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Sun Mar 1 2020

Last updated on March 1, 2020

5:58 AM. My sleep schedule has been reset! I’m happy about that. Yesterday I did not write my target word count of 2000 words. I only got to 500 but I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

I focused on self-care yesterday, and I felt excellent because of it.

I walked 20 laps around the firepit, I paused to meditate, I gave thanks for the earth and the trees and then i went inside and got cleaned up, then I took a nap. I felt wonderfully rested and energized before I went to Nerds United board game day.

I’ll talk about nerds united in a minute. I want to briefly cover this new project which uses opencv. I have this idea to make a program which automatically crops and rotates trading card images in bulk. I tend to take a lot of pictures of trading cards so I can list them on eBay, and a program like this would save me a lot of time.

Here’s a work-in-progress code sample

#!/usr/bin/env node

const path = require('path');
const cv = require('opencv4nodejs');
const windowName = 'card-cropper Image preview';
let cardWidth = 140;
let cardHeight = 200;

let cardPath = path.join(__dirname, 'data', 'IMG_20200229_024714_sm.jpg');

let im = cv.imread(cardPath, 0);
let colorImage = cv.imread(cardPath, -1);
let im2 = im.copy();
let orange = new cv.Vec(100, 150, 255);

let dark = im.threshold(0, 255, cv.THRESH_BINARY + cv.THRESH_OTSU);
let contours = dark.findContours(cv.RETR_EXTERNAL, cv.CHAIN_APPROX_SIMPLE);

console.log(contours.length);
let rects = [];
for (var i=0; i<contours.length; i++) {
  rects[i] = contours[i].boundingRect()
}
console.log(rects)

for (var i=0; i<rects.length; i++) {
  colorImage.drawRectangle(rects[i], orange, 2, 8);
}

cv.imshow('preview', dark);

cv.imshow(windowName, colorImage);
cv.waitKey(0);

Ok, back to Nerds United. I was so much more comfortable this time. I arrived around noon and greeted D. and set my games on the communal board game table. Now that I’ve been a couple times to the game event, I know how it all works. People place their games on a single table which people can browse and find games they are interested in playing.

I allowed myself to be a part of the group and I placed my games on said table instead of secluding myself like last time. Again, I felt physically a lot better than last time, and I think a large part of that is due to my self care the day before and the day of the game day. I ate a lot of food the night before and I didn’t feel extra hungry like is common. I packed snacks– snap peas and carrots which I ate when I got hungry. I bought an apple juice at the game store which turned out to be a mistake because it tasted foul. It had a strong alcohol smell as if the apples had been fermented. I got unlucky there and got a bad apple so I didn’t drink it, and I was bummed to not have the sugar which I felt like I needed at times.

We stood awkwardly for several minutes as D. told a story about something that I can’t even remember. That conversation kept drawing on and I wish I would have said something like, “lets play a game”.

Anyway, I didn’t and it’s no big deal. We eventually got invited to play a Dungeons and Dragons game called Lords of Waterdeep. That’s an interesting game. I enjoyed it and I was comfortable in my own skin for once. I started to feel my blood sugar dropping near the end, which leads me to regret the spoiled apple juice. I kept sniffing it to see if it was just me, perhaps the flavor was foul because I had just brushed my teeth, but no. The apple juice was completely spoiled.

I’ll think twice about buying apple juice at the game store again. The first time I bought it, it wasn’t bad. The second time, completely nasty. I should complain to the manufacturer and see if I can get a replacement coupon.

The thing is, I don’t even know where to look for that brand of apple juice. Their quality control is obviously much lower than Treetop. I’ve never had a bad Treetop apple juice.

Langers. Langers juice just made my shit list. I think I might just buy some drinks at the grocery store and keep them for the times when I go to social events. I feel a little bad doing that because I want to support the game store, but at the same time, if their juice is terrible I’m not going to drink it. I buy juice because I need to keep my blood sugar at a good level, but if the game store can’t provide good product, I have to look elsewhere.

I took down the date code. March 13 21 L2 08:50 Conc from USA. Next time I’m at the game store, if I go for the apple juice again, I can check the bottle and ensure that I receive a bottle which is not made around the same time. Or I’ll go for the tea. The thing is, I don’t know if they have any unsweetened tea. I can’t stand sweet tea!

I just made a complaint to Langers via E-mail.

Hello,

Yesterday I purchased a Langers 15.2 fl oz bottle of applejuice UPC 041755000501 at my local game store, Dragon Parlor Games in Spokane, Washington. This is my second time purchasing this product at said game store.

I took a few sips and I was immediately surprised at a repulsive flavor and odor. The odor was a sharp, alcohol-like smell and had a foul flavor to match. This apple juice was repulsive and I could not drink it.

i took a note of the date code before I threw it away. Mar 13 21 L2 08:50 Conc from USA.

The first Langers applejuice I bought a week prior, had a pleasant fresh apple smell and taste. It was refreshing and appreciated. This more recent Langers apple juice was not, and I am unsure of whether or not I will be buying Langers juice in the future.

Thank you for your time.

What do you think? I remained calm and I communicate my experience and my thoughts. I think that was fine?

In the past I might have gone on the attack, trying to punish the manufacturer after I had a defective product. I just kept that in mind and kept it calm and collected.

I lost my writing flow. I would like to have the same good writing flow that I had before I wrote that complaint letter, so I will switch into “writer’s way” mode and write whatever is on my mind. No filters, no fucks, no ficks… See a lot of the time, shit comes out that makes zero sense, but it’s a good thing because it gets the brain juices flowing and gets me in gear to write whatever is bothering me or whatever burdens me or whatever.

I had a nightmare last night. Ironically it was caused by me playing Lucidity right before going to bed. I played it with the Dicey Reviews video in the background.

I brought up the review video and had the rulebook out so I could better get a handle of the game. I rehearsed a little bit on instructing players how to play, because now that I own the game, there is no doubt that I will be teaching other people how to play.

I hope to play with my Dad and K.’s fiance E. They both like games, and I think they will enjoy this one. There is a nice strategy element to this game which emerges once the players grasp the basics of the game. Should they play risky and roll more dice per turn? Should they become a nightmare and feed off the other dreamer’s dreams, or should they remain a player and bring in a consistent power?

Should they rest and clear their exhaust dreams, or should they clear a shadow dream instead?

I’m going to play through it a few more times on my own. I would like to get a solid handle on the game to the point where I don’t need to look at the rulebook anymore. At the same time, I’m not going to try and be perfect before I present the game to my family to play. I’m simply going to put my best foot forward and be one in the moment.

Being present in the moment. That expression is well suited for my behavior during yesterday’s board game activities. There were moments where I was feeling angry at another player for starting up a game that they had no idea how to play. None of us knew how to play. He had the rulebook and he was reading it to himself, but explaining nothing. It was a long, drawn out process. I could have become impatient and frustrated and said, “I think we should play a game we have an idea how to play.” or, “I think we should put this game on hold until someone who knows how to play this game can show us.”

I didn’t really like the game. The rules and structure are still unclear to me, even after we played it for over an hour. The game is Evolution, by the way. I might enjoy it if I had higher blood sugar, LOL. Fucking bad applejuice.

Anyway, I didn’t lash out. I didn’t pout. I simply sat back in my seat, comfortably rested my arms on my belly, and I was in the moment. I was in this game store which I appreciate so much. I was with friends and new friends and a kind and thoughtful organizer, Jason. Jason always makes it a point to going around to the different tables and saying hi to people, introducing them to others and making sure they feel welcome.

I was patient, I was calm, and I recognized that I’m just along for the ride this time. I’m not in control, and that’s okay.

It was a good day. I took care of myself. I went to the bathroom to pas gas rather than sitting there in pain. I munched on sugar snap peas and carrots rather than feeling hungry. I shared a container of peas at the communal snack table.

Snack. Table. I was so happy that this was a thing. People were welcome to bring snacks to share, or eat snacks and chip in to a donation jar. I gave myself permission to partake from the snack table. I am worth it. I am allowed. I am welcome and I can belong in this group!

There are a few people I’m afraid of. They seem to be afraid of me as well. I think this situation can improve if I exercise vulnerability and just say hi to them. Or not. I don’t know. It’s not like I want to be friends with them… I’d rather not be afraid of them though, and I’d rather they not be afraid of me.

24. I am happy with who I am.
25. Every day, in every way, I am becoming better and better.
26. I am a good person.

You judgemental fuck! How dare you judge me! That’s what I think of when I read #26 LOL. It’s a joke. I’m kidding. Chill the fuck out. Oh my god why are you flailing your arms? Why are you jumping on your roof? Why are you pouring a bucket of water on your head? Stop!

Writer’s way. The strange way.

It’s 7AM sharp. The sun is up and I am going to go outside once I finish writing 2000 words here. I don’t know what to talk about next. Creative writing, perhaps?

I don’t really like creative writing. Or rather, I should say that I haven’t been enjoying it lately. It’s really difficult to describe shit and create a world. I wish it were easier. Perhaps it becomes easier the more I do it? Or is creative writing a thing that never becomes easy?

I suppose I will find out by the time National Writing Month rolls around. I’m committed to creative writing every day, along with journalling and writing words of affirmations and grateful words.

Speaking of grateful. Before I forget, I want to make note of what I meant when I said I gave thanks for the earth and the forest.

Yesterday when I walked, I was feeling tired. I laid down on my belly and stretched out my arms and I gave the ground a big hug. It was pretty difficult to give the ground a hug because it’s flat and I can’t wrap my arms around it like I can a person. Trees are pretty good for giving hugs. Really rigid, though. I didn’t hug a tree yesterday but I have in days gone by.

While I hugged the earth, I visualized myself there on the ground from a bird’s eye view. I tried to zoom out in my mind and see more of the surrounding area as I rose to a higher elevation in my mind’s eye. I couldn’t really imagine more than about a quarter mile radius. I think it’s a good exercise though. I wonder if it counts as meditation? I think it should.

Another thing I did was I put my ear up against a tree. It was pretty uncomfortable because of the rough, hard bark. I ended up resting the side of my head against the tree and tried to press into the tree to feel any vibration.

I didn’t feel any vibration, but I felt subtle movements in the tree as it was blown in the wind. As a living thing, I bet they vibrate, just at such a low frequency to where I cannot sense it without staying put for a long time. That might be a good experiment and a good meditation in one. Try to feel the tree’s vibrations. I wonder how long that would take?

Trees talk, right? That’s what native American lore says, right? I’m unsure, it’s been a long time since I studied such topics.

Yesterday I did well to be one with nature. I found at a wonderful exercise to walk in the woods and feel my surroundings. I sat and meditated for a short while, once again visualizing my surroundings from different vantage points in my mind’s eye. My mind wandered. It was difficult, but I can tell that I’m getting better and something interesting is happening which I thought was not possible…

My imagination is coming back. This is evident by the vivid images I have been seing in my mind. I first noticed this a few days after I had my latest mushroom trip. I have been put back in touch with my imagination which I enjoyed as a kid. I’ll be walking during my exercise and I have this vivid mental image of my astral form doing yoga. Specifically the part of a traditional sun salutation where I go from standing and bending over with my hands on the ground (I forget the pose name) to the transition of standing up.

That standing up movement right there is my favorite one in sun salutations. It is easy to lose my balance, but once I have been doing yoga for so many minutes, I regain a strong sense of balance and oneness with my body. Standing up feels like I’m easing through some unseen barrier that keeps me from being my genuine self. Standing up in that moment feels like I’m in touch with the astral realm. I feel connected and revitalized and aligned.

So I get this image in my mind every now and then of my astral form standing up in the same way. It’s like the time I stood up during my first somewhat successful astral projection attempt during my first mushroom trip. I did that same standing up movement in my mind, while my body remained laying down on the floor. I stood up inside my astral body, which was like my body in my mind’s eye, but I felt like I was actually there.

It’s hard to explain a lot of this, since I don’t have much of a vocabulary for it. It’s not relatable to readers who may not have experienced something like it.

Anyway, I see these vivid images in my mind and I appreciate them. They are my imagination returning. I think it is due in part to all the learning I have been doing. I think when I learn and read as much as I have been doing lately, my brain grows and things are new and exciting and uncertain and sometimes scary. When I was a kid, that feeling was constant and my brain came up with all sorts of ideas and hallucinations and vivid mental images.

The feeling is back and I love it!

Before I go, here’s some creative writing. I have this idea of a way to make writing easier. It is to make a first draft which doesn’t paint the most accurate picture, it simply paints an outline. Like line art in an illustration. The first draft requires the author to come back at a later point and fill in the details. I know this is a common way of writing, but one I’m just now figuring out the extent to which the details can be omitted.

When I was in school I thought that first drafts would require a simple second pass to turn it into a final draft. I thought that second pass was just for fixing errors. Now I’m thinking that first drafts should be laying down a story, with not many character descriptions or environment descriptions. A second pass would add more details. A third and fourth and fifth and sixth pass would do the same, and eventually a good writing would emerge.

I think I’ll give it a go, writing in this way which might be as simple as bullet point lists of what is occurring.

Meredith is a middle aged woman. She is sitting alone in her home at her kitchen table. She has a steaming tea in a mug in front of here. There is a floral decoration in the center of the table. The outside is springtime. There is a bird seen flying outside the window. Meredith looks sad. Meredith is wearing pajama pants and a fleese sweater.

The table is custom made. The table top is made from thick cut logs. Meredith sits on a long bench made from the same log.

The house is quiet. The outside is quiet. Meredith thinks about her late husband who passed 3 years ago. Meredith misses him. Meredith gently grips the green mug between both hands. Meredith feels the warmth of the tea in the mug.

Meredith reaches down and picks up the tea bag by the string, swirling the tea bag in a circle. Meredith taps her fingernails on the mug. In that moment, Meredith thinks of only the mug and the sound of the tapping on the porcelain.

Meredith remembers her husband. The tapping stops. Meredith removes the tea bag and lets the drops slow before moving the tea bag to a small platter.

Meredith sips her tea while looking out the window at the rolling hills. The tea tastes good and brings her attention back to her drink. Meredith smiles and remembers the time she drank this same flavor tea at a street Bistro with her husband.

The street Bistro had white metal chairs, made from thin metal rods stylishly swooped and forming the legs. The seats were padded and covered in outdoor safe fabric, and the intricate backs of the chairs gave a little bit when she leaned into them.

Meredith held her fine china tea cup at that bistro with both hands on the side of the cup. This cup was much smaller than her mug, but she held it similarly and felt the heat of the tea through the side of the cup.

No tea bag here. This was expertly french pressed tea.

Sitting across from Meredith was her husband, Pete. Pete smiled lovingly at Meredith. He leaned in stared into her eyes as he copied Meredith’s hands and gripped his tea cup on either side just has she had.

“I’m glad we came here.” Pete’s voice was deep and gentle. His soft blue eyes seemed to smile as he gazed into Meredith’s.

Pete’s hair was light brown, short yet thick and combed to the side. His jaw was pronounced as he smiled and dimples in his cheeks formed. His smile revealed his brilliant white teeth. He had a well defined face and the hint of wrinkles only added to his charm.

Meredith couldn’t help but smile in response to Pete’s loving gaze.

“Me too, today has been just wonderful.”

Meredith lifted her cup to her lips, and felt the hot liquid enter her mouth. It was hard to drink because the smile on her face was so large, and so intense.

The tea hit Meredith’s tongue and she was snapped back to reality. Alone in her house on a cool spring day, the smell of the sentimental tea and her memories was all she had to keep herself going.

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