Oil leaks, rain and wet Tigers

27 11 2008

bikeMy car developed a major oil leak the other day at the crankshaft bearing I think. Grrrrrrrr. I can do the repairs, if I have the tools.  That is the big problem, tools. I will check with a former student of mine who runs a Big Tires shop to see what kind of tools he has. Then I can use the lift there and his Harmonic Balance puller thing, the most improtant item. Yeah, technical words. I do know what I am doing, at least I use to. I was a mechanic once upon a time a long time ago… in a far off land. Now I hate dealing with it!  Yet, If it is possible for me to save about 400.oo in labor, I will do it myself… if I can get the correct tools.

The other part of this development opportunity is, I need to get to school, where I finished up CSS a couple of days ago and now am on Flash Lessons.  I need to get to school. Lucky for me I do not have much else going on right now that I need to travel. There is no Heart Chan practice this week, Which I had planned on taking BART to anyway, because of parking. I’m not working any sailing groups , so there is just getting to and from school. I had been thinking of late to start riding my bike. I can use the cardio work and save gas the World. Funny thing gas is now just under 2.00 gal. How did that happen? I thought we were in dire straights with the fuel problem. What did I miss? Is this a joke? By the way , with all the money the gas compnaies made over the last few years, they should be bailing out the auto dealers, not the government.

Gomen nasai…

I digress…

Anyway…On Monday I rode my bicycle to school . It took me about 30 min. Not bad. My former job was about 1 hour on the bike. This was fairly easy, no killer 2 mile hills to hump up…cool! Tues there was a 50% chance of rain. I had considered, stay home and studying from there. However LZ had her work shift changed for the day and I was able to use the truck…nice! I drove to work…50% chance… there was no rain!

Weds, there was 30% chance of showers. The sky looked pretty clear as I headed out for school. Today, I wore heavier leather gloves so my fingers would not freeze with the wind chill as I blazed along the streets. I also wore a heavy sweat shirt with hood and my somewhat heard waterproof kungfu sport jaceket. I did not think of foul weather gear, it was 30% chance of showers. I got to school easier today, I left in good time for me to travel with out having to push things like I did the other day.

Once inside the class I sat down to do my work. About 1.5 hours later I take a break outside… it is pouring rain! Doh!!! weather reports!!! grrrrrr

grrrrr, I did not bring my rain jacket or foul weather gear. 30% chance they said…

I’m on lunch break now…

Through-out life, there comes a time where you have to accept you are going to get a butt whipping and there will be nothing you can do about it. Sometimes it comes from a person…other times it is nature…

I’ll be one wet Tiger riding home in the rain…

…at least it is not snow like Rick has in Detroit.

Even in saddness there can be Joy.


In other local news our condo has been on the market or a couple of weeks now. Only a couple of people have come by to look. We, as in LZ and I were thinking, cool!  There is more demand, no doubt for at least 2bdrm units not one bedroom like ours. Then I heard from the Realtor, she had an offer to go over with me to submit to the bank. BUMMER!

We were hoping for a long drawn out process, so we could gather our funds better. Since I’m not paying my M-note, that money goes for bills ( like my car repair bill) and preparing to move cash. Oh well, all we can do is make the best of the Tao as it flows to us and Ganbatte! ( maybe that should be ganbaru, I’ll check ) I’m hoping it is not our new friend we had over a couple of weeks ago. He did ask for the realtor’s number. Hmmmm sucks! Oh well, whatever,  it is the will of the TAo.

I’m at home finishing this post. I left class a little early, and the ride home..in the rain was not too bad. It was light showers, steady..and cold! If this was Hawaii it could have been even more pleasant. Even as it was, there was a certain pleasantness in being out and pedaling. As I peddled past this one area, there was this peaceful lawn/park on my left, I absorbed it’s Wet Yin-ness. Yet on my right cars race to win that one car empty space , just a head of him. However he needs to get there now before that other person does, yang ness. I pedaled along the border of Yin and Yang, under a soft rain and colorful trees.

Once we face the demon, it is usually (^_^) sometimes not as bad as we thought.

Holidays in Mantis land

24 11 2008

It is officially the holiday season now. Sifu’s school held it’s annual Thanksgiving party. It was also the same day as my younger classmates in LA. I was invited, but cash flow answered that one for me without a lot of thought. Anyway here I was attending Sifu’s bash, a much closer choice.

As I drove to the parking lot at the Campbell school I thought to myself it is rare if there is no one outside practicing. Sure enough there was a couple of guys outside practicing sword. I felt that feeling of comfort the comfort zone and home. Returning to the temple and seeing all is well.

Once I arrived at Sifu’s things were already setup and a fair amount of people were already there.  I thought that was it and it was not to be a large turnout, which is fairly usual. Wrong, more people showed up over the next hour. I was surprised at how many. Not that it was crowded, but” for reals” more than usual


I chatted with a few of the seniors on this and that, with that classmate ease that happening when around piers. I hung-out mostly with Brian Shrxong for the evening. His late father was one of the elders of the 8th generation. He ran the Hawaii branch school.  We spoke of Health and training, Hong Kong, Hawaii and the like. Also we spoke on his return to the study of White Eyebrow style, since he can not bounce with agility like before his near death accident. However he will still do some of his Mantis routines and practices with the SF/San Jose groups. The food was set upon once Sifu returned, and did a bit of cooking at the table and gave his ok to start. The veggie dishes were pointed out to me before things got going I was set.


There was plenty of food for all eaters. I got seconds some got thirds. I also had some homemade organic oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, that I did so was insisted on by this woman I helped at the Tournament during the summer. I did not think of it as a big deal to help, but she did. You never know…

While Sifu was cooking, his wife sat next to me and started talking about her new challenge. Feng Shui she was taking a class on it. She told what she was covering and I thought and said, oh, sound good. Thinking she knew I was a Feng Shui Shifu and was just asking my opinion. While listening to her, go on and on… I found she did not know that I knew Feng Shui. The question did I want her to do my home was a big give-way. I smiled and said something, that said nothing. Then dinner was ready. She was a tiny bit embarrassed, I think to find out the truth later. 🙂


One of the perks of being an elder with the clan is that you get to go right after Sifu or close after Sifu to get food. Nice I was hungry.


This is the first of the season’s gathers. Campbell will have another Pdinner for Chirstmas. He Walnut Creek school will not have anything until Sisuk returns from his training trip to China. So I think they will hold the New years party.

3 of 9

22 11 2008

There comes that moment, no there are those moments we come upon on our journey.  Moments of awareness, the ahaa, moment, the change in one’s sight of something, moment, the realization that you are seeing …something … , yes even the world…differently. I had that when studying Graphic arts and realized I’m looking at pages, poster, signs differently. How they work, balanced, composed.  I look at clay, and pots and all it’s family differently. The transformation of form and spirit how and why.  I had that the other day, and realized, that not only do I look at a webpage differently, but when I look at it’s soul… beyond the mask, and illusions of colors and light, when I have my fingers forming it like fresh clay on a wheel. I understand what it’s saying we can communicate…nice!

I am a couple of chapters behind my projection for this week, for finishing up the CSS part of class. However close enough to feel on course. Next week  I’ll finish and start on my final project for this course-section. Then I can go on to Flash, training. I found out the other day how cool this program with the county is in truth. It is a nine weeks session on learning, XHMTL & CSS programing, so I thought…

The cool thing is that I can learn/retrain/upgrade as much software as I can input into my personal database over that 9 week course. For the same low price that I was paying for one session… WoW! Sugoi. So this is …way cool or… what?!


This was the first week the condo has been up for sale. It felt weird, sitting here, knowing that at anytime ( almost)  someone could call and want to walk through our home and inspect it… weird sense of unsettledness in a place that was sanctuary. One agent did bring someone by whilst I was at school yesterday. I burned incense when I came home, to change the vibe. I’ll need to adapt or be lost. Good thing I’ve been getting a lot of cushion  ( ざぜん) time in lately, perhaps it is helping…I could  have already been lost.

A great bit of news today hearing the unemployment benefits have been extended WoooHooo. Thank you ( never thought I’d that to him) baby Bush. It is about time you did something worthwhile in office. That will keep us afloat at least until April. Even better if the condo does not sell until then or later… Free Rent Helps Then it will be sailing season, I can get a fair amount of sailing work at that time. Hopefully along with some full time Design work or even part time, that will put us back under power for moving forward, instead of drifting in doldrums… Sculleying.


Anyway, the food is still good.. and we still have some to eat…


Allah be praised.


The last picture show…

17 11 2008

Today’s weather, highs in the high 70’s, sunny, with some clouds and light winds. It somewhat like yesterday… with less wind. Yesterday’s winds where nothing to write home about, in it’s wonderfulness. No, in fact that day’s wind sucked, Had we went today the winds would have sucked more. However even with that, we had a nice sail, well …mostly drifting but, being completely at one with the Tao in this case, it was still a good sail. However, really though, all sails are good sails, when you get back dry, uninjured, and the passengers are willing go out again with you.  This was the case on Sat, we went where the winds were, and back,  and around sometimes, we enjoyed ourselves, we returned happy, no purpose but to be in flow with the Tao (wind), we were one with the Tao in sail…very Zen.


After the forgotten lunch incident, Which I will not go into here (^_^), everyone was hungry very hungry and ready to head to our place to Eat!  *All that was had for lunch was chips and salsa.  …The sail was nice, yeah yeah, but where is the food?…the crew*


Once at our place the hungry and weary water-travelers ate the forgotten lunch and settled into the home scene. I turned on the KoDo Taiko Drummers DVD, then we watched and waited. LZ needed more time to cook dinner, at about hour or more I was told. So the sandwiches would have to hold everyone. I, …by the way had no sandwich, I have not been eating lunch these days so it was not a big deal to hold off until dinner. my Mantis patience…


LZ had started the cooking process on Friday, her day off. I had no idea what she was making other than something with salmon.


There was also some chicken and some veggie chicken, Some new idea of her’s with deikon and a sauce on it. It was Oishii!. Also on tap was some goyza, a rice dish, some misc items. Most of which where LZ’s Creation. So a mix culture Japanese, style cuisine. If we were restaurant people it would be a good kind of place to eat. Healthy, low fat, filling , but not heavy, inexpensive kind of place.


Dinner went over well, everyone had seconds, LZ was the Star for the night! After some cookies and chit chat, everyone headed home for the evening. Except my cuz, she was spending the night. I needed to get her to the airport by 6:00 am on Sunday. (+_-)

It was a good day for a final event at the home place.


Today I finalized all the papers to put the unit on the market. It is for most intent an open house from here on.  We had our last big hurrah here. I’m sure we’ll have at least one or two more small hurrahs, before we leave. Many many more big one’s if we, keep our center on what is important and flow with the Tao. This was our last big group home here harrah. It was fun. Kami-sama, Arigato gozaimashita .

Heart Chan/Zen @ Berkeley

15 11 2008


There was the second of 4 Heart Chan ( ZEN) Classes at Berkeley this week. Traffic was bad, parking was worse, but I made it in time, through the demons of detour. I’m glad I gave myself extra time even then I only had 10 minutes of wait before the session started. I think I did a good job of adding peaceful chi to the group, less talk, which I’m good at, and more chi emission. That was my task to benefit the group, spiritual support,  it is called. 🙂

I believe the ladies do a good job of explaining things, much of which I had heard before, but there is from time to time a different view on things or some bit I pickup that gets stored for future reference or dispersal when needed. The extra bits of cushion time is also beneficial for me.

This week, Shijie introduced a couple of motion Chan excises to the group. One for helping release neck and shoulder tightness and pain. Another for helping activate the kidneys. After that she went on to explain about the naval Chakra. How to find it, and send the mind and breath to that spot and some of the health benefits of doing that.

Chan meditation is not just about becoming enlightened and the spiritual mind… Everything is connected.. the universe is about balance…mind and body.

The local news…On Course…

15 11 2008

After week two of training XHTML is now done, wooohoo!  I figured two weeks to get through it and I’m on track. I still need many hours of practice, but I’m getting a functional understanding of things. I think I will feel comfortable in about a month. I have several sites to practice things on until I find some paying work. I’m figure I’ll finish this section in the next 3 weeks, then move on to Flash. I figure by the end of the year, I’ll have some decent Web “chops”. (That is a musician’s term for having some skill on one instrument) so far…on course.

One thought I have been having in this learning process is, this is like learning DOS back in the old days. Now we have Mac’s and the Copy MCat, Windows. There is software to do this stuff graphical, but, I can see the benefits of leaning the code. It makes one more versatile, like a musician who really knows his scales and plays Jazz can play anything. Our a Kung Fu saying something like, A Kung Fu player can do Karate, but a Karate player can not do Kung Fu ( without retraining ).images-2

I digress,

I was thinking today, I could have purchased a text book and learned this stuff at home but, it is easier to be in a one minded space for learning.  Most of the folks in this class are pretty focused when they come to class. They come in, say hello …or not, then sit down and work.  The only bummer in the class  for me, is sitting one computer down from a woman who talks talks talks talks talks and not that softly. It is very distracting. The instructor says almost every day, “people are complaining the talk is too loud everyone, please keep the talk to minimum and softly.” This woman ignores that, …rude or what! Unbelievable some people’s lack of consideration. Luckily the woman next to me, who “the mouth” is talking with does not talk as much back  to her  ( most likely can not get a word in) and then she speaks in a soft voice. I’m surprised though she lets the other woman go on, and on and on… it is difficult to learn something under those conditions at least for me it is. But I Ganbatta!


On the Condo sale, I missed signing a couple of spots on the sale papers, so the Realtor has been trying to pin me down on a time to met up. I am postponing it if possible until this Sunday, when our guests … perhaps …the final guest here have gone.

It’s Real…

12 11 2008

I’ve had my face deep into the computer screen over last weekend. Working on understanding and digesting the XHTML programing. Now I am getting knee deep into CSS . The cool stuff… I have been tinkering with the little I can understand and have made a few changes on the (upcoming) Zenkaze Sailing Assoc. site and figured out how to do a face lift on Multiply.

All of this is a major tigression ( my new made up word, as in The Tiger who wanders) from the title of this post.

After putting this off for as long as possible I signed up for sale papers with a Realtor today and started the packing process of the exposed vulnerables and things that may grow legs. This will not be pleasant having so many mixed vibes in the house, people coming and goings, the un-seen but felt, the no relaxing during the day, part…

this will be more training of a different type…

we’re moving …do not know when…

but, it’s on…


…It’s real.


“When life hands you lemons

and chili,

…find Tequila.”


Asian Art for Sale

12 11 2008

Arts and Craft from Direct from Japan or a local artist. For sale ! Generally one of a kind items or hand made or…Both:

Check out and follow along with the new Asian Art tab.

Featuring currently : Hand made earrings , from Usakodreamstone in Kobe Japan.

Handmade necklaces and earrings made from natural stones,K14 goldfilled chain,ear hooks,wire,and findings. http://www.usakodreamstone.com

Shao lin Chan in Berkeley

8 11 2008

kyI received a call a few nights ago, from one of my Zen/Chan sisters. She sounded anxious. She said that she was starting a new Heart Chan group at UC Berkeley. However one of the other sisters from our group was suppose to help , but she had to go back to Taiwan for some reason and could not make it to help her. She wanted to know if I was available to help for the next four weeks.

I thought about the commitment of it for a brief moment then said yes. I’m glad it was fairly close and even though it would cost me some for the commute, it was a worthwhile giving. A path of giving back.

Thursday came and off I went, It was a close timing to get there through traffic, find parking, which was the real big deal and get to the classroom on time. Once I arrived I made the call to Shijie (sister) and I was surprised to see the woman who was suppose to be in Taiwan had come to take me to the room. We chatted a bit, her plans had changed.

We got to the room, there were only a couple of people there, besides the three of us older practitioners. The two guy students from UC Berkeley were new to meditation. One was from Korea, the other from maybe Pakistan or someplace, near. It was an interesting multi-cultural gathering. Two Ladies from Taiwan, the guys and myself. I love those international gatherings…such Chi.

I told Sister P not to be too nervous it will be all good, as she looked uneasy . This was her first time holding a class, that I knew of …and sensed… at least in English. Things did go well. The guys were easy going and open. With the 3 of us helping the new guys, with explanations and our thoughts/feelings it went very smooth. It was also good for me to see how someone else handles a start up class/group. I surprised myself when we were explaining about how to sit, I was able to go into a full lotus easily, I usually just do a half lotus and am very comfortable in that position.  Just the basic were covered of course, but it can be nice to do basics.  It is kind of like doing Horse stance training. The more one works on their foundation the better your Kung Fu will be. There is a certain comfort, sense of security and clam in reviewing basics. I also like being in a group Chan meditation session and not having to travel so far the extra Chi is always helpful for everyone involved. My sisters there mentioned to the guys, that I was a Kung Fu “master” ( I always laugh to myself when being called a master, and sometimes I laugh out loud. Like when someone says I speak Chinese well.), when explaining how Chan came from Shaolin Temple, the home of Kung Fu as we know it. Anyway, they were surprise when i said that doing chan/zen was just another form of Kung Fu, they said huh, oh, really?!?! I said certainly, Kung Fu is not just about fighting, it is training in a way of life on three levels. Mind Body and Spirit. Everything is Kung Fu, everything is Zen training and practice. Sitting is the Spiritual Kung Fu training. Afterward there were Chinese bean cakes offered by the ladies. I had to go and could not stay long so I was given a box to take home for LZ and I.  Oishii deshita!

Skill upgrade…Year of the OX

8 11 2008

I finished up my first week of training today. I’m feeling pretty certain it was a good choice, … worthwhile of the sacrifice to attend. Training is always good…life is training..One or another form of Kung Fu, Zen…constant training. Another Shaolin Chan practice. In this phase of it I’m taking a class on XHTML and CSS. , that is a the web scripting language for those you do not know. It is the way to go in the web design world, when constructing  websites. I had taken a class in HTML years ago It has changed since them with XHTML and CSS in a whole different way of doing things which is cool from what I’ve seen.


Anyway I’m enjoying getting the new knowledge and feeling like I’m moving forward. It is good to be productive and increasing the chance of getting employment. I see more that, of the few ads out there, more are looking for a web/graphic designer, than just a designer.  So with my designer background, my options will increase. Also Sisuk wants me to be more involved in keeping his websites updated. Hmmm wonder should I start charging the Federation for doing theirs.  Sisuk would say, yes. This is a time for business, one can not be so gracious.


The week was a bit of a challenge getting back into an, early up and out the door rhythm. Once in class I had a couple of moments during the day I would be REALLY sleepy. It was good that, whenever I wanted to get up an take a break i could walk outside to stretch, breathe, do some Chi Gong. There is a really great lake and waterfall there on the grounds. Excellent place to break, stretch do a little meditation if one worked in the building.


The course I’m doing is listed to take 6 wks, but that was when the classes were only 4 hours a day instead of the current, 6. Now the average I hear is two weeks. I’m half way through the 14 chapters of the text book. Then it will be advance CSS, I should be able to knock that off in other two weeks. From then on to “Flash“, another web-designer software. I’m hoping to have those things wrapped up by Mid Dec. Then I can at least re-register with some temp firms for some work. Another weapons training art, to aid to my survival kit or… medicine bag it could be called.


How many faces do you see?

I received my official state security card today so that gives me something else to fall on for finding some employment. Sailing season is over now. I was schedule for teaching a class last week but it was canceled due to not enough people.

Year of the Ox will be better, not great but should be better:


So says one description of 09′

“The coming 2009 year of the earth Ox also called 2009 year of the Bull or Buffalo is around the corner. It looks like we’ve got honest, candid and open natured year ahead. As you might guess, coming 2009 year of the earth Ox is dependable, calm and modest. Sun sign horoscope for the 2009 year of the Ox like his animal sing is unshakably patient, full of hard work and tireless though need financial support to fulfill your ideas and make your desires.”

another says this;

Forecast for 2009: the Chinese year of the Yin Earth Ox – 26th January 2009 to the 13th February 2010.

Following the year of the Pig (when we spent too much) and the year of the Rat (when we spend too little) the year of the Ox ushers in a period of methodical, patient hard work.  After the market turmoil that characterised the year of the Rat, life will become more stable, steady and predictable.  It is the year of the accountant.

The Ox is dedicated to long term success.  But this will be an Earth Ox year where creative ideas take second place to practical, industrious pursuits.  Two men born in a previous Earth Ox year exemplify the extremes of dedication to success that are the characteristics of the Earth Ox: – Adolf Hitler and Charlie Chapman.  Who can doubt their respective determination and patience to achieve their goals, even though one was loved and the other hated

Integrity will be valued, and patience the virtue that will drive people in 2009.  Do not expect immediate gains, but steady progress towards the fulfillment of ambition.

Unlike the Rat, the Ox is not a party animal.  Hard work and long hours will prepare us all for the tumultous and unpredictable year of the Tiger that begins on the 14th February 2010.

Property prices will remain flat, and although the stock market will start the year with optimism the uncertainties (and perceived opportunities) of 2010 will soon create more volatile market conditions.  Many commentators believe that property prices (in the UK) will fall by around 35% from their peak in early 2008, but after a 10% drop in 2008, the larger part of that fall will occur in the latter part of the year of the Yang Metal Tiger, and the early part of the year of the Yin Metal Hare (or Rabbit).

Expect international co-operation to try and tighten the regulatory framework to prevent a re-occurance of the banking crisis that started in 2008.


Interestingly Year of the Ox starts near the end of January this time.

I think we will be moving about that time…

I maybe working in a new line of employment about that time…

About the time of the end of the Year of the RAT

We’ll be saying goodbye to the other Rat…

in the white house.

About that time…