Realities Created, Maintained and Destroyed, WHILE-U-WAIT!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy Birthday Sonia!!!!

Today is my friend Sonia's birthday!!!

For those of you who do not know Sonia, She is brilliant, talented, witty, creative, occasionally caustic (but only to people who really deserve it), loyal and beautiful, to name just a few of her virtues, and she is also a dear friend of many years.

The wonderful thing about birthdays is that you get to celebrate the fact that someone your like exists.


Happy Birthday Sonia!

The world is a better place because you were born.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Real War On Christmas

So we have had to endure yet another year of Right Wing theocratic political correctness.

Yet another year of the mean hearted, small minded bigots telling us that if we don't celebrate the season the way they think we should, the we are some how hurting the feelings of Baby Jesus (TM).

My mother, who was a good Presbyterian lady her whole life, who could always be counted on to make something for the church bake sales, and who never missed a Sunday service that I can remember, used Merry Christmas, Season's greetings, and Happy Holidays interchangeably. She would also use the occasional god jul or Nollaig shona (her side of the family came from Sweden and Ireland) and because we lived in New Mexico, she would often use feliz Navidad as well.

So now the Christonazis, guardians of "the one and only true and acceptable way to wish others well on the holidays", come along and say that my mother was a bad person and hated Jesus because she didn't say Merry Christmas exclusively.

Well I have other ideas about who is waging a war on Christmas.

You want to see the real war on Christmas? well take a look at this, a little something from Ava Lowery. This is the real war on Christmas and it is being waged by the very theocrats who talk "Jesus" out one side of their mouths and "Kill the Muslims" out the other.

Jesus left a message for those who commit evil in his name.

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
Matthew 7: 21-23

Season's Greetings to you all
And Happy Holidays, whichever ones you may celibrate
and Kwanza Nzuri

Oh yeah!
Peace On Earth, Good Will to Men
and God Bless Us, Every One!

(and it you don't like the way I say it... well just use your imagination)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

If Batman existed he'd train like this

I got a note from a friend yesterday directing me over to the Dragondoor forum.

Dragondoor is the website of a fellow named Pavel Tsatsouline, who introduced kettelbells to the American public. Pavel has some interesting stuff and I have found some value in what he has offered. I much prefer kettlebells to dumbbells, though I have to admit I find clubbells even more to my liking, but that is very much a personal preference.

There was a discussion going on about using my friend Scott Sonnon's Flowfit program in conjunction with the Dragondoor material. I find such discussions useful as a rule, as much good knowledge can be gained through use of the dialectic.

Personally I think Flowfit is one of the most useful programs that someone who follows Pavel's kettelbell work can use. Most of Pavel's stuff tends toward to the linear, using high repetition and heavy weight for development. Flow fit, on the other hand, moves the body in every possible direction in each session, What Scott calls

The Six Degrees of Freedom

Heaving: moving up and down
Swaying: moving left and right
Surging: moving forward and back
Pitching: tilting up and down
Yawing: turning left and right
Rolling: tilting side to side
This compensates for the constant long repetition of simple movement quite nicely, and if one is intelligent about things you can get something of the best of both worlds.

I was enjoying my reading until I came to this post
Pavel is a Russian Beast compared to Scott

Pavel's skinier but he looks super tough. I don't know. Scott looks supersoft. But when I use my 2" handled clubbells it adds size to my shoulders and arms and serious size to my forearms. I want a 45lb clubbell to play around with but when I look at Scott's physique it's discouraging. It looks like he's gone downhill physically(gotten soft in the can among others) since all the yoga stuff.
"Dang", I thought, "It must be a Republican".

Lately we have heard much about the Right Wing Authoritarian Personality in politics, but this particular aberration is one of the most ubiquitous in every field of human endeavor. I suspect that this sort of mentality is also one of the core causes of trolling such as we see here on the net.

Rather than joining in on an interesting and fruitful conversation, this fellow had to sycophantically parrot the "media image" material, much in the same way that other sorts of fundamentalists use religious slogans to create a "group-think" collective.

If I were a Freudian I would make note of the sexualized language the the guy uses. Right wing Authoritarian types want to submit to "Authority", this is found often in a certain repressed type of individual and leads to a sort of unhealthy, sublimated eroticism manifesting in their thoughts. Hence describing Pavel as a "Russian Beast" and the focus on Scott's "can".

The biggest problem with this sort of psychological focus though, is its near complete replacement of any sort of objective reality with the "group social mythology". In this case it is Pavel as the "Russian Beast" who is the ultimate "alpha male". As a good Beta, the fellow who wrote the post in question cannot allow any "challenge" to his Alpha's supremacy, so talking about value in someone else's work is a major threat, hence the "snarl language".

If one were to look at the real difference between Scott Sonnon and Pavel Tsatsouline, physically speaking, one thing stands out to me. Because of the training philosophy that Pavel uses, he tends to carry a good deal of residual muscular tension. This is because of his use of pressurising and irradiation of tension to produce force. That extra tension can fool the uninformed into thinking a person has a better physique than is actually the case.

Scott, on the other hand has very little residual muscular tension when at rest. This gives the appearance of long smooth muscles rather than the striations of hypertension. What has happened I think is that we no longer really understand how to look at some one's body and see it for what it is. I suspect it is because we have been overly affected by the image of the "body builder".

Which brings me to the point of this entry, what you can do is worth more than how you look.

Here's the thing, If Batman or Daredevil were real, they would train like Scott Sonnon.

Take a look at this clip, it's one day out of a 28 day cycle. What you see is not just moving a heavy weight in one track to force hypertrophy.

This sort of exercise program produces not only strength, (which it does in spades), but also coordination, balance, endurance, flexibility, suppleness, speed, and so on. In other words, if you were looking to be someone who could do, rather than just "look" then this is how to go about it.

If this is "super soft" then that's what I want. I know that Scott can go through any of Pavel's exercise routines and at the very least match Pavel rep for rep, pound for pound, but I don't know that the reverse would be true. The dragondoor material, though superior to conventional bodybuilding, is still two dimensional, the CST material is of a different level all together and requires much more of you than just being able to "move heavy weight".

So if you want to move like Batman, being at home in all three dimensions, mastering complex tasks that require being strong, fast, supple, balanced and coordinated, then perhaps you want something more like Scott's 4x7 program.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Finally! A gun control program I can get behind!

Todd sent me this, and when I saw it I knew I had found something I could support.

I don't like guns much. They are noisy, they smell bad and if you use one it will put a stink on you that can be smelled for a good quarter mile with the right breeze. They are so loud that everyone knows where you are and what you are up to if you shoot one.

So when I saw this I liked it. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

So what do you do when one third of your fellow citizens want to take away your rights

Because you are a member of a different "fan club" than them?

Yep, a bit more than a third of people polled here (39%) in the States think that you should not have the same rights as them if you are a Muslim.

I find this rather sad. My family has fought for the United States to preserve our Constitution in every conflict since the civil war. Even so, this does not matter to many of my fellow countrymen.

Some of them want to force me to carry a special ID card, others want to tattoo me with a crescent on my forehead, still more want to take the citizenship from me, though my father fought for it in World War 2, and my grandfather in World War 1 and so on.

The Right wing Authoritarians, the Neo-Cons and BushCorp have done such a good job of creating fear in this country, that over one third of us are willing to destroy our way of life to feel safe again. They want to make America a slave state along the lines of the old USSR, A fascist dictatorship.

So what do you do if you know that when you look at a crowd of people, that one in three of them care so little about the things that made our country great that they want to put me in a concentration camp because I follow a different religion than them.

Well if you're me, you go for a walk in the woods.

This is a trail head to a path I have been working on for a couple of years. It leads from our yard to the river in a loop of about a mile. I started it in order to more easily get firewood out of the forest, but it has become a project to make the land and the river more accessible. By next summer this will be the way to an outdoor training area and a place for us to picnic

The trail is not only popular with us humans, the local deer like it as well. Deer tend to be fairly lazy, so when they find a nice clear trail they tend to use it. (they're lucky I don't hunt much any more

One of the really fun things about new snow is that you can see all the creatures that live with you. This day I saw the tracks of fox, weasel, coyote, deer, skunk, rabbit, Heron and more.

Much of the property here is "bottom land", so in the winter it bogs up with the rain and then freezes over. You have to be a little careful if you don't know the land. You can be walking over thin ice covering three feet of water.

This is a seasonal creek that drains down to the river. It is a popular hangout for the beasts of the fields. during the summer it is dry, but from late fall to mid spring it is an important bit of water, both for the sake of the wildlife who relies on it but also because it helps drain the land.

A heron was by today, hunting the creek for a bit of food. Even in the hart to winter there is much activity in these woods.

I like these trees, so I photograph them and their sisters often throughout the seasons.

And then there is the river. I have stood at this point often, and it is never the same. I have recently discovered that our banks are occasionally visited by beaver. I didn't even know that there were still beaver around here, but they seem to stop by here for a lunch or a quick snack of sapling fairly often on their way to or from wherever beavers go.

There is a peace to be found in the woods and the wildness you cannot find around towns and men, it cleans the soul.

But it also reminds me that I am made from this land, my very molecules are taken from the soil of America, and no one will take this from me, ore me from it just because they don't like the way that I find my connection to the Divine Mystery.

As is often the case, I find inspiration on these walks. Today it is a new knife design . I have one project to finish, then I will heat up the forge and take it from my mind and give it reality, much as the land I am born from gives me reality.

When I have finished it I will put up some pictures. It will be just another thing that comes from our woods, but something I think will prove useful.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Jerry Klien shows us a little ugly truth about ourselves

On the 29th of November Klien did a little experiment on his radio show.

He suggested that all Muslims in America be given an identifying mark, perhaps a tattoo or an armband. This was not a serious suggestion, it was a way to find out what people in this country are really thinking. He played it quite well though, and I am rather dismayed by the reaction of all too many people.

For anyone who wants some insight as to why the six Imams were dragged off their plane, just listen to this program.

Go here and listen to the program, listen to the whole thing though. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you can either listen to it with streaming audio or download the mp3.

Listen to this and be very afraid for our country. The truth is that the Right Wing Authoritarians have done this, George Bush, Newt Gingrich, and all the nut jobs on the religious right have turned us from the Land of the Free to the land of the crescent moon tattoo.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Winter's First Snow

Has arrived.

We had a little snow a couple months ago, but Today's counts as the real start of the winter hibernation season for West Michigan.

Here is the lone Pine in the back yard looking all seasonal.

And here is the trail head that leads down to the river

After I manage to get the snow off the driveway so that people can get their cars parked this evening I will see if there is still enough light to take some pictures down in the woods.

Newt Gingrich wants to destroy America in order to save it.

The man who pioneered the use of media to create division and incivility between Americans wants to murder our Constitution in order to save us from "The Terrorists".

It's that pesky Free Speech thing again. It just gets in the way of Newt being able to manipulate us all into doing what he wants (rather than what is right).

What Gingrich is really afraid of is the use of the Internet by Americans to talk about the issues in a way that he can't control. After all, a large part of the reason that the Right Wing Authoritarians (disguised as Republicans) lost the last election was because they could not control the information flow and stop the truth about them from getting out.

So he wants to censor the Internet in the name of free speech (and to stop "the Terrorists").

Of course the real hope of Gingrich and his ilk is to keep us all in the dark and to exert the maximum amount of thought control on us.

Gingrich thinks that if he can pull this off we will make him Dictator for life President by acclamation. (can you say "Emperor Palpatine"? I knew you could!)

Keith Olbermann, who has become the voice of the real America, the America that is fed up with the attempts by the Right wing Authoritarians to circumvent our Constitution for their own gain, had this to say, and it say it all.

A Friend Makes it to the Big Time

My buddy Mike Blackgrave gets back from an extended trip to the Philippines and and steps right into fame and fortune. (or at least a couple of groovy magazine articles)

Go over to FMADigest and check out their latest issue of . It is on Grandmaster Epifanio ‘Yuli’ Romo of Zu’Bu Kali Ilustrisimo.
As it happens GM Romo is Mike's teacher (Mile is a Guro in the system himself) and he has just gotten back from studying with him. So this issue of FMADigest has an article on Mike and an interview by him with GM Romo. Very good stuff, check it out.

What Tarot Card Are You?

I haven't done one of these for a while.

I ran across this one while reading Jennifer Cascadia's blog and it looked like fun

You are The Magician

Skill, wisdom, adaptation. Craft, cunning, depending on dignity.

Eleoquent and charismatic both verbally and in writing,
you are clever, witty, inventive and persuasive.

The Magician is the male power of creation, creation by willpower and desire. In that ancient sense, it is the ability to make things so just by speaking them aloud. Reflecting this is the fact that the Magician is represented by Mercury. He represents the gift of tongues, a smooth talker, a salesman. Also clever with the slight of hand and a medicine man - either a real doctor or someone trying to sell you snake oil.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.