6.28.2008

The Speedbag Skunk

I came across this video the other day, of the "Speedbag Skunk". Not the most attractive name, I'll say, but this guy can work a speedbag like crazy, so I thought I'd post the video because it impressed me.

He doesn't really get going until about 1:10, but it's worth the wait.

-PreView


And here is the rest of it.
Keep Reading...

6.27.2008

S-Words

This is yet another article I meant to post a couple weeks ago, but again, as things have been busy, I’ve been lax. You can probably expect three or four more articles over the weekend as I’ve finally got a weekend at home where I can relax. And maybe even get around to watching Lost, since I’m still 5 hours behind on that.

Swords, Stabbing and Staples.

I experienced something involving all three of these about a month ago. It’s not nearly as dramatic as it sounds, and in lieu of making up a self-aggrandizing story about how I fought off 37 ninjas and happened to get cut in the process, I figured you’d all get a laugh out of the actual story.

I had a picture of the staples that I was going to post with this, but then somehow, it got deleted off my cellphone. The healed scar isn’t nearly as cool, but I may come back and edit the post to add a picture of that.

Regardless, as I’ve stated before, I take kung fu. Various swords are among the weapons our style of kung fu covers, one of them being the Dao. Here’s a picture of one from Wing Lam Enterprises.




To effectively work with these swords, aside from doing forms, the best way to do any sort of application (so as not to pose a danger to other people) is to fill up a milk jug with water, hang it off a tree branch or set it on a stationary surface and then cut it. Sounds simple, right? Right.

My instructor, Sifu, and I were doing just such a thing as he’s recently started to teach me Dao work, particularly forms that revolve around the tiger style. We were both being very careful in cutting the jugs, making sure no one was going to get hurt and so on.

Well, we had put the jugs we’d filled up in a pile, and were both bending down to pick them up, again, being careful. We both grabbed a couple, stood up and then apparently both stepped forward at the same time and his sword stabbed me in the leg, about six inches below my knee, to the left of the bone.

My first reaction was naturally one involving profanity as I jerked my leg back, but it really didn’t hurt that much. Without looking, I knew it would be cut, but our conversation immediately following the events went something like this:

Sifu: Oh, shit!

PreView: No big deal, Sifu, I’m fine, don’t sweat it.

Sifu: Look at your leg.

Preview: (looks at leg, see blood gushing) Hmm….we might want to get that looked at.

Sifu: Yeah, we should probably go to the hospital.

So we ventured to the hospital where I received 5 staples and a prescription for entirely too much pain medicine. That conversation went something like this.

Dr. Beardface (not his real name, but instead his most obvious feature): So, on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no pain and 10 being excruciating pain where you can barely stand it, where does your pain rank?

PreView: I’d say a 2 at most. Not too bad at all.

Dr. Beardface: Hmm….well, I’m going to go ahead and write you a prescription for 24 Loratabs, and 24 Ibuprofen 800, and I’ll give you 4 Loracets to get you through till tomorrow morning.

PreView: Uh…okay. Isn’t that a bit much?

Dr. Beardface: Oh no, that’s normal.

And people wonder why we have a drug problem in this country. The prescription said to take 1-2 pills every 6 hours for pain as needed. I think in the next two weeks, I took a total of 10.

Sifu felt terrible about all of this – he was repeatedly apologizing, and I could tell he felt really bad, but it’s like I told him the first time I accidentally got punched in the face – as long as it’s not the crotch, I can deal with it. However, I can understand how he felt, because had I accidentally stabbed him, I would’ve felt horrible, too.

But…that’s really the end of the saga – got my staples out a couple of weeks ago and it healed fine. I never had staples put in before (plenty of stitches), and it was actually kind of cool. I’d highly recommend staples over stitches, any time, if they give you the choice. I’ve always had problems with stitches, but I didn’t have any problems with the staples…and it definitely looks cooler. And I can say I’ve been stabbed with a sword now, and I don’t know many people that can say that.

We’re still training, of course – although we did decide to take a break for a couple weeks on the swords. However, that’s about over, though, and I’m looking forward to getting back to slicing some more stuff up. Preferably not me, though 

-PreView


Keep Reading...

6.26.2008

"If guns kill people, do pens misspell words?"

I realized a few things today.

First – I haven’t posted in quite a while…blame this on a trip to Alabama, an excessive amount of trials at work for which I have had to stay late, or my general laziness.

Second – Even though the second word in the blog title’s subheading is “law,” I have yet to address any topics of law besides putting a link to kentuckylawblog in the links section…I know, an astounding use of my three years of law school education and the analytical skills that came with it.

So, in an effort to place at least one law article on the blog, I’ve decided to write about something near and dear to my bleeding liberal heart – guns.


Yes, I’m a liberal, and yes, I like guns. In fact, I love guns. I think everybody should own guns. And yes, I’m a liberal. I’m a pro-choicing, democrat voting, alternative lifestyle accepting liberal. In fact, the only two liberal ideals I really don’t adhere to relate to the environment and guns. However, since the Supreme Court of the United States threw down a decision on guns today, not the environment, I’ll focus on guns. Before I get too far into it, though, I want to make it clear that while I love guns, I’m not now, nor ever have been, a member of the NRA or similar organizations. I don’t hunt, and contrary to what some of my friends may think that I think – I do not believe that guns solve all problems.

Now, here is a link to the Yahoo article on the decision, and I’ll leave you to your own devices to read it – it is informative. Instead of reiterating the whole thing, I have instead chosen just to jot down some thoughts of my own.

First, the title of the article was taken from a picture some of the supporters outside the Supreme Court were holding. “If guns kill people, do pens misspell words?” I thought that was genius. It reminded me of one of my favorite scenes from an episode of The West Wing where Martin Sheen’s character was having a discussion with his VP about gun control. The VP was more of gun type, and there conversation relayed the thought that people are always quick to use any shooting as an excuse to talk about gun control, but that (in the show) a man had murdered his wife and four children, but nobody in the media was complaining about that- why? Here’s the whole quote”

“You know, last month in Idaho, a man killed six members of his family, including his pregnant wife. And you know why the liberal intelligentsia didn't go crazy? Because he did it with an axe. You think we need axe control?”

I love that damn show. But moving on….

I often think that quote is a fair assessment of how the media portrays things. Now, I do not believe there is a giant media conspiracy to try and eliminate all gun use, but the position I have always taken is this – if someone wants to kill someone else, they’re going to find a way, gun or no gun. As cliché as it may be, guns don’t kill people…people kill people. Now, do guns give people a way to kill other people? Yes, but so do knives, alcohol, drugs, cars, fast food, poison, baking devices (ovens), icepicks, bricks, vases, gambling, and so on, and so on, and so on.

So why are guns the super villain in this comic book we call life? Because they can kill, they’re loud and flashy, and many people (i.e. rappers) glamorize gun violence. I mean, seriously, how much street cred would 50 Cent have if, instead of being shot 9 times, he rapped about being hit nine times with a designer vase? While a number of white people may be able to relate more to this, I don’t think most rap music would have sold as well if it was about alternate methods of killing.

But back more to the point – what was the point to the lawsuit in D.C.? A security guard, who lived in D.C. city limits, sued when his application to keep a handgun at his home was denied (Because no gun permits for non-police officers were allowed within the city limits, so no concealed weapons, and no keeping guns in your house in general.) The Court struck down the ban, stating that the constitution gave Americans the right to own guns and that a total prohibition, like the D.C. ban, was not compatible with such a right.

Critics of the decision are worried that the striking down of the ban will lead to other gun laws being struck down, such as those which prohibit felons from buying/possessing firearms, those which provide for an instant background check, or those which restrict machine gun sales.

In spite of my love of guns, I don’t feel that anyone needs to own a machine gun. However, I do believe that people should be allowed to own one if they want. Contrary to popular belief, it is legal to purchase machine guns, and even shoot them, but owners must pay hefty federal and state licensing fees and are only supposed to shoot them at designated places and times (i.e. the famed “Machine Gun Shoot” in Knob Creek, KY that happens a couple times a year).

I’m also in favor of felons not being able to purchase or possess guns. That’s one of the rights you give up when you commit a felony. Additionally, I’m totally in favor of background checks – in favor, I’m in favor of more stringent background check requirements, especially in light of what happened at Virginia Tech.

In other gun related issues, I am in favor of concealed weapons licenses, but I’m in favor of more stringent requirements to obtain one of those as well. Currently, applicants for a concealed weapons license in the state of Kentucky must attend an eight-hour course, pass a written test (multiple choice) and pass a shooting test (11 out of 20 shots on a man-sized target from the knees up, from 21 feet away). More stringent requirements need to be put in place, because any idiot can pass that test. Seriously. I have no doubt that a blind guy pointed in the right direction could hit 11 out of 20 shots on such a target. I do have my concealed weapons license, and when I took my class, we had a person take (and pass) the class who had never shot a gun before. Seriously. That kind of stuff should not happen.

I could rant and rave about guns forever. Most of you who know me know that. However, I won’t. Suffice it to say, I’m interested to see where the legislation goes from here in light of this decision. And even though the decision was made by the Supreme Court, I’m sure this new era of gun control will be a major issue in the upcoming election, and I can only hope the Democrats will behave sensibly…although even if they don’t, I’ll probably vote that way anyway.

Peace, Love, and Guns.

-PreView

Keep Reading...

6.12.2008

2 Back

I was looking back at some of the posts, and I realized that in 2 of my posts, I failed to deliver on the goods of including an image of a hot celeb somewhere in the post.

In honor of the U.S. Open this week, I have decided to get my score back to par. The entries are women in movies I've recently seen.

The first is Zooey Deschanel...

She played Trillian in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. You may also recognize her from a brief stint on Showtime's Weeds. And she did a voice for a character in Surf's Up. Anyway, she's adorable.

The second is Emily Blunt...

She played Ruthie "Pig-face" Draper in Dan in Real Life. She hasn't done much else. But who cares, right?
Keep Reading...

6.11.2008

Those weren't cheerleaders, were they?

Yes. Or maybe they were a "dance team." I don't know. Either way, they had no place in an MMA live televised event.

Apparently, 3 of 4 MMA fans thought that the May 31st Elite XC Primetime event on CBS was bad for the sport. Don't get me wrong, the event was a complete disaster, almost top to bottom. That being said, the show was bad for Gary Shaw (Elite XC's president) and Elite XC, but it was a landmark day for the sport.

Let me start by mentioning a few of the terrible things about the event (apart from the fact that there were cheerleaders between fights).

The first fight delivered a big KO, but the fight was devoid of skill. Fireworks? Check. Actual martial arts? Sadly, no. In fact, other than the Carano/Young fight, there was not much skill shown in any fight. The Smith/Lawler fight was fun to watch, but those guys are bangers, plain and simple. This is why they are in Elite XC and no longer in the UFC. I suppose the point here is that there is such a disparity in skill level between Elite XC and even the WEC (which essentially is the UFC minor leagues, except for the lighter weight divisions). The following night, the WEC had a live event on Versus, and the skill of the fighters was light years ahead of that found in the Elite XC show. In fact, Mr. Shaw should have been embarrassed to march out that card filled with has-beens and never-weres. (Note: I don't blame the fighters for this.)

Next, while Ms. Carano holds a special place in my heart (and my pants)...

...she didn't make weight for the fight. Luckily her opponent agreed to fight her at a catch weight, or else the fight would have been scratched. So the Carano/Young fight, which was touted as the 2nd biggest fight on the card, was in jeopardy because one of the fighters couldn't make weight. I get that Gina's on Gladiators and that she took the fight on relatively short notice. But she still had plenty of time to get down to fighting weight. Here's the rub... this show made it seem like no big deal. In reality, to people who are involved with or follow MMA, it's a HUGE deal. Weight classes are MMA. Without them, MMA wouldn't be sanctioned anywhere in this country. It is unacceptable that one of the organization's premier fighters failed to make weight. In the UFC, Travis Lutter was given a short leash when he failed to make weight for his title fight with Anderson Silva. Lutter is no longer in the UFC. Joe Riggs failed to make weight for his title fight with Matt Hughes. Riggs is no longer in the UFC. I'm not saying that failing to make weight is the only reason they are no longer in the UFC, but the fastest way to getting cut is by not respecting the sport and its fighters. Failing to make weight for a fight is one of the greatest signs of disrespect to the sport. Gina, you get one pass. You owe your fans, though.

Moving on... let's talk about James Thompson's ear during his fight with Kimbo. He had a burst blood vessel in his ear that was the size of hail the size of a golf ball. One shot, the thing explodes, and there's blood everywhere. Blood sells, right? Well, yeah, it does. But not when it's done on purpose. It's dangerous. And it's phony. One thing that separates MMA from WWE is that it is real. The general public needs to know that. In the UFC or any other respectable MMA organization, a physician drains the ear for the safety of the fighters. Not for Gary Shaw, though... let's play up the blood for live TV!!! Inexcusable, in my opinion.

Finally, the obviously Canadian announcer that had something to say about everything was, well, terrible. Almost everything he said was useless. Two people make a good MMA broadcasting team, with one play-by-play and one color guy. A third guy (usually a fighter) can drop by for valuable perspective (see Randy Couture), but this flappy-headed, beady-eyed assbag made me turn down the volume half-way through. Poor decision by Elite XC to bring him into the mix, no matter how enthusiastic he is about the sport. If I had never seen one MMA fight in my life, this guy may have turned me off to watching the sport altogether.

These and a number of other things made the first show on broadcast television an embarrassment. But again, not to the sport... just to Gary Shaw. I don't blame the fighters at all - they were just doing what they were asked to do. It didn't look like anyone laid down (although some could argue the fix was in for Kimbo). Everyone seemed to fight hard. That's all anyone asks of a fighter, truly. But in spite of the fact that the first show was a complete disappointment, the show absolutely was a positive thing for the fast-growing sport of MMA.

6.5 million people tuned in to watch the event. While not American Idol numbers, they are respectable for a Saturday night. Frank Shamrock, while a douchebag in a number of respects, was pretty good in explaining the basics for the casual or new fan. GuJo was GuJo, and he's good for any sport.

But the thing that stands out the most was not actually part of the show. It was the fact that there was a show at all. All major sports news outlets talked about it all day afterwards. My cousins who had never seen an MMA fight sat down with me to watch it, simply because I explained to them that this was an historic night. The door has been opened for society to see MMA as a sport instead of as "human cockfighting" - a long and arduous fight up to the present. Despite its flaws, Elite XC laid the groundwork for other organizations to build on. And yet, more shows like this one will spell the certain demise of the sport in the mainstream. But you better believe that that's not how it has to go.

And for that, I am hopeful.

~Puddin'

Keep Reading...

6.05.2008

UFC 85 Picks - PreView

Puddin' is on vacation this week so there will be no witty chat as there was prior to UFC 84. Anywho, here are my picks for this weekend.

Additionally, for those of you who like MMA, I'll be posting my thoughts on Elite XC's disaster of event on CBS last week sometime soon.

Antoni Hardonk vs. Eddie Sancez - Hardonk

Roan Carneiro vs. Kevin Burns - Carneiro

Jason Lambert vs. Luiz Cane - Lambert

Jess Liaudin vs. Paul Taylor - Taylor

Matt Wiman vs. Thiago Tavares - Tavares

Nate Marquardt vs. Thales Leites - Marquardt

Michael Bisping vs. Jason Day - Day

Martin Kampmann vs. Jorge Rivera - Kampmann

Brandon Vera vs. Fabricio Werdum - Vera

Marcus Davis vs. Mike Swick - Davis (this is my call for fight of the night)

Thiago Alves vs. Matt Hughes - Hughes

Enjoy,
PreView
And here is the rest of it.
Keep Reading...