More Moon Stuff

Making a a little more progress with the $99 digital camcorder with the stupid good zoom… ๐Ÿ˜ with its only major drawbacks being the purple fringe around some things in certain conditions, the lack of 4k resolution, and then of course the more you zoom the softer the image looks. ๐Ÿ˜’ I thought I had the focus as sharp as I could get it, but I’m thinking that there may have been a haze that was also affecting the output video. Might try again tonight, probably just full-zoom stuff, since the time-lapse in the beginning here is pretty meh.

(Make sure this is set to play in HD, full-screen, for the best results.)

Since the moon was lighting up the clouds, I did some more fiddling with the phone to get the brightest exposure possible (while still using only a 1/3 sec shutter speed) and I was gonna get a much faster time-lapse of the clouds out back… but of course they cleared up shortly after I started recording. However, you’ll notice a couple stars bright enough to be picked up, so I’m hoping that on a clear, moonless night I might be able to capture the rotation of the earth in the movement of the stars with this new method. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿค“ Will have to wait a couple weeks to give that a shot, but even though the video’s overall speed is too slow – you should still be able to see that there’s some movement in the stars.

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

Another Person’s Dream. Yay.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve got a decades-old blog, somewhere, where I used to regularly keep track of my weird ass dreams. But sometimes they’re interesting enough to merit a spot in the regular blog. Last night’s dream was a single, long, awful, hyper-realistic “action” nightmare. ๐Ÿ˜ณ (And when it comes to what I may have seen, heard, or done during the prior day to cause any of it… who knows.) The cast, for whatever reason, was mostly people that I went to high school with. ๐Ÿค” Not necessarily even the “closer” of my friends.

It started off with Chris Woolard and Rich Nagel showing me their raptor pen, where yes… they had a real baby raptor, probably the size of a human toddler. They said I could go in and play with it, but that they didn’t advise it. ๐Ÿ˜ง I did anyway, though. It immediately knocked me down to my hands and knees and then proceeded to bite and attack my right shoulder. (Why my right? My left one is the one that’s damaged. Maybe fear of losing use of my remaining good arm?)

It chomped into me several times, finally just locking its teeth deep into my shoulder. ๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜ซ I fell even closer to the ground, blood pouring into a puddle on the floor around me. I stayed as still as I could, which caused it to finally stop biting into me – and I was then face down on the floor, unintentionally blowing bubbles in my own blood as I tried to keep my breathing shallow enough that it would leave me alone. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Brian White then pulled me up from the floor and helped me out of the pen, and had someone bandage up my shoulder. ๐Ÿค• As soon as that was done, I started looking for my phone so that I could leave… but it wasn’t in my pocket, wasn’t on my desk, wasn’t anywhere that it should have been. ๐Ÿ˜ณ So I began to frantically look for it, with the panic of knowing that whoever had it would have access to my entire life…

As I walked up and down this dark auditorium, looking all around the chairs, desks, and people – eventually Matt McKinster motioned me towards a huge “home improvement store” area just outside the room we were currently in. ๐Ÿค” As soon as I got out there, I saw Jamie Faught carrying light posts for a customer… but he was about 20 feet tall, and they were like street light light posts. ๐Ÿ˜ง He nodded and smiled at me, but as I drew his attention away from what he was doing – the posts he was carrying smashed into dozens of giant ceiling fans that were above us all.

(If you’re still here and reading… well done. Other people’s dreams are so not-interesting… heh)

Everyone in the store, who were all regular sized like me… we all started running and screaming, because Jamie was falling, the posts were falling, and the smashed ceiling fans were falling – all in our direction. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ซ Some of the fans were still spinning like airplane propellers, which resulted in several violent “glass tornados” from which we all had to escape. โ˜น๏ธ Luckily I spotted a big metal glove on the floor near me… ๐Ÿคจ

I put the glove on and shielded some people behind me as the glass shards began hitting us. The glove was able to deflect most of the debris, but we were still getting sliced and gashed by the stray pieces of glass as they flew by. ๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿค• I was able to save five or six people before a different glass tornado attacked us from above, rather than straight on like the others had done. ๐Ÿ‘†๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜ณ It rained down on us so hard that it broke through the floor underneath us, sending us all falling into a darkened pit below.

At that point the wind stopped, the glass stopped flying around, the screaming people stopped screaming… and those of us that survived falling into the pit realized that we needed to climb our way out, over piles of busted glass and even more busted people. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿโ˜น๏ธ When I made it to the edge at the top, thankfully my friend Desiree was there to take my hand and successfully pull me to safety. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

She was crying and acting so sorry that she wasn’t there to protect me when it all started, but told me that even though she was late – that I can always rely on her to be there for me eventually, when it really counts. ๐Ÿ˜Š There was other little stuff after that, which I can’t really remember, and then I woke up. And I was friggin’ tired, man. ๐Ÿ˜ž I mean, I know all of this shit just comes off as bizarre – but imagine experiencing it all as vividly as you’re experiencing things in the room around you right now as you read this blog entry. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜

Crazy shit. I’ll definitely take a pass on any dreams tonight if they’re gonna be anything like that again. ๐Ÿ˜“

Okay, Now Relax

I took the weekend a little too late into the night last night, ‘cuz once I got home I wanted to watch the race, the Season 5 opener of Better Call Saul, and the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead. The race was pretty good, BCS was great, but 5min into TWD and I realized that I didn’t really give a shit anymore. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Even though it was getting close to 3a before I sacked out, I still went ahead and set my alarm so I’d be awake early this morning if my phone rang. And ring it did. I’m glad to have that out of the way, and I’m now on the schedule for later this week. Now for the next few days I just have to remind myself that they know where I basically stand on things, they know my concerns, so I don’t have to spend every waking moment between now and then continuing to dwell on it. Ain’t nuthin’ gonna happen ’til it happens.

Although as soon as I got off the phone I felt nauseous. It’s just that it’ll be the first meeting in a series of events that could close the medical portion of my claim… and once it’s done there’s no do-overs. ๐Ÿ˜ And no, it won’t dictate how the entirety of the rest of my life plays out, but it’s still a really big deal and I’d be foolish if I wasn’t giving it my all. I just don’t know how much more of that juice I’ve got left in my reserves.

I’m definitely looking forward to talking with them in person though. Being able to hear their tone, see their body language… I just think it’ll give me a more complete idea of where we all actually stand. ๐Ÿง

Tripped My Breaker

Everything caught up with me in a bad way today. ๐Ÿ˜ž First time in a week and a half that (for no apparent reason) I woke up with my neck frozen – combined with a splitting headache at the base of my skull. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

That’s never fun, but today it was apparently my tipping point. With the mental stress of all the various things getting ready to happen (as well as currently going on) with my workers comp situation, all the work I’ve been doing on it, plus still nervously waiting for my attorneys to call regarding setting up a meeting… waking up feeling utterly miserable along with all of that just flipped a switch. ๐Ÿฅบ

My anxiety about all of it had turned to irritation, anger, and determination over the past couple of days – but that’s when I wasn’t physically suffering at the same time. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ So while I’m not thrilled that I lost the entire day today – after taking my morning meds, letting the hot shower rain on the back of my head, and waiting to see if the pain was going to let up… I nodded back off and ended up sleeping the entire day away. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜•

I would have heard my phone if my attorneys reached out… but, again, the call didn’t come. A couple people texted me, but it’s late now – and I’m honestly in no condition to act like I’m “okay enough” to return messages and hold a conversation. I hate ghosting people, but today has been a bad, bad day. ๐Ÿ˜ž I’ve taken my evening meds though, so I’m hoping that’ll do something… but it’s hard to say if I’ll be back out in an hour or if I’ll end up awake all night due to sleeping all night and day. ๐Ÿ˜’ That’s just how it goes sometimes…

And when I mention this next thing, I’m not looking to be medicated… but when an injured workers is put through the ringer like I’ve been – it should honestly be a requirement that the coverage includes the option of talking to a counselor or therapist. ๐Ÿคจ It’s obvious that mental and emotional stress can affect a person’s physical health, so it would truly be in everyone’s best interest. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ (This blog is usually my therapy.)

Yeah, I’m thinking about my situation, but I’m also thinking about the tens of thousands of other people who’ve been in the fight for years that might not handle it as well as I have, which isn’t always that great. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ It should help once I get the call and the meeting is scheduled, and it’ll help even more once that’s done… no matter how it seems to go. It’s the “unknown” and the waiting that’s really tweaking me right now. ๐Ÿ˜  If this stuff’s gonna take a different course here soon, I’d like to get the show on the road.

So today went straight into the trash, but I’ve got something to look forward to tomorrow. Map of The Soul: Seven (by BTS) is being released, it’ll be available on Spotify, so I’ll have a whole album of new music to listen to and hopefully be distracted by. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Here’s hoping for a better tomorrow.

Trying To Be Productive

Cassi and Steven came down for a visit yesterday evening. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was kind of a short notice thing, and they ended up staying a couple of hours, so it had my brain wound up to where I wasn’t able to fall asleep until around 2am. ๐Ÿ˜ด Me and Steven ended up talking about car stuff almost the entire time, so that was nice to pick his brain about this and that… but they’re getting ready to move, and they’ll be busy with all of that for a good bit – so after last night it’ll be a while until things get settled enough for me to drop in for a visit.

I woke up again after only about an hour of sleep, so I tumbled out of bed and I stumbled to the kitchen… to get myself a bottle of water. ๐Ÿ˜ Heh… I used the “9 to 5” lyrics for the previous sentence, but “tumbling out of bed” was exactly what ended up happening. ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I nodded off with the water bottle in my hand, still sitting up, and (likely) a short time later I woke back up as my dumb ass was falling out of bed. Not my most graceful moment, that’s for sure. I’m surprised I was able to fall back to sleep so easily after that. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜

Despite that, today started off well… if a bit later than originally planned. Went in town and grabbed some burgers for a visit with Dad around lunch time, and then after that I finally… finally… made it to the Walmart vision center and got my new prescription and glasses ordered. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿฅณ I’ve only been “planning” to do that for about a year now I think? I tend to be rough on my glasses, so I spent a little more to get titanium frames with double hinges on the temples. ๐Ÿง๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป More of a squared off look than my last few pairs, so I’m excited to get them to not only see how I look, but also to actually be able to see with 20/20 vision again.

They did do eye-health tests along with just getting the Rx, since it’s been a few year since they last saw me, but everything apparently looked good. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ However, the combination of the glaucoma test and then the drops to dilate my eyes… ๐Ÿ˜ณ I ended up with a huge headache which still hasn’t gone away. Luckily I only had to run through the store real quick to grab some cat food, litter, pop, and some other grocery essentials – but then I was able to head straight home, pull the curtains, and turn off all the lights. ๐Ÿค•

Since my IC hearing got postponed, that leaves tomorrow free for me to call (or go visit) the pharmacy to get this month’s WC med situation taken care of… ๐Ÿ˜  plus I’ve gotta make a call regarding a stray insurance policy that’s taking far too long to process. (Another thing that I’ve been meaning to do for months.) Those calls will be mildly-annoying at best, but it’ll feel good if I’m able to get these things handled. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Okay, headache is starting to flare up again… time to get away from my screens.

Phones: Everything’s Easier

Speaking of the holidays… over the past couple of days I’ve been trying to get my phone loaded up with all of our familiar family Christmas songs. Most of them are everyone else’s family songs as well, sung by old favorites, and those are pretty easily found on Spotify. ๐Ÿ˜‹๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽถ So I just pick the ones that I want and add them to a playlist. The good cheezy 70s sounding ones though, the ones on obscure albums or even records that Firestone and Goodyear would give away each year… those are a bit more difficult to come by.

Terry Baxter and His Orchestra… I had to go on Amazon a few years ago and buy one particular album in MP3 format, which I now have to actually copy over to my phone – rather than just streaming them like the others on Spotify. And it’s funny, there are a few albums that were released under that artist’s name – but upon googling to find out what he looked like, or just more about him in general… it turns out that it was likely just a name that the record company put on albums of similar sound, when they were really just performed by a house band or even different folks. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

(In the upper right corner of this video you can select from 42 songs in the playlist for this album.)

Doesn’t make any difference to me… but still, that’s an interesting thing to find out about 40 years later. But now I’ve got all the happy ones, some sad ones, 8-bit / chiptune Christmas covers, and even a few from the South Park / Mr Hankey Christmas episode ready to go. ๐Ÿ˜‹ I’m doing all this now, while I’m in a decent mood, because I wanna try a little harder this year to not let the whole season just blow by me. For various reasons over the past several years, the “holiday mood” has been harder to come by – but being able to play these songs as I fart around the house or drive in town for food or whatever… it’ll help.

I still need to find a good version of “Christmas Chimes are Calling” from one of my favorite specials:

Now I have to look in the basement at some point and see if I still have a tree. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿง