Day 40 of 56: Planning

Now that I’m a month and some change into this furlough, I thought my math was wrong in the titles. It’s not. I checked. Here’s some thoughts from today, and the planning that needs to happen in the next 6 months from me.

Work Thoughts

Day 57 is the day we’re supposed to open back up. Whether or not we will actually open back up at that date is still up in the air; new cases of the virus appear to be slowing down, we’re still under 100 deaths (99 as of today) in the state, the governor and our leadership team are being careful. I get it, better safe than sorry. If I was in charge, same thing. But I still want to go back to work. It’s nice waking up whenever I want, and having time to do whatever I want (even if it’s just sitting on Facebook all day), but it’s nice to be able to solve problems.

Central Oregon Thoughts

I’m grateful I live where I do. My county has 75 cases, and I live in a smaller area that’s pretty spread out, so when I do go out to the store there is even less a chance. If I were to go to Costco in town, that’s a different story. Fun fact: saw an article that starting Monday they will require masks for members to be able to go shop. Good thing I am already planning on wearing my masks all summer.

When I freak out I really shouldn’t panic as bad. It could be worse, I could live in a highly populated area. I was about to be like “Yeah, the biggest city only has 10k people” but a quick Wikipedia search shows I was off by a factor of 10. There’s almost 100k people in Bend. WHAT?! So I guess I do live in a highly populated area, just not exactly where I am.

There’s only about 2k people in my area, and the majority of people are going to go to town because there’s more choices. I’m a simple guy, give me some ramen, a pound of hamburger, and some potatoes, I can survive for a while. Plus there’s literally only two places that sell my brand of wine, one is Freddy’s in town, the other is out here. So I’m more than content to just stay out here. Plus I save a bunch in gas by not making that trek every week. I’m at a quarter tank and it’s been almost 2 months since I last filled up. Winning.

More Work Thoughts

I think I wrote about it over the weekend, but I was going to start getting the light show ready since I have all this free time, since I did the first one in my free time. Today I almost did that. Booted up my work computer for the first time in forever, needed updates of course, and got distracted by looking at the sequences I finished last year as well as the ones I was working on before I hit the deadline and couldn’t include them.

I bought maybe 20 songs to sequence, but only ended up using 3 (started another 2). Poked around the remaining and I just hate them all. They either aren’t the vibe I really want for the show, or they’re just overplayed. Mariah, I’m looking at you. So it looks like I get to search for new music to buy before I can start.

We were also supposed to renovate the area these last couple months. Since the shutdown, that didn’t happen. I think I can safely assume we’re going to have the same area as last year, but I honestly don’t know. We also kind of needed the reno because we keep tripping power; reno was going to install brand new electric lines and data ports so we could put things wherever we wanted. This year may have to be wireless, if we even have our big event.

Anyway, I need to re-do the background image I’m working off of before I can properly design anything. I either re-use last year’s picture or stitch together a new one. I could use last year’s preview, but with all the little things they added it would take less time overall to just rebuild it from scratch.

Six months seems like a long time to design and program a show. I’d agree from a theatre standpoint, I’ve been literally less than a week out and could design, plot, hang, and focus an entire show before opening. But from a light show perspective, I honestly should have just started in January. We have so many little moving parts, and the software is like a giant Excel sheet. You have to fill in each cell for each light when you want it to be turned on. It’s fun from a challenge perspective, but it’s extremely tedious. Plus, you have to listen to the same song hundreds of times to make sure everything looks how you want it. Once I get back into my groove, though, it’ll take maybe 18 hours to do a full song.

So first: make a better preview to work off of.
Second: Add the lights I know about (I planned for 3 full controllers for the big trees, they only used 2 per)
Third: Find some music that I actually want to listen to. Don’t tread the “well everyone expects to hear this song,” I played exactly zero songs people knew last year and they loved it. Fun is the name of the game.
Sub-third: Find songs for Designer Night. Songs that make me feel good and are fun.
Sub-sub-third: Convince leadership to go for Designer Night.
Pre-fourth: Find a song for the big night that’s regal and exciting. Last year’s was cool, find something like that.
Fourth: Just start programming. For sure write out what is known, and have some sequences that aren’t tied to real lights that can be copy-pasted when things inevitably change.
Sub-fourth: Maybe start with a Designer Night song. Keep it fun.

Daily Thoughts

Played a fair amount of Apex today. I have 29 Battle Pass levels to go before I earn enough points to get next season free. I’ll probably end up having to pay, and that’s fine. The devs have done an awesome job with this free game so why not slip ’em $20?

Also created a new world in Minecraft. This one has bees EVERYWHERE. Wasn’t feeling it enough to really give it my all as far as building a base, though I did create my first mine in a really crappy area.

After writing the plan above, really wishing I didn’t get rid of my online project management software. I moved everything to MS Project. Like a chump. A chump who only got one license and it’s on the computer at the office. Chump.

Eating my chili with tortilla chips is the best thing ever. Was going to make bangers and mash tonight, but that’s just so much work. Especially when all I have to do is reheat the chili and bring out the chips.

Took the trash to the street tonight, it smelled like summer. Going to be cold again for a couple days, but by the time my birthday rolls around it’s going to be warm. Am excite. Maybe Momma Natty will bless me with a thunderstorm. Here’s hoping.

Oh, I added a mod that will email you if you want to follow this blog. I’m hit or miss with sharing to social media, especially if I’m not feeling it like with this post. Smash that subscribe button, grab your popcorn, and watch my slow descent into madness.

Love, peace, and chicken grease, peeps.

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