Monday, December 11, 2006

I love cell phone support


Verizon believes $.002 = 0.002 cents


This is kind of sad... it is worse because I've actually had this same problem before. I really HATE that a company takes no responsibility for it's customer service reps, who are essentially the companies voice to its customers. If 20 of them quote something, and a customer actually believes that's true and plans their actions based on that information, and then the company goes back and says 'no, no, that isn't the way it is.. I don't know why they told you that'... Very very frustrating... a similiar situation cost me $9,000 last year when numerous customer service reps of a bank assured me a cashiers check was good and cleared, and 3 weeks later, after cashing it and doing the trade, I found out it was counterfeit and the bank pretty much said "sorry, nothing we can do, your out the money".

Friday, December 08, 2006

Irwin meets Ross

Had this link passed to me, and it's pretty funny... I guess Ross the intern is from "Jay Leno", though I don't watch that enough to actually have known that.

Steve Irwin meets Ross the Intern

I'm not sure who was funnier in this. I miss Steve Irwin.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Banquet Pics up

This weekend was the annual White Dragon Banquet and Holiday sale / exhibition. Unfortunately, I wasn't aware of these until the night before I was getting my wisdom teeth removed, so I didn't really enjoy either as much as I'd have liked... I could barely eat at the banquet, and I wasn't able to perform at the exhibition. But we still went to both, and it was fun overall, minus the excruciating constant pain.

Here's a direct link to the album, or you could go through the interface and find it.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Ow... !!!

Ok, so they are now out of my head... and wow, this hurts. My face is still mostly numb from anestesia, but the pain is still overwhelming. I don't really want to take anything, but I am pretty sure I'm going to.

One of the teeth was an inch long! It took a good chunk of my jaw with it.

I'm not going to post the pictures directly, but here are some links to pics of the teeth. They are pretty huge... I can't believe this came out of my head.

The inch long one that took a fair amount of my upper jaw with it
Flip side of that one
Yes, really, that's jawbone
Nearly as wide as it is long
All three

I hope this feels better soon... my mouth is stuffed with gauze right now, not really very comfortable, but I'll not go into details. It's all rather disturbing, really.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Wisdom teeth

Well, ok, so my last post lied a bit. Actually, not, it was just ignorant of the future. So that Friday turned into a consultation, the teeth ACTUALLY come out this Wednesday, Nov. 29th. I can hardly wait! Or more accurately, I can.

I'm not looking forward to the week of fun everyone else I've known who've had them removed went through.

Interestingly enough, I have 4 completely different states of each of the teeth... the lower left one doesn't exist. The lower right one has only partially errupted from the gums because it's so far back in my mouth, so it will have to be cut out. The upper right one is actually in good shape, with a normal size and only 2 full roots and one small one. The upper left one, however, shows traits that dentists usually only see in Native Americans, oddly enough. It is REALLY big, and has 4 full roots, and removing it will probably involve breaking off a good chunk of the bone of my upper pallette. If that doesn't sound like fun I don't know what does!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday Fun!

Well, I get to enjoy this Friday by having large chunks of bone ripped out of my skull!

I get to have 3 of my wisdom teeth removed in just over an hour... fun times. I would probably have 4 removed, but I only have 3. There is no sign of the existance of the 4th, even in x-rays, so I guess I get to be spared 25% of the pain. I suppose I should be happy about that.

*sigh* Well, I guess that's about it. I'm guessing I'm going to have a fun week. :/

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Issues of the heart

No, literally... so weird things happened over the past several weeks. About 3 weeks ago, I started feeling really weird occasionally, noticably when I was at complete rest. I would feel kind of anxious/panicy, and get a feeling in my chest like when you are scared by something suddenly, or just in a car and drop too fast. I noticed it a couple times over an hour, and happened to be feeling my pulse once when it happened.

At that point, I realized my pulse was actually irregular during those times... specifically, it felt like my heart just skipped a beat. Basically it would be in perfect rhythm: ba-bump, ba-bump, ba-bump, ba-bump ... then suddenly... it would just... miss a beat... ba-bump, ba-bump, ba-bump, silence, ba-bump, ba-bump. Perfectly timed, the other beats right where they should be. This obviously worried me a bit, I was wondering if at any moment it might just decide not to keep going. Not a good feeling. Couple that with the huge rush of anxiety that came sympathetically during each beat, and the fact that the beat that followed felt like a heavy drum beat in my chest, and I got more worried. Sometimes it would happen very occasionally, once every few minutes, sometimes it happened in fast succession, like miss, hit, miss, hit, hit, hit, hit, miss. Often happened multiple times a minute.

I am VERY active, and I don't THINK it was happening when I was actually working out, only when I was somewhat at rest. It might be I just didn't notice it, but I don't think so. This kept up for about a week, and I finally went to a doctor about it.

Of course, it happened a number of times while I was at the doctor's office. But it never actually happened while anyone was paying attention. They did an EKG, it didn't happen then either... but other than that, had a full checkup, and everything seemed really good, so I was sent to a lab to get some bloodwork done. I never got any results from that, so I assume it was good. Heart palpitations can be serious, but apparently a lot of people have what (they can only guess that) I have... 10% of all issues related to heart palpitations are completely healthy, with no known cause... just the heart gets a bit over-anxious and beats too soon... almost immediately after the last full beat... since the heart has almost no blood in it for this beat, it is almost imperceptible, but your body maintains the normal rhythm, and the next beat doesn't come until it was supposed to... so it SEEMS like the heart misses a beat, and the following one is much harder because the heart has so much blood in it.

I don't know, that just doesn't seem right to me, but I was given an 'excellent' bill of health, so I can only assume that's true. It's very annoying, though, because the rush of chemicals in the brain and body each time this happens really makes you edgy, if something DID scare me right at that point, I might just die of an endorphin overdose. :) Well, ok, that's my own very non-medical diagnosis of what might happen.

Well, now the good but weird thing. After 2 weeks and 1 day of dealing with that pretty much constantly, it stopped just as suddenly as it started, the last time it happened was late last Saturday night. For all I know, it's never coming back.

Don't ask me, I have no clue what it was, doctor's say my heart is beating very strong and perfectly timed, valves all seem ok, any problems should have shown up on the EKG or been heard in my heartbeat or breathing, or at worst seen in the blood tests. All that was clear, and I'm no longer being annoyed by the problem either (I was starting to worry I'd have to live with that for the rest of my life... which I could have, but it would have made me very grumpy :) ).

So, whatever, the body is weird... I'm just glad I don't now have to consciously think about beating my heart to make it go. :)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Site update

So I finally got around to revising the format a bit... it's still not perfect, but I do think it is looking better again. Not that anyone but maybe 1 or 2 people will ever appreciate it, but that's really not the point, is it. :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

San Francisco Tournament 2006

Got back from the San Francisco Plum Blossom Federation International Martial Arts tournament last weekend, and just had a chance to convert some of the pictures and video to files. Got bored for a little bit and started throwing things together to test out some new software, and came out with this. It is maybe a little entertaining, to a small set of people... maybe... I can't guarantee that set includes anyone other than myself, of course, but here it is just in case. :)



Posted By:James

Get this video and more at MySpace.com

Bored, playing with some new software to see what it can do and how easily... so it's not super-amazing, but it's potentially entertaining to a small number of people. Potentially very small, maybe a set including just myself. :)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Breaking video

Breaking video on Myspace

I finally got around to converting some video on mini-DV tapes into something more accessible.. here's a video of some basic board-breaking

Posted By:James

Get this video and more at MySpace.com

Electronica music styles

Ever been confused by the difference between House, Trance, Techno, Acid, and other terms for electronic music? Have no clue what any of that is in the first place?

Well, I just found a site that has a REALLY good rundown of all of that, with samples, flow charts, etc. Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

More pics

I added a couple more pictures to the front of the Tournament yahoo photo album.

Here's one I just made, actually:






This one is interesting just because it made me realize how useful Photoshop is. :) Here is the original... it was a bit tilted, and showed whatever the camera was sitting on.






Next is the same image, simply rotated so that it is level... I based the level line on the camera height, so the curb line is still a little crooked, and the building lines are a little crooked as well, but they are angled in opposite directions, as would be expected based on the camera height.



That obviously left some weird gaps at the corners, so I just faked stuff to put there and made it look like what really SHOULD be there... but really, if you compare this picture to the actual location, you'd probably notice all kinds of discrepencies... but in the context of the picture, I think it looks pretty good. I'm not sure I'd even know it wasn't fully real just looking at it.

I also removed the thing the camera was sitting on at the bottom, and added the rest of the foot and leg of the far right person. Curious if there were any glaring problems I'd made here. This was the first time I'd done this with Photoshop, was just playing and learning how to do it, so I'm interested in knowing how it rates, as well as any tips.

Anyway, like I said, more pictures here

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Pictures

I've added various pictures from the past couple months to my photo album.

Specifically, here are some pictures from the tournament and trip.

And here are 2 albums from our trip to Brazil:
First set
Second set (too big for one album)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

San Francisco Plum Blossom Martial Arts Tournament - 2006

Last weekend was the annual Plum Blossom Federation martial arts tournament in San Francisco. Mira Mesa White Dragon had it's largest turnout to date for this tournament, totalling around 30 attendees between the instructors and students. A number of us caravaned up, some others drove on their own, some flew, and for all I know, some just decided to be in San Francisco and just suddenly were.

We did really well, of course. ;) Most of our attendees came away placing in various events. White Dragon (including the other 6 schools) overall had a pretty massive attendance, but there were attendees representing a number of different schools in the Plum Blossom Federation, including some from Italy and other international schools. Myself, I was entered into 5 events, but unfortunately only competed in 4 (I missed the call for the 5th).

I placed first in the 'Advanced Tai Chi weapon set' division with the Tai Chi Cane set. In Push Hands, I was inexplicably put into the heavy-weight division, but still came away with 2nd place. The guy I lost to was 6'4" and a muscular 205 pounds, a full 50 pounds heavier than me, with fairly good skills on top of that, made the final round a bit rough. I tied for 4th in the 'Advanced Weapon form' division with the Ba-gwa dan-dao (8 diagram broadsword set) in a division with some REALLY good competition... just watching the others perform in that event was worth being in it, winning or no. Same with the 'Advanced Hand form' division, where I placed 5th with the Siu Fut Jeung (Small Buddha Palm hand form), the others in that division were amazing.

Not quite the number of medals I came back from the last tournament in May with (there I got 3 golds, 3 silvers, and 2 bronzes), but I competed in far fewer events, and the judging was done by judges from many different areas of the art, all of who probably look for different things... the fact that White Dragon artists consistently scored well even with judges from different backgrounds and schools says something for the way the school teaches. I found it interesting to watch martial artists from other schools competing too, the styles they use are often quite different from ours, but impressive in their own right. I probably learned a bit just watching some of them.

Was a fun tournament, will post link to the pictures shortly

Monday, September 04, 2006

Steve Irwin aka "The Crocodile Hunter"

Steve Irwin killed by sting ray.

Sad, but at least it was far less violent and quicker than what could have happened the way he lived. I could say more, but the hundreds of news stories and forums have said it all already. But I was sad to hear the news.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

George Lucas in Love

George Lucas in Love (safe for whereever)

I guess most of my new posts are Star Wars related, but that is a complete fluke... eventually I will probably say something profound and deeply insightful, but for now... Star Wars humor!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Getting things back up

Ok, give me a little more time, getting things back together... eventually, this will actually exist again! Really!