Saturday, May 17, 2008

More About...The Ride to Santa's House

Well, the little video that I posted a few days ago was supposed to highlight all the photos that I took on my bike ride with my niece outside of Fairbanks, but the program I used dropped quite a few of the images. Animoto is a really cool service that allows visitors to create a video without actually having video! Neat, huh?

You begin by uploading up to fifteen photos. Then you make a music choice. The rest is up to Animoto. The program analyzes the composition of your photos as well as the tempo and style of your musical choice. Then it combines those features into one, distinctive, thirty-second presentation. Once your video is created, you have the option of remixing the elements for a completely different finished product using the same photos and music. The motto at Animoto is "never the same video twice."

Unfortunately, my musical selection and photos appear not to have been overly compatible because Animoto used only ten of the fifteen photos that I uploaded. Hmm. The final product was cute, but not very informative. So I thought I'd share some images the old-fashioned way...if you can call digital photos, uploaded to a blog, hosted on an internet site, transmitted by a satellite which is orbiting the Earth...old-fashioned.


Taking a bike ride was originally my nephew's idea. Without even being asked, he very responsibly checked all the bike tires for sufficient air pressure and raised his sister's bicycle seat, giving her a little more leg extension on the bike she appears to be outgrowing. Unfortunately, some people didn't get to come along...

In the window

Unlike the North Slope with its knee-high, earth-colored vegetation, the Fairbanks area is well below the tree line and very green at many levels. My sister's house sits at the end of a driveway lined with Spruce...very rustic and cozy.

bike ride 3

Temperatures were in the 50's that day, perfect for being outside, while remnants of break-up still lingered here and there.

muddy road 2

By the time we reached the bike path that runs along the highway, my nephew realized that one of his tires was leaking. He returned home to change the tire and agreed to meet us at a nearby convenience store. He arrived a while later minus the bike. The tire couldn't be replaced or repaired, so my niece and I continued on without him. He didn't wasn't overly disappointed. An afternoon on the four-wheeler seemed to be a fair exchange.

bike ride 7

We passed hoards of people fishing, further testiment to the wonderful weather that day. This waterway (my niece called it a slough) is probably a tributary of the Chena River.

Bike ride a

Okay, why would I include a photo of an old bus? Actually, it represents a great Alaskan truth...almost anything can be reused...and reused...and reused! All across the state, you will see buildings, equipment, and vehicles that are being used, or reused, in ways that may not have been originally imagined by the manufacturers. This old bus is serving its second (or third or fourth) purpose as a storage space. It might just as easily have been converted into a camper or even a house! It's difficult to find anything odd in Alaska, because oddities are practically the norm.

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With a name like North Pole, there are certain expectations to live up to and a local fast-food restaurant appears have wholeheartedly embraced that image.

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Hey! Is that Santa's bright, shiny, red sleigh parked outside the Santa Claus House?

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No, that's probably Santa's sleigh parked closer to the door. I guess the other one belongs to someone who was very good last year.

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The Santa Claus House is, quite appropriately, a gift Alaskan-sized gift shop. Inside, some of the walls are lined with a very special wallpaper. Keeping up with the mail ensures that Santa's helpers are extremely busy, year-round.

Bike ride c

From beginning to end, we rode about twenty-five miles, a reasonable practice run for the bike trip that I'll be taking this summer. It was a very relaxing day, although (after riding an ill-fitting bike for several hours) my niece may not entirely agree.

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Steve said...

That's a fantastic picture of the child looking out the window with the trees reflected. And the whole journey looks like a lot of fun. Good journaling.

Steve said...

Good picture of the red Titan, too. But then it's hard to take a bad picture of a Nissan!

Kimberlee said...

Thanks, Steve. That window seat is my youngest niece's own personal play area as well as a convenient perch for viewing the world when she can't be out in it.

I thought it was pretty funny to see that red Titan parked in front of Santa's House. Of course, the mud should have been a dead give-away. Santa would never have a dirty sleigh! :)

littie said...

hi. its amazing that you could make a post so long about that little trip. little agonizing trip. such talent.....:D and none of the pictures of me were overly embarrasing. wow. you are a wonderful aunt. :D

Kimberlee said...

Hey, Littie! I'm so glad you checked out this post. Yeah, leave it to me to be long-winded! :) I didn't see any embarrassing photos of you, but I did decide against the pose-in-front-of-the-giant-tire shot, thinking that you might not like it much. So I guess I did have your feelings at heart...sort of.

I hope we can take some more bike rides when I return this summer. So get your seat warmed up (you can decide which seat!).

Love ya!

Jackie said...

Wow, that IS a fantastic picture of that child in the window...and my opinion is only slightly biased, being her mother and all:) I thoroughly enjoy reading this post as well as the more recent 2. And just so you'll know, getting a new bike for Littie has been on my mind...poor thing...she just doesn't complain enough. Oh, (I know this is the wrong blog but...) this evening I got 2 more of the movies you talk about on Reel Meaning. Can't wait to see and share.

Kimberlee said...

Hey, Jackie! I think it's hard to take a bad picture of that munchkin! :) I'm glad to hear that Littie may get a bicycle upgrade. Gotta keep my riding partner happy!

I'm afraid Reel Meaning has been sorely neglected for a while now. I have dabbled with a new posting, but can't seem to get it together. Other things have taken priority, I'm guess. Maybe knowing that you are planning to watch some movies will spark a revival of interest and devotion on my part! :) We'll see...