12.26.2012

At the Movies: Django Unchained

Django Unchained: 4

Another Quentin Tarantino movie, which means I had to go alone.  My wife will no join me to see a QT movie as the violence repulses her.  As QT movies go, the violence was not everpresent.  when it was present it, as usual, violated laws of physics.

Django is a slave, turned bounty hunter, turned romantic.  Godd performances were turned in by Jamie Foxx, Christopher Walz, Samuel L. Jackson, Leonardo di Caprio.  I think Samuel's was the best of the lot.  Don Johnson's appearance was nice little bonus.

My wife is tempted to see the movie since QT dies in it.

At the Movies: Wreck-it-Ralph

Wreck-it-Ralph: 4

An animated film that takes through the worlds of 1980's arcade games and the lives they lead after the arcade closes at night.  A fun film that I enjoyed.  The voices of John C. Reilly and Jane Lynch were used for a couple of the main characters.

Wreck-it-Ralph is a bd guy in the arcades tired of being a bad guy.  He almost brings down the entire arcade economy in his attempt to become a good guy.

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 12/22/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Troy, Hussein, and Dan

Ukemi:

Full set.  And I helpd Dan with his.

The Walk:

Twice.  I then spent some time with Dan on some parts of the Walk.

Releases:

None for me today

Techniques:

Troy did 1-17 of Ju Nana Han Kata and was promoted to Ikkyu.

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Friday Night - 12/21/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Troy, and Dan ( a new student)

Ukemi:

Full set.

The Walk:

Twice

Releases:

Trey, Troy and I did our releases together.  The first time we've worked with each other in quite some time.  It was good to work with someone who could find the faults.

Techniques:

I then worked with Dan on "Punch the Dummy"

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Thursday Night - 12/20/2012

Aikido players: No students showed up, so I went home.

12.20.2012

Volleyball, 3-0, 2-1

The last week of regular play in this current season.  We played an inexperienced team with only four of their players on court.  We handled them fairly easily, but did have a close call in the second game when we had the guys setting.  That caused a huge amount of confusion in positioning on court.

The second match was much closer.  We lost the second game and won the third 15-13.

Now on to the playoffs

12.18.2012

Weekend update

Friday

Lunch at Taqueria El Nopalito
Aikido
Attempted to get to Texas Art Supply - failed due to traffic

Saturday

Blueberry muffins
Mailed an artfire order off
Texas Art Supply
Aikido
Did some more mat work
Dinner at San Lorenzo

Sunday

More mat work
Football
Dinner at Joe's

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 12/15/12

Aikido players: Tim and Troy

Ukemi:

Just a few warm-ups

The Walk:

Not today

Releases:

Not today

Techniques:

We worked through the first twelve of Ju Nana Han Kata with Troy as tori.  It took us about two hours.  We ended with Kote-gaeshi.  My falls for the left side of that need some brushing up.  I'm going to have to have some folks throw me with that during warm-up.

I then ran through the first 14 of Koryu Dai Yon.  I'm, still having trouble with 8 and 9 ( the counters to 1 and 2).  The hand transitions are just not in my brain yet.

Aftermath:

A number of bruises from the entry for Ushiro-ate.

Aikido Friday Night - 12/14/12

Aikido players: None.  No one showed tonight.  We'd tentatively cancelled class and no stragglers showed up.

Aikido Thursday Night - 12/13/12

Aikido players: Sal

Ukemi:

None tonight.

The Walk:

Once

Releases:

Sal and I both did our releases tonight.  Mine were not very good.

Techniques:

We worked through the first two of Ju Nana Han Kata to knock off some rust since it'd been a while since Sal had been to class.

Aftermath:

None of note.

12.13.2012

Volleyball, 2-1, 3-0

Another late night of volleyball and we played fairly well.  We probably should have one all of the games, but we just lost the third game of the first match.

12.12.2012

Weekend update

Friday:

Aikido

Saturday:

Blueberry muffins
Refreshed the sourdough starter for bread on Sunday
Walked the dogs at Frankie Carter Randolph, took a minor spill on a slippery slope
Aikido
Worked on matting some art
Into town to Texas Art Supply, Rice Epicurean, and 59 Diner
Worked on matting some art

Sunday

Started some sourdough loaves and some Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls
Football

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 12/8/2012

Aikido players:Tim, Troy, Brad and Hussein

Ukemi:

Partial set.

The Walk:

Twice, as usual

Releases:

I worked with Brad on his releases.  They went pretty well

Techniques:

I worked with Brad on 1-10.  I'd told Tim that he was just having occasional issues on a couple of techniques and thought he might be ready for promotion.  Brad had a rough day and was off on most of the techniques.

Troy and I worked on Aigamae-ate as a follow-up to Friday night's run-through.  This technique exposes a number of the issues Troy had on Friday night with a number of techniques.

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Friday Night - 12/7/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, and Troy

Ukemi:

Full set.

The Walk:

Not today

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

Troy ran through 1-17 with Trey as an uke.

Trey ran through O Waza Ju Pon with Troy as an uke.

I ran through the first 14 of Yon Kata with Trey and Troy as ukes.

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Thursday Night - 12/6/2012

Aikido players: Troy

We decoded, for various reasons, that a class tonight would be unproductive.

12.03.2012

Weekend update - SMOFCon 2012

K and I flew out to Philly to go to SMOFCon this past weekend

Friday:

Up at 5 a.m. to catch the flight to Chicago and then on to Philly.  Caught the train to downtown and then walked to the waterfront and in to the Hyatt.  "Planning across Divisions" and "Discussing difficult issues calmly" were the two panels I sat in for the afternoon.  K and I then wandered into the city and ate at Eulogy, a Belgian beer restaurant.  A large group from the con was there that we had managed to miss joining up because of elevator issues at the hotel.

We got back to the hotel and watched a little football.  We were asleep before the first quarter ended.

Saturday

Up and off to breakfast at Mrs K's Koffee Shop.  Good food good prices.

"Understanding Skill Sets and Jobs", "Evaluating Yourself: What Jobs Are You Best For?", "Maintaining SF Con Culture" were the panels I sat in on for the morning/afternoon.  I then met with a number of Art Show folks for a couple of hours.

Then on to the Fannish Inquisition.  It went fairly well with the exception of one poorly phrased question which pointedly called out one person and castigated him in public.  It was very poor form.

Dinner was with the Exhibits division. 

I chilled out after that until time for the "Statistics and Probabilities" panel (i.e., Poker tournament).  22 people entered, I ended up ni 6th place, 2 places out of the money.  I think I was active in around 10 hands.  One had me with a pair of 8's and the flop was K-8-K, so I flopped a full house.  I managed to pull in a few of chips on that one.

My last hand, as big blind, with not enough chips to make big blind, was 9-5 off.  I lost that hand quickly.

Sunday

Up early for breakfast with my sister and niece.  Panels for the morning were "How to Talk to Tech", "When the Chair Is the Problem".  We then caught a cab to the airport with another fan.  Back through Chicago and back home, arriving home around 11 p.m.


Aikido Thursday Night - 11/29/2012

Aikido players: Brad (I thought we were going to have a busy class, but it did not materialize)

Ukemi:

Partial set.

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

We worked through the first five of Ju Nana Han Kata, right side only.  Gyakugamae-ate, Gedan-ate and Ushiro-ate had a few issues  I keep thinking he's ready for promotion, then we have issues on a number of techniques.

Aftermath:

None of note.

11.28.2012

At the movies: Skyfall

Skyfall: 2

I was really hoping my wife was wrong (she'd already seen it) and that it wasn't just an homage to the past 50 years of Bond movies.  But, she was right.  I was disappointed.

Several things threw me out of the movie: the Komodo dragons, the fight at the top of the skyscraper, and the subway train.  I think the main thing was that MI6 was on the receiving end of things, they were not proactive and doing things unto others.  They were having things done unto them.

The change of personnel was not unexpected.  I just wish it had happened in a better movie.  I n my opinion this is, by far, the worst of the Craig movies.  I'd have to do some research to determine how far it falls in the rest of the Bond franchise.

There was the good Adele theme song.

Volleyball, 0-3, 0-3

Ugh.  the games were all close, we just failed to finish them properly.  I was not playing terribly well, but I got a couple of kills in.  Those were more than offset by my goofs.

Weekend update - Thanksgiving 2012

Wednesday

Baked two pies - a regular Pumpkin and a Rum/Orange Pumpkin.  I let the pie crust dough chill too long and it was tough to work

Thursday

Up at 6 a.m. to start working on the rolls for the meal  Everything ended up being done right on schedule at 11:45 for us to leave at 12:15 after things had cooled enough for us to handle easily.
Off to my sister's for the meal
Football

Friday

I don't remember the morning, possibly worked on matting some art work
Skyfall - the new Bond movie in the evening

Saturday

No blueberry muffins
Aikido
Froberg's for an exploratory pecan shopping expedition
Joe's Bar-B-Cue for dinner
A&M football game on TV

Sunday

More mat work
Football

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 11/24/2012

Aikido players: Trey, Troy, and Brad

Ukemi:

Full set

The Walk:

Once, pretty high speed.

Releases:

With Brad

Techniques:

Brad and I worked on 6-10 of Ju Nana Hon Kata.  With a few minutes left at the end, we worked on Gedan-ate some more.  Overall, he did really well.

Troy and Trey worked on 14-17 of Ju Nana Hon Kata and then a little bit on Kubi-guruma.

Aftermath:

None of note.

11.20.2012

Weekend update

Friday

Lunch at El Centinela
Aikido

Saturday

Blueberry muffins
Aikido
Football
Dinner at El Tucan with K and K

Sunday

LoneStarCon3 work
Football
Work on matting some pictures - figuring out the colors and sizes

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 11/17/2012

Aikido players: Tim,Troy, Liz, Charles and Hussein

Ukemi:

Partial set, watched over Liz

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.  With some individualized comments and work on specific steps.

Releases:

I spent most of the afternoon with Hussein on his releases

Techniques:

I did a little work with Hussein on Shomen-ate

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Friday Night - 11/16/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Troy, Brad, Marvin,  Liz, and Charles

Ukemi:

Full warm-up set

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

I worked with Liz on her releases

Techniques:

I worked with Liz on Shomen-ate the rest of the evening.  There was some trouble adjusting to my height, but she did ok.  She needs to work on finishing the technique in a solid posture.

Aftermath:

None of note.

11.16.2012

Volleyball, 2-1, 3-0

we started a new season this week.  It's a short league, and every night is a double-header in order to get all of the matches in.  It looks like most of our matches will be at the 8 p.m./9 p.m. pairing (boo! hiss!)

It looks like there are a number of new teams in this league, so it's tough to judge how we'll do.  This week's results show promise, though.

Aikido Thursday Night - 11/15/2012

Aikido players: Troy

Ukemi:

None tonight.

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

We worked through the first six of Ju Nana Han Kata.  We only managed the right side for Oshi-taoshi.  Progress in knocking the rust off on all of them proceded apace and without any real unexpected issues.

Aftermath:

A number of bruises from the entry for Ushiro-ate.

11.13.2012

ExtJS, formpanel, and new windows on submit

I struggled a bit trying to figure out how to, when submitting a form from a formpanel in ExtJS, have the destination page open in a new window.  I found the answer in a post on the Sencha forums, but it took me several hours to find for some reason.

The key is in the submit button on the form.  You need to add an extra parameter.

This way of doing it gets you a new tab in Chrome

this.up('form').getForm().submit({target:'_blank',params:{selEmpId:empidArray}});


This way of doing it gets you a new window in Chrome

Ext.getCmp('tsDatesRangeMaster').getForm().submit({target:'_blank',params:{selEmpId:empidArray}});

Weekend update - IlluxCon 2012

K and I flew up to Altoona, Pa this past weekend to attend IlluxCon 2012.  Well, we flew to Pittsburgh and then drove the rest of the way to Altoona.  IlluxCon is an amazing convention for fantasy art and artists and is a feast for the eyes.  My main goal for the weekend was to press the flesh and try to not spend any more money on art for the year.

We got up at 5 a.m. Friday morning, left the house around 5:40 and made it to our gate in plenty of time for our 7:25 departure.  Off to Baltimore, change planes, and then to Pittsburgh.  Landing around 2:30.  Grabbed a rental car and drove the 2+ hours to Altoona.  We made it to Altoona around 5:50 or so, too late to check in to the convention, so we headed straight to the hotel.

As were were walking into the hotel, we ran into Jannie, Andrea , and the Zipsers who were heading out to dinner.  We told them we would join them at the restaurant after we checked in.  We did that, eating at Aldo's on Chestnut.  Good Italian food.

Back at the hotel, the evening's Showcase was in full swing, so I started talking up next year's WorldCon.  I handed out some business cards and *may* have attracted some folks to the con.

Saturday morning the con did not start until noon, so K and I went wandering about the countryside south of Altoona, after grabbing breakfast at the hotel.  I think we got lost once or twice, but we got to see some nice countryside.  Nice farms and a fair number of dairy cows.

We made it back to the convention and wandered around the main gallery.  I talked to a number of artists and handed out a few cards, but lost my mojo after talking to someone who made me think it was a futile effort.

K and I then sat through a critique panel and kept track of the A&M Alabama game on my phone.

Dinner Saturday was at Friendly's across from the hotel.  The waitress was bringing out my chicken/sauerkraut/bacon sandwich and lost control of it just before she was going to hand it to me.  So, I had to wait another twenty minutes or so to get my meal (which they nicely comped).

Back to the hotel for the Illies and the Artist Jams.  I did not manage to stay awake for them, unfortunately.

Up at a reasonable hour and off to Tom and Joe's diner downtown.  Great food, great prices.

Back to the con to wander around and, *sigh*, buy art.  I bought four small pieces: two by Todd Lockwood and two by Omar Rayyan.  My checkbook wants these to be the last pieces until next year's WorldCon.

Out of Altoona and on our way back to Pittsburgh.  Caught a flight to Chicago where we ran into some weather delays.  Then back home, with the pilot making up the lost time.

Aikido Thursday Night - 11/8/2012

Aikido players: Troy and Brad

Ukemi:

None tonight.

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

We spent about 30 minutes working on Gedan-ate with Troy providing some much needed external input.

Brad and Troy then worked their way through 1-5 of Ju Nana Han Kata left and right side, skipping Gedan-ate.

Aftermath:

Right knee complained again.

11.06.2012

At the movies: Argo

Argo: 4

I really enjoyed this film.  I actually got caught up in some of the suspense, even though I knew it turned out ok in the end.  Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Alan Arkin all turned in nice jobs with their roles.

I was interested in this movie for a couple of reasons.  Back during the hostage crisis, I was in D.C. on the day of Reagan's inauguration and the freeing of the hostages. 

Supposedly, the film used in the actual escape plan was Roger Zelazny's "Lord of Light".

Weekend update

Friday

Lunch at Rivera's Mex Sal
Aikido

Saturday

Blueberry muffins
Aikido
Football

Sunday

Lunch and a movie with my mom and sisters
Football

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 11/3/2012

Aikido players: Tim,and Hussein

Ukemi:

Partial set, watched over Hussein

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.  With some individualized comments and work on specific steps.

Releases:

We spent a lot of time on the releases today

Techniques:

None today

Aftermath:

My right knee made me stop just a little bit early.

Aikido Friday Night - 11/2/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Marvin, Gail, Liz, and Charles

Ukemi:

Full warm-up set

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

We played with some double-hand grab stuff covered in the seminar.  It was an interesting evening


Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Thursday Night - 11/1/2012

Aikido players: Sal

Ukemi:

None tonight.

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

Sal and I worked on 1, 2, 3, and 5 of Ju Nana Han Kata.  He'd missed class for about a month, so we needed to review and work off the rust.  He did pretty well.

We stopped a little bit early, as my right leg was telling me to quit.

Maybe it'll stick.

Aftermath:

Right knee complained.

10.31.2012

Weekend update

Friday

Lunch at Tookies
Aikido

Saturday

Blueberry muffins
Annual ALAMO meeting with a little extra drama
Grilled out dinner with the in-laws
Slept 14 hours

Sunday

K and I helped K rebuild a portion of her fence.  Involved digging up/removing old 4x4s and then putting new ones in the ground and cementing around them.
Went out to La Tucan for dinner afterwards and it shows real promise to be a regular haunt.

Volleyball, 3-0, 1-2

This update is a week late, but we played the last place team in the league for the first match, and, I think, the first place team for the second match.

We weren't really contested for the first game.  We won the first game of the second match and should have been able to win at least one of the remaining two.  I think we got stuck in a bad service receiving rotation and failed to do well.

10.27.2012

Lunching out - Gina's Italian Kitchen

Friday lunch, was just a short trip across Hwy 3 to Gina's Italian Kitchen.  It was the third day it was open, and some of the staff let me know that.

The waiter took my order and brought out some foccaccia with olive oil.  Nice stuff (even if I think mine's better).

I order the spicy chicken alfredo, which was grilled chicken of penne pasta with a jalapeno tomato cream sauce.  It was a bit spicier than I was prepared for, but not spicier than I could normally handle.  For some reason, my taste buds were set for mild that day.  It was a nice dish.

I ordered a slice of Italian Cream Cake for dessert, but I don't believe that was what was brought out.  This cake had a fruit filling between layers, in addition to the icing.  I was not a big fan of the icing.  Far too solid, maybe it was fondant?

Overall, this was a nice restaurant, and I'm certain I will be back.

Gina's Italian Kitchen and Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Aikido Friday Night - 10/26/2012

Aikido players: Tim,and Brad

Ukemi:

Full warm-up set

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

We made it through the sixth release tonight.  We spent about 30+ minutes on the 6th release right side.  It was actually interesting uke'ing for it with my eyes closed.  Brad and I were able to detect, by the end of the session, when it was going wrong.  It was interesting feeling the use of muscle, feeling the slight rotation of the arm that caused muscle to become involved.

An enlightening evening, even though we didn't cover a lot of stuff.

Techniques:

None tonight


Aftermath:

My right knee made me stop the class early. I think it's related to me attempting to start knee walking.  I did not actually complete one knee walk step, just tested my knee to see whether it was doable.  The knee has decided to complain vigorously.

Aikido Thursday Night - 10/25/2012

Aikido players: Brad

Ukemi:

None tonight.

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

Brad and I worked on Gedan-ate some more.  I tried to improve Brad's kake on the technique this evening.  I posityioned my self and then taped off where I would normally be.  I then had him get to the spot where he would be for the initial off-balance.  From there I had him move to get behind where my feet would be, with his feet pointing in a good direction.

Maybe it'll stick.

Aftermath:

None of note.

10.23.2012

Weekend update

Friday

Lunch at Gina's Italian Kitchen
Aikido

Saturday

Blueberry muffins
Started working on a fresh salsa for our dinner
Aikido
Football
More work on the salsa
K came over and joined us for our Mexican dinner.  She brought Margarita fixings
We caught up on four episodes of "Once Upon A Time"

Sunday

Nothing much, recovered from too much tequila

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 10/20/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Marvin, Gail, and Hussein


Ukemi:

Full warm-up set.


The Walk:

Twice, as usual.


Releases:

I worked with Gail.  I brought out the sword to show her what she should be reaching for on the releases.


Techniques:

Trey and I ran through the first fourteen of Koryu Dai Yon No Kata.  I did ok, struggling, as usual, on the fourteenth.


We then ran through the first 8 of Ju Nana Hon Kata and stunk up the joint.


We then had Marvin in the middle of a randori tangle with Trey and me as ukes.  He did pretty well, using a little too much muscle at times, but that's not surprising.


Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Friday Night - 10/19/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, and Marvin

Ukemi:

Full warm-up set

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

Trey and I worked with Marvin.  We brought out the foam sword to give Marvin a target to shoot for when doing the last 4 releases.

Techniques:

Trey and I ran through the first fourteen of Koryu Dai Yon No Kata.  I did ok, struggling, as usual, on the fourteenth.

We then ran through the first 8 of Ju Nana Hon Kata and stunk up the joint.

We then had Marvin in the middle of a randori tangle with Trey and me as ukes.  He did pretty well, using a little too much muscle at times, but that's not surprising.


Aftermath:

None of note.

10.19.2012

Aikido Thursday Night - 10/18/2012

Aikido players: Brad

Ukemi:

None tonight.

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

Brad and I worked on Gedan-ate some more.  He managed to get about ten good throws through the evening.  The thing I hope he remembers from the evening is that the back of his hand must apply pressure to uke's chest and that he's trying to get to uke's bicep (at least on me) with his fingers.

Aftermath:

None of note.

10.16.2012

Weekend update

Friday:

Lunch at Taqueria El Nopalito - last time to eat there
Aikido - seminar.  A bunch of folks from Alabama, Killeen, Oklahoma City, and Houston working on Randori

Saturday:

Up too early
Blueberry muffins
Aikido seminar - day 2
Dinner with everyone at Bravo's

Sunday:

Sore. Lazed around the house most of the day
Breakfast and then back to bedFootball

Volleyball, 1-2

We played one of the better teams in the league last week, and won the first game.  It was close, but we won it.  That gave us high hopes for the second and third games but, alas, it was not to be.

10.08.2012

Mexican restaurants - a list from which to choose

Here are 92 Mexican restaurants that Urbanspoon lists in our area.  I've just removed duplicates.  I'll go through this as we try them or rule them out for one reason or another.  18 are already marked out for being closed, chains or already tried.


Alberto's Mexican Dickinson/Texas City - Mexican 129 Grand Ave
Anita's Mexican  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 4624 Nasa Pkwy
Anthonys Mexican  Dickinson/Texas City - Mexican 941 Grand Ave
Barcena's Mexican  Friendswood - Mexican 2200 W Bay Area Blvd
Benito's Dickinson/Texas City - Mexican 1309 1st St
Berryhill Baja Grill &...  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 19431 Gatebrook Dr  Chain
Bravos Mexican 69% Ellington - Mexican, Tex-Mex 10906 Fuqua St
Burritos & Wings NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 1227 Bay Area Blvd
Cabos Grill Dickinson/Texas City - Mexican 3474 Palmer Hwy
Cafe Adobe NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 1330 W Bay Area Blvd
Calientes' Mexican  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 3905 Nasa Pkwy
Campo Azul  Dickinson/Texas City - Mexican 2441 FM 646
Casa Ole' Alvin - Mexican, Buffet 1483 E Hwy 6
Casa Ole Mexican  Ellington - Mexican 12350 Gulf Fwy
Chuy's (Webster)  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican, Tex-Mex 20975 Gulf Freeway
Cinco de Mayo Mexican Grill NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 20784 Gulf Fwy
Delia's Cafe Alvin - Mexican, Tex-Mex 2211 N Gordon St
Don Julios  Dickinson/Texas City - Mexican, Tex-Mex 1804 West FM 646, Suite F
Don Julio's Mexican...  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican, Tex-Mex 2900 Nasa Parkway
Don Pico's Mexican  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 2110 Bay Area Blvd
Dos Mas Mexican  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 103 W Bay Area Blvd
Durango's Mexican grill  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 939 W Nasa Rd 1
Eduardo's Mexican Kitchen  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 911 Nasa Parkway
El Centinela  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 104 Hwy. 3 North
El Dorado Mexican  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 1962 El Dorado Blvd
El Patio Cafe Dickinson/Texas City - Mexican 2819 22nd Ave N
El Sentinela Mexican  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 104 Hwy 3 N
El Sombrero Cafe  Dickinson/Texas City - Mexican 9302 Hwy 6
El Valle Mexican Cafe NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 620 W Nasa Rd 1
Esteban's Cafe & Cantina  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican, Tacos, Tex-Mex 402 W Main St
Ferrufino's Restaurant Ellington - Latin American, Mexican 11051 Fuqua D
Freebirds World Burrito  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican, Tex-Mex 528 W Bay Area Blvd
Gabacho's Mexican Grill  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 4449 Nasa Rd 1
Garcia's Grill  Dickinson/Texas City - Mexican 2015 Fm 517 Rd E
Juan Big Burritos NASA/Clear Lake - Breakfast/Brunch, Mexican 176 Gulf Fwy S
Juanita's Taqueria Alvin - Mexican, Tacos 106 S 3rd St
La Brisa Mexican Bar & Grill  Dickinson/Texas City - Mexican 4001 Hwy 146
La Brisa On The Creek NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican, Seafood 501 N Wesley Dr
La Frontera  Dickinson/Texas City - Mexican 2301 Hwy 3
La India Bonita  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 213 E Main St
La Michoacana Dickinson/Texas City - Mexican 3528 Palmer Hwy
La Pradera Mexican Grill NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 1227 Bay Area Blvd
La Salmantina Ellington - Mexican, Tacos 9910 Fuqua St
Laredo's Mexican  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican, Tacos, Tex-Mex 2119 Bayport Blvd
Las Flores Mexican   Alvin - Mexican 306 E House St
Las Haciendas 70% Ellington - Mexican 12933 Gulf Freeway
Las Haciendas Mexican Bar &...  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 1020 W Nasa Rd 1
Las Tortas Mexican Style Ellington - Mexican 12800 Scarsdale Blvd
Leila's Mexican Restaurant  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 18119 Egret Bay Blvd/Fm 270
Los Ramirez Mexican  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 16630 El Camino Real
Luna's  Friendswood - Mexican 704 W Parkwood Ave
Luna's Dickinson/Texas City - Mexican 8399 Emmett F Lowry Expy
Lupe Tortilla - Clear Lake  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 891 W Bay Area Blvd
Mamacitas  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican, Tex-Mex 515 E Nasa Rd 1
Marinas Mexican Restaurant  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican, Tex-Mex 3500 West Main St.
Martinez Mexican Bakery NASA/Clear Lake - Bakery, Mexican 17637 El Camino Real
Mom Alone Mexican Grill  NASA/Clear Lake - Breakfast/Brunch, International, Mexican 1199 Nasa Pky
Monterey's Little Mexico  Dickinson/Texas City - Mexican 3327 Gulf Fwy
Moreno's Bar-B-Q NASA/Clear Lake - Barbecue, Mexican 1425 NASA RD 1
Moreno's Mexican  Friendswood - Mexican 2407 W Parkwood Ave
Nopalera Grill  Dickinson/Texas City - Breakfast/Brunch, Mexican 1736 Texas Ave
Olivia's Mexican NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 223 E Nasa Rd 1
Orlando's Mexican Cafe Alvin - Mexican 2625 S Loop 35
Papa Gayo's  Ellington - Mexican, Seafood, Tex-Mex 10943 Scarsdale Blvd
Pappasito's Cantina  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 20099 Gulf Fwy
Rancho Mexican  Friendswood - Mexican 146 W Parkwood Ave
Refqueria-Taqueria Palmeras NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican, Tacos 17651 El Camino Real
Rey Del Pollo  Ellington - Mexican 10092 Kleckley
Rio Verde Alvin - Mexican 1109 W Hwy 6
Rivera's Mex Sal NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 233 E Nasa Rd 1
San Lorenzo Mexican  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 3202 Marina Bay Dr
Senor Frog Dickinson/Texas City - Mexican 13210 Hwy 6
Señor Sombreros  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 2640 E. League City Pkwy
Taco Bell  Ellington - Fast Food, Mexican, Tacos 10906 Scarsdale Blvd
Taco Bell  NASA/Clear Lake - Fast Food, Mexican, Tacos 1033 1/2 Bay Area Blvd
Taco Cabana  NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican, Tacos 705 W Bay Area Blvd
Taco Cabana Ellington - Mexican, Tacos 11212 Fuqua St
Taco Cabana NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican, Tacos 207 Marina Bay Dr
Taqueria Arandinos NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican, Tacos 620 W Nasa Rd 1
Taqueria El Gavilan Ellington - Mexican, Tacos 10739 Kingspoint Rd
Taqueria El Jaliciense  Dickinson/Texas City - Mexican, Tacos 2013 10th Ave N
Taqueria la Estasion Alvin - Mexican, Tacos 23930 W Hwy 6
Taqueria la Tapatia  Alvin - Mexican, Tacos 617 S Gordon St
Taqueria Los Panchitos Alvin - Mexican, Tacos 22440 W Hwy 6
Taqueria NASA  NASA/Clear Lake - Breakfast/Brunch, Mexican, Tacos 2622 Nasa rd 1
Taqueria Ringos NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican, Tacos 3520 Nasa Pkwy
Tejas Cafe Almeda Ellington - Mexican, Steakhouse 12348 Gulf Fwy
Tequila Mia's  NASA/Clear Lake - Breakfast/Brunch, Mexican, Tacos 800 Bradford St.
Valdo's Mexican Cafe Dickinson/Texas City - Mexican 942 Grand Ave
Vicki's Burger, Burritos and... Dickinson/Texas City - Burgers, Mexican 9302 FM 2004
Viva Mexico Dickinson/Texas City - Mexican, Tex-Mex 5828 Fm 517 Rd E
Zealeto Lindo Mexican... NASA/Clear Lake - Mexican 1212 Nasa Pkwy

Durango's : A Restaurant's Requiem

A friend, my wife, and I attempted to go out to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant on Saturday night.  We drove into the strip center and there was no sign of life.  I got out of the car, peered in the window and saw that all of the furnishings had been removed.  Durango's was dead. 

We've been going to eat there for about 20 years.

It was run by one set of folks for the first few years.  The owner then got out of the business and sold to the least friendly waiter on staff.  He wasn't unfriendly, just the least friendly.  The food continued to be good and the prices were good. 

I'm amazed that they stayed in business as long as they did, as it was very rarely crowded.  The busies they ever were was the weekend the Houston Chronicle featured them in their dining guide.  They had a line out the door.  We chose to skip eating there that night .

House margaritas ranged from $0.99 to $2.99 over the years (and always had a nice amount of tequila in them), and my favorite dish (Combination #1) was $9.95 (cheese enchilada, tamale, rice, beans, beef taco, chalupa, guacamole and a tostada)

The chips and salsa were highlights.  The chips were thin and light and the salsa was freshly made and not cooked.  You never knew how spicy the salsa was going to be because they might throw in a little extra heat on any given day.

Our favorite waiter quit about a year ago when he had a disagreement with the daytime manager.  He was able to find another job even though he has a questionable immigration status.

So long, Durango's, I miss you already.

Now we have to find a replacement.......................

Weekend update

Friday:

Lunch at Fuddrucker's
Aikido

Saturday:

Up too early
Blueberry muffins and pancakes
Aikido
Football
Dinner with K and K.  We attempted to go to Durango's, but they have closed up shop :(  We went to Eduardo's just down the strip center and were mightily disappointed in the margaritas, chips, salsa and food.

Sunday:

Up too early again
Breakfast and then back to bed
Football
Spread two loads of fill dirt over some of the pine tree roots in the yard.
Football

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 10/6/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Troy, Hussein, and Liz

Ukemi:

Watched over Liz

The Walk:

Twice as usual.  One rep we did with Trey, Troy and I sequentially calling out the count. (e.g. Trey called ichi, I called ni, Troy called san, Trey called shi, etc.) It was an interesting exercise.

Releases:

Troy was working with Liz.  She was having trouble at usual spots, so I brought over one of the foam bokken in the dojo and had her imagine that she was attempting to grab the hilt of the sword on some of the releases.  It seemed to help.  I did help with Charles the previous night.

Techniques:

Trey and I worked together most of the afternoon.  I did a little work on the Mae-otoshi techniques from the first 14 of Yon Kata.

Trey did some work on Owaza Ju Pon.  We spent a lot of time working on Kubi Garuma.  He got very close but was just a bit off for a while.  We made one little correction and I went flying.  My landing was a little off and stung my back a little.

We moved on and worked Aiki Nage, Shihonage, Ushiro-ate, and Kote gaeshi.  Aiki went fairly well, Shiho went very well, and we played a bit with Ushiro-ate off-balances up versus down.  We also experimented with the pacing and direction of Kote gaeshi, but it came together fairly quickly and well.

Aftermath:

A little ache from the Guruma fall and the Kote gaeshi fall.  Nothing major.

Aikido Friday Night - 10/5/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Troy, Charles, and Liz

Ukemi:

Full set!!!!

The Walk:

Twice as usual

Releases:

Oversaw Trey working with Charles

Techniques:

I watched Trey and Charles work on Shomen-ate and Aigamae-ate, occasionally jumping in as uke.

Tim then had Trey and Troy work together and I took over working with Charles and Liz.  We did a run through of Shomen-ate, Aigamae-ate and Gyaku-gamae-ate.  Liz had trouble with Aigamae-ate with me, we ran through several times and she got closer to managing it, but she still needs some reps working with someone my size.

I also got to run through the first fourteen of Yon Kata with Trey and Troy.

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Thursday Night - 10/4/2012

Aikido players: Sal

Ukemi:

None tonight.

The Walk:

Once

Releases:

We spent the rest of the evening working through releases.  Sal said he wanted to work on them since it'd been a while.

Techniques:

None tonight

Aftermath:

None of note.

Volleyball, 2-1

We started off with 5 players to our opponents 4 and were losing.  They added a fifth and we managed to right our ship and win the last two games.  They were all fairly close, we won the final game 15-13, I think.


10.01.2012

Weekend update

Friday:

Lunch at Perry's Grille and Steakhouse on Scarsdale
Aikido
Refreshed the sourdough starter

Saturday:

Blueberry muffins
aikido
football
Corn bread
Worked on the first dough for some sourdough bread

Sunday:

Worked on the sourdough
nap
football
baked the sourdough
made lasagna


Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 9/29/2012

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


Ukemi:

Full set!!!!  And I watched Gayle work on her backfalls


The Walk:

Twice as usual


Releases:

Oversaw Hussein and Marvin working together


Techniques:

Hussein and Marvin worked on Shomen-ate and Aigamae-ate for the afternoon


Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Friday Night - 9/29/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Charles, and Liz

Ukemi:

Full set!!!!

The Walk:

Twice as usual

Releases:

Ran through Charles' set

Techniques:

Charles and I worked on Ushiro-ate all evening.  We had some successes, but we're still having problems getting hung up on uke's wrist when entering.

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Thursday Night - 9/27/2012

Aikido players: Brad and Sal

Ukemi:

None tonight.

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

Brad and Sal worked on gedan-ate all evening.  Trying to come up with a way to prevent tori leading with his shoulder instead of his hand. 

At the end of the night we did a little work on Shomen-ate, just to have a little success in the evening

Aftermath:

None of note.

Volleyball, 0-3

Lost another close set, at least all three games were close.  I did add some jumping to my repertoire this week.

Weekend update - FenCon

K. and I woke up bright and early Friday morning (5:15 a.m.) and were out on the road by around 6 a.m. up to Dallas (Addison, actually).  It was a good thing there were two of us in the car: we could drive in the HOV lane.  Traffic going into town was a bit heavy.  The HOV made it bearable.  I had trouble navigating the exit from HOV and back onto 45 north, but we finally made it.

We stopped in Fairfield for breakfast and then in Corsicana for a stop at the Russell Stover's factory.  During the drive in, K. looked up the details for the convention and discovered that the Artists Guest of Honor was Donato Giancola, someone I've wanted a piece by for a while, probably since LACon 3 or 4.  After my recent splurges at WorldCon, I'd pledged not to buy any art until Worldcon next year.  With knowledge that Donato was at FenCon, I knew I was unlikely to hold to that promise.

 Dallas traffic was not too bad and we made it to the convention hotel by around 11 a.m.  Too early for our room to be ready.  So, we split up to our respective areas for the con and got to work.  K in the con suite, me in the Art Show.

The art show was assembled already, so I was assigned to hanging some of the mail-in art, and my own.  Jimmy said mail-in art submissions were down for this con, so there was not too, much art to hang.

K and I got together for dinner and football viewing at Snuffer's, just up Midway a bit.

Saturday was more of the same, with art auction prep involved as well.  I'd seen a piece of Donato's in the charity auction and had determined I could bid on that safely.  However, late in the afternoon, Donato had some free time and came into the Art Show and started a sketch based on a photo of someone who looked a lot like Gandalf.  The piece I remember most of Donato's from LACon was a pencil and chalk drawing of Gandalf in 3/4 profile.  This piece was of Gandalf sitting and smoking a pipe which, to my mind, was more representative of Gandalf than the other.  I was excited and hoped Donato would put the piece up for sale or auction.  When he was done, he told Jimmy to put it in the charity auction.  I was doomed, I knew the piece had to come home with me.

Jimmy brought pizza in for dinner for the folks working the art show/auction and we started organizing stuff by bidder and entering the pieces into the computer.

I stayed doing that until late in the auction, I did not want to miss my chance.  I was going to bid on the pencil and chalk sketch of Boromir and the Gandalf piece.  Prices and the order of the pieces coming up would determine what, if anything, I would come home with.  The Boromir piece went up first and bidding was lively.  I dropped out at $250, showing some fiscal sense although it was a steal at that price.  A few pieces later, as the last piece in the auction, the Gandalf piece went up.  I ended up bidding against a friend and fellow artist and art show worker.  She bowed out when she could not justify any further bids and I ended up with the piece.

K and I met up around 9 and thought about going to grab a bite to eat, she decided to turn in for the evening.

We were up early in the morning and worked until around 4 p.m., packed up and headed back home.  We stopped for dinner in Fairfield at this bbq/gas station.  Not bad, but not great.

We made it home around 9:30 to a big greeting from the pups.

I did manage to sell one piece in the art show, a spalted maple bottle stopper.

Aikido Thursday Night - 9/20/2012

Aikido players: Brad

Ukemi:

None tonight.

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

Brad and I worked on his gedan-ate all evening.  Trying to come up with a way to prevent tori leading with his shoulder instead of his hand.  Leading with the shoulder results in this being a thrown done with the upper arm instead of the center.

Aftermath:

None of note.

9.20.2012

Volleyball, 1-2

Finally back on the volleyball court for the first time in about 2 or 3 months. I took it easy and did not do any spikes. We managed to eke out a win in one game against a team that had a number of players from an old competitive league team of mine. Glad to be back on the court.

9.17.2012

Weekend update

Friday

Lunch at Magnolia Cafe and Bakery. Tried to have lunch at 2 Brothers Pasta, but they have closed. Much sadness.
Aikido

Saturday

Blueberry muffins
Aikido
Made reservations for some upcoming trips
Went to Office Depot to get some stuff ordered for next year's WorldCon. Found they would not take my credit card because I'd just put all of the trip charges on it. Luckily I had enough cash to cover the orders, but not enough to buy the stuff that did not have to be ordered.
Made a Sour Cream/Citrus Pound Cake
Grilled out steaks
Football

Sunday

Nap
Football
Moved my mom's mattress to the curb

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 9/15/2012

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

Ukemi:

Did most of the usual warm-up falls. Did not do the twist-around falls.

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

Worked with Marvin. Did my releases and then he did his.

Techniques:

Worked with Marvin on 1-3. Brad came in around this time and worked with him on Gedan-ate.

Worked with Trey on 1-14 of Koryu Dai Yon No Kata. These are starting to be enjoyable and I'm getting lighter with my reactions.

Aftermath:

None of note.

9.15.2012

Aikido Friday Night - 9/14/12

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Troy, Sal, and Marvin

Ukemi:

I actuall took a couple of warm-up falls, but then spent a lot of time with Troy working with Sal on correcting and issue with his falls.

The Walk:

Twice, as usual, with Sal and Marvin.

Releases:

I worked with Sal and Marvin on their set.

Techniques:

Tim worked with Sal and Marvin on 1-4.

I worked with them and with Troy and Trey as explored Kata Otoshi for most of the two hours. It was frustrating, but we did have some success. As Trey was saying, we get to work on it about once every three months and each time, it takes us most of an evening to re-acquaint ourselves with it. It really is a cornerstone technique in the Big Ten. If you can nail Kata Otoshi, the Gurumas should be a piece of cake.

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Thursday Night - 9/13/12

Aikido players: Troy, Kim, and Sal

Ukemi:

None tonight.

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

We did "monkey-in-the-middle" with Kim and Sal working on Oshi-taoshi and Ude-gaeshi.

Troy got some time with me working on Kata-otoshi. We had no success (either with me as uke or as tori), but it's the toughest and most exacting technique in the Big Ten. It seems the simplest, but everything must work well and at the right time.

Aftermath:

None of note.

9.11.2012

Lunching out: Taqueria El Nopalito

Friday lunch, was just a short jaunt up the feeder to Taqueria El Nopalito. They've taken over an old diner, similar to Denny's, and repurposed it for Mexican food.

The chips were thick and hefty. I don't usually like them that way, I'm more of a thin and light person, but these were pretty good. They brought out red and green salsa, both of which were tasty, with the green beeing the spicier of the two.

I ordered the special of the day: parillada (mixed chicken and beef). The meat had a decent flavor, but it had been grilled over a flattop instead of a flame, so substantial points off for that. The tortillas were good, as the guacamole, tortillas and other fixings.


Overall a decent experience and probably the best and closest Mexican restaurant to work.

The trip back to work was rough, as the Dixie Farm Road was not available for me to cross the freeway. I had to take a longer route back to the office.

9.10.2012

Weekend update

Friday

Lunch at Taqueria El Nopalito.
Rehab
Aikido

Saturday

Blueberry muffins
Mailed out an Artfire sale
Aikido
Worked on Art Show Helper
Started batch of Italian bread

Sunday

Mowed some of the back 40
Football
Made the Italian bread

Weekend update: WorldCon edition (8/28-9/4/2012)

Tuesday:

Left H-Town bright and early with a 8 a.m. flight into Chicago. Landed and caught the Orange Line to State and Lake and walked to the Hyatt from there. Left K to work Logistics while I went and worked Art Show build

Dinner at Giordano's - good pizza

Wednesday:

Breakfast on my own at the hotel restaurant - expensive buffet!

In to the art show for more work

Dinner at Giordano's again

Thursday:

Breakfast with K. at the Corner Bakery cafe. We were trying to eat at Heaven on Seven, but they don't open for breakfast until 9 a.m.

Back into our respective worlds.

Dinner at Sweetwater Tavern and Grille, just a block or two from the hotel

Friday:

Breakfast at Houlihan's $10 buffet.

More con work. Actually got to a reading by Kristine Smith and got an autograph from Geoff Ryman.

Dinner at Houlihan's

Saturday:

Breakfast at Houlihan's $10 buffet.

More con work. Got to a reading by Juanita Coulson and grabbed an autograph from Ben Bova

Dinner at the Elephant and Castle

Sunday:

Breakfast at the Toni Patisserie and Cafe (Houlihan's was closed)

More con work. End of art show silent bidding, art show live auction, lots of folks settling their tabs from the art show.

Dinner at a restaurant that I did not use my credit card, so I can't remember what it was. Ah, it was Billy Goat Tavern the place immortalized by John Belushi on SNL in the Cheezborger skit.

Monday:

Breakfast at Houlihan's $10 buffet.

Folks settling their tabs at the art show, artists checking out and the disassembling of the Art Show.

Dinner at P. J. Clarke's

Tuesday:

Breakfast at Houlihan's $10 buffet.

More disassembling of the Art Show.

Caught the Orange Line to Midway and chilled for several hours before our flight. Attempted to catch an earlier flight, but would have flown standby the entire way and it would have gotten us into town just 30 minutes before our planned flight.

I had a good time at the con, did not get to many panels, but did not expect to. I was glad to have my wife along, it made for a much more enjoyable adventure.

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 9/8/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Marvin, Liz, Charles, and Hussein

Ukemi:

None for me today

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

Worked with Hussein on his releases. We spent quite a bit of time and made it through 7 of the 8.

Techniques:

Worked with Marvin on Ushiro-ate and Oshi-taoshi. Managed to get him to be a little lighter on Ushiro and tweaked the armbar on Oshi to be a little more effective.

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Friday Night - 9/7/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Troy, Sal, Liz, and Charles

Ukemi:

None for me tonight

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

I worked with Charles on his set

Techniques:

Worked with Sal on 1-10 right-sided. We actually made it through all ten without much of a delay at any one particular technique.

Aftermath:

Took more falls than I have in quite a while, things are looking up with the rehab.

Aikido Thursday Night - 9/6/2012

Aikido players: Troy, Kim, Brad, and Sal

Ukemi:

None tonight.

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

Kim and Brad worked on Ushiro-ate all evening

Troy and Sal worked on 6-10.

Aftermath:

None of note.

8.27.2012

Weekend update

Friday:

Lunch at Durango's
Rehab session
Aikido

Saturday:

Blueberry muffins
Bank errands
Aikido
Picked up cupcakes at Rise Cupcakes (too much icing)
Roast Beef stew for dinner

Sunday:

Lunch with the family to celebrate birthdays. We went to Phoenicia in town and had a nice lunch. Picked up some "Herbs de Provence" and some Mediterranean spice combo.
Nap
Football

Ongoing concern:

Will Isaac come and visit us or will he hit New Orleans instead.

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 8/25/2012 (Troy's Nikkyu Demonstration)

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Troy, Brad, Liz, Charles, and Hussein

Ukemi:

None for me today

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

Oversaw Liz and Brad working on their releases.

Techniques:

Helped minimally with Troy and Trey's final rep before demonstration. Took a couple of falls in a Blum-line of Brad and the white belts.

Sat on the board for and filmed Troy's demonstration. He was demonstrating for Nikkyu, but we had him work through the techniques for Ikkyu. So, once he has time-in-grade for Ikkyu, he will be awarded that rank.

He did a fantastic job on the demonstration. Trey played a little with Troy's mind to ease up the tension. Trey would call out the technique and side just before starting the attack. Troy works better under those conditions than in the more traditional in order list for a demonstration.

Aftermath:

Took me several reps to remember how to tie my hakama.

Aikido Friday Night - 8/24/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Troy, Marvin, Gale, Liz, and Charles

Ukemi:

None for me tonight

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

I worked with Marvin on his set

Techniques:

Oversaw Troy and Trey working on Troy's demonstration techniques. He has a demonstration on Saturday.

Worked with the others on some of their techniques. I specifically remember working with Marvin on Ushiro-ate. He's still using a lot of power, but I did get him to lighten up on one rep, at least.

Aftermath:

First official Rehab session this afternoon. Some tough exercises.

8.24.2012

Aikido Thursday Night - 8/23/2012

Aikido players: Troy, and Sal

Ukemi:

None tonight.

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

Troy and Sal worked their way down from Waki-gatame down to Ushiro-ate on the left side, in deference to Sal's sore right arm. Troy had some initial issues with Waki-gatame, but I think that was "lots of work, little sleep" brain. Once he got warmed up, he did well.

Sal did well, he's having some issues foot work on the 3-step that he's having to learn.

Aftermath:

Had my PT evaluation today. Icing the knees tonight, actual therapy session tomorrow.

8.20.2012

Weekend update

Friday

Lunch at Chester's Deli with K.
Worked on Art Show Helper
Aikido

Saturday

Blueberry muffins
Walked the dogs
Aikido
Grilled out burgers, chicken,. and salmon for dinner with K. and K.
Watched "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows"

Sunday

Slept very late
Watched Little League World Series
Made a batch of "War Bread"
Worked on ArmadilloCon checks

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 8/18/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Troy, Marvin, Brad, Gale, Liz, Charles, Jim, and Hussein

Ukemi:

None for me this afternoon. Helped Gale with her backfalls.

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

I worked with Marvin through his set.

Techniques:

I worked with Brad, Marvin, and Gale as a set as they worked through Oshi-taoshi and Ude-gaeshi. We demonstrated hiki-taoshi and ude-hineri so that they would have some exposure to them.

Trey and Troy worked on 1-17 for the last hour of class.

Aftermath:

Still the knees.

Aikido Friday Night - 8/17/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Troy, Liz, and Charles

Ukemi:

None for me tonight

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

I worked with Charles on his set

Techniques:

Worked with Charles on 1-3. My knee started complaining after a couple of reps on Gyaku-gamae-ate and so I bowed out of uke work. Charles is looking pretty good on his first five.

Aftermath:

Diagnosis from the doc after seeing the MRI: sprained ACL, MCL and Patellar tendinosis. Going to be getting some rehab. I think I'll be staying away from sand volleyball

Aikido Thursday Night - 8/16/2012

Aikido players: Troy, Kim Sal, and Brad

Ukemi:

None tonight.

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

Kim and Brad both worked on Oshi-taoshi, Ude-gaeshi.

Troy and Sal worked on Oshi-taoshi, Ude-gaeshi, mainly with Sal as left-sided uke because of pain in his right arm.

Aftermath:

Knees.

8.14.2012

Weekend update

Friday

Lunch at Burger House
Aikido
Olympics

Saturday

Blueberry muffins
Olympics
Aikido
Olympics
Dinner with K. and the in-laws at Cullen's American Grill - my food was over salted. I don't expect to go back
Olympics

Sunday

Worked on another bread recipe
Olympics
Nap
Olympics
Grilled out some salmon
Olympics

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 8/11/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Troy, and Hussein

Ukemi:

None for me this afternoon

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

I worked with Hussein for a while before Trey took over.

Techniques:

I worked on the last 11 of the 25 from Koryu Dai Yon. This portion is not yet set in my mind as to the order. We're definitely not doing it in the order that Nick at Windsong shows it on his video. I know the first two are the "come-along" and the "come-along-through-the-rabbit-hole".

I was having my usual trouble with the various kote-gaeshi where I raise my hands higher than I need to as I'm pivoting. I was also having the issue of leaving out a step on my pivots, a right foot step, and that caused my left foot to be planted when it should be floating.

Aftermath:

Still the knees.

Aikido Friday Night - 8/10/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Troy, Liz, and Charles

Ukemi:

None for me tonight

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

None for me tonight

Techniques:

Worked on my first 14 of Koryu Dai Yon No Kata with Troy as an uke. I was having an issue on #3, which is a response to the first release. My timing was off. That's really the essence of Yon Kata, it's a timing kata. O Waza Ju Pon is the first set of techniques that timing is critical, Yon Kata just revisits it intensely.

I also had a little trouble, as usual, determining the technique on some of the counters.

I then helped Liz and Charles on their first couple of techniques.

Aftermath:

Still the knees.

8.12.2012

Item of the Week - Baron Rollerball in Amboyna Burl


This week's item is a Baron Rollerball turned out of a fantastic burl wood: Amboyna Burl. Amboyna Burl is one of the most distinctive and sought after burl woods available today. With heartwood ranging in color from golden yellow to deep red, and with beautifully contrasting, straw-colored sapwood - not to mention an inherent, often spectacular, wavy grain pattern - Amboyna Burl makes this pen gorgeous. The specimen used for this pen has a wide range of colors in it.

his is a Baron style pen with a rollerball refill turned out of an Amboyna Burl blank with gold hardware. It has a nice heft to it and is probably a good size for a man's hand. The cap for this pen screws onto the cap to close the pen, or to the end of the barrel to keep it close while writing. This pen takes Hauser refills.

Here's a link to the listing on artfire. Drop me a line for a 25% discount.

8.10.2012

Aikido Thursday Night - 8/9/2012

Aikido players: Kim and Brad

Ukemi:

None tonight, still waiting for the Doc to review the  MRI of my knees

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

Kim and Brad both worked on Shomen-ate, Gyakugamae-ate and Ushiro-ate.  Worked on roles of tori and uke to make certain they're giving good off-balances and reactions to the off-balance.

Aftermath:

Knees.

8.07.2012

Weekend update

Friday

Lunch at Dixie Deli
Aikido

Saturday

Blueberry muffins
Olympics
Aikido
Olympics
Dinner with K. and K. at Durango's
Olympics

Sunday

Olympics
Some time mowing the ditch.  I lasted a far shorter amount of time than I expected.
Nap
Olympics

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 8/4/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Marvin, Gale, Liz, Charles, and Hussein

Ukemi:

None for me tonight

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

Oversaw Liz and Gale working together

Techniques:

Oversaw Liz and Gale working together on Shomen-ate and Aigamai-ate

Aftermath:

Still the knees.

Aikido Friday Night - 8/3/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Troy, Dan, Liz, Charles, and Jim

Ukemi:

None for me tonight

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

Worked with Jim on his set.

Techniques:

None for me tonight

Aftermath:

Still the knees.

8.03.2012

Weekend update - ArmadilloCon weekend

I spent last weekend in Austin, running the art show for Armadillocon 32.  I think this is the 8th or 9th year in a row that I've been in charge. The sales we had were astounding.  We started off busy, seemed to drop off a bit, but ended up having a great show.

Thursday:

Up bright and early (5:15 a.m.) to do final packing and hit the road.  I made it Granger around 8:45 a.m. and picked up my order of kolaches and 10 links of sausage from the store in town.  I also did some touring around, looking to see if any of the commercial buildings were for sale.  I think it would be neat to buy one, refurbish it and use it for a combination home/martial arts dojo.  Then it was on to Austin.  I stopped by the hotel, hoping my room was available so I could unload.  It was not, so I went on to Central Market for my weekend supply of root beer and then to Aikido of Austin to watch their noon session.

From aikido, it was back to the hotel to unload the truck.  After that, I had a couple of hours of free time until the pre-con dinner.  So, I went down to the pool, caught some rays and did some swimming.
The pre-con dinner was at a nearby Mexican restaurant, more inner than Tex-Mex.  Pretty good stuff, but expensive.  I think I might avoid it next year.

After dinner, it was time to assemble the art show.  It took us about 2 hours to build the show.   I  distributed the boxes of mail-in art to be at the spots where they would get hung in the morning.   I got to bed around 11 p.m., I think.

Friday:

Up bright and early for breakfast in the hotel and then off to the art show to start hanging art.  Tomi Welch provided a priceless amount of help in helping me hang the art.  We were ready to go by about 2 p.m., folks started wandering while we were still setting up.

We were open until around 9:30 p.m.  We were going to try to close at 6 p.m. and then re-open at 7:30 p.m. when the "Meet the Pros" occurred, but the Dealer's Room stayed open until 7 p.m. and we had to stick around.  I zipped off to Threadgill's for dinner after we closed.

Saturday:

Up bright and early for breakfast at Kerbey Lane on Guadalupe.  I won't be going back to that location.  The day pretty much flew by all the way through the auction.  We had 21 pieces go to auction where I auctioneered and Rhonda Eudaly did a fabulous job as a runner in her Ravenwood leather outfits job getting folks to bid.  We did a total of $8200(!!!!) sales in the art show for the weekend.

Dinner was at Enchiladas Y Mas with some of the Art Show crew.

Sunday

Up bright and early for breakfast in the hotel and then off to the art show.   The next thing I knew, the art show was torn down and all of the artists were checked out.  I waited around for one of the local artists and to move packages up to my room, so I was unable to help unload the art show supplies at the storage unit, but I did make it to the post-con dinner at County Ljne Bar-B-Q.  It's ok stuff, not great.

Back at the hotel, I had to do final paperwork and packing of the mail-in art for mail-out on Monday.  Laura Domitz and Jimmy Simpson, and Tomi did a fantastic job of packing up the art for me.

I hit the Dead Dog party for a bit, and then went to bed.

Monday:

Up early, without breakfast, to pack the truck and to try to hit UPS, USPS and FedEx when they opened so I could mail out all of the packages.  I think I managed to get on the road by 9:30 a.m.  I made it home by about 12:30 p.m.

Next year, I get to do something similar for WorldCon.  No ArmadilloCon, thank goodness.

Aikido Thursday Night - 8/2/2012

Aikido players: Troy, Brad, and Dan

Ukemi:

None tonight, still waiting on MRI of my knees

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

Troy worked on Shihonage.

Brad worked on Oshi-taoshi and Hiki-taoshi.

Dan worked on 3 step and Oshi-taoshi and Hiki-taoshi.

Aftermath:

MRI soon, no issue with joint or ligaments visible without it.

Lunching out: Coastal Crossing

I ended my workday on Friday around noon by stopping off in Alvin at the Coastal Crossing Grill. It used to be the Barbed Rose, but the owners reincarnated the restaurant. I'd wanted to make it down to the Barbed Rose, but never managed to do so. Short and to the point: good, but a little far to be able to go there and make it back to work as it's about a 30 minute drive.

The place was not very busy, and I was welcomed and seated immediately. The decor was nice, but I spent most of my time working Sudoku and crosswords so can't describe it well.

The menu ranges from sandwiches and po-boys to fried chicken and steaks. I chose the pecan-crusted chicken with a side of mac & cheese. The waitress tried to convince me to get the sauce on the side of the chicken, saying a number of folks did not like it and she did not want to have to replace my order. I declined that option. When the order came, the sauce was a very mild mustard-based sauce. I can't imagine too many folks having an issue with it. Both the chicken and the mac were good dishes.

I order the Pecan Pie for dessert. I suspect it's not a restaurant made dish. I was not impressed.

I've waited too long to write this up, so I've forgotten how much the lunch cost me. I suspect it was about $18.


Coastal Crossing Grill on Urbanspoon

7.30.2012

Item of the week - Handmade Phoenix Ballpoint pen in Ancient Bog Oak with Gold hardware

Handmade Phoenix Ballpoint pen in Ancient Bog Oak with Gold hardware - this is a relatively new style of pen I'm trying. I'm moderately happy with them. I love the Bog Oak I used for this pen, it's a good substitue for Ebony and finishes nicely. But it does get a fine black dust everywhere. This pen looks like it is a click pen, but it is actually a single twist mechanism. It's about 5-1/2 inches long and weighs a bit less than 2 ounces and uses a Parker refill.

Until Sunday, the 5th, contact me and I'll set you up with 25% on the purchase of this pen.



7.24.2012

At the movies: Brave

Brave: 4

Another good Pixar movie.

The short before the movie was "La Luna", a film about how the phase of the moon is maintained.

I enjoyed Brave quite a bit. There were a number of laugh out loud moments which are a rarity for me. The hair animation was outstanding. The story was a nice one about pride and its consequences.

The one thing that I did not like was the mom's reaction when Merida's bow was in the fire. That did not ring as a true reaction.

I'd be happy to see it again, I doubt if I will as I'm so far behind on seeing first run movies.

Sunrise Monday morning

I took this picture looking East from work Monday morning. Storms followed later in the day.

Weekend update

Friday:

Lunch at Coastal Crossing
Aikido

Saturday:

Blueberry muffins
Aikido
Dinner with the in-laws

Sunday:

Slept very late
British Open on TV
Brave at the theater
Raisin Cinnamon Swirl bread

7.23.2012

Item of the week - Cigar style ballpoint pen in Bethlehem Olivewood w satin gold hardware

Cigar style ballpoint pen in Bethlehem Olivewood with satin gold hardware - This is a Cigar style Ballpoint pen turned out of Olive Wood from Bethlehem, the Holy Land, with Satin Gold hardware. It is 6 inches long and weighs about 2 ounces. It uses a Parker refill. This pen has a double-twist mechanism.

The Olive Wood tree is a subtropical, broad-leaved, evergreen tree, with edible fruit. They range in height from 3 to 8 meters with numerous branches. In October, the trees are pruned and the wood is made available to craftsmen, like me, to create gorgeous pens. The trees range in age from a few years old to a few thousand. The tree used to make this pen may have been alive at the time of Christ.

It is a very comfortable pen for those with larger hands or for those who have trouble grasping smaller objects. It's about 11 mm in diameter where I grasp it for writing.

Until Sunday, the 29th, contact me and I'll set you up with 25% on the purchase of this pen.



7.21.2012

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 7/21/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Troy, Marvin, Gayle, and Hussein

Ukemi:

Worked with Gayle

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

Worked with Hussein on his set. And watched Troy and Gaye work on theirs.

Techniques:

Commented on Troy and Trey working on O Waza Ju Pon and 11-13 of Ju Nana Hon Kata

Aftermath:

Nothing new on the knee front.

Aikido Friday Night - 7/20/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Troy, and Jim

Ukemi:

None for me tonight

The Walk:

Twice, as usual. And then worked with Jim on an individual basis.

Releases:

Worked with Jim on his set.

Techniques:

None for me tonight

Aftermath:

Still the knees.

Aikido Thursday Night - 7/19/12

Aikido players: Troy, Sal, and Brad

Ukemi:

None tonight, my knees are wonky and I want to let them rest

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

I wanted to have them work on Hiki-taoshi, Ude-gaeshi and Wami gatame. We made it through Hiki-taoshi and Ude-gaeshi.

Aftermath:

Going to the Doc in about 10 days.

7.16.2012

Weekend update

Friday:

Lunch at Burger House
Aikido

Saturday:

Blueberry muffins
Bank stuff
Aikido
Late lunch with the Aikido crowd at Cajun Craven
ArmadilloCon stuff
Dinner K and K at Durango's

Sunday:

Slept very late
ArmadilloCon stuff
GHG Company event at Main Event
Raisin Cinnamon Swirl bread

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 7/14/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Jeff, Gail, Nathan, Brian (from Jeff's dojo) Troy, Marvin, Charlse, Liz, and Hussein

Ukemi:

None by anyone.

The Walk:

Not today.

Releases:

Not today

Techniques:

Jeff came down from Killeen with his crew and we worked on what he called bases of a throw and the triangle of your center and your feet.

The bases of a throw are: your feet, your waist, or your shoulders. Essentially, the axis about which the throw occurs. Most of the techniques in the Ju Nana Han Kata are 3rd base (or shoulder) throws. Some of them, though, are multiple base throws. They start with one base and end with another.

Mostly shoulder-based throws: Shomen-ate, Ushiro-ate, Oshitaoshi, Ude-gaeshi, Hiki-toshi, Ude-hineri, Kote-hineri, Kote-gaeshi, Tenkai kote-hineri, Shihonage, and Hiki otoshi

Mostly waist-based throws: Gedan-ate

There aren't any mostly foot based throws, but there are some that at least start with the inability to move the foot for recovery: Aigamae-ate, Gyaku gamae-ate, Sumi otoshi, Hiki otoshi

Aigamae-ate, Gyaku gamae-ate, in my opinion, are foot and waist based. The shoulders do get moving, but they have to over take the waist that leads the fall.

Mae-otoshi is a shoulder and waist based throw. It's similar to Gedan-ate with an additional shoulder element.

Gail and I sat around and worked throw most of these verbally. We were both a little hampered by aches and pains so we did not work through them physically.

The triangle is another way of presenting what we call the holes in a person's balance. If you take a person's balance there is a triangle formed between their feet and their center. The sides of the triangle, other than the one between the two feet, are spots that you can thrown the person. I think the smaller side, while being tougher to find, will be the better one to throw the person over.

So, as you're working with uke, figure out where their triangle is and that will lead you to where you need to drive your center to accomplish a throw.

Aftermath:

Lunch at Cajun Craven with most of the crew.

Item of the week - Phoenix Ballpoint pen in Ambrosia Maple with Gold hardware

Phoenix Ballpoint pen in Ambrosia Maple with Gold hardware - this is a relatively new style of pen I'm trying. I'm moderately happy with them. I'm amazed that this one turned out, I ususallu have a ton of trouble turning pens out of Ambrosia Maple. This pen looks like it is a click pen, but it is actually a single twist mechanism. It's about 5-1/2 inches long and weighs a bit less than 2 ounces and uses a Parker refill.

Until Sunday, the 22th, contact me and I'll set you up with 25% on the purchase of this pen.




7.14.2012

Aikido Friday Night - 7/13/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Troy, Marvin, Gayle, Charles, and Liz

Ukemi:

None for me tonight

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

Worked with Charles on his set.

Techniques:

Worked with Charles on Shomen-ate and Aigamae-ate, then went and watched Troy and Trey work on 1-6.

Aftermath:

Knees are still sore, but they don't feel as fragile as they did. Healing?

7.13.2012

Aikido Thursday Night - 7/12/2012

Aikido players: Troy, Sal, and Brad

Ukemi:

None tonight, my knees are wonky and I want to let them rest

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

Sal and Brad worked on 1-3. Troy worked on 6-8. Brad got locked up on the hip switch Aigamae-ate. Sal was preventing uke from falling on Gyakugamae-ate. Troy was chicken-winging on Oshotaoshi.

After 15 minute stretching and ukemi, I tried to get 3 reps on each side for each technique for each student. I managed to get a couple of extra reps in in some situations and ended the class right on time.

I don't know if it's better for me to stay out and have the other folks work together or to split up into two sets of two. I did jump in a couple of times to feel what was going on and offer suggestions.

Aftermath:

Darn knees.

7.10.2012

Item of the week - Handmade Phoenix Ballpoint in Desert Ironwood with Gold hardware

Handmade Phoenix Ballpoint in Desert Ironwood with Gold hardware - this is a relatively new style of pen I'm trying. I'm moderately happy with them. It does look good with the gold tone hardware and the Desert Ironwood body. This pen looks like it is a click pen, but it is actually a single twist mechanism. It's about 5-1/2 inches long and weighs a bit less than 2 ounces and uses a Parker refill.

Until Sunday, the 15th, contact me and I'll set you up with 25% on the purchase of this pen.



Weekend update

Friday:

Lunch at 2 Brothers Pasta
Aikido

Saturday:

Blueberry muffins
Bank stuff
Aikido
Wimbledon
Dinner with the in-laws

Sunday:

Wimbledon
Naps

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 6/9/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Troy, Marvin, Dan, Gayle and Hussein

Ukemi:

None. Still treating the knee

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

I worked with Hussein to see what his releases were like.

Techniques:

We spent some time at the end working on Troy's stuff. I watched as I'm trying to limit my ukeing at the moment

Aftermath:

Babying the knee.

7.07.2012

Aikido Friday Night - 6/8/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Phillip, Troy, Sal, Dan, Charles, Liz, and Jim

Ukemi:

None for me tonight

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

Worked with Charles on his set and then worked with Jim on the first two.

Techniques:

None for me tonight. Tim took it easy on my knees.

Aftermath:

Knees.

Aikido Thursday Night - 7/5/12

Aikido players: Sal

Ukemi:

None tonight, my knees are wonky and I want to let them rest

The Walk:

Not on Thursdays

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

We worked on 1-5. Gedanate went unusually well, Ushiro-ate had issues.

Aftermath:

Going to have to figure out what's up with my knees.

7.02.2012

Weekend update

Friday:

Lunch at Tookie's
Aikido

Saturday

Blueberry muffins
Aikido
Nap
Dinner at Durango's with K.
I could have gone to my 30th H. S. Reunion, but I was not in the mood for that much socialization

Sunday

Nap
Lunch with some friends from out of town
Nap
Made a batch of "Grandma A's Ranch Hand Bread"
Olympic Trials on TV


I think I might be rested from the previous two weekends of conventions. I've got a few more weeks before my next convention.

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 6/30/2012

Aikido players: Tim, Trey, Marvin, Dan, Gayle (and a potential new student was watching from the sidelines. A former student of L. F. Wilkinson)

Ukemi:

Full set

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

I worked with Gayle on her set.

Techniques:

I spent most of the afternoon working with Gayle on Shomen-ate and Aigamae-ate.

Aftermath:

None of note.