Weekend update




Out to buy wood for my entertainment center project
Dinner with the in-laws


More Olympics

ArtFire: Featured Shop: Pens and Needles

This week's featured shop is On Pens and Needles.  They've got several nice pens on offer:

Lunching out: Don Pico's

Not a bad restaurant.

I ordered their #2 lunch special: taco, beef fajita, cheese enchilada, rice, beans. With tea, I got out for around $9. That's a pretty good deal.

Chips: fair
Green salsa: ok
Red salsa: ok. It just tasted cold.  No real flavor
Taco: Good.  The beef had a nice flavor
Fajita: Good. The beef had a nice flavor.  No green peppers, though.
Cheese enchilada:  It was tough to tell it was an enchilada.  It was hidden under sauce and there were extra tortillas wandering around
Rice: nice texture and flavor
Beans: Not a great flavor

My first time here, and it was pretty busy, it seems to be fairly popular. The food was a decent price, and the service was pretty good.  If I need a change in pace, this is a possible destination.

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 02/20/10

Aikidokas: Tim, Trey, Brad, Sal, and Troy.

Ukemi: Full warm-up, no big falls. Watched over Brad, Sal and Troy.

The Walk: Three times.  We did one more than usual because I went off into the weeds on the second iteration.  All of the lower belts were following me and I was not follow-worthy.  I think I probably did the fourth stone of the walk 3 or 4 times.  On the third time through I was ok, but Trey had a little hiccup.  Weird and embarrassing for us all.

Releases: Worked with Troy on right and left 1 & 2.


It was my turn under the spotlight.  The tentative plan was the 16 techniques of Koryu Dai San No Kata and then the 10 of Owaza Ju Pon.  We did not make it to Owaza, but we did make it through Koryu Dai San.  Not without prompting, though.  I still don't have the techniques locked in my memory in the proper order.


1. Oshi Taoshi - This was ok
2. Gyakugamae Ate - Ok
3. Kote Gaeshi - A couple of attempts.  I tend to keep my hands too high.
4. Ryote Mochi Sukui Nage - Still not great
5. Tentai Kote Hineri - Lots of work on the wrist tweak
6. Shiho Nage - Got it on the first try!
7. Gedan Ate - Got it on the first try!
8. Hiji Kime - Lots of work on hand positioning


1. Kote Mawashi - ok.
2. Uchi Tenkai Nage - ok
3. Gyakugamae Ate - ok
4. Kote Kajiki - ok
5. Mae Otoshi - still not rotating enough
6. Ushiro Waza Mae Otoshi  - still not rotating enough
7. Ushiro Waza Tentai Kote Hineri - This one frustrates me.  Getting grabbed from behind and intercepting uke's hand is tough for me.
8. Mune Tori Kata Gatame - ok 

Aftermath: We had one potential new student watching today.  He speaks mostly Spanish, so that could be a bit of a challenge for us.

Aikido Friday Night - 02/19/10

Aikidokas: Tim, Trey, and Troy.

Ukemi: Full warm-up, no big falls. Watched over Troy.

The Walk: Twice, as usual. I also worked with Troy some more on his Walk, the stuff starting at the pivots.

Releases: Worked with Troy on the releases.  1-4 right side only.


Trey and I ended the class with an almost complete run through of his demonstration techniques.  We did not do the releases or the Walk, so it wasn't a complete demo.  He did really well up to Hiki otoshi.  He did pretty well on Owaza Ju Pon.  He had some troubles with Kata otoshi (no surprise as it's a very sensitive technique) and Aiki nage.

Aftermath: A husband and wife couple came and watched out session.  We seem to be getting more potential students, but not many more actual students.  Tim told us that for the next month, he's going to be working Trey and me pretty hard to get ready for our demonstrations.


Artfire: Spotlight: Hippie Chick

This week's spotlit shop in the guild is Hippie Chick Designs.  Here are a couple of the pieces I like from the shop.  Give her a look


1000th post and a contest

To celebrate making it to 1000 posts, I'm giving away a copy of "Manna from Heaven" (a collection of Roger Zelazny short stories) (the book I worked get published for many years) to a randomly chosen commenter to this blog post.  The copy will be signed by Steven Brust, who wrote the introduction, and me, if you like.

Only one entry per person.  This contest will run until the end of the month.  I'll contact the winner and get the mailing address.

ArtFire: Featured Shop: Positively Charming Things

This week's featured shop in the guild is Positively Charming Things.

Here are a couple of my favorite pieces from her shop.  Give her a visit!



Weekend update




Slept late


Slept late

Lunching out: Casa Anita's Mexican Restaurant

Not a bad restaurant.

I ordered their Chimichanga lunch special: chimichanga, rice, beans. With tea, I got out for around $9. That's a pretty good deal.

Chips: pretty good
Green salsa: good
Red salsa: ok. More tomato saucy than I like
Chimichanga: ok. I didn't really like the sauce on it.
Rice: nice terxture and flavor
Beans: weird flavor. Not bad, just weird.

My first time here, and it was moderately busy. The food was a decent price, but the flavor was not my style, so I probably won't be coming back. In the immediate area, I prefer Gabacho's.

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 02/13/10

Aikidokas: Tim, Trey, Brad, and Troy.

Ukemi: Full warm-up, no big falls. Watched over Troy.

The Walk: Twice, as usual.

Releases: With Trey, and Brad.


Treay ran through 1-17 on the left side only. Considering that fact, he did pretty well. #2, #8, and #17 through him for a little bit, but he managed to work through.

He got a nice sumi otoshi and kote gaeshi.

Aftermath: For some reason the muscles on either side of my neck very very stiff afterwards. Weird.

1.5 months until the seminar. Will I be demonstrating? Who knows?

Aikido Friday Night - 02/12/10

Aikidokas: Tim, Trey, Sal, and Troy (a new student).

Ukemi: Full warm-up, no big falls. Watched over Sal and Troy.

The Walk: Twice, as usual.

Releases: None.


I spent a good portion of the evening working with Troy on the Walk. We went through it a number of times.

After that, Trey and I worked on the entry for Garumas. Timing. Timing. Timing. I think I've finally got a grasp on the timing. Still working on getting Trey to that point.

Aftermath: None of note.


ArtFire : Featured Shop : 02/09

This week's featured shop is Tali's Creations.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces from her shop:




Blood Orange Pound Cake

Pre-heat oven to 350

Grease and flour 2 8.5x4 loaf pans

2 2/3 C flour
2 1/2 t baking powder
a pinch of salt  (I think it needed more salt since the recipe used unsalted butter)

Finger-mixed zest from two blood oranges into 2 1/3 c sugar. 
6 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
2/3 c heavy cream.

Added the dry ingredients in a few additions
Added 15 T of melted, cooled butter
(the original recipe called for unsalted, I think I'll try salted next time)

Poured the batter into the loaf pans
Cooked for 60 minutes

While cooking, I made a simple glaze for the cake:

1 C powdered sugar
2Tbsp Blood orange juice

It went over quite well.  I was sparing in my use of the glaze and was criticized for that fact.

Aggiecon 2010

We made a trip up to College Station for AggieCon a week ago. This is very early in the year compared to the normal time for AggieCon. They were forced off-campus due to reconstruction of their usual spot on campus. I was concerned that the move would hurt attendance, but it did not seem to. The con seemed livelier than over the past couple of years and I have hopes that it will continue to survive over the next couple.

I went to a reading or two, a couple of panels and "Iron Artist" and had a good time. I briefly toured the Art Show but they're suffering from some problems in the past which have cuased fewer artists to send work.

Here are a couple of pictures form the con. More available at: AggieCon2010

Steven Gould
Rhonda Eudaly

Superbowl ads

Here is the run down on who had ads during the Superbowl

15 ads - CBS
5 ads - Bud Light
4 ads - Doritos. Bridgestone
3 ads - Hyundai, Budweiser, NFL, floTV, KHOU, Danny's, e*trade
2 ads - Coke, godaddy, Skechers, carmax, VW, HEB
1 ad - Snickers, FocusOnFamily, Boost, Robin Hood, Monster, Wolfman, Cars.com, Shutter Island, Careerbuilder, Dockers, Dove, Dodge, teleflora, Papa Johns, Alice in Wonderland, Dr. Pepper, trutv, Universal, intel, Miller High Life, Ford, tv.com, some other movie, Gallery Furniture, Acura, Samsung, Conn's, Prince of Persia, Motorola, Michelob, HomeAway, kgb , Census, Google, KIA, RoundUp, Jack in the Box, Vizio, Emerald, Dante's Inferno, Honda, Taco Bell, Chevy, Campbell's Soup, Pace, H&R Block

Most of the ads were blah.  A few I hated, A few I liked.  Here are the ones I liked:

Coke (serengeti)
Bridgestone (my life)
VW (Stevie Wonder)

Weekend update


Stayed home and slept to get over a cold
Dinner with K. and K. at Durango's


Day trip to College Station for Aggiecon


Superbowl prep (bread and guacamole)


ArtFire : Spotlight Shop

 This week's spotlit shop in the artfire guild is vabeachquilter.  She does some fun and interesting stuff with fabrics.  My favorite, at the moment, is this quilt.......


ArtFire: My February Contest

I'm going to be shameless and see if there's any interest in my stuff on artfire.

For the month of February,  everyone who comments on my blog will be entered in a random drawing for a $10 off coupon for my merchandise.  Up to 3 comments per person for the month will be included in
the drawing.  I plan on doing something similar each month, but the coupons will not stack.

Madmoravian on ArtFire

ArtFire: Featured Shop

I'm in a guild on ArtFire and we try to drum up business for each other.  So, I'll be posting a couple of neat merchants from the guild each week.  Drop by and take a look.  This week's featured shop is Hippie Chick Designs:  she's got some neat stuff at affordable prices.


Lunching out: Leila's Mexican Restaurant

Not a bad restaurant.

I ordered their Challenger plate: chicken enchilada, beef enchilada, cheese enchilada, cheese puff, tostada(?), rice, beans.  $7.95 for that, so decent pricing. 

Chicken enchilada: ok
Beef enchilada: good
Cheese enchilada: not so good
Rice: sticky and not very flavorful
Beans: unremarkable
Tostada: pretty good

My first time here, and it was obviously a popular place.  A good portion of the tables were occupied.   The owner (I assume) kept a watchful eye and attempted to make everyone feel welcome.  The decor is blander than I like in my TexMex dives.

Weekend update




Design work on the entertainment center in sketchup
Dropped another copy of the Judo DVD off at Ray's
Dinner at Durango's


Taxes (still waiting on more information)
Design work on the entertainment center in sketchup
Baked banana bread
Watched Winter X Games
Froberg's for pecans and other stuff
ProBowl interspersed with "The Keeper" starring Steven Seagal (not a very good film)

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 01/30/10

Aikidokas: Tim, and Trey.

Ukemi: Regular warm-up.

The Walk: None.

Releases: None.


We spent the afternoon working on knife movements, attacks and responses thereto.

At the end of that, Trey went through 1-17 of Ju Nana Hon Kata and did really well.  He had some issues on Gyakugamae-ate, Kote gaeshi and Hiki otoshi, but nothing major.

Aftermath: Right ankle is a little sore.  I was beat after all of that work.  The seminar is at the end of March.  I don't know if I'll be ready to demonstrate by then.

Aikido Friday Night - 01/29/10

Aikidokas: Tim, Trey, and Sal.

Ukemi: Full warm-up, no big falls.

The Walk: Twice, as usual.

Releases: With Trey.


We spent a mojority of the evening working on Shomen-ate with Sal.  I find it tough to be an uke for this at slow speeds.  Is tori getting the technique?  Am I keeping him from getting the technique by settling?

After that, Trey uke'd for me on the following San Kata techniques:

5. Mae Otoshi

Still having trouble finding uke's fourth toe at the end.

6. Ushiro Waza Mae Otoshi

Another one where I have trouble finding uke's line

7. Ushiro Waza Tentai Kote Hineri

Got to get the tweak of the hand correct.  Need to keep it in to my chest more.

8. Mune Tori Kata Gatame

Ok.  This one we're not doing as described in my Nidan requirements post.  The first part is correct, taking uke down to the ground.  Tori then hold on to the leg with which he took uke down and then threaten uke's face with our spare hand.  When uke reacts, blocking the stike with his off hand, tori grab the off hand and move backwards.  This causes uke to flop over on his stomach, allowing  an nice armbar to appear.

Aftermath: Right ankle's a little sore.