More Moon Stuff

Making a a little more progress with the $99 digital camcorder with the stupid good zoom… 😏 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. πŸ˜’ 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. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ€“ 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.

SquirtCamper

I waited until into that afternoon before I made this entry, hoping I’d feel better than when I woke up today… but nope, today is definitely a recovery day, and it is sucking so far. πŸ₯Ί Yesterday was good though. A couple hours spent at the RV show, and then went to the casino for the afternoon and evening since Jim and I are rarely in the same place at the same time these days. πŸ™‚ Had a good time… just too much walking, to much activity, too much looking around (believe it or not) – which has all added up to today.

There were very few sub-$20k campers at the RV show, but Jim still managed to find one that he really liked, that would fit his planned needs. You can even order it with highlights in custom colors, including orange… giving hints of Squirtman even in his “retirement” years, once they get here. πŸ˜ƒ It had an “RV Show Special Price” of $11,999, so in several years once he’s ready to buy – there’s a good chance that this thing, used, is gonna be quite affordable. Click here to learn about it.

I’m gonna skip the details of the rest of the day because it’s about what you’d expect, plus my head is still killing me – and sitting here at the laptop isn’t helping. πŸ€•πŸ˜£ I’ve been in hermit mode all day, so I apologize if you’ve been trying to get ahold of me without any luck. It’s gonna be that way for the rest of the night, and probably into tomorrow. Today’s still the weekend, so it’s no big deal, but I’m expecting to handle some important phone calls tomorrow so I wanna seriously take it easy and try to feel better. 😟🀞🏻

Refresh

My neck and shoulder are finally calmed down (mostly) after a long “recovery” day, so I think I better go ahead and make a “good” entry tonight in case my mood changes and I’m not feelin’ it tomorrow. 😏

Over the past month or so I’ve ordered three different cosmetic upgrades for my car. The first one was an OEM-looking spoiler, already painted in “Magnetic Metallic” with clear coat, so it is ready to install straight out of the box. πŸ™‚ It was about $100 and came from California, I believe.

The second one was a gloss black splitter / lip (or whatever you wanna call it) for the bottom of the front bumper. Now, this one came from whatever Asian area that all cheap reproduction goods seem to come from these days, so not only did it take a while to get here – but it arrived without the 3M adhesive tape and the screws to attach it to the car, so I’ll have to pick those up elsewhere. πŸ˜’ No big deal, since it was around $30.

Those two things… I had watched a few YouTube videos and convinced myself that I’d be able to do them myself, albeit with the help of a friend with tools and two functioning arms. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ The spoiler and splitter both require only minimal prep and effort compared to the third thing.

Also right around $100, a few days ago I ordered a gloss black honeycomb grill similar to what you’d see on the Fusion Sport, Mustang, and a bunch of other cars these days. My Fusion is a 2016 SE, so it came with the straight line “chrome” plastic grill… and while it obviously doesn’t look bad, I just think it’ll look better with this new one. (Plus I can sell the old one.) But this upgrade, there’s no way I’d be able to do it on my own, since it requires removing the nose of the car in order to pop out the old grill and snap the new one in. 😯

It hasn’t arrived yet, but it shouldn’t be too much longer since it’s also coming from CA. But when I made the decision to pull the trigger on the grill, that’s when I also resigned myself to the idea that it would be better to let someone else install all this crap in one shot. 😏 Especially since the splitter will go on much more easily when the nose is already off the car for the grill swap.

I know a few people who work on cars for a living, including a couple who do restorations and body work, so at some point I’ll probably hit one of them up and see if they’d be willing to handle my little project. Just because I think I could install the spoiler and splitter… it doesn’t mean that I should. 😟😞 There’s no doubt that it would take me 10x longer than anyone else, plus it would almost certainly tweak my neck and shoulder in some way. πŸ˜’ This is no time for my proud-but-stupid “I don’t need help” side to be stubborn.

But yeah, I’m looking forward to seeing how she’ll look with her new gear. πŸ™‚

The Day After

“What are you thankful for?” Well, at this moment, I’m thankful that I had absolutely zero desire to go out and do any shopping with the Black Friday crowd – and that I can sit at home and regenerate from the past several days of stuff. πŸ™‚ Nothing bad has been going on really, I’ve just used up all of my social juju over the past few days – so the long weekend will be even more appreciated.

I know that I’m always invited to the family gatherings, which is technically just Aunt Sharon’s clan usually, but there’s still a bunch of people if everyone shows up. And everyone showed up yesterday… including me, since Toni invited me again a couple days earlier. It had just been so long since I’ve been to even a cookout, so even though I knew I was low on energy I still wanted to go and at least pop in and say hi to everyone at once.

Dad knew ahead of time that it would likely zap my energy if I stopped by at the dinner, so he didn’t mind that I wasn’t able to make it over there yesterday, since I’ll be able to sometime else here soon when I’ll be far less twitchy. But I’m glad that I went… it was nice… but I got home around 4:30p and was sound asleep about an hour later. πŸ˜³πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ Woke up after midnight, decided to eat the leftovers that Genesee had dropped off for me, and fell back to sleep around 4am. Slept in until about 11am, so sleep-wise I’m actually doing okay I think.

But yeah, there used to be a time where I’d at least be considering going out and doing some shopping… but I’m recovering too nicely today by just sitting on my ass and watching random stuff on YouTube. πŸ™‚ Hell, next year could be different and I might be right back out there with the crazy shoppers… ‘cuz sometimes it’s just fun to watch people scramble for what they want… but today, this is right where I need to be.

Let’s Get It Started (& Finished)

Furnace guy came and ran some checks on all the internals, and it turned out that the big fat capacitor that goes to the blower was dying… only storing about half the charge that it was supposed to at the time that he tested it, so luckily even though it was one of those intermittent things – he was able to tell with his meter which part was dying. He replaced that part, oiled the blower, and she’s working great. πŸ™‚πŸ‘πŸ»

Once he opened it up, he dated it as a 1987 model… or “a dinosaur” as he put it. πŸ˜πŸ¦• (I cannot disagree… heh) I was surprised that he had a replacement capacitor in his van, but apparently it has remained a common part over the years. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ The only other thing that’s going bad is the induction fan. It’s rated to draw 1.4 amps, but testing showed it was pulling nearly 2.5 amps when running – so that’s not awesome. 🀨😯 Like he said, it’ll keep working… until it doesn’t. So I told him to price a replacement, and I’ll likely end up having that swapped out too – ‘cuz I’d rather do it now than lose it in the middle of real winter weather. πŸ₯Ά

(Unrelated video, other than the title of this blog entry reminding me of this song… or vice versa… πŸ˜ŽπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ )

I also recovered from that brain fart and remembered that I loaned my drill to someone early last year, so I went and picked it up. (That shows how often I need / try to be “handy” around here. πŸ™„ ) That was “just in case” I’m able to get to the mailbox before Rick comes over to install the garage door opener. πŸ“ͺπŸ”¨πŸ˜‹ Oh, that came today as well. (The new πŸ§žβ€β™‚οΈ 3/4hp opener)Β  I shlepped the box into the house but haven’t opened it yet, but before I go to bed tonight I’m gonna at least open it up and make sure there’s no apparent damage before I give Rick the go ahead to schedule me in.

And the final thing, for the moment at least, is that my tires arrived at the store – so I’ll give them a call when I wake up to see if I have to make an appointment or if I just show up and get in line for them to mount, balance, and align them. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ”§πŸš˜ They’ve got several bays, so I don’t imagine I’ll have to wait long either way. (But still… anxiety has been extra-strength lately, so the sooner I’m done and back home, the better.)

But boy, between all that and then the other random things I’ve been dealing with… heh… just a little bit “too much stuff” going down all at once for my taste. 😳😬😏 But at least it’s all good stuff. The AC last year was basically “buy once, cry once” when I got it, but the furnace repair will be relatively cheap, the tires were reasonable(ish) since they were no-name, and only having to get new springs and a new opener when I was pretty sure that the whole garage door might have needed replacing… πŸ˜§πŸ§πŸ€” Well, maybe I should wait to be happy about that one until Rick puts it up and we see how she does.

I’m (currently) optimistic though. πŸ™‚πŸ€žπŸ»

Bedtime Ramble

Not sure what was trying to get me, but those two days of cool and rainy weather that I was looking forward to… I ended up feeling like crapΒ on those days. 🀒 I did dump that bag of dirt and grass seed the prior day and did up all my dishes that same night, and it did take a little more “oomph” out of me than I expected – but I think it’s because I was already getting sick,Β and not because of the little bit of work that I did. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Regardless, it kinda sucked… but at least the rain was taking care of watering the grass seed, ‘cuz I ain’t gonna. 🀨 Once it’s out there after its initial watering… you’re on your own, blue grass seed… if you’re counting on me to coddle you with things like water, think again. 😏

But, as you may or may not be able to tell, I feltΒ pretty close to back to my normal today. Felt good enough to go have a nice visit with Dad, and when I got back home I found that the lawn guys had come and gone and also didn’t mess with the new dirt and seed. 😌 (Even though they’re probably chuckling that I think the seed will actually grow into grass in the middle of October.) I’m glad I wasn’t here though. I still feel a little weird when someone else is doing the manual labor that I can’t do anymore, while I’m sitting inside like a potato.

But yeah, I’m just glad that I woke up today feeling decent since I had plans today that I didn’t wanna cancel, plans for tomorrow that are somewhat unavoidable, and then doctor appointments on Friday. πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I guess I shouldn’t count on my tomorrow and Friday though until they get here… probably gonna jinx myself. 😯

This is county fair week too, and right now I’m only half-convinced that I even wanna go. By Saturday I’ll have had “three days of stuff” in a row, and sometimes after that much “stuff” my energy / neck / shoulder aren’t as cooperative as I’d like. πŸ˜’ So it’s hard to definitely plan on a Saturday fair visit, especially considering that I’d like to avoid the sea of “weekend” humans that would also be turning up.

I actually haven’t checked to see if Jim is coming to town, but if I’m going by myself it would probably be to either take some pictures or to use the 360 video camera to get some footage to upload and share. πŸ€“πŸ“· Both of those things are just better, in my opinion, when there’s less people around. Even among a fair crowd, walking around with a tiny 360 camera on a fully extended selfie-stick still isn’t veryΒ inconspicuous. And people staring slack-jawed and confused at the camera doesn’t make for great video.

And while it’s incredibly unlikely, there’s still a tiny corner of my brain that would love to shoot an early evening time-lapse / light trail type video of the entire fairgrounds from Mt Pleasant. 😌 Ugh… I really wanna do that. 😟 Anybody wanna piggy-back me up the hill? But then I wouldn’t get to walk around and see all the critters, play a few games, and eat something good-yet-disgusting that will have even odds of making me sick. πŸ˜… I think I’ll just see how the rest of the week goes, andΒ figure it out then.

It reminds me the of the irony of my favorite game there though. For as long as I’ve been going, the game where you try to ring the little canes has always been my favorite. Not for the shitty, weird colored cheap canes though… but for the “upper level” canes, which are actually “real” canes where you hook the curved part to win one. 🀨 Nearly every year that I’ve gone, I’ve been able to come home with one of those canes. The irony part… back in the day, the cane would either go into my closet (to be forgotten) or I’d give it to Grandma B, Aunt Carol, or someone else who could actually make use of it. πŸ™‚ But now that I’m older and more broken, if / when I win a cane, it’s more like “Ahh, good, I can leave this one in the car for emergencies.” or “Kewl, now I can have one under the bed in case I wake up and my sciatic nerve is acting up.” 😏

And, you know… (I absolutely don’t feel this way, but I can see where some politically correct folks might) the idea of handing out mobility aids, traditionally meant for temporarily or permanently disabled people, might actually offend one or two people in the state if they thought too hard about it. 😐 It’s like “Throw three darts and break three yellow balloons and you win a skateboard… but if you throw three darts and break three of the tiny red balloons and you win an actual wheelchair!” πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ¦½πŸ˜•πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Again, I don’t feel that way… but I’m tempted to google now to see if anyone’s ever complained about this anywhere.

Okay, time for bed… early day tomorrow, and I wanna make sure I stay good with my sleep. I need all the encouragement that I can get, to make sure I’ll get through all of this stuff over the next several days. 🀞🏻

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. 😟 Indoor show, general admission, standing room only. 😬 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 hoursΒ (Alter Bridge was performing as well) just wouldn’t have worked. πŸ˜•

(But I also know that I’d feel even more disappointed if I made an attemptΒ to go – and then ended up having to leave before the concert was even over because of my oush. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Sigh… it is what it is.)

Finding the positives… πŸ€”Β 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… 🀫 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. πŸ“ΉΒ So I now have five active security cameras keeping an eye on my house. 😏 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.Β πŸ€“ Touch wood. 🀞🏻

But I kept today low-key, much like yesterday. I did start watching more of the political news coverage… and woo boy… πŸ˜―πŸ˜…Β 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. πŸ”₯🍊πŸ”₯Β 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. πŸπŸš—πŸš•πŸš™πŸ’¨

I’m not even sure what track they’re at this week. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈΒ (… said the formerly enthusiastic fan of the sport.)

Method To My Madness

You may or may not have noticed, but over the past many weeks – especially in the time right before and after my scan – I’ve been posting a lot more entries to the blog than usual. Even if not in quantity, I’ve definitely been ramblingΒ more than I typically do. Now that I’m most of the way past that phase, I’m probably gonna end up slowing a little with my postings – not necessarily on purpose, but because as things start to feel like they’re returning to normal I have a feeling I just won’t feel like I need to post quite as much.

There’s no way to explain to someone who hasn’t gone through it, how it feels to sit with an unspecified amount of cancer in your body, jumping through all of the hoops for the tests, which includes gradually wearing down your energy levels to nothing, and then just sitting there, not knowing, waiting, worrying, hoping, etc. 😟 There isn’t an emotion that you don’t experience, ranging from hoping that it’s completely gone – to hoping that if it isn’t gone, that you at least get an expiration date… just to finally get rid of the uncertaintyΒ more than anything else. 😞 I suppose I can only speak for myself, but I don’t see how anyone wouldn’t feel most of the things / ways that I’ve felt. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

But my way of dealing with all of that (or distracting myself from all of that) was by posting here. Didn’t necessarily want to talk to anyone about it in person, or in any detail or whatever… but also couldn’t just sit here and stay all bottled up about it. So whether my posts had something to do with my medical stuff or not, it’s been a big reason why I’ve been so active lately. Now, I’m not saying that I’m gonna stop blogging… I mean, rambling is sort of my thing, it’s more that I just wanted to come here and finally explain.

Of course it doesn’t help when in the middle of all that, I get new “neck stuff” (unrelated to cancer) to eventually be concerned about. πŸ˜’ It’s hard to stay positive and try to get back to normal when just as you’re finishing up with one thing, something else fairly big comes along right on the tail of the last thing. And that’s what a lot of my postings have been, whether they seem like it or not… trying to find the silver linings, trying to reassure or even convince myself that I have the ability to take the good for what it is, and work around whatever negatives are left after that. (Bleh… that sounds cheezy.)

I’m still not back to normal, but I’m definitely getting there. I found out, thanks to the festival, that even though my energy levels are a whole lot better – there’s still a wall there to be hit, and I still don’t get a sign when I’m approaching it. I’m assuming that’ll just continue to get better though, because it has so far. I’ve barely been doing anything with friends yet, and still haven’t been on Facebook for over a month now… so I’ve still got a few of those types of hurdles to get over, but it’ll all come in time. πŸ™‚ I’m not setting goals or time-frames or anything like that… just trying to always make sure that I keep moving forward with all of it. And as for the stuff that I’ll have to face in the future, whether it is spine related or cancer related (or something as of yet unforeseen), I can’t let it chew up all my thoughts and actions between now and whenever that will be.

So whether it helps me because I’m just getting stuff out, or because it also helps to reinforce the positive thoughts… whatever it is, it’s just what I’ve needed to do during this more-uncertain time in my life. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But as I continue to get better, it should require less energy (or rambling about it) in order to keep the progress going. I made it up and over the most recent hill, so now I can hopefully start to coast a little more if that’s what I decide to do.

Meh… I could obviously continue with more on this topic, but this basically explains what I wanted to be explained. We’re all works in progress, and I’m no different. And if it’s not one of the issues that I’m currently focused on, there’s always gonna be something else that tries to damage my calm and toss some grenades in my life’s direction. 😟 I’m just hoping that I can take the things that I’ve learned from dealing with the current situations and apply them to those other things when needed. πŸ™‚ Maybe get a little better with the “ups and downs” since we all seem to come with an endless supply.