Proceed with Caution

If you’re anything like me, and you find yourself coming across these types of videos on YouTube, you might end up spending a couple hours staring silently and intently at the television… wondering where half of your day just went. πŸ˜―πŸ˜ƒ I never took “wood shop” in school, so other than dicking around in the workshop in the basement – I haven’t really even done the most basic of woodworking skillz. πŸ˜• So that first tool… to me, boy did it look like it would just “grab it” and sending it flinging into the air. (Kinda reminds me of the potential kickback from a table saw cutting knotty boards.) πŸ™„πŸ˜¬πŸ˜£ A neat little creation though, from such an “ugly” lump of wood and a bunch of resin.

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.

Before I Fall Asleep…

Last night the moon seemed particularly bright, with a shadow being cast onto the lawn by the big pine tree out front. πŸ˜―πŸ˜ƒ I knew the camcorder still had some juice left in it, so I went ahead and put it on a tripod, set it up out there in the driveway, and aimed it up towards the top of the tree. πŸ€“πŸ”­πŸŒ•πŸŒ²β˜οΈ

(I set it to record one frame every 5 sec, for however long it stayed powered on. Best viewed in HD / full screen.)

I wasn’t expecting anything amazing, but I was just curious if the clouds would spice things up by time the video was complete. And then I fell asleep about 15 minutes later and slept all the way through to 8am. πŸ˜³πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ As soon as my eyes opened I realized what I had done, so I went out and grabbed the dew covered camera, dried it off, and then put it near the space heater to hopefully dry everything out. 😬🀞🏻

The video isn’t bad… there’s one part where the clouds look more like bubbling water flowing across the sky and over the moon. But the battery did last long enough for the moon to make it out of the frame, and the camcorder itself is now dry and currently charging as we speak – so with any lucky I didn’t accidentally sacrifice it for a mediocre video like the other dozen I’ve done just like this one. 😏

BIRDS

Yeah. I had a feeling this wouldn’t be very impressive… and it isn’t. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

It’s just too fast, even at one frame every 1/3 second, 30 frames per second… and there’s nothing to really show scale, so the birds look way smaller than the beasts that they are. πŸ€” It’s a little better full-screen.

Spring Birds

I noticed yesterday evening that my “spring birds” are starting to return to the big pine tree again. I’d say that it’s been five years in a row now that they’ve chosen that tree as the place where they spend their nights. 😊 They haven’t reached their full numbers yet, but I think that I still might try to do a time-lapse of them all landing tonight. Not sure if it’ll be that good, but it will at least serve as a test in case I wanna do another / better one once the tree fills up. It makes a person wonder how and why they chose this tree, and how they know or remember to return to it in the spring. πŸ€”

Had a really hard time falling to sleep last night. It was after 2am, and my anxiety levels were at their lowest point for the day… so I kinda hated to “give that up” by going to sleep. πŸ˜• Days are more anxious than usual, for obvious reasons, so once you’ve reached those early morning hours it just feels nice that you “made it” through the day, everything feels like it has calmed down, and the chance for any unexpected BS popping up feels a whole lot less.

Meh… that’s all I’ve really got at the moment… πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ So, no rambling… unusual, eh?

Unremarkable Weekend

(I know… if it was unremarkable, then why am I “remarking” in four big paragraphs? Just go with it… 😏 )

I’ve got mixed feelings about the weekend. Part of me feels like I should have worked on some crap around the house, but then not having done much of that – most of my aches and pains have lessened a bunch compared to last week. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ So I suppose that means I did things right. Definitely caught up on my sleep, made a big-ish trip to the grocery store (even though I forgot a couple of key things and will need to go back tomorrow), plus I took the car through the wash so she could get a bath. πŸ˜ŽπŸš—πŸšΏ

The weather today was surprising, having not read the forecast. 😯 Sunny, in the 60s, with some pretty gusty wind. πŸ˜ƒ Every now and then I’d hear my big pine tree out front singing from the air passing through it, along with some random creaks and groans from my roof when the gusts got really crazy. 😳🏠πŸŒͺ️ It sorta tempted me to go out and find something fun to do in the nice weather, but I came up empty for ideas. None of my cameras are charged… hell, I’d have to actually remember where I even put them… so taking some random pics was a no-go. Then with my knees just now feeling mostly better, even going for a small hike around Rising or Alley Parks just wouldn’t have been the best idea. πŸ•οΈπŸ₯ΎπŸ˜Ÿ Β Enjoying it from my living room with the window open was perfectly acceptable. 😌

So yeah, it was an almost totally “relaxed” weekend. It’s hard for me to not push myself to “do something” – but, at least for this weekend, I’m glad that I didn’t. πŸ™‚ It’s allowed me to be optimistic that the week’s gonna start off okay, at least when it comes to all my damaged parts. 😏🀞🏻 Only other thing that’s even close to “worth mentioning” is that I cancelled my YouTube TV. It was around $60 each month, and of the stuff that I watch on my TV, it honestly accounted for probably only 5% of my watch time. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ“Ί

It’s probably gonna make me a little twitchy once NASCAR is back on, but I’ll have to look around and see what other options there are. Whether it’s finding another way to watch the race, listen to the audio, or even use an app to see the race with little real-time computer generated cars… I’ll figure something out. 😎

 

EDIT: Gawd… not only did I not realize today was the Super Bowl, but I also forgot that it was Groundhog’s Day. And having family that came from that area in PA, that’s almost like a sin – not giving Punxsatawney Phil the weather-forecasting-attention that he deserves. Spoiler warning: apparently we’ll be having an early spring this year.

Christmas Eve

It sure would have been nice if there was some snow on the ground or at least some flurries falling… but we get what we get. πŸ™‚ And tomorrow, that will be 50 degrees and mostly sunny throughout the day.

I’m spending this evening watching a bunch of Christmas specials and movies, getting as much “in the spirit” as I think I’m gonna be able… plus during the day I’ve been texting with Dad, Genesee, Bri, Squirtman, and Cassi… so even though I’ve not been feeling good enough to go out and do anything – at least I’m still keeping in touch with folks. (I’ll assume Amy’s lack of reply today is because she has a house full of boys that will be awaiting Santa’s services, which may also be taking up a good chunk of her time and energy. 😏 )

This is the first Christmas without Mom, and that’s sure full of suck… 😒 but I’m doing my best to focus on all the good memories from my childhood, when Mom and Dad made sure that Santa delivered quite the elaborate experience. 😌 Remembering the music, the big old complicated tree, the bubble lights, the angel tree-topper with the cotton all around the base, hanging up all of the ugly ornaments that I’d make – including an “ET” alien, obscene amounts of icicles, leaving out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer, leaving a letter for Santa and getting a reply the next day, the little boot that got filled with M&Ms, and opening presents such as a Knight Rider slot-car track, my first Atari 2600, a talking KITT car, a little programmable robot that made all kinds of racket, Dukes of Hazzard BarnBusters stunt set, etc…

(Crikey… 😯 don’t look at how much that stuff is actually going for now… it almost hurts. πŸ˜… )

Back then it was probably 50/50 “about the presents” for me – but now, of course, it’s all about the memories surrounding everything. 😌 I hope that all parents do their best to see that Santa gives their kids at least half as good of an experience as I had – cuz even at that, they’d still be happy. It’s strange how few years the “Santa” years really were, yet Christmas still retained that same feeling all through the years. And those relatively few “Santa” years still feel like they went on forever back then. 😌

Out Of The Loop Too Long

A while back I used to go to auctions a lot, but it’s been years now since I’ve been. But there was one older fella that was always at the local one that I’d go to with my girlfriend at the time, Kayla. We both liked buying the random boxes of junk that would go for only a few dollars, and he would always dig out any shampoo, makeup, or random girly stuff from the boxes that he’d win and give it to me and Kayla. 😏

I actually ended up running into him again somewhere after the local auction house closed… I wish I could remember where it was. πŸ€” But he invited me to come out some time to see all the stuff that he had for sale at his house, which was also a Christmas tree farm. He and his wife had an entire extra building outside their house, where he had the better of his auction winnings on display and for sale for anyone who came out for a tree. And obviously any time he invited someone out.

But watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special just now, and seeing them hunting for a tree, it made me think of him… and sadly it looks like he passed away a couple of years ago. I’d say it’s been about six years since I was last out to his place, and he had stowed away a bunch of Atari and Nintendo stuff for me, which he sold to me cheap, because he knew that was the kinda stuff I was usually looking for at the auctions. 😌 He was a great guy, just soft spoken and nice… it’s a shame I didn’t get to interact with him any more than I did. I didn’t even realize that he was formerly a local fireman… he just never spoke of it. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But yeah, he was one of those people that you were glad to have met.

johnJohn BeckΒ  |Β  1943 – 2017

I think I’ll tell Mom to tell him that I said “Hi.” πŸ˜‡