A Matter of Extremes

I've been suffering an internal battle, lately...and not the kind that can be resolved with some fiber or pepto bismol, unfortunately.

The conflict is with, well, conflict. I'm not given to confrontation. It's not fear that has me shy away - after all, if defending myself would ever be a problem, all these martial arts have been a waste of time.

As an example, there's a guy a work, we'll call him Buzzkill, who MUST have his hands in everything: conversation, questions, issues, etc. And it's, frankly, very annoying. He not only puts himself in the middle of everything, he has backhanded comments & insults aplenty for everyone there who is obviously incompetent compared to him. Not to mention his CONSTANT complaining...

Now, I've spoken to my boss about this because talking to this looney toon is beyond pointless. However, the real issue is that it's becoming all about him. The office centers around this emotional terrorist & there's a palpable sense of gloom when he walks in at night. If I'm going to continue working there, this must stop.

Now, the conflict issue: I'm given to extremes in these cases. I've never been able to do anything but give up some ground or blast through in full-blown confrontation. A middle ground, where I don't wind up getting reprimanded by my boss but still let asshat buzzkill know his commentary needs to get lost, would be ideal.

I'm just not very good at the middle ground.

Honestly, I just want to tell him to STFU, stay out of my way & when I need his help, I will ask directly for it. (OK, I really want to go upside his head...which is one of those extremes) The problem is that I want him to get confrontational. I want him to get in my face & ask to take it outside. I'd love nothing more than to translate his emotional torture on us into a physical manifestation of my frustration.

That is plain wrong & to be a decent human being, it must be avoided.

How, then, do I confront this in a dignified manner, even if the antagonist is anything but dignified?


Woody Woodpecker

A Mexican woodpecker and a Canadian woodpecker were in Mexico arguing about which country had the toughest trees. The Mexican woodpecker claimed Mexico had a tree that no woodpecker could peck.

The Canadian woodpecker accepted his challenge and promptly pecked a hole in the tree with no problem.

The Mexican woodpecker was amazed.

The Canadian woodpecker then challenged the Mexican woodpecker to peck a tree in Canada that was absolutely 'impeccable' (a term frequently used by woodpeckers ). The Mexican woodpecker expressed confidence that he could do it and accepted the challenge.

The two of them flew to Canada where the Mexican woodpecker successfully pecked the so-called 'impeccable' tree almost without breaking a sweat.

Both woodpeckers were now terribly confused. How is it that the Canadian woodpecker was able to peck the Mexican tree, and the Mexican woodpecker was able to peck the Canadian tree, yet neither was able to peck the tree in their own country?

After much woodpecker pondering, they both came to the same conclusion:

Apparently, Tiger Woods was right, when he said, your pecker gets harder when you're away from home.

Weather Delay

I went up to Iowa to visit Miss Hammy this past weekend & expected to fly out on Monday morning. On the way to the airport we got a call informing me my flight was delayed. After checking with the airline, we were flat-out told there's no way out of CR...

Well, that was a bummer (ha ha).

We met one of my friends for lunch & caught up a bit. Also, I was afforded the opportunity to go to class.

Now, I have a reputation for being a little tougher when leading - not that I want to run anyone into the ground - but I'll push the pace & if people need to catch their breath, there's no shame in it.

Four people accused me of trying to kill them...

C'mon, guys! I leave for a few months, show up for one class & you think I'm trying to put you six-feet under? Really?

Hapkido went a little better, with my techniques going well, my falls looking good & generally just having a good time. That's just a fun class for me.

Best of all, Miss Hammy & I had a whole extra day together! So, if that's how travel delays turn out, I'll take more of 'em!


3rd Degree In Separation

I've decided to get ready for my 3rd degree test. I'm only a bit overdue (7/31/2009 was my eligibility date) so maybe I should think about getting ready.

The first step I took was joining the local gym - which I've been attending regularly. The workouts have been mostly cardio, though my brother has helped me with some minor weight training. He does a system of opposition: when he works one set of muscles, he then works the muscles that pull in the opposite direction. It feels balanced & it seems I'm not so sore the next day.

The second step is learning the two forms I need to promote to 3rd Degree: Choong-Jang & Juche. If you watch these, the former doesn't seem too bad to me. The latter is a bit more involved & I think it'll take a lot more time to put together (much less make it look good).

Next, I have to design 5 one-step sparring techniques (basically, punch defense) which are mostly complete. I'm centering this around punching combinations from an attacker. This came from the idea that an aggressor won't just stop after the first punch & the attacks will keep coming. It seems to flow well & I've even incorporated some good HKD concepts into them.

When all this comes together, I'll do a video of my forms, self-defense & one steps to send to my instructor. If he's satisfied with my performance, hopefully I'll be able to test for 3rd Degree after I do a refresher on all the terminology...


Guns & Ammo

Well, let's worry about the gun, first...

I'm (still) looking into purchasing a good firearm. So far, there are many good choices out there by Springfield, Taurus, S & W, Kimber (on the high end) & others.

What I want in a handgun are the following features:
- Semi-automatic
- Ambidextrous action **
- Potential for concealed carry but not too small (no subcompacts)
- Manageable recoil
- Simple maintenance

As for the (**) I need ambidextrous action only because I'm a lefty & I'm not aware of many lefty-specific guns out there. I tried a very nice Springfield that was well within my price range but the righty action was not practical in the slightest as my left index finger could not activate the slide.

For caliber, I'll go where it's best but .40 seems to work very well for me. I'd rather avoid the 9mm but am not averse to .45ACP if that load works for me.

So, with this refined list of ideas. are there any suggestions?

Thank You For Smoking

I'm not a smoker...never have been (OK, unless you count an annual cigar).

So, understand that my topic here doesn't really support smoking so much as our ever-eroding liberties. Some of these, as you will read, are being removed at the simplest stroke of a pen with "feel good" tactics.

Recently, a local radio station (93.3 The Planet) played a commercial announcing a terrific new product available at all North Carolina (we're close to the border) restaurants & businesses: fresh air. This was accomplished by prohibiting smoking at all businesses, public & private.

I don't care so much on the public - if the state determines that will be the policy, the infringement on my rights, while it does exist, is sensible and minimal. This is a reasonable policy as few restaurants are publicly-owned & most public businesses are relevant to essential services (DMV, Registrar, etc.)

However, privately-owned businesses should be allowed to determine if smoking is allowed on their respective properties. If I'm the proprietor of Al Gore's House of Hummus and Holistic Medicine & want it to look/smell like a crowded pool hall on Saturday night, that's my right, not some elected clown riding a desk. If my revenue suffers because my target demographic - non-bathing, organic-loving, damn dirty hippies - wants to stay away from the bikers and union guys who frequent my place because it's OK to smoke, that's the risk I take as the owner.

The simple fact is it's my call as the proprietor of the business. While the state may claim to have an interest in prohibiting smoking to help the innocent non-smoker, the fact is the non-smoker may choose what places to frequent & avoid.

The military protects us. Bureaucrats? Not so much.


Where In The World

OK, I've been gone for awhile...no particular reason other than being neglectful of my blogging responsibilities. I'm hoping to correct that & resume blogging more regularly.

Basically, I'm getting settled into a new routine in SC & pretty darn thankful to not have a freezing IA winter slapping me in the face. My new job is a job - basically a means of making money - that gives me little enjoyment because there's no organization in the organization/ Mostly, I get the idea management is in the "wishing" phase of improvements. Yeah, that doesn't inspire confidence...

My brother & I are planning to start JKD lessons next week. We got a pretty good deal for private lessons. Also, I ordered a TKD book for forms & it arrived today. Now, I can start working on my last 2 forms for 3rd degree. Lastly, there's a HKD school right down the road that my instructor's instructor knows & he's going to give a call on my behalf. I don't know that I'll attend classes but will at least give the courtesy of showing up & talking to the Chief Instructor there.

Also, I joined a local gym, Peak Fitness. Pretty nice, especially for $20/month. They have plenty of good equipment & a small room where I can work on my forms. I went over all of mine tonight & did pretty well...just a couple hiccups in Koryo, a 1st Degree form. Mostly, I just have to tighten them up & record a video to send to my instructor so he can be sure I'm ready to test.

Well, that's the quick & easy update. I hope all is well for y'all & talk to you soon!


Stupid Liberal Math

Problem: Terrorists are contemplating or attempting to attack the United States. You are POTUS and a liberal who is beholden to your far-left constituency. How do you handle this problem overseas and domestically?

Overseas: Send in a double strike of Predator drones to hit a terrorist enclave in Pakistan, ensuring suspected terrorists are swept clean off the map and no longer a persistent threat to the USA.

Domestically: Arrest the underwear bomber & read him his "rights" that are normally reserved to US citizens. Ensure he is given a trial in accordance with the US Constitution because, after all, he is innocent until proven guilty and this is not an act of war, it's a matter for the civilian courts. For others, pull them out of Guantanamo Bay and transport them to the scene of the horrific crime they perpetrated on the citizens of this country where they may also receive a trial under the protections of the US Constitution.

I'm OK with the overseas answer...it gets a B.

As for the domestic policy, it's not worth a letter, just the finger.


Wow! What a Day! Part II

Hey Ya'll.

The final drill went suprisingly better than I had expected. It was a live person drill over the phone to fix an issue. I don't get to pick who was on the other side but nonetheless the call was successful. After the call I was asked what the name of my mock client was. Then the instructor's eyes got big and he asked me if I figured out who I was talking to. Truth was I didn't even think about it. After I thought about it for a few seconds I was able to put the face to the voice. Then my eyes got big.

....It was none other than the Site Director. My boss's, boss's boss. The highest ranking guy in my site... city... state. *A great guy I must add. How many top dogs do you all know that will stop what they are doing and help a trainee?*

All I can say is that I was glad I didn't know that before the call came in. My nerves were already pegged out. Besides, I passed with the Big Boss getting a first person view at my performance. That can't be all that bad.

Today we went live in a limited respect. We still have 1 week of training then four of us move on to an advanced training for another two weeks. In my limited live interactions I connected on 5 of 5 issues with only one mistep that was not a critical issue but still I wish I didn't miss that one. Overall I think I did quite well but to be honest I think I got 5 easy soft issues. I shuddered at what some of my co-workers received for first live interactions. Tomorrow is another day. There will be more than 5 interactions for sure. I hope I have as much faith in my skills tomorrow as I did today.

All in all. I love my new job. It is a 180 degree dynamic change from my previous abortion of an employer. Shoot. I couldn't get positive attention from a manager there let alone a Director. Life is good just as long as I don't watch the news.

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