Plans for the week

I'm going to be off work for 6 consecutive days, and there are a number of things that should get done during that time. Let's see what I've come up with and then see what actually gets done.

Wait for the AT&T guy to fix the DSL
Mow the lawn (1 acre) with a push mower. The riding mower is in the shop.
Pick up the Taurus from the shop
Go blueberry picking
Go up to the in-laws?
See Wall*E
See Wanted
See Hancock
Finish assembling the extension to the deck
Pick up the 1/4 cow, if it's ready
Call Adobe for help with my Photoshop issue
In the shop:
Uncle Leo's base
Assembly/feed table
Dog barrier for the other door
Reset wing on table saw
Aikido on Saturday
Gaming Friday or Saturday night
Try to take some HDR photos

Weekend update

Friday: aikido

Saturday: work for 12 hours trying to get a release out the door. No aikido. durango's for dinner

Sunday: work, again, for 12 hours. Watch baseball (Chicago/Chicago) in the evening.

Rest of the week? Work Monday and then off until July 7th!!!!!


Friday Night at the Dojo 6/27/08

Aikidokas: Tim, Trey, and Brad.

Ukemi: No air falls. While waiting for Trey to show up, I had a little extra time to run through reps. Got about 3x normal number of rolls in. Spent a little time after each one checking for things that might be issues on an air fall. Might upgrade to air falls again soon.

The Walk: Went ok.

Releases: With Trey. We found something to correct in each release.


We worked through 6-8 for him and 1 (Kubi-guruma) of the Owaza Ju Pon for me.

Trey was doing fairly well on his techniques.

I was re-introduced to mine on the right side and did ok. I went through three of the four steps of learning it.

1) Push uke's leading hand and let him roll-out.
2) Push only uke's neck and let him roll-out.
3) Push uke's hand and his neck and let him roll-out.
4) Push uke's hand and his neck and have him take the garuma fall

Then I worked on the left side. I only did the first step on that side.

Aftermath: Slight tweak of left calf muscle on a fall for ude-gaeshi. Trey told me to hurry up and get my Shodan before I fall apart.


At the movies: Syriana

Syriana: 3

George Clooney, Matt Damon, Chris Cooper, Robert Foxworth, Christopher Plummer, Jeffery Wright, Amanda Peet combine in a story of oil, the Middle East, Texas, the CIA and corruption.

Some violence, some torture and good acting.

At the movies: Pride of the Yankees

Pride of the Yankees: 3

Gary Cooper plays Lou Gehrig in Lou's life story: from childhood to retirement from the Yankees.

Good stuff. Almost drew a tear from me at one point.

At the movies: Bourne Ultimatum

Bourne Ultimatum: 3

Jason Bourne comes back yet again and finds out how he got to be the way he is.

A fun movie, with amazingly indestructible vehicles yet again.


Weekend update

Friday: aikido

Saturday: K at work. I worked on shipping some stuff, but the local shipping outlet was closed, even though their sign said they should be open.


Dinner at Durango's with a double, horizon-to-horizon rainbow.

Sunday: work on the extension to the grilling deck and dinner with mom at Valentino's Seafood.

Little did I realize that ratcheting the lag bolts for the deck extension would really give my thumbs a workout. They're sore!


Saturday Afternoon at the Dojo 6/21/08

Aikidokas: Tim, Greg, Trey, Tessa, and Brittany. Tessa and Brittany are two NASA co-ops, here for the summer. I hope they'll continue to grace us with their presence.

Ukemi: I worked on extending my legs through the falls some more. I think I'll work on that some more on Friday and try an air fall on Saturday.

The Walk: Went ok.

Releases: With Greg.


Tim had Tessa show us Ikkyo, Nikkyo, and Sankyo from the Ueshiba style. Pretty interesting. Ikkyo does not have a direct corollary in Tomiki. Nikkyo is our Tenkai Kote-Hineri. Sankyo shows up in San Kata.

Trey wanted to run through ude-hineri before we went home, so I served as uke.

Aftermath: None of note

Friday Night at the Dojo 6/20/08

Aikidokas: Tim, Trey, and Brad.

Ukemi: No air falls. I'm trying to ascertain whether I am curling my legs mid-fall. I think I am. I worked on extending them through the falls and it does seem to improve things.

The Walk: Went ok.

Releases: With Trey.


Trey and I were not having a great night. We worked through 1-3 for him and 1-5 for me. I think I was attacking poorly, was not interested in some of the techniques.

Aftermath: None of note


Mechanical issues

Taurus needs to go into the shop for alignment and, maybe, suspension work. I was driving home in the rain the other day and the car started drifting while the wheels were straight. Also, when we go over Botts' dots, the car seems to do the Charleston.

I attempted to mow the lawn with the riding mower yesterday and it stopped moving after about 5 minutes. I attempted a fix for this a while back, but it doesn't seem to have worked. Into the shop it goes. The faster I get it in, the faster I get it back, the sooner I can mow with something besides the push mower. In this Texas heat, that can make quite a difference.


Quality, I haz it

I went looking for some information on a drive enclosure that's giving me trouble. The link provided by a store appears to be the wrong site, as they don't mention and hard drive enclosures in their product list. However, the intro flash struck my funny bone.

I still need to find info on the drive enclosure. My 1TB drive is currently inaccessible.


At the movies: Night at the Museum

Night at the Museum: 3

A down-on-his-luck divorced dad gets desperate and takes a job as a night watchman at a museum. The museum comes to life at night.

I'm amazed that I'm not upset that I watched the movie. I generally don't like the concept of Ben's movies. Maybe the scene with Ben and his mom made me give it a chance? I don't know.

A very well-respected cast, if not a strong script for the cast. Mickey Rooney had a fun part.

At the movies: Jumper

Jumper: 3

It's been a long time since I read the book. I can't even find my copy of the book. : ( But, not much of the movie resembled the book. I think the lead character, his girlfriend and his ability to teleport are similar to the book.

Still a fun movie.

Weekend update

Friday: Japanese class. Home after 10

Saturday: Japanese class. In town by 9am. We were going to go back out and go shopping in the Asian section of Houston afterwards, but K. decided it would be too taxing on the two students. So, we stayed home, baked some chicken and watched a couple of movies.

Sunday: Japanese class. In town by 9am. Back home to grill out for Father's Day: steaks, and salmon. Then the NBA Finals.

Japanese class is done!!!



We finally made the time to go out to the local-est blueberry farm in Houston. It's not local. It's about an hour and a half away, but it is the closest one.

We got there around 6 pm, not having had to struggle through too much traffic.

We grabbed our buckets and dove into the bushes, not to surface, or see each other, for about two hours. K. and I had big buckets. Our niece, E., had a small one.

When we emerged, the two big buckets were mostly filled. The small bucket had a couple of layers of blueberries in it. Turns out she'd been eating more than picking, but that's ok.

Returned uneventfully. Grabbed some dinner and watched the NBA Finals.

Time for some blueberry muffins and blueberry pancakes. Yahoo!

At the movies: Kung Fu Panda

Kung Fu Panda: 3

Saw this with my niece. We did skip out before the very end of the credits.

An okay movie. The voices were not overpowering. That is to say, they did not obscure the dialogue. I had trouble recognizing the voices, even though I knew who a couple of them were.

Anyway. Good movie about following your dream, doing things no one thinks you can.



I spent the last weekend in a Japanese class with my niece and two other folks. All together, there a four folks in the class: two adult, two not.

The youngsters are doing the best, far and away. I'm having fun, but the brain gives out around 2:30 each day.

The hardest part is paying attention to what the instructor is saying as she's asking me to translate. I have to concentrate hard, process what was said, and the process the translation. It requires a lot of energy.


A bunch of, potentially high-stakes, drama in my little aikido world. I hope it all straightens out well. Some of the events that have already transpired are one-way tickets, I think.

Somebody's got to blink.

Also drama in the publishing world.

All of this drama is caused, IMOGDO, by lack of communication. Talk, people!


Publishing excitement

I got involved in a book deal several years ago, mainly to get some of Roger Zelazny's lesser-known works republished and available to a wider audience. The book got published, and it may or may not have sold some copies.

It was not the wisest move I've ever made, at least the way it looks at the moment.

Things have happened in the past couple of days to inject some life into the cold, sodden ashes of the project. Sparks are flying and threatening to burn down houses.

Interesting times.


At the movies: Troy

Troy: 2

Sparta vs. Troy

Wow, were there a lot of big names in this film: Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Peter O'Toole, and Brian Cox (Ah! He was in Bourne Identity). Unfortunately, they didn't have much to work with. I don't know why, but it was just "blah." No real tension. I didn't have much of a reason to be rooting for any particular character.


Weekend update

Friday: aikido, dropped off by K. who went to a genealogy meeting. 2nd car still in the shop

Saturday: up and off to the dealership to pick up the Taurus. No incidents on the way home, so it may be fixed.


Dinner at home with K. and friend K. Cooked steaks indoors, came out ok. Cooked fish, made bruschetta and strawberry daiquiris. Good times.

Failed to fix her string trimmer. Failed to even get to the source of the problem. The started string on Ryobi string trimmer extends about 12 inches and then stops.

Sunday: slept in and then watched the Aggie women lose the early game to Florida in softball.

Went out to the shop, did the waxing of the metal surfaces of some power tools and then actually turn a couple of bottle stoppers. Destroyed a blank of yellow heart, but the purple heart and padouk came out ok.

Started up the string trimmer for the first time in a while. I'm glad I stored it away without any gas in it.

Watched the second game between A&M and Florida wherein the Aggies came through and scored in the top of the 9th and managed to keep the Gators from scoring in the bottom of the 9th. Now we take on ASU in a 3 game series!!

Saturday Afternoon at the Dojo 5/31/08

Aikidokas: Tim, Randy, and Brad.

Ukemi: One attempt at right-sided big fall, re-aggravation of the muscle. Randy and I went over to a spare mat pile and attempted another one, to see what was going on on a softer surface. The fall looked fine, but it still hurt that muscle. Weird

I've got a two week layoff because of an intro Japanese course over the next two weekends, so maybe the muscle will be ready then.

The Walk: Okay. That sore muscle does make some of the pivots more difficult.

Releases: With Randy, went ok. He wanted to see a repeat of 6th release.


1, 2 and 5 (Kubi-garuma, Kata-otoshi, and Aikinage) of Owaza Ju Pon with Randy, right-sided only.

Worked on timing and all other parts of these technique with roll-outs only for uke. Did ok.

Did some work as uke for Brad at the end. It gave him a much taller uke to adjust to for shomen-ate, gyakugamae-ate and ushiro-ate.

I did ok. Some work on Shihonage and Mae-otoshi, as well as Sumi-otoshi.

Aftermath: Still stiff left calf muscle. Two weekends off for Japanese class.

Friday Night at the Dojo 5/30/08

Aikidokas: Tim, Randy, and Trey.

Ukemi: Took a big fall, right-sided. Landed weird on the left calf muscle and it complained. This is annoying. The fall feels ok otherwise.

The Walk: Went ok.

Releases: With Trey.


11-17 left-sided for me as tori. 1-10 for Trey as uke, left-sided.

Worked out some problems for Tenkai kote-hineri for me. I need to continue pushing. Got some compliments on shihonage for following uke properly.

On the first attempt of hiki-otoshi I did not "disappear" properly. Second attempt was much better.

On mae-otoshi, Trey clued in to the fact that I could have directed his fall anywhere I wanted.

Sumi-otoshi was ok. Trey side/back-falled out of it instead of a big fall. That indicates I was a little late changing directions.

Aftermath: Very sore left calf muscle. Pulled? Strained? Bruised left knee cap. Probably from an oshi-taoshi fall with Trey as tori.