Training and Exercise

Date posted: January 14, 2019

Hey there. I’m back, and filled with a void of things to talk about.

I’ve played more Beat Saber, and I’m getting better. Unfortunately I’m not sure I’m ever going to be able to master expert mode. I’m unable to figure out how to move the sabers so they cut properly when there are so many cubes on screen. Fortunately I was able to get through a couple, but that may have just been luck. I will say I’ve got hard mode pretty much sorted, and usually get A’s if not an S now and again. Even when I speed up the track hard doesn’t seem too much harder, though there is a certain track that just likes to spam blocks like it’s expert mode.

So why do I care about this game? Mostly exercise. Especially as winter is upon us, it helps fill in the blanks for my cardio, and as I’ve stated last week, it counts as steps and I can sync them up to Pokemon Go. My weight also went up by a few pounds, and since starting this regiment, along with eating a little less, I’m back down to where I was. I’m still going to see if I can lose a bit more, though I don’t think I’m ever going to get as skinny as I was, I looked a bit emaciated there for a couple of years anyway.

As for my Pebble 2 watch, it appears I can get five days out of a full charge. That’s nice and all, but I was expecting a bit more. I even turned off the back-light, as I can usually see it if there is even a bit of light around, but it hasn’t seemed to extend the battery life much. But I can say it’s way better than having a watch die in the middle of the day. Other than that small complaint which isn’t really much of anything to me, this watch is fantastic. Even though Pebble was bought by Fitbit, and it no longer is maintained by them, there are people still working to make sure Pebbles function. So as long as there are people out there who still have a passion for these watches, I’ll stick to mine. As long as it still works(heh).

Last week I also trained someone. They’ll be working when I’m off, and I had to show them around and make sure they know how to do all the little things I do. Likely it’ll take them a bit to fully understand all the things I’ve gathered over nearly a year there, but I tried my best to at least impart the things I know. The important parts I emphasized, and went over multiple times, but the other small things I mentioned once or twice so they wouldn’t be surprised if something came up. I’ve trained several people over the years, I just hope I did a decent job, and that they’ll not be caught off guard if something new pops up. I made sure they had plenty of information, and that they had a working knowledge of systems and the layout of the workplace. Some things can be frustratingly confusing if you aren’t familiar with how the building is set up, and how it corresponds to the live monitoring system. But since things are labeled, though a bit confusingly, even if they don’t know where a problem is exactly they can report it and others can decipher where the issue is.

Other than that I’ve edited a bit more. Yes, I know, same update as usual. I decided to start at the beginning again(eye rolls for everyone) and didn’t find much that needed changing. I just made the language that much more readable. If I keep this up, the book will be perfect(hah). I’m fairly sure I’ve said this before, but I was thinking about starting a new book while the co-author does their own editing. However, since the little break through the holiday season, I was reinvigorated. I want this book to be the best I’ve written. So I’ll keep working on it until we’re both satisfied. Since we haven’t given ourselves an end date, I’m unsure when it’ll be ready to publish, but rest assured it’s going to happen at some point.

Also my author’s note is more of an afterword, so keep that in mind when the book comes out. Yes it talks about the book and it’s creation, but it has a bit more personal notes in it than just being about the book. I’ll likely title it “Afterword” now. But things are still grinding forward, and the book gets better and better the more we work on it.

Until next time, I hope you have a wonderful week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update TLDR: Edited a bit, played a bit, taught a bit.

Steven Oaks

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Smartwatches and Beat Saber

Date posted: January 7, 2019

Howdy folks. I’m back for the new year.

First I’d like to apologize to those of you who look forward to my weekly post for not doing a great job these last couple of weeks. With work and it being the holidays I didn’t have much free time. That and I didn’t give myself any time to work on my writing stuff. This is my fault, as that time of year makes me want to relax and not do much of anything.

That being said, the co-author put in a ton of work on the book, and edits are moving forward. Today I reviewed a few chapters from what they edited, and things are looking good. This of course means after my little break I’m reinvigorated. So perhaps I’ll hold off a little while before I fully commit myself to starting another book, though I’ve done a bit of work on this new one recently. However, if the co-author keeps up at the pace they’ve been recently, I could see myself just working on reviewing their edits. I’d just be cleaning things up a bit, as they like to add to the story as they go, which means there’s a bit of work for me to look at and tweak as needed.

Now on to a little story. I love smartwatches. My first foray into this tech was the original Pebble. I loved it, but I wanted more. It still functioned, but it was beginning to have issues, and as I can be a bit vocal about my frustrations, my father took pity on me.

He sent me a Moto360, and I wore it for nearly two years. It was bright, pretty, and did all the things I wanted. However, in the last few months it began having issues holding a charge. I looked into repairing it(I would have to replace the battery), but I didn’t quite feel up to the challenge. So instead, I went back to the Pebble. At first it was refreshing how simple it was, and I was quite satisfied by its functionality. I had forgotten that their had been issues with charging, and only after a couple of weeks did it rear its head. While I had gotten it to charge at first, the proceeding times it just didn’t seem to work, and eventually it powered down for the last time.

Then the co-author noting my plight, went to a used tech store and found a Pebble watch for me. They weren’t exactly sure what they had gotten, nor do I think the store knew, as it was a Pebble 2-HR. The very last version Pebble as a company put out. Cheaper by far than I found when I went looking online to see what they were going for these days, so a good buy. Now with a heart rate monitor, it still offers the same simplicity that the original had, though it certainly feels snappier.

Now why am I so taken by smartwatches? To me it feels like having an extra sense. I no longer have to rely on the sound of a notification, I can simply feel it. I can easily glance down and see what’s going on, and I don’t have to take my phone out of my pocket. Or I can simply leave my phone in another room and still remain connected. Perhaps not the best thing for when I’m writing, but I still like to have it. When I didn’t have a smartwatch, I felt cut off. Like I was missing a piece of myself. To me it’s like having a bit of augmentation that I enjoyed removed. Now that it’s back, I feel whole once more.

Another thing that happened since last I posted was I was able to play with a little game called Beat Saber. A VR rhythm game that requires you to slice cubes with light swords. The first time I tried it was with a friends’ HTC Vive, and it was fantastic, even if I wasn’t. Fortunately I have access to a PS4, and at the same time my Pebble watch was purchased, move controllers were acquired. Meaning I could play this game at home now. And boy have I.

I spend about an hour each session slicing away at these cubes. I’ve been getting better and better, and I truly enjoy the music selection they have. There is one down side, at least to me though. There aren’t as many songs as I’d like. If I could import my own music it wouldn’t be a problem, though I understand why that hasn’t been an option. The stages are tailor-made to each song, and then again for each skill level. So far I can generally make it through normal with no misses, and at least make it to the end of each song on hard, but expert mode eludes me. And of course, there is something I call impossible, that being the single saber mode. I can’t see how it can be done successfully. Though I will continue to practice. Maybe one day I’ll get there. And having a smartwatch that notes my activity has gained me more steps and heartbeats that I can have taken down. A bonus to my Pokemon Go addiction, as it now uses my Google Fit data to count towards steps in-game. Thus gaining me candy for my Pokemon, and helping me hatch eggs.

Other than that I’ve done little else, save continue my usual gluttonous reading schedule. I’m around two or three books a week now, so that’s good for my education in story telling, and entertainment. So there is that, though of course when I have a free chance I’m still watching random shows. To list a few that I’ve been watching recently – Lucifer, The Magicians, Grimm, Laid Back Camp, Backstreet Girls, and likely my favorite recently That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. I’m not going to review any of these here, but I can say I’ve enjoyed each one in their own way.

With that I’ll leave you here. I’ll keep working on this book, and keep reading as always. I hope you all have had a good holiday season, and may this new year be even better than the last.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: Doing a bit of editing after the co-author put in a great effort. Trying to exercise more.

Steven Oaks

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Happy New Year

Date posted: December 31, 2018

Hello to you all. Unfortunately I’ve not much to offer as update. However the co-author continues to edit and is beyond halfway through their own edits. Other than that I’m just here to wish you all a happy New Year. May this year find you well, and may you have success in any venture you wish.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: Author’s Note complete, working on an outline for a new book. Co-author continues editing.

Steven Oaks

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Happy Holidays

Date posted: December 24, 2018

Well here goes.

I’m up late as I write this. Instead of having my usual day off (Monday) I’m going into work to do a 12hr shift, and doing the same on Christmas day. So I’m using this time before to try to get something together to write about.

I’ve not worked on anything book related since last I posted, save perhaps a bit of outlining and character creating in my head, so there isn’t much to report. That’s going well, but I’ve yet to write anything down. I really think what I write next will benefit from an outline. A bit of structure goes a long way in directing a story, even if the characters want to go off and do their own thing for a bit.

I’ve also gotten the co-author to begin reading a book I’d been suggesting/talking about. They seem to like it, as it’s gotten them away from The Wheel of Time series for a bit. We aren’t saying Wheel isn’t good, it’s just long, and sometimes you need a break. So instead they’re reading Off to be a Wizard. A rather funny first book in a series of amusing ones. I’ve already finished them all. We’ll see if the co-author does the same.

And since it’s that time of year, I’m going to tell you what my favorite holiday movie is. Hogfather. Originally it was a novel written by Terry Pratchett, now you can watch it as a movie/mini series, since it’s so long. The Hogfather(Santa) has gone missing, and Death has taken over delivering presents. It’s a fun time, and the dialogue is fantastic. It does a good job explaining why belief is important, and I watch it every year. Well, most years. We’ll see if I get a chance to this year as my time is running out.

Other than that, I want to wish you all a very happy Yuletide season, and a fantastic New Year.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: Author’s Note complete, working on an outline for a new book. Co-author continues editing.

Steven Oaks

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Update: Note and Package

Date posted: December 17, 2018

Hello again. I’m back, and ready to relate some things.

So first I want to say that the USPS did deliver my package. I know the problem was likely due to it being near the holidays. That’s never a fun time for delivery people, nor to retailers. But everything worked itself out, and I have what I ordered.

I’ve also completed my author’s note. You might find it strange that it’s done while the book is still being worked on, but for the most part the book is finished. At least from my side. I’ll likely give it another run through after the co-author finishes theirs, but for now I’ll be focusing on other things.

What other things? Well I’ve a few books I could get back to writing. I’m fairly sure which one I’m going to go with, and I’ll start with a fresh outline. Looking back on what I’ve already written I’m surprised there’s so little. Perhaps over the last couple of years I added to it in my head, but never wrote anything down. Hence my desire to write an outline. I’ve already an idea of where I want it to start and end, along with some middle bits. I think when I was first working on it I was simply writing what came to me, instead of having any idea where it was going. Now I think I’m ready to flesh it out.

Other than that I’ve been brainstorming with the co-author on the next book they want to write(we can’t always be working on just one book of course). They’ve a pretty good idea of what they want, but it’s always nice to talk to someone else to iron kinks out. I’ll likely be helping out on their book, though it may just be editing. Same for them with whatever next I write. I did enjoy writing a book with them, so whatever they want, I’m willing.

I’ve missed the more active part of creating when first writing a story. Editing can be tedious, though fulfilling, but it’s not something where you make huge changes, though you might. If your original draft is mostly decent, there’s not much else to do but push on. Then again whole new chapters could be necessary, or things may need to be cut, but it’s nothing like that first draft.

Hours of brainstorming. Laughing at all the silly things that you could include, but probably shouldn’t, that’s what I call fun. Through the laughter a story forms, and you start grasping what your story is really about. I’ve a tendency for the absurd, so I sometimes need to have someone rein me in. Another reason to have a person to bounce ideas off of. Even an audience of one can help you find what should be included, and what you really should cut.

That’s about it for now. If you’re writing, keep it up. I hope you all have a good week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: Author’s Note complete, working on an outline for a new book. Co-author continues editing.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

ce70Twitter-icon
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