Friday, July 27, 2007

New Car

Since the Explorer is gone, we needed a new car. We had intended to wait a few years before buying a new car, we just paid off the Toyota. So loosing the Explorer caught us with our financial pants down.

I got a good deal on the plainest of plane Jane Mazda 3s. Good styling, nice ride, ABS, air, and a 5 speed. Everything a guy needs... except cruise control. =(

Here is the new car:

Out of Nowhere...

My wife is a medical student, and is currently doing her rural health/family practice rotation about 2 1/2 hours away from me. She got her placement close to my home town, so she is staying with my parents.
The thing with rural health is that the family practitioners also take turns working in the hospital's ER. So, my wife has been putting some good hours doing emergency medicine.

On 7/25 about 7:30 am I got a call from my dad telling me that my wife had rolled our Explorer. They told me that the ambulance was on the way, but they had no knowledge as to her condition.
My stomach flipped, went in to my throat, and threatened to purge. I sprinted out of the office, jumped in to my car and was on the way to her before I hung up the phone. I did my best to break all of the land speed records, desperate to get to her side. Along the way my father called me again and let me know that she was "fine." This comforted me, but there was absolutely no way I was taking his word for it.
I finally get to the hospital to find my parents sitting in the waiting room. I asked where my wife was, and they said "working."
Apparently, the doctor who checked her out, of course, knew my wife and had worked with her in the ER. He declared her fit, and then told her that there was a patient in the next room who had an abscess or something in his hand. He wanted to know if she wanted to get in on the procedure to drain it. With out another word my wife jumped up and got to work.
She is tough.

This little incident made me realize just how much I love my wife. It is impossible to imagine my life with out her. Those moments when I had no idea if she was hurt or not were, by far, the worst moments in my life.
I have been "desperate" before. I have needed to go the bathroom really badly, and was "desperate" to get to a toilet. I was "desperate" to have the Huskers win against Texas Tech in 2005. I realize now that I did not know what desperation was. I was desperate to get to my wife's side. I would have killed to get there. Literally. If someone bared my way I would have killed them to get through. I had only one thought in my head, get to her.
I am so glad that she is OK.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Judo Tournament

I got third place in both divisions I entered in. On the day I went 2-4. Judo rules suck.

My first match had me throwing a sacrifice throw and essentially pulling guard. I immediately snapped a triangle choke on my guy and moved to finish with a triangle armbar. I did not really have it sunk in, and I did not throw my leg over his head to truly finish the armbar so the ref stopped the match. I did the same takedown and again snapped on the triangle choke, only to be stood up as I was moving to complete the submission. I gave the ref a dirty look, and he sneered at me that "This is Judo, not Jujitsu." Both have submissions right??????? During this stand up I was able to take my guy's back and start to choke him, he fell backwards, where they called "ippon" for him. Loss number one. I chalk that up to inexperience and not knowing the rules.

The second match was virtually the same thing. Me slapping on submissions on the ground, but not getting a chance to finish them. The match ended when I again took the guy's back and he fell in to me.

I got the hang of the thing after that. My next match was not for a little bit, so I got to watch how the other "REAL" Judo guys do it. I noticed that after start was called, the guys just kind of walked at each other, grabbed the gi and started from there. I "faked" this in the beginning of my match then shot a steamroller double leg for the take down. This got me some points and I was able to relax and just play my game. I did not get taken down, but the guy slapped a Kimura on me from half guard. One of my bread and butter moves is to spin to armbar after someone is foolish enough to try this on me. However in this match, when it counted, I spun the wrong way and managed to allow him to sweep me, take mount, and sink the sub in deeper. The good news was we were out of bounds and stop was called. I won that on on points.

I managed to talk my jujitsu teacher in doing this tournament with me, and he agreed. Wouldn't you know it, but we were matched in the same division. Never mind that he out weighs me by 30lbs. I told him that if we were matched together that I was going to try a flying armbar on him. And that is just what I did in the opening moments of the match! It was awesome! I was very very close in finishing it, but I could not do it in time, and the ref called stop. I botched a throw next and my teacher beat me by pin.

The next match my opponent tried to throw me with a sacrifice, but managed to pull me to half guard. I passed, and held him in side control for the pin victory.

My last match had me feeling very confident and relaxed. I knew I was better than my opponent and I knew there was nothing he could do to beat me. We started out, and I stepped in for a massive throw... I set down on my right foot wrong, stumbled, and was easily tripped for ippon. CRAP!!!

Anyway third place is not too bad for a first time out, and I had a great time. So all in all it was a good experience and a fun tournament.

All in all I found that the Judo rules did not allow nearly enough time for submissions to work. I got less than 10 seconds on the ground before stop was called, and, after the first match, I felt horribly rushed on the ground. That was partly the reason I screwed up my Kimura-armbar counter. The other reason was... well I suck.

I don't think that I will be doing another Judo tournament, the rules are too restrictive, and there is too much bias against Jujitsu.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Kick Ass Kids!!


I gave it to the Karate kid. He had better power and landed more. I don't know what rules they were using though.


I started loosing weight about 15 months ago, while training for a MMA fight I was 214 lbs and needed to get down to 205 for the fight. My opponent no showed me, so I did not fight, BUT after loosing about 10lbs I found that I did not loose any strength, (in fact I was stronger and had better cardio) and I still looked pudgy. On top of this my dad contracted Type II Diabetes. My wife informed me that Type II is basically genetic, and primarily weight driven. As my dad aged and gained weight, he started having issues. I did not weigh much less than my dad, so I knew I had to do something. Most So I decided to try and loose much of that pudge. I resolved to cut to 185 lbs, then assess how I looked. My only stipulation was that I could not loose any strength during the weight loss.
Yesterday I weighed in at my goal weight of 185. My lifting goes on just as it did before my weight loss, I have gained strength, endurance, and I look so much better. I have gone from a size 36 waist to a size 34/33 waist. I have had to buy all new pants, and have my wedding band resized (I went from a size 10 to a size 9). My cardio is about the same as what it was, but I find myslef to be much more athletic in my movements that I was before.
My diet was very simple: eat less and exercise more. My company is in love with food, and there is always something to eat around here. I stopped eating the extra pizza, cake, candy, chips (I cheated here sometimes), and sugar soda. I only ate my sandwich that I brought from home for lunch, and my fruit as a snack. I ate what my wife served me for dinner, and did not eat afterwards. Simple diet, it just involves pushing away from the table. It took some perseverance though... I hit several plateaus where I thought that I had lost all of the weight I could at my present caloric intake. The longest being at 195 lbs. I stuck there for almost 3 months! But I kept with it and all of the sudden one day I started loosing again.

It is nice to meet this goal, and I think I will relax a bit on my diet, meaning I think I will go to Chinese Buffet or HuHot once for lunch. I still have some pudge hanging around my middle, and I wonder how much more weight I can cut. I may try to get down to 180, or even 175, but I don't think that I will make a very serious go at that... I think that 185 is a good weight and I will try to maintain here.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Kimura

Great explanation of the Kimura.

Keep it real. Keep it nice!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Fat Kids Face Widespread Discrimination

I read a story that fat kids were facing discrimination from peers, parents, and teachers. The story went on to say that "Children as young as 3 are more likely to consider overweight peers to be mean, stupid, ugly and sloppy." Teachers say that "obese people are untidy, less likely to succeed and more emotional." Parents jump on the bandwagon by giving less financial support to collage age daughters who are overweight than average weight daughters.

My reaction to this is to say: GOOD!!!!!
Fat people are not good for the country, the health care system, or to look at. Perhaps if there was more pressure put on young children to remain fit, they would not grow up to be disgusting fat adults.

"But it is bad for the kid's self esteem!!" is the cry of the weak. Self esteem comes from doing esteem-able things. Sitting on your fat ass drinking sugar soda, stuffing your face with Doritos playing video games does NOT build self esteem. It builds fat, which leads to Type II Diabetes, cardio issues, pulmonary issues, asthma, sleep apnea, and a host of other problems that fit people just don't get.

Being fat is bad. It is a serious health problem brought upon by being LAZY! The trouble with being fat is that the fatter you get, the more and more difficult it becomes to loose weight, and increase fitness. It is very difficult to gain back cardio strength after loosing it. Getting it back SUCKS, even for fit people. This is why most people hate exercise.

The good news is that after you get to a certain point in your training, you start to feel very good after your work outs. Endorphins are released in to the blood and you feel great! It takes hard work, and sore muscles to get to this point, and if you are lazy, you just won't make it. Maybe if the social stigma is great enough it will give the children the push they need to get over the hump.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

My Way is the Onlyest Way to See the Invisible Man After Death

The Pope just said what all other Popes thought after Vatican II. The Catholic Church is the only way to salvation. All other faiths are not true churches, and therefor all of their followers are going to hell.

Another nice touch to this is that he made this statement from his old office at the Office of the Holy Inquisition, now called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It is always nice that the the Catholics remember their roots.

His reasoning for this is that the Catholic Church has a direct line of succession to the apostle Paul. Sounds a lot like a McDojo telling other McDojos that their crappy useless fighting system is better than the others because they can trace their lineage back to some unknown dude in India back when T-Rexes ate cave men.

The Catholic Church's hold on being the direct line from Paul is about as true as when I tell people that I can bench press 800 lbs. All they can be sure of is that when Emperor Constantine united all of the fragmented Christian organisations under one church and appointed his buddy Sylvester I as its head. The penalty for practicing a form of Christianity other than the standard Emperor endorsed version was death. Kind of makes it difficult for dissenters doesn't it?

Monday, July 9, 2007

Finding Old Baldy

My dad heard about a geological formation in North East Nebraska just South of the Missouri River. Louis and Clark found it so remarkable that they wrote about it in their journals, and went to look at it. On the formation they found Prairie Dogs, and captured one to take back to Washington D.C. with them.

My dad and I thought that if the formation was easy to see from the river, it should be easy to see from the air, so off we went in his classic 1956 Cessna 172 to take a look.

(Photo is a 1956 Cessna 172, but not my dad's)

It was a beautiful Nebraska summer day, there was no severe temperature change at attitude, so we had smooth skies, relatively calm winds, and outstanding visibility.

We took off from OFK and headed north to Lynch. The crops are really looking good this year so everything was very pretty from the sky. Nebraska is relatively flat, so, in the winter time, the ground can be rather featureless and boring.

We arrived over Lynch in about 45 minutes and nothing... We knew that the formation would not be large, because there is no topographical warning for it on the chart, but we thought we would at least see something. Just as we were about to leave, we found a little white bump on top of a hill not far from the river. It must be more impressive from the ground...

(This is really the formation, the locals call it "Old Baldy")

We did a couple of rotations around the formation and decided that we had seen it and it was time to visit the O'Neil airport. We headed south, and landed just behind a Cessna Citation. Kind of an unusual sight at such a small airport.

(Again, not the jet we saw, but one like it)

They were making a fuel stop, and we were just looking around. It is fun to land at different airports and look around.

View Larger Map
(O'Neil Airport from the air)

After a bit, we got back in to the airplane, me in the left seat. As we were taking off I committed a sin of the air... I forgot that heat plays a major factor on the performance of an aircraft. You need to put in about 10 more miles per hour when taking off when it is hot as opposed to when it is cold. I did not put in the speed I needed, and had some fun hanging out just above stall speed at 50 feet AGL. My dad did not find that amusing with his prized possession...

The flight back to Norfolk was uneventful, and fast. We had a bit of a tail wind and we made about 120 MPH all the way. AWOS reported the wind at about 8 MPH right down runway 19, so I did not have to worry about doing a cross wind landing. I made one of the best landings in the last 10 years on that runway. Not even a bump when the mains touched down. I let the speed bleed off and I did a great job of keeping the nose gear off the runway until we simply had no more speed left. It was awesome.

UFC 72 Stacked - Recap

I would have liked more finishes, and my Dad didn't understand my fascination with MMA, because he did not understand the ground game, but overall this was a fun event.

Frank Edgar def Mark Bocek TKO (Strikes) 4:55 rnd 1
My Pick: Mark by armbar first round
Bad way to start...

Chris Lytle def Jason Gilliam Submission (Inverted Triangle Choke) 2:15 rnd 1
My Pick: Chris by RNC first round
Inverted Triangle?? Chris must have been training some Judo. They love that move.

Jorge Gurgel def Diego Saraiva Decision
My Pick: Diego by decision
Joge wins by decision, I really would like to have seen this one...

Stephan Bonnar def Mike Nickels Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 2:14 rnd 1
My Pick: Stephan by KO first round
No surprise. Stephan is a top notch MMA submission guy. Now we wait for the drug test results.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira def Heath Herring Decision
My Pick: Nog by RNC second round
Heath looked really good in this fight. He managed to do something that has never been done before. He knocked Nog down flat with a head kick. Nog was on queer street, but was able to hang on for the rest of the round. Heath did not come right at him in the beginning of round two, probably because Nog was landing what ever he wanted during the first round.
Good fight!

Sean Sherk def Hermes Franca Decision
My Pick: Sean by decision
The only real surprise here is how Hermes swept Sherk. No one has done that before. If you want Sean on his back you have to put him there with a takedown or knock him down. Hermes swept him several times, but was unable to pass effectively.
I wanted a finish, but that just was not going to happen with Sherk's ability to defend subs, and Sherk's lack of KO power.

Rashad Evans Drew Tito Ortiz
My Pick: Rashad by decision
Rashad lost that fight. Tito may have gassed in the third round, but he won rounds one and two. If not for the point deduction Tito wins that decision.
It was an OK fight, we saw too much of the old "dance around you" Rashad though. Had the "knock you out" Rashad, the one who nearly killed his last two opponents, showed up we may have seen a different result.

Anderson Silva def Nathan Marquardt TKO (Strikes) 4:50 rnd 1
My Pick: Silva by KO third round.
I thought that Nate would have put up more of a fight... Anderson got the sweep, passed to half guard and pounded Nate out.
Very entertaining fight, and a very interesting expression on Rich Franklin's face.

Kenny Florian def Alvin Robinson Submission (Strikes) 4:30 rnd 1
My Pick: Kenny by KO second round.
No surprise here.

I go 6 of 9, but should we even count the draw??

Saturday, July 7, 2007

UFC 72 Fighters Make Weight

All fighters made weight for their fights.

Nathan Marquardt (182.5) vs. Anderson Silva (184.5)
Hermes Franca (154.5) vs. Sean Sherk (154.5)
Rashad Evans (204) vs. Tito Ortiz (205.5)
Heath Herring (259) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (240.5)
Alvin Robinson (156) vs. Kenny Florian (155.5)
Mike Nickels (205.5) vs. Stephan Bonnar (204.5)
Diego Saraiva (155) vs. Jorge Gurgel (155.5)
Jason Gilliam (171) vs. Chris Lytle (169.5)
Mark Bocek (154.5) vs. Frank Edgar (154.5)

Friday, July 6, 2007

UFC 72 Stacked

The UFC presents the best PPV card since before TUF with Stacked. Unforturnately, the old school fans used to have this kind of card all of the time, and most long for the good old days. Despite this, we will tune in and watch what is sure to be a great night.

The UFC is continuing with its policy of matching up brand new prospects with top names coming off of a loss. I can understand where the UFC is coming from when doing this, they essentially turn their recently lost fighter in to a "gatekeeper" of sorts. If the new guy looses, the name is touted as being back from defeat, if the new guy wins, he is lauded as the next great thing. This is great for the UFC, but hard on the new guys. It is a very harsh welcome, and really does not give the new fighter a chance to cut his teeth in the big show.

Card and my picks

Mark Bocek Vs. Frank Edgar (Lightweight)

Mark is a BJJ black belt out of Canada with a 4-0 record one stoppage due to injury and three submissions. Mark is a very good submission wrestler with wins over Kurt Pellegreino and Mark Fowler. This is his first fight in the UFC.

Frank Edgar won his last trip to the Octagon beating Tyson Griffin by decision. I honestly thought that Griffin lost this fight because he refused to break Edgar's knee. Anyway, Edgar got the win extending his record to 7-0, with his last three fights coming by decision. Edgar has good stand up, but his ground is suspect.

Mark is a solid ground guy, and Edgar is not. Edgar's chance is to prevent the take down and win the stand up game. I don't thing that will happen. Mark by armbar first round.

Chris Lytle Vs. Jason Gilliam (Welterweight)

Chris comes back after his devastating loss to Matt Hughes, after his devastating loss to Matt Serra. Chris is looking to turn his luck around. Chris is a good ground guy with good stand up. His record is peppered with wins in all ways, as well as losses in all ways, combining for an overall record of 22-14-5.

Jason lost his first fight in the UFC by a Jamie Varner RNC. That was his first loss. Before that he amassed a 15 win portfolio, winning most by KO.

Jason really does not have much of a chance here. Chris by RNC first round.

Diego Saraiva Vs. Jorge Gurgel (Lightweight)

Diego is a Nova Uniao BJJ black belt and is very well known for his submission wresting, excelling in the no-gi game. His MMA record shows this with 8 of his 10 wins by submission, the other two were by KO. He has lost five times, most recently to Dustin Hazelet in his UFC debut.

The perpetually injured Jorge Gurgel is back in the UFC after getting his knee repaired (not the one that was injured during TUF 2, the other one). Jorge is a BJJ black belt with a plethora of schools in several states. He was a very popular character in TUF 2, though he was eliminated by Jason VonFlue. He dropped a decision to Mark Hominick in the finals, then beat the hapless Danny Abbadi by decision. After the fight we learned that Jorge beat Danny with a blown knee. Before all of his injuries Jorge was a fighter whose motto was "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA KILL KILL KILL" Jorge used to attack constantly until the someone made him stop. His record stands at 10-3.

This is a very interesting fight. Both are BJJ black belts so the ground game should be top notch. I give the edge on the ground to Diego, as he is much better known as a competitor. I don't think much of either guy's standup game, perhaps Jorge has a slight lead there. As both guys want the fight to be on the ground, that is what will decide the fight. Diego by decision.

Mike Nickels Vs. Stephan Bonnar (Light Heavyweight)

Mike knocked out Wes Combs in the TUF 3 finals and was promptly forgotten by the UFC. He went back to Ring Of Fire and knocked out Carpaccio Owens there, and now has been asked back to the UFC.

Stephan dropped his last two by decision to Rashad Evans and Forrest Griffin. We haven't seen him for a while, because he was caught doing the Vitamin "S."

Stephan has a vast stand up advantage here. Mike got taken out by the sloppy punching of Matt Hammil. Stephan has tapped out James Irvan and Mike Swick. Mike got tapped by Craig Zellnar. Stephan by KO first round. Hopefully all of the steroids have left his blood stream.

Heath Herring Vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Heavyweight)

Heath lost his debut in the UFC by decision to Jake O'Brien then won a decision over Brad Imes. Two guys he was supposed to steam roll. Heath has become a husk of his former greatness. I honestly think that Fedor stole his soul. He has not been the same since that fight.

NOG!!!! Nog is awesome. He is perhaps the greatest submission fighter in MMA. He defeated Josh Barnett by decision in his last fight, avenging the split decision "loss" in the last PRIDE Open Weight GP.

These guys have fought before. Twice. Nog won the first one by decision, and the second by Anaconda Choke. No reason to suspect anything different. Nog by RNC second round.

Hermes Franca Vs. Sean Sherk (Lightweight Title Match)

Hermes is on a tear winning eight in a row, all by KO or submission. Hermes has a very awkward style throwing wild haymakers, off balance head kicks, and crazy submissions. BUT it works for him. He gets the KO, or the sub every time.

Sean is a little Matt Hughes. He is very strong, uses the position game to pound his opponents out or grab the submission. His stand up game is crisp, but lacking in any real power. He mostly uses it to set up the shot.

Sean has cardio for days, where Hermes seems to gas almost immediately. Seems to gas, because in his last eight fights, he always has the power, stamina, and strength to pull out the win. He just looks tired. Kenny Florian nearly caught Sean in several submissions. Hermes is better than Kenny with submissions, so he may have the advantage there. Sean is nearly unmovable when he is on top. Can Hermes get the sweep? I don't think so. If Hermes is to win he will have to do it from his back. I really like Hermes, but I don't think that he can do it here. Sean by decision.

Rashad Evans Vs. Tito Ortiz (Light Heavyweight)

Rashad has shown new power and technique ever since training at Greg Jackson's gym in New Mexico. He has had KOs in his last two fights, nearly killing Sean Salmon with a head kick. Rashad has very good wrestling, but not a lot of submissions. He has very solid stand up, and now KO power.

Tito is a wrestler. He is one of the chief evangelists of the church of G&P. His game plan is takedown, push him up against the fence, pound pound pound to a decision or a ref stoppage.

Tito has not finished anybody under the age of 40 since 2001. Rashad has been fighting good fighters, but not great fighters. This is the first real test for Rashad, and Tito's big chance to return to the Light Heavyweight title discussion. Both are good wrestlers, but I don't think that this fight will be decided on the ground. The way to defeat Tito is to keep the fight standing. Rashad is a good enough wrestler to do that. I think that Rashad will pepper a frustrated Tito for three rounds. Rashad by decision.

Alvin Robinson Vs. Kenny Florian (Lightweight)

Alvin is a submission fighter out of Denver with a solid record of 8-1. All of his wins are by some sort of choke, but he favors the RNC.

Kenny is coming off a side choke win over Mishima, and is looking to avenge is loss to Sean Sherk. He sees Alvin as merely a stepping stone. Kenny is a BJJ black belt and has many wins in the UFC at different weight classes.

This should be an interesting fight with a lot of ground fireworks. In the end, Alvin who has only fought local and up and coming fighters (some we know Alonso Martinez win RNC and Luke Caudillo RNC) will be out classed by the more experienced and savvy Ken-flo. Kenny by KO second round.

Nate Marquardt Vs. Anderson Silva (Middleweight Title Match)

Nate, who likes steroids, is on 6 a win streak, beating an array of very strong opposition. He is known for his methodical, suffocating ground game and sharp stand up. Nate has not lost since 2003, and has never been knocked out.

Silva has lit up the UFC Middleweight division first knocking out Chris Leben, then knocking out Rich Franklin, then tapping out Travis Luter. Silva likes to crush you then dance as the doctors try to pick up the pieces that once was your face. He is known for crippling stand up and a passable ground attack.

This is a very interesting fight. Nate has no chance against Anderson's stand up attack. None at all. His goal must be to secure the takedown and work his position game to grind out a decision or catch the submission. For sure Nate could do the lay and pray decision game plan. It served him well in Pancrase and in his fight with my close personal friend Ivan Salaverry who has tapped me out and punched me in the face and remembered me when I came back to his school. Silva is not known for his takedown defense and that could be his undoing in this fight. However, Silva is very good in the clinch and in the long range fight. He could keep Nate away with strikes as he did with Ryo Chonan. I think that Silva will be able to keep the fight up and take Nate out. Silva by KO third round.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Listen to ATC

This is a great site.
You can listen to most Class B airspace traffic. It is really good if you are rusty on your ATC protocols, and want to get some practice. I have not made a tower controlled landing since 1991, so it is really good for me.