Turf Marking

All original material, except otherwise explicitly stated, is under this:
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons License
Warm Fuzzy Freudian Slippers, Ltd.
*Other People's Blogs


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

Friday, April 29, 2005

Thursday, April 28, 2005

I didn't do boxing club tonight. I needed a break. I was ridiculously tired this morning and I decided, for once, to accept my age and take a break. And, believe it or not, I was ok with it. I got four hours in, though. The first two were earlier in the day with DATU_B, FMA in true Filipino fashion, as depicted below.

more training - filipino style

Stick work interspersed with BSing and the "blessing" of St. Michael (even if it did come in liquid form). San Miguel is where I draw the line, though. B and I don't smoke, and I don't know any orasyones. I was born in Cleveland, after all.

I gave DATU_B the first 1/2 of the balur to which he's entitled. The only decent sized bottles I found were 10mL at the local natural foods/herbs/etc store. I was low on cash and they were pricey, so I got two. I figure two more will do the trick. Filling the first bottle was tricky, though. I poured out a little too much and ended up spilling about a week's worth out. Luckily, the sink was clean, so what else could we do but scoop up the excess and treat our elbows and shins. B had a bruise on his shin which lightened up noticeably as the afternoon went on. With stuff like that, who needs orasyones?

GURU_ANGRY McSHRINKY NUTS was not in attendance today, which was too bad. Well, no, actually it was quite good since B actually got to do some FMA with the rest of club properly - that is, actually teaching. Which, for those with "homonally-addled" brains means showing a technique, explaining its application, and explaining the principles you're trying to teach them (if they're ready).

It's amazing the responses you get when you're focused on your learners instead of getting your own training in at their expense. Some of them will get it if you simply correct their mistakes. Some of them get it only after you explain exactly what makes their error an error. Sometimes, you even get intelligent questions. I got asked "Do FMAers ever attack the knees?" Considering the pitiful amount of attention GURU_ANGRY has given to basics, I'm not surprised that I was asked that question. I'm not surprised that the officers only have the faintest ideas of what dead patterns are. Sure, I understand not everyone likes them. But, I also understand making the opposite mistake of excessive dead pattern training which is excessive drilling. And, GURU_ANGRY has "expressed interest" in live stick sparring Dog Bros. style? Are you sh!++ing me? I saw people trying to do knife guntings with the blunt edge of their single edged wooden training knives. What am I to think they're going to do with a stick?

Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating. I hope I'm exaggerating. I mean, I'm no expert. I've got to be the lowest-skilled Filipino doing Filipino Martial Arts, but I've studied other arts long enough to know when someone doesn't even have basics down in any martial art. Enough ramble. Bed time.
...because I know how much you all hate spam. More random things from friends and family.

This Blog's Official T-Shirt

I Thought Intervention Was Bad
When Surgical Tools Get Left Behind

Relive horrifying first-hand accounts of surgeries gone awry when surgical tools like scissors and gauze are left inside a patient. Chronic pain and wounds that won't heal cause weeks and even months of suffering before the error is identified and correct [sic].
My New Favorite Website


I swear, half of the posters I used to drool over at Spencer's as a 12 year old are on this site under "retro-babes." Mmmmm... Yvonne Craig....
To add insult to injury...

American Cities That Best Fit You:

60% Chicago

55% New York City

45% Austin

45% Denver

45% Philadelphia

Bring all your friends, all your kids, and your wife...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Somehow, I made it though another four-hour workout night. Once again, I sympathize with good old Detective Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon: I'm too old for this sh!+. But, I kept up -- well, with the boxing, anyway. I'm not going to make myself look like a slacker in front of Coach Jones.

I was going to shirk Fight Club, until DATU_B said the magic words: "We're doing knife." One drill in particular was interesting because of a skill that I've been trying to develop lately, namely attacking and reattacking along the same angle. I did shirk the first 30 minutes of line drills however. Oh, I did them, but I'd already been at it for two hours, so I took them kinda easy.

Next, it was back to Korea with TKD style kicks, thanks to GURU_ANGRY McSHRINKY NUTS (formerly the ONE_ARMED BANDIT). This person, I'm sad to say, is developing into exactly the sort of martial artist that gives Mixed Martial Artists a bad name. And, although I have no direct proof, I suspect (as do others, I found out later) that he's having, shall we say, "hormonal assistance" with his body building.

I've mentioned before that GURU_ANGRY is the sort who frequently attends all sorts of seminars and can't wait to pass on what he's learned, usually in the form of demonstrating the moves on people who don't know what the hell he's trying to teach them. But, what else can you expect? GURU_ANGRY doesn't understand half the techniques he's teaching. Hello, why does he think he feels the need to explain the same five techniques week after week? Oh, he can DO them, and in most cases, can do them well. But, let him do a technique against someone like DATU_B who can launch a counter, and you'll see GURU_ANGRY with egg on his face in pretty short order. At least I'm at the point now where B has to take the trouble to work over my pathetic attempts to counter before he sinks a technique in.

If you're not convinced about what a git he (an otherwise OK guy) can be, I'll tell you an unbiased firsthand account of something I witnessed. GURU_ANGRY is continuing his studies in TKD; I see him working out with their club before Boxing Club starts. Incidentally, he's apparently too good to work out in a gi like everyone else (ok, that was less than biased - sue me). After their workout was over, what do I see? I see him taking a fellow student's white belt and tries to show her sarong techniques. Ok, maybe he was trying to get laid. But, you can't tell me he didn't enjoy the look of "whoa" on her face as she fell over with her arm trapped in her own belt. Ok, enough about that.

Afterward, was Cimande. Yes, there are new bruises. Yes, I used the balur and they feel great! Well, not great, but the knots are out. And, DATU_B's right. I do giggle after I wince and curse in pain. I should really start "pre-treating" my limbs as B suggests.

Maybe I'll try to run home before work and put another coating on.

Ha ha, fcukers! Posted by Hello

I got it and didn't pay a penny, all for the live tracks from their concert last year with Earth, Wind & Fire. They did Chicago's "If You Leave Me Now", in the original key, with Philip Bailey singing and EWF's "After the Love is Gone", co-written and, this time, sung by Bill Champlin. They weren't the cleanest performances, but they were good to hear. I'm utterly sick of "concert recordings" overdubbed with studio performances and sweetened up with Pro Tools! And, it's everywhere nowadays - rap and R&B recordings, country, contemporary Christian music, to say nothing about the pap you hear pushed on TRL.

Yes, I stole it, thanks to my trusty torrent downloader. I consider it fair recompense, seeing as I already own every other album that every other song on Love Songs has appeared in... jerks.

And, don't give me that "two wrongs" crap. If only it were two wrongs. "Hard Habit to Break," for example, appears on Chicago 17, Greatest Hits, 1982-1989, The Heart of Chicago, Vol. 1, Chicago XXVI, not to mention the concert videos Live at the Concord (bootleg, but still), ...And the Band Played On, In Concert at the Greek Theatre, and Soundstage. That's eight times. Nine, if you count their double Very Best Of... album from Rhino, which I refused to buy, and TEN for Love Songs. As great a song it is, no one should have to pay for it 10 times over. Wait, I DID pay 10 times over because I eventually had to buy the CD to replace my worn out cassettes. Crap, that's 12 times, because I replaced two of those cassettes with CDs.

So yeah, I stole it. And, seeing as the score is Don: 2, Chicago: 12, I slept like a baby last night! I'll save my pennies for the upcoming Chicago XXX.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Say it with me: Balur is greatPosted by Hello

They're still tender, but there are no bumps. The redness looks like something I got from rubbing my wrists from OCD rather than Cimande djurus. I didn't bother taking pictures of my radii, because the bruises that appeared yesterday morning were gone by last night.

Coconuts, your days are numbered...
No, no cute title like "Doing the Hustle," or anything like that.

I've finally decided that Stephen Chow is a bonafide genius of a filmmaker. Ok, I haven't seen his previous five, but between this and Shaolin Soccer, I'm just speechless. Kung Fu Hustle is a bit darker than Shaolin Soccer, but that's because some of the themes are a bit more deep.

Plus, how many filmmakers do you know that can seamlessly blend action, drama, comedy, and, yes, spirituality all in the same film? To say nothing about all the little references he puts in his movies to just about everything under the sun: His life, his previous movies, **other movies, and Bruce Lee®.

"How's the kung fu," you ask? I got three words for you: Yuen Wo-Ping. 'Nuff said.

See it now.

**There's a blatant visual reference to a movie that's the last movie you'd expect to be referenced. I, my wife, and one other person in the theater were the only people who got it.

Friday, April 22, 2005

As it turns out, I will not be fighting in the local toughman competition. That's because it's no longer a toughman competition. Only students signed up to participate in the training program being run in lieu of the school's boxing club may participate. Apparently, someone from the state of Ohio caught wind of what's been going on in Athens for the past thirty years, and they started throwing dirty words around like "insurance" and "license" and "unacceptable likelihood of injury."

That's too bad, because I went to their training session last night (and I was invited to continue, which I will), and was able to jump in with little problem. They'll intensify, but last night didn't seem any harder than anything I'd get in Fight Club. My footwork saw an immediate improvement and the line drills actually helped my technique during one of the drills in Fight Club, which I did attend directly after boxing.

Man, it was rough. I was pretty dehydrated and had to get water, literally, every five minutes. Anyway, the drills were mostly panantukan destructions. We did one that was a backfist to a punch coming to our abdomen. It's funny how 30 minutes of catching jabs will help with the coordination, so that I could focus on putting some power behind it. Please, no JKD comments on how I'll never pull that off in a real fight. Empty hand, I'd have trouble. But, with a stick or knife...?

My favorites came later... Cimande! DATU_B decided to go a little harder than usual. "Hey, you've got the magical solution, so I don't wanna hear it!" in reference to the Balur Cimande I received. It wasn't so much that he went harder. He just used the counters more often. Of course, I had to take pre-balur pictures...

cimande fun  more cimande fun

The bruises on the left arm got darker by the minute. Since the application of balur, they've melded into one big bruise, something that usually doesn't happen until a couple of days. The right arm has no visible bruises. That's because it got the most damage. There were bumps and some swelling which B helped to (painfully) massage out. The bruise only appeared in the last hour, but I can tell it's healing well. No bumps or anything. The bruises on the radii of my forearms haven't shown yet, but there's definitely something there.

I wonder how long it's going to be until I can do coconuts? Or go back to my old TKD school and smash cinder blocks as part of my black belt test?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

If this wasn't so cool, I'd accuse it of being racist... ;)

You scored as That Yellow Bastard.



That Yellow Bastard


















Jackie Boy








What Sin City Character are You?
created with QuizFarm.com

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

My legs are only now recovering from all the langkahs I did last Sunday. Tonight, I've got a training session with my Bando friend (note to self: dig out black t-shirt). And, to make matters worse, I've done my first (three-day late) set for the Texas Kali Challenge. Just me, my sticks, my patio, and a pair of flip-flops. The best way to train when you don't have a partner readily available. The only things missing were cigarettes and some San Miguel beer.

training - filipino style

I did 40 cinco teros repetitions and 25 reps of my 12-angle pattern. It's been particularly revealing, too. I've discovered some issues of mechanics to work out. For instance, a full-power hit to an opponent's left hip followed by a high stab to his right shoulder. Easy enough to work slow but when I try at more than 3/4 power, my technique goes to utter shite.

There's footwork involved, too. I wonder if I could count all the langkah work for that? Anyway, I've got to have some left over for tonight. I've also got two days to catch up on, and I've yet to dare to try working with the one kamagong I have left.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Remember this gem? It's been well over a week, and it's still there on campus.

Now, we've got these on the sidewalks.


Again, this isn't an endorsement, nor is it any sort of critique. Just another example of the joys of owning a portable digital camera.
Live in Athens long enough, and you'll see this person everywhere you look, every. freaking. day.
Passive-Aggresive Vegan Grocery Cashier: A Day in the Life
by Meredith Gray
With all that's going on in the world, this topic hardly seems to be of any importance to the world at large. People are starving and suffering and dying in ways we, that is most people lucky enough to have this thing we call "internet access," couldn't imagine (or want to).

But, plight is plight. And, this is about more than a single man's plight, but the implications about the state of some of the pioneers of an artform. About the state of people who've given as much to their art as people like Bruce Lee ®, Inosanto, Tatang, or Uncle Bill have given to the arts I currently study:
Jazz Musicians, After the Spotlight Fades
by Felix Contreras

All Things Considered, April 18, 2005 · Just as many baby boomers face the prospect of caring for aging parents, the jazz world is faced with caring for a generation of aging musicians like Frank Foster. Now 76, the tenor saxophonist, who played with the Count Basie Orchestra, has suffered a stroke and can no longer perform, leaving him with an uncertain financial future.

Although collectively these jazz greats are revered for being the principal architects of a sound that revolutionized jazz after World War II, many now face low wages, little or no health insurance, and often no royalty payments for the recordings that made history.
I saw Frank Foster head the Basie band twice. I have the CD they were promoting at the time, Live at El Moracco. The man I remember doesn't look like the picture in the article, but I suppose age and a stroke will do that.

Monday, April 18, 2005

My forearms sing with gratitude to Guru Mushtaq. Posted by Hello

I'm off to bed.

More wit and wisdom from the coffee shop men's room chalkboard. Posted by Hello
Top billing on this week's American Nerd.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

It started yesterday, but I figure if DATU_B was doing it, why not? I signed up for the Texas Kali Challenge - 10,000 power angle strikes between yesterday and May 14, 2005!
Anyway, it's official from the BBC.
Tennant to take over the Tardis

Actor David Tennant, star of BBC period drama Casanova, has been officially named the new Doctor Who.

Tennant, 33, will become the 10th Time Lord when filming starts on the new series in Cardiff this summer.

He is taking over from Christopher Eccleston, who announced he was quitting last month after only one series as the Doctor.
Two years older than me, and already a Time Lord. Also official: the announcement of Doctor Who DVDs, which, of course, aren't scheduled for Region 1 (b@$tards!).

This is what I did for part of the day yesterday. Ah, the joys of Torrents. Posted by Hello

Call me a b@$tard, but it's not my fault that I can't watch Doctor Who just because I'm on the wrong continent. Anyway, I saw episode 3, "The Unquiet Dead." Episodes 2 and 4 are on the way. It's too funny just how much writing makes the difference. The SFX are good, but there's better to be found on TV nowadays, especially in the US. And, if you just look at the plotlines - well, they're just about the same as any plotline you find in a Doctor Who episode guide. But, each individual episode is still a gem.
So, picture this. It's my day off from the Diamond Mines, so I sleep in rather late, but finally decide to get out of bed around 11:40 AM. My feet haven't even touched the floor when I heard my phone ring. It's DATU_B who asked me if I was going to the silat/FMA seminar that the Fight Club hosted over the weekend. I forgot about it since I couldn't attend yesterday (the first day), but went along today, throwing myself and my stuff together in twenty minutes. B picked me up; it must've been a sight to see. There I was in sunglasses, black gi pants, and a sleeveless t-shirt standing on the corner with two small black bags and a length of something stuck inside of a case. I was picked up by a black Jeep being driven by a man in a black jacket and black sunglasses. This is why Bando people in this town get a bad rep (even though neither of us study Bando).

Anyway, soreness aside, I'm glad I went. The seminar was conducted, as I understand it, by two former Fight Club officers who've went on to study Mande Muda and Minangkabau Harimau silat as well as gain instructorships (well, one of them) in B's old kali system.

Most of what I learned (big surprise) has left, although I find myself still remembering the principles of what I've learned. It's easy when I've discovered, yet again, similarities between silat movements and those of my old kungfu. From the silat, I think we went over three lankahs, applications, and some empty hand knife-tapping type stuff. The FMA stuff, some of which I captured on digital video, was what I was the most interested in. I learned an invaluable knife drill as well as, for the first time, worked with pieces parts of a sayaw and their applications.

Between all that stuff, and those clips of Tatang, Ybañez, and Sanchez, my brain's about to explode. I've been watching Tatang do cadena real over and over and over again.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Last night, I came across some video clips (do your own hunting ;)) featuring Masters Ybañez, Sanchez (both Lightning Scientific people) and GM Tatang. Tatang was in his mid-to-late 80s at the time, and apparently suffered a stroke a few days before the video was shot. You wouldn't know it by the way he moved, not when he was using and fending off live blades.

Their demonstrations of the Cinco Teros techniques, armed and empty-handed, really gave me pause. Now, I've finally seen a demonstration of how the timing, footwork, and body torque of the weapons techniques translates into the empty-hand ones.

I've got a feeling I'm going to be burning a hole in my hard drive studying these videos for the next week.

Oh, and I've got an appointment next Wednesday at a local Bando gym training some boxing with my friend from the Diamond Mines that I've mentioned who's only one generation away from Doc himself, who he takes fishing now and again. I'd love to meet him, but I'm scared to death. Our paths have crossed once, and it was enough to make my life think about the possibility of flashing before my eyes ;). By the time I'd see the kukri, it would've already passed through my stomach heh.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Oh, what Mark Wiley wouldn't have given for this technology about a decade or so ago. Posted by Hello

Did I mention that the new camera also takes video? I can't help it, I'm a slow learner, my mental "information chunking" has always been sort of low, and I like to practice outside of workouts without being frustrated by gaps in my knowledge.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

My latest American Nerd piece will run next Monday, per an email I got from the editor. He liked it that much and apparently, the subject matter dovetails with the subject of another piece to be published that day.

As Napoleon would say, "Sweeeeet!"
More wit and wisdom from the chalkboard in the men's restroom of the coffee shop I frequent.

it wasnt me
Not Even Cold

notevencold It's been barely a week, and already we have this? I expect this out of blogs, but Life? I suppose if anyone rates glossies devoted to your life written, published, and distributed mere days after your death, it's JPII. Still, I don't know whether or not to be appalled. What exactly are these meant to be? Keepsakes? "Where were you when the Pope died?" memorabilia?

Another Cause of Domestic Strife - Since I can't really discuss this at home (E - just kidding!!!), I bring it here...
Florida Law Expands Right to Kill in Self-Defense
Tue Apr 5, 2005 01:25 PM ET

By Michael Peltier

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Reuters) - People in Florida will be allowed to kill in self-defense on the street without trying to flee under a new law passed by state politicians on Tuesday that critics say will bring a Wild West mentality and innocent deaths.

The Florida House of Representatives, citing the need to allow people to "stand their ground," voted 94-20 to codify and expand court rulings that already allow people to use deadly force to protect themselves in their homes without first trying to escape.

The new bill goes further by allowing citizens to use deadly force in a public place if they have a reasonable belief they are in danger of death or great bodily harm. It applies to all means of force that may result in death, although the legislative debate focused on guns.
I'm sorry, I support it. I don't advocate a "Wild West" mentality nor (jokes aside) do I really buy the whole "pre-emptive strike" mentality. I only know this. If I were going to attack someone with the intent to take something from them (their money, their life, whatever), they wouldn't be necessarily be safe while they turned and ran. Especially if I had any object I could turn into a projectile. Therefore, I consider myself to be stupid if I thought that if all methods of avoidance and deescalation failed, I'd be safe while my back was turned.

You are Napoleon Dyanamite and a buttload of gangs
are trying to recruit you.

Which Napoleon Dynamite character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I'm pulling a Warren Ellis tonight, hanging out at the pub with my laptop, scribbling things down.

Got some emails today, telling me...
  • Piece submitted to Barnstorming - Rejected
  • Piece submitted to American Nerd - Accepted and will appear some Monday before the end of the month.

Monday, April 11, 2005

mess_01 mess_02

Ah, the joys of spring cleaning.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Acerbic Wit of Comic Commentator Lewis Black

Fresh Air from WHYY, April 7, 2005
Do I really need to copy and paste the synopsis?

Saturday, April 09, 2005

That the whole "fairy tale to McSweeney's" thing had already been done by Stephany Aulenback, not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times, at least that I could find?
Ha! I just kill me. Anyway, E and I watched Frank Miller's Sin City last night. I wonder just what I was thinking bringing my pacifist, Buddhist wife to watch it with me. Hers isn't a world that can accept even characterizations of brutal and depraved male anti-heroes. Or of brutal and depraved women whose only escape from exploitation and brutality is to harness their exploitation and become as brutal and depraved as the men around them. To her, it's not a world to be portrayed in graphic novels, let alone the silver screen, even if it just the worst part of a single city.

A frame-by-frame, faithful retelling of one of the most influential comic books in recent decades? Yes. A victory for artists against big corporate interests who would strip-mine (and often water down) an intellectual property in order to make the most bucks possible rather than respect its integrity? Probably. An excuse for the things that are objectionable because:
  • ...it's just a comic book?
  • ...it's a masterpiece in the tradition of film noir?
  • ...it's a testament to the work that so much A-list talent were willing to work on the project?
  • ...it's a gritty and unforgiving look at the darkness within the human soul and how sometimes you need to use it in order to fight it?

Before you answer, let's take another look at those bullet points translated in the "Common tongue" of some supporters.

  • "Ooh, Frank-freakin'-Miller and Robert Rodriguez! Ain't gonna be no nipples-on-the-batsuits here!"
  • "They were SOO faithful to the characters and style of the graphic novels! What else could possibly matter? God, it was like Marv was lifted from the comic right onto the screen!"
  • "See? If Bruce Willis and Benicio del Toro are into this stuff, then I must be as cool as they are!"
  • "Sure, most of the women were whores, but, would you mess with any of them? And, sure, Dwight did hit Gail, who kissed him. But, he did ask her nice to get that uzi out of his face... twice!"

And, maybe that's the problem. Stop at those levels, and it's easy to love this movie. I did. It IS a masterpiece. This movie is the new standard according to which every future comic book movie will be judged.

But, is that a good thing?
This is the joy that's to be had being able to carry a digital camera and a laptop within an area with wireless internet.

stop in the name of love

The above photo does not necessarily represent the views of this blogger. It does, but you shouldn't make that assumption ;).
I caved in and set up a LiveJournal blog - instant gratification lite just so that I'd have an account to read anyone's "friends only" blogs, provided of course I'm listed. I'm a voyeur. Must've been brought on by the camera. Click if you must, but there's nothing there.

Screw RSSReader -- I get the same stuff, no muss, no fuss with my Yahoo! account.

Speaking of which, for those into such things, you can read this blog through an Atom feed.

Friday, April 08, 2005

New pictures on the Flickr. Aside from the post below, nothing too special :).

Submitted three rather twisted fairy tales for McSweeney's consideration. We'll see what happens.

Got an unexpected two days off from the Diamond Mines. Not sure what I'm going to do with them yet.

Going to see Sin City in about 45 minutes. I'll let all of you know how it goes.
Ha ha -- now, DATU_B will never run for office and expect any endorsement from the "We never gave Prohibition a real chance" PAC!

mi Casa es su Casa

AND, I've got video that, taken out of context, edited out of sequence, and spliced together just right would make Ike Turner blush. :D

Thursday, April 07, 2005

I wish I could say it's married life that's kept me from blogging, but alas, it isn't so. Although I will say that I've noticed a propensity to not be gone for 12 uninterrupted hours between work and keeping up with things online, especially with my wife currently down for the count with flu-like symptoms.

That didn't prevent me, however, from spending time with DATU_B and his wife at the $2.00 marguarita/open stage last night. If nothing else, it got me some nice pictures and video clips for showing E what she missed out on as well as for potential blackmail material. I loves me my new camera!

I've got down two-thirds of a particularly twisted piece I'm preparing for McSweeney's and managed a successful pitch for another article for American Nerd. I've got a couple of other things done, but I'm not 100% sure where to send them. Maybe here?

Training has stalled a bit, as schedules and other factors haven't jelled. That hasn't stopped me from working boxing combos whenever I've had the chance and paying particular attention to "male triangle" footwork patterns. B and I hung out and did some stick stuff the other day, but my head wasn't in it as I was fresh out from the Diamond Mines.

I'll leave you all with this -- one of many perpesctives on effective training methods.
It's been an open secret forever, but no reader of f-ed up bizarre stories can be fulfilled without a look at an unedited-for-children Brothers Grimm tale.
The Three Apprentices by the Brothers Grimm

There were once three apprentices, who had agreed to keep always together while traveling, and always to work in the same town. At one time, however, their masters had no more work to give them, so that at last they were in rags, and had nothing to live on. Then one of them said, what shall we do. We cannot stay here any longer, we will travel once more, and if we do not find any work in the town we go to, we will arrange with the innkeeper there, that we are to write and tell him where we are staying, so that we can always have news of each other, and then we will separate. And that seemed best to the others also.

They went forth, and met on the way a richly-dressed man who asked who they were. We are apprentices looking for work. Up to this time we have kept together, but if we cannot find anything to do we are going to separate. There is no need for that, said the man, if you will do what I tell you, you shall not want for gold or for work. Nay, you shall become great lords, and drive in your carriages. One of them said, if our souls and salvation be not endangered, we will certainly do it. They will not, replied the man, I have no claim on you. One of the others, however, had looked at his feet, and when he saw a horse's foot and a man's foot, he did not want to have anything to do with him. Then the devil said, be easy, I have no designs on you, but on another soul, which is half my own already, and whose measure shall but run full. As they were now secure, they consented, and the devil told them what he wanted. The first was to answer, all three of us, to every question. The second was to say, for money, and the third, and quite right too. They were always to say this, one after the other, but they were not to say one word more, and if they disobeyed this order, all their money would disappear at once, but so long as they observed it, their pockets would always be full.

As a beginning, he at once gave them as much as they could carry, and told them to go to such and such an inn when they got to the town. They went to it, and the innkeeper came to meet them, and asked if they wished for anything to eat. The first replied, all three of us. Yes, said the host, that is what I mean. The second said, for money. Of course, said the host. The third said, and quite right too. Certainly it is right, said the host. Good meat and drink were now brought to them, and they were well waited on. After the dinner came the payment, and the innkeeper gave the bill to the one who said, all three of us, the second said, for money, and the third, and quite right too. Indeed it is right, said the host, all three pay, and without money I can give nothing. They, however, paid even more than he had asked. The lodgers, who were looking on, said, these people must be mad. Yes, indeed they are, said the host, they are not very wise. So they stayed some time in the inn, and said nothing else but, all three of us, for money, and and quite right too. But they saw and knew all that was going on.

It so happened that a great merchant came with a large sum of money, and said, sir host, take care of my money for me, here are three crazy apprentices who might steal it from me. The host did as he was asked. As he was carrying the trunk into his room, he felt that it was heavy with gold. Thereupon he gave the three apprentices a
lodging below, but the merchant received a separate apartment upstairs. When it was midnight, and the host thought that all were asleep, he came with his wife, and they had an axe and struck the rich merchant dead. And after they had murdered him they went to bed again. When it was day there was a great outcry. The merchant lay dead in bed bathed in blood. All the guests came running out, but the host said, the three crazy apprentices have done this. The lodgers confirmed it, and said, it can have been no one else. The innkeeper, however, had them called, and said to them, have you killed the merchant. All three of us, said the first. For money, said the second. And the third added, and quite right too. There now, you hear, said the host, they confess it themselves. They were taken to prison, therefore, and were to be tried. When they saw that things were going so seriously, they were after all afraid, but at night the devil came and said, bear it just one day longer, and do not spurn your luck, not one hair of your head shall be hurt.

The next morning they were led to the bar, and the judge said, are you the murderers. All three of us. Why did you kill the merchant. For money. You wicked wretches, you have no horror of your sins. And quite right too. They have confessed, and are still stubborn, said the judge, lead them to death instantly. So they were taken out, and the host had to go with them into the circle. When they were taken hold of by the executioner's men, and were just going to be led up to the scaffold where the hangman was standing with naked sword, a coach drawn by four chestnut horses came up suddenly, driving so fast that fire flashed from the stones, and someone made
signs from the window with a white handkerchief. Then said the hangman, it is a pardon coming, and pardon, pardon, was called from the carriage also. Then the devil stepped out as a very noble gentleman, beautifully dressed, and said, you three are innocent. You may now speak, make known what you have seen and heard. Then said the eldest, we did not kill the merchant, the murderer is standing there in the circle, and he pointed to the innkeeper. In proof of this, go into his cellar, where many others whom he has killed are still hanging. Then the judge sent the
executioner's men thither, and they found it was as the apprentices said, and when they had informed the judge of this, he caused the innkeeper to be led up, and his head was cut off. Then said the devil to the three, now I have got the soul which
I wanted to have, and you are free, and have money for the rest of your lives.
You can find the tale here, among other places.
More ignorant comments on marriage from various people.

"Well, how's the wife abusing you today?" (Asked, coincidentally, while out running an errand for the wife.)

"How's married life? Need any help?"
I bit. "Need any help? I've only been married two weeks."
"That's why I asked."

"So -- made any contributions to the hope chest?"
I am a d6

Take the quiz at dicepool.com

You are a good old-fashioned six-sided cube, otherwise known as a d6. Others know you to be plain, predictable, conservative, average, ordinary, and downright boring. You prefer to describe yourself as dependable, honest, practical and trustworthy. People usually know what to expect from you, since you rarely hold any surprises. You hate to make decisions, and if forced to decide, you'll always fall back on how it was done in the past. You always order the same thing at your favorite restaurant, and your jokes, while funny, are never too offensive. It seems that you are well liked, but maybe that's simply because there's nothing to hate.

Monday, April 04, 2005

You think that there are still some havens against the rising tide of Conservatism's influence? Do you doubt that the same zeitgeist that allowed Dubya to be re-elected lacks the power to reach across time and space, literally and figuratively? Well, doubt no more. From SciFiDaily...
If you're a SciFiDaily reader who does not live in the United States, count yourself lucky. Unless, of course, you live in a theocracy more rigid than ours. A University of Chicago student (and mind you, these students tend to be uncommonly intelligent and perceptive) posted a letter on The Suck Fi Channel Web site, a letter that simultaneously brings great sadness and great anger. He writes: "I recently received the Star Trek DVD collection (Season One)...having watched several of the episodes, I believe that they've been censored a bit! For example, in 'Charlie X,' I distinctly remember Kirk patting Yeoman Rand on the butt, and then Charlie imitates him. The scene...is missing."
Now, to be fair, this is a country that allows stuff like this to be disseminated online.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

For the past couple of nights, I've had some really vivid and interesting dreams. The ones from two nights ago are all but forgotten now except for the recollection that in each of those disparate dreams, I received something pleasant, a gift or what not.

Last night's dream took place in a space behind a shopping center in the middle of the night where I and a few others with me were watching with awe what looked like a commercial jet liner that was way too close for comfort. It was doing all sorts of circles and turns that always made it look like it was about to crash mere yards away from us. But, somehow, the plane always managed to flatten out at the last second and work its way back up in the air. Each time, it seemed to buzz us lower and lower until at one point, it seemed low enough that I actually attempted to jump up and touch the bottom of the fusilage as it passed overhead, just out of my reach. After that, we tried to evacuate the area, but found ourselves boxed in by semis making deliveries. We were in the back of a shopping center, remember.

I need to shoot for submitting another McSweeney's piece. Here's one that got rejected a few months back. I look at this as my "sophomore effort gone bad," the way most of your Top 40 pop stars' CDs often go.
Alternate Parkay Margarine Commercial Tag Lines

It's not nice to bamboozle The Green Man.

It’s bad karma to hoodwink the Buddha.

Liars are a disease. Vishnu is the cure.

Screw with Zeus, and die.

Don't f*ck with the Great Spirit, b!+ch!

© MMV Me

Saturday, April 02, 2005

I've cropped, uploaded, rearranged and layed out the first completed page of what will be our wedding blog.


Browse it, leave any comments you may like, and enjoy! My only request is that there are no linkbacks from that blog back to this blog (ditto for Elena's personal blog). We want to make that blog available to the widest audience possible, but we don't necessarily want our families reading this stuff :). I'm sure you all understand.

Friday, April 01, 2005

For about a month before the wedding, folks (i.e. men) at the Diamond Mines always had something to say (usually negative) about marriage. They were all sorts -- married, single, divorced. But, generally negative.

These comments haven't stopped since I've become a newlywed. So, like Spock in the episode City on the Edge of Forever who was disgusted with himself that he didn't immediately realize that his tricorder could record the time images that The Guardian was displaying, I decided that I'm now going to record these statements.

Today, there were a couple of jokes. I present them edited for clarity (and proper English - more or less).

Have you ever heard of Hallway Sex?

It usually happens about a year into a marriage where the closest you get to sex is passing each other in the hallway and saying "F**k you."

A newlywed couple decide that each time they have sex, one dollar would go in a "hope chest" figuring at the rate they're going, they'll have a ton of money they could use to go on a nice vacation. After about a year, the husband looks in the chest and says to his wife, "Waitaminute, there's way more money here than there should be."

His wife replied, "Well, that's because I had to turn the hope chest into a community chest."
Because as Martin Mull once said, "I have trouble with moving water."

Well, as with most other people whose blogs I frequent, it seems that for one (positive or negative) reason or another, the past two or three weeks have been bad for blogging. Real life often gets in the way, and that's generally a good thing. Now that I've got a bit of time and a bit of focus, let's catch everyone up.

Mama Said Knock You Out - I've got about a month to brush up on boxing techniques. I thought since I'm not going to be in A-Town for only a few months longer, I might as well take this opportunity to participate in a local tough-man competition presented by one of the town's main Bando figures. Because "You're Filipino - boxing's in your blood" as DATU_B tells me. Well, I'm certainly no Estaneslao del Campo, and to my knowledge, I'm not related to him in any way. But nothing ought to motivate me to work on my sparring problems more than the prospect of combat.

Napoleon Dynamite - I managed to sneak this DVD along with me to the honeymoon. Ok, it's not the greatest movie, and yet I like it because I knew many, many kids like this in high school, particularly being in marching band and advanced honors classes.

The thing was apparently developed from a short film entitled Peluca, which Elena enjoyed far more than Napoleon Dynamite itself. I agreed that it feature film did have the feel of a funny SNL skit made into a long and boring film.

Genetics for Dummies -


New Addictions - They're obviously my digital camera and my Flickr account, as you can tell by the photostream linkage I've added to the sidebar as well as the self-restraint site. It's like I told Elena a year ago that I never gave much thought to cameras because up until the past couple of years, there really hasn't been much in my life that I felt was worth documenting. Maybe it's just age, who knows?

I Don't Celebrate April Fool's Day - Perhaps I would if I wasn't surrounded by so many of them every day of the year.

Nothing to Do Next Monday? - Check out American Nerd for my already-dated article on the new Doctor Who (bloody b@$tard).