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draconis: (success)
Monday, February 11th, 2013 03:35 pm
It looks like one of my former employers finally got around to processing the paperwork on a patent application for a process I created for them. They own the patent, but I am listed as the inventor.
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 10:49 am
"May all your daughters be beautiful, may all your sons be ambitious, and may you live in interesting times."

Last night was ... interesting. )
draconis: (Buddha)
Friday, January 25th, 2013 12:37 pm
I have a sign that says, "Warriors are not always the strongest or the fastest. Strength and speed can be developed through training. Warriors are those who choose to stand between the enemy and all that they love or hold sacred." (Okay, that could be worded better, since it could be interpreted as referring to all that THE ENEMY loves or holds sacred... but this is about the sentiment, not the grammar)

Cut for length and for those not interested )
draconis: (Better than nerve disruptor)
Monday, January 14th, 2013 12:48 pm
O Fortuna as you've never seen it before -- complete with subtitles.

Warning: what has been seen, cannot be unseen

draconis: (Thank you)
Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 11:32 am
A belated thank you to the very sweet person who extended my DW paid account for Yuletide.

Thank you, thank you!
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Friday, December 21st, 2012 11:27 am
Happy non-apocalyptic Solstice Day!
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Monday, December 3rd, 2012 03:38 pm
Seriously. Put down the drink.

Move it away from your chair.

Like maybe into the next room.

NOW it may be safe to read this: The Hater's Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog

This comment at the bottom sums it up beautifully: )
draconis: (Better than nerve disruptor)
Wednesday, November 21st, 2012 11:18 pm
The WITCH is back.

No, not a Hallowe'en figure, nor a religious figure, nor a slightly cleaned up version of an Elton John song.

The WITCH is the Wolverhampton Instrument for Teaching Computation from Harwell. the 2.5-ton machine, first constructed in the 1950s as part of an atomic research program, became the "world's oldest original working digital computer" after a museum in the UK restored and then rebooted it on Tuesday.

Pretty cool, in my opinion!
draconis: (Torii)
Wednesday, November 21st, 2012 02:27 pm
This weekend I was privileged to attend an absolutely incredible gathering of some of the top martial artists from around the world. Not only did I have a weekend of training under wonderful instructors who were all at least 7th degree black belts, but they saw fit to bestow the rank of 5th degree black belt on me.

There was too much great material for me to go into detail here, but one in particular stands out above the crowd. Person A grabbed Person B's lapel. Person B reached up and held onto Person A's wrist for several seconds... and then Person A was unconscious. (Yes, I know that's WAY too slow for effective use in a fight, but still -- holy crap!)

There were also more private moments, conversations with some of the "top tier" folks, that rocked my world even more -- I'm still digesting a good bit of it, and probably will be for quite some time.
draconis: (Dragon at keyboard)
Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 11:55 am
For those in the 20 states who have secession petitions (including my own), here are few things to consider:

Pulling on my ranty-pants )
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Saturday, October 27th, 2012 09:03 pm
I got a very amusing compliment today.

One of the groups that holds their classes out of my dojo is a Wing Chun kung fu style. Today they held a seminar with their Sifu (teacher) and several of his students from Alabama.

I haven't done any Wing Chun for many years, and they do some things differently from how I've spent the last 20 years doing them. Trying to use only their positions and movement methods meant that I was spending the entire time fighting my own muscle memory, and as a result I know I didn't put in a very good "showing." In fact, I am given to understand that one of the students up from Alabama made a somewhat disparaging comment about me where the local instructor could hear it.

I have no idea what the comment was, but the local instructor... corrected him sharply. I believe the exact words were, "No. You don't understand. Just because he doesn't do things our way doesn't mean he doesn't know what he's doing. Don't let the glasses and that nice-guy smile fool you. That is one bad mother fucker. Trust me, he will fuck you up!" (emphasis his)
draconis: (Torii)
Monday, October 22nd, 2012 11:11 pm
I had one of those OMGWTFBBQ! moments at class tonight.

We had a demo at the school on Saturday, with several of our different instructors demonstrating their respective arts. One fellow saw several of them, including mine, and came to my class tonight to give it a try.

Here's what happened )

I'm always glad to get new students, but I wish they wouldn't do things like that!
draconis: (Torii)
Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 12:21 pm
Taken from "The Art of War," used without permission or any hope of profit.

draconis: Default icon (Default)
Thursday, September 20th, 2012 11:13 pm
I just got some awesome news today -- this November I am being promoted to 5th degree black belt!
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Saturday, August 25th, 2012 10:48 pm
Once was bad enough, but twice?

I posted elsejournal about a fellow asking me to help him out by putting some gas in his tank.

Tonight, Rhi and I were walking out of YoLo and headed to our car when a lady in the passenger side of an SUV calls out to ask if we can please help her out. It seems that they're in town from Nashville and trying to get to Collierville (suburb of Memphis, for those not familiar with the area), and don't have enough gas to get there. Could we please put a few dollars in their tank, they'll let us pump it, etc.

About this time, a gentleman walks up and starts to get in on the driver's side. I take a look at him and realize that IT'S THE SAME GUY FROM MONDAY NIGHT!

He apparently didn't recognize me, because he looked at me and asked if I could please help. I just shook my head and said, "We already had this conversation earlier this week."

He claimed he had no idea what I was talking about, got in and drove away.

Sheesh. Some people. I wonder how long they'll keep working that same area before they decide it's time to move on so that their previous "marks" won't recognize them?
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 05:10 pm
Those of you who've known me for a while know that I'm generally willing to help out someone when they're in need. Apparently there is some sort of physical manifestation of this, because both Rhi and I often get stopped by complete strangers and asked for directions, or assistance, or something.

I'm okay with that.

The part that irritates me is when people try to take advantage of that, and think that being helpful also means that I'm stupid.

Cut for those not interested )

I don't mind people thinking I'm helpful. I try to be helpful. But I do mind people thinking I'm stupid.
draconis: (Dont meddle in the affairs of dragons)
Thursday, August 9th, 2012 10:19 am
Someone asked me one of the most presumptuous questions I've ever had last night.

As most of you know, I run a martial arts school. I teach my classes there, and I also allow other instructors to rent "mat time" from me to teach their own classes.

Last night after my class was over, a student from the class that follows mine came over to ask me if there were any times when the school wasn't in use. I pointed him to the schedule and told him that any times that weren't on the schedule were open, and asked if he had a class he was wanting to teach.

No, he wanted to know if I'd let him have a key so that he and his son could come up to the school and work out some time.

What I told him: "I'm sorry, but my insurance requires that a qualified instructor be present any time someone is in the training area." (which is true)

What I was thinking: "So you think it's appropriate for me to give a key to someone who's not even one of my students, so that he and his 10-year-old (I'm guessing here, I'm not good with kid's ages) son can come in any time they want, unsupervised, run up my utility costs, etc, and I get nothing in return? Why on earth would I ever do that?"

It would be one thing if he was at least a senior student in that style -- it wouldn't be enough to make me want to do it, but it would at least be better. It would also help if I didn't know that his instructor has a chronic problem getting the guy to pay him.

I mean, I'm a nice guy and I try to help people out when I can, but that's just ridiculous.
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Saturday, August 4th, 2012 04:05 pm
"I'm farming and I grow it," a spoof vid of "I'm sexy and I know it" for all my agro-centric friends. Enjoy!

draconis: Default icon (Default)
Saturday, July 28th, 2012 01:50 am
Just finished watching the opening ceremonies. I'll say this, the Brits *definitely* understand symbolism.

Some parts of it had me going, "Okay. Yeah, that's nice. uh-huh."

Others had be bouncing off the walls, and some had tears running down my cheeks.

Maybe it's corny, or sappy, or whatever -- but I don't care. Seeing those people gathered from all around the world, who've busted their asses to become the best in the world at what they do... I'm not so naive as to think that they're not conscious of the politics of their respective nations. But what got them there was their own ability, their own spirit, their own willingness to do WHATEVER it took to become the BEST THEY COULD BE. And they (and their respective nations) were willing to set aside their respective politics at least enough to come together with the rest of the world.

The IDEAL of the Olympics is something beautiful, to me. I'm well aware of how often we fall short of that ideal, but that doesn't make it any less beautiful.
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Saturday, July 28th, 2012 12:25 am
I can't believe no one has put one of these up already, but Google searches are coming up empty.

I REALLY want a picture of the 2012 Olympic Torch, seen from above. If anyone can find one, please let me know!

ETA: Found one!
draconis: martial arts (kungfu)
Sunday, February 26th, 2012 07:08 pm
It was a really good weekend.

I conducted my first seminar in Memphis, which is kind of strange considering that I've conducted them over 1,000 miles away from here.

It was a small group, but our school is small so they still filled it. We could have handled a FEW more, but not many.

But yeah... 2 days, 9:00 in the morning until 4:30 in the afternoon.

Tired now, but it feels good. :-)
draconis: (WTF)
Sunday, February 26th, 2012 06:52 pm
I'd have thought that NASCAR and gay bars would be like matter and anti-matter. No offense to any NASCAR fans here (hugs Ilyena), but far too many of them tend to exhibit the worst of the stereotypical redneck behaviors.

So how is it that the Birthplace of NASCAR is now... a gay bar?

Yes, seriously. See this article for details.
draconis: martial arts (kungfu)
Friday, February 17th, 2012 10:09 am
After far too many moons and WAY too many dollars, I have finally gotten all of the legal paperwork requirements for the dojo taken care of as of this morning!

I could cheerfully beat the living crap out of the two previous owners, who clearly never bothered with such niceties as sign permits, fire code inspections, etc. It would have been nice if the previous owner had tipped me off to this little fact when I took over from him -- at least I'd have had some expectation that I'd have to get lots of work done on the place before it was up to code.

Oh, well.

It's done now, and the last inspector signed the paperwork this morning. And there was much rejoicing!
draconis: (autumn road)
Thursday, February 16th, 2012 04:20 pm
For those of you into hiking, backpacking, etc., I have a question.

There are a lot of recipes out there for "trail foods," including books such as "The well-fed backpacker" and "Lip-smakin' backpackin'" and others.

One problem is that a lot of these require a dehydrator, which I don't have. Another problem is that you can get an idea of whether or not you'll like something based on a printed recipe, but you don't know until you make it.

Do you have any favorite meals for packing on the trail? I'm looking specifically for things to be carried in a backpack, so a minimum of weight is desirable.

Thanks in advance!
draconis: (Torii)
Saturday, January 28th, 2012 08:25 pm
I pulled out my pack again this morning, and met up with three of my students and did a 7-mile hike along the Green Line. We were a little slower than last week (2.7 mph instead of 3 mph), but it was a lovely day to be out hiking.

Rhi and I went to see the "Armed + Dangerous: Art of the Arsenal" exhibit at the Brooks Museum. There were some absolutely LOVELY pieces, but the person writing up the explanatory cards for the Japanese pieces should be invited to commit seppuku. At least two pieces were mis-named -- I'm sorry, but a sword over 6' long is NOT a katana. There were also two significant pieces of information left out -- like the description of the naginata (picture a staff with a katana on the end) that fails to mention that it was the favored weapon of the WOMEN of the samurai household... or the way they completely ignored the fact that several of their pieces had chrysanthemums -- a symbol of the imperial family.

Other than that, it was a lovely exhibit, with some absolutely *exquisite* pieces!
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Friday, January 27th, 2012 03:06 pm
... or what's been going on that I haven't had time to post about in forever (or at least in slightly more than a month)...

Dentists )

Chinese New Year )

Backpacking )

Gazelle )

Deer )

Holidays )

I'm sure there's more, but that's what's coming to me at this point.
draconis: (False gods to slay)
Friday, January 27th, 2012 02:48 pm
I saw this and I absolutely HAD to share it.

"Religion is like a penis. It's fine to have one. It's fine to be proud of it. But please don't whip it out in public and start waving it around, and PLEASE don't try to shove it down my children's throats."
draconis: (False gods to slay)
Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 11:05 pm
From one of my martial arts buddies:

Voldemort is like a teenage girl. He has a diary, a tiara, a special cup, a pet he adores, and an obsession with a famous teenage boy
draconis: Xmas ornament (Silvertree)
Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 12:55 pm
Blessed Solstice.

Happy Yuletide.

Happy Hannuka.

Merry Christmas.

Happy Kwanzaa.

Whatever you want to call it, I hope this turning of the seasons is a good one for you, and that the "returning of the light" brings light and joy to you and yours.
draconis: Xmas ornament (Silvertree)
Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 11:13 am
For all of my gay and bi friends. "Coming Out At Christmas" by the London Gay Men's Chorus

If you're uptight about homosexuality/bisexuality, don't click. For the rest of you, enjoy!
draconis: Xmas ornament (Silvertree)
Friday, December 9th, 2011 10:28 pm
Q: Why do you have a Christmas tree up so early?

Please choose from the following options:

A. I come from an ancient family of lumberjacks who display the decorated corpses of our trade once a year. I am a terrible lumberjack, so my tree is fake.

B. We are currently experiencing the seasonal migration of the North American Christmas Tree. Identified by its diminutive stature and colorful plumage, this dwarf variety has arrived early to nest here, and can be expected to continue its journey in January.

C. Time Lords. It’s really rather complicated, but it was necessary to safe Christmas from the Daleks. Also, don’t blink.

D. It's pretty and I like it.
draconis: (Kick the darkness)
Monday, December 5th, 2011 02:13 pm
Bravo, Mr. Perry.

Tyler Perry's open letter to Penn State 11-year-old

And for those of you wondering why I would post a letter like this, and list my mood as "angry"? My anger isn't at Tyler Perry, it's at that sick SOB at Penn State, and all the others like him around the world. I don't care what consenting adults do, but I dearly hope there is a special circle of Hell reserved for those who harm children.
draconis: (Dragon at keyboard)
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 11:22 am
Most westerners perceive/portray dragons as the embodiment of most of the "Seven Deadly Sins" -- certainly avarice, sloth, wrath, and pride, and arguably envy, lust, and gluttony as well. Anne McCaffrey's were the first books I found that not only didn't treat dragons this way, but also told interesting stories. Not least of her accomplishments was giving female characters equal power/stature/ability to the men without going over the top.

Now she has flown Between. May she fly through skies forever free of Thread, and may we be blessed with more like her down here.

Rest in peace, Anne McC'ffrey.
draconis: (Dragon breathing fire)
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 03:37 pm
Originally posted by [info]write_light at BAD Internet Laws Heading Your Way

From the flist: 

Spread the word, even you're not a US citizen, it is important for everyone!! It easy to do and it can change everything. More info by clicking on the banner.

Website Blocking

The government can order service providers to block websites for infringing links posted by any users.

Risk of Jail for Ordinary Users

It becomes a felony with a potential 5 year sentence to stream a copyrighted work that would cost more than $2,500 to license, even if you are a totally noncommercial user, e.g. singing a pop song on Facebook.

Chaos for the Internet

Thousands of sites that are legal under the DMCA would face new legal threats. People trying to keep the internet more secure wouldn't be able to rely on the integrity of the DNS system.

Read this analysis from boing-boing.net

Get on the phone and call your representative. Express your disapproval. Tell him or her exactly how you feel, and that you don't support this. Tell your friends to call their representatives, their Congressperson, and complain. Mention that you are a registered voter that takes your civic responsibility seriously and that you will use that vote to express your feelings about this.


“We support the bill’s stated goals — providing additional enforcement tools to combat foreign ‘rogue’ websites that are dedicated to copyright infringement or counterfeiting,” the Internet companies wrote in Tuesday’s letter. “Unfortunately, the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new uncertain liabilities, private rights of action and technology mandates that would require monitoring of websites.”  The chamber-led coalition in support of the bill includes Walmart, Eli Lilly & Co. and Netflix.

Google and other opponents of the legislation argue that restricting the Internet in the U.S. sets a bad international precedent and that the language defines infringing too broadly.


American Censorship
Whitehouse Petition
Fight For the Future
Save the Internet

draconis: Default icon (Default)
Friday, November 11th, 2011 11:11 am
Thank you, to all those who serve or have served.

In Flanders Field, by John McCrae )

Thinky thoughts )
draconis: (acorn)
Friday, October 21st, 2011 11:01 am
A variation on the classic Laurel and Hardy "Who's on First" skit, for your Friday amusement.
draconis: martial arts (kungfu)
Thursday, October 20th, 2011 10:39 pm
The new dojo is off to a promising start. ::knocks on wood::

Effective Nov 1, we will be adding classes in two new styles: one of the kung fu systems called Hung Gar, and one of the karate systems called Kyokushinkai.

Meanwhile, I'm still battling the red tape to be sure that all of our legal requirements are met. Blech! I'd rather face a dozen zombie ninjas than yet another Red Tape Monster!
draconis: martial arts (kungfu)
Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 10:57 pm
It took a LOT of hard work, but we have cleaned up the dojo and have it looking pretty nice now. We've rearranged the mats and the floor space, and I think they work much better now. We haven't gotten to the walls yet, but those will be soon.

Our first class in the new space is tomorrow night ::checks the clock, nods -- yeah, it's still tomorrow:: I can't wait to see the looks on the faces of the ones who haven't seen it yet! LOL

But for now... bed. Sleep. Tired.
draconis: martial arts (kungfu)
Friday, September 30th, 2011 04:43 pm
As I've mentioned elseJournal, I was recently given the opportunity to take over running a martial arts school here in Memphis. After a lot of careful thought and talking it over with Rhi, my students, and the other instructors at the school, I decided I would do it.

Tonight, the members of the school will meet for pizza, then will head to the school to begin cleanup and renovations. Effective tomorrow morning, "Denbow's Memphis Martial Arts Center" will be no more, and in its place will be simply "Memphis Martial Arts," under yours truly.

I'd like to thank everyone who's helped to get us this far, and please keep the good thoughts coming!
draconis: critical failure (1 on d20)
Friday, September 30th, 2011 10:41 am
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) filed a complaint against the New York Times because of an ad featuring a raw chicken, saying that the chicken was "too sexy."

This same group also recently announced its newest web site: a XXX porn site! (the link is work-safe, it's just to an article about the upcoming site)

So let me get this straight. You're starting a triple-X porn site, but you think a raw chicken is too sexy?

I think my brain just broke!
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 04:23 pm
O great hive-mind, I have a question...

With my new dojo (SQUEE! sorry... I'm okay now...)


With my new dojo, I have inherited a bunch of 1/4" rubber "puzzle mats" -- the interlocking 2' square rubber mats. Some of them are in sore need of cleaning. Does anyone have recommendations for how to do this?

Thanks in advance!
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Tuesday, September 13th, 2011 10:41 am
Gakked from [personal profile] rhi and [personal profile] rike_tikki_tavi:

I am doing this meme:

1. Reply to this post with 'chai', and I will pick five of your icons.
2. Make a post (including the meme info) and talk about the icons I chose.
3. Other people can then comment to you and make their own posts.
4. This will create a never-ending cycle of icon glee. TELL ME ABOUT YOUR ICONSES.

draconis: Default icon (Default)
Thursday, September 1st, 2011 11:28 am
I had a very interesting conversation last night, and now I've got some heavy thinking to do.

Clicky )
draconis: (Dragon breathing fire)
Monday, August 29th, 2011 11:21 am
I hate my sinuses -- see icon. 8-(

Rambling about sinuses, season Elements, etc. Feel free to skip )
draconis: Default icon (Default)
Monday, August 29th, 2011 11:09 am
Saturday morning, the Memphis Outdoor Adventures group went on a "Hummingbird hike" down in Holly Springs, MS. Even though it's still August in Memphis, the day wasn't too hot and there was a nice breeze. 13 of us wandered around the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center for a couple of hours, including a stop at an Antebellum mansion that burned down and got rebuilt in the 60's.

Even though the hummingbird migrations won't really get started for several more days yet, we saw a small swarm of them at the feeder stations near the mansion, and I even managed to get a few decent photos of them. In fact, one photo of mine is the one the webmaster used as the main photo for this hike on their Photos page. Several people uploaded photos from the hike, but the only person who uploaded more than me is one of the hike organizers.

It's odd to stand there among them and have them zipping around you. If you've never experienced it, their wings beat so fast that they really do make a humming noise as they fly. I'm always surprised that the pitch isn't higher than it is, even though I know intellectually why that's so.

There was a Mushroom Hike scheduled for the afternoon, but I decided not to stick around for that one. Maybe next time! :-)
draconis: (Competence)
Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 12:31 pm
I've got a somewhat esoteric question for the Hivemind.

Cut to save space. )
draconis: (Need coffee)
Thursday, August 18th, 2011 11:28 am
To say that I'm not a morning person is to really understate the case. I also don't usually go in for big breakfasts, unless I know I'm going to be doing a lot of physical activity that day. I like most breakfast foods, I just don't like having to get out of bed earlier in order to have time to eat them. ::G:: As a result, my breakfast most mornings these past few years has been one of those bottled Starbuck's Frappacinos.

Last week, an article on the 20 Worst Drinks in America (in terms of bad for you, not bad tasting, etc) listed these as #16. Based on the amount of sugar, etc in them, one of these a day equates to 28 pounds of weight gain over the course of a year. Granted, that's for the large (~14 oz) size, and I was drinking the small (~9.5 oz) size... but that's still a roadblock I don't need.

And of course I found this out the day after Rhi went shopping, and picked me up more of them. I decided I'd go ahead and finish those, and ask her not to pick me up any more.

I drank the last one yesterday. This morning, I'm definitely feeling the lack of my usual morning dose of caffeine, chocolate, and milk!

Oh, well... I'm sure I'll adjust to this, too...

draconis: critical failure (1 on d20)
Tuesday, August 16th, 2011 03:31 pm
According to this article from CNN, NYC Mayor Bloomberg has apparently decided that there is a group of people who should be excluded from the tenth 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero: the first responders!

Not that he's not sending them invitations to attend. He's actively prohibiting them from attending.

Epic. Fail.
draconis: "Our First Christmas Together" ornament (Couple)
Tuesday, August 16th, 2011 11:21 am
A cool if geeky proposal at ComicCon, and further proof that Patrick Stewart is a consummate gentleman (as if such proof were needed).