Saturday, February 04, 2006

Just a quick note about something that happens alot in movies and TV:

Small people with a few quick punches or a fancy kick can't usually actually knock down really big dudes.

Look, The League is a fairly big dude. And every once in a while while watching TV or a movie I'll see a 98 pound girl try a karate kick at some big guy who, of course, is standing completely still. What should be noted is that big guys are used to having to slog themselves around. Their bodies aren't a complete surprise to them. Stuff bumps into us all the time.

This probably isn't what very tiny people want to hear, but if the big person is at all used to fighting, your fancy kick is, at best, going to slow down the Really Big Dude.

Further, just FYI, it is really, really hard in real life to flip a big guy who doesn't want to be flipped. How many of you out there think you can pick up a 250 pound sack of rocks and throw it over your shoulder? Yes, yes... You can use someone's momentum against them. But if that person is any sort of experienced fighter, and unless you're a much, much better fighter, the big guy can probably deduce what you're up to and lean the other way. And even if he does go forward, how likely do you think it is he isn't going to grab you and land on you, Bruce Lee?

Sometimes I really miss my days in TaeKwonDo. But one thing I really don't miss is when I would have to spar people 1/3rd my size. (1) I always had to be really, really careful with small people. Small people tend to sail through the air in a really unattractive fashion with a solid kick. Or, if you mistime a spinkick and hit them in the back (illegal in TKD) they tend to just sort of go down. And then you have to go talk to their millionaire husbands and make them understand that there's no money there if they were thinking of sueing. (2) Small people can be a lot faster and be a smaller target. With the rules of sparring being what they are, this works in small people's favor. It's just a grossly unrealistic way of looking at how a fight would end if it wasn't a judged tournament. (Of course, some people just see you across the mat and they get "the fear", believing you will, in fact, take their block off. The League once had a high school kid run out of the ring away from him. It was sad.)

Now, I'm not saying small people can't take out bigger people, becasue they can and they do. The League has had his ass handed to him by many people, not the least of which was his alarmingly nimble instructor. Also, although not small, Dan Peters is a lot faster than he looks.

I'm mostly just trying to do two things:
1) dispel the notion that a fancy kick you saw on TV is going to do much if you're small
2) dispel the idea that big guys will generally go down with a single pop any more than small people might

So what should tiny people know? The League is no master of self-defense, but here's what we think:

Run away. There's no shame in running. Violence never solved anything. Except for proving to the Russians that our blue collar American work ethic could overcome the commies' science-zombie super-soldier boxer in Rocky IV. Suck on that, Mother Russia.

Go for the face. If you do connect, you're hitting a nerve point in there somewhere. Ears are good, especially if you can get a grip and pull real hard. Eyes are mushy. Noses hit properly will blind for a few crucial seconds. Also, the throat (not the neck) is good, too. Punch it hard.

DO NOT GO FOR THE CROTCH (unless you know what you're doing). This is usually taught in self-defense class, and I guess maybe it will work, but... Most guys learned to duck a kick to the groin at age 5. Ask any guy. Trust me, any dude who is paying attention will turn to the side, you will miss and they will be very, very angry. (This is also a constant movie cliche of over-confident bad-guys. They always stand squarely facing the target and within knee's reach. This is silly).

Use what's on hand. Your body is soft and fleshy. When flesh hits flesh, it hurts slightly more than hitting someone with a beef-log (unwrapped). You will also hurt yourself if you connect with bone. Just so you know, keys jabbing into your ribs hurt really, really bad. Phones and remotes make excellent projectiles.

Be loud. Don't just scream, scream that you're being attacked. Scream specifics. If nothing works, scream that there's a fire. People will always come to check on a fire, just in case. And don't quit screaming.

Anyway, that's a really long post inspired by a really dumb fight scene I just watched.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Artist Seth Fisher has died

I'd only recently been turned onto his work through Green Lantern: WillWorld and Batman: Snow in the ongoing Batman: Legend of the Dark Knight.

The man was incredibly talented. I'm not sure what else to say.

Read here and here and here.

For Fisher's own site, go here.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


The UK ToyFair is on in, uh, the UK.

The ToyFair is an event at which toy makers set up in a convention center and buyers from stores decide what they will stock for the next year (to some extent).

Anyhoo, it's gotta be a fun sort of thing to go to. They do have one in the US, and it usually inspires quite a few "Toys That Should Not Be" postings.

To see what toy The League wants, go here.

Jamie will be sad to know that this item will probably only be available in the UK.
Jim D's Conversational Shorthand Meme

Recently Jim D. said the following:

I have noticed that I have begun to use a conversational shorthand when conversing with people with whom I will likely never see again.

And then said:

...In the mere exchange of conversational pleasantries, is it easier simply to allow the conversation to run its course without the unnecessary addition of too many details?

Read all of Jim's post here.

And then Distorted Veracity chimed in here.

I'm going to pick up on the theme and try and turn this into some sort of meme.

In his travels, Jim's walking through a world of anonymous faces, and maybe that's a bit of what he's doing in Beaumont. I don't know, and I would hate to speak for him.

Surely as much as he's limiting his conversations for expediency, there has to be some knowledge that anonymity has it's virtues, and getting too attached to a waitress at the diner or the cab driver from the hotel isn't going to go much of anywhere.

I think I've sort of been doing this with every single person I've met since I arrived in Arizona.

Sure, there are a few people I talk to regularly and in some detail, but I am aware that I go for weeks on end speaking with only my office mates, my local comic shop guy and Jamie. That's been the sum total of my social circle since my arrival in Phoenix. I can't recall the last time I stood in the yard and talked to my neighbor or the last time I had a conversation with someone that wasn't really somehow work related.

I guess what's bothering me as I head towards my fourth year in the desert is the knowledge that there's been a certain distance kept, as if I know I'm just passing through this place. Most of the staff knows Jamie's name and she's met most everybody at least once, although I suspect some of our newer folks aren't even sure I'm married. Aside from that, I'm not sure how much I've really offered up.

Maybe a few people know my political views. Some could tell you a movie or two I like. Some could venture a guess at a book I may have read. Maybe a few could even tell you around when I was in college. For the most part I'm not sure how much folks know about me. Admittedly, that's a two-way street. I'm sure in most offices you're just not that involved with one another no matter how many hours a week you spend sharing the same recycled air. And maybe I'm misreading all of this, and maybe these folks all know me better than I realize. Maybe it's me that's missing out on the details.

The endless condition of acquaintance is not something I'll miss one day when I put the Valley of the Sun in the rearview mirror. I'm tired of working friendships and conversations where I edit and edit and edit before I feel like I've watered down whatever it was I planned to say until it was safe for public consumption. And maybe I'm wrong and that wasn't what I had to do in the first place, but when you're just passing through, sometimes you want to leave as few ripples as possible.

Monday, January 30, 2006


This is why I am a firm supporter of the red velvet rope.

You know, when I was in high school a security guard at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts got pissy with me for supposedly standing too close to a painting. I'm not sure what the proper distance is supposed to be, but I was looking at the brush work on a 300 year-old oil painting, so I can understand them being a bit touchy.

Note I said "a bit touchy", not "GET AWAY FROM THE PAINTING!" touchy.

That said, I had my hands folded behind my back and was only leaning in slightly. i doubt I was even breathing on the picture.

To this day I prefer science museums. Nobody ever gets mad at you for looking too closely at a geode.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Weekend Round-Up:

Ah, what a weekend!

End of last week saw the end of an era at my job as co-worker Maria put in her resignation. While I'm very excited for her new opportunity, I am less excited about the length of time it takes to hire somebody at my Employing University. I suspect we'll see a replacement in, like, 6 months. The League strongly suspects he will be asked to wear two hats in the interim and then train the new person in the ways of our office. We also thought Maria was a pretty nice person, so we're going to miss her sunny disposition. And my office needs all the sunshine it can get. It's windowless. But, yes, I have an office all to myself. Eat that, private sector cube monkeys!

Friday night League HQ watched the Suns play the Atlanta Hawks and barely squeeze out a victory over a team they mangled in their last meeting. Good for the Hawks for not sucking anymore, I guess. Since we lost to the Cavs today, I have to wonder about The Suns' falling fortunes. We need Amare back. Now.

Saturday night Doug and Kristen were scheduled to come through PHX as part of a cross-country jaunt. They're assisting former SneakyFrog co-habitants MJ and Shannon in their big move from the Bay Area to Boston. It's a long story, and I'll let Doug tell it if you're interested, but due to some less than honest advertising the moving company didn't finish until 15 hours or something after they were supposed to finish. This delayed the first day of travelling completely, and meant that instead of arriving in time for dinner last night, Doug and Kristen rolled in around 1:00am.

We all sort of sat in the living room trying to be polite for about ten minutes before everybody headed off for bed.

MJ and Shannon came over for breakfast this morning (we had Kirby Lane pancakes and bacon), chatted for a while, inherited a Santor present (Klingon headpiece and make-up kit). I know for a fact that Kristen didn't pay for the thing, but got it at a gift exchange, so I'm wondering how many hands this thing has passed through, and how many more it will pass through before Santor releases this present from his grip.

Jamie had a brilliant idea today, and for some reason I went along with it for a few minutes. It was a beautiful 72 degrees and sunny as all heck, so Jamie decided she was going to "go nap in the backyard with the dogs". She grabbed a few towels, a blanket and a pillow, and with my half-hearted assurance that the dogs wouldn't bother her, she went out there to go lay down.

A few minutes later I looked out the window and Lucy was licking Jamie's head and Mel was circling. Deciding my presence was the missing ingredient, I planted myself on the towel. Mel lay down with the "bad end" toward my head and otherwise it was nice. For about ten seconds. Then Lucy came back by and dropped a tennis ball on us, and Mel started wagging his tail and kicking dirt and grass up all over us.

And thus ended the Great Backyard Nap Experiment.

While waiting for Doug and Kristen, I updated some of my links that were sadly out of date., you are officially dropped from the blogroll.

Anyway, not much else.

Get over to to see what's going on.

In the news:

Hussein trial: Is anyone else wishing we'd just grabbed Hussein and brought him to stand trial at The Hague? Between the mix of side-show and Kangaroo Court, this probably isn't going according to script.

Alito: I am not crazy about a guy Frist described as "a liberal's worst nightmare", but I'm also rolling my eyes at John Kerry's 11th hour attempt to get a filibuster.

Hamas in Charge: Democracy! Wow!

British Murdering Dude: As much as I want to believe people aren't all complete scumbags, I have learned to quit believing people are innocent until proven guilty when their children and spouse turn up shot and the most likely candidate happens to have skipped town at the same time.