My body has traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved

Friday, October 26, 2007

This is how we roll.

Well, it's been almost 7 months now and I still really friggin love my Hummer H3.
Not because of what it says (no one's listening anyway) but because of what it does/is. How it looks doesn't matter that much (though I do like how it looks).
I get 17mpg in daily driving. Even better if there is some highway involved. My wife's V8 Silverado gets that. 19-20 on a trip.
So all the ignorant greenee weenies can kiss my A**.
If they want to be environmentalists, great. I have strong leanings in that respect. But they need to do their homework first. I try to before making a condemnation.
When I went to look for a new vehicle it was because my 185,000 V6 Exploder was making me a nervous wreck and leaving me stranded.
It was time.
So I pretty much had three requirements. 4WD (we live in the sticks and they don't plow the roads that much anymore with the dwindling tax $), 4 doors and room enough in the back seat for my 5'9" son.
That was it, whatever I could get into was fine with me. New, used, lease. I don't care. Oh, and no Fords again (last one was an aberration to that).
Started looking around. Headroom became an unseen factor. Eventually realized that with the interest rates on used, cheaper to go with new.
Well, the car manufacturers push certain segments with more rebates, ect. Nothing avail on that small pickup.
So I was pushed towards a trailblazer. Yeah it was OK but nothing to write a blog about.
Then we realized that the Hummer H3 was in the same range. On a whim we had test driven one for my wife previously.
So I hit up the same salesman and said, "beat the price I got on the Trailblazer and I'll buy one today".
Hell, he beat it by $30 a month!
It's stripped down. All I got was the hitch and the satellite radio. They couldn't find a white one without the radio and now I love it anyway.
Base price? $29K Price as delivered? $30K and change.
Beats the living hell out of all those Suburbans and Exscalades at $45+K.
It has the most supportive seats (great for ingraining my therapy work), unbelievable visibility (much needed with all the cell phones and distracted idiots), a 37ft turning radius (unbelievable) and rides unbelievably smooth.
So I still continually get snooty looks and what not.
Yep, just keep thinking that way. Makes me laugh at their ignorance.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Leaving on a jet plane

So, we'll be leaving town for a few days. Heading off to San Francisco for the Nike Women's Marathon which Roberta will be running in again.

Quite a great thing this marathon. Through Team in Training these women raise millions, yes millions of dollars for The Luekemia and Lympoma society to fund research on cures. And they have found some. When we were there in 2005 they had a speaker who had been cured by a last option new procedure developed in a research lab funded by the Society. Roberta actually coaches one of the groups now.

Of course there will be the obigatory time spent enjoying SF as well, one of our favorite towns.

And of course the trip to Sonoma

But as if this trip couldn't get any better, somehow I talked Roberta into a side trip to Seattle and the Curry Thief Bobbe!

I can't tell you how excited I am about that. Bobbe has already detailed our itinerary of culinary debauchry.

Oh yeah, and since I'm finally starting to get back up to fight speed (would you agree Mariah?), there might even be a friendly Moro dance or two!

We won't be back in town until the 27th so I may or may not post again before then.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Jay asked if I could explain the logo at the top. Honestly didn't see that coming, guess I really should have. It is the new logo for the new school/class I will be starting. I've been looking for a place to train/teach for a while now. Really just wanted a training group near home that I could explore stuff with and hone the stuff I did with Mushtaq. Not a lot of options in a small town. Would love to have the Pippen golden ticket, a pole barn outside. Maybe if I sold the Camaro. Then about 6 weeks ago I saw one of those signs on the side of the road "Karate/MMA Opening soon" Sounds like opportunity knocking. So I went in and introduced myself and the rest is prehistory. So starting next month I will be running my own Southern Philippines MA class. This will be strictly the Moro Sword work Mushtaq and I have been training in together. See, Mushtaq learned this in the early '60s back when there really was little FMA in California. And this was with a Filipino from Marawi in the South and his son Rasheed. His name was Jalaluddin Abdalsalaam. Mushtaq trained in this very unique style for quite a few years as a youth before going off to college and eventually discovering Silat.
In fact is was Guru Julaluddin who encouraged him to look into Silat as he considered it the source. Fast forward a few decades. Rasheed died in Vietnam and Guru Jalaluddin has died. Mushtaq and I trained together in whatever skills made what I was trying to improve better (dramatically). Oftentimes he would explain that it came from then, other times I just did what he told me. Eventually I realized that this system was incredibly unique. I had never seen anything like it and I knew that it was simply too kewl to disappear.
Mushtaq really didn't realize how cool it was and had never looked around to see that really no one else did it. So I convinced him to teach it to me top to bottom, side to side, angle on angle so to speak as a stand alone system. And it really needs to be. The techniques are interrelated and revolve around the concepts. Not that it can't complement systems, it did for me for years. But to really see the beauty in it, it needs to be done alone. It's quite amazing. I see some skill bits in other styles and hints at how it's done but it's like over the years they've lost what made the movements work.
See this is a bit of a time capsule. Guru Abdalsalaam learned it we guess sometime around the '30s when it was for protection as a merchant.
Then he taught it to Mushtaq the same way. They trained very traditionally the same way he had learned. Mushtaq has never trained anyone with it as a system. You may have had bits of it from him because it helped train an attribute but not really. So whats hard is pulling it back out and putting it back together as a teachable system. Mushtaq remembers learning it at a teenager (picture that) so we have to reenvision it as a teachable system.
So the new school I contacted wanted a syllabus, ect. Kind of a way of gleaning out the pretenders who thought they could teach there. So now we've got a syllabus and a logo.
Navadisha Asika Naipunya is Sanskrit loosly translated at Nine Angle Sword Mastery. We choose Sanskrit rather than deal with all the BS about origins and what word was used when. Sanskrit predates all that crap. The Shield and Swords logo is a modern cleanup of the same logo Mushtaq did for they system back in the 60s with Guru's approval. The nine angles is 9 angles of what happens to me, not how I attack you like most systems. I respond to an attack that comes in one of those 9 zones of my "sphere" and depending on where my weapon(s) and body is in relationship to that angle/zone, will dictate my response.
So there you have it. Mariah Moore and myself are the first since the '60s to open the time capsule and I'm giving the first taste for free in three weeks. Bobbe maybe sooner if the cheese is good.

Friday, October 12, 2007


So here's Cole and his girlfriend Megan before the homecoming dance.

Cole turned 14 yesterday and is really becoming a nice young man. He has had more than his share of struggles as a kid (believe me, much harder than your average), adolescence has not been easy and it is so exciting seeing him turn into a nice young man destined for great things. Megan has been a nice effect on him too. He hasn't always been what I thought I wanted and he was my kryptonite as an FMA teacher but I love him to death. I couldn't be prouder. Happy Birthday Cole!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Currently listening

So driving to work sucks, but not after you discover books on CD.

I started reading Terry Brooks novels sometime in the late 80's. I picked up the original Shannara Trilogy as one of my choices from one of those get the first 10books cheap and then quit deals. Little did I realize the worlds that opened to me.

I've since read everything Terry as written. I read Running With The Demon but then lost interest in that series after awhile eventually going back and enjoying the sequels even more than the first. Some books are like that if you trust in the author. Just not the right time in your life for that particular one.

Then in August 07 came for me the best written ever by Terry, Armageddon's Children.

Terry does the unexpected and ties together then end of all the original Shannara books and weaves together the world of the Word and the Void.

Armmegedon's Children takes place after the "Great Wars" hinted at by the last of the Shannara books. The setting of a post apocalypse world where demons are beginning to wrest control is devastating and disheartening. Terry Brooks does a masterful job telling the stories of the "ghosts", Children struggling in this landscape.

Now comes the 2nd in this series, The elves of Cintra. Brooks ties together both series and offers a glimpse of hope for the future.

If you love Scifi or Fantasy, pickup both of these and get them on audio!