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I've been planting seeds for the past month, and I don't just mean the kinds that grow into plants (though I did plant some pomegranate seeds for fun). The more I start to view life as a garden analogy, the more fun and easy it is for me to deal with it. It's all about planting the seeds, occupying myself with other things, water regularly and check for results every once in a while. Not everything is going to grow right away, and there will be seeds that don't grow at all, which is why it's important to plant many seeds at once to maximize growing potential.

Examples

  • applying for jobs that I want but don't expect to get
  • commenting on blogs and leaving links to my own blog
  • writing articles for helium.com
  • attending a local writer's networking event just for the hell of it
  • giving people genuine compliments
  • installing a swag bucks search bar.

The results so far

  • a call-back for an office job that I did not expect to be contacted for
  • several visits to my blog in the past few days, on days when I did not post links
  • being voted to the top on two of my 5 articles written so far; it pays nothing (yet) but it feels great
  • someone I met at the networking event has asked me to volunteer at the book fair this weekend
  • connecting with more people in a positive way, which is big for someone as shy as me
  • sounds silly I know, but I almost have enough swag bucks to get an amazon.ca gift card, which makes me giddy

Most of the results are small. I'm hoping they'll keep growing bigger, or maybe some of the other seeds will yield something better. For the longest time I did not want to try anything besides school unless it would give me immediate results. It was juvenile to look at it that way, now that I think about it. I haven't even posted to Everything2 in a while due to the unhealthy amount of time that I have been spending on my other online writing.

Now if you don't mind, I need to go make my lunch for tomorrow and go to bed so I can wake up early for my shitty seasonal warehouse job. Haha, I love that I get to swear on this website. There are a few other write-ups in the works that I can't wait to get started on after work tomorrow. That's how I get through my days lately, thinking about my writing and working on it whenever I can. We all need something to work towards.

Get a car? No thanks, I'm fine with my bike. This was part of my plan when finding a place to live. A little foresight saved me the expense and hassle of buying, insuring, maintaining and driving a car. The commute is less than four miles, and most of it is on a paved trail without traffic stops. The perfect path for a biker. I wanted to live close to this trail and centered my housing search years ago. Thanks, Google maps. Each morning and evening, you'll see me on the trail unless the weather turns hideous.

While I'm pedaling, I like to count how many others take the same approach. There are a few regulars who zoom past me, appareled in fluorescent yellow nylon and sparkling with red flashing safety signals. Their stripped down carbon frames vault ahead of my 80's model Cannondale. I can't complain, though. Someone left it on the curb when clearing out their basement years ago, and it's served me perfectly for the past few years.

Does my data follow any pattern? Could the data be used in any scientific or sociological study? probably not. I don't record the time when I commute, and my job lets me leave if my work is complete. Both the morning and evening commutes are scattered somewhere in the morning and afternoon.

I have no idea if the other cyclists are commuting to work, shopping, lost or just out for a ride. I don't record their direction either, so a biker gets counted whether they pass me from ahead or behind. Anyone I see is fair game, whether they're passing parallel or perpendicular to my path. This means people on underpasses or bridges too. All it takes to get counted are:

  • the vehicle is human-powered (no mopeds or scooters, but I've seen and counted an electric-assist model once)
  • the bike is moving or recently so (I ignore people moving bikes on their car or locking them up, but cyclists changing a tire next to the trail get counted)
  • the rider is an adult (kids don't count - there are too many)

Generally, the hypnotic turning wheels and pedals keep me occupied, and I'll roll a mile down the trail without looking around. This definitely invalidates the data as a scientific resource, since a pack of peddlers could pass when I'm not watching out.

So what are the numbers like? Many mornings have zero bikers. However, if I catch my regulars there can be as many as 3-4. The evening commutes generally have more riders. On bright summer afternoons the counts swell to double-digits when joggers break out their bikes instead of running shoes. See you on the trail!

If I had any sense, I would be studying accounting right now, or assembling the linkagery for a local blog I contribute to, but I think it's pretty obvious I don't have any sense, so here I am, noding.

I'm making progress on the accounting stuff. I'm slam-dunking the tax stuff. I've pretty much given up on internet spaceships for the duration; if I could just find a way to quit spending so much damn time on Facebook, I'd be making even more progress on the four classes I've blown off for now so I can concentrate on the ball-busting Intermediate Accounting and Cost Accounting classes.

The weight has been ping-ponging around between 365 and 358 this month; being sick with the flu/a cold/allergies/the plague hasn't helped, since it's screwed up my blood sugar and made it hard to concentrate on not shoveling carbohydrates into the old piehole. But I keep on. I will reach 350, and then 300, and eventually I will be down around 225 again. At which point nobody will recognize me, heh.

All this goes on against the backdrop of an old friend's slow death in a Baltimore hospital; his kidneys have failed him, and nobody is too certain what's going on with his liver. Nobody expects him to make it out of the hospital alive, but we all keep up the facade of hope.

So, yesterday was nothing short of horrible as far as days here go. From the first minute I was turning into a bitter, irritated asshole.

I rolled out of bed with a pounding headache, struggling to find my clothes and the lightswitch and hoping I could keep my sanity throughout the day. I groped about through my drawers, at the top of my footlocker, in every nook and cranny of my room before I realized to my horror that my keys and dogtags were missing.

After shambling to work I looked to the weapon rack, my rifle had been sitting there all night! After quick inspection I attempted to furtively stash the wrong rifle into the rack, after suddenly being noticed. When asked why I had someone else's rifle I responded "they looked the same!" (they did, actually, only the wrong one didn't have a bottom handguard).

After sitting down and eating chow I went back to my room to search again for my keys to no avail, today already wasn't going so well. After my realization that the day wasn't going so well, I was told that my half-day off the next day couldn't happen because the office was understaffed (kind of like in that one scene in office space, but I didn't sleep in the following day ).

After several hours that did go fairly well I managed to do something I didn't realize I could, I managed to shock myself while plugging in a radio's speaker. After an attempt to fix said speaker later that night I wound up setting the power supply to that very device aspark, scaring me to a slight degree and no doubt the rest of the BDOC. After a troublesome 12 hours at work, I finally walked home and found my keys on a shelf at eye level in my room.

I'm so glad today was better, though now this seems like a good idea (written the following day)

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