The Rack Of Time

Time, time, time
See what's become of me

– The Bangles

Life is complicated. But at least part of the “problem” is time.

Tonight I tried to install the rear rack on my motorcycle before I left for Aikido class since tomorrow night I hope to be installing a skid plate. But given my poor mechanical abilities I should have known better. What should have been at most a 30 minute job turned into over 2 hours. So...I missed my Wednesday Aikido class. But I felt really crummy on Monday so I wimped out and skipped on Monday. AND I will miss Satlurday becasuse of family obligations....AND I missed last Wednesday because I stayed late at work and somehow forgot my Gi (Aikido outfit).

Anyway, this is where my personal deficiencies come into play. I should have dropped the project tonight and gone to class, but once focused on something like that I can spend hours and hours and I HATE being distracted by anything once I'm in process. But the gist of the thing is, I ran out of time.

I also should have sucked it up and gone to class on Monday and the previous Wednesday. So I just have to make sure I make Monday's class.

Below is a picture of the accursed motorcycle rack


Just Because It Looked Nice

I rode around the lake this morning and I took this picture just because I thought it looked nice and I had my camera with me.


Mid Life Crisis Successfully Navigated!

Thanks to a very friendly loan I was able to buy a Suzuki DRZ400S Dual Sport Motorcycle. I suppose it might be considered similar to the middle aged man getting a Corvette, something that denotes youth but is actually a hollow attempt to recapture a lost age.

Yeah, I suppose...but, DAMN motorcycles are cool!!! And the DRZ400S strikes at my soul with it's coolness even though I now owe a good friend a ton of money. Anyway my high school chum and his friend from work met in Bartlesville, Oklahoma to by 4 motorcycles (mine, theirs and another sucker they talked into this project) from the same shop we bought our high school Suzukis from.

Then we rode a very short portion of the TransAmerican Motorcycle Trail, before I pealed off to ride the bike back to Dallas (over 300 miles according to Google maps). It was a heck of a windy day but I made it safely back a and felt great. DAMN motorcycles are cool!!!

The picture shows me and an old College roommate with our new motorcycles.

Am I a cliché? Perhaps, but there are reasons clichés are..well, clichés. BECAUSE they point to a truth. If you don't want to be old...act young. Not childish, but young. But for me riding a motorcycle doesn't make me feel young, rather it transcends age (to be a bit pretentious) in that riding a motorcycle forces you to live in the moment. Not young, not old,.. just there!

I think this means I will rework the subtitle to the blog to include motorcycles now.


On the Road and on the Go

Tonight I practiced at Aikido of Columbus where Paul Linden is the Sensei. It was good to practice since I have been away from Plano Aikido Center since last Saturday. Plus the out of town work was very busy, so a chance to focus on Aikido was a treat.

The sensei really focused NOT on the effects, or “peripherals” but wanted us to find the essence of what we were practicing. I was….not so good. I really missed the boat on most of it.

There is a little trepidation when practicing at a different dojo since you feel like you are partially representing your home dojo. But you can only worry about so many things, so I plunge ahead.

My fumbling and missteps showed me how crude my Aikido skills remain. This brings me back to a repeating thought, which for some would be a sad thought. Realistically I have no hope of “achieving excellence” or being really great at anything. But yet I carry on, plunge ahead, and maybe even “keep the faith”. What that faith is, I can’t say.

But I keep going, even happily keep on going. And I think the moral of the store is “No matter where you go, there you are!”

But after a week in Columbus I'm off to Oklahoma where I hope to come home with a motorcycle


Not A Pretty Picture

It’s bad, not so pretty, but here it is…my 4th kyu test. Looking at it I don’t think I would have passed myself.

Here are the rest of the tests


4th Kyu at 50

I was waiting for the videos from last Saturday's test before posting, but it isn't ready yet. So....yes I am now ranked at 4th Kyu. The historic part is that this testing was the first since Plano Aikido (formerly Aikido of Plano) became independent of Aikido of Dallas. Which means that Sidney Sensei (again.. is that Shiba Sensei?) was the judge.

Previously you trained under one Sensei (Sidney) but tested under another, as was the case for my 5th kyu test. So I suppose there was a little less stress this time, but you still worry. I also suppose that in this type of situation the Sensei would simply say you were not ready to test if there was a chance of not passing.

The parting from Aikido of Dallas was amicable and there was no scandal.

One one of Sensei's “things” (I think) is that exposure to different schools helps you in your training. Previously he asked Alberto who originally trained in Mexico, to teach the Saturday class and now that he is gone Charlie who trained in Tomiki Aikido to teaches Wednesday's class. So tonight we work on what Charlie calls “Dai Nikkyo” which I think just means “The number two” in Japanese. But his nikkyo is slightly different from what Plano Aikido or Aikido of Dallas teaches.

I couldn't find a video of the difference but I think all of us thought it was damn painful. So I only used a drawing of a hand which shows part of the muscles and joints we use to apply the technique (and also for Yonkyo).

As an aside, I will probably drop the animation part of the blog statement and insert video.