You’re Not Supposed To Do That

I needed something like this to occupy my brain, to get my mind off of many of the things that have been weighing heavy on me lately – where I could just let my nerd flag fly and dig in to this project to see what I could figure out. πŸ€“ It all started when I was preparing to update the OS in my car, which got me to thinking…

I moved the entire contents of my car’s “brain” over to my laptop, originally because I just wanted to locate any default images or videos that the system uses – in case I ever decide that I want to replace those images or videos with ones of my own. But as I went through the various directories I began to see that many of the files were saved in ASCII format, no encryption, no hex code… and easily viewable with Notepad. 😧

I found things regarding navigation, flash files that make up components of the UI, buttloads of icons for the nav system (which my car doesn’t even have (yet?)), a library of text-to-speech phrases… I mean, you can see in the screenshots above. All sorts of files like that, and in multiple languages as well.

But not only does changing the default images and videos interest me, but now that I’ve found the default phrases that the system uses for various things… it’s got me wondering if it’s as simple as changing those phrases in the text file to get her to say whatever I want. πŸ˜„ Of course I haven’t changed any of it yet, and honestly I’m not likely to… not unless I talk to someone who’s discovered the same things as me, and has done it successfully.

There are a few really short animations that are displayed when opening the doors, starting the ignition, and then turning the car off. They’re just regular logo videos with a little bit of movement, but I’ve already started mucking around with ideas for replacement videos that I could use to create new, brief personalized animations for me. πŸ˜€ I used some free service, so I’d have to crop out their watermark, but the resolution on the car’s videos are so low that it shouldn’t be a problem to crop yet retain enough detail in the video. So… still debating what to do next… 😏


Well, That Was Strange

I’m only writing about this now because I think I can feel it ending. 😳 But this past week, this has been one of the better weeks in recent memory, when it comes to my mood and my ability to human and all that. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I’ve done quite a bit more socializing on Facebook and through messages than usual, and for some reason it didn’t cause me to get twitchy like it often can. So that was a nice gift from my brain.

I suppose it was allowed out of a bit of necessity though… I mean, that’s how my brain may have been looking at it… because, at least visually, I’ve been snowed in here at the house for the past few days. 😬 The same d00d that mows my lawn drove by, saw that my front yard showed not even a hint of a driveway, and messaged me to see if I wanted him to plow a way out for me and I happily accepted. πŸ€— So of course it then snowed again today, although not enough to really make a difference when it comes to getting my car in and out. πŸ€” At least I don’t think it is… I haven’t actually tried it yet. πŸš—β›„

Oh, speaking of my car… I’m getting ready to install an upgrade to the current version of my car’s OS. πŸ€“ It is a package that technically hasn’t been released to the public, but after reading the reviews of everyone that have done it themselves – there seems to be almost zero problems when it comes to installation or use. So I’m gonna do that here in a bit, and I’m also going to attempt to customize some of the different screen backgrounds, just to have a different look than what I’ve been staring at for the past couple of years. 😡 Wish me luck.

Physically? I’ve been feeling miserable. With some moments that were on par with the pain that I was experiencing before I even had my surgery. πŸ˜–πŸ˜’ Thankfully it still comes and goes, so I just have to deal with it until it goes. And speaking of that disability… I finally received a date and time for the upcoming workers comp trial. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš–οΈ It’s still a month away, so that leaves time to huddle with the lawyers, or for them to get a continuance yet again for whatever reason they come up with this time.

So yeah, just wanted to pop in here real quick and report back that this has been one of the most “normal” feeling weeks for me in a long time. πŸ™‚ But like I said, I do feel something changing… not sure if it’s because the 3-day weekend is ending or what, but I’ve been feeling increasingly bleh as the hours click off today. πŸ˜• Gonna try to do some stuff around the house this evening so I feel somewhat productive, since that usually helps.

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. πŸ€” 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. πŸ€“ 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. πŸ˜ƒπŸ€˜πŸ» 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.

Zero Hour

This weekend ended up being exactly what I needed it to be. 😌 I also realized that in addition to just enjoying the company that I was with, having a human in my immediate proximity went a long way towards keeping my brain from getting stuck in the “on” position like it almost always does. (Much like how you have to jiggle the toilet handle just the right way to keep the water pump from running for hours and burning itself out. 😏)Β Now my company has gone, the weekend is coming to an end… but there’s still a new Rick and Morty episode tonight along with the season finale of Game of Thrones, so that provides one last little bit of goody before it’s back to normal tomorrow.

The currentΒ “you’ll hear from us” state of both of my attorney-led endeavors has got me feeling a bit restless again, so the first thing I’m going to do tomorrow is give those folks a call. I’m not sure that any prodding from me will make either of those situations move any more quickly, but at least I’ll feel like I’m trying to do something about it.

Another thing that I was reminded of this weekend is how nice it can be when I’m not perpetually absorbing the news of the day. It’s difficult for me to consciously avoid the news. I want to stay informed. I want to stay outraged at the things one should be outraged against. But much like the way I swore off of HLN years ago after shows like Dr Drew and Nancy Grace started to make me a little bit crazy… heh… I should really consider limiting my consumption of political news, even from the shows which present it from a point of view that is often similar to my own. (This topic is honestly worthy of it’s own multi-paragraph entry here. πŸ€” Perhaps soon.)

Other information briefs: Christina handled her first chemo treatment like a champ, but today she cut her hair quite short in anticipation of the eventual hair loss. Jim’s mom is still putting up a fight against her cancer, but the probability of recovery at this point is not good. πŸ˜” And then my friend Rick Kitzmiller… he’s got a lot of support, but complications during chemotherapy are starting to put his recovery at risk as well. 😟 “I’m just treading water.” is the way he most recently described it to friends via a Facebook post.

Obviously, I’ve also got other friends and family who are facing their own flavors of health problems (as am I) so it’s not that I’m not thinking about them and praying for them too… it’s just that cancer has a way of getting a bigger collective gasp, and those afflicted with it tend to stay near the front of your mind whether it’s fair or not. It’s just all incredibly sad, and in those times when I’m not thinking about it or talking about it, I just have to totally push it out of my mind or risk drowning in my thoughts.



I was sitting here texting back and forth with Genesee a bit, picking her brain in regards to options for organizing and storing all of the family “memorabilia” that I’ve got. My grandparents‘ stuff, my aunt’s stuff, Mom and Dad’s stuff… there’s actually quite a bit of “stuff worth keepin” that I want to get much more organized than it is right now. (Not to mention my own growing collection of “stuff” to pass along…)

At first I was looking at cardboard boxes or banker’s boxes. There are so many options on Amazon for boxes… but before I really narrowed it down to potentials on there, I decided to start checking around for regular plastic storage tubs at Walmart, Target, Menards, etc. And at Target I found Sterilite 20-gallon bins with latching lids for $5.99 on sale… but they were pretty much sold out everywhere.

After adding the quantity I wanted to my cart, I found that no store within reasonable driving distance had enough to fill the order… until I did some tweaking and switched the color to the ugly purple offering – and then boom, more than enough for my needs. So tomorrow I’ll be driving my soon-to-be-organized ass to Reynoldsburg to pick up twelve of these suckers. And until tomorrow I’ll be hoping they actually have that many, that they (and their lids) won’t be broken or cracked, and that they’ll all fit in my car for the ride back home with me.

Again, I know this will seem silly to most people, but even just the searching and planning and ordering of these storage tubs helped put my brain at ease this evening. I needed something to give me a brief bit of purpose, and then once I have them – there’s even more purpose… for me to continue going through stuff, sorting it, stashing it, labeling it, etc. I just want to be a good “keeper of the Batina Archive” so even though my twitchy brain pushed me into it in a way, it’s still a beneficial thing for me to do despite the instigating factor… so it’s all good.


I’ve been basically worthless this week. I’m fortunate that nothing really required my attention, but that also made the prospect of being a potato far too easy. Not exactly sure what got me this time, other than the normal combination of things that I sometimes can’t process in a way that isn’t self-destructive.

  • One friend’s father died just the other day
  • Another friend’s mom has cancer that’s no longer responding to treatment
  • Another friend… she was just given a 50/50 chance of making it another year
  • And then a buddy of mine from school has leukemia and isn’t doing great.

People dying, friends struggling, so many folks I know that are deeply unhappy… and I wasn’t able to avoid absorbing too much of the feelings that go along with the knowledge of all of these things, combined with everything I already carry. A couple friends wanted to do something on the weekend, but despite kinda wanting to get out and do something as well – depression won, and I stayed in.

The Other Times

Last weekend’s little break was fun, but the rest of this past week was rough. It’s something that’s already factored in when I make “fun” plans, but I still never know exactly how long my physical/mental regeneration will take afterwards. It doesn’t help when I’m coming home to stuff that I don’t really wanna deal with, including some tedious BS from the IRS regarding my aunt’s estate. It’s killin’ me… I’m this close to getting this thing closed and settled out, but dumb shit like this keeps popping up. It’s not even because anyone has done anything wrong, just lots of checks and verifications and such.

The sludge that I’m walking through just feels noticeably thicker this week, but I think I’m finally breaking free of it. (Just in time for another fun thing with friends, as a matter of fact.) It does start to get old though. Having “the fun times” and then “the other times.” Meh… I’m not gonna whine about it, at least not today, because I’m just doing what I’ve always tried to do – figure out why I’m broken in certain ways, and then figure out ways around it.

I’ve still not found a way to prevent myself from getting worked up by the people that judge me, or think that they know me based on the glimpses they get into my life via social media. (Which is why I think of the blog as a good-yet-bad thing sometimes.)Β Nobody should have to feel like they have to justify when they are happy or having fun. Everyone that knows me is well aware of my disability, as well as my twitchiness, but any time I break free of those things and let myself live – I always catch hints of raised eyebrows or mumbled comments, as if I’ve somehow undermined the legitimacy of how I feel most of the other times. (Of course I’m going to share way more of the good/happy things than I am of the bad/sad things, you shit-leaking assholes.)

That’s why I’ve really been keeping to myself for the past couple of months, other than spending time with a select few people who don’t manage to make me feel shitty. I haven’t been posting nearly as much on Facebook… about the bad or the good things… and honesty it has helped. I love sharing things with people, I love getting reactions to photos or videos – but for whatever reason, even though 95% of the reactions are usually positive, the couple of percent that seem to judge or question me based on what I’ve shared… it affects me more than it should, and more than you’d think.

But yeah, I made one “good” post so I wanted to make one “reality” post as well, so at least with the fresh start that this blog has taken, people will still (hopefully) understand that despite the good moments, I still definitely have a shit-ton of not-good moments that tip the scales in that direction more often than not. And I don’t say this just for me, but for everyone that you interact with throughout your days… be kind, don’t judge… you don’t really know what it’s like inside someone else’s head.