Thursday, March 31, 2022

What's For Lunch

If you've been reading this blog for a while, then you're no stranger to my food-related posts, among them being things like Eating On A Budget and various Spam or Spam-adjacent recipes. This week, I figured I'd document what I've settled into as a pretty steady lunch (chuushoku or ohirugohan in Japanese) routine:
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays
- Spinach salad w/fat-free vinaigrette dressing
- Broccoli florets and baby carrots w/Sriracha ranch dip
- Oven-roasted turkey slices (3) w/pepper jack cheese on wheat; light mayo, hot mustard, black pepper, and turmeric
- Salt & vinegar chips
- Lemon seltzer
- Green tea (afterwards)
Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays
- Spinach salad w/fat-free vinaigrette dressing
- Broccoli florets and baby carrots w/Sriracha ranch dip
- Chunk light tuna (in water, unflavored, 6 oz. pouch) on white rice, seasoned with turmeric
- Side of kim chi, spicy
- Lemon seltzer
- Green tea (afterwards)

This has been going on for a while now, and I'm not sure when it'll change. Previously, I used to eat frozen entrees every day, but that didn't seem healthy or cost-effective after a while, so I switched to the turkey sandwiches and then added in the tuna-on-rice after that. I know you may or may not care about my dietary habits, but since this blog is really just a public online diary, I thought it might be fun - for me, anyway - to capture this moment in time so that one day I can look back and see what I was having for lunch at this stage in my life. If you got this far, thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Evidence That We Are Living In A Simulation?

So far, I've written two posts on this subject, the first one back in July 2017 and the second one in January 2018. Since then, it seems like public interest in this subject has only grown, with more and more books and documentaries being released that explore the subject of whether or not we are living in a simulation (I've read - and recommend - The Simulation Hypothesis and The Simulated Multiverse, both by Rizwan Virk). My own interest is, of course, ongoing, and a few recent incidents have prompted me to write another one of these "evidence" posts:
1. The Rock Chip Incident

Several months ago, I was driving from Portland to Vancouver on the I-205 freeway. As I was crossing the Glenn Jackson Bridge, I found myself behind a big rig truck that subsequently kicked up a rock at my car. The rock hit my windshield, creating a small rock chip. I went to Jiffy Lube, who said that the chip wasn't large enough to warrant a full repair, but that they would apply some sealant and call it good (the chip was still evident). Then this past weekend, as I was driving from Portland to Vancouver on the I-205 freeway and crossing the Glenn Jackson Bridge, I found myself behind a big rig truck that subsequently kicked up a rock at my car that hit my windshield IN THE EXACT SAME SPOT AS THE PREVIOUS ROCK CHIP. How do I know this? Because after I got off the freeway, I parked and inspected the windshield and found absolutely no evidence of the previous chip (which I already knew to be in roughly the same area as the new chip). So, either (1) the previous chip had somehow repaired itself while I wasn't looking (improbable); (2) a one-in-a-mega-million-chance event had just occurred (possible); or (3) the simulation had rerun the same incident in a Matrix-black-cat kind of way. Which is the correct answer? You decide. (P.S. I went to Jiffy Lube again and this time they fixed it.)

2. The Ant Side Quest

I've been having an issue with ants in my kitchen lately (no, not the aunts of Geico commercial fame). I consider it sort of a side quest in the video game of life because it's one of those minor inconveniences that I just tend to from time to time in between major story events (plus, it's more fun if you make a game out of it). So the other day, after I, um, removed a few ants from my countertop, I looked away for a split second, only to look back and see that several more ants had taken their place. Now, mind you, this is in the middle of my countertop, where there are no nearby crevices for the ants to crawl out from or any other places where they could have been hiding. Seriously, it was like they had just appeared out of nowhere. So, either (1) I had somehow not seen them along with the other ants that I had removed (possible, but unlikely); (2) they have super-speed and had darted out from somewhere during the split second that I had looked away (improbable); or (3) the simulation had respawned them, just like bokoblins that appear out of nowhere in The Legend of Zelda.

3. Letterkenny

This one comes courtesy of Kyle, the drummer in my band Second Player Score. He and his wife are fans of the comedy show Letterkenny, on Hulu (which I've just started watching, by the way). Well, recently they started a rewatch and noticed that the characters Reilly and Jonesy are especially fond of saying the word "ferda," which apparently is a hockey term meaning "for the boys," an action that a player takes that is beneficial for the team as a whole. Now, normally this wouldn't be unusual, except that Kyle and his wife both swear the first time they watched the show, which started in 2016, they don't remember those characters saying that word AT ALL. They know this because they find the word to be so distinctive (and possibly annoying) that they definitely would have noticed it the first time around. So, either (1) the show has been reshot with new dialogue (highly unlikely); (2) both Kyle and his wife just somehow forgot about or didn't notice the word before (if it was just Kyle, possible, as he's dealing with long-Covid symptoms, but for both he AND his wife, who isn't prone to making stuff up, to forget? Unlikely); or (3) the simulation has shifted into a different version of itself, causing a Mandela Effect-like effect).

So there you have it, the latest examples of possible evidence that we are, in fact, living in a simulation. If you have some of your own, feel free to share. In the meantime, I'm going to go watch Free Guy again.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Volumes Six And Seven Status Updates

In this post from January 13, I said that I had received the developmental edit of Joel Suzuki, Volume Six back from my editor, and also that Volume Seven was up to 5268 words (that's kind of an oddly specific word count, not sure what I was thinking).
Well, today, I'm happy to say that Volume Six is now ready for a line edit, which will be done by a new editor* and be finished by the end of April! Also, Volume Seven - which had made it all the way up to 14,000 words before I had to do my usual backing-up-and-starting-over process** - is now up to 16,000 words and has a pretty solid outline on top of that.

So, if all goes according to plan, we can expect Volume Six to launch before the end of the year, which would be ahead of schedule***. Fingers crossed, and stay tuned for more updates!

* My other editor, Susan DeFreitas, is still the developmental editor for the series, but she's gotten so busy and successful - rightly so! - with her other projects that she no longer does line edits

** Because sometimes you have to actually write the thing before you realize that the thing you wrote is not the thing you wanted to write

*** I've been on an every-other-year schedule, with Volume One launching in 2012/2013, Volume Two in 2015, Volume Three in 2017, Volume Four in 2019 - um, I mean, 2018, I was ahead of schedule back then as well - Volume Five in 2021 (January!), and now, hopefully, 2022 instead of 2023 for Volume Six.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

So This Happened On Tuesday

When I wrote this Post That Is Sort Of About Football last month, I thought it would be the last one of its kind at least until the start of next season. Or maybe even for several more years after that, given my track record.

But then some stuff happened this week.
The funny thing about last month's post is that at the time, I was convinced that the Packers were going to trade Aaron Rodgers, and I suggested that several teams, the Broncos included, should try to acquire him.

As it turned out, Rodgers signed an extension with the Packers and instead, SOMEONE ELSE was traded to the Broncos, an occurrence that I (and many others, apparently) was not expecting in the least.*

I'm not going to say a whole lot else about it, as this isn't a sports blog and you can find tons of insight and analysis elsewhere**. I do think the trade makes logical sense, but in situations like these it's sometimes hard to separate logic from emotion.

So anyway, thanks for a fun decade of football, Russell Wilson. Among me and the guys in my band, your name became a verb meaning "to mount a great comeback," as in "Let's see them Russell Wilson their way out of this one!" Also, you were name-checked in Volume Five of the Joel Suzuki series, which is always a great honor. Best of luck in Denver.

* I also predicted that the Bengals would win the Super Bowl, so, yeah

** I will say this: maybe try to trade for Jordan Love?

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Happy Girls' Day: An SPS-Verse Skit


Five young women are here, milling around. They are: FELICITY, 19, SUZI, 17, APRIL, 24, LYDIA, 24, and GLORIA, 24.

LYDIA: So, like, do any of you know why we're here?
FELICITY: No clue.
APRIL: But don't you live here, with my cousin Joel and that guy who's always interviewing me and Lyd about baseball?
FELICITY: I do, but that doesn't mean we tell each other everything.
GLORIA: This is very odd. All of you are dressed like you're from some bygone era. What year is this?
SUZI: 2022.
FELICITY: Or 2013.
APRIL: Or 2018.
FELICITY: Don't worry about it. It's complicated.

A middle-aged MAN enters. This is BRIAN. He is carrying a tray of mochi (Japanese rice cake).

BRIAN: Hinamatsuri omedetou! Happy Girls' Day!
FELICITY: Girls' Day?
BRIAN: Yeah, it's a Japanese holiday that happens on March 3rd. We used to celebrate it back in Hawaii, too.
LYDIA (to April): Did you know about this?
APRIL: Nope.
LYDIA: What? What kind of Japanese person are you?
APRIL: The fifth-generation that was born and raised on the mainland kind.
BRIAN: It's only the second time that it's fallen on a blog day, and the first time since I started getting into Japanese culture, so I figured we'd have a small celebration.
GLORIA: That is very kind of you, but I believe we are too old to be considered girls.
SUZI: I'm not, technically.
BRIAN: Well, these days it's for women of all ages.
FELICITY: Hey, works for me (takes a piece of mochi and eats it). Mm, this is pretty good.
BRIAN: Everyone, please, douzo. Help yourself.

Everyone takes a piece of mochi and eats it (Gloria sniffs hers first) except Suzi.

FELICITY (eating a second piece): You really should try this. You're missing out.
SUZI: Thanks, but I'm on a diet.
LYDIA: What for? You must weigh, what, a hundred pounds, tops.
APRIL: Probably as a result of said diet.
FELICITY: Aw, c'mon, one won't kill you.
SUZI: Oh, okay (takes a piece and eats it). You're right, it is good.
BRIAN: Anyway, I just wanted to get you all together here and say thanks for being such incredible members of the SPS-Verse, with Felicity and Suzi from the Joel Suzuki series, April and Lydia from what used to be called Jinx but will probably be changed to something else, and, of course, Gloria from Glorified.
GLORIA: What is he talking about?
FELICITY: He goes off on weird tangents like that every once in a while. Just humor him.
SUZI: Actually, I think I've heard of this. It's kind of like a multiverse where we all exist in the same timeline or reality, but just in different scenarios within the same continuity.
APRIL: I do recall him saying something about how Lyd and I were the stars of some movie script, or whatever.
FELICITY: Yeah...and wait, isn't there another one, called 200 BPM or Civil or something like that, that features a woman? Shouldn't she be here, too?
BRIAN (looking sheepish): Uh, true, but...
FELICITY: But what?
BRIAN: She's a bit, well...not good with mixed company, let's say.
SUZI: She's a serial killer, right?
BRIAN: Uh...yeah.
LYDIA: Are you serious?
BRIAN: Yeah. But don't worry, she only kills people who are jerks.
FELICITY: Well, you didn't invite her to this party, so that just might make you a jerk.

Cue OMINOUS MUSIC as the camera PANS to a window in the house where a MYSTERIOUS FIGURE is lurking and watching the proceedings.