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

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Nobel material

So, how do you win the Nobel Peace Prize?
I don’t know either, but this guy should win it.

Three Cups of Tea –

Get this book, and in the audio version, very well read.

It is at once a gripping adventure story and at the same time an autobiography of a remarkable man.
Greg Mortenson decides to climb K2 as a tribute to his disadvantaged sister who has passed away.
Having failed, he gets lost on the way down and is nursed back to health in a small Pakistani town.
After recovering he discovers this town has no school and the children are educated in a field.
The perseverance and tolerance of the people remind him of his sister and he vows to build them a school as a much better tribute to his sister.
And he does so, having no idea how and with no means of his own. He lives in his own car so that he can save all his money for expenses when he goes back.
And he doesn’t figure in his own costs to what he asks for from donors.
The end cost? $12,000 for a school that will be there forever.

What ensues is a lifelong occupation of traveling and raising money as head of the Central Asia Institute -
He ultimately builds fifty five schools, funds teachers and humanitarian efforts in one of the most dangerous places on earth.
Mortenson realizes that the greatest way to combat terrorism and Radical Islam is through education.
Prior to 9/11 Madrasahs are springing up all over Pakistan and Afghanistan. Run by Radical mullahs, they often offer the only option of education for people who have no prospects for their children. Offering full tuition, the Madrasah and it’s vehemence become their only purpose.
Mortensen knows that offering education, and especially to girls, it the best way to combat this and provide a future.
Already in the region when 9/11 occurs, Mortenson still travels back into Pakistan for another month as “he had projects underway to complete” despite frantic warnings from the state dept.
With one of the strongest understandings of the area and the conditions, Mortenson has a refreshing perception of the “war on Terror” and his experiences during those days.

Get this book (and how do we nominate him for the Nobel?)!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fantasy Fight Club

We’ve all seen the stuff people with too much time and too little brains do.
Fantasy Football, Fantasy NASCAR, Fantasy Basketball
You can go online, flesh out your team, make trades ect and watch their performance.
Years ago MTV ran a Claymation show called Celebrity Deathmatch.

Now combine the two.

My son is in the 9th grade. Now remember back to when you were 14. Brain still developing at a high rate, testosterone, imagination is in full bloom.

He has a friend who is admittedly somewhat of a geek.
But the boy’s father IMO is one bad MF, yet a hell of a nice guy.
He enjoys when my son and I come over because it helps his son learn to be a bit more outgoing and learn more about the dangers of the world.
As they hang out he and I will talk and it will often gravitate towards violence of some sort. Common ground I guess. He gave me the title of this Blog in fact.
He grew up in an abused home. His father once learned that the school bus driver was feeling up his older sister.
He was tasked with taking the bus the next day and beating the hell out of the driver at 14yrs of age.
And he did it too. When one hand got bloody, he used the other while holding the doors shut with his foot so the police couldn’t get in till he was done.
As he put it “I was way more afraid of what my father would do than anything the police or administrators could do”.
And yet, when his kids were younger, he ran a daycare and the mothers idolized him.
So much for “your environment determines who you end up as”

At the movies the other night he told me the latest.

Seems a bunch of the 9th grade boys are running a Fantasy Father Fight club. They match up everybody’s father as to who they think would kick whose ass.
Turns out he and I are now at the top of the standings! The other boys want to have us fight so they can film it and put it on youtube.
All he could say was “boy, those other kids sure don’t have much faith in their fathers”
I told him I’m up for it. We can take side bets on ourselves and I’ll take a fall. I’m good with 2nd place. Maybe we can use foam noodles.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Blackgrave's Barung

Shipped this one out today finally.

Mike asked for a few trainers and this is the first one.

It's a copy of one of Yuli Romo's.

Took a bit of trial and error but I surpassed even my expectations.

Really has quite a nice feel to it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bobbe's coming

I understand Bobbe is coming out for the Gathering again.
Not much time but I thought I should get him a gift.
But I'm looking for some help here.

I was thinking this looked pretty good for his ongoing job search.

But then I thought something that would get just a little more use like these coasters.

Again, knowing Bobbe's hi-tech leanings, can't go wrong with something on DVD
But ultimately, I'm leaning towards these soft and luxurious slippers.
Waddaya think?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Fatballs - Gastonomic sabotage

Sometimes it’s hard to fathom what our stomachs are able to digest.
Having rid myself of Microscopic Colitis (an un-purchased souvenir from the Philippines I believe) and still having some minor Irritable Bowel Syndrome, I’m usually more acutely aware of what’s going in there. Infact, the digestive system is an organ that you don’t feel doing it’s job. It’s surmised that part of the issue with IBS is that sufferers actually do feel the peristalsis.

One of the local treats during Tulip time is the Gut Wagons as locals call them. “Once a year can’t be bad for you, right?” is what you hear a lot.
I pretty well avoided them all week, cept for those two illicit corndogs on the way to the library Weds. No one knows so they don’t count, right?
Saturday Cole’s girlfriend had her final performance of Dutch Dancing so we went down to watch and caught some of the parade while we were there.
Dutch Dancing is a real treat for some folks as they do it to hokey music wearing wooden shoes. Little known fact is, the dances are completely made up. Not traditional at all.

So, of course I went all in and indulged.
The take for the day?

Large bucket of French fries – shared
Another Corndog – all mine
Metwurst with Kale and potatoes – mostly mine
Banket (almond stick) – lucky to get what I did from Roberta’s
Olliebollen (sm fried dough with soaked raisins) – mine
Currant bread with almond filling – mine
Large fatball with bavarian creme filling - shared
Pizza – shared
Large BBQ pork Sandwich – shared

Oh, and we stopped for an ice cream cone on the way home to top it off.
Amazing I wasn’t rolling on the floor in agony. Probably due to all the walking.

And Yesterday I had to go into town to the library again on the way home from Mushtaq’s.
Darn if there weren’t a few stands still open.
Yep, one more corn dog and some caramel Corn.
I’m good for another year.

Oh and Bobbe, I did sample some Gouda and Edam on your behalf. I know you really enjoy Dutch cheese vicariously through me. It’s OK, this stuff wasn’t very good.

But to bring things back on plane, on Friday I found a place in downtown GR that serves Sambal, Massaman Curry, Panang and summer rolls. The Sambal and Summer Rolls are excellent (at least for W. Michigan).

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


This could be hazardous material, depending on who reads it.

Monday, May 5, 2008

New Trainers

Have several new trainers I'm working on and got two done over the weekend.

I'll have pics of Blackgrave's Barung in a day or two.

I was able to get one of the two trainers I did for Chris and his Commando Krav Maga training. I was able to complete it in between waiting for steps of Mike's to dry or cool.

Chris was less than pleased with the style of trainers out there and wanted something more realistic to what they would use. That's Krav for ya.

So he brought me a pic for the SOG Seal Pup and I did one a tad larger. Ended up going with a wrap of hockey tape. Makes it a bit tackier, similar to the original scale material anyway.

Surprisingly happy with how this one turned out.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Advice for Bobbe

Never argue with a woman who reads
Versions of this have been told before but this one fits Bobbe well.

One morning a woman's husband returns the boat to their lakeside cottage after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap. Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out. She motors out a short distance, anchors, puts her feet up, and begins to read her book.

The peace and solitude are magnificent.

Along comes a Fish and Game Warden in his boat. He pulls up alongside the woman and says, 'Good morning, Ma'am. What are you doing?'

'Reading a book' she replies, (thinking, Isn't that obvious?')

'You're in a Restricted Fishing Area,' he informs her.

'I'm sorry, officer, but I'm not fishing. I'm reading.'

'Yes, but I see you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I'll have to take you in and write you up.'

'If you do that, I'll have to charge you with sexual assault,' says the woman.

'But I haven't even touched you,' says the Game Warden.

'That's true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment.'

'Have a nice day ma'am,' and he left.

MORAL: Never argue with a woman who reads. It's likely she can also think