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.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Millions Knives

Find out what anime villan you are.

Incidentally, I hate it when I have to correct people's HTML code on their freaking quizzes just so they'll load right. Idiots.
Judge Strikes Down Section of Patriot Act Allowing Secret Subpoenas of Internet Data

New York Times

A federal judge struck down an important surveillance provision of the antiterrorism legislation known as the USA Patriot Act yesterday, ruling that it broadly violated the Constitution by giving the federal authorities unchecked powers to obtain private information.
I love it when The Man gets taken down a notch.

Shamelessly stolen -- I apologize.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Ah, the pains of a day after training. It was one of the lightest training days I've had, but after months of being off, I'm actually a little sore.

Techniques to cross off my "to learn" list:
  • Cimande limb destructions 1, 2 and 3 (though whose Cimande, I'm not exactly sure. One of those things I've never gotten around to asking.)
  • Tug tug - FMA knee bar
  • Sapu dalam and sapu nuwar - Silat leg sweeps
Having some time yesterday, I went online and found some relevant video clips on the internet from I.M.P.A.C.T. Academy.

Incidentally, I came across the site for the Filipino Kali-Eskrima Academy of Chicago, that has a curriculum that seems strangely familiar...
Going along with my prediliction for downplaying the more important events of my life on my weblog, let me take a moment to mention that my parents, with whom I've been estranged for the better part of two years, paid E and me a visit today. It was 1,000 times more pleasant that I thought it would be. Time really does heal wounds.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Trouble in Bobo paradise?
David Brooks Also Eats Cereal.
By John Warner
That is, David Brooks, the author of Bobos in Paradise, which could have been subtitled "Could've been Don's biography."

I thought I could deconstruct a film...
History's Notable Films, Reconsidered.
By Tim Carvell
I think it was on The Daily Show where someone made similar comments about Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace being a story where two grown men in pirate shirts and pony tails whisk a young boy away from his mother to go on an adventure. Doesn't that give you the same shudder when you picture Michael Jackson within three feet of a kid?

I'll digress for a moment to repeat a joke I heard on TV:
How can you tell when it's midnight at Michael Jackson's house?

When the big hand touches the little hand.

Monday, September 27, 2004

It's been awhile since I posted one of these wierd, quirky comments made by me or people in my circle, out of context and unexplained.
"Oh, I'll give you a magazine. Yeah, it's full o' hollow points. You're gonna love those when I put 'em in a gun, and put 'em in your brain."

[Got handed an item]
Oh, sh!+, it IS full of hollow points.
It started with me quoting from Aqua Teen Hunger Force and ended with a surprise.
I probably joke about going too far in self-defence situations moreso than I should. I can see the look on E's face right now if she gets around to reading this, but I've been actually telling myself I should stop. If nothing else, I don't want to end up like one of these people who say things like this... (From a post on the defend.net forums)
That is why if you are going to start a fight it is best to start yelling something like, "hey why the hell did you hit me!" because eye witness testimony is terribly unreliable and many people will then claim that the person did in fact hit you and you were defending yourself when it actuality you were the attacker.
That being said, I do accept in principle the idea that if I hurt you while you were trying to do me harm, that's what you get for screwing with me. I don't look for fights, I don't want to fight. I want to be left alone. I'm old and slow and KNOW I will get my @$$ kicked. Therefore, my goal will be to keep my @$$-beating to a minimum, preferably by escaping. But if I can't and if you end up with a limp for life, or worse, then, as a co-worker is famous for saying, "Sorry 'bout your luck."

A lot of other people buy into that, too -- but it seems like some of those people don't have a concept of all the hell that attitude can buy you. They seem unaware of certain realities that are articulated well in this article on lethal force from the Mark "Animal" MacYoung's website.
Moreover, if you choose to carry a knife you need to know that such a weapon is considered a "thug's weapon" in most cultures. And if you do use a knife on someone then you had damn well make sure that the wound pattern matches your claim of "self-defense." Unfortunately, most training in stick and knife arts don't take either issue into consideration. They are in fact, training you to end up in prison for murder.
So, these clips from selected articles are for you, the person who just can't wait to get him or herself in a situation where you actually get to use all that fancy weapon-work you spent so much time perfecting. The quiet ones who don't brag or boast, but who'll stand there calmly like an anime hero, in the midst of chaos and violence "knowing" that you can get that tac folder out before any of these freaks come within five paces, and woe betide any who do...

Knife Fighting: A Reality Break
Most so-called "knife fighting" training that is currently taught has very little to do with how knives are commonly used in violent situations. This is because much of what is being taught is predicated on what can only be called "dueling." This is not to say that what is being taught is ineffective, far from it. In fact, much of what is being taught would work if you ever found yourself in a knife to knife duel. However, the mindset, physics, strategies and attacks that occur in such situations are radically different than the many other ways that violent people use knives. Dueling is only one aspect of knife work, to survive you need to know the others as well.
Knife fighting lies
Lie # 9 Knowing kali makes you a knife fighter
Kali, Escrima, Arnis, FMA, all of them have the aura and mystery of being weapons based arts. Deadly, savage arts of the Filipino warriors. Lurid stories about guerrilla actions against Japanese invaders, duels and death matches that the founder of the style was involved in abound.

Quite honestly what these maestros survived is incredible and is more than worthy of kudos. These older gentlemen survived a totally different culture, socio-economic environment, time and, in some cases, a World War and foreign invasion of their homeland.

That having been said however, just because the founder of the system or lineage was a walking piece of bad-assed real-estate doesn't make you one.

They weren't knife fighters, those people were survivors. It's what comes from living a hellishly hard life. While they had physical skill that helped them, what kept them alive, what allowed them to strike fast enough, hard enough and brutally enough wasn't their art -- it was the commitment not to die. It was that grim savagery to do whatever is necessary and to do it faster and harder than the other person that kept them alive. In the lexicon, they had "heart."

Their art just allowed them to do that faster.

Knowing an art doesn't give you that kind of commitment, that kind of ruthlessness, that kind of grim endurance or that willingness to descend into savagery to stay alive. Just knowing the art doesn't make you a knife fighter. You have to have "heart" as well -- that willingness to wade through hell and come out the other side.

Lie #19 You can use a knife on another human being without legal repercussions
I have seen videos by so-called "knife fighting masters" who actually show the fool encouraging his students to slash someone with a knife for trying to slug the student. I have also seen videos where after disarming their attackers with several slashes to the arm, these knife killers proceed to slash their -- no longer armed -- attacker to ribbons. I have stood in my front room with attorneys and use of force experts and watched a tape on knife fighting where a supposed "expert," not only starts a bar fight, does a suicide move that would have gotten his throat slit and then kneels down and stabs a downed opponent -- in front of witnesses! Actions that everyone agreed would be prosecuted as murder.

As such, don't even get me started on the bozo's who insist their students cut a person multiple times because "one cut may not stop him." Unfortunately, this kind of training often goes awry when the attacker attempts to withdraw and the knife fighter keeps on slashing, even after the ex-attacker has turned his back on the knife fighter. Now, this once upon a time attacker has been slashed many times after he was disarmed and is slashed more on his back while attempting to retreat...guess who is going to go to prison for attempted murder?

A knife is considered a lethal force instrument...and the use of lethal force is *very* narrowly approved. If you use one another human being you had better damned well be firmly within those parameters...if not, then you are -- in the eyes of the law and society -- the bad guy.

Before you even think of picking up a knife for "self-defense" go out and take a course on Judicious Use of Lethal force. Do NOT take any knife fighting experts word on the subject, go to the source lawyers and expert witnesses on use of force.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Dammit, Satan that Lucas just doesn't know when to quit!

Sent by E
Because it's faster than checking my email. No gruesome martial arts links o' death this time. Just potential places E and I might enjoy our honeymoon (if we happen to remain in the country around that time).

The Inn at Honey Run

Places Ohio's list of bed & breakfasts

The Glenlaurel Inn - with a Scottish theme and an innkeeper licensed to perform weddings.

Friday, September 24, 2004

My laptop started up with little effort last night, and managed to stay running all night. How is it that I've been trying for the past 6 hours to get the thing to run, and it still won't?

I had the day off, and my plan was to get the remaining data I needed off of my computer. One way or another, it will come off today and I will destroy the thing. I'm going to beat it in a field ("What is 'PC Load Letter'???") Office Space-style and am going to post pictures of the remains.

But for right now, I deserve food and coffee.
Sorry about the lateness...

Which Teletubbies character are you?

I disabled the link on the image because the site does some wierd popup thing that I couldn't get rid of unless I rebooted the computer. But, if you're really a sucker for punishment and simply must know which Teletubbie you are, you can go here -- don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Feel free to ignore. I just had to jam this someplace until I got
around to perusing it more thoroughly.
Objectify Your Opponent

by Demi Barbito

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

In a couple of hours, I get to have my first martial arts training session this quarter with DATU_B. It won't be as much cardio as a Club workout, but that's good for someone who's been out of it for quite a few months now.

Speaking of Club, how is it that I haven't even been, and I have yet another...

Billy_Jack Quote of the Week

He sent me this via email:
This is [BILLY_JACK], we strated martial arts and I see you have not showed up yet. Listen Don I know your scared of me, I would be too, but atleast quit hiding so you can take your beating like a man and or women. If you need that pass I'll go yell at [one of the officers] to get you one. See you later

Written just like the sort of person you take out a restraining order on, misspellings and all. But, he's not beyond hope. If he does succeed in getting me a coaches pass, he'll have been good for something and I'll be able to beat him silly later.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Earlier this month, I attempted to post this, but the link died.

But, thanks to DATU_B, who independently discovered it somewhere else, I can now bring you The World's Most Dangerous Man.
E's got the filmmaking bug again. A couple of days ago she showed me the documentary American Movie, a film made by the friend of a friend of hers that did well on the documentary circuit. Well enough for us to be able to rent it from a local video store. It's funny how many friends of friends she has doing stuff like this. I mentioned before (I think) how she's friends with a former animator on MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch.

Coincidentally, I read an interview with Kevin Smith (syndicated) in a local rag this morning that had to do with the release of the tenth aniversary edition of Clerks and how it inspired a generation of filmmakers who said, "Hey, if he can get famous doing a piece of crap like that, why can't I?" (Smith plans his next film to be a sequel - The Passion of the Clerks.)

But, the filmmaker being documented (i.e. not the one who made the actual film -- it took a minute for that to sink in) in American Movie, Mark Borchardt, was doing this well before Clerks, though few would argue that he's doing it as well or better. The man is, in short, a freak. A dedicated, hard-working, persevering freak, but a freak nonetheless. It's part of his charm. (Just how do you pronounce the word Coven anyway?) It's also why American Movie works.

Yes, Borchardt is a freak of the first order. Chances are, on your worst day, your life is still better than his (at least than the snippets of his life shown in the movie). You'll laugh and joke about what a pathetic mother he is. And yet, if you pay attention to how hard he tries to get his movies made, how often he falls off the horse only to get back on over the course of years, and how much crap he has to deal with in pursuit of his art, you're going to eventually, like it or not, compare his life with yours again, and wonder who the pathetic one is.

My question is this: How does a freak end up with so much video** film and ADR equipment when the couple of people I know who aren't freaks are filming things on Super 8s?

**[I replaced "video" with "film," as per E's correction. What'd I tell you? Filmmaking bug ;).]

Friday, September 17, 2004

I came home last night to find E watching American Graffiti. She was driven to see it by some oldies music that had been "Song Fu'd" into her head. I hadn't seen the movie in years, but I was amazed at its (relative) depth compared to Lucas's other films. I even managed to hold back my usual hate-filled rants during the viewing...

Until we watched his commentary, and he told the story about how he was forced to edit out three scenes of a total length of five minutes, and after the success of Star Wars, he had enough clout to force the studio to put those scenes back into all the subsequent video releases. Now, that scenario of itself is innocent enough -- everyone who knows me knows how I love watching people stick it to The Man. But it reminded me of what I described to E as his freaking God-complex with his compulsion to re-create Creation over and over and over again.

Lucas went on to describe all the filming techniques he had to use, and sometimes invent, to get some scenes for Graffiti done. Some of those techniques were praised by his producer, Francis Coppola. E wondered if Lucas even remembers how to do any of those techniques.

"Film To Edit" is one thing. But jeez, he edits Star Wars the way I edit a blog post. You know all those little inconsistencies that drive you crazy about Star Wars? Like how in Jedi, Obi-Wan tells Luke that when he met Anakin, he was already a great pilot -- no one was expecting a little kid! Well, damn, no wonder Luke was "too old to begin the training" in Empire -- like, by a freakin' decade or so (!!!).

It just drives me nuts! And you know where you see the beginnings of that sort of crap? More American Graffiti, which Lucas didn't direct. But he green-lit it and plastered his name on the front. At the end of the original (yeah, I'm going to spoil it -- it's been damn near 30 years already), one of the characters is said to have been killed in Viet Nam. That same character appears in the sequel, only at the end of the movie, he's listed as being M.I.A. Yes, there was a film logic to it just like there was a film logic to Obi-Wan's story and Luke's age.

But, gee, wouldn't it be great if we could revise our lives like that? Most people want to erase their blatant errors. But not me. I'd like to go all Lucas and tweak. I'd like to turn back 20someodd years and flirt with the girl down the street who flirted with me for most of grade school. Not that I'd want her now at all, or the ultimate outcome of my life to change. But, that would've been closer to how I envisioned the scene. And I could do it now in ways that I just couldn't do it 20someodd years ago.

But life can't be revised like that. Maybe that's the issue Lucas struggles with as he takes advantage of the "magic of film." I joke about him being a greedy bastard, but I really don't get that sense from watching him. Still, he's laughing all the way to the bank, isn't he?

I sure as heck wouldn't shed one single solitary tear if ILM got hit with a massive computer virus, or if the Wrath of God came raining down fire and brimstone like Sodom and Gommorrah on the freakin' place. Maybe one of our surgical, strategic air strikes in Iraq can go wrong (as they are often wont to do) and bomb ILM back to the Stone Age, and then Lucas can go back to making a decent film. The hard way. And, have to live with it -- good, bad, or ugly -- like other directors.

But that is, as Miller says, my opinion... I could be wrong.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Johnny Ramone dies at 55

Guitarist with influential 70s band loses cancer battle

Dan Glaister in Los Angeles
Friday September 17, 2004
The Guardian

Johnny Ramone, the guitarist with the eponymous punk group The Ramones, died at his home in Los Angeles on Wednesday following a five-year battle with prostate cancer. He was 55.
Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta...

I can now get to these now that the "deer in headlights" look has faded from my face.

Campaign staged on Palace balcony

A Fathers 4 Justice campaigner dressed as Batman is staging a protest on the Buckingham Palace balcony.

Jason Hatch, 33, entered the grounds and scaled a wall at 1420 BST.
Now, there's a level I aspire to reach in the next two years of my life. Scroll to the down the article and check out his partner's picture -- he's not only dressed like Robin, but my buddy Joel "Nips on the Batsuits" Schumacher's Robin.

Russia tells America to mind its own business after democracy lecture

1.00pm - By ANDREW OSBORN in Moscow

Russia rounded angrily on America yesterday making it clear it was in no mood to be lectured on democracy or fighting terrorism after the Beslan school massacre.
Doesn't it take some stones to get on another country for doing what we're basically trying to do, all in the name of fighting terrorism? What, are we just ticked off because the Russians aren't trying to mask their intentions? They have to keep up a facade of democratic reform while we rolling ours back? Yeah, sometimes looking at a mirror sucks, folks.

"One Electorate Under God"

Almost from the moment the Founding Fathers wrote "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," Americans have debated the role of religion in politics. A panel discusses religion, American politics and the upcoming election.
A surprisingly thoughtful discussion with less fanatics calling in than one would expect. That, in itself, surprised me as I listened to it.

On a side note, E and I joke constantly about how Dianne has problems with some callers and guests because of her voice disorder, spasmodic dysphonia. Now, don't get me wrong -- we don't joke directly at Dianne's expense (mostly). It's just interesting how sometimes, Dianne has to cut people off pretty hard or in the extreme, hit the mute-button on them because she can't be as quick as other radio talk show hosts.

It makes me wonder about how much of a hard-@$$ that would make someone who had to deal with all of that in order to reach the position Dianne Rehm has reached. So, I'd do impersonations of Dianne Rehm for E on how she must be when she's off air. Imagine her slow, spasmodic disphonic voice saying things like:
The next time you interrupt me, I'm going to rip your balls off and jam them down your f**king throat.

You're going to show me some goddamn respect around here, you little college intern b!+ches. Now, get me my f**king coffee!

You wouldn't be giving me this sh!+ if I was Nina-f**king-Totenberg... that lez...
Gets E rolling every time.
No, E and I still haven't watched Enter the Dragon yet, but we did spend an evening watching all the TV and theatrical trailers that they dug up. We heard the following tag line about 50 times:
Roper... Williams... and Lee. The Deadly Three.
Ah, the blatant Hollywood racism in the 70s, before they even bothered to put up any sort of facade of equity. In the trailers, the White character gets mentioned first, and the Asian character last. In the movie itself, the Black person dies (rumors abound that Jim Kelly's character was originally to have lived, and John Saxon's to have been killed).

And, I don't care that John Saxon has a black belt. You can't tell me he had one back then, not with those jump kicks he'd do. I could stand there and take one of his crescent kicks right in the face and not even notice. Maybe it's because of that sub-conscious inability to suspend disbelief about Saxon's fighting skills that Bolo Yeung was counting on when he chose to lose to Saxon in their fight, rather than lose to Bruce Lee. But hey, how else were you going to justify having the white guy kick so much @$$ alongside Bruce and a bonafide Karate middleweight champion?

Oh, speaking of which, if you're asking yourself, "Just what has Jim Kelly been doing with himself all these years?" Well, I knew he dabbled in professional tennis for a bit, but apparently it's more than that. Ain't It Cool News caught up with him about a year or so ago.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Our moratorium on DVD rentals last week never happened. It was a hard day for both of us, so we searched and found Enter the Dragon. We haven't even watched the movie yet, instead combing through all the special features, especially the feature with scenes from Game of Death, reconstituted and re-edited according to Bruce Lee's original notes.

Cool sh!+, indeed.

Everything of interest, except for my mp3s, is now off of my ghetto-fabulous laptop and on CD-Rs. Once I get all of those off, you can bet I'm gonna take this bad boy out into a field and do a little Office Space dance around it with both of my kali sticks.

Can I just say that I love having a 1GB gmail account? Hey, between the two accounts I have, I've got about 10 invites. I may donate a couple of them to a program where people can contribute their invites to US soldiers in Iraq. The rest I'm just sitting on. If you're a friend, maybe we can haggle. If you're a stranger, I'll trade up to three for a new laptop. I don't mean brand-spanking new -- I'll even take a gently used one made after 2000. Anything I can stick a wireless card in. Email if you're interested.

Speaking of kali, looks like DATU_B's invitation-only kali group is going to happen. Oooh, empty hands -- I can almost smell it.

More later. Gotta mail some more mp3s to myself.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Today, E and I have declared a moratorium on DVD rentals. We finally got to see ATHF, Vol. 2, but the funny bits were sort of few and far between. I dunno, it just wasn't as funny as the first season. She took out the movie Beijing Bicycle. It didn't interest me so I didn't watch it, and E didn't like it all that much herself.

I've got the day off from the diamond mines today. I do hate it when I get them early in the week. Makes the rest of it go by slower.

So far, today's been rather pleasant. E and I lounged around all morning watching ATHF and putting up a new beaded curtain to act as a door between our bedroom and the rest of the house. What finally convinced us to create one was a visit last week by E's friend MS_V (who incidentally hates E's ex with a passion that even I don't have, which makes her tops in my book) who I woke up to find standing in our bedroom the morning she left. This didn't bother E and I in the least, mind you -- it was just the principle of having no separation between the bedroom and the rest of the tiny apartment.

This year for Halloween, E and I have tentative plans to head out of town. "Because you want peace and quiet away from Athens's Halloween, right?" you might ask. Wrong. I've been wanting to go to Trauma for years. Last year, a group of our friends went. This year, they're going again and I want to go this time, too.

E and I had a discussion about this related to that thing couples call "Those Details We Do Not Speak Of Regarding Our History Before We Met." I'm damn sure not putting those details on here, but suffice it to say that the discussion left E feeling like Ben Affleck in Chasing Amy, which I continually (as recently as yesterday) have to convince her is simply not necessary.

She's become more and more accepting of the vague details I've given her, though not enough to watch the movie Secretary as I've recommended.

Really more like an "Item Two-A," this makes the second time one of E's female friends has seen the two of us in bed, [ed. note - I deleted the rest of this. Too personal. And, no, nothing ever happened so quit wondering and pull your mind out of that there gutter.]

In the "What I'm Currently Reading" category, I just had to mention Brad Meltzer's (the author) current DC Comics mini-series Identity Crisis, a total must-read and one of those rare chances for the general non-fanboy hasn't-ever-entered-a-comic-book-store public to see why comics can be a cutting edge artistic storytelling medium along with everything else. Here's a Yahoo! article on Identity Crisis for more info.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Is it an issue of artist's rights or the slow vampiric bleeding of your wallet?
Lucasfilm Defends DVD Changes

Lucasfilm spokesman Jim Ward told SCI FI Wire that the company strongly defends Star Wars creator George Lucas' right to make controversial alterations to his beloved original trilogy of films in the upcoming DVD release. "It comes down to what [Lucas] has said constantly, which is that he very strongly believes in an artist's right to have his work presented in the way he wants it presented," Ward said in an interview at the press preview of the DVD set in Los Angeles. "In terms of your own personal art, and how you want it to be presented, the artist has that right."
Check out the article if you want to see exactly what the changes were - I did, because I'm sure as hell not buying the DVDs just to see. I've got the trilogy on VHS released before the '97 versions, which E has on VHS. Lucas, like Bill Gates and Sam Walton, has had enough of our cash.

I mean, he edited the edits, for God's sake.
I've spent some of today doing what I should have, and indeed would have, been doing had I the resources of the University's new computer lab -- backing up as much as I can off of my old-broken-down-actually-managed-to-get-it-up-and-running-for-once-piece-of-crap laptop onto CD-Rs. I just have some program-specific data files and of course, my mp3s left.
  • Trekkies 2
  • Shaolin Soccer
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Vol. 2
...but only because both copies of Aqua Teen were out at the video store.

Shaolin Soccer gave me the sort of "feel-good" vibes that I haven't felt from a movie since my first viewing of Star Wars back on 197[something] (aka waaaaay before it was caleld Star Wars IV: A New Hope). It's another "kung fu fantasy" genre movie, which I find myself enjoying more and more. Now to get my hands on one of the Zu movies.

E and I also finally got to see Jet Li's The Enforcer. Man, I hate seeing Yu Rong-Guang as a bad guy, even if he did do those movies before Iron Monkey.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Feel free to ignore -- I just wanted to put these someplace where I can find them again later.

The Ten Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Moves Every Cop Should Know

What's In Your Fanny Pack?: Must have tools for everyday carry
This was funny because of this quote about the use of batons [emphasis is mine]:
Another advantage is that it is difficult to kill someone with a baton -- unless you hit them in the head or choke them with it. And therein lies the biggest problem for civilians with a stick, cane or baton. The overwhelming tendency of non-trained people is to use their baton to hit a homerun with the guy's melon.
Can Submissions for the Street Work Against You?

Raging Against Self Defense: A Psychiatrist Examines The Anti-Gun Mentality
Watching Trekkies 2 led me to this website which wasn't referenced on the film, but on the Trekkies 2 website.
How's that for stress relief?
  • Trekkies 2
  • Shaolin Soccer
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Vol. 2
We still have to get our hands on a DVD of Glengarry Glen Ross.

Trekkies 2 was everything we expected. This time, they went global. Interestingly, it seemed that the Australian fans seemed to produce the best cannon fodder for my MST3K-like commentary (E would say my meanest of the entire film).

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

I heard the rumors, but I didn't believe it until now.
Lucas uses movie force: Hayden Christensen is now Anakin ghost in revised version of Return Of The Jedi
By Bruce Kirkland-- Toronto Sun

George Lucas has inserted Hayden Christensen into the revised DVD edition of Star Wars: Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi -- a film originally released only two years after the Canadian actor was born in Vancouver.

The DVD box set of the original Star Wars trilogy is set for release on Sept. 21, in the DVD debut of these eagerly-awaited titles. Yesterday, the Sun had a sneak peek at the controversial scenes, confirming fanboy rumours that have circulated on Internet chat sites for several weeks this summer.

Christensen -- who was an unknown actor from the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill when Lucas cast him as youthful Anakin Skywalker in Episode II -- now appears as the blue-tinged ghost of Anakin in three brief scenes totalling just 10 seconds during the celebrations at the end of the movie.
Can't just leave got'damn well enough alone, can he?
E and I made our first joint appliance purchase - a DVD player. I guess I'll have to change the blurb on my Amazon Wish List now. Our first DVD viewing options are:
  • Trekkies 2
  • Shaolin Soccer
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Vol. 2
Good news and bad news from elitestv.com:

The bad news, and believe me we're all crying over this one:
New Kids Snub Reunion Plans

Plans to bring boyband superstars NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK back together have fallen flat - because DONNIE WAHLBERG, DANNY WOOD and JOEY McINTYRE aren't interested in a reunion.

Brothers JON and JORDAN KNIGHT agreed to reunite with their old bandmates for VH1 show BANDS REUNITED, but their former colleagues declined the offer to star on the show.
The good news, however...
Jet Li Thanks Tarantino for Hero Success

Martial arts hero JET LI is so thrilled with the success of his movie HERO in America, he's taken out a full-page advertisement thanking QUENTIN TARANTINO for transporting it from China.

The film, which is set in the third century BC, has been at the top of the American box office for the past two weekends, prompting Li, the film's director ZHANG YIMOU and the cast and crew to say a big thank-you to Tarantino and MIRAMAX bosses BOB and HARVEY WEINSTEIN for making it a success.
I'm posting these two pictures with my blurred face, not because of privacy concerns, but to show off how I've been leeching off the resources of the brand new computer lab that's opened up on campus. Not only am I using their net access, fast computers and printers, but now their scanners and their copies of Photoshop, too.
"And, I don't feel bad about it."

-Macy Gray, I've Committed Murder
And, I wanted to show off the reversible jacket that E brought back as a gift from the PRC.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

I remember hearing this a few days ago - according to the date, September 2nd. The bit about "College Visits" sort of irritated me. And, from a college professor, no less:
Letters: GOP Campaign Chair, College Visits

All Things Considered audio

Sept. 2, 2004

NPR's Melissa Block reads from listener's letters. Included are responses to our interview with Marc Racicot, chairman of the Bush-Cheney campaign, our report on summer college campus tours, and our piece detailing the varied pronunciations of the words Abu Graib.
(Stupid) charges of elitism from a prof? That's good.

P.S. This is post number 666!
[Insert Theme from The Omen here.]
Someone cut off this thing's head already. From Sci Fi Wire:
Toon Highlander Developing

The venerable Highlander franchise is on track to become an animated movie for release in spring 2006, Variety reported. Davis-Panzer Productions and Imagi International are developing the project, which will be animated through Madhouse of Japan (Tokyo Godfathers), the trade paper reported. David Abramowitz, who was head writer on the Highlander TV series, will write the screenplay.
Jeez, even Christopher Lambert knew when enough was enough.

Friday, September 03, 2004

From the Boston Globe:
City gangs turning to machetes, police say

By Christine MacDonald, Globe Correspondent | August 16, 2004

As a boy growing up in El Salvador, Somerville pastor Luis Morales said, he was never frightened when he saw peasant farmers with machetes hanging from their belts. For rural Salvadorans, the long knife is a basic and ubiquitous tool, as common as a Swiss Army knife is here.

Morales, pastor of the Vida Real Evangelical Center, has watched in dismay as Hispanic street gangs have transformed the rural implement into an intimidating urban weapon. Area police say street gangs, whose members once might have favored switchblades and homemade zip guns, now prefer the long knives with blades that can be nearly as thick as an ax and as long as a sword.
Sure, sure you could say "Hey, a knife fight is what happens when you forget your gun." But, the point is that it's nice to know some "old-school" methods haven't completely gone by the wayside.
In theory, it should be that time of the year when MMAC starts up again. Well, the quarter starts next Tuesday, and I've heard nary a word. I emailed one of the officers today. We'll see what, if any, response I get. It sort of sucks to say this, but if the current gaggle can't get things together, then my prospect of getting another "Coach's Pass" [snicker] seem pretty dismal.

But, to kick off another year of posts describing my (dismal lack of) martial arts progress and those involved, I give you, not one, but two "BILLY_JACK QUOTES OF THE WEEK." I had the (mis-)fortune of running into him yesterday (not with my car, unfortunately), and he had the following things to say.

As he introduced me to what was, I assume, a friend of his...
This is [Me], the only Asian male prostitute in town.
(To which I responded, Yeah, [BILLY_JACK] makes use of my services quite frequently.)
I mentioned that the other day, I saw the Bando black belt that BILLY_JACK has delusions of sparring with...
Is he walking my streets again? I'm going to have to kill him. 'Hey, you Ecuadorian... go back to Mexico.'
It's going to be another fun year, I can tell.

This is the sort of atmosphere E and I got quickly used to. Ithaca is everything Athens wishes it could be - small and intimate, yet cosmopolitan with a blurred distinction between "Town" and "Gown."
I mentioned Mark Twain was buried alongside his wife. I wish I got a better shot, but I managed to cull this from another picture and enlarge it via Photoshop.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

I've always been a "big picture" sort of person...

[If I were an online test, I would be The Art Test]

I'm The Art Test!

I'm, erm, a pretty nondescript test that just does what it says on the tin, really. I don't thrive on in-jokes, controversy or irony, nor do I host ads... I have some pretty pictures though, will that do?

Click here to find out which test you are!

Yesterday morning, E and I were listening to Morning Edition on NPR -- that's where my radio/alarm is set. They were broadcasting excerpts from the RNC the previous night, which included a speech by The Governator himself. I've written before about how, at the "Battle of Columbus" martial arts tournament which he co-sponsors, he makes an appearance and always works in Terminator references for cheap pop.

Why were we so surprised that he did the exact same thing at a Republican National Convention.

"Don't be economic girly men!" he said, among other things.

You don't believe me? Have a listen.
A couple of evenings ago, I introduced E to Saturday Night Fever which she had never seen in its entirety. We've introduced a whole new set of in-jokes to our vernacular ("He's a sleazy HOO-er."). Ah, to have been Italian living in New York in the '70s.

I hadn't seen it in awhile myself, so I'd almost forgotten what sort of story it was. E and I both admired the simplicity of the cinematography, not to mention the actors, none of which could ever score a movie in this day and age. They all look too ordinary, not like anorexic Greek gods and goddesses.

I'm not exactly sure what it is about this -- I've been wanting this picture for an entire year. Maybe it's knowing that this is the closest I've ever gotten to a literary giant. No, getting Anne Rice to sign my copies of Interview and Servant of the Bones doesn't count, not compared to this anyway.

I've got more pics up on the Geocities pages. You're smart enough to find them, I'm sure.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Now, if we as a nation, really are serious about the War on Terror, we need to bring in the people who are best equipped to handle it.
The A-Team Resolves Lapses in Homeland Security.

By Ryan Boudinot
Prepare to be amazed and astounded! All martial artists everywhere, BEWARE! Not since Bruce Lee has the world seen a deadlier practicioner in the art of fighting with numchucks.

Apologies -- it looks like the video has been taken down for the time being.
Maybe there is a reason to hope that right wins out, after all. Maybe...
U.S. Seeks to Dismiss Terror Convictions

U.S. Asks Court to Dismiss Mich. Terror Cell Convictions, Says Prosecution Was Full of Mistakes

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON Sept. 1, 2004 — In a dramatic reversal, the Justice Department acknowledges its original prosecution of a suspected terror cell in Detroit was filled with a "pattern of mistakes and oversights" that warrant the dismissal of the convictions.