Summer To Do’s

June 21, 2014

Thanks to humanity’s understanding of planetary motion and geography today marks the official beginning of summer. 

Huzzah!

Now, I’m not a typical summery kind of person. For instance, I live in Florida, where’s it’s summer 9 months out of the year. So if we were to break this down into formula (heat+humidity)/tolerance = insanity threshold. (The unit of measurement is a “Frick”, or “F”.) So when the insanity threshold reaches a full Frick unit we all start to say things like “It’s way too fricking hot to do anything outside.” 

So…yeah…I like it when it’s a good deal cooler. 

But this year, that changes. This year I’m going to be actively more engaged in going outside and doing things. And while I’m at it, allow me to throw together all those things in one of those old fashioned lists of things I say I’ll do but never get around to doing.

Heh, maybe I should get my named changed to D.A. DOESN’T…

You get it…? 

It’s because I’m lazy…

So, here’s the summer to do list:

  1. Read: During the school year I’m working hard. My brain is fried like the golden batter of a eight pack of nuggets from Chick-fil-a…(drools). Since we’ve last spoken I’ve pretty much only read 4 books. Some of them were read completely; some were not. (I feel ashamed, I do). I did a little non-fiction kick at the beginning of the year (which I will certainly make a post about later) and I’ve delved deeper into the Dark Tower Saga from a guy named Stephen King. (This guy is going somewhere one day, take my word for it.) Right now I’m on the book Wizard and Glass which is the fourth book in the series. I plan to have book five done before the middle of August. I’m trying to be realistic because I might get sidetracked into reading other books. Also, two books is a lofty goal for my addled brain right now, so if I fail on two books and one read one…I still win. Or maybe I lose because it is not Ka-tet and I will have forgotten the face of my father…(OooOOooOOoo…seewhatididthere?)
  2. Write: This should be number one…but I didn’t think of it first when I wrote this, so it’s holding down the deuce. I plan on using the increased use of this site to ignite the pyres of words hidden in my mind. I’ll likely publish those shorts here as they pop up. Let’s go ahead and say…a story every 2 weeks? Seem realistic? sure…sure…why not? I’ll also try to limit posting here on the blog to a few times per week. You know how pacing helps you win the longer races. 
  3. Move: I’ll be moving this summer to a house. Like a bonafied real house. With windows and doors and neighbors that aren’t sharing walls with you and have very strange noises coming from behind those said walls. I’ll have a backyard and a front yard (that I must mow). And I’ll have big empty spaces that I can play guitar really loudly in without disturbing the already disturbing neighbors. 
  4. Play Music: And do it loudly. I’ve even contemplated purchasing a new amplifier for this noise making endevour. Hopefully people will come over and play music with me also, which would be nice. 
  5. Do something about my laptop: This is a very tricky area that I may just allowed to happen organically instead of forcing the issue. My only computer is this laptop. It’s not that old (maybe 4 years) but it most certainly needs help. I’m considering buying a new battery and just gutting the whole thing. Maybe that means buying a portable hard drive and backing up the important stuff, resetting to factory settings, deleting bloatware and see how far that gets me. I’ve also entertained the idea of changing the operating system to Linux. This is a little unnerving because I really don’t know much about computers and have grown up only on Windows. So to pull away and do something different (but still well supported as I understand it) is a hard thing to do. The nuclear option will be to purchase a brand new shiny thing which would be more capable of some of the other goals I might have down the line. (Maybe even join the desktop community).
  6. Plan for the next school year: I really want to try getting a good deal of work done BEFORE the kids come back and I got to do the whole thing again. I always like to get better at things. Every year I’ve taught I change at least half of what I did previously. My goal would be to get everything for the 1st quarter planned (in the newly required format), assignments copied, new strategies thought up, and create a new method of sharing content. That method of new content delivery would preferably be shooting some fun little videos that give kids content and also make it fun. (think Bill Nye meets poor high school teacher). I’d like to have units or certain topics that could become “flipped classroom” content. More on that later.
  7. Design a board game: Well…that’s not totally true. I plan on re-theming a board game and then focusing on some of the key mechanics of that game. Then I will tweak that game until it comes out with a more unique playing experience that is wholly different than the game it was based on. What game is that? It’s going to be based on the game Lords of Waterdeep but with a theme of shopping on during Black Friday sales. It’s a pretty fun game that I think could be a little bit more fun with a bit more satire and or humor. (But honestly, if you’re into board games, check out the reviews on boardgamegeek and consider playing it, it’s quite a bit of fun despite everybody’s reluctance to want to be roped in with the DnD crowd.)
  8. Play more disc golf: Yeah, I somehow got hooked on playing disc golf a few months ago. Is it just a kick that will die out shortly? Is it a long term habit of forming new friendships and skills in a hotter than Venus environment during the summer? Is it a way to get easily frustrated when you lose a disc in some unholy thicket full of barbs and thorns that forbid you to enter and retrieve your molded plastic you paid $10 for? I’m not sure…but I do know I like it right now…so I’m going to be doing a good deal of that. 
  9. Paint: I want to paint more. Because I’m elegant and crap. I’ve had some ideas strike me that I know I will not turn out the way I want them to, but man…I’d still like to try. Also, I paint watercolors now…sorry if I haven’t mentioned that as part of what’s happened in the past year…my bad. (don’t worry, I’m not some hidden savant of the brushstrokes, I just found it pretty neato and was something I tried.) 
  10. Poop my pants if the U.S. moves out of group stage in the World Cup: This would be sudden and unexpected to occur, but if it does happen, the stinkies will happen.
  11. Clean pants if that happens: See above.
  12. Try eating Kale: Because that’s a thing now and I want to judge for myself before I start badmouthing its trendiness. 
  13. Learn a new skill: I don’t know what it is. Could be knitting or cooking like a pro with a wok. It could be learning the basics of finance or learn to canoe. I’m not sure what it is, but it would be nice to learn something new every once in a while. Add some extra flavors to my life. (Which may or may not taste like Kale) 
  14. Stretch: In high school I won the class award for “least likely to be confused with Dr. Richard Reed AKA Mr. Fantastic”. With that honor came the great inconvenience of not being able to fully expand without something popping inside of me. Most people liken the sounds to that of a submarine diving deep and the hull crinkling due to the pressure. 
  15. Buy some new music: Yes, I’m one of the 26 people on earth who actually still purchase all the music they listen to. Why? Because morals. That’s why. Because I want to give my money to a band to support them. That’s why. Because I’m a little dated. That’s why. So deal with it. 
  16. Climb Mount Everest then jump to the moon while on fire and winning the world cup with the sweetest bicycle kick in stoppage time: Because who DOESN’T have this goal? Right?

So there you go. Another list of lists to end all of the other lists have have surely popped up in your reader feed today. Thanks for reading. Actually, what I’m more willing to be is that you just sort of looked at the title of this post, saw that it was a guy who wrote more than 200 words and said, I will click follow so maybe he clicks follow. If I did that, dear friend, then we’d all be followers…right?

If that last statement offended you please keep in mind I still have this powerful stench of bleach in the air from cleaning out this place from yesterday. The plummer is coming tomorrow. To add to that, I discovered what went unchecked in the fridge. It’s currently sitting on my couch eating old hot dogs and learning to speak English by watching T.V. commercials. 

As for you, what do you plan on doing this summer? Travel? Meeting up with friends? Carving a image of yours truly into a stump of a tree with a chainsaw? I’m just asking. I’m not trying to encourage any odd behavior like that. 

But, if you do…make sure you get my eyes right. People always mess up the eyes. 

D.A.

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THE List

April 23, 2013

And yes, I wanted to make this clear that this isn’t just any list; it’s THE List.

This list will include items that I’m planning on adding to the docket for this summer. (That’s the 8 blissful weeks that I will not be working and hopefully making a full recovery from the school year.)

I shall also use this opportunity to explain my scheduling methodology with all of you. Feel free to use it.

It’s called … Pencil and Ink.

When things are penciled in it means they are scheduled to occur, but if something else comes up they can be shuffled into another time slot to fit my need. This means they have a 50% chance of occurring at their scheduled time, a 40% chance of happening at another time, a 9% chance of not happening at all, and a 1% of becoming the basis for me hurting myself in some embarrassing accident.

In no particular order:

1. Play video games. Urgency: Pencil

In particular I would like to purchase Bioshock Infinite and just spend a day exploring that world and probably getting frustrated/terrified. I would also like to find a day where I could get the largest number of people together to have a good old fashioned Halo LAN party. (If you’re in Florida, feel free to offer your Xbox/T.V./original copy of Halo)

2. Read. Urgency: Ink

That’s all. Just read. Hopefully lots. But reading is a must. It’s just got to happen. Hopefully every night before bed.

3. Sleep in. Urgency: Inky Ink.

I don’t even really have to plan this. It’s a certainty. You can bet the farm on this one.

4. Writing. Urgency: Ink from a permanent marker that was left in your pocket that you accidentally left in the wash. (You’ve been there)

It’s gots to happen Cap’n. Word? (Obviously I need to get back into the habit of writing in clearly written English as opposed to my life-on-the-streets manner.) But I would like to write (besides this blog) for at least an hour every day. Heck, I might even follow through with a promise I made to myself earlier in the year and actually do that summer version of NaNoWriMo. *But remember yesterday’s post about lies…*

5. Guitar Urgency: Ink from a squid

I recently purchased my first electric guitar and it is a dream come true. I’ll post some bragging photos of it soon enough. I should also mention that this purchase has helped me write my second song ever. That’s right, played gitfiddle for over 10 years now…and have only just written my second song. Sad? Yes. But we’re all weird in our own ways.

6. Magic: the Gathering. Urgency: Number 2 Pencil

This could happen just once over the summer and I’d be thrilled with it. It’s like brain food for me.

7. Board game night. Urgency: Golf Pencil

Because who doesn’t like board games?

8. Decide if I’m going to buy a house or rent for another year. Urgency: Still don’t know but I suppose it has to be Ink.

Put this hear almost as a reminder to myself for a later date.

9. Buy new music. Urgency: Pencil (likely not sharpened enough)

It’ll happen when it happens. But every summer has a distinct sound for me. Some albums help to define what that year will be remembered as. Maybe I’ll write another time that will tell you what each season is represented by in my car’s CD player.

10 Spend one whole day in my underwear. Urgency: Pencil

Why? Because I’ve never done it before. It’s a personal challenge to myself to make me think I could actually pull this off. Stop judging me…you know you want to do the same.

11. Make some silly videos. Urgency: Pencil but underlined in ink.

This is just too much fun for me and I’m sure me and some friends will end up doing it at some point. Just hope they will have the same amount of free time as I will.

12. Apply for a passport. Urgency: Ink (but possibly the erasable kind)

It’s something I should have done long ago. I’m not sure how I’ll end up traveling all around the world without one. Especially when I’m going to be hired as the new personal assistant to the Secretary of State. I’m positive he wouldn’t mind if I spent a whole day in my underwear either.

13. Move some more marbles. Urgency: Pencil (but could be a colored pencil)

I’ll try trumping them up here soon enough. (But seriously, if you live in a country outside the U.S. I might be interested to mail you a marble for the sake of mailing you a marble.)

14. Exacting my revenge. Urgency: Ink

This is already happening. To whom is a non-issue for you. Unless, of course, you are the person in which the vengeance e will be coming to. In which case I highly advise that you get to cover and start praying. Oh…if you only knew of my plans.

15. Preparing for next school year. Urgency: Disappearing Ink

This is a must in the summer. I need to prepare better. If not I will likely drown by November.

16. Take my Pops out to the movies. Urgency: Ink

People should be nice to their parents more often, right?

Annnnnd….that will probably be my entire summer.

So what are you penciling in or inking in this summer?

D.A.

Groundhog Day

February 2, 2012

Just some things. IN LIST FORM!

1. Today was Groundhog Day. You know what I did?

Watched the movie Groundhog Day. I don’t think you can find any fault in me for that.

I think I love this movie more than somebody should. I actually enjoy every aspect of it. It’s just funny. It’s serious. It’s romantic. And it’s kind of depressing in parts.

All around it’s a pretty solid movie.

2. I’m a lazy blogger. I’m an ever lazier writer. I think I’ve made plans to write something near 3 stories that I’ve never gotten around to doing.

I make no apologies. This is my nature. I am a procrastinator.

Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t like that word all that much. “Procrastinator” seems like a bad word. I’m going to use another phrase. I would like to define myself as a “pusher”.

I push things off. It doesn’t mean I’m never going to do them. I just gently push them out of the way in order to make room for other things.

Like lamps. I love them. I really want to build that steampunk lamp (still in progress by the way). But it has been “pushed” off to the side so I can work on other things.

Mostly work, comics, and wasting time on Reddit.

And I think I’m okay with this for right now. I’m usually pretty worn out by the end of the day. Sometimes I need to make sure that I can take that deep breath so I’m ready for the next day.

I have been “pushing” this blog. And that’s okay. This blog is for me and I’m not trying to prove anything.

Wait a second….

Aren’t I?

Am I not supposed to be working toward becoming a writer? This blog was created so I could write. And I’m not doing it!

Holy Crap!

What have I become?

I am a wretch! I am a fiend! I am despair incarnate.

Sorry… That”s a little heavier than the truth. Still, I should be more committed.

3. That last number was pretty long… This one is pretty short.

4. I think I’m going to be pretty happy with my bunch of kids for this term.

I’ve had them for about two weeks. So far, my class average is up and it seems more like they are really paying attention than my last group.

I actually have a little bit of a conspiracy running through my head because of this sudden group of “behaved” children entering my doors. But that is another post for another day.

5. I now have a retirement plan…

This is a strange thought for me. I am planning for the day when I will no longer work. I have only worked for a few months.

Seems poetic in a way.

Seems mature in a way.

Seems like a lot of money that I may never see again.

6. Today I was in one of those moods that makes you feel like you are just about getting business done.

I woke up late and had a reaaaaallllly slow start, but let me tell you this. When I started going, I didn’t stop. I kept chugging.

This same chugging motion is was is motivating me to write this whole thing out tonight.

I’ve even gotten some stuff done for next week.

These days are rare for me. So I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit.

7. I just ordered a lot of golf pencils. What of it?

8. In my last post I used the word “tinnitus”. This is apparently the code word for crazy spam-bots to bombard my blog with adcomments. It think it’s rather funny. So this is what I’ll do. I’ll use another medical condition here in my blog and see what pops up.

I’m going to use an ailment that seems common to the elderly.

Gout. 

Yes. The trap is set.

Now it’s your job to predict how many searches/spam messages/views I will receive due to my usage of this word.

Winner will win a one way paid trip to the middle of a car lot in east New Jersey. A grade total price of nearly $6.75 (cost of bus ride from airport to car lot).

The ball is in your court now

D.A.

I love to read. But I’ll admit, sometimes, my eyes are bigger than what my reading pallet can handle. Sometimes, I end up in a book store and end up buying one or two books. (But only if they’re really good deals, honest). This only adds to the already too big of a backlog or reading material. Not to mention, I try to read all the blogs and comics that I subscribe to.

I recently organized my book collection to reflect my list of reading material. Since I’ve graduated from college I decided that I should be able to read more freely (Hah!). So, I’ve accumulated a number of books that I just can’t wait to get in to. Yet, even though I am enthusiastic, I’m clearly very lazy. I have barely made any progress whatsoever.

This is that list: (anything crossed out has been read, but is on there to show what I have accomplished since Christmas, not much)

  1. Return of the King (in progress)
  2. The Windup Girl (in progress)
  3. Heir to the Empire (in progress)
  4. Heaven is for Real 
  5. No Less Than Victory
  6. Dune
  7. The God Engines
  8. Boneshaker
  9. Leviathan
  10. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union
  11. The Andromeda Strain
  12. Forever Peace
  13. Love and Honor
  14. Crystal Rain
  15. Behemoth
  16. The Forever War
  17. The Fabulous Riverboat
  18. The Truce at Bakura
  19. The Last Command
  20. Dark Force Rising
  21. Little Fuzzy
  22. Plus 15 other books that I don’t own but want to

Hmm…

That’s a pretty big list. I didn’t think it was that long.

Ugh…

Anyway, my goal is to get rid of the books in progress, and then start reading one book at a time. Slow but steady. I don’t want to get any hang ups, so I’ll just make sure it’s one story at a time. I think I read faster this way anyway. I’ve never really liked reading multiple stories at one, but yet I still do it.

If I really dig in, I’m sure the entire list can be done before October. And some of these books are part of a series, so maybe I’ll read the first one, and say, “that story just wasn’t good, I’ll move on.” The best way I can think of “digging in” is to try and read around and hour or two a day. No more late nights on the internet (even if it is wildly entertaining).

Well, it looks like I’ve got quite a bit of work ahead of me.

So what are you reading, Stranger?

After I see this new Happy Potter movie tonight, I’m going to begin the arduous progress of finishing off these already started books.

So, away on my broom I go,

D.A.