A Taste Of What’s To Come

We got our first hint of winter today. Well, at least where I was. It may not have been the same here at home, but up on the north side of Columbus it was a couple hours of rain, sleet, and snow.Β Nothing was sticking, but it was sure making the driving unpleasant. πŸ˜• But Cassi recently cracked a toof 😣 and this particular dentist was the only one that could get her in anytime soon. Having experienced that myself, I couldn’t let her miss that appointment and just “deal with it” until whenever the next chance would have been.

My tire pressure light came on during the drive up there, so rather than waiting in the parking lot until she got done, I went to the closest gas station to air up my tires. Then to the next closest one… and the next closest one after that… 😠 I had to go to four different places before I found one with a working air machine. To be honest, it’s probably time to get some new shoes for my car anyway – since two of my tires have predictable, slow leaks, and the tread is getting worn enough where I at least think that I feel a difference when I’m driving on wet or otherwise slick roads. πŸ€¨πŸ€”

It was a couple weeks ago, right after it had rained, but I was taking a circular type exit ramp (at a normal speed) and I could feel her pushing just a little bit as I was taking the turn. It may have just been that another vehicle had put down some fluid that my car was reacting to, but at 60k miles… it’s probably better to be safe than sorry. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Especially since “snow or not” I’m still gonna have regular doctor appointments and workers comp crap that I won’t be able to avoid all through this winter, and I don’t wanna have to make each of those trips with my butt in a constant state of pucker. πŸ˜―πŸ˜…

But yeah, considering that all of this was unplanned, it wasn’t that bad of a day. They’re gonna need to do a root canal and crown on her damaged toof, but at least they were able to provide a temporary fix so she’s not miserable until then. 😟 But I’m gonna take my evening meds and try to sack out early tonight, ‘cuz I can still feel today’s drive in my shoulder – and I really don’t wanna wake up tomorrow morning feeling the same way.

Why Am I Still Surprised? (@Me)

It looks like it is supposed to rain tomorrow and the next day, so even though I’m pretty sure this isn’t “grass planting season,” I went ahead and dumped that bag of soil around my light post out front, spread it out a bit, and covered / mixed it with new “drought resistant” blue-colored grass seed. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸŒΎ The light pole area took the whole bag of dirt, but I did have half a bag of seed left over to spread around the other areas that got weed-whacked down to solid dirt. πŸ€”πŸ˜’Β (And yes, the mailbox gravel is still in my trunk… heh… maybe tomorrow. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ )

It’s partially my fault, because I’ve always told the guys to do whatever they needed to do to clear the yard out and make the mowing easier for them, since there used to be a whole bunch of stuff planted in random places that still tries to pop up. But when a few trees, bushes, and poles end up with big dirt rings / divots around their base… I think it’s safe to say “Okay, I’m pretty sure you got the weeds, buddy.” πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈΒ But I know they’re just trying to earn their money, staying busy while the other guy mows, and the only spot that really bugs me is the light post – because I can’t avoid seeing it when I leave the house.

So even though the dirt is almost as hard as rock around those other areas, I went ahead and threw down the remaining seed and got everything good and soaked with water, with a handful of back-and-forth trips to the spigot with an old watering can I found in the garage. πŸ’¦πŸŒ±πŸŒ±Β Unfortunately that’s about the extent of the oomph I’ve got for right now. πŸ˜₯ (And why I’m taking a break to sit here and blog… heh) I hate it, but between my neck, shoulder, and now lack of a thyroid… I have to accept that there’s an even newer limit to what I can do, even when it comes to this minimal amount of shit. πŸ™„ It was supposed to be old age that slowly took away those abilities, not being broken and having pieces of meat removed. 😠 Meh…

But anyway, it’s done now… πŸ™‚ I’m optimistic about the light pole, and if the other areas can sprout up a little bit of green (whether it’s new grass or “other”) that’ll just be a bonus. Of course I’ll have to let them know to take it easy around those areas for a while, and hopefully they’ll just be like “Kewl. Less work.” and not feel like I’m bitching. (Even though I’m kinda bitching… heh) Laundry and dishes are still on the agenda for today, but only after I chill for a bit, let the Aleve kick in, and maybe catch some of the Xfinity race.

Cook Once, Eat Many

Didn’t really wanna make the mess from cooking it, but I’ve had a bag of chicken breast bits in the freezer for a while now – so I went ahead and threw them into a skillet with a few chopped up green peppers, and then boiled a box of rotini noodles to mix all together with some garlic sauce. I guess it wasn’t that much mess, and now I’ve got four extra bowls of the stuff in my fridge, so I won’t have to fuss around with cooking anything for a couple days. I already eat enough crap food, just because it’s easier to make (and clean up after), so it’s nice just to have something ready to go with a bunch of veggies and meat in it for a change.

Rinsed everything out, but the cooking itself took most of my shoulder oomph for the afternoon – so I’m gonna wait until tomorrow to actually do the dishes and put them away. Heh… this is another “pat myself on the back” post. And you know, I realize now where semantics is trying to screw me in my WC case. As I told a friend a little while ago, it makes me feel good to get something done throughout the day, rather than just sitting around. Of course what I’m saying is that it mentally makes me feel good, getting that small sense of accomplishing something despite the difficulty, not that it physically makes me feel better to cook and do dishes… heh… cuz lemme tell ya, it doesn’t.

I think I’ve still got some energy to do a few more things this evening… probably just taking all of the office and craft supplies out of the hallway closet and getting it all put away in Grandpa’s desk in a way that makes sense. I’ll probably end up using that stuff more as well, since it’ll be slightly more handy. Also debating putting up the new scanner antenna sometime before I go to sleep tonight. I hope I don’t jinx myself by saying this too early, but today hasn’t been bad. No unexpected calls or visitors, staying just busy enough without killin’ myself, and somehow maintaining a half-way decent mood. Okay… that’s it… carry on…

Alternate Tests

So… no clouds tonight, so no “clouds zipping past the moon” time-lapse test was possible. However, with the sky as clear as it was, I figured I’d try a different app for my phone that let me set the ISO to 64, the exposure to 30 seconds, and let it run for about an hour and a half – capturing images of the SW sky with the top of my house and some trees in the frame for a bit of context. It was a success in theory, since I now know how to get all my settings right to capture stars and planets – but since the moon was lighting up the sky, it left everything looking washed out. But yeah, I can see potential in this method…

Then the other thing I tried was an 80x digital zoom time-lapse of the moon as it crossed the field of view of the camera. Another thing that I should have realized, was at that zoom level – the motion of the moon would be visible enough to the eye in real-time… so doing a time-lapse with a one second interval made it cross through the frame way too fast. πŸ€”πŸ˜’ So, that’s why this looks all jerky… it’s actually a time-lapse that was slowed to 1/4 of its original speed. But again, decent test – which unfortunately reveals there’s not enough manual control available in this camcorder for exposure and brightness. You’ll see how it comes into the frame overexposed, looks good for a bit, and then gets blown out again as it exits the frame. Still, pretty good for a cheap ass digital camcorder. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ (And another nice distraction for the evening…)

Don’t forget to click the little HD icon as well as making it full screen for the best result. πŸ€“πŸ˜Ž

Creeping Beauty

Lately I’ve just been using my phone to capture various (weather-based) time-lapse videos, long exposures, lightning, etc… πŸ˜―πŸ“·β˜οΈβ˜οΈπŸŒ©οΈβ˜οΈ basically anything that can be done a few steps from my front door, which unfortunately is about the extent of my “hobby of photography” at the moment. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜•

But last night after the lightning clouds passed through, I decided to grab my camcorder to remind myself what it’s capable of when it comes to low light and time-lapse video. πŸ“ΉπŸ€” Now, when I say camcorder, what you’re picturing is probably not what I’m actually talking about. It’s a JVC digital camcorder with 40x optical zoom, 80x “decent” digital zoom, and then some ridiculous 800x digital zoom that makes everything look like garbage. πŸ˜… But it shoots in 1080p/30 HD and saves to a standard SD memory card, so it’s good enough tech for what I’d want to use it for.

The video below… it’s theΒ firstΒ true test of that camcorder in a couple of years. I just slowed the shutter as much as possible, boosted the exposure, tried to manually focus it properly (since it will lose and regain focus over and over in the dark), and then set the time-lapse interval to 5 seconds. πŸ€“πŸ˜’ I didn’t realize, when I pressed record, how fast the clouds were already moving… so from now on I’ll shoot with an interval of one second and then just speed it up if necessary. But yeah, this is what I ended up with…

(You might need to click the little “HD” and “Full Screen” in the bottom right for highest quality)

It was a full moon last night, and will look essentially the same tonight, so I’m gonna go ahead and charge her up in case I’m awake that late – to where I can plop it out in the back yard, hit record, and let it run until the batteries are empty. πŸŒβ˜οΈπŸ“ΉπŸ€“πŸ€žπŸ» Right now, in the afternoon, there is a good mix of open sky and random clouds… so we’ll see if that stays true through the evening and into the early morning hours.

The storm came along at the right time last night to distract me from my “meh” thoughts of the day, to where I just let myself get lost in watching the ominous looking clouds and lightning as they approached from the distance. 😌 (It’s in my DNA… πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I just love severe weather.) The rain did me a favor, so I didn’t even have to scramble to grab my phone (or the camcorder) before it all got soaked once the storm got here… since it never actually got here, passing just to the south instead. πŸ˜³πŸ™‚

So, wish me luck… gonna try to capture somethin’ perty tonight. 😌 And God willing, if I start feeling good enough and my motivation returns for at least a few nights, maybe I’ll actually go out somewhere to do a similar experiment. Somewhere more “scenic” than home. 🀨 The views from my house are fine… they’re just a little bit cluttered due to trees, nearby buildings, power/cable lines, etc… on top of the stray, unwanted light from cars’ headlights as they pass by. πŸ€”πŸ˜’

So yeah, even though I’ve done a ton of these over the years, I’m counting everything as “testing” still… 😏

Improving

Went out and did actual grocery shopping yesterday. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone anywhere other than Dollar General or a quicky mart to just stock up on little random amounts of this or that to keep me going. But being run down for a couple of weeks and not making those little trips… I finally burned through pretty much everything in the fridge and cupboards. That’s good, I guess – I mean, that’s what some of the food was… shit that I could eat when I ran out of stuff that I wanted to eat. Well, that’s not exactly right, but you know what I mean. “Four cans of beets? Okay, I guess I’m going to be eating some beets today.”Β πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

It did take some energy out of me, but not like it would have done a week ago, or two weeks ago… so that’s one positive thing, that I’m definitely getting some of my energy back. Shopping is one of my least favorite things to do, so I ended up spending about $250… hopefully getting stuff that will last me a long damn time, other than stopping off for bread or pop or the other stuff that you always need to replenish before “the next shopping trip” wherever.

What’s funny though, is that when Gen and I were messaging last night, she asked me what all I got – and I legit had no idea. πŸ€”πŸ˜ Granted, I was already in bed, so my brain wasn’t trying that hard to remember… but I really think my brain put up a firewall while I was shopping. πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘¦πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦Β Β βž–πŸ›’πŸ˜βž–Β πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘§πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘§Β  Β Knowing that I was already running on much lower energy, doing something that already causes annoyingly inexplicable anxiety at times, I couldn’t tell you what a single person looked like or did as I passed them in the aisle. No, wait, I remember some lady in the frozen section yelling at her kids for wanting to get the ready-made frozen lasagna – because she had already loaded her cart with all the things to make it from scratch. Oh, and I don’t remember my cashier, but the bagger chick was lightning fast… with all my shit bagged, back in the cart, and her moving on to the next station before my receipt even finished printing. πŸ˜ƒπŸ‘πŸ»

I finally ran out of juice once I got home and unloaded, but I did get all the cold shit put away – which means I have a kitchen floor full of bags waiting for me once I drag my ass out of the bedroom today. πŸ˜’ But it was just being worn out… not that “Oops I fell asleep for three hours” shit that was happening far too often a couple weeks prior. That’s really the only reason I’m posting about what 95% of people don’t even have to think about… a typical “big” shopping trip… because it hasn’t been that long since just walking out into the back yard to spray some weeds would put me out of commission. Just glad to know the thyroid meds are pushing me back in the right direction… and hoping that my uncharacteristic optimism here doesn’t jinx me for my appointment tomorrow. Also, plans for today are very limited… not falling for that “Ahh, I’m better!” shit and then ending up wiping myself out anyway after yesterday’s progress. 😏 Basically gonna take this as another “day off” after I get the rest of the shit put away and the laundry started…

Rough Night, Rough Day

Not a great day today. Was only able to get about three or four hours of sleep, and during those few hours I had two distinctly awful nightmares. First one had me inside a somewhat empty mall that was having its grand opening during the middle of the night. Everything was high tech, including the bathrooms – which for some reason, had circular, computerized urinals that all the guys had to share in the middle of the room.

This is gross, but it’s all just dream fodder, so yeah… for whatever reason, I ended up pissing blood, freaking out everyone else in the bathroom, to the point where alarms started going off as if I had done something wrong and someone was coming to get me. I left the restrooms and went into the main area of the mall, which was still mostly empty, so I could look for a doctor’s office or urgent care center. While I was doing this, I noticed that mall employees were following me – and sometimes actually running ahead of me, like they were making sure that I didn’t touch or contaminate any of the new things in the new stores in their new mall. One guy even said so. He said he was supposed to make sure that I just left the property, but that he wasn’t going to force me.

Woke up around that point for about a half hour, but when I fell back to sleep it basically picked back up with the same general plot and activities. Instead of a mall, it was now a fancy “state park” type lodge, the alarms were still going off, and every elevator that I tried to get onto was already filled with people who were fleeing the building. I was able to find a service elevator though, despite it only being big enough for one person to stand in, so I was at least able to make it to the ground floor and out into the park.

It was still the middle of the night, so the parking lots were the only areas that were dimly lit by creepy, flickering, florescent lightning. But all of the cars had been towed away for some reason. As I stood in the empty parking lot, the distance between me and the lodge began to expand… and before I knew it I was alone in the middle of the woods and the only thing I could make of the lodge was a few lights far off in the distance. I couldn’t see them, but I could hear people shouting for their kids, wondering where everyone went… and then I woke up from that one as well.

And yeah, I know there’s no way to ever describe your dreams in a way that can make other people “see” or feel what you were experiencing… but they were shitty dreams, just take my word for it. So I woke up early, my mood was shit, my energy was shot, but I could see that the beast was visibly annoyed by some itchin’ on her butt – so I used my little bit of energy to brush her out, comb out a few fleas, and then start grooming her with the shaver – this time, sans guard.

I had already made a nekkid spot on her neck to put the flea treatment, but to give them as little area to hide as possible I decided to go ahead and start trimming her shorter than I ever have before. She still loves the attention, and I think she knows and appreciates what I’m trying to do for her. (It’ll still be a couple day process though.) And even knowing that, I still had to take an unwanted nap in the afternoon.

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But since she does have some fleas, and flea dirt – each time she lets me spend a few minutes erasing big sections of fur, I then have to sweep it all up with the broom, and then vacuum the rest up with the vacuum (which is working again, yay) so I can eliminate as many of the little buggers as I can. It sounds like nothing, but it’s using up every drop of energy that I’ve had today. And of course getting her back, chest, and neck is pretty easy – so that’s what I’ve hit first – but I’ve still got belly, legs, and butt yet to go… and I just don’t think I’ve got the oomph to finish it all tonight.

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Hopefully sleep will come easier, and she’s already happier with what I’ve gotten done so far, so she’ll be fine waiting for tomorrow for the rest of it… if tomorrow is even enough time. Depends on what kind of mood she’s in and what kind of night I have tonight. But if that’s the worst of my complaints for today, I guess that’s not too bad. Meh. Unrelated question, as I watch the end of the Bristol truck race tonight… did they even sell tickets to this thing? Just noticed as they were taking the checkered flag that the place looked literally absolutely empty in the areas of the stands I was seeing.