sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
Happy Independence Day Weekend to everyone!

I didn't write a damn thing today. I did chores (and wrestled with what project to tackle for my next novel). I ran out to the bank, opened up the house and aired it out a bit, dusted and vacuumed the bedroom, changed the bedsheets, ran the comforters through the dryer, and a few other things. Oh, and went running this morning--in the rain, no less--with Twoson. (We've embarked on the Couch to 5K program together, him for the first time, me for the mumble-tieth time. Just finished our first week.)

I also got a rejection on my story "Reunion". So I sent it out again. (Wow, after not hearing anything on any of my circulating stories, or the novel, for weeks on end, all of a sudden they're all getting responses. Odd.) My lovely and talented wife finished reading my second novel and had some useful observations. I'll be taking them into account as I fine tune it a little before sending it out.

On the non-writing front, I've been watching a new show today. My lovely and talented wife discovered it this morning, and set up a season pass on the Tivo. So we got six episodes today--they were doing a marathon, I guess. Anyhow, she discovered--after watching a couple of episodes this evening that she didn't care for it after all. But I've been enjoying it.

MANTRACKER, it's called. It's a Canadian reality show that's been airing since 2006 (according to the wiki article about it). The MANTRACKER (he has a name, but that's all they ever call him) is, well, a tracker (and a cowboy, but for entertainment purposes, his tracking skill is the real draw).

So the gag is: Each episode we watch as two contestants (generally but not always outdoorsman types) try to elude the MANTRACKER while they travel cross-country on foot to reach their destination within 36 hours while not being caught. It's got the typically overwrought narration and oh-so-dramatic editing common to all reality shows (and frankly, I'd like it better if it was more matter of fact--which is also why my lovely and talented wife lost interest). But it's still entertaining enough for me.

Alas, they don't really tell you much in any given show. They drop bits and pieces in different episodes, but I had to read the wiki to get a lot of this.

The MANTRACKER and his guide (the show is filmed in different areas each week, so he has a local guide) are mounted. The MANTRACKER rides a horse provided for him at each location, not his own. The two "prey" are on foot, navigating with compass and map. The distance they have to cover varies depending on the terrain (and probably their experience level). They get a two kilometer head start; a flare is fired from their starting position to give the MANTRACKER some idea of where to start looking, and they're off! There's no prize involved for the "prey" other than bragging rights if they manage to elude the MANTRACKER and reach the finish line.

Cameramen follow both the "prey" and the MANTRACKER. I thought upon initially seeing the show that the cameramen would be a problem. But apparently not. The cameramen employed are experienced woodsmen, and pretty good at going unseen. Plus, they also send decoy runners and cameramen into the area sometimes so the MANTRACKER can't just look for the camera crew.... And some of the shots on the show are recreations, so what looked initially like shots that would give the game away aren't.

Anyhow, it's been interesting. Avoiding capture boils down to basically two approaches. You try to leave as little sign of your passing as possible, or you simply try to go where the mounted MANTRACKER can't follow, even if he can see you. Aside from very occasionally dismounting to lead the horse or to examine the ground, he apparently must remain mounted while in pursuit of the "prey". Which means: heavy brush, cliffs or steep inclines, anywhere they can't take the horses. Since catching the runners consists basically of maneuvering the horses to cut off their escape, being seen--even being close enough to taunt one another (as sometimes happens)--doesn't count.

I'm no tracker, but I know some of the theory and he seems to be pretty good. He's quite adept at finding and following the tracks, and working out what they're doing. Oh--he doesn't meet the "prey" prior to the hunt, so he has no idea who he's tracking until he gets a glimpse of them. Nor does he know their destination; he can get some idea of the direction they're traveling when he tracks them, but that's it. I've watched three episodes now, and the MANTRACKER has caught four out of six "prey" (which is about average, according to the wiki).

It's not great tv, but I'm finding it entertaining enough.


Stories in Circulation: 11
Rejections: 45
Stories Accepted: SEVEN
Stories to Resubmit: 0

Novel Queries: 1 Novel, 3 queries out
Novel Rejections: 7

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sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
sinanju

December 2016

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