Is Bigger Better?

During one of those three story investigations, I discovered myself huffing and puffing, grabbing my chest, blowing my nose, and desperately searching for a place to collapse and locate my little bottle of nitro. I was running the cables from home base to many positioned IR cameras – up and down three flights no less than 22 times (you may remember, I’m a counter), and I still had to check the DVR to set the camera angles. After a few moments of rest, I returned to normal, but lamenting the prospect of repeating the process when the investigation was finished. Ugh. There had to be a better way.

My DVR had been acting bananas for a couple of months; I owned a mile of cable; unpacking the car at 3:00 am took til 4:00 am… never let it be said I am not dedicated. And I knew all of it might actually, literally kill me. Seriously! That’s how bad it was; that’s how bad I felt.

But finally, after that three story job I mentioned, late the following morning, I noticed my GoPro’s come hither look from the side pocket of one of those equipment bags. A cartoon light bulb turned on over my head. If I could replace all my cameras with GoPro-style equipment, I was certain that every uncomfortable, unhealthy moment could be avoided. Plus, the results would logically improve through clearer footage, and cleaner processes. Even my stressed-out heart gave a sigh of relief at the possibilities. There would be problems, of course – extended battery life, portable lighting for full spectrum cameras, tiny tripods; a whole slew of minor stuff. I knew that if this grand experiment was going to work, all of these hurdles had to be cleanly jumped.

Bigger is not always better, and I made it a personal quest to prove just that. So what happened? Not only did my pre-investigation setup become easier, I could bring everything in and out of the location with one simple trip. Gone were the days of potential heart attacks and collapsed lungs; of several metal suitcases; of heavy stuff that required other heavy stuff to function. My knees were actually praising God out loud. The throbbing in my temples had disappeared, and there was more time available for actual investigating. Sounds like a win/win, right?

Of course, different ideas are always a work in progress, but the end results have been noticeable. Video quality is better, the lenses are wide angle and therefore more area is included in the shots. Analysis can be done on an iPad whenever I want; wherever I am. Almost every aspect of my participation in the investigation has drastically improved. I’m already spoiled because I am taking so much of it for granted. I might even go so far as to suggest that smaller is better.

I’ve since incorporated a second GoPro, 3 good quality full spectrum GoPro knockoffs, a 360fly cam, 2 Samsung 360 cams (or 180), a Trail Cam, a Seek thermal attachment, a FLIR attachment, a Bushnell night vision monocular that records, and a ridiculous amount of support stuff including portable IR lighting and various ways of mounting the small cameras practically anywhere. Is bigger better? I think not.

I’ve got a lot of micro SDs to keep track of, but I can literally walk out the door with all my evidence in my front left pocket. Please keep in mind that none of this is a criticism of the old ways. Those ways have just stopped working for me personally. So for me, bigger is definitely not better. But what’s the point in telling you all of this? Beside the notion that I’m entitled to my opinion, it occurs to me our field is actually going in this direction anyway. The kind of equipment we use in this field is getting better and better, as well as smaller and smaller. Good quality equipment is actually getting more affordable, and new capabilities are becoming more easily available. But then, to be honest, it’s unfair and wrong to suggest that this is the only way to go. However, for those of you who are beginning to feel that infernal full-body burn during and after every investigation, I think it’s worth consideration.

[Over the next few months, from time to time, I’ll focus in on a specific area of this “small” experiment.]

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“There Is No Silence” by Randall Keller. On Amazon. http://t.co/lKo9kyuHOF

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Conscience

This will not be a rant against Trump, although I am no supporter. I do hope he succeeds in helping the country, but I see no evidence of that. Besides, others are more eloquent than I on such matters. Likewise, I won’t bash Congressional Republicans or party leaders, or conservatives, or alt-righters, or conspiracy theorists, or fascists, Nazis, NRA supporters, or racists, male supremacists, homophobes, xenophobes, or any other “phobes.” To my friends who will vehemently disagree with me, try to understand that I can no more quiet my thoughts than you can your own. And what I say is no less valid. In this country, that’s the way it is.

But clearly, something is bothering me. This is a paranormal blog for the most part, and I’ve been inactive for some months. What could possibly have awakened me enough to comment? Well, I am restarting the blog. It never went away, you know, it just got ridiculously boring what with the lack of new entries and such. But it’s back, baby. And it will remain a paranormal blog for the most part, but man does not live by ectoplasm alone, so I’m mixing in some personal thoughts along the way. This entry is one of those.

“Okay, dude, but you’re all over the place here. What has you stoked enough to get back to poetic waxing… or whatever?” Glad you asked – man’s inhumanity to man, of course. ”Oh. That again.” I know, it’s a hackneyed subject; been done before, ad nausea; nothing to see here folks, move along. But in the last couple of years, those trampling all over their fellow human’s lives have obviously received Ph.D.’s in the subject – doctors of nastiness; experts in unholiness; assholiness, if you will. Lately, Americans have taken their mental defectiveness to levels heretofore unimaginable in a civilized society. As John Lennon once said – “One thing you can’t hide, is when you’re crippled inside.” I think the secret is out.

“Okay, but what is specifically chapping your thighs? Get on with it!” It started when this government, we the people, this proud nation began separating children from parents at the southern border. People fell prey to an American juggernaut and found themselves in cages waiting to be deported while their children were being placed in foster homes or worse – no doubt one day to face their own deportation. And this is what is bothering me. Not big enough of a deal for you? Got kids?

I don’t really care whether they are unqualified to receive asylum. Fine, say no and send them packing. I don’t care if they’re brown people and you don’t like brown people, you can’t steal their children. Those days are long gone, Massah. In fact, there are very few situations that allows anyone that right. Besides, they’re not US citizens – you can’t do that to “others” just because you want to. Or, maybe you can.

Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves? I am. Aren’t you amazed at how morally bankrupt you have proven us all to truly be? Doesn’t it occur to you that there will be history books which will devote entire chapters to this in very unflattering terms? Is this what Jesus would do? Or any god anywhere? And please don’t suggest you have to be strong with “these people,” because these actions are indicative of an immense weakness of character – not strength. And please don’t tell me you’re protecting the rule of law, because we all know how you really feel about that. In fact, don’t say a word. Nothing you could say will ever serve to justify this abhorrent behavior, and somewhere, way deep inside of your cold heart, you know it. What’s next, by the way? Death? Gas chambers? Can an immoral action lay claim to a moral end? I’d love to hear of a single example. Or maybe our definitions of morality are vastly different.

Let’s face it, folks. We’re not the people we thought we were. We’re certainly not who we say we are or claim to be. This is who we have become. This is who we are now. This is a choice.

To paraphrase, Jesus said, “how you treat the least of these is how you treat me.” I won’t explain that. If you don’t get it, then the shoe fits and ya gotta wear it. But it actually doesn’t matter because if our country exercises such brutal injustice, so do all of its citizenry. We stand together and we fall together. We are all, therefore, “good Germans.” We are responsible. Say that out loud until it sinks in. We are all party and complicit in this grotesque display of inhuman behavior. We are responsible for removing innocent children from innocent families to… what? Make a point? That kind of makes us monsters and we seem to be okay with it.

And some of you will strongly disagree and show just how deeply in denial you have fallen. And others will cry and moan and wring your hands. “What are we to do?” Sniff sniff. And still others will refuse to accept their personal culpability, but in a democracy, that’s how it goes. Shouldn’t we try at least to do something about this? Shouldn’t we do something? “What you do to the least of these you do to me.” Shouldn’t we ask for forgiveness at least – shouldn’t we just stop this? Like NOW? Stop obfuscating, stop lying, stop concealing – stop doing this. The damage already done to America will echo back at us over and over for decades, and we’ll figure out how to deal with it. But how do we deal with the damage caused to one innocent child? Damage directly caused by us. How many damaged children will it take before we all agree? Because that day will come. We won’t just agree, we’ll know.

[ Next entry will focus on the paranormal. ]