Trip Report: Extended Edition

This trip to ‘da boat was one of the better ones that I’ve had in recent memory, at least since the times when me, Mom, and Dad all used to go together. πŸ™‚ Great weather on the way down and back (which is more important than you’d think), awesome lightning over the Ohio River during the couple of evening thunderstorms while we were there, and Cassi and I were able to play and play and play – and I still came home with the same amount that I took to spend, andΒ she was able to go home over $200 ahead and with some comp’d jewelry and goodies from the gift shop. πŸ˜ƒ

Oh, and of course we poofed ourselves on the awesome brunch buffet. Mmm… 🀀 not just theΒ regular buffet food, but also all of the important breakfast stuff at the same time. 😁 They must be doing alright, because the entire place is in the middle of renovations. From the giant entry way, to the lobby, to the hallways, to the rooms… everything is getting cosmetic updates. 😯 They’re still in the middle of ripping up all of the faux “stone” flooring in the giant common area and laying down “wood” strips… and for the rest of the hotel, the entire color scheme has changed. The only inconvenience in all of that was that the updated WiFi wasn’t working yet. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Our time on the actual boat was limited the first day, because the machines kicked our asses. πŸ™„πŸŽ° That was okay though, because the trip was as much about “just getting away” as it was for gambling. We got one of the nicer rooms with probably the best view of all of them, looking right out onto the boat, the river, and the outdoor patio area for the indoor pool. 😎🚒 And, as it often goes, we took our swimsuits but couldn’t muster the “oomph” required to go down and actually swim with the larger-than-normal amount of assholes already in the pool. 😏 (For some of them, I think it doubled for their weekly bath.)

Day two on the actual boat was much better. πŸ˜€ I hit a big enough bonus that I was able to set back (to take home) the amount that I took with me to lose, and still have enough to keep playing and to share with Cassi so she could do the same. πŸ€‘ And it wasn’t just that one win. (I missed catching all the winning “sevens” in that video… meh) But both of us kept hitting nice “little-big” amounts that kept us going for the better part of the day. It felt like a totally different experience than the day before. πŸ’πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸŽ‰πŸ’πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸŽˆ

It sucked to wake up after that second night, knowing that we had to head back home, but the winning came at a time and in a way that it let us both come home with a decent amount money, so we sure couldn’t complain. Besides, we were both anxious to get home to our kitties… especially me, since I knew that Maven was all by herself and probably wondering if I had permanently disappeared. 😿 She was happy to see me when I got home of course, but she didn’t even act grumpy… so perhaps I wasn’t as missed as I had presumed. πŸ˜„Β We absolutely had a good time on this trip… the last one we might be able to take for a while… but it was sure nice to be home again too.

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Pre-Post Post

Got back from a little trip yesterday afternoon/evening, and surprisingly got a decent amount of sleep last night, so today’s all about readjusting to being back home and getting back into the groove with some things that I want to accomplish today. 🀨 I guess I wanna prove to myself that I don’t always have to be completely worthless the day after getting back home from doing something fun.

My shoulder is killing me, but that’s to be expected… you know how it is when you go on vacation and put the negative things to the back of your mind. In my case, that meant somewhat forgetting to take it easy and probably talking with my hands way too much. πŸ’πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Oh, and this time-lapse video… it was with the digital camcorder, so there were no bells or whistles applied – just a shot every 10 seconds with no extra processing or filters or anything. A “meh, why not” project for while we were there.

(I was going to make a super high resolution image of the boat by using the digital camcorder at high zoom and panning back and forth over it until I had the entire area covered with video – and I was going to use Microsoft ICE to process that video into a panorama… but it just wasn’t quite working so I ended up shelving the idea.)

But yeah, I just wanted to make a little pre-post post, so I’m gonna throw this up to the blog and then start figuring out what I’m gonna do with the day… and I already know that’ll include being on the laptop to do bills (since the WiFi wasn’t working at the hotel), to check and reply to emails, and to do a real trip report here in a bit. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ–πŸ»

Easter Snownado

Like I sometimes do on holidays, I decided to go to Columbus to grab Cassi so she could stay for a couple of days here. Genesee also made sure that the Easter Bunny took care of me again this year with lots of goodies to eat and play with. One of the things was a small box of Bertie Botts Every Flavor Bean jellybeans… the ones that taste like ear wax, boogers, vomit, soap, grass, dirt, earthworm, etc. I haven’t had those since I worked at TS Trim and took a bunch of them in for the people on the line to try.

Believe it or not, we got a couple inches of snow on the night of Easter, with about an inch of it sticking as it fell. It was the middle of the night, so man was it pretty as it silently covered the yard. And then today we had thunderstorms and tornado warnings. I actually missed most of the real excitement though.

Back up in Columbus today, I decided that we should go over to the casino for a minute since I had such good luck the previous time. So we actually went in there right when the first tornado warning sirens were blowing – but we didn’t realize how bad it actually was, and not too awful far from us. It wasn’t until we caught a glimpse of the news on one of the TVs, where we saw the radar and some images of power poles crushing cars and buildings missing their roofs and such. We’ll probably know tomorrow if it was truly a tornado.

But our luck was pretty good. We were able to play and play, I was only about $50 when we left, and Cassi was actually ahead. I’m not greedy… if the place and the games just keep me playing all evening, that’s good enough for me. If I hit something good that’s just gravy – but being able to have a little unplanned fun and not having it really cost me that much, I can’t complain. The weather was still shit though when it was time for me to head home, so that did wear me out.

When I say it was raining, I’m meaning it was RAINING. Late, dark, rain coming down in sheets, people forgetting how to drive… oh, and a bunch of lightning… yeah, it was kind of a “butt puckering” drive home, trying to keep it between the lines and away from the other assholes out there. So after the fun, dropping her off, that crappy ride home… it took away my buzz, and whupped my ass mentally and physically on top of that. And it’s around 3am now, so I don’t think I’m gonna be worth a shit tomorrow. I’ll go ahead and call it a “day off” right now – and if I end up making something of the day, then yay for me.

(Sorry… I’m too tired to add italics and emoji and shit like that… heh)

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˜…