Saturday, January 21, 2012

Captain's Log, Day 64: Irony, Teamwork and Weight Machines

          Oofdaa...I just got done working out. I'm sore, but it's a good sore.
          I like working out, but I typically prefer free weights to machines. Dad bought a weight bench a long time ago (back before I knew what it was), and hardly a week goes by where we don't use it...when I'm at home, anyway.
          We have bought (somewhat) into the machine concept, though. There was one night, about two years back, where one of those annoying Home-Gym-All-In-One commercials came on. You know what I'm talking about, the one with the annoying guy with his shirt off flexing for the camera and going "You can look like me in just two weeks if you buy this!!" (Side note here; that thing's been in our house for two years and I look nothing like him. Maybe they need a disclaimer.) Mom thought that getting one might be a good idea, since she hates free weights. So, my family and I pile into the truck to head to the city.
          I will give the machines this; some of them are pretty cool. While Mom and Dad browsed, I struck up a conversation with one of the guys who worked there. He looked like he could have been the guy in the commercial, except he (thankfully) had his shirt on. The conversation went something like this:

          Me: "Do you like these machines?"
          Random Store Guy: "Yeah, some of them are pretty cool."
          Me: "Do you have a favorite?"
          RSG: "Oh sure, that one." *points*
          Me: "Any particular workouts you do on it?"
          RSG: *mimes picking one up and carrying it* "Yah, I pick them up and put them on trucks."

          Well played, random store guy.
          The irony of weight machines struck me when Dad, Nemesis and I were trying to get the machine Mom picked out into the house. The stupid thing weighed about 400 pounds. And we had to carry it down two flights of stairs. You have to be a professional weight lifter just to install the thing. Mom tried to help, if standing at the top of the stairs and telling us the blatantly obvious can be considered helping...

          Mom: "Be careful!"
          Dad: "Yeah, honey, we'll be very careful. Nemesis, watch your corner!"
          Me: "OOMPH. Don't worry, I got it. Turn it now?"
          Dad: "Yeah, slowl--"
          Mom: "Watch out for the painting!"
          Dad: "Quill already moved it. Now, boys, slowly turn your end and--"
          Mom: "Don't dent the walls!"
          *Nemesis moved his end too far and loses control. I threw my hand between the corner and the wall and got my hand smashed as a result. Saved the wall though.*
          Mom: "What was that? That sounded bad. Don't wreck the wall!"
          Me: "Oww...Nemesis, pick that stupid corner up before I kill you."
          Nemesis: "I'm sorry, my hands were sweaty!"
          Mom: "Don't hurt yourself!"
          Mom: "Don't hurt your hand!"
          Dad: "To heck with that! Keep your hand there--your hand will heal, the wall won't!"

          Well, Dad had his priorities straight. We got the machine down there, knowing that in a week Mom would decide she wanted it out in the haybarn with the other weight equipment. Sure enough, she did. Taking it back up was easier, surprisingly...maybe we just had the routine down.
          I thought that store guy had been kidding...maybe he wasn't...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Captain's Log, Day 63: Decisions, decisions...

          I'm thinking of getting a book published someday. I've got a couple problems though.
          My first issue (besides time, but I don't need help to fix that!) is that I think my writing sucks. I mean, I can pull off short articles and essays, but I think that, once I get past a certain length, it starts kinda sucking. Badly. 
          My second problem is that I sometimes have a hard time staying motivated. I can understand this, though; part of me thinks that if it's never gonna get published, why bother? Sometimes I gotta write just because I feel like my mind is filling up with ideas and the only way to make them go the heck AWAY is to put them on paper. Or screen. Whichever. 
          And I have problems with characters, and plots, and whatnot, but I can usually resolve those in a few days, if not hours or minutes. (I did a week writing spree and wrote 53 pages (Microsoft Word, single-space, 1-inch margins, 12pt Times New Roman font--in other words, A FREAKING LOT) of one of my better book ideas. Well, it amuses me anyway. I keep going back and revising and adding to all of them. 
          Anyway, I'm going to get to the point (yes, finally--don't be sarcastic, that's my job!). I've been considering putting one or more of my books out for general inspection by the world at large, or what I have written so far anyway. These are the choices:

Book                                                      Pages     Status          Personal Rating
A Saga of Warriors--The Winged Ones        42      Completed         Crappy
Dragon Master                                           10      Stalled               Kinda lame, but funny
The Blackstar                                            17      In Progress        Promising
Gauntlet                                                     3      Just Started        Promising
Wizard's Discovery                                     53     In Progress         Personal Favorite

          A Saga of Warriors is modern-day science fiction; Dragon Master is medieval fantasy; The Blackstar is futuristic science fiction; Gauntlet is modern-day science fiction; and Wizard's Discovery is modern-day science fiction/fantasy. Yes, you read that right; that last one is both science fiction and fantasy. Combining those two genres is probably why that book is so fun to write!
          Anyway, back to my idea. Like I said, I'd appreciate some feedback on these, so if you want to subject yourself to yet more of my writing, let me know which book you'd like to see placed up on here. There are a few ways to reach me: my email, which is; the comment section under this post; or via Facebook. I'll wait a few days and see what you'd like to check out.
 just occurred to me...writing is a really weird hobby for a mechanical engineer to take up...