Here it is. Melancholy, but the right thing to do. The rules were simple…write and post here every day. It made sense in the early days…too many unspoken deadlines came and went.
In the three days between posts I have been doing less writing, and more re-writing. Google Docs has been the crafting tool, away from distractions like hits and search terms.
This is the link to my future on WordPress.
I hope to see you there.
Going through the motions.
What are what has “My Three Percent Is Swimming” had slowly morphed into.
The blog has always been about the process.
Writing, rewriting, when you think you are done, re-write again (which is the part that gets skipped more often than not).
The clarity that often comes with late nights offered the moment that my daily internal “publish or perish” has produced diminishing results both in terms of quality and time.
This will be my second last new original post on this blog. There will be a replacement blog, likely my neglected “The Other 97%”. It will be reset, a fresh tablet for a new step. I will post that information here.
“My Three Percent is Swimming” has served its purpose. It stoked my creative fires at a time where embers were but an unfulfilled wish. Most of all it helped me overcome my base fear of failure. There will never be another day where I do not write. There will be many days I don’t publish.
I will try to post at least once a week. If something is not ready, then I will not.
To all of you who have read and commented: thank you.
To those who simply “liked” without reading, well that is lame. It is a downside to blogging, and it is beneath you.
I am excited to move on…freed from what had become a bit of an albatross. I would not be where I am without “My Three Percent is Swimming”.
But with two kids who need my attention, a third on the way, and a whole lot of reading, writing and skill building ahead of me to get where I want to go there is no time for rote writing.
Now with a convergence of prior bathroom posts that get more hits than they should. People like to Google “urinal”.
Let the indoctrination continue: this Saturday my wife and I take our kids to their first live Bills game. The family that suffers through football seasons stay together, our credo.
The process has been well underway since they were babies. Onesies, bottles and unused pacifiers…oh my. The past few seasons they have dutifully sat around the television on Sundays, cheering the hell out of the few high spots the Bills have offered. But to be there, at the place they have seen on television so many times, well they are pretty whipped up about the whole thing.
Every day the past few weeks has led off with, “When are we going to the Bills game?”
Among the excitement is some trepidation on my part.
What if James has to go to the bathroom? The kid has an issue with urinals and loves to touch everything unsanitary that he can get his hands on. He clearly does it to get a rise out of me. The Bills restrooms are notoriously funky. My prior experience dictates a stall wait.
Another worrisome factor: I cannot remember the height of those bowls. It could be a major issue, especially given the nature of stadium food. You tend to eat it with your hands.
There are not enough anti-bacterial wipes manufactured each day in the US (do they even make those here?) to cleanse the boy should he get grabby with a toilet at the Ralph. Not that the fact there may not be enough will stop me from loading up… I want his first experience to be as positive as possible. He grabs anything I tell him not to, well there go the nachos my friend.
Chances are we will spend more time in line at the concession stands than we will in the seats. They are 6 and 4, and barely make it through a drive at home.
My hope is that the joy they feel from getting overloaded with treats will burn a love for the Bills that will carry them through the hard times that are sure to come. It worked for me. It was always the cherry on the top of the Sundays rooting for the same team as my Dad. Another lesson from the old man: the family that still roots together… part two.
“…once more…”, or was it at least three more?
In what will surely seem like an insane thought when the normal fatigue that arrives with November presents, I am looking forward to climbing into that late night breach again. This summer the “normal” 9-5 was taken for a spin. While the main issue could have been the knowledge that the hours were only temporary, the hours did not suit me. I was constantly tired, harried, and felt that there was never enough time for anything. It is a good thing that there is no way those hours can work, not now, not for at least three to four years.
There was a time in the not so distant past, say before February, where I thought this would be my swan song for the midnight hour. A more sensible, less draining schedule was on the horizon. My late semester fatigue would the stuff of family lore, rather than my reality…until the tied for the best news I ever heard was delivered on my birthday. My wife and I would be moving closer to my goal of being able to field a full curling team. We better learn to train our future dog to throw a rock. After our daughter arrives this fall we are complete, at least in the kid department.
You have to be flexible with your dreams.
I woke this morning invigorated. That had been absent the whole summer, in spite of more hours sleep.
The list of tasks was ticked off with vigor that had been missing the last few months:
Painting? Check…two coats with very few drips. Pink is far easier than red…
Rearrange the downstairs? Check, it works…the couch may need to be moved for Kinect, no big deal. Still to do…wire through the wall, that will make the next list. (I need lists).
Organize the “computer box” to find my Xbox battery charger? Check, though this one was self-serving.
Get a training ride in? Check, almost 13 miles…I am at 33 for the week.
I made dinner, am pumping out this simple post…and getting ready to hang with my wife before work.
There are a great many things that my current schedule causes me to miss : sleep, I don’t get to game regularly; and I miss dinner with the family twice a week. I can get (read do) irritable when the sleep debt gets overwhelming…
But all the things it provides: more time with my kids, more free time to pursue writing and creative pursuits without stepping on family time…and some time for me when the kids and Nicole are at school during the week (until Cici)
…outweigh the parts that don’t fit so well.
In truth 9-5 is overrated.
While my schedule will inch towards what for most people is ideal in the future, it will likely stay on the fringes. There is a flexibility in working the hours most would not even consider. What I miss will be outweighed by what I gain. When that ceases to be reality then we’ll see about Dolly Parton’s signature tune.
Before this all becomes a lovefest, and I am accused of being a hopeless NHL/EA fanboy, the NHL 13 demo is somewhat disappointing in some aspects. Where is the full game option? Where is the multiplayer option? It is the first time in quite a few years that the NHL franchise is outdone by Madden in any way.
With that out-of-the-way, onto what works:
From the time I first demoed the “free skate” I was hooked with the new skating engine. Finally momentum seems to be a factor. While I am sure that the QC teams will find a way to break the code in EASHL, that is no longer my primary concern. I will dip my toes back in that frozen pond, but as soon as the glitchers take it over I can focus on the meat: GM Connected.
On the demo side:
I played a scoreless third period in my first game, which consisted of a 3rd period between the Kings and Devils. The improvement to the AI is definitely noticeable, but it felt like a full game would better show off their ability to adjust. In my short time every attempt at a simple cross crease was thwarted, each part of each player can deflect the puck from its intended course. You have to mix and match. Being that this is the first time without a well-worn crutch like cross crease I was paralyzed. It was refreshing to be stripped of that “go-to” goal.
Keeping the lessons from the first game in mind I went with more of an offensive mix when trying the new “NHL Moments Live” mode. The mode allows you to try to recreate or change history in what are being referred to as “signature NHL moments”.
From what I have seen they may be overselling the gravity of these moments… I like Sam Gagner (especially since he is on my GM Connected team), but the only thing his 8 point game last year showed was how he has to tap his potential on a more consistent basis (something I plan on fostering).
And with so many modes already it may have been better had they focused the development time on the mode elsewhere. We shall see once the full product is out in three weeks.
Below is the full video of the game. The goal started with a dump in, recovery and a pass to the high slot. It did not feel cheap, but I am biased…it was my goal. Excuse my clumsy defence (eh?), it was only my second game and the skating control is markedly different. The crowd reaction to what was happening is long overdue. I look forward to hearing more of that in Rexall Place this fall.
More to come as I get to test it more…
In what would have qualified as nothing more than a surprise ten years ago I watched two films in the past week that starred Justin Timberlake and came out of each experience disappointed not because of his involvement, but rather because my expectations were pretty high going in.
If you are going to hate on JT for his music, go right ahead…I am there with you. It is not my style, plus everyone knows the Backstreet Boys pWn3d N’ Sync.
Mr. Timberlake has proven himself a capable performer over the years, with his SNL digital shorts and part in “The Social Network” being of particular note. So while I did not seek out the two films because of him he has become a name that elicits some interest in seeing a film because of his involvement.
The first film that left me wanting my two hours back was the scifi romp “In Time”. The film also features Cillian Murphy, who since “Batman Begins” has become another one of my dependable actors. Though all his films are not all that great he never fails to be interesting, see “The Wind that Shakes the Barley”.
Not even the Scarecrow & JT pairing can save “In Time”. The film can never get away from its silly concept. Everyone gets 25 free years in life, and then a clock starts; it runs to zero, you die. If you are rich enough with time you live until the end you days without aging. The film is executed with all the depth of a Loreal commercial.
Why would I burn my precious time of such drivel? Surely I knew what it was about going in.
I wanted to see what the filmmaker could do with the concept. If you tore apart the guts of most scifi it would be absurd on the face, but the details and execution can save even the silliest of concepts. Throw two of my favorites, “Moon” and “The Thing” under a plot synopsis analysis and they would sound like an insane man’s rumblings. Their execution is the key, and it is the fatal flaw of “In Time”.
My wife wanted to watch “Friends With Benefits” staring JT and Mila Kunis. I went in with few objections. The director of the film Will Gluck, shocked me with the better than it should-have-been “Easy A”. It is a tried and true story, but see the above: it is all about the execution.
What Gluck delivers is a warmed over riff ”When Harry Went Sally” with more sex appeal, but far less chemistry between the leads.
The film stands as another example of the fact that what Nora Ephron and Rob Reiner seemed to effortlessly deliver in “What Harry Met Sally” was not nearly as easy as it looked.
There were some funny moments, the supporting cast is filled with great actors, and there were some of the clever “Easy A-like” character moments peppered throughout, though they felt like desperate attempts to catch the magic of Gluck’s first film than a part of the film that was delivered.
Another frustration: the film left me feeling hollow when I thought about all the friends in the world who in a lonely moment will think their own friendships are the next to get elevated. The truth in both this film and “When Harry Met Sally” is too often lost: the spark was there from the beginning. The friendship grew out of the impossibility or refusal to get involved…the impetus was always that initial flame.
The films were disappointing on their own merits rather than any issues with the lead. Still he did not elevate either, which is a mark of a great leading man.
“In Time” and “Friends With Benefits” : not recommended.
This summer has been all about the yoyo…drinking more than normal to cope with the stress of closing the house, moving and working on the house; which leads to apathy with regards to what I shoved in my pie-hole, and combined with the former led to the apathy as the almost daily workouts devolved into a few times a week. Those few times a week lost the intensity of the past year.
Predictably I stalled somewhere between Mr. Incredible Act 2 and Act 3.
The past few days have been dedicated to getting back on track, though truthfully that will not happen in earnest until I am back on my insane, but regular schedule. James will be going full-time this year, and that will open up nap and workout time. the 4 hours sleep + nap module worked this past year.
It could be the key for me. Working the 9-5 this summer as an aside screwed up my clock. If it were permanent the adjustment would be set. But as that schedule is at least 3 years out thanks to Cici I never embraced it. It did not embrace me either.
I cannot wait to get back to late nights…insane.
This week was great as far as training. Bolstered by a desire to get set for Mr. Incredible Act III, part II I hit it hard. The past 76 days I went 56 miles.
4 weeks out…please consider donating: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/robert-kotaska/aids-ride-for-life-2012.