Testing, 1, 4, 5!

Today we worked mostly from yokomenuchi. I've always had trouble responding with ikkyo, nikkyo, etc...For some reason the transition from sliding off center, bringing up the arms to applying ikkyo or nikkyo always stumps me. I don't know if I can say I figured it out, but I may have made a little bit of progress. I'll take what I can get.

After an hour of practiced we stopped for a few people to test. We had a 5th , 4th and 1st kyu tests. All were quite good. Bibliosk8 performed the 5th kyu requirements admirably. A little humbling when I remember how I literally stumbled through my 5th and 4th kyu tests.

The above video shoes Christian Tissier perfoming some of the Yokomen techniques that we worked on today.


In The Heat of The Day

I really took advantage of my head cold to practice laziness, so missed Aikido Wednesday.

I got off work a little early today and rode around White Rock Lake. If you don't know, Dallas on a late June afternoon can be a bit warm. I don't know if it was my lack of exercise or the heat, but I was really pooped after the hour ride.

I even stopped to take some pictures.


Re-Tiring at 51!

For the first time in almost 30 years I changed a motorcycle tire today. Actually TWO tires! I spent about 3 hours changing 2 tires and it was an experience. I used the YouTube video and the ADVrider thread from Neduro plus the 4strokes.com info to answer a question for me, all to make it happen. Maybe the Internet has something more than porn after all!

I think I can maybe cut that time in half in the future, but I was interesting since whenever I thought it just wasn't going to work I thought back to th eYouTube video that said if you have to work at changing tires you are doing something wrong.

Anyway, above is th photo of the end results.

I've had a head/chest cold for the past week, in addition to being out of town last weekend. So I've missed over a week of Aikido. I hope to make the Saturday class.


Seattle Afternoon

There was a time when reading was my main preoccupation and for many years going to bookstores was my main pastime. Perhaps to continue the nostalgic vein of this trip I wandered into a bookstore I discovered called “Twice Sold Tales” in the Queen Anne area of Seattle.

I would think it hard to pay the bills with only used books, but I did my part and bought a novel in the way I used to, by looking at the cover and reading the blurbs. I chose A Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss.

There were at least three cats in the store and here are a few pictures.


I Say It’s My Birthday!

What makes a good birthday? Friends, family, time off? OR you work all day long rush through rainy day thick Seattle traffic to go to an Aikido class. Then have a great meal of Afghan food with two glasses of wine, then get a latte from Stabucks and go to your hotel room, all by yourself. THAT is a great birthday.

Tonight I went to Tenzan Aikido in Seattle taught by the Sensei Bruce Bookman . This was special since I originally tried Aikido for 9 months way back in 1988 and Bruce Bookman was my first Aikido Sensei. I enjoyed it at the time but I lost interest as I changed careers. Howerver I remember it as a good experience.

So how did this all line up, my memory, my current experience at Plano Aikido and my time tonight? First off, Bookman Sensei put more exercise into the beginning of the class, and that loosened us up greatly.

Then we practiced "tai no henko", shiho nage, nikkyo and something else. It was a good time but I noticed a difference form my home dojo. The techniques were louder but the instruction and practice was quiet. Meaning people slapped out loud and hard on falls, but neither my partners nor Sensei talked much. And the break falls were loud.

At Plano Aikido Shiba Sensei is very soft spoken and his technique is quiet. His rolls are soft and any breakfalls are gentle. BUT, he makes a real effort to explain what he is doing and talks frequently with the students and welcomes questions as he walks around. I got the impression tonight it would be poor etiquette to ask Sensei a question as he walked by.

But it was nice to make that connection with my younger self, and to realize I’m happy with the dojo and the Sensei I go to now.

The video is of me in an alternate universe, much like a star trek episode without the evil twin.

But really, I must rent Metropolis by Fritz Lang.


A New New Beginning

Scenes from a mall

Tomorrow is another birthday, my one year blog anniversary.

A year ago tonight I blogged…

“Statistically I have 25 years to live ( more or less). So what do I do with those 25 years?”

Then the next day I posted…

… I earlier decided to consciously focus on 3 parts of my life and if I don't set actual goals at least try to track my progress as I pursue these interest.

1. Practice Aikido
2. Make a 2D computer animation short
3. Learn Spanish with Spanish Language software

Ok, the animation has pretty much stopped and may be usurped by my new motorcycle obsession. I still have not given up on Spanish, but strangely after getting back from Spain where I loved any opportunity to speak a little Spanish (“Café con leche por favor”) I have not studied once.

Aikido, I’m still at and still plan to keep at, with a Zen like acceptance of my own ineptitude. If I say it that way incompetence has a much better spin.

So, where do I stand? I am keeping to my crude statistic of dying at 75, which I will gladly ignore if I turn 76+.

Even though I know it means nothing, the pressure is on. What to do with the remaining 24 years? I’ll ponder it a bit more and post any results I discover.

By the way, I’m in Bellevue, WA tonight and DAMN this is a beautiful place. Trees and hills, here they are as common as dirt.

The picture doesn’t show the mountains but it has some trees that are more impressive in person. This was the view as I went into a shopping mall to get to a Starbucks.


Sloshed in Seattle

Just to say, I missed Aikido this Saturday because I had take a work trip to the Seattle area. A difficult day starting with forgetting my birthday was coming and that I need to renew my Drivers License I also found out this affected my return trip since my DL will no longer be valid and marks me as a possible terrorist. Then the rental car place will only give me a car until my license expires. I don’t know how I will handle the last half of the trip since travel is necessary.

Anyway after a very long day I finally found an India restaurant near the hotel I was staying at in the Queen Hill part of Seattle.

It is amazing how my mood changes after a big meal and a few beers. Before I was depressed and fretful how I would deal with my Drivers License problems. But by the end of the meal I loved everybody chatting in the restaurant and I was even accepting of the persnickety patron who didn’t want peas in his rice and spent the whole meal adjusting his iPod.