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

Balance It Out

There’s only so much that I can do to prepare for the various things coming up in my near future, but I still end up feeling like I “didn’t do enough” work on it – if at the end of the day I don’t feel like it has eaten some of my soul. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜… I’m being dramatic, but it is pretty damn stressful when I get to over-thinking it.

So today I took a few hours in the morning before I even started thinking about it, although my cousin then texted me about help with troubleshooting her laptop that had just died. ๐Ÿ˜ I told her that I’m currently booked up, but that I had just spent several days bringing my own laptop back from the dead, so I might be able to help when I get some free time. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

During the middle of the day I did focus on some things that I definitely needed to research further, but in order to flush it from my brain for the evening (other than talking about it here) I just got in the car, rolled the windows down, and took a cruise as I listened to some of the older and / or more obscure songs on my Spotify playlist. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It actually helped, since right now my living room is littered with letters, hearing notices, research, rescheduling, insurance paperwork, etc. ๐Ÿ˜ Just getting away from that made a difference.

(I suppose I just shouldn’t ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป leave ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป that ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป stuff ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป out ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป once I’m done with it for the day. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜)

But for the time being I’ll just have to play it by ear like today, making sure that I don’t dwell on this stuff for longer than I should… although I know that I can’t “run away” in my car each time it feels too heavy, so we’ll see what I figure out. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ Today wasn’t bad though. And I was joking at first, but I think I really will pick all this stuff up in an orderly fashion and put it on the desk for the night. ๐Ÿ™‚ Out of sight, out of mind.

Catching Up

I’m going to try and practice my brevity with this entry… ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜

Furnace repair job is done. First thing was the blower capacitor that absolutely needed replacement, the second thing a couple days ago was replacing the intake fan and motor. It was still working, but it was drawing too many amps for what it was rated at, plus you could actually see cracks and “forming damage” which would have been dumb to not have replaced as well. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜• Sounds different now, but runs as it should, has a little better output, so hopefully that gets me a few more years with it.

Since I didn’t do any Black Friday shopping, I actually decided to hit a few thrift stores. I bought a janky little radio / tape / CD / record player unit. I mean, it’s small and generic, and was probably crap even when it was new – but the record player part, the tone arm hadn’t even been un-twist-tied – so even though the other stuff looks in rough shape, I’m hoping the record player will work with my sound system just for Christmas vinyl playing this year. ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽถโ˜ƒ๏ธ

I also got a factory sealed, “damaged packaging” Kenmore microwave at half the price of retail. (They had a bunch of various models, probably from a pallet purchase) An almost imperceptible teeny dent on one edge, but my old one was struggling after years and years of use – so the $39.99 was worth the risk. โ˜ข๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ณ I should probably try to actually cook something in it today before I get too cocky though. ๐Ÿ˜ย But she looks nice sitting there with all of the lights and LCD stuff actually working.

New tires have been performing well. Not only do I not have to air them up once every week or so due to leakage, but I can also actually feel a difference in them when I drive on wet roads. I’m glad to have swapped them before the snow really gets here. ๐Ÿš—๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป Took the car through the wash the other day so it would scrub off all the grease pen marks and tire mounting goo, so they’d look like normal tires as they should.

Gen got me a couple more security cameras for my birthday, so I’ve been moving them all around a bit, getting nearly complete coverage of my outside property – and indoor coverage in all the places where boogers might try to sneak in. ๐Ÿ“น (And no, they aren’t Ring cameras) I don’t really worry about break-ins or even package theft, but at least the lawn guys and Amazon people won’t be able to sneak up on me, eh?

So all of that stuff above has helped reduce some of my stress, so on days like this I can just chill and not be dwelling on everything. Tomorrow gets busy again though. Gonna go see Dad for a short visit, then my doctor appointment – followed by a “fingers crossed” (as always) trip to the pharmacy, along with a few other misc things depending on how “up to it” I’m feeling.

I’m also anticipating getting mail from the Industrial Commission before the weekend with my hearing date, but I’ve not been dwelling on that either. Once I get the time and date, then I will sit and put the finishing touches on my argument / case – should I even be asked any questions or offered the chance to speak. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜’ And speaking of mail, I finally have my drill, my bits, and all the appropriate pieces of wood, screws, washers, nuts, etc – that I should be able to swap the mailbox this weekend. ๐Ÿ˜„ย (Y’all need to understand my fear of how much pain this could cause, should it not go as easily as I hope.)

Okay… I know that’s a lot of paragraphs for allegedly trying to be concise, but I really did write this differently than I normally would – trying to leave out smaller details and avoiding elaborating… because all those things could have had way more detail or “story” to them. ๐Ÿค“ Plus, this covers like two or three weeks worth of crap. Weather is still causing havoc with my joints, despite avoiding as much movement in the gimped areas as possible. ๐Ÿ˜’ Still annoyed by that every day, but also still reminding myself that a lot of folks have it a lot worse than me, so I try to keep the self-pity to a minimum.

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.)

Me? You Sure About That?

Another big part of my yesterday and the day before was spent trying to help a friend who’s going through some serious shit. ๐Ÿ˜ข Granted, if you’ve read many of my posts here, you’ll already know that I’ve got plenty of acquaintances, friends, and family that are going through their own personalized flavor of shit at the moment. ๐Ÿ˜• Some worse than others, some where I can help, and some where all I can do is just listen, try to understand, and hope and pray for the best. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ But man, this person’s state of mind over the past two days… let’s just say that it was very concerning. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

(I know this person doesn’t read my blog, nor does anyone that really know this person, so even though I’m sorta putting their business out here… it’s not something that will affect them, and even if they knew, I think they’d actually be okay with me posting about it anonymously like this. They know how I am… how a lot of times, processing my thoughts on the site here is just how I have to do things if I want to attempt to clear my brain of all the clutter…)

I am glad that I have people in my life who feel like I’m the right person to open up to, even when the topic is something as serious as it was… ๐Ÿ˜ฌ but I am so not the right person to be able to handle something like that right now. I mean, I did… because I had to… but not without getting completely emotionally drainedย (and actually physically ill from the stress of the conversation) and realizing how little I could do about any of their problems. ๐Ÿฅบ๐Ÿคข But despite that, of course I’m glad that they turned to me… even if I was essentially helpless and basically only able to listen and talk things through with them.

The hardest thing about the drawn out text conversation was that as they’d mention this thing, the next thing, the thing after that… I could absolutely understand how the weight of all of those things piling up on them, seemingly all at once, could push them (or anybody, for that matter…) to the point where they’d just be ready to give up. ๐Ÿ˜ข It’s scary because it’s hard to know if you’re making a difference with what you say, when in the back of your mind, it’s like “Wow, yeah… I get it.”

But at least for now, I feel like our conversations helped. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Enough so that I might be able to sleep sometime tonight, and I’m finally able to eat something and keep it down. And I’m not saying that to give anyone any crap. If someone feels like their last resort is reaching out to someone, they do so knowing that it’s not going to be an easy conversation for either side, and that the person they are talking to cares enough about them that they’re going to get pretty messed up by the whole thing as well. ๐Ÿ˜• But as stressful as it is to be on the receiving end of that sort of conversation, I just know that I can only pray that someone would be willing to be that person for me if I ever felt like I’d run out of reasons to keep going.

I dunno, I just had to post this. ๐Ÿค” Often times I still feel like people, in general, who know me… they’ve got this mental image of what I’m like, what my days are like, and that it usually falls somewhere between lazy” / “boring” / “uneventful” / “a little stressful” / “what’s he complaining about nowheh ๐Ÿ˜ย Sometimes I wish that they could spend a couple days in my head… to know how things reallyย can be. And as I typed that…ย just now realizing it, that’s probably what all of us want – even the people who feel like everything is crashing down around them… we just want someone to know, to try to understand, to realize that there’s so, so much more going on behind our “game faces” and other people’s assumptions. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

I Am The Eye In The Sky

Had a bit of a setback with my back yesterday. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ The pain woke me up around 4am, and a quick trip to the bathroom made me realize that the strength/ability in my right leg wasn’t really there. I probably just slept on something wrong, but rather than dwell on it and get upset about it, I decided to devote the first half of the day to staying in bed, watching movies, and eating a few boxes of that ready-to-make chicken salad and crackers. ๐Ÿ– I could still find certain ways to lay that would alleviate the pain, so I just did that and totally plucked myself from what would have been my “normal” routine, and plopped myself into this “being a potato in bed” zone that was outside of my normal timeline. ๐Ÿง™๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ My weird way of trying to explain it anyway… but it worked… that half day of removing myself from everything but Netflix and the cat actually helped – and I was able to get up and around by the early afternoon.

As I was lying there though, I started pondering my various aches, pains, and disabilities… wondering which ones will get better, if any of them are starting to just stayย with me, and how I’m gonna be as I get older and have to deal with compounding issues like this. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Like I told Dad, I ended up coming to the conclusion that I’m only complaining as much as I have been because I still feel like I can recover or at least improve. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ If the “bleh” feels temporary, it’s easy to bitch about it when it’s slow going… but honestly, and my neck is proof of this, I can learn to live with pain and disability – to the point where eventually it’s “just there”, sucking, but something I can compartmentalize for the most part. ๐Ÿ˜ For the most part… ‘cuz there’s always super painful exceptions. Summarized, my bitching will eventually slow. ๐Ÿ˜

In the evening I went in town to deliver those two Yi security cameras to my cousin. I’m obviously more excited about any kind of A/V tech than they would be, but I could still tell that she was having fun playing around with the one as she went through the setup process. ๐Ÿ“น๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿป Matt’s already running through the possible installation locations, so as soon as they get a couple little memory cards they’ll be ready to roll. It’s crazy how even just five or ten years ago, creating any kind of home video security system was expensive and a pain in the ass. There’s no way that Yi makes any money off of these cameras. ๐Ÿคจ I’m guessing they’re banking on people like me to sign up for the monthly cloud storage fee – which I don’t mind doing at all.

So anyway, despite feeling pretty rotten for the first half, it actually wasn’t that bad of a day overall – and it definitely made me happy to gift those cameras to Toni and Matt. โ˜บ I really hope that they never have any bad reason that they’ll need any of the footage that they record… but I’m glad that they’ll have those cameras just in case they do.

Holy Crapola

Check out the classic consoles and games that are available in this auction tomorrow in Columbus. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ I feel like someone with real money is gonna swoop in there and make sure they buy every last damn game though, so I’m not feeling too bad about not going… but man, look at the pictures. And yeah, even though I don’t play the shit that much anymore, boy would it be awesome to be the new owner of a shit-ton of systems, games, controllers, etc. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคจ There’s still probably a 5% chance that I’ll somehow talk myself into going up there. I’m just feelin’ whupped right now, after physical therapy and chiropractor sessions earlier today.

I knew I was going to be doing exercises to continue working on my back, but unfortunately the folks in that office don’t understand the scope of the disability around my neck and left shoulder. ๐Ÿ˜’ And even though it’s not like work is really being done on my upper back – just rolling around on the big inflatable ball, balancing, stretching, etc… it royally effed up my neck. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ And in a way where I didn’t even realize it was happening as I was doing those exercises. So we’re going to have to make some modifications to the way I’m expected to do things. I might have to go so far as to make it “Let’s just pretend that I don’t even have a left arm.” ๐Ÿ˜ I’m not gonna suffer like this in the spirit of making my back as strong as possible… not when I’ve actually been feeling around 90% with things. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ