Feeling Spring Fever

This always seems to me like the time of year when you’re just trying to get through. The sun is getting higher in the sky and the days are longer, so it feels like you should be outside doing things. But it’s 26 degrees. That’s not brutal or anything, but it means the ground is still frozen. Too soon to start working the soil, or digging up plants to move, or anything like that. There are some things to do, though. Sharpen hoes and shovels so they’re ready for action. Haul composted bedding out of the chicken house and spread it on the gardens. Pick up the sticks that are still scattered across the garden where I dropped the tree. Plenty to do, just not the fun springtime stuff yet.

There was some hedge in the last batch of firewood I cut, small limbs that got knocked down by the bigger tree I was cutting. Too small to keep if it were anything else, but hedge (Osage Orange to some) is amazing stuff. It’s like the sap is flammable. You can toss hedge in the furnace completely green, and it’ll burn hotter than anything else. It burns so hot that you have to be careful with it, because a full load of it can warp some furnaces. I just throw one stick in with a load of other stuff, and when I come back later, I can tell where it was because those coals are white-hotter than the rest. Need to cut some hedge posts this summer, for a fence and the firewood that comes with them.

The programming videos are going great. They still have a small audience, but it’s growing. I wasn’t sure at first that I’d be able to produce one a week, but they’ve been coming easier than I expected, so it’s been about double that lately. It helps that I’ve gotten kind of a process down for converting the raw file, offsetting the time on my voice, and getting it ready to upload. Now it’s usually a one-shot thing, instead of having to redo it a few times to get it right.

The next big project is going to be a Stardew Valley-type game for the 128. That’s way too ambitious, since there’s no way to replicate most of that game with 80s technology, but I think it’ll be interesting to see how much can be done. It might be a year-long project or more, I don’t really know. Should be fun.

The impulse to write seems to be coming back lately. Maybe it’s part of spring approaching. Or it might be that I was listening to a lot of podcasts, but got burned out and dropped most of them. You can’t really write and listen to someone talk at the same time, not on different topics. Same part of the brain, I guess. I’ll stick to music for a while and see what happens.

One podcast I’m not dropping is 372 Pages, which only comes out every week or two. It’s Mike Nelson of MST3K and one of his friends from Rifftrax, doing to bad books what they’ve been doing with bad movies. They started with Ready Player One, but they’ve also tackled Tekwar and some self-published books. That’s been another inspiration to get back to writing: there is some really bad writing out there, so nothing can be worse.

That also reminded me of this. In one of the first podcasts, they were talking about Meatloaf (both the food and the big sweaty guy), and one of them described this song as starting slow and then building and backing off and building some more until it feels like there are cannons firing off the stage. That’s pretty much it. I’m not usually a fan of live versions of songs I already like, and the original album version of this song is excellent. But it’s worth watching him sing it live for the first time in decades. He always looks like he’s about to scream his last breath into a song, and this is no exception. Every time you think he’s winding down, he’s just taking a breath.