Beats.

Image from vrfitness.com.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m really not a fan of fitness, especially a focused "working out" regimen. I find the practice mind numbing and exceedingly boring. Riding a bicycle, going for a walk, or getting exercise through natural means like hoisting lumber around the family lumber yard or slinging hay bales on an early summer day is fine, but when one is expected to do push ups or stare at four walls while yanking expensive slinkies, that is just not my jam.

My career entails sitting in front of a computer for many hours a day. I walk from time to time and I try to get "standing time" to make my Apple Watch happy. I’ve been doing push ups on a regular basis, and I will continue to do so, but again, mind numbing.

My husband and I bought ourselves an early Christmas present in a pair of Oculus Quest 2 VR headsets. I mentioned his headset on a blog entry a few weeks ago, we bought another headset which arrived this week.

I’ve been playing a lot of Beat Saber and my arms are killing me. My body feels more worked out than it has in the months since my last substantial bike ride. It’s a good burn and I’m enjoying the challenges of Beat Saber.

If you’re not familiar with the game, the player is in a neon 3D VR landscape with blocks and walls and the like flying directly at you in time with a music track. The idea is to hit all the blocks with light saber like devices, which are color-coded to the colors of blocks coming at you. Don’t hit the bombs, and don’t get run over by the walls.

To me it’s like the 21st century of "Super Breakout" on the Atari 2600. "Super Breakout" was one of my favorite games back in the day, followed closely by "Astroblast" and "Centipede".

I’m not a fan of shooter games or aiming guns at people in a VR scenescape, but the cardio workout around Beat Saber is a lot of fun and more importantly, mind engaging instead of mind numbing.

With multiple Oculus Quest 2 units in the household, my husband and I are able to play the game together. If the neighbors are watching across the alley, they see two middle aged guys swinging their arms in synchronized movement.

It’s a great way to get some exercise!

Racist?

I like it when people laugh. There’s so much angst in the world, especially over the past several years, and I truly believe “laughter is the best medicine”.

Some folks really take themselves seriously, especially on social media. Like many folks, I’ve done too much complaining on the social media outlets about mundane and trivial things, but I’ve been trying to curb this tendency over the past couple of months.

One thing I like to do is “hit and run” a topic with a witty chestnut as a comment or response to someone. I was recently told by a friend that I should have been a writer for “The Golden Girls” or something, because these little chestnuts are reminiscent of something Bea Arthur’s Dorothy or Estelle Geddy’s Sophia would say on the show. My tendency to hit a “block” when I’m speaking has helped me expand my vocabulary over the years; if I find I’m “blocked” in a stream of speech by a certain word, I can usually circumvent my pause by substituting a different word or using a more colorful adjective. This coping mechanism is very useful when also used on purpose.

An old high school friend on Facebook shared a post about the number of people complaining to the host or hostess of a restaurant because they had a party larger than four people and apparently due to COVID restriction, in New York State you can still eat in a restaurant but only in a party with a maximum of four people. The old friend went on to describe the hysterics of folks; apparently people are standing in the lobby of a Denny’s engaging in wild theatrics about being the parents of three kids and the collapsing of their very existence because they can’t sit together in a booth. Anyone with any sense would know there’s all sorts of guidelines and the like regarding public outings. I’m surprised they still have the opportunity to eat in a restaurant in New York State; here in Illinois there’s no indoor dining right now.

Anxious to bring levity to the post, I was about to write a witty one liner and move onto the next topic of conversation. Now, in my constant quest for perfection, the wording has to be just right. I can’t just write, “tell them to stay home and cook!”. Too hostile. “Tell them to hit a drive-thru” was a little funnier, but then I thought about amping it up to “Tell them get in the car and yell in the clown’s mouth”. This is even funnier but you have to be of a certain age and live in a certain part of the country to know what that even means. I then settled on going the “cook at home” route and typed in, “tell them to go home and boil up some Rice-A-Roni”.

Now, the specificity of this suggestion adds humor to the line, plus the words “Rice-A-Roni” carry a certain amount of humor in their sound. I was about to hit “submit” and move on when I realized this line in 2020 could be construed as very inappropriate.

The old high school friend is Asian. His mother is Korean. Mentioning for him to tell someone to go home and boil up some “Rice-A-Roni” could have been insulting to him and anyone involved.

I quickly hit delete and removed the post before hitting submit. I decided to go with “tell them to go fry up some ‘Hamburger Helper’”. It doesn’t quite have the same punch in my ears but hopefully it made someone smile.

I know it made me giggle a little bit. As my husband can attest, I often amuse myself.

Random.

I was messing around with my iPhone X the other night and took this shot around 9:00 PM. This was taken in portrait mode from the user facing camera using the timer. I should have used the better camera on the back of the iPhone. Balancing the phone on the floor of the balcony against the window ledge was a bit of a balancing act; I’m lucky the phone stayed where it was for the 10 second countdown.

Because everyone loves attention, I posted this photo on my Instagram account and it garnered quite a few likes, at least by the standards of my non-influential account.

My iPhone X is going on three years old but it’s still running along just fine. This is the longest I’ve had any type of mobile phone. I’ll probably upgrade sometime in 2021 if the battery starts to fail or something. Otherwise, as along as it does what I want it to do, I’m happy.