Typical Random Friday Stuff

A Friday Haiku

I ran this morning

First morning run since July

Damned dog wanted out

(Damned is just one syllable, right?)

Don’t let failure define you

Face it, we all have setbacks. Just when we think we have this fitness thing figured out — we understand to lose weight we must expend more calories than we take in, we’ve made our exercise routine a daily habit, we’re reaching our goals — something happens and we find ourselves finding reasons why we can’t exercise today and a day becomes a week and that ice cream looks damned tasty and suddenly we’re 7 pounds heavier. (Wasn’t that sentence cringe-worthy?)

Well, my friends, there is no point in beating yourself up over it. Acknowledge it happened and get back on that horse that threw you and pick up where you left off.

(Speaking of horses, I’ve only actually ever been on a real horse once or twice in my life, not including pony rides as a kid. Do they even still have pony rides and are today’s kids as excited as our generation was to ride one or are they too busy SnapChatting?)

Anyway, I fell off that horse, um, the metaphorical one, not a real one, and my running schedule had become erratic of late.

Once it was an every day morning ritual in June, but as the days grew shorter and the mornings became darker, I stopped the morning runs and told myself I’d run after work. That worked for a short time, but other areas of life started intruding and my runs became less frequent and the pounds I was so proud of losing found their way back.

Now I could just mope around and eat another pound and a half bag of Mrs. Fisher’s potato chips (did you hear they will have to reformulate the recipe because of the ban on partially hydrogenated oils? Nooooooo!) or I could get back on that horse (the metaphorical one, of course. After all, it’s been 40 years since I rode that real one and it’s probably long dead by now) and pick up where I left off.

Thus, I ran this morning. As the Friday haiku says, first morning run since July. Granted, I didn’t get up on my own. I had sone unwanted help from a little dog who needed to go outside, yet despite that I still did it. I could have just as easily let him out and returned to bed, but instead I carried my gear down, changed, and jumped on the treadmill.

It’s a start. And that’s all we can do — start and hope it becomes a habit again.

Accept each setback as just another challenge to be overcome. Failure is a bully and it feeds on your disappointment. Don’t let failure win; kick it’s ass and then laugh in its face.

Congratulations

I forgot to congratulate my niece, who ran her first half-marathon, the Minnesota Monster Dash Half Marathon on October 28th. I didn’t even know she was a runner!

Way to go, Erin!

Weigh-In Friday

My results here are all screwed up. I haven’t officially recorded my weight since it started rising. And I was so proud I had finally dropped below 200.

As I hinted at above, I had gained a bit, but this week I lost. I’m down 4 pounds from the peak weight a few weeks ago.

I’ll start posting real numbers once I drop below 200 again. Until then, let’s just pretend this never happened. OK?

Cold weather detailing

Now that the temperatures are dropping, I haven’t been detailing my cars every day or so like I was in the summer.

Each morning, or evening, I took some detail spray and a microfiber cloth to each car until it was clean and shiney, free of all the everyday dust and gunk that accumulates on them as they sit outside all day exposed to the elements.

My wife’s Jetta always came home with these long, thin brown nodules (around 1-1/2 centimeters in length and about 1 or 2 millimeters wide) that I’d have to loosen gently with my thumb nail before the detail spray could clean the area. She said they were from the trees around her parking lot and can’t be avoided. (Maybe in the dark of night some time I’ll go cut them all down.)

At least the cold weather has eliminated the problem of tree sap, but it brings another: How to keep the paint shining when it’s too cold to use detail spray? Or even handwash?

This is my first winter since I’ve become detailing knowledgable and I seriously don’t know.

I did put in some Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze to help protect the finish, but that doesn’t solve the desire to have the cars shine.

Do I bite the bullet and run the cars through a machine wash once a week? Or do I live with road salt and slush spray until it becomes warm enough to handwash again?

We ran the Jetta through a car wash last week. I didn’t realize until we were in line with no turning back that it used brushes. Oy. I still cringe thinking about it and the paint swirls it might have introduced.

How do you keep your cars shining in winter?

That’s all folks!

And that wraps up another Friday blog. For the sake of my own blood pressure, I avoided politics. Not that there isn’t anything to say, I mean, that ignorant orange turd provides plenty of fodder for commentary; as well as the House GOP passing a tax bill that lines the pockets of giant corporations and millionaires, including the orange turd himself, at the expense of the poor and middle class; not to mention that Alabama voters are going to show the entire world just how fucked up their priorities are by voting in a child molester just because they don’t want a liberal; and of course, after years of warning the public about how bad the XL Pipeline would be, fighting to prevent it from being built, the damned thing proved us right by causing a 210,000 gallon spill in South Dakota!

But all that shit would require dozens of column inches to properly castigate and instead I think I’d rather wish everyone a pleasant weekend.

We’re expecting some snow, but with luck, not enough to prevent me from putting up my outside Christmas decorations.

And so, I’ll leave you with a song to get the weekend started. Not a Christmas song, Hell no, it’s too freaking early for that. Just a fun, enjoy the weekend kind of song.

Stay warm. Eat right. Exercise. And don’t forget to punch a Nazi.

-30-

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Friday randomosity

A Friday Haiku

Here’s William Shatner

Ch ch ch ah ah ah Stab!

Friday the Thirteenth

Take a letter, Maria, address it to the CEO

I’ve mentioned all my frustrations with US Cellular every since we left Verizon for them. Things like their “we’ll pay you to leave your cell phone carrier” scam to their “no activation fees” claim.

I’ve now had my service cut off twice, neither of which I feel were justified and when they reactivated service, they charged me $25 per line each time. Wait. That’s an activation fee, isn’t it?

I finally got so fed up I wrote a letter, not an email, a real sent through the Post Office with a stamp two-page letter, detailing all my grievances with their customer service, how I feel we’ve been misled, and how we are currently being charged as much as we were being charged by Verizon, despite the fact the rep said we’d be paying nearly $100 less and no one can explain why.

I doubt he’ll read it or even receive it (secretaries usually just trash crank letgers, right?), but even if he does, I doubt he’ll bother responding.

But writing complaints is the American Way. I remember back in 1993 or so, we had bought a stairstepper from Sears and it broke almost immediately. We called for service and someone came out to look at it and then said it needed a certain part that he didn’t have.

After not hearing back, I called customer service again to see what was going on. Had they ordered the part? When would it arrive? When will they fix it?

I kept getting the runaround. I kept asking to talk to their supervisor, but nothing came of it.

Finally, someone said, that product was no longer serviceable, either the company stopped making that model and it’s replacement parts or they simply went out of business. I don’t recall which it was, but I was mad.

So I wrote an angry letter to the President of Sears, complete with dates, times, what was said, and how poor their customer care was.

I didn’t expect anything to come of it, but a few days later I got a whiney phone call from the store manager.

“Why did you write the President? You should have contacted me first.” Waa waa. To be honest, it hadn’t occurred to me to contact him since my beef was with Sear’s service department and not that particular Sears store.

Anyway, he offered me a replacement piece of exercise equipment similar in cost and I picked out the CardioFit that I still have.

So yes, sometimes writing a letter does get a response.

Living la vida ADHD

One thing I’ve learned in dealing with my ADHD is, it doesn’t take much to knock me off-kilter. It’s why I need a reliable routine. Some might call it a rut, but it’s essential to preventing what I can only describe as a flare-up that can override my meds.

I have a set routine of things I do in the morning and any deviation throws me for a loop. At work it’s the same, I turn on my computer, log in, go get coffee, come back and set up my desk with notepads, reminders, and important info I’ll need throughout the day, each item has its own place.

Yesterday, I logged in and noticed all my icons were gone from the task bar. I always open Outlook first, but it’s icon was gone as well. *twitch*

Then I noticed new icons on my desktop. I only have a few icons on my desktop and they’re in a specific order. *twitch*

Overnight they had updated to Office 2016. Ok, no problem, I can just save the 2016 icons in my task bar, then I’ll start Outlook and … *TWITCH!*

Aside from Outlook nowhaving an even uglier interface, aside from it defaulting to having the emails opening in a Preview Pane, which I hate, and despite other changes that I’ve spent the last two days correcting, the *twitch* biggest problem is that all my email Archive folders are gone!

Gone.

I need my archive folders. Every project gets its own folder and I drag all the responses to it’s respective folder, so I can work on it as the deadline looms.

I have deadlines looming and all my response emails are gone! *twitch*

So yesterday, as well as today, it’s like I hadn’t even taken my Adderal. If I had foresight, I would have taken a double dose. Instead, I feel like a ball in a pinball machine bouncing this way and that waiting to Tilt!

Speaking of Fidget Spinners

In June, I was walking with my son around an outlet mall. We passed a kiosk where they were selling these weird little triangular things. My son said, “Look. They’re selling those stupid fidget spinners.” And I had no idea what he was talking about, even after he tried to explain it. “You do what? Hold it and spin it? Why?”

“Nevermind, dad.”

Fastforward to now. We both have fidget spinners. I’ve got four.

We both have ADHD and despite the fact they really don’t do anything except spin, they are oddly compelling and satisfying. Instead of constantly twitching and moving and as my grade school report cards all said, “Cannot sit still, always distrupts the class,” I’ll pull out the fidget spinner and give it a spin, then I can focus on other things a little bit better.

It’s funny though, because in researching them, I’ve seen a ton of articles declaring the fad is now dead. I find it interesting when people don’t understand the usefulness of an item, they label it a fad then try to say its dead.

If you don’t understand the point of fidget spinners, don’t get one. Problem solved. You’re welcome.

Weigh-In Friday

I lost a pound according to my scale’s app, but then I remembered I didn’t track last week, so I might have gained a few ounces.

I’m taking the pound.

That’s a wrap

Have a great weekend. I’ll spare you the political rants again. There’s just far too much stupidity and assholery to discuss.

Just keep resisting.

And here’s a song to lead into the weekend:

-30-

Must we review this week?

NOTE: For some reason WordPress posted a duplicate of this blog post. One filled with typos. I deleted it. Unfortunately, that was the one that had the most likes.

It’s Friday and you know what that means. Right. A haiku.

A Friday Haiku

It’s been a long week

Trump displayed more ignorance

We all need a drink

Running pride

My oldest son has recently begun running regularly on the treadmill. As a running father, I was pleased to see it. I never made him run. Haven’t had any discussions about running. He just one day started.

I asked him once how far or fast he would run and he gave me a shrug that he didn’t know. Not that it matters, I was just being nosey.

I did notice he was running in an old pair of Asics I had given him years ago and had been his regular street shoes. So, I sacrificed my newer pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17 that I alternated running with my Hoka One One Clifton 3.

After all, a good pair of running shoes is essential to staying injury-free.

Maybe I’ll bring my Runner’s Worlds home from work and see if he wants to read them.

Weigh-In Friday

I didn’t.

Well, not officially. I didn’t use my phone app to record it, but I did sneak a peak. I’m down 1.2 pounds.

I need to eat oatmeal fir breakfast more often. I had it on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Yesterday and today I made a bacon, egg, and cheese English muffin sandwich.

And maybe salads for lunch next week.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

As part of a team-building exercise, we took a Myers-Briggs personality assessment. I received my results and, not surprisingly, I’m a INTP.

First, they have things split up into four groupings. Extraversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, and Judging/Perceiving. To various degrees, we all fall into one or the other of those pairings within those four.

As an INTP, my preferences are Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, and Perceiving. My snapshot reads “INTPs are rational, curious, theoretical, and abstract, prefering to organize ideas rather than situations or people. They enjoy working alone with ample autonomy for their own ideas and methods.”

Pretty much. I’ve always been introverted and curious.

A couple things that I found interesting. It said, “Thinking is yiur favorite process, the one you use most frequently. It is used in the inner world.” That’s very true. And it’s probably why I write.

The other interesting thing was, “If you are stressed, you may Become opinionated and unwilling to change your point of view.” I do, especially arguing with someone on-line. “Have unexpected and uncontrolled emotional outbursts.” I thought that was because of my ADHD? “Be hypersensitive to suspected slights.” Yes, I’ve not spoken to people for months. “Take criticism very personally.” Which is why story rejections put me into a fetal position for weeks.

In a couple weeks, we meet as a team with the Interpreter to go over our results. Should be interesting.

But if I’m being honest, I’m not sure how accurate something like this is. I mean, sure, it’s much more believable than astrology or numerology, and probably more accurate than an Internet meme, like, “Which Star Trek Captain are you?” But compared to a real assessment by a real psychologist? I don’t know.

Another Haiku

Nero fiddled, Rome burned

Marie said, “Let them eat cake.”

Trump golfs and tweets hate

About Upon Reflection

When I began this blog many years ago, I wanted it to be a fun place, where I’d think (see Myers-Biggs above) and reflect upon the day’s events, society, writing, entertainment, and other things that interested me.

In college back in the 80s and early 90s, I wrote a weekly opinin column for the smaller conservative newspaper and it was called, “Upon Reflection.” Why the conservative paper? Because the larger, campus-sponsored one, the UWM Post (yes, we had to fund ourselves) had so large a writing staff they couldn’t guarantee anything you wrote would make the paper.

Whereas the UWM Times was just starting out and you could pretty much pick your own assignment. For a long time, I covered the UWM Police beat. Then I moved into production, laying out the entire paper.

I had approached the founding editor early on about doing an opinion column, like Mike Royko, or locally, like Joel McNally at the daily Milwaukee Journal or Art Kumbulek at the more liberal independent Sheperd Express (sadly, they’ve since corrected the spelling). Well, the UWM Times board at the time didn’t think I was conservative enough (oddly enough, when I contacted the Sheperd Express to work for them, they said I was too conservative). I wasn’t interested in politics then so I wasn’t really liberal or conservative.

It wasn’t until they all graduated that I used my tenure (ok, I threatened to not do the layout any more and since I was the only one who understood Ventura Publisher, they capitulated) to get my own column.

I wrote an extreme caricature of an angry conservative, at first. For example, my very first column was about instituting a death penalty for people who won’t get off welfare. My tone pleased the founding board and my column became very popular, but it also generated a lot of hate. I was even challenged to a duel once, except he didn’t leave his name or a contact number. That would have been fun.

Eventually, it evolved a moderate slant where I’d sarcastically slam both sides of an issue. Playing both sides against the middle was more interesting.

I’m sorry, I forgot my point. Anyway, I didn’t want this blog to become a political rant, liberal or conservative, and until last year, I had succeeded.

But then America’s toilet backed-up and out came a slimy orange turd and we didn’t have a plunger big enough to clear the vile obstruction of hate, ignorance, and bigotry that resulted.

And with a racist asshole in the White House spewing an average of three lies per day, I have no choice but to write about politics. The only way to fight cockroaches is to keep the light shining on them.

And lucky you, I’ve run out of time for an orange turd update. I wanted to talk about his ignoring Puerto Rico, how he set a new record for the number of lies told in one week, 40 (and he averages 3 lies per day since January 20th), the GOP tax plan to gut funding to Medicare and Medicaid, as well as some other vile shit our current Congress has committed.

Sorry.

We’ve almost reached the weekend

Have a great weekend, or as good a one you can. I leave you with two songs to get the weekend started.

This first one is gypsy punk! How can you not love that?

And the second song, I’ve rewritten some alternative lyrics for the chorus for you to enjoy. It takes a bit of work to match the song’s timing, but in no time you’ll be singing it loudly for all to hear.

Wish we could turn back time

To the good dope days

When we had a Prez

Who cared and was intelligent

-30-

Friday week in review

A Friday Haiku

First day of Autumn

Someone needs to tell Summer

Ninety-five? Really?

Edited to Add: Milwaukee reached 95 degrees Fahrenheit today. Broke the 1937 record of 92 degrees Fahrenheit.

Here we go, Brewers, here we go!

Only 10 games left and the Milwaukee Brewers are still in the thick of the National League playoff race, despite losing two crucial games that would have tied them with Denver for the final Wild Card berth and brought them a game closer to the Cubs.

Win or lose, if they make the playoffs or don’t, this is already one of the Brewers’ most exciting seasons.

For one thing, no one expected this (except us true blue fans). Every so-called experts predicted the Brew Crew would be cellar dwellars, battling it out with Cincinnati for last place. After all, they had that fire sale, getting rid of all their star players, except for Ryan Braun, and filled their roster with farm club no-names. The Brewers were essentially fielding a Triple-A team, or so the experts claimed.

Did the Brewers even see the script for this season? It’s doubtul because they immediately surprised everyone by jumping into first place in their division from the very beginning and didn’t let up until the All-Star Break. Not only that, they led the league in home runs, RBI, and several other stats. For a time, they were the best team in baseball.

In other words, this lowly small-town team of Triple-A ballplayers dared to disrespect the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs as well as the perennial playoff contending St. Louis Cardinals by beating the pants off of them.

And here we are, on the final lap of the baseball season and the Brewers are still in the thick of it. Second place in the division and still within reach of a Wild Card.

True fans couldn’t be happier and even if they miss the post-season, we can’t complain. They did more than exceed expectations, they knocked them out of the park. They’re a very young team and as they’ve shown, very talented with a lot of heart. They have fun and are just plain fun to watch.

Brewers tear off Erik Thames’ shirt to celebrate his walk off home run against San Diego in June 16, 2017.

This season was all about team-building and gaining valuable experience, especially on how to deal with the intense pressure of a playoff race.

Whatever the outcome of the season is, this team is no longer is a bunch of no-names. In a short time, everyone now knows Domingo Santana, Zach Davies, Eric Thames, Travis Shaw, Josh Hader, Corey Knebbel, Manny Pina (Lucroy who?), Orlando Arcia, nerd boy Eric Sogard, Keon Broxton, Brett Phillips with his 80-grade arm and they’ve put the rest of the league on notice. These guys are going to be contenders for many seasons yet to come.

It’s a great time to be a Brewers fan.

Weigh-In Friday

I’m up again by a couple pounds. Sometimes a little cheating is fine, but losing track of how much you cheated isn’t. It’s like trying to keep a mental tally of your finances instead of writing it down in a ledger, then veing surprised when you get an overdraft notice from the bank. “I could have sworn we had more money!” Our minds like to play tricks on us.

I take some solace in the fact that despite gaining weight, my fat percentage still went down and my muscle percentage went up.

The never ending edits

You’ve heard of the Never Ending Story? Well, I’m trapped in the never ending edits.

I would have hoped I was past the creation stage and well into the pokishing stage of my manuscript, but that isn’t the case.

As my editor side goes through my story to correct flaws in tense, fix passive sentences, and so on, my writer side is also going, “Hey! I have a great idea to add here! How about if…”

And it isn’t just one or two scenes the writer side is considering. It’s every crucial scene. New ideas for dialog, for subplots, and setting as well. Some minor, some major. Not edits, but actual rewrites.

Shut up, writer side, you aren’t helping.

Worse, now I’m worried I might have fallen down the research rabbit hole, that never ending time suck where you go to verify one thing only to have that topic lead to another topic and another and another. None related to what you started out researching, but all addictingly interesting enough to draw you in and hold you there. A prisoner to your own desire for more knowledge.

Help me.

The GOP wants to kill us

There is a lot of buzz going on about how scary the recent release of the remake of Stephen King’s It is. But there’s something even scarier on Capital Hill. It’s a two-headed monster called Graham-Cassidy and it wants to kill us all.

Millions will lose their health insurance. Many due to pre-existing conditions (which they say are covered but they really aren’t), necause the bill has no guarantees they can get coverage.

States that accepted Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, would lose their funding, but more importantly and scarier, there will be complete changes to how Medicaid is funded to all states. This is the GOP saying “Fuck you” to the elderly and disabled.

This is the worst of the Trumpcare repeal and replace bills yet!

Call your Congressperson. Complain. Give them an earful that we’re tired of their conservative bullshit. Save the ACA.

Unless you want to die.

TheRump wants to kill us too

If there is one thing this week has shown, it’s how much of a divide exists between the deplorables and the rest of the world.

The great orange turd addressed the United Nations in his own inimitable style. In other words, he appalled all civilized people everywhere with his ignorant and bellicose rhetoric, threatening to destroy another nation.

But not everyone was shocked or appalled by TheRump’s insane patter. On the contrary, my Twitter feed exploded with praise for King Cheeto. “It’s about time we had a real President who stands up for Murica!” They want him to destroy a nation. Any nation. Do they look different from us? Speak some funny language other than English? Kill ’em! Kill ’em all! They think going to war should always be our first option in negotiations. Diplomacy is for wimps.

It should come as no surprise the trumpettes admired his angry posturing, his childish namecalling, his chest pounding and threat displays and saw them as something to be proud of. And that’s why Hillary appropriately named them deplorables.

Currently reading

Last night I was digging through my To-Be-Read pile of books and came across “Weird Tales: The Magazine That Never Dies,” an anthology of short fiction that had appeared in that magazine over the years, edited by Marvin Kaye. I picked it up and started reading and couldn’t put it down. I’ve always enjoyed pulp fiction and Weird Tales had some of the best by some of the great writers of the day, like Ray Bradbury, H. G. Wells, Fritz Lieber, August Derleth, L. Sprague de Camp, Robert Bloch, Tanith Lee, H. P. Lovecraft, and Richard Matheson to name a few.

I leave you with a song

For your listening pleasure, a song with which to start your weekend and also to ring in Autumn.

So fell Autumn rain, washed away all my pain, I feel brighter somehow, lighter somehow to breathe once again

So fell Autumn rain, washed my sorrows away, with the sunset behibd somehow I find the dreams are to stay

So fell autumn rain

From “So Fell Autumn Rain” by Lake of Tears

-30-

Wrap a wrap a wrap

A Friday Haiku

Another week gone

Where do they go? I don’t know

To join dryer socks?

Exercises come and go

If you’re anything like me (and if you are, I apologize), you tend to hate certain exercises and quickly get bored with others.

Running, I’m good to go, even if I sometimes take more days off between runs than I should; I still look forward to my runs and enjoy them (well, except for those first several minutes where you question your own sanity and wonder why you torture yourself so until the endorphins hit, the sun comes out, and the birds sing).

But other exercises I’ve always hated.

Stretching has always been my ultimate nemesis. I could neven touch my toes in grade school (and still can’t). So any stretching regimen I start ends quickly in pain and frustration. I don’t need such negativity in my life. I get it, I’m a failure at flexibility.

Push-ups are another. Loathe them. I don’t know what it is about them, but I really have to force myself to do them. Bench presses, on the other hand, I don’t mind and in fact, when I can feel the burn in my chest, shoulders, and triceps, I become motivated to do extra reps. But push-ups, I just collapse on the floor and give up.

Sit-ups and crunches I hate as well, and not because they sometimes hurt my back. I always need something to hook my feet under or I just sort of thrash away like a turtle on its back. In high school gym it was very embarrassing.

And that must be the reason for my dislike of certain exercises, there is some sort of psychological association with high school gym where all the other boys were towering over me, muscles rippling (think The Crusher from Bugs Bunny), and they could pound out dozens of push-ups, sit-ups, as well as the dreaded chin-up, and throw in an iron cross for good measure, while I’d struggle with my skinny spaghetti limbs trembling and flailing around, never accomplishing anything.

Now that I think about it, high school gym class was exactly like that for me.

Anyway, I meant to talk about how I start doing some exercises, but then quickly forget to do them, but I got off on a tangent on why I skipped gym all the time.

I was noticing a pain or weakness in my hamstrings and buttock the last few weeks when I step up onto something, like curbs or stairs.

Running was causing a strength imbalance and the stretches I attempted weren’t helping.

I realized I had gotten away from doing hamstring curls on my Weider Crossbow and doing rows on my CardioFit. I call them rows, but the machine is like the Tony Little Healthrider (see below).

These machines were all the rage back in the 80s, so I picked mine up at Sears after our stairstepper died (and Sears wouldn’t do anything so I wrote the CEO, then got a whiny letter from the store manager. “Why didn’t you contact me first?” Because I wanted you to squirm). The Healthrider seems more aerobic, with little resistance. My CardioFit has an adjustable piston to increase the resistence, making it more anerobic, although I’ve rarely dialed it past 2 (it goes up to a muscle- and joint-punishing 9).

Sorry, I did it again. The point is, after a week of this cross-training, my hamstrings feel much better.

And I apologize for taking forever to make that point.

Writing and editing and sex

I’d say I’m about 80 to 85% done with my first round of edits for my urban fantasy fairy tale.

This is the first time I’ve read it through. Strangely, I’m still very excited about it. That must mean it’s horrible.

Right now I’m editing for flow and continuity. I see where I called one character Bill, when his name is Benton. That’s what happens when you grab scenes from a trunk novel and don’t do a thorough read to catch things like that.

I’m back to a concern I mentioned several weeks or months ago about the relationship between two of the characters. They’ve known each other for less than a week and they’ve already fallen in love. Yes, I know such things happen in real life, if infrequently. And yes, I’ve read some urban fantasy romances and it seems the characters are jumping in the sack almost immediately. And therefore, I shouldn’t be that worried, but I am.

I’ve never written anything romantic before. I’ve never been concerned with the love lives of my characters. But beyond this being my first attempt at romance, its also my first attempt at writing a sex scene. To be honest, I haven’t even read very many sex scenes.

And this one has two so far. Scenes that, lacking any literary experience in the matter, I don’t know if they come off as hokie, or cliched, or downright boring.

I wonder if I should pass it to some beta readers to get outside reactions?

Weigh-In Friday

Despite only running on Monday, although I did do some weight training, and eating more than my fair share of my wife’s Dairy Queen ice cream birthday cake, my weight is down below 200 pounds at 199.7. Woot!

Designated Driver

For you couples out there, when you go somewhere together, who drives? The man or the woman?

I grew up in a time when men were the drivers and women were passengers.

Lately, I’ve been noticing more women driving with men as passengers and it still looks out of place to me.

Not for any sexist reasons; I certainly don’t believe gender innately makes someone a better or worse driver. Nor do I believe men are somehow ordained to rule over or control women.

In my case, I drive because for one thing, I get carsick as a passenger. For another, I drive my wife crazy because I don’t know what to do with myself as a passenger. I can’t read or play on my phone because of the motion sickness. So, I fidget, tap my feet, or drum my fingers, play with all the dials and switches, and constantly change the radio station. Being a passenger magnifies my ADHD.

So, very early in our relationship, my wife realized it was better for everyone all around if she let me drive.

Then she could read and play on her phone and ignore the fact that I wait until the very last second before applying the brakes.

Finally nearing the end

Since I spent most of this blog going off on attention deficit fueled tangents, I’ll spare you any political rants for the week.

TheRump is still an orange turd though. Never forget. Never normalize his hatred, bigotry, or incivility. Resist.

Enjoy your weekend. Here’s a song to send you off with:

-30-

Friday roundup

A Friday Haiku

It’s time to party

But we can’t since hackers stole

All of our info!

Equifax fux us over

By now, you’ve heard that back in July Equifax, one of three national credit bureaus that contain all our information, was hacked.

Approximately 143 million people could be affected. Information such as your name, Social Security number, date of birth, address, and driver’s license number could now be in the hands of unscrupulous cybercrimals.

In addition, 209,000 people could have had their credit card numbers exposed.

This is a data breach disaster of epic proportions. This makes hacks of Target, Wendy’s, Starbucks, TJ Maxx, Sony Playstation Network seem like peanuts.

Hacks like this beg the question, why do these credit bureaus exist? I mean other than to make our lives miserable when we try to buy a car. Why are they allowed to have access to, no, have control of all our information?

Didn’t anyone think it was a bad idea to have one company, or even three companies, in control of every person’s personal identifying information?

And why was this info stored where Internet hackers can access it? Shouldn’t it be on a stand alone system inaccessible to any outside snoopers?

And where is the outrage from Congress? Had this been the IRS that was hacked exposing 143 million Americans, the Republicans would have been all over them like flies on shit.

There would be Congressional hearings and investigations. Shouts of outrage at the IRS’s incompetence safeguarding American’s data. They’d grill the IRS Commissioner for weeks. They’d subpoena agency emails and records. Conservatives would be screaming for heads to roll and that the agency should be done away with once and for all.

Instead … silence. Why? Because Equifax is one of their buddy corporations who help the rich get richer by denying the poor and downtrodden credit.

This is our identities that were stolen and no one seems to give a damn. Everyone treats it like this is the new normal and we shouldn’t be surprised.

Well, I’m not just surprised by their lackadaisical attitude about guarding this information, I’m mad as Hell they had access to it in the first place.

Who wants to bet the Koch brothers info wasn’t affected by the hack? They probably keep the 1-percenters’ info secure on a separate gilded server accessible only to servants wearing tuxedos and white gloves with snooty attitudes.

Once again, a giant corporation fucks us over and no one cares.

Update: It looks like several Equifax executives sold their stock in Equifax before the hacking was made public. Scumbag bastards!

To find out if you were affected by the hack

Go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and click on the Potential Impact box at the bottom.

If you were affected, then they’ll give you a date when you can come back to sign up for a free year of credit monitoring.

Good luck.

Amwriting

Yes. I’m still dilgently at work editing the first draft of my urban fantasy fairy tale novel. And yes, I’m still finding it enjoyable.

As I read through it this first time, I’m getting excited because I still think it’s really quite good. Which is a strange reaction for me. Usually, I’m my own worst critic and I’m usually judgemental to the point that I start questioning the story’s worth and my own self-worth as a writer.

That isn’t happening this time. Should I be worried?

Why I still treadmill

For a while there, June and July, I was running outside. I’d get up early, greet the sun, and go for my run.

But now, darkness greets me, so I don’t morning run, I run as soon as I get home from work.

And I run on my treadmill. But why, you ask. Didn’t you tell us a while back that you found running outside more interesting than running on a treadmill? That the treadmill runs seemed to drag on forever?

Yes. Yes, I did. But running on the treadmill is so much more convenient and the weather is always the same. I don’t have to worry about the cold or the heat or rain or eventually, the snow.

Plus, and this will seem a little anal or OCD, I don’t like getting my running shoes dirty.

There. I said it. Running on the treadmill keeps my shoes looking pristine, as if I had just bought them. And I like that.

Running outside, my shoes would pick up mud, dirt, bug guts, and all sorts of icky god knows what kind of gunk. Yuck.

No thanks. I can deal with that on my everyday walkers, but not my running shoes.

Weird, right? But there it is.

Running and rowing

Anyway, I’m back to running a little over a mile a day (I admit I had a few bad weeks there trying to adjust my schedule and remotivate myself), except for the occasional rest day. Instead of increasing my distance, I’m gradually increasing the incline. I’m up to 5%, which doesn’t sound like much, but I can feel it in my hammies and glutes.

Then, after I run the mile, I immediately jump on my Cardiofit and row for several more minutes.

This keeps my heartrate up while working different muscle groups.

We’ll see if it makes a difference.

Weigh-In Friday

I made a decision on my diuretic. Last Friday, I weighed 204 pounds. Up from the previous Friday, but down from that Wednesday.

Well, on Saturday, I weighed myself and I had ballooned up to 208!

C’mon! It had taken me nearly two years to drop 30 pounds. I wasn’t about to put up with my weight going up and down like a yo-yo because of how much water I was retaining depending on how much salt I consumed.

My scale shouldn’t be like a roulette wheel where I wonder what weight it will stop on each time I step on it.

Therefore, I went back on the diuretic.

Today my weight is down to 200.7 pounds. Nearly what it was before I started monkeying around with my hypertension meds.

I’m back on track with my weight loss goal. No more experiments.

A Haiku about TheRump

He thinks he’s our king,

And we’re his loving subjects;

Fuck you, you orange turd.

And In Closing

For those in the path of Irma, stay safe. You’re in our thoughts. As are the people in Texas still trying to recover from Harvey.

For the rest of you, I hope ya’ll have a great weekend, even if some pimply-faced teenager in Russia is maxing out your credit thanks to Equifax.

Here’s a song to leave you with:

Enjoy.

-30-

Weekly wrap up 

It’s Friday, so that means I’ve got a whole lot of random shit to throw at you. So, buckle up, buckaroo.

Short story released into the wild

I’m really excited to announce I have a short story appearing today in Stupifying Stories Showcase titled, “Without a Leg to Stand On.”

Linkie: http://stupefyingstoriesshowcase.com/?p=1450

Enjoy.

Speaking of writing

My current work-in-progress (WIP), the novel I mention I was writing in Wednesday’s blogpost is coming along nicely. I’m “in the zone,” so to speak and the words are just falling all over the place. Good words. Meaningful words. Words that have me excited for the first time in a very long time.

It’s one of those instances where if I’m not writing the story, I’m thinking about writing the story. Characters and scenes are bombarding my head continuously, probably making me a menace to other human beings as I bump into them because I’m in a creative trance.

So if you see me walking down the street, make way!

Weigh-in Friday

I lost some more weight. Now I’m just ounces — OUNCES — away from breaking the 200 pound barrier! The scale reports in at 200.4!

Huzzah!

New writing instrument

No, I didn’t pick up another fountain pen. Instead, after much research and soul searching and penny pinching, I bought one of those 2-in-1s. Is it a laptop with a detachable keyboard or a tablet with an attachable keyboard? It’s like the old Certs commercials. “It’s a breath mint. It’s a candy mint. It’s two! Two mints in one!”

Anyway, it’s an RCA Cambio 10.1″ 2-in-1. It’s replacing the horrible Samsung Tab 2 tablet I received several years ago when Verizon was having a penny sale on Fathers Day. Hated it almost from the start. No wonder they were giving them away.

I had bought a cheap, half-assed Bluetooth keyboard for the Samsung and that just barely made it tolerable. Just barely. I could write, but not proficiently because the keyboard was a little too small for touch typing and had a few keys, the :/; and “/’ keys for instance, on a different row and I’d hit Enter every time I meant to put in one of those symbols, so I’d have all these random line breaks all over the place.

But this RCA is nice. For one thing, it has a Windows operating system, not an Android, so I can write straight into Word and not have to mess around with apps that just simulate Word.

I’ve done more writing with it in the last two weeks than I’ve done in the months prior on that tablet, which is why I got it in the first place.

I’ve read some reviews that complain the keyboard has a “plastic” feel. Well, duh. It is plastic. What should it feel like? Stone? Leather? To me, it feels solid, sturdy, unlike some others I’ve picked up that seem rather flimsy.

Maybe I’ll review it sometime, except since I only use it for writing in laptop mode, the review would only be useful to someone who also only planned to use it that way as well. I don’t use it for the surfing the web or for email or games or anything else that would distract me from writing.

RCA Cambio 10.1″ 2-on-1

Syria

What the Hell? Trump launched a cruise missile attack? This is why you never elect a bully with small hands and a small dick. In his mind, the use of military force compensates for his feelings of inadequacy.

Can we now invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment?

-30-