Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Me, post wake up.
Me, pre gym
Me, post gym
Me, post hygiene
Me, post hair-gel and glasses
Me, post dinner
Me, pre writing
Me, post writing
Howdy gangsters, it has been forever. Way too long since I've sat down and talked. Tonight we remedy this.
I really wish I could find my headphones. It's been hard to get into a groove where I can just sit down and write lately. Music always seems to help this out, but since it's late at night I'd need to use headphones. Alas, I can't find the headphones, so I'm music-less.
I shan't let this stand in my way however. It is time to write, and write I shall.
Aha! I found a pseudo-pair of headphones. Victory is mine.
Last night me and my brothers stayed up till 4 AM playing counterstrike. Wow, that was good times. We got three computers hooked up in my room, we were at it for quite a while. We all went terrorist, and we played 6 hard bots. It was way intense, we were getting tactical and everything. One map Nathan ended up going something like 63:5 on his kill:death ratio. Wow, good crap. So much fun.
Christmas was really swell for me and my family. It's been so nice to be together. I hope that all of yours have been great as well.
The new year is coming up. Things are going to be changing for me. I'm really close to a huge schedule switch-up. Wessman has been putting the heat on me to join the newspaper. It's something that I'd like to do. I love to write, getting better at it is something that I'd love to do.
However, the newspaper class is 2a, and that's junior choir. I'm not going to switch out of that, but Wessman said I could hop into 3a, which is the litmag class. He said he'd teach me all that intro to journalism stuff, have me do as much as I could from there, and then come in full time next year.
Sounds like kicks and giggles, especially considering who else is in the litmag class. It'd be a party.
But, on the other hand, arranging that with the schedule will result in a big shake-up. The current schedule (Figure A) will end up looking something like this (Figure B).
Figure A: Figure B:
Junior Choir Junior Choir
Athletics English AP (Parrish)
Chem AP Chem AP
Precalc History AP
English AP (Harward) Precalc
Physics AP Physics AP
See, if this was the first week of school, I'd jump all over this. By all means, figure B looks attractive. From a friend standpoint, I'd lose Kyle and Nick in math, Kyle and Shelton in History, and Jason in English. Inversely, I would gain Nick in history, and Kyle and Nick and everyone else in English.
I don't know. It sorta feels like figure B is just a big betrayal of my English class. I'll be the first to admit that it's not the best, but it has grown on me. We're all in it together in there. I'd feel like the baseball player that suddenly got called up from the minor leagues to play with the big kids. How do you face your team after that? All the sudden I stand up and hop the fence towards greener pastures? What about Jason, and Katie, and Peter, and Austin? What about Harward, and Kevin, and Wiley? Can I just get up and leave them without a pitcher halfway through the game?
It's a tough call. I want your guys' help on this. Let me know what you think I ought to do.
So, this whole blogging business. It's something that I love to do, it's something that I think is useful. It's a great tool for me, and I'm looking to expand my base.
Of course, one could argue that I should get my initial base established before I attempt to branch out into new territory. It's a valid point, one that I'm still mulling over in my head. The new year is going to bring some new ideas to the blog-pool. We'll all see it when it gets here, eh?
Junior Jazz is coming up. It's funny how much of a priority it has become. I'm not wary of saying that I'm much more dedicated to my Jr Jazz training than I am to my indoor track training. Indoor track has been hard for me lately, I'm in another one of those troughs.
I'm sure you've noticed the trend before; it's hard to miss. I'm constantly going through cycles. The most evident of these cycles is my run-forever debate. I vary between two extremes. One week I'll be so dedicated to running and dropping my times that I'll work like an animal and take it to the next level. The next week I'll be unable to remember why I run, and consider hopping out and peddling my destiny elsewhere.
Hmm... peddling my destiny. I really like that phrase.
But, the moral of the story, is that for a while now I've been on the low end of the excitement spectrum. I'm tired of this running business. I know that it'll come back to me. It's just really hard to do a good workout when I'm a lot more interested in lifting and practicing my basketball than in building my distance.
Alas, tis my fate. What would life be like if I didn't run? It scares me; I don't know. I know that I've got to keep working out. It's very important for me to get good exercise; it's really beneficial to my kidneys in 20 years.
(Harward was right... I use comma splices like none other)
But, what if I can get my workout without being on the team? What if I could run when I wanted to, and not work on my speed or hills? What if I could build some muscle mass? What if I could drive myself hard enough to do ten-minute-abs by myself every night, and 40 push ups before bed? What if I could prevent heart failure without a coach? What would life be like?
Will I ever find out? I don't know.
I'm listening to U2 right now. Good band.
These pseudo-earphones are totally hurting my ears. Maybe it's cause I had them in backwards. Hmm.
Awww, I just got to talk to my sister for a long time about stuff. That was nice, she's the best.
I want to have some new ideas to run around with. Ideas like the power gym. Not exactly practical, but a cool idea nonetheless. Ideas like that can occupy me for a very long time you see.
There's quite a few phases that an idea goes through, check it out.
Phase One: Conception
This is the phase where the initial epiphany strikes my brain. I start to think and talk really fast, and I can't stop smiling. Every few seconds I'll stop moving, gasp, and verbalize a statement along the lines of "Oh sick!" when I realize the implications and possibilities involved. I'm building the idea as I go, I have no idea where it will lead. It's a race to the end. Way fast, way excited.
Phase Two: Retread
After I've run and found the treasure at the end of the tunnel, I have to walk back and review. This phase is a more cautious peek at the images and concepts that blazed past my neurons a few moments ago. It is slower and more downbeat. It's generally more depressing; it is here that I discover flaws in my plan for the first time. This phase is where I have to stop and ask "Is this really possible?" It's a total shakedown of the idea, trying to find the holes.
Phase Three: Duct Tape
Phase three is a lot like the force. You can kill bad guys with it. After I find the holes during phase two, I've got to solve them in phase three. I'm too excited to give up on the idea; I won't let diminutive holes in my logic get in the way. I attack these problems with a surge of headstrong and entirely uncautious barrage of solutions. It is very common that these solutions are more creative and clever than my initial idea. The solutions have problems and holes of their own. Phase Three is Phase One times a million.
Phase Four: Backburner
After I've run through the idea a few times and found it relatively sound, it loses its luster. It's a challenge to prove to myself that the idea is viable, but after that's taken care of I'm content to go back to normal life. As I brush my teeth, the idea is kicking around somewhere in the back of my mind. It's taking up minimal processing power. It exists, but not in the forefront.
Phase Five: Alternative
A few days later the ghosts in the system will manifest themselves and spark a mutation in the meme. Another Oh-sick will be vocalized, and I'll realize that this idea can apply to too! Not just minivans like I thought first, but elevators! This opens up a whole new rush. I've got the idea all stapled out, now I'm just filling in the template. Replace minivan with elevator and repeat the entire run through process. It's a side not really. The same idea just realized it can apply to something else, it's terribly exciting.
Phase Six: Appointment for 3 PM wednesday?
The good ideas come here. I will come one evening and post to my heart's content. I throw the whole idea down from start to finish. As I write, new ideas come in and I write them as well. It takes me at least an hour, but in the end I've got an intense feeling of satisfaction and pride. I cemented the idea, it is finished.
Phase Seven: Review
Months later I'll re-read what I wrote. I'm always surprised at how dramatic I managed to make it sound. I read and am taken aback by my claims that the world is going to end if we don't commercialize road signs, or pedal our way to freedom from foreign oil. I like what I read, and I explore the whole idea just one more time. It's a good feeling.
So yeah, that's the way an idea works. It's a long process, but I love it. Some ideas don't make it through the whole journey. In fact, most don't.
It is, however, my goal, to get more ideas through the mill. I want to post more ideas. They make for a fun post, and my ideas are always enriched by the thought process it takes to write them. Expect more.
So, I've got some stuff to work on. I'm going to get to brainstorming. I'm going to take a big review of the stuff that I've written in the past. I'm undertaking a project to rewrite the good stuff.
I'm so proud of this blog. I love it, it's got a hefty pile of me in it. But really, it's just one giant rough draft. I like some of the ideas that I've written down in here a lot. In the coming weeks I'm going to go through and reanalyze and rewrite the good ones. I'll put some polish on them, it'll be good.
Yeah, It's bed time. I hope that you all have a good night. Life keeps trucking along. Keep learning and getting better.
I'll see you all at the region dance this Saturday. Don't forget it, it's going to be intense.
G'night all. Have a good one.
Friday, December 22, 2006
My computer is running just peachy, things are dandy again. I've got a lot of tweaking to do yet, but that's a good thing.
However, I plan on writing some water tomorrow. The plotline that I plan on following is not fully cemented in my head right now. I'm not entirely sure what is going to happen. I know how it'll end.
For me, it's about the ideas behind it. Great language and delivery is great, but I'm a man of substance. I see paragraphs and paragraphs that are nothing but description. They're great, I like them.
However, they don't accomplish anything. I think that's one of the big problems I've been having with English this year.
We've been worried about saying it well.
When all along we haven't been saying it at all.
It is much more important than the manner in which it is delivered.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Unfortunately it's being very unstable, bugging me a lot. We all know what that means.
It's format time, version 2.oh yeah
So, hopefully back for more once 10:30 rolls around. If not I hope you all have a great night.
Good things are coming, for reals.
I'm going to work on a nice Christmas post, and perhaps some water with any luck. Booyah.
In other news, go check out what my friends write, they're pretty good.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Stallion is due to have all of his hard drives wiped out this evening. With any luck I'll be functional by Monday. However, in the event of something terrible happening, I might be gone till wednesday-ish.
So, in the meantime, make the most of your lives.
Cause c'mon, what else are you going to do with them?
Instead I'm going to go to bed. It's high five Friday everybody. It's been a good day, but now it's late. I wish that I could write, but the time for that comes later.
Honestly, I need to fix my rhythm. I'm at the peak of my game at 11 oclock PM.
It's a great time to be alive, don't get me wrong. My brain starts cruising; I'm motivated to work on a hundred different projects at once. I'm always smiling, simply by the virtue that I'm thinking so much.
But alas, I always cap myself. I get cruising, and then I think "It's 11 oclock, it's way too late to start anything."
Alas, I must break the cycle.
Step one: Overclock my TI-86
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
That google ad appeared on the top of my blog about a month ago. I found it hilarious, so I saved it. Look out, a bird!
Ok, announcement: This week is going to be intense.
Why? Because I'm going to be wearing a cool shirt on monday, and an even COOLER shirt on Friday. I rarely get this excited about what I'm going to wear. This might even be as cool as the time we wore capes to school.
Announcement 2: So, remember how I said we were gonna do ACT prep a while ago? Yup, I still mean it. Therefore, this Friday, 5:30, my house. If you need the address leave me a comment and I'll get it to you. It's going to be good. Because c'mon, everybody wants to do good on the ACT. If we work together, we'll all do better. It'll be a fun adventure.
There are going to be a lot of great posts this week.
Coming up --->
- My big art deal
- Five choices I made that put me where I am today
- The Five places I love the most
- The Five things I'd do if I were a delinquent
- Flow Theory
Announcement the Third: I can drive other people on Friday. You know what that means? It's adventure time.
Announcement the Fourth: This blog just got upgraded to beta. I'm going to pimp it out soon-like.
Announcement the Fifth: The Taylorsville Alliance is back from its Hiatus! It's party time! This time is a lot more relaxed, I'm going to have fun with it. I'm going to approach it as less of a project and more of an adventure.
Announcement the Sixth: I might just make a snow man for Athletics tomorrow, I'm pretty excited about that.
Announcement the Seventh: I'm starting my eagle project this week. Rejoice! I'm going to need your help though. Wednesday me and the scouts are going to do all the manufacturing of the whisper phones. They're still going to need to be painted, so that's where you, my friends, come in. Some time next week I'm going to have a painting party. There's gonna be some painting, then some fun stuff going on. You should all come.
Announcement the Eighth: It's snowing, and I hope you're all having a great day. In the event that you are not having a good day, I offer you this piece of advice.
Think about the last time you got attacked by a bird. Can't remember it? Dang, life is pretty good, you're free of bird attacks. Thank your lucky stars for Orkin pest control.
I don't wish to dispel the bad times, I recognize their worth.
However, it's much more fun to focus on the good times. Thereforeheretofore, here's the good news. The business that's coming up that's just going to make me happy. I think that it's necessary to always have something to look forward to. It's a good idea to keep a healthy mix of both short and long term events to be excited about. Here we go
#1 - Region Dance - Dec. 30
I love region dances. I cannot understand why someone would not love a region dance. It's the greatest night of the month, and it's coming up in three weeks. I have often compared a region dance to life, maybe this is just a reflection of my love of existence. In any event, I think about it every day, and I'm excited for it every day. It's going to be good.
#2 - Drive with other people - Dec. 15
That whole six month rule thing kills me. It's been difficult, I've been doing my best to follow the rules. I have made a few exceptions, but I've kept that to a minimum. In less than a week I get to make the world a much more convenient place. It's finally going to be practical to go on dates. Can you just imagine me pulling up to your driveway in my pimpin' minivan? Dang straight, I bet you're as excited about this as I am now.
#3 - Family home for Christmas - soon.
Bizz is totally coming for a visit this week, and she's staying for quite a while. Not too many of you really know Bizz, but she's pretty wicked awesome. That's going to be fun. Add that to the fact that Nathan and Kim and Michael are going to be done with the semester in logan in a week, it's going to be party time. I love having the family home, it's not too often that we're all together. Christmas is going to be great, mostly because my family will be here. It's going to be a party, I love it.
#4 - Junior Jazz Domination - January-ish
You cannot understand the deep joy that I felt when, to my surprise, I saw that Trevor had left me a message saying something like "Hey, me and bentley want to start a junior jazz team, do you want to play?" Of course I want to play! I was born to play. This might be the one I'm most excited for, it's just going to be so good. I love playing basketball, I really do. It'll be fun to work with Trevor and the boys, because I know they're going to make me so much better. I'm going to listen to all the good stuff they tell me, I'm going to get good. I'm going to be big. By the end of the season you'll swear I'm a 6 foot 7 inch tall black guy named Jerome.
#5 - Summer Ultimate - Summer
Summer Ultimate makes winter ultimate look like crap on a stick. Every Friday night, 7 pm to who-knows-how-late. There's never any wind, it's always nice and warm. You're at the top of your game, they're at their's too. You absorb the game. There's nothing to distract you, it's the game at its simplest and finest. Mmmm, Summer Ultimate is going to be good.
#6 - Working VERY hard this summer - Summer
My financial situation is looking rather desperate right now. My plan is to work like unto a raging stallion this summer. I did that twice, saved some money from the first summer, all the money from the second summer. It served me well, I'm still living off of 15 year old me's sweat. I didn't work last summer, my bank account is drawing near to the "I don't have any money in me" level. So, I'm going to get a job and work hard. I love to work, it'll be great.
#7 - Living with Andrew up at Utah State - After Graduation
The times are going to line up sweet for me and my big brother. He's on a mission in Costa Rica right now, but he will be getting back the summer after I graduate. I'm going to be going to a year of college before I leave on a mission, and he's still got three years of college ahead of him. You know what that means. We're going to be room mates, it's going to be intense. The kid is just a genuine studmuffin, that's all there is to it. There's a good chance that Brad Withers will be up there with us too. Can you say "Ultimate-every-single-day-ever"?
#8 - The Real World - Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
I love to swim. You know what I love even more? Having the choice between sinking and swimming. The real world, that's where we are, and that's where we're headed. What am I going to grow up to be? What's going to happen to all my friends? Who's going to take care of Kyle when I'm off and away? I don't know; I'm excited to find out.
#9 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie - 3-23-07
Check out the new trailer!
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
Do any of you remember my world history papers from last year? They all took an hilarious route to get their point across. Sarcasm was abundant, so was royal incest. Jokes about Otto's stupid name appeared more often than once. I called Alexander the Great the grandfather of extreme skiing, honestly.
One wonders why my papers always showed up on the due-date dripping with the aforementioned sarcasm. I have a simple explanation; it was the only way to survive.
You had to be able to laugh at history in order to stay sane. You had to laugh at yourself, spending three hours working on this assignment. It was the only way, your only chance at getting out of there alive.
I haven't had to revert to this strategy for some time now, I've been lucky. Most of my assignments this year have been doable and even a little enjoyable. My thoughts come out free of satire and verbal irony, my teachers are overjoyed.
It's 1 AM, and this English essay is testing the limits. The brittle glass with the little post-it note that says "break glass in case of emergency" is about to be smacked with a golf club. I'm about this [_] close to reverting to the sarcasm. Ahhh! It's going to be a long, long night.
"Even though these characters may seem boring, independent research by Chuck Norris indicates that most enjoy a 50 percent success rate with teaching students."
1:33 - went to get a drink
1:35 - I've got a shin-splint going on in my right leg. Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't have stood on just one leg for kicks and giggles today. Oww oww oww.
1:36 - I had a 17 dollar meal tonight. You know what's the worst part about it? It wasn't 4.25 times better than my favorite 4 dollar meal from La Frontera. Hmm.
1:40 - whoohoo, 2 and a half paragraphs done. 4 left. Alpine Skiing!
1:41 - bathroom break.
1:53 - maybe I should stop looking at halo 3 screen shots and get back to writing this essay....
1:54 - what if I sluff chemistry tomorrow morning and finish it then? tempting, truly tempting.
1:58 - scatter plots with red markers on the back of your first draft are awfully fun to make. Distracting too.
1:59 - Garbage Can stood up on the really tall hill. He looked around. His hairy frame was quite alone on the peak, so he began to cry. Ma-ah, Ma-ah, what a poor fellow am I.
2:06 - If a girl leaves Chicago at 3 AM heading for Salt Lake City traveling at 190 mph, how long until Austin writes a song for her? That Austin, what a stud.
2:07 - play with markers.
2:09 - You are what you think. Then how come all those people that run around all day singing the "I like chicken I like liver meow mix meow mix please deliver" song aren't cat food yet?
2:12 - Ulterior
2:17 - There's a fandango loose in the building.
2:!8 - I'm going to brush mine teeth.
2:21 - mmm, toothpaste.
2:21 again - Ok, it's seriously time to get my head in the game. /squeaks shoes on hardwood floor.
2:22 - squeak squeak dribble dribble squeak swish dribble dribble dribble squeak swish swish squeak dribble squeak squeak dribble......swish.
2:28 - good news, only three paragraph's left. I am the model of a very modern general. Or something like that.
2:34 - (8) we know that it's probably maaaaaaaaaagiiiiiiiiiiiic. (8) (Rainbow Connection - Kermit the Frog)
2:40 - why are there so many songs about rainbows, and what's on the other side? Rainbows are visions, but only illusions, and rainbows have nothing to hide. So we've been told and some choose to believe it, I know they're wrong, wait and see. Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers, and me.
who said that every wish, would be heard and answered, when wished up the morning star? Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it. Look what it's done so far. What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing, what do we think we might see? Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers, and me.
All of us under its spell, we know that it's probably maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagiiiiiiic.
Have you been half asleep, and have you heard voices? I've heard them calling my name. Is this the sweet sound, that calls the young sailors? the voice might be one and the same.
I've heard it too many times to ignore it, it's something that I'm s'posed to be.
someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers, and me.
La da da deee da da dooo, la da da da da de da doooooooooooooo.
2:53 - To be 100 percent honest, I am building my essay around that song. It's gonna be good, I'm really excited.
2:59 AM - One minute to three. I'm surprisingly awake. And surprisingly not done with my essay. P'oh.
3:01 AM - who am I kidding? I need dragon zord power.
3:10 AM - Just redid the first two paragraphs to incorporate the rainbow connection. I think this is actually going to work, rahahaha.
3:32 AM - wow, I've been crusing. Look at me go.
3:43 AM - yeah, that's right, I'm working on my works cited page. w00t.
4:01 - I'm done. Printing it, going to bed. Have a nice night all.
Monday, December 04, 2006
First off, I'm turning the computer off before twelve every night this week. I think that's going to be the new running rules. I want to fix my sleeping habits. This is the first step.
I want to make this blog great. I always have. I'm working on it. The year is drawing to a close, and I think that I'm going to spend some time working on the past. Remembering stuff, talking about stuff. It'll be good.
Junior high and high school are not the same thing. They are very different. They've got their ups and downs. This week I like Junior High more, this week I don't want to run.
There's a good chance that next week will be the opposite.
But that's alright with me, that's just how I roll. Stuff is pretty good. I'm still not as good at that blood sugar thing as I'd like to be, and I haven't pulled off anything really amazing lately.
I've decided that I want to go to a parkour jam before I graduate. I'm not even sure if that's what they're called. There's something about running around where I'm not supposed to be able to that really appeals to me. I'll have to look in to that.
Let's face it, I want it to be summer for a week. I want a Friday night with warm temperatures and good friends and a calm atmosphere. I want to play an amazing game of ultimate again, it's been a while. I don't even want to try in this weather, it's cold and hard and hurty.
Summer is the golden age. If I want to run I just go run. if I want to play Ultimate I play Ultimate. No need to organize, I can run if I want to.
Hmmmm, this whole winter bit is going to need some work. But hey, things are going to be good. Good posts are coming up this next week. The Alliance will fly. It might not fly soon, but it'll fly. It's not out for the count yet. One day friends, one day.
One day my bloodsugar will be super. One day I'll be happy to not be a drone. One day it'll be warm and there'll be no wind and I'll be able to throw from endzone to endzone. One day my economic future will be secure.
Yep, one day I'm just gonna fall over stuff is going to be so good.
In the meantime I'll enjoy life as it is, it's not too shabby.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
I'm afraid that over the last few years emotions have become a bad thing. Through our constant negative references to emo kids we have made discussing our inner emotions something that is not acceptable.
Think about it. Emo kids are people too, just like the French are people. In my reality though, both have become nothing but negative memes. My vocabulary has adapted to have "French" represent cowardice and 'I surrender!'. Do I really think that the French are pansies? No, not at all. They're people too, I recognize that. Right now it's just the easiest way for me to make a joke about running away. Everybody recognizes the representation. It's popular, people get it, and it's an easy way to represent something in a humorous fashion.
I fear that this is what has happened to Emo Kids. When I say "Man, I feel like such an emo kid..." I mean something along the lines of "I'm feeling depressed and have a lot of emotions going on right now that I want to talk about but that I'm afraid to because they won't be accepted, this sucks." It's much easier to say "I feel like an emo kid" than it is to repeat the aforementioned sentence.
Emo kids have taken on a very negative connotation. Nobody wants to dye their hair black and wear fun clothes. Nobody wants to go through the whole day not smiling. Nobody wants to be like that.
I don't think all emo kids are like that. Not the way that we use it at least. And even if they are, so what? They're people too.
There's an easy way to say this. As a direct result of "emo kid" representing a sad individual who nobody likes and our constant use of "I feel like an emo kid" whenever we have emotions, we've come to see having emotions as socially unacceptable and weak.
I really do believe it.
I'm the guiltiest one. You can always hear me saying "don't be such an emo kid" whenever someone does get the courage to share a few feelings. I don't share feelings like I ought to. I've been stuck in the trap.
I broke loose twice. Only twice in the past forever. Both times I've been driving Brad home. He lives far enough away that there's time to talk. I don't have anything to fear from telling him stuff. There's always a mood of mutual respect when we get to talking. We don't have to make jokes, and we can both be serious and appreciate the things we're talking about.
It always feels good, to be free and talk about stuff. It doesn't happen often enough.
I'm tired of this culture of emophobia. We're better than that. We are mature enough to respect and appreciate another's emotions. Nick is a real person too, and I'm big enough to realize that the emotions he's feeling are vitally important to him.
Hiding and bottling is getting old. It's not good for you. It's a deception of yourself and of others, we're too good for it.
Don't be afraid of emotions. We started it unintentionally and now it threatens our well-being. Emo kids are people too. Tonight, I'm proud to be the emo.
And so friends, I'm pleased to take a stand. My 183 centimeter tall frame is standing up for emotion. I'm standing up for the ability and privilege of not being ashamed to admit that you feel like you've never accomplished anything great. I'm standing up for the guy that wonders if deep down, maybe it is just him. I'm standing up for the one who worries about knowing what to say. I stand up for those bad days and those contemplative nights. I stand up for a realization of our equality and weaknesses. I stand up for not being able to make it alone. I stand up for strength in unity and power in love. I stand up for you and for me. Together, we will make it through.
Here I stand.
Whether you read this post or not, I don't mind too much. But read the one above this, it is important.
It's been a long time since I've just posted. I'm always 'writing' these days. I really do enjoy this new surge of writing. I like the way I go through and reread what I've written to make it better. I never used to do that. I wonder if I'll do that with this post.
I have really enjoyed writing 'water'. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, well, that's alright, I'll tell you. 'Water' is the name I've given my most recent attempt at writing fiction. So far I've written three impacts. They're all on this blog somewhere further down, or you can check them out at my new repository at http://hydrosnap.blogspot.com
To be clear, I'm just writing this water business for fun. It's an idea that's been in my head for a long time. It's not an assignment, and I don't really expect anything out of it. I've enjoyed writing it, that's for sure. I intend to keep writing. I have plenty of material to run with.
I don't know how I feel about the actual stuff. I really enjoy writing it, and I love the feeling of knowing that I put something up. I don't think that it's amazing writing, I'm sure it's not. If you enjoy it, great. If not, well, that's great too. I've just enjoyed writing it and will continue to write it.
So, let me know what you think. We'll see where it goes. I do like this whole fiction business. Writing is a great adventure. You should try it some time.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Avery - In the vents
Avery was born to duct-fly. He hurried through the dusty labyrinth, drawing closer and closer to the objective. With the plan in head and secret weapon applied, he was the pinnacle of sneaky. Body responsive gel kept him moving faster and faster. Silently swimming through the ventilation he became a ghost's footprint. Quick. Agile. Fluid.
Speed and stealth on the outside- wailing lunatic on the inside.
Penetrating the bad-guys' lair with no idea of what's waiting on the other side of grate 42-B is a frightening experience. Coupled with the recent feminization of his nervous system, Avery was a total wreck. He missed Garbage Can. His hair was ugly, and he was suddenly aware of how fat he looked. Male-Avery-Brain was sparring Female-Avery-Armpit with terrifying results. First he was the fastest animal on the planet, and now he's suddenly incapable of using the restroom by himself. Things were not right upstairs.
Driven by instinct he flew on, psychologically peeing his pants all the way down.
Garbage Can - Parking lot
It didn't take long for Garbage Can to realize he had the crappiest power ever.
Hiding behind the burnt-out suburban with the other eight alphas, Mr. Can was outclassed. Captain Hadoken could fire blue balls of energy. Garbage Can was hairy. Raging Dave wore a hat while his shadow kicked people in the crotch. Garbage Can had a unibrow. Stealing October's left shoe disobeyed the laws of physics. Garbage can was a unibrow.
Mismatched capes and blue jeans bedecked the good guys. The group was admittedly diverse. Age and former social status meant nothing now. There were fat guys and skinny guys, Old ladies and Hadoken's little sister. He didn't know for certain what to expect from the bad guys, but he was willing to bet it'd be another stereotype. Bad guys were like that, no creativity. Once they had realized that the changes had turned them into what they referred to as super heroes they rushed to find the villain that most accurately represented their powers. Adopting the same costume themes and same bad-guy banter as the fictional heroes of the past seemed like great fun to them. It was old and cliche'd, but you try telling that to Professor Ownage.
A puff of smoke appeared above the building, that was the sign.
Captain Hadoken removed his sunglasses.
He paused for a moment, on the brink of an inspirational speech.
"Screw it. let's go."
"That's my kind of leader," answered Raging Dave as the squad broke cover and ran for the bowling alley doors.
Avery - Grate 41-B
Avery hadn't given the sign. In fact, there was no sign. Captain Hadoken told him to flash the sign when he was in position. Avery was not in position, but he didn't know that. Nobody told him what the sign was, and he had forgotten the difference between 41-B and 42-B. He was pretty sure Hadoken didn't even know what the sign was. Avery didn't care about signs, his shoes didn't match.
Sounds of battle echoed through the vents, shaking Avery from his female lapse of awareness. This was no time to worry about fashion, it was time to I wonder if he likes me?
His head had been doing this for the past 40 yards of ducting. He had developed a terrible case of gender A.D.D. and knew he had to take control and regain focus. It was time to break through the vent and regain the artifact. While Alpha distracted the bad guys with a frontal assault, he'd steal the penguin and things would be aeropostale aeropostale aeropostale.
Snap out of it Avery, the deodorants playing tricks on you. Get your head in the game, man!
....Maybe I could be a nurse when I grow up...
No! You're a dude, and dudes grow up to be firefighters and astronauts, not nurses! Why do I suddenly feel less proficient in math and science? Ah! No! Manly thoughts, manly thoughts. Jennifer is attractive? What?! I'm jealous of her hair? What the? I feel like baking?!?!
Avery tumbled out of grate 41-B. He scanned the room. An abandoned kitchen, definitely not his objective. He saw the door and heard the sounds of battle, beckoning the warrior within.
He took a step for hallway. There! In the corner of his eye lay his mortal enemy. The sink was overflowing with them. The dirty dishes cried out, mocking and cajoling the effeminate Avery. "Clean me, I'm dirty! I'm such a mess! I'm just going to keep distracting you from the rest of your life until I'm all tidied up. Food particles! Look at all my food particles!"
He was faced with a choice. Be the man, save thy allies. Be the bride, clean thy dishes.
Hormones were everywhere.
Garbage Can - The Battle
The bad guys had really done it this time. They stole a penguin and told the entire good guy community that they were holding a little girl hostage. Three separate good guy squads had vied for the bid, but Alpha got the job once the other two heard about the classic exploding dam routine that was going on that same evening.
The scheduling had been hectic from day one. It seemed that within moments of the social collapse everyone had aligned themselves to the good side or bad side and then teamed up with their friends to form a super-group. For a mid-sized city like Fortharm, one could expect 20 to 30 bands of bad guys and about 15 squadrons of good guys. Intelligence was spotty. Bad guys were pulling stunts to poison the water supply and blow up the sun all the time. The good guys always planned to show up right before they pulled the trigger and save the world. Battles always ensued, it was intense.
Realizing that they were outnumbered after a whole day of frantically putting out fires and tearing down sun-exploders, the leaders of each local band of good guys met together to form a confederacy of sorts. A loose affiliation at best, it provided a means of exchanging information and 'dibs-ing' your thwart for the evening. A dibs was law. Once you called a thwart as your own, you were responsible for saving the world. Anybody slips up, and, well, life as we know it ceases. It's a self regulating system.
Frankly, Garbage Can was disappointed. After about three days of creative plans to alter the environment or stop continental drift, the bad guys ran out of ideas. They were pulling stunts now just to fight, not to accomplish anything. It was a penguin! Garbage Can had seen 30 of them a month ago at the zoo! He was angry. Angry at the fact that there were two thwarts tonight and one of them was a hoax. Angry that Avery hadn't pulled through for them, angry that he didn't have a cool utility belt.
The two opposites had met in the food court. Garbage Can didn't know why a bowling alley had a food court. He punched a bad guy in the face anyways, it felt like the right thing to do.
Alpha Squadron was outgunned, it was as simple as that. It was 24 to nine, but Garbage Can thought he saw one of them mirror himself a couple times, so it was more like 21 to nine. Not discouraged, they fought on. Hadoken yelled his trademark "Hadoken!" into the night and fired Ryu's special move first to the left, and later to the right. Bodies flew, lasers flew, matching green capes flew.
Oh gosh, they actually sprung for the matching green capes. These bad guys suck.
Avery - Kitchen
Avery was shaking. He was torn between battle and food particles. He couldn't think, he needed chocolate. He was angry and happy and desperate and terrified and confused and curious all at the same time. His mascara was running, and he hadn't even put mascara on.
Garbage Can- Battle
Garbage Can was the first to see the black streak burst through the side doors. It was blurred, moving fast, and transparent. Hard to keep track of, it seemed the only definite way to determine its position was to follow the trail of falling bad guys and bloodcurdling shrieks.
Clobersaurus Rex was sneaking up on Garbage Can. Unlike most bad guys, Clobersaurus was moderately original. He hadn't stolen his identity from a comic book. He beat enemies up with a giant wooden spoon, that's all there was to it.
Unfortunately, his spontaneity ended there. He, like all bad guys, wanted to be dramatic. He was within striking distance, his prey was too absorbed in watching the blur to notice the danger behind him. He raised the spoon to strike and then thought better of it. He needed something dramatic, and hitting your opponent while his was back turned is anything but tense and glory filled. Where was the honor, the emotional power? This was a moment deserving of a great set up, this was a moment you could make a movie out of. He cast about for something, anything to make him look cool before he smote Garbage Can with his trademark stirring device.
After what seemed an eternity of search he had found it. Satisfied with his choice, he gave a sly grin. This was going to be good.
He tapped Garbage Can in the shoulder. Startled, Garbage turned around to face the spoon-ed enemy.
Smiling like an idiot, Clobersaurus opened his mouth to say the most dramatic thing he could remember.
"You want the truth? You can't handle the tru-"
He never had time to finish.
"YOU LEFT A MESS IN THE KITCHEN!!!!!!" was all that was left hanging in the air where Clobersaurus' head had been a half moment before. A powerful kick from sleek and small feet had sent the late dinosaur flying through the air. A dainty shoe print was all that remained to remind the spoon-wielding villain that the last four months of his life hadn't been a dream.
Garbage Can ducked, the blur was everywhere at once. Ricocheting around the room at lightning speed and emitting accusation after accusation, it was a killing machine.
"AND YOU ALWAYS LEAVE THE SEAT UP!!!!"
Down went another two, felled by the super natural and emotionally unstable blur.
"YOU THINK I'M FAT!!!"
"Alpha Squadron, fall back! This is out of our hands now, get out of here!" Bellowed the wounded Captain Hadoken. The blur was speeding up, inflicting concussion and unconsciousness for even the most minor offenses.
"YOU STOLE MY BOYFRIEND!!!!"
High pitched. Whiny. Amazingly terrifying.
Avery - Kitchen (three minutes earlier)
Three minutes before the blur rained a world of hurt on the bad guys, Avery's female side won. Trembling, he rushed over to the sink and frantically began to scrub. He picked up a pot, and the soapy surface slipped out of his stealthy hands. He looked down. They weren't stacked right. They had put dirty dishes in the rinsing side. They forgot to scrape the big food leftovers into the garbage can before they put it in the sink.
They had to pay.
Garbage Can - outside
Garbage can found him 40 minutes later lying in the dumpster. He approached the once deadly blur and began his written speech.
"Dear Derrick. *ahem* You are a dange- danger to yourself and others. You are having a terrible reaction to the deodorant. Please come home, we can take care of you and fix things."
Avery looked up at the familiar face of Garbage Can. He had always been there for him. Always stayed up late with him talking about the boys they liked. He had been a good friend, he decided he could go with him.
Garbage Can hadn't done any of those things. Garbage Can met Avery three weeks ago during PE. He decided it was better to let what was left of Avery's brain think that though, it'd make him easier to handle on the way back to base.
He carried the now sleeping hero back to the waiting van. 12 minutes till the next thwart. Avery psychologically unwell, Hadoken wounded in the leg. It was going to be a long night.
What: Study group - homework help - ACT prep
Where: My place - inquire within if you need address
When: Friday, 5:00 PM.
Who: Anybody with homework to do or questions about subjects (except for AP biology and AP calc). Also, anybody wanting to up their ACT score.
I've thought about this for a long time. It's not going to be one of those passing fancies. Even if nobody else shows up I'll still do my homework in that time period, and review some of that mad ACT stuff. If people do show up, great, we'll all benefit.
But I've been thinking, and it's time to spread the love. As I lay in bed last night, I realized that this is the big show. The last hurrah before we all break apart and run off to college. Right now we are all bound together through this high school bit. We're here, interacting, together. If we don't make our move now we'll never have the chance.
It's like a basketball game. You've got 48 minutes while the other team is on the court to prove your dominance. After the clock is through everybody leaves. Nobody cares if you can dunk 20 minutes after the game. Your field goal percentage doesn't matter when you're shooting around by yourself. You've only got 48 minutes with the captive opponents. After those 48 they're free to leave; you've lost the opportunity.
When highschool lets out we'll go our separate ways. Some of those separate ways will take us to similar places. Others won't. Right now we are captives, we can't get away from each other.
So hey, I figure I might as well make my move now. There are still people here to benefit from it. That might not be true in the future.
What comes next is a mystery. What's here right now is positive. The stars have lined up: it's time to learn.
The earth has progressed far enough in its rotation to leave this quadrant of the earth cold and Ultimate-less. The postage-fairy has delivered the necessary materials. I've got toes and fingers, shoes and a hat.
It's on. This Friday, and the Friday after that, and the Friday after that.
The agenda will look something like this. Homework/questions at 5, ACT at 6. Wrap up around 6:30 or 7:00. There may or may not be a party afterwards, it just depends.
I think it's a grand idea. And now, for you naysayers --> a little more of my optimism.
(Yes. I'm arrogant. But hey, at least I'm trying to help people. Don't think I can help anybody on the ACT? I purchased the April 2006 test packet and answer key. I've actually taken the test and know what I'm talking about on 95% of the questions. And hey, if I end up not helping anyone with anything, at least I got to play with the whiteboard. It's worth a shot, right?)
So, let me know your comments. Alls I know is that I'm going to be chilling here at 5 come Friday getting my homework done and studying for that ACT test.
C.Thatcher ---> out.
p.s. It's national tuck-your-sweatshirt-into-your-pants day. A big congratulations to everybody who had the courage to go for it today. You've made the world a better place.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
14 days after awakening, 7:05 PM, outside the bowling alley.
It smelled terrible. Much worse than August was supposed to smell.
The crew had arrived early. After a quick briefing, the two squadrons fell into position and waited for the word to go. With another thwarting scheduled right after this one, everyone was eager to get the job done.
The radio cracked. "This is Alpha Squadron to Dainty Squadron, do you copy?"
Alpha Squadron was the good guys. Nine or so people dedicated to making sure the bad guys didn't succeed in destroying the world with the new opportunities that the changes gave them. An elite fighting crew, they were four and zero for encounters with bad guys.
Recently reassigned from Alpha Squadron, Derrick Avery was the sole member of the Dainty Squadron. Proud leader, follower, and quartermaster, he crouched behind the dumpster, glaring at the radio that just addressed him.
In his head, Derrick wasn't happy with his newfound position of leadership. Squadrons are great and all, but a name like that? What ever happened to Beta Squadron? They skipped right over Charlie Squadron, and Charlie is a very respectable squadron name!
"Yeah, I copy, I'm in position," Avery replied.
"This is important Avery, do you have the package?"
The package was a stick of ladies' deodorant. Of course he had the package.
"Affirmative, I've got the package in the cadoozle, am I cleared to proceed?"
"Ten-four. Do it Dainty, go go go!"
With a deep breath, Avery uncapped the pink stick. Elusive Midnight touched skin - the change began.
When mankind realized what had happened 14 days ago, everyone's priorities were altered. The pressing questions that Art Finnigan faced last month were rendered entirely irrelevant after the change. Your major in college doesn't matter so much when you can stretch like Gumby. Questions like, "Hey Lisa, you wanna go to McDonalds?" aren't important once McDonalds has been frozen in time by the Arby's night shift. Stuff like, "Should I date Elizabeth?" is easily answered when you bear in mind that Elizabeth just grew wings and has been turning gum into terrifying projectiles.
See? Everything was different now. The priorities and concerns of the former life were cast aside once the changes came. No man's worries were left identical to the past, no man's but Derrick Avery's.
For Derrick, the question that plagued him every morning before the change plagued him still.
When Derrick woke up 14 days ago, he went through the normal morning business. Wake up, eat, shower - pause.
For six minutes every morning for the past five years, Derrick would stand in front of his dresser and ponder the deepest and potentially most important question the universe has ever seen.
"What flavor deodorant do I wear today?" he would muse, "blue rush, silver ice, or rock hard?"
It wasn't really Derrick's fault. His mom insisted on supplying him with a variety of scents and aromas. Sometimes she even stocked his dresser with four or five varieties instead of the usual three. On such occasions, he was forced to spend even more than the monumental six minutes to debate the merits of each individual stick. Eventually he would reach a decision. Derrick knew after those six minutes, without a doubt, who he wanted to be today. Derrick wanted to be rock hard, and he smelled the part.
14 days ago was no different. He considered the pros and cons of each stick. Blue rush is body responsive, but Rock Hard, that's got easy glide AND all day protection...
A dilemma indeed. One that ultimately led to Derrick choosing Silver Ice, a moderately strong stick that, in his mind, sent the message of, "Look at me, I dare to be different". Really, it was just deodorant, get over it.
That morning as Derrick looked in the mirror he beheld a masterpiece. Where Garbage Can had hair, Derrick was ice, silver ice.
Not a coincidence. Derrick was what scientists in 100 years would finally get around to classifying as a translucite. Unlike most people, the changes that overcame him were not definite characteristics manifested on the outside. Instead, Derrick assumed the powers of his deodorant.
I remind you, mankind doesn't know who punched them in the face.
But whoever it was has a sick and twisted sense of humor.
Derrick felt the changes come over him. This was his first time applying ladies' anti-perspirant. He hardly felt that the back entrance to a bowling alley was the place to be experimenting with cross-gender deodorant application, but alpha squadron had left him with few options.
All uneasiness aside, the effects of Elusive Midnight were already becoming apparent. Derrick's vision focused to a point, his hearing tightened to be crisp and unadulterated. His form was fluid, lithe, and agile. Muscles taut and ready to pounce, he was a highly specialized ninja. He felt invisible, and, melding right into the brickwork, he might as well have been. Only the most dedicated and inspecting eye could catch him now.
It's sure a good thing the bad guys always have good ventilation systems in their hideouts, or we'd all be screwed a long time ago...
With a leap of grace, Derrick landed on the roof. Deftly removing a vent-cover, he slid in, beginning the long journey into the heart of the bad-guy's lair.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
It was another one of those Tuesdays. Garbage Can had slept in late- a futile attempt at recuperation after last night's marathon bad-guy-thwarting. It had been like this for two weeks now. It was getting harder and harder to remember what life was like before his best friend developed the British accent. Garbage Can hadn't seen an unattractive girl in 13 days, and he was pretty confident that he was the hairiest man alive.
It had all happened so fast; the world never had a chance to reassemble after the initial shock. It was as if the entire human population had been sucker-punched by a random assailant. Mankind, collectively, was out on a picnic. A scrawny white kid wearing a baseball cap walked up, gave a nod of the head, and hit us, right in the face. A clear spring day, in view of the pope, he smacked us. No one knew quite why we got sucker punched, but before anyone had a chance to figure out we punched back. Biting, punching, laser-beaming, it's an all out brawl.
And we don't even know who punched us.
That was as far as it went in Garbage Can's medium sized brain. There wasn't time to think any more. This new life demanded action. A new era had seized upon the world two weeks ago, and this epoch was clearly not fit for the thinking types.
14 days ago, on a Tuesday morning entirely different from the current example of Tuesday, Steve Chalk woke up to his cell phone alarm. Perpetually early and most definitely out to get him, Steve had no qualms about throwing the poor device out the window. After all, it did wake him up- vengeance tastes great in the morning.
Steve took the usual 14 uneven steps to the bathroom. The release of his bodily fluids did little to wake the lumbering giant. Standing at five foot eleven, he made Chinese people gasp when he walked by.
Normal people? Nah, not as much gasping. Sort of disappointing really.
As he washed his hands, he looked up into the mirror. Squinting against the pain due to the obscene amount of light in the room, he took a deep breath. It was then, in that brief flash of agony, that he had a monumental thought. "What if I had webbed feet, and, like, I could run really fast?"
As monumental as this thought was, it bears no importance in this narrative.
Two seconds later, Steve discovered his new beard. Big, it was big. So big, in fact, that it simply meshed together with his eyebr- err... unibrow. After much tedious and painful thought (it was still morning you know) Steve came to the conclusion that he was thoroughly and entirely covered in thick and luscious hair. Bright and orange, he was concerned about his shampoo supply.
Two hours later, Steve began to realize he wasn't the only one to wake up different. His chemistry teacher failed to not ignite the whiteboard with his gaze five times. The smelly kid that nobody likes showed up to school with wings, big ones.
Perhaps the most shocking moment of the morning came shortly after Steve arrived at the high school. Showing up early to class, he took his seat. Brief moments later, his heart tried out for the US gymnastics team. Forgetting his newfound coat, he stared at the doorway. There, framed by oak not worthy of her presence, stood Alicia Brown, the ugliest girl since Stonehenge. Memory's repulsive veil slid from his eyes, and there she stood, the most beautiful being Steve had ever seen. Her hair blew in the nonexistent breeze, her body silhouetted by the absent spot light. When she moved, it was with the grace of a Mars Rover. Carefully calculated, deliberate, and filled with enough power to make even the strongest man cheer in wonder and amazement.
He was drooling, but it was alright- he had a beard.
It took Steve a moment to regain composure. She took her seat. Steve retook his (he had fallen to the floor, you see). She made a dainty little cough. Steve burped.
Mid-belch, another spectacular figure threw open the door and bathed the world with beauty once more. Ready for it this time, he managed to remain in his desk. Two more followed. It was like a mad scientist had combined all the deliciousness of a whopper with a cheetah and Ghandi's attractive girlfriend.
The glorious parade continued, Steve began to feel less dizzy. The smart kid came in, wearing green sunglasses. Fashion statement? Hardly, the man's eyes were causing plants to erupt out of anything he concentrated on hard enough. Leonard floated in to class, Hernando came in dripping something that looked like motor oil.
The whole class sat in awkward silence for the next 92 minutes, no joke. Steve was going stir crazy. It was as if everybody had their tongues tied around the changes that had come over them. He wanted so much to nudge Brett and say something suave like "Hey, check out this beard." Brett, however, refused to make eye contact, and instead was focusing on wearing a bowler cap.
At lunch, a fight broke out. Fisticuffs break out all the time, but most don't usually result in asteroid impacts. To be fair, they were small rocks, hardly life threatening. To be accurate, thousands of chunks of two or more minerals thrown together falling from heaven hurt like the dickens. The supplier of the 'roids, Charlie, got attacked by a vicious super break dance gang. Not knowing what to do, he took a chance on the death from above approach. Way to go Charlie.
It's been two weeks since the world changed. Cape sales exceeded yearly expectations on Wednesday alone. Since the new life started, Steve had participated in no less than four bad-guy-thwarting adventures. He'd seen friends come and go, nuclear crises rise and fall. His left leg was turned into a movie review.
As Garbage Can reflected on the last two weeks of his life, he couldn't help but miss the cell phone he had thrown out the window. He couldn't resist the urge to sit in his office chair like old times and spin around just once or twice. "What," he questioned, "happened to the days when my greatest worry was English homework?"
The high school was destroyed the day after the world changed. No more homework. Lots more bad guys. Garbage Can knew that this was just the beginning. The world had been thrust out of the old system. The social ladder shattered, the economy gone. He was part of this new world. Everything was different, everything was changed. Life was new, life was hairy.
Garbage Can looked at the calendar. Two bad-guy-thwartings scheduled for the evening. Great.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
One of the skills that they're going to try to teach you at any leadership conference you ever go to is going to be Evaluation. Now, they're going to try to put a cool label on it, and probably even make up a catchy catch phrase to catch the concept in your brain.
Yes. I should have used a thesaurus on that last sentence. However, I find it refreshingly refreshing not to.
In any event, it's a good skill to gain. The main concept revolves around contemplating what just happened. After you complete a task, look at what went right, examine what went wrong, and determine what to change in the future.
It's brilliant, really. So simple that most do it already, but just tricky enough that when genuinely pursued it becomes a great engine for progress and improvement.
These days I try to evaluate most things I do. You better believe that the Ultimate club is going to run a whole lot differently next year. My cross country attitude and performance will be changed, my dance moves will be altered, my very hair tweaked from day to day to achieve the results I desire.
I tend to over complicate very simple things. I take an easy concept that automatically clicks and poke and prod it until it becomes a barbecue-shaped mass of mathematical principles and philosophical dissertations.
Today we played sharks and minnows for our cross country workout, just as a throwback to the good old days. Sharks and minnows is a very simple game. You begin the game with two sharks, and their goal is to run and tag everyone else (the minnows). Once an individual is tagged they become minnows no more, but sharks forever.
As a minnow you want to run like crazy and remain uncaught. As a shark you want to catch the minnows and spawn more sharks. Once all the minnows are turned into sharks the game is over.
So really, it's like tag, except instead of you being it when a guy tags you, you're both it when a guy tags you.
As a cross country team, we're born to run. The area that we play in is quite formidable, basically the entire south half of the high school property. It's an island really, the area that you can get to without ever crossing a road. The track, the soccer fields, the front lawn, the relo's, the sidewalk, etc. As long as you don't run in the parking lot or across any streets you remain in the boundaries.
So, today I played a simple game and got a simple outcome. Tonight I have evaluated the game, and come here to share some love.
Number One: Traveling in a pack drastically improves your capability to survive. Your chance of living through an encounter with a shark is directly related to the number of other minnows you are traveling with.
You're running alone and you see a shark turn the corner and run towards you. You immediately take a 180 and run the opposite direction. Whether you survive this encounter or not depends entirely on your speed compared to the shark's speed. We will call this value "Y". If I run at a speed that I arbitrarily assign the value of five to, and the shark runs a five as well, the ratio is 5:5, or one. Chances of me surviving are about 50 percent in this encounter. Since we both run the same speed, I've got half a chance to get out, and he's got half a chance to get me. So, we can construct a formula that looks like this. Chance of me surviving on my own = .5 times Y. (Y is the ratio of my speed to his).
So, let's try another. if I run at a two and he runs at a six, our ratio will be 2:6, or 1:3. Formula is .5 Y, so I've got (1/3) times .5, or 1/6 chance of surviving. Not even good.
However, something interesting happens when I run with a partner. When a shark spots prey, he can only target one at a time if we run opposite directions. The shark is forced to choose one or the other. Statistically I have a 50 percent chance that he's going to pick the other guy.
If we add this to the formula, we end up with something like My survival chance = .5Y divided by the chance he'll come after me, or .5
Therefore I've got twice the chance of surviving an encounter with a shark if I travel with a partner. Likewise, I've got three times the chance of surviving if I travel with two partners. No wonder fish flock together, their individual chances of survival go way up.
Number Two: running with a gatorade is a bad idea.
I bought a gatorade (hereafter to be refered to as "my 'rade") right before we went out to run. I decided that I'd carry it around with me as I ran and drink as I went. Unfortunately, I cramped up because of this, and my running capabilities were greatly diminished. In the future, I will not drink 'rade as I run, but only before and after.
Number Three: Having something to throw at jose is a great idea.
Midway through the match, me and my traveling buddy found ourselves in quite the pickle. After dodging the bad guys out in the soccer fields, we ran past the baseball diamond and hopped the fence, putting us behind the home bleachers in the stadium. We ran down the hill and around the track, putting us right in front of the visitors bleachers. At this point we saw two sharks coming at us from the entrance to the track. There really was only one exit from that point, and that was the hole that the sharks had just come out of. They had superior angles on us, and there were two of them. While there were definitely two of us, we both wanted to get out of there alive, so we had to do some quick thinking.
We knew we couldn't get to the exit without doing something crazy. They had us covered with the angles, we were forced to accept that. We knew that both sharks would probably come after one individual minnow, their chances of catching one of us are doubled that way. We knew that we both wanted to escape, and so our daring plan was formulated and put into action in the same breath.
We kept running our initial course, letting them angle towards us to cut us off. When they were sufficiently close, my buddy doubled back and ran the opposite direction, causing the sharks to break from each other as one briefly pursued. She figured that wouldn't work out pretty fast, so she turned her sights back on me, with Jose having never left his initial course to destroy me. However, I now had enough of a gap between the two sharks to even the playing field in my favor, making speed a factor in the game once again. You see, when you've got two sharks right by each other it doesn't matter how fast you run. One will just hold back while you juke the shoes off of the first shark, and than tag you just as soon as you're past. But now we had the sharks seperated, so maybe a juke was possible.
I sped up, and Jose came to match me. I was running parallel to the outside fence, and I'd have to change course real soon or face a chain link corner that I wouldn't have gotten out of. Jose was only about 10 feet from me, so I faked left, then stalled for half a second.
And then I remembered, I was carrying my 'rade. It had given me obnoxious cramps, and I was feeling quite hydrated, despite only drinking half of the bottle. I settled on the only plan of action that I could see working, and chucked the bottle at Jose.
This served two very valuable purposes. Not only did it shock jose, but it also hit him in the shin. This made him terribly angry. So angry, in fact, that his new goal was not to tag me, but to hit me in the back of the head with my half-full bottle of 'rade. In the time it took him to realize he'd been thrown at and pick it up to retaliate I was gone. As soon as I released the bottle I booked it, hard straight just long enough to clear an opening back across the field and then a sharp turn to get out of that corner. I escaped, and jose missed the back of my head by about a foot. Lucky, that could have caused some damage.
Evaluating it, I can see that I got out of a life threatening situation by throwing something at Jose. Therefore, I am always going to carry some sort of projectile for sharks and minnows. It's just too valuable to pass up.
Number Four: I want to stay alive a lot more than the sharks want to catch me.
As a minnow, I only live once. There is no minnow respawn. Once you're tagged you're a shark until the game is over. Supply and demand says that since there's only one life, that life is ridiculously valuable.
Sharks, on the other hand, are already dead. Their goal is to catch people, and at any given point they may have five or six minnows that they could possible catch. Supply/demand states that since there are six possibilities, they are less valuable than if there was only one.
Since I have one out of one desire to stay alive, and they only have one out of six desire to catch me, it's a whole lot easier for me to "hit the juice" and sprint them out than it is for them to book it to catch me.
In a one on one encounter, sharks won't usually match your sprint for more than five seconds. After that period it hurts more than it is worth for the shark, whereas you've still got more value to keep running with. This is your last chance, whereas the shark will have infinitely more chances to chase minnows.
Number Five: evaluation of sharks and minnows is a really weird thing to write about at 12:16 AM. I mean really, who does that? I'll tell you.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
That's what 11:42 PM version of me what's to say to this afternoon's edition of yours truly. I had a rough afternoon today, it was stressful. Today was our first day of indoor track practice. Sprinters and distance were heading over to 24 hour fitness. Coach was going to come, but he got tricked into drivers ed.
Basically, we had 20 or so people in there, and I was in charge. Now, I'm usually in charge. That's just how things work, I'm generally alright with it.
I was really irritated with it this afternoon. I'm not being payed assistant coach salary. I didn't sign up to be the coach, I signed up to run. The whole bit was stressful. Trying to shuttle everybody over there was obnoxious. It ends up that I have a very unique vision of what our treadmill work out is. I've been doing it wrong for a year now.
So, I was pretty mad about stuff. I shouldn't have had to be in charge.
Yeah, grow up pansy boy.
You're totally capable of managing 20 athletes in a gym. That's cake. You've done it before. You could forge them into an amazing troupe of acrobats in 45 minutes if you really needed to. This is not something that you can't do, so stop complaining.
I figured that out tonight. The situation isn't about to change. It seems that no matter what I do, I'm taken off of the normal path and put aside as the gopher. It happened at Ike, it's happening at Taylorsville. "What's that Sharpe? You need me to crawl in the ceiling, locate the black wire in the dark, and then feed it through to you 30 feet away? And make sure that I don't not touch the "lava" ceiling tiles, suspend my weight from heating ducts and I-beams, dodge dead animals, cat-5 cable, and piping? And you want a sandwich too? Alright, you're the boss; I'll get the suit on."
"Hey coach, how's it goi- Oh, I get to be the coach today? And you don't want tomatoes on your sandwich? Ok, sure thing."
It's going to happen. I don't do well as a drone. I think I'm destined to grow up to be a personal assistant.
That irked me a lot today. I didn't want to be like that.
But really, I am going to be like that. That's the way things are going to work, and I'm going to make it work out dang good, thank you very much.
I'm good at it. I've had a lot of practice. So what's the problem with doing it a little more? There isn't any. I'm changing my attitude. I'm not going to get stressed any more. I'm just going to do a good job, and not worry about the deeper questions behind the issue. Should I be the coach? No. Should I be the adult in charge at the gym? No; I drive a minivan.
That's not the point. The point is, I'm going to do the best job. People are going to be blown away. It's going to be intense.
In other news, we're playing cottonwood on Friday. Yeeha, I am excited. It will be a fun adventure.
Speaking of adventures, we're going to change things up schedule-wise. I think we're only going to play Ultimate every other week. Therefore, the Ultimate-less weekends will be reserved for quality adventures. I am going to spend some time planning something awesome, and we'll go for it.
Dear afternoon version of me,
Don't be a pansy. The world will continue to throw blunt objects your way. Stop the Hollywood act. Don't step in front of them and claim they're out to get you; you look stupid. Don't just take the beam and walk to first. It's time to smack those blunt objects out into the bleachers, give the cynics something to shake them out of that pessimistic dust they've been snorting. Stop rolling over and start making the world what you want it to be. You're not the victim. Pick the situation up and make it what you want.
-Evening version of me.
P.S. I like the hair.
-Amendment about 30 minutes later-
What's the deal with everyone harpin' on the immigrants? You're not better than them, and they're not ruining our lives. I did absolutely nothing to earn my citizenship. I got it for free. Letting our friend Hernando come to the states by hopping a fence and giving him citizenship does NOTHING to make my citizenship worth less. They want to sing the National Anthem in Spanish? Sounds great to me.
Really. I can't understand all the haters. I can accept that people have different viewpoints, but I don't see where they came from. I think it's fear and prejudice, honestly.
My hard theory: Suck it up. I'm not going to beat around the bush. They're coming, whether or not you accept that. They're real people too, with families and hopes and dreams just like you. You are not better than them. You are not superior because you were born in the states and had citizenship handed to you. "But I'm going to have to adapt! That's retarded, they should change for me, not me for them!" They've already changed. You're not better than them, meet them halfway. You're not the king of the hill because you got here first.
Really. Give it up folks, it's going to happen. Accept it. I don't see a problem with it. This was prompted by a forward I got, something about singing the national anthem in Spanish. I can't believe someone is actually upset about that.
If you can't tell, this has been on my mind for a while now. Rockwell made the point about giving just one more person citizenship makes my personal citizenship worth less. Supply and demand, right?
While I value and love this country, I can't help but remember that I did nothing to gain my citizenship. It was handed to me for free based on variables that I had nothing to do with to my knowledge. According to me, having or not having citizenship doesn't change a thing for me. I can't vote or hold public office. Neither can non-citizens. This might be a little 'blasphemous' to the haters out there, but right now, my citizenship doesn't mean much to me.
I love the fact that I live in America. This country is amazing. It's beautiful and logical and grand.
The fact remains. My life isn't impacted for the next three years whether I'm a citizen or not.
So why should I be upset about letting my citizenship mean less because we're letting a guy named Hernando get it by hopping a fence? I have no idea.
But apparently, some people do. Congratulations on being born on the right side of the fence. You're obviously superior, I wouldn't want to ruin your happy parade by disgracing it by, ya know, sharing the same status you share.
I'll leave you and your special drinking fountains alone. I'll go learn spanish, and you stay proud of your status and refuse to change. Sounds great.
Rahaha, bunch of haters. I just don't get it. Give it up, you're not better. "Oh noes, teh Spanish signs at WalMart!"
This argument doesn't apply to veterans or immigrants who have become citizens. Both of the aforementioned worked for the rights that they have. I have great respect for those people. Because they have done work, they are justified in calling me a dirtbag for the things that I have said. As for me, I'll even call myself a dirtbag. My citizenship was handed to me, so I don't mind handing it to somebody else. Veterans and legal immigrants can disagree. I can't. That is all.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Happy veterans day folks, and happy birthday to my good buddy Nick. What a stud.
Anyways, in honor of all the good men and women who have fought to keep our country and the world safe from the bad guys, we thought that it'd be fitting for us to retire an American flag.
However, we had no American flags on hand. Still wishing to honor our veterans, we did the next best thing.
Friday, November 10, 2006
I have a proposal for you all. If you accept, you will be a part of the greatest competition since that one time we all tried to hold our breaths the longest and kyle passed out.
How often does one go to a region dance and find themselves terribly disappointed with the DJ's selection of music? I'll tell you:
This is your chance to do what you've always said you could - create a better playlist than the DJ.
The challenge: create the greatest region dance song list ever. Then burn a copy and give it to me.
The details: Region dances are three hours long. You are assigned to create an hour and a half list at minimum, with a maximum of three hours. Good luck fitting that on one CD, I'd suggest a DVD. Details aren't too necessary, it's pretty self explanatory. You need to find a healthy balance between fast songs and slow songs, pumping songs and lyrical songs, white guy music and black guy music.
Really it's up to you. The destiny of 200 region dance kids is in your hand. Are they going to have a good night or not?
The contest will be judged by myself, and some others if I feel like it. I will be analyzing every CD I get to determine the very best. The winner's prize will be discussed a little lower.
Here are some helpful hints.
- Only like, 3 people know how to swing dance. Keep that in mind.
- Points will be seriously deducted for including boot/scoot/boogie. Inversely, failure to include cotton eye joe will also be punished.
- You can't please everybody, so please the people that are important to you.
- Find a healthy balance of slow songs. That's why half of the people go to region dances. How many slow songs are too many slow songs? No one knows, but I'm all about more slow songs.
- Trends are important, notice them. It might not be the best idea to place a slow song right after a really fast song. People like me get sweaty during fast songs.
- The end is crucial. It is critical for you to end in a slow song. Failure to do so will result in riots.
- Remember to keep it region dance appropriate. I don't want to hear swearing whilst I'm grooving.
- If you feel like being creative you can designate certain slow songs as girl's choice, although this is risky and the actual benefits haven't been conclusively studied yet.
- Bonus points if your region dance has cookies.
- It gives you an opportunity to explore your own musical tastes. It's a challenge to see how good you are.
- It gives you a greater appreciation for the DJ's. They don't know what they're doing either.
- It gives me a greater musical library. Hahaha, burn your cd's so I can "analyze" them. Please, I just want your music.
- ....and your ideas. Right.
- They'll be analyzed and mocked/praised publicly by yours truly on this here blog. I'm going to have good times with these, letting you know exactly how I feel. "Yeah, maybe that'd work at a Granger region dance."
- One day I'm going to host a rebel dance. You know that it's going to happen one of these days. This insight will prove invaluable in my quest to create the greatest region dance ever.
- It lets you finally say "I made a better region dance song list than this crappy DJ..." instead of the less-than-awesome "I could make a better song list...". Impress your friends with some genuine credibility behind your statement. This'll hold up in court. It's going to be that good.
- It'll be very interesting to see the differences between boys and girls. I wonder who'll put more slow songs, the guys or the girls. I bet guys, but then again, I don't have any data to go from yet.
- If you're crowned region dance song list champion of the world, I'm going to make a killer music video using a bunch of music from your list. I'll even dedicate it to you. You can count on this one, because I've been dying to make a music video for a long time now. But, I won't do it if only like, two people play. If more than 6 do it, I'm going to be all over it.
- Yes, you can work in partners. You can build friendships through region dance music. Hooray.
There's only one way to find out.
Many will enter, few will win.
The official challenge begins right now. It'll be publicized more throughout this next week, you can help with that too. Dooooo it. Let me know if you're going to play or not. If you need a cd/dvd let me know. It'll make me feel better about myself because I've got something that you don't. Maybe I'll give you one too, we'll see.
Region Dance IV Life.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Now, I knew there were about a million of them hidden away somewhere in my noggin that I had thought of previously. My memory was temporarily blocked however, and so I had to fish around for some new ones. I came up with three, distributed between myself, an 'anonymous' contributor, and Jason. Here's what we came up with.
#1, submitted by Christopher Thatcher
If you aspire to become a high school physics teacher, you should probably start collecting matching shoes and watches now...
#2, submitted by Anonymous. (it was me!)
High school relationships are alot like peeing in a urinal. Great and all, but if you get too close it'll come back and hit you.
#3 was mean, so we had Jason turn it in as his. We'll leave it to him to post it. C'mon slacker.
It's been long enough, I guess it's time to post that gym idea before it leaves my brain forever. I've held it in so long that it's lost a lot of its luster for me, I don't like it as much right now as I did back in the day when my neurons first proposed it. But hey, I'm going to lose it if I don't post it, so I might as well.
/turns on my 'ideas' music. (Dream Big - Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band)
Everybody loves going to the gym. It's good for you. As you work out your body reduces endorphins, natural happy pills inside your brain. Your lose body fat and gain muscle mass. You find daily tasks easier and quicker, your balance is improved, and your self esteem goes through the roof. Your mind is sharper and life is better.
Exercise is an integral part of achieving happiness during your journey through life. I am confident that there is a direct relationship between the amount of exercise we get and our personal health and happiness. All of our mental and emotional capacities are improved as we improve our bodies.
In this busy world that we live in it is difficult for many to find time to exercise regularly. Gyms provide the only viable opportunity for many to get a good work out. Most don't have time to go on a nine mile run on the parkway, and few are going to be able to find a nice mountain trail to bike on for half an hour. Many gyms are available 24 hours a day to help you become better. As you drive home from work, you're free to stop in and bike for 20 minutes and follow it up with a little lifting.
The idea here is that it's quick, easy, and good for you. Gyms exist to make the whole working out experience available for everyone. I love the gym. The entire facility is pervaded with an aura of self improvement that I haven't found anywhere else in the world. Everyone there is there to make themselves better. It's not like school where the masses are funneled into molds in the hope that they will catch a bit of knowledge along the way. There are no unwilling participants at the gym, no one is forced to be there. They made the choice to come and work out in order to make themselves better. That, friends, is a very noble choice to make.
One would think that, assuming the information I have given you is accurate, everyone would be going to the gym regularly. No one would be left without a workout, the whole world would be healthier.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. A very small percentage of the world has a membership to a gym. There are a number of reasons for this, and I have identified my main three.
- Cost. Most gyms charge a monthly membership fee.
- Boredom. Cycling for 30 minutes while watching silent day-time soap operas and reading poorly typed captions gets old after a while.
- Time constraints. Many are just too busy to find an hour to hit the gym.
Now, I am no expert on gyms. The truth is that I've only ever been to one, and I've never payed to be there. I truthfully do not know how the whole business side of it works. I do however have a lot of time to sit and think whilst I run or cycle at the gym, and I believe the increased oxygen flow to my brain facilitates greater mental reasoning than under normal circumstances. So, without further ado, my concept to solve the aforementioned problems.
Imagine a gym with no membership cost. A gym that you could walk right in to without ever signing a paper. Music to my ears, but it presents a serious problem for whoever is running the gym. They stand to do nothing but lose money on the adventure, gyms are expensive to keep going. You've got to pay for the equipment, the lease on the land and building, the utilities, the janitors, the workers.
So how can one make money without charging membership fees? Well, what do you have to work with?
As a gym, (and a free gym at that), you have a multitude of people coming to you every day who want to do nothing more than expend excess energy. Everything they desire for the next hour of their life revolves around moving weights from one place to another, whether that weight be their own body or a plate of iron.
These people come every day. They stay anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours, and most of them smell terrible by the time they leave. In any given day, the combined miles your gym will travel in cycling and running will total over 1000 miles. You will move ridiculous amounts of weight, defeat even the most stubborn antiperspirant.
You have, at your disposal, an army of workers that want to give up their work for free. You are leaps and bounds ahead of even the most crooked fruit farmers. The trick is learning how to make money off of these costumers without ever charging them for coming in.
So, how do you do it? Convert your gym into a genuine power plant.
When I bike, I bike hard. I pump the resistance level way up and pedal my heart out. I set a goal to travel six miles in 15 minutes. I know the pace that I have to follow, and I set out to do it. If I find myself behind target, I pick it up and pedal like mad. The last two minutes are always the worst. My thighs burn like mad, the oxygen cycle is accelerated and my heart rate goes through the roof.
And for what? Better legs and lungs tomorrow, and the satisfaction that I hit my goal. Where does all my work go? No where, the bike just cycles. The resistance is applied, and all the work I do against it does nothing but heat up whatever is holding the pedals back. All that energy is essentially wasted as heat.
Enter the next generation of work out equipment. This time instead of me turning a closed system that does nothing but work against friction when I pump those pedals, I'm going to be producing pure and unadulterated electricity. We've all played the original Mario Party, and most of us have been lucky enough to be drawn to play the one player mini game in which Mario must blister-pedal a bike to power a giant light bulb before boo shows up and eats him.
Now, our bikes don't have giant light bulbs on them, and boo hasn't attacked any of my costumers yet. However, the concept is the same. You are pedaling and converting your own mechanical energy into electric current.
All the bikes are like this, and they are all feeding in to your main gym grid. Your elliptical machines are the same as well. Rigging the weight machines will be slightly trickier, but still practical and possible.
Essentially, all of your machines will be about producing electricity to be sold back. Due to this design there's a good chance that the gym will not have any treadmills. Treadmills are the only machine that I haven't found a way to make a positive energy exchange on. Everything else stands to make some serious wattage.
That's the concept. Create a gym that is, for all intensive purposes, a power plant. Offer people a convenient place to come and cycle at, elliptical at, and lift at. Harness the power of the masses, and convert their mechanical energy into electrical current.
Now, chances of making a lot of money on this scheme are pretty low. What's the membership fee for a normal gym for a month? Let's just say 30 dollars.
Ok wow. I just did some calculations. It ends up that in 2004, a kilowatt hour of electricity was selling for something like 9 cents. A kilowatt hour is the same as 3.6 megajoules, or 3,600,000 joules. A joule, as we know, is defined as the energy required to exert a force of one newton for a distance of one meter.
However, thanks to wikipedia, we figured out that a kW h = 860,000 calories. Those are the scientific calories, not the working out calories. Working out calories are in fact kCals, or 1000 calories.
So, in short. If you were to burn 860 calories and lose no energy to heat, and then sell off all of that madness, you'd get about 9 cents out of the deal.
But hey, look on the bright side. You'd burn 860 calories. After a week of that you're gonna be ripped.
Back to all seriousness. That's all based on random stuff that I just pretended to learn 10 minutes ago. It may or may not be accurate. For the sake of me not feeling like I wasted the last hour of my life writing this plan, let's continue.
We're going to pretend that the mechanical advantage that a bike makes for me lets me make a whole lot more energy than normal. We're also going to assume that the future is going to bring us even more efficient bikes.
The concept is easy here. You build a gym that costs as little as possible to operate. You don't have anything too fancy. No swimming pool, no treadmills. Just the basics, what the common man wants. Who honestly comes to a gym to swim? Maybe .5% of the actual population of the gym ever swims. Therefore, don't spend resources on it.
You don't need a huge facility. During the day you don't need to run the lights, let the sun-lights pour in and light everything up. Build it as energy efficient as possible. Put solar panels on the roof just for fun. Then, hook all of your machinery up to a grid, and hook that grid back up to the city. Take care of all the power that your gym requires (very little) and sell the rest back.
You're not going to turn a profit like this, unless something revolutionary happens. However, you can cut costs, making things easier on everybody. Maybe it's 5 dollars a month instead of 30. Find other ways to make money off of your costumer base. Sell T-shirts, show nothing but advertisements on your televisions. Tempt them with delicious delicious gatorade marked up to a dollar a bottle.
In short, a power plant of a gym does several beneficial things for the world.
- It has a negative carbon footprint. This baby is giving back to the environment, none of this taking away crap. Instead of contributing x amount of CO2 to the environment annually, this thing is technically taking it away. It's not only powering itself, but it powers the walmart down the street as well.
- It creates a cheap way for people to get a work out. They don't have to pay 30 dollars to come work out, they just show up. You win, they win. We all win. Everyone is healthy, and the world is a better place.
- If you're tricky enough you can make a little money off of it. Like, really tricky.
Simply put: It's ridiculous that all the lung-bursting work I like to do on those cycles does nothing but convert the glucose in my cells to ATP, then that ATP to making those cells do stuff. Those cells doing stuff makes my muscles contract, those muscles make my legs move. That mechanical energy my legs exert move the pedals. The pedals are hard to move because there's a big brake pad rubbing up against the disc inside that I'm spinning. You know what happens to the brake pad? It heats up, and that's all.
Why not fight global warming while I'm pedaling away? Why not relieve some of the stress on the power grid? Why not try to make a crazy business model fly?
Haha, that's all I've got folks. I wonder how short I could make this if I wanted to. Let's try really fast.
I've got a new business model for gyms. Instead of charging membership fees you make it so all your bikes make electricity when they are pedaled, and then you sell that electricity back to make money.
Wow. That was short.
But my post wasn't, it was long.
C'mon friends, smile. Things are alright. We're going to make it. We've seen plenty of trouble already, but none of it managed to kill us. It's not the first time there's been drama, and it's not the first time you didn't stick a 4.0; we survived the last time, we're going to survive this one.