Monthly Archives: March 2011

Punches in bunches

We recently had a black belt test at my school. During the sparring matches I worked one of the corners; water between rounds and blood cleanup. Right up close to the action I noticed some differences between the students who were testing and the instructors they fought. The main difference was in how they treated combinations.

In kickboxing a combination is 2 or more techniques thrown as a set. Typically these are 4 counts where 2 punches and 2 kicks are thown. There are a bunch of different 4 counts and every school probably numbers them differently.  There are other kinds of combinations too which don’t have as many kicks as punches and vice versa. You alao don’t have to employ only 4 techniques. One of my instructors used to say his intent was to punch me 9 times for every punch I landed on him.

We all know these combinations and train them via pad drills relentlessly. So what was the difference between the combinations of the student’s and the instructors? It wasn’t speed or power, the instructors may be experienced, but they were also much older and hopefully I won’t offend them by saying they were a bit slower. The difference was in how they thew the combination.

The students would generally start the combination and if the first technique didn’t land they would stop to decide what to do next. The instructors, however would fire the entire combination regardless of the success of the opening kick or punch. It is as if the combination was a single technique to be thrown and the individual movements just contributed to the whole. This had the effect that the instructors were able to overwhelm the students frequently during the rounds. Maybe the first punch didn’t land, but who cares if the next 3 do.

This is not a knock against the students for they are bad-ass and I would fear for the safety of anyone they were up against. They are experienced full contact fighters, but so are their instructors.

The moral I guess is to throw the whole combination, whether you are fighting hand to hand or with firearms. Don’t shoot the bad guy once and see how it worked out. My Glock has a big magazine. Most people will find it hard to deal with a sustained volley of punches, kicks, and 9mm projectiles. Under significant stress I already know I will put 4 rounds into a guy before I even stop to think about the next move. Hmmm 4 rounds, Kickboxing 4 counts, it’s probably just a coincidence.

Badass of the Week: Hideaki Akaiwa

What this guy’s day job actually is, I honestly have no idea, but based on the extremely limited information I have on the guy I can only presume that his daily nine-to-five routine probably falls somewhere between the motorcycle chase scenes from the movie Akira and John Rambo’s antics in the book version of First Blood on the ridiculousness/badassitude scale. But that’s only speculation.”

 

Badass of the Week: Hideaki Akaiwa.

Busybox, xoom is a busybox

Just spent a couple of hours on Google Talk with the guy who packages up Busybox for Android platforms. Using QuickSSHD and a little port forwarding on my router, he was able to login to my Xoom and see what was going on with the app and provide fixes for me to try on the spot. A couple of hours later and it is working. He is going to put a new version in the app market tomorrow.

He doesn’t even have a Xoom, but now his app installs on Xooms. How cool is that?

Felony Or Not?

Which path makes you a felon?

Here in the great state of Oklahoma, we have our fair share of gun laws. Even though every frackin’ one of us is packing heat and itching to shoot, believe it or not, there are some restrictions on where we can take our heaters.

The above picture is from one of our finer dining establishments. You can wear jeans there, but a dinner for 2 will set you back probably $40 with tip. You are packing your 9 and on your way to see a man about a horse. The bathroom door is outlined in yellow. There are two paths; one red and one blue. Which path, if any, will land you in an Oklahoma state pound-you-in-the-ass-prison for several years and also cause you to lose many of your freedoms such as the right to vote and the right to own firearms?

No cheating.. decide now….

If you picked the RED path, then you are correct. That is technically the “bar” area of the restaurant. In Oklahoma you can carry in restaurants that serve alcohol, but restaurants that serve alcohol have to have a designated “bar” area. Taking your legally carried firearm into a bar is a felony in Oklahoma and we have a prison in McAlester that they will send an outlaw like you for several years if you pick the RED path instead of the BLUE one. Alter your route by a few feet and you alter your destiny.

President Obama, you show me a common sense gun law first. Then we’ll talk about supporting them.

Work mode: Activate

Still in work mode. Sorry for the lack of entertaining posts. Here is something that made me spit Dr. Pepper across the table when a friend posted it on Facebook:

NPR Executives Caught On Video

“The current Republican Party, particularly the Tea Party, is fanatically involved in people’s personal lives and very fundamental Christian – I wouldn’t even call it Christian. It’s this weird evangelical kind of move,” declared Schiller, who runs NPR’s foundation.

via  The Daily Caller

 

Read the whole thing, watch the video. Yes, there is video.

Things that make you go hmmm…

Posting light this week as I try to get a couple of computer things done. But consider this:

In our school district, the elementary school is on the same plot as the middle school. So I drive right past the middle school every day to pick up my kids. Sometimes while waiting I see the Oklahoma County deputy leaving at the end of the day from the middle school. He is there every school day. No such person is on duty at the elementary school.

My question: Who has the school deemed to be a credible threat, the adults who might come shoot up the place, or the students who are there every day?

Prototyping

I hate designing User Interfaces, but frankly I was much better at it in the days of Visual Basic. Then I could whip up a UI, add just a tiny morsel of linkage code and see how it all worked with a press of the F5 button. I am not sure why things aren’t that simple any more, especially in the Android development department. Anyway, while trying to come up with the UI design for an app I’m writing I was just stumped. Now to save the day is Pencil, a GUI prototyping tool that runs within the Firefox browser!

You can use Pencil to design all sorts of UIs. If you want to use it with Android, you can download some Android specific shape collections here. Make sure you grab the latest version of Pencil from their website. The version in the Firefox add-on market is old and doesn’t work with the Android shape collections.

I am just getting started trying it out. But it seems very cool. And free. Unlike Microsoft’s Viso which is cool but the opposite of free.

Now I wonder if there is any tool that will take my UI prototype and generate Android layouts from it?

QOTD: Tom Givens

“If a situation comes up and you need your gun, you need it right the fuck now!” — Tom Givens

Situations where you need your gun are life or death. If it isn’t life or death, then you don’t need a gun and you should go to Sonic for a nice cherry limeade. If it is life or death, I agree with Tom. Carry your gun so it more or less materializes in your hand when it is needed. Trust me, you still won’t feel like it got there fast enough.

Commit right now, carry all the time

If you are going to get your concealed carry permit, you should commit to carrying your firearm all of the time you are legally allowed to. Charlotte Maughan has her permit, but when two dogs in her neighborhood started attacking hers, she had to go back to the house to get a gun.

Brian Maughan [her son] said it was one of the scariest moments of his life.

“They shot after the dog, ripping her end to end,” he said. “The flesh (was) literally torn down to the bone.”

She goes back to the house, can’t find her gun (???) so she picks up her husband’s which she has not practiced with*.

The dogs picked up Mollie and dragged her through the street and other yards, Charlotte Maughan said.

“Blood was coming out of her mouth,” she said, “and I thought she was gone.”

Mrs. Maughan kills both of the attacking dogs and it turns out her dog is expected to recover. Good job and nice shooting there**. But her son takes the story to a scary place:

Brian Maughan said the event made him think about how vulnerable children or older adults would be to a similar attack.

“What if it had been a human being?” he said. “That’s just what was really scary about it.”

Mrs. Maughan is 60 so if the other older adults in that neighborhood are like her, then they be bad! But there is no reason it couldn’t have been a small child instead of her dog that was attacked. And if it had been Mrs. Maughan grandson being mauled by these feral dogs, she would still have had to go back home and retrieve her gun. Fate isn’t going to hit the pause button because you weren’t ready and need a time-out.

They say you shouldn’t time the stock market because you will never get the timing right. You’ll be too soon in or too late out of the market. Better to have a consistent investment strategy that pays off over time. Carrying arms and being ready for trouble, all of the time, is like having that consistent investment strategy. You are prepared all of the time, so when life doesn’t swing your way, you are ready for it.

Carrying a gun is mostly a colossal pain. The laws are stupid. The holsters are $100 of compromises. And going to the bathroom is a pain. However, I would never be able to live with myself if I had the training, the means, and the right to carry my gun and left it at home when something like this happens. And I bet you wouldn’t either. Carry your gun. ALL OF THE TIME.

h/t Spike

* This is why my wife and I train with and carry the exact same model gun. Husbands, don’t buy your wife some dinky .38 revolver. Shooting a 9mm has about the same kick as a firecracker. If she can handle the slide, then buy her the same big-boy gun you carry. One day one of you may need a gun and time you don’t have is ticking by while you fumble around with a gun you aren’t familiar with.

** I haven’t tagged this with the “On your own” category. That is because if you read the story you find out that along with Mrs. Maughan she had her son and several neighbors and all of them tried to help. The tried to help by throwing rocks, kicking, and wacking the dogs with rebar. What worked? 3 bullets from a 9mm handgun worked. Not screaming, throwing rocks, kicking them or hitting them; bullets, from a gun.