Thursday, November 27, 2008

New Toy.

I've been depending on Mapquest pretty heavily recently, so I figured it was time to break down and just get a GPS.

On the advice of a number of people I talk to, I ended up deciding on the Garmin Nuvi. It's small, has a decent battery life, does what I need without a serious case of feature creep, and the price is decent, so I picked one up.

It got here yesterday. The first surprise was that, instead of the unit I ordered, they sent me an upgraded model (no complaint here). I was, however, kind of annoyed that, while there was a car charger, there was no AC charger included. It's not a huge deal. I just have to get an adapter, but still.

So, in the meantime, I'm recharging it on my computer (it charges through its data port).

I spent part of the night playing around with it, adding favorite locations, etc.

After a while, I started looking at the built in points of interest, and ended up finding things I never knew were around here. One of them, however, made me do a double take:

DUI Limo Services.

Would you want to get a ride from a place called DUI Limo Services? I have to say that I'd be a little reluctant to use them for fear of truth in advertising...

Current music: Adam & The Ants - Stand And Deliver
Current mood: tired, but amused

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

No, I'm not dead. I've just been tied up with a lot of things.

It's sort of a busy time, as it is with a lot of people. Work, shopping, trying to find my sanity (not that that's likely), etc.

I thought I'd share a piece of conversation between Karyl and myself yesterday. It rather amused me.

Me: Chocolate, blood, what's the difference? :P
Karyl: What kind of chocolate have YOU been eating? lol
Me: The chocolate of the innocent :P
Karyl: Who do you know that bleeds chocolate and where can I find them? :P
Me: They're really rare. They were especially prized by the Mayans and Aztecs, so they went into hiding...
Karyl: Find me a colony of them, I might just have to turn vampire. :P mmm chooocolate.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

An Old Story.

For the last few days, an old Chinese story has been floating around inside my head.

Sometimes, the best way to get something like that off of your mind is to share it.

A man and his wife lived in their home on the outskirts of the city and every day, the man would tell his wife that he was leaving to have dinner with his important friends.

It pleased his wife to think that he was so well liked by so many important people and that they were so well off. However, as time went by, she became curious to know who his important friends were, so she secretly followed him one day.

What she found made her break down into tears and filled her with horror.

Her husband was indeed dining with important people. Every day, he went to the cemetery where he ate the grave offerings left by the families of dead officials for it turns out that, despite their appearance, the husband and wife were very poor and that even the wife was fooled.

Current mood: contemplative
Current music: Breaking Benjamin – Until The End

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I can haz new toy?

Anyone out there in internet land want to buy me one of these? It's even on sale :P

Monday, November 03, 2008

Time For A Change.

According to some traditions, a new year started a couple of days ago.

In that spirit, I've been meaning to make a resolution, and now, it seems, is as good a time as any to do so.

For the last year or so, I've been extremely busy. To be honest, I've been working on things pretty much 7 days a week for most of it. I really wasn't kidding when I said that taking the day and a half off was a rare chance.

Hopefully that will change for the better soon (and I'm working toward that end), but until then, I just have to deal with it.

That said, the schedule I've been running on (or being run over by depending on how you look at it) has left me with a problem - I haven't been as active as I should be.

To tell the truth, I feel slow and stiff lately. Granted, my "slow and stiff" is still faster and more graceful than most people on a good day, but by my standards, I've slipped more than a little.

In order to remedy this, I have decided to try to carve out some time to start training again. I'm going to have to ease back into it because I haven't for a while, but thankfully I know what I'm doing and how far/hard I can push myself (this is one of the things that having had a really good sifu will get you).

Talking with Karyl about this earlier today, we decided that I should at least try to get back to where I was when I was in college putting the fencing team through its paces and playing with the local black belts. Personally, I want to not only get back there but surpass it. It will take time and effort, but I think it will be worth it.

I made the comment that I want to be skinny, and it was pointed out that, by normal concepts of skinny, that's not going to happen and that "lean" would be a better word to use. She's right. Skinny really doesn't fit with the size of my frame and the amount of muscle that I have (even given my decreased activity of late).

Starting out, I think it's best that I work on strength, flexibility, and endurance. From there, I'll add targeting and fine motor control training.

In my opinion, the last two things on the list have slipped even though they're still better than most of the people I've gone up against. I used to target within 1/2" of a thumbtack sized target at full extension (using either a rapier or a hand and a half sword). Now it's within 1" of a 1" target. Both are, by most people's standards, quite good, but I dislike that I've let myself go a bit. I'm better than that, and I know it.

Now it's time to prove it, and get back on top of things again. By the end of this, I want to lose the tummy, regain my flexibility, and hopefully have my stamina back.

Current mood: pondering
Current music: Bodyrockers - Round & Round

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Basics.

When I was a child, my sifu used to tell me that while learning to fight properly was an important part of my training, the basics were far more useful.

Focus on your stance, posture, breathing, and small movements, because fighting can get you out of some bad situations, but the basics can help you with so much more.

The longer I travel on my path, the more I see that he was right.

The ability to fight has indeed gotten me out of some bad situations, and even helped save my life and the lives of a couple of other people. However, those basics help me focus and clear my mind when I get overwhelmed with things in my life.

Focus on stance, posture, breathing, and small movements.

With those four simple tools, I can work to pull myself together when I start to fall apart. That isn’t to say that they cure everything or make everything “all better”. Nothing will do that, and anyone who tells you differently is lying to you (and possibly to themselves).

For me, those four basic things help me regain enough mental and physical composure to attempt to keep going when things feel like they are going to become unbearable. They allow me to let the flood of problems wash over and around me without drowning me.

For that, I owe him a great deal.

Current mood: …
Current music: Breaking Benjamin – Here We Are