A Successful Failure

Well, boy howdy if I didn’t actually make good on the idea I had in the wake of yesterday’s tagging of our mailbox to set up a covert “Scumbag Cam.” Indeed, I stationed the truck curbside in front of the house and with the aid of an old laptop and an equally old USB webcam partnered with some motion-detection-enabled software I was able to assemble a whole image bank dutifully snapped and stored until the batteries gave out about four hours later.

The trouble is as I expected, the images are craptacular in all their grainy, muddled low-resolution glory, making every silhouetted passer-by look ominous. Or back-lit. Or blurry. Or all of the above, like this spooky being captured after 9 p.m. and shortly before the lapper’s power source said toodles:


That I was able to put together something of a solution on such short notice makes this a success. That its results weren’t anything great makes it a failure, but I certainly had no high-definition delusions going in. Just wanted to start somewhere. And no, we didn’t get tagged during the surveillance, nor anytime during the ensuing night or following morning.
P.S. I cobbled together a shrunken, time-lapse movie of the images, viewable from here.

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with laonstage.com, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."