Thursday, January 14, 2021

Outdoors

 I'm not an outdoors person. Short reason is that outdoors is "sunburn and allergies." I have type 1skin and sunburn very quickly. The alternative is to wear lots of clothes and then sunscreen on any exposed skin. And I hate sunscreen. It's all oily and gloopy. This is why I rarely go to the beach and if I do, I try to sit in the shade. If there is shade. I also wear hats a lot.

Allergies are another matter. Since doing seven(!) years of allergy shots, my allergies are much better. But I still sneeze and itch at times.

In the winter it's cold outside. I used to snow ski but now I don't even do that. Winter means putting on snow tires and not having fun driving.

So, not being an outdoors person, I don't like to hunt or fish or do any of those outdoors things. Fishing is boring, anyway. And wandering through the woods looking for game doesn't thrill me. If I'm going to shoot a gun, I want there to be a target to aim at (usually paper).

I know people who love to fish. My brother goes hunting every fall (and has yet to get anything). I just don't enjoy it.

I'm also into computers and television. And warm (or cool in the summer) and comfortable places to sit. And all of that is indoors.

How do you feel about outdoors? I know there are people who love the outdoors. Are you one of them?

Thursday, January 7, 2021

5G Speed Test

Welcome to 2021. Let's hope this year is better.

Now, on with the show.

 I was in the Portland, Oregon area recently, and I noticed my phone said I had 5G data service.


So I thought I'd test that out. I used Ookla's SpeedTest app on my phone. And I tested the speed at 5G. Here's the results:


(Download is the first number, upload is the second number. Units are in Mbps.)

The download number is similar to what I get on my WiFi at home (I have very fast broadband internet with fiber optics). 


The upload speed on 5G is awful. But, in reality, who really cares? It's download we want.

Later, I was on LTE (still in the Portland area) so I speed tested that:


Which had even worse upload speeds and, of course, download speeds did not match 5G.

Verizon has a "5G Ultra Wideband" in select areas of select cities. I want to try that when I can.

What is your experience with 5G. Have you tried it? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Hubris

 

(Wow, there are five Thursdays in this December!)

(And it's New Years Eve, too.)

I have thirteen published novels, seven by a small press publisher, and six self-published. And, according to my records (that I haven't kept up on well) I have sold about 1,800 books total. Most of those are my first book, Hammer of Thor. Five of my books are fantasy, all part of a series. The rest are science fiction.

Despite this modest success (very modest), I keep writing. I'm currently working on the seventh (and final) book in a series. Well, actually, two series and this final book brings them together. 

But why do I keep on writing? And I think it's two things: 1) I love to write and b) hubris.

I saw a quote on Twitter that sort of inspired this blog post: "Writer’s block is only a failure of the ego." That was said by writer Norman Mailer. And in a way that's true. Writer's block is often when you don't think your writing is good enough. You don't have the ego, or hubris, to just keep writing. As someone said, you can't fix or edit a blank piece of paper.

My hubris makes me think I'll eventually write a book that everyone wants to read. I know, intellectually, that that's unlikely. But I still keep writing because of my hubris.

And I think that's why a lot of want to be writers don't start. They don't think they are good enough, They don't have enough hubris.

Do you have hubris? Or are you lacking the ego to write and keep writing? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Evil Cats

Lily

It's Christmas Eve! Merry Christmas, everyone.

Now, on with the show...

Cats used to be thought of as evil back in medieval days. The church would kill them. They were said to be the Devil's tools.

And I wonder if part of the reason is static electricity. Almost every time I pet my son's cat, Lily, I get sparks of static electricity. Especially in winter. Now I'm an educated, modern man, so I know what it is and what causes it. But imagine being a peasant in the thirteenth century and not knowing a thing about electricity. You pet a cat and get shocks. What are they? They must be signs of the Devil. Burn it!

Which just goes to show that knowledge of our world (which a lot of people unfortunately lack mostly out of willful ignorance) is a good thing. I understand why I get sparks from Lily's fur.  I understand why the sky is blue. I understand that the stars I can see are lightyears away. I know why tires lose pressure in the fall. I love knowing about my world. I love science. How about you?

Let me know in the comments below how you like to know about the world.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

The Huskies' Season is Probably Over

The Washington State Huskies have the best record (at 3-1) in the Pac-12 North. But they won't be playing USC in the Pac-12 Championship game tomorrow. They are on a COVID lockdown. Instead, Oregon will be playing in that game since they are in second place with a 3-2 record.

I saw somewhere that to go to a bowl game you have to have at least six games played and the Huskies only have four. So they likely won't be going to a bowl. Although Coach Jimmy Lake is hoping for one and will be trying to get the team ready. Maybe the rules changed and I didn't hear about it.

This was a messed up season, anyway. College football seasons are usually 12 games: three non-conference and nine conference games. First the Pac-12, in their wisdom, said no non-conference games. Then they cancelled the season saying it would be played in the Spring of 2021. Then they said there would be a short season of six games.

But the Huskies' first game, against Cal, was cancelled because Cal had COVID in their team. The next two games (Oregon State and Arizona) were played and the Huskies won. Then the Apple Cup cross-state rivalry game against Washington State was cancelled. Instead, we played Utah, and beat them in an amazing comeback. We played Stanford and lost.

Then Washington had a COVID outbreak. The last game against Oregon (whom we hate more than WSU) was cancelled. I would have really loved to have a chance to beat Oregon. And, as I said, Washington won't be going to the Pac-12 Championship game tomorrow.

Frankly, I'm looking forward to the fall of 2021 season. Maybe by then we can have a normal season. Maybe.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Bad Brain Chemistry Few Days

I make no secret that I have a mental illness. I'm not ashamed that I am Type 2 bipolar with dysthymia. That means, untreated, I am depressed most of the time with bouts of mania. There is, for me, no shame in having a mental illness anymore than I would if I had cancer. Mental illness is not a failing. It's brain chemistry

About a month ago, I had a very bad few days of mania. It started out a situational depression and then somehow grew into mania mixed with depression. Now I tend to be an angry manic. It might have been good that my wife was gone for most of those days. When she got home, I yelled at her for no reason.

I had never experienced depression mixed with mania before. It was the strangest, most miserable thing. I was angry and depressed at the same time.

There are four types of bipolar. Type one is the classic bipolar where you oscillate between manic and depressed sort of like a sine wave. Type two you're depressed most of the time with episodes of mania. Type three you're manic most of the time with episodes of depression. And type four is what I was experiencing: mania and depression at the same time. I am so glad I have only experienced that once in my life (so far).

I went to see my mental health person (he's an ARNP, not a doctor), and he suggested ramping up one of my drugs to double the dose for a few days. So I did for two days (with one day of ramping up and one day of ramping back down) and that seemed to solve the problem. 

I just found it annoying that suddenly my bipolar got worse for no apparent reason. Yes, there was a reason for the depression, but why that led to mania, I don't know. 

If you have depression or feel you might be bipolar, don't suffer with it. Seek help, soon. I remember when I'd wake up in the morning and my first thought was should I kill myself. It would have the added advantage that I wouldn't have to go to work (this is back in my corporate days). When I finally sought out help, it made a huge difference in my life. It can in yours, too.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Blogging is Hard

 

I've posted over 1,100 blogs on this... blog. Not sure where I came up with all the things to blog about. Blogging is hard because you have to come up with something to blog about at least once a week. I've tried blog subject lists but they seem aimed at the hobby blogger. I don't do politics on my blog or I could blog every day. I used to do that.

So, for today's blog, I'm going to complain about blogging. Blogging is hard (unless you're doing a political/current events blog). You have to come up with ideas to blog about. And I don't always have ideas. It's very annoying. This is the latest idea I've had: blogging about blogging.

I wonder what I'll blog about next week.

Do you blog? Where do you get your ideas? How often do you blog? Let me know in the comments below.