Transfer

I had a slide scanner, so I’ve already converted all of the family photo slides over to digital on my own, but lately with all these “abandoned home” videos that I’ve been watching on YouTube it’s making me think about things that eventually get lost to time – and the reel-to-reel projection movies in the basement here could easily meet the same fate if they get too brittle, the projector stops working, or if nobody cares to even check them once I’m gone due to it being a pain in the ass. 😏

So I think I’m gonna start looking into having someone professionally convert them to digital for me. It’s been so long since I’ve even looked in that cabinet down there that I don’t know how many there are, or exactly how many of them feature a baby me. Regardless, I’d like to get them all transferred to digital so I have a way to easily share them with people now and then for after I’m gone as well.

I know there are “mail in” companies that do that sort of thing, but I think there’s also a video production company here in town that handles projects for the schools, the city, etc, and I think I remember something about them doing smaller projects like this for anyone that’s in need. More on this later if I actually get around to it.

 

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Abandoned Exploration

I’ve found myself getting lost in “abandoned buildings” videos on YouTube over the past week or two… and more specifically in the ones where everything was just left behind, as if someone got up and went to work one day and just never came home again. 😯 I’m not sure why it fascinates me so much. It might be because, like Mom, I can look at any old home and imagine what life it used to hold. ☺ Families, holidays, birthdays, ups, downs, day-to-day boring life, just everything

I think the saddest part about these videos though is thinking about each of the individual items that people come across. Because you have to think… each item had a purpose, a reason at some point. 🤔 Some more sentimental than others, but yeah… whether it’s old photos, stuffed animals, dolls, toy cars, nick knacks, CDs or cassettes, maybe even VHS or 8mm movie reels… every one of those things has a story behind it, but now those things are forgotten by the world, dissolving to time. 😔

I think that I may relate a little too much to some of these videos. 😏 Granted, it’s only because of the story that I create in my mind, but when you see an old house that is basically untouched – you sort of suspect that whoever lived there last was likely old and alone, with no kids to gift his possessions to, so for whatever reason the property just sits. That’s why exploring feels important to me, so even when someone is gone and forgotten by time, someone else comes along and does a great documentary and shares it on YouTube for those people and memories to live on.

It actually creates a moral dilemma for me though. 😒 The “rules” of urban explorers dictate that you take pictures, you take video, but you never take stuff. In theory I agree, because it still does belong to someone else, whoever that person may be… but I struggle with that rule because of the asshats that inevitably discover and vandalize such places. There’s just a large segment of the human population that would rather destroy the things that they find rather than appreciate them for what they are and what they were.

Most of the time it’s stuff that I wouldn’t even want for myself. Just stuff that deserves a better fate than to be overtaken by weather and nature and eventually destroyed. 😟 Antiques, porcelain dolls, old books, and other vintage items… it would be so hard to not collect them up just to donate them away, knowing that they’d then live on in the hands of someone that appreciated them. But maybe that’s not meant to be their fate. Maybe, sometimes, our stuff is only meant to live as long as we do, and suffer the same fate once we’re gone. I dunno… I’ll have to work this one around in my head a while.


  • PS: Having watched enough videos to say this, I think that there’s a lot of folks who don’t know the difference between “abandoned” and “unused” when it comes to the buildings they come across. For example, if you find an office complex that hasn’t been operating for six months, going inside and going “Wow! Look at all this office stuff left behind!” I feel like you’re more “breaking and entering” rather than exploring something that’s truly been abandoned. I guess this hobby has lots of moral quandaries.

Latest Animation Rendering

Well, here’s the finished product. I’m pleased with it… all of the added touches are there to be seen – it’s just a shame that animation is sort of an afterthought with this modeling program, so the camera movements are a bit jerky and unnatural looking. But for anyone who had visited this house prior to me moving in, I think you’ll agree that it’s pretty faithful to the original… particularly the living room. 🙂

These are the things that I believe I’ve improved since I made the first animation:

  • Fixed paint colors, correcting walls and making the ceilings white
  • Adjusted color and texture of all the doors
  • Updated the textures of the floors for more natural hardwood look
  • Changed sizes (particularly in the bedroom) of furniture for more accurate scale
  • Added lamp, clock, and ceiling fan w/light in bedroom
  • Added lighting, shower curtain, curtain, and changed bathtub/fixtures in bathroom
  • Also added more accurate texture for vinyl flooring and shower tiles in the bathroom
  • Picture window changed to wood w/more accurate sheer curtains in living room
  • Changed lamp on round table and square coffee table changed to oval in living room
  • End table lamps changed / now functioning, cuckoo clock now present in living room
  • Console record player under big mirror changed, vase/flower and newspaper added

In each room I also tweaked all sorts of things when it comes to object shading, colors, levels of reflection (matte/glossy), and lighting levels (spot/ambient) in a way that I think makes the whole thing look slightly closer to realistic and accurate to the way things were here in the past. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few things that I changed or adjusted, but yeah… there ya go. 😏

Oh, and I know – both times that I’ve created one of these animations, it’s been done where the house is assumed to be lit by dawn / pre-dawn light. I do that because I prefer to see how the internal man-made illumination sources and shadows are handled by the program, although I suppose one day I could render it out in broad daylight with fake ceiling lights (just a source light w/no visible fixtures) being activated in every room. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Oh Hai

It’s 2a and I should be sleeping, but it’s my fault for making myself feel like shit. 😒 I mean, there really wasn’t a good second option – as not helping Cassi move would have ended up with them possibly not moving. Heh… that’s the problem with those of us who maintain as few friendships as possible – when it comes time for things like this, normal people have a crapload of acquaintances that will come and move your shit for some pizza and beer. Meh, more on that later maybe… but I wouldn’t have done things differently.

I’m just making an entry now because I can. Because I’ve got my laptop back. See, now and then I’ve been updating the 3D objects and properties in the modeled version of my grandparents’ house as it used to be – so it was time to render another animation, which takes forever and a day on a meager ol’ laptop like the one I’ve got. I mean, it’s a good laptop, it’s just that no personal systems are really meant for serious 3D rendering.

But yeah, the animation finished rendering, I’m currently uploading it to YouTube for enhancements, and then I’m going to download it again to do any adjusting that I have to do with playback speed. 🤓 It’s funny, like I was telling Genesee – 9 out of 10 people that watch the old rendering followed by the new one, they’re likely going to notice very little change. And I suppose that’s because there is little change… but yeah, I figured it was enhanced enough that it was worth the processing time. It’ll be up here in the blog once I’m done screwing with it. (Damn, now that I think about it, I haven’t actually watched the resulting video – so I don’t even know for sure if it was a success.)

Okay, I’m in a shit mood, so that’s all I’ve really got right now.

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.

Another One?

If I hadn’t already bought the tickets a couple of months ago, and had to decide yesterday morning if I wanted to go that night, there’s a really good chance I would have stayed home – but as it were, it was off to Dayton for another Skillet concert. 😏 I’m glad to have been there, don’t get me wrong, it’s just another one of those “Man I wish I could just snap my fingers and be there / be home.” deals.

I swear, each time I do whatever “fun” thing I decide to do, it gets more and more difficult – without any real reason that I can tell. 😐 For this concert road trip, I was honestly only “good” for the hour or so that Skillet was on the stage. Before that it was “hurry up, hurry up, hurry up…” and after it was “Ugh, really wanna be home, really wanna be home…” 😬 And that’s on top of feeling like I’m dying today, since I have no chill and can never keep myself from flailing around too much when I go see a band. (And trust me, it doesn’t take much to bring the pain.)

Okay, but other than all of that… heh… the Skillet performance was amazing. Probably the best show that I’ve seen them do, and I bet it’s close to a dozen times that I’ve seen them in person by now. 😃🤘🏻 Originally it was gonna be me, Dez, Athena, and Sean… but Sean went back to Canada, Athena changed her mind, so I substituted Cassi on my end and then Dez brought Ashley. 🤔 Even though that had two of my different worlds bumping up against each other a little more than I’d like, it ended up being a really good time. 😏

EDIT: (Really impressed with the iPhone 7+ audio, that close to the speakers.)

Whatever Gets You Through It

I’m slowly succeeding at pulling myself out of my latest mood. It helps that I’ve got a scheduled appointment with the estate attorney, so that doesn’t have to be one of the bits of noise whirling about inside my head for now. 😟 But now I’ve gotta get my head right for some fun coming up this week… something that was scheduled literally months ago, something that I know will be fun once I’m in the middle of it – but I’m gonna have that same issue that I always have, of being able to gear myself up for it in the preceding days. 😳

Dez was a planned participant when we originally made the plans, but with the way I’ve gone off the grid for the past month or longer, I was worried that when I reminded her about it (on super short notice) that she wouldn’t be able to arrange her schedule, or that she might just not even want to go anymore – but thankfully she was able to make the needed changes, while also letting me know that she’s missed me since I’ve engaged my cloaking device. 😏 It’s nice to know that you are missed when you aren’t sure that you are missed.

So now I’m transitioning into “get ready” mode, which usually involves a certain amount of cleaning up around the house along with things actually related to whatever activity I’m going to be enjoying soon. 🤓 I’ll definitely have to clean out my car tonight or tomorrow, and I’m thinking about getting a haircut. 🤔 Meh… if I can’t get motivated to go into town to do that, I’ve always got one of my dozens of ball caps to fall back on. We’ll see.

But the past couple of days have been spent quietly working with one of the nerd toys that I’ve previously mentioned. I’ve gone back to the 3D simulation of my grandparents’ house, and I’ve been doing tweaks to the model and to the program to give me much better results in the resulting rendered images. Many of the models allow manipulation of the individual components… like, for the cuckoo clock, I’m able to change the textures on nearly all of the faces, allowing me to use a dark wood texture for the clock body, gold metal for the pendulum, and you can also manipulate how shiny the finish is for all the parts, models, walls, floors, etc. 🤓 (And that’s not even discussing the ray tracing, the number of bounces allowed for each ray of light, etc… heh… such awesome nerd brain food.)

I’m totally just doing this for my own benefit, to see what I can learn and what I can do, although I’m sure I’ll end up throwing some resulting pictures and/or videos up here in case the world wants to see what I’ve done. Some people might say this is a waste of my time, or that it would be better spent elsewhere, but right now it’s doing wonders to calm my brain and keep me in a good place.