Coming full circle

It’s early Saturday morning, which means my vacation is rapidly coming to a close.  By this time tomorrow I will be tucked into my bed, snuggled under the covers and anticipating (or dreading) going back to work.  I’ve purposefully stayed away from my place of employment so as not to interrupt the flow of work (hopefully) happening in my absence.  I expect things haven’t been going completely hunky-dory.  Certainly they didn’t the last time I went on vacation, and despite my best efforts to be sure my relief had all the tools he needed to get the work done, I expect it’s going to be a wreck when I go back on Sunday.

Needless to say, I haven’t missed being at work all that much.  I do get four weeks of vacation per year and as I’ve said many (many!) times, I’d be content taking two weeks of vacation and just getting paid for the other two weeks.  But my employer prefers that their employees take all of their alloted vacation.  Basically ‘Use it or lose it‘.  So I use it.

This week has not been so much sitting on my ponderous butt, watching TV.  It just so happened that my wife and I had scheduled four medical appointments, and we were on the go for most of the days that I was off.  Monday and Wednesday were the only exceptions, but Wednesday was gobbled up by an emergency dental appointment due to the fact that my wife slightly broke one of her teeth.  So that needed to be attended to.  And was.

Even though I spent some time helping a friend furnish her new apartment, I didn’t necessarily neglect my own domicile.  I ordered 4 large plastic storage boxes from Amazon (actually probably larger than I needed) and have been sorting through some things that I haven’t had use of in several years, that need to be secreted away before something nefarious happens to them.  I have to say I’d be pretty devastated if something did happen to them, and certainly I wouldn’t forgive myself easily.  If at all.  Once I have that attended to, I think I’ll breathe a sigh of relief.  That’s been a long time in coming to get accomplished.  At least when I have need of them again, I’ll know where they are.  I hope.

Anyway, it’s back to work tomorrow.  Only one more week of vacation to take for this fiscal year, then I’ll get another four weeks to agonize over on April 11.  Never ends, does it?

Have you ever?

There’s not always enough things to do on vacation, and certainly dear reader, as you can obviously tell, blogging isn’t high on my to-do list.  With the silly season approaching (Thanksgiving/Christmas) and me getting my last vacation of 2020 out of the way (I still have 3 more weeks of vacation that have to be used before April 2021), I’m already debating whether or not I want to tackle the Holidailies conundrum.  I’ve tried it a couple of times but was never very prolific.  I know of several people that have been successful in it; perhaps with COVID being the catalyst, I’ll have a muse or interest in doing it this year.  We’ll see.

Honestly, I’m not huge on memes, but this one caught my eye on a blog that I follow infrequently.  It snowed here this morning, so I can’t rake leaves, so I thought I’d spend a little time getting you to know me better.  What’s the harm in that, right?  A little laughter, a little sharing, and who knows, you might want to try it yourself.  Anyway, here goes.  Enjoy!

  • Been Married – Just celebrated my 27th anniversary
  • Been divorced
  • Fell in love – Several times
  • Skipped school – A few times when I was in college, usually when I had a test, I didn’t wish to take.
  • Watched someone give birth
  • Watched someone die – My mother, in 1989.  Not something I’d like to do again, tyvm.
  • Been to Canada – Niagara Falls, Ontario.  Witnessed the Canadian Snowbirds do a flyby of the falls on our last day in town.
  • Ridden in an ambulance – Both the back and the front.
  • Been to Hawaii
  • Been to Europe – Flew into Amsterdam, Netherlands, took a bus through the Netherlands and Belgium to West Germany in 1983.
  • Been to Las Vegas
  • Been to Washington D.C. – Several times, class trips both High School & College.
  • Been to Texas
  • Visited Florida – With family and in college.
  • Visited Mexico
  • Seen the Grand Canyon in person
  • Flown in a helicopter
  • Been on a cruise
  • Served on a jury – Local trial, alleged assault.  Acquitted the defendant.
  • Danced in the rain – Many times, many storms.
  • Been to California
  • Been to New York – NYC? I used to live 90 miles north of the city and have relatives that still live there.  I presently live in the Finger Lakes region.
  • Played in the band/orchestra in school – Both.
  • Sang in the church choir – Up and just past my epiphany about organized religion.  Not since.
  • Sang karaoke – A few times when I was younger.  Not since about age 25.
  • Laughed so much you cried – Robin Williams.  Nuff said.
  • Laughed so hard you peed
  • Caught a snowflake on your tongue – Every winter.
  • Had children/adopted
  • Had a pet(s) – Cats only.  My brother had a golden retriever when we were young.  My wife had a cockatiel that lived to be 29.
  • Been sledding on a big hill – The house where I grew up had a large hill in the front yard.  I still have the family toboggan.
  • Been downhill skiing – I tried it once.  Walking pigeon-toed, for some reason, doesn’t allow you to ski downhill successfully.  Who knew?
  • Been water skiing
  • Been Ice Skating – I still have my skates.
  • Rode on a motorcycle – In my youth, and someday again.
  • Traveled to all 50 states
  • Jumped out of a plane
  • Been to a drive-in movie – Roosevelt Drive-In, Hyde Park, NY
  • Rode an elephant
  • Rode a Horse – And been stepped on by one.
  • Been on TV – Local cable television, Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Been in the newspaper – Several times for non-nefarious reasons
  • Been on the radio – Newsreader, WMCR; Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Stayed in the hospital alone – Westchester Medical Center, elective surgery, 1978.
  • Donated blood
  • Gotten a piercing – Ear piercings.  Long since closed.
  • Gotten a tattoo
  • Driven a stick shift vehicle – 1990 Ford Escort LX.  My first car, though I didn’t know how to drive it; my Dad had to drive it home from the dealership.  I soon learned, and then sold it a couple of years later and bought a used 1987 Ford Bronco II.
  • Been scuba diving
  • Lived on your own – Several years.
  • Rode in the back of a police car
  • Got a speeding ticket
  • Broken a bone – I dropped a laptop on my pinky toe.
  • Gotten stitches – Best friend growing up hit me in the ear with a 5-iron by accident.
  • Traveled Alone – I was bumped from a flight in Atlanta, and my college choir left without me.  I flew first class to Denver in 1990 and slept the whole way.

Testing out the new equipment

This would be the third dash-cam that I’ve purchased since they became a ‘thing’ several years ago.  The two others I had, died almost immediately after being installed in our various vehicles, they were (for the most part) basic pieces of junk with extremely basic capabilities, but were priced as if they had more ‘oomph’ than they actually did when used in the manner to which they had been advertised.

My wife asked me a couple of months ago if I was interested in getting a dash-cam.  After regaling her with the stories about my previous attempts, she was unswayed so she went ahead and purchased one that was touted to have ‘4K’ video capability, and could use a 128GB micro SD card for storage, allowing about 10 hours of video time either in 3, 5, or 10 minute increments.

Naturally once it had arrived and I went to put it to use, I discovered it really didn’t have the touted 4K capability, it’s a simulated 4K on playback, the guts of the camera can’t produce that quality.  So basically it’s false advertising, but sending it back would mean incurring a shipping fee (they’re going to get you coming or going) so it was better just to make it work and wait a year or so until a new one comes out that actually does have that capability, though I don’t honestly think we need one.

We’ve just gotten back from vacation, and I was testing it out on the road, so to speak.  The first storage card I had for some reason didn’t work, even after I formatted it several times both on my computer and through the unit itself.  For whatever reason once it was used by the unit it was unreadable, so I endeavored to get a new card before we left to go visit family in the Hudson Valley of New York, where I grew up.  Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get one until we’d been in Poughkeepsie for a day, so I missed out on some decent opportunities to record video of places that were familiar to me, and yes I’m still kicking myself about that.  Too, when I finally did get the card and inserted it into the camera, I completely forgot about formatting the card, and even if I had, I never plugged the unit in so it wouldn’t have recorded anyway.  Took me a few tries before I actually got it to work, and was able to confirm that it was recording by removing the storage card and attaching it through a reader to my smartphone, which was easily able to transcribe the video and play it. vlcsnap-2019-11-18 This is a shot of us going over the Mid-Hudson Bridge (the locals call it that, and always have.  In 1994 it was renamed the ‘Franklin D. Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge‘ in honor of FDR, but like the Tappan Zee downstate being renamed after former Governor Mario Cuomo, it’s still referred to by its old name by anyone local) yesterday morning.  It’s a pretty crisp and clear snapshot from the video, and I doubt anyone could tell the difference between a HD image and a 4K from this vantage point.  I certainly can’t.

I expect it’s going to take a little more trial and error before I’m completely comfortable with having it in the car.  I expect also I’m not going to be recording video daily, although I believe the intent of dashcams is having it on all the time in case something does happen, as one isn’t likely to turn it on just before something unfortunate occurs.  Better safe than sorry, right?  And in the event of an accident, even if it ended up being my fault (anything is possible) it’s better to have evidence just in case something could be seen another way.  So for the time being, it’ll stay in the car.  At least to justify the 10 minutes it took me to install the long power cord along the visor and around the interior in order to hook it into the car’s power system.