The Last Virtual Race

It’s been quite a presentation they’ve put on over the past seven weekends… but iRacing and NASCAR managed to produce some pretty entertaining “virtual” races for the fans, while real racing is shut down due to the virus risk. It looks like this weekend will be the last of the “pro invitational” races that actually get broadcast on TV, and they’ve decided to run this race at the now-defunct North Wilkesboro Speedway.

This video is particularly interesting to me since I’ve been messing with a 3D scanning app on my phone, Display.Land … and here these guys are, cleaning up the aged raceway and then using laser scanners to get as much detail as possible for incorporating into the iRacing world. I can’t wait to see how it looks later today.

Get A Hobby

Bad dreams ended up waking me last night around 3am, and I’ve been up ever since. Kinda doesn’t matter what sleep schedule I keep these days, given that I’m not going anywhere and I didn’t even realize what day it was today. Not meaning April Fools Day, just meaning that I didn’t realize it was Wednesday. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ Point being, anxiety filled sleep, waking up early… it didn’t lead to much of a day for me. I did text with Dad and Genesee a bit, and she got me thinking about playing the keyboard again. ๐Ÿค”๐ŸŽน๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

I forget what she said, but it reminded me that thanks to the YouTube Music app searching my own videos for music to add… I ran across this old video of me playing Don’t Wake Me by Skillet. ๐Ÿ˜Ž And when I did, I realized that if you put that keyboard in front of me now I’d have no idea how to play it. Elton John made a comment on his Melbourne Symphony album, that he was playing some songs that were so old that he had to re-learn them as well for that concert. ๐Ÿ™‚ So that’s one thing I’m gonna try to make time for… “keyboard dickin’ around time” every now and then.

And then thanks to NASCAR and iRacing running these virtual races on the weekend… and apparently a dirt track / winged-car race tonight… that’s got my mind back on video games. ๐Ÿค“๐ŸŽฎ๐Ÿ“บ I’ve got an XBOX One and a Playstation 4, yet it’s probably been at least six months since I’ve even turned either of them on. ๐Ÿ˜• Once I got into a funk a while back, my brain just never seemed interested in reminding me that I’ve got kewl shit that I could play. So I’m gonna go through my games tonight and figure out which system I’ve got the best racing games for, and I’ll probably try to re-familiarize myself with all that. ๐Ÿค” I used to be good. Years ago I was really layin’ ’em down at the road courses, or at least it felt that way. (Wow, that was from 2013…)

I don’t wanna get ahead of myself, since I’ve already got a couple options there, but I’m probably gonna play around with time-lapse and long-exposure phone photography like I usually do each spring… plus I’ve got a couple new photogrammetry apps for creating 3D models from a series of regular digital photos, so that might keep my attention as well. Meh… we’ll see, I guess.

Don’t mind me… just doing a little more “talking out loud” to hopefully burn these ideas into my brain a little more effectively. ๐Ÿคฏ It’s not like I’m making valuable use of my time otherwise, so I might as well be doing something that I used to consider fun, eh? ๐Ÿ˜ All this time stuck in the house might help me figure out where “old me” went. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

One Day at A Time

Fox Sports did a great job with the “virtual” race that they put on today. I forget what the official name was, but it was an eNASCAR / iRacing / Invitational / Exhibition race… that they somehow managed to get on TV with an impressive presentation. Sure, there were more wrecks than in a real race, and a few glitches here and there… but overall, if you were just walking in and out of the living room, only half paying attention, you wouldn’t have even noticed that we were all watching a video game.

A nice little escape for a couple of hours today. Back in reality, Mike DeWine declared that Ohio will have a stay-at-home order starting on Monday. We’re all basically doing that already, but I think this may actually affect folks who were still wanting and trying to work. Only certain jobs are on the approved list, so here’s hoping that the government comes through with unemployment or another form of relief quickly – ‘cuz as if the virus itself doesn’t cause enough anxiety, now people are gonna have to worry about utilities, rent, car payments, food, etc.

The problem is, the way they’ve worded things, the way they’re going to enforce this order… it’s way, way too soft – and the people who want to be out, or just don’t want to be told what to do, they’re gonna find and use all the loopholes. I’d give it a week or two before DeWine gets fed up with the lack of cooperation and puts something stronger in place. But right now, you can still go out to the park, walk around, walk your dog, drive to shop, visit family, go to doctor appointments… I mean, I don’t know what the right amount of “enforcement” would be, so maybe that’s why it’s starting off light.

I didn’t watch Trump’s press briefing today, and I’m probably a whole lot better for it. I’ve seen a couple clips, and have read things that he said or did… and yeah, as many, many people and journalists are starting to say on Twitter – there’s no reason that these things should be carried live, since there is so much misinformation that causes fear and anxiety. So my day was a bit better than I was feeling last night. Honestly, I don’t really know how I feel at the moment… it’s almost like anticipation… not knowing how I should feel until we start seeing things happening closer to home each day.

I’m probably still right on the edge of that same anxiety that I had last night, so after I get off of here I’m gonna seek out Airplane! (the movie) so I can kick back and absorb some stupid, clever, dumb comedy as I hopefully get sleepy. I hope everyone out there made it through the day as uneventfully as I did today.

Push Through It

I thought I might have better luck if I went in to the pharmacy rather than calling them, but nope. ๐Ÿ˜’ Tomorrow’s technically a holiday, so I’m gonna wait until Tuesday before I go back in and make them go through any kind of fuss, in case they need to call the insurer or my doctor to get things moving.

Next stop was Walmart, since about a week ago I went ahead and ordered a second pair of glasses from them. I was originally just gonna grab my prescription and send it off to somewhere online so I could get a cheap pair of distance-only lenses and frames, but I was able to order a pair from Walmart for only $68 so I figured that was good enough. ๐Ÿค“

After that I made it out to see Dad for a while. ๐Ÿ™‚ We were gonna watch some of the Daytona 500, but weather came and put it on a rain delay. I wouldn’t have been able to stay through the whole thing anyway though. ๐Ÿ˜• My neck was still pretty locked up through my whole trip out, but towards the end of my visit with Dad my shoulder started shaking and being uncooperative again, so I headed home to get it back in front of the space heater.

Oh great… speaking of meds. I just nowย got a text from the pharmacy that says “We are contacting your doctor for an alternative med for Rx Metaxalone. We will text when ready.” ๐Ÿ˜ณ No idea what that’s all about, but if my doctor wanted me to be taking something different he would prescribe me something different. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ Oy… looks like I’ll be calling the pharmacy in the morning to find out what’s going on, and then my doctor’s office to let them know there’s some new sort of nonsense that they might be getting a call about.

I swear, man… ๐Ÿ˜’ it’s almost 7p on a Sunday before a holiday – and I’m still getting hassled. Meh… no sense in worrying tonight since I can’t do anything about it anyway. You see how this stuff goes though? ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ I went in and tried to get that situation settled, I wasn’t able to, so I was trying to put it out of my thoughts… so the situation reached out and poked me, like “Hey, don’t forget about me. Here’s something confusing for you to ponder all night… and you might wanna get up stupid early to make even more phone calls tomorrow. Sleep tight.”

Disappointed, But It’s Alright

Made it through most of the day without thinking about it, but tonight was the night that Skillet performed at Express Live in Columbus. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Indoor show, general admission, standing room only. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ It’s those last two bits that got me. (I hate to admit it…) But I made the right choice by not going. Today hasn’t been a great day when it comes to my neck bothering me. Standing, getting bumped around by an appropriately enthusiastic crowd, for a few hoursย (Alter Bridge was performing as well) just wouldn’t have worked. ๐Ÿ˜•

(But I also know that I’d feel even more disappointed if I made an attemptย to go – and then ended up having to leave before the concert was even over because of my oush. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Sigh… it is what it is.)

Finding the positives… ๐Ÿค”ย Okay… I’ve seen Skillet plenty of times, and there’s always the possibility of seeing them again at the right time and right venue, so it’s not like I missed out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And the show? They’re touring on their newest album, and don’t tell anybody… ๐Ÿคซ but this album isn’t exactly one of my favorites. And if I don’t count “missed the Skillet concert” then I’ve otherwise had an okay day.

Genesee and Sarah upgraded their security system, so a couple of weeks ago she sent me an extra camera that works with my home security setup, and today I found a place for it and added it to the network. ๐Ÿ“นย So I now have five active security cameras keeping an eye on my house. ๐Ÿ˜ A house with hardly any visitors, and even fewer “suspicious” people coming anywhere close to stepping onto my property. It’s the same theory as having the dashcam in my car. Having video cameras installed somewhere almost magically prevents anything worth capturing on video from happening, and that’s a good (yet boring) thing.ย ๐Ÿค“ Touch wood. ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

But I kept today low-key, much like yesterday. I did start watching more of the political news coverage… and woo boy… ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜…ย Whether you believe that the fuss is all justified, or you believe that it’s a witch hunt that’s wasting the government’s time, energy, and money – stuff is sure heating up quickly. ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿ”ฅย It makes you wonder how any normal, functional, useful “government-ing” gets done. But I think my DVR also caught today’s NASCAR qualifying for me, so after O’Donnell I’ll click over and see how that went. ๐Ÿ๐Ÿš—๐Ÿš•๐Ÿš™๐Ÿ’จ

I’m not even sure what track they’re at this week. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธย (… said the formerly enthusiastic fan of the sport.)

Been There, Done That

Trying to force my brain to take a break today… and having an evening NASCAR race helps with that. It’s actually at a track that I’ve been to, but when I went a handful of years ago it was still a traditional Sunday race. Ya know, having all the races on a Saturday night would be a good selling point for the out-of-shape, disabled, or old farts. (Of which I’m like 2.5 out of 3) Mid-day summer races, with all the blacktop and aluminum seats reflecting and radiating the heat… โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ˜“๐ŸŽ๏ธ๐Ÿ’จ๐Ÿ’ฅย Thankfully it wasn’t until I was a little older and more out of shape (after all my trips) that I realized how brutal it can really be. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Tonight’s race is from Kentucky Speedway. I think it was four years ago that I went… staying free at ‘Da Boat for a couple of nights, and hopping over the river to Sparta on race day. ๐Ÿ˜Ž If I remember correctly, Cassi went with – but just to enjoy the room and the getaway. It really is a fan friendly track, but woo… all that walking. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธย It’s no Indianapolis… another track where I’m amazed that I would spend entire days walking around (miles) in the August heat. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ๐Ÿ™‚ย I suppose it helps though, once you’re there, hearing the cars, seeing the drivers, getting the pics and occasional autographs… it only hurts and burns later that night. ๐Ÿ˜

It’s funny, I remember having a Skoal Bandits matchbox car when I was a kid, but that was the extent of my interest in NASCAR until after I was out of school and Dad took me to a couple races at Indy. Since then I’ve seen two Brickyard 400s, two Indy 500s, one race at Kansas, and one race at Kentucky. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ But, probably showing early signs of what was to come, the last few times (and those were a while ago) that I went to Indy… I’d only go on qualifying / practice day. That way I could see the sights, collect all the good shots that I could, sneak in whatever areas I could manage… but not getting the “bake in the stands for however many hours” experience that actual race day would require.

I’m not saying that I’ll never go to another race, or another track around race days, but I just haven’t been able to stay as interested in the new drivers once “my drivers” or “our drivers” retired or otherwise exited the sport. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Think about who you’re not seeing anymore when you go to a race, and if you’re old enough – it’ll probably make you wonder if you still wanna bother going too. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคจ

Dale Earnhardt, Mark Martin, Dale Jarrett, Jeff and Ward Burton, Darrell and Michael Waltrip, Sterling Marlin, Bobby and Terry Labonte, Mike Skinner, Kenny Schrader, Ricky Rudd, the various Bodines, Rusty Wallace, Morgan Shepherd (oldest driver to start a NASCAR race, at 72 ๐Ÿ˜ฏย years old), Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle,ย Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, and even Dale Jr. That’s how you know you’ve been a fan a while though, when you’ve watched a kid come into the sport, run for a good long time, and now even they’re gone. And yeah, I didn’t necessarily give many shits about a few of those named… but boy did they all have personality. ๐Ÿ™‚

And that’s exactly what made their presence so easy to remember and, now, miss. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

A Post-Break Break

Had a nice visit with Cassi here recently. It had been a little while since she last stayed, so with that – and her birthday falling on one of the days – I decided to go up and grab her for a few nights. We didn’t plan or do anything special, like usual, but instead just enjoyed having company and a change of scenery to clear our thoughts for a couple of days. She actually brought a bunch of her crafting supplies with her this time, so she worked on that stuff while I worked on redoing the zip ties on all my PC wiring, after replacing my old keyboard with a new mechanical one that I recently picked up.

We considered going for a drive to see if we could spot any abandoned houses on the country roads around here, but it’s too easy to just get comfy in the living room and watch TV all day long, so that’s what we ended up mostly doing. I took her home yesterday, but in my books today didn’t really count. I mean, the Daytona 500 was today (don’t get me started… heh) so I didn’t plan for anything other than that… so tomorrow will be my first “back to business” days as far as I’m concerned.

I started work on some things around the house that I want to continue, so the first couple of days of the week will be for kicking around the house and doing that sort of thing. I’m gonna save my in-town running for the middle of the week, when I’ll probably also try to make myself stop by the doctor’s office to schedule that appointment that I’ve continued to put off. Oh, and the steroid injection… I’m not sure if it’s just because I’ve been in a better mood due to having some company, but I do think that I’m noticing some improvement. Not huge… but noticeable. I don’t want to jinx myself though, and I’m certainly not saying anything definitive based on a few days of “maybe slightly better.”