This Squirrel’s Life

Trail Baboons seem to be starting 2015 united in the belief that their lives are not compelling enough to document on video – as confirmed by comments on yesterday’s Ask Dr. Babooner post. Apparently nobody who reads this blog (except tim) feels even as interesting as Kim Jong Un, while at the same time acknowledging that the Dear Leader is truly not very interesting at all.

I beg to differ, of course.

Ordinary lives can be fascinating. Sometimes the more ordinary they are, the better.

The producers of the podcast “Reply All” just dealt with this very topic when they were able to connect with one of the originators of the concept of the online examination of ordinary lives, Jennifer Ringley of the late ’90’s sensational and now-defunct website “Jennicam”.

Interestingly, the most curious thing about Jenni now is how successful she’s been in walking away from fame and removing her current self from the Internet.

And to think that for her to become known in the first place, all it took was a camera in an unexpected place, and some gumption. As the number of places where we don’t expect there to be a camera dwindles, we’re going to find out how long that formula works. It still has not lost its appeal, as witnessed by this charming video trip up a tree courtesy of a larcenous squirrel. Thanks to Clyde for forwarding this!

If only Mr. Nutsy had taken the camera back to his nest and set it up so we could watch the mundane everyday-ness of cracking nuts and grooming your bushy tail. Now THAT’s real celebrity!

You have a camera to place anywhere in the world. Where would you put it?

67 thoughts on “This Squirrel’s Life”

  1. I agree that ordinary lives are more interesting. My favorite kind of history books tell the lives of ordinary people. What was it like to be ____ (fill in your own ordinary situation at any point in history). I think any part or moment of anyone’s life has strong interest to others. I can think of three parts of my life).
    I follow many webcams in beautiful places in nature–87 bookmarked.
    I would like to have a camera watching my California grandson. He is 15 months, doing all that development of social skills, language, muscle coordination, and he is cute. You can watch his mind work as he manipulates people and objects.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Somehow books about ordinary life are different than video – at least it seems that way to me. By the way, was it you (or perhaps Steve) who recommended The Tree Farm? I finished it last week – I really liked it.

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        1. the folks that make the books would love to have reference material to make the books from video might come in very handy for that

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  2. Good morning. I don’t want anyone filming my life because I wouldn’t enjoy knowing that I am being filmed. As we know, there are cameras all over the place filming us. It might be interesting to have a camera located in a place where a bunch of the the live feeds from some of those cameras directed at the public are being monitor by someone.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Morning all. I’d like to have 2 cameras please. One set up in a really really gorgeous spot, maybe up near Lake Superior or in Glacier, where I can look at a lovely piece of scenery that I know is real. Not a picture from the past; a place that I can look at an say “that’s right now”.

    The other camera would be for my mom’s condo. She has announced that if she gets seriously sick that she’s going to sit in her barcalounger (sp?) and die. She doesn’t want hospitals, tubes, etc at the end of her life. I told her that if this is her plan, she should have somebody check on her every day so that my sister (who lives closest) doesn’t come across her remains two weeks later! Of course, we can never ever tell my mom that the camera is in the condo; she’s skin me alive!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. ill bet clyde can how you how to get glacier and glacier web cams on your favorites list. he turned me on to their existence years ago. I wasn’t aware of their existence before he showed my sun vlley I think in Idaho ski country. beautiful stills just like if you were standing there
      as for your mom, let her go. the barkalounger would likely not fit your décor anyway. check in every week or two instead

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      1. The camera at my mom’s condo is not to keep her from going, it’s to protect my sister from finding a two-week old corpse. I learned decades ago not to get in my mom’s way once she’s made up her mind.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Here are Glacier webcams (but the sun is not up yet).
      I have a friend who has with her consent a camera in his mother’s livingroom/kitchen/diningroom just so he can check on her. She talks to him during the day, as a joke. Once he saw her give him the finger just to see if he saw, and he did. He was proud he caught it. But she said she did it regularly.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I think I would go for the inside pocket of bill Clintons jacket. interesting stuff during the day without stealing national secrets. I think he would have very interesting conversations. w would make me rip my ears off, Obama would feel like intruding but bill would be interesting a hell.
    I am going to two seminars on drone stuff this month. it is a hot topic, not sure what the information will lead to but im going to file it away. I would love to have had a camera on me for my life to be able to refer back to. so many moments I would lve to relive but the one in my memory has worked just fine so far. I find a camera is wonderful for others to look at the stuff im looking at but only soso when it comes to me looking at the stuff im looking at. it never captures the feel. it records the essence. there is a difference.

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  5. There’s a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. While I think that’s true of some pictures, I find that an awful lot of pictures aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. What makes our ordinary lives compelling isn’t always visible. I’m not disputing that ordinary, garden variety lives can be interesting, it’s just that much of what makes them interesting can’t be captured by a camera. I’m inclined to agree with Clyde and vs that that is better captured in writing. (I say that after enduring a year of FB selfies by my niece and the daughter of a good friend. These two young women find themselves a heck of a lot more interesting than I do. I think my niece thinks she Kim Kardashian – whoever that is.)

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    1. I understand a study of the journals kept by the plains women who pioneered the homesteading of the dakotas led to the conclusion that their lives were too boring to study. Lives worth condensing make good condensed books. boring lives not

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    1. The lake district may have been my favorite part of my favorite trip
      I can’t imagine getting enough
      My b&b mate was a woman whose father had made all the maps for the lake district and she guided me to day after day of amazement.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I just googled an am delighted to see there does not seem to be a webcam on Madeline Island (please do not inform me if I am wrong). I did just bookmark one for Bayfield. That’s fine, they can have one.

    I’m big on privacy and hardly manage to register the reality before my very eyes some day. My payroll job happens on camera. Hate. It.

    Anna, has Miss S discovered the Artemis Fowl books? There is at least one where he gets around his home security system by hacking in a loop of footage of the empty space while he carries out his plans in the actual space.

    Makes me cheer.

    Sherillee, if your sister wants to avoid that unpleasant outcome, maybe she can call your mother and talk to her more often :).

    I say this as someone who hates being “checked up on”. If that is happening, I want to know about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. For a few years there was one on Madeline Island, now gone, which overlooked the bay. It must have been on the gift shop right at the end of the dock.

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      1. Well, I would not say that it is necessarily a bad thing to keep track of who comes on to the Island (and I figure anyone intrepid enough to get there by boat is probably ok).

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  7. Knowing that there are security cameras everywhere, I think we all appear on camera a lot more than we’re aware. It’s not something I spend a lot of time worrying about because most of my activities are so mundane as to be boring. If I were busy trying to shove unpaid merchandise into my purse or pockets, or bonking people on the head in order to relieve them of their valuables, I’d have reason to be concerned, but as it is, who cares that I was spotted in the fresh vegetables isle at the local supermarket? There are so many ways of keeping track of us these days that it boggles this old mind.

    I’m wondering, mig, why is your payroll job performed on camera? Surely you’re not stuffing cash into envelopes.

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    1. I am at the front desk of a care facility and they want to be able to have a tape in case they have an issue.

      And actually, I do sometimes stuff cash into envelopes, but the small amount of cash I have to account for is so tightly monitored it makes my teeth itch.

      It annoys me that during the hours when it seems like I am sitting there quietly alone, every move is being recorded. Thankly, no sound.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Morning —

    I have a webcam at the college theater. It has IR (infra-red) capabilities and it started simply as a way to see scene changes better in black-outs. And it works really well for that.
    Since then I’ve used it on a few shows where the staging is different and we can’t see certain things from the booth. I’ve used it as a monitor in my office so I can see what’s going on out there.
    And even to check in from home when there are events onstage without me.
    Clarity is terrible and there is no sound. And color representation is way off… but I’m working towards the day I can run lights from home in my barcalounger. With a honey whiskey in my hand. (I have the iPhone remote, I have the honey whiskey…)

    I’d like to have a similar camera at another theater to help with their productions. And maybe a camera pointed at the audience to gauge their reactions.

    When I do shows at Mayo Clinic, their presentation halls have multiple remote cameras so they can telecast the presentations and get audience questions and such.

    In a way it all goes back to ‘people watching’ doesn’t it?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hmm, I think I’ve been to a few shows where surely the. Lights were being run by somebody in a barcolounger, honey whiskey in hand.

      That is surely the only explanation :).

      Liked by 3 people

    2. This sounds like an app opportunity Ben, if it doesn’t exist now I’ll bet there is a market for it. Interested in pursuing it let me know. Its a big idea

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      1. Hmm, WP is messing with me today.

        I’ve tried posting this a couple times and in a couple different ways but it’s not showing up. Could be the link I have in here? So I’m going to try it without making it an actual link and you’ll have to do some work to get it if you’re interested.

        Go to Google and type in ” stre (.) am ” (But without the parentheses; I am trying that just to get it to post. Just type in the ‘stre’ and the ‘.’ and the ‘am’. )

        That will give you the web site for this app that allows you to ‘live stream’ video from your cell phone. You would appreciate it I think tim.
        I’m not sure what it is or how it works…
        But my niece’s husband is involved with it. It could be all the rage! …if you’re into that sort of thing…

        XDFBen

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Count me among those who think we already have too many cameras spying on us. This is a somewhat different issue, but not entirely different. When I moved into my home in Saint Paul there was a meeting of neighbors. Some woman had erected a huge pole by the alley, a pole holding up a sodium vapor lamp that illuminated the alley to deter crime. The neighborhood meeting was arranged by people who asked all of us to pay this woman $10 to maintain that lamp.

    I was in my first week living there. I took a big breath and told them I would pay her $10 to turn it off. I hated that pink, artificial light. Between an ugly light and a crime that might never occur, I preferred the purity of the night sky. I figured my new neighbors would discover what my values were, and they might as well know me right away.

    That light did get turned off after a few years. We had no breakout of crime in our alley, although some neighbor kids did take a few quarters from my car once.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I would like to have a camera on our bird feeders so we can see when the hawks swoop in. We watched a merlin devour a finch the other day. I would like to know just how many attempts it took the hawk for one meal.

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      1. About 10:30 AM. Lisa doesn’t know the exact time of birth. I guess news travels slowly from California. Hoping she’ll stop in on the trail. For those of you who are Facebook friends, she’s posted a nice – if upside down – photo of Wolfgang Wesley Dillenberger with his beaming parents. He weighed in at 8 lbs.

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  11. We’ve added a trail cam at the end of our driveway. Has worked well catching all the people that come down our road. Including the one pick up that comes in every afternoon fishtailing and making circles in the field.
    The Sheriff deputy had a talk with them and they haven’t come back.
    Course it also picks up the deer and turkeys walking by and the cloud of snow when we leave (there’s a 5 second delay between ‘detection’ and actually taking the picture.)
    And the snowplow, garbage truck, joggers, neighbors dog and anything else that slowly crosses by.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. If you think there are already too many cameras taking too many pictures of us and you’d like to scare yourself silly on this topic, try The Circle by Dave Eggers. Read it a couple of months ago and it really puts topics like today’s discussion into a different perspective. Scary as in kinda creepy, no scary as in Stephen King scary.

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  13. I went in search of dates for the next meeting of the BBC (did not find it, so if anyone can clue me in I would be everso grateful – hope springs eternal that I can make it) and saw the Trail now has above 2700 followers.

    Wow.

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  14. I think I’d like a camera back at celestine lake where the blog took me for a still shot the other day
    It would look exactly like that all the time but be live

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  15. Should have been a camera taping me making gnocchis today. Best batch I ever made. And I have been playing with the Artisan bread. I cannot believe bread-making is this easy for such delicious results.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Gnocci is my favorite I need details
      I’m pissed about artisans bread
      As I got good at it I realized glutern free is mandatory and now I need to learn how to invent good glutern free bread because it doesn’t exist to learn from

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      1. The Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day people recently put out a new book, Gluten Free Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day. I haven’t seen it but the authors found it to be quite a challenge. I infer that they succeeded in producing something with which they were satisfied.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I think dizzying</I) is the word for today's squirrel video! Love the perspective.

    I'd think I'd put a camera in my mom's residence, following whatever resident it is who keeps going into people's rooms when they aren't there, pilfering little items, or just using the bathroom and then wandering out. She tries locking her door, but it's sometimes hard to position her wheel chair for that.

    The only reason I can think of to video self is to find misplaced objects…

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      1. Next hing you know, tim will have found someone in China to manufacture the “Thingtracker” glasses. He’ll sell them on eBay and presto, he’ll be a millionaire!

        Liked by 1 person

  17. If someone gave me a camera to place, I’d probably stash it upstairs in some dark corner while contemplating where to best use it. Heaven knows whether it would ever actually get installed anywhere.

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    1. Well, that’s my honest answer. My more fanciful answer, I guess, is that I’d like to put in atop the 1st National Bank Building, and face it toward the river. Just to watch the river flow.

      Liked by 2 people

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