Get A Hobby

Bad dreams ended up waking me last night around 3am, and I’ve been up ever since. Kinda doesn’t matter what sleep schedule I keep these days, given that I’m not going anywhere and I didn’t even realize what day it was today. Not meaning April Fools Day, just meaning that I didn’t realize it was Wednesday. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ Point being, anxiety filled sleep, waking up early… it didn’t lead to much of a day for me. I did text with Dad and Genesee a bit, and she got me thinking about playing the keyboard again. ๐Ÿค”๐ŸŽน๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

I forget what she said, but it reminded me that thanks to the YouTube Music app searching my own videos for music to add… I ran across this old video of me playing Don’t Wake Me by Skillet. ๐Ÿ˜Ž And when I did, I realized that if you put that keyboard in front of me now I’d have no idea how to play it. Elton John made a comment on his Melbourne Symphony album, that he was playing some songs that were so old that he had to re-learn them as well for that concert. ๐Ÿ™‚ So that’s one thing I’m gonna try to make time for… “keyboard dickin’ around time” every now and then.

And then thanks to NASCAR and iRacing running these virtual races on the weekend… and apparently a dirt track / winged-car race tonight… that’s got my mind back on video games. ๐Ÿค“๐ŸŽฎ๐Ÿ“บ I’ve got an XBOX One and a Playstation 4, yet it’s probably been at least six months since I’ve even turned either of them on. ๐Ÿ˜• Once I got into a funk a while back, my brain just never seemed interested in reminding me that I’ve got kewl shit that I could play. So I’m gonna go through my games tonight and figure out which system I’ve got the best racing games for, and I’ll probably try to re-familiarize myself with all that. ๐Ÿค” I used to be good. Years ago I was really layin’ ’em down at the road courses, or at least it felt that way. (Wow, that was from 2013…)

I don’t wanna get ahead of myself, since I’ve already got a couple options there, but I’m probably gonna play around with time-lapse and long-exposure phone photography like I usually do each spring… plus I’ve got a couple new photogrammetry apps for creating 3D models from a series of regular digital photos, so that might keep my attention as well. Meh… we’ll see, I guess.

Don’t mind me… just doing a little more “talking out loud” to hopefully burn these ideas into my brain a little more effectively. ๐Ÿคฏ It’s not like I’m making valuable use of my time otherwise, so I might as well be doing something that I used to consider fun, eh? ๐Ÿ˜ All this time stuck in the house might help me figure out where “old me” went. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

One Day at A Time

Fox Sports did a great job with the “virtual” race that they put on today. I forget what the official name was, but it was an eNASCAR / iRacing / Invitational / Exhibition race… that they somehow managed to get on TV with an impressive presentation. Sure, there were more wrecks than in a real race, and a few glitches here and there… but overall, if you were just walking in and out of the living room, only half paying attention, you wouldn’t have even noticed that we were all watching a video game.

A nice little escape for a couple of hours today. Back in reality, Mike DeWine declared that Ohio will have a stay-at-home order starting on Monday. We’re all basically doing that already, but I think this may actually affect folks who were still wanting and trying to work. Only certain jobs are on the approved list, so here’s hoping that the government comes through with unemployment or another form of relief quickly – ‘cuz as if the virus itself doesn’t cause enough anxiety, now people are gonna have to worry about utilities, rent, car payments, food, etc.

The problem is, the way they’ve worded things, the way they’re going to enforce this order… it’s way, way too soft – and the people who want to be out, or just don’t want to be told what to do, they’re gonna find and use all the loopholes. I’d give it a week or two before DeWine gets fed up with the lack of cooperation and puts something stronger in place. But right now, you can still go out to the park, walk around, walk your dog, drive to shop, visit family, go to doctor appointments… I mean, I don’t know what the right amount of “enforcement” would be, so maybe that’s why it’s starting off light.

I didn’t watch Trump’s press briefing today, and I’m probably a whole lot better for it. I’ve seen a couple clips, and have read things that he said or did… and yeah, as many, many people and journalists are starting to say on Twitter – there’s no reason that these things should be carried live, since there is so much misinformation that causes fear and anxiety. So my day was a bit better than I was feeling last night. Honestly, I don’t really know how I feel at the moment… it’s almost like anticipation… not knowing how I should feel until we start seeing things happening closer to home each day.

I’m probably still right on the edge of that same anxiety that I had last night, so after I get off of here I’m gonna seek out Airplane! (the movie) so I can kick back and absorb some stupid, clever, dumb comedy as I hopefully get sleepy. I hope everyone out there made it through the day as uneventfully as I did today.

Perfect Storm

Three things:

  • I didn’t get my nap today, so I’ve been awake since 3a… and it is currently 11p.
  • Despite that, I still made it in town to meet up with my friends for dinner.
  • I had a good time… but my shoulder is fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Note, this isn’t a complaining post, even though it’ll sound like it. ‘Cuz my shoulder is frozen in the “up” position, but thankfully isn’t throwing a fit anymore. ๐Ÿ™„ Good lord, I haven’t had it shake this much in a long time. I’ve also got that familiar tilt of the head to the left. ๐Ÿค• Yeah, tomorrow is going to royally suck.

This was one of those “price of entry” situations I’ve mentioned before. Where a combination of normally trivial things combine to flip the switch, even though it was something I wanted to do. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Not quite enough sleep, sitting up against the wall in an uncomfortable booth, not being able to fidget around as needed, loads of noisy people all around, using “social energy” I didn’t really have, an unfamiliar place, and then going from the warm to the cold as we finally gave up our seats and took it outside to finish talking. ๐Ÿ˜

But it was Jim, Adam, and Brad, and we all went to The Pink Cricket. Haven’t stepped inside that place since I was barely a teenager, when me and my cousin Jim went in because they had a new (at the time) Ms Pacman machine. Ironically, they still have three arcade machines, and they’re all vintage. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป Adam is a bit of a foodie, so I was happy to go there – since us getting together these days technically qualifies as “an event.”

The only time we weren’t talking was when we were cramming food in our mouths, but at a little over an hour my shoulder really started twitching. ๐Ÿ˜ณ We had finished eating and were just taking up space, so I asked if they’d mind going outside so I could move around a bit. Well, we ended up standing outside for another 45 minutes, and all the little triggers came together and I ended up putting on a pretty good show. ๐Ÿค•๐Ÿ˜ Just meaning that my shoulder wouldn’t stop, and it’s probably the worst that they’ve seen it.

We covered a lot of topics but of course eventually it turned to my shoulder, then workers comp stuff, then all of our various aches and pains that we now bitch about… ๐Ÿ˜ typical fare for four d00ds who are approaching “old fart” territory a little quicker than we’d like. But they had to drop off Brad before Adam could head back to Columbus, and then Jim up to Marion, so we broke it up and headed out around 10:30p.

Fun fact… I started this entry around 11p when I got home, but I’ve had to take so many breaks that it’s now after midnight. ๐Ÿ˜ณ That’s the stuff that people don’t see. Spending an hour leaning against the space heater, typing a couple sentences here and there, and doing my best to make the “ugh” go away. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ At least my shoulder’s down and my head’s back in a normal position now. But yeah, still glad that I went.

(But ask me tomorrow when I wake up. ๐Ÿ˜ It’s time for bed.)

Couple Days Off

I’ll definitely admit that I’m not the NASCAR fan that I used to be, but I still ended up watching much of most of the races this year… so I still get that “meh” feeling that fans get this weekend, now that the 2019 season is over and the races are done. ๐Ÿ˜• Luckily the Penn State vs OSU game is on, and it should be a pretty good one, so I’ve got that on the TV while I side-eye the stack of mail from this past week and try to talk myself into getting into it all. ๐Ÿ˜

This is gonna be a low-key weekend for me though. Was busy through a lot of the past week, and already know that I’ll be busy next week getting tires put on, furnace looked at, garage opener likely installed (among other things) so I’m hoping to keep my ass planted at home and take it relatively easy today and tomorrow.

Of course I’ve still got random little shit around the house that I’ll probably work on if the motivation hits me, but my only planned project is getting the new mailbox mounted. I guess it’s gonna be sunny and decent tomorrow, so I’ll probably wait until then to take the old one off, measure out the holes on the post, and drill out the piece of wood that I’m gonna end up using as the mount.

I bought a cheap plastic universal adapter type thing, same brand as the mailbox, but for some reason not only does it not line up with the horizontal screw holes on the mailbox, but in the plethora of holes for mounting to a post – none of them appear to be in the locations needed. ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿ˜ That’s probably why Grandpa fastened the old mailbox to the post with a piece of wood underneath too… which, over many years out in the weather, has slowly rotted away. I’ve already found the perfect plank of wood, so I’m just hoping that it won’t be difficult to remove the old bolts from the post. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

Worst case scenario, if they’re rusted solid or I don’t have the torque to loosen the nuts from the screws, I’m sure Rick would come over and get it sorted. (But I’ve got to at least try to do it myself first.) That’s the irritating thing about my left arm, man… ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ something that should and would be a piece of cake if my shoulder wasn’t gimped – it’s now sitting out there as this intimidating prospect, knowing that I’ve only got Sunday to get it done before mail resumes on Monday. ๐Ÿ˜ณ When simple things can’t be simple… it’s just frustrating.

Meh… it is what it is. Just glad that I’ll have decent weather to (hopefully) figure it out w/o killin’ myself. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

EDIT: Damn… this game is moving fast. Either that, or I’ve just been really slow as I was typing out this entry… ‘cuz I feel like I started it right after the game started, and it’s already down to two minutes left before half-time. Good… guess that means my plan of taking it easy is working, if time is passing that fast. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿˆ

Had To Get My Cane

It was a last minute decision, and even though it was pretty cold… between the sun being out all day and the rain staying away, I summoned up the motivation to go in town and walk around the fairgrounds on the last day of our county fair. ๐Ÿ™‚ย And rather than risking upsetting my stomach with a greasy sausage sandwich covered with more greasy vegetables, or a big sloppy Jimmy Jawbreaker burger with all the fixins, I actually decided not to getย any fair foodย while I was there. ๐Ÿ˜ง๐Ÿค” I had already eaten a little bit earlier anyway, before I even knew I was gonna be going, so it was no big loss.

CLICK HERE to go to my “Fairfield County Fair (2019)” album on Flickr,
where you can either click, view, & zoom each photo individually, or you can
click the box with the “play” button in it – in the upper right hand corner
of the album – if you want the images to play as a full-screen slideshow.

But I accomplished what I went there for. ๐Ÿ˜Ž Got out of the house for a little while, made a pass through all the aisles to see what was new and what had stayed the same, took a handful of typical-looking fair photos, and then of course I played the ring toss game to see if I could continue my streak of always (well, almost always) leaving with one of the “real” top tier canes. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Which I did. ๐Ÿ˜„ And as I expected, it was nice going by myself this time. Walking at my own pace, stopping whenever / wherever I needed… I mean, of course I like doing this stuff with friends as well, but today just worked better for me since I was on my own. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

And I’m not ashamed to admit it… I’m glad that I won a “good” cane shortly after I got there, because after I had walked through the place and seen everything – I was then on the complete opposite side of the fairgrounds from where I was parked – so that cane ended up coming in handy (also as predicted… heh) as I made my way back to head home, since my knee was starting to feel a little bit tweaked from all the walking. ๐Ÿ˜

Bedtime Ramble

Not sure what was trying to get me, but those two days of cool and rainy weather that I was looking forward to… I ended up feeling like crapย on those days. ๐Ÿคข I did dump that bag of dirt and grass seed the prior day and did up all my dishes that same night, and it did take a little more “oomph” out of me than I expected – but I think it’s because I was already getting sick,ย and not because of the little bit of work that I did. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Regardless, it kinda sucked… but at least the rain was taking care of watering the grass seed, ‘cuz I ain’t gonna. ๐Ÿคจ Once it’s out there after its initial watering… you’re on your own, blue grass seed… if you’re counting on me to coddle you with things like water, think again. ๐Ÿ˜

But, as you may or may not be able to tell, I feltย pretty close to back to my normal today. Felt good enough to go have a nice visit with Dad, and when I got back home I found that the lawn guys had come and gone and also didn’t mess with the new dirt and seed. ๐Ÿ˜Œย (Even though they’re probably chuckling that I think the seed will actually grow into grass in the middle of October.) I’m glad I wasn’t here though. I still feel a little weird when someone else is doing the manual labor that I can’t do anymore, while I’m sitting inside like a potato.

But yeah, I’m just glad that I woke up today feeling decent since I had plans today that I didn’t wanna cancel, plans for tomorrow that are somewhat unavoidable, and then doctor appointments on Friday. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I guess I shouldn’t count on my tomorrow and Friday though until they get here… probably gonna jinx myself. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

This is county fair week too, and right now I’m only half-convinced that I even wanna go. By Saturday I’ll have had “three days of stuff” in a row, and sometimes after that much “stuff” my energy / neck / shoulder aren’t as cooperative as I’d like. ๐Ÿ˜’ So it’s hard to definitely plan on a Saturday fair visit, especially considering that I’d like to avoid the sea of “weekend” humans that would also be turning up.

I actually haven’t checked to see if Jim is coming to town, but if I’m going by myself it would probably be to either take some pictures or to use the 360 video camera to get some footage to upload and share. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ“ท Both of those things are just better, in my opinion, when there’s less people around. Even among a fair crowd, walking around with a tiny 360 camera on a fully extended selfie-stick still isn’t veryย inconspicuous. And people staring slack-jawed and confused at the camera doesn’t make for great video.

And while it’s incredibly unlikely, there’s still a tiny corner of my brain that would love to shoot an early evening time-lapse / light trail type video of the entire fairgrounds from Mt Pleasant. ๐Ÿ˜Œ Ugh… I really wanna do that. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Anybody wanna piggy-back me up the hill? But then I wouldn’t get to walk around and see all the critters, play a few games, and eat something good-yet-disgusting that will have even odds of making me sick. ๐Ÿ˜… I think I’ll just see how the rest of the week goes, andย figure it out then.

It reminds me the of the irony of my favorite game there though. For as long as I’ve been going, the game where you try to ring the little canes has always been my favorite. Not for the shitty, weird colored cheap canes though… but for the “upper level” canes, which are actually “real” canes where you hook the curved part to win one. ๐Ÿคจ Nearly every year that I’ve gone, I’ve been able to come home with one of those canes. The irony part… back in the day, the cane would either go into my closet (to be forgotten) or I’d give it to Grandma B, Aunt Carol, or someone else who could actually make use of it. ๐Ÿ™‚ But now that I’m older and more broken, if / when I win a cane, it’s more like “Ahh, good, I can leave this one in the car for emergencies.” or “Kewl, now I can have one under the bed in case I wake up and my sciatic nerve is acting up.” ๐Ÿ˜

And, you know… (I absolutely don’t feel this way, but I can see where some politically correct folks might) the idea of handing out mobility aids, traditionally meant for temporarily or permanently disabled people, might actually offend one or two people in the state if they thought too hard about it. ๐Ÿ˜ It’s like “Throw three darts and break three yellow balloons and you win a skateboard… but if you throw three darts and break three of the tiny red balloons and you win an actual wheelchair!” ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿฆฝ๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Again, I don’t feel that way… but I’m tempted to google now to see if anyone’s ever complained about this anywhere.

Okay, time for bed… early day tomorrow, and I wanna make sure I stay good with my sleep. I need all the encouragement that I can get, to make sure I’ll get through all of this stuff over the next several days. ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

MS Flight Simulator 2020

When I was in my late teens, one of the first things that got me interested in PC gaming (after “growing up Commodore” with a VIC-20, C64, and various Amiga computers) were the advertisements I’d see in the PC magazines for various flight simulators. Because on those pages, the screenshots from some of those flight sims made them look potentially amazing. But of course in the early 1990s, no matter how good of a computer you had, there weren’t really any flight sims that looked or performed as you’d really want.

I’m not gonna ramble much… yet… so I’ll just let this guy’s video speak for itself. Almost 30 years later, and it looks like there’s finally a flight simulator coming out that will not only amaze folks like me – but which also even impresses the actual airline pilots who do this shit for a living. This is just one of many videos posted by the select few that were invited to Microsoft’s preview event a couple of weeks ago.

If there ends up being an XBOX One version, even though it would likely be watered-down, it might actually give me a reason to turn it on and start playing games again. It’s crazy how long it’s been since I’ve really cared about console gaming, even with some decent titles sitting here waiting for me. With all the other stuff going on over the past couple of years, it’s just kinda slipped away from me… but this thing looks gorgeous.