The Hobbit

Peter Jackson and New Line have kissed and made up.

Peter and Fran are going to Ex. Produce "The Hobbit"!



Friday Night at a new Dojo 12/14

Aikidokas: Tim, Randy, and Trey

The Walk: as usual.

Ukemi: Ukemi went well. No big falls. Soon.

Releases: Per usual, with Randy.


Sensei Tim broke the news that he wants both Trey and I demonstrating soon. No sense as to how soon that might actually be.

In respect of that announcement, we did some work on demonstration etiquette.

We also did some work on techniques. Trey and I both worked on the first 5. My 5 were ate 3-step distance as opposed to the usual 1-step distance. So, we had to introduce Trey to 3-step attacks. He picked it up very quickly.

Aftermath: Major kerfuffle has occurred. Our previous sensei, Sensei R., wanted to get away from the stress of running a dojo. So, he turned the dojo over to a local judo sensei over the past few months. Things occurred Wednesday that resulted in the aikido program having to a find a new home immediately.

Friday night was our first night in the new location.

Everything is different.

The mats are different, and far less springy/comfortable. The surface is far less stable. The covering over the cushioning material tends to move a little and that makes the footing a little peculiar at the moment. It caused a bit of trouble throughout the evening, but we will adjust.

It seems to be a little more slick. When we work on ukemi, we're all sliding some after the fall. In the old place, we would generally stick once we hit the ground. Some of us were sliding 6-8 inches after landing.

The times that we have access to the training space have changed, too. We now have Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. As opposed to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evening plus Saturday morning. It's going to make it easier for my wife to make it more consistently, but I'm going to be getting fewer hours in.

Speaking of which, we need to get a training recorder set up. We had a nice computer program at the old place. Need to see about some sort of program or something for the new place. Web database or something?

Half of the monthly dues for training are now going into a mat fund. I'm tossing around ideas for a semi-portable base upon which to place the mats during training. Something to add a little spring to the mats, but not enough so that they fail. They need to be stackable so they can be moved out of the way. they need to be light enough to move. They need to be stable enough when in position so they don't move away from each other.


Wednesday Not at the Dojo 12/12

Had to work late, so no opportunity for aikido. Bummer.

Volleyball, 0-3

Last match of the season. I got a heck of a workout moving for blocks and hits and did ok.

I think our issue is inconsistency of line-up. Maybe we'll have better luck next season.

Monday Night at the Dojo 12/10

Aikidokas: Randy, Marty, and Trey

The Walk: as usual.

Ukemi: Ukemi went well. No big falls. Soon.

Releases: Per usual, with Marty.


Kind of a round robin affair.

I got to work on Tenkai Kote-hineri and Mae-otoshi, and Shihonage.

Got a tip from Randy on the turn to the third off-balance on Shiho that I hope to incorporate.

I sprained or tweaked Trey's thumb on Mae-otoshi. I'm letting uke go too low to the ground.

I need to not over-extend uke on Tenkai.

Aftermath: No a/c in the dojo for some reason. A very exhausting session.



Managed to get tickets to the upcoming Bruce Springsteen concert. I got online right when they went on sale. All of the floor tickets were gone and most of the lower prom. I did manage to score lower prom tickets, though.

First time to see Mr. S. in concert. Should be awesome!

Construction update 12/10

We're getting very close. We've planned to start moving furniture in on the weekend before Christmas. Let's hope it happens.


Exterior still needs:
x - new driveway
yard grading

Shop still needs:
Lock on roll-up door
floor outlets leveled with slab

Apartment still needs:
minor touchups

Garage still needs:
x - water heater
washer (we'll do this ourselves if it gets done at all)
dryer (we'll do this ourselves if it gets done at all)
ramps to doorways
x - garage door opener

We walked on our new driveway Saturday morning. They poured it on Friday. The builder does not want us driving on it for 28 days. The supervisor for our project says we can drive on it starting today. We might wait until the end of the week. We were without a functional driveway for about 3 weeks. A real pain.

They're planning on grading the yard toward the end of the week. That will require driving a Bobcat on the driveway, moving quantities of sand around.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 12/5

Aikidokas: Tim, Marty, Rob, and Brad

The Walk: Rob counted one in Japanese and I counted the second in Czech

Ukemi: Standing right-sided rolls!! No pain!!

Releases: Worked with Marty. He only does them when he's down here in Texas, so it's always educational.


Marty and I worked on some of the changed techniques (Shomen-ate, Ushiro-ate, Oshi-taoshi, Kote-gaeshi, Mae-otoshi, and Sumi-otoshi).

Aftermath: Lots of changes coming at the dojo. I'm not sure how much to reveal until they actually occur.

Volleyball 3-0, 0-3

A decent performance. We played fairly well. The second match the games were pretty close even if we did lose all three. We had a great lady substituting for us in the second match.

Keep on diggin'

Saturday Morning at the Dojo 12/1

Aikidokas: Tim, and Trey

The Walk: as usual.

Ukemi: No issues. Still not taking standing right-sided.

Releases: Per usual


Shomen-ate, Aigamae-ate, Gyakugamae-ate, Gedan-ate and Ushiro-ate: Little by little, Trey's getting better at these. I'd say he's 70%, maybe 80%, ready for a promotion.

Tim had Trey take a few big falls during warm-ups. He took those easily enough that he got to uke for me on some of the more advanced techniques. I was able to work on Mae-otoshi and Sumi-otoshi. Yahoo! I actually was successful at one rep of Sumi-otoshi.

Aftermath: Sinus infection or cold arrived on the scene a couple of hours before I woke up.


'bout time

The Texas Aggies had a good weekend. A win over tu and the resignation of Fran.

I never saw the reason to replace RC, and Fran had dubious credentials to his name.

Now, time for basketball season. Hmmm. I wonder if we're playing over the Xmas holidays at Reed Arena? I might try to make a trip to see a game.

Wednesday Night at the Dojo 11/28

Aikidokas: Tim, Brad, and Trey

The Walk: one rep with me counting and one rep with Tim counting at a higher speed. I goofed up on the higher speed one, which caused Trey to goof up. Oh well.

Ukemi: more rolls! Did the 3 regular type rolls left side, just from the knees on the right.

Releases: They went ok. We spent a good portion of time on them.


Trey was tori for two of his usual set of techniques: Gedan-ate and Ushiro-ate. I think we saw some light bulbs, but we still to get some more reps in for him.

Aftermath: none of note.

Volleyball, 0-3

We're actually better than this. This week we changed up the rotation to a 6-2. This is kind of difficult with 3 women and 3 men. It's much easier with 2 women and 4 men.

The games weren't even close.

Keep on diggin'

Monday Night at the Dojo 11/26

Aikidokas: Randy, Kim, and Trey

The Walk: as usual.

Ukemi: Still no right side standing, maybe in a couple of days. The shoulder's been feeling a little sore, so I'm giving it some more time.

Releases: Per usual


Shomen-ate: Trey worked on this technique.

Aigamae-ate: Trey worked on this technique.

I ran through the following with Randy while Trey and Kim worked on techniques 3 and 4.

Sumi-otoshi: I spent a good 15 minutes on this and got close, right side only. Randy couldn't figure out what the problem was. He was wishing for another set of experienced eyes.

Aftermath: none of note.


Tool update

I went to Cutting Edge this weekend in preparation for stocking "da Bribe." I also made a stop at the nearby, soon-to-open Woodcraft store. Woodcraft had no prices up, so I had to make do with Cutting Edge. CE says they will match prices, and I think I'd prefer to shop there. We'll see how things play out in December.

Makita : $730

Powermatic 6" : $800 + $130MB + $25 GC/Rebate
Powermatic 8" : $1300 + $130MB + $50 GC/Rebate

Jet 13" (JPM 13OS) : $850 + $85 MB + $50 GC/Rebate
Jet 16" (JWP 16OS) : $1000 + $50 GC/Rebate
Delta 15" : $1300
Powermatic 15" (15S) : $1600

Delta 36-L31X-BC50 : $1950 + $0 MB + $100 GC/Rebate

Jet 18" 1-3/4 HP : $1200 + $200 MB + $100 GC/Rebate
Jet 18" 3 HP : $1350 + $200 MB + $100 GC/Rebate

Let's do a quick, most-expensive-case total

SCMS : $0730
Jointer : $1430
Planer : $1600
Bandsaw : $1550
TS : $1950
Tax : $0600
Total : $7860
GC/Rebate $0250



Saturday Morning at the Dojo 11/24

Aikidokas: Tim, Richard, and Kim

The Walk: as usual.

Ukemi: No issues. Still not taking standing right-sided.

Releases: We spent a good portion of the day reviewing releases. Richard is a Yondan from the KG days of most of the Senseis. He's been mainly working on Jyodo for the past few years.


Shomen-ate and Gyakugamae-ate: I served as uke and did not get many, if any, reps in as tori. There was a neat almost occurrence during one of my falls. It was raining quite a bit outside the dojo. At one point a massive blast of thunder occurred just after I took a fall. It would have been hilarious if it had occurred just as I reached the mat.

Aftermath: none of note.


Monday NOT at the Dojo 11/20

I wasn't feeling up to snuff and, with the Holidays around the corner, decided to sleep through the evening instead of possibly infecting other folks. 14 hours of sleep.

I think I'm in better shape.


Saturday Morning at the Dojo 11/17

Aikidokas: Tim, Kim, and Trey

The Walk: as usual.

Ukemi: No issues. Still not taking standing right-sided.

Releases: none today.


Randori and Blum line drills. A very free form day at the dojo.

The first part of the randori was just get off-line. 3 ukes and one tori in the middle moving off-line from each of the attacks. Next phase was altering uke's path as you moved off-line during their attack. The third phase was attempting a technique as you move off-line.

Tim was able to find the problem I've had ever since getting back on the mat: I am getting too far off-line. Making too big of a step. I think this will help me tremendously, as long as I can remember it.

I got brutalized on a couple of falls during randori, but the discomfort was short-lived and not related to the shoulder.

Aftermath: none of note. 500th post. Wow!


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 11/14

Aikidokas: Tim, Brad, and Trey

The Walk: as usual. We stopped midway through the first iteration to talk about something. What was it.... Ah... constant movement. Don't stop when transitioning from one point to the next. Smooth. Rolling.

Ukemi: more rolls! Did the 3 regular type rolls left side, just from the knees on the right.

Releases: They went ok. We worked dynamically this evening. Sensei Tim has issues with the rotate around the elbow/drop the center versions. I can see his point as this way of release is an invitation for a tall tori to get into trouble with a smaller uke.


Trey was tori for two of his usual set of techniques: Shomen-ate, and Aigamae-ate. It was a rough night.

I was struggling to enlighten him on what was going wrong on Aigamae-ate. I think, just before we broke, we came up with a tidbit. He'd been stepping into me when reversing my direction for gake. What, I think, we want him to do is to hip-switch in place and then continue the motion with a strike to the face.

Aftermath: Ibuprofen is my friend again. I forgot to put Heet on my left shoulder, so it's a little tingly today. I took a rough fall on a final Aigamae-ate and I thought it might cause some repercussions, but it did not.


Volleyball, 1-2

Another disappointing evening. We played poorly and we were outmanned 4 to 5.

My serves stunk, I couldn't block and my kills were non-existent.



Monday Night at the Dojo 11/12

Aikidokas: Randy, Kim, and Trey

The Walk: as usual.

Ukemi: Forward Rolls!!! I did left-sided kneeling and standing. I did some right-sided kneeling. No issues!!

Releases: We did some work with the new approach to releases that came out of this weekend's ATAA Technical Board Seminar. The new approach is to be used on the odd number releases. And it's mainly for the introduction of new students to releases.

The intro to students will have them doing releases statically, with uke clamped down on their wrists. Tori will then start the release by doing a center drop and rotating around his elbow. Previously, tori would rotate around his wrist.


Shomen-ate: Trey and I both worked on this technique. Still having issues, but he did nail it a couple of times.

Aigamae-ate: Trey worked on this technique. Nailed it a couple of times.

Gyakugamea-ate: Trey worked on this technique. Nailed it a couple of times.

I ran through the following with Randy while Trey and Kim worked on more of the first 10.

Mae-otoshi: I managed to succeed on both left and right side. Randy considered me proficient in the technique for the evening.

Aftermath: Kim had another good evening. Mine wasn't too bad, either. Shoulder complained a little after the session. I meant to take some ibu, but forgot.

Friday Night at the Dojo 11/9

Aikidokas: Tim, Randy, John, and Kim

The Walk: none tonight

Ukemi: Still no rolls.

Releases: none tonight


Kim wanted to be thrown around again this evening, so I spent the evening as tori.

We got a little work in before the folks for the technical board seminar arrived.

I think we spent some time on

8. Ude-hineri ::: pull and push down
9. Hiki-taoshi ::: arm twist

My footwork was off on Ude-hineri. That can cause uke to slam into my shin, which is not a good thing. I got it corrected by the end of our time on the mat.

Aftermath: none of note. I spent the rest of the evening videotaping the technical board.


Construction update 11/8

A lot of stuff has been accomplished over the past few days. So much, in fact, that it is livable. The city hasn't come out for the occupancy certification yet, but I think it would pass.


Exterior still needs:
x - final paint
x - light fixtures
x - ceiling fans
x - speakers
new driveway
yard grading

Shop still needs:
x - Sink
x - Outlets
x - Light fixtures
x - roll-up doors
Lock on roll-up door
floor outlets leveled with slab

Apartment still needs:
x - Final coats of paint
x - floorboards
x - linoleum
x - cabinet doors
x - countertops
x - cabinet stain
x - appliances
x - lights
x - outlets
x - door hardware
x - closet shelves
x - A/C
x - Sewer connection
x - speakers
minor touchups

Garage still needs:
x - water heater
washer (we'll do this ourselves if it gets done at all)
dryer (we'll do this ourselves if it gets done at all)
ramps to doorways
x - garage door opener

Destruction of the old driveway is due to commence Real Soon Now.

Wednesday Night at the Dojo 11/7

Aikidokas: Tim, Brad, and Trey

The Walk: as usual.

Ukemi: nothing to report. We brought out the crash pad for Brad tonight to give him a really soft landing spot to straighten out his rolls. It helped quite a bit.

Releases: They went ok


Trey was tori for his usual set of techniques: Shomen-ate, Aigamae-ate, Gyakugamae-ate, and Ushiro-ate. He did amazingly well. He had a great night and I took lots of falls.

We also did some work on Gedan-ate. He managed to take me down with the technique several times, but at about 70% correct. We've got some tweaking to do.

Aftermath: I slept well after taking all of those falls. Forward rolls on Monday. I hope.

Volleyball, 0-3

Opponent: Fandango

We played the best team in the league and played poorly. We got stomped. I didn't get any kills for the evening, I don't believe. Much confusion on our alignment.



Monday Night at the Dojo 11/5

Aikidokas: Randy, Kim, and Trey

The Walk: as usual.

Ukemi: nothing to report.

Releases: Randy had us repeat releases until Trey got them right. We spent a lot of time on the first release as one of us would spot something that needed fixing each time.

I also tori'd a set with Kim as uke. She was being brutal and I was not responding well to the change.


Shomen-ate: Trey and I both worked on this technique. Still having issues.

Aigamae-ate: Trey worked on this technique. I wonder if my performance as uke is hurting his development?

I ran through the following with Randy while Trey watched.

Hiki-otoshi: I worked on this with Randy at the end of the evening. I ran through a couple of attempts with no gake. Then I ran through a couple of attempts where Randy did a roll-out. And then one with Randy taking the big fall. It went fairly well.

Aftermath: Kim had a great evening. She hasn't been this happy coming off the mat in quite some time.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 10/31

Jyodokas: Tim

The Walk: once

Since it was just me and Tim, we broke off from aikido and did Jyodo instead

I was introduced to two attacks and one "poke".

Grabbing some information from the UCO Aikido Club website, I think what I was introduced to were the following:

# Honte uchi - normal
# Gyakute uchi - reverse

I have no idea what the name of the "poke" was. I should have posted right after the class, but things were quite frantic getting ready for the weekend.

Aftermath: none of note.


Monday Night at the Dojo 10/29

Aikidokas: Randy and Trey

The Walk: as usual.

Ukemi: Holding off on the rolls for a few more weeks. I'm guessing Nov. 12 or so at the moment.

Releases: We spent a lot of time on the second release this evening. Trey appeared to be having an "off night". It seems to me that happens a lot fairly early on in the study of aikido. I think it takes a while to grok the idea that it's going to take a while to grok aikido.


Shomen-ate: Trey and I both worked on this technique. We were both having issues. I'm not sure I like our new version of this technique

Aigamae-ate: Trey and I both worked on this technique. Iffy performance.

Gyakugamae-ate: Trey and I both worked on this technique. Iffy performance.

Ushiro-ate: Trey and I both worked on this technique. Easily Trey's best technique of the evening

I ran through the following with Randy while Trey watched.

Kote-hineri: I ran through a couple of attempts trying to grasp the new version. I tended to go "around the mountain" instead of "up and over the mountain". Still, it worked.

Kote-gaeshi: Several attempts on the new version of this. Nailed it once, timing was off on several other attempts.

Tenkai-kote-hineri: Got it the time I tried it. Forgot to keep the tenkai grip on the armbar at the finish.

Shiho-nage: One nice attempt and completion.

Mae-otoshi: One attempt that went fairly well.

Aftermath: none of note.


Construction update 10/29

Let's see. Where are we on the construction?

My projected date for completion, back when we started this, was Sept. 15. Uh. We're not done yet. My new guess at a date for completion is Thanksgiving. Kim's guess is Jan. 1.


Exterior still needs:
x - final paint
light fixtures
ceiling fans
new driveway

Shop still needs:
Light fixtures
x - roll-up doors

Apartment still needs:
x - Final coats of paint
x - floorboards
x - linoleum
x - cabinet doors
x - countertops
x - cabinet stain
x - door hardware
x - closet shelves
Sewer connection

Garage still needs:
x - water heater
ramps to doorways
garage door opener

A lot of this will change this week. They're working on the sewer tap now. The electrician is due in tomorrow. The garage door opener should be installed on Friday, I hope.

Saturday Morning at the Dojo 10/27

Aikidokas: Randy, Brad, and Trey

The Walk: as usual.

Ukemi: I think I'm setting Nov. 12 for resuming forward rolls.

Releases: worked with Trey.


We worked on Shomen-ate, Aigamae-ate, and Ushiro-ate with Trey

I spent some time playing with the initial off-balances. I was trying to determine if I was not getting them properly or I was not getting a committed attack from Trey. I've not had the opportunity to explore that in the past, or else I've not noticed the opportunity. It was interesting.

I was made an example of, again, as being one of the more difficult ukes in the dojo, because of my size.

Aftermath: none of note.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 10/24

Aikidokas: Randy Trey

The Walk: Arm's slowly improving on the previously troublesome second arm "stone". We did one rep per usual and one rep elevated on the balls of our feet. Very strange and it had my body continue to stay up on the balls of my feet for quite some time.

Ukemi: Still no rolls.

Releases: as usual

Bokken: I brought some newspaper, so we did some cuts on sheets of newspaper. My forearms were quite sore from Monday's experiment. I didn't realize it until I attempted to end the cuts during our exercises.


I worked on Shomen-ate, Gyakugamae-ate, Aigamae-ate, and Ushiro-ate with Trey as tori and uke. Randy filled in as uke from time-to-time.

I then worked on Hikiotoshi for a bit with Randy as uke. We did the roll-out finish instead of the big fall finish. We'll continue that path until my uke's are confident of my ability and think it's safe to do the big fall.

Aftermath: sore legs and arms.


Monday Night at the Dojo 10/22

Aikidokas: Randy and Trey

The Walk: as usual.

Ukemi: Holding off on the rolls for a few more weeks. I'm guessing Nov. 12 or so at the moment.

Releases: None this evening

Bokken: We did some very, very introductory work with the bokken.


Aigamae-ate. Trey and I both worked on this technique. I knocked off a bit more rust and Trey got introduced to it. I found myself overdriving on occasion, but improved over Friday.

Aftermath: none of note.


Friday Night at the Dojo 10/19

Aikidokas: Randy, John, and Kim

The Walk: one rep only

Ukemi: Still no rolls.

Releases: no tonight


Kim wanted to be thrown around this evening, so I spent the evening as tori. Friday is "black belt" night - usually reserved for shodan and above. Randy said it was okay and, since no black belts were going to be around to run class on Saturday, we decided to get some mat time in.

Since it'd been so long since I'd had a lot of work, I wanted a complete refresher. We worked on 1-9 and then kote-gaeshi. We skipped Gedan-ate since I did not want to subject my arm to that movement.

I've not worked with someone as light as Kim for some time, so I was constantly over-driving. This caused her to react far more than she should. I didn't realize this until very late. I wonder if the change to correct this would be a good tweak for working with Trey at the moment?

We spent a lot of time on Ude-hineri and Hiki-taoshi and uke's reaction to the two techniques. I think that was the most productive time of the evening.

I did attempt the new method of kote a couple of times. Kim took the fall well and I managed to do a decent job of getting her to fall. I've got to remember that the entry is similar to Ushiro-ate.

Aftermath: We were beat. The muscles complained a lot.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 10/17

Aikidokas: Randy, Brad and Trey

The Walk: as usual. Arm's less painful on the previously troublesome second arm "stone".

Ukemi: Still no rolls.

Releases: Still late when working with Trey. Either he's moving more quickly than I expect, or I'm not picking up on his attack. I think I had this issue with Oliver early on.


I worked on Shihonage, Kotehineri and Tenkai-Kotehineri with Trey as uke. Ugh. I think I'm not reacting well to his attack. Randy was able to handle him well, so it's not likely ot be an issue with Trey's attack, but my technique.

I worked on Shomen-ate, Gyakugamae-ate, and Ushiro-ate with Trey as tori. He's improving nicely.

Aftermath: none of note.


Packin' my bags

To travel to a second home. Anyone want to come along?

Volleyball, 1-2

My first match back after the injury. I was quite concerned about how the shoulder would stand up to making blocks. It stood up fairly well. No pain during a block. There was some slight wonkiness (highly technical term there), but it performed far better than I expected.

As a team, we performed under expectations. Probably due to my inclusion into the lineup and getting the rotations adjusted properly.

I did ok. A number of kills and a number of blocks. Some decent serves, as well.

The result eliminated us from post-season competition, so I've got a week or two break before the next session starts.


Monday Night at the Dojo 10/15

Aikidokas: Randy, Oliver, Kim, and Trey

The Walk: as usual.

Ukemi: No rolls yet. Watched Trey and offered a few comments.

Releases: more work with Trey. I was a fair bit off this evening on just about everything


with Trey: Shomen-ate, Gyakugamae-ate, and Ushiro-ate. Iffy on Shomen and Gyaku. He did well on Ushiro. I had the same results.

As tori with Oliver: Mae-otoshi, Hiki-otoshi

Did ok. I've got some hand positioning issues on hiki and I need to let uke go when we're doing the roll-out version. Mae was the same as Monday night. Pretty decent.

As uke with Oliver: Shiho-nage, and Aigamae-ate

We did left-sided Shiho (to protect my right shoulder) and he did ok. Initial off-balances were tough to come by on Aigamae.

We did some knife attack and collar grab drills, very introductory. I did poorly.

Aftermath: none of note.


Saturday Morning at the Dojo 10/13

Aikidokas: Randy and Trey

The Walk: as usual.

Ukemi: No rolls yet. A little more knee-walking instead.

Releases: worked with Trey. He's picking them up quite quickly.


We worked on Shomen-ate, Gyakugamea-ate, and Ushiro-ate with Trey

I got to work on Mae-otoshi with Randy as uke. I had one really sweet instance where it just happened and I flowed with Randy and threw him where he was already headed.

Aftermath: none of note. Hanging out in the off-balance for Gyakugamea-ate it was very noticeable that my arm doesn't like being there for long.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 10/10

Aikidokas: Randy, Oliver, Brad and Trey

The Walk: as usual. Arm's a little iffy doing some of the motions, mainly the second one in which it is involved. My brain's a little frazzled, too. I forget where I am early in the steps involving the hands. Weird.

Ukemi: No rolls yet. I'm taking the time to do a little knee-walking instead.

Releases: round-robin with Oliver and Trey. I find I'm late when working with Trey. I'm not certain why that is.


We did some round-robin stuff. Oliver and I would do some reps on a technique and theyn Trey would get to tori.

Oliver and I worked on Gedan-ate and Ushiro-ate. It was great fun to actually work on learning the new method on one of our techniques.

We worked on Shomen-ate with Trey. He had several nice reps, it was great to see.

Aftermath: none of note.


Monday Night at the Dojo 10/8

Aikidokas: Randy, and Trey

The Walk: as usual. Trey's catching on pretty quickly.

Ukemi: No rolls yet.

Releases: more work with Trey. I'm a little iffy on being uke on a couple of them, right-sided. They stretch out the offending ligament quickly, and it's not too happy sometimes.


We did more work on shomen-ate. I actually tori'd a couple of times and it went ok. Trey's making improvements. It usually takes a couple of sessions to actually achieve gake on this technique, but he's getting close.

Aftermath: none of note. Shoulder is very quirky from time-to-time, so it may be longer than I'd hope to start rolls again.

It was my wedding anniversary, but Kim told me to go to the dojo.


Saturday Morning at the Dojo 10/6

Aikidokas: Rob, Trey, and Brad

The Walk: as usual, more work on getting Brad and Trey up to speed

Ukemi: No rolls yet.

Releases: more work with Brad. I'd forgotten how much there is to introducing them to new students, Or, maybe, I've never taught them to new folks.


We did a little work on Shomen-ate, teaching them the new approach we're using.

Aftermath: none of note. Maybe a week until rolls?


My Nikkyu demonstration

Well, I tried to upload the video of my demo to youtube. Unfortunately, it looks like a 12 minute video is too long for them to allow. I have uploaded it to the internet archive, but that gets you an uncompressed version.

Let's see if I can get a link to it.

Whoa! They've improved stuff and I should be able to embed it from there and it looks like it's pretty quick.

Here goes.


Jeff's Nidan demonstration

Layout changes

I've added some items to the sidebar and I'm looking around for new templates for the blog. I might change it to 3 column, not quite sure, or I might leave it as is.

If the new widgets slow the load down let me know and I'll think about removing them.

One of the widgets I've added is a photo widget from goodwidgets. I've used two of their widgets on the site at the moment, one for aikido photos and one for wildflower photos. They were a breeze to set up and, if you know how to copy/paste into blog templates, add them to the blog. They've got a section in the configure widget screen that is supposed to make it easy to add a widget to a blog/facebook site, but the times I tried it it just sat there spinning and never came up with a selection of sites to choose from.

Still they've got some nice stuff for free and low cost. They've got a promotion going to get upgrades to the pro versions of two of the widgets if you write a review. That's what inspired this post. I wouldn't write this, or use the widgets, if I didn't like them. They've got an aspect to improve that I don't need, but other folks probably will.

Take my recommendation for what you will.

Wednesday Night at the Dojo 10/3

Aikidokas: Sensei Randy, and Trey

Ukemi: Just backfalls for me. The mat was calling to me for forward rolls. It's damn tough to resist the siren's call.

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: I worked with Trey on releases all evening. We made it through all 8 releases. Randy had me doing instructing. I'm not terribly confident, but I'm trying to pick up instructional tidbits Randy throws in from time to time.

Aftermath: None of note. 3 therapy sessions to go. One today.


John's Yondan demonstration

Gail's Nidan demonstration


Monday Night at the Dojo 10/1

Aikidokas: Sensei Randy, Oliver, Kim, and Trey

Ukemi: Just backfalls for me

The Walk: as usual. Trey's catching on quickly

Releases: I worked with Trey on releases all evening. 1 through 4 are shaping up. I didn't introduce #5 as it's a bit different.

Aftermath: None of note. I've got a bunch of stretches I have to do for therapy. 4 more therapy sessions to go. Then I decide how soon ukemi starts back up.


Construction update 9/27

Let's see. Where are we on the construction?

My projected date for completion, back when we started this, was Sept. 15. Uh. We're not done yet. My new guess at a date for completion is Thanksgiving. Kim's guess is Jan. 1.


Exterior still needs:
final paint
light fixtures
ceiling fans

Shop still needs:
Light fixtures
roll-up doors

Apartment still needs:
Final coats of paint
cabinet doors
cabinet stain
door hardware
closet shelves
Sewer connection

Garage still needs:
water heater
ramps to doorways
garage door opener

Wednesday Night at the Dojo 9/26

Aikidokas: Tim, Kim, Trey and Brad

We've got two new white belts in the dojo! Awesome!

Ukemi: I only took backfalls this evening. Once my physical therapy gets me comfortable with my shoulder's range of motion, I'll start getting back into the grove of rolls.

I helped Brad get introduced to the forward roll.

The walk: Ran through this twice, slowly since we've got two newcomers.

Releases: I helped Kim and Trey work through the first two releases.

Aftermath: Shoulder gave me some twinges throughout the evening, but no serious pain. I took some ibuprofen before bed and slept great. No issues in the morning.

It's good to be back on the mat.

At the movies

Bee Season: 4

Richard Gere and Juliette Binoche. I think Juliette did a fabulous job acting in the movie.

The plot hangs off of a progression of spelling bees, but it's not really about spelling bees. It's a story about family dynamics, hidden hobbies and spiritual discovery.



Dr. cleared me to ramp my activity level back up. I'll be doing some physical therapy for a couple of weeks, but I'm cleared to get back on the mat.

I'll be on the mat tonight. I'll limit what I do, mainly backfalls and the Walk. Beyond that, my shoulder will dictate.



6 days to Dr.

And, maybe, clearance to get on the mat.

At the movies

The Last King of Scotland: 4

Forest Whitaker and James McAvoy did a great job with their roles. A good movie with insights into the environment surrounding a maniacal leader. The story is told through Idi Amin's personal physician (played by James McAvoy).

I disagree that Forest should have won the Oscar for Leading Actor. He should have won for Supporting Actor. MacAvoy is the lead, imo, in this movie. But, I'm sure that's just Hollywood politics.

At the movies

Kate & Leopold: 2

Hugh Jackman and Meg Ryan in a science fiction romantic comedy. Meg does not stretch her abilities in this one at all. I don't see her working much more than she did in "Sleepless in Seattle" or "You've Got Mail." Hugh did a passable job. The science fiction sub-plot was treated with disdain.


At the movies

Gone in 60 Seconds: 4

It may not be much acting-wise, or plot-wise, but it's a fun movie to watch. I saw this in the theater and just purchased it for the library this past weekend.

Kim had forgotten most of it, so we watched it last night.

I'd watch it again just to see Eleanor. But I love Mustangs. If I could just fit into them.

At the movies

A History of Violence: 4

Viggo Mortensen in another fantastic role. Limited, but intense, action. Viggo does an amazing job transforming from one identity into another.

At the movies

Just Friends: 1

Ryan Reynolds and Amy Smart. High School friends meet again after 10 years and "Chris" (the guy) has lost about 150lbs.

At the movies

The Good Girl: 2

Jennifer Aniston, Jake Gyllenhaal, John C. Reilly. A nicely acted story of infidelity. I didn't enjoy the story, but did enjoy the acting.

At the movies

Firewall: 3

Harrison Ford starring as a Networking Guru for a bank. His family gets held hostage in order to get him to steal $100 million from the bank for the kidnappers.

Most of the movie could have been avoided if he written a note and handed it to somebody either before he avoided the video pen and just after he handed it off.

Still, a fun movie.


At the Movies

Million Dollar Baby: 3

Stellar acting by Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood and Hillary Swank. The ending was not what I was expecting, based on the DVD cover/posters. Good flick.

At the Movies

On the Waterfront: 3

A classic Marlon Brando flick. "I coulda been a contender!"

At the Movies

Napoleon Dynamite: 1

We sat through this one since a number of folks quote lines from this movie. I wish I had the time back. Ugh.


Shoulder update 9/6

Went back to the doc for a follow-up on the separated AC joint. It felt like it was healing well and the x-rays and the doc confirmed my feelings. No surgery necessary to make certain it heals well.

He wants me to baby the shoulder as much as possible until he sees me again in about 3 weeks (I could get an appointment for 10 days or 3 weeks. I chose 3 weeks.). In the sling would be nice, according to the doc, so in the sling I shall try to keep it.

No heavy lifting overheard, etc. I didn't even ask about aikido.

I'm afraid I may run out of movies at the local library at the rate I plowing through them.

At the movies

The Interpreter: 3

Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn in a story about a U.N. interpreter who overheard something she should not have. I think they both played well in their roles.


At the movies

Final Cut: 4

Robin Williams in a drama. I tend to enjoy his work in dramas. I thought this might be a cross between "Minority Report" and "One Hour Photo", and I'm not sure I'm wrong.

Robin plays a kind of futuristic funeral director, editing a person's recorded history for viewing by friends and family at a "rememory". This gets him in trouble in more ways than one.

I'd figured out the reveal during the intro, but I hadn't realized that I'd figured out the reveal.

At the movies

Ed Wood: 3

This was a tough call. Is it a bad movie, or a good movie about bad movies? I went with the latter. I enjoyed it, but I expect reactions to be all over the map.


At the movies

Adaptation: 1

I sat through the first 5 minutes of this movie and turned it off. I couldn't stand all of the internal dialog.

At the movies

Constantine: 3

Lots of demons on screen. Keanu's well-established microscopic dramatic range.

I had very low expectations for this film, but it was fun.


Promote Three Meme

I've been tagged by Mr. Patrick Parker with the Promote Three Meme, so I'm doing my part to follow through, even if I am a little late.

My Three choices:

Uchi Deshi - I have a hard time believing this blogs is below mine. I save this blog to be read last when it's updated. It's a great glimpse into the life of a live-in student.

So, You Want To Start Aikido? - I just found this one while looking for candidates. Any blogs by starting aikidokas are likely to get my attention.

Johndo - Another glimpse into Pat's dojo is always welcome.

Now to send them all a note.

Weekend update

A long weekend. Our first in many, many months without any hard and fast commitments.

It was a joy. We didn't really do anything.

I did even less than that, since I'm resting my separated shoulder.

Went by the dojo Friday night to just chat. Then out to dinner with the spouse.

Kim worked on Saturday, so it wasn't really a long weekend for her. I sat around the house, walked the dogs and watched some movies. Dinner at DoubleDave's

Sunday we were lazy again. I watched some U. S. Open tennis while Kim watched the inside of her eyelids.

Monday some more lazing around. Then we met my mom and sister for a small belated b'day celebration. I also solved her internet connection issue. We also went scouting around for a new TV for her. Convinced her not to buy Right Now.

We then dropped by the dojo to get Kim some mat time. I chatted with Sensei Raymond while she and Sensei Randy were on the mat.

At the movies

The House of Sand and Fog: 3

It's impressive how many of the cast die in this movie. Not the actors themselves, but the characters they portray. It's amazing the ripples that a $500 screw-up by a county government can cause.

I was impressed by the performances by Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly.

I was annoyed by a couple of things. One of them I remember at the moment: Lester was drinking on duty.

At the movies

Pollock: 3

Another character study, but a biopic this time about Jackson Pollock, the American artist. As presented on screen, he definitely had some mental issues.

At the movies

Lost in Translation: 4

Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. A character study of two Americans adrift, however briefly, in Japan. Not a strong plot, but I still found it quite enjoyable.

At the movies

The Tuxedo: 2

A Jackie Chan vehicle. Unfortunately there was only one nice stunt sequence without a bunch of wire work. It was at the beginning. A pretty worthless movie otherwise. Without that one sequence, I would have rated the movie a 1.


At the movies

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World : 4

I think I've seen it before, so I have to give it a 4 since I enjoyed it this time, too.

Good sea battles, a nice storm. What more could you want? A good looking lady? Yep. But it's a sea story from the 1800's, so you're not likely to get one.

At the movies

Girl with a Pearl Earring: 3

Scarlett Johansson in a movie about the Dutch painter Vermeer. It kept me involved until about the time Griet was assaulted. It seemed to lose its way at that point. Or else I was exceptionally annoyed that nothing was done to the assaulter, but I doubt it.

At the movies

Fantastic 4: 3

A fun movie even though Dr. Doom was a very 2-D villain. Not much character background.mov

At the movies

Alexander (Director's Cut): 2

Big epic. Looks like ones from the 50's. Oliver Stone fails on this one. I stopped caring somewhere along the way.

At the movies

The Day After Tomorrow: 2

Hokey Science Fiction. Not great acting. Decent special effects.

At the movies

Tears of the Sun: 2

A Bruce Willis vehicle. Not a tremendously good one either. Bruce Willis does Special Ops in Africa. There's one shot with which the director tries to get character growth. That's it.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 8/22: Ouch

Aikidokas: Sensei Tim

Ukemi: Decent. Big Falls were a little off tonight.

The walk: as usual.

Releases: as usual


We spent some time going through the modified curriculum. Things went well until we go to kote-gaeshi. We did some attempts with me as tori. We then tried some with me as uke. I thought I might be able to strike tori with my off hand and mentioned that I would be attempting to do so.

The next attack ended poorly. We tumbled. I landed on my shoulder separating the AC joint.

While recovering, I had to lie down to prevent passing out.

Aftermath: Separated AC joint. Out for, I'm guessing, 4 to 6 weeks. Driving a stick shift with a bum right shoulder is an adventure. I try not to shift into 5th gear.


Volleyball : 0-3, 0-3

I think I missed the last two matches in volleyball.

We played Fandango, usually the best team in the league, two weeks ago. We played well, but lost all three games.

Last week we played Three Eggs and Slam. We played poorly, our 6 to their 5, and lost all three. We should have been able to win at least two, but didn't.


Weekend update

Friday evening was spent waiting for the A/C guy to finish fixing the unit. He spent about 3 hours working on it, finding issues. It didn't end up costing us too much. We hope to recoup all of that from the electrical contractor.

Saturday was spent at the dojo filing the ATAA technical board's discussion of how to teach the techniques. I now have to edit the 5 hours of tape down to something manageable.

Sunday was a lazy day until around 6pm. We then got out and did lawn work. Our neighbors are doing the bulk of the work while our mower is being repaired. Kim did some push mowing and I did some weed whacking and some hand weeding.

I got nailed by a stick that our neighbor ran over. Hurt something awful at the time, but there's no lasting damage.

Monday Night at the Dojo 8/20

Aikidokas: Sensei Randy, Sensei John and Kim.

Ukemi: Decent. Big falls were way off this evening.

The walk: as usual.

Releases: With John. I had a final destination in mind when I got off-line. that's not right.

Techniques: We spent the evening altering all of the techniques to match the technical board's decisions on Saturday. A number of the techniques need to be changed to match the defined curriculum.

1. Shomen-ate :::
This is now a far quicker technique and gake ends up at tori's rear corner
2. Aigamae-ate :::
a little more use of the initial working hand to the chin/cheek of uke
3. Gyakugamea-ate :::
off-balances and gake to the corners
4. Gedan-ate :::
same change as 3
5. Ushiro-ate :::
Big 10 version. Init off-balance 90 degrees.
6. Oshi-taoshi :::
Up and over the mountain. Small circle pivot.
7. Ude-gaeshi :::
Same change as 6
8. Ude-hineri :::
No real change. Maybe add a little wrist twist.
9. Hiki-taoshi :::
Same change as 8
10. Waki-gatame :::
No change
11. Kote-hineri :::
Same change as 6 and 7
12. Kote-gaeshi :::
Big changes.
Lead in with off foot.
Small circle retreat with lead foot.
Small step with off foot to fourth toe for gake

I was then uke for Kim on Oshi-taoshi. She wanted a tall uke as guinea pig. The timing is a bit of an issue, but she was throwing me out like yesterday's trash. Next stop: control of uke and the armbar.

Aftermath: none.


Armadillocon pictures

are available at:


Enough drama, thank you

Everyone's ok, thank goodness.

Yesterday was day 1 of a 2 day electrical switchover related to the new construction. We're adding a bunch of circuits in the new place and changing the line from the street to the house from overhead to underground. One or two of the circuits being added are 220V for woodworking equipment.

Kim arrives home for lunch and sees the electrician's vehicle in the driveway. She walks into the house and passes by the fish tank. Or is about to. Something catches her attention. Flames.

The timer that regulates the lights for the fish tank is on fire. She reaches over and unplugs the powerstrip for the timer. The fire goes out.

She talks to the electricians. They discover that 240V is running through some of the circuits. Something happens and that problem disappears.

Kim and the electricians do a survey of the house.

Items that fell victim to the "power spike" (I think it was electrician incompetence):

Power adapter for network router
Answering machine/phone
Air conditioner logic card

So, we are currently without internet and A/C at home. The logic card may take 3-4 days to arrive. I hope to find an appropriate adapter for the router today. Failing that, I'll get the new route I was planning to get once the construction was done.

We also discovered that the thieves took the microwave/vent hood for the new addition that we had stored in our dining room.

If Kim had been a few minutes later, we would probably be out our entire house and our pets. So we had some good luck there.

However, if our trend of luck continues, Dean could be a real issue next week.


Armadillocon Con Report

The middle of the con stunk, but that's because it ended up being the end of the con for me. And it was beyond the control of anyone on the con committee. Damn thieves!

The rest of the con was great and went far smoother than I expected it to.

I pulled in to Austin around noon on Thursday and had plenty of time to do nothing. The art show equipment had been loaded on the truck the night before, so we were just waiting until after dinner to unload it and set up the show.

After dinner, we unloaded and set up the show in about 2 hours. We were done by 10:30, I think. I headed to the con suite, had a beer and turned in for the night.

Up bright and early to start hanging the art in the art show. It went really well. I had a number of helpers whose names have slipped my mind due to later events. We were very close to being as done as we could be by the time we opened at noon, Two hours before registration opened.

Bidding went well Friday. We had a piece already designated for the auction by the end of the night. I really do enjoy having the show open during the Opening Reception. I think having easy access to alcohol does help loosen bidding fingers.

I glanced in a couple of room parties, but it's hard to entice me to stay, but I quickly headed for slumber.

Up again early to open the art show. Matthew Duarte and Laura Domitz were absolutely indispensable to me over the weekend, allowing me some time away from the art show to handle stuff and check out the Charity Auction.

The Art Show Auction had 22 pieces in it. There was some lively bidding on occasion, mostly on Peri Charlifu's pieces. I even ended up coming home with one of them.

About this time my weekend went to hell with the phone call telling me of the break in at home. I scrambled to set the art show so I could abandon it in the morning. We closed out all of the folks who wanted to settle their bills and then set to doing as much as we could before closing up for the night.

Pictures from the con should be up sometime soon.

I've been asked to run the Art Show again next year and have said yes.


Animals are back home

Tank returned home yesterday morning at 7 am.

Mercuri returned home yesterday evening around 7 pm.

It's good to have them home. Now we can concentrate on thinking bad thoughts at the perps.


Burgled, bugger it!

Saturday afternoon, while I was running the Art Show at Armadillocon and Kim was at work, our house was burgled.

They broke into the house with a brand new crowbar (they left it behind), destroying the doorjamb on the back door. They proceeded to thoroughly toss our bedroom, ightly toss the study and moderately toss the guest bedroom.

Mattresses were all askew. Drawers have been thrown hither and yon and some were actually taken.

Pets missing (the burglars didn't have the decency to close the door apparently):
Jack (canine)(was found and returned fairly quickly)
Tank (canine)(out and about without his collar)
Mercuri (feline)(out and about with her collar)

Items missing:
A number of unique items that, if pawned, would be recoverable. If they get melted down, it'll be a travesty.

They missed some stuff in plain sight.

I got a call from Kim during the art auction which I had to ignore. She called again shortly thereafter when I was handling art show checkout and I was still not able to talk. I called her back shortly thereafter and heard the news.

I organized my affairs at the con last night so that someone could handle most of my duties for the art show in my absence. I got some sleep and drove home this morning. It was not a fun drive. My mind was playing out all sorts of scenarios about what could have happened overnight. Tank and Mercuri were prevalent in my thoughts. Dire
retributions were played out upon the perps.

I was able to look at the pictures from our construction camera and get an approximate time of the event. One of the pictures shows Mercuri walking in the backyard about 1 hour before Kim was due home from work.

These criminals had either cased us, or knew us relatively well. They guessed/knew that I was out of town and knew that Kim was at work. Although, no cars were at the house so that would be a major clue for anyone.

The addition that we are building was lightly vandalized a couple of weeks ago. We have no way of knowing if this burglary ties in with the vandalism or not.

I expect the next few weeks to be unpleasant.

If you expected to see me at the 'Dillo today, this is why I disappeared.


Volleyball, 2-1

We had a full team. In fact the team we had from about a year ago is back as a unit. We did ok the first two games, but the third game got away from us early. The other team's server hit lofters that we couldn't handle.

A fun evening, nonetheless.


Monday Night at the Dojo 8/6

Aikidokas: Sensei John, Oliver, and Kim.

Kim's parents accompanied us to the dojo for the first time and sat and watched. Not sure they're going to be joining us on the mat anytime soon, though. :D

Ukemi: Decent. A little pinging of the shoulder on the roll-ups.

The walk: as usual.

Releases: With John. Needed to keep pushing this evening.

Techniques: With Oliver

Kote-gaeshi for him. Sumi-otoshi for me.

We were so bad that Sensei Raymond got out on the mat to instruct us.

For my Sumi's the following recommendations were made:

Maintain a constant speed. No superfast entries.
Body drop, center drop.
Release tension after the center drop to allow uke to attempt to rise
Bring the trailing foot up after the hip switch to improve gake percentage.

Aftermath: Knees are slightly sore for some reason, and have been for a couple of days.


Friday Night at the Dojo 8/3

Aikidokas: Sensei Tim, Sensei Randy, Sensei John, and Raj.

Ukemi: Decent.

Friday is Black Belt practice night. It's not a hard-and-fast restriction, but it is an opportunity for the Dan grades to work together without kyu grades wandering around. Kim was going to work on the sheetrock, so I went to see if I could get some mat time in.


Sumi-otoshi and Mae-otoshi working with Randy.

Mae-otoshi: After entry, the off-hand must be palm up under the elbow, it then slides through rotating 270 degrees as the off shoulder moves into uke's armpit. As the two bodies "collide", tori moves as if to take a front roll-out which gives uke a urgent impetus to take a roll-out as well. Tori stops short of actually taking a roll-out.

I did ok on this. Still need repetitions, but it went ok.

Sumi-otoshi: After entry it's body drop, center drop, and the hip turn. These are very quick transitions. According to Sensei Ray, as you enter you recite the words "body drop, center drop" to yourself performing those transitions in time with the words to get the correct timing.

The body drop is the entry move when the off-foot lands off-line. Center drop is an adjustment of the feet so they are closer together while the knees bend and the hands arrive in a low-center position at the same time. Uke reacts and tori executes a hip turn, keeping the hands in center causing uke to go over. Tori almost has to be predicting uke's reacting to the center drop, if uke completes his reaction, tori will be late. You have to know uke will react and be executing the hip turn while uke is reacting.

I managed one or two sumis before the evening was over.

Aftermath: none of note.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 8/1

Aikidokas: Sensei Tim

Ukemi: Decent. Continuing to working on popping up after the fall. Actually managed to pop up after a roll from one knee. I was dumbfounded

The walk: as usual.


Koryu-Dai-Ni no Kata: Tim want to do some exploration of this kata. I'm not sure where this comes into demonstrations. Maybe Nidan?

1. Katate-mochi-kata-gatame
2. Ryote-mochi-gyaku-gamae-ate
3. Ryote-mochi-irimi-nage
4. Ushiro-waza-ryote-mochi-kote-gaeshi
5. Jyuji-garami-nage
6. Ushiro-waza-gyakugamae-ate
7. Ushiro-waza-oshi-taoshi
8. Ushiro-waza-tenkai-kote-hineri
9. Ushiro-waza-kote-gaeshi
10. Ushiro-waza-oshi-taoshi-nage
11. Ushiro-waza-juji-garami

Anyway we explored the techniques on a one-by-one basis. Tim ran through them as tori a couple of times to refresh his memory, then I'd get a chance to tori. It was a good evening.

The last technique (Ushiro-waza-juji-garami) proved to be very difficult, or at least not well-suited, when tori is taller than uke. That's mainly because uke is trying to get a forearm choke on tori. In the real world uke would practically have to jump on my back to accomplish this. We did try it out with me sitting in a chair (getting attacked at a bar, for example) so that uke could manage to get a good angle for a choke. In that situation, the difficult part is getting out of the chair after the first off-balance.

You've managed an off-balance of uke to their (and your) front left and your right leg is likely stuck between the legs of the chair. At this point, the technique continues with tori rotating counter clockwise about his left foot. That means the right foot will be moving to the left and it's currently between the legs of the chair. That's going to take some work to figure out how to best accomplish.

Aftermath: none of note.


Monday Night at the Dojo 7/30

Aikidokas: Sensei John and Kim.

Ukemi: Decent. I was doing some rolling up on my knees on some of the falls. I'm not certain why. I need to make certain it doesn't become a habit.

The walk: as usual.

Releases: Doing some of the releases on Kim is a struggle. Her height makes getting under her arm a bit of a challenge.

Techniques: We spent the remaining time on Kim's Ude-hineri (#8). She made a marked improvement by the time we were done.

We then spent some time on my Sumi-otoshi. I actually got through the technique. At 2/3 speed. Now for more repetition.

Aftermath: none.


At the movies

Happy Feet: 3

This felt like Lord of the Ring on ice. Elijah Wood starred as the protagonist and he had to go on a long journey and "defeat" the folks killing all of the food supply. He killed them with his cuteness rather than throwing a ring into a mountain.

It wasn't as good as I was hoping it would be.


Saturday Night at the Dojo 7/28

No aikido, but the annual dojo summer party.

I spent most of the day in front of the grill smoking chicken and brisket. And, if I do say so myself, it turned out fantastic. We've still got a few pieces of leftover chicken around, so I get to have some good food for lunch.

Good food. Good fellowship. A good time was had by all.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 7/25

Aikidokas: Sensei Tim

Ukemi: Decent. Continuing to working on popping up after the fall.

The walk: as usual.

Releases: Explorations of different off-balances, working to the corners, etc.

Spent the rest of the evening working on knife defenses.

Aftermath: none of note.


Volleyball 2-1

We're back in the competitive league. This week we had two women playing with us, so things went well. I don't remember the scores except for the first game, which we won 21-10.

I hope we continue to get the womenfolk to show up.


Monday Night at the Dojo 7/23

Aikidokas: Sensei John and Greg.

Ukemi: Decent. We spent a fair amount of time on this. I spent some time working on rolling up on a couple of different front rolls. I'm getting better. We also spent some time (Greg and I) on warming up each other with big falls.

The walk: as usual.

Releases: We spent a good bit of time on releases. We're altering the 2nd and 4th releases just a bit to go over the 4th toe instead of inline with uke's attack.

Techniques: We didn't have much time left, so we did a couple of Shomen-ates, a couple of Shihonages and then I worked on the entry for Mae-otoshi a couple of times.

Aftermath: none of note.


Out-of-context quote

"Apple has apparently moved its headquarters to Lake Wobegon, where all the Street estimates are above average."

Eric Savitz

Regarding Apple's upcoming earnings report.


What a long, intensive weekend!

Kim and I drove to San Antonio Friday night to volunteer at the USA Judo National Jr. Olympics. We were scheduled to be technical officials (e.g., timers, scorekeepers, etc.) with some other friends from Houston.

We left town about 7pm and made it to the hotel around 10:30 or 11. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince accompanied us on the trip to refresh our memory for the Deathly Hallows.

We got up at 6 am, had breakfast and made it to the coliseum by 8. We got settled in at our mat and proceeded to officiate approximately 179 matches in 9 hours. I was scorekeeper for most of the time. While not quite as intensive of a position as match timekeeper, I still had to pay attention at all times. I'd give myself about a 95%, or a little higher, rating on determining the correct score from the referee's calls. Sometimes it's tough to figure which competitor got the score since I don't play judo. We were the last of the 5 mats to finish their matches for the day.

After breaking for the day, we agreed to meet up on the River Walk for dinner with the rest of the crew. Texas Land & Cattle was our destination. Kim and I had been sitting down for too long, so we did some walking around the River Walk before dinner. Unfortunately, we forgot to mark in our minds where we parked the truck. I mentioned marking the spot in a GPS unit, but we did not have one with us. This would come back to haunt us.

Dinner was cool, a great bunch of folks. They overcooked my steak. It arrived well done and I prefer them medium. Oh well, it kept me from eating too much.

Dinner done, we made our way back to the truck. And kept walking. And kept walking. And kept walking. We could not spot the parking garage in which we'd left the truck.

After an hour and a half, we found a garage employee at another garage and asked him for help. Questioning us, he was able to determine which garage we were likely parked in. He pointed it out to us, about 2 blocks away. We walked over and then ran up the nine flights of stairs to find our fabulous vehicle waiting for us, wondering where we'd been.

We made it back to the hotel and collapsed.

Up at 6am again Sunday and off to breakfast. Back to the coliseum. 54 more matches to keep score for.

The only really interesting one was one that was decided by Hansoku-make. One of the girls had 4 Shidos called against her and her opponent was, therefore, awarded the match. That was the only scoring in the match.

Last match ended and we bolted for the door. 4 hours, or so, later we were back at home being joyfully greeted by the dogs.

We walked the dogs and picked up my copy of Deathly Hallows from the library. We listened as a massive thunderstorm moved through, causing us to lose power a couple of times. I actually disconnected my computer, and I rarely do that.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 7/18

Aikidokas: Sensei Tim

Ukemi: Decent. Tim tried different things at the end of ukemi warm up when I throw punches at him and he, usually, responds with a kote-gaeshi or a sumi-otoshi. He didn't always go with the big throw.

The walk: as usual.

Techniques: We did some exploration of the techniques of go kata. We also spent time on the entries for 14-17.

Aftermath: none of note.


Volleyball 2-1, 0-2

Season-ending tournament and we failed to win it. Bummer.

We were kind of short-handed, with only 4 players to everyone else's 6. So we were working hard and ran out of steam.

First match: 23-25, 25-23, 15-13

Second match: 23-25, 25-27

You can't get much closer than that. Onward to next season. I hope we have more reliable womenfolk.


Monday Night at the Dojo 7/16

Aikidokas: Sensei Randy, Oliver, and Kim.

Ukemi: not bad. Starting to work on rolling up. Felt a strain on a left leg muscle on one of them. Nothing lasting.

The Walk: as usual. Kim got to count.

Releases: with Oliver.

Techniques: with Oliver.

We were supposed to run through 11-14 both sides for both of us, with more repetitions for him. We managed to complete our assignment except for kote-gaeshi for me and left sided kote-gaeshi for him.

Nothing of note. Just a day of journeymen working through the tasks set before them.

Aftermath: none of note. Still trying to get rid of the cold allergy.


At the Movies

The Last Samurai: 3

Another typical Tom Cruise star vehicle, with fewer explosions than usual but not by much.

Some neat instances of jo work, iaido and aikido. Ninjas are thrown in as well. Lots of ninjas in one spot.

At the Movies

The Queen: 3

A good performance by the actors representing the royal family, but the story was just okay.

Saturday Morning at the Dojo 7/14

Aikidokas: Sensei Tim

Ukemi: Ok. No big falls. For some reason I was not very awake and wasn't ready to take them during warmup

The Walk: as usual

Releases: This is what we spent our time on again. Releases into techniques. We also did some hand randori with the approach of everything starts as a release. I'm still having issues finding the back door out of some situations. I expect that will be the case for a number of years, though, so it's not much of a concern.

Aftermath: A little sore elbow from getting into an unexpected armbar.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 7/11

Aikidokas: Sensei Tim

Ukemi: Decent. I took some big falls. On one of them I ended up in a position where Tim was supporting my slap hand, so I had nothing with which to slap. Landed fine, but it was weird not being able to slap.

The walk: as usual.

Techniques: We worked through the various techniques in which we are inside the arm (1, 14, 15, 16, 17) and did some variations assuming uke has evil in his mind with the second hand. You can not, safely, move uke down his line of attack. You have to move him to the outside corner of his attacking hand. That allows you an opportunity to attempt a technique while eliminating uke's off-hand from the encounter.

Aftermath: none of note.


Volleyball 0-3, 2-1

Meh. We had no women show up for our early match (8pm) and so we had to forfeit the match. They didn't show up for the 9pm match either, but we drafted two of the ladies from our opponent in the 8pm match and played the 9pm match with them on our side.

We did ok. The first game we took them to the cleaners. Second game they took us to the cleaners. The third game we won, but I don't remember the score.

I think we ended up in second place in the league by 1 game. If the folks keeping track of the scores had done a perfect job, we'd be in first. Tied by record, but we beat the other team in head-to-head.

Oh well, we play the tournament next week. I hope the ladies show up.


Monday Night at the Dojo 7/9

Aikidokas: Sensei John (now that he's Yondan, he's Sensei), Robert, Oliver, and Greg

Ukemi: not bad. Starting to work on rolling up. May have slightly pinged a hip on one of them. No lasting effect

The Walk: as usual. Asked about incorporating Sensei Carla's suggestion from the seminar. Got to count the next version of the walk because of asking said question ;)

Releases: with Oliver

Techniques: with Oliver.

We were supposed to run through 1-14 both sides for both of us. We managed to make it through 1-9 for Oliver. We had a good time and knocked some rust off.

Aftermath: none of note. Still trying to get rid of the cold allergy.


At the Movies

Once Upon a Time in Mexico: 4

This was a hoot. Over the top explosions and decent acting.

One of the interesting things I noticed was in Johnny Depps' dialog, he uses his now-famous Captain Jack Sparrow phrase "Savvy?" I almost fell off the sofa when I heard that.

This is a borderline see-it-again movie. The number of bodies flying when explosions occur and the easily broken church pews almost throw it into a just see it once.

We saw the end credit to Quentin and were not surprised. Kim doesn't like anything, so far, that Quentin has touched. I think that she would give this movie a 3 to my 4.

Saturday Morning at the Dojo 7/7

Aikidokas: Sensei Tim

Ukemi: Not bad. Had a weird landing on one of the big falls. I didn't get the nice solid boom I usually do, but a thump instead. No pain was involved, but it was strange.

This was my first session after my demonstration and I though my releases needed work. So, that's what we worked on. We expanded the workout into more general areas and discussions.

The topic of kazushi (off-balance) came up, as it should in aikido. We discussed how off-balances play a role in the fight-or-flight response that humans, and probably most animals, have. If you've been attacked by someone, successfully avoided it, and generated an off-balance in your attacker you've put your attacker into a fight-or-flight situation. Because he's off-balance, his body's response is to get back on balance. He can't, physically or mentally, do anything in the way of an attack until he gets his balance back.

A number of aikido techniques have multiple elements to them (e.g, move off-line, move uke's center, push, turn and push again). To successfully complete the technique you need to get uke off-balance and, if the technique that shows up has multiple elements in it, keep uke off-balance the entire time. If you keep the off-balances in play, uke can't get back in the fight. Give up the off-balance and uke's likely to sit you on your keester.

It was definitely a good Saturday morning session, if it inspired me to write more than the usual gibberish


Aftermath: none.

At the Movies

Ratatouille: 4

Another great Pixar movie. I need to see it again to see what I missed on the first viewing.

Great animation and a great story. This is probably going to join our DVD library when it comes out.


At the Movies

Pan's Labyrinth: 3, rated R

I was expecting to like this far more than I did. It just didn't click. It chased my wife away from the room with the violence. It was actually more threatened and executed off-screen than actually shown.

The timing of the movie seemed awfully compressed. Things that I would expect to happen over weeks appeared to happen over days. An hourglass ran out far later than first appearance said it would.

At the Movies

The Quiet American: 3

Michael Caine, Brendan Fraser

A decent movie. Not what I was expecting when I picked it out. I wonder what the movie is that has Caine in it, but in a far more rural, American setting? Cider House?

A British journalist is reporting from Vietnam as the French are being chased out of country. He chances to meet an American aid worker (immediately obvious, somehow, as CIA). Things continue to be uncovered, girlfriends exchanged, etc., until the cause of the dead body is uncovered.

I enjoyed this and thought the performances were well-done. And I see the Caine was nominated for an Oscar.

At the Movies

Boiler Room: 2

Vin Diesel, Giovanni Ribisi, Ron Rifkin

A movie about ethics vis-a-vis pump and dump stock schemes.

I was not terribly impressed. We'd hoped for a decent movie with Vin in it, but it seemed forced. The plots did not really flow well. The sub plot, with Ron Rifkin really seemed tacked on.

I think Giovanni did a decent job with the acting. Not much Vin in the movie, relatively speaking.



I was awarded the rank of Nikyu on Saturday afternoon after an exhausting demonstration. Now I get to start working on: mae-otoshi, sumi-otoshi and hiki-otoshi. The last three of the first seventeen.

John (Sensei John, now that he is Yondan), wanted to work with me on Sumi- last night but I was feeling a bit under the weather and did not make it to the dojo. We're not having class on the 4th of July, so it will be Saturday at the earliest before I make it back to the mat.

Edit: 400th post!

Saturday Afternoon at the Dojo 6/30

Aikidokas: a bunch. Everyone'd returned from the judo tournament. A number of folks had placed at the tournament!

With everyone there, and if you take into account the promotions that took place over the weekend, we had 3 Hachidans, 3 Nanadans, 1 Godan (I think) and 1 Yondan instructing over the weekend. That's a powerful collection of teachers.

The afternoon sessions were on The Walk and on the Releases. The mat was amazingly sticky so it was not a very smooth practice.

Then it was time for belt demonstrations. We had 5 folks demonstrating for the following belts: 1 Yonkyu, 1 Nikkyu, 2 Nidans and 1 Yondan.

As the only Kyu grades up for promotion, Matt and I performed The Walk together. It was kind of rough. Our counter for it seemed to be speeding up the pace as we went along. I was able to deal with it, but Matt it through for a loop. We got the pace slowed down and allowed Matt to catch up and finish it.

I did my releases with John, as my planned uke for the test, Oliver, did not show up. I think my feet were sticking to the mat because I was late on my releases. Horribly so.

I then went through 1-14 of the first 17 techniques. I actually am pleased with my performance. I was very focused, according to Sensei Carla.

I had a mantra before the start of each technique: technique number, which side (left or right) and the foot to start the approach with. So for Gedan-ate it would have been: #4, right side, left foot.

I finished my demonstration and then sat and watched, in the demonstration line up, the other 3 tests.

At the end of the last test, Joseki turned to each other and conferred. Joseki for my exam consisted of 2 Hachidans and 3 Nanadans. After a few minutes, they called the entire group up and awarded us our new ranks. There was a brief moment of tension/humor when they tore up the certificate for one of the Nidans before awarding him the rank.

After the exams were over, we ended the seminar and broke a dinner of bar-b-q and fixin's. Some folks extended the party at one of the local watering holes. I should have done so, but I had enough single malts at the dojo to get me relaxed.

The folks from Alabama needed to get up bright and early Sunday morning to make it back home at a reasonable hour, so we opted not to have the seminar continue past Saturday.

Saturday Morning at the Dojo 6/30

Aikidokas: a bunch, but a number of folks were off at a developmental judo tournament.

First Session: 1.5 to 2 hours on ukemi and stretching. We didn't get to big falls. We did do falls starting from one knee and standing. We also did some front, what I call flat, falls. Similar to what you might take on Oshi-taoshi.

I got some pointers from Carla on my rolls from the knee. My butt was moving off-line on the roll: if I stated with my right knee up, my posterior would travel more to the left than it should. I managed to improve it a little bit. She was going to tweak my standing rolls some, but she and Sensei Tim discussed it and determined that it was something specific I'd been taught and did not need correcting. (At least, that's how I interpreted the conversation I saw going on in a corner of the mat).

The second session of the morning was on Owaza Ju Pon. John got to teach that session. It was a fun introduction to those techniques. I think I ended up attempting 9 of the 10. By the time we got to number 10, I did not feel I was properly energized to do it safely. It was lunch time.

I did manage to get a throw on the Big 10 version of Kote-gaeshi. I stood there for a few seconds afterward with a big silly grin on my face. It may have even been caught on tape. I'll have to check.

Friday Night at the Dojo 6/29

Aikidokas: a bunch. This was the first session of the weekend seminar. I think we ended up with around 20 folks, maybe more. I have to check the seminar photo that we took on Saturday.

Friday night we covered a good number of the first seventeen techniques. I worked with Larry (who hails from work with Mike and Carla as well as Karl), in the first breakout. He has studied them a lot differently than we study them. Now, it could be that he's just stepped back onto the mat after a number of years absence, but I don't think so.

I think the most obviously different one was Oshi-taoshi (aka Ikkyo, I think). After the first off-balance he fades behind uke, we fade in line with the line of uke's shoulder and ear. His fade produces and dramatic spinning fall. Ours produces a less-dramatic forward-moving fall.

I don't recall, off-hand, who else I worked with. We arrived one hour into the 3 hour session, so we didn't get the full teaching.


Volleyball, 1-2

I don't know what happened here. We played the 3rd place team in the league and just did not execute well. We had 5 players, the 3 usual guys and a couple of ladies that we drafted to play.

It didn't feel like we got stomped, we were always in the games, but the games weren't very close.

We're still in first by a little bit. We need to win out in two weeks, really, to end up in first. We play the second place team in one of the matches, and that will determine our seedings for the tournament. We've got next week off because of the 4th of July.

Wednesday Night at the Dojo 6/27

Aikidokas: Sensei Tim, John, Raj, and Oliver.

Ukemi: Spent some time on the roll-up drill.


Oliver and I ran through my demonstration twice. I was a puddle of sweat by the end of the evening.

I think it went fairly well.

Little tweaks on a number of techniques. They're in the memory bank, I just have to recall them during the actual demonstration.

Aftermath: None of note

3 days until the demonstration.


George Kesseler, 1914-2007

I don't remember when I met George. It was probably during my courtship of my wife. George was, essentially, a grandfather to her. He built the house that she was raised in, shortly before she was born. And he loved her as if she was his very own daughter.

He was a man with his mind made up. Things were to be done his way, or they were to be redone. In building houses it served him well, they have stood the test of time with very few problems through many storms.

He loved his gardens. Fig trees, grapefruit and sage palms in addition to the everpresent vegetable garden were constantly being tended to. While he was able, he did the work himself. When he wasn't, he hired help to make sure the plants flourished.

Some things I learned about him through the obituary that was published in the Houston Chronicle today.

He was a member of the Houston City Council in the 50's and mayor of Clear Lake Shores in the 80's. He was a founding director of the United Way in Houston and of the YMCA in Houston as well.

In WWII, he was a tank commander under Gen. Patton. He fought in the Normandy invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded 3 Purple Hearts, a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and the French Medal of Honor. He was discharged as a captain at the end of the war.

I knew him as a friend who found ways to work around the results of knee surgery performed by the VA system, and as someone whom my wife loved dearly.

I know him now as a hero of this country in times of war and in times of peace.

As of this writing, my wife does not know he has passed away. I must wait to tell her when she gets home tonight from work. This is news she can not receive alone.

Rest in Peace, George.


Monday Night at the Dojo 6/25

Aikidokas: John, Oliver, and Kim(!).

Ukemi: Spent some time on a drill John suggested to help me on rolling up. Sensei Raymond wants me to work on it


Oliver and I ran through my demonstration 3 times. That means: 3 walks, 3 sets of releases and 3 sets of the 14 techniques. I was a puddle of sweat by the end of the evening.

I think it went fairly well.

Ude-hineri was a little rough on the footwork.

It felt like a couple of the Kote-gaeshis were gifts.

My very last Shiho-nage seemed a little ragged.

Aftermath: My upper back, right side, is quite tight this morning. I'm not sure why. The previously injured part of the back is doing fine.

5 days until the demonstration.

Weekend update

Driving. Lots of driving.

Up to New Corn Hill bright and early Saturday morning for the family reunion.

A good time was had at the reunion eating and chatting with the cousins. One part of the family was notable in their absence, but they often don't show at these events.

Turns out the gumbo I made for the event was a little too spicy. Must remember to tone it down a bit next time.

Back home from New Corn Hill via a different route. Gently rolling farmland throughout central Texas.

8 hours driving so far.

Then I drove up to the north side of Houston to drop by Apollocon. Hung around there for a couple of hours, chatting with friends. Drove home.

Total driving time for the day? Around 10 hours.

Sunday found me unconscious for most of the day. Dinner at Joe's Bar-B-Q in Alvin. Yummmmm.


Friday Night at the Dojo 6/22

Aikidokas: Sensei Tim, John and Raj.


More work on getting ready for my demonstration.

I ran through the 14 techniques twice. Once with John as uke and once with Raj as uke. Either Raj is a far less forgiving uke, or his size (smaller than John) delta threw me off, or I wasn't doing as well the second time around.

Gedan-ate was worked on over, and over, and over.

Overall, it's going well.

Aftermath: None of note.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 6/20

Aikidokas: Sensei Tim.

Ukemi: Took all rolls. Took big falls!!

The Walk: as usual, just one rep.

Releases: Worked with Tim. Issues on 5 and 7.


More work on getting ready for my demonstration. We ran through them all once on each side. There were several that I was having issues with, mainly because of a poor first off-balance. This time I was not taking uke where I needed to. I was taking him where I needed to if he was 7'2" and 350 lbs.

Aftermath: It looks like I'll be demonstrating in about 10 days. Tim wants me to come up on Friday to get more time in. I'm going to be at a family reunion on Saturday and he wants me to make up the time, if I can.

Back's feeling ok.

Volleyball, 3-0

Defeated the last place team in a close match, given our respective records. 21-9, 21-13, 15-13. We were down 13-11 in the last game, but I managed to serve it out.

Our record in the league is still just a little wrong, but we're in first place still. I think it would translate to being up by 1.5 games. The second place team has played 3 more games than we have and has 3 more losses than we do.

Two more weeks and then playoffs.


Weekend update

Saturday: up at too blasted early (4am) to head off to College Station for a judo tournament. Kim and I went to a training session and then sat as technical officials for the two tournaments they held there. I think we got home around 7pm and were greeted by the dogs and Kim's parents. They'd come in town to look after the dogs and for Father's Day.

Sunday: up at a decent hour to go shopping for the FD grill-out. Made blueberry muffins, bread for dinner, grilled out salmon and beer brats. Everyone else also went out shopping for items for the apartment while I chilled.

A good, and very tiring, weekend.

Monday Night at the Dojo 6/19

Aikidokas: Sensei Randy, John, and Robert.

Ukemi: Big falls! Lightly tagged my cranium on the first one, but no aftereffects.

Releases: Worked with John.


More indication that I'm going to be demonstrating at the seminar in 10 days.

I ran through 1-14 twice. Once with John as uke, once with Robert as uke. I also ran through 1-11 as uke for Robert, as he'll be demonstrating at the seminar, I think. I didn't want to take the big falls outside of warmup yet.

Issues, as expected, with most of them at some point. The core issue is getting too far off-line on the entry. If I can correct that, at least with Robert, things should improve.

I had a couple of mistakes as uke, trying to keep techniques straight and the proper reactions.

Aftermath: None really. My left leg's tingling a little bit. I'm not sure of that's related to the back problem or what. I'll probably get a Dr. appt and aks. I think it's been a couple of years since I've gone in. Time for some minimal blood work at least.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 6/13

Aikidokas: Sensei Tim.

Ukemi: Took all rolls. No big falls.

The Walk: as usual. Tim pointed out some big steps that need to be reduced to increase my stability.

Releases: Worked with Tim. Issues on 5 and 7.


I think Tim's getting anxious for me to demonstrate. He was willing to uke for all 1-14 (except kote-gaeshi). We ran through them all once on each side. There were several that I was having issues with, mainly because of a poor first off-balance.

We also discussed some demonstration etiquette: don't get back to starting position until uke arrives at his starting position.

The problem techniques, from my perspective: left-sided gedanate (it just didn't feel right), both sides oshi-taoshi (retreating for first off-balance instead of advancing), left-side waki-gatame (need to drive through uke), both sides kote-hineri (retreating for first off-balance instead of advancing), and right side kote-gaeshi (we did this up to gake, I failed to continue the off-balance at the second off-balance point).

I get the impression I may be demonstrating at the seminar at the end of the month.

Aftermath: We escaped from the dojo a little early. There was lots of lightning in the area and we wanted to get home before the storm hit.


Saturday morning photos

Originally uploaded by madmoravian
Gail and Jeff

Saturday morning photos

Originally uploaded by madmoravian
John and Jeff

Saturday morning photos

Originally uploaded by madmoravian
Gail and Jeff

Saturday morning photos

Originally uploaded by madmoravian
Jeff and John


Monday Night at the Dojo 6/11

Aikidokas: Sensei Tim, and Oliver.

Ukemi: Forward rolls!! Yahoo! No severe pain. No big falls. Maybe Wednesday or next Monday.

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with Oliver.

We also did some work on "blind-folded" releases. Tori closes his eyes and reacts as uke attacks. Tori takes the release, adds the other hand and attempts to come up with a technique out of that.

Techniques: with Oliver

10. Waki-gatame ::: Did ok.

11. Kote-hineri ::: Need to look up more at the end of the technique, not down at uke

13. Tenkai-kote-hineri ::: probably the weakest of the 4 of the evening because I wasn't getting a first off-balance

14. Shiho-nage ::: Went ok. I'm starting to really like this technique.

Knife randori: We spent a bit of time on this. We did the four stages of knife randori: avoid; avoid and touch; avoid, touch and extend; avoid, touch, extend and technique.

Uke attacks and tori attempts to redirect the attack into a different technique. Randy watched to make sure we worked on both sides and inside and outside uke's arm. It was an interesting exercise.

Aftermath: Back was sore, but not too bad. I should be able to get back into a carefree routine soon.

At the movies

What Dreams May Come: 3

I picked up a button for this movie at a Science Fiction convention many years ago. I've wanted to see it ever since. It's a Robin Williams dramatic/sf piece and I enjoy seeing Robin in his less comedic efforts (loved "One Hour Photo").

They did a nice setup of the film while the credit rolled. They covered about 14 years in a couple of minutes.

The rest of the film takes place, pretty much, in the afterlife.

I enjoyed the film and thought the climax was quite appropriate. The denouement seemed a little heavy-handed and could have been better handle. Not sure how, though.

At the movies

Matrix Revolutions: 3

Bizarre movie, as usual. I'm glad to have finished off the trilogy, but I'm not sure I would have watched it without having watched the three previous.

Weekend update

Let's see what happened this weekend.

Gaming on Friday night. My cleric is near death in the midst of a battle.

Saturday morning at the dojo, filming Jeff and Gail. Lunch afterwards at China Wok. Home and start processing the tape from the filming.

Sunday starts with freshly baked blueberry muffins. Lounge about most of the day. Watch two DVDs in the evening.

Calm weekend.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 6/7

Aikidokas: Sensei Raymond, Sensei Tim, Robert, and Oliver.

Ukemi: Took no forward rolls, just the back falls.

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with Oliver.

That's what we did all evening. Sensei R. got out on the mat and worked us through releases as the entry to techniques.

We also discussed the whack-a-mole philosophy of aikido. If you try to hit one mole (technique) but miss, another mole (technique) pops up for you to hit, using the incorrect part of the previous technique as the entry for the new one.

We also explored what happens when uke happens to trap you. You, as tori, need to move to your weakest position that does not put you in "the hole". I tried to come up with some sort of way to codify this a little better, but my attempts failed.

My first thought was to put your center in "the hole" instead of putting your foot there, but that's not right.

Aftermath: Back was sore, but it's not hurting this morning. I just need to be careful with it. Maybe forward rolls on Saturday, but I'm probably going to be video man for Jeff and Gail again. I hope forward rolls are in the books for Monday.


Friday Night photos

Originally uploaded by madmoravian
John throwing Sensei Randy.

Friday Night photos

Originally uploaded by madmoravian
Sensei Tim throwing Jon

Monday Night at the Dojo 6/4

Aikidokas: John, Robert and Greg.

Ukemi: Took no forward rolls, just the back falls.

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with John.

Techniques: Worked with Greg and Robert in a round robin setting. Tori'd Kote-gaeshi and Aigamae-ate. Uke'd for Shihonage, Tenkai Kote-hineri, and Aigamae-ate.

I'm in a hurry to get the Kote-gaeshi. I need to slow down and wait for the off-balances. was very cautious, but did ok. Gedan-ate had me concerned as I have to bend quite a bit, at the knees.

Aftermath: Back was sore, but it's not too bad this morning. Caution is the watchword. I'm not predicting a date for forward rolls/big falls. I hope Saturday sees my back in good enough shape for them.

At the movies

The Illusionist: 4

An interesting magic/love story/mystery movie. It'd be nice to go back and watch it again, knowing the ending, to see if there are clues to the ending. I doubt if there are.

Ed Norton did a good job. I've seen a number of his films recently and like what I've seen.

Weekend update

Friday: dinner with friends: K, S, and B at Durango's. The preferred destination for this collection of people, Rico's, is still closed fro some reason. They say they had a fire a while back.

Saturday: at the dojo. Filming Jeff and Gail working on their Nidan demonstration. Lunch with them afterwards, and then on to extracting the video from the camera. Watched a movie with Kim: "The Illusionist".

Sunday: picking blueberries. They weren't nearly as sweet as they have been in past years.

Then on to watch a minor league game with the Bay Area Toros. They're in an independent league of about 6 teams in Texas. Or maybe it's just four teams. We left in the middle of the 5th inning, with the Toros trailing 5-4. They ended up losing 13-7. It was a fun time . The weather was perfect, once the sun went down but that made it too late to stick around.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 5/30

Aikidokas: Sensei Tim, Rob, and Robert.

Ukemi: Took no forward rolls, just the back falls.

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with Tim.

Techniques: Ran through 1-5 as tori, working with Robert.

I was very cautious, but did ok. Gedan-ate had me concerned as I have to bend quite a bit, at the knees.

Aftermath: Back was sore, but it's not hurting this morning. I just need to be careful with it. Probably no forward rolls on Saturday.

Volleyball, 3-0

Defeated the second place team fairly handily. 21-10, 21-15, 15-13. I tweaked my back a bit on a couple of plays, but it turns out to have just been a good solid stretch. Still aches a bit, though.

The folks who run the league have our record wrong. They misrecorded our results as being 3 losses. I hope it gets corrected soon.