Friday, September 28, 2012

New Feeling...Premonition?

Recently, I've been having a strange new feeling.
I've been experiencing an increased desire for self preservation.
Along with this feeling is a heightened awareness of my own mortality.
Honestly, it kind of concerns me a little bit.

A few months ago I decided to resign from my paintball team.
I've been on that team for the better part of five years.
My teammates are among my closest friends.
This was not an easy decision.

A large part of my decision to leave was due to these recent feelings of anxiety.
We travel a lot for our tournaments, and we often drive through the night.
When we would be driving, I would sometimes wonder if I would make it home alive.
Thus far we have never had any problems or accidents...but it's only a matter of time, right?

I wondered if these feelings were some kind of premonition that something bad was coming.
I've always been very good about trusting my feelings; so I decided that if something bad was going to happen, I didn't want to be around for it.

These feelings don't just come before long trips either.
Sometimes when I am driving on the freeway, and traffic is a little erratic and crazy, I start thinking about traffic accidents. I sometimes wonder "Is this how I am going to die?"
I know lots of people who have gone that way...

I'm feeling like I need to take extra measures to keep myself safe.
I don't mean wearing a padded helmet everywhere, or barricading myself inside my own house...I just mean avoiding unnecessary risks.
I really hope this isn't some kind of clinical paranoia or anxiety.
I don't think it is.

I was talking to my dad about these feelings the other night, and he told me that he remembers when he started feeling this way too.
He had a friend who survived a pretty horrific motorcycle accident involving a semi truck.
It was after this experience that my dad started being more careful.
Perhaps these feelings are just a normal part of growing up and getting older.

I am kind of surprised that these feelings are happening now, and not later when I have a family to support.
Currently, I am single and unattached. I am debt free and have no outstanding personal obligations.  I also have a generous life insurance policy through work.
I know it is a morbid thought, but in many ways, now would be the ideal time for me to unexpectedly die.
Naturally I don't want that to happen.

I am hoping that there is a good reason for these odd feelings.
Perhaps there is something important in store for my future.
Maybe something really good is about to happen in my life.
There must be some reason for me to stick around...
I suppose only time will tell.

So what do you guys think? Is this normal?  Is it healthy?

Friday, September 14, 2012

On Unintentional (Intentional) Puns

So I have a minor literary pet peeve.

Every once in a while I will come across a statement in an article that is immediately followed by the words "no pun intended," written in parenthesis.

Whenever I see "no pun intended" actually written out like that, I automatically assume that the pun actually WAS intended, otherwise, why would they call attention to it?

That fact that they wrote out "no pun intended" means that, in the course of writing their article, they recognized the presence of the pun, chose to leave it in place rather than revise their choice of words, and then chose to call attention to the fact that they had just made a pun.  Doesn't that process prove that the inclusion of the pun was intentional?!

In writing, if the pun truly was unintentional, they wouldn't even call attention to it.  It would just be there, unannounced.

What I think is actually happening, is that the author has thought up a clever little pun that they think would be very "punny," are very proud of their pun, and don't want anyone to miss it.  So to make sure that everyone sees their cleverness, they decide to spell it out for the reader by saying "no pun intended," when what they really mean is "hey there was a pun in what I just said, and I want to make sure you saw it."
Let's face it, it's kind of lame to make a pun and then write "pun intended." It's kind of the literary equivalent of laughing at your own jokes.  Personally, I would much rather see someone write "pun intended" rather than "no pun intended." It might actually be more humorous.

I know I am probably way over thinking this idea, but it seems to me that the phrase "no pun intended" should only ever be used verbally since it is possible to unintentionally make a pun, and realize that you just made a pun, but it is impossible to go back and alter what you just said. However, that is not the case with writing. It is possible to go back and edit your words, and thus unintentional puns can be easily corrected.

What do you think?


As many of you know, I'm almost 30 years old.


I've already passed the frontier of routine daily shaving, so shouldn't I have earned my man body by now?

It's obnoxious and annoying.

I wish my body would just figure itself out!

That is all.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Triathlon!

Well, my first triathlon was a success!

My goal was to finish in under 1 hour 30 minutes, and my overall time ended up being 1 hour 25 minutes and 14 seconds.
I finished 15th out of 19 in my age group. Not great, but at least I wasn't last!
Now I can make some specific goals for improvement.

As expected, the swim was my weakest event.
I swam the 350 yards in 10:46.
I tried to swim the freestyle stroke, but only made it one length before I was out of breath and struggling.  I had to revert to the slower sidestroke for the rest of the swim.
Even with doing the sidestroke I only got passed by three people, and that was on the very last length.
I hadn't officially timed myself for that swim distance, so I was pleasantly surprised by my time.

My transition from swim to bike took 2:42. I could probably shave some time off that in the future. Maybe lose the gloves and the socks...

The biking was definitely my strongest event. I felt great the whole time, and I was passing tons of people!
I biked the 12 miles in 39:06, so that was an average of about 18.5mph.
I was just so happy to be out of the pool and on my bike!

My transition from bike to run was pretty quick, only 1:36.
It would have been much quicker, but it took me a little while to figure out where all my stuff was!
I need to figure out a way to make my area more obvious. Either that or count rows before the start.
Even with that lost time, my elastic shoe laces really helped keep my transition quick.  Those were my favorite triathlon accessory by far!

I ran the 5K in 31:04, so I was doing just over a nine minute mile. I can speed that up...
I definitely do not like running, but it was fine I guess. I just kept myself moving.

They had water right at the beginning of the run, and a Gatorade station halfway through. I wish that they had switched those locations and had the Gatorade first, and the water second.
I don't like taking Gatorade without water to follow because it feels sticky in my mouth and throat, so when I got to that second aid station I didn't drink anything. I probably should have.

The run was out in the open, on the street; so the sun was baking down on us pretty hard.
The last half mile was pretty hard for me because I was really tired and thirsty from the sun and heat.
I definitely could have used some water at that aid station...
Anyway, I pushed through and finished just fine.

After I was all done I felt great! Tired and thirsty, but great!
Even now, a day later, I'm not very sore, so I felt pretty well prepared.

Before I do another one, I really  need to improve my swimming. I need to get the freestyle stroke down! That is my number one priority.
Besides that, I just need to keep up my biking and running, shed a few pounds, and hopefully shave a few minutes off both of those events.

I'm really glad I did it, it was a lot of fun!


As an aside, I had two crazy experiences that I wanted to share.

The first was from the Saturday before the race.
I decided to do the bike and running routes in advance, so I would be familiar with them, and have an expectation on my times.
I was halfway done with the biking when it started to thunder and lighting.
I was riding along, and suddenly I felt a tingle run down my right arm, and a shock come out my index finger!
Half a second later, I saw lightning strike somewhere in the distance!

It kind of freaked me out!

More freaky though, is that I didn't really have a place to go to escape, so I just kept riding.
Over the next few minutes, that same thing happened to me four or five times!

Where I was riding there were lots of power poles, so I figured that if lightning was going to strike, it would probably strike one of those before it got me.

Anyway, I kept riding and everything was fine.
It eventually started raining pretty hard, and I got soaked.  It actually felt pretty good. It cooled me off quite a bit.

The second experience happened during the race.

I was just starting the bike portion, and had made my first turn onto a main road.
They didn't stop traffic for the event, so I was riding along with other cars.

I was riding on the shoulder when the car ahead of me suddenly pulled right in front of me and slowed way down to make a right hand turn into a parking lot.

They totally cut me off!

I braked so hard that I actually did a front wheelie.

I managed to skid almost to a stop, but I did hit their back bumper with my front tire.

It all happened so fast, and I was so focused on braking that I didn't have much time to think of anything else.
I thought for sure I was going to wreck, and was quite surprised when I didn't.

After I hit their bumper, my rear wheel dropped back onto the pavement, they finished their turn, and my bike seemed ok so I just kept on riding.

It was really scary, but I was just glad that I was ok.

It sure got my adrenaline pumping for the race!

The moral of the story is to really watch out for bikers when you are driving, and realize that they actually are moving pretty quickly, and you can't cut them off. Treat them like another vehicle.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Book Cloud

One of my friends posted this image on their blog AGES ago.
I intended to pass it on...but I forgot.

I thought that it was a really great list, and a good reference for anyone that is looking for a really great book to read.
There are a few on there that I would like not to be on there (cough, Twilight, cough)...and there are a few books that I think are missing. Namely, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, and Anthem by Ayn Rand. Neither of these are listed, but they are two of the best books I have ever read.

I found the original here.