Grump Central: Weekly Posts Spring 2022

18 June 2022

This has not been an especially good week for me. Each day when I awoke, my first thought was usually, "Will this be my last day?" Not a cheery outlook, to be sure; I'm simply being honest. Consequently, I haven't done a whole lot; mostly I just watched and reviewed short films. I also thought about how different my backyard view is now compared to when I bought the property almost seven years ago: I can no longer see the fox den, as it's now hidden behind a wall of young beech trees. I'm not complaining! Just observing.

11 June 2022

This week has flown by so quickly that Saturday arrived before I had a chance to compose my weekly report. But then, I realized that I had nothing to report. So here I am, reporting nothing. Today's image is a random shot I took a few days ago. I like how my driveway disappears into a "tree tunnel."

4 June 2022

May is already in the rearview mirror, and I don't even remember passing it, although I've been passing my time doing some new caricatures. As I've related previously, moving my computer down to the living space has provided a number of advantages. One disadvantage—or two, to be strictly accurate—is that my furry grandkids now have access to me 24/7. While they tend to interfere with productivity, I don't really mind, particularly since they love it. But then there's this:

Don't ask—I have no clue what he thinks he's doing, much less why.

28 May 2022

Another week has flown by and, in spite of my awe-inspiring surroundings, my mood continues to grow darker as my energy level continues dropping, now at an all-time low. I'm sorry for being honest, because I realize it's worrying for a few close friends. But there's no escaping it, and no good reason for me to lie about it. Quite simply, I have X days of life remaining, where X is unknown, but unlikely to be more than a couple hundred. This does not trouble me, but it does leave me uncertain as to what to do during those X days, as my interest in those activities I've enjoyed up to now is waning. Plus another heatwave is on the way next week, which is also dispiriting.

21 May 2022

May is roaring past—time seems out of control. No matter; as per usual, I've uploaded some new tunes and reviewed a few foreign animated films. Oh, and I got a new phone case—one that matches my surroundings, no less (I know, big whoop!). In meteorological news, we're about to endure our first heat wave of the year: this weekend is supposed to be in the mid to upper 90s. Ugh. And here I was just getting to enjoy some open-window days, and now I'll have to batten down the hatches and fire up the AC. And now for a good old fashioned grumpy rant: among all of the other ills the pandemic has wrought upon our world, it seems to have sparked a significant increase in spam email and phone calls. I used to get just a few emails a day and at most one call a week; now I get dozens of emails and 8-10 calls per day. I've no idea if Covid is really to blame, but the timing is suspicious. It makes me want to go live under a bridge, like some old troll.

14 May 2022

Had I not moved my PC downstairs to the main living space, I'd have missed seeing a new bird. Regrettably my one and only shot of this Yellow-Shafted Flicker is rather blurry, but hey, I still got it before she flew off. It's yet another woodpecker in my collection, which now includes six species, or roughly half of all known woodpecker species, and three-quarters of those native to the northeast. It seems Friday the 13th was my lucky day. Otherwise, not much else to report except for a few new reviews and a couple of new tunes. I'm also making some progress on my feature-length animation project, Oblivion, although it's seriously slow-going—I may not live to see it done, especially as it competes for my time with a novel.

6 May 2022

And here we are zooming into May already. I confess I'm mentally lagging behind a couple of months—as my brain runs ever slower, time appears to pass ever faster. What happens when my brain comes to a standstill? Will time suddenly stop too, or will it all flash past at infinite speed? As I have no answer, I leave you with this little conundrum. Today's image, incidentally, is by request: a friend asked me to render a Kilroy-style self-portrait.

30 April 2022

Tomorrow will mark my ninth May Day, my tradition of taking a photo from the same spot on the first of May each year. Taken in 2014, the image above is my first May Day photo. For an eye-opening look at the terraforming we're doing, see the progression from then until now. In other Grumpy news, I've released a few new tunes; I've also uploaded a dozen new videos that ought to amuse kittyfans. And finally, the animation for the album Oblivion is underway. At 100 minutes (or a full-length motion picture), this is an epic undertaking. My plan is to animate each of the five parts in different styles.

23 April 2022

Ah, spring. Ah, that green. I never tire of watching its arrival. And even though I spend the bulk of my waking hours staring at a computer monitor, that monitor is now in the living space, oriented such that the above view is directly beside it.

16 April 2022

Surveying his/her territory, a beautiful red fox strikes a perfect pose right outside my kitchen window. There's no sign of reoccupation in the den near the bottom of the ravine behind my house, but I've seen this fox almost daily, so I'm sure there's at least one family nearby, probably a few. In other grumpy news, I've continued adding new music to my collection, which now features well over fifty tracks. Please enjoy.

9 April 2022

From my vantage point in the living space, I can see lots of green leaves sprouting—such a welcome sight—and my tiny cohabitant couple, the Phoebes, have returned for the fourth consecutive year to their nest in the eaves over my non-existent deck. We are progressing from winter, my least favorite season, to spring, my favorite. In other grumpy news, I've continued to post more reviews, and have added a long-planned new category: short films. Having over 60 reviews already, this category will continue to grow as I wade through a substantial backlog of videos. Plus, I have a couple of new tunes online as well, including my new favorite, "Spring Dance."

2 April 2022

Here's a classically grumpy post for my regulars: Thankfully one of the most repugnant days of the year for some of us is past: April first, when everyone and their cousin must demonstrate to the world how ignorant and cruel they can be by participating in April Fools Day. With each passing year, people become ever more ignorant and cruel, and now even corporations get into the act. Honestly, if there was some way to eradicate this utterly senseless tradition from the face of the Earth, it would be glorious. Then again, there are entirely too many other things to wish away as well, so why bother fantasizing about a world free of just one form of stupidity that will never go away anyway?

In other grumpy news, I've added a few new victims to Grumpy Film & TV Reviews. On the subject of recent films, I must say I've become quite enamored of Lorne Balfe's awesome score for Black Widow. I've been playing it often the last week or so, sometimes quite loudly; my cats are not happy with me. It also gave rise to a new rant.

Today's image was taken this day in 2016: the foundation was just completed, and I wasted no time breaking out my tools to begin framing. The view is from the garage, looking down towards the main living space, with the ravine beyond.

26 March 2022

A webmaster's work is never done. As a grumpy web developer, I've long held a dim view of mobile surfing. But the pressure has been mounting to make my sites more "responsive," to use the prevailing parlance. Fortunately, owing to my old-school web authoring philosophy, it's not as onerous as it might have been otherwise. But it's still pretty onerous, considering I have several thousand pages to update.

Worse, mobile web development is a moving target—moving so fast, in fact, that it currently relies on some "experimental" web technology. No lie. Which means, if I get something to look right in Chrome on an iPhone, it could look like crap in Safari on an Android. And don't even talk to me about pads. But, as I said, my stone-age technique means my pages should not completely fail, as some supposedly state-of-the-art sites are prone to do (one of the stores I deal with locally uses a canned shopping app that does not work on a smartphone).

All of which is to say, if some of my pages look a bit wonky, bear with me. There's a lot for this old dog to digest, and the retrofit could take months. On the bright side, it'll give me something to occupy my otherwise very depressed mind.

By the way, belated happy Spring Equinox. It occurred last Sunday.

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