Entry 8/21/2014 7:16:53 PM – Mentat 707
This is just a quick note to inform subscribers and casual readers that I’m still alive and doing remarkably well in the world (all things considered), but in the time that I’ve been assisting my mother around the house since she broke her ankle because of the dog (as talked about in Entry 706) for the last month or so. I’ve been writing a lot of journal entries and finding myself more at ease about writing and keeping them to myself than I have the last couple of years in writing them that went out to the world.
I realize that this might be what I need to do for a bit longer. Get used to writing for the audience of me until I’m ready to start sharing them with the world again. Truth be told I’ve been going through quite a lot of “performance anxiety” in writing journal entries that I share with the world and because of this I feel like I’ve lost the vision and mission of posting my journal publicly. A feeling I don’t remotely like. At all…
So while I’m helping my mother hobble around the house with the sweeping and cleaning up after her monster child (which seems to shed a Chihuahua every day) along with other chores that she can’t do, I’m going to be offline for a bit. I’ll still be posting some of my Mad Scientist fractals, but those will even be infrequent (well more infrequent than they have been recently).
Keep safe… Keep clean and use soap… (Heh as I’ve said to my mother a couple of times when she’s announced taking a sponge bath). You can contact me through the usual channels (Comments, E-Mail, Deviant Art), you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ if you really want to pester me, and I’ll be around in the background like a Vorlon on a mission to study the younger races.
Hopefully I’ll be back sometime in the near future. Until then…
Mandelbulb 3D, Un-Retouched
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. Amusingly I forgot how much fun (not to mention easy) it is working with the program when I’m in one of my speed rendering moments.
And no, I wasn’t listening to Missing Persons’ “Mental Hopscotch” when I named this piece. I only thought of the song after naming it.
Entry 07/25/2014 01:02:38 PM – Mentat 706
As the month is coming to a close, and the laziness of summer is still upon me I’ve got to say that what we’ve gotten for the summer so far has felt quite atypical to me. While it’s had its typical moments of heat and humidity; there have been quite a few days like today: the free of humidity sort of days after a storm front has cut through the Tundras of New England. This is the sort of thing that I got rather used to living in the Crotch of the Bible Belt (Atlanta, GA) and during the winter. The difference though is that the amount of humidity during the summer feels infinitely more oppressive than getting it in the winter.
So there’s a couple of things to cover from the last time I sat down and wrote a journal entry. Sure, I didn’t write or even create all that much in the last couple of weeks; mostly because the temperatures has been swinging like a pendulum between beautiful and absolutely fucking miserable. Sure I have air conditioning and while it’s not the sort of necessary BTU’s to keeping the whole of the house cool (and dry), closing certain doors (and curtains) keep the vital rooms at least comfortable to sit in for the duration of the day until the sun goes down and everything outside is cooling off appropriately.
Fun thing about that was that I learned where the threshold for the fuses for the house are. Didn’t experience it the first couple of times I experimented, nothing really annoying occurred — and so I thought that the electrical balance for the household was better than my mother’s. Then when I was warming leftovers in the microwave and sitting at the desk waiting patiently for it to finish while the fans were running and the AC was quietly pushing cooler air into the kitchen, everything in the house shut down or went blank. A quick rush to the basement and fighting the eroding stairs and busy cobweb spiders, I was able to reset the power without my UPS trying to turn off my computer after an allotted amount of time (to conserve battery power). So like my mother, I need to shut off the AC if I’m going to use the microwave to warm up my food or else everything will shut down.
Then there was the beginning of the week where at 3:30 PM, it was time to go for a walk with my mother and her monster child Jack. My mother’s been walking the dog more the last couple of weeks to get her out of the house for some exercise and to get her used to walking the dog when I’m not around. Normally I’m just there for moral support and to teach my mother the commands the dog’s gotten used to (I don’t use heel or stay, as I use Stop and Go instead). Also to teach her how to handle the dog when he decides on going ape-shit (and more importantly how to avoid the potential). Of course, it doesn’t help matters any as the last month of so, Jack’s been getting more hyper and spastic about the potential of seeing dogs (or more importantly anything larger than an English Sparrow that he could bark at and/or chase) during the 3:30 PM walk.
My mother, Jack and I were in the parking lot on Adams Street on the way to the field off of Marcello and Atwells, when I was dawdling between Adams St and my apartment as I was indecisive about going back to the apartment about a piece of mail I was expecting and catching up with the two of them heading toward the field. Deciding against going back to the apartment, I was a bit behind my mother trying to get nearer to her and the dog when Jack saw another dog and its owner in the field and went completely ape-shit.
Needless to say that my mother wasn’t prepared for him going insane and bee-lining at the dog in the field and while she was braced, Jack pulled her off her feet and proceeded to drag her down the remainder of Adams Street and onto Marcello before I was able to get hold of him by the harness and get him to calm down a bit.
The poor man that was walking his dog in the field looked completely mortified at the fiasco, apologized and tried to get himself and his dog as far away from my mother sprawled on the road as he possibly could.
Jack only calmed down enough to get him back to the house after a couple of swats to the nose, and I only did so at my mother’s request. Though getting back to her after putting the dog at the house did I realize her ankle wasn’t the way it’s supposed to. We both had hoped it was a sprain, but given the shape of the ankle along with the connecting bones — my mother was more sure it was completely broken.
She was also scraped up along her right hand and arm and a bit of her shoulder from the pull down and drag across the asphalt. The thing about my mother (and her mother — my grandmother (RIP)) is the way that if they’ve had an accident in the street, they stay put and not move… In spite of the fact that they’re in the way of any incoming traffic. If I didn’t know any better she did it expecting the police to suddenly show up and witness it as a crime scene or something.
Hell, I tried to convince her when she was insistent I head back to her place and pick up some band aids, towels and antiseptic to move her ass to the sidewalk and out of the road while I’m getting the stuff… But of course she won’t have anything of it. She stayed where she was and waited for me to get back.
A few minutes passed between my going back to her place to pick up what she requested, and getting back to her while she was checking the cuts and scrapes she got from being dragged across the road. A few minutes after that it and after the call to her husband telling him he’ll need to find alternative transportation as she was unable to drive because of her right foot being broken and needing to go to the emergency room.
Then came the final part of the ordeal — supporting her while we hopped and hobbled our way from the corner of Marcello and Adams street to the car in the driveway. Sure, it’s less than 170 feet (51’ish meters) but when you’re trying to support someone that’s stubborn about help and tiring rather easily – it might as well have been a mile.
Fortunately for us, one of our neighbors was on his way to the garage so that he could take his motorbike for a spin and he was gracious enough to help us get her to the car so that she could sit there waiting for her husband get back to the house so they can scoot off to the Emergency Room of the nearby hospital (Roger Williams Hospital).
The final verdict after almost 4 hours at the ER: She had fractured her ankle, completely removing the tibia and fibula from her anklebone. After seeing the orthopedic doctor about it yesterday — it looks like they’re going to need to do an ankle reconstruction involving pins and a plate which is going to be performed this Monday.
My aunt on the other hand, hasn’t exactly been the model of compassion through all of this, as my mother’s pulled me off my aunt’s request for me to head up to the trailer park of the state (Woonsocket) to set up her e-mail so that she can read it in off-line mode. Stories there on that, but I’ll save that for another time. This of course will open up the same old BS with her when I do eventually go up there that will start with such things as, “When uncle…” (her brother) “…calls, you drop everything to help him. But you don’t do the same for me.”
What she always seems to forget is that Uncle calls and schedules something a week (or longer in advance). He always sets which date it’s going to be. None of this, “is this day good… is that day good…” never makes noise about picking me up at my apartment in Providence to bring me to his place out in BFE in Foster/Gloucester (and yes, that’s pronounced GLAW-stah). He basically understands the three-day rule because he lives by it as well. Nothing’s ever sudden or off schedule and if it is, it’s pushed farther ahead.
My aunt doesn’t though. Not in the least. Everything must be dropped immediately and if the schedule can’t be done when she needs, well… manners fly out the window.
My mother talked with her this afternoon on her way back from the CAT Scan and my aunt completely forgot (read: ignored) her pissy attitude from the day before.
[Last Edited: 7/26/2014 4:39:53 PM]
Finally comes the last part of what I’ve been doing during my down-time/lazy days of summer here in the Tundras of New England. I’m not entirely sure how I want to label it; but it’s been partially educational — and I have gotten quite a lot of entertainment from it. Partially it’s been an obsession with me trying to understand (and unravel it). Partially because of the fascination of how such things attract so many people (usually youngins) to watch, subscribe and comment.
What I’m talking about are Youtubers.
Truth be told, I can’t exactly remember how I stumbled across the ones that I did… Part of it I think had to do with how YouTube gave me random recommended when I was sitting at my computer and looking for something to watch without committing to watching something for hours. The rest of it had to do with my ending up in bed at the end of a day, and popping YouTube onto my iPod Touch and watching a bit of something as I either fell asleep – or worse – the random bouts of insomnia I’d get from suddenly waking up at 2 in the morning and not falling back to sleep until almost 4 AM.
Almost two weeks into this momentary obsession (and just the other day), I talked to Glenn (yes, my favourite attention whore and friend) about the discoveries I had made…. And of course being the sort of curmudgeon-in-training that he often is — went off on his usual tear of how fake and pretentious the lot of them are, using the usual disgust and sneer that he has for anyone (and anything) that caters to the 14 year-old girl mentality that he hates dealing with so much in daMN chat and on Tumblr, I personally gibe him relentlessly on it because of how he hates the competition for Queen Attention Whore™ that he gets from 14 year old girls. Well that and he’s so much like a 14 year old girl sometimes. But I’ll digress from my usual argumentative banter with him as this paragraph is sure to cause him to respond later on.
Then again the discussion Glenn and I had about Google/YouTube’s secret algorithm as I linked earlier is probably the culprit between why I ended up with the recommendations I get versus the recommendations he gets. I had been a bit more blunt about it, snarking the ever living shit out of him stating his love of crap videos and checking out the kind of garbage that 14 year old girls squee on is why he ends up with the pretentious, oftentimes fake and extremely controversial YouTubers he gets to watch. I thought about mentioning names as examples, but I won’t.. It’s about tastes and opinions and unfortunately for Glenn sometimes, he gets it in his head to chase after the things girls squee over so he can snark them, deride them and sneer because of his superiority instead of finding the sort of people and channels that would help with a more positive opinion.
While I only subscribe to 2, I find myself watching quite a few more for various reasons. Following is that list of YouTubers I watch regularly and/or subscribe to:
- Oli White. The first YouTuber I officially subscribed to (though not the first that I watched). Something about his nose and jaw line reminds me a lot of Callum. While Mr. White’s not as tall as Callum (a few inches shorter), there’s also something about his perfectionistic approach that I can strongly relate to. I honestly think it’s going to be interesting to witness when Mr. White reaches the culmination of life experiences that will either change his views to being more of a perfectionist or less. I strongly believe less of a perfectionist than more, but in any case it’ll be intriguing to watch.
- Tyler Oakley. The amount of energy this man can produce is staggering. While he describes himself as Ellen DeGeneres’ doppelganger; with the glasses that he wears, Mr. Oakley reminds me more of a young Peter Billinglsey from “A Christmas Story” (Ralphie). With the amount of energy that he has and the way he can remain so exuberant in front of and behind the camera he reminds me a lot of my adopted son Keagan. The guild I was part of on Rift (I still am, but not playing that game as much because of the summer and the amount of heat that game generates with my PC) would label him “Out the Window Gay”. Sure they mean it in a good way and have referred to me the same way once or twice; but I’m not quite out the window as they think I am. And certainly not as much as Mr. Oakley can be. Combine this with his enthusiasm that I find watching his channel the most infectious.
- Marcus Butler. Admittedly I first thought he was Australian until I started watching him more and realized he was a ‘southerner’ (Bristol, UK area). It was thanks to my experience with watching/chatting with Londoners, Cornish, Midlands, Geordies and the Welsh that hearing Mr. Butler talking that I finally got a handle on the various accents of the UK. I’m not exactly sure what it is about Mr. Butler that I keep watching him. Something about his personality or the qualities that he projects that reminds me of someone (or something), but I can’t put my finger on what it is. It’s enough for me to maintain curiosity until I figure out what and why.
- Joe Sugg. And indirectly with his sister, Zoe. There’s something about Mr. Sugg’s snarkish attitude that I find amusing. Even hilarious at some points. It’s also comical the sort of competitiveness that Mr. Sugg has with his sister. That and Mr. Sugg’s use of some (British) slang is enough to keep me on my toes. Oh and he’s an easy mark for practical jokes. There’s something about the straight man that I find enduring.
- Doug Armstrong. The second YouTuber I subscribed to, mainly because of some of his extremely easy, no-nonsense cooking he does on his channel. Well that and his absolute love of cheesecake and deserts.. And anyone that loves cheesecake at his level can’t be at all bad.
- Louis Cole. Pronounced (Loo-EE as opposed to the typical American Lew-ISS). Quite possibly the only YouTuber that took me quite a lot of his videos and a long time for me to warm up to. And I believe he might actually be the third that I subscribe to watch regularly. He reminds me strongly of the hippies my parents used to hang around with when I was a child coupled with the Radical Faeries I used to hang around with when I lived in Atlanta, GA. I think I was sort of put off with his “relaxed” attitude but realized that this was only a veneer to a very subtle easy-going’ish come adventurous approach that he actually has to everything. That and his love of coffee. Instant respect right there.
There’s so many others, I could mention I watch, but instead I’ll just give honorable mentions. MarkE Miller (who is the first YouTuber that I actually watched) along with his boyfriend Ethan Hethcote, Connor Franta (though there’s something about his Wisconsin/Minnesota attitude that puts me off. Well other than watching this video which has me cackling with sadistic glee), Good Mythical Morning, Alfie Deyes/PointlessBlog, Troye Sivan (and yes, he has an Australian Accent), Caspar Lee, Sawyer Hartman (although I find it camp when he and Tyler Oakley have their drinking contests), Joey Graceffa (from the Tundras of New England, even though he has a habit of hiding the Yankee accent when he’s in front of the camera) and finally Will Shepherd
Thinking about it as I was proofing this part of the entry, it’s like the old Public Access video channels on local cable television back in the day when I was used to watch it living here in Providence with Darin (early 90s). To answer the question I have in my head and knowing a couple of my friends would ask — would I do it? Would I put my memories to video? Nope. It won’t ever happen. I like my old-fashioned method of writing. I’ve been writing a journal since I was 17. I don’t see any reason whatsoever to change on this either. When I can’t type because of arthritis, I might consider it. Until then I will remain in print.
That’s about it for the time being. Off to make supper and perhaps to blow up things before I pass out with Moe. Until the next time.
Mandelbulb 3D, Un-Retouched
Just a little something-something created as the day remains as beautiful as yesterday, but with a little more warmth. There no rhyme or reason to this… other than perhaps keeping myself familiar with the controls.
Oh and listening to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPQjYQZ7wW0 while making this…
Entry 06/19/2014 09:35:12 AM – Mentat 704
Finally!!!! After several days of warmer than average weather and unbearable amounts of humidity; it’s finally started raining here this morning. While the humidity is still up there (more than 80% the last time I checked a couple of hours ago), at least it’s not the oppressive BS that I’ve put up the last couple of days. Good thing too, given that I’m getting rather tired of being completely drained out come sundown then the temperatures drop to where I expect them for this time of year… Well that and I don’t have to suffer through one sinus or the other shutting down and blocking up when I move my head one way or the other. So, hopefully over the next couple of days it’ll be more bearable than it has been and I can enjoy Emancipation Day without it feeling quite so like August here in the Tundras of New England.
Of course the amusing thing in all this is that I’m currently over my mother’s house watching her Monster Child — Jack. The amusing thing was that my mother sent up to my Aunt’s house to wash her car in spite of it raining even up there in Woonsocket. She went up there out of sheer stubbornness because she canceled out last week for washing the car on threat of rain. Last week we almost brought Jack along so that he could get a bath (he’s smelling particularly dog at the moment), but the more my mother thought about it — the more she decided it was best he stayed at home and went to a groomer for a washing instead. Not that I blame my mother in her decision — Jack is too easily riled by other dogs, and my aunt’s little hyper mutt would set him off… So while my mother’s off; I’m treated to looks (and attitude) like this:
I get looks like that because I’m not my mother and I’m not one to give him treats whenever he wants or needs. Yeah, she spoils him rotten and because I’m not high on the pecking order/pack order in the house, he often mopes when I’m over making sure he doesn’t wreck the house during any abandonment issues he might go through. At least he’s not begging to go out in his boredom before his usual walk time.
Now that it’s getting into summer, I’m trying to discipline Jack a little bit more and not be completely spazzed out during this walks. Also trying to curb his hyper attitude at barking at faeries. It seems that I’ve come to learn that he’s pretty myopic (near-sighted) as he’s gone crazy barking at smaller people (children and in one case a rather short Latino mowing the lawn at the apartment complex on the path we normally walk). Even at inanimate objects like lawn bags on the sidewalk if they’re the right distance from him. When he gets closer, Jack stops when he realizes what he’s barking at is not a dog at all.
Surprisingly, Jack does really well when he’s short leashed: he walks at the same speed I do, doesn’t do a lot of doubling back to check various scents from other dog-owners that walk the same path. Even maintains a sense of calm when dealing with Starlings, and faeries… But the instant he’s given more leash — off he goes spazzing out more. I suspect it’s going to take months for him to calm down given I don’t think the Summer Heat’s going to calm him down any.
On the flip side, Moe’s even more sedate with the summer heat and humidity. While he might not get up on me at the desk when the ambient temperature’s over 75 F/23 C, he’s still just as determined to lay on me when I take an afternoon cat nap. Which in itself is “fun” because it’s like having more than 101.5 F/38.6 C laying down on my crotch area. Worse when he’s happy and sprawls out like a napping toddler. He doesn’t seem to have much issue hanging off me head upside and purring to his heart’s content as he sleep as well.
In fact, today was the first day he was in the front window and didn’t freak out and hide when said “hello” when she walked by. Unlike the last time when she did that and he hid under the covers in the bedroom for hours. Of course, he’ll still hide whenever anyone else is over… but at least I think he’s figured out if whoever it is that talks to him is on the street, then he’s safe.
The level of stupidity is going up now that the weather’s getting warmer. For example, my neighbors across the street now rent the whole house, one of them made the “brilliant” decision of putting their two little dogs on the first floor… While this might not sound like a fail as I imply, it is when you realize these two dogs are easily stressed out and start barking at anything and everything that walks by or barks in the neighborhood. Worse, when someone walks by — they fly to the front windows wrecking the blinds in the process. I walked by, and one of their two dogs, just flew at the window and through the blinds. Heard them a couple of more times after that when I was in my kitchen and cooking my lunch. It hasn’t happened today as I didn’t see them in the window, so hopefully they’ve learned their lesson.
Then there’s the second floor neighbors in the house across the parking lot (in the back of my house). Seems that they went away on vacation or something and one of their two cats ended up on the fire escape of their apartment for the last three days according to one eye-witness that was waiting by the house. When I talked with the witness, I told them someone would come home in a couple of hours (late morning/early afternoon) and I’ll let them know… but he wouldn’t have anything of the sort. Not only did he continue to wait and watch but also called Animal Rescue about the cat. Sure enough, the third floor tenants came back and were able to rescue the cat from the fire escape, but the witness didn’t stick around to catch Animal Rescue to tell them that the cat’s all right.
That was left to me when I came out of my mother’s house and saw them there looking about the wrong side of the street. So after 10 minutes of explaining to the woman what happened and who had done the good deed, she was off.
Then yesterday, the neighbors across the street had a friend over in some monster pick up truck that I didn’t think twice about, until that friend decided to leave and it sounded like the transmission on the truck was about to fall out. Did that warning screech stop them? Well sort of. They stopped their truck in the middle of the intersection to the side road (Adams St) where they left it there blocking (non-existent) traffic for about an hour. Oh they moved it. In fact, the owner started his truck and apparently drove away with it sounding like the transmission would drop out at any time. It was a hell of a din given that the owner drove away at no more than 5 MPH even onto Atwells Avenue.
Thanks to that, my ears were ringing about 5 minutes after they had gone. Not to mention gave Moe quite the fright too as he couldn’t figure out where the sound was coming from.
Then there was the din a couple of days ago in the parking lot with someone that sounded like was setting off some sort of fireworks. Either that or had to break into their car as it sounded more like a window being broken the more I think about it. My cat completely freaked out with that and tried his best to hide under the bureau in the process. When I checked in the morning, there was broken glass, or any sort of fireworks refuse in the parking lot either.
And finally the highlight of the week had to be my neighbor downstairs. Now keep in mind this woman rarely if ever opens up her windows even with the impending summer weather. She’s rarely seen other than perhaps in glimpses when she throws her trash or recycles. My mother says during July and August she has an air conditioner in her bedroom window, but her windows are never opened otherwise.
She opened her windows the other day. For what appeared to be “spring cleaning”. Windows were opened and it looked like she had her curtains out on the fence drying. Since then though? Closed again. 89 F/32 C with 95% humidity and the windows have remained closed.
How she can do that is beyond me.
As for me…
I’m sore. Not entirely sure why. Old age, probably. Well that and the amount of humidity in the air. Sleep as once again swung back to “normal”. So much so that I seem to be making up with bizarre dreams in overtime. While I can’t remember them as much as I should, I remember enough to know that it’s been a sort of powder keg dredging up memories old and not so from my past. Some of these recurrences I know I caused by thinking about them at the right time before I fell asleep. Other seems to be off-shoots of those memories.
[Last Edited: 6/20/2014 6:26:42 PM]
I’m finding myself modestly cautious about what I remember and when given that I’m finding myself highly self-suggestible because of it. It’s not just being the right frame of tired for this suggestible state to happen, but also just being… well, impressionable on the whole. I found one of the dreams that I had last night had been triggered by a set of thoughts that I had while re-watching an episode of Heroic Age yesterday afternoon.
For entertainment, I’ve given up (again) on Andromeda at near precisely the same place I did before (when it was first run too). Why? Well because by season 3 this show was seriously, seriously dumbed down when they ejected Robert Hewitt Wolfe from the production team and gave [Kevin] Sorbo more authority. I tried also to get back into the remake of Battlestar Galactica and realized it’s too depressive for the summer. So it’s back to anime for me for the time being. Namely Samurai 7 and Heroic Age for the time being. I might go digging for others, but these two work for the time being.
Finally I would like to throw a great big, screw you to the team at FourSquare. Seems that for the last couple of weeks they had left their app alone but was pushing a new social app called “Swarm”. Didn’t like the looks of Swarm and it wasn’t really in the queue for loading it up on the phone. Then today when I was out doing a bit of shopping with my mother, tried to check in using FourSquare only to find it disabled until I installed and downloaded the new Swarm app to my phone….
So checking out the reviews on the store and see people are not happy with it at all. A quick download and install I found out why… What made the Foursquare app fun (and sort of unique) was all the features that it used to have had been disables. Gone was the ability to maintain and gaining “Mayorships” at locations. Gone were the point tally acquired during a week of check-ins. In it’s place is a buggy program that leaves the GPS portion of the phone always on and draining power, and organizing through text and messaging — friends to join you here or there.
It’s a good idea if you’re a social butterfly or collect friends like tchotchke.. but for me? Not really. With the exclusion of one acquaintance in the Rhode Island area, most of my friends and acquaintances are nation and world wide. So that organizing feature Swarm offers is very useless to me. Add to the fact that you can’t check in with just Foursquare, I wrote some disparaging reviews for both apps, and deleted my account with FourSquare in the process with the same note that when they remove Swarm, I might come back. Probably not, I’m not a fan of any company that makes draconian decisions that demand their user base install more apps to test out their new ideas by destroying what’s already working.
So bye-bye and screw you FourSquare for betraying a loyal fan and destroying a fun app.
That’s about it for the time being. Until the next time.