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Post # 584 The mechanical conundrum
I have been using the same mechanical pencil for about 6 years. Recently it met itís demise and I tried using other implements, but I wasnít satisfied. Charging online I decided it was time to educate myself on the differences that make superior mechanical pencil.

First, the price ranges are pretty simple. The cheap -1,000 yen ones are static pieces of plastic that break or bend in some way after a few months of abuse.

The Ohto Super Pro Mecha I had before had an aluminum shaft that was pretty sturdy, so I was looking for something similar.

Then you get to a broad range of 2,000-5,000 yen, which is getting pretty expensive, pretty fast, but you expect more. This was the range I was going to be looking in. The Pro Mecha was 1,500 yen when I bought it, but probably is a bit more expensive now. After that the price jumps to +10,000 yen and for reasons I canít really understand. Maybe itís branding. I did find a Porsche branded pencil for 53,000 yen.

I wanted an aluminum shaft for sure. The pencil will spend a fair amount of time in transit in my bag which is where it is most likely to get bent or broken over time.

Literally the most important factor for me was a retractable or adjustable guide pipe. Thatís a term I learned while researching pencils. The tube your lead comes out is called a guide pipe. The reason being that if that bends your lead breaks as it is pushed through and your pencil is now useless as a delivery system for lead.

There are only 5 mechanical pencils at the moment that have retractable guide pipes. Since that was vital to me, my choices were limited, but at least they were all in the same price range. I went with the Rotring 800 because it seemed like the most solid structure of any of the ones available. That sturdiness came with a 4,000 yen price tag, but my expectation was that the product would be pretty high quality.

Overall I am not disappointed. The Super Pro Mecha has an adjustable guide pipe, where the Rotring is only retractable. The weight of the Rotring makes it seem much more solid and the mechanisms feel higher quality (smooth rotation and springs etc). The Super Pro Mecha lets the user adjust basically everything, which is appealing to me. I could set how much lead comes out with each click, so I could click the pencil once for the perfect amount. Not being able to adjust that means I have to click the Rotring 2 or 3 times for the right amount of lead and that is time I could spend doing something else, like eating eggs.

The advertising touted the ďgold highlightsĒ which are a bit flash for me, but as itís all black aluminum it does look nice. Time will tell which is actually better, but either seems like a solid purchase.
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Post # 583 Satisfying conversation
He was trying to put down my latest effort in a really passive aggressive way, but I don't let that shit get to me.

Him: I don't know, I guess I'm just not into that sort of thing.
Me: Well, you're not exactly my target demographic.
Him(Obviously offended): What's your target demographic?
Me: People who are into that sort of thing.

To be perfect I just needed a hype-man to go "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH", instead we just looked at each other for a while and he left.
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Post # 582 People say the Beer Garden is fun

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Post # 581 To make a better Thor
I said the latest Thor movie was boring, a friend disagreed. I think the fatal flaw of Thor (and Superman) is that they are inherently boring characters. They are both striving towards perfection, which means they are predictable. At the time I couldn't think of a good way to explain what I meant.

While talking to my son (6) about superhero's I had an idea. He likes all the avengers so I posited the following questions:
What do you like about The Hulk?
He's big and super strong, and a little scary.
What do you like about Thor?
He has a hammer that can fly. Only Thor can pick it up.
What do you like about Ironman?
He has a cool suit, and he's funny. Sometimes he crashes.
What do you like about Captain America?
He has a cool shield.

That pretty much explained what I wanted to say. Hulk and Ironman have personalities and faults, which make them inherently more interesting characters. Thor and Captain America are simply the tools they use and have no real defining characteristics.

I often think about how to improve the things I watch and in the case of Captain America, Thor and Superman the solution is to give them some character flaws.

I enjoyed the first Thor movie more than the second one, because in the first one he had some character development. He went from selfish oaf to self-sacrificing hero. To fix Thor now they would just have to keep some of those tendencies. Have him make some wrong choices based on self-interest and have them eat at him. Have him be at fault for some bad things that go down.

I think Captain America is the weakest character in the Avengers group that could easily be fixed by giving him a temper. He has been taken out of his time, he basically lives alone in a strange world, it'd be easy to imagine he'd get pissed off every now and then. Seeing Captain America lose his shit would make him super interesting, and now you have a character walking the line between archetype hero and the Punisher.
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Post # 580 Consumer Power
This morning I read this:http://bgr.com/2014/02/14/comcast-time-warner-cable-price-increases/ and for a long time I have had a solution for Americans (and by extension Canadians) that would, unfortunately, fail spectacularly because of selfishness.

There is no competition for cable or broadband in either country and people in both bitch and whine to no end while continuing to pay their bills.

You can probably guess the rest.

There is a simple question the citizens of communities should ask themselves. Could you go a month without internet. For most people the answer is an overwhelming ďyesĒ. Despite how uncomfortable it might be, and it would be, taking away something you have gotten used to is no joke, it would be a big pain in the ass. You might have to use landlines or some other ancient technology (if you house still has one, mine doesnít) . I am betting it wouldnít even take a whole month, but you have to prepare for a siege because the plan is to wait long enough for the company to start actually losing money.

There have been several stories of google fiber moving into a neighborhood and the internet companies immediately offering discounts on service. This should make it clear to people that they are operating on maximizing profit while they have an essential monopoly and can cut the price in a moments notice. Literally, the moment a threat moves in, they drop the price.

Now, everyone on the same day needs to cancel their internet service. If 50% of the nation quit the service how long do you think they would wait before changing policy or drop the price significantly? I figure a week at the longest, but be prepared to make it look like you arenít coming back and prepare for a month. If that number was 100% I bet the end of the same day drastic discounts and improved service would be rolled out.

The articles say there is no competition, but since very few people actually need the internet there always is. The competition between the consumer and the company. Record customer exodus, massive projected losses and sinking stock. Any company would take a cut to stay alive. It might also open the door for other companies to come in and create real competition.

The fatal flaw in this plan is a few people here and there isnít enough. It needs to be concentrated and large to it costs them money, and more importantly, starts a trend. As I stated in the outset, this will never happen, because people need the facebook.
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Post # 579 Po the Half a Viking
The astute may notice the addition of another section to the website under the search bar. The rest of you, this stuff you are reading now is to draw your attention to it. It's called Po the Viking and is an epic poem I am writing for no other reason than I found this thing I wrote when I was a kid and figured it should get completed.

Right now is only the first 5 pages, because I want to do some more formatting work, maybe throw in some illustrations, it's still in the planning phases, but you want to see the thing develop from the get go, here is your chance.

I am writing it and then posting it, so it's really a rough draft, but I am trying to maintain some motivation and momentum as I rotate through projects so content is added consistently.

Not much else to say, as you were.
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Post # 578 What the 60's thought Judo was like
Nate found these online and asked me to do a Black Cat style analysis of them. I only waited 6 months or something before getting around to it. These look like they came out of some self-defense instructional pamphlet. I canít let myself believe that this was a full on published book. First is the image and the original instructions.

Grab the thugís little fingers, with your thumbs under the tips (fig. 1). The knuckles of your index fingers should be over the the second joints of his little fingers (fig. 2). Move your wrists in a circular motion down toward your hips. Applied pressure will force the thug to his knees to avoid broken fingers. As he goes down, strike him in the face or jaw with your knee (fig. 3).

There are a couple of problems with this, primarily with it having little or nothing to do with Judo. There are armlocks, and there used to be knee locks, but the smaller joints, like the wrist or knuckle, have never been part of Judo.

Secondly is the actual practical application of the move. The first sentence ďGrab the thugís little fingers,...Ē never mind where, take a moment and think about grabbing someone elseís little finger out of mid-air. Feel like something is off? Thatís probably stemming from the fact your brain canít actually figure out how to do it. In the image above the starting position is a dude with his hands on your throat. Thatís a tough starting position.

Figure two, the thug has, quite generously, pulled his hands off your throat so you are better able to get ahold of those pesky little fingers. So keep in mind if you actually would want to do this (you probably donít) you would have to start grabbing at the side or, if he has big hands, the back of your throat. Blind.

The important part if you are going through with this is the fingers on the knuckles, so he canít get away, but I am betting a determined person is going to yank his hands down to get out of your finger lock before step 3 gets put into play.

The last part is the least ďJudoĒ part of these Judo instructions. The goal of most Judo moves is control or immobilization of your opponent. Cracking him in the face with your knee, while being cool, isnít very Judo-esque. Still, a good finished if all the previous two steps were magically successful.

Tip for thugs, if someone gets ahold of your little fingers, yank your hands down and strike at the groin with a knee or leg to get your hands free.

There is an actual Judo move for this exact position, someone with hands up around your collar bones. In Judo matches they are usually grabbing your jacket, but the principle is similar. Choose a hand, one of yours, and reach up and over your opponent so your right hand is grabbing his, or the opposite.

Your palm should be covering most of the back of his, if you can. The best thing is to get some of your fingers under his little finger. You are preparing to try and peel his hand off, little finger first, since itís the weakest one.

To supplement this, when you start trying to pull his hand you can push upward on your opponents elbow. This should raise his arm and weaken his grip. You should also be stepping back as you do this to further weaken his grip and stretch out his arm. Stretched arms are weaker.

As you step back, turn your body down and in to whichever side you chose at the beginning. Right hand, turn down and right. Now you should have a hold of his hand, be pushing on his elbow and using your back muscles to turn his arm into a standing armlock.

If this has worked out, it isnít perfect, but should should be able to break the hands off your throat to get away, but if it has worked, keep turning and push the elbow down and he should start going down. For emphasis you can kick at the shin to knock him off balance. In a Judo match this would be a ďsweepĒ.

It leaves you in control of his arm with your opponent face down on the floor. Yipee.
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Post # 577 1/2 beard
Since our winter vacation at the end of December I grew a beard. Motivated primarily to grow a better beard than a co-worker with a smattering of laziness thrown in. Success on both counts means I am tried of hearing people talk about the beard as if it were significant, so I am murdering it.

Trying to do it in the most styling way possible, I attempted to give myself the perfect half beard and see how long it took my kids to notice when they got home from school.
The answer: not very.

Like the native people of my country, I feel that nothing should go to waste, so I took the shorn hair and created cute and entertaining arts and crafts that I can give out during holidays. Something to look forward to come your next birthday.

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Post # 576 The year in Gaming Review 2013
I got my raptr summary, which is cool, because it adds to my stats project, while allowing me to compare my habits with that of the million+ members of the site. Of course I would like more information, more details, but I will take what I can get.

In these the big outside circle is me, because I play a lot more than your average bear. This is interesting because for all the complaining people do about games absorbing lives, I max out at about 2 hours a day.

This is one of the more interesting pieces of information for me because there is no other way I could find out. I don't really care about achievements much, but I thinking finding out which one I got that few other people did is cool.

None of this information is surprising to me. I had some time off in October, April 29 is the day before a long holiday for me and Monday is the day before my day off, so I stay up a little later.

Finally, the comparison of the two past years. Again, no big surprises, but I got a lot more time out of fewer games, which is good, money wise. Also, way fewer achievements, but I found I was playing a lot more of my games for the second time, so there are fewer available.

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Post # 575 The Epic romance between Peter and Lisa Baldacchino
Lisa Baldacchino: Are you busy??

VelociPeter: No, Lisa, I am not. I always have time for you.

Lisa Baldacchino: Im bored and wanted to meet new people... 23/female here.....you ?

VelociPeter: Wow, I'm 49, male, Japanese-Lithuatian and here as well
I'm surprised you'd be into a guy like me

Lisa Baldacchino: I'm feeling a little naughty wanna have some fun ? =)

VelociPeter: really surprised

Lisa Baldacchino: here's a pic lol www.i.imgur.com/s8hzOu8.jpg* you like? hehe =)

VelociPeter: Gee Lisa. I appreciate that, but I'm at my desk at work, so can't do much more than send you screenshots of my desktop.

Lisa Baldacchino: Hehe, you want some more?

VelociPeter: Do you want some hot screenshots of my desktop?
I have, like, 5 programs open right now.

Lisa Baldacchino: www.i.imgur.com/rCBOQBe.jpg my turn.. wow. I'm soooo turned on right now!!

VelociPeter: My computer is really powerful, like a bull.

Lisa Baldacchino: Mmm...is the game getting "harder"? =)

VelociPeter: My "excel sheet is getting full"

Lisa Baldacchino: www.i.imgur.com/9AzzivE.jpg i want your cock baby really bad would you give it to me??

VelociPeter: That's how we say that in Lithuania

Lisa Baldacchino: www.i.imgur.com/NdtkrzT.jpg ok last one lol, you'd love to fuck me wouldnt you ;)

VelociPeter: Not really

Lisa Baldacchino: Baby we really need to go on cam i cant wait anymore

VelociPeter: I wanted to keep talking about computers

Lisa Baldacchino: Here i just invited you www.letsplayoncamz.com?freeInvite=g2srt8 try accepting that babe

VelociPeter: I told you I'm at work. I don't have a cam. I think they are illegal in Lithuania

Lisa Baldacchino: Its supposed to be the best app for this kind of thing, hurry up and accept!!!

VelociPeter: I don't have a camera connected to my computer. You make me feel so inadequate. You push me and push me knowing I can't fulfill your needs.

Lisa Baldacchino: Its worth the annoying signup babe, wait until you see what we can do once you're in

VelociPeter: I don't think you are reading my messages, blinded by lust (I get that a lot) you don't seem to understand I don't have the capability to do what you ask. Please suggest an alternative, like me flying to where you are.

Lisa Baldacchino: Its free to join.. i promise.. but it will ask for a card i think.. im gonna get naughty and i cant have kids watching..

VelociPeter:You bitch, you fucking bitch. I have explained this to you but you won't let it go. I can't. I don't have a camera, I don't have a card. I give up. I spit on you like the devil.

Lisa Baldacchino: make me your bitch ;)

VelociPeter: You have turned me from the one I truely love, Jesus

Lisa Baldacchino: Ok babe.. talk to you in there.. gonna charge my phone.. mwa! xoxo

VelociPeter: I'm not going, you succubus temptress whore.

Lisa Baldacchino: I'll be your whore ;)

VelociPeter: I don't think you are understanding the undertones of my messages. Lisa, do you have mental difficulties?
Lisa, are you there?
Has my anger driven you to suicide?
Oh no. I can't believe this has happened.
I can't live with this burden
Depsite my soul being sent to hell, I can't live anymore. I am going to kill myself, so we can be together in hell.

Lisa Baldacchino: hey, are you around?
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*:There were images in the actual chat. They have since been removed. The first was fully clothed. the second was basically topless, but Lisa had gotten so excited she had cut her hair in between photos. The last was in her underwear.

Ziggy: Helene Dibartolomeo hey, are you around?
Ziggy yep
Helene Dibartolomeo Im bored and wanted to meet new people... 24/female here.....you?
Ziggy male 46, I think
Helene Dibartolomeo I'm feeling a little naughty want to have some fun ?? ;)
Ziggy involving?
Helene Dibartolomeo here's a pic lol www.i.imgur.com/aF03zKC.jpg you like? hehe :)
Ziggy nice
Helene Dibartolomeo Haha, you want some more?
Ziggy what's the catch?
Helene Dibartolomeo www.i.imgur.com/mIvRS7v.jpg my turn.. god. I'm soaking wet right now!
Ziggy Helene even better 😃
Helene Dibartolomeo Mmm...is the game getting "harder"? :)
Ziggy heated up a bit for sure
Helene Dibartolomeo www.i.imgur.com/CpQS5hm.jpg i want your cock baby really bad would you give it to me??
Ziggy might be difficult, bet you're far away
Helene Dibartolomeo www.i.imgur.com/kTUwhfk.jpg ok last one lol, you'd love to fuck me wouldnt you ;)
Ziggy sure, but I guess it will cost me a lot 😃
Helene Dibartolomeo Baby we really need to go on cam i cant wait anymore
Ziggy I'm in Sweden
Helene Dibartolomeo www.freeplaycamz.com/?freeInvite=hp143f here i invited you. it will take you to my live cam ;)
Ziggy nice, but I have my son here ..
Ziggy really hot pics though
Helene Dibartolomeo Its free to join.. i promise..if it asks for a card it's just to verify your age...im gonna get naughty and i cant have kids watching lol
Ziggy hehe true
Helene Dibartolomeo Its worth the annoying signup babe, wait until you see what i have in store for you ;)
Ziggy another time
Helene Dibartolomeo what's takin' you sooooo long babe i'm in here waitin for u....

Post # 574 No fun at all
No cameras, I sort of get that for an event, but no people? That's seems like a bit much.

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Post # 573 Work Stress
Been gone for a while, got so bad I started playing Skyrim and drinking under my desk. Not at the same time.

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Peter:Everyone wants to know what the drink is:

Rich :I see exciting potential for you as a contortionist!

Peter:Rich, While I appreciate the support, years of injuries and this picture tell a different story.

Post # 572 Top Review
This is how you get top reviews on websites with the kids these days. Use language they understand.

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Post # 571 You fight the guy
I saw this video on reddit a while ago:

I was pretty impressed and had no doubt that I would not mess with that guy. Especially with the crazy asian/uk accent he has going on.That and he says some smart things, disregarding the titty comment.

So someone followed up with this 1 hour compilation of people doing wing-chun and getting beat in mixed martial arts competitions.
Someone out there has a lot of hate for wing chun and way too much time on their hands.

This is a conversation I have had many times in my life, usually with people who have just started a martial art because they want to know which one is "better".

That questions is flawed in so many ways the more you think about it the more elements you will start to introduce into the answer.
My take is that you are not fighting the martial art, only the guy. If you study one thing and you are really good at it, you will have an advantage over an opponent with less schooling. But there are things like innate ability, pain tolerance, the ability to strategize on the fly, physical and mental conditioning and a lot of things I probably haven't even thought of yet.

Most of the losses in the second video have the wing chun guy being taken to the ground. For a lot of them it was clear if they could stay on their feet they would do well, if not win. Knowing where they are lacking they could easily make it up. I have been a Judo puritan for most of my life, I can't hit that hard or well, but if I was going to go a match like the ones in the video, I would put the knowledge of my deficit to work.
All these sports are awesome, all have strong points, weak points. Once you realize that you can work what you want and choose which one is best for you.
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Andrew:Though I broadly agree with you, I might suggest that even wing chin practitioners would have a defense against a takedown, even if it's not their focus. Also, fight prep would demand that they train hard against takedowns at the least. As for striking arts, I'm not sure why Muay Thai especially dominates ATM. A pure MT vs WC fight would be fun to see, but I'd still bet on the former. Probably something to do with conditioning and how well sparring emulates a genuine fight.

Peter:No, you must agree with me completely. Actually your response made me thing of a couple of interesting points. If you watch the whole 1 hour compilation youíll notice a majority of the videos are quite old. Since MMA has become commonplace every martial art has realized the need for a proper defense against takedowns. If you are going into MMA now you wonít be a puritan of any sport. Youíll be combining the elements of different ones to cover all the bases and round out your abilities. Muay Thai dominates because it spends more time than any other striking sport in the ring with fighters fighting other fighters. Very few forms and time spent punching bags compared to Karate or boxing or that ilk. You are usually hitting people or getting hit by them. This toughens up your body and hones reactions. It also means that most Muay Thai fighters careers are over before 25 because the injuries just pile up.

Like Batman, you can only sustain that kind of lifestyle for a couple of years. I am an anomaly. The oldest guy at pretty much any club I go to excluding the owners who donít actually practice anymore. I think I am the oldest guy in my circle that actually still practices with the group. The guys who are in their 20ís (which is most of them) are at times astounded that I am still practicing. This comes from Judo being relatively safe compared to striking sports, which was the intent of the founder. (Although my knee now makes a grinding sound when used and my should pops regularly)

As far as defending against takedowns, I have been doing Judo for 20+ years. Not only have I learnt dozens of takedowns, I have learned multiple variations of each to adjust for my opponent. I would be willing to wage the only person who could really stop me taking someone down would be another person with similar experience. That said, as I said in my original post, I canít hit hard and I probably canít take a punch very well. So a skilled opponent that could keep me at arms length could pick away at me if they were conscious of my skillset. This goes back to my original point, the sport then becomes somewhat irrelevant, itís the ability of the person you are fighting that actually determines the outcome.

Post # 570 Tabasco Chocolate
It wasn't really spicy like you would expect, it just had a little kick as an aftertaste. I wouldn't eat this regularly, but mixed with some other foods it might be pretty great. I just have no idea what those foods might be.

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Post # 569 We all do
I know exactly how this guy feels.

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Juan:It's all too common.

Post # 568 GTA V Avatar
Here is the result of the GTA V avatar system where you pick your grandparents. I only adjusted the hair color of the result to get this.

Here is me wearing my usual cool weather clothes. I think it looks basically like a relative, I am just having trouble making the weird lip purse thing.

Also, the GTAV truck came by work today, the game releases here tomorrow.

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Post # 567 Dance of Death
I needed to get back into the Kung-Fu review methodology so I chose what could be considered an excellent starter movie for people who had never seen a kung-fu movie from the 70ís. Maybe the 80ís, since every film is supposed to happen in some ďolder, but not ancientĒ time in China the only way to be able to tell would be to check, and Iím not about to go and do that, am I?


So Dance of Death. Sounds pretty awesome. If that seems true to you, this is your first mistake. There is nothing that is going to be awesome about this film. There are only two ways kung-fu movies achieve awesomeness: by having amazing martial arts or way over the top action using chainsaws or something. This film has humor. I donít know if that translates properly because the Chinese idea of comedy is different enough itís not even ďquirkyĒ fun.

The basic plot is that a girl finds two dope smoking kung-fu masters who have been fighting for years to see who is better. Despite the fact I think I could take them both at the same time they are supposed to be masters so Iím going to have to accept that. She says if they both teach her she will go around fighting people and see which style she uses more, thus demonstrating which is superior.

Sound dumb? It is.

There is also a flashback about her school being attacked and everyone being killed but her but they donít tell you itís a flashback so itís really confusing in there around the 20 minute mark.

Since this movie is essentially about special moves, there are a lot of them, and they are shitty. Like the horse kick where the guy has to make a horse sound every time he does it.

The titular Dance of Death is a completely original style created by one of the guys after they visit a whorehouse and he watches a whore dancer avoid a guy trying to grab her boobies and trips him etc.

This style of kung-fu comes complete with extraneous gestures, dance steps, coy looks and similar facial ticks. It makes me wonder how kung-fu ever got a foothold because one look at someone doing something as dumb as this and it denigrates any martial art associated with it.

Of course she uses this to defeat the bad guy, the competition between the two old guys is never resolved and as the bad guy takes the final blow they cut to a shitty joke and then throw a ďEndĒ card up on the screen.

This is a very set ending for many martial arts movies at the time, they didnít do any story after the bad guy dies, because there is no character development and no one cares about anything on screen once the action is finished.

Everything about this movie is lazy. The comedians doing kung-fu (the first Ĺ of the movie seems to lack any actual martial artists, they probably saw this as a career killer), the lame characters and the fight direction.

If you want to watch one film that summarizes every bad kung-fu movie you should drink up and watch this.
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Post # 566 Fiber 8000
I seem to buy a fiber drink every now and then. Mainly because the number on the label just keeps going up and up. I'm waiting for the day it blows by butt out.

Let's face facts, after all those chips I don't even think 8000 is enough.
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Post # 565 Fancy Chips
These are Pepper and Salami. They are also apparently gourmet, for the fancy chip eater. The more I think about labeling chips as gourmet the weirder it gets.

These were pretty good, so it's hard to make fun.

Below are also gourmet chips, but they are pepper steak. Maybe it's hard to fuck up meat flavored chips with pepper, because if it tastes vaguely of pepper it's going to be okay.

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Post # 564 Real Spark
I buy pretty much anything with royal jelly in it, because it is like caffeine, but many people say it's good for you.

If you like the actual taste of royal jelly, this would be a pretty good, because that's what it tastes like, that and some citrus carbonation, otherwise, you might think it's pretty gross.
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