Monday, April 25, 2016

Algeria

1943, North Africa

  The M3 tank was noisy. Sometimes, after it was shut down John’s ears would continue to hum which made it difficult to hear anyone. The tank was also known as a death trap. One properly dropped bomb from a Messerschmitt would usually kill the tank, and all of the occupants. It was the stuff of nightmares.

  To help pass the time he would reminisce about his past life as he watched the scenery pass by. Walking through his memories was a better option than focusing on the possibility of getting up in this tin can.

  Jenny Walker, and he, would go frog gigging down at the swamp when they were teenagers. He smiled at the pleasant memories flooding his mind. How I wish I could go back there now.

  He allowed his thoughts to continue to drift until they came to rest on the time he kissed her for the first time. They were both 16. They’d been together ever since with the exception of this damned war. He’d even married her just after he was drafted in 1942.

  A jolt felt through his feet brought him back to the present. A ball of flame greeted his view through the slit. His mouth dropped open in shock. Then, the tank stopped. What the fuck?

  Shaking his head to clear the cobwebs. John squatted down and spotted the now dead driver who was slumped over in the seat. I have to get him out of there.

  Reaching up he popped open the hatch and peeked out over the edge. His eyes swept the horizon looking for those Kraut planes. All he needed was a few bullets plugged into his ass. Satisfied, he pulled himself up to the top of the turret and made his way to the driver who he tried to slide off the seat.

  After several tries he succeeded and he climbed down into the drivers seat. He put the tank into gear and pushed on the peddle. There was no response from the tank. Think John!

  He shifted into neutral and tried starting the tank. No resonse from the seven cylinder engine. He tried a second time, and a third. It wouldn’t start. He was now a sitting duck. Jenny’s sweet smiling face filled his mind for a moment as he tried to figure out what to do.

  Looking to his right he spotted another M3. He began waving his arms and shouted, “hey!” They continued rolling on westward. Maybe I can catch them if I’m quick enough.

  He pulled himself back out and began to run after the moving tank. It was moving too fast and the distance was increasing as he pushed himself. Realizing he was wasting his time he stopped and sat down. His chest heaved from his exertions while attempting to catch his breath.

  Closing his eyes he began to daydream about Jenny again.

The end

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Workaholic (short story)

Yes, I'd done things like this in the past. I'm definitely not normal in some ways. This would be the first short story I've written in about a year and a half. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.

Three months ago it had happened.

  Justin had woke up to an empty house. Looking back he knew should have realized what was going to happen. Working two full time jobs had taken their toll on his marriage. Luckily they were common law married which made part of it a whole lot easier.

  Still, it pissed him off.

  He blamed her, and yet, deep down he knew a big amount of the reason was is that it was his own damned fault. Being too busy killed his relationship was a fact he was slowly becoming aware of.

  It didn’t take long to get tired of watching TV. Once again he was sitting on the sofa and stared at the blank screen that reflected his image back at him.

  “What the fuck do I do now?” he muttered to himself.

  His gaze moved to the open window. The open field captivated his attention. What is beyond it?

  Taking hold the idea grew stronger and he knew he wouldn’t be showing up at his job tonight. They’d have to without him permanently. So would his other job. With a couple thousand in the bank he could go a long ways.

  Knowing it was crazy he didn’t care. He’d leave today. Destination unknown.

  He walked to the bedroom, stopped a moment, and considered his decision a few moments.

  Yes, it was the right decision.

  He’d leave. Start over fresh. Opening the dresser drawers he pulled out a few clothes which he piled on the bed. An empty pillow case made a convenient piece of luggage easily carried.

  His jeans he grabbed out of the closet and laid over his left arm. He grabbed the pillow case with his left hand. As he reached for the doorknob on his way out he stopped and his eyes swept the apartment.

  There’s nothing you need here.

  He opened the door and walked out it. His thoughts drifted to driving down the interstate to somewhere without a plan.

  The End

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Workout machines

 I decided to let everyone see what machines I've been using at Planet Fitness. I'm doing rather strenuous workouts that's really helping me build up muscle.
   Each of the next four machines let you work each side separately. You have to set each side for an arm. I've been alternating repetitions as I go until I reach a count of 20 to 40 depending on the machine.




This one you do one leg, and then you flip the block over to work the other leg.

This one is positively diabolical. You aren't just picking up the weights, you're also picking up about half of your weight too.

I'm also doing cardio on purpose. Here's the result of my workout.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Pulse watch

So that I could try to more efficiently keep with my pulse rate while exercising I got a cheap pulse watch. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to work well. In fact most of the time it doesn't seem to get my pulse rate right.
  All the exercise seems to really be paying off. I'm seeing my new doctor for the first time for my first check up.
  My BP was 130/78, and pulse was at 64. I weighed 152 pounds. Really not too bad all in all.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Working out

Susan and I have been regularly working out at Planet Fitness twice per week. I'm getting in a lot better shape as a result of hitting the weights and running on the treadmills. I've also been gaining some weight because I've been building muscle.
   On the treadmill I've been doing thirteen minutes each time. That's been good for reducing my blood pressure so that it's in a more normal range. The machines have pulse meters built in but sometimes they can't seem to read my heart rate now. I have pulse watches on the way that should remedy that.
   Back in March I was diagnosed as prehypertensive. I've needed to begin doing some cardio as a result which is a lot cheaper than pills.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Tax and insurance

I seem to have gotten my new health insurance together. Yes, it was a bit of a pain but I'm in a new policy with Kaiser. Now it's a bit of a pain trying to set up a primary care physician as I can't seem to get through to a Kaisrr rep. I'm guessing Kaiser got a lot of new customers lately.
   Next, I'm doing the yearly taxes. What a joy! I don't just have a W2 to deal with. There's also book royaties to declare. Hopefully it won't take too long.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Rise and Fall of America's Middle Class by Jim Davis

Commonly, since I review books, an author will contact me through Facebook, or email, to have me read and review their newest release. Usually they'll want the review posted on Goodreads, Smashwords, or Amazon. This book I cannot do that as it is not listed on any of those sites. However, I can post a review here on my blog.
   The author is giving out free copies until the next election in PDF by his own admission. I personally recommended to him that he should make it available for sale. 
   Right now I've read about half of the book and I'm finding it very informative. It is well written, well edited, and seems to be very well researched. I'll note I do agree with most of the assertions made within the text. The book does challenge many common viewpoints though I think few will be able to argue against the assertions with the overwhelming evidence presented that supports the conclusions reached.
   I would give this book a 4.5* rating out of 5* based on what I've read so far. Now I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the book.