12.21.2011

Weekend update

Friday:

Lunch at Fetterino's
Aikido

Saturday:

Blueberry muffins
Aikido
Start a batch of Sourdough
Dinner at Durango's
Sherlock Holmes at the theatre

Sunday:

Finish batch of sourdough bread
Football
Sherlock Holmes at the theatre, again

12.19.2011

Lunching out: Ferrufino's

I ate lunch out at Ferrufino's on Friday. It's a Salvadoran/Mexican restaurant that seems kind of new. They were definitely lacking business when I was there. I was the only customer in there.

I had the Pollo Pechuga: grilled breast of chicken with grilled onions and green peppers, rice, beans, and two extra fluffy tortillas. The salsa was a nicely spicy concoction and the chips were extra thick and crispy.

I got out of there for about $11 with an iced tea and the meal. This restaurant, if it sticks around, may be re-visited.



Ferrufino's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

At the Movies: Sherlock Holmes: a Game of Shadows

Hugo: 4

We've already seen this movie twice. We saw it Saturday night and then again last night.

K. had been looking forward to this movie for 6 months. I'd won some early screening passes for her for last Monday night, but she ended up not going. I kind of expected us to hit the very first showing possible, but common sense won out.

In a Game of Shadows we get to meet Prof. Moriarty directly. He's trying to get wealthy by cornering the military-industrial complex and starting a war.

We get to see more of the Holmes/Watson verbal fencing and we get to meet Mycroft Holmes, as well. Dr. Watson's new wife gets to meet more of Mycroft than should we like.

It's a fun movie and, judging by my wife's laughter, a funny one. We had some concerns about the fight on the train and we'll need to examine it more closely on DVD. We are also concerned about Irene Adler and what happened with her in the movie.

We did manage to see this at one of the cheaper theatres in the area. I don't know if we'd've already seen it twice if we'd had to pay $10 for a ticket.

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 12/17/11

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Phillip, Brad, Dan, and Roderick

Ukemi:

Full set

The Walk:

Twice. And then about 8 more times with Roderick, helping him to learn it.

Releases:

I introduced Roderick to the basics of Releases: footwork, movement, committed attack. We did a little work on the first release.

Techniques:

Trey, Phillip and I worked on the standing portion of Koryu Dai San No Kata. I was, as usual, quite rusty. My hand was out of my center, my footwork was off. At least I kept an unbendable arm most of the evening.

Aftermath:

More soreness from the previous night of knee work.

Aikido Friday Night - 12/16/2011

Aikido players: Tim, and Trey

Ukemi:

Full set

The Walk:

Not tonight

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

Trey and I worked on the first six of the kneeling portion of Koryu Dai San No Kata. It'd been about 6 months or so since we'd done any work on it, and we were rusty. Me, especially.

1.5 hours working from our knees. I was very close to drawing blood from rubbing the skin raw.

Aftermath:

Raw skin, sore knees, sore joints.

12.16.2011

Aikido Thursday Night - 12/15/2011

Aikido players: Sal

Ukemi:

Full set of falls

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

It went pretty well tonight.

Techniques:

We then spent some time on 3-step Shomen-ate. We managed to get some good iterations on both the left and right sides.

Aftermath:

Had a headache going into the session and a headache coming out of the session.

12.13.2011

Weekend update

Friday:

Aikido

Saturday:

Blueberry muffins
Attempt at making a new fudge recipe that failed
Aikido
Dinner with extended family at La Casita
Second attempt at making a new fudge recipe that succeeded

Sunday:

Move books from storage boxes back into the library
Football
Drive to San Antonio for meeting with AF Monday morning

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 12/10/11

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Phillip (a student of Jeff's that has moved to the Houston area), and Brad

Ukemi:

Full set

The Walk:

Once.

Releases:

With Brad. It went pretty well

Techniques:

I worked with Brad on some of the first ten of Ju Nana Han Kata from three step distance. We made it through Gedan-ate before he had to leave.

Phillip, Trey and I worked on various black belt techniques. A bunch of Owaza Ju Pon. I then got to work on the first 14 of Koryu Dai Yon Kata. Tim had me working at full pace and it went well. I did have some brain farts in the middle when I forgot which release the technique was based off of.

Aftermath:

My muscles got a work out today.

Aikido Friday Night - 12/9/2011

Aikido players: Tim, Sal, and Dan

Ukemi:

Full set

The Walk:

Twice.

Releases:

Watched over Sal and Dan working together

Techniques:

I worked with Sal a bit on Ude-hineri with Tim watching to do some tweaking. Dan and Sal then worked together on 1-5.

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Thursday Night - 12/8/2011

Aikido players: Sal

Ukemi:

Full set of falls

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

It went pretty well tonight.

Techniques:

Tonight was spent working on Ude-hineri on the right side.  We spent a lot of time on the entry.

We then spent some time on 3-step techniques, which is how he will have to do techniques for his next demonstration.

Aftermath:

None of note.

12.07.2011

Volleyball, 2-1

We played the #3 team in the league last night, but I think they were missing a couple of players. We managed to win 2 out of the 3 games. We needed to win all 3 games to guarantee ourselves a place in the playoffs. We lost the first game even though we were leading 20-15. We lost the next 7 points. Grr.

We *might* make the playoffs. The team that was in 4th place won only one game last night and they were 1 game ahead of us before last night. So, after last night's results, our records were identical. I don't remember how we did against them head-to-head, but we probably lost to them.

Maybe they'll have the two teams play as the first match of the playoffs. I'll be watching the volleyball standings page closely to see what the final results are.

12.05.2011

Weekend update

Friday:

Aikido

Saturday:

Blueberry muffins
Post Office to ship out an artfire order
Bank to deposit some checks
Grocery store for a small bit of supplies
McRee to pick up the repaired truck
Aikido
GHG Holiday party

Sunday:

Started on a Banana sourdough recipe. It's currently in the fridge and will be baked tonight
Football
Christmas cookie baking - rumballs and russian teacakes
I forgot to feed my starter late last night. I hope I didn't kill it.

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 12/3/2011

Aikido players: Tim, and Brad

Ukemi:

Full set

The Walk:

Not today

Releases:

Not today.

Techniques:

I worked with Brad on the first ten of Ju Nana Han Kata from one step distance. It went very well except for some issue with Gedan-ate.

We then worked on doing everything from 3-step distance. I think we got through everything at that distance as well.

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Friday Night - 12/2/2011

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Dan, Marvin, and Gail

Ukemi:

Full set

The Walk:

Twice.

Releases:

I worked with Marvin. We're making progress.

Techniques:

Marvin and I worked on Shomen-ate for a while, but he was having issue that caused him to bow off the mat early.

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Thursday Night - 12/1/2011

Aikido players: Sal

Ukemi:

Full set of falls

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

It went pretty well tonight.

Techniques:

Tonight was spent working on Ude-hineri on the right side.  We spent a lot of time on the entry.

Aftermath:

None of note.

Dining out - Madre's

A new Mexican restaurant has taken over a spot in Friendswood that seems to be snakebit. Several restaurants have opened there and then closed down. One even closed down before it opened. Madre's appears to have some money behind it because they have expanded the previous footprint by taking over some vacant space in the strip center. We'll see if they survive.

They don't yet have their liquor license. They were serving Margaritas, but I'll guess that they were at no charge.

I order the Enchiladas Suizas and K. order the Tortilla soup. My order was pretty good. The sauce was not tangy enough for my tastes, but the beans and rice were good. The chicken in the enchiladas was ok. K. enjoyed the tortilla soup. There was extra of that and I took it to work the next day and thought it was good.

The chips and salsa served with the meal were ok. They only served a red sauce and it was a cooked chipotle base, so it's not my favorite, but it had a nice, smoky flavor with a bit of heat.

This looks to be pretty high in our rankings of local Mexican joint. Top 10 for sure.

Below are some snapshots of the meal:



12.02.2011

Lunching out - 2 Brothers' Pasta

I've eaten out a II Brothers' Pasta twice over the past couple of weeks.  This is a nice 12 table Italian joint at the corner of Sabo and the Beltway 8 feeder road.  I've enjoyed it both times, with my first meal being their lasagna and the second meal a Cannelloni Florentine.

For a lunch of the Cannelloni and an ice tea, I got out of there for about $12 not including tip.

The service is a nice amount of attentiveness and the free garlic bread is a real bonus.  Below are pictures from today's meal:





II Brothers Pasta on Urbanspoon

11.28.2011

At the movies: Hugo

Hugo:2

This movie seems to be of two minds.  The first half is a kids' adventure movie in a train station and the second half is a documentary on film history.  The 3-D effects are, when they don't really mess with your eyesight, not worth the extra money.  They don't add to the basic movie.  They snowflakes were horrible.

My wife, when Ben Kingsley was on screen, couldn't think of anything but "The House of Sand and Fog" and so was not really in to his parts of the movie.

If I could see the movie without the 3-D, I'd give it a 3.

Weekend update

Wednesday:

Got home from work and spent the next 8 hours baking pies and a cheesecake

Thursday:

Was up at 5:30 starting to bake breads for the turkey day gathering
Went to mom's for the turkey day gathering
Watched the A&M-tu football game

Friday:

In the shop taking some pictures of new items
Aikido
Went in to town to see "Hugo" with my sister and niece

Saturday:

Up early to go pick up my niece for a day at the very wet and rainy Texas Renaissance Festival
Came home and fell asleep for 14 hours

Sunday:

Up in time for a 3 hour nap
football
Baked banana bread

Aikido Friday Afternoon - 11/25/2011

Aikido players: Trey, and Dan

Ukemi:

Full set

The Walk:

Twice.

Releases:

I uke'd for Trey and then we both uke'd for Dan.  We spent a good part of the afternoon working with Dan, picking apart the releases.

Techniques:

We managed to get some work done on 1-3 of Ju Nana Han Kata.

Aftermath:

None of note.

11.22.2011

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 11/19/2011

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Marvin, and Gail

Ukemi:

Full set

The Walk:

Twice

Releases:

I worked with Marvin.  He did pretty well.

Techniques:

I worked with Marvin on Shomen-ate and Aigamae-ate.  He's coming along on them

After that, Trey and I worked on some Yon Kata stuff for me and some San Kata stuff for him.  We were pretty crappy.  We moved down a bit and worked on Kata Otoshi in order to pare things down to just timing.  Really, for the higher kata stuff, if your timing sucks, work on Kata Otoshi, then move up to the garumas and then on to whatever you were having problems with.

It's a bitch, but it helps.


Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Friday Night - 11/18/2011

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Dan, Marvin, Gail, and Roderick

Ukemi:

Full set

The Walk:

Twice, and then I spent the evening working with Roderick on all of the stones.

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

None tonight.

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Thursday Night - 11/17/2011

Aikido players: Sal

Ukemi:

Full set of falls

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

We had number of issues tonight.

Techniques:

Tonight was spent working on Ude-hineri on the right side.  We spent a lot of time on the footwork.

Aftermath:

None of note.

11.17.2011

Volleyball, 3-0

We played against one of the teams in the league that has not won any games this season, so we got the result we expected. 

We've got two more matches before the playoffs.  How we do in those matches will determine if we make the playoffs or not.  We'll play the teams in 2nd and 3rd place in the league and we're currently in 4th.  They should be good matches.  We've played one of the teams already and lost to them 0-3.

We need to win at least 3 games over the next two matches to make the playoffs.

11.15.2011

CyberMonday sale coming

I'm going to have a one day sale in my shop on artfire on Cyber Monday, November 28, 2011.  Drop by my shop now to look over everything I've got in the shop and plan on taking advantage of 25% all items in the shop after Turkey Day.  It will be the last sale for the year.

I hope to add a couple of items into my shop between now and then.  I've got some pictures to take and edit in order to do that, though.

OryCon 33 trip report aka weekend update

K. and I flew up to Portland, Or. this past weekend to help out promoting LoneStarCon 3, the 2013 WorldCon.  We had a decent time, but did not see much of the convention.

Friday morning we got up at 4:40 a.m. and made it to the airport around 5:40 a.m.  The line for the invasion of privacy was the longest I've ever seen it at Hobby but, once the 6 a.m. shift came on, the line moved fairly well.  I actually did not get physically frisked this time.  I do usually attract the attention of the screeners for some reason.

We made our flight with plenty of time, made our connection in Denver and landed in Portland without issue.  We caught the Redline Max into town and got off at the DoubleTree.  After checking, we wandered around to find the LSC3 table and found Kimm already prepping the table for the weekend.  So, K. and I got in line for our badges.

Registration was a bit of a mess.  K. bought an at-the-door membership and it took her about an hour to get through the line.  There were 9 people in the line ahead of her.  It also appeared they had not printed out all of the pre-registered badges so the "troubleshooting" line was quite long.  thank goodness my badge had been printed.  It only took me a couple of minutes to get my badge.

Kimm recommended we go get something to eat, so we wandered over to the nearby mall and ate at the "diner" in the food court.  The food was ok.

Returning from lunch, we settled in to the table and tried to get folks to buy memberships for LSC3.

We shut the table down and went to eat int he hotel restaurant (K., myself, Kimm and Grant).  I was underwhelmed by the Fettucine Bolognese.

Since we weren't hosting a party Friday night, we went on to bed.

Up early Saturday (still on Houston time) we wandered downtown and ate at Milo's Central Cafe.  Very good food.  From there we wandered around and found our way to VooDoo Donuts Too around 12th and Davis.  On the way, we passed Franz's Bread company.  The smell was just fantastic.

Back to the hotel to sit at the table to accost more passersby.  K. and I took the opportunity provided by the con to donate blood.  I was unhappy with all of the information I had to give them and so probably won't be donating again.

We met up with my niece Betsy and her husband Zach and they took us around town for a driving tour and for lunch at Nicholas', a Lebanese/Mediterranean restaurant.  It was a wonderful meal and a great time.

Back to the table and no success.

Dinner was unnecessary Saturday night, so we crashed early.

Up at Houston hours on Sunday and off to the Village Inn for breakfast.  Back to the hotel to pack and catch the Redline for the airport.  The last flight for Houston left a little after noon, so we could not stick around the con.

Back home around 9:30 p.m. after an overbooked Denver to Houston leg.

OryCon pros: Good art in the art show, a fabulous array of Hall Costumes

OryCon cons: registration snafus, no list of programming participants on the web site, too much unused space in the art show, requiring folks who want to wander through the art show and dealers' room to by a full day membership.

Volleyball, 0-3

We played one of the top two teams last week and did not do well at all even though we had a full team and they only had 5.  My serves were not very effective and I did not get many chances.  I also had few opportunities for spikes.

This week we play a team that has not won any games, so I hope we do well.

11.08.2011

Con Report - IlluxCon 4

I took a trip last weekend out to the wilds of Pennsylvania for IlluxCon 4.  This convention bills itself as a symposium on Fantastic Art and I think it lived up to the billing.

Thursday K. dropped me off at Hobby bright and early for a Southwest flight through Chicago to Pittsburgh.  I did not manage to get an exit row seat for either of the legs, but I survived the flights anyway.  Upon landing in the airport, I picked up a rental car and drove East to Pittsburgh (the airport is about 30 minutes from the city proper).

I then spent the next hour or so driving around the city trying to find a restaurant from "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives".  I was trying to find Nadine's and spent most of the time on the North side of the river when I should have been on the South side.  Once I figured that out, finding the place was not too tough.

Opening the door, I was met with a wave of cigarette smoke as the place was a bar with a bit of a food menu.  If I had not spent as long as I had looking for the place, I would have turned around and left.  It was obvious that the folks in the place were all regulars and that Guy Fieri's recommendation does not bring in tons of extra business on a Thursday afternoon.

I took a look at the menu, and Guy's comments on the poster of him that hangs in the place and chose the Roast Beef sandwich with gravy fries.  Matt, the barkeep, quickly got to work on my order.  My neighbor at the bar commented that he would order the gravy fries by themselves when he's in the mood for food.  It didn't take too long for my order to be ready and be placed in front of me.



I ended up being disappointed in the meal.  It was ok, but not anything special.  If I'd found the place more quickly, it might rank higher, but given the smoke and the hour search, it was not worth it.

Leaving Nadine's, I caught 376 and then 22 into Altoona.  Most of the time I just had to assume I was on the right route.  There was no indication that the road led to Altoona until I was 22 miles out form the town.  Given how much luck I'd had with Nadine's, I was quite concerned that my navigation skills were still on the plane somewhere far behind me.

I got settled at the Ramada and then attempted to find the headquarters for the con.  My navigation skills were still missing, and it took me a while.  After finding the place, I got my badge and other paraphernalia and wandered around.

I was amazed.  The number of outstanding artists was just amazing.  A comparison with the usual World Fantasy Art Show would probably have the WFC coming in second place.

I ran into Vincent Villafranca, said hi, and promptly decided that his table would be my base of operation for the weekend.

From there I went back to the hotel and crashed.

Up in the morning for breakfast at the hotel and then on to the con.

I spent the day wandering around, handing out business cards and trying to encourage the artists to come to WorldCon in 2013, attending some of the panels, and drooling over the art work.

I also made some decisions as to which pieces were coming home with me:  a Micheal C. Hayes, a Daren Bader, a John Jude Palencar and a Bob Eggleton.  The Eggleton was a watercolor.  The rest were inks or sketches.  I almost came home with an Eric Velhagen, but it was out of my price range for the con.  I hope to acquire it after the tax refund comes in.

I met up with Janey (sp?) and Andrea, folks I'd met at cons earlier this year and joined them for dinner.  Us three and the Weinsteins went to dinner at Aldo's Italian restaurant just east of Altoona.  It was quite a nice meal.  I had the cheese stuff shells with meat sauce and tiramisu for dessert.

From there we all returned to the hotel for the evening Showcase.  This expo was an additional 40 or so artists set up as they would be in the main show.  So, I spent a bit of time wandering around this handing out my business cards and promoting Lone Star Con 3.

The next morning was breakfast at Cracker Barrel and then on to the show.  This was a repeat of Friday with more glad handing.  Dinner was at Jethro's with the Zipsers, Janey, and Andrea.  Jethro's was just an ok place.

Sunday morning I woke up and went into downtown Altoon to eat at Tom and Joe's diner.  This was pretty good stuff.  Better than Cracker Barrel.

From there, back to the hotel to pack and check out.  Then on to the show for a final bit of glad handing and then off to the airport.

I managed to get an emergency row seat for the leg from Chicago to Houston.  That made it quite pleasant.

I'm trying to decide whether to go to IlluxCon 5.  I know I won't be going to Illuxcon 6 as it will be too soon after WorldCon.

11.02.2011

Volleyball 3-0

We had a good, tough match last night. 

We got to the gym 30 minutes before the game to warm up and then had 40 additional minutes to warm up.  (We started 40 minutes late because the ref was that late getting to the gym.)  I was pretty worn out before the match even started, but we managed to win the first game 21-19 or so.  The second game was similar and the third game was 15-10.

It's the closest match I can remember in which we won all 3 games in some time.

10.31.2011

Weekend update

Friday:

Got out of work early and drove into town to "sur la table" for some canning jars in which to store my starter.  then went to "Cricle Saw" to pick up a palm sander.  Got back home just in time to take Strider to the vet where he was pronounced healthy, if just a bit high in the cholesterol department.

Aikido
World Series
Started a loaf of Sourdough Rye bread

Saturday:

Blueberry muffins
Sourdough Rye bread - it was far too loose of a dough.  I used 1 Cup of starter instead of 1/3 Cup
In the shop working on pens and boxes
Aggie football
Aikido
Grilled out steaks
Started another loaf of Sourdough Rye

Sunday:

Sourdough Rye - still a little too loose of a dough.  Next time I'll change from 1-3/4 Cup of water to 1-1/2 Cup and see what happens.
In the shop working on pens and boxes
Football
Dinner at Joe's with K.
Football

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 10/29/11

Aikido players: Tim, Dan, and Marvin


Ukemi:

Full set


The Walk:

Twice

Releases:

I worked with Dan. We had the usual problems on 5 and 7.

Techniques:

We did a dry run green belt demo with Dan.  It could have gone a lot better than it did.

After that, we worked on Ushiro-ate for Dan and Shomen-ate for Marvin


Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Friday Night - 10/28/2011

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Sal, and Dan

Ukemi:

Full set

The Walk:

Twice

Releases:

I worked with Dan. We had the usual problems on 5 and 7.

Techniques:

We worked on Hiki-taoshi for Sal.  Trey and I showed our different interpretations.

We worked on Ushiro-ate for Dan

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Thursday Night - 10/27/11

Aikido players: Sal

Ukemi:

Full set of falls

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

We had the usual problems on 5 and 7 for Sal

Techniques:

Tonight was spent working on Hiki-taoshi on the right side.  We spent a lot of time on the footwork, no time on the armbar at the end.

Aftermath:

None of note.

10.26.2011

Volleyball, 3-0

We did fairly well last night.  We won by a large margin in the first game, by two points in the second and a decent margin in the third.  We played a team that had not won a game yet, so this was the result I was expecting.

10.24.2011

Weekend update

Friday:

Aikido

Saturday

Blueberry sourdough muffins - not worth making again.  But it was the first use of my sourdough starter (aka "Charlie"), and it seemed to do what it was supposed to

Errands around town to find a brass latch for a shop project.  I stopped by: Woodcraft, Bering's, Buffalo, Southland, Settler's and back to Woodcraft

Aikido

Dinner with K. at Durango's
World Series

Sunday

Waffles
Sleep
Football
World Series
A little time in the shop.  The mosquitoes are just too vicious to be outside much.

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 10/22/11

Aikido players: Tim, Brad, and Dan


Ukemi:

Full  set of 12.  Rolled up on right-sided rolls to reduce impact


The Walk:

Twice

Releases:

Brad and Dan worked together.  We had to correct back foot twitching on a number of the releases, but we may have had a light bulb moment with Dan.


Techniques:

Dan and Brad ran through 1-5 of Ju Nana Hon Kata


Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Friday Night - 10/21/2011

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Sal, Marvin, Gayle, and Todd ( a new student )

Ukemi:

Full  set of 12.  Rolled up on right-sided rolls to reduce impact

The Walk:

Twice

Releases:

I worked with Gayle.  My releases were horrible.  I had to work with Trey on some to pick apart my issues.  Gayle got through all of hers

Techniques:

Marvin and Gayle worked on Shomen-ate and Aigamae-ate with me as uke.  They did ok.

Aftermath:

None of note.

10.21.2011

Aikido Thursday Night - 10/20/11

Aikido players: Sal

Ukemi:

A couple of falls

The Walk:

Not tonight

Releases:

I worked with Sal.  I had a couple of issues on mine tonight.  We had the usual problems on 5 and 7 for Sal

Techniques:

We worked on Waki-gatame.  Sal made some good progress tonight.  We did it step-by-step and he nailed it.  At the end, we did a brief run through of 1 through 4 on both sides. 

Aftermath:

None of note.

10.19.2011

Pen commission

I've received a commission from an author friend of mine to turn two pens for her.  I sent her 5 pens to hold in her hand and get a feel for which ones felt best to her.  Her decision was that the Cigar style was most comfortable due to the minor arthritis she has in her hands.

So, I'll be making two Cigar style pens with a satin gold finish.  The wood she's chosen is a two tone Box Elder Burl in violet and gold.  The supplies are en route to me and I hope to get working on it this weekend.

Volleyball, 2-1

Another night on the volleyball court in the Rec. league.  We did fairly well.  The first game was close, the second seemed a little easier.  We lost the third pretty convincingly.

Weekend update

Friday:

Hopped in Gandalf and headed for Lewisville, Tx.  It took me about 6 hours to get there and find the hotel and the dojo for Saturday's seminar.  If you go to Lewisville, don't stay at the Econolodge.  Ugh.

Saturday:

I got to sleep in and read some of Esther Friesner's "Thread and Flame".  Headed off to the dojo for Russel Waddel's seminar on accentuating off-balances.  A bunch of fun folks there from Oklahoma, Killeen and other places.

Lunch at a Chinese buffet.

Another seminar session and then the drive home.  Made it home around 10:45 p.m.

Sunday:

Time in the shop working on a commission
Football

10.17.2011

Aikido Thursday Night - 10/13/11

Aikido players: Brad and Sal

Ukemi:

A couple of falls

The Walk:

Not tonight

Releases:

Watched over Brad and Sal

Techniques:

We worked on Waki-gatame.  Sal indicated it was the first time he'd worked on it.  Somehow that does not seem right.  We made progress on it.

At the end, I added another technique into the mix: hiki-taoshi.  I think that was a mistake.  In the future I plan on just working on one technique per night on Thursdays.  There's just not enough time to do a credible job on multiple techniques.

Aftermath:

None of note.

10.10.2011

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 10/8/11

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Brad, Marvin, and Gayle

Ukemi:

Left-side
The Walk:

Twice

Releases:

Worked with Brad.  He did fairly well

Techniques:

Worked with Brad on no. 8.  He made some substantial improvements by the end of the class.

Worked with Marvin and Gayle on Shomen-ate.

Worked, as tori, with Trey on the offesnive jo portion of Koryu Dai San

Worked, as uke, with Trey for the kneeling portion of Koryu Dai San.

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Friday Night - 10/7/2011

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, and Sal

Ukemi:

Did left-sided falls.  Left ankle is still a little swollen.

The Walk:

Twice

Releases:

Trey and I worked with Sal, one of us uke'ing for left the other for right.

Techniques:

We spent most of the evening working on 6 and 7 from Ju Nana Han Kata.  At the end of the evening, Trey and I attacked Sal at a fairly brisk pace letting him respond however he saw fit.  He did really well.

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Thursday Night - 10/6/11

Aikido players: Kim. 

Ukemi:

A couple of falls

The Walk:

Not tonight

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

We worked on defensive and offensive jo work from Koryu Dai San, with K. as uke.  We made it through all of the defensive portion and a couple of the offensive jo.  It made quite a bit of difference working with someone that light.  I've got to ramp down the energy and just use uke's.

Aftermath:

None of note.

10.03.2011

Weekend update

Friday:

Aikido

Saturday:

Blueberry muffins
Off to see a local Car Show and Craft Fair.  I've got to look through my photos and see if anything interesting turned out.
ALAMO Board meeting.  I got elected V.P.
Dinner with K and the in-laws
Football

Sunday

In the shop working on dovetails.  I made some good progress on the commissioned box.
Off to Tookie's for dinner
Baskin-Robbins on the way home for dessert
Football

Aikido Friday Night - 9/30/11

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, and Sal

Ukemi:

Did left-sided falls.  Left ankle is still a little swollen.

The Walk:

Once

Releases:

Worked with Sal

Techniques:

We spent most of the evening taping  a video for new students, a study guide you might say.  We mentioned the strong position, did the Walk, Releases and the first 5 techniques of Ju Nana Hon Kata.

Now I just need to process the video and get it onto DVD.

Aftermath:

None of note.

9.28.2011

Volleyball, 2-1

I substituted on a Rec level team again last night and we did pretty well.  We were down quite a bit in the first game, but managed to come out with a win.  I was first to serve for our team on the second game and got us up to a 8-1 lead.  We managed to hold at least a little lead and win that game, too.  We lost the third 15-13, I think.

The team was playing to get in the playoffs.  We needed to win all three games to make it and fell just a little bit short.

9.26.2011

Weekend update

Friday:

Aikido

Saturday:

Blueberry muffins
Errands to banks, hardware store and antique store
Time in the shop messing with dovetails
Aikido
Watched the end of the A&M-OSU game 
Dinner with K at Druango's

Sunday

Football
Baked a Spice Cake: turned out ok.

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 9/24/11

Aikido players: Tim and Brad

Ukemi:

One right-sided, normal complement of left-sided

The Walk:

Once.  Tim has made a correction in one stone of the walk.  Now I have to remember that change.

Releases:

Uke'd for Brad.

Techniques:

Brad and I worked on 6-8.  We worked on the individual techniques and on them as a sequential set.  His arm bars are improving and he did pretty well figuring out my off-balance point.


Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Friday Night - 9/23/11

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Marvin, and Gayle

Ukemi:

No time.  I watched over Gayle as we moved up from the very low rolls to a slightly more elevated starting position.

I did take some roll-outs and rolled on up as a demonstration for Marvin to show him how to come up from a roll-out.

The Walk:

Twice

Releases:

Worked with Marvin

Techniques:

Trey and I traded off uke roles with Marvin and Gayle as tori getting a feel for getting an outside the arm off-balance.

Aftermath:

Left ankle is still not ready for landing on it.

9.22.2011

Weekend update

Friday:

Aikido

Saturday:

Blueberry muffins
Work in the shop playing with dovetail joints
Aikido
Grilled out salmon and steaks for dinner

Sunday

Woodcraft for shop supplies

Volleyball, 1-2

I substituted for a recreational league team on Tuesday that was playing the first place team in their league.  We got gobsmacked the first game.  Lost 21-18 the second game and won the third game about 15-12.  It was great to get out on the court again, even if I was not playing up to par.

9.19.2011

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 9/17/11

Aikido players: Tim, Marvin, and Gayle

Ukemi:

None today

The Walk:

Twice

Releases:

Worked with Marvin.  We made it through all 8 fairly well.
Techniques:

Worked with Gayle and Marvin on the third technique (gyakugamae-ate).  This is one that takes its toll on the uke when it is being taught.  You have to try and hold your position at the initial off-balance and eye flash to allow uke to figure things out.


Aftermath:

Absolutely sore leg muscles.  A two beer evening.

Aikido Friday Night - 9/16/11

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, and Sal

Ukemi:

Did left-sided falls.  Left ankle is still a little swollen.

The Walk:

Twice

Releases:

Watched over Sal and Trey

Techniques:

Worked with Sal on Ushiro-ate.  Trey and I alternated as uke to give Sal different heights to work with.  I'm a real pain to work with on this technique.

Aftermath:

None of note.

9.12.2011

Weekend update

Friday:

Aikido
Clear Creek vs. Deer Park football game for 30th Homecoming for my high school class

Saturday

Blueberry muffins
Aikido
Dinner with K at Durango's


Sunday:

Artfire work
Art Show Helper work
Football on TV/nap
Work on commissioned box

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 9/10/11

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Dan, and Marvin

Ukemi:

Did left-sided falls. 

The Walk:

Twice

Releases:

Worked with Marvin.  We made it through all eight.

Techniques:

I worked with Marvin on Shomen-ate and Aigamae-ate.

At the end of class, Trey and I did some work on a mish-mash of techniques.  I picked random techniques out of my syllabus and Trey decided to do the same ones.  We worked on: Ushiro Kube Gatami, Uchi Tenkai Nage, Gyakugamae Ate (from San Kata).  I think that's it.

Aftermath:

Really tired and sore after the afternoon.  I think the work as uke for Aigamae-ate was the culprit.

9.10.2011

Back-to-back conventions, part 2

I arrived home late Tuesday night from Reno, but could not sleep in late on Wednesday.  I had a bunch of stuff I had to get done before driving to Austin on Thursday.  I had to pack all of the art into the truck, get some more travel cash, get my new glasses, get my personal artwork ready for the art show among other things.  Thankfully, K. took the day off from work to help me.  Her help was irreplaceable.

Bright and early Thursday I took off for Austin.  I made a stop in Grange for some kolaches and picked up some root beer at Central Market and then unpacked at the hotel.  Once unpacked, I drove to Aikido of Austin to watch a class.  I'd brought my gi along, but I knew I was too late to get on the mat in time.

After aikido, I went back to the hotel and sat out by the pool for a couple of hours.

Then it was time for the pre-con dinner and set-up of the art show.

Friday had me in the art show nice and early hanging art.  We were ready to go by about 2 p.m. and stayed open until about 9:30.

Saturday I was in the art show early again and stayed there until about 9 p.m.  Laura drove out and picked up dinner for all of the folks who helped with the art show on my dime.  Laura, Rhonda Eudaly, Jimmy Simpson, Tomi Welch and a number of other folks contributed to help me quite a bit.

We ended up selling about $5K or $6K worth of artwork.  Far more than we thought we would sell.

Sunday was tear down down, and my helpers had the show torn down before I could lift a finger to help.  From there we went on to the post-con bbq dinner at County Line Bar-B-Q and thence to the Dead Dog Party.

Monday morning saw me up at the crack of dawn to get the packages mailed out before leaving Austin for home.

I took me until about Thursday to approach being human again.  I took the entire Labor Day weekend for me to get caught up on sleep.

Back-to-back conventions, part 1

The middle of August was occupied by trips to two convention: WorldCon in Reno and ArmadilloCon in Austin.  I helped run the Art Show in Reno and was in charge of the Art Show in Austin.  These two weeks convinced me to not be in staff or committee roles in two consecutive convention.  It's too hard on my system.

I flew out to Reno on the 16th, on American.  When I made my stop in Dallas, I ran across George and Lee Martindale, also on their way to Reno.  The flight was not nearly as full of con-goers as I expected.

I got in to Reno a little after noon and managed to make it to the Peppermill without too many problems.  I discovered my roommate for most of the convention had already checked in.  It was nice to have someone to split the costs of a room with me.  I don't work on setting up that situation too often.

I made the 1 mile walk to the convention center, got my badge and went in to the art show to see how I could help.  The next 5 days would have the same approximate routine:  Get up, eat, go to the art show, maybe grab some dinner and go to bed.  Occasionally, I'd hit a party or two in the evening.

Dinner on Tuesday, I think, was with members of F.A.C.T at Naan and Kebab, across the street from the Peppermill.  It was a pretty good dinner and good conversation.

In the mornings, I'd wake up and walk about half a mile or so to the Black Bear Diner.  Good food, good prices, and interesting waitresses.  On my last meal there, my waitress commented that on the previous mornings one of the customers had commented on my attire that day.  My trademark con attire is camo pants or shorts with a tie-dye t-shirt.  This convention saw me in that combination only once (I'm running out of tie-dye shirts), but it was the day that was commented on.  The customer questioned the waitress as to whether it was wild attire day or somesuch.  I'm glad my clothes can draw comment even in Reno.

I spent most of my time in the Art Show, seeing how one the size of WorldCon is run.  The nice thing about WorldCon is there are a couple of days of minimal panic.  For a local con, with one and a half or maybe two days of the art show, there's always something going one: set-up, auction, tear down.  The two days of minimal work were great to get to see how their software works.  I was able to come away with a number of ideas for improving my software.

Getting the opportunity to work with Elayne Pelz, Charles Matheny, Mary Jane Jewell, and others whose name I can't recall and did not write down was a real pleasure.  I think we ended up selling about $110K worth of art os, in my book, it was a success.

I ate two evenings at the Irish pub that was across the street from the Atlantis.  The second time was the Sunday night of the convention.  The staff of the restaurant was prepared for their normal Sunday night crowd and had the general manager and two waitresses.  That was not enough for the convention crowd that had invaded them.  I had to tell our waitress to slow down as she was breaking several laws of physics trying to keep up with all of the business.  We left her a good sized tip as we did not think some of the con-goers would tip her well enough.

On Saturday of the con, I realized that my schedule had me leaving Tuesday.  That was over-generous as we would be wrapped up with the art show on sunday.  I attempted to re-arrange my flights, but it would have cost about $700 on American and about $300 on Southwest.  The amount I would save on my room did not make up for the flight cost, so I stayed with my original schedule.

On Monday, after the art show and convention were completely done, I wandered around Reno.  I hit a couple of casinos for decks of cards.  The cards at the Bonanza were cheapest at 0.50 per deck and the ones at Circus Circus the most expensive at $2.50 per deck.

That evening, I wandered down to Aikido of Reno to sit in on a class or two.  They had about 16 people in each of the two classes I watched.  Seeing that sort of attendance amazes me after working in my dojo with 2-4 people on a night.

The flight home Tuesday was uneventful, if late at night.  I arrived home about midnight.  Tired and worn out.

Aikido Friday Night - 9/9/11

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, and Sal

Ukemi:

Did left-sided falls.  Left ankle is severely bruised so landing on it is painful.

The Walk:

Twice

Releases:

Worked with Sal

Techniques:

Trey and I traded off uke roles on 1-4 with Sal as tori.

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Thursday Night - 9/8/11

Aikido players: Kim.  I managed to get my wife back on the mat for at least one night

Ukemi:

A couple of falls

The Walk:

Twice

Releases:

Ran through the releases for both of us

Techniques:

Worked on 1-3 and 5

Aftermath:

None of note.

9.08.2011

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 9/3/11

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Brad, Dan, Tyler, Amanda, and Roderick

Ukemi:

Did left-sided falls.  Left ankle is severely bruised so landing on it is painful.

The Walk:

Twice and then worked with Tyler and Amanda a bit.

Releases:

Watched over Tyler and Amanda

Techniques:

Did a brief amount of punch the dummy with Tyler and Amanda


Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Friday Night - 9/2/11

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Sal, Dan, Tyler, and Amanda ( a potential student was watching the class )

Ukemi:

Did left-sided falls.  Left ankle is severely bruised so landing on it is painful.

The Walk:

Twice
Releases:

Watched over Sal and Dan

Techniques:

Watched Sal and Dan work on 1-4 for a while

Aftermath:

None of note.

8.31.2011

The day's tweets

  • 17:58 Kart Krafts - t.co/4lDtnMT - Wine boxes, night lights, jewelry, wine holders, wine charm, peg racks #handmade #artfire #
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8.30.2011

The day's tweets

  • 10:41 Fabrics I love - t.co/un8dmZ6 - Artfire Crazy Train - 100% cotton fabrics, knits, trims, patterns, sewing kits. #handmade #artfire #
  • 16:54 Mad Moravian - t.co/S7osoKw - handmade pens, bottle stoppers, chainmaille jewelry and stained glass pieces #handmade #artfire #
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8.29.2011

The day's tweets

  • 19:03 Novelties by Nora - t.co/5FoZY3I - Earrings, Necklaces, Garden Lace and Steampunk #handmade #artfire #
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8.28.2011

The day's tweets

  • 10:45 Julies treasures - t.co/IXm0HSv - Artfire Crazy Train - Handmade Soap, it just doesn't get better than this #handmade #artfire #
  • 17:58 Kart Krafts - t.co/4lDtnMT - Wine boxes, night lights, jewelry, wine holders, wine charm, peg racks #handmade #artfire #
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8.27.2011

The day's tweets

  • 16:55 Mad Moravian - t.co/S7osoKw - handmade pens, bottle stoppers, chainmaille jewelry and stained glass pieces #handmade #artfire #
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8.26.2011

The day's tweets

  • 16:00 O Sebastian - t.co/nq1xdRL - Artfire Crazy Train - Jewelry in sterling silver, gold-fill, with a variety of beads #handmade #artfire #
  • 19:04 Novelties by Nora - t.co/5FoZY3I - Earrings, Necklaces, Garden Lace and Steampunk #handmade #artfire #
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8.25.2011

The day's tweets

  • 18:01 Kart Krafts - t.co/SSM4Qll - Wine boxes, night lights, jewelry, wine holders, wine charm, peg racks #handmade #artfire #
  • 18:39 At Tookies waiting god a table. The long wait is about to end! A Squealer is in my near future. #
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8.24.2011

The day's tweets

  • 10:49 Jewelry by Andrea - t.co/zSLWdkB - Artfire Crazy Train - Jewelry inspired by cultures from around the world #handmade #artfire #
  • 23:14 Mad Moravian - t.co/yBOYi44 - handmade pens, bottle stoppers, chainmaille jewelry and stained glass pieces #handmade #artfire #
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8.23.2011

The day's tweets

  • 12:09 $100/day to rent a car in Reno because of Burning Man. Guess I won't be going anywhere today unless I walk. 2 miles to an aikido dojo. #
  • 13:45 Novelties by Nora - t.co/1IagI46 - Earrings, Necklaces, Garden Lace and Steampunk #handmade #artfire #
  • 16:44 Almost run over by a motorcycle while in a protected crosswalk in front of the Bonanza casino. No harm to anyone. #
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8.22.2011

The day's tweets

  • 10:40 Andrus gardens quilted gifts - t.co/QASYMNy - Artfire Crazy Train - Garden Inspired Quilted and Fabric items #handmade #artfire #
  • 17:57 Kart Krafts - t.co/SSM4Qll - Wine boxes, night lights, jewelry, wine holders, wine charm, peg racks #handmade #artfire #
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8.21.2011

The day's tweets

  • 16:54 Mad Moravian - t.co/yBOYi44 - handmade pens, bottle stoppers, chainmaille jewelry and stained glass pieces #handmade #artfire #
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8.20.2011

The day's tweets

  • 09:43 @JohnPicacio I'm glad you got the opportunity to experience the cheddar of hotels. #
  • 10:33 Lehane- t.co/qrSQckS - Artfire Crazy Train - Handcrafted necklaces in many styles and colors #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:43 Novelties by Nora - t.co/1IagI46 - Earrings, Necklaces, Garden Lace and Steampunk #handmade #artfire #
  • 23:25 Cost to change my flight on American Airlines: $150 change fee + $400 fare differential. Good lord that's absurd. #
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8.19.2011

The day's tweets

  • 17:58 Kart Krafts - t.co/SSM4Qll - Wine boxes, night lights, jewelry, wine holders, wine charm, peg racks #handmade #artfire #
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The day's tweets

  • 17:58 Kart Krafts - t.co/SSM4Qll - Wine boxes, night lights, jewelry, wine holders, wine charm, peg racks #handmade #artfire #
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8.18.2011

The day's tweets

  • 15:54 Blackdog handcrafted jewelry - t.co/l0f75o3 - Artfire Crazy Train - hammered Silver and Copper jewelry designs #handmade #artfire #
  • 17:02 Mad Moravian - t.co/yBOYi44 - handmade pens, bottle stoppers, chainmaille jewelry and stained glass pieces #handmade #artfire #
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8.17.2011

The day's tweets

  • 14:07 Novelties by Nora - t.co/1IagI46 - Earrings, Necklaces, Garden Lace and Steampunk #handmade #artfire #
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8.15.2011

Weekend update


Friday:

Aikido

Saturday

Blueberry muffins
Balance the checkbook
Art Show prep work
Aikido
Dinner with K at Durango's

Sunday:

Welfare check up on my aunt
Moved my niece into Rice University
Blade Runner on TV

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 8/13/11


Aikido players: Tim, and Tony

Ukemi:

Partial warm-up.  I was watching over Tony most of the time.

The Walk:

Many, many times through the 9th step of the Walk.

Releases:

We went through the first two releases

Techniques:

None tonight

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Friday Night - 8/12/11


Aikido players: Tim  No other students tonight, but we did have two prospective students.  So, we gave them a brief overview of classes and the techniques


Aftermath:

None of note.

The day's tweets

  • 10:17 The Gemmed Giraffe - t.co/lTAmwH8 - Bracelets, Necklaces, Earrings and more #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:21 Boatwright Wood Works - t.co/r3IUGh9 - Each wonder in wood piece is one-of-a-kind. Custom orders are encouraged. #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:29 Cabin Hollow - t.co/OgI8lfe - Amazing works in metal to decorate the inside or outside of your home or business #handmade #artfire #
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8.14.2011

The day's tweets

  • 10:18 The Gemmed Giraffe - t.co/lTAmwH8 - Bracelets, Necklaces, Earrings and more #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:19 Boatwright Wood Works - t.co/r3IUGh9 - Each wonder in wood piece is one-of-a-kind. Custom orders are encouraged. #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:22 Cabin Hollow - t.co/OgI8lfe - Amazing works in metal to decorate the inside or outside of your home or business #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:58 Andrus Garden Quilts - t.co/6DrxUpH - Artfire Crazy Train - Surround yourself with the joy of nature. #handmade #artfire #
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8.13.2011

The day's tweets

  • 13:22 Boatwright Wood Works - t.co/r3IUGh9 - Each wonder in wood piece is one-of-a-kind. Custom orders are encouraged. #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:19 Cabin Hollow - t.co/OgI8lfe - Amazing works in metal to decorate the inside or outside of your home or business #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:35 The Gemmed Giraffe - t.co/lTAmwH8 - Bracelets, Necklaces, Earrings and more #handmade #artfire #
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8.12.2011

The day's tweets

  • 10:34 Jems Stones - bit.ly/o7tXs6 - Artfire Crazy Train - uniquely jewelry creations inspired by the gifts of nature. #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:20 Boatwright Wood Works - bit.ly/pjD2Uv - Each wonder in wood piece is one-of-a-kind. Custom orders are encouraged. #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:20 Cabin Hollow - bit.ly/peBWqT - Amazing works in metal to decorate the inside or outside of your home or business #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:37 The Gemmed Giraffe - bit.ly/mSz6Mv - Bracelets, Necklaces, Earrings and more #handmade #artfire #
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The day's tweets

  • 10:34 Jems Stones - bit.ly/o7tXs6 - Artfire Crazy Train - uniquely jewelry creations inspired by the gifts of nature. #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:20 Boatwright Wood Works - bit.ly/pjD2Uv - Each wonder in wood piece is one-of-a-kind. Custom orders are encouraged. #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:20 Cabin Hollow - bit.ly/peBWqT - Amazing works in metal to decorate the inside or outside of your home or business #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:37 The Gemmed Giraffe - bit.ly/mSz6Mv - Bracelets, Necklaces, Earrings and more #handmade #artfire #
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8.11.2011

The day's tweets

  • 10:15 The Gemmed Giraffe - bit.ly/mSz6Mv - Bracelets, Necklaces, Earrings and more #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:19 Cabin Hollow - bit.ly/peBWqT - Amazing works in metal to decorate the inside or outside of your home or business #handmade #artfire #
  • 18:43 Boatwright Wood Works - bit.ly/pjD2Uv - Each wonder in wood piece is one-of-a-kind. Custom orders are encouraged. #handmade #artfire #
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8.10.2011

The day's tweets

  • 09:41 Traveled yesterday, now I think today is Monday. Ugh. #
  • 10:25 Trinkets and treasures - bit.ly/pKnjqx - Artfire Crazy Train - Gift boxes and jewelry to delight your soul #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:22 Boatwright Wood Works - bit.ly/pjD2Uv - Each wonder in wood piece is one-of-a-kind. Custom orders are encouraged. #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:22 Cabin Hollow - bit.ly/peBWqT - Amazing works in metal to decorate the inside or outside of your home or business #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:39! The Gemmed Giraffe - bit.ly/mSz6Mv - Bracelets, Necklaces, Earrings and more #handmade #artfire #
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8.09.2011

Weekend update

Friday:

Aikido

Saturday

Blueberry muffins
Aikido
Dinner with K, K, and the in-laws at home after grilling chicken and steaks
Cowboys and Aliens

Sunday:

Blueberry pancakes
Got Gandalf washed
Packed for trip to San Antonio
Left for San Antonio

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 8/6/11

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Dan, Marvin, and Gail

Ukemi:

Partial set

The Walk:

Twice, as usual

Releases:

Not today

Techniques:

We brought out the padded swords for some drills on getting off-line. We then played with an approach Trey came up with to have tori stick the sword under their arm and attempt to get the off-balance for shomen-ate using only that sword.

While Tim and Trey were working with Gail, I had Marvin and Dan throw me with shomen-ate repeatedly.

At the end of the afternoon, Tim brought ought the jo. Trey and I got to work on defensive and offensive jo techniques for a bit

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Friday Night - 8/5/11

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, and Brad

Ukemi:

None

The Walk:

Once

Releases:

None

Techniques:

Brad got to work on the 3 step distance for techniques. We did some varying between 1 and 3-step and various approaches to getting that to work for him. We focused on shomen-ate for the entire evening.

Aftermath:

None of note.

The day's tweets

  • 10:14 The Gemmed Giraffe - bit.ly/mSz6Mv - Bracelets, Necklaces, Earrings and more #handmade #artfire #
  • 10:21 Mad Moravian - Artfire Crazy Train - bit.ly/rrgtXi - Wonders in wood, chainmaille and stained glass. #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:23 Boatwright Wood Works - bit.ly/pjD2Uv - Each wonder in wood piece is one-of-a-kind. Custom orders are encouraged. #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:21 Cabin Hollow - bit.ly/peBWqT - Amazing works in metal to decorate the inside or outside of your home or business #handmade #artfire #
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8.08.2011

The day's tweets

  • 14:06 Christina Gurnham - bit.ly/qvFnSa - bandsaw boxes, wooden wine bottle stoppers, cheese boards and much, much more #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:10 Fireside Turnings - bit.ly/ojR2dH - Bowls, bracelets, bottle stoppers, pendants, pens and more #handmade #artfire #
  • 16:10 My item of the week - European pen turned out of Rosewood - t.co/lV4skbG - contact me for 10% off #handmade #artfire #
  • 18:36 Lost Marbles Jewelry - bit.ly/p8Icb5 - Fabulous jewelry and a portion of each order goes to a cancer charity #handmade #artfire #
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8.07.2011

The day's tweets

  • 13:05 Lost Marbles Jewelry - bit.ly/p8Icb5 - Fabulous jewelry and a portion of each order goes to a cancer charity #handmade #artfire #
  • 14:07 Christina Gurnham - bit.ly/qvFnSa - bandsaw boxes, wooden wine bottle stoppers, cheese boards and much, much more #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:10 Fireside Turnings - bit.ly/ojR2dH - Bowls, bracelets, bottle stoppers, pendants, pens and more #handmade #artfire #
  • 16:10 My item of the week - European pen turned out of Rosewood - t.co/lV4skbG - contact me for 10% off #handmade #artfire #
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8.06.2011

The day's tweets

  • 14:13 Christina Gurnham - bit.ly/qvFnSa - bandsaw boxes, wooden wine bottle stoppers, cheese boards and much, much more #handmade #artfire #
  • 16:12 My item of the week - European pen turned out of Rosewood - t.co/lV4skbG - contact me for 10% off #handmade #artfire #
  • 18:27 Lost Marbles Jewelry - bit.ly/p8Icb5 - Fabulous jewelry and a portion of each order goes to a cancer charity #handmade #artfire #
  • 20:29 Fireside Turnings - bit.ly/ojR2dH - Bowls, bracelets, bottle stoppers, pendants, pens and more #handmade #artfire #
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8.05.2011

The day's tweets

  • 13:11 Lost Marbles Jewelry - bit.ly/p8Icb5 - Fabulous jewelry and a portion of each order goes to a cancer charity #handmade #artfire #
  • 14:07 Christina Gurnham - bit.ly/qvFnSa - bandsaw boxes, wooden wine bottle stoppers, cheese boards and much, much more #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:06 Fireside Turnings - bit.ly/ojR2dH - Bowls, bracelets, bottle stoppers, pendants, pens and more #handmade #artfire #
  • 16:10 My item of the week - European pen turned out of Rosewood - t.co/lV4skbG - contact me for 10% off #handmade #artfire #
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8.04.2011

The day's tweets

  • 13:04 Lost Marbles Jewelry - bit.ly/p8Icb5 - Fabulous jewelry and a portion of each order goes to a cancer charity #handmade #artfire #
  • 14:08 Christina Gurnham - bit.ly/qvFnSa - bandsaw boxes, wooden wine bottle stoppers, cheese boards and much, much more #handmade #artfire #
  • 14:25 What would be the equivalent to Joe Blow , Adm., USN in the Star Wars Imperial Starfleet? Joe Blow, Adm., IS ?? Yes, it's very nerdy. #
  • 15:19 Fireside Turnings - bit.ly/ojR2dH - Bowls, bracelets, bottle stoppers, pendants, pens and more #handmade #artfire #
  • 16:17 My item of the week - European pen turned out of Rosewood - t.co/lV4skbG - contact me for 10% off #handmade #artfire #
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8.03.2011

The day's tweets

  • 13:03 Lost Marbles Jewelry - bit.ly/p8Icb5 - Fabulous jewelry and a portion of each order goes to a cancer charity #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:07 Fireside Turnings - bit.ly/ojR2dH - Bowls, bracelets, bottle stoppers, pendants, pens and more #handmade #artfire #
  • 16:09 My item of the week - European pen turned out of Rosewood - t.co/lV4skbG - contact me for 10% off #handmade #artfire #
  • 19:29 Christina Gurnham - bit.ly/qvFnSa - bandsaw boxes, wooden wine bottle stoppers, cheese boards and much, much more #handmade #artfire #
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8.02.2011

The day's tweets

  • 14:19 Christina Gurnham - bit.ly/qvFnSa - bandsaw boxes, wooden wine bottle stoppers, cheese boards and much, much more #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:09 Fireside Turnings - bit.ly/ojR2dH - Bowls, bracelets, bottle stoppers, pendants, pens and more #handmade #artfire #
  • 16:11 My item of the week - European pen turned out of Rosewood - t.co/lV4skbG - contact me for 10% off #handmade #artfire #
  • 18:33 Lost Marbles Jewelry - bit.ly/p8Icb5 - Fabulous jewelry and a portion of each order goes to a cancer charity #handmade #artfire #
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8.01.2011

Artfire - Item of the week - European style pen in Rosewood

This week's item is a European style pen turned out of Rosewood with Gold hardware. It is a medium weight pen, suitable for either a woman's or a man's hand and comes in at 5 inches long. This has a single twist, retractable mechanism that uses a Cross refill.

Since it's my item of the week, I offer a 10% discount if you contact me before purchasing it.



Artfire - Featured Shop - Wood A Plenty

This week's featured shop is Wood A Plenty. It's an unusual shop in that it is a woodworking shop run by a lady. Patricia's first exposure to woodworking was when she was only 10 years old when she convinced my neighbor to help her make a holder for my Dad's favorite ashtray. Throughout the years she has been involved in one craft or another. She did not by her my first scroll saw until she moved into her own home. With limited space and even more limited time, her only woodworking activiy was to make gifts for friends, relatives, and, eventually, grandchildren. Some of her favorite projects are a cradle and rocking horse for my first grandson, a large intarsia eagle wallhanging, lamps and "secret" boxes. After recently moving into a larger home, her\ friends/relatives finally convinced her to start making items for art/craft shows.

Take a look at some of her amazing work below



The day's tweets

  • 09:37 Can't login to @loudtwitter to alter the settings on my account. Very annoying. #
  • 11:12 Lecabita - bit.ly/nZzHyw - A husband and wife team working in wood for 35 years. Stop by and see their shop. #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:13 JMcCoy - bit.ly/qsVAf7 - A retired paramedic working with found lumber to create art in wood #handmade #artfire #
  • 14:29 Envy Us Creations - bit.ly/nV3y8h - Thread jewelry: earrings, bracelets, necklaces and more #handmade #artfire #
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7.31.2011

Sourdough starter

I'm trying to make a sourdough starter again.  The last one I tried, a few years back, never got off the ground.  There's a recipe for a yeast-based banana bread that I want to try, and it calls for some sourdough starter.  So, I have to make the starter.

So far, it's doing well.  I've done the third day's work on it and it has shown some life.  In fact, it's shown too much life.  Yesterday, I did the second day's mixing and by the time I returned from aikido, it was already rising more than the directions said it would after 24 hours.  I made the decision to wait the full 24 hours instead of going by the amount of rise.  When we got home from seeing a play late last night, it was overflowing its beaker.  I took a little out of the beaker and returned it to its spot.

After today's mixing, it's not as aggressive as it was yesterday, so I hope it's still alive.  We'll see after work tomorrow.

Lunching out - Perry's Market and Grill

K and I got the opportunity to have lunch together this past Friday.  In order to get her back to work quickly, we chose a nearby restaurant.  Perry's is just a couple of blocks away and they serve good food.  The ideal lunch is Wednesday when they have they're pork chops for a bargain price.

K had the Tequila Lime Chicken salad and I had Tomato Basil Pasta (Angel hair pasta topped with tomato basil sauce and grilled chicken).  Our entrees were quite good.  Tasty and nicely prepared.  I then went for a slice of Pecan Pie for dessert and was disappointed.  Just another place using an elsewhere-prepared pie, probably Sysco.

We got out of there for $30 not including tip:


At the Movies - Secretariat

Secretariat: 3

I caught some of this on TV yesterday and the rest of it this evening.  I now want to go back and watch the actual footage from Secretariat's Triple Crown races.  I was amazed that the field for the Preakness was 6 horses and the field for the Belmont was just 5.  The fields have not been that small for quite some time.

There was a family stuff in the movie that was brought in insufficiently for my tastes.  I bet a bunch of it ended up on the cutting room floor for time.

Still, I enjoyed it.  I don't know if I would have spent money for a theatre viewing of it.

At the movies - The Tourist

The Tourist : 1

I caught this on the TV last night and was horribly disappointed in it.  The characterizations seemed uneven, some of the simple special effects were horribly done.

I'm glad I did not see it in the theatre.  I regret having seen it at home.

At the Movies - Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part 2

Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part 2 : 4

I saw this a couple of weekends ago, and I've seen it once since.  So, by my definition, this movie rates a 4.

I really did enjoy it quite a bit.  At one point, in the first viewing, I was almost brought to tears.  This was the scene when Harry was leaving Ron and Hermione to go face (get killed by) Voldemort.  It was a very understated scene that I really liked.

Highly Recommended

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 07/30/11

Aikido players:  Tim, Trey, Dan, Marvin, Gail and Tony

Ukemi:

Partial set.  Did some work with Gail and Marvin

The Walk:

Twice

Releases:

With Marvin and Gail.  I alternated as uke between the two of them.  We made it through the first 6.

Techniques:

None today.

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Friday Night - 07/29/11

Aikido players:  Tim, Trey, Marvin, Gail and Tony ( a new student)

Ukemi:

Partial set

The Walk:

Twice

Releases:

With Marvin.  We made it through all 8

Techniques:

We did some work on Shomen-ate at the very end.  We did a little "bump the dummy" drill for the three white belts.

Aftermath:

None of note.