ellyssian: (sphinx)
I wrote this poem a little less than a month ago. Haven't mentioned it, except to Stacy, and I probably wouldn't have, but...

If I said my heart weighs heavy on the matter, it would be in both the emotional and physical sense. I've been taking more nitro pills now than I did in the months immediately following the heart attack/stent at the end of April last year. Things just haven't been right. We've been tweaking my meds for blood pressure, and I take a ton ~ about 17 times the prior dosage ~ of fish oil.

Anyway, this poem sort of sums up where I've been mentally and physically for the past month or so...



heart of the matter
By Everett A Warren
February 19, 2012


defective products
spoil us
no matter how weak
the consumer protections
when something breaks
we expect something
a notice in the mail
factory recall
replace or repair
and this piece of 2x4
a board in the left side
something is wrong
maybe it can get fixed
maybe it can't
a slew of pills a day
each day
forever
keeping me alive
a prescription cocktail
skip and die
how many?
not one, that's happened before
maybe two or three?
maybe a dozen or more?
i do not know
and
i do not want to find out
the wrong way
and when i
kiss
my kids goodbye
and when i
kiss
my love goodnight
it's in the back of my mind
each time
each kiss
each goodbye

which is the last?


Copyright (c) 2012 Everett Ambrose Warren

ellyssian: (Default)
This cold/flu/whatever is like a roller coaster. Just as progress towards becoming human seems imminent, another symptom, previously marginalized, jumps forward and says "Hey, now! We're not done yet!"

Yesterday, my sinuses cleared and my lungs went south, while Stacy's lungs were feeling better and her sinuses bogged down. Today, it's the opposite. Roughly. In reality, there's more ups and downs within each day...

In any case, there's been three weeks of this, and I think it's overstayed its welcome... it could have stopped after the first few hours of "damn, I caught it" which was followed quickly by "wow, I guess I didn't?" Little did I know at the time...
ellyssian: (Default)
Once upon a time, I was between health care plans, I had a bronchial/cold type thing going on, and I went to this little clinic on Watertown Square.

I was somewhere between 19 and 21.

The doctor was a gorgeous, young, blonde woman.

After the exam, we walked out into the crowded waiting room.

And then she finished the advice she had been giving me in the exam room ~ drink lots of clear fluids, don't smoke, the usual lung/cold type advice ~ and she finished everything off with the final piece of advice, clearly announced to every one in the room:

"We have to thin your secretions."

~ ~ ~

I provide this bit of Too Much Information as background for certain oranges vs. fudge covered Ritz cracker postings that you may see on Facebook.

Other than that, it's just a funny little story.

Now, I'm on to my 37th glass of ice tea in the last 42 minutes...
ellyssian: (Default)
Despite my best efforts to swipe Stacy's cold away from her*, I seem to have left the nastier part with her. I felt awful last night, but I'm largely improved today, with only an occasional light cough... and she's still coughing and hacking away and not feeling... umm, 100%.

~

* In keeping with my rule that NO ONE is allowed to be sick ~ a rule which, I should point out, seems to be widely ignored by everyone, including me, despite the great benefit to humanity if everyone simply started obeying it!
ellyssian: (sphinx)
I've brought in 8 WUs for 11,981 points, and I've moved up to 113th place in Team Geekdō.

The team itself has moved up to 563rd place, which means it has just overpowered the team from Slashdot (569th place, at the moment).

If anyone has any questions about the proteins being folded, ask [profile] aequitaslevitas. Apparently he is interested in biology. He could look at the molecule the older client on the system downstairs was displaying and identify it and what it was made of. And he was right.

If you have a system to spare, join in the fun by Folding@Home. You can find out more info about Team Geekdō here, and if you play RPGs and/or board games, you already have a Geekdō login, right? =)
ellyssian: (penguin)
I've posted before ~ a while ago, I think ~ on the exercise program... you know, the one I'm not currently following?

Last I mentioned it, I had worked out plans for the Jeet Kune Do and Baguazhang, along with the first chart of core exercises.

The way it works is the core exercises contain all the basic (and, later, advanced) stretching and, essentially, traditional exercises. At one point, right before the cardio component, the specialist exercises come in to play.

Each one of those has ~ or, more accurately, will have ~ a chart that maps out the various exercises, drills, movements, or whatever is particular to that discipline in such a way that it ramps up over a number of different levels. More complex or challenging bits come in later, and the number of reps also ramp up over time.

The core exercises do much of the same, although they will also move to different charts that bring in more complex variations of the exercises.

Today, [livejournal.com profile] aequitaslevitas and I went through and planned out how we will train in Hung Gar kung fu. We'll start out with one of the five stances, both of the hand drills (qi gong exercises, essentially), two of the ten basic exercises (simple strikes and/or blocks), one of the three blocking exercises, and three of the twenty strikes (complex two to eight movement mini-forms).

Now, we just have to write up the 18 Buddha Hands Qi Gong (which isn't quite fair to it; the first three were formerly part of the core exercises... =), Pilates, and Yoga (both of which were also included once, long ago...) I'd also like to come up with schedules for the Northern Shaolin Sword and Iai Do. We spent a little time last year on Iai Do, but I'd like to focus more on that. No ceilings high enough here, though, so that definitely depends on warmer weather.

Then, there's still all the other bits and pieces to be thrown into the mix: the capoeira, the chin na groundfighting, the akido... and a few forms to study as well (Swimming Body Bagua Zhang, Eight Drunken Immortals, Drunken Monkey, and Zuijiuquan). Some of these might prove very difficult for us to do ~ no mat for the groundwork, rolls, and throws, and, often, no room for the forms.

No matter what bits and pieces get stuck in there, the hardest thing is to keep up with it... and that's where the variations come in handy. I really do have to find some more of my source info for the core exercises... I had three or four charts worth done, and that not only got extremely challenging, it kept things interesting.
ellyssian: (Default)
For those of you who eat gourmet food, you need to be aware of something if you haven't already noticed it: in order to "simplify" their menu, back in December, Burger King changed the names of the items on their value menu. Whereas, if you once ordered a "medium #1 with cheese" you now get ~ and pay for ~ what used to be a large. I had this happen the last two times I ate there (which was a while ago) and wondered why 1) things were so expensive; and 2) why there was too much extra crap. There's nothing on their website about it, but I was able to find an article or two complaining about it. Their website doesn't even mention meals... it just talks about the individual items. Allegedly, they have posters up to explain this, so they don't think anyone was confused. Me, it just pissed me off because I spent money for food I didn't eat. Supposedly they now size things as "value", "small", "medium", and "large", where before it was "small", "medium", "large", and "king" ~ although one of the articles I read translated the former "medium" to the current "value", so who knows.

Overall, it seems to buck the trend of recognizing how bad too much of that kind of food is for you. Then again, Wendy's, which is apparently growing out of the phase of trying to appeal to a mature, healthy eating audience, is going for the three quarter pound triple burger crowd, with some unfortunate slogan I can't seem to track down online. Maybe it's a version of their "3conomics" thing focused on the triple decker, but it was another example of ignoring the current trend towards recognizing how bad this stuff is for you, and encouraging you to spend more (even if you're getting paid less ~ and if your pay raise is less than the rate of inflation, you making less money) on even more fattening crap.

Then there's the thing that ticked me off and got me to write this down. I haven't eaten at a Wendy's since June, and before that, maybe early to mid 2007, so I don't really have any stock in what they offer: they had a decent fish sandwich, but they discontinued it one time to many, not to mention their burgers never seem anywhere near as fresh as they claim they are. Gourmet Food, I mean Burger King, I do visit more often, but probably a bit less than once a month. Maybe even less now that they ticked me off with the name change game. Pissed me off when they first moved things around - if I recall correctly, at one time what I was eating for years, that "medium" size", was, way back in the 80's, the "large" size. Anyway, the thing that set this all off tonight was another ad that seemed so out of step with everything that, combined with those other two things, probably proves that those three are in lock step with a new trend.

It's been quite a while since everyone knew just how bad high fructose corn syrup is for you. Until HFCS Facts came along to tell you how wrong that is, and how great it is for you... in moderation of course. Yeah, their TV ad really pissed me off.

And it comes from corn, so it's got to be good!

I'm sorry, ethanol also comes from corn, and if you pour it all over an industry marketing moron and light it, he'll still scream and writhe in pain, so it's got to be good!

The ads go on and on about how high fructose corn syrup is just as good (or bad) for you as sugar or other sweeteners. Remember, though, the ad is paid for by the folks who want to sell you high fructose corn syrup, and the studies that combat all that earlier advice about how bad it is for you, healthwise, are, likewise, paid for by the Corn Refiners Association, the beverage manufacturers, and the others who want to sell the stuff to you.

They're just a tad biased.

"But it's all natural!", they whine, "so it's got to be good!"

It's all natural in the same way asphalt is ~ sure, you suck up some dead dinosaurs, mix in some all natural stone aggregate, and slap it over the green and pleasant fields to make a parking lot, that's all there is to it. All natural. So you take corn ~ already one of the most tweaked monoculture crops on the planet with only a handful of genetic variation in the product after years of manipulation to get it to where it is today ~ and you further alter it to get it to have the characteristics you want. That lack of variation is just ruinous to the environment.

For one thing, raising a monoculture means your Product no longer has the natural variances it once did, it can no longer change or adapt to new pests. So now you have to fret and fuss over it and go out and hand pick every bug from every ear of corn in every acre in every farm ~ oh, hell with it, just gas the fuckers! Poison 'em, wipe out the enemy of the corn! Pesticides, of course, don't just kill the stuff that eats the corn. They kill the stuff that was eating the stuff that eats the corn. Hey, more dead bugs! Woah, more live bugs! More pesticides! Not to mention those pesticides don't get out there into the corn we eat without some help! There's all the fuel and resources spent to deliver those poisons. And then the stuff sits there in the fields. Or washes downstream. Kills more stuff that way, stuff that doesn't eat the corn. And the stuff it kills gets eaten by more stuff, and next thing you know that shrimp you're dipping in cocktail sauce or that bit of tuna has more nasty stuff packed into it than the untreated sewage effluent.

Well, maybe not that much. Certainly, not the same nasty stuff.

Oh, and they feed those pesticides to the other animals that end up on the plate.

Corn, as a crop, is a terribly demanding plant.

More! More! Give me more! it screams, and this plant ~ and it is, being genetically identical, the same exact plant (six plants, if I recall, on recent Discovery Channel mention) all around the world ~ is high maintenance even beyond the monoculture demands of pest protection. Let me take a step back. Six plants. Imagine if everyone in the world still existed in the same quantity, but there were only six different people. That's what corn is, and all other monoculture crops follow the same pattern. That should be shocking enough.

Back to the fugue at hand.

Corn is high maintenance. It needs a soil that is so lopsided in nutrients the only way it gets that way is by the addition of more and more fertilizers. Fertilizers used commercially are manufactured things ~ a current favorite "all natural" ingredient, urea, a component of urine, is commercially made from two great all natural sources: coal and petroleum-based resources. At least those are some healthy, plentiful ingredients, eh?

Corn, being high maintenance, doesn't just want more fertilizer. It actually destroys the soil structure, degrading it further, so that next time you grow it ~ which, in commercial situations means pretty much immediately ~ you need more fertilizers. And with such a weak soil structure, if it gets wet it all washes away. That's okay, take some more coal or gas, exert some more coal or gas to break it down to urea ~ or invent some other chemical blend ~ and add more fertilizer. So what if all that runoff is destroying ecosystems down stream!

Yeah. High fructose corn syrup is definitely a winner. Why, it's so good, not only is it based off the most demanding crop we invented, it's also got to be further processed ~ highly processed ~ to get it all high and fructosy. So tip back a glass of high fructose corn syrup ~ in moderation, of course ~ and be glad the industry that sells it paid scientists to say it won't kill you any faster, and just ignore the man behind the curtain... and all the pesticides, fertilizers, fossil fuels, and chemistry that went into bringing you that natural sugary sweet slime.

Side Note: The HFCS promotion began back in June, really hitting its stride in September. The LA Times published this article back in August, and The Washington Post put this one out in March. I'm sure there were a lot of other "attacks" on a poor humble industry, just trying to fatten up a calf so it can make a buck or two billion. Some additional post-ad blitz info on grist.
ellyssian: (Default)
If you have a favorite fast food chicken - for example, if you think Chicken McNuggets are pure heaven and Chicken Tenders are mere heathen savages - you can probably list all the reasons why your favorite surpasses another.

Funny, though. Burger King, McDonalds, and Wendy's - nationwide - all get their chicken from one place.

Tyson.

That Burger You're Eating is Mostly Corn (Scientific American) ~ sure, it's just a footnote to an article focusing mostly on beef, and what that beef eats prior to being flame broiled or microwaved or whatnot, but it was an interesting discovery. And as for the subject of the article, I wonder how the beef at the market fares? I expect a lot, if not most-to-all, is also corn-raised.

My preference for former cows goes to Kobe beef, but most of what can be had in restaurants today is Kobe-like beef, raised in America. Remember kids, it's not Kobe beef unless it was born, raised, and slaughtered in the Kobe region of Japan! I came across one site that explained how cows were shipped to California to be raised on cheaper American grain... and from what I've gotten from restaurants, they don't understand the difference. They insist their product is the real thing, when they're only charging $12-15 for a burger... it may be better than prime, and it may be damn tasty, and even grass-fed, but it's still not Kobe beef.

I wouldn't mind at all if more places shifted over to bison... of course, they also get the name wrong there and some will call it buffalo... =)
ellyssian: (Default)
In a natural follow-up to yesterday's video - Apocalyptica's cover of One - we break briefly from the format of rock-played-on-orchestral-instruments, and we come to rock-played-on-rock-instruments. Of course, the reason for this is One, as performed by Metallica, from their album ...And Justice for All (Amazon.com).

Now, while this song starts with quiet textures and some beautiful melodic fretwork by Kirk Hammett that should be considered accessible to all, it does transition to some of the heaviest, most powerful work Metallica has ever done. Even if the bass - played by Jason Newstead, who had to step in to fill dearly departed Cliff Burton's unfillable shoes - was recorded with some of the most godawful lack-of-production qualities ever to see a release.

I would expect those of you who don't like such things as heavy metal, distorted guitars, and so forth to shun this video, however, I'd like you to make an exception.

This video is perhaps one of the most innovative music videos to have been made. Despite this being a "promotional video" - which is what the music companies consider music videos: advertising - the band is upstaged throughout by clips - dialogue and all - from the 1971 movie Johnny Got His Gun (IMDB) which is based on the book (Amazon.com) of the same name. The clips are powerful and graphic.

Several themes - and critical issues - are brought up. War: "For democracy, any man would give his only begotten son." The end product of war: "Inside me I'm screaming, nobody pays any attention. If I had arms, I could kill myself. If I had legs, I could run away. If I had a voice, I could talk and be some kind of company for myself. I could yell for help, but nobody would help me." Medical ethics, euthanasia, and extraordinary measures to sustain life: "He eats through a tube. And whatever comes in through a tube has to go out through a tube. He is the armless, legless wonder of the twentieth century. And yet, by God, he's just as alive as you and me."

This should not be watched lightly, but I feel it should be watched. Then again, those who most need to be moved by this are very likely amongst those who would never watch it - and, just as likely from what I know of you, not amongst those who are viewing this on your Friends page.

Watch, discuss.

ellyssian: (Default)
No Monday's Thirteen this week, as it is now Tuesday. Prior game is still open, technically speaking. If I get a chance I'll post devious helpful hints Wednesday and maybe Friday.

My ingenious exercise program - no, not the one involving 92 different kinds of martial arts and 47 other exercise programs; the one involving quitting life as a cubicle-bound senior programmer analyst and starting a landscaping company - continues to have great physical benefits. Another 10 pounds lost, and that dropped me down lower than I've been in maybe 5-10 years. About 30 more to go to be where I want to be; 55 to go to where medical science wants my internal organs to appear as external organs. I might already have reported this - it's late and I can't remember. Total pounds lost, about 20. From my all-time high (which is a low-point, health-wise), I'm down about 40 pounds.

Walkway for client is almost done; plants were picked up today and set out. Rushed a bit on hammering in the supports for the stacked stone, so we'll have to tap a few of them in and use the rotary hammer for a couple of ones. We'll be holding off on that until there's not big monster rain drops falling and thunder audible despite hearing protection. Planting tomorrow, mulch arrives Wednesday, and then it's just the labor involved in finishing it all up.

Fathead's Day highlights: Deadliest Catch first season DVDs, Deadliest Catch (last week's episode, which we missed), but the best of all was handing [livejournal.com profile] aequitaslevitas his first paycheck ever and going over the paystub contents and taxes and so forth.

Of course, much of the day wasn't so much fun - this is the third Father's Day with me no longer having a living, breathing dad, and that bummed me out. Partially on account of that, and partially because someone told Deb's dad that she was coming before she said she was, I sent her and the kids down to see her dad. I missed having the kids around me for the afternoon, but he was happy for the company, and that's what was important there.

Oh, one more thing: in addition to starting his second full week of work (which here means 32 hours, part-time), [livejournal.com profile] aequitaslevitas worked his first 11 hour day today. We'll have to cut one of the other days a bit short - overtime pay without overtime income isn't a profitable way to do business. =)
ellyssian: (Default)
I'm down about twenty pounds from where I'd been averaging - about thirty-five/forty from the all time high I hit while sitting at a desk. Pants that were a bit too tight are just right. Of course, I still have thirty-five/forty to go to where I'd be happy; about sixty to where current medical science thinks they want me to be (which means you'd be able to count internal organs easily due to the skin stretched around them - I've been that weight before and you can see behind the ribs! =) I suppose I'll need new pants at that time, either that or I'll suddenly be in fashion with the droopy drawers crowd. I think I'll opt to tighten the belt and, when needed, buy some pants with smaller waist sizes.

I had a tick on my sunglasses yesterday. Talking to the client and then, poof, there it was, center of the lens. They may not be able to fly, but they can teleport.

My skin is taking on the deeper darker tones that it used to every summer, none of this programmer-pasty-white. This is, of course, not a good thing health-wise, but I expect it's enough to make those who pay to get zapped under lights jealous.

I'm able to get on, off, and around the truck - i.e. ducking under the ladder rack bars - much easier. Flexibility is good, and its really been about a dozen years since I had it; that stint with the chiropractor 11-12 years ago stopped progress short, took it back a few steps, and a decade of the aforementioned desk-sitting didn't help, no matter how much I stretched morning and night (and when I could during the day).

Physical strength is also coming back now that I'm using muscles for something besides typing. My biceps won't win any prizes for their diameter, but they're bigger than they have been.

Of course these are all minor changes, and there's a lot more that will result from longer hours of doing this stuff. Anywho, the builder's supply store is open now, so I'm off to work! =)
ellyssian: (Default)
Mr. B, like any other three year old these days, attempts to rebel against authority.

He decided he wanted his tongue pierced, so he promptly threw himself face first off the deck and used his tongue to cushion the blow.

It didn't quite go all the way through, but he now has a triangular shaped crater dead center in his tongue that has about the same area as the state of Rhode Island.

It stopped bleeding after fifteen minutes of gauze munching, so the worst is over. Of course, he subsists on apple juice and oranges and things like that, and those are forbidden until it heals a bit. Milk and water, nothing acidic.
ellyssian: (Default)
Yes, after exhaustive research, I have discovered the Cure for the Common Cold!

Spend a mere three hours performing hard labor - such as lifting, rolling, and carrying heavy rocks - in cool weather with a light drizzle.

Clear as a bell!

I have also discovered how to Relapse!

Stay up hours and hours past your bedtime entering data into the new payroll system because the prior payroll system failed in basic math!

I go attempt cure now.
ellyssian: (penguin)
I mentioned contact juggling a short while ago - well, the day I started looking into learning it - and since then I've been meaning to post a bit more info and resources about it. Mostly, these are videos on YouTube - a search on "contact juggling" or "Michael Moschen" will find bunches more.

To start with some background, I first came across contact juggling - as did so many other people - with Michael Moschen's performance as the goblin king's hands in Labyrinth. I didn't really discover who or what was going on with those tricks until I caught Michael on television. There was a PBS special - which, unfortunately, doesn't seem to be available on DVD. A little while later, Deb and I were lucky enough to catch a live performance with Michael.

Here's an excerpt from the PBS special with two different scenes showing mutli- and single ball routines:



For more on Michael, check out why I want him to be a percussionist in my band, as well as some of his ring work and an S curve piece - he does a lot more than the few simple tricks that appear in Labyrinth (although those are still the ones I love best.)

Here's a nice video with a few experiments in contact juggling - a short, enjoyable watch with some nice ideas. In this one, Matt Olsen mixes in some illusion with some great reveals - the ones with the slinky are really simple and really neat. Although she says she is rusty and needs more practice, this shows some good, solid work at a slow pace. Makes it easier to break down the tricks and see how they're done, plus The Mission provides the tune!

I had mentioned Contact Juggling.org in the prior post, and they have a number of good videos up on YouTube. In this first video, community member Jea9 visits Ryan and Drew in a meet in a London hangar for some great improv and a few worked out bits. Dawn shows how obsessed one can become with contact juggling, indeed, they might even contract OCCJD, which can lead you to a padded room lockup at the Ministry of Manipulation. And Silver adds more movement into the performance. Now, this is probably a good example of what you won't see me doing, on account of the dance-like thing not being my thing. However, martial arts - including and especially the slow circular movements of Baguazhang - are my thing, so I can see me mixing and matching there, once my level of competence grows.

That actually gets directly to why I'm doing this. It takes some coordination, physical dexterity and strength. Baguazhang is, literally, the "eight trigram palm", and the palm techniques are the key, as are the aforementioned slow circular movements. Working on the sphereplay techniques is also working on baguazhang, to a degree, and they can be easily blended. There's also a certain level of mastery regarding touch and object manipulation that fits right in with the wing chun techniques and training I've done with Jeet Kune Do. The sticky hands exercise - forms of which also exist in Baguazhang - is essentially contact juggling, with each person attempting to juggle the other.

If you're interested in learning how to do this sort of thing, check out Richard Shumaker's beginner lesson for a three-step course on the Butterfly. If you do better with text, check out Contact Juggling by James Ernest, which provides detailed descriptions and clear, easy-to-follow line drawings for a number of tricks. For additional video lessons, check out Brine Child's lessons on a variety of tricks - including the enigma. He also had a great one of him walking around a site (s?) in Edinburgh doing some excellent contact juggling, but it appears he took the video down.
ellyssian: (penguin)
Forgot to mention, some time last week I started learning contact juggling (see dot com for info and a great intro tutorial, see also dot org for a forum with tons of info I've barely even begun to look at). "But doesn't he have enough to do?" you may ask, and the answer is, "yes, lots, tons, and so on." However, I've been a fan of Michael Moschen for a long time, and it does provide a nice bit of cross-training for the martial arts - some portions of the Butterfly, for instance, are identical to blocks and strikes in various arts, only you have a ball providing a focus point. That, and, starting out, I'm getting a good aerobic and stretching and bending workout chasing after the ball...

There's been two updatia posts over the weekend, the public one in which I don't give a heckuva lot of info, and, in fact, had intended to include the whole bit above, and the locked down one, which talked about some stone work and some other things business related.

Speaking of which, today will be busy: I have to pick up some wood to build a stone working table, pick up a 6" pipe for the truck rack (I have end caps; the pipe will hold long materials), and check out the masonry supply shop for canvas sandbags and other tools. I'm wrestling with the need for a rebar cutter, but first I have to find a supplier of rebar - the Lowes website has rebar, but none of the local stores (30-40 miles) carries it; the Home Despot website search for rebar returned toilets, televisions, stereo systems, lawn tractors, and ATV accessories. For those completely unaware (which would quite obviously include Home Despot staff), rebar is a bit of steel bar used for reinforcing concrete and other masonry projects. You really couldn't find very many projects where a wide screen television or a lawn tractor would make a suitable substitute. See, the steel is there to provide torisonal strength. Concrete does great with the compression strength, but can't handle torsion. So you add the rebar - which contracts and expands in a similar manner to the concrete, so the whole structure doesn't rip itself apart when temperatures change. Now, not only are the other items much more expensive (20 feet of widescreen LCD - that's gotta be more than the $3 I've seen listed for rebar), I think they'd fail if concrete was poured on them. There's too many gaps in them, so that would create pockets of air (or, in the lawn tractor's case, possibly gasoline-filled, which creates an additional set of problems) and would weaken the structure. That, and they all perfectly fail at the one-rod-stuck-through-a-bunch-of-rocks-to-keep-them-together task for which I need them. For one thing, I don't think toilets or stereo systems come in four foot lengths, 3/8" of an inch in diameter.

So, yeah, rebar, a basic building block of the construction trade, can not be found on Home Despot's website, yet they are apparently stretching beyond the appliance angle (which makes a bit more sense for remodelling projects) to become an electronics store as well. I'd think that takes up valuable floor space and changes the requirements for the expertise (if any) you're looking for from the sales staff, but, hey, it's not my business. That, and it might give the local shops (if they haven't already been pressed out of existence by the buying power of the big chain stores) a niche to work in.

Oh, in yet other news, this is Jeet Kune Do week, which includes some light sparring. [livejournal.com profile] aequitaslevitas has decided I'm more dangerous without my glasses - apparently I can land a lot more blows when I can't see. I blame the "I can't see; must flail!" impulse. =)
ellyssian: (penguin)
Hmmm... that works better when you can actually see the pseudo-dubbed mouth movements from the faux-original language going on underneath. And, as I am somewhat attempting to post relevant(ish) icons for my posts, I realize I don't have one that represents martial arts and workouts and so forth - seeing as the penguin is the peak of the evolution of the fighting machine, I suppose it's the most fitting...

Anywho, my new schedule gives me some more time at home. While I enjoyed the commute time for a few years as a time to listen to music, it's a lot more productive to spend that hour working out instead of sitting there thinking about other things. So Friday, Justin and I started the workout again. He needs time put towards gym, and we both need the physical benefits.

Although we started with some simple stretches and real basics, we touched on Shiatsu practitioner warm ups, Qi Gong, Yoga, Pilates, back exercises given me years ago by a physical therapist, and the core of the whole thing, the 5BX (5 Basic Exercises) from the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Although I had written out some of the steady progress the 5BX plan gives, I'm thinking about restructuring. I had changed it to make it more flexible, but what I find is I push progress on things I'm good at - and don't need so much - and relax too much where I probably need more work. The 5BX plan has a number of charts, each divided into an even larger number of levels (12, I think?). Chart to chart, the exercises morph into harder variants. For example, on the first chart, you might lift your head, see your ankles, and be done with it; on the last chart, you fold yourself in half, feet and hands in the air. The last chart has levels only a professional athlete is supposed to be able to achieve. Another good example is the push-ups: you start off lifting just your upper body - down to the waist - off the ground; on the final chart, you're in a more traditional hands-and-toes push-up position and you push off with your hands, knit a tuque, clap out the entire Canadian anthem using hands and chest, and then put your hands back down before your nose touches the ground.

I've dressed it up a lot with some of the aforementioned stuff - going far beyond the five exercises. The Qi Gong comes in to play as a pure segment on some days; other days we do a Jeet Kune Do practice session, with and without targets. Maybe, someday, we'll get the heavy bag in on it, too.

Anyway, with that in mind, I decided to have some fun and seek out some drunken fist kung fu:

Cut for kung-fu fighting... =) )
ellyssian: (Default)
There's still plenty left to guess in the movie quote meme. A couple easy ones, a couple that might be unexpected, and a couple that I expect would be very difficult. And, to be technically correct, a couple more beyond that. So go read 'em and guess away!


~ ~ ~

Happy Valentines Day!

We're celebrating today by me going into the office for a couple of meetings, and Deb taking Justin to college and figuring out what to do with two sick kids. Using my expert medical skills1, a few days ago I determined Rachel had an ear infection. Deb took her to the doctor yesterday, and determined she is in the early stages of infection. Brandon has a cold, but last night complained his ear hurt. Then his nose. He's just miserable, and has been for a couple of days, so it's not quite clear exactly what's really bothering him.

My Valentinr - ellyssian
Get your own valentinr

~ ~ ~

Non-Valentines-like footnote which may include medical TMI )
ellyssian: (Default)
Apparently, waterboarding cows is torture while there's still some debate when it's done by the CIA.
ellyssian: (Default)
The bug is in the throat. This is kind of like Jaws 3-D, where "the shark is in the park" becomes a catch phrase, except it's really more annoying than that... umm... paragon of movie making art.

Deb is even worse off, which is a shame, because last night she was taken out for her Kissmas gift from [livejournal.com profile] 1jadedhart. She was able to enjoy the Jeffrey Gaines show, but afterwards, she went with [livejournal.com profile] 1jadedhart and [livejournal.com profile] dragonflypug for a few drinks and that venue allowed smoking. As I took some sick days earlier last week (and worked from home for some others), we gave Deb a sick day today. Of course, the real shame last night was that Deb looked great, but the smooching scene just wasn't happening with both of us sick. =(

On another tangent in the health-related department, blood pressure is a royal pain. First, it's high enough to give a hard-boiled admissions nurse a coronary when she measured it (assisted by the fact that while she was rallying the forces to save me from imminent explosion, I heard a call of nature and she thought I had wandered off and died), and now it's low enough that standing up meets with some challenges.

After a bit of dizziness as I stood up from picking out a CD or three to listen to, I experienced yet more dizziness walking from one end of the house to the other, and thus decided to measure it. 90/52. From a personal (measured) high of 205/164 a few years ago, and an average unmedicated value of 160/104. Oy. That makes the annoyances of a cold that much more annoying.
ellyssian: (Default)
On top of all the sick, I got bit by something yesterday. It was irritating for the remainder of the day and over night - I'm sure it added to some of the sleeplessness last night.

Today, it's hot. If my hands get cold, I could warm them over my knee. I keep wondering if I'll start seeing wisps of smoke rising from the cloth covering it... =)

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ellyssian: (Default)
Everett

July 2014

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