MouseHunt blogging and running Eldar

In the signature of my personal e-mail i have a link to my blog here.  It's to shamelessly plug my blog among my friends... and yet, ironically, i have no consistent readers among the friends i have in real life (vs. just facebook, or whatever).  Well, sometimes my work entails working by phone and it is often hard to get concepts across, especially as i think visually (i.e. in pictures) and then i have to translate them into words... which does not always convey what i am "seeing" very well (especially for a guy flunked English - a LOT).  The other day i had to exchange (quite) a few e-mails via my awesome HTC EVO.  Well, for a variety of reasons my phone is not synchronized to use my work e-mail account so we tread carefully and we used my personal account to banter back  and forth and resolved the issue we were working on.  About an hour later my coworker sent me a text message saying how much he liked the blog - mostly the information links pertaining to Autism in general, and Aspergers in particular.  I am not sure why, but i was embarrassed. Now, this blog gets posted to my Facebook profile and i have at sometime or another told all of my friends about it, so i make it a point to be careful what i post, to not post anything that i would not want to be public knowledge... so why should i be embarrassed by this blog?  I am actually pretty proud of it.

My all time favorite Facebook game, MouseHunt continues to improve itself.  In addition to a recent Baron area (a fairly high level) called the Sandtail Desert Region, the developers of this game have expanded upon the Chess themed area i love so much called the Crystal Library.  Love this new area.  One has to perform "research" in order to accomplish the needed tasks in order to eventually make an entirely new trap for a new adversary. In many ways it is similar to the Dragon Mouse.  You have to fashion a special trap for the one mouse!  However, there is also a brand new trap - that looks like a new Shadow type trap... pretty cool. Still enjoying this game after playing it for 18 months now... and for me... that is saying something.

My writing has been sporadic at best of late.  Just too many other things in life to distract me.  I still enjoy it, and it is a relaxing way to dream (so to speak) and i can start/stop without having to get out a bunch of materials, setting it all up, and then having to tear it all down again and put it away when i am finished.  Even the actually sitting down to type/write is not all that involved.  Recently Gav Thorpe wrote out a pretty detailed process of how he wrote one of his Elf novel trilogies. That really made me realize that i will most likely, barring the sky splitting open to tell me that this is what God wants me to do, never be a published writer.  I am ok with that.   This is just a hobby, one to be enjoyed.  If it becomes a struggle... then it will no longer be a hobby, but work.  In any event, i am not sure how long my Eldar Ranger story line will be shelved, but it may be until the last novel in the Eldar trilogy is released sometime next Summer/Fall.  The 2nd one of the series, Path of the Seer, is due to be out any day now.  Looking forward to this one, but not as much as the last one in the series titled, Path of the Outcast. My recent attempts are still forming, but i will share them on my short story blog when i am ready. 
One thing my depression has done, it affected my desire to take care of myself.  Not in selfish ways (although the semi-intentional self neglect could be classified as selfish), but in ways like watching what and how much i eat, and exercising.  I have always loved running.  For as long as i can remember i have loved it.  From the time my dad "dragged" me, my brother and my step mother out to the park in New York City to go running with him (i don't remember if i complained back then, but my memories of it now are all good), up through High School when i up and joined the Cross Country team (our 1st day of practice - 12 miles "warm up" 8 sets of hills, 8 wind sprints, then a 3 mile "cool down"), through my time in the Guard.  When i am in shape... i love the sensation of running.  I enjoy the "burn", i enjoy the personal challenge, the "mind over matter", i enjoy being alone in thought to pray or dream or just - not.  LOL.  But, i have let myself go over time.  Later on in my military service i stopped running all the time and would only get in shape to pass the APFT.  Well, since retiring in July of '08 i've not done ANY serious running.  As a result i added another 15 pounds to the frame (which was already 30 pounds over weight if you ask the doctors) and i started to develop problems with the knees.  About four months ago i was talked into trying out a pair of "minimalist" shoes for work.  Long story short, my knee ached less and gave me a lot less trouble using the stairs.  In June, i finally got the nerve to try and start running again and began the "Couch to 5k" (c25k) program.  It got off to a rocky start.  I developed discomfort in both knees and my right ankle.  Some of this was due to the "minimalist" style, and part of it is due to my being over weight and inactivity.  Well, i dialed it down some and began to just walk (in running it is almost NEVER a good idea to just run through the pain).  Once i was able to maintain a 4mph walking pace with no linger pain or needing to take a day or more off, i started the jogging back up.  Yesterday was the first day back to jogging and i am pretty psyched.  it's hard to keep the enthusiasm in check so that i don't injure myself and keep on track.  I am down 5 pounds since starting.  Who knows... if this works, and i can sustain it over time... maybe i can get off of the Celexa.  But if not... i am ok with that too.


A sad time for me as a Carolina Panthers fan - and the usual ramblings

It finally happened... the Carolina Panthers released John Kasay, my all time favorite player for the Panthers.   I am at the age now where i am really noticing these kinds of things.  Football player careers are short, and a 16 year stint with the Panthers is very long time in the world of the NFL.And yet... i am very sad that this day has come for John Kasay.  When i asked for a Carolina Panthers jersey, i was specific that i wanted the number 4, with John Kasay's name on the back.  The man is simply a class act.  Scott Fowler at the Charlotte Observer has done a couple of really nice articles, but i will add my agreement with his sentiments here.  John Kasay was pretty consistent.  With the exception of the year he tore his ACL (while making a tackle on a kick return no less), he was almost automatic.  Whenever he made a game winning field goal he always deflected the praise to his teammates for getting him in the position to kick the score, and when he missed - and especially after the bad kickoff in the SB against the Patriots he always took it upon himself, that he was the one who let his teammates down.  At the end of the day it is a team sport, and it always is a team effort.  But John Kasay left his mark outside the locker room as well, being a vital part of his community, and never shied away from his faith in Christ.  He will be missed, and by more than just myself.  I hope the Panthers add him to their "Hall of Honor".  I would love to make a trip down to the game when they do this - or even just for the ceremony if they do it in the off season.  I wish more professional athletes were as humble and upright as John Kasay.

With that segue, sort of, in additional to Caleb Campbell being on the Detroit Lions roster, the Lions have invited Collen Mooney to camp.  Caleb Campbell is #53 and a Linebacker.  He played safety for Army "in the day", but was moved up to be a speedy linebacker.  Last year Caleb spent most of his time on the practice squad, but did make it up to the #53 man roster a time or two.  Collin Mooney was a Fullback for Army and currently has the single season rushing record for them.  The Lions had 2 Fullbacks on the roster, but only ever suited one - one article i said that the Lions may try and see how he does as a "Power" Running back.  While i am still not sure of either man's chances of making the final 53 man roster, or even the practice squads this year, i am still very glad to see West Point being represented in the NFL.  It doesn't hurt that both of them a Artillerymen either.    So... i will be watching both men, and if they both make the roster... i just might have to get some kind of Lions paraphernalia.    Go ARMY!

I am going to make it official... i am aligning myself with the American National Tea Party.  I have grown to despise the cross-aisle finger pointing and bickering.  I am tired of the laws of the land not applying to those who are supposed to "represent" us.  I am tired of the very people that are supposed to express the point of view of their constituency not "getting it", and i am especially tired of this nation getting deeper and deeper into debt every year.  There are some exceptions, and i am not pointing the finger at either of the two main political parties.  Over 11% of the annual budget is interest.  Just interest, not principle of the load, just the interest.  I have heard it put this way:

"If the US Government was a family, they would be making $58,000 a year, they spend $75,000 a year, and are $327,000 in credit card debt. They are currently proposing BIG spending cuts to reduce their spending to $72,000 a year. These are the actual proportions of the federal budget and debt, reduced to a level that we can understand." ~ Dave Ramsey

It is just not sustainable.  If i ran my house this way, i would be in bankruptcy and out on the street.  Those who represent us need to grow a set of _____ and put on their big girl panties and make some really hard decisions.  They need to tread carefully of course, but their eyes shouldn't wander to places like Social Security, Medicare, or the retirement "entitlement" those who have retired after 20+ years of service to this country.  Those programs are people - generally - from the lower income brackets who have put their time in, who have busted their tails all their lives.  There are plenty of other areas that could be scrutinized and pinched.  No plan is going to make everyone happy, and every plan is going to make somebody mad, but this country is heading down into a hole that is inescapable if we are not careful.  And before anyone goes off spouting that the Tea Party is a bunch of bigots, do some research to see just who makes up the rank and file of this political party's supporters.  I think our country is past due for a couple of more political parties with influence beyond the Democrats and the Republicans. Checks and balances.  Since the Tea Party is predominantly conservative, i feel that a subset of the Democratic liberal would be apropos.