Thursday, March 29, 2012

13 Sports For The Retired Runner

I can't imagine my life without running.  But I suppose the day may come when I will need to find an alternate way to keep a healthy lifestyle.  It's fun to ponder these things from time to time, isn't it?

So, here are 13 sports that would suit me if I weren't a runner:

1. Mixed Martial Arts
2. Rugby
3. Hockey
4. Football - Running Back
5. Speed Skating
6. Mountain Biking
7. Pole Vault
8. Biathlon
9. Snowboarding
10. Lacrosse
11. The Rings - Gymnastics
12. Ninja Warrior
13. Trapeze

What about you?  Do you have a "back-up" passion?

Thanks to sundero on Flickr for the refreshing picture!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

13 Reasons Why Daylight Saving Time is Dumb

I know we're already over a week and a half past Daylight Saving Time, but I'm still feeling the effects, so without further ado:

13 Reasons Why Daylight Saving Time is Dumb

1. Daylight Saving Time (DST) lacks consistency globally.  Even from region to region, there is not always a uniform start and end time, or whether or not a region even participates.  Ever hear of Indiana?  To further wreck havoc, in 2007, the US Government decided to extend DST by several weeks in each direction.

2. DST creates confusion regarding last call at the bars.  If an hour of drinking time is gained are local laws broken?  If an hour of valuable drinking time is lost, will that trigger a riot?

3. DST is yet another suspect government policy concocted by a womanizer.  Thanks a lot Ben Franklin!

4. Roosters and other farm animals don't really observe DST.

5. In the summer, the sun already shines 24 hours a day in Antarctica.  What's the point?

6. DST can severely disrupt people's circadian clock.  Think forced Jet Lag!  I don't know about you, but I don't like anything messing with my sleep.  You know the saying, let a sleeping dog lie?  Well, the government better make sure they have their rabies shots up to date!

7. When we "fall back" a paradox may occur where identical twins are born out of birth order.  Really, it can actually happen!  The first child is delivered at 1:59am and, five minutes later, the next baby is born at 1:04am.  That's before the older sibling!  Hurry, go check the space-time continuum!

8. DST endangers children.  With the extension of DST, the safety of school children is compromised as they are now required to go to school in the dark before the sun rises.

9. Lost productivity for businesses.  Meeting times are often difficult to coordinate during each time shift.  Not to mention the loss of productivity from employees with disrupted sleep patterns.

10. Computer mishaps can be attributed to DST.  Most modern software incorporates measures to address DST, but not all updates are foolproof.  Remember Y2K?  Anyway, my wife is a scientist and she was forced to reanalyze a massive amount of data for her study that spanned across a DST time shift.

11. On the first Monday after DST, studies suggest a higher rate of heart attacks, car accidents, and work-related accidents.

12. What about your household pets?  I'm surprised PETA isn't up in arms.  They are usually more upset about the inhumane treatment of animals than any inhumane treatment of humans.  And to force a dog to go for a walk an hour earlier or later just might equate to torture!  Okay, never mind animals.  What about the young kids?  Does anyone enjoy the nuclear fallout when a young child's routine is played with?  Now multiply that by sleep deprivation and you've got WWIII!

13. DST adjustments occur twice per year.  Whether it only takes you a single day to adjust to the time change, or several weeks, multiply the unnecessary stress, sleep loss, and other risk factors by two.

How does Daylight Saving Time affect you?

Thanks to niseag03 on Flickr for the great photo.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Analysis Paralysis

Something's broken.  And I'm stuck.  One of the pieces on my cube broke and I have been too nervous to try to fix it.

I have been worried that glue would seep into the internal mechanism and render it useless.  Or that I might accidentally affix the tip of my finger to my cube and literally be stuck.  Either situation would be too painful to bear.

I have been too paralyzed to fix it and so I haven't been able to enjoy all that it has to offer.  But it hasn't been all bad.  It has forced me to spend some quality time with other, more neglected puzzles.

And that's just it!  Sometimes when you think one thing is broken, it could actually be a sign that your priorities are broken.  Perhaps I have been worshiping this particular cube.  Perhaps it broke because of overuse.  With all of this focus on this one cube, something else had to suffer.

I've had this sort of thing happen with my writing too.  Certain things in life tend to bubble up and wedge out what would be my writing time.  Just like the broken piece on the cube, things beyond my control prevent me from writing the way I really want to.  It's inevitable, and that's okay.

The problem is that I have been obesessing and worrying about not writing the way I'm used to.  I really should embrace this time as an opportunity to reevaluate my priorities.  Maybe something else is actually broken.  Maybe this is the new norm.  Maybe there is no glue to "fix" my writing.

In any case, I do think it's time to get out the super glue and fix that puzzle.

Does your writing ever suffer from analysis paralysis?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

This Is Not A Post – Or Is It?

13 Reasons I Did Not Write A Post Today
  1. Electricity has been out since last week
  2. Computer crashed
  3. Too busy
  4. Forgot my blog password
  5. In the midst of a covert government mission (oops!)
  6. Th3 l3tt3r 3 is brok3n on my k3yboard
  7. This post didn't pass editorial review
  8. Slept through the deadline
  9. Stuck on an airplane
  10. Out of original ideas
  11. My captors only allow 10 minutes of internet use every 8 days
  12. Couldn't find anything suitable to wear for the occasion
  13. I'll be back to the usual post.  It will be a 'Make up post'.
Maybe this counts as a post after all.

Have you let anything slip inadvertently?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tumbling into Wonderland

The one that started it all.
Little did I know that solving the Rubik's Cube for the first time was like tumbling down the rabbit hole.

I discovered a fascinating Wonderland of twisty puzzles.

An entire world of strange and exciting puzzles materialized before my eyes.  Just months earlier, I thought I had finally joined an exclusive brotherhood having solved the Rubik's Cube.

How could so many other puzzles exist beyond the Rubik's Cube?  Had they always been there?  Was I blind?

If it weren't for the original Rubik's Cube, would I ever have been introduced to the other puzzles I have come to love?

And then it hit me.

How different would my life be if I weren't a writer?

Much like my discovery with the Rubik's Cube, I discovered something when I became a writer.  Had I not pursued a writer's life, I might have missed out reading the following books.

WISE BLOOD by Flannery O'Conner

I have always had a love for short stories, but I was not very well read in my younger years.  Sure, I read Poe and Hemingway, but I devoured King's short story collections after I became overwhelmed by his unabridged novels.

Once I reinvigorated my writing life, I found a secret river of writing knowledge that had been rushing in my own backyard the whole time.  I wanted to write short stories and I had to learn from the best.  And that's when I found Flannery O'Conner.

She demonstrated such skill in such a short amount of time, I found I had to read everything I could get my hands on.  So I read Wise Blood.  I really enjoyed it because it was so quirky.  It almost read like a collection of short stories.

Had I not become a writer, I would not have been compelled to read anything but her short stories.

SOME OF YOUR BLOOD by Theodore Sturgeon

This isn't the first time I have discussed this fantastic novel.  In my earlier post, It's the Journey, Not the Destination, I talk about why it was such a joy to read.

But this book also taught me a great deal about breaking the rules of writing.  I could have easily become frustrated early on and tossed the book aside had I not appreciated it for what it was.

You hear stories about garage sale Picasso's.  Well, had I not become a writer, I may have discarded this book and been none the wiser.

When I read this novel, I did not know much about the writing craft.  To be honest, I did not enjoy it too much.  I laughed in a few parts and the protagonist was interesting, but certainly not likeable to me.

Then again, I didn't really know the difference between a character-driven and a plot-driven story.  All I knew was this book was mildly entertaining, the characters were unpleasant, and I felt like the story was rather pointless.

Had I not wanted to learn from the "greatest" novels, I may not have ever read this book.  But this novel was another rule-breaker in many ways.


Finally, I doubt I would have read so many books on the craft of writing.  There are far too many to mention.

Although, I certainly would have still read the greatly cited ON WRITING, by Stephen King.  I read anything by King.  I would have lined shelves with boxes of cereal if the box panel copy had been written by him.

What about you?  How do you think your life would be different if you weren't a writer?