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

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Scenes from a storm

Here's a few shots from yesterday.
Some digging out yesterday until more began this morning.
We've gotten four inches of fine snow this morning since I got to work.
Crossing my fingers that it doesn't all melt before Jan 1 when the snowmobile trails open for the season locally. Such awesome powder I can taste it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Storm part 1 and part 2

We're in the midst of the 2nd 1/2 of the current winter storm. Before I could even get the pics taken and downloaded the 2nd phase came in this morning.
Friday started around 3-4 AM at around 1" per hour. Pretty much every school in the area was closed even those that don't. Thankfully that decreased significantly the number of vehicles on the road for my commute. That still didn't stop some idiot in a Pontiac sunfire from pulling out in front of me. I did push out a guy in a Ford Explored just stuck right in the middle of my road spinning. Strange.
Of course by 3PM the snow had stopped and even though it hadn't been plowed all the fools seemed to think they needed to be out shopping then. Or I should say spinning in parking lots and getting stuck in intersections. People, the reason they cancel school is it's not safe for your kids on the roads. That doesn't make it any safer for you to take your kids to the mall personally.

Mostly it was just a lot of snow coming down in a short period. No big deal once we shovelled out the elderly neighbor's long driveway.

Yesterday was fine and I managed to complete gifts for Mushtaq and Chris for today.
Well they'll have to wait a bit longer and you'll have to wait for pics.
Snow started again around 11PM and this morning dawned with heavy snow and even heavier blowing this morning. Not the brightest thing to be driving to GR. (maybe I should go to the mall!)

Made for and interesting design on the screen door.

I'll just sit here and look out remembering why we call this Snowglobe acres and smelling the venison chili Cole is cooking. Maybe I'll even watch the Lions loose again.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Astig Lameco - Roger Agbulos

Got off the phone with my good friend Roger Agbulos in LA last night and realized I’ve been remiss in never writing about Roger here.
I did post a pic back in Feb after nationals when he hosted us at his house but he really deserves more.

Roger is original student of the late Edgar Sulite. Roger was part of Edgar’s private backyard group of students referred to as Lameco Orihinal.
You’ll probably never hear it from Roger but from what I can gather he was one of the main fighters in Edgar’s group.

Roger’s done a lot of things since Edgar’s sad passing and has turned into a fantastic teacher who eventually named what he evolved into as Astig Lameco.

I met Roger back several years ago when I was trying to find out about some Bakbakan tournaments, might have been 2005, I’m not sure.
It’s just one of those things, we see eye to eye on a lot of important topics and any that we don’t really aren’t important.
When I was getting into the smakstick blade sparring Roger was the one who provided me with a lot of guidance and a goodly portion of the theories and techniques we use for it can be directly attributed to him.
So, a good portion of Cole’s success belongs to Roger as well.

Roger’s got a few clips up on Youtube now so take a look or google him. He's in several FMA books including Master's of the Blade by Rey Galang as well as holding seminars consistently up and down the west coast.

Here's a few more I couldn't get to embed

If he comes in your area for a seminar, or if you’re looking to bring someone in, hook up.
You will get more than your money’s worth.
Besides being a great practitioner of FMA and a really nice guy, he’s hilarious.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

sweet lock and throw

Back from Cole's first varsity tournament.
Pretty nice lock up and throw here at 1:08 when the guy tried too hard with a setup and Cole used it against him to get the headlock. Not bad for three weeks of wrestling. Just needs more experience now. Most of these guys have been wrestling for years. His MMA coach Gery Weichman showed up to watch too which was pretty nice of him.

Even got his picture in the local paper's sports write up, go figure

story link

Digging out

Just a touch of lake effect snow yesterday. Sun's coming back out now but more is expected to move in tonight.

Makes for awesome snowmobiling though! Pretty fun driving too (if you drive a Hummer).

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wrasslin kudos

Cole had his first wrestling meet last night. Went pretty well. Lost one (was up on point till getting caught in a bad position) and won the 2nd one something like 14 to 1. The first opponent was from a powerhouse school that pretty much decimated the varsity team.

When Cole announced 4 weeks ago he was going out for Wrestling we were pretty surprised. He tried wrestling in elementary school and had a very bad experience with it.
To go out now as a sophomore when a lot of the other wrestlers have been doing it for years and years takes guts. Well, I should know by now to never underestimate Cole but I still gotta give him major props for joining the team, taking the usual jock crap and sticking it out. The conditioning for MMA is pretty intense so the training is no problem for him.
He has been doing MMA for over a year now and thoroughly enjoying that. Most of his opponents in MMA are much older, experienced and way bigger so he's not intimidated any more.
Problem is he really doesn't know the complicated rules and maneuvers of wrestling.
But it seems he picks it up pretty quickly. Pay no attention to the guy yelling, I don't know who that was.

In fact, he's being pulled up to varsity for the Saturday meet due to the senior being unavailable. They're also going to eventually have that wrestler move down in weight and move Cole up permanently at some point.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Still one of the funniest, orginal bit's I've seen. Chuckle every time

And later with Natalie

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pins and needles

Well, mostly needles.

It's been 18months now since the shoulder surgery and things continue to progress. Certainly not at the rate I would prefer but as Cody has taught me, only measure where you're at now based on where you were say 3 months ago (and it's a safe conclusion you will be just as improved in 3 more months). Not where you want to be, that will just get you frustrated.

I still have alot of problems and pain but we're moving forward most days.
One problem I have been having is that many of my muscles have developed a memory based on imbalances and excessive work they have had to individually do.

Due to poor shoulder stability occurring from poor genetics and years of heavy repetitive lifting(followed by years of hard training), my deltoids are to put it in layman's terms, frazzled.

As I work to resolve the strength imbalances and such, they want to go back to their old tendencies and do all the work.

What results is very sore tendons, tendinitis and muscles that are on all the time. Massage helps but it really doesn't bring resolution.

What I came to realize is, much like Bobbe's PC, they needed a reboot. A chance to reset and start over with where things are at now.

Consistent with Mushtaq's philosophy of the Universe giving you what you need only just when you need it, I hit on the idea of acupuncture right about the time he found out that a yoga student of his was a professional acupuncturist. AND she comes to my town once a week.

Can't pass up a convergence of meridian lines like that.

It's been a week now since my session and I have nothing but great things to say about it. My stress level has been down. My mood has been much improved. And my pain level has been reduced by about 70%. I can now look over my left shoulder to a degree I haven't been able to in I've lost track of how many years. I could immediately feel the release of tension in all my shoulder muscles as if I had been given a strong muscle relaxant. Yet I haven't felt this physically alert in a very long time. For those who believe in the concept of Chi, I can really feel it flowing at times and realize that that was a major symptom of the problems I was experiencing. Looking back I can see how blocked a lot of the flow was.

I can say that she is an extremely competent practitioner and Mushtaq would agree as she's worked wonders on him as well. I'm actually starting to feel spunky and ready to spar again, which is good because with his new eyes, so is Mushtaq.

If you have the avenue open to you, I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The result?

Eh, about 5-6 inches.

Not enough to ride the sleds but maybe tonight as it did freeze up pretty good overnight.

The water in Lake MI is still fairly warm (for November) and cold air storms passing over it can cause alot of lake effect snow due to the differential. It's pretty fluffy stuff with a low moisture content as a result though.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Joe Hyams RIP 1923-2008

Author Joe Hyams died last week. Hard to believe he was 85.,0,6624967.story

If you're a martial artist and you haven't read "Zen in the Martial Arts" then you're either training alone in a vacuum or your instructor and classmates have let you down by not telling you about this book.

Published in '79, I think I first read it back in "86 and it still resonates today. I think I'm on my 4th or 5th copy as I continually lend them out. Not a big problem as it's a fairly inexpensive printing and chock full of info. I still find myself drawing from some of the mental concepts in my teaching. But not the one of going to the dentist without medication. Had a teacher who tried it once though.

If Joe had done nothing else, this would be a great legacy. But he wrote and did so much more.

First Snow

Had the first real snow of the season overnight. We've had some dusting the past week but nothing that lasted. Don't really count it until it affects driving in my opinion.
Difficult taking decent pics in low light before leaving this morning (Stupid daylight savings).
They're predicting 3-5 this evening. Guess it's a good thing I got the chains on the tractor Saturday. Still have some Bamboo to cover though.
Yeeeeaaahhhhh (sarcasm implied)!
On the other hand, snowmobiles are lubed and ready to go!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Feels like the first time

Under the category "A First Time for Everything,"
Chris and I took Cole to the range Yesterday.

First time with 20 Ga.

I'm extremely thankful to have someone of Chris' background and high skill to methodically teach Cole all the particulars of gun safety and hunting.

I'm not quite as interested as Cole but it's a good skill to have. A longstanding healthy (and rational) fear decades ago is what led me to my current familiarity with pointy tools.

Friday, November 7, 2008

New trainer toys

Finished some new trainers recently.

Another Barung for Mike Blackgrave's students (2 actually)

This is a surprise for Mike. A trainer based on blade blanks he sent to Mushtaq. This one has teak handles and feels REALLY good in the hand. This is off a Yuli Romo design

Had this one in the works for a long time, finally completed the zebra wood handles. The design is Mushtaq's

A Barong to be given as prizes at the Pacific Island tourney a few weeks ago. It looked like at the last minute we were going to have to give out IOU's and I didn't really want to do that so I spent every available minute for 4 days working on trainers.

Cole's one off fantasy design using leftover scraps. Somehow morphed into a pretty darn good Kuku Macan.

The assassin Barong. Gave this one away at the tournament too. I really liked this one. Small enough to fit up the sleeve ala this:

The handle was alot of work so I started the other barungs for time's sake.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Michael Crichton ~ 1942-2008

On the web:
Best-selling author Michael Crichton died unexpectedly in Los Angeles Tuesday, November 4, 2008 after a courageous and private battle against cancer.
He will be profoundly missed by those whose lives he touched, but he leaves behind the greatest gifts of a thirst for knowledge, the desire to understand, and the wisdom to use our minds to better our world.

I've read and enjoyed the majority of his books, Sate of Fear the maybe exception. It was thought provoking but a little too onesided.
Reading up a bit I didn't realize he had written and directed Westworld which was the first feature film that used 2D computer generated imagery (CGI) and the first use of 3D CGI was in its sequel Futureworld.

Ironically probably my favorite was "The Great Train Robbery" loosely based on historical events surrounding the Great Gold Robbery of 1885 because his attention to historical detail and setting (similar to his penchant for extensive scientific research on his more recent books) made it quite enjoyable.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Very stirring

Stayed up way past midnight to catch what promised to be a monumental acceptance speech.

It was that and more.

I must say McCain gave one of his best speeches. Perhaps if he had campaigned like that....

And when Obama said "the UNITED States of America"....

What a difference the emphasis of one word can make.
But I gotta be honest, all the hype about Obama being African American?
Now I know it's important and monumental. But for me, it was really irrelevant.
He was the candidate I felt best suited for the job (overwhelmingly of course).
For me, it was in his manner, intelligence, the respect he garnered and the plan he shared.
It sort of bothers me that race would overshadow that accomplishment.
It's probably an ignorant view but race was really a non issue (and I think it should be).
But don't get me wrong, I was very moved by all the excitement I saw of what people never thought would happen.
And yeah, I had to get extra caffine this morning.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I did my part

We hit the polls at around 7:10 and the wait was not really that bad. Around 25mins.
It was around 15min during the last election around the same time of day. By the time we left the line was actually quite a bit shorter.
I knew I wanted to get there as early as possible as I sure didn't want to listen to all the hype the rest of the day on the news about how terrible the lines were.

Did you do your part?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Taking a stand update part duh - the night before

Well, now they didn't even bother with running over the sign. This time they took it right off the stakes and left.
Barack, hurry up and win already. Shut the bastards up, please????????

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Flyleaf - So I thought

Not your run of the mill lyrics here.

From their official website :

while many loud rockers reopen old wounds by singing about their broken homes and broken hearts, Flyleaf confront past traumas to heal old scars and prove in the process that hope shines brighter than despair

Flyleaf's self-titled debut album echoes with songs about abuse, neglect, addiction and dysfunction, and messages about overcoming adversity. And the band's wide array of brooding beats, atmospheric textures and lunging riffs compliment Mosley's emotionally revealing lyrics, which range from breathy and beautiful to scathing and aggressive

This has now become a new hard rock genre known as Positivism.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Stingy Jack = Jack o' Lantern

So do you really know where Jack o' Lanterns come from?

Can't trust everything on Wikipedia (especially during the election season) but this is folk lore so there is no correctness.

Stingy Jack
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Folk-Lore History
As the story goes, several centuries ago amongst the myriad of towns and villages in Ireland there lived a drunkard known as "Jack the Smith". Jack was known throughout the land as a deceiver, manipulator, and otherwise dreg of society. On a fateful night the Devil overheard the tale of Jack's evil deeds and silver-tongue. Unconvinced (and envious) of the rumors, the Devil went to find out for himself whether or not Jack lived up to his vile reputation.
Typical of Jack, he was drunk and wandering through the countryside at night when he came upon a body on his cobblestone path; the body with an eerie grimace on its face turned out to be the Devil. Jack in a somber mood realized this was his end, the Devil had finally come to collect his malevolent soul. Jack made a last request: he asked the Devil to let him drink ale before he departed to hell. The Devil finding no reason not to acquiesce the request took Jack to the local pub and supplied him with many drinks of alcoholic beverages. Upon quenching his thirst Jack asked the Devil to pay the tab on the ale, this to the Devils surprise. Jack convinced the Devil to metamorphose into a silver coin with which to pay the bartender (impressed upon by Jack's unyielding nefarious tactics). Shrewdly, Jack stuck the now transmogrified devil (coin) into his pocket, which also contained a crucifix. The Devil, unable to escape his form (bound by the crucifix) agreed to a demand of Jack that his soul be spared for ten years (in exchange for the Devil's freedom).
Exactly ten years senior to the date upon which Jack originally struck his deal, he found himself once again in the presence of the Devil. Same as the setting before, Jack happened upon the Devil and seemingly accepted it was his time to go to Hell for good. As the Devil prepared to take him to the underworld, Jack asked if he could have one apple, with which to feed his starving belly. Foolishly the Devil once again agreed to this last request. As the Devil climbed up the branches of a nearby apple tree, Jack surrounded its base with crucifixes. The Devil, frustrated at the fact that he been entrapped again, demanded his release. As Jack did before, he demanded that his soul never be taken by the Devil into Hell, the Devil agreed and was set free.
Eventually the drinking and unstable lifestyle took its toll on Jack, he died the way he had lived. As Jack's soul prepared to enter Heaven through the gates of St. Peter, he was stopped. He was told that due to the lifestyle he had lead, the life full of deceit, drinking, and sinful behavior, he was not permitted entrance into Heaven. Jack in a dreary state now went and stood before the Gates of Hades and begged for commission into underworld. The Devil, fulfilling his obligation to Jack, could not take his soul; however, out of pity he gave Jack an ember. From that day on till eternity's end, Jack is doomed to roam the world between the planes of good and evil, with only an ember inside a hollowed Turnip (Jack's second favorite food, after rutabagas) to light his way.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A good weekend

Rained most of the weekend but it was still fruitful. Good training.

What do you have to show for yours?

And yes, Cole was involved in a way.