Fixing Windows - More things to do when not at Aikido

Note to self: Because I keep playing around with different Linux partitions I need to remember that getting back to a Windows7 only boot up, use the Windows7 DVD and boot to DVD choose Repair Computer and then use

bootrec /fixmbr

All the stuff on the web about bootsect and all its choices, do me no good.


Look But Don't Draw

I was off work yesterday and with a little free time I thought I would play an artist and take my sketch book to a scenic spot and get my drawing on. But for no good reason I was in a foul mood and went out with an emotional cloud hanging over me.

I discovered something about myself and maybe the act of drawing itself. If what I am looking at doesn't call to me to be drawn I can barely get up enough energy to lift the pen. I am sure there are professional and amateur illustrators that can simply look or imagine something and dutifully and competently and maybe even beautifully put it on paper. I am not of that sort.

I suppose it is like anything else that requires your own participation, music, working in the yard, reading a book and even sometimes watching TV, if I don't feel compelled to eagerly make the effort I just won't. For me at least the trick is to find a point of view for the task at hand that makes me really want to do it.

For instance, while in High School I was a pretty lackluster student, but 20 30 years later when I took some classes those previous boring subjects grabbed my attention. I certainly wasn't any smarter and was just a few classes but I was taking them because something intrigued me about the subjects.

Anyway, even though I might look at something and know it was the kind of thing I should want to draw, if I an not “in the mood” I end up packing it in and heading home. I also suspect it comes from my belief that for me, drawing is really “looking” and if I am not truly motivated to “look” the following parts of the process fall apart.

Sooooo...I went home, got some lunch with some wine, put some music on (Pomplamoose, thank you very much!) and quietly alternated between reading and looking out the window.

You can see what I saw and hear what I heard by looking at the video above.

Somebody once told me there was some tribal language that had a separate word for looking at a fire, as one does when sitting around a campfire. Well, I think somewhere there must be a special word for simply watching bamboo being rocked to and fro by the wind.

The bamboo was compelling but the complexity of all that was happening put me off trying to draw the view. If I can't earnestly draw I can try to earnestly look.


Things To Watch When Not At Aikido

I gather many people know all about Pomplamoose, I just recognized them from the Christmas car commercial.

This really makes we wish I was a musician.

Check out to cool lyrical substitution they made

Don't make me sing this part of the song
The lyrics are so bad
So we're going to skip ahead
To the single ladies part instead

My foot still hurts. This may take longer than I thought


Yin and Yang Cats

I need to get out the house and find something other to draw than cats.


Good-Bye to Sammy

Sammy is now gone. It was a sad Sunday

Sammy, 2002 -2011


Sunday Sketch

Cats can sit still for hours and hours but the moment you start to draw them they get fidgety and jump away.



Inspired by Bibliosk8.net I stopped by Asel Art Supply and bought some pens and and new drawing pad (the pens were pricey but the pad was on sale for $4)

There was some young girl, maybe high school or early college age, asking whom I assume was the manager what to buy. It was great to overhear somebody who obviously loved working in an art supply store and had opinions that somehow manage to never seemed to put anybody down. He was all about finding the right materials "for you!"

I hope to make myself just draw a few "doodles" each day. Nothing serious, just taking the time to look at something. Not so much the result but getting into the act of looking.


from within, myself unseen

Over 10 years ago I stumbled across A Country Calendar by Flora Thompson. It was the kind of thing I used to do...go to the downtown public library and just wander the shelves randomly picking at books. Anyway I read some (maybe all, but I doubt it) of this book and thought it had the most beautiful sentences I had ever read. But this was age before amazon and even after many years of searching I never found it. I did see many copies of her fiction trilogy Lark Rise to Candleford, but for some reason I could never get into it.

Anyway I was reminded of it recently and keeping with this modern age I ordered it online (not amazon, so they didn't win this round). I got it today and know why it stuck in my mind. You can open the book at random and read wonderful phrases, sentences and paragraphs...

This morning, a forgotten milk-can brought me out of bed early. Afterwords, in spite of the rimey tang in the air, I stood at my cottage gate, and was glad of it.


A pair of blue-tits have built between the double wooden walls of the tool-shed here, and I am able to watch them through a knot-hole in the wood from within, myself unseen.


August- It is strange how the counties personify themselves to mind's eye.

Dorset is a dairy maid, all curds and cream and roses. Wiltshire, a princess of the Stone Age, fugitive, aloof. You may tread on her vast spaces and breathe pollen-scented air for a month, and never once catch a glimpse of her; although most ancient of counties she still awaits her poet to interpret her....


upon the fourth of November, three swallows appeared in a sky deserted for the more than a fortnight by the last of their kind. It was a dull morning of east wind and cutting showers, and the shrill cries of the three birds may have been due to cold. Just as probably, they were hunger cries , for a keen wind clears the air of insects even more completely that frost....

It reminded me of another book I half read, The Long Loneliness by Dorthy Day. I never got past the first chapter but this line always stuck with me.

“Children all love to hear stories of when their parents were young, and their parents before them. It gives the child a sense of continuity.”

Both books carry such weight of a lost time. They speak to the best of a different world view, not the provincial or petty or prejudiced past, by where things were close and you were aware. Where the past is part of the present, not an object of study but..I don't know what, but whatever it is...it is gone. Yet you can almost remember them, these thing ring true.

But what child really hungers for stories of their parents and grandparent? That is for a grown child searching Ancestry.com. Maybe I simply want to remember the world that BBC and Masterpiece Theater have always assumed I knew.

A Fractured Tale, not a Funny Fractured Fairy Tale

So...It is not a sprain. I have a fracture and I have to wear a boot for at least 3 weeks. No Aikdo, No bicycle rides, no exercise...just me and couch and the TV.

I hobbled Saturday, Sunday and by Monday I was pretty pathetic sight so I broke down and made a doctor's appointment.

Not much to do really...just wear a boot for few weeks because as ridiculous as I looked with a “boot” clomping around, I looked extremely sad dragging a lame foot about.

Oh yes, one other thing to do, buy some sushi take it home and drink some wine while you eat. And from the way I feel tonight that may be the game plan for the immediate future


It's Always Something!

A few weeks ago I had a problem with an inflammation on my heel which at one point was bad enough I was limping about my business at work. But a week or so later with the help of some pills I was back to normal.

THEN...today while working with somebody before class I was an uke who grabs one wrist and then by running behind the person grabs the other wrist. I felt particularly clumsy this morning but I tried to loosen up and not be such a sack of potatoes. Anyway in one instance I stepped with full force and slammed my toes into the guy's heel. At the time it It hurt a little but we move on.

Well, to get to the point....in the next few minutes I notice it is hurting more and more so that by the time class actually starts I realize I can't do a forward roll on my left side because when I go forward on my left foot I have drop to my knee because it is so painful.

Then after 15 or 20 minutes I actually excused myself and left class early.

With each hour it hurt more and more, but only when I tried to walk. So now at the end of the day I have trouble putting any weight on the foot. I guess it will be OK since only one toes is swollen much and it is the only one that is purple.

Lately it feels like there is always something interfering with my practice. Of course sometimes it is my own laziness but when I finally get the gumption up an make some effort...fate steps in.

I am showing my age but it makes me thing of the quote from Roseanne Roseannadanna back from the early days of Saturday Night Live. Have I turned into the person she was making fun of?

Well, Jane. It just goes to show ya! It's always somethin'! If it's not one thing, it's another! Either you smoke or you have a sweat ball hangin' off your nose! ... or you have a hurt heel or maybe a broken toe!