July 2017


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draconis: Default icon (Default)
Sunday, July 9th, 2017 09:05 pm
I've recently begun re-reading a book by one of my favorite authors, Jim Butcher: "The Aeronaut's Windlass." He has one of those conversations in it that makes you stop and think -- or at least it made me do so.

The conversation is about dueling. The first speaker is saying that dueling is outdated, no longer necessary.


"We're a civilized society, are we not?"

Esterbrook blinked. "Since when, miss? We're a democracy."

"Just what I mean We have dispensed with violence as a means of governing ourselves, have we not?"

"The heart of democracy is violence, Miss Tagwynn," Esterwood said. "In order to decide what to do, we take a count of everone for and against it, and then do whatever the larger side wishes to do. We're having a symbolic battle, its outcome decided by simple numbers. It saves us time and no end of trouble counting actual bodies -- but don't mistake it for anything but ritualized violence. And every few years, if the person we elected doesn't do the job we wanted, we vote him out of office -- we symbolically behead him and replace him with someone else. Again, without the actual pain and bloodshed, bit acting out the ritual of violence nonetheless. It's actually a very practical way of getting things done."


An interesting way of looking at it. Thank you, Jim Butcher
draconis: Default icon (oriental green)
Sunday, April 9th, 2017 11:37 pm
I haven't been terribly active on this site for a long time. Most of my posts here have been written on DW and cross-posted to here.

The recent changes here are ones that I am not willing to endorse or operate under. As such, I am importing all of my LJ posts over to my DW account and will be deleting all content here ASAP.

Those here who wish to keep in touch, please feel free to contact me as "Draconis" on DW.
draconis: (Torii)
Thursday, March 9th, 2017 09:32 pm
For those interested in qigong and are in (or feel like coming to) the Memphis area, I will be holding a 2-day qigong workshop the last weekend in March. Let me know if you're interested and I'll shoot you the details. :-)
draconis: (Thank you)
Sunday, February 5th, 2017 10:09 pm
Honestly, I didn't give a tinker's damn about the game tonight, although I did think it was interesting that we've had 50 Superbowl games and none of them have gone into overtime before.

I did have it on for background noise and to catch the commercials... and it didn't take long to notice a common thread between the commercials. Even the halftime show fit the theme.

I would just like to say that I am incredibly proud to see so many companies spending millions of dollars to buy a commercial slot to basically say, "No, this is NOT who/what we are, and we will NOT be made into that travesty of what our nation stands for!"
draconis: (misty autumn lake)
Tuesday, December 27th, 2016 11:39 pm
In 2017, BE Princess Leia.

Fight on the front lines. Strangle the fascists with the very chains they would have you wear. Be a motherfuckin' General!

Can you imagine a more fitting tribute to Carrie Fisher than if women started living up to that?

Rest in peace, Princess. I'm sure Artoo was waiting to welcome you.
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Thursday, December 22nd, 2016 12:35 am
To my friends who find a spiritual significance in today's date... a Blessed Midwinter's Day to you.

To those for whom it has an astronomical significance, a Happy Solstice to you.

To those for whom it is just another day of the week, a happy hump day!

And for those who get upset at seeing something listed above that doesn't fit your favorite belief system? Please, chill out and maybe try generating some LIGHT in this darkest time of the year. You might even surprise yourself when you find that it doesn't MATTER whose life you bring some light into, it still feels good.

(Not that I think I need to tell that to anybody HERE!)
draconis: (Dragon breathing fire)
Sunday, September 11th, 2016 10:30 pm
On this anniversary of one of our darkest days in recent memory, I've been thinking.
Proceed at your own risk. )
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Thursday, September 8th, 2016 10:56 pm
"Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before."
The challenge? )
draconis: (Better than nerve disruptor)
Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 11:26 pm
50 years ago tomorrow marks the date of a cultural shift that is still being felt today.
Warning: There be Geekery ahead )
draconis: (Torii)
Tuesday, August 30th, 2016 11:22 pm
Well, this week has gotten off to a VERY interesting start, thanks to a pair of phone calls I've had.

In the last two days, I've spoken to my sensei from Nashville and to my grandmaster -- yours truly has been promoted!

Thinky thoughts ahead )
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Friday, January 8th, 2016 10:23 pm
Okay, I've had enough of the mess in Oregon. It is such utter and absolute crap that I'm simply fed up with the BS and misdirection.

Here's a novel idea: let's look at some facts. )
In short, Bundy and his associates have no legal justification for their actions. They have themselves committed several crimes in the course of these events. They have been asked to leave by the local law enforcement and have refused to do so. They have therefore shown themselves to be nothing but thugs and scofflaws who feel that the fact that they own firearms grants them the right to go where ever they please and do whatever they want.

Go home, Bundy, and take your pals with you. Be thankful you're not already rotting in a dark cell somewhere.

And for the record? I'm more than willing to discuss this with anyone who doesn't agree. But I do ask that you support your positions. If you can't or won't do that, kindly keep them to yourself.
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Monday, November 2nd, 2015 10:32 pm
A question from a fellow instructor made me start thinking again about what it means to become a black belt. Not to have one, not to be awarded one, not to wear one, but to become one and to BE one.

clicky )
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Sunday, November 1st, 2015 11:02 pm
This weekend, I was privileged to attend the wedding of a lovely, highly intelligent young lady that I've known since she was a little girl. It was absolutely wonderful to get to see her, to share her special day, and to catch up with her and with with several old friends and to meet several new ones.

I have quite a few memories of this weekend, most of which were of the sort you'd expect from this kind of weekend. The one I didn't expect was when the bride's mother got me all choked up.

clicky )
draconis: (wisdom)
Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 10:44 pm
A poem that was written for me after my fall last year.

Thank you. This is... something special.

The Day You Didn't Die )
draconis: (Thank you)
Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 10:17 pm
Wow... I didn't realize I've been away from DW so long. Going to have to do better about that!

And now, on to the post at hand...

Will you join me in a celebration? )
draconis: (success)
Monday, February 2nd, 2015 11:31 pm
Yay, the doctors have removed all medical restrictions and said I can resume normal activities -- and yes, I told them what "normal" is for me.

More thoughts to follow on this, but for now? Yay!
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Wednesday, December 31st, 2014 11:22 pm
2014 is almost gone, and I can't say I'm sorry to see it go. Still, for all of the dark spots of this year, taken as a whole I will call it a good year. I've lost too damned many people this year, and I was almost one of them, but I'm too stubborn to "go gently into that good night."

Two months ago, I had a VERY nasty accident -- one that by most standards I should not have survived. Instead of pushing up daisies, I am less than a month away from being finished with my brace, and only one remaining issue still do deal with.

2014 was the year this world tried to kill me. I have a scar on the side of my head that I'll carry the rest of my days, and I'm strange enough to consider it a good-luck charm. I have come to realize what a scar means: that something did hurt me, but that I was stronger than whatever it was, and the scar is the proof of that.

I hope 2015 brings better things for all of us. And when it hits those dark spots, I hope that you'll do what I've found works well for me, which is to remember and follow the advice given in Stan Rogers' song, "The Mary Ellen Carter:"

And you. to whom Adversity has dealt the final blow,
With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go,
Turn to! And put out ALL your strength, of Arm and Heart and Brain,
And like the Mary Ellen Carter...

draconis: (Thank you)
Thursday, November 27th, 2014 10:34 pm
What am I thankful for?


Yes, you. If you're reading this, then I'm talking about YOU.

Recent events in my life have made me realize that when it comes to the people in my life, I won the freaking lottery! When I look at the people who share this road with me, I am amazed at how lucky I am -- so thank you, very much.

Now, that doesn't mean that there haven't been / won't be times when we don't see things the same, get angry, etc. But even then, I'm glad you're here.

So yes, I'm thankful... for you.
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Friday, August 15th, 2014 08:37 am
I have been tasked at my new job with learning Fusebox with PHP. Unfortunately, the resources seem to be pretty slim. Does anybody here have any good resources they can recommend?

draconis: Default icon (Default)
Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 10:01 am
I don't usually do memes, but this one caught my fancy.

Gakked from sharpest_asp:
Everyone should post their ten most CRUCIAL CRUCIAL CRUCIAL-ASS movies, like the movies that explain everything about yourselves in your current incarnations (not necessarily your ten favorite movies but the ten movies that you, as a person existing currently, feel would help people get to know you) (they can change later on obviously).

Not in order:
1) Star Wars, original trilogy (yeah, I'm cheating a little bit, what else is new?)
2) Serenity. (Actually, "Firefly" as a whole, but we're supposed to stick to movies)
3) Undercover Blues
4) Wargames
5) Big Trouble in Little China
6) Roadhouse
7) Next of Kin
8) Hopscotch
9) In & Out
10) The Last Dragon

Feel free to ask about any of them, and I'll try to explain. Or if you think you know why I included a particular one, say so.
draconis: (Better than nerve disruptor)
Thursday, April 10th, 2014 10:39 am
If you haven't heard about Heartbleed yet, go here: www.heartbleed.com. This is a MAJOR vulnerability is web sites that were thought to be secure. Their recommendation is to clear all session keys and cookies immediately. For the sites you use that require login, check them to see if they're secured from the bug: http://filippo.io/Heartbleed. If AND ONLY IF the site is secured, change your password. Do not change you password until the site is secured, as you could just end up giving your new password to intruders. (And yes, I already checked: facebook.com, dreamwidth.org, and livejournal.com have all been secured, so you should now reset your password to something you don't use on any other site.)

Take this one seriously, folks. The people who found this one were able to penetrate a site, get access to user names, passwords, instant messages, emails, and business critical documents -- all without leaving any trace of the attack.
draconis: (Buddha)
Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 04:22 pm
They say the two topics you should never discuss in polite company are religion and politics. Well, I'm about to break both of those, so be warned. Read more at your own risk.
last warning )
draconis: (Thank you)
Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 12:05 am
Once again, it has been proven to me that I have some of the best students anywhere.

Cut for length )
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Thursday, February 6th, 2014 11:13 pm
From a friend of mine, courtesy of "Riding With Empathy" FB page:

Horse sayings you can only say in a horse barn:
* You look good on him!

* I felt him come into my hands when I gave him his head.

* I need spurs and a whip to really get him going.

* He's too much for her. Maybe you should get on.

* He won't come into my hands!

* I didn't recognize you in clothes!

* As he comes up, lean forward and run your hands up the crest of his neck.

* There's nothing like having 17 hands between your legs.

* I'm gonna get off now.

* She's such a good girl, the instant she sees me walk out of the house, she pees!

* He's a bit of a bumpy ride, just try not to grip with your thighs too much.

* He needs a good 20 minutes to warm up.

* Relax your back, don't pinch with your knees, go with the motion, rock your pelvis...

* Don't pump too much.
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Monday, January 6th, 2014 03:35 pm
For my equestrian friends, the top 10 exercises for becoming a better equestrian!

Top 10 Excersizes to Become A Better Equestrian

10. Drop a heavy steel object on your foot. Don't pick it up right away. Shout, "Get off, Stupid, GET OFF!"

9. Leap out of a moving vehicle and practice "relaxing into the fall." Roll lithely into a ball and spring to your feet.

8. Learn to grab your checkbook out of your purse and write out a $200 check without even looking down.

7. Jog long distances carrying a halter and a carrot. Go ahead and tell the neighbors what you are doing - they might as well know now.

6. Affix a pair of reins to a moving freight train and practice pulling to a halt. Smile as if you are having fun.

5. Hone your fibbing skills: "See hon, moving hay bales is FUN!" and "No, really, I'm glad your lucky performance and multimillion dollar horse won the blue ribbon. I am just thankful that my hard work and actual ability won me second place."

4. Practice dialing your chiropractor's number with both arms paralyzed to the shoulder and one foot anchoring the lead rope of a frisky horse.

3. Borrow the US Army's slogan: Be All That You Can Be -- bitten, thrown, kicked, slimed, trampled, frozen...

2. Lie face down in a puddle of mud in your most expensive riding clothes and repeat to yourself, "This is a learning experience, this is a learning experience, this is ..."

draconis: (success)
Friday, December 13th, 2013 01:51 pm
To all those who have been sending well-wishes, etc -- thank you very much!

Last week, I got an offer of a position, and was very glad to have it. Today, I finished the last round of interviews with another company, and received a significantly higher offer from them.

What a LOVELY Christmas present! :-)
draconis: (acorn)
Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 12:12 am
I came across an interesting sentiment today:

"Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take the step."

I mentioned it to a friend of mine, who asked me what some of those steps had been for me, as I looked back. It led to some interesting reflection/discussion.

What about you? What have some of your "steps" been?
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Friday, December 6th, 2013 01:55 pm
For all of you being hit by this weather, and those of you still in its path, please stay safe and warm.

We're... still on the leading edge of ugly. Tree branches and wires are starting to get sheathed in ice.

The forecasters are comparing this to the storm we got in '94. During that one, there were sections of the city that lost power for about a week, if I remember correctly. We came through that one very well -- we lost cable for a couple of hours. Here's hoping we have similar luck this time.

We're decently stocked for supplies. If we do lose power, we'll still have the ability to cook our food, thanks to my hiking gear. And while they're not an optimal solution, tea-light heaters are simple to make, and we have a good number of tea lights (and other candles) in the house as well. Best of all, the water heater is gas, so we may be able to maintain hot water even in a power outage. Even if the pilot light goes, that thing is insulated well enough that we'd have hot water for a day or two.

We also have good friends in parts of the city, such that we're each on different sections of the city power grid. If they lose power, we have spare beds, futons, etc here that they can use.

If we vanish from the 'Net for a few days, don't worry too much -- we'll be okay.
draconis: (success)
Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 04:23 pm
Greetings, O F-list.

Some of you already know, many of you do not, but my current position is being outsourced later this month. The notification was my Hallowe'en present (they thought it was quite amusing when they told me and my first response was, "I don't suppose there's any chance this is your idea of a Hallowe'en prank?"), and the actual outsourcing is apparently my Solstice gift from them.

Rhi and I found it *highly* ironic that in the same week I received my "Congratulations on 10 years with the company" packet and my "Your job will be ending on X date" packet. At least they didn't send them in the same envelope! lol

But worry not, O F-list -- if there is one thing I know how to do, it's roll with a punch and end up back on my feet!

And just to prove it... I had an interview yesterday for a local programming position with a large, multi-national company. This morning I received an offer, and I start working for them the first week in January -- contracting at first, with the expectation to move to permanent in about 6 months.
draconis: (Thank you)
Monday, November 11th, 2013 02:07 pm
To all those who serve, or have served, no matter how great or small the capacity -- thank you.
draconis: (Dragon breathing fire)
Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 12:02 pm
Okay, I don't normally like getting into political discussions, but I can't take the levels of sheer stupidity I'm seeing day after day.

Feel free to skip this -- I won't mind. If you read it, you may be offended. If so, I'm sorry that you're offended, but I'm not sorry for what I've said. Feel free to discuss, but be aware that if your post devolves into anything other than rational debate, I will delete it.

That said, if you're still here, read on. )
draconis: When the only thing you can say is WTF? (chaos)
Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 12:01 pm
Okay, I don't normally like getting into political discussions, but I can't take the levels of sheer stupidity I'm seeing day after day.

Feel free to skip this -- I won't mind. If you read it, you may be offended. If so, I'm sorry that you're offended, but I'm not sorry for what I've said. Feel free to discuss, but be aware that if your post devolves into anything other than rational debate, I will delete it.

That said, if you're still here, read on. )
draconis: (success)
Saturday, September 28th, 2013 11:33 pm
Today three friends of mine and I did something that most of us haven't done in years, if not decades, if EVER:

we ran a 5k.

And not just a 5k, but a 5k combined with an obstacle course, called LuvMud. (www.luvmud.com, for the curious).

About 7 weeks ago I started doing a "couch to 5k" to get ready, but there weren't enough weeks to actually get to 5k -- I managed a continuous jog for 2 miles last week, which was more than I'd done in over 20 years.

It was a HELL of a lot of fun. There were people there in all sorts of different costumes (and yes, doing the course in costume), and a wonderful energy to the entire thing. Yes, at some point there will be pictures, and possibly even video -- one of the fellows running with me was wearing a "helmet cam".

Now I'm tired and sunburned and sore, but we've already decided we're doing it again next year.

Anybody want to come join us? :-)
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 01:19 am
I would never have believed this if it hadn't happened to me.

No, this is not the start of a letter to Penthouse.

Clicky for despairing details -- long )
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 12:12 am
For all my smart female friends... true?
draconis: (Torii)
Thursday, July 11th, 2013 12:57 pm
Hey, folks. Wow, I didn't realize it had been THAT long since I've posted here.

I just got off the phone, and I'm now completely boggled. I"ll probably be able to pick up my jaw by sometime this afternoon.

Click to hear why )
draconis: Default icon (oriental green)
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 12:01 am
"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -- Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

Rhi and I just got back from a trip to one of our favorite places, the Smoky Mountains. As we were passing through one of the small towns in the area, we passed a church that almost made us pull over to be sure we'd really seen what we thought we'd seen.

The name of the church was the Morning Star [denomination redacted] Church.

For those who don't get the reference, the Morning Star is someone very prominent from the Bible. He was also called the Light Bringer, or more commonly known as Lucifer. (Isaiah 14:12 How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!)

So you can see why we were VERY surprised to see a Christian church with that name! And to make the irony even worse, the sign out front said, "If God be for you, who can be against you?" almost like they were saying,"We can! Right here, we can be against you!"

Now, to be fair, I have since found out that Jesus is also referred to by this name in the bible, but that's not until Revelations 22:16 ("I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."), not to mention Matt Damon refers to Lucifer by that name in the movie Dogma:
Loki: You sound like the Morning star.
Bartleby: You shut your fucking mouth!
Loki: You do! You sound like Lucifer, man!

so clearly the Isaiah refernce has precedence. ;-)

Oh, and then I found that this is not just ONE church, but an entire "worldwide ministry," including one here in Memphis!
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Monday, April 8th, 2013 03:56 pm
I was working today and from the other room I hear Rhi's computer start playing the theme song from the original "Smoky and the Bandit" movie, Jerry Reed's song "East Bound and Down"

This is not exactly her normal fare, so I went to see what was going on.

Apparently, she had come across a link to it and decided, "What the hell?" and played it... which led to a discussion of, "I wonder what sort of fan-vids you could make for that song?"

I really should have thought of her suggestion of "The Fast and the Furious" sooner... but when I suggested "Firefly," I think I broke her brain. LOL

So, does anybody know if this has been done? I don't vid, but it seems like a reasonably straight-forward match-up, and if anyone has done it I'd like to see it.

Or if it hasn't been done and somebody here is a vidder who would like to take it on, let me know what sort of fannish trade you'd like and we can talk!

draconis: Default icon (Default)
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 04:32 pm
Thursday nights in May, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art will be showing their Samurai Sundown Film Series, a set of four classic Samurai films from the 1960's.

The series is co-presented by Memphis Martial Arts Center, which will present free martial arts demonstrations on the Brooks plaza from 6:15-6:45 pm, immediately preceding the Samurai Sundown Film Series.

Click to see film titles and descriptions. )
draconis: (Thank you)
Monday, February 11th, 2013 11:54 pm
I know every instructor thinks they have great students. Indeed, I have seen several of my fellow instructors comment that they have the best students in the world.

I mean them no disrespect, but I must inform them that they are wrong.

*I* have the best. )