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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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.

Progression

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Four renders… quick, quick/good, slow/better, slow/best. It’s a bit difficult to see the differences between 1 and 2, and then 3 and 4, at this image size – but the larger the render, the more subtle details and changes you will notice. (Shadows, reflections, translucency, etc.) I’m going to work on a plug-in to see how close I can get it to photo-realistic.