So, I Went Out

Yesterday was an all around recipe for failure. πŸ˜’ I was still dealing with the pharmacy issues andΒ already feeling like shit, but I had made a promise to a friend and I was determined to not be a disappointment again. 😞 For her birthday, a couple of months ago I bought Cassi two tickets to a concert she wanted to see at the Newport, and that show was last night. It was never my intention to go with her, as I just can’t do it right now (I didn’t even go see Skillet at Winter Jam) but I wanted her to be able to take a friend or her sister to share the fun with.

Unfortunately they didn’t have a ride to get to the show, so I went up there, picked them up, took them to the show, dropped ’em off, and then I had to find something to do until the show was over and I could pick them up again, take them home, and then make my way back home myself. πŸ€” I didn’t mind doing that at all… it was part of the gift. But I was already in bad shape before I left, and the sea of humans and traffic on campus only made things worse. 😬 I was gonna just find some thrift stores or something to kill time, but there were just too many people so I needed to go elsewhere.

That lead to one of the high points of my evening at least, after deciding to go over to Hollywood Casino. I hadn’t been there since maybe last summer, and I remembered that being in a casino often masks my pain… but not so much last night. 😐 It was fun, but not fun, if that makes sense. 😏 Too much time in the car, too much sitting in uncomfortable chairs… and it just kept getting worse. The one saving grace is that I kept losing and winning at a rate that had me only slightly down from when I walked in – and then right when I was leaving, I hit on a machine that Jim always says I should play. πŸ˜ƒπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ This makes the second time he’s picked a winner for me.

But anyway, by the time I got home around 11pm… omg… worst neck pain that I’ve had in months. πŸ˜“ I’m not yet going to assume that the steroid injection is wearing off, since there were other factors, but yeah… it took exhaustion to finally make me sleep, because there wasn’t a single position that I could turn to that would make it go away. That sort of pain that makes a person go, “Oh shit… I’m really screwed if it just stays like this.” But like I said, thankfully, today the pain was down probably 90% from yesterday.

I guess I should wrap this up. 😏 Waking up feeling somewhat okay today… it’s allowed me to sit and plan my way towards the weekend in a way that I might be functional and okay. Don’t get me wrong, I hate that have to do any of this, and I hate that I have these days where I know I should do absolutely nothing, before baby-stepping my way out of it… but despite how it makes me look or how it may affect others, I have to start figuring out how to not be physically miserable and emotionally fucked because of it. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ


Meh… Why Not?

Cassi and I made a trip down to Cincinnati again this past weekend. We didn’t even realize it until yesterday, but it’s apparently become kind of a tradition to visit the boat during this time of year – because we’ve got photos from last year and the year before, with all of the Christmas decorations there behind us. This year we only decided to make the trip since we couldn’t make the cheap-o day-flight down to Orlando work.

The Jack casino gave us a 6th floor room at the Holiday Inn on Broadway, which has a great view of the weird apartments and condos that are built into the hillside on the other side of the highway. Those places must have an amazing view of the city… I’d have a camera set up 24/7 to catch sunsets and storms and time-lapses and shit. 😏 Normally we’d just go down for one night, but since they’re willing to give two nights we’re not gonna refuse. It’s nice to be able to wake up the next morning and not have to immediately jump up and pack to make sure you’re out of there before check-out time.

It was a pretty standard trip, but since we weren’t actually staying at the boat we used our “full day” to just drive over there and back. So, no swimming or hot tubbing while we were there, but we did take advantage of the slot comps and free breakfast buffets. 🀀 They finally took all of the Cashman machines that Mom used to play off of the 4th floor, but they replaced them with Quick Hit slots which Cassi and I both like, so it was neat to sit up there and play in Mom’s corner for a while. ☺ The whole place looked a lot better than last year when we were there. (Lots of updates)

It was a nice trip, weather was nice for all three days, didn’t lose my ass, free room, free food… just a nice getaway for a couple of days. 😎 Oh… heh… and that Playstation VR that I orderedΒ the other day? Yeah, it got here on the day that I left, so it was sitting on my porch for the better part of two days with nobody coming along and swiping it, so that’s one good side effect of living outside the city. πŸ˜›Β Even though I’m excited that it’s here, I probably won’t have the oomph to hook it up and thoroughly mess around with it for a couple of days.

So yeah… back home now. πŸ˜• Yay?

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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ€” Something that doesn’t seem like a big deal to you at the time…Β 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. πŸ˜ƒ 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. πŸ€“πŸ“· 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 360Β° cameras just to make them more unique. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ 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.

7th and Broadway

Just got back from a couple of nights away down in Cincinnati. The Jack keeps throwing free room offers at me like a kid on a paper route, so I figured I’d take one little “last hurrah” trip down there before the weather starts getting cold and crappy. Even at 3am it was still warm enough that we could stroll the sidewalks around the hotel and sit on the curb and watch the city going to sleep. And we couldn’t help but keep glancing up at the apartments of Seven at Broadway and wonder what kind of job a person would have to have where they could justify spending $1500 to $2500 a month on rent.

Other than being “somewhere else” we really didn’t make any plans for what we wanted to do, and were content just being potatoes in the room, swimming in the pool that was apparently reserved just for us, and making a couple of trips over to The Jack to grub on free buffets and spend my comps (and a little bit more) to make it feel like a real vacation. 😎 Although I think the thing that gave us that “vacation” feeling the most was springing for room service for breakfast. πŸ˜‹ It was only $10 for the typical eggs, sausage/bacon, home fries, toast, etc… hard to pass up feeling special at that price.

Coming back home sure was a shitty feeling though. Neither one of us messed with our phones much during those three days, so we had this force field of self-imposed isolation around us for most of the trip – and I think it made us both wonder what it would feel like to completely abandon our current lives and just transplant ourselves (not together… heh) into some completely new location with all new people and all new experiences. πŸ€” Meh… but then I guess those are the types of things that vacation is supposed to make you wonder about.

I intended to keep my mind clear for the rest of the night after getting back yesterday, but unfortunately the closer I got to home, the more that “home stuff” started creeping into my brain. πŸ˜’ I had already been thinking about this at the hotel actually… how I have to make a trip to Logan soon to personally stop in at my estate attorney’s office, since nobody there can be bothered to return my damn phone calls for some reason. 😠 It feels like a personal slight, plus it’s keeping both Dad and me waiting around like tools, so it only makes sense that I began dwelling on it first.

But yeah, even though it’s only about 100 miles away, there were moments when it felt like 1000 – and it was just what we both needed. ☺ Kitties prohibit our trips from being any longer than two nights, but we were both wishing we could have added a couple more nights to this trip. And yeah, there are probably some underlying issues when a getaway feels this important, but we won’t talk about that right now… Β πŸ˜…

Oh, Is That So?

I’ve been on and off the phone so much in the past couple of days, I’m fairly certain that my brain is at least partially melted. 😏 I joke, but Jesus I hate talking on the phone. πŸ˜‘ Especially when it deals with “shit that needs to be taken care of” or the like. One of my calls should have been relatively painless (or at least as painless as phone calls can be for me)Β since IΒ thought it was gonnaΒ be just a brief conversation with my casino host about reserving a room at the Rising Star casino boat.

Feeling rather miserable here at home still, I was thinking that a change of scenery could do me some good… so I decided to call and see about getting one of those little mini-suites like I’ve gotten several times before when I’ve stayed. 😎 Now, it’s been while since I’ve stayed and played there, but not that long. So I didn’t think I’d run into any problems. πŸ˜’ Wrong.

I wasn’t able to speak to my casino host, but the one that I did speak to… she informed me rather quickly that they couldn’t guarantee me one of the suites, and that they wouldn’t even be able to tell me until I was actually there and preparing to check in. πŸ€” What kind of bullshit is that? I mean, just type in my player’s card number… look at my history… this shouldn’t be a complicated decision.

But nope… they’d reserve a room for me, but if I wasn’t one of their higher ranked players on the day that I was checking in, it would be a standard crappy room for me and whoever I end up taking with me. And to that news I replied, “Okay, well thanks anyway.” and hung up. In a followup e-mail with myΒ casino host, I told her that I was literally staring at a stack of flyers, cards, comps, and calendars from Jack Cincinnati – including an offer for a suite in my choice of several downtown hotels.

And it’s not like I even played that much the last time I was at Jack. They just have better offers, and they don’t hesitate to reserve a suite for me when I’m arranging my accommodations. πŸ™‚ They don’t make me feel like I have to be in competition with my fellow guestsΒ just to get a nicer room. I concluded the e-mail by telling her that I wasn’t saying what I was saying in an effort to fish for more comps or anything, and that, in fact, she should remove my name from their advertising list.

Better comps, better room, bigger casino, 45 minute shorter drive, less hassle… the final decision of where to go was suddenly no decision at all, because the place where I had gone for years with my family and then on my own… it just left a bad taste in my mouth now. Funny thing is, after that conversation I was kinda done thinking about casinos for the day – so I haven’t even bothered to try and set anything up with Jack yet, and I’m not even sure if I will. πŸ™„πŸ˜


Playing around with Google Earth again, the desktop application, trying to make a visually interesting animation using Atlantic City, NJ as my source material. This file is rendered at 720p, 60fps, using OpenGL rather than DirectX… I also used the experimental atmosphere projection, although I can’t remember how much interpolation or anti-aliasing I used. I was continually experimenting with settings and resolutions, because I’ve still been unable to get a 1080p/60fps render to complete without glitches.

I didn’t really do much. I just selected the camera angles, altitudes, shot composure… the software generates the flight path between each one. However, depending on how the user lines up each static shot, it will definitely have an affect on the transition between the prior one and the one that follows.

It looks pretty good on the laptop, but for some reason when I use the YouTube app on my XBOX One it looks so much better on the TV. But yeah, I was just feeling a bit nostalgic for the place again, which eventually prompted me to start dicking around to come up with the resulting animation.