At a Dug Out

We found a neat place to sit and watch people walk along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. It is called the Dugout, and from what we understand, it’s been around for a long time. Of course, we get to the party later than normal. We just stumbled on it.

We sat in their sidewalk cafe area and ordered beer for me, a PB&J mixed drink for her and an order of tater tots. We watched people walk by, inline skate by, dogs walking people and people walking dogs. Even the Pickled Pedaler peddled by.

I have never done that … sat outside on the sidewalk, drink beer and eat tater tots, and been ok with it, enjoyed it. I wish I had taken a photo.

It will be a place to return to. I could ride the IndyGo bus system or take an Uber. I don’t have to drink that much beer that I couldn’t drive. Really, the thing is to ‘just go’. Maybe take a camera this time.

Saturday, May 29, 2021 effort on the Mulch Containment system I've been working on this year. iPhone 7 photo taken by Dave O.
Saturday, May 29, 2021 effort on the Mulch Containment system I’ve been working on this year. iPhone 7 photo taken by Dave O.

May 26, 2021

I wonder if I could earn my keep by selling my drawings on eBay?

  • I would need to learn how to draw. I am giving this task an honest effort. As I’ve mentioned before, I am dedicating at least 30 minutes a day to ‘drawing practice’. I follow Rich Graysonn’s Udemy courses. I like his teaching style. Hopefully, if I develop a drawing skill I believe I will be able to sell prints at a few dollars each. I would only need to earn enough to cover my living expenses, which, if I live in a van, would be minimal I assume.
  • I would need to learn how to sell stuff on eBay. It probably isn’t that hard to do, but certainly there is a method to it, how to attract buyers, and to keep people buying, things like that which make a difference. Of course, that means that I will need to turn out the art on a consistent, regular schedule, which also means that I need to learn how to draw in a style that people want spend their disposable income on. This is an example. And, this is another example.

I have also considered living in a van and earning my keep by developing a You Tube channel. I watch several people who dwell in vans and seem to earn a living by posting videos on their channel, gathering views to generate ad revenue. Of course, I don’t know much about earning a living on You Tube while living in a van, that is probably something you just-need-to-do to know how to do it. Bob Wells is a good example.

I watch the Unstoppable Morgan You Tube Channel. She seems to have the required mix of personality, good looks and circumstances for a successful You Tube channel. While watching this video she mentioned that it is important to give people something to watch while holding and squeezing her boobs. If I had her set I would probably do the same. But, I don’t, I’m an old fat white man so there is nothing I can offer by way of physical attributes.

Nikon W300 time lapse, May 25, 2021, looking south from the back yard.

A Sun Burn ?

I haven’t had a sun burn in many, many years. Of course the sun has burned my forearms a few times in those years but I’ve haven’t have a full torso, front, back and shoulders sun burn in a very long time.

Until yesterday.

Recently, it has been rather warm and sunny in central Indiana. On Sunday, May 23, I worked outside in the bright sun and upper 80 degree ambient temperature for a few hours. I trimmed a few burning bush shrubs and dug a few post holes. It was so hot that I took off my shirt. I usually don’t do that because of my body dysmorphia. I don’t want the neighbors to have to look upon a pasty, overweight short fat old white man. But, I didn’t care this time. Usually, I do care and suffer through the heat and sweat and discomfort so my neighbors don’t have to look on me. But this time it was just too hot.

I felt a burn later in the afternoon but ignored it.

Last night, I went back out after my day job to continue the task of digging post holes and again it was hot with bright sun. I believe the ambient air temperature was pushing 90°F. So, I took my shirt off and dug post holes.

My neighbor drove by, stopped, smiled (no doubt at the absurd sight) and mentioned that I ‘should cover up as I’m looking a little pink’.

I finished the goal of digging five post holes that evening and went inside and took a shower. It was then I noticed the pink skin and I began to feel roasted.

Odd array of vents, found on an abandon building in Morocco, Indiana. Nikon W300 photo taken by Dave O on May 22, 2021.
Odd array of vents, found on an abandon building in Morocco, Indiana.
Nikon W300 photo taken by Dave O on May 22, 2021.

Good Weekend

The past weekend, May 22-23, 2021 was probably the better of the 2021 weekends, so far. Why ?

  • Got the Covid vaccine. I didn’t really want it but peer pressure, work pressure, family pressure seemed to dictate that I get it. My doctor said it ‘wouldn’t hurt’ to get it. I wonder if I would jump off the Golden Gate if the government says to jump off the Golden Gate.
  • Washed the car, swept out all the grit and dirt and small pebbles (how do those it in the car), wiped the surfaces with a $2 Amour All sponge I bought from the vending machine and used my last car wash coupon.
  • Drove to Lafayette. Drank beer. Lunched at Teay’s River. Drove to Morroco Indiana, which seems like a cool place to retire to.
  • Got a hair cut.
  • Bought groceries. Still staying on track in my new eating plan of mostly chicken noodle soup and canned chicken.
  • Finished trimming all the burning bush shrubs in the yard. There are 41 burning bush shrubs in the yard.
  • Dug six post holes for the mulch containment system in the southern portion of the back yard. Hopefully, soon, I can get this project done.
  • Drank Zombie Dust beer.
  • Took several time lapsed videos with the Nikon W300 camera.

So, it was an active weekend. Which is good. Saturday was a relationship day and Sunday was a work day. If there was any down side is that I ran out of energy about 4:30 pm on Sunday afternoon, took a shower and then a nap.

Morocco Indiana water tower. Nikon W300 photo taken by Dave O on May 22, 2021.
Morocco Indiana water tower. Nikon W300 photo taken by Dave O on May 22, 2021.

Yesterday

Yesterday, Wednesday, May 19, 2021, was almost a good day. I was productive at work, after work I read a few pages in the Amy Downs book, practiced on the graphics tablet and worked outside in the yard and drank beer. The day ended laying in bed wondering though the You Tube wasteland.

Bully.

I drank two cans of Daredevil Liftoff. I would have drank more but I didn’t have more to drink. I thought about driving up to the closest liquor store but I didn’t want to drive.

For the work-in-the-yard task, I trimmed seven burning bush shrubs. While racking up the clippings, I broke the plastic rake rendering if useless. Ugh. Now I need to go out and buy a new one.

Why me?

I’ve had that rack for over ten years. It was a cheap plastic rake to begin with. I didn’t think it would last after a year of use but it did. I actually bought two. Gave one away.

At least I have clean water to drink, some people don’t.

Poem found on a sidewalk on Mass Ave in Indianapolis. Nikon W300 photo taken by Dave O on May 16, 2020.
Poem found on a sidewalk on Mass Ave in Indianapolis. Nikon W300 photo taken by Dave O on May 16, 2020.

A Good Day

Thankfully I had a good day, yesterday, May 18, 2021. Here’s why it was a good day:

  • I was productive at work. There was a series of price revision for the Company. In the past, price revisions were a yearly event and somewhat convoluted as the same price must be in three different lists (web, app, paper). It’s not a hard task to complete but somewhat tedious to get the price on all three lists and be correct on all three lists. Over time, we’ve developed a method that is working and more efficient. There are hundred of prices.
  • Read the current book, Hope is a Verb by Amy Downs. Actually, there were two episodes of reading, one immediately after I clocked out and the other later. The second episode was pleasant as I sat outside on the back yard deck enjoying the ambience of the evening.
  • Practice drawing on the graphics tablet and listened to the new Udemy course.
  • Kroger shopping where I bought only that which I needed and nothing else. Spent $60. That should get me through the next week or so. Other than the few days I ate on the leftover birthday cake from the grand kids party, I’ve been faithful to the new eating effort.
  • Beer. I drank a bottle of Peanut Butter Busted Knuckle from Quaff On and opened a Liftoff from Daredevil. Ah, so very good.
  • Quick dinner of canned chicken mixed with a little bit of Campbells Cream of Chicken soup. It was good enough for me. Also, I opened a can of Krogers ready-to-eat Hearty Chicken Noodle soup.

Certainly the “productive at work” item was the major player in making the day good. Work takes up at least 10 hours of the day and if I don’t feel productive during that time then the day is considered ‘unproductive”. Thankfully, that did not happen yesterday.

Timelapse video from the backyard, looking southwest on May 14, 2021.
Nikon W300 video taken by Dave O.

Walking Around Mass Ave

I wanted to do something different on Sunday afternoon, May 16.

I spent the late morning and early afternoon working in the yard, doing normal yard stuff, like cutting the grass, trimming the edges in the yard and trimming some of the burning bush shrubs.

Usually, I would be drinking beer while working in the yard as it helps to get me through the chore and makes the world better. However, I decided against drinking beer while working in the yard in favor of drinking beer ‘somewhere’ after I was finished with the yard.

At 4:00 pm, I left these house in search of a beer. I intended to drop in at a local craft brewery. But, I couldn’t decide on one. I kept driving until I was near Mass Ave in Indianapolis. So, I thought I would park and walk around. Certainly I could get a beer somewhere on Mass Ave.

My second ex wife knows the right places to go to on Mass Ave. So, I texted her asking what is the best place for beer on Mass Ave. She replied and suggested the Garage. She then says that she and Joi and Levi are at the Pins and that I should walk over to join them.

So I did.

I don’t frequent Mass Ave much so I don’t know what is happening on the Avenue. The only place I know of on Mass Ave is Bru Burger. But this Pins place is a pretty cool place. It has duck pin bowling and other stuff, but the best things about the place is they had beer.

While there, I met a young girl, my type, cute, had a sparkle in her eye. We talked. Of course, I feel ‘in love’ instantly and wondered what life would be like with a girl like her, someone I could love on and take care of, say that she is beautiful, lovely, cute. I thought about contacting her to see if a ‘thing’ develop between us. But, I am thinking against it. I’m old. Old enough to be her father. She’s young, has her entire life ahead of her. She doesn’t need to be tangled with an old man, sacrificing the youthful years of her life for a relationship with an old man with a foot in the grave when she could find someone her own age to love her and take care of her for a lot more years than I could. I could be dead a few years into a relationship and then what will happen to her. Ugh. I should leave her well enough alone.

Rusty post somewhere along Mass Ave in Indianapolis. Nikon W300 photo taken by Dave O on May 16, 2021.
Rusty post somewhere along Mass Ave in Indianapolis
Nikon W300 photo taken by Dave O on May 16, 2021.

Practice to Make Progress

I took piano lessons when I was in elementary school. I don’t know why. I don’t know if I expressed a passing interest in piano to my mother and she signed me up. I don’t know if my mother thought I needed a music education and signed me up. All I remember is that I hated ‘practicing’ the piano because I could never get it ‘right’ and there was a lot of criticism and critical comments for what I was doing wrong. And, practice ‘time’ was immediately after school and before dad came home because you can’t practice piano when dad was home.

Ugh.

It was the practicing that did me in. It as laborious, a waste of time. The instruction wasn’t all that great to begin with. Certainly I wasn’t a great piano student. I don’t remember any adult saying “keep at it and sooner or later you’ll get it”. I just heard “you suck – practice harder, longer”.

Maybe that was the way it was done back in the early 70s. No encouragement, just criticism.

I find myself in my late 50s having accomplished nothing of merit. Probably because I didn’t practice hard enough or long enough at anything. I’ve resigned myself to being cast as a worker drone, existing to enrich others. Of course, I earned a living at the same time. But, according to some, that is questionable too.

So, in regards to practicing, I decided to take Sara Tepe’s advice and ‘practice to make progress’. So, I decided to practice digital drawing and painting on that Huion tablet and the new iMac I bought in August 2020 for that very purpose but haven’t done much with it. I will practice digital drawing and painting for 30 minutes a day.

And, I bought another Udemy course on digital art by Rich Graysonn, Digital Painting For the Absolute Beginner.

First attempt at Digital Art, circa August 2020. Created on a Huion tablet with Adobe photoshop on a iMac.
First attempt at Digital Art, circa August 2020. Created on a Huion tablet with Adobe photoshop on a iMac.

It Was a Good Day

Yesterday (May 12, 2021) was a good day. Here’s why I thought it was a good day:

  • I was productive at work, meaning there were some projects that took focus, some creativity, thinking outside of the little box I’m in. I felt I actually accomplished something useful for the Company and maybe I actually earned my keep for the day.
  • I did not take a nap at the end of the work day. For the past several weeks, maybe even the past few months, I’ve laid down at the end of the work day to ‘rest’ and read a book. Usually I drift off to sleep and wake up after 7:00 pm. Then, I say to myself, “what’s the point of doing anything productive now since it is so late in the evening”, so I just go back to bed and wonder through the You Tube wasteland. But last night, I finished a book, Take My With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde and then went to the Comic Book store, to the Auto Parts store and then to Lowes. When back home, I drank a few beers, wrote a few blog posts, scanned some images, started a new book, Hope Is A Verb by Amy Downs, moved a computer workstation to a new location and then laid down to go to bed. So, it was a productive evening. And, I’m thankful for that.

At Lowes, I bought five bags of cement and three pressure treated 2x4x8 for the “yard containment” project.

At the Comic Book store I bought:

  • V.E. Schwab Extra Ordinary #00 (Titan Comics)
  • Batman Detective #2 (DC)
  • Eros/Psyche #3 (Ablaze)
  • Vampirella v Purgatori #3 (Dynamite)

I walked into the Auto Parts store to buy a quart of motor oil for the Honda. While looking at the array of different oils I could not decide on what I needed. Then, I remembered that I have a jug of motor oil at home that I bought (maybe) two years ago when I was excited about changing the oil in the Honda. But, I never changed the oil with the new oil that I bought. Once I remembered that, I walked out. Why buy new oil when there’s oil at the house.

I was thankful for the good day. Good days are hard to find anymore, lately, it seems.

The Honda, at Prestone Monument (Tri Corner of Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, July 30, 2018. Nikon D600 photo by Dave O.
The Honda, at the Prestone Monument (Tri Corner of Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma,
July 30, 2018. Nikon D600 photo by Dave O.

Practice Makes Progress Not Perfection

I was listening to Sara Tepes’ current video. At this moment, it is listed on her Patreon. It will be listed on her You Tube soon. In the video she paints a water color picture and talks about life.

I like her art work. I bought one of her prints. I enjoy listening to her voice. She is honest, cute, young. In August of 2020, I bought a Huion tablet and a new iMac so I could try to create digital paintings like she does.

I tried to draw and paint with the pen and nib, trying to coordinate my hand movements to the lines and marks on the screen. At first it was awkward. I bought several Udemy videos to help in climbing the curve. My goal was to spend at least 30 minutes to one hour a day working on the Huion. I figured the more time I spent in pursuit of digital painting the better I would become.

Of course, I quit. Sometime in September 2020. I just gave up. I believed I was not making any kind of progress as I seemed to be stuck in the same method of doing things and could not make a reasonable face or a body. The pen was still awkward and the surface of the tablet rough. It was frustrating.

In the Sara Tepes video, she said concerning her art and effort, “Practice makes Progress”.

That struck a chord in my psyche. I’ve always believed that ‘practice makes perfect’ and so, after many hours of ‘practice’ if I wasn’t ‘perfect’ then way bother? The practice wasn’t making anything perfect, at least in my experience.

But, if I reframe ‘practice’, which is really just effort dedicated to a particular task, like digital painting, not as an effort to be ‘perfect’ but to ‘progress’, maybe I will not be too hard on myself when my result is not ‘perfect’.

Probably doesn’t make sense. But, I believe I may try the Huion again, try the digital painting effort again. Instead of working toward perfection I will try to work toward progress. Maybe things will be better for me.

iMac (2020 series) with Huion tablet. iPhone 7 photo taken by Dave O on May 11, 2021.
iMac (2020 series) with Huion tablet. iPhone 7 photo taken by Dave O on May 11, 2021.