Posted by: Mark | July 22, 2017

Resolution Update 31

Another week down:

1. Run 730 miles – 28.2 miles on the elliptical machine. Zero on the treadmill, 243.1 miles overall.

2. 5,000 push ups and 8,000 leg lifts –1,335 push ups and 1,402 leg lifts.

3. Lose 26 pounds – lost 4.8 pounds since January, 21.2 to go.

4. Support 24 local artists – still two.

5. 42 manuscript submissions – 23 submissions.

6. Write 40,000 words and five new stories – 27,500 words and five completed stories. Exactly 27,500.

7. Read all the New Testament – Complete.

8. Read The Nature of Things — Complete.

9. Finish Finnegan’s Wake – Complete.

10. 300 blog posts – this is 126.

11. Read The Song of Roland — 80 of 291 laisses.

Posted by: Mark | July 19, 2017

New Resolution

This year I had three New Year’s Resolutions involving reading (De Rerum Natura, Finnegans Wake, and the New Testament) and three involving fitness (lose 26 pounds, run 730 miles, and do 5000 push ups /8,000 leg lifts).

I’m failing all the fitness ones but already finished all the reading.

I guess this is cheating but I’m adding a new resolution: read the French national epic, The Song of Roland. I was supposed to read this in college but was too lazy. Better late than never.

Posted by: Mark | July 18, 2017

De Rerum Natura : The End

Lucretius finished up his answers to life, the universe, and everything, with Meteorology and Geology. Surprisingly, it was more enjoyable than his writings on sex.

He was off on a number of matters, including that thunder is caused by clouds crashing together and lightning is from “seeds of fire” being squeezed out.

He was right about light moving faster than sound and the water cycle.

The idea that an angry Zeus was the source of lightning bolts was mocked unmercifully. Does Zeus only lose his temper during bad weather?

His explanation for earthquakes was that underground rivers and caves collapse. That sounds silly but we didn’t know much better until 100 years ago or so.

I gave Lucretius a lot of grief for some of his statements but I probably shouldn’t have. He was extremely full of himself but I  doubt if ten humans ever could have explained things as well as he did with his lack of information.

Posted by: Mark | July 18, 2017

R.I.P. Naughty Pundit

Back in 2004, I started the original Rambler on Blogger. After a few years, it wouldn’t let me log on and Blogger offered no support.

I switched over to WordPress, and, while it hasn’t been perfect, it’s been better.

The other day Blogger deleted The Naughty Pundit, a blog that’s been around longer than mine. No real reason other than nobody at Blogger cares.

If anyone reading this is thinking about starting a blog, WordPress has problems, but stay away from Blogger.

Posted by: Mark | July 15, 2017

Blood Parrot vs. Oscar

Someone dumped an eight-inch blood parrot cichlid at the pet store. He was put up “free to a good home” but it wasn’t until ten minutes until closing when a customer decided to take him. He wanted to keep him in a tank with a five-inch Oscar. I didn’t think that was a good idea as they are both aggressive fish but four of the four web pages I found said they could get along.

I hope they do. Sometimes I know customers are going to kill their fish but you can’t talk them out of it.

I guess I should be glad we don’t sell dogs.

Posted by: Mark | July 15, 2017

Resolution Update 30

The week started out great, then my knee died, then got better:

1. Run 730 miles – 12.4 miles on the elliptical machine and 1.8 on the treadmill, up to 214.9 miles overall. I would have done better but I had to take two days off.

2. 5,000 push ups and 8,000 leg lifts –1,258 push ups and 1,337 leg lifts.

3. Lose 26 pounds – lost a full five pounds, screwed up my knee, and gained 5.2. I hope most of it is the fluid floating my patella.

4. Support 24 local artists – still two.

5. 42 manuscript submissions – 23 submissions.

6. Write 40,000 words and five new stories – 25,807 words and five completed stories.

7. Read all the New Testament – Complete.

8. Read The Nature of Things – finished chapter 5, page 217 of 257.

9. Finish Finnegan’s Wake – Complete.

10. 300 blog posts – this is 121.

Posted by: Mark | July 14, 2017

De Rerum Natura : Chapter Five

After feeling let down by the last two sections, Book Five: Geology and Cosmology holds up much better.

Lucretius was forced to admit that he didn’t have the definitive answer to the origin of the universe, the motion of the sun, light from the moon, and eclipses so he offered several possible theories.

He argued that immortal gods would not desire human prayers and that the world is too imperfect to have been created by a perfect being.

He claimed that while the building blocks of the universe are “birthless and deathless,” “this world is newly made.”

“Many species must have died out altogether” but believed all existing species have been around since the dawn of the world.

Argued against centaurs because horses and humans mature at different ages.

It’s humorous to read now but he was convinced that the modern generation (the ancient Romans) were soft compared to their ancestors.

He also claimed that “the male sex as a whole is by far the more skillful and gifted in the arts.”

One more chapter to go.

Posted by: Mark | July 10, 2017

Centipede at the Dojo

Last week it was a hummingbird; this week a centipede. Are animals trying to learn karate? Are we living in End Times or just an odd episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? What will show up next?

Posted by: Mark | July 9, 2017

25,000 Words

I’ve been shooting for at least 100,000 words a year since 2013 but cut it down to 40,000 for 2017. (That’s the generally accepted cutoff length for a novel.)

I started out the year much better than what I’ve been doing lately but I’m still ahead.

At last I have 25,070 words since January. It might take a while but I think I’ll get it this year.

Posted by: Mark | July 8, 2017

Resolution Update 29

As 2017 goes, it’s been a good week:

1. Run 730 miles – As per the last post, after 34.3 mules on the elliptical machine and 2.1 on the treadmill, I’m up to 201.7 miles.

2. 5,000 push ups and 8,000 leg lifts – two terrible weeks in a row — 1,183 push ups and 1,262 leg lifts.

3. Lose 26 pounds – lost 4.4 pounds since last week, two pounds exactly since January.

4. Support 24 local artists – still two.

5. 42 manuscript submissions – 22 submissions.

6. Write 40,000 words and five new stories – 24,475 words and five completed stories.

7. Read all the New Testament – Complete.

8. Read The Nature of Things – on chapter 5, page 190 of 257.

9. Finish Finnegan’s Wake – Complete.

10. 300 blog posts – this is 117.

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