Turf Marking

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  • Some posts, or the links they contain, are NSFW. This is your only warning.
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Friday, December 31, 2004

Well, I'll be darned if it hasn't been the best one in awhile - certainly the best in the past 3 or 4. It's been wierd watching the various things that have been stripped from me in life slowly returning, one by one. And, getting even more, to boot.

Lots of stuff planned for '05 -- look for a marriage, a new move, a new career direction, and of course, as much martial arts training as I can cram in between these things.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Main Type
Overall Self
Take Free Enneagram Personality Test


Enneagram Test Results
Type 1 Perfectionism |||||| 30%
Type 2 Helpfulness |||||||||||||||||||| 82%
Type 3 Image Focus |||||||||||||||| 62%
Type 4 Hypersensitivity |||||||||||| 46%
Type 5 Detachment |||||||||||||||||| 74%
Type 6 Anxiety |||||||||||||| 58%
Type 7 Adventurousness |||||||||||||| 54%
Type 8 Aggressiveness |||||||||||| 46%
Type 9 Calmness |||||||||||||||| 66%
Your main type is 2
Your variant is self pres
Take Free Enneagram Personality Test
'Law & Order' star Jerry Orbach dies

Thursday, December 30, 2004
Tony Brown
Plain Dealer Theater Critic

Try to remember the kind of September when Lennie Briscoe was a romantic fellow. And if you remember, then sorrow. Sorrow, sorrow, sorrow.

Actor Jerry Orbach, a romantic leading man in Broadway musicals for more than two decades before becoming a TV icon as sardonic investigator Briscoe on "Law & Order," is dead of prostate cancer, a representative of the NBC series said Wednesday.
The author of this message board post made this statement regarding the age-old debate on Empty Hand Defenses vs. Weapons:
Also, most people create an image of having to fight a super hero on acid or Dan Inosanto. Most people you will come across don’t train, are drugged or drunk with dulled senses and are basically average people. Please train for overkill, but realise what you are most likely to face.
· Many weapon attacks are static presentations to get what they want from you. These are easier than you think to counter.
Agree or disagree?

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Here are some things I would have taken pictures of, had I a camera, and would have uploaded by now had that camera been digital:
  • Every sign in Elmira, NY that E and I drove past that had any reference to Mark Twain.
  • The two front lawns we drove past that had deflated Christmas balloon-figures. It was a pretty ghastly looking scene.
  • That demonic "scary tire guy" that's on a sign a little ways south of the Harvard Rd. exit of I-271 -- E, if you read this, leave a comment and remind me exactly what this is.
  • My brand new pair of kamagong escrima sticks - now considered among my "Most Valued Material Possessions."

Monday, December 27, 2004

Christmas was nice at Ma's house (Henceforth, my mom is “Mom” and E's mom is “Ma.”), even though I've been denied watching "24 Hours of A Christmas Story" and managed to leave my copy of Chicago XXV (Full of Christmas music -- XXV, get it?) in Cleveland. There was no shortage of Christmas music here, though (i.e. 20 versions of the same 10 songs).

It might have been as much as I wanted, but I got more rest on Boxing Day than I have in over a week. E and I got out of the apartment today, and I got to sit in Barnes & Noble after quickly perusing a mall. I got E all of the gifts she wants, but she’s still got one more left to get. "Why hang at a B&N when you can do that anytime?" you might ask. Well, because the nearest one to A-Town is 50 minutes away in another state, that's why.

After a nap, we had some more game time and Italian eats with Ma. Ma's CD player broke down (we plan to buy her another one tomorrow), so the music for the evening (from the 2 CD set Italian Love Songs with the staples That's Amore done by Deano, Santa Lucia by Pavarotti, and Eh! Cumpari by Julius LaRosa) was provided by my computer.

We've got our plans for today. We've got some stuff before 2 pm or thereabouts. Then we head to C-Town to spend another night with my folks before going back to A-Town at the butt-crack of dawn on Tuesday.

Friday, December 24, 2004

About noon yesterday, E and I rolled into "Mark Twain Country" to spend Christmas with her mother. The first thing we did was sleep out of sheer exhaustion. We were up at the butt-crack o' dawn and made it here about 12:30 pm.


After all the naps, we had some food, lots of coffee and a game of Scrabble which I won because I had the rare fortune of using all of my tiles in one play. Now, I'll get to chill out while E and her mom make their family's traditional Christmas eats and continue listening to more oldies Christmas music before heading out to midnight Mass.

By the by -- thanks to E's brother, my mother and DATU_B for checking up on us while we were driving through the Arctic wasteland that was Mid-Ohio yesterday.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Among other things received from my parents that they obtained in their trip to the Philippines were the following:


Modern Arnis, Philippine Martial Art, "Stick Fighting" Posted by Hello


The Practical Art of Eskrima, 2nd Edition Posted by Hello

Sure, we've all seen the yellow Modern Arnis book released in the 80s. We all had a good laugh at its expense, too. Twelve strikes, twelve blocks, sinawali drills and some disarms. But, these two books (published with Filipino newsprint paper, retails for about $20USD, but was purchased for the equivalent of about $3USD each) contained very detailed elements.

The first book has chapters on disarms of various weapons, anyos, sinawali, throwing, ground fighting, and different types of strikes. The second book has a few espada y daga techniques. Definitely stuff to mine for all their worth, eh?
Well, it took six hours, but E successfully navigated us through what was some of the worst weather going on in the nation right about now. I won't go into details -- I'm sure E will do that on her blog soon enough.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Tomorrow is going to be a fun drive. I called the folks earlier and gave them a false departure time, 90 minutes after we'll actually leave so that they won't get all jumpy. I think I inadvertently gave them an arrival time that was later than it should have, but it's all good.

Not sure how blogging's going to be, but I'm sure I'll make it on at some point.

Next post will be from somewhere other than A-Town.
Tomorrow, I'll be on the road, so I'll have to do this now. I have to say that this test adequately reflects my state of mind.

You scored as Pissed at the World Cat. And here we have the next serial killer. Try having some cotton candy, it'll make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, Psycho.

Pissed at the World Cat

92%

Drunk Cat

75%

Couch Potato Cat

58%

Love Machine Cat

58%

Ninja Cat

50%

Derranged Cat

42%

Nerd Cat

0%

Which Absurd Cat are you?
created with QuizFarm.com
Why do I relish the thought of moving to Ithaca, NY? Because as long as polls like this are being conducted there, I know that chances are, the place is liberal enough to have people that won't try to lynch me once the first stupid Filipino - whoever that might be - does something stupid and blows something up.
Fear factor: 44 percent of Americans queried in Cornell national poll favor curtailing some liberties for Muslim Americans

ITHACA, N.Y. -- In a study to determine how much the public fears terrorism, almost half of respondents polled nationally said they believe the U.S. government should -- in some way -- curtail civil liberties for Muslim Americans, according to a new survey released today (Dec. 17) by Cornell University.

About 27 percent of respondents said that all Muslim Americans should be required to register their location with the federal government, and 26 percent said they think that mosques should be closely monitored by U.S. law enforcement agencies. Twenty-nine percent agreed that undercover law enforcement agents should infiltrate Muslim civic and volunteer organizations, in order to keep tabs on their activities and fund raising. About 22 percent said the federal government should profile citizens as potential threats based on the fact that they are Muslim or have Middle Eastern heritage. In all, about 44 percent said they believe that some curtailment of civil liberties is necessary for Muslim Americans.
E would say that's just my cynical view of human nature. But, just you wait. One day, some fool is going to do something stupid, and on that day, I'm going to sit in my home waiting for the men in black to forcibly take me to some internment camp and surround myself with hidden video cameras.

God damn, people are stupid.

Monday, December 20, 2004

I had to stop at the nearest wireless hotspot... well, not quite the nearest, but the one that serves my favorite coffee, so that I could transfer some money into my checking account. Yeah, I know, I shouldn't be doing things like that over a wireless connection, but it's not like there's a lot in there for anyone to take, anyway.

Anyway, once I finish my coffee, off I'll go -- I just hope the things I want to get will still be there. I feel bad, because my presents are already wrapped and sitting under the tree. But, I'm comforted by the fact that more of my friends and loved ones in fact will be getting presents than in previous years.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

At least for the next hour or so. The downside to getting the time off that I need for E and I to spend X-mas with family is the fact that the Diamond Mine crammed my shifts together between this week and the next schedule-week, so that today will be day 3 of 7 in a row, all 8 hours/day at varying start times, which preclude any chance of biorhythmic balance. Add to that the fact that once that ordeal is over, I'm immediately faced with an eight hour drive.

Nowhere in that time can I realistically look forward to any real rest. Not that there won't be times to sit or chill or sleep. But, really rest so that at the end of it, I actually feel rejuvinated. Oh, well... there'll be time enough for all that afterward, I suppose.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

A variation on last Wednesday's theme - Marguaritas and good company, but most likely sans the 1:00 a.m. greasy spoon dinner/breakfast. I'm glad I posted today, because it doesn't look like I will before going to the Diamond Mines, at least not if I can help it.
Since I'm not sure what kind of time I'll have tomorrow...

merry
Congratulations! You're Merry!


Which Lord of the Rings character and personality problem are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

The makers of this quiz know me -- they really do.
ONE
Have thus far watched 6/7ths of Joss Whedon's Firefly on DVD (i.e. 12 out of the 14 episode run). Definitely the most original Blake's 7 ripoff after Farscape, and that's only because Farscape went bizarro with the makeup and the Henson puppets.

They've got a movie based on the show that's going to be released next year: Serenity. If it's anything like the TV show, which it should be since virtually everyone from the TV show is involved, it'll be really good.

It won't make a dime.

TWO
Looks like I got most of, and probably will get all of, all the time I requested off to visit family members, both present and future, for Christmas.

THREE
E and I got portraits taken at Wally World. The whole process was like getting a handjob from a cheap prostitute. Felt great at the time and then a little better... and afterward, you end up paying a bit more than you expected to when you first walked in. But, then you shrug your shoulders and realize that for what you got, you still got off cheaper than you would have with one of those classier hookers.

FOUR
A financial SNAFU which, I hope, will be totally cleared up by the end of today.

Monday, December 13, 2004

BWAH-hahahahahaha.... snicker... snicker... BWAHHHH-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Van Damme is a ‘superhero’

Jean Claude van Damme has described himself as a “superhero in bed” who performs for his wife every night.

The star, who is in the Romanian capital Bucharest looking at locations for his next film, said that although he kept to a punishing three hour fitness regime every day, he was never tired when it came to sex.
And, that's not even the funniest part...
The 44-year-old also said he was planning to make a return to fight competitions and wanted to win the K-1 world title - a mixture between kickboxing and martial arts, the Realitatea Romanesca newspaper reported.

He said: “I am planning to go back to fighting next year when I am 45. I gave up fighting a long time ago because it offers no perspectives and there are people who do not respect their art.

I got six words: "Tong Po! Tong Po! Tong Po!"... BWAHHAHAHAHAHAHA

I remember about six months ago reading about his plans for his new film. He actually seemed sincere about making a quality martial arts movie with all sorts of legitamate martial artists helping him out. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt... until he uttered the word "K-1"... BWAH-hahahahahahaha!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

From the creators of South Park... no, really...

Not that rough, although it does show my age when getting up after staying out until 2:30 a.m. after an evening of marguaritas, beer, and greasy food is a bit difficult. No hangover, though, and I had more greasy food for breakfast.

It reminds me of a discussion I had with someone at the Diamond Mines lately as we reminisced about life north of Columbus. She remembered breakfasts of bacon and eggs when her eggs would get fried in the bacon grease. Now, when I cook that stuff, that technique is a given! Great minds, eh? Hey, if she's studying to be a nurse and can still eat that stuff, then dammit, so can I -- at least, for as long as I can withstand E's stares...
...but I'm glad I missed out on the sniper and stuff like this:
Seminal Guitarist, 4 Others Die in Ohio Shooting
Thu Dec 9, 2004 02:04 PM ET

By Jim Leckrone

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) - A man charged on stage and opened fire at a heavy metal band and fans at a crowded bar, killing four people and wounding two others before being killed by police, officials said on Thursday.

Among the dead was "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, guitarist for the band Damageplan, who witnesses said appeared to have been singled out by the gunman and shot several times at close range.

Some witnesses told police the 25-year-old gunman, Nathan Gale of nearby Marysville, Ohio, shouted, "You broke up Pantera" before gunning down Abbott and firing at other band members and the crowd in the Wednesday night shooting.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

A review of Willam Shatner's new album Has Been, Star Wars: Clone Wars stuff, and Orlando Bloom's conversion to Buddhism all on...
scifidaily

The latest news, reviews, diatribes and banter on science-fiction/fantasy films, TV shows and related topics...
No blogging, or anything else, for the past five days because I've been almost completely immersed in the Diamond Mines. But, I've got two days to look at this thing called daylight, and in the few hours I've been awake and online, have I got some stuff..

ITEM ONE
The teaser for the new Doctor Who series -- F**k yeah!

ITEM TWO
More controversial self-defense issues...

The Debate over Tasers and Police

Talk of the Nation, December 7, 2004 · Debates are raging over the safety and effectiveness of Taser guns as used by U.S. police forces. The Justice Department is one party looking at the products. Rick Smith, the head of Taser International, says without his product, police wouldn't have anything but a club to defend themselves. But a new report from Amnesty International says tasers are too dangerous for widespread use.

ITEM THREE
I've got a cell. No camera, no internet access, and no fancy ringtones. Now, if one happened to fall from the sky along with a free account, I'd take it. But, I see no need for any sort of phenomenon to evolve to this level of depravity.

Billboard's 'Ringtone of the Year'
» from Day to Day, Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The 15th Annual Billboard Music Awards will be presented Wednesday night in Las Vegas, Nev. NPR's Alex Chadwick brings you the nominees in the "Ringtone of the Year" category.

If I had a TARDIS, I'd go back and shoot the great-grandmother of the person who made these sorts of ringtones possible... more things to annoy the concert/movie-going public.

Friday, December 03, 2004

A dollar short and a day late, I know. But, still cool.


Who is Your Saiyan Battle Partner?
Hosted by theOtaku.com: Anime. Done right.
This is related to a rant on self-defense that I posted recently, linked here for my convenience. It's a thread from the message boards on the Defend.net forums about the "legitimacy" of Sayoc Kali. It doesn't get good until about the fourth post where the thread-starter makes the assertion:
1. As far as the Sayoc training being like firearms training, I disagree for two fundamental reasons. First, firearms training just about anywhere reputable advocates never using a firearm except in cases where it really is "kill or be killed." FROM WHAT I'VE SEEN, several of the people wearing the Sayoc name like their badge of honor advocate carrying ten or more blades, and they teach things like the "Revenge Template." Doesn't sound like self-defense... I know that's just one tiny example, but the fact that the system is so reliant on blades (I recall a recent ad stating "All Blade, All the Time) strikes me as the kind of system better suited to soldiers than civilians.
I'll let you read and get your own mental juices going.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


My cousin (sort of) and her new husband. Posted by Hello

This is a shot of the wedding that E and I attended a couple of weeks ago. This whole scene was part of what made E so nervous because not only was it a "church wedding," it was a Filipino wedding, and on top of that, it was done old-school Filipino style. For instance, it means the people in the wedding party (bridesmaids and groomsmen) are relegated to a status about half a step up from the guests (and even sit with the guests at the reception) and the bride and groom are surrounded by "sponsors." Sponsors - of which my father was one - have different names depending on what "Old Country" you happen to be from, but in short, these are older folks (usually your parents' compares) that are to the marriage what godparents are to a child.

I mentioned that the bride was sort of my cousin. There is in fact, to my knowledge, no blood relation between us. It's another Filipino thing. My father, her father, and another man (my dad is his children's godfather) were best friends ("were" since the third man passed away some years ago). Also, the bride's family and my mother lived near each other in the Philippines and there's a possibility that distant cousins of theirs might be connected somehow to distant cousins of mine. So what does all this mean? What did it mean in Spaceballs when Dark Helmet revealed himself to be Lone Starr's father's best friend's roommate? To a non-Filipino, absolutely nothing. To a Filipino, she's as much a relative as any blood relation. Truth is, I got to know her sisters a little better than I ever knew her. The whole lot of them would travel back and forth from the Philippines to live for various periods of time with their parents who emigrated here, and I think the bride was the one I saw the least. No, I take that back - the youngest child was the one I saw the least.

So, throw in the social, cultural, and religious expectations of two cultures, and you can see why it would make one nervous. The way E saw it, whenever we were asked "So, what do you guys have planned for your wedding?" we were really being asked "So, when do we, and the other 20 people in my family, show up to the to-do you're going to have that had better bear a close resemblance to this?" Now, that was probably true for a few of them. But the people who really felt that way were probably people who wouldn't lose a minute's sleep over what E and I have or don't have in our wedding. The people that might really truly care are probably people that would respect whatever E and I chose, no matter how they'd feel about it.
What do you do when your fiance is on a 7 day cleansing fast and she's jonesing for a pizza on the second day?

You rent the movie Supersize Me to remind her why she's doing this in the first place -- it worked better than I could have possibly imagined! Check it out. The movie got play at Sundance for a reason.
Thanks to my old friend FATHER_FRO, I guestimate that I've increased the value of my new computer at least 1.5 times, thanks to some more nifty new programs that he managed to find from... somewhere... and burn onto a DVD-R for me. There's easily a grand worth of programs on that thing, but I only needed two of them. Hey, E's going to need a video editor one day, and who knows, I may get tired of coding HTML using trusty Notepad.