dal niente

Month: July, 2006

High Score: Fantastic!

Supervisor: “This weekend we had an overload at the morgue.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

D: “Well, first it was XXX on friday, then YYY later that night.  Then on saturday, ZZZ also went.  And we’ve only got two drawers in the morgue.  I’m not sure what they did with ZZZ then.”

S: “It wouldn’t be the first time.  But the all time high score was when we had five at once.  Lucky one of them was Jewish.”

Me: “Why is that lucky?”

S: “I’m not sure, something in the religion that after a person dies their body is picked up almost immediately.  I’m not sure exactly how it goes, but that’s what happened.”

Me: “Uh… so what happens when there are twice as many people as drawers?”

Super: “They double up.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

S: “You didn’t know? They double up.”

D: “Yeah, pretty cool huh?” (grins)

Me: “Um… Excuse me? Double up?”

Super: “Well, at least, lucky for ZZZ, I was saying that XXX was a gentle old man.”

(Laughter all around the room.)

Me: “You people are fucking sick.”

D: “Dude, we tried using an aux fridge once, but they all cramp in the fetal position if you fold them up before freezing.  THAT was a bit hard to explain.”

Super: “YYY wanted his ashes thrown off the Jacques Cartier Bridge.  He met his wife there.”

D “…That’s kinda romantic.”

Me: “Is that why ZZZ and XXX got together? Because they were single?”

Super: “God man, no!  XXX was thrice ZZZ’s age! That’s just sick!”


I don’t know why, but for some reason I’m reminded of the game Devil May Cry where if you get your ass whuped on Normal mode to much, the game awards you by unlocking “easy mode”.

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When I was in an urban studies class a
few semesters ago, my teacher was always making fun of Laval. For
those of you who don’t know, Laval is a suburb of Montreal, sort of
isolated in that it’s mostly residential, doesn’t have much in terms
of public transportation, local parks, etc. They do have a mall, but
for the most part you need to have a car to get around.

Back then I thought that my teacher was
just making ‘an example’ out of Laval, in the sense that he was
showing you how urbanization theories could be used to analyze the
details of city planning. I mean, my teacher is a clever man– so he
could make, theoretically, any city look bad.

But now that I read more of it, Laval
really is just a big mistake.

It’s becoming especially apparent
because some of my relatives live there, including my 18 year old
cousin. The problem is that he’s trying to get a job. But there are
none. There’s hardly anywhere to work in Laval. He also has hardly
any local friends. Yes, he has classmates– but he doesn’t have
people he goes to the park with to play soccer and those kinds of
traditional sorts of things. Why? Because it’s nearly impossible
without a car– and most kids don’t have cars.

I’m not just making up the city factor
of my cousin’s situation. This idea has been supported by studies
conducted on residential suburbs without sufficient social
infrastructure.

Now my cousin’s running into problems
because Laval was his parents’ choice for a home because land there
is relatively cheap– it’s a low income family. And now he’s going
to be going to college soon, or at least, that’s what he hopes. But
getting to the colleges, which are downtown, is a very, very daunting
task on the limited Laval public transportation network. They’re on
a separate transportation network, so that means that in addition to
paying for the Montreal pass, he’d also need the separate one for
Laval.

My grandfather was complaining that my
cousin, when asked by one of my other uncles to help paint a few
rooms, wanted first to know how much he’d be paid.

“Paid? [Jinryu] always does slave
labor for free!” my grandfather would say in outrage.

But then again, our situations are
different. I live in LaSalle, which is a suburb of Montreal as well,
but not nearly as isolated– I have access to public transportation
that gets me downtown pretty cheaply and pretty quickly. LaSalle
also has a whole lot more social developments– a local economy that
hires youths (it’s not nearly as residential as Laval) is one thing.
But the other is that LaSalle’s arrangement is more conductive to
community involvement– there are libraries within easy access, youth
programs and parks everywhere (like local soccer teams) and things.
Laval? You’ll need a car to get to the few facilities that they do
have.

What do youth infrastructures have to
do with it? Youth programs make youths who are outgoing and know how
to deal with people.

If the nature of your social life as a
teen is school itself, after which you only wait to be driven home
where you play alone (since, even if you had neighborhood friends,
there’d be nowhere for you to congregate) then you’re not the kind of
material that employers are looking for either.

So if my cousin’s first reaction to the
prospect of some handy man work for family is ‘what’s the pay look
like?’ we must understand– it’s simply that he’s desperate for
money. The actual geography of his situation has made it not only
physically impossible to reach a job but for him to have the
qualifications to match city dwellers who have closer to what city
jobs want.  Basically, what it boils down to is that Laval isn’t a place for kids to grow up

We talk all the time about destiny, and potential, and all that sorta stuff… but then, what the hell is it when you’re blocked off by geography?

Assorted non-fiction

There was a time in Ancient China, around the time of the Han dynasty, where you had a lot of free-floaters milling about due to the fall of the last centralized government.

There was a sage who brought with him, at all times, a bottle of wine and a shovel– and thus, legend has it, he was alway prepared to meet life or death during his travels.

It is said that this sage at times, when he wanted to celebrate life, sat at home naked in his home while drinking.  One time, a neighbor walked in on him and cried out in outrage “What the hell are you doing?!  Where are your trousers?!”

To which the sage replied, “My house is my trousers.  What the hell are you doing in my trousers?”

(I paraphrased the story more or less.)


A patient died at work last night, which wouldn’t really be anything out of the ordinary, except that I knew this pateint a bit better than the other ones.  She was 44 years old, and died of lung complications due to cystic fibrosis.  Right off the bat, 44 years old is a really good age for cystic fibrosis– only about 47% of Canadians with CF make it past the age of 18.

“He hates us, you know.”

“It’s not the best scenario, but at least he isn’t blaming his family.  We’re not going to be involved anymore after this.”

“That’s because– to be honest, come on.  Doctor *** didn’t tell him the truth, he led him on!  I don’t care if he’s 13 years old, when someone asks you a straight question, you give a straight answer.”

“The kid’s strong though.  I mean… he doesn’t quite understand I guess.  But maybe that’s a good thing?”

“No, no.  Don’t start sounding like Doctor ***.  That’s what’s making this a mess. There are ethics you know, we don’t draw lines just because Nathan’s only 13 years old.  We’re not talking consent, we’re talking a right to know about his own mother’s condition for God’s sakes.  If Doctor *** can’t stand up and tell…”

“It’s not our jobs to do that.”

“Well someone’s got to do it!  I don’t like the idea anymore than you do.”

“She’s right.  Excusez moi mais c’est la faute du docteur.  C’est pas notre responsabilite, mais dans ce cas it’s even more important that he do it because he’s the only one who is supposed to.”

“You know, Nathan went up to the fifth floor this morning to tell the nurses there “My Mom has died.  I just thought you’d like to know.”  Can you imagine that?  Marc said the kid showed up and said he wanted to talk to him, and that’s all he said. Not pointing the fingers at him or anything, or any of the other nurses.  But it sounds pretty obvious that he feels betrayed.”

“Bien sur.”

“He’s tough though.  But this went down all wrong.  I don’t care if the kid points at Dr. *** the most, this is not the way it should be done.  Maybe the kid isn’t old enough to understand everything, but you don’t say to him “Your mom could still go home” when you know that it’s not going to happen.  That’s just irresponsible.”


X: “If she’d listened to me, she wouldn’t be in this mess now.  I told her to take nursing– I put my own education in the backseat for my children, and they don’t listen.  And now? Now what?”

Me: “Well, maybe she really doesn’t like nursing.”

X: “Well, maybe she can start paying her own bills then.  You know, ever since she finished athletic therapy, what’s happened?  Nothing.  All her friends switched to nursing. Now she works at a second cup, and she tells me that she can’t take it much more.”

Me: “She’s what… 19?”

X: “Turning 20 soon.”

Me: “I was a lot more screwed up than that at age 19.  I mean, directionless.  And look at me now, I’m in english lit for crying out loud.  But am I worried?”

X: “Ah, but at least you work in a hospital.”

Me: “What? Come on.  I’m a unit coordinator.  This job’s a joke– some days, you could replace me with a monkey.  The monkey would still make XX$ per hour just like me.  There’s no future in this job– I’m just doing it to pay the bills.”

X: “So you got plans?”

Me:  “Can’t say I really know what.  I just have a feeling that I’ll end up doing something I enjoy.  My parents told me to do things when I was younger too– did I listen?”

X: “Did you?”

Me: “No.  Not really.  I regret it sometimes, but then again, there’d be a whole lot more to regret if I just did what they told me.”

X: “So what’re you saying I should do with my kid?”

Me: “I’m saying it’s gonna be tough, but first of all, you cut her cash off. It’s one thing to do what you want, but there’s a price right?”

X: “Everythin’ got a price.”

Me: “Everything’s got a price.  So she makes second cup money– make that her rent money.  Or her education money.  If she doesn’t want to do your plan, then she’s gotta do something for herself, and she’s got to earn that opportunity.  I think it’s that simple.  Look at me, I’m in freaking debt up the wazoo. I’m telling you, nothing motivates you like imminent self-destruction.  That gets me running pretty hard.”

X: “You’re a terrible example.”

Me: “Nah.  I’m a perfect example of a terrible person trying to survive.  I’m not saying your she can’t do nursing.  I’m just saying, it’s not your choice.”

X:  “Her choice got her nowhere.”

Me: “Well, she’ll learn.  Thing you gotta understand is that when a parent says something, the kid has two options– either admit the parent has some truth to what they’re saying, or to rebel.  Assuming you’re right.”

X: “Of course I’m right!”

Me: “… well, all the more reason for her to figure that out on her own.  You don’t want a rebellion.”


Hoping

There’s that old saying that you never really create anything.  Well, actually, it’s a law of thermodynamics that says that you neither create nor destroy energy.  But whatever.  Let’s use a layman’s analogy and say that the deck always has the same amount of cards, you just play them differently.


We had this air conditioning central air wall mounted unit thing installed recently.  It’s gotta be one of the hugest wastes of electricity we’ve ever endorsed in.  I guess that’s not fair, since I play PS2 on a 52 inch screen for quite a few hours a day.  But I’ll get into that another day.

The thing about the air conditioner is that my parents don’t use it properly.  Same with the dehumidifier.  When you turn these things on, you’re supposed to shut all the windows.  In the case of the air conditioner, so that the cold air you’ve ‘generated’ stays in the house, and the hot air from outside stays out.  In the case of the dehumidifier, same scenario– close the windows so that the air that you’ve ‘dried’ stays in the house, and the humid air stays outside.

If you don’t seal off the house (or even better, the particular rooms that you’re using the units in) then you’re just wasting your time.  You might as well put your unit out on the front lawn and hope to chill/dehumidify the whole planet at once.


I hate to sound like a hydro-quebec commercial but people need to smarten up about how they use electricity, especially on high wattage devices.  Not just electricity, but just about any natural resources we have.

Sure, I remember when I was a kid, recyling wasn’t the in thing yet and now it’s common in every canadian household, more or less. That’s great.  But we could easily alter a lot of other common habits just to save a little extra too.

For instance, for those of you lucky enough to have a basement, during the summertime why not use it instead of staying in a sunny room and firing up the air conditioner?

From an ecological perspective, an air conditioner is a terrible device– because it gives the illusion that it’s only a question of comfort versus money.  But for every degree of coolness an AC unit provides inside a house, it warms the outside of your house by an equal energy equivalent.  And it takes up electricity to create this dichtonomy.

People beleive that when they use and AC unit, they are entitled to it if they can afford the AC and if they are willing to pay the electricity.  This is hardly true– because the atmospheric emissions of your AC (heat, mostly, though there are some other bad things that I won’t get into) are something that your electricity bill doesn’t cover.

It’s the same thing with gasoline companies and cars.  People beleive, rather selfishly, that if you can afford a car and are willing to pay the exhorbitant price of gas, then it’s perfectly fine.  But the price of a car and the price of gas does not in any way go towards the emissions cleanup, or the price of the secondary effects of the pollution.

We’re sort of in a jam, if you ask me– because we’ve already gotten ourselves so used to technology that some crazy people even mistakenly beleive that we can conquer the greenhouse effect by just staying indoors and adding more AC units to our house.  Dear god, those people need a clue.


North America is, at the moment, very dependant on these kinds of technologies.  It kind of scares me, but I’m not entirely sure what to do about it. I mean, if I can’t even fix my own home by convincing my own family to be wiser about the way they consider sustainability issues, what can I do about the the rest of society.

I’m a bit of a socialist, in that i beleive that society is the best means of benefiting the individual– thus, the society as a whole needs to be optimized.

But i see the pitfals of a socialist effort– they just don’t succeed. Health care is abused.  People don’t take responsability for their own fates, they get lazy and dependant.  People often don’t care for their own bodies if social programs are in place to ‘repair the damage’, how much more for their city , country or planet.

Now of course, this is a generalization. You must know by now that I’m all about generalizations.

But perhaps the liberals were on to something.  Maybe what we need is capitalism.  Democractic socialists like myself are just struggling against the inevitable self-destruction of civilization and causing needless tension.  Maybe we should just race towards our destruction and get it over with so we can start rebuilding all over again.


The appeal of ignorance–

–I’ve recently found that many people chose to be ignorant.  It really puts the ‘ignore’ word in there.  When someone does this, it’s singly the most frustrating thing you can do. You talk about something that affects their lives directly, and they won’t think twice about it– in all likelihood, they’ll chose to listen while you talk and forget a second later.  To them, facts are like brochures– they’re something that are written on paper but are independant of their lives somehow.

This doesn’t have to do necessarily with political issues.  It could be something much more close to home, like personal finances, family issues, or relationships.

What is that, like, autism?  Are people really living in their own world to the point that if I say to someone, DUDE, why are you doing this?  You realize there’s no logical reason for this?  You realize that you have smarter, healthier options? But the thoughts never reach the core– they are indeed living in their own world.

WHen I wonder why is this the case, man. It’s so simple.  It’s because it’s easier. To be ignorant I mean.   I mean, god knows that on more than one occasion I’ve just wished I couldn’t care less. But I do care, and I guess that’s how I’m cursed.  If people start taking care of themselves, if people start showing ambition, then they get into this deadly cycle of always wanting to improove, and that’s a freaking pain in the ass.

There’s got to be more to life than living for oneself– and yet, everytime I tell myself that, 9/10 of the people around me tell me either through their words or their actions that I’m lying to myself, and that all such efforts are in vain.

Somebody, tell me something inspirational.

I realize that no matter what examples people could give, they’re circumstantial and hardly generalizations– and so they don’t really represent what goes on in the world as a whole.  But every now and then, when I’m feeling down about the world, I need some evidence that tells me it’s still worth it for me to lie to myself that the world is worth saving.

Thoughts on learning

Regarding the ‘fan mail’ I get.


For everyone who has the tendancy of pointing out how sometimes what I preach and what I do are two different things, two responses.  Firstly, nobody’s perfect.  I’m trying to go in the right directions with my ideas.  If I say one thing one day and something else the next, this is because I’m not conservative and recognize that I need to change my stances depending on new information.  My opinions are not set in stone– conservativism doesn’t equate to rightness.


Secondly, because of dynamics of our learning process and the environment mentioned in the first response, I *know*, more than most, that definition is a real bugger.  So I will almost never tell you that something I say is a “Golden Rule” because then people start telling me about all the times they applied it and failed.  NO. Don’t do that.  I’m not here to provide rules or definitions– I’m here to provide exercises of thought.


I have people at the badminton club, sometimes n00bs but not always, who ask me questions like A, expecting a specific answer B.  Sure, okay.  You want your answer B, but it’s gonna take a *long time* so don’t expect my two-liner response to be all encompasing.  I talk in terms of principles.  I’m not here to spoon feed you.  And on the other hand, quite frankly, if I don’t do what I told you to do, maybe it’s simply that I know that *you can’t* do it.






There are several principles for learning.  Or perhaps, more appropriately, I should say, different philosophies of learning– since principles don’t in themselves carry the idea that there is room for interpretation, and people tend to always think of principles as rules (which they aren’t).  A rule is something you stick to.  It’s rigid.  A principle carries the connotation of being a ‘theme’ of your general comportment.  A philosophy takes this a step further by allowing for the possibility of unresolvable issues, given enough rational argumentation for different sides of a situation.


So lets talk principles.






The mental split-step.


I forgot to include “split step” on the list of stupid names of badminton techniques, but here it is.  In badminton (and tennis) there’s this practice called the split-step– basically, when you return the ball to your opponent’s court, at the moment your opponent’s racket hits that bird, you should be landing from a little hop with your legs a bit further apart.


I mean, picture this.  You take a swing with your racket, send the ball to the other court, and run to your base (the place on your side of the court where you have the stastically strongest possibility of making a return to whatever your opponent does– usually this turns out to be roughly the middle of your court).  If you get to your base soon enough, you can stop hunching over– you can even stand up straight, as if you were casually loitering.  I mean, you’re where you need to be, right?  So relax.


That is, until the ball gets close to your opponent (or the opponent gets close to the ball).  By the time the opponent initiates a swing at the ball, you should be ‘split stepping’.  That means that from your casual standing, you kind of hop, spread out your legs (thus, the ‘split’, but not really like a full 180 degrees thing) and time it so that the instant your opponent’s racket connects with that ball, you are at your ‘heaviest’.


The idea is to load your weight at the moment of the opponent’s racket impact and to use this downward loading to allow you to ‘bounce’ in whatever direction you see the ball flying.


Yes, it is true that when you begin the split step motion, you don’t know where the ball’s gonna be hit.  But by the time you finish the split step, if it’s timed correctly, you should be on your way up with your ‘bounce’ and you should be able to see which way the ball is going.  This technique of pre-loading your weight to bounce it is more effective than, say, only begining to move after the opponent has already hit, which puts you at least half a beat behind.


 


So. My point.


 


I’ll gloat again that my ratings for the zombie survival test place me as a solid survivor– I’ll last months in a zombie overrun city, where others will die in minutes.  And how?  In part, because of the philosophy of mental split stepping, among other things.


 


The whole mentality behind the split step isn’t that you know exactly what’s gonna happen– but you know something is inevitable.  So you do as best as you can to prepare for the unexpected with the given circumstances.  It’s that simple.


An example of mental slip stepping is like the prisoner’s dilema, in which logic dictates that the only ‘safe’ thing to do is rat out your partner– because it’s the only way you can maintain some form of control given unknown factors.


Intellectual split stepping is only for situations that have an inevitable outcome (in tennis, the opponent is going to return the ball, in the prisoner’s dilema, someone is going to go to jail).


The basic principle is to take control and make a commitment to action when faced with a situation of uncertainty.






7pm at work.  That last post, unfortunately, didn’t waste nearly as much time as I thought it would.


I am really, really begining to wonder what my job here is.  I mean, other than get paid.


I bet you that Irony and Fate are just waiting around the corner, waiting for me to forget all my crisis skills, and be at an ipportunate momoent playing videogames in the office or reading in the executive washroom before paging me with some sort of total hospital meltdown or something.


In the meantime, I am oh so very bored.






In the meantime, I’ve started research on a paper, which would docment the effect of globalisation on citizenship.


To those unfamiliar with the concepts, I do so very much suggest you look them up.  Not to sound pretentious, but the fact that corporations (and specifically, marketing departments and public relations people) know more about how your society works than most of you do is just totally a shame.  It’s also dangerous for you, as a free person.

Motivation Problems

I am finding it EXTREMELY difficult to motivate myself to finish my final term paper and study for my final exams– to the point where I am writing this one-liner post just to avoid having to do real work.

The Failure of Democracy

Well, it’s not really democracy that I’m talking about, but it’s related to being democratic, like free speech and stuff.  Locally here in montreal, we have the CTV News, which is the news show on every night on our local station.  You can get it without cable or satelite, a pair of plain old rabbit ears will do for your television.

They have this annoying habit of conducting what they call “viewer polls” about the silliest subjects.  For example, when some kid got reall hurt at a waterpark a few weeks ago, CTV news went on the street and on the air, taking surveys of “Are waterparks dangerous”.  Of course, they’d cite the example of the kid who got his legs broken.  Almost naturally, the majority of people thought waterparks were a hazard to health.

Now, I’m not for or against waterparks.  But the thing about news polls like that is they try and make people think that their uninformed opinion matters.  Who cares if 75% of montrealers think that waterparks are dangerous?  That doesn’t mean they’re right.  And what if 90% thought that they were perfectly safe?

Just what, really, does the uninformed opinion of the public matter?

The government actually sent health inspectors to the said waterpark, and the final report did indeed state that the waterpark was to be considered dangerous and in need of maintenance.  Possible dangers included speicif sites where one could experience falls, cuts, impact wounds and– get this– electrocution due to faulty wiring.  Now, that’s where the experts have spoken.

In the meantime, CTV goes on and on about how they’re our community’s voice–  that’s not NEWS, that’s a bulletin board.  You know who is best served by the opinion that waterparks are dangerous? Waterparks.  Then they know they have to haul ass.

As for people, you shouldn’t think that the public’s opinion means anything when it comes to think that they know absolutely nothing about.  News should not be in the business of making statistics out of emotional, gut reactions.

It’s not the first time I see this either.  There are other polls (which show on the screen for a whole 10 seconds while the news anchor reads the stats) such as “is public transportation safe” or “is fast food healthy”.  What is the point of these polls?  If the question were phrased “do you feel safe on public transportation” it might be a useful statistic, because at least it correctly names the information collected as a personal feeling, something that someone has as a personal opinon.

Anyway, I digress.

Come on, news people– stop telling people what they expect to hear, get some balls and show me the news that matters!

I just reread that and I repeated myself a few times.  Ah well.

Side note… the same situation is also present on a smaller scale within social circles.

Sometimes people will ask me things… like “Do you think we should do A or B?”

And when I respond that I don’t care either way, I don’t know if either one is better so just flip a coin, they sometimes get angry because I’m uninvolved in the descision making process.  But what kind of descision is it really?  It’s not. A decision that is made on anything other than the merits of the choices isn’t really a useful decision at all– we call this a coin toss.

At times we can go with what someone wants to do because at least someone will feel emotionally satisfied– but it has nothing to do with the optimalness of that choice, physically.  We’re just doing someone the favor of satisfying their emotional preference where really the rest of us don’t give a damn.

Or, what I hate even worse is when the group is done with it’s cointoss, decides on option B, then someone in the group says “What about C?” without any relevant information to bring to the table.

Feedback is nice.  But– don’t make the mistake of thinking that it always matters.


There is a character in a peice of fiction I’m writing who uses a thing stabbity sword, a rapier, as a primary weapon, and he wears no armor.  He’s basically the badass of the story.  No one gives him any attitude without getting some serious change.  Even though the majority of his opponents are fully armored knightly-types who have two handed broadswords.

Now, when I designed this character, he was to use just this thin sword (one handed) and heavy infantry with just that– making precision stabs and thrusts in the kinks of peoples’ armor.  After all, as a lone man, he’s a lot more mobile to do his dirty work since he’s not lugging around a hundred pounds of steel skin.  Part of my logic in designing the feasability of his combat style was that he’d relly on precission and the power of quick thrusting (piercing) attacks, where the majority of his opponents, having heavy armor and narually being more inclinded to have heavier swords to bash through eachothers’ armor, also have heavy swords which must be swung.  And Minet (the name of the said character) would represent something more than just the badass archetype– he’d be a scientific one.

Now, I just made this up along with the logic of his fighting style.  I ASSUMED it’d be possible for someone, skilled enough at straight line attacks, to be able to take out swinging attackers, even if those swinging attackers had weapons bigger than yours and more armor than you.

Turns out I was right!

Yeah, I was reading a book called The Straight Lead (a martial arts book) and apparently historically this is what happend that made knight-armor obsolete.  The stabbing swords, as opposed to swinging slashing hacking ones.  Not to mention that an army of people with lighter weapons is also an army that can move across land a great deal faster. Europeans began to find that it perfectly effective for trained people to stab at the joints of an amored opponent, a feat made easy since armored opponents were often very, very slow.  As a result, coats of armor became obsolete and metal slugfests and jousting and all that heavy stuff was replaced eventually with fencing.

So it seems that this hyopthetical fencing style vs big sword style that Minet uses is not only feasible, but it’s historically happened and represented a scientific revolution of medevil combat.

Thanks to chili for finding that book.  I’ve only read the first chapter but it seems pretty informative so far.

Special names for techniques

Somehow, hearing technique names in an anime don’t sound quite as stupid in japanese than they do in english.  In fact, even reading a french technique name in a mange sounds better than reading it in english.  Maybe it’s just that what’s foreign is somehow always cooler, we just don’t appreciate what is common and mundane.

Random list of techniques names in badminton that really don’t sound all that cool:

  • flying squirrel (jumping forward with all four limbs stretched out)
  • cactuar smash (smashing with your body in the shape of a cactuar)
  • flying step (regular lunging step +halfstep bonus, known as “fei bo” to chinese players)
  • heaven step (something i’m working on, it’s a double flying step)
  • sharingan “smash cutter” (smash counter)
  • sharingan “genjitsu” (forcing your opponent to do what you want)
  • 45 grip (pinky grip)
  • panhandle (housewife grip)
  • hairpin (desperation dropshot counter)
  • cheng chong special (perfect hairpin)
  • j-stroke (net deception technique)
  • homewrecker (playing the bird between two opponents and making them hit their rackets against eachothers’)
  • tumbler (sliced netshot)
  • grinder (crosscourt shot where the bird does a rail slide along the net)
  • check smash (fast drop)
  • matrix (deffensive, backwards leaning dodge and counter)
  • gade shot  (finishing move, named after the player Peter Gade)
  • scissors kick (footwork technique for overheads)
  • guard break / guard crush (like in streetfighter games)

… okay. I got bored of that. Enough!

Punch it like the Weekday Warrior

In my head, to punch it means

  • to, actually, physically, hit it with a closed fist
  • to hit a bird (badminton, not a animal) with your racket for a direct attack, as in a drive or a smash
  • as Samuel L. Jackson says, to “take this to the next level”.

The “Weekend Warrior” is the type of person who does stuff ‘once in a
while.  Picture Bob who goes to work 5 days a week at a 9-5
job.  Comes home to an empty apartment, watches reruns of Friends
and Survivor.  Monday to Friday.  Then … Friday night
hits.  The tie is off, the shirt is untucked.  It’s time to
do what defines him.  The dream of what he could be.  The
weekend is his holodeck, where all the dreams can be reality.

It is saturday.  Have you done something?  Have you taken it
to the next level?  Have you done what you wanted to do?

If not, it’s time for you to punch it.


Most health experts, ranging from cardiologists to physiotherapists,
shun the way of the Weekend Warrior.  They say it’s bad for your
health to suddenly engage in stressful activities.  But that’s the
official stance– deep down, they know why you still do it.  It’s
because it’s the only time you have.  It’s the opportunity that
has presented itself for that one time in the week that you managed to
set aside, and you’ve got to make up for lost time.   Because
it’s what you want to do, and nothing’s gonna stop that, is it?


I am not advocating that everyone try to run marathons every weekend or
tries to get a gold in an ironman run.  But what I am saying is
that the weekend warrior understands something that the average person
doesn’t– and that’s the importance of wanting something bad enough to
dedicate your little free time to it.  There are people who go to
the gym 3-4 times a week, run on a bike.  But do they have that
drive, that passion?  Or is it just routine?  Is it just
happening because it’s what always happens?

The weekend warrior is different because he’s NOT smart enough to
moderate himself, because there’s more passion in that day than the
body can handle.  That’s why health experts shun weekend warriors.

So– what I’m suggesting–  take the spirit of the weekday
warrior.  And make sure no day goes unseized.  If you do
something during the week, don’t just be the drone on the
treadmill.  Don’t just take a walk in the park.

Savor it!


(everybody should burn from sunday to saturday with passion in everything they do, just like this guy)

(on a side note… don’t do drugs.)

  Jinryu : anyway, i should be off too.
  Jinryu : it’s 8pm.
   Zanshin : Alrighty.
  Jinryu : i’m getting a lift home from my mom!
  Jinryu : wheeeeeeee!
   Zanshin : Hurrah!
   Zanshin : I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.
  Jinryu : cool.
   Zanshin : Don’t forget the memory card!
  Jinryu : adios.
  Jinryu : oh right.
  Jinryu : i’ll write that down.
  Jinryu : actually my phone died.
   Zanshin : ON YOUR HAND.
  Jinryu : maybe you can send me a text message at noon.
  Jinryu : what!
  Jinryu : on my hand
  Jinryu : you savage!
  Jinryu : i think not.
  Jinryu : what do you think this is, 1980?
   Zanshin : Alright, fine, I’ll message you tomorrow.
   Zanshin : Hey, I’m sure people still use pens.
   Zanshin : Somewhere.
   Zanshin : Why, I used one just yesterday!
  Jinryu : yeah. in bourne identity, he used it in a knife fight and won.
   Zanshin : Crazy.