Category: Thoughts

Total Solar Eclipse

Total Solar Eclipse

Hey, so, I got married! That was last June. Happily married and bought a house.

I’m going to Nashville this weekend with my wife and some friends to see the Total Solar Eclipse on Monday, August 21st, 2017. It should be a fun time!


Captain’s Log, Stardate 60151020.909

Captain’s Log, Stardate 60151020.909

I implore you to determine our current status from the following statement:




Life is going swell! I’m finally a Systems Administrator for VectorUSA here in Charlotte! Michelle and I have been living together for over a year and together almost 2 years! In June of 2016, we will be getting married! I love her with all of my heart and soul. Everything I am.

We are heading to NC Comiccon next month. This Sunday I will be officiating Jeremy and Ariel’s wedding (New friends I met through Michelle in the last 2 years).

The best thing? Tomorrow I receive my Star Trek TNG hoodie from ThinkGeek! Huzzah!

I doubt I will be back anytime soon, but who knows? I wanted to make sure I had a positive post here when next I look at this in a few years. It was Joel’s idea.

October 18, 2010: The first class

October 18, 2010: The first class

This was the first class I went to for Taekwondo.  Most dojangs (TKD schools) will allow you to try out a free class to see if you want to join their school and take TKD.  This was my freebie night.

I went in gym shorts and a loose fitting t shirt.  Socks and shoes are not allowed in the practice area, nor is jewelry or watches.  They have a nice sized locker room at this school where you can put your things during a class.

We went through what I now know is a standard warm up routine (and was actually a bit on the lighter side).  At the end of the warm up and stretching, I had sweat pouring down my face and my muscles had that incredibly weak feeling.  The master of the school was teaching this class that night.  He varied the warm up so that every part of the body was touched, but also so that no part would be over strained.  To be fair, after the first 15 minutes, I felt a lot more flexible.  In this session, there were Orange belts, yellow belts, white belts, and I.  The master of the school took the white belts and I over to the side just a bit to go over the basics with us, especially me.

I don’t have actual notes on this class in my book because the whole session was a blur after the fact.  I know that we went over the stances, some kicks, and at least one One-Step.

We most likely went over ready stance, which is where you have your feet at shoulder width apart and your fists in front of you, one fist length away from your body and one fist width apart from another.

We did front stance, your lead leg is about 3-4 steps in front of the back leg, knee bent so that you cannot see your foot over it, with your back foot firmly on the ground and its leg straight.  In the front stance your torso is turned facing the direction of your front leg so that your belly button is pointing straight at your “target”.

I do not remember if we went over sitting stance or rear stance that night.  We did go over some kicks, mainly the front kick from positions One and Two.  A position One front kick is assuming a fighting stance, almost like a shortened front stance, then lifting the lead leg up into what is called the chamber position.  Chambering for a move means that you are getting ready to make the move, it centers your balance and allows for a stronger follow through.  The front leg is lifted off of the ground, almost with your knee into your stomach, then kicked forward towards the target, striking with the ball of your foot.  The position One front kick seems to be good for a quick kick to someone who is almost directly in front of you.

The position Two front kick starts in the same sort of stance, but instead you bring your rear leg up into a chambered position, then extend and kick out with the ball of the foot.  This kick has a lot more power to it, but takes longer for your foot to travel to the target, thus allowing them to see what is coming easier.

I am sure we went over the straight punch, which begins with your fists at your hips, palms turned up towards the ceiling.  You then extend the punching hand, fist still turned up from your hip towards the solar plexus of your target.  Just before you would connect with your fist, tighten your arm muscles and twist the fist around with your arm so that is in normal punching position, with the palm facing the floor.

The twisting action is really important in Taekwondo.  Every move uses it to generate a lot of power without a lot of strain.  If you’re reading this and not sure about it, try this:  Make a fist and punch the palm of your other hand as you would normally.  Now, in the same distance of forearm movement, start your fist turned palm up to the ceiling and strike. Just before you hit your palm, tighten your forearm muscles and twist the fist back into normal position as you strike.  You should feel a lot more force on your palm.  To achieve the same force you would have to either cock your arm back farther or use a lot more speed to hit your palm.

Finally, I believe we went over the first white belt One Step.  A One Step is restrained, rehearsed partner sparring.  It allows a TKD practitioner to learn the moves they need for sparring in a controlled environment without actually making contact with their partner.  It is great for practicing and refining your movements.   We went over the high block, reverse punch (this is without taking a step and punching), bring feet in parallel then do a front kick, and finally take two steps backwards from your opponent.  This allows you to block an oncoming attacker’s front or downward strike with the block, punch him in the solar plexus, step back and kick him away from you, then step back away from him in case the two moves didn’t deter him from further fighting.

By the end of class I was soaked in perspiration, muscles were already feeling extremely weak, and feeling awesome.  It was a very fun class and I was pretty much hooked then and there.  I signed up that night for the school, got my dobok (Korean word for the uniform) and starter packet, then spoke with the instructor who was manning the front desk for about twenty minutes.

I was going to love taking Taekwondo.

Taekwondo: The Beginning

Taekwondo: The Beginning

About three weeks ago, I enrolled into a Taekwondo dojang, Concord Taekwondo.  It is a TKD school that is affiliated with Taekwondo America.  It is an ITF based school and as such based on the traditional forms and movements of Taekwondo, rather than the more full contact and legs-centered WTF style of Taekwondo.

I decided to start taking TKD because I felt it would be a good thing to get physically active especially now that I work IT for a fashion company and sit all day.  I have always wanted to learn how to properly defend myself in the event of a real fight, rather than the horse play between brothers that I had as a kid.

I am not sure if it is the teaching style of this school or merely how TKD is normally taught, but each session is about 45 minutes to an hour long.  I can go to as many sessions as I like, they have no limits.  However, after the 10-15 minutes of warm up and stretching at the start of every class, there is only about 30 minutes left in the session to actually be taught things.  The different instructors at this school all have different ways of teaching, some more than others sync up with how I learn.  Either way, with so little time, a move is shown, we’re walked through how to do it and then we do about 5 repetitions per side of the body with the move.  After that, we move on to the next form.  It could be because I am a white belt and so don’t know anything about TKD, but there is a lot to learn that they keep giving us.  Realizing that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the different things I needed to learn without practicing at home, I started a journal of sorts.

Essentially, at the end of class, I change back into street clothes and sit at a table in the reception/waiting area outside of the dojang gym area.  I’ve been writing the date, and what moves/stances/tips that were given to me during the session down in a notebook.  If I can’t remember one or two things, I will go to the instructor and ask.  They are always willing to go over something again and take extra time with an individual so that they can learn.

Thus, I find myself here.  I’ve decided it might be cool to document what I write down in my logbook on my blog so that if anyone actually reads this thing, they can follow my progress as well.  It will also serve to be an online backup of what I write down, with some commentary thrown in.  Today, I am going to do a new post for each of the days’ sessions I have been to, so far.

Post Coming Soon!

Post Coming Soon!

I will be posting something today if it kills me. I hate not seeing a new entry on here, even if it is about nothing at all. I am trying to make more Twitter posts by tying them into Facebook, via TweetDeck.

In yesterday’s gaming news, I picked up Assassin’s Creed 1 for the 360 and played it for a while. It’s fun, but it felt like it was becoming repetitive.

A friend introduced me to something called MineCraft, which is a fairly freeform PC game. You start off with fists, which can punch through trees, dirt, rock and other objects. These objects break down into little mini versions of themselves that can go into your inventory. Using the little crafting window in your bags, you can turn the raw materials into useful items. Wood turns into planks, which can turn into dowels. Dowels can be turned into ladders. Stone turns into buttons or stepping stones. It can be combined with dowels to make stone axes, pickaxes, hoes, and more. You can build up by placing stone or other material back into the world from your bags or you can dig very, very deep into the world. The game is still in Alpha, but you can try the single player for free. If you purchase it, you can join multiplayer servers with other people. The look and feel of the game is solid cubes for the design. It has an 8-bit feel to it.

Yet, as simple as that sounds, it is very addictive and fun to play. I ended up doing the single player last night for close to 3 or 4 hours digging around and then eventually building a mini fortress. Here are some screenshots I grabbed last night:

Well, I hope some of you try the game and find out how fun it is.

I guess this turned into a real post, didn’t it? I just have to start typing I guess.



About 6 or so years ago, I had a Netflix subscription. I only used it during college to make copies of the Hercules: The Legendary Journeys for my friends and I. We were on a campy tv show kick.

Yesterday, however, I heard about the release of the Netflix iPhone app. Now, I’ve been watching from a distance all the things that Netflix has been doing to improve its services, instant queue, streaming to multimedia devices, all of that stuff. But, I came home from work yesterday and decided it might be worth my while to try it out for a few months at the 8.99$ price, for the instant streaming.

My conclusions thus far: freaking awesome. I think I came back to Netflix at a good time. When they first released their instant streaming capabilities, I know they didn’t have too many titles available to stream. Now, of course, with the passage of time they have tons of stuff available. I’ve already consumed some Jim Gaffigan, Tornado Valley, some Shark Week stuff, Star Trek: First contact, and I am currently watching Doctor Who (Chris Eccleston).

There is something to be said about instant availability of a lot of media. It makes you want to just sample and try all of it. I am loving streaming to my Xbox 360, especially the programming in HD. It’s just gorgeous even with streaming on my TV.

If you’ve been on the fence about Netflix, but have wanted to try out the instant streaming stuff, they have their free one month trial deal still going on. Since I was a returning customer, I only get two weeks. But, seeing as how satisfied I already am, I think I can justify a measly $8.99 a month now.