Security …Paying dues

29 03 2009

Paying dues, a musician’s term for putting in time. Playing low pay jobs, dive clubs, etc. Something one goes through to get a good gig and respect. It is not about membership payment money. I would guess actors have the same sort of things since we are cousins in the arts. Anyway, this is where I am at in the corresponding version of Security guardland. Doing this graveyard shift I look at it as paying my dues in this field.


My Ride

Doing SG work was what my father did after he retired. I never thought much of it as a field and always worked at staying educated and skilled enough so I would not have to go there. Back in the day it was a job of not much skill I thought. Just a job. Of course , there is no such thing as just a job. Any job is a good job to be thankful about. It is all about survival, “only the strong can survive” ( …Grandmaster Flash) These days, it is much more involved than just having a military background and being able to take orders which I thought it was about. Now one to start needs a Guard Card. In order to get this you need to go a State approved cla$$. This cla$$ covers things you can do and can not do as a Security Officer. It also covers terrorist activity things, what to look for, etc , etc. That is just the start through. After you get your card, and start working there is another 6 hours of training you need to complete with-in 30 days on the job. Ok, so I got my card, and I also received from the 88 group a 12 hours training certificate the other night, double the requirement. Now I find I have been enrolled in the first set of on-line classes which cover some 12 topic units. Wheww, not done yet, there is another group of training to be completed within 6 months. OMG who knew there was so much to this. I’ll have more respect  for these rent-a -cops. Of course like everything else times have changed everywhere, nothing is simple.

So my first night on the job. I was a bit nervous about finding my way around and staying within the required time frame. I show up ready to go out on my own. However I am surprised to find my super is there and says he is going with me for the first couple of hours. Hmmm I think, I’m not trusted yet, there goes my relaxing evening,  did I do something… ? Not letting it phase me, I flow with it and carry on, I went through what I was suppose to do and we head out. I was kind of glad he was there to give me some travel direction and what order to do what. The hardest part of the evening is from 10- 11pm, there are 4 complexes to cover preform lock-downs. Tonight I stepped faster and drove faster, being less concerned about doing the safe driver way under the speed limit thing. I only ran 5 minutes over. The Super said that was not bad for still learning.
After 11:00 I took him back to the office and headed out on my own. I was solo the rest of the night. It was pretty easy the rest of the night. I was given a list with a suggested order to follow for stops, that was a BIG help! My only problem for the night was underestimating the time I should put in between the later stops of the night and ended up really rushing toward the end to make all my rounds. I ended up finishing up the night about 20 min or so over. I was suppose to be done by 5:00 am I was done at 5:20 or so  Not a big deal I think for my first solo run. Now I understand the timing better. So onward Officer Zen… Yatta! ( I did it)

Friday Nite Fu with Shifu…March

29 03 2009

After having been done the SG late nite training, and driving for 45 min each way over the last few days I was not really all that jazzed about making the trip down to Campbell to practice. However I Shaolined up and made the trip. It is less of a journey now, only a little less than 1 hour rather than 1.5 , since we have moved to the island. I also missed last month session due to the move I did not to miss another, time is limited to spend with Eng Shifu and my Shixong’s.

Merry Christmas from the Tai Mantis Kung Fu Asooc.

After my greetings, I found a spot in the parking lot and just practiced my Tai Chi Palm ( short version) , the Tai Mantis’s Tai Chi ( Tai Ji ) form . I did the empty hand set 3 times, then I did the sword form 4 times. That took over an hour. After that I went inside and sat with the group. It was close to eating time and there were some discussions going on about You Tube. One of the Elders from Hong Kong had put pretty much all the Tai Chi Mantis sets on You Tube. That is good and bad. Good for us who practice to have access to the form for review and comparison. Bad in that any one can copy the forms and say they know Tai Chi Mantis Kung Fu. Jokingly we said they can say they learned from Master You Tu bu.  Yeah funny, however I bet some will do it.

Once we sat to eat Shifu brought up about something about wild animals and fear since we were speaking steps in overcoming fear when training, building courage.  He said how when he was a kid this grandfather had wild bob cats in cages for sale. He said he would tease the cats, and they would scare the bejibees out of him. The sounds would make him freeze for a second or two.  He said that back in the early days of Shaolin, the monks would copy this sound as a defense against the wild animals that were abundant in the area.  At some point someone used it in a man to man fight and it became a weapon. The sound would freeze the person just for a second and that gave the opponent a chance to attack through the other’s defence.  Through time others tried to copy this, but lost the “feeling”  or true skill of it. This is what the Japanese Kai is suppose to be/do.  It was used in China but has lost the power of proper use.

Another topic raised by Shifu was the Kung fu of Hsing Yi. He says he has taken a renewed interest in it since he has gotten older. Even though it can be a use as a strong Martial Art, he is interested in the health aspects. The Five Elements, working the organs.  He said that his Shifu Wong Jack Man used to speak of retiring and just practicing Hsing Yi, now he says he thinks he understands why. Eng  Shifu  says when he has been practicing it, he feels recharged  and his back feels like he has gotten a massage. He says he is planning on doing more research into Hing Yi and Ba Qua. Not so much for the combat parts but the health. He says learning Kung Fu for fighting is ok, but how many times do yo need to go out and do hand to hand combat these days. How many times in your life unless you are trying to be a tuff guy. Health is a treasure worth fighting for, training for. That is something you need everyday. Coming from a man who was all about combat with his Mantis , Tiger Claw Shaolin, Hung Gar this is a strong statement. I have felt that way for quite awhile and have told that to my students. I never expected to hear it from Eng Shifu. It was nice , it just gives me more validation for my choice of path. It also gives me reason to restudy the Hing Yi I learned years ago. I did not think of it from the health side I only thought of it as a direct line fighting style. I understand what Shifu was referring to more now, that I have been studying Feng Shui and other parts of the Five Element theory. Now that I know about it’s five elements connections and health properties, it is a good tool to have in my medicine bag. Time to revisit the form again. I sort of recall part of it. I can have Shifu and Sihing help me with it. It is from Grandmaster Wong Jac Man’s teaching, one of the thigns that Kam Shifu showed me years ago. At the time I was not that impressed with it. I did prefer BaQua. I also found it there is a two man version of the Hsing Yi form. Very Cool! I love two man form, they give more life to the forms.

It was another worthwhile visit.

Security III…yatta

27 03 2009

I was the most nervous about this evening of training. I was to do the rounds , and be followed by two supervisors. Jheez, ok

s88I was dressed for the occasion, however I forgot to wear my black shoes and wore tennis shoes, Doh! I was not thinking and put them on by mistake. I was thinking about the leak coming from the truck I saw when LZ came home, not about shoes. I was called on it, and it was overlooked. I was told I will be assigned ( I buy) a uniform and shoes anyway. I was also given a official company cap ( whoohoo0 free). I was expecting a cheapo cap but it was really pretty nice. It turned out to be too warm for the night at hand, but that was ok. My motto is too much warmth is better than not enough.

I did the check-in stuff for the shift and off we went. Over all the evening was no where near as bad as I thought. The main supervisor told me I can keep the reports simple, unlike the other guy who told me to write a lot.  That was a big  relief  and helped my timing for the evening. It was a quiet night except for one Apt complex. A tenant reported some kids doing some tagging ( spraying painting) just before we arrived. So there were three of us to check that out and I got to see what to do in a case like that. I felt like Hawaiii 5.0

There was a break between patrols where we just sat on a side street and waited for the time to catchup and start “pool lockups”. So I took the time to do a little meditation before the rush to cover 5 complexes in 1 hour, to lock up the pool areas.

All in all it was a smooth evening. I will be working solo on Sat. 9:00pm to 5:00 am.

Time to starting to “pay my dues”

I have had worse jobs. I can do this… Yosh!

Security II…

26 03 2009

Last night was evening II of training. It made a big , no huge difference being prepared. I had on several layers of warm clothes and a wool bennie cap and my cut off gloves. I was ready!  Yeah baby!!

ss88It was my night behind the wheel and writing the reports. Overall it was not bad except for having someone checking over your shoulder while you are writing. So another challenge about this is, one has only a certain amount of time to be on the grounds and write a detail report. The average seems to be 6 min. So in that six minute, I need to check things out, while driving through the Apt complex, but not too fast and not too slow. Then write down in detail using full and complete detailed grammatically correct sentences of what I saw, if anything and if not, that has to be also written down. This will be a challenge! The guy with me says, they do not want it written in a factual style , but a detailed report. Oh boy. So typing, sitting at a weird angle, under a timer, in a detailed documentary style, not to short. This will take some doing. More training… this is good. Even if I only stay with this job for a couple of months , P/T it will give me some experience to put down on my resume  for another job, with better hours.

Tonight I am to solo drive through the “beat”. I will be followed in another car by the training team. I am a bit nervous about this part. Nice to ride alone, but now I will need to remember the route, what needs to be done at what time, set some kind of order for the patrol, and stay within the time constraints. Cake!

IF this goes well, I am working this Sat. 9-5 am on my own. If not…?


Security …

26 03 2009

The title most likely is not about what you think. Security is an illusion. Perhaps the only security is knowing there is none. None of which have to do with this post.  It is more about being the “Bamboo in the Storm” eg: surviving in hard times.88

I few months back I got my security guard license from the glorious and broke state of CA. I applied for a few positions, but no takers No experience I’m betting. A few weeks ago, maybe two or three I did have an interview that went well. I was given papers to fill out, I did so and received a call last week about starting training.

I was watching the last episodes of BattleStar Galactica,  I loved that show. Anyway I had this feeling of ending and yet a new start from basics, like the folks on the show, landing on “new earth. My EDD funds were done, our Condo life was done, my Web class was done (as far as I was concerned), my days as a well paid graphic designer, done, ( so it seems at least for now, there is always hope). Anyway like the Crew it was time for a new beginning on a new planet, with just the basics.

Tuesday night was my first training class of three as a roving guard, before starting a full work day. I went in thinking it was going to be a classroom deal like the original licence training. Wrong! I was given a shirt to try on. I did so, thinking it was going to be inside so took off my long & warm sleeved shirts and put on the short sleeved one. From there we got in the patrol vehicle and went out on duty. Not so bad I’m thinking, the heater was on and we were in the car…BTW the training is from 8pm – 12 am it is cold!

Once on the property grounds, it all changed. The windows need to be down whle on site to listen for any noises, etc I am told. brrrrrr. The other two guys giving me the training are dressed for it. I’m in a short sleeve shirt no undershirt, no hat. I sucked it up and dealt with it. Ok, I’m thinking this is while on the property. Breathe, raise the chi level, this is training, I am Shaolin. It will not last. This was ok , for a while until they started getting too warm because of the car heater and started leaving the window down more while going in between sites. Brrrrrrrr!!!!

Next later in the night around 10pm. It picked up a level. It was time to do pool closings and door checks. Which means, get out of the car. Now I was really miserable! The whole time thinking, ok, only a couple more hours I can do this. Ganbatte!

I was soooo glad when it was over, not because it was hard. I was just COLD! I had two cups of hot tea when I got home, and wore warm socks and stuff to bed, I was still cold, until this morning. OMG!! Yeah I am a cold wimp!!!

I have to feel grateful to have found work in these hard times and I am. This job will not be hard, or nasty like cleaning bathrooms, been there did that. The most difficult part is working from 9:00pm to 5: 00 am !! yup thats right 5:00 am. More training, is my outlook, training for those late night boat passages, training for the spirit in the storm of life, being the bamaboo. Others have it far worse. So looking on the bright side, from what I understand there is a lot of down time, where I can do whatever I want, use the computer in the patrol car, read, whatever, cat nap. I will be productive and study my Japanese, and so some web stuff, twit, blog, learn some on-line PHP or something. Another hard part will be adjusting the body to the new timing, It may not be too bad, this is only a P/T job. Those who can adapt surive, this is the way of the Tao. There are times when you must first fully accept where you are and adapt. Then a new path apears.

Friday night Kyudo

22 03 2009

panelI went to Kyudo pratice at RSD. It was is the first night of trying my own personal Ya’s! Very Cool! The evening was good, not cold as I was planning for, it was a good temp.  My Oniisan’s were very helpful as always giving me instruction on improving my shots. I was grateful to make even small improvements.

The elder Oniisan who made the Ya for me, offered to make a case. Way cool!, I’m glad I did not buy the on-line case I saw, this will be much much better and cooler.  Cooler is important for a Leo ^_^ . I  maybe even able to get him some business doing travel cases for Swords for my Kung fu bothers if possible.  The size is about the same. We’ll see how this one turns out then offer some ideas on possible modifications for a sword if needed. The problem maybe the core. Anyway I digress…

I got some suggestions on improving my form for shots and an somewhat congratulation on having a soft left hand. Meaning I was able to get the Yumi to start turning, As I thought it is better for the Yumi to have the force relased into the Ya instead of staying in the Yumi.

It was good night of practice with the three of us. I do not get to hang out with guys too often, as I do not go out drinkning, or bowl or do the major league sports stuff , football and the like and my kung fu brotheren are kind of far. So it was nice to hang and relate on common grounds. There was a remark said that made me feel better about a classmate knowing it is not just me. So now I will not be conerned about this person. Which was the attitute I was taking anyway, now I feel vendicated to let things go as they are, it is not me. Everyone is different.

My next big thing after I start working will be to get my own Yumi. We kind of decided that I bit of draw weight increase would be good for me. Up from a 13lb to 14.5 draw I think will be ideal. I am looking forward to being able to have my own Yumi I will feel like a real Kyudojin at that time.

I heard that we may have, in the future a place to practice that will give us a 60 meter shooting range, indoor…very cool!

Looking at the water, hands in the dirt

19 03 2009

I took off from Web class today, no big lost. I’m not really getting anything out of it at this point. The deep geek, PHP and MySQL is not sinking in and most of the time gives me the nods ( translation: puts me to sleep, for my Nihonjin readers) . The Instructor of the class does not really have a course setup for this so I am basically reading the book and figuring it out on my own. I can do that at home. Anyway the class is almost done and I am just working on my personal web sites and figuring out stuff. Another week I’m done, with the move from the condo and the class. It is all in the timing.


Today I kicked ( relaxed) it at home, for the most part it was a gardening day. I did some planting I wanted to get done and some re-potting. It was good to work in the soil in my little Lanai garden over looking the bay. I got everything done I had planned. I even found I some Calla-Lilly bulbs in a pot which had been dormant, I can replant them. Perfect!


I also used the old soil from some past no so successful planting so LZ could have the pots. She wanted to try her hand at some gardening this year and did not want old dirty dirt. She wanted clean dirt, ^_^  less likely to have bugs …


I was also able to go to Chinatown and help out Sisuk and Simo for a bit with some registration issues with their website. Sisuk said he would get me some more hours at the shop now that my EDD is done and Simo has some ideas she wants me to work with her on. I do not except much but a few hours here and there from this and that will add up. I also received a email from a new security that wants me to work with them. They will get me into their training program ASAP. So I figure to be doing some work by mid April. Interestingly that is when the Physic said things would be better…as in both of us will be working.


Another project done today was to setup my office/studio area in the new digs. This Apt is only a one bedroom but it is larger than our old condo so I can make some space for my work area and keep the living room area clear of  my stuff ^_^

Today will be the first day of the Kung Fu classes here in A-town. I picked out a spot yesterday to hold the class in the park. It should be ok, as long as there is no rain, it is also under a light so when it gets dark we can still keep at it. We’ll see how it goes. For me it is not a big deal. Even when we are down at Shifu’s we generally practice in the parking lot there is more room, unless it is really really cold or raining hard. So hopefully by winter I will have found a place indoors. Maybe even picked up enough new students to afford to rent a small space. That would be way cool! We’ll see what the Tao has planned.

Anyway , that is the local news from the island.