Showing posts from January, 2010

Thoughts on "playing school" and living life...

Though, I am a complete newbie at the art, I consider myself an aikidōka, or Aikido practitioner.  Every Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday, barring illness or family emergency, I go to "our" dojo and subject myself to the teaching of the Sensei. I enter the dojo, and remove my shoes at the door.  After changing into my Gi, I make a standing bow to enter the mat.   A few minutes before class time my classmates and I warm up and formally seat ourselves ( seiza ) along the Shimoza in quiet meditation to rid our minds of the day's problems and prepare for study. As I sit, practicing deep abdominal breathing, and taking in the smells, sounds, and sights of the moment, My peripheral vision notes my my instructor as he makes his way onto the mat.  He seats himself facing the Kamiza , slapping back his hakama as he does so. We formally bow in, a process which ends with our saying "Onegai shimasu," Loosely translated "Please give me your instruction." Al

Aikido, Iaido, The Internet, & The Phone book?

My Quest This last October, Lanette and I had a discussion about my increasing lack of physical activity. I used to work out somewhat regularly at a local health club that shut down suddenly amid much controversy . Though I am not in the worst shape, walking into a gym or fitness club feels like giving a speech in my underwear to me. It doesn't matter whether anyone is looking at me or not, I feel like an impostor when I walk into a health club. The new place my wife works out just wasn't doing it for me, and I felt ever more awkward when I went there. In the midst of our discussion, a light went on in my head. I've dreamed for most of my adult life of taking a Japanese martial art, at least one on this incredibly broad and inclusive list ( note: broad and inclusive used sarcastically here) . Kenjitsu Iaido Kendo You see the unifying theme here? Basically, I wanted to "play Samurai", and this workout deal was my "in". I shared this list with L

Out of Stock: Hopefully not a harbinger of things to come... (A re-post from my other blog)

A little background.. . More often than not, over the last year, when I go online looking for a book, I seem to perpetually find myself facing no options to buy it new from the company I went to in the first place.  Typically, I'm using Amazon, and I get the message that I can buy it from some third-party seller, who may or may not be reputable.  I've assumed, perhaps erroniously, that it's just because I'm looking for old books that weren't that popular. A recent experience Recently, I finished the last book in the Tales of the Otori, and I decided I want to read the prequel, "Heaven's Net is Wide", which came out in September of '08.  That's las Fall, kids.  Anyway, once again, the standard buying option is not available! While looking at this, somewhat in disbelief because i know this to be a popular series, I did note that the Kindle version was available.  Further investigation revealed many other titles I'v