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. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜’ 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. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚ (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. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ˜Ž

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Predicted? Or Jinxed…

Stayed up late last night, not only trying to get some pics of the lightning, but also watching the delayed Southern 500 which didn’t finish until 2am. I had a feeling… wasn’t really sleepy even at that hour, my neck was feeling different, so I didn’t end up falling asleep for good until around 4a – and at that, it was with the idea of trying to “sleep carefully” so I didn’t wake up with my neck feeling even worse. ๐Ÿ˜’ It worked, but only because every time I would stir in my sleep, I’d wake up a little too much – making sure that I wasn’t being rough on my neck. Meh… so five hours of not-so-solid sleep… not in the greatest mood today.

And even using a “lightning capture” app to cheat a bit, I still wasn’t able to capture a single decent photo last night. If I didn’t have the ISO and exposure either too high or too low, resulting in images that were too dark or too blown out – the other problem was just the thickness and multiple layers of the clouds. ๐Ÿ˜‘ When the lightning wasn’t bright enough it was just obscured by the clouds, and when it was bright enough – it was like a strobe light going off in the middle of a huge ball of cotton. Just no definition.

So I think today I’ll do the bills, catch up on laundry, just general meh stuff around the house. Once the week actually starts tomorrow, that’s when I’ll have to start worrying about oil changes, glasses, haircuts, and all the other “out and dealing with people” stuff… so keeping to myself and just getting some minor chores done around here actually sounds like the most appealing way to spend my time today, believe it or not. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜•

I’m sure as my morning meds kick in I’ll start to feel better, along with mentally feeling better about getting some random shit done around here. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m just never good when I first wake up, especially when I basically predicted last night that my neck would be an issue and that I’d be glad that today was still part of the 3-day weekend. ๐Ÿ™„ Just gonna tune the world out as much as possible, put on some music, and do my thing.

Little Things

Believe it or not, I actually slept pretty good last night. Fell asleep almost immediately after I vented about the garage door here in the blog, and slept a solid six hours… which is much better than the current usual. I startled myself when I woke up though, glancing at the security cameras and seeing a car sitting in my driveway – forgetting for a moment that it is my car, and not some rando that had just showed up.

Before my brain had a chance to fully wake up and start fighting me, I grabbed my phone and checked the voice mail from my thyroid doctor. My labs showed numbers that will allow the next step to proceed on schedule, so that was a big relief. Not too much longer now. I know that I’m focused more on just being able to take my thyroid meds again, but that’s because it’s the current pressing concern regarding how I feel.

So I’m looking forward to the radiation and scan, but then even though I’ll be back on my meds and on the way to feeling better, that’s when the focus will be what the test results are going to say. I am starting to get really nervous again… and that waiting time between the scan being completed and my followup appointment with my doctor to let me know what they found… time feels like it runs in slow motion.

But the lawn d00ds actually hit the yard (and the rear weed whacking, without me even having to ask) yesterday while I was out, so I’ll have to run in town sometime today to grab some cash for whenever he comes by and pick it up. And Amy, she has adopted an aging “one of those little white dogs with all the teefs” after seeing posts about it just wandering around in Sugar Grove for days, so I’m gonna drop off the extra set of “pet stairs” that I’ve got, so her new critter won’t have as much trouble getting up on the couch with her.

I’m still internally cringing at going back into the garage to look at the damage and take some pics, but I’ll probably go out and do that first. Already been talking to Gen, since they (by choice) had their garage door replaced earlier this year, to start getting ideas of where and how to look for a good place to handle the project, and how much I might be looking at by time it’s done. So, a few small things on the to-do list today, but as long as I take my time none of it should be much trouble.

Carry On

Well, Genesee made it home safely a little bit ago, so now officially starts the time of “carrying on” I guess. When all the condolences have been given, everyone’s concern has been shown, etc… so now it’s just back to normal. As much as I appreciated the company, I’m glad that I’m gonna have a couple days and nights where it’s just me and the cat. I can feel crappy if I want, I can feel good if I want, and I can talk out loud to Mom if I want. I could have done all that with Genesee here, but you know how it is when you have company… you want it to be the best experience for them, and right now I’m definitely not the person to be around for the best experience. Meh… I know it sounds weird, but she understands.

In a way it was difficult to make myself do it, but yesterday I took Brianna to her “4D Ultrasound” appointment. She’s approaching 32 weeks, I believe, so she wanted to see if they would be able to get any good pictures of her yet-to-be-popped-out baby. At first he had his hands (and a foot) blocking the view, but after a little poking he moved around and the technician was able to get a handful of really good shots. It’s pretty remarkable… you can actually get a decent idea of how his features look, with his Brantley-like ducky lips, Brianna’s chin and nose, and the daddy’s brow line. She has already been ready to squeeze this kid out, and seeing the pictures in such detail only made that feeling even stronger. I think he needs to cook for a couple more weeks… but she’s right, the time is definitely getting closer. I’m glad that I went.

Meh… I dunno… I just felt like typing something I guess. Not really planning to socialize much for a few days. I just wanna be here in my thoughts, feelings, and memories. Of course I’ve got a doctor appointment tomorrow, so that kinda craps up my isolation plans a bit, but it’s one where I don’t really have a choice. Not really sure what I’m gonna do other than that, but after the weekend I’m probably gonna go in and visit Dad. I’ve got that new batch of scanned photos on the iPad, and rather than just e-mailing them to him, I figured it would be nice to look at them together so he might be able to tell me stories relating to them that I haven’t heard before.

Okay… checking out. Wish me luck. (Sorry for the lack of emojis… maybe next time)

Sorting

Genesee’s spring visit here got cut short, so she’s making up for it on this trip. She got to Ohio early last week and plans to stay through my birthday. She’ll be visiting this person and that person, but she’s using here as a “home base” for most of her stay.

That was the plan from quite a while ago actually, with her helping me go through all of the tubs of Batina family stuff. For both my grandparents and my aunt, when they passed away I ended up saving way too many of their things that were important or keepsakes to them but hold no meaning to anyone else. As much as I want to save all of those things, it only makes sense to narrow it all down to something manageable.

Cards that they had received from decades back, candles, keychains, weird little nick knacks, photos of their friends, photos of me… where each one seemed to have at least one duplicate of random size… heh… and then of course there were receipts and manuals galore… and you might ask, “Why did you save that stuff in the first place?” Well, if they had stuff stored or marked as something important, I assumed it was all important. But just knowing that they saved it made me feel like I had to save it.

So that’s where Gen comes in. Without assistance I don’t think I’d be able to get rid of any of that stuff… so she and I sat a couple nights and went through most of the tubs and boxes and finally got it to where I’m keeping only the stuff that needs to be kept. There’s still some more things to go through, but I’m betting that by time she leaves to head home we’ll have taken care of all of it. Plus it’s nice that it means we’re stopping and looking at each thing before deciding its fate, which I think they would be happy about.

Stop Typing and Get Ready

When I talked to Aunt Sharon yesterday, she mentioned that she had finished writing what she wanted for her “family history” project that she’s been working on. I think it’s going to be a brief scrapbook or storybook from her, Mom, and Uncle Jay’s childhood. ๐Ÿ™‚ It started with us just talking about how so many old photos are unlabeled, and sometimes difficult to figure out who’s who and what’s going on, so she decided that she would start writing down memories that would then go with certain pictures, to eventually be assembled into a document that she could print and share.

It sounds like the writing is done, it’s been typed into a word document, and now she just needs to have the matching photos scanned and put into the it… and I think that’s where I’m supposed to come in. ๐Ÿคจ It shouldn’t be too much trouble to do, it’s just getting the oomph to spend an afternoon over there talking it all through and making sure each picture is positioned with the right story. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ”Ž๐Ÿ“• I mean, I absolutely love the idea, so all of us “younger” people will get to hear the stories and see the things that we might not have known about otherwise… so hopefully it all comes together.

If nothing else, at least I’ll be able to scan all of the pics that she gives me today, kinda like how I just did with all of the photos (of Mom) that she loaned me a few weeks back. I’d love to snap my fingers and have every old photo just magically appear on my hard drive, but at least as we do this little bits at a time they’ll start getting archived and saved for future Shepherd / Riecky / Snead / Batina / Klingler / Burnside / Meridith / Orlowicz generations to see. ๐Ÿ˜

Oy… somebody send me some energy plz. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ This is probably gonna be rough.

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. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ 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. โ˜บ 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. ๐Ÿค” 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. ๐Ÿ˜”

I think that I may relate a little too much to some of these videos. ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿ˜’ 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. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ 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.