This Used To Be My Playground

I had to go in town earlier to work on some annuity claim paperwork that Dad needs, then after I left the bank I went and hosed off the car. Rather than heading straight back home, I decided to ride around town for a minute… something that I actually haven’t done for a while now.

I’m noticing more than ever that this town feels like a different place to me now. I think it’s because I’ve seen too much of the negative of Lancaster, not only through various groups on Facebook but in person as well. The Lancaster of 2017 is nothing like the Lancaster from when I was a kid. (said every old person ever)  The difference here is that the younger generations see that the town is turning to shit as well, so it’s not just my nostalgic brain playing tricks on me.

It really wasn’t even that long ago that the town still felt like it was mine. I doubt that there’s a road in this town that hasn’t been touched by my cousin Jim and I on our bikes back in the day. Then once we learned to drive, it was “fox hunting” on the CB… which took us to the edges of town and onward. Everything about this city was familiar to us, and that feeling lasted a long time…

But now, the memories don’t immediately pop up anymore. I could probably sit here and give you a memory for any street that you’d care to name, but when I’m out driving on those same roads now… that’s all they are, just roads. Just roads in a crappy, poor, crumbling, drug-addicted town. Nothing about it feels familiar. I think I’ll try harder to get the feeling back though, at least in part, before time wins and erases it all.

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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. 😋 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. 🤔 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. 😒 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…  😅

Wanimation

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.