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Of cameras and cats

Okay so here's a quick update on the book list thing. I've thought of a bunch of good books, even wrote them down at one point or another, but to no avail. I've since forgotten most of them and lost most of the lists I made on scrap papers.
I never said I was organized.


The List


  1. Animal Farm - H. G. Wells

  2. The Law - Frederic Bastiat

  3. On Killing - Dave Grossman

  4. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

  5. The Fair Tax Book - Neal Boortz

  6. 1984 - H.G. Wells

  7. The Great Republic - Winston Churchill

  8. The Prince - Niccolo Machiaveli

  9. The Republic - Plato

  10. True Blue: Police Stories by Those Who Have Lived Them - Randy Sutton

  11. One Minute Manager - Kenneth H. Blanchard

  12. Sword and Brush - David Lowry

  13. Essential Anatomy for Healing and Martial Arts - Marc tedeschi

  14. The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemmingway

  15. Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson

  16. The Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger

  17. Brave New World - Aldous Huxely




In other news...

kyokitenchi has a pretty good summary of the adventures in home buying, check that out for more on that.

Behind the cut that follows is a brief story about my adventure with a camera, otherwise known as a sigmoidoscopy
sigmoidoscopyCollapse )

My cats survived their declawment and seem to be taking it well. In fact they're taking it better than I am. Apparently I'm a worrier. Also, they're very overweight, more than I even realized, and I now have a special diet I have to keep them on.

And that's about it for now.

50 Books a Year

I'm pretty good at coming up with some impressive initiatives and pretty bad at carrying them through.

Here's the newest, and this one may have legs....we'll see.

As the title might suggest it's a list of 50 books I'd like to read within the space of a year. That's almost a book a week, for those of you keeping score at home. Since it's moderately close to the end of the year already, I'm considering October, November, and December practice months to see if I really will keep up with this one.

Anyway, some of these are books I have started and never finished, some are classics I should have read long ago, some are new that have sparked and interest, and some are just in there for the hell of it. I'm placing no limitations on myself, so long as it is a book and I have an interest, it's fair game regardless of length, genre, style, age or whatever. The underlying goal is to keep my mind working, educate myself a little better, and to sound freakin smart when people start the "I've read that" game.

Here's the rub, though. I find that every time I sit down to compose the list, I blank. There's a billion books out there I'd like to read, should have read, or otherwise would be good for me to run through, but their names all vacate my brain when I need them most. Any suggestions would be appreciated. In fact it probably wouldn't hurt me (much) to read things outside of my immediately realm of interest.

Anything crossed out is one I have finished while trying to compile this list. They're just included to make me look smart. There's a bunch more I thought up at one time or another, but obviously I can't remember them at the moment.

The List


  1. Animal Farm - H. G. Wells

  2. The Law - Frederic Bastiat

  3. On Killing - Dave Grossman

  4. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

  5. The Fair Tax Book - Neal Boortz

  6. 1984 - H.G. Wells

  7. The Great Republic - Winston Churchill

  8. The Prince - Niccolo Machiaveli

  9. The Republic - Plato

  10. True Blue: Police Stories by Those Who Have Lived Them - Randy Sutton

  11. One Minute Manager - Kenneth H. Blanchard

  12. Sword and Brush - David Lowry

  13. Essential Anatomy for Healing and Martial Arts - Marc tedeschi

  14. The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemmingway




50 sure is a big number...

acronym update

VBT went off without a hitch. It was a little weird, a bit arbitrary, but not a single hitch to be found.

And now I am very tired. And sore.

'sup

Here's a quick update on the progress of a few things.

I have a VBT (video based test) with CBP (customs and border protection) this Friday (09-22-06) at 1400 hrs (2:00pm). I apparently have to learn to speak Fed-ese, which is basically using as many acronyms as possible.

The babes and I are in the process of hunting up a house to purchase in our local area. I'm somewhere between pre-approved and approved on a loan, so we know our budget. The hunting is going fairly well so far.

I was promoted another rank at the Isshin-Ryu school a couple weeks ago.

I'm scheduled to enter FTO (Field Training Officer) School on Oct 9. After that there is a strong possibility I will begin torturing training my first P.O. (Probationary Officer...meaning he/she is on Probation, not that handling probations) with the next class that graduates sometime in mid-November.

I reorganized (read: lost) about 10 pounds in the last 3-4 weeks and I am pretty close to target weight. This actually means less and less to me the closer I get, I've become more interested in "performance" rather than "weight." I guess that's a good thing.

And thats about it.
Couple things.

Got a prehire package from CBP (Customs and Border Protection) a couple days ago. Step 2 (out of 23,473.2) of the hiring process.

My brother now attends my IRK (Isshin Ryu Karate) class with me. He's doing quite well, actually.

Jun. 20th, 2006

So it's been a while. In with both feet.

My rather lackluster faithfulness to LJ lately has been liberally applied to many other facets of my life. For example, my fitness/workout/eating routine has been nothing short of tragic since roughly about the time we got Khalon.

That reminds me, I have some pictures. I'll post them when I get a chance one day. No promises.

Anyway, no working out or anything for a while now, except Karate practice once a week. However my birthday present to myself was reconvened meeting with heavy objects. It's not been consistent, per se, but it has been at least an every other day event. My upper body has atrophied as I expected, but my lower body routine is right about where I left off. Other than starting it back up at all, so far my high point has been the latest elliptical run. I cleared about 2.3 miles in 15 minutes on the elliptical, which breaks down to a pace somewhere between a 6:30 and a 6:45 minute mile for the duration. I have no misguided delusions about my ability to accomplish the same feat on road, track, or treadmill, but at least it was progress.

Check out iansha's LJ for recent news about her ongoing medical struggle.
I posted a backdated story under my Police Stories filter, it happened a few weeks back so you may have to go hunt for it. I think I got everyone that expressed an interest on that list. If not, let me know.

Mom comes in tonight and my days off end tonight as well. This weekend promises to be fairly busy. iansha and I are heading to arienys and elfen's place after work on Saturday for arienys's birthday. We'll then make a dash back either that evening or the next morning for Mother's Day church and lunch with my step-mom and then dinner that evening with my mom and grandmother. I have Sunday and Monday off as comp days because I will be at training Tuesday - Friday (advanced traffic law....whoopeee and stuff).

We'll have to make arrangements for the dog whether we stay or not. I'm not fond of the idea of crating him all evening, all night, and then all day the next day so I'm leaning towards heading back that night after the birthday fun. We'll see how it plays out, though.


Yesterday I got my new sparring pads and my tonfa . The pads should be immediately useful in class, the tonfa I'll have to put to use on my own for now. Some isshin-ryu schools teach them, some do not, but even those that do consider them a more advanced (and more obscure) weapon than bo or sai, which are first and foremost in the art. I already have a pair of sai and a bo (several, actually) in my steadily growing arsenal, and tonfa happened to be next on my list of "needs".

Next on the list, either training kama, live kama or a jutte. Unless of course something else catches my eye...in my price range.

That's the news and I am outta here

I suppose it's about damn time I posted an update of some sort.

By way of feeble excuse, the last month or so has been moderately busy. There's the dog, visit from mother, a couple illnesses, the dog, work, practice, the dog, applications to other departments, shift changes, and the dog.

So let's break those down a little and turn them into an update. In no particular order.

We're still dealing with the dog. He's growing and becoming a little more independent and trustworthy, which is nice. We still haven't got him totally house trained yet, but things are much better than they were as long as we pay attention to the correct signs. He's pretty good about everything else, so he's been easy to train. I hope to get him into a training program somewhere in the next month or so.

I switched to day shift (6am to 2pm) by request. I was a little surprised I got it, since it is a very senior shift, but now that I have I can enjoy my life a bit again. I no longer have to cram practice in around work and I don't feel like I am constantly rushing around to do everything. I also don't have to make any drastic adjustments to my schedule in order to spend time with people. There's some pretty major adjustments to make, though. I have to constantly remind myself that the big orange ball in the sky is supposed to be there and won't really kill me. Also, it's amazing to discover that the sky is blue and not, in fact, black.

Mom visited a few weeks ago and comes back in a week for a family wedding. Visits from mom are always nice for me, but usually stress out the babes.

Dropped a preliminary application for CBP (customs and border protection) field agent spot. I'm not extraordinarily excited about working for that particular agency, but everyone who knows anything about Fed jobs say getting in the door is the tough part. Once you join up with any federal agency you can play musical chairs to your heart's content and lose essentially nothing. Also, the U.S. Marshals (that's my prime target) do a lot of hiring from other Federal agencies, which is why they haven't posted public openings in roughly 6 years. I have a test at the end of this month which starts phase one of the hiring process for that agency. I'll be sending similar inquiries to a few others, most likely including the FBI, the DEA, and the Air Marshals, since all of them have posted openings. Something will pan out, I assume.

I renewed my commitment to martial arts practice, especially in a class environment rather than solo. The Isshin-ryu school I am attending is fantastic, and I could not ask for better teachers. It's small, which has some serious advantages, and very progressive. I'm a bit self conscious (privately, outside of class, and off the record...so to speak) with the other students. There's some adjustments that they and I have to go through to become completely comfortable. Technically I am a white belt, having never made any progress in this particular art, so I am treated as such, and rightly so. However my reaction time, my speed, my coordination, and numerous other traits that are not specific to Isshin-ryu, or any martial art, are more advanced than the belt would indicate. Logically, conceptually, they understand that, but in practice I think its a different ball game. During sparring, or other "combat" drills, I am not tentative, I am not inexperienced, and I do not get nervous, agitated, emotional, or overly defensive. It's not that I believe I am superior to them, in the realm of Isshin-ryu especially I most definitely am not. It's more that I've developed a sense of comfort with the rigors and risks of training over the last dozen++ years doing this, and it's a bit unexpected. I too have to make some serious adjustments. It's been a long time since I have trained with folks in a strike heavy art (as opposed to a focus on grappling or throwing, or whatever) and there are some serious differences in technique, applications, and "rules" for training. Don't get me wrong, strike arts are home for me, that's where I started and where I was, am, most comfortable, but I've not trained with others in those arts in quite a while.


I've got a few interesting work related stories I'll post later on. Meantime, I'll look back through my history here and see who wants in on that filter.

On the work front

I was involved in a pretty big drug bust and a pursuit the other day. If you'd like to know more about it, there's a friend's locked post. Drop me a line and I can add you to it if you're interested. There's some sensitive information in it I don't feel comfortable leaving unlocked for all.

Edit: After a bit of thought I've decided to setup a "Cop" filter. I'll use it for any work related posts I think need to be controlled a bit. If you like the cop stories or you just want in, just drop a reply here and I'll put you in.

The Weekend Report

A quick catch up over the last few days.

Thursday was just a cleanup and hang out day. I actually got a lot done, hit the gym with iansha for 45 minutes or so. Mostly stuck with cardio and some trciep stuff.

Friday was mostly a do-nothing day until work time. Did a few things around the house and got everything ready for work, otherwise not much. That night was pretty hectic at work but nothing too major going on.

Saturday was a bad day for eating. I ate a lot (comparatively) of junk including a trip to McDs on the way home from work Sunday morning. It didn't even really taste that good. Very busy night, and we managed to catch some gang bangers (Southside Mafia wannabees, really) in a stolen/carjacked car after they fired off some shots at a nearby party. Nobody got hurt and we got all of them but 1, and we now know who he is.

Sunday was a busy day, went to softball practice for the upcoming church league, then went to "small group" with my parents and iansha. Then I hurried home, changed clothes and went to work where I sat in the office all night. I then hurried home and crashed until about an hour ago. It's nice to get enough sleep every now and then.

That's about it.