Podcast: Improvements

So here we have the… second? Is that right? Holy shit, that’s bad… podcast of 2020, kinda pathetic but whatcha gonna do: withhold your payments? Yeah, that’s right, sit down and hush up.

This time though, we’re going into improvements. No, not improvements that have been made, but improvements that will be made. Maybe. Hopefully. Soon… ish…

It’s actually a challenging and semi-complicated subject, without easy or even clearly-definable goals. But why waste time typing when it’s all here in audio?

Walkabout podcast – Improvements

And some of the things that I mentioned within:

Last year’s podcast about motivation.

My views on pursuing “art.”

I don’t really believe it should all be about money, but we also cannot survive without it very well either, so…

The instructional video that I did, my first big video project that I’m pleased with, even when I see room for improvement. The question is, should I be tackling more of them? And what would someone pay for access to them? (Yeah, I know, everyone wants something for free, but that’s not how it works. What are you gonna offer in trade?)

In there, I mentioned two of the goals that I’ve been pursuing, for the past few years actually: to obtain photos of praying mantises mating, and creating their egg sac (which may make for some decent video clips, the latter at least.) I have one, count ’em, one photo of each, both from years ago, and they’ve been sitting in the blog folder waiting for me to slip them in appropriately somewhere; the idea was, I’d show them in comparison to the new versions when I successfully completed one or both goals. But since that didn’t happen this year (again,) I’m posting them anyway.

pair of mating Chinese mantids Tenodera sinensis seen within thicket of pampas grass
Here’s a pair of Chinese mantids (Tenodera sinensis) mating, the only time I’ve seen it happen (ten years ago!), and it was so deep in the thicket of pampas grass that this was the best perspective I could obtain without disturbing them. Notably, the female’s abdomen already seems remarkably distended, not what I would have expected, but the bulk of the egg sac is protective layers, something akin to that expanding, hardening foam that is used to seal gaps, so that may be what’s taking up a lot of the space. It’s also possible that the male fertilizes the eggs immediately before they’re laid, similar to fish and frogs (where it happens immediately after,) so the development is at peak here. I honestly don’t know – that’s the kind of thing that I aim to illustrate and explain. I never did see the female create the sac following this, which means the next photo isn’t any close kin.

female Chinese mantis Tenodera sinensis almost finished producing egg sac ootheca in longneedle pine tree
This was actually taken many years previously, on slide film, as a female of the same species was almost complete in her task of producing the egg sac (ootheca.) Not quite as obscured as the one above, but still far from ideal. I’ve done my damnedest to keep mantises around to increase my chances of seeing this, to no avail, so these goals, at least, are waiting more on luck than on efforts. Granted, those efforts have netted me plenty of other photos and video clips, so they’ve been far from fruitless.

Oh, and the one podcast (so far) solely dedicated to humor – you can decided if I should ever attempt such a thing again. I think there’s room for improvement, at least.

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