the first attempt…


Joe woke up early – real early. He knew it was real early because the sun had not yet made its daily slither up over the horizon to cast its wakening brightness over his part of the rock most people called ‘Earth’. So he was quite certain that it was real early.

Or… was it late?

He thought to himself, “In this context, there are actually two forms of ‘late’. Either it’s late at night and, therefore, too early to get up out of bed; or it’s late in the morning and too late to still be in bed. 

He thought about that and decided that if it was late rather than real early, ‘late’ option number one had to apply because that form of ‘late’ is, in terms of brightness after-all, evidenced by the same lack of sunlight as ‘real early’ whereas ‘late’ option number two would surely render even more sunlight than ‘middle early’, which was sort of a combination of ‘real early’ and ‘late early’.  

(The difference between ‘late’ and ‘real early’ is that ‘late’ comes before ‘real early’ and lasts longer. A lot longer.)

So it could either be late or it could be real early. It didn’t really matter to Joe – he just knew that it was dark out and way too soon to get up.

And it was in that uncertain fog of confusion that he muttered to himself, “What day is it? Oh yeah – it’s Saturday…”. 

To Joe (and a thousand other guys like him), every day was Saturday. Oh, it could be Sunday, but most days – six out of seven – it was Saturday. The important thing was that there were never any Mondays. 

Joe vaguely remembered Mondays. It had been long enough since he actually had a Monday that he had almost forgotten how ‘Monday’ a Monday could be. 

Some Mondays could be extremely ‘Monday’, while others (not many) tended to be less so and he was grateful that he (in his life of Saturdays and Sundays) was losing recollection of the more “Monday’ Mondays. Very grateful indeed…

But Joe lived with one deeply buried, irrational worry…

Every day is Saturday or Sunday until somebody gets hurt. Then every day is Monday… And that’s a terrible way to spend your life…

But right now it was too early to think about that…

This is me…

April 18, 2015

This is me…. Dear Lord, please let me live long enough to see this…

Love, Bill

PS – This looks like actual Star Wars… Thankfully…

Hello again, gentle reader. It’s time for, yet, another lesson on how to lead a successful life in the kitchen. This time, I’m actually going to give a real recipe! How about them apples?

Actually, there are no apples involved with this concoction, but there is a half a banana, so I figure the colloquialism kinda fits. They are, after all, both fruits.

Several months ago, I fell prey to a recipe shared on Facebook for a home-made milkshake using vanilla, unsweetened coco, bananas, ice, almond milk and a blender. It was awful. Really awful.

But the general idea intrigued me, and since that time I have been experimenting   on my own with my own idea of ingredients.

I believe that I have come up with a winner.

A few days ago I was talking with a friend (Heather) about my concoction, and she asked me to send the recipe to her and our mutual friend (Roberta)…

So here’s the recipe…

What you need:

  1. Blender, one each
  2. Banana, one half each
  3. Ice Cubes, twelve each
  4. Packet of Carnation Instant Breakfast, one each
  5. Metamucil (optional, but I highly recommend it), sort of a small spoonful each
  6. Chunky Peanut Butter, one small glob each
  7. Almond Milk, 8 ounces each
  8. Tall Drinking Cup (I use a 20 oz. shaker-mixer-cup-thingy – see photo below), one each
  9. Really Long Straw (I use this clear plastic tubular object that I thought was a really long straw, but which my wife later identified as a ‘Stirring Rod’. I’m including a photo below so that you may be able to identify it if you ever see one in real life), one each

What you do with all of this stuff:

  1. Carefully, even gently, dump it all into the blender
  2. Turn the blender on ‘High’
    1. My ‘High’ setting is labeled ‘Ice Crush’
    2. Yours may be something other than that – perhaps something like ‘Hyper-thermonuclear-atomic-nutrient-conglomerator-button’
    3. Or it may be something like the afore mentioned ‘High’
    4. Whatever your particular setting is, press that button
  3. After a very short time, turn the blender off
  4. Look for the lid (to the blender)
  5. Put the lid on the blender
  6. Refer to step 2

While the drink is mixing, you should:

  1. Clean up the mess that was created when you forgot to put the lid on the blender prior to starting it the first time
  2. Place the unused half of the banana inside some sort of zip-lock baggie contraption and put it into the refrigerator for future milkshake endeavors
  3. Put the rest of the stuff you are finished with where it belongs (pantry, trash, dog’s food dish, etc.)

When the mix looks like it’s completed, hit the ‘Off’ button again> open the blender lid> pour what’s inside into the 20 oz. drinking cup> stick one end of the straw into the cup> stick the other end of the straw into your mouth> suck.

Then say, “Wow! That’s really GOOD!”

I had set up a the kitchen with all of the stuff required to show you how to make this stuff, and enlisted my beloved wife to video me explaining the process. The whole thing went off without a hitch – it was perfect!

Except that Judy shot the whole demonstration using the ‘Time Lapsed” setting instead of the “video” setting on my iPhone.

BUT – it came out even more appropriately (for this blog, anyway) than if we had shot in video mode. You just have to read my lips and follow along.   Very quickly. But it WILL save you time…

Stirring Rod (Really big drinking straw)

stirring rod

Tall Drinking Cup


By the time I had thought of including a photo, I had already finished drinking my shake. It was good.

Apparently, Judy has decided that she wants to prove to somebody that she can take me somewhere, so we met in Fresno last night to attend a concert of all of Beethoven’s piano concertos. (Actually, it was just a few of them as it was the first of three evenings in a row during which time the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra, along with guest concert piano player Antonio Pompa-Baldi, will plow through the whole collection.)

All in all, it was an evening filled with beautiful, dramatic music, highlighted by amazing performances by Pompa-Baldi.

Honestly, the guy is amazing. I am convinced that his fingers are at least 12 inches long. I have never seen fingers like that on any other human being. I’m pretty sure he can cover the distance of three octaves on the keyboard between the pinky and thumb on one hand.

Additionally, I was seriously trying to count them (his fingers) during times when he was at rest, waiting for the the orchestra to get to the point where he would come back into the mix. I really thought he had 6 fingers on each hand. In fact, I wanted to stay after the concert to meet him just to count his fingers, but that was not to be.

And there were parts where he played entire parts with his right hand while is left was resting on his thigh! Like I said – amazing.

If you have never experienced a concert like this, I highly recommend  it to anyone who needs a little culture added to his or her life. 

However, if you do decide to expose yourself to this, I would caution you to pay attention to some of the finer points of proper audience etiquette, as well as give you some important knowledge of symphonic nomenclature. 

The top things I learned at the symphony concert last night:

10. No matter how many fiddles are in the orchestra, they will never, at any point during the performance, play Turkey In The Straw. No matter how hard you beg.

9. They are not ‘fiddles’. They are ‘violins’. 

8. Some of them are not ‘violins’, they are violas’.

7. Violin players show their appreciation by waiving their wands in the air in unison.

6. They are not ‘wands’, they are ‘bows’. 

5. Just because the music stops, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s time to aplod  aplawed  aplaude  clap.

4. If the musicians get up and leave the stage, it may not really be time to go home. 

3. Nobody will notice that you have fallen asleep if you nod off in time with the music.

2.  Contortions, spasms and other deformations exhibited on the featured piano player’s face and/or body do not necessarily indicate an epileptic seizure.

1.  There is no such thing as a ‘concert piano player’.


Almost everybody in America has a phone of some sort. Many people have a voice mail box attached to their phone number. Some have them on their cell phones. Some people have them on their home phones. Some people have them on their work phones. 

Many of the millions of people who have voice mail of one kind or another are not satisfied with whatever default greeting is attached to their mail box (usually something like “The person you are trying to reach is not available. Please leave a message at the tone and whoever that person is will probably eventually hear your message and may decide to call you back.”), and are compelled to create one of their own.

People decide to create their own greeting for many reasons. “It’s more personal,” or “I want to cheer people up when they call,” or “I hate to get phone calls and I want everybody to know it,” to name a few.

Today I ran across one that I immediately fell in love with. It is attached to the voice mail box of a friend whom I hold in high regard (even more so, now). It was warm, friendly and cheerful, yet not sickeningly so; and while it was quite welcoming , it succeeded in  conveying it’s message in a professional and courteous manner. It really was refreshing. 

And it was, to quote the person who’s greeting it was, “unpretentious” and “honest.” And this is what made me ‘fall in love’ with the greeting.

What did it for me was then final statement in the greeting. It goes like this:

“Have the best day you can.” 

Now that is coming from a person who sincerely wants you to be happy and, yet, understands that you may be laboring under a nearly unbearable burdon. It’s not just honest, it’s brutally honest. 

It’ almost like, “Look, I know you are having a really awful day, but try to be positive and look on the bright side. You’re not dead. So, even though your day sucks, get over it and have as good a day as your lousy circumstances will allow. Even if it only brings it up to the level “crappy”. 

Is that not the just the best line you have ever heard of in a voice mail greeting? 

Tonight is “Mystery Pride and Prejudice Theatre 3000” night at our house.

I am banished from the living room.

Apparently, Murphy doesn’t like carrots.

Hello again, Gentle Readers,

It’s time, once again, for another piece inspired by my canine (and best) friend Murphy Patrick Harrigan O’Kammerer. This time, we venture into the realm of Poetry and/or Music dedicated to Murphy. 

Those of you who are blessed with any sort of pet, especially a dog (or, even more especially, dogs) will immediately recognize the source of inspiration for today’s offering.

And, in tribute to Max, I have bestowed, upon The Murph, the title and rank of Doggy Woggy of The First Order… Sadly, he doesn’t know what an honor it is. But that makes him no less deserving…

And now, I begin…

Doggy Woggy Doo Doo

The Very William H. Kammerer, Jr., Esquire (not)

At the crack of dawn,

When the stars are gone,

Slingin’ Doggy Woggy Doo Doo all the day,

I go to the yard,

Lookin’ really hard,

For the Doggy Woggy Doo Doo all the day!

Sometimes I do wish,

I got a gold fish,

But that’s not the way out it did play,

But I’m glad he’s mine,

With me all the time,

Making Doggy Woggy Doo Doo all the day!

Fare thee well!

Fare thee well!

How I wish he could eat hay…

But I’ve got my scoop,

Picking up his poop,

Slingin’ Doggy Woggy Doo Doo all the day!

When he’s full of pep,

Gotta watch my step,

What the ground is covered with ain’t clay,

I won’t go bare foot,

Always wear my boots,

Slingin’ Doggy Woggy Doo Doo all the day!

Fare thee well!

Fare thee well!

Well he thinks I’m in the yard to play…

But I’ve got my scoop,

Picking up his poop,

Slingin’ Doggy Woggy Doo Doo all the day!

Slingin’ Doggy Woggy Doo Doo all the day!

Slingin’ Do-ggy Wo-ggy Doo-Doo-all-the-daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you so much… Please… Please… No, really – you are too kind… Thank you… You are a great audience! Thank you…

Thank you so much…


Hello there!

I thought it would be fun to add a page of old science fiction and horror movies to this blog. You know, stuff that, today, may make us laugh, but way back when we were kids scared the snot out of us. 

I’ll probably add to it fairly often and this is just enough to kick it off. 

I would like to keep this to films made prior to 1960, but I won’t promise anything…

If you want to take a look, click on this link…

Have fun!

I originally sent this message to some of my closest family and friends in an effort to alert them to an issue that is now showing its ugly head in my life and give them a heads up that it may also be coming their way in the near future. 

After giving it careful consideration, I have decided to pass this information along to those of you who follow this blog so as to give you the opportunity to prepare for what’s coming down the road.

Please know that I don’t take this lightly, and I hope and pray that this reaches you while there is still time to act upon its message…

This is an important message for a few of my closest and most trusted friends. So important and personal that I am sending it in Chinese, so as to avoid any problems with people who might intercept and use this information against me, my family or you, my friends who may be affected by this. But, again, I trust each of you not to tell anybody about this…


Remember, I’m counting on you…

Thanks for being there when I need you…


Please take care..


Hello again, Gentle Reader… I have returned with, yet, another lesson on how to live your life successfully under any circumstances or conditions whatsoever…

Today, I am going out to get a new tire for my wheelbarrow. As part of the process for doing that, this morning I looked into the mirror to make sure that the neighbor kids won’t be terrified when I leave my driveway and, upon doing so, I realized that a good hat will no longer suffice to make me appear well groomed. I am beyond that stage and it is time to invest in a haircut.

This man has just discovered that he has a severe case of Bed Hair. Note the pained expression on his face. That's because he has just come back in from walking his dog around the neighborhood - and he did it before he looked into the mirror.. Pray for him. And the neighbors. But pray mostly for the dog, who attempted to hide his face the entire time he was outside with his "master"...


Or… is it?…

At almost any other time of year, this would be a great time to get a haircut. However, in my case, for today, at least, bad hair presents a once in a lifetime conundrum. Seriously – this will only come up one time during my whole life (unless I change barbers, and maybe not even then).

On this day,  the decision to get, or not to get, a haircut has become a matter of principle and priority. 

Principle: Nice men should look nice. People think I am a nice man. I should look nice.

Priority: Looking nice is nice. There is money involved. Screw looking nice.

It required some thought… And so I gave it some thought…

On one hand, today, I don’t qualify for the senior discount provided by the shop that cuts my hair and makes me reasonably presentable to other members of the human race.

On the other hand, next Friday I will qualify for the senior discount.

This situation was quite disconcerting to me. I want to look nice for my wife and my dog (not so much for the cat), but looking nice comes with a price (in this case, an extra $1.50 if I do it today vs. next week). 

(Let me give you a little background on something, here… Judy and I have started collecting our receipts so we can better evaluate who spends more money  how we invest our hard earned funds and how we can better live within our budgetary constraints. She has a box on her desk for her receipts, and I have a box on my desk for my receipts. So far, I have one receipt for $8.34 in my box.

I’m not used to this sort of internal battle, and I was having a problem making a final decision on whether to act today or wait a week and save a buck-fifty keeping me in the “who spends more money game. It was time to break out the big guns…

…This gave me a chance to use my newly acquired “Pro-Con” decision making tool:


I quickly did so and immediately messed up the process by putting my issue in the wrong place on the form. Then, when I had made my decision, I left off my plan of action. And, finally, I put in the wrong year – should be 2015. At least I didn’t get ahead of myself… 

But, be that as it may, I made the crucial decision to – well, you can see for yourself above, and I don’t want to bore you by repeating repeating my final decision…

So, now I’m going to go to my truck, which (I just remembered) has been warming up for the past two hours as I have been writing this post, and go get a new tire for my wheelbarrow. 

And NOT get a haircut…

And save a dollar and fifty cents... Or maybe a bit less, since my truck has been running in place for the past two hours…

As always, Gentle Reader, if I may be of any assistance to you in the ways of living a more successful life, please don’t hesitate to contact me at one of my many personal email address:

Until next time,

Live Life Successfully Or Die Trying…

Always, The Very William H. Kammerer, Jr. Esq. (Not)