Archive: Robot leg, anime, food

Source: Gisoku no Jutsu
Original post date: 14 May, 2007

Three parts, all equally awesome – that is today’s blog stuffu.

Okay, robot leg time. I remember one time in my job previous to my current one that one day a wee tacker asked me why I walked funny. Kids are awesome, aren’t they? So I said to him that I had a metal leg. He thought the prospect of having a metal leg was supremely uber, as did his younger brother. So, with a nod to their Mum, I showed them what the artificial leg (well, the knee and below) looked like – first they saw the knee (“Wow!”), then I did my favourite trick and pulled off the foam shroud that helps keep the leg’s shape when I wear trousers/jeans/whatever, displaying the awesome might of the silvery-shiny metallic pole that connects the knee unit to the foot. This somehow surpassed the uber-factor of the knee, and they stared agape at this crazy creation. From that day onward, I became the ‘Metal Librarian’, or for the younger one who had trouble spitting out ‘Librarian’, simply ‘Metal Man’. This was/is/will continue to be a cool diatribe in the daily life of Sean.

Anywho, fast forward to last week (or should it be rewind? I confuse myself sometimes :P), and there were a couple of new kids at karate, and a new boy I hadn’t seen before. Anywho, the kids who come to karate are very talkative once they work out the loud man with the orange goatee isn’t scary, and one of them said my foot looked funny. And then another piped up with a question about my leg. So, being me, I thought it was leg time, and showed them the knee unit, the titanium pole and how it worked. I am pleased to announce that my leg has evolved now to the ‘Robot Leg’. One of them thought it was such an awesome thing that he thought having a robot leg was cool. And then he said it was like Astro boy’s leg. I agreed that Astro Boy is awesome, and my leg would be even more awesome if it had a rocket on the end of it so I could fly around like Astro Boy. He agreed, but pointed out that I’d burn my other foot off if that happened, but this wouldn’t be so bad because I could then have two robot, Astro Boy style feet. I repeat, this kid is a champion. Thumbs up all around – having one leg is cool in the eyes of kids. Pity it wasn’t like that when I was at school 😛

Part two – anime. I’ve started watching the sleeper series ‘Somedays Dreamers’ – I picked it up when Madman had their server-crashing ultra 10-year anniversary sale last year; I felt like something a bit chilled out after indulging in the first 30-something episodes of ultra-80s-classic cartoon Thundercats, so I picked Somedays Dreamers. Now, I”m only three episodes in (and I had a break over the last couple of days to watch the final episode of the retro gaming awesome that is Retrocore), but one of the characters in the series has one leg! How cool is that? I’ve seen a lot of anime over the years, from the retail and fansub VHS to DVD (and when I get a player + telly to match, Blu-Ray), but I can’t recall any contemporary anime series’ (even alternative-universe ones like Somedays Dreamers) where someone has one leg. Very cool. The only bugger is that I think the character’s just a one-off and won’t come back; that’s the feeling I’m getting anyway. I’ll wait and see what happens, but yeah, it was really cool. Might have to post a screen cap of it 🙂

Oh yeah, I ate heaps over the weekend – massive lunch on Saturday with Wifey’s family, then yesterday we prepared a big lunch for my Mum, Tank and Meru, and then had the in-laws over for dinner for a massive roast lamb and sticky-date pudding for dessert. Yum. Was a good way to end too much eating – I’ve put on a couple of kilos over the last two months, and I’m keen to shave them off and slim back down to get my ‘karate body’, as I call it, back. Yes, I’m vain, but at least I’m not in denial 😛

Anywho, I’m not sure if I’ll get around to another post until the post-training round-up on Thursday or Friday. Looking forward to karate on Wednesday, and I’ll be getting back into weight training on Thursday. I’ll continue working on my stretches during the week, too.

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Archive: Training mashou!

Source: Gisoku no Jutsu
Original post date: 11 May, 2007

Yay, I went to training on Wednesday night! I picked Hamez up on the way through, but slack Tank was recovering from a mega weights session and was stuffed, so he didn’t come along. Anywho, training was great – small class, but it was all good. We did the usual array of strikes, blocks and some kata as well; my form was a bit sloppy, but wasn’t too bad after two months off. We also spent some time working on jumping kicks, and that was ace, as we’d never done that before. It was uber 🙂

I was expecting to be really sore yesterday and today, but the only thying I’ve noticed is that my shoulder blades’ muscles are a little tender, everything else is goood, even my ankle (though I iced it up after training as a precaution). The other thing I noticed is that my gi wasn’t as slimming as usual, not that I think gi’s tend to be slimming really 😛 Turns out I’ve put on 2 or 3 kilos over the past two months, which is very rude of my body. I’ll have to work them off by pushing myself a bit harder at karate each week and get back to weight training as well, and do crunches between classes. Hopefully I’ll be back to my previous weight shortly. I’m so vain 😛

So yeah, all went well. There’s another story from class I’ll write about next time, and something cool that happened in an anime series I’m currently watching (Someday’s Dreamers); again, material for a future post. Will fire more updates next week. Can’t wait for more training!!

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Archive: Stretchy legs

Source: Gisoku no Jutsu
Original post date: 8 May, 2007

All is going well with all my random injuries – my stump is looking better than it has in weeks, and my ankle is feeling great; I get a bit of a dull throbbig pain once in a while, but it’s doing really well. I’m aiming to do a weights session tonight to get me back into the routine, and will be training on Wednesday night providing I don’t do anything stupid between now and then. Hamez is taking a break from soccer for a couple of weeks, so I’ll be taking him along with me, and Tank might be able to make it, also. I’m really looking forward to it, this’ll make it ~2 months since last training.

In stretchy leg news, for some reason my muscles were sore yesterday 😛 The only thing I can think of is that Tank and I were doing some shonky backyard cricket on Sunday morning as Wifey and I headed over to Mum and Dad’s for brekkie/morning tea/eat fest. Given backyard cricket is generally as low impact as it comes, I can’t see that being an issue. Mind you, it possibly didn’t help that I kept on kicking the ball with my foot and instead of knocking it with the cricket bat, Segata Sanshiro style:


*Ahem* Anyway, the point is, shonky backyard cricket should not have resulted in my legs being sore. The only thing I can think is that maybe I stretched a bit too far on Sunday night. Regardless, I’m continuing my stretching routine, probably every second night or so, maybe a little more frequently. It’s the same routine we do in karate… kinda – I don’t spend any time stretching my left leg much, since there’s not much there to stretch 😛 I can’t remember if I went through it before, so here it is for all to consider:

  • Shake the legs about a bit to get the blood flowing, then fall gently into the side splits, getting down to the point of slight discomfort and hold it. 30 seconds is supposed to be optimal, I generally lose track of time so I’m probably sitting there like a dufus for a few minutes 😛
  • Shift your weight and do the straight splits, right leg in front, and get down as low as possible and hold it. Again, 30 seconds I think is optimal, but I lose track of time. Damn telly 😛 If you have two legs, feel free to reverse the position to stretch out your left leg
  • Settle back into the side splits, getting lower and hold your balance on your heels, steadying yourself on your hands (or in my case, knuckles – helps condition them). I read up that the point with this is to keep your hips at an angle and nto vertical, as the former is its natural position. By this point, I can normally do the full side splits with a bit of effort
  • I don’t know the name for the next stretch – I face forward wit my front (right) leg bent so you’re almost kneeling, with my other leg behind my for support. Stretches the groin and inner-thigh I think. Hold it for 30 seconds or more to avoid random injuries to your groin muscle
  • Finally, return to the side splits and pop yourself down as far as you can go without causing yourself an injury. If for any reason I haven’t managed to do the side splits up until this point, I’ll generally pull it off here

After I’ve done my leg stretches like that, I’ll do 15+ leg lifts front, side then back. Once all that’s done, my leg(s) are generally feeling pretty stretchy and stuff – last night after I did all the above I went and took the wheely bins out for ccollection this morning, and on the way back to our place I started practicing random kicks. You know, crazy flash of inspiration and all that. I want to be able to do two snap kicks in a single strike – lift the leg, strike once (waist), strike two (head), return the leg to the ground. I’m working on something similar with my fake leg, not sure how it’s going to go. If I can develop it, the idea would be a series of two double-strike kicks in succession – double-strike kick with right leg, double strike with left leg. Not sure how practical it would be, but I like the challenge. Once my ankle’s better, I’ll get started on working on the tornado kick and (reverse) butterfly kick. I’m referring to the latter as a ‘reverse’ butterfly kick as I can’t launch off my left leg because, well, there’s no ankle or knee to facilitate it 🙂 I could try, but the best I could achieve as falling over. So I’ll have to see if I can develop it to jump off the right leg; granted, I’ll still fall over, but at least I’ll be able to fall over a little further along 🙂

Oh, you’ve probably noticed that the main page’s layout has been updated. I’m really happy with the result, it came out better than I expected. I’ll be updating the blog’s layout soon as well. I’m just happy that my coding wasn’t too shonky – thankfully, there’s a stack of info on the web when it comes to learning CSS.

I’ll post an update later in the week, hopefully this time with some karate training news. Can’t wait 🙂

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Archive: Bloodsport – 80s awesomeness

Source: Gisoku no Jutsu
Original post date: 2 May, 2007

Last night the original, uber movie, Bloodsport, was on Foxtel. After the atrocities of Mortal Kombat (shonky) and American Ninja (uber shonky), I was all prepped to giggle at Van Dammmmmmmme’s break-through martial arts flick. Now, ever since I saw Street Fighter, I’ve consistently found the man amusing. True, he could beat my head about by boxing my face with his feets of fury, but he’s fun to pay out. What I wasn’t expecting when I sat down to watch Bloodsport is that I’d admit to actually enjoying it, and not just because I thought I’d giggle like a schoolboy. Last time I watched the movie was about 13 years ago – I was 11 at the time and away on camp; in a stroke of luck, the cabins we were staying in actually had a telly, which of course we were told we couldn’t use by our teachers. However, in our favour, the assigned parent to look after the cabin was actually my Dad, who didn’t seem to mind having the boys staying up late watching a martial arts flick. That’s not surprising though, ’cause my Dad is uber. Needless to say we enjoyed the late night movie, and happily enjoyed watching cartoons the next morning while eating brekky (Captain N and Ren & Stimpy – awesome!!)

Anyway, the point is – its been 13 years since I last saw the movie, and the only thing I remember is that a dude gets kicked in the shin so that a chunk of bone pops out his leg, hence to an 11 year old boy, its an awesome movie. So I was expecting it to be pretty bad, but I was pleasantly surprised. Van Damme couldn’t act and his English is sloppy, but his form is brill, and he’s a real lean fighter, not the muscle-job he became later on (again, I always think – Street Fighter). He also doesn’t say “Do you want go with me?!?!?!” whilst doing a silly army-man speech or have Kylie Minogue in a daramtic acting role by his side, so that probably helps, too. Hmm, gotta find that one cheap on DVD and write a blog on it methinks.

So yeah, really surprised by that one. Was made in 1987 according to the film’s credits, and the choreography was pretty good, the ‘mystical far-east’ factor wasn’t too overwhelming, but thumbs down on the flashbacks and stuff at the beginning of the film – a bit stilted, but oh well – training montages were fun, if a little cliched (but aren’t they all?). Oh, and Stan Bush did the vocals on all songs; fellow geeky people will recall he also sang the vocals for “You’ve Got The Touch” ( … or maybe it’s just “The Touch”) from the 1980-something cartoon, Transformers: The Movie (as opposed to Michael Bay’s extreme, explosions, stuff blows up, attractive women Transformers movie coming out soonish). Props to my Wife – I was so enthralled with the movie I wasn’t exactly the most rivetting company for the evening, and yet she still sat with me and watched the movie all the way through and got up to let the dog out as needed. I think that means I’m due to watch an Elvis movie or something now – that’s our deal, if I put her through the task of watching a (possibly shonky) martial arts flick, she gets to pick an Elvis movie or musical for me to watch with her 🙂

Outside of all the movie-related uberness this week, I’m stoked to say my ankle and stump continue to heal up nicely, and I’ve started doing leg stretches and leg lifts almost every night in prep for karate next week. On the MySpace front, I’ve finished up the code and just have to put the finishing touches on the background. Shouldn’t be far away now!

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Archive: New TMNT – Best.Movie.Ever

Source: Gisoku no Jutsu
Original post date: 30 April, 2007

Well, the title says it all, really. I got a very welcome call from Tank’s girlfriend Meru (pseudonyms are fun!) mid-afternoon yesterday asking if Wifey and I were interesting in joining them to see the best movie ever. Well, she didn’t use those words exactly, but I’m pretty sure that’s what she meant. Anywho, I said that sounded awesome, as I figured I’d be done with my latest post-grad paper by the evening (and even if I wasn’t, I’d be braindead by that point), so agreed, and did the happy dance.

Now, for those living under a big rock of late, the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie recently came out. The live actors and silly suits have all been replaced with some absolutely jaw-dropping CG animation, and Imagi thankfully went the way of making all the characters, even the humans, cartoony and not faux-real people, which is what George Lucas would probably do, as he ruins things. Now, the word around the place is that the movie is set following the original movie that came out in ’89 and, coincidently, was relatively close to the original graphic novels Eastman and Laird did in the early 80s. The second movie, which we will all remember fondly for featuring Vanilla Ice and the terrible (and therefore awesome) ‘Ninja Rap’, came out a few years later.  It was also a bit shit, partly because the soccer-mom patrol sanitised it something nasty – the turtles don’t fight with their weapons for the most part, instead resorting to more Power Ranger-esque silliness, complete with sound effects and what-not, to tone down the violence (incidently, the film stock, lighting and post production of the first film feel a little reminiscent of the Power Ranger/Monster-sentai clique; the second [and third] films simply reek of this even more). There was also a new April, which was funny once you stopped bein confused. Then the third movie came out, and we all pretend that never happened, as it was really bad; on the up-side, Corey Feldman returned to do Donatello’s voice, which is awesome. It was set in ancient Japan (which looked like a typical North American forrest with some cleared trees) and was riddled with cliches and no plot and shonky acting… well, shonkier acting than in previous movies. Which says a lot.

Anywho, so the new TMNT takes place after Shredder gets a kick up the bum and stuff (although, the final scene in the movie suggests this may not be the case… or it’s a little tribute to the films that ran before it). The turtles aren’t living in an abandoned subway train thingo, April has returned to her scientist-self (note to everyone – April’s not a reporter, methinks the late-80s TV series’ producers simply wanted an excuse for some G-rated cleavage) and everything is win and awesome. Pros include the utterly superb quality of the animation (and fight choreography), Leonardo isn’t a pain in the arse like he normally is, Raph is awesome and angry, Don & Mikey are funny (Donnie could have used with some Feldman love, though) and Splinter doesn’t make a funny, which is good ’cause it got tired. Oh, and he ninjas other foot clan ninjas. And the foot ninja girl has cool-looking shiny hair. And Kevin Smith does a guest voice. Since it’s the best movie ever, there are no cons or problems with it. I’ve heard some say it was a little sanitised, and I guess that’s fair enough – it had to scrape by with a PG rating to maximise the access to its core market, and I thought it managed to get away pretty well with it (kinda like The Lion, the Witch and Wardrobe did – lotsa biff, but no blood and some clever cuts took care of anything Disney Corp. would frown on), and the target demographic are kids (and incidently, those who watched it as kids ^_^), so it’s not going to get bloody and stuff.

However, this still doesn’t detract frorm its incredible awesomeness. It oozes it, awesomeness comes off it in waves of incredible uberness-enhanced goodness. I’m waffling on, but I have to get across – loved it, thought it was awesome, can’t wait for it to come out on DVD. I’m such a big kid 😛 Maybe there’ll be a sequel. That would bbe uber. Unless it sucked like the other live action TMNT movies which were wrong.

In non-best-movie-ever news, my ankle is feeling a lot better and my stump is healing up quite nicely. I’m still behaving myself and I’m not going to jump back into training this week; however, I can probably start doing some cycling and continue my stretching a bit more regularly now. You’ll also notice that the appearance of the main page is randomly changing as well – I’m in the process of trying a different layout to give the page a redesign. So bear with me for the moment while I work it out 🙂 I’ll have something solid up soonish, and hopefully it’ll look nice and stuff. Once I’ve finalised the main page’s formatting, I’ll update the blog’s visual style to mirror that.

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