New Year's Resolutions

I don't really do new year's resolutions. And considering my past I can't see any reason to start. What would I resolve? To lose weight? I worked out with a personal trainer for a year and a half. Do you know how much weight I lost by working out with a professional physical fitness expert and conspiracy theorist?

Zero. I lost zero. I didn't lose a single solitary pound. I didn't gain any either. I didn't look or feel any different. I had already worked out for years prior to hiring him. I just thought maybe he could do what I could not, which is to get this weight off me that my knee surgeries seem to have put on me. But he couldn't.

Body pump
So then I fired him and joined a "bodypump class" where all we did was nonstop exercise with no resting for an hour at a time. I did that for a year. Again, zero pounds came off. My body did not change at all.

I could promise myself and everyone reading this that I will lose weight this coming year, but I think there is a medical problem making that impossible. No resolution, no trainer, nothing has been able to do this. NOTHING.

Medical Problem - before and after treatment
What else might I resolve to do?

Don't worry, be happy
Be happier? Puh-leeze. 8 years ago I told my friends that if I didn't have a family by the time I reached my birthday 5 years ago then I would buy a Shelby GT500 Mustang. That birthday came and went. 5 years later, instead of the Shelby I bought the Dodge Challenger SRT8 that is sitting in my garage right now. It was an attempt to help me deal with the sadness of not having a family. It didn't work. But it's probably best that I got the Challenger instead of the Shelby. The IRS is punishing me pretty hard for it, regardless of which car I got.

I could go down a long list of cliche new year's resolutions and give reasons why I won't bother with any of them, but I won't. The only thing I can resolve to do this coming year is to make some big changes in my relationships. I don't know what that means exactly. Maybe it means breaking off old connections and trying to make new ones. Maybe I'll turn my back on the past and look to build a totally new future, alone if necessary or hopefully with a new group of friends. I don't know. Everyone around me has their advice. Then they change their minds. Then they say they just don't know what they would do in my situation. And I just don't know either. No one really knows what I should do. But one thing I know is that no new year's resolution is going to make much difference.

The other thing I know is that this isn't the post I was sitting down to write. At all.

What the hell am I writing??
Its fucking cold outside! We had snow flurries all day today, and freezing rain off and on all yesterday. The icy wind had been hard and continuous for several days.

I spent most of today outside in the freezing cold maintaining my vast collection of antique redneck vehicles. My 4x4 had a flat tire. Then I noticed one other tire was extremely low, like 12 pounds of pressure kind of low. Then I looked at my pickup truck and it was low on all 4 tires. But at least they were all low by the same amount, so they are maintaining an even pressure at the same rate. That's something. I started up my old high school car, my horse manure green Chevy, and I ran it with the tail pipes sticking out of the garage. I was freezing so I thought I'd be smart and just open the garage door slightly higher than the back end of my Chevy. The rest of the garage I kept closed up. Yeah, that didn't work so well. The wind is strong and cold today. It blew my exhaust back up inside the garage and made the whole garage stink like a badly tuned old car. The garage stank and I stank. Stunk? Stank. We both smelled really bad.

Since I was smelling like car exhaust anyway, I decided to run my old Chevelle. It has some seriously big ports in those big block Chevy heads and always makes the whole place smell like gasoline after I run it, so since I already had a serious car smell wafting through the air I figured "what the hell." I climbed into the Chevelle and started cranking the motor. Rrrr-rrrrrr-rrrrrr. The battery was low. Instead of stopping what I was doing and charging the battery, I kept on turning the key. Charging a low car battery usually takes hours. I didn't want to shower and then run the Chevelle tomorrow, making me smell like car farts all over again. I wanted to get it all done TODAY. So I forced the issue. Rrrr-rrrrr-bang!-GGGGGGGKKKKK. Shit! I think I just fucked my flywheel.

This engine was built with 12.5:1 compression. That's high even for a car with aluminum heads and electronic fuel injection. But this car doesn't have aluminum heads OR electronic fuel injection. It has cast iron heads, a carburetor and a long list of devoured flywheels that I have had to replace, along with starters. I really do need to put a pair of new aluminum heads on this car. And in the meantime I need to check the timing of this engine and see if I can perhaps back it off a little to make it easier to start. You can advance your timing for better horsepower with old V8 cars to the point that you can barely start the damn thing because the ignition is firing the plugs too soon. I probably need to check that out. Of course, that means getting all smelly again since you can't check engine timing without starting and running the engine. Dammit.

Storm Woods? Doesn't he play for us?
As I write this I'm watching a college football game that seems surreal to me. There is a star running back on the field name Storm Woods. He's some kind of big deal, the proverbial big man on campus. And his name is actually Storm Woods. He sounds like a comic book character. As if that isn't enough, his team is named The Beavers. Seriously, who thought this was a good name for a football team? Storm Woods, Beaver running back. Yep, I keep expecting Dean Martin to march onto the field at quarter back and Jerry Lewis to do something zany on the sidelines as a stereotypical male cheerleader and comedy relief. If this game were being shown in black and white I'd swear this was a 1950s movie. Storm Woods? Beavers? REALLY???

So last night I got out my Rocksmith XBox DVD and put it into the XBox. I plugged up my 1980s Eddie Van Halen Stratocaster (copy) and started trying to figure this real-guitar game out. I had played it very little a year ago. I wasn't especially good and I didn't play it enough to get good. This time I played a song, didn't like how I did even though the game said I was 95% accurate, and when the next song ended and said I was still 95% accurate and I wasn't happy, I looked around for an option to play that same song again. Sure enough, I found it. You can play the same song over and over again until you're satisfied and that is exactly what I wanted to do. So I played it again.

Ah, but Rocksmith is keeping score of how you did and when it detects that you have seemingly mastered something then it throws NEW shit at you. So the more I played the same song the more it threw extra stuff at me. So every time I played it, it was different. Then they threw random notes from a guitar solo at me. Not the entire solo, just random notes from it. Whaaaaaat??? So I got worse and worse, even though I was actually doing more stuff than I had been before and playing more of the song than I had before. The hard thing is that you don't know what the notes and chords of the song are and there isn't a way - that I know of - to find out so that you can practice up or at least prepare for what's coming at you. You're learning a song by having notes and chords thrown at you on the fly with no sheet music or tabs to look ahead and see. So it's like "here's a song for you. I'll throw it at you note for note and you play it and try to keep up." Yeah, so it gets hard.

Oh you think you got this? Wait till I hit you with new shit, guitar boy!
But it isn't like I had anything better to do, and I was practicing guitar for 2 straight hours without really feeling like I was practicing. It was less boring than sitting alone with sheet music in a corner somewhere doing just as badly and possibly having no idea what the song is supposed to sound like. With Rocksmith you not only hear the song being played around you as you struggle to keep up, but you hear the rhythm and the beat, too, and you have to play in sync with the rhythm or you get penalized. Keep up with the beat, loser, or the game will yell at you. Well not literally 'yell', but it throws up messages on the screen warning you to keep up.

Until I did this, strapping on my guitar and standing up to play for several hours, I had no idea of how exhausting it must be for a live band to stand up there and play all night long. I think my next new guitar is going to be made of ash wood because that shit is light. Now I know why many of the more expensive guitars are made of that wood. If you really do play music for a living a heavy guitar can break your back. Ugh!

Ash bodied guitar - nice sound, nice looks, won't break your back
So anyway, I need to do more of that tonight. It's too cold to go outside and I don't have anywhere to go anyway. I need to crank up the XBox and play some Rocksmith. Who knows, maybe one of these days I'll be a half-decent guitar player if I keep this up?

Not too bad on guitar

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