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. 🙂 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. 🤔 Something that doesn’t seem like a big deal to you at the time… 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. 😃 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. 🤓📷 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 360° cameras just to make them more unique. 🤷🏻‍♂️ 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.

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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.

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.