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Showing posts from April, 2006

This doesn't really relate to Kung Fu but...

Good nutrition pays off. A friend of mine had a special red silk dress made for her wedding (her husband is chinese) and sent her measurements to have the dress made... they just couldn't believe that her measurements were *real* so she had to have the dress re-done to take the waist *way* in. It's a fabulous dress. :-)

The Original Opal

I believe her. It's too bad, really, and unfortunate, but I can see it happening the way she says. The thing is, if you *were* copying someone elses work you'd change the things that were left the same, wouldn't you? But if you'd read something many times and were writing your own novel with a similar "voice" and cadence and you're humming along making stuff up as you go, it makes sense that some descriptions might come out the same. I do that sometimes with my *own* stuff... not copying someone elses words (I hope) but my own... every now and then I'll think, hey wait... have I written that before? But you re-read and revise and after a while it get's all jumbled up. Read any author who's written a lot of books and after a while phrases will start to pop out at you that are repeats from one book to another. They don't do that on purpose either.

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My son took this picture from my parent's dock last summer.

Sun Tzu

"Thus the pinnacle of military deployment approaches the formless. If it is formless, then even the deepest spy connot discern it or the wise make plans against it." Very cool. I like this part too... "Men all know the disposition by which we attain victory, but no one knows the configuration through which we control the victory. Thus a victorious battle [strategy] is not repeated, the configurations of response [to the enemy] are inexhaustible." If I'm understanding the little notes right "disposition" and "configuration" are translations of the same word. "Now the army's disposition of force is like water. Water's configuration avoids heights and races downward. The army's disposition of force avoids the substantial and strikes the vacuous. Water configures it's flow in accord with the terrain; the army controls its victory in accord with the enemy. Thus the army does not maintain any constant strategic co

Is that all? I want to fight some more.

My oldest daughter and her friend (in the head gear) in April. I wish I'd got into martial arts when I was a kid, but I have to be honest. I'd probably have gotten hit in the nose and quit.

Sex, Kung Fu and Cultural divide

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Kung Fu movies. If I had to chose between meeting Spielberg or Jackie Chan I'd want to meet Jackie. Jet Li is pretty darned impressive, too. And let us not neglect Bruce. Not to favor the chinese overmuch but Steven Segal and even the incredibly sexy Van Damme come in second. Plus, they have the same problem as Chuck Norris, which is that their movies don't really age that well. The aging problem could well be cultural. A movie set in Hong Kong or China, even if "modern" rather than set in an Historical time period, is always going to be foreign in so many ways. Maybe to a movie-goer in Hong Kong their movies age badly too. I mean, the female lead can be a complete ditz in a Hong Kong movie and it's no big deal, yet this is what I find most annoying in US movies that are a few years old. Stupid women. On second thought, even the oldest Hong Kong movies I watch... say, like the ones Jackie made when he was in his early 20&

I Pledge Allegiance... to what?

Instapundit had a link about how embarassed some people are by the Pledge of Allegiance. That's not particularly news. Patriotism has been seen as unseemingly simple-minded for quite a while now. Reciting the pledge is very Old School. But I had a thought today putting this together with another trend that seems to be happening. See if you think this follows or if I've gone off the deep end. Something that is weirdly incomprehensible to most Americans are the posters, calendar pictures, public display of foreign leaders' likenesses in their countries. If it's Putin or Qaddafi or some far East monarch... it's just *weird*. Do we put up tributes to Bush? To Clinton? Heck no. We even think that the (small, tasteful) framed portraits of the chain of command mandated in our military facilities is weird. (If occasionally useful.) The only larger than life likenessess of our leaders are protest effagies and those are weird, too, like trying to cha

Wallpaper

Argh. I keep forgetting to click on the picture to get the bigger version and *then* set it as wallpaper. The auto-focus bit and the little lcd screen means I end up with lots of unfocused pictures but I didn't think it was *that* bad. The violas are popping back up after winter even before the tulips.

Google search... What does synova mean?

How funny! I wonder who googled that question? There's a company with the name. I think they do something tech related. In my case though, I Anglicized a Norwegian proper name which happens to be my Grandmother's middle name. I like it. I tried to convince my husband to name our youngest daughter Synova, Nova for short... maybe she'd grow up to be an astrophysicist, eh? But he said it sounded too much like an automobile. No imagination at all.

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Lake Lida, July 2005

Does the enemy watch the American news?

I left this comment to this post on Hollywood, Interrupted. It's racism you know. The terrorists and insurgents in Iraq can't possibly be sophisticated enough to make decisions according to their perception of the US will to fight as portrayed by the US media. Sure, maybe *we'd* be smart enough to do that, but them? What a farce! What a pile of balony! It is to laugh. Ha! Yet as long ago as Sun-tzu people who wage war have known that military might is only a part of it and not even the largest. Sun-tzu, in fact, goes on and on about evaulating the enemy's will to fight. The only people who don't seem to think that this matters is the media. They exist in a special place, it seems, where encouraging the enemy doesn't make them culpable for the sustained fighting that results, or the deaths. If you peaceniks want our troops to stop dying, make our media end their encouragment of the people killing them. Update: I knew I followed the link to Hollywood, Interru

Illegal Immigration equals exploitation

I'm generally in favor of liberal immigration policy. In a way, I suppose, it's like the idea of legalizing drugs. The simple fact that drugs are illegal supports a wide range of criminal behavior and vice that is probably worse than the drugs themselves. Illegal immigration involves the people who take money for transporting people, which supports a sub-culture designed to get illicit things over our borders. Once here it supports a black market in labor and abuse and I don't think that ignoring the problem because of sympathy for illegal immigrants necessarily does them any favors. Sure, it's anecdotal, but I worked for two days at a place where myself and one black girl were the only ones who didn't speak Spanish and more than half the people there didn't speak English. Even if every single person was a citizen, no one was going to complain about working conditions and risk losing their job. How much more will an illegal put up with? I didn't have to put

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Progress

I actually got three... scenes, segments, beats... written on my script today. Yay! It's not the writing that's so hard, actually, it's the choices: what comes next, why, what necessary info will fit naturally. So I got the "hard" bit written, essential information given, and went on. And I'm not sure, but I may have solved a problem that I knew was coming. You see, if a character is going to have leet ninja skills it has to be established and other than a dialog reference to training there didn't seem to be any opportunity (I may still have to go back to the very beginning and have one or more of the kids fight back, or at least assume a back leaning stance, before getting knocked out by the gas and gathered up by the commandos.) Anyhow, I had two things that I needed to set-up... one, that the girls *can* be dangerous, and two, that they have reason to react to a forced pelvic exam, etc., as a rape. Which, now that I think of it, is a

Wearing a Black Hat in the Movies

The movie _Unbreakable_ was based on the idea that it wasn't possible to to have a super-hero without a super-villain. In fiction, it's true. Your hero, or protagonist, is limited by the antagonist. The antagonist can be nature in a "man against nature" story or some other problem that is equally mindless... maybe sickness or a virus. But most often the antagonist is a person or an organization of people... the bigger the better because the whole of the thing, of the movie, is going to be limited by the scope of the antagonist. Which is why I don't mind much (if at all) when a foreign movie has the United States or some portion of it, in the role of antagonist. Without invoking an alien invasion, where can a story-teller find a more imposing force to pit against the heroes?

Politics of the Oppressed

Instapundit linked to this article about Darfur that asks why black Americans are not more involved in urging action about that crisis. My first thought is that there isn't a *special* reason that black Americans should be active about the events in Darfur. This assumption is a problem of it's own. Do we as human beings care about human beings or do we mostly only care about those who are like us? From the article: A multitude of factors limit black American access to the growing crisis in Sudan, where the death toll is estimated to be as high as 400,000 and more than 2.5 million people are in refugee camps following the destruction of their villages. Firstly... this is a horror. Secondly... why did the author chose to phrase the issue as limited access? Certainly any American has equal access to the news about Darfur. How could they not? "If more black Americans were aware, I know they would care," said Mrs. Thorpe. But, because of some levels of violence, "I&

It's all about reputation - 2

Sometimes, even those of us without remarkable minds have similar ideas to those who do. Maybe those ideas aren't quite as well thought out or as extensively supported as we'd like, but we have them. A few days ago I posted on reputation. I said that we (the US and the West) tend to act like prey animals . We act like food for the carnivore. Today Vodkapundit linked to Neo-neocon, who has a wonderful post about Dr. Wafa Sultan. Dr. Sultan pulls no punches, to say the least; she sets up a Jacksonian challenge to Western countries to begin defending themselves and their culture with greater vigor, or to face continuing to be perceived by the Islamicist jihadis as weak and therefore relatively easy prey. It frustrates me that people don't get this. Particularly, it frustrates me that people who claim to be culturally and internationally sophisticated don't get this. Because they despise a military show of strength or even just a macho chest thumping, they figure everyon

A call for help

I'd like to take a poll. There's a few people who come here and look and even if you never comment anywhere, please just answer this question for me real quick. How many of you believed, before reading this news report, that when you dialed 911 that the police would come, even if you said nothing? You choke on a chicken bone, and as you turn blue you grab the phone, dial 911 and pass out with the reciever in your hand, and the police are going to show up. Right? And if you don't speak English, you call 911, and the police come. Right? And if your kid calls 911 the police are going to show up and as soon as they leave your kid is going to get the whuppin' of his or her life for calling 911 when it's not an emergency. Right? And if a kid calls 911 and says that their mom passed out, send someone, the dispatcher is going to count it as a crank call because demands to get an adult on the phone aren't complied with. Right? Because the kid is mumbling

Reproduction is Primal

And this is why my script defending reproduction will appeal to the male age 18-25 demographic. Oh, I'm not so foolish as to think that I can say, Hey, guys, here's a movie about babies, you're gonna love it. But since I was in school... which is a while ago... we've been on about overpopulation. On and on and on. We don't *approve* of people who have babies. Maybe if they are financially comfortable and they only have a couple of children we find reproduction tolerable. But old style ideas about virility? Oh... just *try* that one, and get back to me. And while dooms-day population scare mongering as been the message du jour for at least 20 years we've waged a war, of sorts, on teen pregnancy. As a whole, humans are a blight on the earth, as *individuals* children ruin your life. Is this not what we've been telling kids ever since we discovered that the sexual revolution meant teenagers getting knocked up? But what can they possibly have heard except th

It's all about reputation

Ian commented at GayPatriot: “Now, after three years of a difficult slog in Iraq, a resurgent Taliban, a restless homefront and growth of worldwide distrust and antagonism towards the US, there is no longer the perception that the US is not to be messed with. That is a dangerous and enduring Bush legacy.” My reply: Black is white. Up is down. Our “pre-W” reputation wasn't as someone “not to be messed with.” That's complete BS. Heck, Bin Laden and friends were so convinced of it that they perpetrated 9-11. Not to be messed with? People messed with us *constantly* because they knew they *could*. All it takes is killing a few American soldiers and we run away. Over. And over. And over. Which, in my view, is probably the most important reason that it was necessary to go on from Afghanistan to Iraq. We desperately needed to send the message that we aren’t to be messed with because not *only* will we sweep down like the judgement of God and wipe your puny tyranny from the Earth