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.

Anxiety Dreams

Third night in a row that I had a “too real” dream revolving around COVID-19, isolation, distancing, etc. πŸ˜’ And it’s getting old. 😠 Plus last night I only got about four hours sleep again, although that’s partially my fault since I’m taking half-hour naps during the day. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But man, this “stay at home” crap is actually starting to get to me, even though “stay at home” is basically what I did anyway before all of this.

I usually pick a video on YouTube (on the TV) and then let the auto-recommend / auto-play take over as I’m falling asleep, and I know for a fact that what I’m hearing (in my sleep) from those videos ends up leaking into my dreams and influencing them. 😳😟 So I’m gonna have to start avoiding the news once it’s a little later in the evening, and probably switch over to playing music instead of “random TV” as I fall asleep. πŸ€”

I wish I was one of those folks who can sleep in complete silence, but this house just makes too many weird noises that would wake me up. 😏 Clunky compressor on the fridge when it shuts off, pinging water heater… which, by the way, stopped leaking and acting like it was going to die. (I’m still gonna have it replaced, but I’m not in a rush about it at the moment.) But yeah, I need at least sound, if not light and sound. πŸ™‰πŸ“Ί Ooh… I think I’ll break out that sound machine that I got from Amazon last year. πŸ€”πŸ˜ƒ It’s supposed to be pretty good, and it never fully made it into my routine after I bought it.

Welp, that’s all I’ve got for the past 24 hours or so… πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ Β stay safe, all.

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.

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.

More Nostalgia

I live in the past more than I probably should, but the past day or two have been nice… old memories being brought back to life as I texted back and forth with Dad last night. πŸ™‚ I can’t even remember how we got on the subject, but around my junior high years we moved to a house in the country – significantly different in almost every way from our former place, and of course with me going to a new school. 😳

Oh, I remember… we were talking about all of our various kitties over the years. And while living out on the hill, the strays apparently came with the house. 😏 But because they weren’t really pet pets, and I don’t say that to belittle their worth in any way, but between that and me being rather young – I had forgotten a lot about them. 😟 But once Dad mentioned their names, all these memories instantly popped back into my head. Weird how the brain can have stuff stored away that well, where you can’t even access it by just trying – but an outside influence can provide the key. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚

But yeah, memories of the outside kitties, memories of the bus driver forgetting that a new kid now lived in that house – and therefore blowing past me as I stood in the dark, in the snow… πŸ˜„ I remember more about the bus rides and the time spent with my couple of good friends at that new school than I do about the time actually in school. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Moving was a pretty big deal, so it was nice to go back to the town where I originally started school eventually. But another pretty kewl memory… getting a portable little B/W TV one Christmas, that I could take in my bedroom to watch broadcast TV at night as I went to sleep. (Man… I’m old… lol) I’m not sure if I was supposed to be watching TV, but yeah…

Then I wake up today, start clicking around through YouTube on the TV, and they suggested a video from 8-Bit Guy about the new “The C64” full sized Commodore 64 replica / emulator with functional keyboard. πŸ˜ƒ My first computer was a VIC-20 that Dad and I got at Hamvention. I can’t remember how much it was, but I feel like it was pretty reasonable… a big box full of VIC shit along with the computer. πŸ€“ No disk drive yet, but then later on I upgraded along the Commodore path to the C64 with a 1541-II drive – as did my cousin – which lead to lots of “freeware” copying with him and friends. πŸ€«πŸ˜„

But of course since that was such a big part of my childhood, seeing this thing instantly made me want it. 🀀

Believe it or not, I had actually already ordered one from these folks years ago. They had a crowdfunding thing going on, but then they decided to produce The C64 Mini first due to the then-fad of “mini” game consoles being released. It was probably the right move, at least to fill their bank accounts, but it delayed the full sized version – so I requested and got a refund. πŸ˜• Since then I’ve gotten the Mini though, and now, years after it was due to come out, it looks like I’ll eventually be getting a full-sized version as well. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I can use the excuse that the audio and video lag on the full sized version is less than the Mini, so not only will it be nice to have the keyboard – but technically there is a performance improvement since they’ve optimized the emulator code. (Not to mention double the USB ports, which is a bigger deal than you’d think.)

Not sure why they didn’t go the FPGA route, but it looks good enough for me.

You Got Your Hulu In My Spotify

I’ve been reading about how we’ve already passed the “heyday” of video streaming. It makes sense… because back when it started catching on you really only needed Netflix and you’d have pretty much everything you wanted. But now, each company that licenses (or used to license) content to Netflix – now they wanna keep that content and start their own streaming service. So now you have Netflix, Hulu, CBS All Access, Disney Plus coming soon… basically any corporation that has its own content, they want it on their platform instead of someone else’s – so to end up having access to everything you want, soon you’ll need to subscribe to four or five of these things at 10 to 15 bucks a pop. Not ideal, and not likely to get better anytime soon.

I only bring it up today because I realized that by having a subscription to Spotify for my music, it also has the option of activating an ad-supported version of Hulu to go along with it for free. I suppose Hulu has nothing to lose, since they still get to play commercials, and if anything it may entice people into paying for the ad-free tier. Not me, most likely, but I did go ahead and set Hulu up today to see what the free version is like. I ditched my $50 YouTube TV a few weeks ago, which makes paying a little more than ten bucks for all the music I can listen to, and some sort of half-way decent TV/movie streaming, seem like quite the deal. Check into it if you’re already a Spotify subscriber.

μ•ˆλ…•ν•˜μ„Έμš”

There was one other day where I allowed myself to do something a little frivolous. It was already something that was going to be a little bit outside of my comfort zone, but then we had to completely change our plans. 😳 The original plan was for me to go up to Columbus and pick up Cassi from work, so we could then head over to Arirang Market – which also has (or had) a restaurant in the back that serves authentic Korean food.

We went into the store and I asked the fella at the front if the restaurant was open yet, since it was only around 11am, and he said that the restaurant is no more. πŸ˜• It’s a shame, because they had a ton of variety, at good prices, and they had all sorts of good reviews on the various sites. But since we were there, in a Korean market full of authentic Korean foodstuffs, we decided that we could just buy the stuff that would allow us to make our lunch and dinner from scratch. πŸ™‚

In no particular order, we got kimchi, tofu soup starter, yam noodles, seaweed, soju, red pepper paste, rice, sesame oil and soy sauce, eggs, chicken and cabbage rice dumplings, rice cakes (for soup), and then a few misc snacks and a couple pairs of metal chopsticks. We were excited, because between the music, the travel and foodie videos on YouTube, the differentΒ TV shows, the picking up of the language here and there – I dunno, it just felt like we were taking our next step in the appreciation of the country and culture.

I made the soup meal on the first day, including the kimchi… and while the kimchi was pretty awful, the tofu soup, noodles, and rice cakes were tolerable. 😐 Not good, not bad… it just kinda was what it was, and that would be something that neither of us necessarily needs to try ever again. πŸ˜… On the next day we teamed up in the kitchen, with her making the fried rice from scratch, and me frying up the chicken dumplings in condensed broth. Now that meal was amazing. 🀀 Part of it was because I was super hungry, but no… it really was amazing. I ate until I was beyond poofed, and I still wanted to keep going.

Granted, that was probably the furthest from “authentic Korean” and towards “normal food” that we could have gone, but it still counted as Korean. 😏 And neither of us were that bad with the chopsticks, either. From both days there was enough left over that I was able to send a decent sample of it all back up with Cassi so her mom could give it a try. And she agreed with us when it came to the dumplings and rice, for sure. (I forgot to send the kimchi… which is probably a good thing for her.)

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.”