Turf Marking

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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.

Monday, August 30, 2004

We needed to re-combobulate ourselves. So last night, E and I decided to see The Bourne Supremacy (we watched The Bourne Identity before we left) and instead were pleasantly surprised to find Hero playing! I've written before on how bad I wanted to see this movie. When E was in China, she was asked daily by different students, "Have you seen Hero yet?"

F**k the comparisons to Crouching Tiger. If you want to see a "chop sakey" movie, go see the next Jet Li or Donnie Yen movie that's almost sure to be some Hollywood piece of action crap. A flick that pairs one of them with some rap artist and features a petite Asian piece of crumpet kicking all the stunt-people's @$$es before being bedded and/or killed by the star.

But if you want to see film, see Hero! The martial arts scenes were more of the MA/Fantasy line (Zu Warriors, for instance) -- that is not a complaint. The first fight was the rematch that I, and legions of kung-fu movie fans, waited almost ten years to see: Jet Li vs. Donnie Yen (see Once Upon a Time in China II). Poor Donnie, he's now 0 for 2. The odd part was that after his fight, you don't see him at all for the rest of the film. To me, that says one of two things: Either Donnie was pissed off after having to lose to Jet again and boycotted the rest of the film OR somehow in his (reportedly) massive ego, he convinced himself that appearing even in flashbacks would "diminish his character" or somesuch BS. (These I say before doing one iota of research into this fact -- which I really don't intend to do.)

It's bad of me to say, because I really do dig Donnie Yen.
More pieces from my childhood gone. From the NY Times:
Laura Branigan, 47, Pop Singer, Is Dead


Published: August 30, 2004

Laura Branigan, a singer whose high-volume vocals in the disco song "Gloria" propelled her into pop stardom, died in her sleep on Thursday night at her home in East Quogue, N.Y. She was 47.
Not really. But, we're back. E and I arrived in A-Town 2 am Monday morning. Actually, it was more like 1:45 am, but neither of us had a key. Don't ask. Suffice it to say the return trip was an object lesson on exactly why I hate long road trips. From now on, anything in excess of 6 hours means we're flying!

The following backdated posts will describe the torture our eventful trip which really wasn't all that bad. You can actually read these posts in order from this point up until the previous day.

After my blog entry for that day, we decided to have a quick game of Scrabble with MOMMA_E. It's been two years in a row now (so I guess it's tradition) that a visit to MOMMA_E's means Scrabble and Yahtzee! This year, I was the Yahtzee champ, winning every game we played. E won a Scrabble game, and I won the next one. Which was surprising because I seem to remember last year that MOMMA_E whipped both of us.

After that, we went and packed ourselves the rest of the food that E's mom got for us. We were determined to spend as little as possible on the trip back (except for coffee -- gotta have my coffee!). After packing everything, including some gently used appliances, and a quick stop at Dunkin' Donuts, we rode off. Elmira to Erie, PA was pretty uneventful. Then the fit hit the shan, or would've if we would have stayed on the road.

We knew before we left that the car needed an alignment. What we didn't realize was how badly the remaining tire, that we didn't replace over the course of last year, was worn out. Over the last month or so, there was a slight vibration while driving that would come and go. Also, the car would cut to right. These problems got slightly worse on the trip to NY and got noticeably worse on the trip back to the point where E insisted we pull over. We just so happened to be in Erie, PA and I got off at the Mercyhurst College exit where my sis went to school. We stopped and inspected the tire to find the passenger front tire bald in one side and a spot where the tube was starting to push through the tire wall on the other. The service station attendants informed us that the only place nearby to get a tire replaced was the local Wally World.

You have to understand that E hates Wal-Mart and everything it stands for. I hate it too, but I don't feel my soul energy being slowly depleted with every second I spend in that place as she does. I don't feel as if I'm generating negative karma for myself by being there. So, she was not happy when informed that it would be a 1 1/2 - 2 hour wait for the tire to be replaced.

We walked around, laughed at some people, browsed through stuff and ended up in Wally World's food cafe. That's when E made the fatal compromise -- not only did she have to spend time there, she had to get something to eat there, too. She hates the idea of fast food, anyway. Couple that with her hatred of Wal Mart, and you have one pissed off E.

That's when I made the joke about E being Persephone in Hades. Now, she's eaten the food and her soul will be forever trapped there! Hey, it made her laugh. I have to say she's probably the only woman I've ever dated who'd even get that reference.

Maybe I shouldn't have made that joke, because it was three and a half hours later before we hit the road again. At this point, I should mention that because I put in for my vacation time somewhat suddenly, I wasn't due to receive my vacation pay until this week. Normally, I would've received it last week which was when I actually did receive it. Lucky for us, because without it, we would've been screwed.

While we were waiting, we went shopping for a few items: some bath items, an 82 cent Hot Wheels car that E wanted, as well as new wiper blades. All these we held onto while we were walking about the store. We got sick of that, so we decided to pop a squat in the waiting area of the auto part of Wally World. She and I made no secret about our disgust and sarcasm about the service. We were -- well, I was -- pretty loud, too.

Eventually, I channeled my bitterness to making comments about random passers-by and the TV infomercial that was on hocking an 8 CD set of 60s and 70s soft-pop music. There was no end to the double entendre you could insert in those songs, especially when you're tired and stressed past the point of giving a $hit about keeping even a modicum of social decorum.

Finally, the tires get changed and we get the f**k out of there as fast as we could. Actually, what we did was change the wiper blades ourselves and left the old blades sitting out there somewhere. I wanted to leave all our trash out there, but E wouldn't have it. Oh well.
(If E reads this: E - this is NOT criticism or frustration or poking fun at your expense. It's just me relating the story. Please, don't hurt me! Pleeeeeeeeze...?)

So we hit the road. E finds a short cut, which by all logic should have been a short cut -- from Cleveland to Athens via Marietta rather than Columbus. The problem was not E's map reading skills. It wasn't even her unclear map. It was our foolishness about not consulting the Oracle of Mapquest at all during our trip.

The timing didn't make sense, either. We left Erie, PA around 8 pm. That should've put us in Cleveland around 9:30 pm, which it did. Going through Columbus takes about 2 and a half hours (midnight), and Athens is 1.5 hours from there (1:30 am). Now, you would think going down the southeastern border of the state would be quicker than going through the center of it, right?

Wrong. Of course, (a) getting jammed by construction and rain going to Marietta, (b) getting lost, unable to find the route we were looking for, and (d) pulling over only to find from a trucker that the route we wanted would've been the suckiest route to take didn't help.

And, the funny part was that even taking all of that into account, the math still didn't seem to work out right for our shortcut taking less time, at least in my mind.
(The same rules as Post Four apply -- please don't hurt me, E!)

We get home around 1:45 am to find that neither of us had keys. E had loaned hers out to a neighbor who agreed to look in on our fish during the times I was away at work. This neighbor went on vacation a few days before E returned. She lost my phone number and thus left me a note, sans key, the day before she left. When E returned we had one key remaining, mine, which we gave to one of her classmates, let's call her RED, to watch the fish.

Somehow, it wasn't clear to either of them to have our keys back in the agreed-upon place for our return. The sad part was, earlier in the day as we were dealing with the tire, RED called us to see when we were coming back. I spoke to her and told her where we were, and although I should've confirmed it, it simply didn't occur to me to mention getting our key back.

Needless to say E and I were kicking ourselves at 1:45 am, and were moments away from kicking each other at that point. Fortunately, our neighbor was back and was kind enough to be roused from her sleep to give us our key. At 2 am, I finally crawled into bed, no shower, no food, no nothing.

Damn, it makes me tired just to think about it.

And now we're back, getting settled in and re-combobulated.

Now, do you see why I hate road trips? I should clarify. I hate road trips where I have to give one iota of consideration to the travelling logistics. Put me in a situation where none of that is my problem, and I'll do fine. But, in my life, I've never been on a road trip where something of this magnitude didn't go wrong. Oh well, what can you do?

Saturday, August 28, 2004

That's what it's going to be very shortly as E and I are close to leaving for A-Town. This time, we're going to take the normal route instead of the scenic one.

I got most of the pictures I wanted yesterday. E talked me out of posing with my foot on Mark Twain's headstone and dancing on the grave for fear of being haunted. Me, I figured what cooler person to be haunted by than Mark Twain? What's the worst he could do? I'd read modern books to him and get his opinion based on how bad he'd Poltergeist the room up. In any case, I got some shots of the grave marker (which is a very simple one) and me crouching behind it.

Ok, I'm about done. To paraphrase Master Khan from Kung Fu -- Time for us to leave.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Tonight, after a nice dinner out with E and her mother (gourmet pizza, wings and Lambrusco), I got to see a bunch of old pictures. Some were from as far back as the early '60s. I slipped in a few joking comments. Two relatives in matching suits, glasses and buzz cuts seemed to me to be "the only two white members of the Nation of Islam." Two more relatives, husband and wife, in white Salvation Army uniforms caused me to utter "Next stop: Puerto Vallarta." Bad, I know, but E laughed, too.

The best part was watching E sift through these old pictures, and with no prompting from me whatsoever - heck, despite my resistance - she went and tore up any picture she came across with an old boyfriend in it. Now, in my weak moments, I'm as much of a jealous psycho as anyone. In my stronger ones, I can tolerate the boy's presence. I can even pretend to like him. But even in my weak ones, I would never demand she not be his friend anymore or suggest that maybe she tear up his pictures. But that's exactly what she did.

Of course, maybe I'm being just a bit smug. After all, from all accounts I guess I'm being more well-received by E's friends and family than this old boyfriend ever was. I'm either being humble or selling myself short, but IMO, it's less to do with me than this boy's personality. But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

As I said, we spent some time in Ithaca today. I shelled out a few bucks for a disposeable camera and took a few shots of the area known as The Commons. The Commons are everything uptown Athens wishes it could be. Why do E and I like The Commons? As the upcoming pictures will show, three of the coolest places we encountered - a Korean restaurant, a real honest-to-goodness barber shop that E said gave me the best haircut she's ever seen on me, and a real cybercafe (with good coffee, but not quite as good as the shop in A-Town) - are all within spitting distance of each other.

Now that I sit here and think about it, I can't think of a single friend between E and myself that wouldn't enjoy a visit there. Well, once we've established a beachhead, I'm sure people will be more than welcome!
I can't believe I failed to mention the fact that yesterday, in the span of about 45 minutes, give or take a few, E and her mother picked out and purchased a wedding dress!

She wanted to show me the dress along with some pearls that she bought on her trip to China. I refused to see either until the wedding day (which should be about this time next year if we have our way). Hey, I'm a stickler for some things, what can I tell you?
E and I are in the public library in Ithaca scouting the place out for living and job possibilities. Our professional and educational plans might need a little tweaking, but we're both in agreement -- this is where we want to live. Once I take the pictures I want to take, get them developed and post them, you'll see why.

Other pictures I want to take...
  • More pics of some of the more interesting Ithaca sites.
  • Some of the goth looking angel statues in the cemetary containing Mark Twain's grave.
  • Mark Twain's grave.
  • Me on Mark Twain's grave (either with a foot on the headstone or just dancing about. Why? Because I can).
  • The entrance sign to Elmira, NY that tries to link the two things it's famous for: Mark Twain's grave and gliders. Sign no longer exists.
  • Pictures that describe the joke told by E's Very Italian Aunt (I can't just type it out).
Hey, sometimes the arcane science of psychological testing is really more of an art.

You're Leggy Bettie...you may be tall or short but
either way you seem to make the guys swoon and
the girls jealous and girls think of you as a
"slut" or "bitch". Again,
you're beautiful, they're not...right?

Which Bettie Page Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
I didn't get a chance on the last post to mention that it, like this, posted at Elmira, NY on MOMMA_E's computer. Ah, the joys of dial-up.

Today, I met E's spunky 82-year-old, very Italian aunt. "How Italian is she?" you ask. Well, among the various jokes and stories she told between mouthfuls of Italian sausage and peppers, salad and wine, I heard the following names multiple times in every story: Joey, Pauline, Angelo, Mario (MAIR-ee-oh), Don somebody, two Catholic parishes, no less than three Father Somebodies, and "the Pollacks." She didn't bring out all the alcohol like I was warned she might, but she offered. "Oh, I got wine, don't worry about that." E tells me her aunt probably does drink too much. She denies it, but then proceeded to relate four drinking stories, two of which ended with her passed out.

But God love the woman. She's the best mix of sweetness, kindness and brashness from an elderly Catholic Italian woman the likes of which I haven't seen since I left Cleveland years ago.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Another possibility, sent by DATU_B:

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Not quite as long as say, Moses in the desert, but almost. We're due to leave the FIVE-Os' house shortly. No entries for at least 8 hours.

So I leave you with a story of the FIVE-Oes' kids, K-1 (boy, 4) and K-2 (girl, 2). E, I and Mrs. FIVE-O went to play at the fountains at the Columbus mall infamous for being little more than the local rich man's playground. Little kids love playing in that thing. Anyway, during one run, K-2 did the whole slip and fall thing, as little kids are wont to do. Luckily, she didn't hit her head or anything... just landed square on her rear end. You could hear and see the horrified gasps from the surrounding parents. K-1, the dutiful brother asked, "Does it hurt?" K-2, whose face went from almost-crying to smiles in .4 seconds just shook her head and kept on playing.

Say it with me: "Awwwwwwwww..."

Monday, August 23, 2004

Aug. 22, 2004, 12:56AM

Valiant Ali goes down fighting

Despite crowd in his corner, Iraqi eliminated

Associated Press

ATHENS, GREECE - Najah Ali lost his light flyweight bout to Armenia's Aleksan Nalbandyan on Saturday night, ending the improbable run of Iraq's only Olympic boxer after just one victory.

Ali was outpointed 24-11 in the second-round match, but he still provided a dramatic conclusion to his 10-month journey from a job in a Baghdad furniture factory to the bright lights of Athens, where he carried the flag of the reconstituted Iraqi team.
We now return to our regularly scheduled disinterest in the Olympics.
This blog's eventually going to be due for another redesign. How about one of these for a banner and/or title?


We're in Columbus now, at the FIVE-Os' house. Luckily, MR_FIVE-O's got Photoshop on his computer, so I managed to crop a few of E's pics from China.

Dig this delicacy... starfish on a stick.

...but interesting nonetheless.
Scream stolen from Norway museum

Armed robbers have stolen the iconic Edvard Munch painting, The Scream, from the Munch Museum in Norway.

Two masked thieves pulled the work and another painting, Madonna, off the wall as stunned visitors watched on Sunday.
In broad daylight, too.

I don't know what this is since the page is in Chinese. I do know that the man in the left is a police officer taking out a kidnapper CYF-style. From BoingBoing.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

E and I are leaving tomorrow, making a quick stop in Columbus to hang with The FIVE-Os for a night before heading up to NY state to see E's momma. I expect blogging to be scarce after Tuesday, but it's not like there will be an utter lack of net.access in NY.

My one blogging goal for this NY trip -- to upload a picture of Mark Twain's grave. He happens to be buried in Elmira, NY as that's where his wife was buried. Last year when E and I were there, we got a nice video shot of it. I just haven't had the time and resources to capture the shot, but this time I'm taking a picture. I dunno, I just think it's a cool thing to have.
E (still sort of tired -- she's sleeping as of this minute) and I had our first official date since she came back. We watched M. Night Shyamalan's The Village. Yes, I figured out the twist relatively early, but I don't credit my incredible powers of deduction. As DATU_B says, M. Night's a one-trick-pony and after three films, people are starting to learn what to look for. Oh, M. Night tried a misdirection, but it was too little, too late.

That isn't to say I didn't like the movie. It's now a close second after Unbreakable. I don't care if it was a "comic book movie." Anyone who can work in a reference to the DC Comics character "The Spectre" deserves a nod. Yeah, I know you probably don't get the reference for the same reason you hated the flick heh.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

This happened in a suburb of Cleveland...
Police: 6 People Beat Up Alleged Peeping Tom

Tue Aug 17, 7:34 PM ET

An alleged peeping Tom is in the intensive care unit after reportedly being assaulted with a tree branch, NewsChannel5 reported.

Officials said Mario Russo, 44, was attacked after he was spotted outside a bedroom window wearing his pants around his ankles and watching a 5-year-old girl who was sleeping outside the Bunkeridge Apartments.
Yeah, yeah... "vigilantism bad." Whatever.
I picked her up at the airport, having arrived 5 minutes before her plane arrived, on schedule, no less. There were hugs and pictures, a quick breakfast at Bob Evan's and then she was passed out on the drive home. We arrive home whereupon she slept for another 12 or so hours -- poor kid. I expected it, though.

She brought back lots of pictures and lots of gifts. I got this cool reversible Chinese jacket, blue on one side and red on the other, frog buttons and all. It'll be cool if I ever want to go out on the town with that Donnie Yen "Jin Ke" look from Highlander: Endgame. E took pictures -- maybe I'll post them up here sometime.

Right now, she's posting on her travel blog -- her first self-typed entry. Remember, she had to forward all those entries for me to post because of the mysterious internet restrictions/slowness in the PRC. She'll either post pictures on there or on the space on Geocities or somesuch.

I'm just glad to have my baby back!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Who says these things aren't accurate?

Possibly. But I guess N. Korea's boxers can't be all that great, either.
Iraqi Boxer Najah Ali Wins His First Bout at Athens Olympics

Aug. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Iraqi boxer Najah Ali won his opening bout at the Athens Olympics yesterday, beating North Korea's Hyok Ju Kwak to justify his American coach's decision to bring him from wartorn Baghdad to Athens.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

(BMW = bi+ch, moan and whine)

Well, I just had a quick respite before going off to the Diamond Mines. It's not that I mind the work or the amount of hours. It's just that the hours are at inconvenient times this week when I've got stuff to do. I wish I had these hours last week.

"Eye on the prize," that's what I gotta remember. E comes back and I got 9 days off coming, and paid for that week, too. Eye on the prize...

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Our dear friend Ash does not need to be mixed up in this! No no NO!
Today was just very draining for some reason. And, not just for me, either, but for more than a few of my fellow workers at the diamond mines as well. The hour always seemed later than it actually was.

I know myself that I've got a lot to do to prepare not only for E's return, but for the upcoming vacation...

Now, I stopped myself just then because I was going to make a few disparaging comments about said trip which could easily be taken the wrong way unless I first explain that I'm the sort of person who recharges his batteries by quiet time and solitude. My energy is mostly internal. As such, I'm not the sort of person who goes to parties, on vacations, or engages in various and sundry activities to relax. I do these things to have good times and hang out with good people, but as a whole, such things don't relax me. They're good stressors -- but stressors nonetheless. They tend to drain my energy. Solitude helps me replenish it. I don't know why, but that's how I and more than a few people, are hard-wired.

The trip will be just the right thing for E and me. It's time alone and away where we can reconnect as well as spend some time with her mother. We'll hang out, we'll see sites, we'll talk and sing and share and all sorts of neat things and I'm looking forward to every second of it.

But I'll be exhausted as hell afterward.
E will be back from the PRC in a mere 4 days! I wish I had more time to be excited, but they've got me at the diamond mines full time this week. The upside is that I've got Friday and Saturday off and I managed to swindle put in for my vacation time (on short notice) for next week. So, we will get to NY to visit MOMMA_E after all.

The time apart has definitely been a learning experience for the both of us. We've both learned, or rather re-learned some things about ourselves. Now, the trick will be to see what we can put into practice, especially since we get readjusted to being up in each other's grills, so to speak. I saw this quote by Merrill Markoe (whoever he is) in my planner last week:
It's like magic. When you live by yourself, all your annoying habits are gone!
Hopefully that's not entirely true. I would definitely like to keep some of my recently-extinguished bad habits gone after E comes back home.
Iraqi boxer, at last, has fighting chance in Olympics

By Vicki Michaelis, USA TODAY
Finally, something that caught, and might even keep, my attention about the Olympics.
This headline doesn't seem slanted, does it?

I can see it now. "Uh oh... look out for that Filipino. He looks hungry!"

Monday, August 16, 2004

If there's anyone in the world right now who's got to hate Keith Richards, it's gotta be Charlie.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

I told you people these things come in bunches.
Memories of Julia Child

from Weekend Edition - Saturday, Saturday , August 14, 2004
Noting the passing of Julia Child, NPR's Scott Simon reflects on the impact of a remarkable personality on American culinary tastes.
I was listening to it this morning. It's really nice.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Sorry about the uncensored cussing, but hey, it's not my graphic.

Angry Drunk
What Kind of Drunk Are You?
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey
Since I'm pretty much in favor of George Carlin's theory on passive eugenics (i.e. too much "safety" stuff for kids like bike helmets and mulch padding underneath plastic playground equipment, is stopping nature from weeding out the unfit), stuff like this always catches my eye...
Evolution, Mutation May Occur Faster than Thought

All Things Considered audio

Aug. 4, 2004

Cancer and evolution both occur when genetic material changes randomly in ways that may be good or bad. A study in Nature magazine this week shows that these changes build up at a much quicker rate than anyone thought. The observation was made in tiny worms, but could revolutionize thinking about all living organisms. NPR's Joe Palca reports.
It's especially interesting in a general sense because a couple of days after I heard this, I happened to be at the local coffee shop listening to what I describe as a "militant evolutionist." To me, a "militant" anything is someone who's so overzealous about their point of view that they don't even bother to examine their point of view. Case in point, I heard this person vehemently defend evolution as a fact, not a theory. "No, no it's not a 'theory' of evolution... it's a fact!" Sorry, Charlie. Even e=mc2 is a theory, and one that Stephen Hawking continues to pick at.

I could've argued, but if one of his cronies couldn't break through his logic, I sure wouldn't have been able to.
DATU_B left these comments on my last post. I felt they were worthy of reply.
Sorry about this. I thought that this was silly, not anything to get upset about, but my other friends thought this was in poor taste of me to send it along.
I had already heard about this sad situation, so the shock had already passed. But, I understand the feelings of "poor taste," shock, and revulsion to having this story appear in your email box. Being Filipino, I was naturally interested in this story. I can see why others would not be. Also being Filipino, it's always rather difficult to see cultural stereotypes perpetuated in the media and helped along by people willing to fan the flames, so to speak, for their own amusement... Naaaaaahhh.... I'm just kidding.

For pete's sake, we were the people that The Man had to invent the Colt .45 for because the G.I. Joes of the day couldn't put us down fast enough before we got to them and sliced their heads off with bolos. Seeing one of us dressed in white clothes with a white turban would've meant that we could be one of the last things you'd see. We're from a land that's like Thunderdome in the tropics with people running amok and juramentado . Take my dad -- 75 years old with no martial arts training whatsoever. But back in the day, when he was like 50 or so, he'd get pissed off at someone, swear in Tagalog and quickly scan his environment looking for something to wield or throw (before my mother would stop him). We've fought Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Americans and even each other!

So, what it means is don't screw with us. Not only can the more martially skilled of us turn you into an after picture from a Ginsu ad, but apparently there are those among us who'll go Hannibal Lector on your @$$, too!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

My uncle once told me a story about one of the many flights he took back to the Philippines. He recalled one flight in which a fellow Filipino took a boxed rice cooker, wrapped and secured with twine (a la a balikbayan box) and tried unsuccessfully to stuff it in the overhead compartment.

My uncle turned to my cousin and said, "It's people like that who make us look bad."

No, Unc... it's people like this that make us look bad.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

A couple of things for my personal reference. Feel free to ignore. Or, do yourself a favor and have a listen to potentially the next CDs I'll buy...

Ingrid Jensen
Jazz Jensen-Style
Female Horn Player Thrives Among Mostly Male Peers
(from Weekend Edition Sunday)

Ingrid Jensen's website

Her group Project O

Nicholas Payton
Nicholas Payton, 'Sonic Trance'
Grammy-Nominated Jazz Trumpeter Embraces Hip-Hop Attitude
(from The Tavis Smiley Show)
It's funny how these things always seem to come in bunches:
Michael Rennie was ill
The Day the Earth Stood Still
But he told us where we stand
And Flash Gordon was there
In silver underwear
Claude Rains was The Invisible Man
Then something went wrong
For Fay Wray and King Kong
They got caught in a celluloid jam

Then at a deadly pace
It Came From Outer Space
And this is how the message ran...

Science Fiction/Double Feature by Richard O'Brien

Monday, August 09, 2004

Oh, no they didn't...
Ike Turner's Guide to Restoring America's Honor
by Ken McIntyre
Here's a Morning Edition segment I was listening to today.
Misunderstanding the First Amendment

from Morning Edition, Monday , August 09, 2004
Commentator Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down, says celebrities have a hard time understanding the real meaning behind the First Amendment's Freedom of Speech.
I'm as much of a stickler about freedom of speech as the next guy. Mostly because I'll never forego a chance to take note about The Man keeping us down. But Bowden is right about one thing -- the First Amendment protects us from being killed, jailed, or tortured by the government for what we say, and that's it. The Constitution simply doesn't provide any prohibitions for other entities, no matter how economically, politically, or socially powerful they are.

Chew on that one.

I've got to start training again. Except, instead of saying, "Oh, maybe I'll get to it tomorrow." I'm saying "I'm sure as heck not going to get to it until tomorrow at the earliest because I'm wiped from the travelling."

Next item on the Update Your Personal Knowledge of Webpage Coding agenda: JavaScript. Unless someone else knows how to emulate frames with CSS, because I sure as hell don't want to use frameset tags.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

I'm back. Woohoo.

Well, it's not that bad, really. The fish needed feeding (though they were cared for over the weekend), and besides, it will be nice to enjoy the quiet. I love the FIVE-Os' kids, but at 4 and 2 -- let's just leave it at being nice to enjoy the quiet. The bad part is, though, that missing good friends only compounds missing E. But, even then it's not that bad because she's back in 12 days!
Actually, more of an update to Item One of this post:

It turns out that You WILL be exterrrrrminated!
Yesterday, the whole lot of us went to the State Fair. Two of our friends are in the process of moving to Arizona, that is they just stopped here on the way. And, they had never been. Ah, fairs -- greasy food, scary people and animals! Loved every second of it. The FIVE-Os' kids liked it too.

We went in two carloads. Needless to say the parking on the first weekend sucked. We saw spaces in a lot from the freeway (where we sat for a good 20 minutes). We pulled into that lot (which happened to be the Historical Society where E used to work) and were told by the parking attendant that we were going to be routed through the lot, directed to park somewhere a good distance away. The consensus was "screw that." What our driver decided to do was wait until we were far enough from the State Trooper Cadets and just pull into a space. Problem one solved. Problem two was getting tickets to stick on the windshield which was solved by asking some departing people for theirs. "Now, why should they give you their ticket when they paid and you didn't?" Well, they became sympathetic when they found out what "The Man" wanted to do.

MR. FIVE-O and I went through the flea market stuff. He got a deal on an item. I myself was poring through the collectibles. Found some stuff I wanted, but not at the prices I wanted. Heck, I didn't have much cash anyway.

In one of the main buildings, I got a shock. There was an exhibit for Hubei Province in China. On one of the display boards were pictures of Wuhan University, Yellow Crane Tower, East Lake, and a couple of other places E sent photos from. It wigged me out for a moment. I bought myself a hat to snap myself out of it. While I was there, a woman from Cincinnati started randomly speaking to me in Chinese. She asked me a question to which I replied, "Ummm... no?" We laughed and the two of us got to talking along with the person who sold me the hat. I told them about E and what she was doing there, and about the pictures of places where she was. The Cincinnati lady told me that she's spent several summers teaching English there, just like E, in both northern and southern China. Talk about coincidences, eh?

After the Fair, we took the opportunity to beat the system yet again. As bad as it was getting into the lot, getting out of it was 5 times worse. Or, it would've been if we would've followed the flow of traffic. Instead, we cut around and ended up in a merging line about 20 cars ahead of where we were. As if that wasn't bad enough, MR. FIVE-O decided he was too far behind us (3 or 4 cars). So, he cuts through some grass to get in front of our carload, which probably pissed off a good amount of people. Not that any of us cared.

Off and on through the night, the subject of "Would an anarchist commune really work?" kept coming up. These incidents were a good example of why it might not -- it wouldn't, so long as people are ready, willing and able to seize the opportunity to abuse the system for their own ends especially when resources (in this case, parking) are scarce. I'm one of those people, too. As I tell E all the time, "I'm scandalous."

Well, I'm about to "hit the road, Jack." Next post should be from A-Town.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Relaxation is when you can sleep for 6 hours and feel refreshed because you were doing fun stuff the night before. Well, it was generally fun except for reading about Rick James. I'm still at MR. & MRS. FIVE-O's mooching off the net.access as the people who wander in here often do. I wasn't their only guest this weekend -- again, not unusual. Anyway, I might head back to A-Town today... maybe not. Who knows? Gotta be back by Sunday morning, though. Oh, well.

Met a new person, another one in the "friend of a friend" catagory. Once again, I get a chance to pull the Joke the Never Gets Old. We were discussing that E is in China.
HER: She's teaching in China? You don't look like you're from China.
ME: No, I'm from Cleveland, actually.
MR. FIVE-O: [Laughter]
I'll take the opening for that joke anywhere I can except from foreigners and fellow Asians. I like confusing The Man, The Woman in this case.
I neglected to say anything about Tyson getting his @$$ whupped. What else is there to say, except BWAH-HAHAHAHAHA. Congrats, Danny Willams. You smacked down Tyson and kept both your ears!

(Oh, the "other" Michael was meant to be American Ninja-boy, not Michael Jackson.)
R.I.P. Rick James

This is some sad stuff to be reading about at 4:30 in the morning.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Oh, hell yeah...

Which adult swim character are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

I personally think this is hilarious, especially given the level of Prof. James -- but is this really any better than Mikey the Ninja?

From a message on the Defend.net forums.
Professor David James of Vee Arnis with a drawn blade to a skilled grappler at a summit.....
"Grapple me damnit! Grapple me! Where is Your grappling?!!!"
Hey, he was probably trying to make a serious point.
I just can't stop tinkering...

For now, the music and book stuff are coming off the blog template. I'll put these you-know-where (maybe).

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

This is why "martial arts movie stars" give the rest of us a bad rap. In concerns American Ninja Michael Dudikoff training with Rigan Machado.
Sure, it looks sort of the same, but this page is now totally table-free and trimmed down to as few CSS elements as I could get away with. The tag-board is gone, as well as the sidebar links -- they're all in self-restraint now. The blog looks a bit more like it, too, doesn't it?

I'm outta here.

PS Would you believe that this is the 601st post?
Remember all those text files that you used to access by dialing up to your BBS? Or the ones that you'd get rooting around peoples' FTP directories, usually the /pub/ directory?

I actually found files that I recognized from back on the day. I might even still have some of these files. Here's one on lockpicking, complete with ASCII diagrams! They've also got four versions of Purity Tests - the 100, 400 (Version 3.5A), 500 (Version 4.0), 1500, and the Final Release(Version 5.2).

They're almost all there -- recipes for explosives, ASCII art, old zines, and "How to Rip Off an ATM." I'm gonna go root around my old floppies and see if I can't send some old files in.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Well, I finally updated the self-restraint pages. They look almost the same format-wise. In fact, they look a little closer to the blog here. It was an excuse for me to play around some more with CSS -- the site has its own style sheet now, rather than just style elements on every page. It really cleaned up the messy code and made the files a bit smaller, too.

Now, to clean up the code on the blog here. Go ahead and check out the source code -- it's a jumble of stuff that'd make MacGuyver proud.
I can't give the specific reason. Too personal. But, take my word for it! Still, I wonder if I'll even get a chance to... well, nevermind :).

Monday, August 02, 2004

Undead -- definitely the right way to describe the state of my computer.

The fact that you're seeing those pictures means that my laptop hasn't completely died. It takes quite a bit of resuscitation, but it worked long enough today for me to edit the 2MB pictures and post them here and on E's China blog. Now, all that's left is to move some important data files to where they'll be safe, and the comp can crap out all it wants.
E sent these along. I figure they're safe to put on as long as I don't ID anyone, right?

The group that E's teaching with.

E's crew.

Some shots of East Lake...

Sunday, August 01, 2004

My Laptop, 1998-2004, R.I.P. - Well, it's not quite dead, but I haven't worked very hard to try resuscitate it for the past couple of days. I'm pretty much finally ready to write it off. Names, addresses, financial information, old zipped files of journals and pictures -- I can live with those losses. The biggest pain now is not having that easy Irfanview graphics editor I got for free off the internet. The pictures E sent from China hover around 2 MB each, and I know for a fact that not everyone who reads her China blog has broadband. Not to mention having screens that will accomodate 2000+ x 1000+ pixel pics. Sure, I could define the height and width as it loads on the page, but what a pain.

Hangin' Out - With DATU_B and the wife last night after work, we watched The Bourne Identity. I was wrong to have written this movie off when it first came out. Still, Ludlum could've named his spy something else, so as not to confuse him with that other J.B. spy. I haven't seen the sequel yet, but something about the whole franchise will take any surprise away from any potential forthcoming announcement about a third sequel in which Bourne faces Dr. No.

At the same time, it settles the question Who would win in a fight between Matt and Ben? Matt would whip Ben's not-capable-of-committment @$$ all over the place.

Brainstorming - It's fascination with the gruesome -- the kind that makes people rubberneck at the scene of a horrible accident -- that makes me wonder about the REV. SUM YUNG GAI's "blood oath club." Yes, that's his new title that I've granted him. So, here's my brainstorm -- talk the TRENCHCOAT MAFIOSO into joining the club just so that he could tell me what it's like.