Going to the gym?

I might possibly be the least qualified person to talk about going to the gym. I haven’t been to the gym in years, I haven’t exercised on a consistent basis at least since the navy, I haven’t followed a health regimen since at least 2006. That is 10 years of sedentary activity.

But there is actually one thing that I did for a little while— Captains of Crush hand grips. For a long time I’d been somewhat keen to the idea that functional strength would mean an easier life. But those were really foggy days when it came down to actually understanding functional strength as it applied to the whole body and not just my hand strength. So what if I could open my pickle jars in my elderly years? If I can’t do sit ups, pull ups, or general body weight exercises, then what chance do I have getting up out of bed?

Luckily, it’s dawned on me that maybe I should get into shape. I’m able to do three pull ups… Well, actually, I’ve always been able to do at least two on a whim. I’ve never been unable to do a single one, save high school, when I literally did nothing to maintain my stick figure appearance. But suspending my body weight for anything longer than ten seconds is quite a task. I intend to improve that time.

Needless to say, that will take a bit of grip strength. The folks over at Ironmind have developed their own hand strength tools, including their Captains of Crush line of hand grippers. You see, when I first ran across their website, I thought it laughable to think that hand grippers could be a challenge. I was quickly brought to my knees when I discovered that I could not close the #3 gripper. My first time trying to close it, I had probably 3/4” of space between the handles (the point of hand grippers being to touch the handles together). I worked myself into closing it, but by that point in time I had no means of traveling to get certified.

Their hand grippers range from the Point Five all the way up to the #4. If you can successfully close the #3 gripper while being witnessed by an official, you get your name on an international list of Captains of Crush, showing that you’ve reached a very difficult benchmark. But everyone strives to close the #4, which is the true separator of men from boys! (Not really. The #3 is a monster to close. That alone does it for me.)

Ironmind are the industry benchmark for hand grippers. Everyone goes for these because they’re built in such a fashion that they do not “season” as quickly (seasoning is a term applied thus: the amount of torque required to close a gripper becomes easier. All grippers season, but Ironmind seem to not season very much before reaching a particular level of being fully seasoned) as other hand grippers on the market.

Besides hand grippers, though, they also make a smaller version for strengthening two fingers at a time called the IMTUG. This is particularly useful for getting your ring finger and pinky finger strengthened up to help you reach the next level.

But, overall hand strength is well and good, but exercise aficionados are well aware that for each muscle, there is one for performing opposite movements. For example, biceps move your forearm up. Your triceps move your arm down. Many people exercise both groups of muscles because it is easier to avoid injury if you balance everything out. The same applies to your hands. One group of muscles allows your fingers to curl up. Another group allows them to expand. Thus, improving your hand strength means to avoid injury by all obtainable means. Ironmind figured it out a long time ago. But it isn’t something that you can use a hand gripper to exercise, right? Right. So how would one go about exercising their opposing muscles?

Expand-Your-Hand Bands. Yup. These rubber bands are made in such a manner as to allow you to provide a balance of gripping strength and expansion conditioning, to keep everything running smoothly. Just as with the hand grippers, these increase in difficulty from the least to most resistance. This allows for you to maintain the highest level of forearm and hand health possible.


Dealing With the Grieving Process

Ever have that grieving period that you just couldn’t seem to shake for the first day after the tragic occurrence? I am going through that right now. My grandmother passed away one hour after I arrived at her side on her deathbed. Her final breath, a deep gasp, occurred at 2:24 p.m., February 17th. This is a very sad day for me indeed. In fact, all of my family are very negatively affected. I seem to have developed a very strong grief in this moment, because it was such a difficult sight to see someone I love pass away right before my eyes.

So, what have I done to deal with it? Last night, we all met at my parents’ house. There was pizza and poker and TV being eaten and played. I whipped out a few cigars as a final respect to her long life (she was 93). My fiancee joined in, and the kids had all been playing games and tag.

This, I feel, was the best way to counteract the grieving process. Being with those you love is the strongest bond, in my opinion.

However, when I went to bed, it was a different story altogether. I had a bad dream, I kept getting cold, and trembled beneath my blanket for a few hours. When I finally did get to sleep, this dream was just really scary to me at the time. It finally panned out, in the end. I woke up crying, and did so for about a half hour. My dog sensed a problem and curled up in my lap.

I realized that I was very hungry, so I wound up going to the store to grab some eggs and milk. But it felt surreal. It was as if no one was really there, but at the same time I was just kind of trudging through other people, who were totally unaware of my pain. It was the weirdest thing. Other people shopping and the store employees stocking shelves with goods. No one made eye contact with me at all. Maybe they did detect something amiss.

I got home and once again began bawling. It’s been a very rough day and I have been awake no more than two hours. It is a terrible thing to wake up and a big part of your life, a backbone to the family, will no longer be there to sing, smile, and laugh with you at dinner. To give you another hug and a kiss during holidays. To give her a heartfelt gift on her birthday. I’ve become deeply saddened by this process.

As such, I’m not quite sure I’ve experienced a grief of this magnitude before. Yes, I have lost relatives in the past. In fact, this last December we just lost my uncle, who had been suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease after a bout of lead poisoning. Yes, of course I grieved then, too. But this feels very different for some reason. It feels like a huge loss on me and everyone.

There have been several books on the subject, but as I haven’t read any of them, I couldn’t say for sure whether they’re helpful or not. I can say, however, that books sometimes help with comforting people. This book, as a matter of fact, came up in a search on Amazon. It might be helpful to you.

Allow me to take the time now to end this post. I’m going to probably look around for something to occupy my mind. I could definitely use a lot of help right now.

Thirty minutes to blog on your phone?

I only have thirty minutes to eat lunch, after spending fifteen of those minutes of my entire lunch hour selecting something if I haven’t brought my lunch. So, I’m going to try something new. A laptop, obviously, would be more suited for this, but as I do not have one, I am giving this a shot.

So you like blogging. Cool! I don’t blog every day, but when I do, I actually enjoy it. So what I have is a small hint at blogging when you’re at work. I’m actually using my phone to blog this, so I’m quite sure you can too. In fact, I know you can if you’re reading this on your phone! “So why would anyone try this anyways?” you may be asking. Well, here’s my story.

I work full time, so I don’t always have the energy to do what I want after work. I get tired after work, and a good 75+ percent of my after-work activities will include a nap. The days I don’t nap are the days when I have to run some errands of sorts, which usually lead to a bit more exhaustion than I would like. I have explored, as recently as yesterday, other means of obtaining income to supplement what I already make. Many lists included writing a blog in your free time. I figured I should try to do this while on my lunch hour, because I’m neither tired nor busy at this time. At the same time, I haven’t quite set up any accounts where people can purchase stuff through an affiliate link, and I know I do need one of those. I don’t, however, link to anything just yet. I do have a pretty good idea as to what I would like to advertise and sell. When that time comes, I’ll be good!

But then again, there are times when my lunch is interrupted, and I don’t have the time to write. What would I do then? Well, I would first like to point out one thing: just because you’re not posting a blog every day, does not mean that that must be a / the primary foundation behind blogging. If you have plenty of things to say, and you have a consistent means of conveying your ideas, but you’re also not stressed out from working so hard– then you have a recipe for a daily blog. My situation, as well as everyone else’s, will not match yours. You might have many more hours to blog, and some of you might not even give blogging a second look. I know it isn’t for everybody, but if it was so, then a single blog like this would get lost in the internet jungle that is Google and eBay and Facebook.

Just look at it this way: you are able to write a post on Facebook whenever you wish, from either your Facebook app or from your Internet browser. I don’t see why you could not also blog in the same fashion. They say money is everywhere, and I’m looking very much forward to getting some of that! But I’m still not in the first few steps, one of which requires an affiliate link through which I could sell things to people. That is the one thing I’m hung up on. I need to stop myself from giving up three feet from the gold. I think many of us my would like to have someone say this to us, and to mentor us into becoming money magnets. Positive affirmations do work, and the other half of that battle is work. So this would be a great means of getting my brain out there and getting people to read my stuff more often. I may not have the exact same ideals as you do. But if I can punch out this blog on my phone using only my thumbs in 19 minutes at this exact moment, then I don’t think you’ve really explored all the different avenues for revenue generation. I think I’ll see what it takes to become an affiliate partner for eBay and Amazon. If any old person can just sit down and do their thing and make money, then I certainly can too! It is just those first steps that seem the hardest, the most daunting even. Once I pass a threshold, I’ll see where I am from that point. Hopefully I can keep this going!

It’s about time ¬†leave now, but let me know at you think. If you have any advice on making money through affiliate links, then I would greatly appreciate any input. I know what sells well within those things in which I find great interest, so those would be the very things I would specialize in!

Thank you for taking the time to r Eads this blog! Let me know how I did for a phone entry, too!

Esoteric in Definitive Existence

I am surprisingly unmotivated to write these days. Many people close to me throughout my life, to some extent, has said that I write very well. That is to say, from the time I was in grammar school, I possessed a unique quality of mastering English for the age I was (I forget now when, but perhaps around second grade– yes, it was second grade. I remember the teacher making comments on my writing now that I think back). Unfortunately, I do not remember what I had written, and this piece of personal literature was not suspended in a suitable catalyst for the purposes of preservation back then. It must not have mattered much, anyhow.

But, the problem I have is simply this: I was recently watching these videos on TEDx Talks on YouTube, and one woman in particular had an attention-grabbing headline to a speech she gave regarding the typical human’s capacity to sustain a particular career choice with relative ease, and how they differ from her. She used a not-very-well-known (in fact, perhaps as of yet unheard of) idiom to describe such individuals. It was “multipotentialites.” Broken down into three roots, “multi-” is obvious, as it refers to many. “Potential” is a bit more obfuscatory, yet simultaneously directly descriptive term. And “-ite,” meaning that people who relate to the combined two prior subsections of the word (ex: Mennonite). To conclude this ever-growing paragraph, and to somewhat summarize her video, it means “people who do not belong to the applied norm of societal expectations.”

What do I mean by that? I mean, people like myself. I’m a severe case of this multipotentialite personality. Over time, I’ve become somewhat of a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to random trivial information. One of the few things I have been able to consistently do without boring myself after a few months would happen to be writing. I’ve never really been able to sit down and write a book because– well, that takes time. I like to try to master [read: learn]¬† things quickly and efficiently, but plopping down and coming up with something breath-taking for readers to behold is something which, in theory, is quite simple; but it’s also exceedingly difficult to do because I always block myself with random questions about suitable subject matter [read: no creative endeavor]. I always try to make things sound textbook-ish, which is boring. Who wants to read something that sounds like it came from a college reading requirement? I know of zero people who ever would.

But then, I also sit down to think about WHAT to write, only to become distracted for a few weeks, and then the entire thing is lost in my endless thoughts about life in general. I think this multipotentialite thing is the closest description to ADHD, sans medical terminology. I’m even distracted for an hour (which has happened since I started this article) and can lose my train of thought, as well as the entire point of my message. I then attempt to become motivated to write, then I start (similarly to how you would see my posts here on WordPress begin, and end), and then that’s the end of the thing I was writing. I don’t have to worry about thinking about it for a very long time once I have published my random article.

During which I sit down and start reading random articles (recently, cast iron and entrepreneurship and bacon), browse the internet to learn anything and everything I can about what it is I’m reading… Some of you know what this type of psychological slavery feels like. Some of us know how to harness the power of this condition of existence. I am not one of these people. I have a steady job (for how long, I do not yet know, as I am still within the probationary period) but I have quickly become bored with that too. But to pay bills, yeah, I must keep it. I bore so easily after such a short time frame, and it is confusing, irritating, and above all, one of the other things with has remained as a constant to my otherwise hectic mind and wild thoughts.

I’ve tried meditation, handwriting three pages of random notes a day for a few months to boost my creativity, read about quantum theory and quantum physics knowing full well that my mathematical understanding is capped at basic algebra, looked at multiple videos on Vsauce to kind of glimpse at the scientific perspective of the universe (and learned quite a lot), and multitudes of other things to read and learn between actually posting. I rarely ever type during these periods except to enter search terms. In other words, I bore VERY QUICKLY of everything.

In this video I’ll be linking shortly, the woman about whom I am writing expresses her ideas and explanations regarding multipotentialite characteristics. It makes sense, because I believe that a good portion of college dropouts simply couldn’t stay in school because of this condition of existence. Here it is. Make sure to consider someone that you think is weird who just might have these qualities. You never know if they’re just bored to death or otherwise just feeling s if they’re trying to fit in where they don’t belong.

It’s helpful to know that there are people out there who are actually making strides in their fields to explain certain personality types. The DSM-IV can only explain so much from a third-person perspective. The world from the first person perspective is vastly greater than the sum of all literary parts, and this is something that is far more difficult to describe than one may think. In a way, though, it could be just over-thinking which is getting in the way of practically everything.

I’ve spent upwards of approximately three to five months studying something in the greatest depth, to learn every aspect of the very thing. After a while, I’ve become somewhat decent at it, and so my learning curve is usually good enough to prevent me from being hopelessly incompetent in that field, even if it is something I’ll never do partly or fully in my life, or read about ever again. That is probably a curse as much as a gift, to read nearly infinitely or perpetually to just have the information and basic skill tucked away into the reserves of my memory. I mean, it is true that I can utilize my skills quite well when I have the motivation to do so. I still have a difficult time sustaining that skill for a period of time without becoming severely bored. The last couple things I wrote here, I had someone respond, inviting me to write out posts for a forum which he is a part of. I never did visit that site, because I left to do something else. I miss out on opportunities.

I think that, if I were to actually focus for long enough on mastering writing, I should put it toward poetry for the specific utilization as lyrics for heavy metal bands. Some of the greatest lyricists I can think of are in Cradle of Filth, Woods of Ypres, and Dimmu Borgir. Some dark, fantastic stories of demons, witches, and bloodletting; sad songs of mourning and death… These are the subjects most worthy of my time. It’s not as if I have let everything else go, no… I can’t say I’m devoid of practically every other feeling within the spectrum of human emotion. I also feel rage and anger, jealousy, sadness, happiness, pure enjoyment and appreciation, relaxation, love, hunger, motivation and demotivation. I prefer to concentrate of heavy metal as my choice of music because it is, in my opinion, likened to what hippies were to acid rock. It is the new socio-political platform.

I suppose it is just blabber-mouthing at this point of the article. I feel as if I have reached the climactic point of my story here already, and now there’s nothing left to say. There is always much more to tell, that is true. There is always more to say after the semicolon has been added. Each time I write something, it is recorded somewhere, and there it will remain until it is dug out of the deepest of the caverns of electrons that is the internet, cloud, or whatever else technology may have in the years to come. But as to adding anything relevant to this article, I must say that it is time for me to sequester from any further explanation of anything here. Good night to you.

Let’s Talk About Nintendo and the Super Mario Bros

Look here. This guy is a plumber. Red overalls, brown shirt and boots, red hat, fat mustache. Chubby for someone who can more than double his own height at a pounce (I dunno, maybe he’s solid muscle).

I’ve been able to give Super Mario Bros a lot of discernment because I’ve been playing for years and years. Maybe even longer than some of you have been alive. Now, that’s not to say that I have played with obsessive demeanor literally the entire time. I can name a whole host of characters. I know a good number of games under the Nintendo brand. Let’s face it, when you have a guy who can have enough inertia left over to break bricks with his fist by jumping nearly 8 feet in the air, there is much to be said about the entire thing from a third-person view.

He does have a brother named Luigi. He resembles Mario, and wears mostly the same things except for the color of his outfit being nestled somewhere in the color spectrum which occupies the green sector. Somehow, he, like Mario, was granted an innate capacity to shoot fireballs from his fist (maybe that’s the secret that allows them to break bricks and not shoot a fireball if he just jumps beneath an open sky or beneath bricks that are otherwise out of reach of his jump). In the second Super Mario Bros, however, he is a pogo stick who can manipulate air beneath his feet to give him the most bang for his jump, every time. Crazy.

So, let’s talk about the general story line. Mario and his brother Luigi are, quite possibly from an exorbitant pasta-eating competition from the night before, awoken by the screams of some girl who happens to be a princess. In this case, a giant turtle has taken hold of her and is now at large for kidnapping (grand theft royalty?). I guess the Mushroom Kingdom doesn’t exactly have a care in the world for the non-Goomba, non-Koopa Troopa, non-Bullet Bill type. So you start out at the beginning of the level as a small entity. You’re walking on a bricked pathway, with cucumber-esque mountains in the background and apparently very dense clouds floating around. You have a very seemingly low tolerance for this type of atmosphere (which makes you an alien) because you can only breathe it for 400 seconds (which is an insanely long time to hold your breath underwater during very aggressive swimming activity) before you lose a life (you are also a cat).

It sort of makes you wonder how you got the news in the first place. None of the provided enemies seem to have an interest in you except for:

Lakitu– throws two-second-gesatational-period spiny eggs at you, from which hatch equally uninterested Spiny enemies. They simply pretend to wish to attack you by virtue of the fact that they face in your direction upon landing, but they won’t intentionally do anything.

Hammer Brothers– Obviously jealous that they have to share the name “brothers” in the description which composes their name (One of them must have their first initials as “M. C.” It only makes sense. The only remedy for this troublesome truth is to chuck hammers at our protagonist.

Bowser– This guy right here also throws hammers, but in much greater quantity than that seen by the Hammer Bros. Disturbingly enough, the very axe or switch is located RIGHT NEXT TO THE BRIDGE WHICH IT IS INTENDED TO DESTROY. This makes Bowser quite dumb. I would have hidden it in some highly inaccessible vault, or just not had a lava-spanning bridge to begin with.

Bloobers– They chase you very, very slowly. Yawn.

Otherwise, everyone just minds their own business while this guy just slaughters all their buddies. They all seem so two-dimensional. Because of the fact that it was the earliest type of video gaming for myself (since I never thought much of arcades as a kid), I still think this is a great, solid classic. Nostalgia reigns supreme here, folks.

Let’s Talk About Nintendo and the Legend of Zelda

You wake up Christmas morning, and there it is– a golden aura of a box bigger than your head awaiting its wrapping, ever so perfectly taped into place, to be ripped to shreds within seconds. Within, something great. Something life-changing. Something almost magical. An electronic device, the newest to hit the shelves, with paddles and a firearm to be plugged in to their respective sockets for UP TO TWO PLAYERS! This sounds so great, right?

Oh, yes it most certainly was great. That year, my brother, sister, and myself unwrapped the Nintendo Entertainment System. A lot has happened since that year, where my brother and I played more often and with some friends to top each others’ scores in Excitebike, Paperboy, and Skate Or Die 2. Super Mario Bros.’ ubiquitous, albeit exclusively synonymous status, with Nintendo has withstood the test of time by continuing on in various side games to include tennis, MMA-style fighting with magic in Super Smash Bros, golf, and go-kart racing, and introducing a plethora of quests to rescue the princess from Koopa and Bowser, stomping Goombas with reckless abandon. Of course, this is one of several long-running series in the Nintendo name. Playstation has its own, but as I’ve never really played Playstation with as much ferocity and dedication as I have to Nintendo, we won’t really get into that. There are plenty of other places to speak about other consoles.

I must admit, I’ve played games for hours and hours on end within the course of a summer’s day and not regretted it. I’ve played with people, and without people, and I’ve sometimes had the urge to play with provided cheat codes with the Game Shark (I love the big heads you can get in Mission: Impossible). And I have played many games, each good within its own right, some with poor dialogue, some with excellent story lines, RPGs– and I have to tell you that my fandom regarding the Legend Of Zelda began with the Ocarina of Time.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking– that’s a bit late in the running to start being a very strongly-motivated fan for a game. No? Perhaps that’s because, when I graduated 8th grade, instead of a shirt I got a Nintendo 64. I’m sure it made me exponentially happier to have that than a car (because who really wants a car?) because of the amount of entertainment value it meant to me. I had this nice, 64-bit machine that could tolerate the abuses of hours-long pausing, and you could skateboard in a 3D environment, making endless tricks ramp up your scores, hitting glowing chevrons in the road for a speed boost while racing as a time clock, and swinging a sword at walking skeletons from any direction. This was a pinnacle of gaming for me, because it allowed me to experience maps in a way I’d never once had the opportunity to see. (I don’t fully know the history of when 3D maps became available, but for the sake of my own experience, it started in Nintendo 64). It introduced to me a new instrument that I’ve not exactly been able to drop entirely.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is probably my personal favorite on the N64 platform. I spent many hours trying to figure out puzzles galore, tossing the controller and losing my save point, not having enough hearts to complete a volley of energy spheres between my protagonist and the enemy. One of the most memorable things about this game is the ocarina. I can make another post about that in another blog post, but for now, I’ll try to concentrate on the game.

I can say with great confidence that I think playing the game in its entirety from the time you are awoken by a fairy to running your Master sword into the brain of your adversary is one of the greatest rewards for self-achievement in the gaming universe. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy making Link float around Hyrule and trespassing boundaries not intended for that point in the game on purpose, or throwing unlimited Bombchus at cuccos. I just know that playing it in its intended manner is gratifying. And thus, I can explain some of my favorite discussion points in the game, to include characters.

1. Obviously, Navi is your partner throughout the entire quest. Her incessant “Hey! Listen! Hello!” makes you kind of want to trap her in a bottle, but as a false sense of security, you wouldn’t want to mix her up with another popular fairy which revives you upon total loss of heart energy. In fact, the first thing she does is wake you up from a nap, and that’s never pleasant. What I actually like about her is that, for the absolute beginner, she does have a few helpful points which make up the basis of interaction with other characters in the rest of Hyrule. She also points out the locations of certain items based on her color. She turns green whenever it is necessary to play the Scarecrow song, Sun’s song or Song of Storms (well, that just connected the Song of Storms to Make it Rain, now didn’t it?) for a surprise when the staff will not appear. So, her intuition actually helps out a bit more than her screaming at you within the first 30 minutes of game play would have you initially believe.

2. Saria is Link’s best friend. For a long time, though she has not said a word to you about it before you depart the Kokiri forest, she had a feeling that you are different from the others and that you would be destined to leave the forest. Now, leave it to her to have a sweet spirit and an endearment toward you when Mido won’t. All the other Kokiri won’t really give too much ego about themselves, and their conversations are of minimal help anyways– although it is a crucial point that the Know-It-All brothers provide information to you when Saria or Navi won’t go in-depth about anything practical to anything other than the story line. As a Sage, her wisdom and her healing presence are with you in the medallion that you earn after the Forest Temple has been cleared.

But her real purpose is that she gives you an ocarina to sort of act as a cell phone of sorts. You dial her song, and she answers. Don’t play Saria’s Song right next to her because she will get you for charging her magic minutes (don’t text me when I’m in the same room, stupid). It creates the foundation for one of the most important aspects in the game– music. (Read the italicized text for more information not directly related to the game.)

[And here, the ocarina makes its debut as an instrument not just found in a game, but can actually be found in real life. There are several ocarina makers, one of whom makes an official replica ocarina for the budget-minded (there is also a ceramic version which I would really like to add to my collection), who actually makes these instruments for people to play. There were a couple of forums I used to frequent (Ocarinas United and The Ocarina Network) where awareness was spread around for those seeking to play these awesome little things.]

3. Kaepora Gaebora is an owl whose purpose appears to help you enlighten yourself about your strengths and courage, while not actually doing much more than providing some very insightful advice. He’ll fly you to Kakariko village, but that’s the extent of your personal contact with Kaepora. Although it would be pretty cool to have him fly you around Hyrule, you really don’t need him for that purpose, since the ocarina helps you transport to different areas anyways. There’s not much more to say, at least from me. You, reader, may not even give a hoot about it.

4. Zelda seems to not really be in too much distress, initially. You meet her spying on her father the King’s loyal subject (not) who obviously does not look like a typical Hylian or Gerudo. Or Zora. But I suppose she had this inkling that she would meet a green-clothed someone being dropped off in a cloud followed by a harmless speaking wasp, because she just so happens to be right there on the same day you break into the castle. Suddenly, someone she has never met before is now her confidante about extremely personal matters about which no one but Impa will hear. You somehow manage to survive a cutscene regarding the Goddesses creating Hyrule and the land’s law and inhabitants (not like when you nearly fell asleep in front of the Deku tree before he died).

Soon enough, you go to get the Spiritual stones which she requests from you. And she JUST so happens to be riding a horse in rapid pace and she tosses a blue thing into the moat. Shortly thereafter, you meet the lowest form of Ganondorf in all his dark-robed glory upon an equally dark and demented horse. He hits you with an energy sphere, knocks you on the grass, and basically sets the scene for a tough-to-beat enemy. The very grounds upon which you stand are now the entrance to what will be a ruined castle town in seven years’ time for the final battle. But, you still have to swim and pick up a sunken flute.

5. I actually like fighting against Koume and Kotake. You know for a fact that they’re dead by the presence of halos above their heads when floating away, and they seem to bicker a lot. It’s of interesting note that they’ll sit down and try to kill you with fire and ice repeatedly, since forgetting that their method getting backfired by a mirror shield shows that at least they’re realistically in the cognitive decline of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Not that I support such a disease in the real world, but when a nemesis is obviously being suffered upon by something uncontrollable, no matter how many potions are made to the contrary, you sort of want to take advantage of that. I don’t know if it was in the game designers’ intention to include this feature, but that’s what I get out of it.

6. Roaming around Hyrule on a horse is quite awesome, but it never actually shows Link feeding those carrots to Epona. I’m just making an observation that if he really is feeding her carrots, then those are some carrots with a deafening crunch that scares her into running faster…

I like the speed at which you travel on horse with much appreciation, since rolling around in a field all day would cause some sore bones after a few miles (for me personally, probably once is enough– ever), with particular attention to the shield and sword hilt and quiver being on your back each and every time. Now I can’t say for sure if that would be a faster way to travel compared to jogging, but we will have to test this out on some paved roads and plenty of able-bodied volunteers… And perhaps the Myth Busters?

I don’t know about you guys, but Ocarina of Time was a turning point in gaming for me. The battles, the introductory cut scenes for the bosses (and the appearance of the bosses!), and multiple number of items you can access at any given point in the game were all great features. I’ve beaten the game at least 15 times since high school, and I never really get tired of playing it when I do go on a playing spree. Those of you who might have more points on your favorite points of the game, feel free to post your thoughts below. It was through this game also that I began to actually make (and sell) ocarinas on my own. Due to a lack of a kiln, however, I had to stop what I was doing. I’m thinking of accumulating some fire bricks over time to try again, using propane. I hope you enjoyed this post, and I apologize if I have an erratic style of writing. That’s my ADHD kicking in.

Death Is Too Good For the Wicked

Exacting justice
Upon the wicked
Is still satisfying
Even if they’re human
On the outside…

The inside is necrotic flesh
A spirit robbed of any light–
Hopeless, filled with cyanide
Lifelike as only a marionette can be

False in the ways
Of justice
Served out only on dried tree’s corpses
Indelible ink through osmosis
Writ in patterns
To make codes
And defended with equal wooden puppets

Sink into the skin, thou wretched spear
Grave to be thy next home
Ye twisted mind, thine crooked smile
Thou look’st upon me
As only Medusa could have

Though not so cursed in thy stare
Thy vile and foul ways be set in stone
And without reasonable purpose
Thou still breathe, a liar art thee
The devil on thy hands and in thine eyes
Thy love affair with Death
Damned as only the Darkness can be

The ink hath dried now
The quill art in resting place
The deed indeed done
Hath changed thy destiny
For imprisonment evermore
Now await thee
No death simple nor gruesome
Shall free thou from thy flesh
Doomed as any wrongdoer hath been

Do thou now
Eat the fecal matter, swallow
Sink into thy belly
Let poison fill thine veins
Let ye sneeze the liquid dung
Drink it again
As only a grim doomed spirit e’er did

A Day in the Life of a Valley Resident

Here in California’s Central Valley, we don’t have the liberty of accepting fall as a separate entity from the other seasons. Right now, there is a thunderstorm going on to the east, and it’s humid even inside the apartment. Here’s the truth: It’s either really hot and muggy, or it’s slightly cool and wet in the winter with chances of morning dew. No such thing as snow in this area.

In fact, I just walked across the street to break a larger bill into a smaller one (I’m not entirely out of shape, as my job requires that I stay on my feet and move around a LOT)– only to find that by the time I got back, I’d already been breaking out in beads of humidity-related perspiration. So what to my wondering brain should appear, than to sit down and write this and report it right here. Last night I was awoken by a rare thunderstorm, complete with brilliant lightning, and a sizable downpour of rain. This does not happen often. This month of October alone, we’ve seen some rain for now the third time. It’s the middle of the month, and the grass is still yellow from being so dry around here.

When living out here in the central valley, it’s important to note that this is not the same climate you would find in the same horizontal (Latitude? Longitude? I’m not a navigator)… Um… If the distance from the equator to here were the same as another region or time zone of the United States, the climate would be vastly different. I mean, even Arizona gets some powerful rains and even snow more often than this bowl of stagnant weather phenomena receives. December here means you can walk outside without a shirt, if you so chose. That’s how warm it stays. In January and February, it cools down enough to give us– and don’t panic– frost. Yes, frost. That’s all we have to deal with for about two weeks at the beginning of any year. And that includes using a plastic ice scraper. No snow shovels or anything else can be seen for miles around here.

Whew, I’m still sweating. That heavy rain was definitely worth it. The dry, dead yellow grass is now wet, dead yellow grass. That’s not to say it doesn’t get like that when we water it, but we water we can’t just let water flow. They have all these corrupt laws against people using water which don’t apply to corporations. Again, that’s another subject for another time.

Well, this certainly wasn’t all that long, now was it? Time for me to get out of here and drink some coffee and cool off a bit. Ugh, shower time. Until the next time I appear here,

Banana peels!

Life, And Related Stuff

Doesn’t it ever seem that the more work you put into something, the higher the benchmark is set for your achievements? I feel that this is what is happening to me at work. I’ve managed to become one of the most diligent workers at my workplace, and although people who work with me also have the capacity to do what I do, I don’t see anyone else actually doing it– so I don’t know if whether I’m conceited about my work or I just happen to generate a lot of comments from the customer base. Maybe I put way too much passion into what others would consider a terrible job.

I remember one day, my shift supervisor was having a hard day, or a bad day– you never can tell with this person. Anyhow, s/he tells me that if I don’t pick up the pace of my work that I’ll get written up. The next day, I amped my speed up and the shift supervisor took notice about it. Later on, at the next “bread bash” (what used to be a quarterly meeting regarding up-and-coming menu items and recognizing employees for their achievements, et al [which I’ll not go into]) I was presented with a WOW! pin to tack to my hat. The reason for it was “fastest improvement of an employee.” It seems one can get a WOW! pin for just about anything, but perhaps it was more to not let me feel left out because all the coworkers whom had been hired alongside me also got themselves some WOW! pins. From that day, I continually worked my way into a routine which was befitting me, and now I’m really able to enjoy speaking with the customers for a bit regarding their meals and even shoot a breeze or two with some regulars because I’ve mastered my particular position.

Well, it seems that the hard work I was putting in wasn’t going noticed because I was beginning to feel myself in a rut from which there was no escape. Washing hundreds of dishes in a day while cleaning 31 tables (7 of which are dedicated booths, 5 of which are combination booths and free-standing chairs, and the remaining 19 solely tables, arranged meticulously at 45-degree angles with chairs turned at 45 degrees to allow for maximum walking space)(Yes, I’ve been there too long. This is what the post is about, after all), re-stocking condiments and dry goods to include small, medium, and large-sized lids, three sugar substitutes, two different types of packet sugars, salt, pepper, mayonnaise with olive oil, mustard, spicy mustard, Tabasco sauce, butter, honey and lemons for tea, straws, napkins, drink stirring sticks, coffee lids, and coffee sleeves– as well as brewing four different coffees once per hour, two at a time only, three different iced teas and one iced coffee– and topping off with actually filling a sink with the water that you need to wash four different sizes of bowls (two dedicated to soups and two dedicated to salads, one of the salad bowls being used for broth bowls), large trays, small yellow trays dedicated to pastries, knives, forks, spoons, and a plethora of pans provided by the line people, silicone or rubber spatulas, scoops with the little swingy arm thingy, souffle pans, cookie sheets, whisks, and and assortment of non-serrated chef knives and serrated knives– seems like a lot to memorize for a 6-hour shift and can easily lead to burnout, exhaustion, and irritable moods. But hey, $Dollars an hour seems like it’s worth all the while. This last “bread bash” they recognized my achievements with dining room etiquette, customer service, and I suppose a whole host of comments in favor of my working habits by customers. And it does hang on the wall at this moment.

But if it wasn’t making me feel an eternal sense of entrapment in time, where all of the same exact routine-driven drivel seems to always await me every time I clock in, and impending doom every time I see an irate manager or shift supervisor seems to surge from within on a nearly daily basis, then I would not be sitting here talking about it. For you see, I’m what they call a “human being.” We’re a species that has limits! Recently, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to– nay, today I was HIRED. Screw it, it’s out on the plate now. I am going to my orientation this Monday and Tuesday. They called me after an intensive background check (military base jobs for civilians can be very thorough) showed that I am as clean as a whistle and ready to be trained. What I’m going to do is ensure that I balance working between the two places. Anyhow, back to my human comment– I’m always scheduled to do the exact same job. I’ve reached the limits of all that is exciting in that area of expertise. Whenever they do have me work somewhere else, the manager always says, “You did a good job today. Why don’t you do this more often?” Oh, well maybe if you talked to the schedule-writing person I could. They won’t even let me train for cashier even though I always beat everyone at counting change before they have a chance to push their buttons to give me the purchase total for lunches (Hey, 65% discount! Can’t really beat that perk).

I know I may be getting into a bit of exhaustive life changes by sacrificing a weekend, but at least I’ll be doing something with myself– but ultimately, I’m aiming my perspective towards a greater-paying job that is less physically stressful and more mentally stressful. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about how things are turning out for me, and a low-paying job without benefits is not a future. That is not a sustainable way of life. Knowing my skills in typing were at least enough to submit my typing test to a recent job opening as an Office Assistant, I went ahead and applied for that job last week. The day before the position closed, I took my state typing test and scored 50 WPM at 95% accuracy. Their minimum was 35 WPM.

Some of you may be shaming employees in the workforce who are in menial grunt jobs and always feel that they’re not motivated enough to do anything else. This can’t necessarily be true because I have an image to keep up, and although I work in the restaurant business at the lowest pay for my region and have worked these types of jobs in the past for a majority of my life, I’ve always known that I am far too intelligent for such degrading work– but until recently, I never really saw where my greatest potential lie until I started my Morning Pages routine a couple of weeks ago. It’s not a matter of intelligence, it’s about providing a working environment for many different walks of life. I’m not suited for engineering work and somehow my ASVAB scored me strongest in engineering. Years later I would find out that I don’t have knowledge of advanced mathematics (read: algebra), and this would get in the way of my access to even an Associate’s Degree.

I sometimes wonder why we even have schooling when none of it pertains to actual education in financial matters, business, or arts and music, unless it’s an “elective” class or you go out of your way to find educational institutions which specialize in this type of work. Go to school and get a job? It’s far too generalized when we don’t even always know the best way to teach a child because they don’t know the style of learning they know. I blame television, games, and instant gratification practices. That’s just me and my opinion, but those who agree would be on what I feel is the right track towards reforming the education system.

So, wrapping things up here– not everyone in the lowly fast food job sector looks forward to staying there forever. Because our education system is so screwy, I find that many people simply stay put out of sheer fear for difficulty, or wish to remain in their comfort zones for an extended period of time. I’m only waiting until a new, higher-paying job opportunity comes along, and feel that many are also awaiting the same things. Some people are naturally suited for business ownership, teaching, music, writing, video editing, typist work, philosophy– and some people are naturally suited to accepting what’s given to them and stick to it just because it’s a job. I don’t know about you guys, but I feel that my time for food working has come to an end. I need a more meaningful job, and I’m searching around until it comes along. But I’ll also not stop and settle either. I’m needing access to more money to pay for bills and make it easier for me to discover a hobby which I can turn into a specialization. I feel that a handcrafted item for Christmas is better than anything made in China purchased at a chain store, and that I can actually benefit from creativity– not in the financial sense, but in the sense of well-being and goodwill.

Right. Now go out and celebrate Halloween if I don’t see you here before! And as always, until the next time I show up to write here,

Peach cobbler.

Creative Writing

Hello there, and good morning. It is 5:57 a.m. and I’ve just finished another round of writing my morning pages. If you’ve never heard of the morning pages, it’s a method used by author Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way to boost creative thinking. What it basically entails is the streaming of thoughts to paper to essentially, put bluntly, dump the recycle bin of the brain to clear your mind for the coming hours of the day. You empty the contents of your SIM card to make room for new information.

In this case, it could be new information, new ways of expressing yourself, new ways of thinking, problem solving, writing– just about anything can be benefited by the Morning Pages, depending entirely on what it is you are looking for. According to the book, there’s really no way to mess up the morning pages. All you do is sit down, write your thoughts out for 3 pages, and that’s it. No grammatical rules to follow, no censoring yourself– letting things just flow out is something that anyone wishing for a new path in life can start or maintain for any period of time in order to boost their inspiration to start something. And this makes quite a lot of sense.

For the longest time, people told me I was a good writer, or at least had a solid command of the English language at an early age. What I hadn’t known was where it would be useful. I’m beginning to see that proper grammar isn’t necessary 100% of the time (but I still like to be a grammar Nazi on Facebook just for laughs), but I’m also beginning to understand that writing by hand, even if you don’t have anything to say, can be beneficial. The purpose of the morning pages is to get your hand moving across a page. If you aren’t the writing type, don’t worry– no one, including yourself, will ever see them. If you have some bad thoughts to get out of your system, that’s also a harmless method of venting. Now I’m not known for a foul mouth, but a few words have decided to burst out from time to time. But this is okay. You don’t have to even keep the pages, but it’s important that you do not read them again. That’s probably why you dumped those thoughts to begin with.

So what have I discovered in the week and a half that I have been writing in the morning pages? Well, I remembered times when I was a dumb Navy kid. I reflected on family members. I started gaining insight into my own life. Here’s the thing– I’m a metalhead. I enjoy bands like Cattle Decapitation, Six Feet Under, Cannibal Corpse, Animals As Leaders, among many others. This type of music made me feel at the top of the world at all times of the day (ego). Now some time later, I still listen to music, but with a more finely-tuned ear for quality. “What does this have to do with anything?” you may ask. Well, just as with everything else, maturity does take a bit of time to obtain. When it hits, some people find it far too late. Others discover it in high school, way before their time and know immediately what they want to do with their own lives, and they end up pursuing that field successfully.

And then there’s me. I’m 30, soon to be 31, and I’ve been slowly figuring out more about what it is I need to do in order to live an easier life. That can be answered with a simple pair of words: new job. If you have been following my blog for any period of time, you’ll know that I work at Panera. Recently, I had become very ill with a viral infection in my pharynx. I had to miss out on two weeks of work because I was in such excruciating pain that it’s amazing I actually didn’t break down because of the physical burden of this pain. Since then, they have cut my hours down to 3 days a week. This is hardly enough to bay any bills. Yesterday, I had read another blog here regarding minimum wage and bills. I actually agree with Mr. Walsh. I’m working in a job field intended for minors and young adults, and here I am at 30 still working for them. I have more than 70 semester units at a community college (but due to my lack of mathematical knowledge or understanding, I never graduated) and studied psychology, English, some business and good old-fashioned liberal arts. And none of these job fields of which were any interest to me.

My basic college courses included anatomy and some physiology, and a bit of chemistry. I mean, everyone knows these things, right? I suppose. But let’s face it– I didn’t truly learn what I wanted to learn because I didn’t have the inspiration to try different things outside of schooling. Hell, I even received free proper training to become an electrician, and I forgot most of it because I didn’t care about that. My interest has always been in words, and to some degree, just writing and reading in general. But to find a job field which required some adept knowledge of English when in a state of being blind to situational awareness was just as finicky as trying to find a bean burrito in a pile of beef burritos. There were so many options out there, and I wanted something very related to the field, but not once did it occur to me that I should actually begin to write to gain skills in that field.

Not just any writing will do. I have been typing for a long time now. (I’m barely at 50 words per minute at 95% accuracy according to the state typing test I had taken in the last week. I needed to surpass 35 words per minute to apply for a job.) No, in fact, writing on the computer is actually somewhat mindless. You can type and type and type, and the computer will grant you error messages in the form of a red squiggly line. I can be all the grammar Nazi I wish to be, but that only means I can correct people easily without a red squiggly line. The kind of writing I’m talking about here is handwriting. I’ve figured that if one can simply type endlessly and deftly on a compute, one can also write by hand and obtain the same results. This is absolutely not so, and I now know what Julia was telling the readers when it came to saying that handwriting is more personal. What you’re really getting out of life really depends on you. The same applies to writing. What you’re really getting out of yourself depends on you.

So the morning pages help with sparking some creative ideas about work, creativity, art, drawing, speech, cooking– well, pretty much anything in which you find a passion in life can be improved with a bit of creative problem solving. Having a rut in life? Maybe dumping out the bad and starting in with some good should help out. Problem-solving is found everywhere in life. I’m starting to see more about where I’m supposed to be, and I’ve applied for a job dealing with office work. I know some people think that might not be a metalhead’s job, but I’m not too bad with this at all.

I’m just placing this here because I felt that it was something to say while actually explaining how I came around to figuring out where I would like to be in life. I don’t want to work at Panera for the rest of my life, and I know they’ll sabotage my efforts to move somewhere else because I’m such a valuable asset to their company. They did that to two different places already, and so I have learned that telling the superiors anything leads to obstructions. Blockages. “Loose lips sink ships.” I’m learning more how to guard my words carefully around the managers now that I started with the Morning Pages.

What’s the worst that can happen if you begin the morning pages? You just go through a lot more paper than average. It took me about an hour and a half to finish my first one, and this morning it took me 50 minutes, more or less. But that’s only three pages a day. One and a half sheets of lines 8.5”x11” of writing, suspending grammatical knowledge and including fragments as often as is necessary to write out the pages as quickly as possible. I know I rarely type or speak in sentence fragments, and you may not have happened upon any here. I do absolutely overuse abstract writing methods in my morning pages. It’s creative writing. Don’t let anything limit you. Once you break through the chains that bind you, your limits will be greater than your current imagination. I recommend you try these for at least a couple of weeks and see if anything, even your way of thinking, changes. Something will change! Maybe not in the way you expect, but changes will occur.