Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

Play

I love LEGO.  Always have.  I love to build things, and I’m always happy to share that.  I can even come up with things to build that don’t have an instruction booklet, which is kind of nice.  One thing that I don’t know how to do is just “play” LEGO.  Once all the things are built, I’m ready to move on.  Or disassemble and build new things.

I like playing with the kids, and more important, I feel it is healthy for their development to play with them.  It bugs me that when they play, all they do is parrot things they see in video games and television.  I may not be able to play like a child, but it seems that neither are they.  Julian is always asking me to choose a character, and they are both incessantly talking about upgrades and powerups.  “Weegee has the fly power!”  I wanted to play with the Iron Patriot plushie, but I was told it had to be unlocked.  What the hell?

I’ve done just fine at telling stories in tabletop RPGs in the past.  Do I really need to sit down and write a script involving whichever toys we’ll be playing with this coming week?  Am I so bereft of imagination?

There is one consolation – so far, I haven’t tried to glue any of the LEGO together.  I’m not Lord Business yet!

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Rhythmic

So.

Making sure I get my workout in at the end of the day is taking a wrecking ball to my already shitty sleep schedule.

Defunct

I just stepped out of the shower.

I took my multivitamin for the day.

I had a good workout in my ever-improving home gym.  Strict, Klokov, and bench presses for the lift.  If you must know.

I’m on my last 16 ounces of water for the day.

My entire food intake has been Paleo.

So we swore that we’d never do it again, but my wife and I ended up back on the Whole Life Challenge.  It started on 17 January, and runs for 8 weeks.  Working out every day, eating clean, and doing all those little personal maintenance things that people don’t have time for.  This time around, we expect it will be a little easier.  I have already put the kibosh on drinking, so no change there.  The home workouts will be much more effective with the addition of all my Rogue Fitness gear.  We got a couple of huge fucking lunchboxes.  And so on.  We are ready.

I know it’s been a long time since I put anything online.  I thought about trying to start fresh at the turn of the new year.  I started couple of short essays, I tried to pick a new name, and I started stretching those mental muscles that I left dormant for so long.  I still fancy myself having a respectable vocabulary.  Power not used is not power, though.  So maybe all this self-improvement that I’m doing could include a little more time at the keyboard…

This is not a promise.

My idea factory has been mothballed.  Do I have anything left?  Every once in a while I’ll think of something that would make a good story, but it’s always an expansion on someone else’s intellectual property.  Fanfic.  Head-canon.  Ideas that aren’t my own, but that I would add to in order to fit my own tastes better.

I’m running into a problem in my life that may or may not be a sign of age/maturity.  The things I want to buy don’t exist.  New shoes suck.  New cars suck.  New everything sucks.  Not that any of these things are inherently bad, but of the available features, the exact combination I want just doesn’t exist.  So too, it is with stories.  Being original is hard work.  Doing it on your own is hard work.  Maybe I need help.  Or maybe I just need to quit my bitching, and remember what it’s like to dream.

All Hail

I don’t understand physics.  That is, I don’t get the math part.  I sort of get the idea of relative speed and the other super-basic concepts, but my “higher math” is all about making change in my head.  But whatever.  If I run into a problem like that, I can always just ask my wife.  She’s like Google, except I don’t need to have good keywords.

I love riding.  I have a new (for me) GSXR-600 Alstare with 3k miles on it at the moment.  I ride every chance I get.  Sometimes, it gets pretty wet and wild.  During the Colorado Monsoon last year, it rained for a solid week.  I rode for five of the seven days.  My riding gear included a snorkel.

Here’s where things come together…  A few Saturdays ago, I got off work at 1500.  I fucked around a little as I donned my pants, my SIDIs, and my spine protector.  I poked my head out of the door and was greeted with a darkening sky.  I had no desire to get caught unprepared in the rain, but no one ever wants to stay at work when they’re off.  I squeezed on my helmet and dashed out the door.  I’d gotten wet before but I still hoped to be faster than the rain.  

Tick.  

Tick.

Tick – splat.

The sound of raindrops on my visor.  I was halfway home.  Nuts.  That’d teach me not to pack my jacket.  

I have often said the world doesn’t punish me properly for my mistakes.  This time, I think the world heard me.  Six miles from home, the clouds opened up.  It wasn’t a torrential downpour, but I was soaked in half a mile.  I hunched closer to the windscreen.  The raindrops splattered against my visor and crawled to either side.  My arms grew cold.  The rain started to sting.  Four miles to go.  

CRACK!

CRACK!

THWACK!

Flecks of white in the sky and bouncing off the street.  Traffic slowed.  More stings on my arms, like I was caught in a swarm of angry wasps.  I watched hailstones pelt the cars in front of me.  No cover in sight.  Nothing to do but keep going.  Three miles to go.  The hail grew bigger.  The water got deeper.  My pants and boots were soaked through.  I idly wondered if I was bleeding.  I couldn’t check.  You could always count on drivers to get worse in inclement weather.  I kept my eyes on the road.  A mile and a half left.  The hail intensified.  The pounding on my helmet was deafening.  My arms – I hadn’t taken hits to the arms like that since Duke Maelgwyn was a regular at the Thursday practices.  Visibility dropped to nil.  I popped my visor up, but the haze was too thick.  The hailstones were golfball-sized.   I slapped it closed again.  The car in front of me stopped short.  I abandoned my lane, cutting around cars, fighting my way  to the side of the road.  

One mile left, and I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t see well enough to cut through the now-stationary cars on the road.  The water was deep enough to swallow the rim of my wheels.  I put feet down, dropped the kick stand, and yanked my key and my tank bag.  There was no shelter but the gas station a quarter mile up the road.  I ran.  I could feel the icy water squishing out of my socks with every step.  My breath began to fog my visor.  Cold water trickled down the inside of my vest.  I came to the gas pumps.  There were cars crammed in at every angle, owners trying to keep their cars from being dented.  I wove between the cars, safe at last from the hail.  I dropped my tank bag and popped my helmet off.  A bald guy in riding leathers approached.  “Are you okay?” He asked.  His concern made me inexplicably happy.  I told him I was fine, and that I hoped my phone was okay – I needed to let my wife know I was safe!  I spent about 15 minutes before the road was clear-ish and I felt good about riding.  I backtracked to my bike and mounted up.  My arms were swollen and stinging.  The bruises would last for a week.  

Anyway, I was sitting on my ass tonight, trying to remember what it’s like to have a day off.  I wondered (not for the first time) just how fast the hail and I were colliding.  So I started looking at math on the internet as “Adventure Time” played in the background.

The final answer was probably about 70 miles an hour.  My wife said that my guesstimate was right, but not for the reasons I thought it was.  Good enough.

 

Feast

I wander through a long, dark hallway.  The air is musty.  Stale.  No one has been here in a very long time.  I can see the rough stone floor, hear the soft echo of my footsteps.  Each footstep leaves a tread mark from my boot in the dust.  I cannot see beyond the edges of the floor.  The walls are hidden by darkness.  I keep walking.  

I come to a wooden double door.  Wrought iron rings for handles.  I lift the left one.  Pull the door open.  Beyond the age-greyed wood lies a great hall.  The decor is non-existent.  There are no tapestries.  No trophies.  Only weapons.  Swords of every kind.  Spears.  Shields.  Conventional, exotic, ancient, modern.  Ghengis Kahn and George Patton could outfit an army.  I become aware that this armory has a long table, set with strictly functional utensils.  

I am not alone in here.  I am in front of an empty seat, but the whole of the table is sat with men and women I recognize but do not know.  As my eyes meet theirs, we nod.  This isn’t like seeing someone you used to know in the mall.  These are brothers and sisters, even if we never met.  I take my seat.  A bell rings out and we turn to the head of the table.  

Sometimes, the figure at the head of the table is a demon.  Other times, an angel.  It gives a speech, a toast to victory.  To glory.  To comrades in arms.  We cheer.  We raise empty cups.  Or chalices.  The others tilt to parted lips, but my cup is empty.  The phantasm at the head of the table sits, and the others start to eat.  Each of us raises our right arm and takes a bite.  I resist, but I am hungry.  The hunger grows  with each passing night…

Story

I love Riddick.  There, I said it.  I think he’s a great character and I’m glad that Vin Diesel is so hell-bent on keeping the franchise alive.   I know that the Riddick movies are goofy.  The writing is just not great.  I get it; Riddick is a hard man to give a decent story.  He has no motivation or goal beyond survival.  If all you want is to ensure your next meal, your next breath of oxygen, it blunts all but the most basic of plot hooks.  Riddick is plenty smart, but so far they’ve only used “escape from captivity,” “escape from captivity and revenge,” and “escape from captivity sort of.”  The next movie could certainly be about revenge on Vaako, but Twohy keeps going back to the same well over and over.  Even when he used the “hired to do a job” hook, Riddick explains that it’s not his fight, and flees the scene.  And ends up in jail.  And escapes.  And avenges Kira’s death.  

Damn it.  

At least he’s consistent.  In that, and the fact that Twohy is sure to give ample example of why it is that Riddick hates civilized man so damned much.

I was thinking that I could pull a better Riddick story out of my ass, but then I checked my ego.  The problem, as I see it, is thusly: because Riddick is so unmoved by the plight of his fellow man, maybe he shouldn’t be the main character.  He’s more of a disaster to be survived, anyway.  In the latest film, Riddick spent time as a ghost, haunting and picking off the mercenaries and tampering with their equipment.  I enjoyed that immensely.  Similarly when he was calling other characters on their shit.  So he’s a plot device.  

My main character would be someone else entirely.  End up in jail at the end of Act II.  Riddick is passing through the jail as he does, and my main character escapes alongside.  Alternately, the main characters are marooned and end up learning by Riddick’s ultra-harsh example how to survive in the wild.  He does have a soft spot for children (remember Jack?), so the younger the main character the better.  Riddick would do what he does best (escape from jail, murder people, be generally uncivilized), and his lack of motivations wouldn’t matter anymore.  

 

Tranny. SFW.

Not too long ago, I bought a new car.  Of course, when I say “New,” I mean “new to me.”  It’s a 2004, so it’s the newest vehicle I’d ever owned.  Neat, right? 

Well…

I drove it and kicked the tires, so to speak, before I forked over the dough.  I did not dissect the transmission.  Turns out, my vehicle is known for a bit of planned obsolescence in that department.  I have a Ford Explorer (Exploder) that can’t back up. 

“Onward and upward!  Never look back!”  Great attitude for life.  Terrible attitude for parking.  I’ve spent the past week strategically picking places to stop that do not require that I reverse.  The good news is that there is a shop quite close to my house with a sterling reputation and intimate knowledge of my particular problem.  The bad news is that expertise like that isn’t free.  Honestly, it shouldn’t be – I’ll pay for a job well done, but it is still going to hurt the ol’ wallet. 

Speaking of shifting, let’s talk New Year’s resolutions. 

Wait, what?  Stick with me.  It’ll make sense.  Or not.  Whatever.  My blog, so deal with it.

Shortly before Xmas, my gym (or box) put a hold on classes so that the coaches could have a life during the holidays.  Awesome.   I’m all for it.  All work and no play, as they say.  Except, it kind of nuked my inertia.  Due to my peculiar work and sleep schedules, it isn’t easy making sure I get up in time to hit the gym, and they aren’t open when I get off work.  So it was that classes have resumed following the new year, and I haven’t made it back in yet. 

Talk about backward.  Most people scramble into the gym to give the resolution to be fit a shot.  I hit the snooze button despite how much I enjoy already being in decent shape.  BUT TODAY!  I put it in drive.  We’re starting an 8 week program called the Whole Life Challenge .  I’ll be doing my very best to eat Paleo, supplement my gym routine with small workouts and stretching and the like every day, and track all this stuff on the site.  It’s game-ifying  the entire healthy and active lifestyle.  Talk about drinking the Kool-Aid!  (I plan on talking about drinking the Kool-Aid in the future.) 

One more shift I need to make: so far, I’ve succeeded to a moderate degree with the last few years’ resolutions.  I can keep those going (or restart, as I just discussed).  The one area that is an outright failure is my dedication to writing.  I love to write.  Really.  And once upon a time, I was good at it.  Maybe I still am.  Maybe it’s a muscle that I’m going to have to practice flexing again.  Regardless,  I need to resume transmission of the written word.  I have a couple of fictional lives I’ve built, and those people deserve attention.