Monday, December 19, 2011

Blue-Brown Belt and Other Stuff

I just belt-tested this evening and earned a blue-brown belt. On the one side, I made so many mistakes, it wasn't funny. I didn't kiai enough, I didn't breathe properly, I didn't have enough endurance, I didn't move my hips enough, I used too much power instead of technique, I leaned forward too much, Augh! On the other side, I did know the techniques required, I did recover seamlessly when I made mistakes, I was neither too gentle nor too rough with my uke and I did remember to kiai a fair number of times. I am very disappointed with myself, but I don't think the belt is completely undeserved. I probably wouldn't have tried for it yet, except that I was pretty much told to do so by Sensei and Shihan - it was a lot of work on top of helping everyone else prepare. It's probably for the best that I did: I can only help people insomuch as I know and can demonstrate the material myself.

In other news, I think the dojo Christmas party is shaping up to be really fun. A good lot of parents and adult dojo members have said they are coming. Unfortunately, our Sensei won't be coming, or if he does, rather late: work conflict. On the fun side: it'll be a potluck, so not so much work, and at least several people (including myself) are planning on making music and singing. :-)

Workwise: I finished a bit of required work, and am now having fun, trying to make a work program multithreaded, or at least pseudo-multithreaded, so that a long process can be interrupted if need be. The "program" is actually an add on for another program, and apparently the original program never anticipated multithreaded DLLs and puts some pretty insurmountable roadblocks in the way of true multithreading, so I'm going with the pseudo-multithreading. I think I have it pretty much licked.

I've got next week off, and I'll be helping a few people move. Then we kick off next year with a Jiu Jitsu "trainer training". After being in the dojo an average of 4 times a week for the past couple months, it feels like Jiu Jitsu is taking over my life. I think it's good I'll be taking a two (three?) week vacation from it.

There are several JavaScript/Perl programs that have been put on the back burner while I've been in Jiu Jitsu overdrive. I hope to finally get around to making the games playable and the other programs actually useful.

I've also got some repairs and improvements to be done around the house: I want to put a ventilator in the bathroom and install a fireplace.

I switched from Vodafone (they bought out our previous provider) to Telekom, which was a mistake. I've switched again to UnityMedia, which is a good deal so far, but now I've got a conflict with the German Telekom. I need to talk to a lawyer about that. I'll probably end up paying for two years of overpriced Telekom service that I don't need or want. *sigh*.

The youth group I mentioned in the last post didn't work out very well and has pretty much self-destructed - the youth stopped coming. It looks like we'll be starting a new group with two kids who are more enthusiastic about helping their community. I hope we can attract a few more kids like these two to the group.

I'm still working on perfect pitch - it is slowly, ever so slowly improving. I've been at it for months now, and I have only about a 30% chance of getting through the first six levels of the easiest setting with no mistakes (that is, recognizing 18 notes in a row, from a single octave with no sharps or flats).

I'm still meeting with the Chinese student to exchange guitar lessons for Mandarin lessons, though we give it a miss more often than we meet - both he and I have schedule conflicts fairly often.

Altogether, life is going okay.