Saturday, September 29, 2012

11: Tao Te Ching

been reading this of late and the last few were not interesting, so chapter 11 was more interesting. lol that just now reminds me of chapter 2. I also like the name of this book, nearly titled the post "Dao Teaching"

moving on

30 spokes has a wheel, all surrounding one hub
there is still nothing in the middle, but now its useful.
Punch a lump of clay with your fist,
the imprint left behind makes a ugly but useful bowl.
Erect a tent with doors and windows
the origional empty space can now shelter you from the rain.
So the things we make are only conditions
all we are using is the empty space that was always there.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Berzerk the Cataclysm: The Apocalypse

This game defiantly encourages you to prey on the week and defenseless, stealing their lands and adding to your already abundant hoard. It also discourages leveling up which is particularly bizarre. Individual card abilities are nearly irrelevant until you have more than enough promo quality cards to make a deck. I never collected that many and most of my promos came from buying Leviathans from the research tree. I may have kept at it longer if I was able to collect some cards. I ended up with 697 cards, but the unique count is 292/636. Plus the only way for me to join a guild was to own it. I was never going to get up at 2 am for the deployment phase. The clan thing was such a letdown that I’ve decided my time would be better spent reading Andreas’s review of DrWho, even though it’s only weekly.

See Also:
Berserk: The Apocalypse
Parting forum post
Berserk: The Cataclysm: Deck strategy
Berserk: The Cataclysm: A reviewF2P: A quick overview and review

Still addicted to learning

1 Share
I’ve managed to invite a few groups of people over for meals of recent. The biggest milestone being for my birthday.

2 Prepare
Dunno about this, I suppose it took me three years to get prepared to buy into kitesurfing.
I’ve been able to manage a weekly dynamic to do list and actually use my gmail calendar in my phone.That helped a lot when comparing notes for Levi visiting earlier in the year.

3 Efficiency
Aurore reminded me of how to fill in my weekends and of how many multitude of things there are to do around town. I also saved up enough dough to buy a 12m kite.

4 mental
Learning to kitesirf and dance still, Guildwars2 is new for me and it seems to be a MMO that I am happy to play for a long time yet. Seems I have sporadically taken up water hockey too. My JP application thing fell through. I'm not exactly sure why, I may have failed their test but when I rang up to ask they said the exam system was being restructures and that the person I need to talk to just went on holidays for a month. I sort of gave up after that. Speaking of giving up, I never went back to wednesday Trivia nights at the pub after my christmass holidays.

5 physical
Will see where kitesurfing gets me this summer. Also I’ve been on the occasional afternoon bike ride with Beth. Since putting my thoughts about dancing on paper to remind myself why I do it I feel like I’ve been more erect. Waling around work I occasionally pretend I’m about to sing, so like Siegfried I get a better posture, then when I’m slouching I slouch with purpose and often put my weight on my other foot without changing the posture of my slouch, applying the technique Gamaku. Apparently I should learn to dance like David Elsewhere.

6 spiritual
Nothing big, Bible studies on Wednesday, getting more into youth again. I should go camping one weekend this summer and sleep under the stars. Volunteering with youth still too.

7 emotional
ROTORACT people have been interesting. Also this Sunday past I said Hi to a random Sheela who was snorkeling, just because she was snorkeling. Had a bit of a chat then I went back to packing up my kite.

8 recovery
I got heat stroke in PNG when I visited Nicole and came home with some skin irritation that was dissolving my back, it took a month or so to clear up and wasn’t bed bugs. I got a cold to at the end of August, seemed like everybody was sharing.

9 fun
We have had an occasional run of weekly Sojourns and the occasional event with three attendees. Also I went to Toowoomba for a spring ball for no other reaon than I thought it may be fun, and it was.

0 not ashamed
I filled out a profile on Anime-Planet in order to quietly brag about my anime watching prowess.

The existence of this update

Sunday, September 16, 2012

weekend 16 9

Well I feel like I've had a really fruitful weekend and I'm not likely to be eaten at all.
First off, Friday I met a girl who asked what I was interested in. I answered Anime & Computer games. and here is the surprising thing I got followup questions...not the sort where people don't understand what I said, the sort she was interested and had enough knowledge on the topic to pry me for more information. Later I reciprocated her query but I phrased it like this "So, what do you do when you're not at work?" The answer was "Go shopping, hang out with friends and clean the house" That really threw me. My first thought was thats exactly what I do too. My second thought was Wow boys and girls really are different and this feels like deja-vu. My third though was about how to respond.
Next time somebody asks me what I'm interested in I'll say "hanging out with friends and learning stuff"  thus highlighting the spiritual/emotional aspects of what I do rather than the physical/mental methods of how I do it.

Since I had so much fun friday I slept all the way through my alarm Sat morning. As a result i didn't get to the beach for coffee. Instead I got DOSBox to work and tried to play ADOM, but there is no difficulty settings and I barely remember the keyboard commands. I wanted to get a screenshot of a necromancer fighting a lich whilst they are both summoning zombies.
Since that was such a failure I played GW2 until lunch, these necromancers have a pitiful amount of minions.
I used the rest of the daylight failing to fly my kite.
Then my plan to go bowling was transmogrified to a lazy no rush evening, so I dropped in out of the blue on a certain birthday boy. That snowballed into a invitation for tea and I watched a play about a plant. I feel a little more cultured and fertilized now. Finished up the day with chocolate birthday cake.
Saturday was so full that,

I slept in again on Sunday, all the way past 7am.
Church was very different, from there I drove directly down to the beach.
This time the kite was much more responsive and the only time it hit the sand was when I needed to go home to watch anime.
Gokusen was on the cards again for the second week running, slightly less people to share with this time but that made the TV easier to setup. and it made the couch cosy.
Once we had seen three and fore the number was reduced to two. One is more uptodate with Naruto than the other so we had a recap on episodes 132 to 136, left that on a great cliffhanger with Sasuke about to lose an eye.

Overall a fairly fruitful weekend I think.

Friday, September 14, 2012


I used to be somebody you can rely on. I’d always be willing to help out at the drop of a hat and made time for other people regardless of what I was doing. As such I ended up doing practically every job at church.

As time went on and I settled into a routine in my new house I became a reliable person. I was always there when I said I would be, arriving early, not late. I became a creature of habit, Wednesday was fencing, Monday dancing, 7am Saturdays at the beach drinking coffee.

But then I found that people couldn’t rely on me. I couldn’t fill in on sound desk because I was singing. I couldn’t catch up for tea because today is dancing and tomorrow is bible study. I couldn’t go to the movies because I needed to sleep in preparation for Sojourn.

I was a predictable creature of habit, at I didn’t really mind so much.

Gradually I found out that I was only going dancing because it was what I did, and I never just participated in a church service. Whereas I really would have liked to go out for tea and watch a movie and just be a minion and participate as one of the extras. I don’t want to help out of obligation I want to help because I enjoy peoples appreciation of my time.

So with my priorities rearranged I changed my movements and motivations. As a result I stood a few people up and made last minute changes to my schedule which upset a few people.

Nevertheless these things happen, somebody will always get upset. So I apologized and reconsidered my actions again. I’m still learning who I want to be, and making mistakes. What I need is a balance in life, not stability. I want to be both reliable and, well, reliable. I suppose stability never changes and balance constantly changes. So I should be both able to drop my plans at a moment’s notice and yet always be there every week.

Are you somebody who is steadfast? A constant source of support?

Are you someone people can rely upon? Giving total dedication when needed?

Friday, September 7, 2012

How to Dance: The Heart

As VRBones pointed out here, dancing mathematically and by formula is often exactly the wrong way to do it. Since it is a form of artistic expression there is really no wrong way, just different. Being technically apt is all well and good but a grumpy focused dancer is missing the point. Dancing is about self expression, being embarrassing on purpose and having fun. You can fit a lot of different emotions into the way you move your body, just as you can when you speak, sing & shout.

Now that I have indeed decided to be a dancer and covered all the basics I just need to build on my foundations. It seems to me that dancing, like religion and scientific method, can be applied to all parts of life.

Using the principals of fencing I can pickup my telephone with a sudden burst of movement, to exactly where I want my hand to be, then whip it to my ear with the least amount of movement possible.
Or I could dance towards it, counterbalancing with my other hand and flicking out my elbow as I reach the phone. Possibly tapping my left foot and rotating my wrist by two half turns.
Or I could pick it up in the usual lazy direct manner.

Another example of how dancing has permeated my like is that every time I bring my feet together I swap my weight to the other foot, plus I am more focused on having a good posture.

Now back to the start, where I mentioned my heart. The way you hold yourself and your partner in dance should be respectful. After all you well within the limits normally set as a personal space. You will need to be gentle and patient; Firm and forgiving. Let your partner lean against you like a wall, but don't do the same to them. Hold your own wight as much as you can and don't flop around like floundering fish (unless it is on purpose). With out a doubt your partner will go too far invading your space, step on your toes and bend a toenail back on itself. Remember then to be patient and forgiving, but you yourself avoid this by being gentle and firm. When your partner knows where you are you are much less likely to be trodden on.

Also the bloke is the lead, as a man it is your job to send your gal round in circles and make sure that she never falls over. Girls get lots of tricky spins and extra wiggles, they are good at that. While they are doing something complex it is the responsibility of the man to maneuver away from other couples on the dance floor. Men are not only looking after the safety of themselves and their partner, they also have to be conscious of everybody else on the dance floor. That is to say don't let your gal run into anything or knock any other couples over. There is no place on the dance floor for pride or rudeness. To this end regardless of how sexist it sounds in dancing the Sheila needs to submit to the bloke and obey his directions, both trusting and protecting each other.

Assume you will make some mistakes but don't focus on that, apologize if necessary and move onto the next step. If you miss a sequence or have to stop to let somebody else pass, just tap your foot, retrieve the beat and keep going. Everybody is primarily here to have fun. You can only get better by practice, perseverance and persistence. Have a go on your lonesome if necessary and try out different music. There is nothing to stop you from doing a Cha or Jive in a nightclub. Just make your steps really small and don’t circumnavigate the room.

I had to re-read that to see what I was talking about. My point is that dancing takes guts, you have to put your heart into it. It can be good exercise physically/emotionally/spiritually/mentally and translate into other portions of life affecting the way you move, and life is all about moving.

See also:
How to Dance: The Basics
How to Dance: The Mind
How to Dance: The Heart

Thursday, September 6, 2012

How to Dance: The Mind

I think by far the most challenging part of dancing is deciding to go ahead, stand up and give it a go. It takes a huge amount of mental and emotional effort to take that first step onto the dance floor (Note: this can be substituted by huge amounts of alcohol). Back in the day I wasn’t remotely interested and quite comfortable being a wall flower. I’m not sure when somebody started planting the seeds for me to start enjoying dance.

In year 12 I wasn’t totally opposed to practicing to dance for the prom, although the prom itself never interested me. That would be back in 03. Then at Uni in Rocky I went out clubbing a couple of times with classmates. Once or twice real dancing was mentioned but I thought you had to go to those types of things with a partner and I never had a girl to take. I regretted that in 2010 when I found out the format of those dance classes.

In the meantime I watched a lot of anime, I like the way they move. Striking a pose with confidence and purpose looks stylish. To get your body to do exactly what you want it to is an impressive skill. Also Knights are cool. Back in the days of chivalry squires would be taught Boxing, Fencing, Jousting, Dancing, horse riding and a few other things to do with statecraft. All these skills required similar things, like good balance.

In 07 I was looking for something physical and social to do that wasn’t sailing. Found a fencing club and though that’s cool, so that’s what I used for my DofE award. At the Christmas break in 09 my fencing club folded, not enough people were there and nobody wanted to be the assistant coach, so if the coach was ill there three was no fencing.

One of the things I enjoyed about fencing was the finesse; another thing was “programmed response”. I don’t recall exactly what its called but the concept is that you train your body to react in certain ways to certain situations so that you don’t require conscious effort to direct your hands and feet. As you practice the nerves in your wrists or wherever remember what they are supposed to do. Just like you don’t normally concentrate to regulate your heartbeat or breathing, your subconscious looks after it for you.

Any rate for my next lot of PE I was ready to try dancing, the idea had had time to settle but I still wasn’t sure if I had the guts to give it a go. Following exactly the same reasoning for both I went to a Latin dance class and an Aikido dojo for a couple of weeks. I didn’t know what Latin dancing was so it was more exotic/interesting than ballroom. And also from Levi learning boxing I knew I didn’t really want to learn to hurt people. The philosophies of aikido are about looking after your opponent and minimizing the harm to them, rather than avoiding getting hurt yourself. Defiantly sounded like the good guys martial art + they got to use katanas a bit.

I found both these clubs would build on the foundations I got from fencing, the not falling over, efficiency of movement and such. They also both made me let other people into my personal space. I’m going to underestimate what a hurdle that is.

Aikido was easy to pick up and I could see myself getting rather good at it. But it didn’t seem all that applicable to the rest of my like. I may end up in a situation like Ip Man, but not likely. Also I struggled to have a go at the disabling/finishing moves. In my head I was “This person is a potential friend who I don’t want to hurt.” Plus “If this were an enemy, then why wouldn’t I use a palm strike to push the cartilage from their nose into their brain, rather than twisting their wrist into an uncomfortable position.” Also I could see in the first lesson that some of the people were into the spirituality or martial arts and while I have practiced my Kame-hame-ha I’m much more comfortable following the teachings of Jesus.

On the other hand I found dancing hilarious, it was just such a bizarre thing to do and not remotely serious, like learning to fence. Also I was really bad at it (I only learn well by making mistakes) and I was more likely to meet girls.

That sort of summarizes what it took to get me started and actually onto the dance floor. The next hurdle of the mind to overcome was what to do about my personal space. In this day and age I hardly have any physical contact with other humans, mostly just shaking hands and little kids that climb on everything and anybody. For example when you brush up against somebody in the street you are expected to apologize. Even now I rarely touch the skin of another person. For a while the government put the fear of pedophilia in me, as a part of my Blucard training (a license to play with children that aren’t yours) we get lectured on all the things that can go wrong and told (particularly the blokes) to never have any one-on-on time with a minor, least it be construed as inappropriate behavior. And once accused you will be guilty until proven innocent.

Dancing is the complete opposite, it’s impossible to do without some contact and generally the closer you are to your partner the easier the dance gets. For some of the dance move’s I’ve now learnt you need to share the same center of gravity, one person taking most of the weight of the other. It’s the sort of thing you have to build up towards. Different girls I’ve danced with are comfortable with different distances and sometimes you both acknowledge that you can’t do that bit unless you are really close but for the rest this is how far we are comfortable with. All of this communication is done non-verbally. Some of the couples dancing are practicing for the bridal waltz and they have none of these issues at all. To make it easier on myself I generally chat about the weekend or something whenever we don’t have to concentrate. Another good idea is to wear undies that are too small as opposed to briefs; I’ll leave it up to your imagination to see why this would make things less awkward. The more people dance the more confidently they hold their partner and the stabler their grip is. Also they respond to much smaller changes in pressure, just because you are the man doesn’t mean you are leading. Stable

Dancing with a new partner/ new dance/ new music will often reset all these settings for me and I need to start again building up my confidence and the stability of my personal space. Its defiantly still there, just smaller and with more rigidly defined edges.

The more at ease I am with my partner the less I worry about my mistakes and the more fun is had by all.

See also:
How to Dance: The Basics
How to Dance: The Mind
How to Dance: The Heart


As I wrote about fear I thought about love.

Love is a terrible word. I don’t like it at all. Eros and philos are much more useful words.

As a general rule of thumb I avoid the word, replacing it with something much more scientific. Eg I don’t love pizza, I appreciate the variety of flavors. Particularly the contrast of juicy pineapple to the crusty base.

Love is about as versatile as hot, if I said you were smokin’ hot, it’s extremely unlikely you would be on fire. Much more likely that I’m complimenting the way you appear and acknowledging the effort you went to in getting ready for a particular outing/event.


Fear is the mind killer, there is nothing to fear but fear itself.

There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment.

Do not confuse fear with respect. You should respect your father and your boss because they are your superiors, you should not be in fear of them. Act on the requests of your parents out of love not trepidation.

I acknowledge great heights and respect their power, If I stand too close a gust of wind may cause me to lose my balance and send me over the edge. But I do not fear falling as much as I love the view.