Sweet Corn Fest

I feel like I’m gonna be back to “good” tomorrow, but I’m still glad that it’s a three-day weekend so I don’t feel like I have to do anything tomorrow, should I wake up still feeling a little off. I probably should have been more prepared that several hours of walking around the festival could drain me more than I thought it would, considering it was my first big “thing” after starting to feel close to normal thanks to the thyroid meds. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m fine, it’s just that frustrating sluggishness that I can’t “mind over matter” myself out of just yet. ๐Ÿ˜’

That’s probably why when I got home that night I was a little more “meh” about the evening than I’d normally be. I just expected more out of myself… but hey, 3.5 hours isn’t nothing… and it’s actually pretty damn good, considering everything. ๐Ÿ™‚ So yeah, the trip was fine, it was good to see Jim and Adam again, and despite not seeing any former classmates or anyone that we knew really, it still felt good to keep up the tradition. There have been more changes over the past couple of years though than in the decade or two prior. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคจ I probably should have taken pictures of the things that were significantly different, but once I took a handful of shots of the rides, Adam showed up and I kinda just abandoned photo mode.

The weather wasn’t great, so all the pics just have a bleh gray background, and then once the sun went down… I guess I could have tried to do some long exposure pics of the rides, but we were just too busy walkin’ and talkin’ for me to wanna bother. So I guess that’s a good thing. Next year, when I’m hopefully feeling even better, I think I might actually go twice… once for tradition night, and once for just wandering by myself at my own pace, eating whatever, taking pics of whatever, playing whatever games, etc. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜

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Sweet Corn Festival

A few months ago, when I was still looking at the then-upcoming schedule of medical stuff, it looked like everything would be wrapped up well before this year’s SCF in Millersport. It’s tradition that me, Jim, Adam, and sometimes Brad will meet up for at least one of the days there to walk around, catch up, and see how many former classmates or teachers we can spot. But Jim messaged me yesterday to let me know where and when he’d be there… and it wasn’t until then that I realized that this week was already festival week. ๐Ÿ˜ฏโŒš

The surprise is from bouncing back a little more slowly than I originally anticipated, so as my mind has been on all that stuff, I guess it just snuck up on me. I’ve got every intention of going… and in fact, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to handle it much better than last year. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป Last year, I hadn’t had my surgery yet, so my energy levels were all over the place, and I was also stuck using my cane at the time. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿฆฏ I can’t remember if it was for my back or for my knee, but I do remember that I only had enough oomph to make a single meandering “pass” with them from the ride area through to the food booths a bit past the covered bridge area. ๐Ÿ˜•

I was trying to “mind over matter” myself through the evening, but it just wasn’t happening. I feel kinda bad about how I was, because I know that my friends were concerned about me – and seeing me struggle to just walk around probably ended up being somewhat of a buzzkill for the rest of their evening. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ I think I was there for an hour at most before I realized that I was gonna have to call it a night, so it was nice that they walked me all the way back to where I parked so we could get in as much time as possible. There were a lot more unknowns at that point in time.

Since then I’ve had my thyroid removed, been dosed with radioactive iodine twice, been to doctors and a chiropractor for my back, learned of some new damage in my neck… but when it comes to the thyroid stuff, most of that ended up going about as well as it could, and the new “neck stuff” isn’t something that’s an urgent or immediate issue – so this year’s Sweet Corn Festival meet-up should be a heck of a lot better for all of us than the last one. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I suppose anyone with visible health problems feel the same way… for certain moments in time you wanna act like nothing’s wrong, you don’t wanna let your friends or family see how bad it can get, ‘cuz you don’t want them worrying about you – whether the worry is justified or not. You want your “normal thing” to be that normal thing.

Meh… I’m just thinking out loud here. ๐Ÿ˜’ I’m obviously still not 100%, so I think I’m talking about it to keep myself motivated and optimistic. ๐Ÿค” I did fix my sleep last night, something that actually surprised me, so I (hopefully) know what I need to do to not screw up my sleep or energy the day before we’re supposed to meet up. (Man, am I trying to jinx myself lately or what? ๐Ÿ˜)ย I’m just really looking forward to the possibility of having a normal day with my friends at our old stomping grounds, with the thoughts of all my current “other stuff” being pushed from my brain as we have a good time being reminiscing old farts, eating overpriced crappy-but-awesome fair food, and maybe seeing some other old fart friends in the process. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚

Latest Animation Rendering

Well, here’s the finished product. I’m pleased with it… all of the added touches are there to be seen – it’s just a shame that animation is sort of an afterthought with this modeling program, so the camera movements are a bit jerky and unnatural looking. But for anyone who had visited this house prior to me moving in, I think you’ll agree that it’s pretty faithful to the original… particularly the living room. ๐Ÿ™‚

These are the things that I believe I’ve improved since I made the first animation:

  • Fixed paint colors, correcting walls and making the ceilings white
  • Adjusted color and texture of all the doors
  • Updated the textures of the floors for more natural hardwood look
  • Changed sizes (particularly in the bedroom) of furniture for more accurate scale
  • Added lamp, clock, and ceiling fan w/light in bedroom
  • Added lighting, shower curtain, curtain, and changed bathtub/fixtures in bathroom
  • Also added more accurate texture for vinyl flooring and shower tiles in the bathroom
  • Picture window changed to wood w/more accurate sheer curtains in living room
  • Changed lamp on round table and square coffee table changed to oval in living room
  • End table lamps changed / now functioning, cuckoo clock now present in living room
  • Console record player under big mirror changed, vase/flower and newspaper added

In each room I also tweaked all sorts of things when it comes to object shading, colors, levels of reflection (matte/glossy), and lighting levels (spot/ambient)ย in a way that I think makes the whole thing look slightly closer to realistic and accurate to the way things were here in the past. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few things that I changed or adjusted, but yeah… there ya go. ๐Ÿ˜

Oh, and I know – both times that I’ve created one of these animations, it’s been done where the house is assumed to be lit by dawn / pre-dawn light. I do that because I prefer to see how the internal man-made illumination sources and shadows are handled by the program, although I suppose one day I could render it out in broad daylight with fake ceiling lights (just a source light w/no visible fixtures) being activated in every room. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

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.

Unpredictable

It’s been a pretty bleh weekend so far. Had trouble sleeping during the week, getting 3-5 hours on average each day/night, then on Friday night I slept for 16 hours. ๐Ÿ˜ณ Sounds great in theory, but then I ended up staying awake until almost dawn today… and to top it off, I was gifted with horrible, horrible nightmares. ๐Ÿ˜ž Not “boogeyman” type dreams, but more of the “family-based” variety. So I woke up a bit after 12p today with the energy of a boiled potato.

But yesterday, even though I had enough sleep where I could have done it, I just couldn’t make myself go to the Sweet Corn Festival to do the traditional “walkin’ around” with Jim and other friends. The cool weather and constant drizzle didn’t help, but I just didn’t have it in me anyway – so maybe the crap weather was a blessing. ๐Ÿ˜’

I’m probably going to drop even further off the radar today than I usually am, so I can hopefully shake off the crappy residual feeling from my dreams by watching the NASCAR double-header… and by possibly doing some random chores around the house during the commercial breaks. ๐Ÿค” It would be nice to start the week a little bit ahead of the game, especially since I never know how my sleep will go anymore.

For the record, there were some good moments over the past several days, and I’ll probably get around to mentioning them at some point… but now is not that time.