How Karen Hutten Shortened My Life
Three words. That's all it took. My heart stopped, my hair grayed, and my life was forever shortened ... but only by a wee bit.
I know now that Karen is the voice behind Stuck On Earth. But 18 months ago, I didn't even know Stuck On Earth had sound. My iPad is almost always muted. Time and again I went into Stuck On Earth, volume muted, none the wiser of Karen's rich, smooth voice offering inspirations and whimsical suggestions on places to explore.
Then, one fateful morning, I grabbed my iPad to watch a movie. I remember it was very quiet in the house. It was a weekend. I was up early and the rest of the house was still sleeping. With headphones plugged in, I raised the volume. For some reason, I decided to poke into Stuck On Earth before firing up Netflix. And then, at near full volume ... "Welcome back, Scott."
I jumped. Not just emotionally. I physically jumped. I hadn't been that startled in years. Cut to the cartoon scene where a guy gets scared and jumps off the floor so fast his shoes and socks stay in place. A few moments later, the same guy falls back to earth, sliding back into his socks and shoes.
I died a little that day. But only a little.
Now, Karen's voice isn't frightening - far from it. But in that set of circumstances - a calm, quiet house, a relaxing weekend morning, an unsuspecting me - "Welcome back, Scott" was a shock. It may as well have been Freddy Krueger ushering me into another of his terrifying nightmares. Or a horror movie clown, sadistically taunting me, being forever-stuck in his funhouse of horrors. Just. Plain. Scary.
More than a year has passed. I'm still alive, I still use Stuck On Earth regularly, and I smile when I hear Karen. Stuck On Earth is a large part of my research workflow (a subject for an upcoming blog post). I use it when planning a shoot for a new location, or finding cool places to photograph when I'm in unfamiliar territory. If you haven't tried it out, it's worth your time to do so. http://stuckonearthapp.com.
Do check the volume before you launch the app.