one of those chain-letter survey/questionnaire things

Posted on: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 18:20 By: Tom Swiss

I don't usually do these (I could spend a lot of time on them if I did), but what the heck...was sent to me by someone I'd like to know better, and I'm sending it on to at least one person who might want to play, or at least be interested to see it...


2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? One of my dad's best friends from high

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? define "cry"...I got misty-eyed watching a rerun
of the Simpsons this evening (the one where Bart sells his "soul" to
Milhouse for five bucks and Lisa ends up buying it back for him).

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Nope, it's why I print - and I don't like

tension in qi gong

Posted on: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 18:16 By: Tom Swiss

Something I posted recently to the CyberDojo:

"Rusty McMains" (rmcmains@) writes:

> Muscle "tension" or dynamic tension as most people understand it should
> never been applied. This is not healthy and does not promote proper qigong.

I know very little about qi gong, but I've had the good fortune to have been exposed to a few very different styles.

There definitely is a style of qi gong exercise that uses a dynamic tension very similar to what I was taught for sanchin and tensho kata. Exercises like "Pulling Nine Oxen Backward" and "Pushing Eight Horses Forward" were taught to us by a tuina instructor, and had a very similar feel to our sanchin and tensho.

Zelda's exercises, August 13

Posted on: Tue, 08/15/2006 - 13:08 By: Tom Swiss

Two exercises from Zelda's Inferno:

1) using these four things:

1 inanimate object: window glass
2 landscape or geography: sidewalks and streets
3 newspapers/current event: latest terrorism scare
4 from tv: idiot talking heads

how many windows have I looked out of, in how many cities
on to how many sidewalks and streets
watching people go by
mostly watching the women, to be sure

the window glass keeps me safely inside, separated from what I see
vision only, no sounds, like a TV that's muted

SubGenius in trouble: "Why a goat?"

Posted on: Sat, 08/05/2006 - 18:52 By: Tom Swiss

When I'm at Starwood, I always make it a point to attend the Reverend
Ivan Stang's "rants", always entertaining and thought-provoking. This time,
though, Ivan had a story to tell that was more frightening.

It seems that a lovely SubGenius
lass, Reverend Magdalen, is stuck in a custody battle with her ex over
their young son. Ok, sad, but common. What's uncommon is that the ex used
photos of her from the SubGenius's "X Day" celebration (held at the
Brushwood Folklore Center, same location as Starwood).

Parker Brothers' whores for Visa in new Monopoly version

Posted on: Fri, 08/04/2006 - 16:11 By: Tom Swiss

Ars Technica reports that the "venerable board game Monopoly has been given an electronic European makeover. Capitalist robber barons in the UK will now have the option of making a cashless fortune thanks to a new version of the game that features an electronic card from Visa instead of paper money." They report that this seems to tie in with a Visa advertizing

just journaling: post-Starwood

Posted on: Mon, 07/31/2006 - 23:20 By: Tom Swiss

A week after Starwood...still adusting to hot, sapping energy, haven't finished unpacking yet...

Trying to cultivate yin, get my house in order, catch up on paperwork and house
projects after two months of travel, Saiten, FSG, Chicago/Milwakee for the AOBTA convention, Starwood...and spend some quality time with the dogs, especially after Picollo getting sick while I was in Chicago. And back to Zelda's after a few weeks away.

Jul 30 Zelda's exercise

Posted on: Mon, 07/31/2006 - 23:13 By: Tom Swiss

From a Zelda's Inferno exercise:


when we were kids we would catch them gently

running around my grandfather's yard on summer night

put them in glass jars with holes in the lids and a few blades of grass in the bottom

let them go at the end of the night

catch them from underneath, hands scooping up to match their flight, cupping the lightning bug inside

its flashing tail betraying it to our child-eyes

never wanting to hurt, just hold the wonder for a little while


first time I went to camp, nine or ten years old, other boys my age, me not fitting in much as usual but liking being in the park

evening, summer, games

some other boy catches lightning bug

"watch this!"

smashes it on my chest, smearing its glow across my t-shirt

casual cruelty still stuns me twenty five plus years later

if I had to summarize all that's stupid and wrong and sick in this world of men

in just one moment

the death of one firefly might do it

Being a gentle martial artist without being a "Pooh Bear"

Posted on: Sun, 07/02/2006 - 14:55 By: Tom Swiss

Post to the Sabaki list in response to "A School Full of Pooh Bears", an excerpt from John Gradens new book, The Truth About the Martial Arts Business

To paraphrase Tom Hanks in the movie A League of Their Own, there_s no crying as a black belt!

Shoot. Ok, then, where do I turn mine in? Hell, I've been known to cry at episodes of The Simpsons...

Its important to be OK with the fact that martial arts can't be all things to all people. The very term martial means military. Military relates to matters of war.

It's often a bad idea to try to define what something is, by going to word origins. "Tragedy" comes from roots meaning "goat song", after all. Some martial arts - karate, for example - were not created for the battlefield, but for personal self-defense or for civil law and order enforcement. But we still call them "martial" arts.

This doesn't mean each class is devoted to killing or war tactics; it means that our foundation is one of peace through superior firepower.

The problem, of course, is that superior firepower doesn't bring peace (as my country is demonstrating in Iraq for all to see).

How I'm spending my summer so far...

Posted on: Sun, 07/02/2006 - 14:48 By: Tom Swiss

A note to my friend Robin explains what I've been up to recently: (also see this post at her blog with paintings by the Japanese kids she's teaching)

Hi Robin! Many travels lately - we had the wonderful 30th Anniversary celebration for Seido karate earlier this month, people from all over the world - Japan, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Jamacia, Poland, Germany, UK, Brazil, US - came to Columbia U in NYC for five days of special seminars and classes, and a charity benefit tournament. I even met some folks from Osaka; now if I get back over there for a while, as I hope to eventually, I might have some people to play with. It was a *wonderful* gathering!

Then I was off to the Free Spirit Gathering, one of those pagan things I go to each summer, dancing around bonfires late into the night...

Monday I'm off to Chicago for a few days, visiting some Seido people there (wonderful group, they do a great job of connecting budo with nonviolence - ), on my way to a shiatsu conference near Milwaukee. Then home for a few days, then off to the Starwood Festival, that other pagan thing I go to each summer.

I feel in the past few years I'm making up all the travelling I never did in my youth. Slowly growing wings, or learning to use the ones I didn't realize I had. I begin to understand why, when the Taoist masters of old sought students, they waited in inns, looking for travelers whose minds were already being opened by the journey.

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