Prepared

Cassi sent me a text a couple of days ago to ask if I’d wanna join her for Thanksgiving again this year. First thing that flashed in my head was that it sure didn’t feel like an entire year could have passed since we made our premiere attempt, throwing together a (surprisingly edible) Thanksgiving dinner for everyone in the house there. (With neither of us having any bird cookin’ skillz to speak of.) 😏 We were pretty proud of ourselves.

This year she stepped up her game. 😯 She did her research and the bird was prepped, seasoned, in the oven, and half-way done before I even got there – so she alone gets the cookie when it ended up turning out amazing. 😃 It’s weird how the turkey was almost half the size of last year’s bird, but we somehow ended up with way more “good” meat this year… and it was every bit as good as anything that we used to have at family holidays. I was impressed.

Honestly the only tasks that I had were making the cornbread and then making the gravy, and most of the rest of the time I just tried to stay out of her way. 🙂 Oh, I did the carving too… but even that I can’t take much credit for, as the bird basically fell apart in a way where all of the “good stuff” separated itself from the “ick” in nice big chunks. I didn’t let them know that though. 😁 I mean, I gotta appear useful for something.

I’m glad that I went. And it wasn’t a definite. It’s not easy to leave the bubble and go out for something uncertain, even if I know it’s gonna be at least an okay time. 😐😟 But agreeing to it when she asked “locked it in” so that even if I wasn’t feelin’ it today – that alone would have made it harder for me to cancel. Oh, and Aunt Sharon left a message about our local family’s gathering today – but she left it at 8:00 am, I didn’t get it until I woke up around 1:00 pm, where I learned that “we’re gonna eat” at noon. 🤦🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️ Another example of how my inability to conform to human schedules kinda messed things up. But, while I love my family and love that they still invite me, our family gatherings are just shadows of their former selves these days. 😟

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How Could I Not?

Here I’ve been, telling my friends “Nah, I’m not going out for Black Friday. I can’t even think of anything I need, and especially if I have to be out among the sea of people.” and I thought I was telling them the truth. 😏 Actually, most of those two sentences are still true… because no way would I consider going out to fight with the thousands of other assholes at the crack of dawn come this Friday – but it turns out that I did need something, and I didn’t even realize it until a just few minutes ago. (Deja vu… heh)

I’ll go ahead and describe the item, then I’ll get to the “deal” part of it. I already have a Playstation 4, and about a year ago Sony came out with a virtual reality headset for it which has been selling for $299. Also known as way too friggin’ much. Well, now that they’re preparing to come out with an updated version of the headset soon, prices in some places are dropping to $199 for the current model. Still expensive, but much more reasonable.

For me, any VR gaming that I end up doing will just be a bonus. Because, to be honest, I couldn’t tell you the last time I’ve played a game on that system. 😕 Things over the past couple of years have warped my brain, taking away the desire to do many of the things I used to find fun… but anyway…

I had actually given the PSVR system a brief look when it originally came out, but mainly  because of the photo and video applications. I have a 3D television, but I’ll now be able to watch 3D movies or videos on the headset. Same thing with 360° virtual reality videos. 😎 Does anything start to sound familiar? 🤔 At this price point, this thing sounds perfect for me since I’ve got a cheap 3D video recorder and a camera that can shoot 360° photos and videos. Honestly, the thing is made for me to own.

But it wasn’t even floating around in my brain as recently as 15 minutes ago, that is, until I saw a post from Cheap Ass Gamer that showed the system available at Kohl’s for $199 – plus for every $50 that you spent, you’d earn $15 in Kohl’s Cash which can be used for in-store purchases later. So I hit the site, put the PSVR in my cart, added a $1.00 foaming face mask (to push the total to just over $200) and boom… $60 in Kohl’s Cash, effectively making the final price only $140. 🤓 Giddyup.

This should really encourage my shooting in those alternative mediums.

Welcome Back

My bed has kicked my ass over the past couple of nights. The last few months have been somewhat okay, but prior to that it had a habit of messing up my lower back if I didn’t stay in just the right position as I slept. So now I’m waddling around the house, hunched over in pain like an old man. 👴🏻😣 And I know the process – it’s either gonna be mostly okay tomorrow, or it’s gonna get worse and stay worse for a while. 😐 Luckily I got the living room all cleaned up and presentable yesterday, so I’m not gonna be forced to sit in a room that’s annoying me until I feel better. (That’s my half-assed effort at trying to stay positive.)

I’m just glad that it’s a weekend day, and that I didn’t have any plans. So I can sit here with heat on my back and watch the last race of the season. I don’t have NBC (live) with my DirecTV Now service – so I’m watching the cluttered “Hot Pass” version of coverage on NBCSN. At least half-a-dozen camera views on the screen at once, live audio from whatever driver they happen to pick for that moment… it’s ugly, but it’ll do.

Ugh… it’s amazing how quickly unexpected pain like this can take away whatever “will to care (about anything)” that I may have had the previous day. 😞 Believe me, I make an effort to not be miserable… and it is an effort… but since I’m always walking that fine line anyway, it doesn’t take a whole hell of a lot to push me over the edge to bad.

Didn’t Know I’d Want It

Clicking around on YouTube, somehow I ended up finding a video of a couple of kids reviewing video games… but these kids just happened to be doing so in 1991 at the Bally’s Aladdin’s Castle in Atlantic City. 😯 I’d have liked to have seen the even older arcade though, because it’s the one of which I have the most memory. It was actually built into the front of Bally’s Park Place casino and looked out onto the boardwalk and ocean. 🙂 Right next to the little art gallery shop where they had sculptures made of garbage on display.

That, of course, caused me to click around a bit longer… trying yet again to find pictures of any of those casino arcades from the mid-80s, but just like usual – I came up empty, other than a few random posts in dusty corners of the web, where people were requesting the same sort of photos that I’m looking for. 😟 And like one of those folks said, “It never occurred to me that I should take pictures of the boring old arcade that I went to every weekend.” And that way of thinking makes sense. 🤔 Something that doesn’t seem like a big deal to you at the time… you’re unlikely to bother making a visual record of it, because your brain isn’t thinking ahead to consider that you (or anyone else) might one day wish that you could look back at that stuff from the future.

That refreshed my memory and added a little more spark to my current level of photographic motivation. When I got my 3D camera, I considered going around town and just taking random pictures of anything and everything… providing a 3D snapshot of Lancaster from “a couple of days back in 2014” or whenever, for people to look at in awe decades from now. 😃 But of course I never did it. 😏 Shit, even now there’s a couple local Facebook groups where people make a hobby of finding “vintage” pics of the city, the buildings, the stores, the people, and sharing them with everyone – which ends up getting them 100s of likes and shares.

I’m not worried about the popularity of any shots that I might take now, I’m just using that as an example of how photos that I take now may be looked back on in amazement several decades from now – especially if I compose shots that people haven’t thought of already taking. 🤓📷 I’m just not sure if I’d be better off taking “normal” shots with my high megapixel dSLR, or if I should use the 3D or 360° cameras just to make them more unique. 🤷🏻‍♂️ I realize that it’ll be much, much easier for future generations to find digital photos from the current age – so if I want them to mean something or to get a special look in the future, I’ll have to figure out what tricks I wanna use. Whether by using an unusual type of camera, or by just giving extra thought to the location and composure of the shots themselves.

This is making my evening fun though… just running all of these things through my head, even when there’s probably only a 10% chance of me actually doing any of it. My brain hasn’t really cared to think about anything photo-wise for many months now, so it’s nice just to have a little bit of “that feeling” again. I’ll have to grab one of my notebooks here in a minute and start jotting down some ideas before it all starts to dissipate.

Cash Grab

In the interest of psychological self-preservation, I’ve steered clear of reading too much Twitter or watching too much political news today. 🤨 That’s probably something I should consider doing permanently… instead of trying to always stay up to date on the latest breaking news, maybe I should take a couple days’ break between absorbing all of the awfulness. 🤔 I’m sure I’d end up hearing about it if anything urgent actually happened, but the rest of it should be easy enough to consume in summary form for the previous couple of days. 🤓 Meh… it’s a thought anyway…

I was blessed to receive a “catch up” sleep last night. I think I ended up crashing around 5:00am, and didn’t wake up until 3:00pm… so despite my schedule getting a little screwed up due to the sleep schedule adjustment, waking up feeling rested and without much pain was a godsend. – so I can overlook the inconvenience it’ll probably cause.

I got another small surprise in the mail today. While I’m normally not a fan of bands/artists re-releasing their albums with “bonus tracks” after everyone has already bought the original… because I liked nearly every single track on Skillet’s album Unleashed, I went ahead and gritted my teefs and clicked the “buy” button when they announced that they were releasing Unleashed Beyond – which has five brand new tracks and two remixes of songs already on the original disc. 😃🤘🏻 I haven’t listened to it yet, but I’m 90% sure that I’m gonna like the new stuff.

So yeah… honestly even though it’s the early evening, I really feel like my day is only just getting started – and right now my mind is clear, I’ve not set any obligations for myself, so hopefully it’ll just be a mix of lazy, doing a little of this and that, and trying to keep it from ending up crappy for whatever reason. I felt a twinge of maybe wanting to take some photos again, so maybe I’ll look about and see what types of new features and photo slideshow software packages are out there these days.

The Pot vs. Sins of the Kettle

It’s surreal what we’re getting to see from our government these days, and specifically from our President. Donald Trump, who has been caught on tape bragging about how he can (and does) sexually assault women, how he can’t even control himself or stop himself from doing it… the same man who has at least SIXTEEN different women who have accused him of sexual assault of one kind or another… again, this man is President of The United States… but there he is on Twitter, trolling Al Franken for taking an inappropriate photo with an allegedly sleeping woman – and giving him shit for lecturing other people on not being the type of person who sexually assaults someone.

I know, that’s a little hard to follow… but yeah, Donald Trump, proud sexual predator, focus of a dozen+ sexual assault claims including the alleged rape of a 13 y/o girl and the rape of his own wife – he’s lecturing another man accused of sexual assault, for lecturing others on sexual assault. I’m not joking when I say that this is legitimately making my brain hurt and my eye twitch.

I don’t know if Donald Trump forgets that he’s on tape bragging about how he grabs at women’s vaginas without consent, or if he remembers but just doesn’t care… but whatever is going on in that man’s head, there’s no doubt that he has some serious psychological problems. Perhaps he knows that some new information is coming down the pipe tomorrow, maybe regarding his son-in-law who was once again caught withholding Russian communications from the Senate – or perhaps it will be about his biological son, who was recently caught having secret communications with Wikileaks for months despite everyone in the administration denying it. And let’s not forget about Jeff Sessions and the perjury charges that he could be facing for the many lies that he has told congress.

Because if he didn’t tweet what he did in order to distract from any or all of those topics – then the man is simply psychologically damaged, because all that this is going to do is bring all of the negative attention back on him  – along with reminding the world about all of the women who have made accusations against him. Oh… and it took him less than a day to tweet something inflammatory about (Democrat) Al Franken, when it has been more than a week since the (Republican) Roy Moore scandal came to light, which (instead of just being about a tasteless photo) includes allegations that Moore sexually assaulted a minor, otherwise known as child molestation. But of course Trump hasn’t said a word about that, and being the coward that he is – he wouldn’t say anything about Franken in front of reporters, but instead waited until he was back at home, sitting on the toilet, with his dick in one hand and his phone in the other. (How’s that for some mental imagery?)

Good lord… this is what we are now. This is what the world sees when they look to America as an example of how people and countries should be. It’s fucking disgraceful, and has me going from being completely speechless – to where all I want to do is rant about it, because it’s disgusting, shameful, and it makes me sad that kids growing up these days will think of this as the normal way that people in government function.

I’m honestly getting sick to my stomach as I type this… but this is our inescapable reality.

Silent But Scandalous

This is kind of related to the post below. I just figured I would come back in here and report on an incident that happened to me when I was in junior high. Granted, that means that we were all kids, but still… let me continue…

While on a school-sponsored camping trip at a local nature place, all of us students were split up into 4 or 5 people in each tiny little cabin. Boys with boys, and of course girls with girls… and on one of the nights there, the other kids in the cabin decided to play a joke on me. 😳 It felt like a joke then, and it still feels like a joke now – but putting it in the hypothetical context of the current climate when it comes to reporting “sketchy” things… it makes me wonder how parents and authority figures would react to it now, if it had happened recently and I reported it right away. 🙂🤔

I have a feeling that it would have happened to the first kid that fell asleep in the cabin anyway, but I just happened to be that person. 😏 The way that I was told that it happened, was that one of the kids had been really gassy all day – so they decided that someone was gonna get farted on that night. 😅🤢 So when I sacked out, they silently prepared for the joke – which ended up with one of the kids pulling his pants down, putting his ass right by my face, and releasing the poison. 😝 Now, obviously I’d have preferred to not be the kid that got gassed… but it was what it was, and after a short moment of being butthurt upon learning about it – eventually I was laughing right along with them.

Now, take that story and transplant it to 2017. How would teachers react? How would parents react? Especially considering the… *gasp*exposed ass right next to my nose. 😯 I can’t remember for sure, but there may have even been a picture taken. Can you imagine it though? I’d probably be stuck in counseling, the offending kid probably would have been arrested and branded as a sex offender for the rest of his life, the school likely would have never done field trips again, and certainly not to that campground – which may have been forced into closure after being branded the place where a kid was sexually assaulted.

I guess I don’t really know what point I’m trying to make. 🤓 I suppose it’s more about giving some personal background so that others might be better able to understand why I react to certain things in certain ways… ways that are possibly not the same as most other people would react. So yeah, when I see Franken’s goofy photo next to the sleeping woman… it’s harder for me to think of it as a big deal, since I’ve had an ass in my face while I slept, possibly with photographic evidence, and it really didn’t feel like a big deal to me. 🤷🏻‍♂️