Blog 42: Life Imitates… Wrestling?

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I’ve actually written about this in the past and I find the subject humorous enough to write about again because the subject keeps coming up.  I’ve made the comparison that wrestling, while an imitation of life in most cases, is also imitated by life in the end.  It’s the art topic… art imitates life imitates art.

Look around you.  Look around you at work, look around you at home, look around you at the movies, and look around you at the bar.  Everywhere you are, everywhere you look, you can see tidbits of professional wrestling… usually without the violence part.  I’m obviously talking about the dramatic aspects.

I’m going to make up a scenario that will probably sound quite a bit like where you work.  Let’s just say you work in an office setting and, for the sake of argument, that you do some sort of ordering and delivery of a product.  Knowing this is my fictional scenario, see how close the situation is to your own job this will come.

There are about 20 to 50 employees at this particular job and those are just the non-management individuals.  Sure, there are more who work there but those people only appear once in a while from “behind the scenes.”  There are two major factions at this place of work, too, and you can clearly see a division.  For the sake of argument, let’s say you’re on the “good” faction and the other one is the “bad” faction.  Each faction has their own “problem children” but seem to function almost seamlessly, from your perspective, despite these gigantic flaws.  If you look inward, at your own faction, you have these same types of “problem children” and your faction also seems to work fairly well, despite these drawbacks.

Among your own group is a gossip, or a ringleader.  Sometimes these two things are one in the same and when they are, that gossip is someone who has around them what I like to refer to as a posse.  The posse tends to have a very groupthink mentality, often being very silent with their leader away on vacations or at home sick.  If you’re reading this line and you’re thinking to yourself “that sounds like…” then you’ve already identified THE obstacle to your fullest enjoyment at work.  If you can’t look at your co-workers and see that person, and you have a solid group of people who seem to follow you around at work, you’re that person and thus the rest of the company is out to get you… or that’s the perception, at least.

There are some non-management positions at work you’re all competing for, too.  There’s a team leader, or a scheduler, or maybe even the one who gets to coordinate all the delivering instead of actually having to do the delivering… or likewise with the ordering.  If you’re that person, then you’re the target of not only the gossip/posse leader, but almost all of your coworkers.  You’re doing “their” job and some of them actually believe you stole that from them, whether or not you were meritoriously awarded the spot of if you just happened to be standing in the right spot at the right time.

Your faction’s key players aren’t all identified, yet.  Don’t think I’m done, there is still a few people to cover.

There’s the complainer, who often gets what he/she wants strictly via complaining about this or that.  How about the slacker?  That’s the guy/gal that does as little as possible to get by and when they get into a position where they feel they’ve “earned their spot,” they immediately point at other slackers and complain that those slackers aren’t doing their jobs right.  How about the serial sick call?  That’s the dependable one, and by dependable I mean you can count on them to be important in a situation and almost always call in sick on you during that situation.  There’s also an authority figure, and by authority I mean they think they know everything and try to lord that over others, but often have the door shut in their face on the facts of the matter.

Again, I should point out that if you don’t see any of these people at your workplace, the bar, etc, you’re probably that person.

All of these people are in professional wrestling, too.  Cliques and groups turn on one another, sometimes some get the upper hand in a given situation and sometimes you (or your group) gets the upper hand.  There’s always a competition, though, and there’s backstabbing as well.  There are lots of things that go on and even though the situation I described above is fictional, you can look at everyone around you in any situation and see these people.

Everyone I described also gets into pro wrestling like antics.  Someone steals something, someone backstabs someone to get ahead, someone gets together with several other someones to do something untoward.  Hell, there’s even “pay per view” level events that happen when something major changes at work.  No one likes change and the hysterics involved in trying to change something, for the better or worse, is often over blown.

I left high school in 1994, yet, I seem to be involved in the antics of high school every single day at work.  This makes me think of pro wrestling, too.

Life imitates pro wrestling because pro wrestling is just a reflection of life.

Think on it.

Blog 41: Workouts, WAFFLE, and Blogging

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This may be the last time I blog on Lime Flavored.com about working out, WAFFLE included.  I will be continuing WAFFLE posts here but I am about to join NDnuTricia’s blog as the workout side of the nutritional posts she’s been doing.  nuTricia’s will soon become THE place to go for all kinds of healthy options and ways to get healthier.  Until I make the conversion, where I’ll announce that here, too, I’ll continue to post as often as I can.

Speaking of posting as often as I can, I am making an effort to start posting something WAFFLE related at least twice a week.  The pictures for WAFFLE 4 and WAFFLE Iron: Spring to Action posters are taken and I just need to edit them up to post them.  That leaves the planning for WAFFLE 5 to get that ready for posting, too.  With that being said, the time for championships is coming and there will be two potential WAFFLE World Champions coming your way starting in May (rather than June, like I initially had earmarked).  Why?  WAFFLE Iron.  Nuff said.

WAFFLE now has 4 competitors: DJ Allen (Crusierweight), Tricia Allen (Welterweight), Dan Falconer (Superweight), and Kyle Nelson (Superweight).  WAFFLE needs MORE competitors and there is really nothing holding you back… except you.  Stop holding yourself back and jump on in there.

On Facebook, and soon on nuTricia’s blog, I’ll be making regular posts about motivation, inspiration, tips, and tricks for working out.  Tricia does the healthy cooking in this relationship and I want to add something related to fitness.  Keep an eye out there, and here, for that to begin.

On Facebook specifically, I have been posting “post-workout” photos of me to get my personal friends motivated to start getting healthy.  I’m a sarcastic, judgmental, pushy bastard historically but I’ve decided that 2014 on is going to be about inspiring others instead.  I’m a new man.  A new start is upon us.

Don’t continue to get bigger.  Don’t continue to waste away.  Don’t talk about doing something and then do nothing.  Do something.  Get better.  Get fit.  Get up.  Get moving.

The only person holding you back is you.  Stop letting that person hold you back because all that person wants is a Jabba the Hutt look-a-like that watches TV all the time.  I was tired of being fat, and rather than be one more percentage point in the statistic of obese people in the world, jump on the fitness and health bandwagon to get fit and healthy.

If you read the nuTricia’s blog, you’ll see you don’t need to start to get healthy.  You’ll find you don’t need to work out 99% of the time to get fit.  Little things add up and it’s high time you get up and get moving because being healthy is the best way to enjoy life.

More to come… 2014 is going to be a new year and a new way of thinking.  Want a fun way to get fit?  Join WAFFLE!  It’s a competition, primarily with yourself.  If nothing else, you can see accomplishments pile up one at a time rather than wondering what you’re doing with yourself.

Think on it.

Blog 40 – WAFFLE Iron

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Until now, WAFFLE has existed as a single day event, allowing anyone with a fitness goal to compete against a personally determined goal. WAFFLE 3 will make it’s mark on March 16, 2014. WAFFLE 4 is being determined as a new competitor enters the fold.

Today, however, we focus on the next phase of the World Association of Fitness Fanatics Loving Exercise growth. Beginning in April, WAFFLE adds a new recurring event to the fold: WAFFLE Iron.

Unlike the standard WAFFLE numbered events, WAFFLE Iron will focus on a single multi-day period. The maximum is going to be seven days but the only other requirement is being at least two days in length. Unlike the WAFFLE numbered events, WAFFLE Iron events will be variable by competitor, with winners and losers announced only after the full event has elapsed.

Was the single day event structure holding you back? No longer, now you can compete on WAFFLE Iron. Join WAFFLE and get fit.

Blog 39 – Branching Out With WAFFLE

portfolio_waffleThe World Association of Fitness Fanatics Loving Exercise is going to be branching out, here at Lime Flavored.com.  WAFFLE will soon be getting it’s own posts and I’m working on promoting WAFFLE in places that I can drive traffic here to have more people join.  With that being said, I’d like to elaborate on some things that might help people who are struggling whether or not they want to put their weight loss goals out there.

I’m personally at the point to where 40,000 steps, running a mile in under 11 minutes, climbing 150 floors, etc. is a little bit less of a challenge for me.  Someone else out there who might be wondering if those goals are even attainable for them are also sitting back and not joining WAFFLE, which I’ve originally planned to use as a motivational tool to lose weight.  Don’t compare yourself to me and do not try to set your goals inline with my goals because my goals are just those: MY goals.

When I asked Tricia to join me in WAFFLE, she set her own goals.  Her goals don’t follow along with mine and are, for her, challenging.  That is what a WAFFLE goal is: a personal challenge.  Just because I’ve walked 40,000 steps in one day doesn’t mean that you should try to do that right out of the gate.  Let me tell you, that wasn’t easy.

Goals are anything that make you healthy.  Walking a 5K in a certain number of minutes, running a mile in a certain number of minutes, walking so many steps in a single day, climbing so many floors in a single day, doing so many sit-ups in one shot, doing so many pushups in one shot, bench pressing so much weight so many times… there are a wide variety of goals, here, and those are your own personal goals, not ones I set for you.  I can certainly GUIDE you but I cannot tell you what you should attain.

I’m a fan of the UFC, and as such, I’ve modeled WAFFLE after that.  There are weight classes (I’ve not yet referred to anyone by their weight, only their weight class) and in each weight class will be a champion.  When the time comes for two people to compete in the same weight class for a championship, some standardization might come into play, but only so those two can compete in the same fitness statistic.

If you want to try joining WAFFLE but you don’t want to be on the poster, that’s fine.  If you want to try joining one WAFFLE but not stick with it as often as I do it: great.  Don’t just sit on your ass, though, because that isn’t healthy.  Eat better because the crap you put into your body now is what’s making you fat, lazy, impotent, or generally tired.  WAFFLE is designed to motivate you to be healthy and work towards a goal you’ve set.  So why not join up?

There’s no fees.  There’s no requirements (save your goal should be attainable in the single day of the WAFFLE event).  There’s no one judging you, you judge yourself.  If you fail to reach your step goal?  Yeah, that’s a loss, but guess what: losses are just speed bumps.  Get back up and try it again next time.

Think on it.

The Lime Flavored Show 40 – Working Out Stories

portfolio_lfsWith some website issues, DJ Allen discusses a little Gold’s Gym, working out, writing, and trying to iron out problems with some short stories.

Contact: officiallimeflavored@gmail.com

Host: DJ Allen
Length: 00:12:40

Copyright 2000-2014 Lime Flavored.com

The Greatest Show Online 26 – Caffeine to Death

Do you know that the government is watching you? In the first segment, you’ll learn to how to fix that!

Bob Miotto and DJ Allen, two of the greatest dudes you’ll ever have the fortune to watch podcast, come to you live almost every Friday around 8:00 pm Eastern/7:00 pm Central in the USA for a rip roaring good time!

This week, Bob and DJ discuss such wonderful topics like criticism of others, wasp redux, deaf animals, super caffeine, Wolverine, being special, alternative swear words, hot chocolate, scoring eleventh points, natural laxatives, and we watch the highly talented Tricia Allen cut up some strawberries and a couple of pineapples! Oh, and there are more Mad Libs this time around, too! Don’t miss out! Exclamation point!

Contact: officiallimeflavored@gmail.com

Hosts: DJ Allen, Bob Miotto, Tricia Allen, Isis Godzilla Allen, Holden Allen, and Bonzai Allen
Length: 1:09:38

Copyright 2000-2014 Lime Flavored.com

Blog 38 – Making Sci Fi Matter

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The reason science fiction normally works is that the genre serves as a place to explore ideas that normally don’t get explored.  I’m talking about allegory here.

My one aside that I’ve planned, here, is that I am going to call the genre science fiction and not speculative fiction.  The real reason for this because I still think of the genre as science fiction and the other reason is that speculative is harder to type quickly than science.

Allegory, defined, really means using visual, literary, or musical means to symbolize ideas and concepts.  All good science fiction uses allegory and I’ve got some of the examples that I have enjoyed over the years.

The reimagined Battlestar Galactica was a series long allegory for terrorism in a post 2001 world.  With hidden cells of people supposedly hiding among us, which I’m not discounting, the human looking Cylons were those terrorists looking to take humanity down a notch.

Star Trek: The Next Generation used allegory in a slightly different way, making each episode a mini-allegorical tale about political ideas, social taboos, and all kinds of stuff like that.  If you watch almost any episode of the series, you’re probably going to be able to pull out an allegory.

Even Star Wars, the entire saga, is an allegory.  The Jedi are representations of a noble Samurai class, the political rise and fall of the Sith is chronicled along side the rise and fall of the American political landscape, and those are just the really obvious ones.  Allegories in Star Wars tend to be broader and more abstract than others, which has allowed the series to be popular longer than what may have a limited run.

As I listen to Mission Log: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast, they pull out the allegories in episodes as they come across them and those are mainly allegories of the day (things like the Vietnam war being pointless, peace should be the norm, and hippies are bad).  Both Ken and John pull out the allegories and make them front and center for you, too, as Gene Roddenberry intended Star Trek (the Original Series) to be a way to convey ideas about the present in a way that shows they can be fixed.

Preparing my own “space opera science fiction” series, I want there to be plenty of allegory there, too, but I’m not as confident that I can turn my own work into great works of allegory like those who came before me.  Maybe that is something that I cannot accomplish and maybe I’m just being overly critical.  If you asked me what my “rough draft” of the first story was allegorically symbolizing, I would tell you nothing.  I was about halfway through writing the quarter way I made it (or an eighth into the story for those who want me to be less obtuse), I realized I was just telling a science fiction story rather than employing an allegory for things I find need to be addressed.  Basically, I need to be more allegorical.

The reason that science fiction lends itself to allegory is that alien species can often stand in for regular classes of people.  Gays, transgenders, oppressed women, and minorities are easily translated into fish people, gelatinous blobs, insectiods, or reptilians.  Is that cold hearted or a rough way to get the point across?  No, because there are plenty of readers out there who won’t read something that directly addresses the problem directly, but they will respond to reading about the reptilians who only mate with the opposite gender to procreate but would rather be with their own gender for romance.  See?  I just drew you into looking at a gay issue without saying it was a gay rights issue.

There are plenty of small allegorical elements I’m good at creating: species standing in for social and gender classes.  I’m not good at creating the stories to address larger social issues like dealing with abortion, whether or not we should be at war, mistreating animals, and things like that.  THAT is what I need to work on because there are a lot of social issues I think need to be addressed and science fiction is the easiest vehicle for me to accomplish that goal.

I am stating, on the record, that I will turn my science fiction into allegory to serve a larger purpose.  My personal issues, the ones that hit home with me, will be brought out in a bigger way through my writing.  I think that the best science fiction is allegorical, so I think that in order to make my own science fiction great I need to be doing allegorical writing.

One thing I need to avoid, though, is getting caught up planning this giant allegorical mess.  I need to assign quick allegories to the small things, plot out a little bit of what I’d like to address for the bigger ones, and start writing… the reason for this is the same reason I have a problem doing anything worth a damn: I get too involved in planning and then lose the interest to actually complete the project.  There are people around me completing projects every day (even writing ones) and I’m still sitting where I started spinning my wheels.  Since I’m accomplishing massive weight loss by just staying focused, I think I can also accomplish my writing goals by just getting into a routine and sticking to a single focus: publish a novel.  Finish the damn book, DJ, finish it!

Think on it.

Blog 37 – Streamlining the Military

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The subject of this blog says it all: I’m going to give some thoughts and ideas on how to streamline the military.  This includes, but is not limited to, giving reasons WHY I’d do this and how this will be demonstrated in the upcoming space opera that I mentioned in my last blog post.  So, let’s get to the skinny of the matter.

I also need to point out this centers around the United States military, as I’m a veteran of that and know that best.

What do the Army do?  Air Force?  How about the Marines?  Navy?  How many of these things that each branch does crosses over into the “category” of stuff that another branch does?  Why does each branch have to be it’s own entity?  There are a lot of answers to these questions and I’d like to delve into the idea behind this post’s subject.

There are currently four major branches of the military: Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.  There can be an argument made for the Coast Guard and the National Guard (and Air National Guard), but the main four are what I’d like to discuss for now.

Traditionally speaking, the Army is the first branch of the military.  They are what make up the ground forces in a conflict.  Over time, they’ve included infantry, artillery, and have also branched out into some air operations.  With their own special forces (the Delta Force, Rangers), they’re one of the longest existing branches of military types in existence. They also cover the ground (somewhat) of the Air Force… but more on that in a bit.

The Navy would be arguably as old as the Army, though I’d argue that the Army would exist longer because humanity would have formed armies long before they formed navies.  The Navy is responsible for floating things and has branched out into aviation as well as some land operations (because navies need to operate FROM somewhere, right?).  This treads on the toes of both the Air Force AND the Army… but again, more on that in a bit.

Spawned FROM the Navy are the Marines.  A Marine is literally defined (historically) as “Naval infantry.”  When the Navy needed some Army style protection on their ships, they created the Marines.  The Marines no longer just supplement the Navy, they’ve got aviation, land operations, and hell, they’re the ones most likely to be doing the bulk of the fighting in wars at this point.  I’m getting there…

Finally, the Air Force spawned from the Army, when World War II saw a lot of air operations, the Air Force was sprung into existence sometime in the 1940s to be the fourth branch of the military.  Just like the other services, they’ve got things that tread on the purpose of the other three, which makes each branch a competitor, technically, with the others.  Right?

Here’s where I want to go with this.  Sure, all four branches are working for the USA, but they are also competing with each other.  That competition sucks up resources, especially when there are four branches of the military each doing some sort of aviation (of which each branch IS doing).  That’s four times the aircraft being created to accomplish the same goals.  Why not remove the departments of defense (multiple) and just turn them into ONE Department of Defense?

Let’s wipe the slate clean.  No Army.  No Navy.  No Air Force.  No Marines.  I’m going to start from scratch and build up what I think the USA (or militaries in general) should do, preparing for the future while serving the present.

There are three basic “ideas” that need to be covered.  Fundamental things that can be broken into just three parts: water (as well as space) based operations, air based operations, and individual fighting/ground based operations.  I call these three divisions Fleet, Flight, and Force (the three Fs of military organization).

Let’s start with the Fleet Division.

The Fleet is responsible for the operations (and all functions therein for the operation of) larger vessels.  On a planetary note, this means that all the seagoing vessels fall under the Fleet.  Aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates, submarines, and larger troop transports would all be Fleet controlled.  Looking slightly to the future, this would include things like spaceships that contain more than one to five passengers, assuming the need for a military in space.  The Fleet would make sure to have functions that would be centered around the water aspect of planets and the larger spacefaring operations of an interstellar spacecraft.

This is the division that needs the least “rearranging” of ranks to make them unique and the enlisted ranks (from E1 to E9) are as follows: Crewman Recruit (CR), Crewman Apprentice (CA), Crewman (CN), Petty Officer Third Class (PO3), Petty Officer Second Class (PO2), Petty Officer First Class (PO1), Chief Petty Officer (CPO), Senior Chief Petty Officer (SCPO) and Master Chief Petty Officer (MCPO).  The officer ranks (from O1 to O10) are as follows: Ensign (ENS), Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG), Lieutenant (LT), Commander (CDR), Captain (CAPT), Commodore (CMDRE), Rear Admiral (RADM), Vice Admiral (VADM), and Admiral (ADM).  If you’re familiar with the US Navy, you’ll notice the absence of the “Lieutenant Commander” rank and the return of “Commodore.”

Since I’ve decided to go a little farther with this concept than simply coming up with the basics (because this if for a writing project), the Fleet would wear a blue version of a standard uniform for the new military, with blue “highlighted accessories,” which I’ll probably mention later.

Now let’s look at the Flight Division.

The Flight is responsible for any flying that needs to be done through the air, as well as any spacecraft that contains less than six passengers.  A rule of thumb with this one is if it flies, it’s Flight.  The reason for the six passenger cut off is because that when you get spacecraft that can carry more than five passengers (including the pilot), you’re really talking about a craft (for space, specifically) that would be too large to fall under the “fighter pilot” archetype I’m running with.

There are a lot of changes to ranks in the Flight compared to the US Air Force, but these changes to are to make them uniquely identifiable, rather than having to figure out “which captain kind” you’re referring to.  The enlisted Flight ranks are (from E1 to E9) as follows: Airman Basic (AB), Airman (AN), Airman First Class (AFC), Senior Airman (SAN), Technical Wing (TW), Master Wing (MW), Chief Master Wing (CMW), and Command Chief Master Wing (CCMW).  The same thing for the officer ranks being wildly different.  The idea was to make them unique, so that when you were utilizing the rank of the individual, you’d immediately know to what division they belonged.  The Flight officer ranks are (O1 to O10) as follows: Flight Officer (FO), Reeve (RV), Banneret (BAN), Sky Knight (SKNT), Knight (KNT), Ardian (ARD), Strategos (STR), Chief Marshal (CMAR), Air Marshal (AMAR), and Marshal (MAR).

As the Fleet is blue themed with the uniforms, the Flight utilize a golden color for theirs (or the primary color of yellow as the base).

Finally, let’s take a look at the Force Division.

The Force Division is responsible for any operation that requires an individual to be involved in security or combat on an individual level.  So, the Force not only would replace the infantry but also be the special forces replacement.  That would eliminate the need for the special forces because all Force, or at least the best of the best, would be the ones that fulfill that role.  Also falling under the Force banner would be artillery and armor (or tanks).

While the Force ranks are similar to the US Army ranks, there are some differences that allow there to be no reuse of the same rank titles from the other two divisions.  The enlisted ranks are (from E1 to E9) as follows: Private (PVT), Private First Class (PFC), Corporal (CPL), Specialist (SPC), Sergeant (SGT), Staff Sergeant (SSGT), Sergeant First Class (SGTFC), Master Sergeant (MSGT), and Sergeant Major (SGTMJR).  The officer ranks are (from O1 to O10) as follows: Second Centurion (2CEN), First Centurion (1CEN), Legate (LEG), Major (MJR), Group Colonel (GCOL), Colonel (COL), Brigadier (BRIG), Major General (MGEN), Legate General (LGEN), and General (GEN).

The color associated with the Force Division in the standard military uniform is the basic red, rounding out the three primary colors.

But wait, there’s more!

As I’ve alluded to, the military as a whole will have a uniform.  That’s the meaning of the word, actually, and thus it shall be.  The uniform will be black pants, black footwear (I’m saying boots), and a charcoal or gray jacket with a high collar.  The basic look I’m thinking of is this (for the jacket):

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This is a Korean style turndown collar coat but there would be modifications, this is just the closest actual item I’ve seen to fit what I’m envisioning.  Each Division would have the colors in accents around the coat and down the sides of the pants.  Since this is a futuristic envisioning, I’m also envisioning that the enlisted ranks are no longer actual collar devices but instead they have two LED readouts (small).  Each Division has their own color (blue, yellow, red) for the display and the enlisted ranks would be able to be changed without having to completely replace collar devices.

The LED displays on the collar would also probably work for the officers, though my original concept was to have actual collar devices in silver, gold, and copper (not in any particular order).  The devices also were specific to a certain branch, so if the silver were for the Flight, they’d have all their officer ranks in silver (no transition from gold to silver like the modern day military).  My concept was to have actual devices, too, instead of taking the lazy Star Trek: the Next Generation ”pips” route, which I just said were lazy.

Eliminating the divisions we have between military branches now are arbitrary at this point, because as I’ve pointed out, the US Navy does things from all other branches (SEALs do land combat, Naval aviators fly, and of course the branch is the Navy so they do water things).  Also, the Department of the Navy and the Department of the Army technically compete for the same things, so why not just make them all the “Department of the Military”?

I’m sure someone will complain about tradition of this and tradition of that… move FORWARD, don’t look BACK.  You’re either living for now and the future or you’re living in the past.  I’d rather be looking forward.

Think on it.

Blog 36 – Blogs in a Series

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Starting soon, like sometime this week I think, I’ll be posting more than one blog on a particular subject.  I’d like to get into the habit of going through series of topics rather than just writing whatever suits my fancy whenever that fancy is to be suited.  Sure, I could write for hours on a certain topic, or release hundreds of blogs about a sport or whatever, but I don’t want to specialize here on the “flagship blog” of the site, so I want to warn you about the series that is coming up… at least the first one I’ll be working on.

I am a writer, as I continue to say, and I want to write a series.  One of those series, this one in particular, is going to be set up with a series of blogs.  Those blogs start this week.  I think 37-41 or something like that will all be revolving around the subject, though not directly tying into the content so much as setting up the thought processes behind the subject.  So, in a preview, the next blog will be about how I’d streamline the military, for instance, which is the basis for this series that I’m writing (which is a Star Trek style space opera… in a sense).  There are blogs-a-plenty I could write revolving around this particular series but I’ll leave the series of blogs I’ve got mapped out as the foundation for what I’ll be writing about.

There’s your warning.  Will there be more in a series like that?  I’d say the possibility exists, but I wouldn’t say that I am going to have months of content planned out because sometimes I like to just have a whim writing on this blog and that will continue.  Sometimes they’ll be long, but sometimes (like this time) that’ll be short.

Think on it.

The Lime Flavored Show 39 – Is Pro Wrestling Dead?

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Has professional wrestling hit it’s peak? DJ Allen discusses his thoughts, briefly, on the subject as he delves into the WWE, TNA, what they can do to fix their woes and whether or not the profession is just sailing along from here on out.

Contact: officiallimeflavored@gmail.com
Length: 00:14:18

Host: DJ Allen

Copyright 2000-2014 Lime Flavored.com

The Greatest Show Online 25 – I Can Just Poke It

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After talking for almost 10 minutes, the restart was a little jumbled as DJ and Bob tried to recreate the opening magic and failed. The two of them talk about hating beards, Zippo brand lighters, Bob’s Italian heritage, three ordained ministers walking into a bar, losing some weight, our time in Japan, the Cryptkeeper, discussions about zombies, cheese in my ear, things you won’t understand because we didn’t record them, Mark Hamill, spoons in orifices, and having blood everywhere. This episode has it all!

Contact: officiallimeflavored@gmail.com
Length: 1:11:46

Hosts: DJ Allen, Bob Miotto, and Isis Godzilla Allen

Copyright 2000-2014 Lime Flavored.com

The Greatest Show Online 24 – Potato Salad Weaving

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A whole cast of characters appears this episode as we discuss a wide range of topics this time around. What’s the Haunted Fort? Fun with beards! Tricia’s Verizon experience (hint: it is just quirky, not terrible). Instructions on using the Samsung Note 3 phone with Bob and Tricia. Ingress talk! The ordainment of the Bob. Weddings and churches. We return to the Mad Libs! There is also more!

Contact: officiallimeflavored@gmail.com

Hosts: DJ Allen, Bob Miotto, Tricia Allen, Holden Allen, Bonzai Allen, & Isis Godzilla Allen

Copyright 2000-2014 Lime Flavored.com

Blog 35 – Fixing What’s Broken

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Yesterday I told you about the problems of my website, the backend, and contemplating fixing things.  Well, one day later, I’ve come up with a plan of action, which means that a good chunk of 2014 is going to be preparing the website for 2015 (as a clean and happy website).

No, I am not blasting the site and starting from scratch.  What I am going to do, though, is labor intensive.  There will also be a little bit of content lost (for those who might want to save or keep access to this content).  This is your warning to save that content, if you know where to find it.

Starting on February 1, 2014, I shall begin to change iTunes podcasts feeds over.  There will be feeds that change, feeds that simply translate over, and feeds that get emptied out and repurposed.  Basically, I’m changing from podPress to Blubrry, which gets updated now and then.

The podcasts that will have feeds:

  1. The Lime Flavored General Feed (this will be entered into iTunes officially)
  2. The Lime Flavored Show
  3. The Greatest Show Online
  4. Untitled Anthology Show (the impending anthology audio show I was preparing)

Hey, where the hell are (Echoes Darkly, Dark Green, Fitness Challenge, OffTopic, JBear on the Air, Limelight on Apple/Tech, High Council of Lime Lords, Bad Breakers, BobCast, Lime Flavored Podcast, and the Podcast of Darkness)?  I’m glad I asked for you.

All podcasts that are not current are being wiped.  OffTopic and JBear on the Air are controlled by podcasters other than myself and if they want to continue these shows (for which I will check with them before pronouncing them dead), I’ll include their feeds in the new site.  If they don’t want them or want to go a different direction, then I’ll repurpose those feeds to be utilized for something else.  Everything else will be removed (permanently) from the feeds and deleted.  I don’t need to be housing old school podcasts that aren’t going to be continued or updated anymore.

The new feeds will have their very own (and not plugin specific) folder that will allow me to keep all podcasts in the same place from here on out.  Once I get the feeds set up, changed over, or deleted, I’m wiping out the old WordPress “folder” completely (if you’ll look back, I’ve got a double install and I’m making a backup of the content to re-import into a fresh install).  All of the images on the site in their multiple locations will be centralized into a single folder.  All of the categories on the site will be redone (or the old ones won’t be used anymore) and then I’ll make the site into what it should have been in the first place: clean and easy to use.

Yes, this has all been decided in one day.  Yes, this is a lot of work to do in a short period of time.  Yes, this seems a little complicated.  Yes, I’m a one man operation and I can do things like this without checking with anyone else.

Once this has been cleaned up, you’ll probably see multiple WordPress sites on Lime Flavored.com.  There may be other types of sites attached to Lime Flavored.com, too, but there will be a lot of things going on for the year of 2014 and I’ll keep podcasting as best I can while it all gets done.  I need the organizational cleanliness on the back end because what’s up there is just chaotic.

You have until February 1, 2014 to save anything you know about on the back end that you’d like to keep.  After February 1, I make no guarantees that the item you want will still exist.  There are plenty of new things that I’ll be working on for the future and the old stuff doesn’t need to be taking up valuable space.  I may keep copies of things and then again, I may not.  No promises!

Think on it.

Blog 34 – A Fresh Start

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So, my file system (even with the WordPress install) is a little on the chaotic side… to be blunt, I have a hard time figuring out where things are and what to do with them.  Since the site has been running uninterrupted for almost four years as a WordPress site, I’ve had a lot of changes that are still lingering but necessary to keep things working.  This leads me to today’s topic.

I’ve been thinking about blasting the site clean and starting from scratch.

When I originally installed the WordPress site I had to put it in a folder called “wordpress” in order to play with the back end before I launched officially.  When I went live, I was essentially running the site from the limeflavored.com/wordpress folder.  There was a way to correct this, turning that folder into basically a useless folder, and I did that… except things in the wordpress folder didn’t become useless.  Now I am running WordPress from the root AND from the wordpress folder, meaning that I have duplicate files in both places and whenever I try to remove one thing I think is useless, the site crashes.

Thus, my file system is a nightmare to work with.

I’ve got all kinds of hidden storage files on my server under the root, under the wordpress folder, and in other various folders that have absolutely no value except for a random post made on a random forum on some random site that still gets a lot of hits.  I keep these legacy things open because I’m still getting traffic from them, so I’ve been really nice to let that stay out there for people to access.

I’m starting to want to be less nice, just to clean things up.

Be prepared for example time!  That means I’m going to make up a bunch of stuff to illustrate what the hell it is I’m working on in the background without actually revealing what I’m working on in the background.  Some of these inventions are also created simply to add layers to this problem that may not actually come to exist.

I am using the podPress plugin to run my podcasts from.  podPress hasn’t been updated in, well, years, but I’ve been stuck with this because I don’t want iTunes to lose my podcasts (even though I know there is a way to change the feed location).  I’m toying with some other plugins but that would just be a headache to put all kinds of new podcasts (gigabytes worth of podcasts) into the new plugin to generate the new feed to put into iTunes and… yeah, see what kind of problem I’ve got?

So I want to start some audio series, too.  I’m a writer (you haven’t read, heard, or seen anything about that yet?  What are you, new?) and I want to write these things.  This means I’ll probably also put these series into an audio format and release them either on their own feed or as part of the master feed I have set up (wait, what?  You have a MASTER feed?  Where the hell is THIS?  Chill your shorts… I’ll share that in the future).  This means that my upcoming (example titles) series of Man With Problems, Seven Ways to Sunday, Revenge of the Flying Nun, Bill & Ted’s Matrix Adventure, Star Trek: Revisited, and the Throne of Games would each get their own feed.  If I use podPress to set those up, my problems continue… if I use a new plugin to set those up, at least some sort of fix is being implemented.

Podcasting isn’t my only problem.

WordPress on personal servers have a means of having more than one WordPress blog hosted on the same server.  I’d LOVE to do this, one for each of my projects that I believe will actually get made (the Fake Lovers of Internet New Technology, FLINT, wrestling federation; the Star Trek: Revisited email SIM/fleet; the World Chess Organization, WCO;  a World of Darkness resource site for Vampire the Requiem; my series of albums under the musical name of Kung Fu; and my writing “how to” blog).  Believe the names of any of those things?  You shouldn’t, I warned you I’m making this stuff up on the fly.

With my CURRENT situation, though, multiple blogs installed on my server would triple the problems I already have.  If I can’t keep ONE blog straight with a double install, how the hell am I supposed to keep SEVEN blogs straight?  See my problem?

The question is: how do I fix this?

Well, as I started talking about in the beginning, the easiest way to fix this is to blast the site, clear the folder, and start over.  An old school “format and reinstall” would be a nice way to get things looking pretty without having to worry about figuring out what works and what doesn’t.  The sad part of this plan is that all my content goes with it.

But, DJ, the content is stored in a mySQL database and can be loaded into the new site.  Why wouldn’t the content remain?

Part of the reason for this is that the database also tells WordPress where to look for things.  Where is the content currently being stored?  Is it in the new file system (root of the site) or in the old wordpress folder?  Then there is the problem of the podcasts.  GIGABYTES of podcasts.  They stretch from 2007 all the way to ones currently being released.  Sure, I can move them out and move them back in but I still have to create new feeds for iTunes and that may upset the iTunes people.  While I’m not particularly worried about them hating me, I don’t think they’ll allow me to delete all my feeds and resubmit the same shows again just to have new feeds… or maybe they will?

There are so many problems with this plan, I’m not really sure where to go with it.  Suggestions?

Think on it.

Blog 33 – Turning Fun Into Content

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Sometimes being an adult sucks.  Many people will tell you this who have been adults for a long time but I want to tell you that I don’t mind some of the adult things I end up having to do but I do mind that I don’t really have time to do anything I’d like to do for “fun.”

Let’s look past the writing (of which I am doing now) and the chess (of which I can play on my phone anytime I have a few minutes) to the heart of what I’m talking about.

I used to play games online that others may find… uninteresting.  In 1998, I started heavily getting into online fantasy wrestling (not a “pick the winner” type fantasy, I’m talking about eWrestling, where you assume the identity of a professional wrestler online and compete with others who are doing the same).  Around then, I also started email SIMming (collaboratively writing a story with others who are all “cast members” of an email run simulation).  Neither of these things, which I thoroughly enjoy doing, do I have time for anymore.  Both of these things I’d like to do again (but let me give you a brief history of what has happened with these so far).

Not getting into the “pre Internet” era of eWrestling, I started up the Dark Wrestling Organization (DWO) in August of 1998 and began “fed heading” for between 25 and 50 people.  This federation had a level of quality to it that, as members stated to me, made other places seem kind of “thrown together haphazardly.”  I ran the DWO from August through May of 1999 when I finally had to step away from the scene (and that was due to a lack of time on my part).  I handed the reigns of the federation over to some interested parties who ran the DWO through the summer but ended up needing to give it up, also, for basically the same reasons.  I picked the DWO back up and ran it until the end of 1999 before I finally “tapped out” from not having any time.  I tried to recreate this wonder in the Virtual Wrestling Matrix (VWM) I ran for about three months before I just couldn’t do it anymore.  Now, almost 14 years later, I’d like to get “back in the game” but with a far less labor intensive design involved.

As far as email SIMming, I don’t know when I first started this but almost my entire experience is based around Star Trek (because if you look online, the most active community for SIMming is the Star Trek community).  I was a member of several “ships” (which is the central theme everyone plays around) before running a couple of them myself.  Basically, you write what you did and you interact with the other characters on the ship in a way that progresses the plot, which is run by the “captain” and has been planned on how you get to help progress it along.  Basically, email SIMming is knowing enough plot to get you to help formulate the story around it.  You and several others are writing a book together, which has been copiously planned by the person running the SIM.  Simple? Yes, it actually is simpler than that sounds.

If you go way the hell back up to the top of this post, you’ll see that I was interested in getting back into this again.  Things will be a little different, though.

As far as the eWrestling goes, I’ve always believed that we should be doing less “competing” and more “simulating the professional wrestling experience.”  I’m not saying that competing isn’t interesting or fun but I do think that I want to do less “judge writing” and more “help tell a larger story.”  The handlers (which is what people who control eWrestlers are known as) want some competition involved, though, so I can’t eliminate that entirely.  I think a more relaxed pace and less creatively intense atmosphere would be beneficial to the overall hobby.  I’m working on how to accomplish this, as I have been for the past three or four years.

Email SIMming is a different bird, though.  I like Star Trek and I wouldn’t mind running another ship but I think that there are too many ships out there already in that particular genre and they all have their specific idea on how to run a Star Trek SIM.  I think that there should be more free form writing involved and I want to run something that isn’t Star Trek… so I’ve adapted an RPG that I pseudo-invented to run as a SIM… now I just need to have the time to actually run the damn thing.

I’ve got plans for more things, of course, but having the time for these things is always the important part.  One of my solutions is to run these things in “seasons,” not doing more than one thing during a season.  So, in the summer season, for example, run an in-depth eFed (electronic federation, that which eWrestlers participate in) but have that end at a certain point (kind of like what MTV’s Wrestling Society X did).  When that ends, start up running this RPG email SIM for a very specific period of time (like a single “mission” for a SIM like the USS Sarek of Obsidian Fleet) and end that in a specific period of time.  Using the “four seasons of the year” model I’d get to run four of my favorite things (or two of my favorite things and try out a couple of new things).

I’m still working out the bugs in my ideas here and there are other things that I’m not prepared to talk about on here, yet.  But when I do, you’ll be the first ones I pass the information along to.  Interested?  Send me some feedback (officiallimeflavored@gmail.com is the email address), because if there’s one thing I would enjoy on this that is this: help.  No, really, I’d like help.

Think on it.

Blog 32 – Some People’s Kids

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I am the smartest guy in my department at work.  No, that isn’t bragging, it’s just the plain truth of the matter.  To the people who troll me from work to see if I’m doing anything “untoward,” I’ll reiterate: I’m the smartest guy in the department.  You need me to be, too.

There is a certain, well, laziness that I notice in my workplace.  Looking back at past jobs, I see that laziness prevalent there, too, now.  When you can’t be bothered to remember some simple things to perform your job, know a schedule to make sure you’re doing your job on time, or know what you’re doing when you get to that job I suggest that you get yourself checked in somewhere to get some help.  One person, namely me in this case, shouldn’t be required to be available 24/7/365 to answer the simplest of questions, especially on their day off.

I don’t ask for much.  Well, actually I do, but I am not talking about the rest of the things right now, I’m just talking about work.  I believe that I should be able to assign (or inform) someone of something and have them remember that without needing to ask me more than once what I had told them.  Should I have written this down for them?  Well, sure, I guess that would help, but I’ve had to learn to operate without copious amounts of notes, why can’t others?

To the troll reading this to toss back in my face at work in a few days: you don’t do your job as well as you think you do so maybe you should concentrate on what you’re doing and troll me less because your life may end up being 100% more difficult for you if you don’t shift your focus to what you’re doing.

As Yoda said: “never his attention on where he was, hm?  What he was doing.”  That sums up the troll.

Back to the topic, though.  Why, on my day off, am I expected to answer questions I’ve already relayed to four people?  Why can’t the four of them converse with each other to trigger the memories of what has been told to them already?

This is quickly just losing focus.  The end result is: I need days off, too.  If it’s life or death, I’ve got no problem answering questions, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what has been planned for almost two weeks now.  Sorry, but I don’t need to be coordinating from home something I’m not actively involved in ON MY BIRTHDAY WEEKEND.

Sigh.

The Lime Flavored Show 38 – Round Up and Roll Out

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Episode 38 has arrived, albeit a little later than originally planned. DJ discusses what happened, where things have been going, WAFFLE 1, writing, and podcasting as well as imparting a little bit of knowledge here and there.

Precredits: 1.e4 b6 2.Bc4 Bb7 3.Qf3 a6 4.Qf7#

Contact: officiallimeflavored@gmail.com

Host: DJ Allen

Copyright 2000-2014 Lime Flavored.com

Blog 31: The New Year and New Discoveries

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So… I’ve fallen off the “podcast every day” horse already.  In fact, I’ve fallen off the “post something (blog, podcast, etc) item every day already.  I’m discovering that 2014 is a year of a different color for me.

My work schedule, which has been chaotic and random, has gained a lot more hours and is now actually scheduled out a few days in advance as opposed to basically being on call.  That has stabilized my workload a little, but that isn’t the only change I’ve got to talk about.

My weight loss is now at 96 lbs and I sort of plateaued at the beginning of this year.  I’d made the decision to join a gym, and I joined Gold’s Gym in the middle of January and (as of this posting) have been there 4 straight mornings in a row.  To go to the gym, I wake up at 5:00 am and drive to Gold’s at about 5:30 to workout for roughly an hour before work (on the days I go to work).  Since I’m just getting back into the habit of working out again (I did so for a stretch in the Navy), I’m starting small.  I’ll start ramping up to 90 minutes or a two hours (because that’s as early as I can go in) at some point, but I don’t want to over do it too early.  I shower at the gym and go to work right after.

Because I’ve got a stronger schedule, and I’m getting up way earlier every morning, I’m having less free time… which impacts how often I can record or edit… which impacts how much content I’m putting out.

Live and learn.

I will endeavor to hit 50 episodes of the Lime Flavored Show by June still, and then I’m going to try to have at least 75, if I can’t get to 100, by the end of the year.  Starting this summer, I’ll be pre-recording content for the “podcast a day for 2015″ that I’d like to do.  These will include Lime Flavored Shows but I am debating on just making this the Lime Flavored Show 2015 Podcast-a-Day-a-thon.  More to come on that one.

The “schedule” of the Lime Flavored Show is changing from Mondays to “whenever I can get them done.”  Some will be recorded on my iPhone on location, some will be prepared, and some will be a combination of both.  It’s my show, I’ll do what I can when I can… and hopefully you enjoy the output.

That’s good enough for now… hopefully I can get some podcasting done today (after writing this) and give you the finals of the WAFFLE 1 that happened on January 12, 2014… I’ll give you a hint, both participants won.  :)

Think on it.

The Lime Flavored Show 37 – Chesscast

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There’s a new chess podcast coming to the Internet, mainly because there isn’t a steady and reliable one out there that is also entertaining. This one goes over some things about chess and brings you the latest.

Contact: officiallimeflavored@gmail.com

Host: DJ Allen

Copyright 2000-2014 Lime Flavored.com

The Lime Flavored Show 36 – Write Club

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The show is all about writing, what I’ve wanted to do, how I tend to write, and some goals for writing for the future.

Contact: officiallimeflavored@gmail.com

Host: DJ Allen

Copyright 2000-2014 Lime Flavored.com

The Lime Flavored Show 35 – Fight Club

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This is a sort of Lime Flavored Fight Club, chatter and discussion about the UFC and mixed martial arts in general. While the word “discussion” is misleading, it is the host talking into his microphone for your earholes to enjoy.

Contact: officiallimeflavored@gmail.com

Host: DJ Allen

Copyright 2000-2014 Lime Flavored.com

Blog 30 – Podcasting More

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Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ll have noticed that I am posting a whole lot more podcasts lately.  In fact, while I haven’t accomplished my stated Lime Flavored Show episode 31 goal of a podcast per day, I’ve posted almost 5 podcasts since the year began.  As long as I have something to talk about, I’ll continue to go at that pace or better, too.

The idea came kind of spur of the moment to me on December 31, but I thought that maybe posting a ton of podcasts this year would get me back in the swing of getting everything back in order.  While some of the podcasts may not have the most meaty of subjects to them, I am at least trying to get back into the habit of sitting down and busting out a recording session now and then.  Things will eventually get a little more focused and a little better.

What IS important at the moment, though, is that I’ve posted a podcast of some sort (and now a blog post) every single day since January 1, 2014.  That is (as of this posting) 10 straight days of releases on the website.  I think that is pretty darned spiffy, don’t you?

We are coming upon a catch, though.

Tonight, we will be gracing your presence with a little Greatest Show Online live.  That will replace the audio version of the podcast release (along with this blog post) for today.  Tomorrow, you’ll be graced with another Lime Flavored Show (episode 35) and Sunday I’ll hopefully get the Greatest Show Online we record tonight posted, making Sunday the GSO posting.  Monday should then, once again, see the Lime Flavored Show return with episode 36, Tuesday with episode 37, and Wednesday with either episode 38 (which would be the results of this Sunday’s WAFFLE 1) or another blog post.  I do not, at present, intend to release a blog post AND a podcast on the same day.  If I have the content to stretch out things a little, I’d like to slow my recording pace just a smidge.

In 2015, I will attempt to release a podcast per day for 365 days.  Saying that now, in January of 2014, I can hopefully get some of the recordings out of the way in order to get a nice jump on things so that come January 2015, I’m not 3 or 4 podcasts ahead but rather I’ve planned out some neat little Easter eggs to release all year long.  Cool?

Think on it.

The Lime Flavored Show 34 – Obsessed With Chess

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Talking about my personal obsession, the game of chess. The game of kings. With some references to other things, like writing and where I’m going with the future of myself and chess.

Contact: officiallimeflavored@gmail.com

Host: DJ Allen

Copyright 2000-2014 Lime Flavored.com, All Rights Reserved.

The Lime Flavored Show 33 – Potpourri

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A mishmash of topics are discussed as DJ Allen returns for his attempt at releasing as many podcasts in a single year as he can. Will 2015 be a podcast a day? Who knows?

Contact: officiallimeflavored@gmail.com

Host: DJ Allen

Copyright 2000-2014 Lime Flavored.com, All Rights Reserved

The Greatest Show Online 23 – Everybody In A Red Shirt Dies!

Everybody in a red shirt dies?  Yes!  This isn’t an episode of Star Trek, Ensign Ricky isn’t going to the planet with others to his certain death, DJ Allen and Bob Miotto are discussing the finer points of life!  This is the Greatest Show Online!