NFL Competition

For the past few years, I was running a little football pool with some of the people that I worked with.  It was a lot of fun, and we had a good laugh giving each other a bad time about each others picks.

Most of the people that I worked with have moved on to different locations or back home.  Our plan was to continue with the football pool, but it looks like it isn’t going to happen this year, which is no big deal.

This year, Tracy and I decided we would have our own little competition.  This is 100% for fun.  Basically, we are going to continue doing our football picks each week, but we have decided to to not only keep track, but to make it public for all of you that read our blog.

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Niagara Vacation

Well, I’ve been meaning to write this blog forever…..and I don’t feel like finishing my homework tonight, so….=P

About a year ago I took a vacation to a new location for me.  I traveled over the northern border into Niagara, Ontario Canada…..ok, it was barely Canada, but it still was.  All the research I’ve done on the falls said that the Canadian falls were the most beautiful.  I can now confirm that the travel sites are correct.  The Canadian falls are spectacular.  The only part of the trip that wasn’t was the border crossing.  I got grilled for a good 2-3 minutes about gun ownership.  They agent must have asked me 5 times if I owned a gun, and if I was bringing one over with me.  I guess I must have looked like a guy that would own a gun =P.

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Upgrading To Author

A lot of you may not know this, but Tracy and I have decided to do away with  In doing this, we would also like to promote the people that have helped write here at The Northlands.  We decided that one of the things we wanted to do was that those people that have posted ten (10) or or more blog posts, we wanted to give them the setting of Author instead of Contributor, so they can now publish their own blogs posts.

In so doing, we noticed that one person has over ten (10) posts.  Actually, he has twelve (12) posts, which I thought was pretty cool.  Here is a breakdown of the people that have written blog posts for us, and how many posts they have.

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DD1_featuredI know it’s been awhile since I’ve written.  I have a few posts that I want to write up.  Let’s start with this.

Back in September of last year, I wrote a blog post titled New Adventure, which is about me starting podcasting.  You can listen to the first podcast HERE, and you if you want to go to the page to have a look at my show notes, you can have a look HERE.  In my first episode, I talk about my life growing up and about my time in the Navy.  Go ahead, you can listen to it and come back; I’ll wait for you.   :yes:

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Shodan Test

Kagawa Sensei Matsui-sanOn November 8th, 2015, I took my first ever Shodan (First Degree Black Belt) Test.  What comes below is what I had to do for my test.

You can read about my other belt tests here:  Shotokan, First Ever Belt Tests, Multiple Belt Test, 5th Kyu to 4th Kyu Belt Test, Karate in England, 4th Kyu to 2nd Kyu Belt Test, and 2nd Kyu to 1st Kyu Belt Test

1st Kyu (3rd Brown) to Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) kihon (techniques)

  1. Zenkutsu-dachi Gedan Gamae
    1. Lunge step forward sanbon-zuki (step forward three times)
    2. Jodan age-uke, mae-geri, gyaku-zuki (step back three times)
    3. Chudan soto-uke, kiba-dachi enpi, zenkutsu-dachi ura-zuki gyaku-zuki (step forward three times)
    4. Koukutsu-dachi, shutou-uke, front leg mae-geri, nukite (step back three times)
    5. Gedan barai, nekoashi-dachi chudan uchi-uke, zenkutsu-dachi ura-zuki, yori-ashi gyaku-zuki (step forward three time)
    Mawatte gedan-gamae
    1. Same leg mae-geri, mawashi-geri, gyakuo-zuki (step forward three times)
    Mawatte gedan-gamae
    1. Ushiro-geri, gyaku-zuki (step forward three times)
    Mawatte gedan-gamae
    1. Turning, stepping forward ura-ken, gyaku-zuki (step forward three times)
    Mawatte gedan-gamae from zenkutsu-dachi
      Same leg yoko-geri ka-age ke-komi (step forward three times)
    Mawatte gedan-gamae
    1. Jodan soto-uke, sideway inward yori-ashi gedan baria, front leg mae-geri, gyaku-zuki (step forward three times)

    1st Kyu (3rd Brown) to Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) kumite

    1. Jodan oi-zuki / Jodan age-uke
    2. Chudan oi-zuki / Chudan soto-uke
    3. Mae-geri / Gedan barai
    4. Yoko-geri / Chudan soto-uke
    5. Mawashi-geri / Chudan uchi-uke
    6. Ushiro-geri / Gedan barai

    1st Kyu (3rd Brown) to Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) kata

    Heian Godan

    Junro Godan

    Tokui kata – Empi

    Sadly, I did not pass this test.  My kihon and my kumite were good, but my kata lacked what is called kime, which is like spirit/force, but that’s ok, because I will pass the test the next time.  Don’t you all worry.

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New Adventure

MicrophoneLet me start off with a little background here.  My high school, back in Hudson, Wisconsin, had it’s own radio station, well; it had a radio station that played over the school P.A. system before and after school.  I was allowed to do shows when there wasn’t anybody else available to be part of the show.  At the time, I was allowed to have people on, and play whatever music I wanted.  Now, I actually only did three (3) maybe four (4) shows, and I loved it.  It’s been something I’ve always wanted to dip my hand back into.  The problem has always been that I’ve never had any connections at any studios or radio stations.

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2nd Kyu to 1st Kyu Belt Test

Jiyu Ippon KumiteDon’t forget to read about more about my journey in Shotokan Karate:  Shotokan, First Ever Belt Test, Multiple Best Test, 5th Kyu to 4th Kyu Belt Test, 4th Kyu to 2nd Kyu Belt Test, and studying Karate in England.

On August 9th, 2015, I had my final Kyu (below black belt) level belt test.  This was to go  from second (2nd) Kyu or (2nd) brown belt.  I actually felt very comfortable with testing this time.  I knew all my techniques for my kihon, I got to work with another student for my kumite and all the katas I thought I would be asked to do I knew well.  They aren’t prefect, but I know them pretty well.  Have a look below and see how I did.

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A Letter

Here’s just something I wrote one day on vacation, it had been a hard night (dreams), then awkwardness almost walking in on friend and her boy getting busy. Sooo…yeah.

To One Who Might Not Exist,

I sometimes feel that this is the only way to make myself heard, or understood. So I will try my best.

I dreamed of you the other day, and to me, you were perfect. I wasn’t smothered, but returning to your arms is the best way I experience peace. You demanded nothing from me, and it was as easy as breathing to give you everything. The safety I found in you was heart-wrenching. Upon waking, the hollowness without you was beyond language. Knowing how easy and painless it could be, to hand over my heart, stole the air from my lungs.

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I am me, and you are you

Wolf says I should write, so okay.

I cannot be other than what I am.

I cannot pretend to be the cute, fluffy, pink sugary sweetness of other delicate, feminine girls.

I cannot pretend to be the tough-as-nails, black leather and mud type hard-ass girls, who nonetheless ooze sex appeal and hang with the boys.

I cannot be the furry, adorable, mouse-type, squirreled away in a corner, that people just want to scoop up and cuddle.

I cannot hope to be the punk-rock, obscure references, facial piercings, with the artists deep, sensitive nature.

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4th Kyu to 2nd Kyu Belt Test

Belt Test Class May 10, 2015To continue sharing of my journey in Shotokan Karate, you can read Shotokan Karate, First Ever Belt Test, Multiple Belt Test, 5th Kyu to 4th Kyu Belt Test, and studying Karate in England.

On May 10th, 2015, I had another belt test.  This one was to go from fourth (4th) Kyu to second (2nd) Kyu, which is I went from second (2nd) purple to second (2nd) brown.  I only have one more Kyu level, under black belt level, to test, and then I will be testing for my Shodan, first (1st) degree black.  I think I was the most nervous for this test then I have been since my first test.  I felt I wasn’t fully sure about my Kihon, techniques.  Well, I knew the techniques, but I wasn’t sure about what they were in Japanese.  Have a look, and you can see how I did.

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