Sun & Packages

This was interesting… and it shows that me and Genesee still have a pretty good link with each other… because we both received packages today from each other, with neither of us having told the other person that it was coming. πŸ˜„ Not only that, but both of our packages were based around the same thing. The Child, otherwise known as “Baby Yoda” from The Mandalorian.

It was months ago when we were both watching the series at the same time, but several states away of course, and we both had the idea to get something “Baby Yoda” for each other. 😊 But Disney wanted to keep the character a complete secret / surprise, so they didn’t even have any Baby Yoda stuff in production yet, let alone manufactured and ready for sale.

So, without even knowing it, while I was sitting here pre-ordering her a Baby Yoda stuffy doll that makes noises, she was pre-ordering me a couple of Baby Yoda figures to add to my toy shelves. 😳 Err, my “collectibles” shelf. 😁 It was so long ago when we placed the orders, that when the figures arrived today I wasn’t sure if I had pre-ordered them for myself or what… because I was looking at them hard for a potential purchase, but ended up not pulling the trigger – thinking I’ve got enough toys for a grown ass man. πŸ™„πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ So, yeah, that was pretty kewl… I’ll try to throw a pic of them up here tomorrow.

Second half of the day was just too nice to stay inside the house. (Unfortunately most of Lancaster apparently had that same thought, ‘cuz there were so many cars out on the road and in line at the fast food joints.) I was originally planning on just going to the nearby park and sitting there for a while, mostly so I could listen to Agust D’s new “mixtape” album on my car’s stereo. (Agust D is the alternate name that Suga from BTS goes by for his solo releases.) So even though we aren’t going to see them in concert tomorrow as planned (Boo. πŸ₯ΊπŸ˜Ÿ ) it was nice that he dropped an entire album today.

But the weather was too nice, the clouds too kewl, so I continued into town to make a loop of the city, get some air, and listen to the whole album before heading home. 😊 I clicked the dashcam to save several 30 second clips, then threw together a video showing the variety in the sky. πŸ€” I don’t know if they were extra pretty like it felt like, or if it’s just because we haven’t seen the sun in forever… but yeah, this afternoon ended up being the first time that I’ve actually felt almost good in quite a while. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚

(As usual, click the bottom right to put it into full screen mode and make sure it’s at least in 720p)

More Moon Stuff

Making a a little more progress with the $99 digital camcorder with the stupid good zoom… 😏 with its only major drawbacks being the purple fringe around some things in certain conditions, the lack of 4k resolution, and then of course the more you zoom the softer the image looks. πŸ˜’ I thought I had the focus as sharp as I could get it, but I’m thinking that there may have been a haze that was also affecting the output video. Might try again tonight, probably just full-zoom stuff, since the time-lapse in the beginning here is pretty meh.

(Make sure this is set to play in HD, full-screen, for the best results.)

Since the moon was lighting up the clouds, I did some more fiddling with the phone to get the brightest exposure possible (while still using only a 1/3 sec shutter speed) and I was gonna get a much faster time-lapse of the clouds out back… but of course they cleared up shortly after I started recording. However, you’ll notice a couple stars bright enough to be picked up, so I’m hoping that on a clear, moonless night I might be able to capture the rotation of the earth in the movement of the stars with this new method. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ€“ Will have to wait a couple weeks to give that a shot, but even though the video’s overall speed is too slow – you should still be able to see that there’s some movement in the stars.

BIRDS

Yeah. I had a feeling this wouldn’t be very impressive… and it isn’t. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

It’s just too fast, even at one frame every 1/3 second, 30 frames per second… and there’s nothing to really show scale, so the birds look way smaller than the beasts that they are. πŸ€” It’s a little better full-screen.

Spring Birds

I noticed yesterday evening that my “spring birds” are starting to return to the big pine tree again. I’d say that it’s been five years in a row now that they’ve chosen that tree as the place where they spend their nights. 😊 They haven’t reached their full numbers yet, but I think that I still might try to do a time-lapse of them all landing tonight. Not sure if it’ll be that good, but it will at least serve as a test in case I wanna do another / better one once the tree fills up. It makes a person wonder how and why they chose this tree, and how they know or remember to return to it in the spring. πŸ€”

Had a really hard time falling to sleep last night. It was after 2am, and my anxiety levels were at their lowest point for the day… so I kinda hated to “give that up” by going to sleep. πŸ˜• Days are more anxious than usual, for obvious reasons, so once you’ve reached those early morning hours it just feels nice that you “made it” through the day, everything feels like it has calmed down, and the chance for any unexpected BS popping up feels a whole lot less.

Meh… that’s all I’ve really got at the moment… πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ So, no rambling… unusual, eh?

Shitter’s Full

There’s an RV show going on at the convention center in Columbus this weekend, and I’m supposed to meet my friend Jim there so we can check out the latest and greatest offerings. πŸ€“πŸšŒπŸ˜Ž Dad and I used to go to an RV / boat / travel show decades ago, and until I googled for information just a few moments ago I assumed that this was the same production, just years later. πŸ€” But nope… the one we went to is still going on, now in its 40th year, but it’s held at the fairgrounds expo center.

It’ll be neat, looking at everything, but neither of us are going there with any intent of buying anything. It’s more of a research mission for Jim, since when he eventually retires he’s planning on downsizing his life even further (if necessary) and living like a hippie. πŸ˜… I joke, but he actually has put a lot of thought into the logistics of it. Living in a small RV, at an appropriate park or campground… one that’s meant for semi-permanent folks such as himself, so he’ll be able to have electric, plumbing, internet, etc. πŸ•οΈπŸš

The footprint of his daily life is already so small, I bet it won’t even feel like he’s “giving up” that much. In fact, he’ll probably feel (and rightly so) like he’s gaining freedom, the ability to pick up and go somewhere else if the mood hits, etc. 😊 He’s even considering off-grid solar power with battery storage, since that setup should provide more than enough electricity for his needs. His ambitions may seem lofty, and there will be unknown / unexpected things along the way, but I’d give even odds that he’ll end up doing it. πŸ™‚

He already knows that the prices of new, current model RVs (from the smallest “pop-up” campers to giant transforming motorhomes) will be at “pants crapping” levels… 😏 but it’ll allow him to see what might be available used, at much more reasonable prices, once he is ready to make the jump years from now. And it’s not just about the RVs. It’s also about all of the stuff that goes along with them. 🧐 Solar, battery storage, satellite TV / internet, food prep / storage, plumbing / septic options, security needs, locations, info about true costs of living, etc. It might not be that kind of expo, but hopefully all of the niche industries that deal in the products that compliment “RV life” will be represented there. πŸ™‚

EDIT: And now, after talking about all of this, it makes me wish that some sort of “AutoRama” type show would come to town next. I’ve got pics of me as a kid, standing in front of The General Lee, sitting in KITT from Knight Rider… but I’d love to learn of a touring car show with all of the greatest TV / movie cars from over the past 50 years or so. 😊

Feels Good

Being only a couple of days before Steven, Cassi, Athena, and their mom start moving, Cassi asked if I’d wanna come visit one more time in the afternoon yesterday – since she knows that once the process starts it’s unlikely that I’ll be making any appearances until it’s over with. πŸ˜• It’s just that I’ve already told her that I can’t risk trying to help them out, possibly hurting myself in new and exciting ways. And just hanging around while they all hustle about… yeah, no need to emphasize my uselessness in that situation. πŸ˜’

But since things are about to get pretty crazy for them, I figured I should go up for one more chill visit (and my last time at that apartment) to serve as a distraction for both of us. πŸ™‚ After hanging out for a while, I remembered that I had a little bit of free play on my casino card. And since money is obviously gonna be tight as they move, I figured I’d go over and play $100… twenty bucks at a time, cashing out any time that I’d double my money, and then whatever “winnings” I ended up with – I’d share with her. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚

Maybe it was karma paying me back for helping Jim out with a little money this month, and then offering to share my winnings with Cassi… but the very first machine I played, I hit for over $500. πŸ˜―πŸ˜ƒ Hell, if that was all that I won during that trip I would have been happy, but then the same machine – just a few pulls later – hit again for over $300. 😁 Since I was way, way ahead, after that I decided to try a few different machines that I’d never really played before, just as a change of pace.

If I wasn’t hitting decent little wins, they at least kept me “even” so I could keep playing. I eventually left not because I was losing, but because it was getting later and I wanted to spend a little more time with Cassi before it started to get dark dark. After all was said and done, I ended up going home with $700 (including my original investment) and was able to give her $400 to help with moving expenses. 😌

It always feels good when you can win enough that you can plop down a wad of bills in front of someone, and go “Here.”Β πŸ˜…πŸ˜ŽΒ (Especially when it’s legitimately helpful and appreciated.) And in times past when we’ve gone to the casino, I’ve noticed that she breaks down her winnings into five dollar bills before leaving… so I even went to the cashier and had him count out $400 worth of fives for me. πŸ˜πŸ’΅ (I did give the guy a tip, ‘cuz that was admittedly a slight pain in his ass for him… heh)

So that definitely made yesterday better than average. Didn’t anticipate things turning to shit overnight and waking up feeling like I do today, but I keep reminding myself that other than the lack of sleep and awesome new neck pain – nothing else has changed since that “goody” feeling of yesterday, so I’m trying to get the feeling of this day turned around. 😏🀞🏻 It helps that the weekend is essentially here, so I can recover without any obligations hovering over me.

Peaceful

I purposely kept myself away from everything digital for most of today… which helped me to have a second successful day of feeling alright. Not much action to speak of throughout the day, but towards the evening all of the “buzzards” came home to my big trees to sleep for the night. It was just the right kind of peacefulness that I needed. Almost don’t know what to do with myself, having two days in a row feeling so drama and stress free. Not holding my breath for it to continue, but it’s sure nice while it’s happening…

Clearer

Tried to get some video and photos of the eclipse last night, but I just couldn’t get the settings right on either the camcorder or my dSLR. Tonight, however, with the moon straight out my front yard and just over the horizon… definitely better results. You can even look at the edge and see the various contours, peaks, valleys. It’s not perfect, but it’s still pretty neat.