Turf Marking

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Warm Fuzzy Freudian Slippers, Ltd.
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Things you need to know:
  • Some posts, or the links they contain, are NSFW. This is your only warning.
  • This blog serves the cause of my freedom of speech, not yours. I wield censorship like a 10 year-old boy who just found his father's handgun.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Truer words have never been spoken...
What's Your 80s Theme Song?

Answer ten short questions and our 1980s personality generator will match you to your 80s theme song and character profile!

Your 1980s Theme Song Is:
I Love Rock & Roll by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

Psychological Profile
When people look back on the 1980s, they think of Ronald Reagan, the Rubik's Cube, and you. Why? You were the cool kid who would sing this song at the top of your lungs. People were somewhat afraid of you though, mainly because your fetish for throwing chewed gum into people's hair got annoying after a while. You secretly enjoyed New Coke.

You knew deep inside that you would one day grow up to be a productive member of society, and you were correct. Just don't let your parole officer hear about you crossing over the border to Mexico, as that will be your third strike.

Runner-up 1980s Theme Song:
Life in a Northern Town by Dream Academy. This song takes you back to a simple time, when children were safe to play in their yards and ice cream trucks jingled through the streets. All that changed, though, when you moved into town.

80s Fashion That's Still In Your Closet:
Swatch watch
Benetton clothing

Favorite Movie from the 80s
Top Gun. Whatever happened to Kelly McGillis?

Your Signature Atari Game:
Frogger. That little frog tried so hard to cross the road. It almost made you feel guilty for intentionally running over frogs with your bike.
Here's the signature from a user or the message boards at Defend.Net. I don't know if this was taken from somewhere, or something someone actually said to this user.
Son, we're not saying that there's anything wrong with you...but its just that NORMAL boys your age DON'T spend all day lifting weights and learning how to choke people to death!
It's this negativistic attitude that prevented me from starting martial arts at 12 rather than 28!
I hadn't seen SUM YUNG GAI at the coffee shop in a couple of weeks, and all of a sudden, there he is. I noticed that he was trying to bum money off of people. I gave him a "What's up?" when he spotted me, and he replied "Trying to get some money for something to eat." Like a reflex action faster than anything produced by my FMA training, I instantly told him how tapped out I was, and that my check was already spent -- more or less true, in the sense of the "Point of View" speech that Obi Wan gave Luke in Jedi.

I felt bad for a bit, until I saw someone finally help him out. Then, the scariness began. I guess SUM YUNG GAI is still recruiting for his "blood oath club." Not only that, he's got a freakin' member! Some scary looking geekboy -- the kind that would've put on a black trenchcoat and started firing away because the girl captain of the chess club laughed when he asked her out. They tried to double-team me. I just kept on reading the book I was reading, and finally SYG got the hint and had his buddy lay off.

The guy I used to call the TRENCHCOAT MAFIOSO was there to bear witness to the whole thing. He confirmed my suspicions -- everyone around thinks this guy is a nut.
I grant you, I may be going overboard with my new CSS toy, but I think the titles look better now. It may not stay that way, and it may look funky if you're reading this with Netscape 4 or earlier. If it bugs you that much, comment or email me.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

...as you can see by my incessant tinkering. Here's one more step in my knowledge of cascading style sheets: Floating sidebars (see right) ====>

Less wasted space. Gotta love it.
I've heard stories about people doing things like this -- copying other people's blog entries and making them their own, but I guess it's another one of those things you need to see to believe.
Whad'ya think of
some interesting text
or a picture
appearing like this?
Just doing some experimenting with the joys of CSS (cascading style sheets), or rather just making use of some of the coding elements. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

In case I didn't spell it out somewhere earlier, E (aka Fred In The Can) created a second blog to document her experiences in the PRC. No, I won't link to it here... she uses real names and such, including mine, so I can't have that. I will, however, post a couple of interesting snippets.

People Are People
I found out yesterday that a science fiction nerd looks and sounds the same the world over. this guy came up to me after class and wanted to talk about sci fi movies. I could easily picture him hanging around the comic shop, outside the [coffee shop], or even at [a local bookstore where a lot of RPGers seem to hang out]. Hee. Funny how certain things are universal.
Remember What Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction Said About Similarities Between Europe and the US?
Which reminds me - last night I was hanging out with a couple of the teachers... and we were drinking tea and eating these snack crackers which tasted awfully familiar. I finally identified the flavor - they tasted just like original Captain Crunch cereal!
A Racket is a Racket, the World Over
On the grounds of the tower are also a very beautiful-sounding bell (which tourists can pay 10 RMB - less than $1.50 - to ring with a large battering ram-thingie) and a gorgeous pond with sculptures, swans and of course a bust of Chairman Mao.
We've All Got Hoops to Jump Through
...I've had to tapdance around the queries of my students about religion and individualism. I've become fairly good at the political "non answer". Actaually it isn't a non-answer so much as a carefully worded answer. Each class has a class monitor, who is a Communist Party Member. I'm not sure what kind of notes he or she might be taking, and in general we've been asked to keep things away from sensitive topics, which is fine by me.
Thank God for that, too. I don't want E to go through any of that Brokedown Palace bull$hi+.

I'm Three Degrees of Separation From a Big Star
Speaking of Chinese TV - here's a grand case of "6 degrees of separation" only in this case it's only two degrees (or is it one?). One of the teachers (the Chinese American I mentioned earlier) went to theatre school in Beijing. One of his classmates was none other than Zhang Zi Yi, the young girl from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon! Apparently, some of his former classmates are in Chinese TV dramas these days, too.
And Yet, One Man's Treasure Is Another Man's Trash
The Chinese hate the movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and especially despise Zhang Zi Yi, the young woman from that movie. Her acting is deemed over the top and not realistic! Most of the students don't like the fact that Americans only see kung fu movies and don't see other Chinese cinema.
Good stuff, eh?
There hasn't been that much to report, really except for the slow progress of chores that need doing and my routine of getting up, getting online to chat with E in China, putzing about and sitting at the coffee shop to kill time before work. There have been occassional life happenings, though...

To the makers of the dropper.inor virus -- screw you, you didn't get me! Nice try.

Dug up an old friend online. Haven't seen her in ages... maybe one day when (if) I can ever show my face in Clevesburg again, I can look her up.

Looking forward to when/if MMAC starts up Club hours this second summer session. My clothes might still fit right, but I just feel flabby.

Last movie rewatched: Drunken Master -- the 1978 one. There are a million and one reasons to love this movie. If I had to pick one, it'd be main villain Thunderleg's description of his Kung Fu style:
You see? Thirty percent hands, seventy percent feet.
Oh, so you're using Tae Kwon Do? Well, IMDB does list a Korean-type name for the actor.

The latest issue of Black Belt Magazine had a short article about drunken fist. Very interesting. Looks like the idea of "Drunken T'ai Chi" isn't BS after all, like E said. What, just because it was the title of a Donnie Yen movie, the idea loses all credibility? :)

One correction on my comments regarding Fahrenheit 9/11. I do recall another "traditional" Michael Moore style gag aside from asking Congressmen to enlist their kids. It was cool to watch him ride around in that ice cream truck and read the Patriot Act over the loudspeaker.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Servants of Cthulhu. Fnord.
Servants of Cthulhu:

Victory is Destruction.


Which Illuminati are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
I temporarily shut off the tagboard. I don't know what their game is now, but I hate things that cause pop-ups. I might put it on it's own page or delete it altogether, but I haven't decided yet. Feel free to comment, though.
Last night, I went with a couple of people to my second-favorite bar, recently reopened after remodeling. Looks nice and the marguaritas are still $2 on Wednesdays. Having gone right after work, it didn't dawn on me that it had been quite awhile since I had something to eat. It was fine last night, but I paid this morning.

But Don, what did you have to get up for anyway? you're probably thinking. Well, E and I set up 8 AM as a time to chat -- she's got Yahoo! Messenger access over in her hotel. Oh, I managed to get myself up by 8, but my computer didn't cooperate until close to 9. But, we had a pleasant chat, so I really can't complain. She seems more than ready to come home. I wish I could say it all has to do with missing me. Certain things she likes about the operation they run over there (i.e. the structure of the program she's teaching for) and some things she utterly despises. She and the gang over there make the best of it, though.

I should've gone straight back home and to bed, but I'm all settled in. I had a training session with BILLY_JACK (don't worry, DATU_B... he wanted to work Cimande), but we canned it due to rain. Poor sod still wants to train tomorrow, though, even though his summer quarter's over and is planning to leave tomorrow afternoon sometime. Ah, charity work.

On a last note, I read about this late yesterday. The Government isn't the only entity capable of going overboard to suppress the freedom of speech. This is a shame -- the writer of Desperado deserves better than this.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Let's bring you all up to speed...

Saw Fahrenheit 9/11 Sunday night. I'll be damned, Mikey did indeed bring the whole issue back to Flint, MI as he's done in all his films. The movie didn't contain much of his traditional ironic gags. You know, like going to the CEOs of the top auto manufacturers and daring them to see which one of them is actually capable of changing the oil in one of their cars. No, I recall just the one -- you've probably heard of it, when he asks different Congressmen to sign their kids up for duty. Not that his films are of the "feel good" type, 9/11 was definitely the darkest thus far.

Spent some time today chatting with E. Yes, somehow she's managed access to Yahoo! messenger over there. Talk about memories... this time last year, we were doing the same while she was in Korea. Life's fine and dandy over there, it seems. Four weeks until she's back, though!! After that, there's a chance we could be taking a trip to upstate NY to visit her MAMA_E.

I'm bored. I think I'm gonna head to the car and take a trip. Or not. I dunno.

Friday, July 16, 2004

I had a longish nap, which I had tried not to do because I've been trying not to go back to keeping vampire hours. It's actually been a tough debate, because I have no real reason not to do that. But, you know how it is when you try to exercise force of will over yourself. Regardless of success or failure, there's that moment of stubborn defiance that's rock solid until January 2nd, or that first smell of coffee that tests you, or that situation comes that leaves your psyche screaming for a cigarette.

Anyway, I went to work, went out for a beer afterward, saw nothing really intersting at the coffee shop I frequent which was about to close for the night anyway, so here I am.

Forgot to mention a few days ago: The day before I left for my trip last week (a week ago today -- can you imagine?) I got bored and went to the video store where I saw a used copy of The Hunted with Benecio Del Toro and Tommy Lee Jones. And even though E throws a handful of prayer beads at me whenever she hears me say it, I look on that movie as a training video.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The Hunted has the most realistic martial arts fighting in any movie. None of that "chop-saki" crap. But real, tested Sayoc Kali techniques. The only thing "unrealistic" per se was the amount of damage the combatants took during their fights. If their first skirmish went down anything like what was depicted in the movie, one of them would've died, plain and simple. Thirty or so years ago, when a nunchaku scene was edited out of one of Bruce Lee's movies (was it Game of Death when he was fighting Dan Inosanto?), The Hunted would never have seen the light of day.

Last night, I got bored again (do I see a pattern here?) and rented Secretary. Ah, the sordid feelings and memories that film revived. But all that was, as the old jazz standard goes, "Long ago and far away..."

Hung out with BILLY_JACK again for a bit. We tried the whole trapping exercise again. God help him, he actually got one of them right twice in a row! We did some actual (padded) stick sparring. That whole "use your peripheral vision" thing helped out again, although I have to give it to BILLY_JACK -- his footwork was a lot better than I remembered it being. And, he actually got some hand checking in. Actually, our training didn't last all that long. We hung out and talked for a bit. I again, inadvertently, perverted my counseling skills (it really is an occupational hazard that I've never been able to shake) and found out a little more about him and his family. It only gets more and more clear where his various malfunctions come from. But I've said it before and I'll say it again -- I've got a small measure of confidence that he can potentially grow out of some of that.

Our training got interrupted briefly by some muscle-bound person who pulled up in a red car. First words out of his mouth were, "Hey... you guys in the mixed martial arts club?" I'm thinking, "F**k... here comes one of those Bando people, our sticks are out of reach, and all we got are these padded ones." I had a hand on the tac folder just in case.

I'll probably hear it if and when E finally reads this, but it turns out this person was a medical student just starting this quarter who'd read about the club and was interested in joining. So, we gave him some info and suggested he fire off an email. I hope the new officers check the account. Anyway, he seemed like a nice enough person, genuinely interested in what we were doing. It's always good to meet a martial artist who seems secure enough in their person not to feel like they have to posture to get respect.
The Official Ninja Webpage
Well, after reading this, I can see that all my martial arts training is for naught...

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Earlier today, I made good on my promise to train with BILLY_JACK.  It was obvious just how long it's been since he did any stickwork.  It wasn't all that bad, though.  I taught him some trapping moves.  I'm sure DATU_B is cringing if he's reading this right now, but not to worry -- he didn't really learn a damn thing.  Truth be told, I did it more so that I could get some trapping practice in.  I also kicked his @$$ knife sparring.  God help him, BILLY_JACK actually went ahead and ripped off some dining hall knives just for the occassion.
I am ashamed to admit this.  The last bit of training, I was ready to call it a day, but he wanted to try out the ol' Cimande limb destructions.  It was obvious just how long it's been since I did any of that stuff. 
I bought him some lunch afterward and had the usual conversation where his dull intellect and mysogyny showed.  Although, my gut still says it's innocent, youthful stupidity.

You are Regan, from "The Exorcist." You freak.

Which Horror Movie Character Are You?
(Many Options)

brought to you by Quizilla

ONE: It's amazing how much success I can have using my peripheral vision. When I'm not distracted by people's flashy moves, you can easily frustrate a lot of attacks. Seriously, I was like 8 for 10!

TWO: Tae Kwon Do sidekicks rule! Yes, that's why it's the system taught to military and police in Korea AND Thailand.

THREE: Next time, know who the boss's wife is and learn to recognize her, so as not to inadvertently spar in front of her.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Because after all, what else is a blog for, right?

[In a monotone, robotic voice] You will not be exterrrrrrrminated!

Noooooooo... really? What a motherf**king shocker.

I was listening to about 2 mintues of the second hour of today's Diane Rehm Show. The guest was Susan Edsall, author of Into the Blue: A Father's Flight and a Daughter's Return.
After Susan Edsall's pilot father suffered a devastating stroke, she was told he would never fly again. But she realized the best way to help him recover was to get him back in the air.
She made a comment early on about how the doctors had said how her father would be lucky if he managed to learn to play cards again, let alone fly.

It got me thinking. I don't want to belittle the man's story, or the similar stories of many others. Stories of people who succeed where I would probably fail. But my mind turned to the doctors in these stories. Ever notice that they're often painted -- unintentionally, I'm sure -- as these cynical people, gleefully dispensing prognoses of doom. "What? Walk again (stiffled snicker)? Guess again, Chrissy. You'll be lucky if you can ever move your big toe, let alone make it onto a wire for one last flight there, Supes. Yeah, I'm gonna tug on your cape, too. What're you going to do about it?"

Just showing some sympathy for people who sometimes get a bad rap.
My sleep cycle seems almost back to normal. I don't feel completely exhausted. I think it was due in part to my struggle not to sleep before bedtime. It was part of the reason I hung out with DATU_B last night, although every cell in my body was screaming "No! Sleep... now!" Watching the trapping scene between Brandon Lee and Al Leong in Rapid Fire was cool, particularly since I'm working on trapping. Cradle 2 the Grave was just as good the second time around for me, too. Especially the "preview" of UFC 46 that they had in it: Tito vs. the Iceman.

And yes, I really am working on the story of my lost weekend. I just need more recovery time to think about what to put in and what to leave out.

In the meantime, check out another McSweeney's gem:
John Hughes, High School Guidance Counselor

by Christopher Pacetta
Oh, and E's doing well in China now that she's begun actually teaching. It was a shame that in the beginning, there were more than a few negative aspects to the whole thing, but they've since calmed down and she's having a much nicer time of it all.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

And, man am I feeling it. I didn't have to get up early, so my body is now actually allowed to feel as tired as it is.

I promise details about the trip. Of course, I did for last August's trip, too. Oh, crap... can I even go again this August? Lord knows I want to.

Monday, July 12, 2004

I'm still at MR. FIVE-O's house. Hey, I got offered a free meal, yet one more night of conversation and a soft bed immediately after sleeping on the ground. What's a body to do? I'll be back eventually.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

...to civilization, at least. Not to Athens. Wait, then I'd be leaving civilization again. Anyway, I'm at the house of... dangit, what alias did I give them? Time for a new one. I'm at MR. FIVE-O's, chilling out for awhile before heading back to A-town. I wish I could mail myself back home, as tired as I am, but there's no mail on Sunday anyway.

A great time was had. The only thing that would've made it better was my Baby Girl E. Spare a few more thoughts for her. She's having some good times in the PRC, but there have been a few bumps along the way.

More next time.

Friday, July 09, 2004

I couldn't resist firing off one more entry before being gone for the weekend.

From McSweeney's
Selected Ohio University Undergraduate Honors Thesis Titles,
1999-Present, As Found on the Ohio University Honors Tutorial Website

By Caroline Nagy
How's that for a small world?

I suppose I'm stuck with BILLY_JACK. Since I had lunch with him yesterday, I suppose I'm deemed enough of a friend to be called at 10 PM last night for the sole purpose of being told about some humorous antics going on in his family that he had just heard about and "just had to tell someone" else.

Still, I've been acquainted with worse. Besides, he's still a punk kid at 19. Maybe I can smack some sense into him before he graduates. Damn mental health occupational hazard...

For perhaps the first time, I believe I am totally prepared for a trip. I might have gotten ready in my usual haphazard manner, but I took my time.

Trained a bit with DATU_B. It was "Fun With Blades and Kotegaesh." I met his landlord, who makes his intro by pulling out an Israeli commando knife. I don't know what DATU_B was laughing at watching me get startled; He moved back, too.

He graciously loaned me some camping equipment that should come in handy, too.

If anyone out there has information on how exactly Moro warriors integrated straps to be used as tourniquets into their garb, tag me on the board.

I'm outta here like last year.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Well, today I find out that email access should be no problem for E. Blogging might be harder for her. From what I've been told, Blogger.com is available in China. Blogspot.com (where E's blog is hosted), however, generally is not.

My biggest fear: Her realizing this and shouting out "This is ridiculous!" as she is wont to do in such situations, and 2 seconds later being surrounded by the thought police.
I always said there was more to me than meets the eye.

You are Optimus Prime! You are a natural born
leader, brave and selfless and you will fight
to the bitter end for peace and freedom. You
have extensive knowledge in just about
everything from art to the art of war. You
would be a better leader if you were more
ruthless, but then you just wouldn't be Optimus
Prime. Roll out with your bad self!

Transformers Generation One Personality Test
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

So, I have it on some authority (gotta love some of the folks at RBJ) that there are, in fact Blogspot, Hotmail and Yahoo! users in the PRC.

E would be sad to hear this about Mr. Scott.

Between being busy and having no cable, I've seen all of 3 minutes of this year's Wimbledon. That sucked.

Preparations for this weekend almost complete. Just some tasks to perform and some things I have to buy tomorrow before hitting the road Friday.
Just got off the phone with E, live and direct from Beijing! All is well, after her long-@$$ flight. We didn't get a chance to talk very long, but it was enough. She talked to her mom early this morning and got MOMMA_E to call me.

I didn't have the heart to tell her about my limited research that tells me blogspot.com is banned in China. So much for her posting on her blog unless I configure her blog to accept email entries that I can go in and edit later. Or, she could always email me and I could post them. That is, if she has email. Well, we'll see. At least we can call each other, and that's all that matters.

Oh, I just found this test to see if a URL is banned in China. I just attempted it for this blog and the result was "indeterminate." Guess I'll have to try later.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

I figure I got about 4 hours of sleep last night. But, once I got up and around, I was tired but surprisingly awake when E and I left for the airport. She drove because I worked all day yesterday. Around 7 AM, I was awake enough to make the 1.5 hour trip back. Took a brief nap (shorter than I would've liked, but if you can't sleep, you can't sleep), got stuff done and wondered where this feeling of having all this copius time came from.

This feeling happens every so often when my normal sleep schedule is altered and I don't keep my normal "vampire hours." I'm glad I only have short shifts today and tomorrow before having 4 days off.

Then again, maybe I'm just keeping busy...
Right now, E should be in the air on her way to San Francisco. At least, that's what Delta's website says. After that, she goes from there straight to the People's Republic of China. To be sure, I've had much sadder days in my life. Maybe this isn't so bad (yet) in part because of the feelings of pride and happiness thrown into the mix.

I made all sorts of little plans to hang out in Columbus and do some minor stuff after leaving her at the airport (damn post-9/11 security measures), but as I'm going back to C-town this weekend, I headed back to A-town after making sure I was awake enough. There, I took care of some chores (I'm now responsible for her two remaining fishies) and took a couple more steps toward being ready for the upcoming weekend.

We got to spend a fair amount of time together in the days before she left, despite my work schedule. We hung out with friends, played her favorite board games, ate some of her favorite little foods and got as much quality time in as possible. I tried to help get her all squared away where I could.

Anyway, I hope the PRC allows her to check this page out now and again. These "Home Alone" entries are as much for her as the rest of the universe. Don't worry, they probably won't be daily. No one wants six nonstop weeks of BMW entries (b!+ch, moan and whine).

Sunday, July 04, 2004

...it didn't feel like the Fourth of July. And, I didn't spend the day in the park, either. I was at work. Why is it only during the holidays that the true mental misfits roam the streets?

Well, anyway, E detailed how we spent our Fourth, so I won't go into the inherent lameness.

On another note, I now understand why the hangover I neglected to document the other day was so debilitating -- good ol' Tanqueray. Brought me right back to my Everclear days. No pain, just the malingering weakness and dehydration. OH well, it's all good now.

Two days until E leaves for China. Of the 28 or so hours I have left, I'll lose 8 of them at work, and about 8 more sleeping. Ok, now I'm depressed and sleepy.

Friday, July 02, 2004

That's not until tomrrow, but I probably won't get a chance to post. And technically, it won't be until about 4:30 PM, but who cares? I've already gotten some early presents. Tao of Jeet Kune Do from E and a nice Sog folder from DATU_B.

I remember this time last year being excited about my 30th year. Life's gone forward in so many ways. Here's hoping it goes further.

Two themes were in my heart and mind constantly, gratitude for the good and bad...
And I don't mind saying that I still love it all
I wallowed in the springtime
Now I'm welcoming the fall
For every moment of joy
Every hour of fear
For every winding road that brought me here
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

For everyone who helped me start
And for everything that broke my heart
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

My Thanksgiving
...and the fact that for as much as I've accomplished, I've got so much more to do.
Another Sunday
Could I fin'lly?
Could I fin'lly start to live?
And maybe one day
I would take time
I would take some time to give
To those who always waited for me patiently
For my return and my company
But for now, you see
Comes Monday... I start all over again

Another Sunday
by G. Beckley/R. Lamm

Thursday, July 01, 2004

On time, and accurate as ever.

John Constantine Pic
You are John Constantine. John has a strong knowledge of the occult and at times he appears to wield strong magical powers but he has also become known as something of a con-man, more likely to talk himself out of trouble than pull a rabbit out of a hat.

What Gritty No Nonsense Comic Book Character are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

There is a movie coming out -- I can tell you right now how bad it's going to suck.
I've seen some ghetto shenanigans in my time, but I'd be hard pressed to think of something that tops this. And people wonder why Michael Moore (no, I haven't seen it yet, quit asking me) has so many fans.