I Didn't Get Beat Up By A Girl!

That's right. The most worrisome part of my 2nd degree test was having to spar a woman.

Did I mention it was a very attractive woman?

Who was quite fast?

Well, point is, I didn't get my butt kicked. I did pretty darn well by all accounts. No, I didn't hurt her - if that's what you're worried about - I'm sure she could have hurt me just as much as I her. I did manage to get a couple would-be knockouts to her head (no contact). She gave as well as she got, though.

The 2nd degree test went very well. I was pretty well winded by the time we got to self-defense. We're talking stomach cramps, doubled over but still fighting kind of pain! I did a couple takedowns that were fairly impressive & a few that somehow got the job done.

Breaking, not really my strong suit but still something I do well, came off better than expected. I put my hand through two bricks like they were barely there! The first one split down the middle like I took a saw to it & the bottom one broke into three large pieces. All well by my account.

Here's the video:

Ah, then came the candle - yes, this little monster of a test. I had to punch out the flame of a candle with a punch. Really, it's not as hard as you might think - you just punch, twist & put your hips into it. Sucker was out & smoldering like Lindsay Lohan on a coke bender.

Lastly came the Q & A - no, Harvey, this isn't as entertaining as the other "& A" you might have wanted to hear about. The questions were pointed, serious & difficult. Mr. Scott pulled no punches, as it were, & asked me if I felt I could take over for my instructor (No, of course!) & how well I felt I could pass on my knowledge to others (Technique - yes, Philosophy, not entirely). It was a heck of a grilling.

As you may have guessed, I survived. Yes, I was promoted to 2nd Degree in TKD! It's an accomplishment that can only be properly celebrated with beer...which I already did...& sleep, which I'm about to do. :-)

I'm going to be sooooo sore in the morning.


Hock Seminar

Man, was this a blast! We started about 10am, with an hour for lunch, and went to about 430pm. The focus started with multiple assailants & moved into such concepts as hyper-extensions with weapon disarms & recoveries at the end.

The multiple assailants part really stuck with me. You are "attacked" by three people whose purpose is to prevent you from getting to the door at the other end of the room. You start off surrounded by them & any manner of grabs/pushes are fair game. All they have to do is take you down & it's over. According to Hock, I am only the second person ever at one of his seminars to escape successfully.

The trick, he said, is that I didn't try to fight off three people at once - like many other martial artists do - I just tried to get out of there. I would advocate anyone else do the same. Heck, I'd say try it the next time you have a bunch of people together! It's valuable to get used to the "panic" feeling. Believe me, that's exactly what happens when you're trying to escape - even when the "attackers" are your friends.

Another tactic we went over is when you're actually knocked down & multiple people are kicking you. Now, we only did light taps instead of rib-busting kicks but the freaked-out feeling is still there. Trying to get up when everything is in your face like that can be intimidating. Try it & you'll see what I mean.

The weapon disarms/recoveries were tough but valuable. There are plenty of tricks to prevent a person from overpowering your weapon away. This is particularly useful for women, who may be at risk of a large assailant believing he can easily disarm them. With practice in this area, that attacker will be sorely disappointed.

The joint manipulation part - with hyper-extensions - was fun but required the most coordination. The part where we had to practice capturing the stick weapon was particularly painful. You catch it under your arm & trap. The person with the weapon then cranks your arm over the top, using the stick you just caught as a lever to take you down. Hard.

Overall, a great experience that I'd recommend for anyone with self-defense in mind. It's harsh, there's some pain & you can be beaten by overwhelming force or just bad luck.

Just like real life, come to think of it...

Serves You Right!

Philip Kolinski & a cohort apparently decided it was a good idea to collect scrap metal & trade it in. They claimed this would be for charity & not for profit. The charitable purpose?

Building a veterans' memorial.

Shamefully, both men traded in the metal for profit after using what apparently they thought was a heart-tugging subject to many people: Giving for veterans. Yes, that IS a noble pursuit - if you really mean to follow through. It is also the most shameful lie if you intent to make a profit in the name of memorializing those who have, and are, serving.

Fortunately, this was not lost on the judge who sentenced the man to clean a real veterans memorial with a toothbrush, a bucket, and - this is most important - a placard reading, "I Stole From Veterans".

I wish no harm upon this man & I do hope that plenty of people come to observe what is the price for such a horrible falsehood. I can only hope he learns his lesson from the punishment he has earned.


Hock Seminar

I really did forget to post this...

Tomorrow, our school is hosting W "Hock" Hochheim (http://www.hockscqc.com/) for the first time! The only other time I met him was our trip out to Denver,CO in April of 2006. It was worth the 12-hour drive (14 or so coming back...that's a story in itself!) just to attend that part of the seminar.

Hock is a retired police officer with military experience. He's designed a comprehensive stick, knife & gun program that offers practical self-defense with efficiency in-mind. Based on meeting the man only once, I can say he has a good sense of humor, organizes his lessons so they are easy to learn & he offers practical examples.

Let's just say he's not this guy:

You may be wondering, "What's the difference between Hapkido & CQC? Aren't all those self-defense things pretty much the same"?

No, silly, that's not true at all.

Hapkido specializes largely in unarmed defense. Yes, it does offer training in weapon defense - which teaches weapon use by necessity - but the focus is mostly around getting out of a predicament. I wouldn't grab a skilled Hapkido practitioner but otherwise the art offers practical aspects of many arts. In summary: Jack-of-all-trades, Master of none.

CQC, to me, seems to find its bread & butter in the life-in-danger situations. While this may be true in any self-defense situation, knowing how to defend yourself with whatever you may have against a knife (or, Heaven forbid, a gun) is what's happening here. Hock talks often about the
"myth of the duel" - where both fighters have the same weapon, both fight as fair as the other, etc. In reality, this doesn't exist. If a guy comes at you with a knife & you have a Glock 19, are you going to put it down & draw a knife to match him? Or, are you more likely to put a smiley face in center mass ala Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon? I thought so.

Both of these styles mesh well together. This is because there are some techniques in common & the overall focus, self-defense, is the same. Actually, a dirty little secret of martial arts is that many arts use the same techniques. Sure, there are differences but mostly in things like stance & hand position. This isn't blatant theft. It's the simple fact that these techniques were learned over time, by various people & spread throughout the world.

Can't Get My Fix

Of Ack! Thhhbt!, that is.

Stupid work won't let me access Blogger-powered sites. So, while I'm able to post via e-mail (stop that, ya Websense jerks!), I am unable to read, comment & otherwise cause general mayhem (you know: tomatoes, face-licking cows, etc.) on Roses' vaunted site.

The oddest thing? Bad Example, blog-mentor Harvey's site, is rated NC-17 & I can click away to my heart's content. Roses' site is PG-13 at worst & I can't so much as take a peek.

Web"sense", eh?


1st Spam Comment!

Ah, now this lets me know I'm a *real* blogger!

On my recent post about a heart warming experience, I got an oh so subtle comment from an obvious spammer.

Thanks, knicksgrl0917, you've made my day!


Heart Warming

In 1986, Mkele Mbembe was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University.

On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Mbembe approached it very carefully.

He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Mbembe worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.

The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Mbembe stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.

Mbembe never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Mbembe was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Mbembe and his son Tapu were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Mbembe, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Mbembe couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant. Mbembe summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Mbembe' s legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.


Awwright! Europe, Feel The Pain

According to this post on The Weather Channel climate blog the Mediterranean Sea could experience tropical cyclones (read: hurricanes) by the close of the century. This, of course, is due to the evil of dark wizards plotting against all of mankind...or global warming. Take your pick.

Considering most of the people reading this probably won't be around to see this climactic (sorry) event, why should we care? It's not like we'd lose any sleep over Hurricane Creme Brulee hitting the south of France...

Then again, the possibilities for the Medicane are staggering.

- The French can finally put all those car fires out AND afford to fire the people who started them!

- We might be able to finally widen both the Straight of Gibraltar and the Suez Canal. That's right, snooty Egyptians! We're getting around that toll!

- Marseilles, armpit of Europe, will finally get cleaned. Seriously, it's disgusting.

- Goodbye Libyan wasteland, hello east Beverly Hills!

- Other cities will stop picking on Venice & praise the city for being brilliantly ahead of its time with its system of exceptionally clean, intricate canals. Oh, & those gondolas! How romantic.

- Yeah, then they'll ask for help in building their own...

- The French will once again surrender to Germany when Hurricane Helmut makes landfall & levels a truffle warehouse.

- Not that they need another excuse to give up.

And, of course, the BEST thing about a Hurricane in the Mediterranean...

- All those hippies backpacking across the continent will finally get a shower!



Ah, the wonders of technology. It's developed so quickly that we almost lose track of how difficult it was to get cash (by comparison) about 20 years ago. Yes, the latest devices can tell you where you are, how to get there, what you're listening to & show clearer images than ever before. Who doesn't marvel at the thought of a new MP3 player with video playback & FM recording or an SLR digital camera? Surely, there's no limit to the wonderful things technology can do.

Which brings us to Websense. The crappiest technological terror since the first Death Star.

I was delighted - and by "delighted" I mean pissed off - to discover that the ol' MIS guys think Blogger is bad! Yes, that's right, I can view ESPN or wacky liberal blogs (ugh!) with reckless abandon, but Blogger is considered a "Social networking" site & is this banned by big brother...I
mean our altruistic technological caregiver.

Honestly, would you rather get your sports fix OR read the colorful, witty - dare I say endearing - commentary on this site? I thought so.

For the two of you who didn't decide to click over to ESPN (::waves at Roses & Mrs. Who::) I think you'll agree this is a travesty of justice! Have I not been wronged? Is there no limit to the denial of my rights as a blogger? Is there...uh, any way you can forgive this rant now that I
realized I can just type it up & post remotely through e-mail?

Technology, I win this round! MWAHAHAHAHA!!!

I Prefer "Rubenesque"

Apparently, by 2015 the vast majority of Americans will be considered "heavy" or "obese" per a Johns Hopkins examination of various studies into those afflicted with big bone-itis.

Sure, a reasonable person might say that the majority of these people have complete control over their weight - that exercising a little discipline in this do-what-you-want culture would help them shed the extra blubber. But that's following reason. Progressives would have us believe that any person with a weight problem is a "victim" of societal pressures. Obviously, this is a culture falling more in love with lawsuits, finger-pointing & woe-is-me lamentations. If the individual cannot be blamed for his/her failings, then it's unquestionably the fault of the social realm.

Using that "logic", we can come to a few other conclusions:

- Crime: Yeah, this one's obviously #1 on the list. Crime isn't caused by criminals, sociopaths or looney, kleptomaniac former-National Security Advisors, it's the blame of you & me. We force them to lie, cheat, steal & do harm. Why not be more considerate of their feelings & look at it from their perspective? Robbers might just need that money to pay for strippers - a noble pursuit if there ever was one. Sociopaths might just be looking for a convenient means of making friends - they're just misunderstood.

- Frivolous Lawsuits: Yepper. Our fault again! You see, when "Butterfingers" McGee a few years back decided to sue McDonalds because she spilled her own coffee in her own lap, she set in motion a righteous declaration that all people have the right to sue others for their own ineptitude. Or how about "Muscles", a fella who sued the maker of a hand-truck strap because they didn't explicitly state said strap could not be used to tie a portable refrigerator to his back - for the purpose of running with it. A sane person might think these people are stupid & should be left to the shallow end of the gene pool. But no, we need to prop them up because we all know nothing in this world is as enduring as stupidity.

- Congress: Not much to say here. They have all the swagger of a 3-card Monty dealer...with the morals to match.

- Child Predators: Yes, technically in the "Crime" category but these deranged examples of humanity are, for some reason that defies any explanation, given special consideration by the kooks at the ACLU, certain judges and progressives in general. Sentences as ludicrous as 60 days probation have been handed down by judges that think justice is not only blind, it is also exceptionally tolerant of people who directly destroy the lives of innocent children. They claim it's a disease & that these "people" deserve treatment instead of punishment. Fine. We can agree there. If convicted, we give them one pill - 100% lead in a .45 dose.

- Race-Card Players: Yes, those wonderful ideologues of the political arena! Very much similar to Congress, these people claim they want to get their constituents ahead in the world though they're the ones who seem to do most of the getting ahead. It's society's fault that OJ was on trial - we're apparently all racist - nevermind the fact two people were murdered in cold blood. Jesse Jackson would never, for example, approach an organization like NASCAR & threaten to file suit for a lack of "racial diversity" in the sport...unless, of course, they're willing to make a
donation to his Rainbow/Push coalition.

- Political Opportunists: The people who love to shoot their mouth off & then "apologize" a week later like they were taken out of context. You know, like a certain, un-named Representative from Minnesota said that 9/11 was like the Reichstag fire in Germany - that it was all engineered to cement the president's power & that president Bush is like Hitler - only to say he didn't mean it about a week later. Well, why not cater to your audience & recant it afterwards? It's called having your cake & eating it too. Which is great. If you're at a birthday party. Say what you mean & mean what you say, people!

- Mets Fans: Sorry, Yankee-bashers. There's no excuse for this! How you can follow a team that so obviously lives in the shadow of the Yanks is beyond me. Though, I will give you credit for taking out the Red Sox in '86. Still, there have been so few reasons for so many people to make this one of baseball's most popular teams that it defies logic...plus, Shea stadium stinks!

- Cubs Fans: Yep. Same thing. But at least the Mets get to the series once in awhile!

- Harry Potter Maniacs: OK, so Potter is everywhere. I will credit J.K. Rowling with creating a delightful series of books & giving children the incentive to read again. That's a great contribution to society. What's not so great is all the people who jam your site (like poor Mrs. Who) with TONS of hits because you jokingly "posted" a Harry Potter spoiler. Obsession is a cologne, not a way of life. The book's out on Friday. Be patient!

- Ack! I used the words "Harry Potter" & "spoiler". Here come the crazies!


Training - Week 2 - Day 1

I continued with the private lessons on my days off. They last about an
hour each & are very productive. Taking on a student, especially one who
has a great deal of drive/talent, does me a lot of good. I'm able to work
on my forms in greater detail than regular classes will allow.

We covered the first eight forms (Chun-Ji to Hwa-Rang) with Hwa-Rang being
the one that required the most time. Still, I'm very happy with the
progress we're making with only two days a week. Yes, Gabe has prior
knowledge of these forms but he has been away for quite some time. The fact
he's willing to continue his training despite working second shift says a
lot for his character. As a bonus, I'm getting the experience I need to run
classes on my own (in case I move away from Iowa - I'd never change schools

The last few minutes of the lesson were spent covering one-step sparring.
Basically, you'd call this punch defense. It's a series of
blocks/evasions/redirections that allow one to counter a basic punching
attack. As a side note many of these have limited use against a boxer.
Simply put, they offer little in the way of forward momentum. Redirection
will work - but only to prevent getting hit - not to take them off

We covered the first ten one-steps. Number 10 has changed since Gabe was in
TKD the first time, so we felt that was as good a place as any to stop.
We'll probably go with 1 - 15 on Monday.

I'd also like to get started on self-defense. There are about two or three
per belt level & they're all taken from the Hapkido curriculum. Most of
this will be easy for Gabe - he's a black belt in Hapkido - so I don't
imagine a great amount of effort will be involved in teaching him. Heck,
he'll probably be able to show me a few things!

I'm having a great time with this, and class, and getting ready for test. I
need to put a bit more focus on my terminology - it's probably where I'm
falling behind the most. I've always done well at it & I don't intend for
that to change now!


HUGE Harry Potter Secret Revealed!

I discovered this quite by accident & I'm still reeling from the shock of it all. In my usual visitation of my regular blogs I came across a seemingly innocuous post.

A post, of all things, promising a revelation of Harry Potter material previously unknown to the world...

Oh, how horrible this secret is! It frightened me to the very core of my being. You see, I discovered this terrible truth while I was leaving a comment. The fact is horrible, but the world must know before it is too late!

Mrs. Who IS Lord Voldemort!

TKD News

I normally lead class on Tuesday yo give Master Rion a day off. He works full time AND runs the school four days a week with an additional Friday on the 3rd week of every month. To say he has an unforgiving task is an understatement. Still, that's why he has black belts & I am to help however I can.

We have a number of talented students in both the Cedar Rapids & Atkins schools. Chief among these is probably Dylan (Mr. Vaughn) in Atkins though there are quite a few others that come to mind. We were unfortunate to (temporarily) lose a very talented young lady named Annie in our Cedar Rapids school. Annie broke her leg & heel in an accident a few months ago. She was very close to testing for recommended black belt & I'm sure she was pretty well bummed about that. She's a hard charger, puts a lot of effort in & I believe demonstrates a great deal of dedication to class.

Did I mention we're talking about a twelve-year-old child? It does my heart good to see such a young person take self-defense & an art so seriously. Her brother, by comparison, is not a bad student in any way but lacks her focus.

Anyway, back to that point I to which I was getting.

Annie was finally able to come back to class last night! She didn't participate in focus drills - I'm sure it was relevant to her injured leg - but did participate in kicks, forms & self-defense. Now, I don't know if she has been working on things at home but she did very well for someone gone so long (Actually, better than some people who show up all the time). Judging from that & sensing she was a bit unsure about her progress, I made a point to let her know she was doing very well & that we'd have her ready for recommended black belt in no time. That was enough to put a smile on the kid's face & she was right back at her forms.

It's just amazing what a little (honest) positive comment can do for someone.


Harry Potter: OoTP

(No Spoilers)

Very well done movie. MUCH better than that high school drama that was GoF! Check out Roses' review for a great opinion on this movie (no spoilers there, either).

The acting was better than most previous installments & while some enjoyable parts of the book were cut (O.W.L.s, HELLO?) the overall spirit of the work was there. Any scene in which Dumbledore enters is a prelude to some of the best parts of the film and as a plus, Voldemort wasn't nearly as "Broadway" as he was at the end of GoF.

There was a sinister tone to the movie, just as in the book, and the climactic scene at the Ministry will take your breath away. I'd recommend any fan of the books (duh!) or anyone who likes a good action/drama without all the blood & guts check this one out.

So Excited I Forgot To Blog It!

In the midst of all my training, classes, Hapkido & generally busy life I forgot the most exciting part of the week. My friend, who was an inspiration to get me started in martial arts, is now being trained by me.

He's a 1st degree black belt in Hapkido & a recommended black belt in TKD. He changed jobs & works second shift so he's not able to make classes. Since I'm senior to him in TKD & will be the same rank in HKD within a month, he asked me to help him get ready for promotion in both.

Yes, this involves a few more extra hours per week but that's just fine. I figure it's the least I can do to thank him for getting me in this thing I do. He works until midnight so I meet him at home & we'll be training him in his basement. It's actually pretty sweet for martial arts.

We had our first class last night & it went really well. We only practiced forms but it took a full hour & we made good progress. I expect to work on one-step sparring & maybe self-defense on Wednesday.

Overall, it's a very exciting thing for me to be trusted by our instructor (Master Rion trains us both) to bring him up to speed & have him eventually test. I guess this is just part of earning my certification as a full instructor (I'm currently an assistant instructor). I think I'm going to enjoy this stuff!


Training - Week 1 - Day 5

I had to make a post on this. I went running this morning at the usual bike trail. It's paved but still decent for running in the morning when a lot of people aren't there. You can actually run into downtown Cedar Rapids on it but that's not worth the trouble - downtown stinks (trash heap upwind...'nuff said).

I was just crossing the street to the part of the trail that goes around a small lake & had a good head of steam going. The sun was out, clear skies, no wind. Birds singing, ducks quacking, sparrows "chasing" me by flying around my head. I can't explain it - birds must have some amazing fascination with me. Anyway, the day was just beautiful.

Until Mr. Aqua Velva walked by in the opposite direction.

Seriously, I'm a man's man - I wear cologne (Lucky #6, Zegna or Acqua di Gio - if you must know) in appropriate situations. Going out to run, get sweaty & generally smell of stink when you finish is NOT ONE OF THOSE TIMES. In fact, all it does is nauseate the other people out on the trail. Nothing slows you down like a big, heaping lungful of funk in the middle of a run.

Training - Week 1

I'm getting things ready for my 2nd degree test & the biggest worry on my mind is endurance. Yes, forms, sparring & self-defense are all issues as well but my level of preparedness on those is good, at least.

No, it's my ability to stay in the game that's got me worried.

My 1st degree test pushed me to the limit. It lasted 1 hour, 15 minutes & left me nothing short of exhausted! The 2nd degree test promises to take everything from 1st degree, add three more forms, more self-defense & even more unknowns (something Master Rion likes to throw at us). Needless to say, being well-prepared in the area if endurance is important.

I've been running/walking (walking because it's hard on the knees - something I can't afford) for about six miles every other day since setting my test date. Keep in mind I'll be attending regular classes during this time AND practicing all my forms, one-steps & self-defense outside of school. I make no promises that I'll be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound - only that I'll be better prepared for my upcoming test.

Once it's done & I'm (hopefully) promoted, I'll post some pics & my essay.


For Your Family

I've read two accounts, one from Mrs. Who of House of Zathras & one from Roses of Ack! Thbbbt, both detail attacks on these two ladies years ago. Since both have been selfless enough to post something this personal AND are doing so because they know it may benefit other women & their daughters, I feel it's only decent of me to help spread their posts however I can.

The information I'm going to offer is similar to what you will find in their blogs. However, READ their posts! I cannot tell you how much both moved me, scared me & angered me. I have a young friend about to start in college & it's her first time away from home alone. While I believe people are generally good-natured there are some monsters sick beyond words. Mrs. Who & Roses have done a great service with these courageous messages.

Roses & Mrs. Who have asked others to post experiences on their sites. If you have something you wish to share, please do so on their blogs. I'm only trying to help get the message out there.

Here is the information I would like to offer (Courtesy: Matt Rion, Cedar Valley Defensive Arts):

1) Pay attention to your surroundings: Whether on vacation or at home, it is important to not get so caught up in the sights or activities that you do not notice what is going on around you.

2) Listen to your instincts: Some call it a "gut" feeling, others call it instinct. We all have it - pay attention when that little voice inside you says something is wrong. Get out of that situation immediately, even if you can't put your finger on what gave you the feeling. Once in a safe area, think about it more. You will soon realize what gave you the feeling.

3) Learn a martial art: Attending a self defense seminar several times a year is a step in the right direction. However, to become proficient and have the ability to react without thinking, will require consistent, regular practice. Visit a school and talk to the instructor about his or her philosophy of teaching. Does he or she emphasize tournaments? Although sparring is fun, it will not help you in a self-defense situation. Does he or she have an open mind and experience in multiple martial arts?

4) If you choose to carry pepper spray - Practice! Pepper spray is like any other weapon - it can be taken away and used against you. If you choose to carry pepper spray, get some training. At the very least, get several containers of the same brand you will carry. Take one in the back yard and learn how to use it. Like anything else, to be effective you must practice. Learn how far it will spray and how much pressure it takes to operate. It is better to take the time now, than not have the time later. And remember, to work at all, you must have it in your hand. There will be no time to fumble through your purse or pocket to find it.

Lastly, there was a study done (One In Eight) that addresses the risks posed to women in the state of Iowa. However, I think this report applies to all women & would encourage anyone with a wife/daughter/mother/etc. to read it.


Double Standards

This courtesy of Fox News:

Flag Flap

San Francisco State University is being sued for allegedly violating the rights of students who stomped on Hamas and Hezbollah flags during an anti-terrorism rally. The Alliance Defense Fund and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education — also called FIRE — have filed the suit in federal court on behalf of the College Republicans club and two individual students.

The lawsuit contends the school conducted an illegal investigation into the flag stomping incident. FIRE says it wrote to the school president twice to stress that a public university is not permitted to prosecute students for engaging in a peaceful protest or desecrating any type of flag.

The students ultimately were cleared by the school after a five-month probe.

Of course, if the above were radicals stomping on an American flag, there would be no investigation sponsored by the university. I'm arguing the act of stomping on a flag is disrespectful (though considering Hamas & Hezbollah flags "legitimate" is another argument) though if the courts see fit to declare the American flag - a symbol of justice throughout the world for which people have proudly given all - can be desecrated by misguided college youth, then certainly flags of oppressive terrorist organizations are fair game.

My personal view is this: Any official American flag (one of the eleven sanctioned sizes) should be considered in league with national monuments & it should be a crime to deface them. Argue freedom of speech all you want but to defile such a powerful symbol so closely associated with the American persona is, at best, to impugn the good the United States has brought into this world.

Additionally, any flag of our recognized allies (United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Israel, etc.) should be treated with similar respect. After all they *are* our friends - even if we don't always agree.

Time For 2nd Degree

Well, I haven't given an update on the 2nd degree (TKD) that I'm pursuing. Here's what I know:

My test will be on 7/31/2007, a Tuesday. It's going to be a long row to hoe. I have to keep up on the forms (13 of them), punch defense, self-defense, breaking & terminology. If that doesn't sound like much, give yourself a good slap...OK, don't do that! :-)

Seriously, keep in mind that I teach anywhere from two to three classes a week, have Hapkido as well & that nuisance of a job. Wow! That's even more stuff now that I look at it.

Master Rion did accept my essay for 2nd Degree. For anyone who wants to read that, I will be posting it after I'm promoted. Yes, like the Harry Potter book, you need to wait! Unlike the Harry Potter book, hopefully nobody dies in my test!

Wish me luck!



Uh-oh! I have made a terrible omission on my site. I was busy blasting Harvey on his appropriately-named site, Bad Example, & having a, well, blast. Roses - who is NOT causing any trouble - & I got into a tomato-based battle, during which Mrs. Who of House Of Zathras decided to get involved...helping Roses!

Needless to say, I was (not really) flabbergasted!

Then I realized the problem: Not enough blog-appreciation for Mrs. Who! I didn't even have her well done site linked on my blog. Well, I'm just disappointed in myself. I dare say I deserved those tomatoes to be chucked in my general direction. :-P

Mrs. Who, sorry for not blogrolling you earlier! Love your site & thanks for the drink.


No! Don't Offend Them

In another load of politically-correct crap, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will not allow fellow ministers to associate Muslims with Terrorism. Oh yeah, that whole "War on Terror" phrase, the one John Edwards calls a "bumper sticker slogan", is being dropped as well.

This comes fresh on the heels of multiple terrorist attacks in the UK. Honestly, does Neville Chamberlain the Second think appeasement EVER works? I can't tell you who came up with the idea that rewarding bad/evil/malicious behavior discourages evil but I can tell you this line of reasoning will take the world in a horrible direction.

Still, to be fair, maybe we should look at historical examples where aggression was met with appeasement & compare it with examples of people with a backbone...

Battle of Thermopylae: A small force of Spartans & Athenians, despite overwhelming odds & certain defeat, stood against the might of the Persian army. The aftermath united Greece in combating oppression & preserving the embers of democracy.

World War II: Then Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain offers the Sudetenland to Hitler to stave off war. Claims, "We have bought peace in our time". The result? Millions of people killed, tortured & ruined in the bloodiest conflict ever known to man.

American Revolution: Under-represented & dissatisfied colonists rise up in declaration of their right to representation. Ultimately achieved independence & formed the nation that would become renowned for serving as a symbol of freedom around the globe.

Venezuela: Poorly represented & dissatisfied citizens rise up & elect a man, Hugo Chavez, dictator. Similar to the French with Napoleon, they are given the freedom to vote & manage to vote their rights away to an anti-American, pro-Iranian communist.

President Reagan: He stares down the Soviet threat & draws them into an economic/ideological race of magnificent proportions. The result? A bolstered & economically sound America. A ruined & divided Soviet empire.

President Carter: Pokes his head in the sand for 444 days while hostages languish in Iran after the Shah was deposed. The result? America looks weak around the world, hostages suffer for over a year & pay the price for pacifism.

Well, now it's obvious how much appeasement has helped us in the past. I tell you, if these liberals concerned themselves more with reading the history books instead of rewriting them, the world would be in much better shape.

Let's call a spade a spade & be done with the politically-correct crap. Yes, not all Muslims are terrorists - no one reasonable ever said they were - just as not all Italians are in the mob. Still, the fact remains that the overwhelming majority of terrorists ARE Muslim. This is not racial profiling, it's fact. The world would do well to take this advice:

Don't be afraid to see what you see.


No, I'm not talking about the excellent movie starring Mel Gibson. I'm talking comment party payback!

Harvey, my inspiration for deviltry in the world of blogging, has left his blog undefended while he attends OgFest. Everyone who has a chance, stop by & cause some mischief. I see Roses has already beat me to it!


Maybe She Works With Spinsters

An employee of the city of Detroit is suing to ban colleagues from wearing perfume at work. The plaintiff alleges she is made sick by the stuff. Not that I condone lawsuits, but something's gotta stop!

For anyone who has been living on a remote island (Hey, crew of the SS Minnow!) & hasn't been exposed the fifty-five year-old woman in every office who bathes in that same perfume (Ol' Yeller, I think it's called) that makes you gag & retch when she's upwind I ask you to feel our pain. This is a problem in every office in which I've worked. You get that person who thinks because they can't smell the perfume they've been wearing since the Coolidge administration that it must be losing its potency.

Their solution: douse themselves with enough of that porpoise hork to ward away a charging rhino.

Seriously ladies, however much you used in '65 will work just fine today. Keep that in mind before you make other people sick!


Happy Independence Day

I'd like to wish each of you (belated to our great neighbors to the north) a happy Independence Day this July 4th! This is probably my favorite holiday of the year. Though we enjoy our freedom every day of the year, we set aside this one day to commemorate our declaration of independence (& the Declaration of Independence) that was to become the beacon of freedom throughout the world.

Keep in mind, as you enjoy this great holiday, that we bask in the warmth of freedom's glow because men & women - brave & standing sure in their defense of this great nation - serve us every day. Without these vaunted people in uniform this day, no, ALL days would be left with liberty in question.

If you have the good fortune to see anyone who is, or has, served, thank them. It's a small gesture and a courtesy that shows them their dedication to their country is appreciated & is not forgotten.

Happy Independence Day, everyone!


Wasting Resources

I'd like to discuss with all of you an energy problem. In light of the tragic over-consumption humans commit on this planet every day with natural resources, such as petroleum-based products, we fail to draw attention to another energy source we're wasting all too much. Sunlight.

I kid you not.

A study of kookery by Chee Chee Leung determines that the sun CAN'T be a source of unlimited power - why, we humans are taking almost a quarter of the sun's energy that's stored in plants! Obviously, this callous abuse of our sun, which would have lasted 5,000,000,000 years without human intervention, will reduce it's lifespan to 4,999,999,999 years, 364 days, 23 hours & 56 minutes.

And that's considering I used four minutes to type this post.

Well, I guess the use of biofuels is out! Of course, that's a government subsidy - meaning that crap couldn't survive on its own - so one branch of radical eco-goobers will be thrilled & another furious at Chee Chee's article. Keeping their collective (communist reference intended) thoughts in mind:

How long before they say the sky is falling?

Get My Shotgun, Please!

You Are Big Bird

Talented, smart, and friendly... you're also one of the sanest people around.

You are usually feeling: Happy. From riding a unicycle to writing poetry, you have plenty of hobbies to keep you busy.

You are famous for: Being a friend to everyone. Even the grumpiest person gets along with you.

How you life your life: Joyfully. "Super. Duper. Flooper."

Site Meter

Modified by Blogger Tutorial

Crunch Time ©Template Nice Blue. Modified by Indian Monsters. Original created by http://ourblogtemplates.com