Saturday 13th May 2017

I’m at that stage where I’m panicking that I’ve forgotten something.  Case in point today.  I worried that I needed some more trousers.  Whilst storm chasing , the weather can be very hot, it can be wet, it can be messy.  And so the trousers I normally wear are not really suited.  In previous years I’ve worn Craghopper walking trousers because they are light, good for walking through undergrowth (if needed), and dry really fast.  But I panicked that, due to my ever changing body size, I needed to get some pairs in my size.
Until I found out I bought a number of pairs last year a size up from what I currently wear.  Given that I’m going to put weight on in the US… they’re probably the perfect size.
Because I’m vlogging I can’t really pack all my things, so I have everything dotted around the house ready to be packed up tomorrow.
I’m going to forget something, aren’t I?
But as I said today… I’m going to North America, not the Amazon.  It’s not like there aren’t shops there.  Obviously I want to avoid the expense if I can, but still.  It’s not the end of the world.  As long as I remember my passport, cards and travel money.  If I forgot one of my cameras, it’s not like I haven’t packed the other three.
I always get nervous before a flight.  I live in fear of oversleeping and so I always stay awake the night before I travel out.  It means I sleep on the plane which I suppose disrupts my sleeping schedule enough to make it easier to get into a new rhythm.  It still always takes me a few days to stop waking up in the middle of the night though.  This is why I fly in a few days early.
We’re now starting to pay close attention to the models for next week.  In the latest run the South Dakota / Nebraska border is looking interesting on Friday.  I think it’s looking a little rain-wrapped, personally.   Plus, it doesn’t seem to be consistent across data runs, so we’ll have to pay close attention to it as the week progresses.  But I want storms and great structure this year.   I’m personally keeping an eye on Iowa.
I really need to do complete my forecasting training.  I’m probably better than I think I am, but I have huge gaps in my knowledge.  I didn’t do a meteorological degree at university and so I have pockets of knowledge.  In previous years, we always had a professional with us to do the forecasting.  Now, we have to do it for ourselves.
That’s exciting and I’m sure we’ll get some major busts because of it… but just like writing, you need to get it wrong before you get it right.
I tried to have a lay in this morning as I have to be up early to go swordfighting tomorrow.  I probably need to get a new travel lock on the way home, and then I need to edit several editions of the vlog.
And then… off we go!  Holy crap, it’s finally here!
I started packing my case today… more for vlog content than any other reason.  The problem (and in many ways it’s the opposite of a problem) is when you’ve done the same trip several years running, you tend to keep all the bits you take out with you together and get complacent.  I have a drawer full of my GoPro parts along with my chargers and US extension cables and converters.  Packing a lot of my camera gear is as simple as opening that drawer and emptying it into my bag.
I had the same thing when I was running Action-Figure.  Tech was a lot more difficult back then.  I used to relish the challenge of moving an office out to the US for a week.  This was in the days of dial up internet to get pictures uploaded.  It’s not like now where you submit one online form to your mobile phone company and suddenly you’re able to Snapchat in a field in Kansas.
Yet, after years of moving the Action-Figure office out to New York or San Diego, I could pack for those trips in 20 minutes flat.  Of course, I would then panic I had forgotten something essential.  I never had, because I’d been planning my equipment in my head for months in advance, adding pieces I might need to a location similar to my GoPro drawer.
So I suspect that I’m packed in everything other than having physical items in bags.  I’m already overpacking clothes.  I do this every year.  My May trip to the US is when I buy myself my new wardrobe for the year.  Mainly this is because there are outlet stores in Oklahoma and the brands I love you can’t get over here.  It used to be cheaper as well, but now after Brexit…
But, I always end up packing clothes for 10 days of a 20 day trip and then buying a further 20 days clothes. Oh well.
I edited another timelapse today.  It was the one I shot yesterday.  I remembered to use the fisheye lens I bought last year and had forgotten I’d bought.  I tried to follow a guide on how to do the proper Timelapse but I really don’t understand the Lightroom part of the process.  However, it doesn’t seem to be affecting the results which I’m very pleased with.
I’ve tried to think about the novel today, specifically elements of the start and making my hero seem even more competent, but I’m so full of nervous energy about the trip I can’t really think.  I did go for a walk to pick up a non-trip related parcel but I spent that walk thinking of the video I plan to shoot on Monday.
I got a couple of nice comments about the videos today which meant a lot.  My friend Patrick was going to be coming with us but had to drop out for various reasons.  He said they are going to be the highlight of his day  when we’re on the road.  And one of my best friends also commented that he’s starting a notification squad for my Youtube videos, which given he takes the piss out of everything I do, was really touching.
So I guess I’m committed to the daily videos, then!  I just hope that I can find a way to get them done and uploaded.  I suspect they will be a little erratic in terms of upload times depending on where I can find bandwidth but that’s going to be part of the fun.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

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