Just Like New

I think I can break self-isolation for this, and people (if they knew) wouldn’t scold me too much. ๐Ÿค”

I’ve had an iPhone 7 Plus for several years now, and she’s finally starting to show her age, battery-wise. And with the new iPhone 9s or SE2s coming out soon, I don’t really want to be tempted by a brand new (albeit “budget”) iPhone when I’ve got one that works just fine for almost everything that I might need it for. ๐Ÿคจ So getting a new battery for my current phone is the best way to squash all of that.

Another thing that’s getting close to needing a new battery is the car. Even though it hasn’t been cold this winter, it’s still turning over with a little more struggle than I’d like. Not struggle struggle, but basically you can tell it’s not new anymore. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It’s about four years old now, original factory battery, so I don’t know if this is an “expected” time-frame where it would be due or not… but I’ll have the battery d00d test it first and see what he says as well. (Although common and business sense may guide his opinion in an obvious direction. ๐Ÿ˜)

The battery store where I picked up a couple of scooter batteries a few months back… really nice guy running the shop, and he was working on a phone as I was checking out and didn’t seem nervous about it. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ So I could get the phone taken care of, the car taken care of, and believe it or not – they even offer windshield wiper blades… which is another thing that I haven’t changed since getting this car years ago. ๐Ÿ˜

Everything looks competitively priced, and all of it has free installation… cuz lord knows I can’t even come close to chucking car batteries around on my own, and wiper blades can be a surprising pain in the ass if you don’t pay attention how you take the old ones off… heh… at least for me. ๐Ÿค“ So anyway, I might end up stopping by that store whenever I have to go out anyway to pick up my meds, so hopefully I’ll also be able to get some of these little concerns taken care of while I’m at it. ๐Ÿ˜Ž Total human contact = 1 person. ๐Ÿ˜ท

Balance It Out

There’s only so much that I can do to prepare for the various things coming up in my near future, but I still end up feeling like I “didn’t do enough” work on it – if at the end of the day I don’t feel like it has eaten some of my soul. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜… I’m being dramatic, but it is pretty damn stressful when I get to over-thinking it.

So today I took a few hours in the morning before I even started thinking about it, although my cousin then texted me about help with troubleshooting her laptop that had just died. ๐Ÿ˜ I told her that I’m currently booked up, but that I had just spent several days bringing my own laptop back from the dead, so I might be able to help when I get some free time. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

During the middle of the day I did focus on some things that I definitely needed to research further, but in order to flush it from my brain for the evening (other than talking about it here) I just got in the car, rolled the windows down, and took a cruise as I listened to some of the older and / or more obscure songs on my Spotify playlist. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It actually helped, since right now my living room is littered with letters, hearing notices, research, rescheduling, insurance paperwork, etc. ๐Ÿ˜ Just getting away from that made a difference.

(I suppose I just shouldn’t ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป leave ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป that ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป stuff ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป out ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป once I’m done with it for the day. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜)

But for the time being I’ll just have to play it by ear like today, making sure that I don’t dwell on this stuff for longer than I should… although I know that I can’t “run away” in my car each time it feels too heavy, so we’ll see what I figure out. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ Today wasn’t bad though. And I was joking at first, but I think I really will pick all this stuff up in an orderly fashion and put it on the desk for the night. ๐Ÿ™‚ Out of sight, out of mind.

Taste of Spring (and optimism?)

The mild weather continued yesterday, so that made it a lot easier to go in town for the bit of running that I needed to do. Mid-60s and mostly sunny at the beginning of February, so I rolled down the windows and took a meandering path into the city. Stopped at Tim’s for some dark roast, dropped off some mail that needed to go out, made a quick stop at a thrift store, and then before heading over to Dad’s I went out to Meijer to continue my grocery shopping from the other day.

It sure triggered my spring fever, as well as a hint of the photography bug… so, I dunno, maybe I’m slowly finding that missing motivation (and eventual ability) that I’ve been waiting for. Just gotta try to keep my gimpy bits moving enough so that when spring does actually get here, I might be worth a shit.

After messaging with Genesee last night about her art projects and my photography stuff, that’ll probably be what I do this afternoon… finding where I stashed my good cameras, and getting them out to make sure they’ll be ready to go, should I ever be. She got me a View Master as a gift a couple years, and there is a site that will create “reels / disks” from 2D or 3D digital images – and that’s something that I’ve yet to really try.

I’m still apprehensive or anxious when I start feeling more optimistic about things than usual, because of course any number of things could pop up between now and then. Things that might make it difficult for me to find the time (or energy) to spend on “frivolous” hobbies. But now more than ever, I think it’s important that I don’t allow those ideas to be written off completely. I should at least have some of these fun things waiting in the wings, just in case the stars align.

This is just my typical “overthinking it” way of saying I’m still feelin’ pretty alright today. ๐Ÿ˜

Feels Good

Being only a couple of days before Steven, Cassi, Athena, and their mom start moving, Cassi asked if I’d wanna come visit one more time in the afternoon yesterday – since she knows that once the process starts it’s unlikely that I’ll be making any appearances until it’s over with. ๐Ÿ˜• It’s just that I’ve already told her that I can’t risk trying to help them out, possibly hurting myself in new and exciting ways. And just hanging around while they all hustle about… yeah, no need to emphasize my uselessness in that situation. ๐Ÿ˜’

But since things are about to get pretty crazy for them, I figured I should go up for one more chill visit (and my last time at that apartment) to serve as a distraction for both of us. ๐Ÿ™‚ After hanging out for a while, I remembered that I had a little bit of free play on my casino card. And since money is obviously gonna be tight as they move, I figured I’d go over and play $100… twenty bucks at a time, cashing out any time that I’d double my money, and then whatever “winnings” I ended up with – I’d share with her. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚

Maybe it was karma paying me back for helping Jim out with a little money this month, and then offering to share my winnings with Cassi… but the very first machine I played, I hit for over $500. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Hell, if that was all that I won during that trip I would have been happy, but then the same machine – just a few pulls later – hit again for over $300. ๐Ÿ˜ Since I was way, way ahead, after that I decided to try a few different machines that I’d never really played before, just as a change of pace.

If I wasn’t hitting decent little wins, they at least kept me “even” so I could keep playing. I eventually left not because I was losing, but because it was getting later and I wanted to spend a little more time with Cassi before it started to get dark dark. After all was said and done, I ended up going home with $700 (including my original investment) and was able to give her $400 to help with moving expenses. ๐Ÿ˜Œ

It always feels good when you can win enough that you can plop down a wad of bills in front of someone, and go “Here.”ย ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜Žย (Especially when it’s legitimately helpful and appreciated.) And in times past when we’ve gone to the casino, I’ve noticed that she breaks down her winnings into five dollar bills before leaving… so I even went to the cashier and had him count out $400 worth of fives for me. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’ต (I did give the guy a tip, ‘cuz that was admittedly a slight pain in his ass for him… heh)

So that definitely made yesterday better than average. Didn’t anticipate things turning to shit overnight and waking up feeling like I do today, but I keep reminding myself that other than the lack of sleep and awesome new neck pain – nothing else has changed since that “goody” feeling of yesterday, so I’m trying to get the feeling of this day turned around. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป It helps that the weekend is essentially here, so I can recover without any obligations hovering over me.

Rambling Catch-Up

I’ve seen a few more articles recently saying that Ohio’s flu season is now “widespread” based on whatever numbers they use. I’ve gotta wait a couple days until I consider getting mine though, because I’ve got a bit of a chest cold right now. ๐Ÿ˜ท I don’t feel that bad, but I spent yesterday afternoon throwing up every other time that I’d cough up a bunch of “yuck” and it would get stuck in the back of my throat. ๐Ÿคฎ So I just took a nighttime cold med in the early evening and slept all the way through the night, thankfully.

It’s hard to get geared up for all of the early-January stuff I’ve got coming when I feel like this, so I’ll stick to soup and drink a bunch of water today and hopefully that’ll help. But I’ve got a doctor appointment coming up, a service date for the recall notices on my Fusion, paperwork yet to finish up for the Industrial Commission hearing, then continued work when it comes to the Supreme Court stuff. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Bleh. ๐Ÿ˜ Plus I definitely need to get a haircut before the IC hearing so that I’ll be looking my best.

I wasn’t on my phone after yesterday morning, due to feeling like ass, so this morning after that long sleep I woke up to messages from two different people thinking that I was upset at them for something. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It’s a problem of the current era’s “always connected” assumptions. Most of the time it’s true… folks are rarely separated from their phones… so the times when people do turn off or set aside their phone, you can see why people might think that they’re being ignored for whatever reason. But nah, I’m just trying to handle my things that need handled, and giving my body a break while I fight this congestion.

But as for the hearing, my attorneys should have everything that they need. There have been some recent changes in the medications that my doctor has prescribed for me, so I actually went up to Columbus and dropped off all that new information in person. It’s crazy… I started off my WC “fight” years ago with a single attorney in one of their satellite offices here in town, and now I’m visiting their entire floor of attorneys in downtown Columbus, since those are the folks who are now doing the heavy lifting. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ƒ I can’t even imagine what rent would be on the entire 10th floor of a building downtown.

And when I’m at the Ford dealership for the recall repairs, I’m gonna talk to them about the way the transmission is acting up. ๐Ÿ˜  I know how to reset the PCM/TCM to let the adaptive learning essentially start from scratch, learning the best idle point, shift points, etc… but I also know that they have the ability to flash the TCM with the most updated firmware, so I do wanna find out if there’s an updated version available for my car – and how much of a deal they’d cut me on that service if I also get my transmission fluid flushed / changed at their service department. ๐Ÿ˜

But the most recent hearing / court related mail that I’ve received, in their numbered list of notable “stuff” on the back, one of them specifically says that they do want to hear from the injured worker in their own words, and how that testimony is taken into consideration just as seriously as any other fact evidence that is presented. ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป I’ve already got a good start on the single-paged letter for the hearing, although I need to go through and remove anything that repeats itself or is “more emotion” than fact based… but when it comes to the Supreme Court, I’ve yet to get much instruction on what I may or may not have to do. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It could very well be that the evidence will speak for itself, much like when it was going through Franklin county’s court system. (You should see the organized piles of papers for this shit on my couch… heh)

It kinda sucks… I know that most folks around me don’t have any idea about all of the stuff that I’m doing “behind the scenes” with all of this various crap, and many of them probably think all of my time is just free time – because why wouldn’t they? They know I’m not working, they know I’m not in a relationship that would be taking up my time, they know I’m rarely out visiting any friends, etc… but yeah, it ends up being a problem sometimes. ๐Ÿ˜• People are so used to me being almost instantly accessible, or able to help them with whatever “thing” they need help with… but like this week, I’ve had to keep one of my cousins on pause all week while I handle my own stuff, and while I hate to do it (he wants me to help him with a resume) my stuff has to take priority. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ But at least he’s already aware how a lot of my crap has settled in to the first half of January, so he probably understands.

So yeah, if people can’t reach me right away, or don’t hear from me as often or as quickly as they think they should… I hope they can keep it in the back of their mind that it’s probably because something else is taking up my time, and not because I’m just sitting here ghosting everyone “just because.” I swear, this is probably half the reason I keep as few close friends as I do, just because I know I don’t always have the time or energy to devote to them (in communication or in person) as they’d deserve or expect. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

I disappoint the least amount of people this way. ๐Ÿ˜ Okay, unfortunately I’ve got some shit to do…

Weather Complications

Gen’s trip to Ohio ended up being a bit of an adventure. โœˆ๏ธ The original plan had her taking off from NJ, landing in NC with a half-hour to catch her connecting flight, and then onto Columbus. But for whatever reason, their plane landed in Charlotte only a couple of minutes before the connecting flight took off… so anyone that was continuing to Ohio missed their flight. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ÿย ๐Ÿ›ซ American Airlines obviously knew they screwed up, and had everyone quickly booked on the next flight out to Columbus, but the result was that she ended up getting here about an hour and a half later than anticipated.

It was almost 4pm by the time we were leaving the airport, and that’s when the flag placement ceremony was supposed to beginย – so we didn’t even really try to hurry, assuming that we were just gonna miss it. (And that was the main reason that she was coming to visit.) But as we were heading to Lancaster, she was texting with Toni (who was already there) and we learned that the crappy weather and other “opening remarks” type stuff had kept everyone inside one of the buildings at the fairgrounds ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ƒ and that we’d possibly be able to make it in time for the flag placement after all.

The first couple of flags had already been handed out by the time we were pulling in, but it worked out so that they called Dad’s name just as we had parked and joined everyone standing there. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Couldn’t have cut it any closer. ๐Ÿ˜Ž They go alphabetically, so that meant there was still plenty of time before Uncle Rick, Grandpa Shepherd, and Genesee’s dad’s names were called. Any other year that would have been great, but this year… whoothe weather, man. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐ŸŒง๏ธ๐ŸŒจ๏ธ๐ŸŒง๏ธ๐ŸŒง๏ธ๐ŸŒจ๏ธ๐Ÿ’จ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

Ominous dark clouds, half drizzle, half sleet, freezing winds gusting so hard that people were struggling to hold their flags… it was just awful. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ (They had a huge eagle on hand as well, and he wasn’t too thrilled about things either.) ๐Ÿฆ… And as much as I’d have liked for Dad to have been able to go… at least when we were talking about it in the daysย prior… I’m glad that he decided not to. With the flight delays, getting there late, mother nature going crazy, and him not feeling that great over the past few days anyway – he definitely made the right choice. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ Other years that I’ve gone, loads of people would sit in the stands, listening to the names, ranks, wars, etc as they waited for their person’s name to be called. But there was no sitting this time. The bleachers were cold and wet, so everyone just huddled together… enduring the weather until they could place their flag and then flee to their car. ๐Ÿš™๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐ŸŒง๏ธ๐ŸŒจ๏ธ I don’t blame anyone… it was just unfortunate that this year’s event didn’t have the same “feel” as previous years because of all that other crap. ๐Ÿ˜•

We did end up going back through there the next day though, when the weather was much nicer, to see how many flags were displayed – and to pay the proper respect to the whole thing that none of us were really able to give the day before. ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿง๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿง๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ We did take a handful of pictures on the actual placement day, and boy do they not convey what the experience was actually like. ๐Ÿ˜ย (But of course once everything was overย the weather calmed down considerably.) We’re still fortunate to have made it though, since this is the first year that we had flags for Dad and Gen’s dad – so it would have sucked if we weren’t able to place them ourselves.

Okay, it’s been a busy couple days, so I’ll follow up soon with an entry covering anything else worth mentioning from Gen’s stay.ย I didn’t even do half as much as her… but I’m out of juice. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Often Watched Channels

Whenever I end up talking about TV with most of my friends, it seems that none of them watch YouTube on their actual television. ๐Ÿค” I think a lot of people still think of the platform as just a dumping ground for random assholes who upload boring phone videos, awkward family events, hour-long videos of their kids graduating kindergarten, etc. ๐Ÿ˜ I mean, that is what it was for a good part of its early years – but now there are loads of people and groups who take it seriously and produce some really good content, thanks to the video monetization that enables them to actually make a living from the site.

So when friends ask me what shows I watch, or what cable/satellite/streaming service I use for “cable” … they don’t quite get it when I say that most of my time is spent watching YouTube. ๐Ÿค“โ–ถ๏ธย When you’re watching on a laptop or your phone, you’re pretty interactive with it, usually picking each video you wanna watch. But on the TV, with auto-play active, eventually it learns the types of videos you seem to enjoy and it’ll keep feeding them to you without you having to do a thing. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜… That’s how I ended up coming across most of the folks in the list below… searching for one thing, and ending up on their videos eventually.

But even if you don’t have a YouTube app on your TV, I still think these channels are worth taking a look at. ๐Ÿง They aren’t in any particular order, nor do they cover any overarching theme… just a bunch of different channels that drew my interest over time for one reason or another. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚ So if you find yourself bored and looking for something new to watch, have a click through some of these channels and I bet you’ll eventually find yourself hooked on at least a few of them if you watch long enough.

  • TechmoanBritish reviewer of new and old audio, video, camera, misc tech
  • Ozzy Man ReviewsAustralian comedy commentary on viral videos
  • Cracked: Obsessive Pop Culture Disorderย – In-depth comedy takes on movies and TV
  • Today I Found Outย – Individual episodes focused on random trivia type topics

  • Boom 97.3 – Behind The Vinylย – Stories about songs as told by the singers or band members
  • Sweet and Tasty TVSouth Korean travel/food/culture vlog
  • Philip DeFrancoFast paced “news of the day” with a mix of regular/social media news
  • Red Letter Mediaย – Long form comedic reviews of one or two movies each episode

  • Thoughty2ย – Another “things you might not have known or thought about” type channel
  • Fact Fiend w/Karl Smallwood“No shits given” rambling comedy focused on misc topics
  • TopTenzย – More “random” type info or trivia, in a quickly delivered format
  • Cracked: After Hoursย – Group of folks (scripted) insight into funny/weird/unique media

  • Bros of Decayย – Loads of extremely well-shot explorations of abandoned buildings
  • Kerzgesagt – In a Nutshellย – Animated educational presentations on scientific/social topics
  • Internet Todayย – Several different shows, comedic takes on current real world/internet topics
  • Mentour Pilotย – Watch enough and you’ll be convinced you can fly and land a 747 too

  • The SlowMo Guysย – Using some of the highest frame rate cameras for various experiments
  • Doug DemuroTHIS… is aย “regular guy” reviewing the weirdest, coolest cars you can imagine
  • Captain DisillusionPublic access type “superhero” that debunks fake internet videos
  • Rossmann Repair GroupApple laptop repair guy w/educational (and hypnotic) repair videos

  • CinemaSinsย – Somewhat sarcastic/comedic nitpicking of all the popular movies
  • Lessons from the ScreenplayDetailed looks at how movies come from the written page
  • Dave Sundstromย – Seems to be just “some guy” with nostalgia for 50s thru 80s television
  • Cobra Kaiย – Sequel series to the old Karate Kid moviesย (TRAILER)ย (YouTube Premium)

That last title, you (unfortunately) have to be subscribed to YouTube Premium to watch it… but man is it a good follow-up to those movies. It’s set in the present day, with Daniel and his former karate adversary, Johnny, meeting up again after all these years. I think it’s like ten bucks for premium, but not only do you get their YouTube Originals (which generally nobody cares about), but you also get to play every video ad-free. ๐Ÿ™‚ None of those five-second waits until you can “skip ad” to get on with it. It just plays… just like “real” TV. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

(I’m sure that there’s a handful of my favorites that I’ve neglected to include on this list, so don’t be too surprised if there’s a “part two” eventually, as I run across other favorites and go “OH… yeah… shit.” as I watch during the week. ๐Ÿ˜)

What Was Their Secret?

Other than being a little frustrated while trying to fix the dirt spots in my yard today, it’s honestly been a decent day. I’m getting a little bit better at having those moments of “grr” and then letting them go… for the most part, anyway. But I can’t help but think about my grandparents – Grandpa S and Grandpa B in particular – and remember how even when they probably had plenty of things they could have been grumpy about, and maybe even were, they still never seemed to carry their frustration or aggravation with them for long.

With Grandpa B, it was more when he was working in his workshop, or tending to the grass, bushes, and flowers outside… ๐Ÿ˜ which is kind of ironic, considering the latter of those things is what causes my frustration. But those were “his things” and when he was doing them, you’d have no idea if anything was bothering him. ๐Ÿ˜Œ He’d just let himself get lost in whatever project he happened to be working on.

And Grandpa S, much like Grandpa B, was a man of few words… so even if he was in a bad mood or had something negative on his mind, you’d never know it. I can still “see” those memories in my head, when we’d have family reunions out at their house when I was much younger… and Grandpa S would quietly sit there enjoying the company, making an occasional joke or comment here and there, with a slight smile or ornery grin on his face. ๐Ÿ™‚ And even when we would see him on just a “normal” visit, it was like he had an invisible shield that was keeping all the “bleh” away from him.

I’m not completely naive… I know that there was plenty of stuff that both of those grandparents could and did get irritated, annoyed, or bothered by… but that’s why I look at how they were and envy it. Maybe it’s a generational thing, where being a grump ass or expressing your “bleh” out loud just wasn’t a thing that you did. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But however it was that they did it… I want that.

I’ve got plenty of things to be frustrated by, annoyed with, pissed off about… and like I said, I’m actually getting better at letting it go… but I wanna keep working on allowing myself to have those feelings, because there are legit reasons behind it all and it’s not good to keep things bottled up, but then letting them go once the initial feelings are over and no good can come from continuing to dwell on them.

And I’ve mentioned it a couple of times recently, but I do think that the “always connected” nature of the world today makes it harder to escape any “bleh” feelings – because when you’re already bothered by whatever your own “thing” is, it’s so easy to get online and unintentionally drown in all sorts of unrelated negative news. Where just “keeping up to date with things / people” can end up feeding whatever crappy feeling you’ve already got if you’re not careful. ๐Ÿ˜• But yeah, I’m feeling better from earlier, the race is almost over, so it’s time to get off here and get on those couple of chores.

Meanwhile, I’m gonna treat this “project” as a very early New Year’s resolution. ๐Ÿ™‚ย Somethin’s gotta give, eh?