June 14, 2020

Mind Savers

No matter how well we may (or may not) be coping with Introvert Celebration 2020, staring at the same four walls (more if you have access to more than one room) can begin to get anybody a little bugnutty.  I've come across a number of yootoobers that allow me to take virtual journeys to get me out of Pond Central, at least mentally.

It all started, of course, with Rambalac.  I began watching his videowalks long before Social Distancing Is A Thing 2020 kicked in, and he's still my favorite of all of these people I'll be mentioning.  What he does is so uncomplicated that nobody else that I've found does it half as well, which confuses me.  All he does is load up a high-end videocamera with a swell microphone on a stabilizer-like rig, and he goes for walks.  That's it, that's all.  He doesn't talk, there's no music overlaid on it, it's just ambient sound.  And I simply adore having his vids playing while I do my FGO runs, or have dinner, or just to get myself ready for bed. 

In search of something new and exciting, a few months back I stumbled across Railfan Aunz.  Consisting of mostly cab rides of trains, this yootoober leans more toward the not-Tokyo side of Japan, though they spend a lot of time outside of Japan too... there's videos from Australia, Italy, England, Hong Kong and others, too.  Two of my favorite videos are a roundtrip between two fairly rural areas, one out, one back... and during the four hour round trip, the weather changes from heavy snow to zero snow on the ground.  Of course, during the trip back the weather gets bad again.  Throw that onto some rather stunning terrain and you've got a great way to spend a night or two.  The video I've included here is easily my favorite, however.  It looks like a regular train ride in dense-pack Japan somewhere... and then you reach the 3:40 mark.
Yeah.  Not a bad way to commute.

Compared to the first two, Wingin' It With Paul Lucas is totally different.  He's a flight sorta guy, and he literally does nothing but flight reviews for a living.  Fortunately for him, he had a backlog to work through during the Coming Of The Quiet Time 2020.  While I'm fascinated by the Business/First Class flights he's been on, he's not afraid to sit back in the cattle section with the unwashed masses.  He's done everything from 747s to teeny-tiny puddlejumpers in the Caribbean, as well as the occasional train and even a submarine once.  His style has changed radically from the beginning of the channel, for the better I think.  

Finally, in stark contrast to the other three's exotic locales, we come to CTAConnections, the official yootoob channel of the Chicago Transit Authority.  About half of the channel is stuff that nobody will ever watch... the monthly CTA Transit Board meetings... but the other half is filled with historical footage of Chicago's light rail system, as well as real-time ride-alongs of every "color" route... the Purple Line, the Blue Line, etc etc etc.
Around about 20:30 or so on this Red Line video, you may see something really really gorgeous off to the right.

There's plenty of other channels out there that I've taken virtual trips on, but I'll leave those for your own adventures... and if you have anything like this that you like to watch, like a bus trip from London to Paris, let me know in the comments!  Enjoy!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:21 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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1 I know it's a job like any other with its ups and downs and joys and frustrations and the novelty would wear off almost instantly, but part of me would love to have a commuter rail operator gig somewhere scenic.

That Fuji run, for instance. I'd be willing to find out how long it would take for me to tire of that view, and I wager it would take more years than I have remaining.

Posted by: GreyDuck at June 15, 2020 08:18 AM (rKFiU)

2 WildEarth. Nothing but streams from various safari lodge areas in South Africa, with commentary from various guides. They drive around for three hours, sunrise and sunset times, and they cut back and forth between streams when guides find something. It could be elephants, giraffes, leopards, meerkats... or butterflies, or birds, or interesting plants.
One stream is from the Kalahari, a couple are from a plains area, and one from a rolling mountainous area. 
I have learned a lot from watching, and the "kids ask questions" hour is pretty good fun.

Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at June 19, 2020 10:25 PM (sF8WE)

3 WildEarth now has a bunch of new viewers behind the Great Chinese Firewall. Apparently the big Chinese discount store consortium, Tencent, has its own video platform, and WildEarth is now streaming there. 
So some of the "kids ask questions" hours have been replaced by "Chinese folks from Tencent ask questions" hours.
Sadly, the live chat/comment on YouTube doesn't cross over with Tencent's question line, so the community can't embrace the Chinese newbies. (And realistically, most of them would have been posting in Chinese, even if they weren't captives of a totalitarian government.) 
OTOH, the questions are pretty interesting. Some of it is just basic newb inquiries, like "Why don't the animals attack the guide vehicles?", but some of it reveals cultural differences and individual quirks.
Anyhow, it's interesting because these "apolitical" things can turn out to be surprisingly subversive. (And the guides work a month on, a month off, so that will blow the Chinese viewers' minds. It kinda blows mine... but yeah, they deserve the cash and the rest for all their hard work and study.)

Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at June 23, 2020 09:16 AM (sF8WE)

4 Ha! A WildEarth guide went to see the hyena cubs, and a bunch more hyena cubs from other families came out, and spent several minutes sniffing all around the vehicle, running away, coming back, running away....
It's toward the end of today's sunset stream, so you can watch it on the repeats.

Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at June 23, 2020 09:37 AM (sF8WE)

5 What have you done! For 2 months now I've been watching Japanese train cams.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at August 17, 2020 09:48 AM (LZ7Bg)

6 ...and there are so MANY channels to choose from.

Posted by: Wonderduck at August 17, 2020 03:29 PM (D9Okp)

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