Thursday, October 28, 2004

100,000 Iraqis Dead

According to this Associated Press story 100,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the US led war. That's a lot of people. The story also goes on to say that most of them were women and children. Thanks President Bush. I feel safer now.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Note to Self: Remember this link

Monday, October 18, 2004

GM is making desirable cars?

Oh yes. Yes they are. It seems the recipe is to beef up the suspension and throw a Corvette engine in. That's what they did with the Cadillac CTS-V. Or, in the case of the Cadillac XLR, just take an entire Corvette and put a new body on it. With the Pontiac GTO, they took the last generation Corvette engine and put it in one of their best platforms from abroad, a Holden Monaro from Australia.

The good part is that I got to drive them all, including the new C6 Vette, on a mini autocross style track at a GM Test Drive event. Damn, that was fun. The CTS-V was an especially nice drive. The Corvette was just plain intimidating with it's heavy clutch. Not quite as easy to maintain as last years C5 that I drove, but with 50 more horses, I suppose a little more is needed to tame them animals.

Even the Pontiac G6 was a nice ride. 200 horses, a nice body, and a decent ride. Watch out Accord V6 and Mazda 6, I think sleeping giant just opened an eye.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Day 3

A good throw is hard to explain. That's what we practiced yesterday. A slight change in the angle or position of either arm or hand weakens it a lot. Then there's the footwork. No footwork? No throw. This being the case, most of the class was spent trying to flip each other.

My partner and I got to a point where we were comfortable that we could do it well, so we started trying counter moves. Then counter's to the counter moves. In doing this, we learned that the counter to a counter is basically having everything correct to begin with. As I said before, the differences are very subtle, but extraordinarily important.

It was a good wrap-up for the week.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Corvette Saturday

It looks like I'll be having a good Saturday. In the morning I'll be headed out with my brother to go drive the brand new 2005 C6 Corvette at a GM test drive event. Then, it's out to Monterey to watch the class dominating C5 Corvette in a night race at Laguna Seca. It doesn't get any better than this folks.

Day 2

We worked on double sticks, and double knife last night. I have a smashed pinky to prove it. The most dangerous part is what you do to yourself. Lose control of your weapon and you'll more likely hurt yourself than anyone else. It was interesting trading strikes with people I don't usually study with. Other students have different rhythms and it's invaluable to be able to adapt to a new partner's timing.

With the knife stuff we focused on smaller movements. Smaller circles. Once I got the hang of it, I felt a little more comfortable, but there comes a point where you just can't better unless you just have faith in yourself. It's a big jump, and I don't know that I made it very well.

We did a little open hand too. I'm a lot more comfortable with that, so I really tried focusing on using my footwork again. Eventually your feet will move naturally, but it takes a lot of practice. A lot of people, and even some martial arts schools, don't emphasize the importance of positioning your feet in a way that leverages your entire body's weight when punching.

I saw some old tapes of Mike Tyson's early training, and with every step he took he could put his entire body mass, and a lot of his leg strength, behind his punch. When he hit you it just wasn't his thick arms hitting you. It was his arm, leg, and torso muscles, along with the potential energy of his body weight. That's why he used to get so many early round knockouts I guess.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

3 days of Kali

Today is the first day in a 3 day stretch of Kali classes. Yesterday we did a lot of exercises on countering flurries with just body movements. I got popped in my grill a couple of times, but no harm done. At the end of this session we got to do a little hands-only sparring. I tried to work on using my footwork to get in closer to my opponent with moderate success. Today we get to work with double sticks at Tuhan's seminar. This should be a hoot.

Haas Diversity Workshop

I'm thinking about getting my MBA, so I went to a workshop at Berkeley's Haas School of Business on Saturday. I think being around the concentration of smartness may have rubbed off on me. I'm actually thinking seriously about going now.

I met two guys at completely separate times from the Minneapolis, Minnesota area that each worked for a medical supplies company doing engineering tests for quality control. They didn't know each other. Weird.

It was a great and informative workshop. The students, alumni, and faculty were equally impressive. Now for the marathon application and the GMAT.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Kali and the Debate II

Is it just me or does it seem odd that a man who was the CEO of a company that did business with "enemy" countries during his tenure is the acting vice president? Or, that he voted against a resolution in favor of freeing Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela during the height of Apartheid? This, and 50% of the people of of our country actually want him back in office. Strange. Unusual. Bizarre. But ... true.

Yesterday's Kali class was interesting, as usual. We worked on locks and choke holds using our sticks. The difference between a good choke or lock and a bad one is so subtle that it seems it will take a whole lot of practice to get it mastered.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Mt. St. Helens

I don't know what it is about my energy, but it occurred to me a few days ago that Mount St. Helens started the beginning of it's eruptions and earthquakes the day that Shab and I arrived in Portland, 50 or so miles away from the Volcano. I've never been to the northwest before, and it looks like maybe it's not a good idea to go back anytime soon. Stuff like this always happens to me.

The last time was when the I-580 shootings started happening along my commute route to work (during commute time). A bunch of weird stuff happened to my van, and Erik's van around then that changed our commutes. The sniper had initially targeted vans. Spooky.

Checkboxes? Check.

The mighty checkbox has finally been defeated. I just finished my vbscript object that will take a delimited list or a set of bit values and output a grid of checkboxes, with their corresponding values displayed, for use in an 'add' or 'edit' database form. Damn, I'm good. It took three weeks, but consider your butt whipped Mr. Checkbox. Whose your daddy? Yep. It's Mo.

Now, I can start developing some meaningful admin pages for the next version of Moluv. Oh, and I can make a lot of useful stuff at work too. :-)

Friday, October 01, 2004

Thursday Kali and the Debate

The debate was actually about whether I should go to Kali or watch the presidential debate. The three upcoming debates have to be among the most important events in our lifetime. Fortunately, CNN replayed them that night, which made my decision to go to Kali (albeit very late) seem as though I was not neglecting my responsibilities as a citizen.

After watching the debate, I would find it hard to believe that someone couldn't figure out who was the better statesman. The hunched and smirking Dubya always trying to get the last word, or the guy who actually fought as a soldier and has held public office for 20 years. Nuff said ... for now.

Kali went pretty well last night. Today we focused on control and power. Try to hit your partner as light as possible while twirling your stick as fast as possible. After hitting my partner's stick kind of hard with my heavy red oak monster, it seemed fair to switch to my lighter, resin-coated one so that I wouldn't cause too much damage. The great thing about Kali is that no matter how much better I think I'm getting at this exercise, there's always other nuances to add, so it never gets boring.

Next we focused on striking while moving in a straight line. Meaning, keeping our heads level. It's tricky, but it's a fun exercise. Here I learned that one "soft" strike from Gura in the floating ribs from behind can be felt more than 100 strikes at from my peers at the wrong angle.