Saturday, February 01, 2014

It's WEEKEND PUSHUP MARATHON! (And a chance to win some free stuff!)

If you comment on this post, you get a free book!

OUCH. 5:30 a.m. Sunday: Mr F got up early, so I am up early, so I tried to do some push-ups and I got to four more, but my arms are really sore from yesterday so THAT IS IT for the push-up marathon for the weekend. I'll go back to my regular schedule of push-ups tomorrow.  But I think I proved my point. (If someone figures out what my point was, please tell me.)

So my total for the year is

9 p.m. Saturday:  I wasn't able to post before this because first, we were at the zoo, which was surprisingly great for a February day: only about 10 people there, overall, and actually a great many animals were outside, too, animals like tigers:

Mr Bunches wanted to go look at the tigers. I hadn't thought they would be outside, but they were.

Anyway, I got in 2 o'clock today (10 pushups), then missed 3 and 4 because we were at the zoo, but bback home, I took a break from making tacos for dinner and did pushups at 5 (9 of them) and 6 o'clock (8 of them), then decided to go every two hours because MAN MY ARMS ARE GETTING SORE. So at 8 o'clock I did another 8, bringing my total for the day to 96, and my total overall to

1:00 Saturday: 13 more! Here is a picture of me trying to take a picture of myself doing push-ups.

I didn't get the timer right, I guess.
Total for the day: 61
Total for the year:

12:00 noon! Or roughly-ish. I am going to put these updates at the top of the post rather than the bottom so that if you're checking back you know right away whether there's something new.

I missed 10 o'clock and 11 o'clock because at 10 I was standing in Madison Computer Works, where we take our computers to get fixed. This time it was Sweetie's needing a new keyboard after Mr F spilled on it, something you know happened if you saw my interchange with Best Buy on Twitter about what a complete ripoff "Geek Squad" is.

At 11, we were sledding at Elver Park, which is where we sled, and it was less than successful: the new snow made the sledding too slow for Mr Bunches' taste, and too snowy for Mr F's taste (as it blows up into your face as you sled, especially if you have to put down your feet to steer away from people who for some reason WALK STRAIGHT UP THE MIDDLE OF THE #*#$%&# SLEDDING HILL INSTEAD OF ON THE SIDE.

Those people SUCK and their kids will grow up to be horrible people who join frats and date rape girls.  I'm not afraid to say it: if you are so antisocial that you cannot walk to the side of the sledding hill and out of people's way, if you must through your laziness destroy other people's sled rides, you are an awful parent and your kid will probably deserve to go to jail.

Anyway, it's noon(ish) now and I am back on track, doing another 11 pushups to bring my total for the day to 48, and my overall total for the YEAR to

Here's something you probably didn't know about the number 162: Section 162 of the Internal Revenue Code (specifically, 26 USC 162) is the part that lets you deduct business expenses from your income for tax purposes, including travel away from home for business purposes.  But for those who think Congress unfairly distributes benefits to itself, the law caps deductions for such expenses at $3,000 for members of Congress.

Hey, I didn't say it was something interesting about the number 162. For interesting I'll give you this: 162 is an untouchable number:

An untouchable number is a positive integer that cannot be expressed as the sum of all the proper divisors of any positive integer (including the untouchable number itself).

Got that? Here's an example:

the number 4 is not untouchable as it is equal to the sum of the proper divisors of 9: 1 + 3 = 4. The number 5 is untouchable as it is not the sum of the proper divisors of any positive integer: 5 = 1 + 4 is the only way to write 5 as the sum of distinct positive integers including 1, but if 4 divides a number, 2 does also, so 1 + 4 cannot be the sum of all of any number's proper divisors (since the list of factors would have to contain both 4 and 2).
"Untouchable numbers" aren't the same as "weird numbers", which is, amazingly, an actual math thing:

In number theory, a weird number is a natural number that is abundant but not semiperfect.[1][2] In other words, the sum of the proper divisors (divisors including 1 but not itself) of the number is greater than the number, but no subset of those divisors sums to the number itself.

This may help:

The smallest weird number is 70. Its proper divisors are 1, 2, 5, 7, 10, 14, and 35; these sum to 74, but no subset of these sums to 70. The number 12, for example, is abundant but not weird, because the proper divisors of 12 are 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6, which sum to 16; but 2+4+6 = 12.

UPDATED at 8:00 a.m. 9 AM! Page to the end!

This year, Rusty Carl and Andrew Leon and I have been engaged in an epic battle of push-ups that can best be compared to the epic Battle of Hastings. Or Star Wars. I'm sure it could also be compared to Star Wars.

Anyway, the race is to 2,014 push-ups, a number chosen completely randomly and bearing no relation to any other number, and as of last night, despite my doubling the number of push-ups I was doing every other day (to 27)(Okay, not quite doubling because I wasn't doing a half-pushup)(whatever), I was still trailing badly, the score being:

Andrew: 647
Rusty: 200 
Me: 113.

But, as I said to Sweetie this morning, this is a contest, and as I added mentally to myself lest it seem like bragging, I don't lose contests.

Not without a fight, anyway, and so I am unveiling WEEKEND PUSHUP MARATHON, during which I will do push-ups every hour on the hour (or as close to it as I can)(when I am awake)(can you tell I am a lawyer with all those disclaimers?)(disclaimers not binding in Alaska, Nebraska, and IfIhavetaaskya)

Little lawyer humor there.

So so far, starting at 7 a.m., when I did 13, my total has now risen to:

I'll keep a running total throughout the weekend, peppered with

the song I do push-ups to:

and more!  (Probably less).

Also to keep it interesting, if you comment on this post, I will give you a free copy of any one of my books, provided you are not Andrew Leon or Rusty Carl, because, guys, this is a battle to the death!

I don't know how that would work in a push-up duel, but it's TRUE of me.



-- the 34th prime number.
-- A twin prime with 137, which means it has a 'prime gap,' or gap between it and another prime, of two.
-- a prime that is the sum of five consecutive prime numbers (19+23+29+31+37)

139 is also "strictly nonpalindromic," which means that no matter what base system you use to write it, it cannot be written as a palindrome. TAKE THAT, 232! HA.

Here is an action shot of me in that last set of push-ups:

Photo by Mr Bunches
Pajama pants by Spider-Man
Body by ALL ME BABY!
I believe I am experiencing a surge of adrenaline.
Catch you at 9!

9 AM Saturday:

As of right now I have:

-- played cars with Mr Bunches
-- done "Animal Alphabet" with Mr Bunches where he writes the letters on our chalkboard and I draw the animals. (I can draw a 'quokka')(kind of!)
-- gotten Mr F and Mr Bunches dressed and almost ready to go about our day, which has some errands and a stop by the office and sledding and probably McDonald's

Total so far:


Is a quokka.

I will probably start posting every 2 or 3 hours; this is getting long.  BUT I WILL STILL DO THEM HOURLY YO.

Sorry about that. Adrenaline again.

Don't forget: commenters get a free book!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

To the parents of the kids who played "Duck Duck Goose" with Mr Bunches tonight (and the kids) (Life With Unicorns)

It probably didn't seem like that big a deal to you.

You both had your sets of kids there, in the McDonald's Playland, and your kids all obviously knew each other and got along together, so when Mr Bunches showed up ready to play, you maybe didn't even notice him and if you did notice him it probably didn't seem all that important to you that this other little kid was suddenly there, playing on the slides and mixing in with all of your kids.

You maybe didn't notice, but I did.  As I sat with Mr F, eating our dinner and watching Mr Bunches watch this group of kids that was playing together and all knew each other, I saw, again, as I have so many times before, that Mr Bunches wanted to be part of the game.

And I expected, as so many times before, that he would not.

He never gets to be part of the game, not really, not like other kids can just join in, because while you don't always pick up on it right away and it's hard to notice on a busy noisy playground, Mr Bunches doesn't quite know how. He's not quite sure how to join in and his comments and his reactions and his mannerisms mark him as different. He calls kids "Kid," or "baby" or "girl," and when we remind him to tell them his name, or ask their name, he (as often as not) says "Tell my name" or something else, and that's only the beginning of how he is different, a difference kids pick up on far faster than adults.

Pick up on, and walk away from, as often as not.

So tonight I figured that he would want to join in the slide game, and that he would not get to, that he would hang out on the fringes of the slide game, as he'd hung out on the fringes of so many games before, tag, chase, guns, baseball, and that eventually he would realize that he was not part of the game, no matter how much he wanted to be, and he would drift away, and I would play with him instead, to cheer him up (a poor substitute, a daddy clambering around with Mr F in tow, to keep Mr F from running away, trying to slide or play tag, but what is to be done? He wants to slide and play tag and nobody else will, as often as not.)

But your kids, those kids, you kids, didn't exclude him.  Instead, you let him into the slide game -- letting him slide into you at the bottom of the slide the way you were doing to each other, and sliding into him, too, making him part of the game.

I don't know what you made of it when his voice rang out above the clamor of the Playland:


but I know what I made of it: he was happy and he was part of the game and you did that.

That wasn't even the best part.

Then, when all the kids decided to play Duck Duck Goose, one of the girls grabbed Mr Bunches by the arm and put him in the circle, where the other kids had left a space for him.

Left a space for him! Brought him in! And then tagged him and made him the goose and when he didn't catch the boy before he got around the circle, watched and smiled and giggled as Mr Bunches went around the circle:

duck duck duck duck goose

and one of the kids got up and chased him and tagged him, and everyone laughed, even Mr Bunches.

But that wasn't even the best part, either.

The best part came three turns later, when Mr Bunches, who isn't very fast, couldn't avoid getting tagged.  Four times in a row he was the goose, four times in a row he couldn't get around the circle before getting tagged, four times! He wasn't upset, he wasn't sad, but he was a little concerned: He couldn't stop being the goose and he wanted to be in the circle. He wasn't sure what to do. I could tell.

I watched.

And one of the other girls said "Pick me."

I watched.

Mr Bunches picked her.

He said

duck duck duck duck goose

and he took off running in his Mr Bunches way, and the girl stood up and made a show of going after him and reached out her hand and almost almost almost touched him

(she could totally have touched him)

and he got around the circle to where they began and I yelled it too,

"Sit down!"

as three of the other kids said the same thing, and he sat down.



Part of the group.

You probably didn't think anything of it, this little boy who was a little strange, maybe, coming into the Playland and jumping into the game with your kids and being helped out.

But I did, and I meant it when, at the end, I said "Tell your kids thanks for playing with him."

We went home, and saw Sweetie, and I said "Tell Mommy what you did," and Mr Bunches, still red-faced and flushed with excitement said:

"I had friends!"

It probably didn't seem like that big a deal to you.

But it was huge for us.

So thanks again.

Star Wars References: I myself would have gone with "Cello Battle Of Hastings"

For people who are unfamiliar with my Star Wars References posts, which ran for a long time on my old blog, the basic idea is that all of Western culture now exists solely because of Star Wars, and is entirely based on that (or at least soon will be.) 

I once noticed that as time goes on and things from the past become more from the past, we tend to compress history: while we remember about a million things from the past 10 years, things like Mitt Romney and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl and um... other things, if you think back 1000 years, you will probably only know 1 thing about that era (and that one thing will probably be wrong.)

As soon as I realized that I realized, too, that the one thing from our era will almost certainly be Star Wars, judging by the fact that this thirty-seven year old movie remains the dominant force in pop culture and is the go-to reference for any easy analogy or crowd-pleasing moment.

As shown by the latest one, a video from The Piano Guys, who for some reason are called that even though they play cellos in the video.   The video is called Cello Wars:

and I won't lie, it's pretty cool, but was Cello Wars the only way to enact that song in video form? The bows of a cello make a natural sword, yeah, but sword didn't used to automatically equal lightsaber.  Until Star Wars came along, and now, if a kid is playing with something that looks like a sword it almost certainly is accompanied by him going Frrrizziaiawkrow!

(That is how lightsabers sound).

Even my own kids, who are seven, and who therefore were not born when the last Star Wars movie was released, are crazy about Star Wars and play lightsabers.  Which is kind of nuts, because the movie was released 30 years before they were born.  The equivalent would have been if when I was seven I played Gone With The Wind. And not just me but every kid in the world, happily pretending to not give a damn about Scarlett and building Lego Taras and I know surprisingly little about Gone With The Wind despite having read the book.

Anyway, there's your Star Wars Reference for the day.

PS: Star Wars hasn't totally taken over. I noticed as I wrote this that spellcheck doesn't accept lightsaber as being a real word.  If it came down to a battle between the Empire and Google, I'm betting on Google. After all, the Empire couldn't even beat a ragtag bunch of scrappy rebels who hid out on moons.)

PPS: Also, spellcheck doesn't like "spellcheck." Until computers get over their self-loathing, they'll never take over the world, or at least that's what Dr. Phil says.


PPS: I am part of Indie Writers Monthly, which boasts some of the finest scifi/fantasy authors around (and also me, for some reason) writing about writing, and about scifi, and fantasy, and stuff.  Every week there's a new theme and there will be a magazine, too, which I have been chosen to edit aaaaannnd I just realized why I'm in that group. HEY YOU GUYS, anyway, check it out, it's pretty awesome. CLICK HERE.

It's bad enough I have to HAVE neighbors, let alone have them mad at me.

I am acutely conscious of the fact that you can only push neighbors so far before they actually do finally circulate that petition they've been threatening and kick me out of the neighborhood and make me go live someplace where the people all look a bit funny, the way people in other neighborhoods always do. (I think it's the noses. They look weird, like they're all police sketches.)

That's why if I ever have to sell my car, I'm not going to prop it on our lawn with "For Sale" painted on the window in soap.  I'll go to some website that'll help me  sell my car online.  Like that one the link goes to! They've been around for ever, and they do business almost exclusively online, so they have lower overhead and can make better offers.  Plus, they're fast.  So if you've got a car to sell, click the link and get some cash, and keep your neighbors happy. Or at least moderately less unhappy, like I do.

Monday, January 27, 2014

I suppose the picture gives away the answer but I was feeling light-headed from all that exercise...

How many push-ups have I done so far in 2014? With the 13 I just now did, I'm up to:

Also, think about this: when I do push-ups, I am not just pushing myself away from the world but the world away from me so if I spilled your coffee this morning, sorry.