Self-Publishing Update—The Proof Copy has Arrived

So many of you have supported me through this journey of writing and then self-publishing my memoir, Dancing in Heaven. I wanted to share this special moment with you. The video is about six and a half minutes long and includes short clips about my writing process.

Admittedly, my cinematography skills need a little improvement.

But I hope you enjoy the moment with me.

I did cry.

To make YouTube videos load faster, pause the video to allow it to completely load before playing, fast forward the video to a certain point, or download the video from YouTube to a computer.” Watch video by Gabriel Bahiru.

Animal Control bags rattle snake at a Hilton Head resort — the movie.

I wondered if the guy from Animal Control would look like Crocodile Dundee. He did sort of, but not so much. Maybe a little older and tamer version.

You probably thought I would be taking videos of sea gulls and pelicans and little sandpipers scurrying across the sand. And I was trying to yesterday, but the wind was so fierce, small particles of sand were pelting my skin and I started worrying about my camera. According to Mark, Hurricane Katia was creating winds and waves along the eastern shoreline.

When I grew weary of being pummeled by the wind and needled by the sand, we moved to the pool. And that’s where the real excitement was taking place.

A crowd of people were gathered around the shrubbery beside the sidewalk leading to the beach. Not being able to resist, I took my camera and wandered over. Although I couldn’t see it until later, I was told a large rattle snake was in the bushes. Wild horses couldn’t have pulled me away. I’d never seen a rattler before.

My video shows what happened after Crocodile Dundee the elder showed up. He’s wearing green. The guys in blue work for the resort. It’s all in a day’s work.

If you listen carefully, once the snake is on the ground,  you can hear the rattle of the tail above the sound of the wind.

At first I worried they killed the snake during the extraction, but found out later that they just choked him enough to get him in a bag. I saw the bag wiggling as Crocodile Dundee the elder left with it firmly tied and grasped in his gloved hand. Just like in the movies.

The snake’s ultimate fate remains unknown, but it was likely returned to the wild at a distant location. You can read more about Animal Control and snakes at Hilton Head here.

To make YouTube videos load faster, pause the video to allow it to completely load before playing, fast forward the video to a certain point, or download the video from YouTube to a computer.” Watch video by Gabriel Bahiru.

Niagara Falls — Facts, Falls, Fish and Film

So, I’ve come to realize I’ve misspelled Niagara at every opportunity. The spelling in this post title is correct, in the video captions at the end . . . not so much.

How did Niagara Falls get its name?

“One of the earliest native tribes called themselves the “Onguiaahra”. It is a name from which the “Niagara River” originated.

The French explorers that came to Niagara gave this Indian tribe the name “Neutrals” because of their position and status as peace keepers between the two warring Indian nations – the Huron’s and the Iroquois.

Niagara originates from the Neutral Indian name  “Ongniaahra” meaning “Thunder of Waters.”  (

Interesting facts about the falls

From (

  • Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the United States of America, established in 1885 as the Niagara Reservation.
  • In 1969, an earthen dam was built across the head of the American Rapids, dewatering the American Falls. For six months, geologists and engineers studied the rock face and the effects of erosion. It was determined that it would be too costly to remove rock at the base of the American Falls, and that nature should take its course.
  • The Falls are capable of producing over 4 million kilowatts of electricity, which is shared by the United States and Canada.
  • The Niagara River is actually a strait, connecting two large bodies of water, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
  • Four of the five Great Lakes drain into the Niagara River, (Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie) before emptying into Lake Ontario. These five Great Lakes make up almost one-fifth of the world’s fresh water supply.
  • At one time, before Goat Island became part of Niagara Falls State Park, there were suggestions on what the island could be used for. Mr. Vanderbilt planned to use the island as a pleasure ground for people riding his trains to the falls. P.T. Barnum wanted to turn Goat Island into circus grounds!

People over the falls

Over the years a lot of people have gone over the falls intentionally as a stunt, intentionally as a suicide attempt, and accidentally. Most don’t survive.


“Between 1901 and 1985, ten people went over the Falls in a ball, barrel or rig. Seven were successful while three died in the attempt. […] Thus far 15 people have challenged the Falls of Niagara between 1901 and 1995. Five have died.” (

Suicide Attempts:

“Niagara Falls has earned a grisly reputation as the suicide capital of the U.S., second only to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. […] Experts estimate there are between 20 to 25 suicides at the Falls each year.”

“In June of this year, a 51 year old woman who had been swimming in the river above the falls got swept into the rapids and plunged down horseshoe falls. It was believed to be a suicide.”

“In March 2009, a 30-year-old man miraculously survived after he threw himself off the Falls in a suicide attempt. He became only the third person to survive the plunge without protective equipment.”  (

Accidental Falls:

“A 19-year-old Japanese student apparently fell to her death after climbing over a safety railing for a photograph at Niagara Falls. When local police and firefighters went searching for her, they instead uncovered the body of an unidentified, unrelated man from the whirlpools at the bottom of the falls.”

“In the more than 100 years that Niagara Falls has been a popular tourist attraction–these days, about 11 million people visit annually–a mere seven accidental deaths have occurred at the falls. Only one person has ever survived accidentally going over the falls . . .” (

Do Fish go over the Falls?

“The simple answer is  – yes they do. They do all the time and most survive the rigorous journey. The fish is for the most part is much better built to survive the journey than most humans.” (

This video was made using iMovie and iPhoto on a MacBookPro and then uploading it to YouTube.

Modern technology — a love-hate relationship

I spent the better part of the day yesterday struggling with my video camera, computer, iMovie, and iDVD.

In the early 1980s, our first video camera was quite large and we had to rest it on our shoulder like the professionals do for Channel 9 News. It took video tapes. The good news was that once you recorded the tape you were done. You stuck it into a VCR and watched the unedited version of the movie you shot with all it’s bumps, quick-switches and views of your feet.

Now I have a small Sony Handycam. It fits nicely into the palm of my hand and records on mini DVD discs. The camera itself is user-friendly. It has a touch menu screen that tells me what I need to do when I need to do it. But then I am pretty much on my own in getting the movie from the little disc, that can only be viewed on or through my handycam, to a more universal disc that can be viewed on someone else’s DVD player, like my mother’s for instance.

When I connect the camera to my MacBook Pro, the video goes straight into iMovie. Which is alright. IMovie has good editing capabilities from what I can tell, if I knew how to use them. I can do a basic select. And I can cut segments to use out of the long, and at times, extremely boring video I shot.

But this takes a LOT of time to go through all the clips and play segments to make sure I’m not cutting out anything important. I was trying to make a DVD to send to my daughter-in-law because most of the video was of our little star attraction over the weekend, our 8-month-old grandson Luke. I decided to just send my daughter-in-law the whole unedited mess.

But I had to figure out how to get the movie from iMovie to a DVD.

And what format should the movie be in anyway, if you want to show it on a regular DVD player attached to a TV? There are about 25 options.

I consider myself above average in the technical savvy department, but geez.

I have now downloaded an iMovie-08 Getting Started manual on pdf. (I don’t think I even have iMovie-08, so that started me off on a new tangent to upgrade my iMovie software, which leads me to another rant about why do we have to keep updating all our software just when we’ve figured out how to use it?)

I have bookmarked an iDVD help page.

Yesterday I managed to burn a DVD of the unedited film that I hope will play on a DVD player, but haven’t tried yet. I also managed to edit out about 18 minutes of the movie to show to my parents today.

All in a day’s work.

I still need to burn the movie for my parents to a DVD. Worst case, I can just drag my MacBookPro up to Dayton and show my parents the video on this, which makes me wonder if some of these companies aren’t deliberately trying to make us more dependent upon their products.

The problem is, with new technology, we can do all kinds of really cool and neat things—but only if we know how. I want to create a jazzy DVD using iDVD, but I will likely have to spend hours learning how to do it. By the time I am ready to do it again, I will have forgotten what I did and will have to learn it all over. Frus – tra – ting.

Today I’m going to search for a Home Movies for Idiots book. If it’s not out there, maybe I’ll write it.