Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Self-defense, etc.

Note: The following information is intended for responsible, older audiences (generally 18 and older, although there may be some exceptions).
So kids, don't try this at home.

[Disclaimer: I am not a qualified expert on the following topics; I would like to learn the same things I'm going to be talking about.  Also, if you use any of the following information and it gets you into trouble because you haven't used it correctly or things didn't turn out the way you expected them to, don't blame me.  As I said, I'm not an expert; I'm just trying to give you some advice to point you in the right direction if you want to learn more.]

If you're like some people, (like me) you may be interested in learning something about self-defense in case you or someone else is attacked, so you won't be helpless if that situation arises.
If, like some people I know, you have religious, ethical, moral, philosophical, or any other kind of objections to seriously injuring or killing someone when you or someone you care about is being harmed by them, stop reading; the following information is not for you.  

Having a gun for protection is a good idea but isn't much help if 1) you don't have the mindset to use it, 2) you're either not trained or incorrectly trained in its use (it can actually be dangerous to you and those you're trying to protect), 3) you don't have it with you, etc., etc.

Learning self-defense/martial arts has some similarities to having a gun for protection.
Of course, there are some differences, but here are some similarities:
1) Learning self-defense/martial arts does not automatically make you a "force to be reckoned with.
2) Learning martial arts that are just meant for sports does not prepare you for a real-life, violent confrontation.
3) All this generally doesn't look like what it's often portrayed as on TV and in the movies.

I'm going to talk about what to learn and do if you are serious about surviving a violent confrontation, but in case you don't want to wait until I finish this post (this is just something to get you headed in the right direction, not a training course), you can look at Tim Larkin's Target Focus Training website ( or Jeff Anderson's Close Quarters Combat website (
Also, here's the list of instructors that are members of the International Society of Close Quarter Combatants (Jeff Anderson's organization): ISCQC Instructors 
I would have mentioned them later, but you can take a look now if you're serious about protecting yourself and those you care about.  

Reasons to learn reality-based self-defense/martial arts:
1) For self-defense and the defense of others.

I would use the common, "loved ones" phrase, but if you'd want to protect those being attacked including your friends and people you don't even know, you wouldn't call them loved ones.  Well, maybe you might with close friends, but certainly not with people who aren't even acquaintances. 

2) You're not paranoid if you learn this stuff; you're just being prepared.

3) You may have heard the horror stories of people tied up in their homes while the intruders ransacked the home; well, they were the fortunate ones.  Many others have been tortured and murdered in their homes after getting tied up.  I'm not trying to use scare tactics here (OK, maybe I am, after all), but many people think, "I don't live in a high-crime area; that won't happen to me."  However, it does. 

I'm just about out of time for today, but I'll write more later.
I'll also write a post on home invasions and steps you can do to prevent them, and a few things you can do when you're experiencing a home invasion to protect yourself and your family.

-To be continued

Sunday, June 27, 2010


The other day my car's wobble problem got fixed; the struts were replaced, and it now drives better.
However, it also cost more than $300, so my car is becoming a money pit for me.
At this rate, all my money (even after I get another job) will go into car repairs, rather than towards paying for the car itself and saving for a newer car.  Hopefully my next vehicle will not be as expensive to maintain.
Granted, if at all possible, my next car will not be older than I am.

-Max out

Friday, June 25, 2010

Too hot

I just got back from running 2.25 miles.  Some time ago, I used to run 3 miles three times a week, although that often turned into only twice a week.  Recently, I've gotten out of shape since I haven't been running at all.
However, like I said the other day, I'm trying to get back into shape now, so I ran 2.25 miles last Tuesday and today.  I might look like I'm in decent shape, but I'll admit I don't have much stamina (I never really did, it seems like, even when I played soccer).  Today when I went running, an old lady walking her dogs said, "It's too hot to be running."  I definitely agree with her.  The current temperature over here is 90°, although the felt temperature is between 99-102°.  To say running right now is not fun is an understatement.  I'm not complaining, especially since it could be the weather in my "Soldier for a Day" post, where I don't think it was as humid, but the sun just baked you at more than 100°.  I know, I know, you've probably been somewhere where it was 120° or something, but exercising in hot weather period is not exactly a walk in the park.  ;)
I might write something actually worth reading later.

-Max out 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Defend the Defenseless

Today I read Proverbs 24 with my family for devotions.
Something that I apparently hadn't noticed before (or forgot about) was verses 11-12:

11 If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain;
12 If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?

I'm not positive yet, but to me, this seems to say you should definitely defend those who are being harmed.
I suppose most people would, but this passage reminds me of a story I read in which a girl was attacked and murdered in a certain city (maybe New York) at night and although people heard her screams for help, nobody came to her aid.  The most common reason given by those who didn't help the girl was, "I didn't want to get involved."  Now like I said, I don't think most people would act like that (at least I hope not), but I wonder what the real reasons someone wouldn't want to help someone who's being attacked.  Here are a few possibilities I thought of:
Reason #1: The people are just selfish and don't care at all about what happens to others.
They might just not want the trouble of talking to the police or the hassle of any resulting legal issues, but this is also being selfish.
Reason #2: They're afraid of getting hurt or killed.
This is an understandable fear and reason for being afraid, but if you value the life of an innocent person (presumably innocent, anyway) who needs help more than you value your own, you should not worry about yourself.
Reason #3: They don't have any real fighting skills at all, don't have a gun, aren't very strong, etc.
Basically, they are afraid they will either get pounded and be unsuccessful in their efforts to save the one being attacked.  In this case, these concerns might also be legitimate.  However, if there is only one attacker, someone who wants to help can simply do all in their power, even if it only consists of yelling and swinging a crowbar or baseball bat.  At the least, that might work as a diversion and give the former victim a chance to escape.

Any thoughts?

-Max out

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I left my job with Vector yesterday, and now I'm doing several things:
1) Trying to get another job - on the Geek Squad at Best Buy, as a store clerk at Family Dollar, or a store clerk (and whatever else the job entails there) at Hobby Lobby.  I may also apply elsewhere, but I'm going to turn in my application for a job at Hobby Lobby first.  My mom thinks that the people who work there don't seem to be particularly friendly - not unfriendly, like some of the grouchy old ladies who work at Harris Teeter - just not especially friendly, whereas at Chick-Fil-A, another Christian company, nearly all of the employees are very friendly and helpful.  My mom suggests that it might be the training Chick-Fil-A employees receive.

2) Trying to spend more time working on my book...
Years ago, I wrote several chapters of a book that was pathetic, to say the very least.
Now, I might be doing slightly better, but the first thing I need to do is make progress in just writing the story, which is fairly difficult since I don't have all the plot details thought out; I kind of think it up as I go along (I've even changed the title multiple times without finding one I really thought was good).
This might be the wrong way to go about writing a book, but if it turns out OK, then I guess it works.
Before, I occasionally had flashes of "insight" - ideas, anyway - as to what a scene in the story should be like, but it was like having lots of puzzle pieces and not knowing how they fit together, or even how to start putting the puzzle together; just that they fit.  In fact, I didn't/don't even know if all the pieces are there.
Also, I think I've forgotten or rejected many of those ideas before now, but perhaps that's a good thing.

3) Trying to start exercising somewhat again...I'm not sure how I'm going to do the 10k in 22:30, but even if I fail, I still need to exercise to keep in shape.  I will not become a fat slob.

Well, it's too late to write any more right now; I'm off to bed in a minute, since I'm fairly tired.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day at the beach

I'm going to try a change from gray font to another color for now and see how that turns out.
By the way, how does the new template look? 
We left for the beach this morning at around 4 mom drove, so I decided to try to get some sleep.
I had gone to sleep at around 12:30 am, and I'm not exactly an early bird, so even though I was more awake than I'd been right after getting up, I still tried to rest.  I used my earphones as earplugs, and that helped to reduce noise a little bit.  I even took a few catnaps while in a camping chair at the beach, although it was fairly difficult to find a comfortable position then.  Hm, things of interest...
There were stingrays in the water, some police officers had a Scottish band and performed there at the pier. They had two small drums, one big drum, and about three bagpipes.
They played quite well.  One of the men even sounded like he had a Scottish accent when he was talking to someone, but I may be wrong - I didn't hear him speak for long, and all the songs were instrumental only.
I did notice some funny things about them, such as the fact that both the men and women wore kilts, at least one officer carried a gun at his hip (isn't that what you'd call an anachronism?), and the last song they played was The Rising of the Moon.  Isn't that an Irish song?  Well, I guess it doesn't really matter - those were just some of my observations.  After fishing, where only my little brother, Noah caught a fish (I didn't see how it happened), everyone went onto the beach, which is where I took the short nap I mentioned....that's basically all I did, except for fish without success, eat (there were free McDonalds' sausage and egg biscuits for breakfast, hot dogs for lunch, and a bunch of snacks), and a few other things.

After everyone was finished playing at the beach, we went to an "inflatable waterpark," which we'd gotten free tickets for at the fishing event.  That place was the cheesiest waterpark I've ever seen that's called itself that.  You know those inflatable kiddie slides that are pumped up with air compressors (the larger slides)?
Well, that's all this place was - a sandy lot with around five of those inflatable slides and a volleyball net.  Sad.

We later got some doughnuts from a show called Britt's Doughnut (or was it Doughnuts?), since the place had been recommended to me by someone I know who grew up in Wilmington.  He said they were very good, and I agree; mostly because they were fresh, they are some of the best doughnuts I remember eating, even though they only come in one flavor - basically glazed...but they're fresh and hot out of the frying pan or whatever it's cooked in.  Yes, doughnuts were kind of airy and weren't filled with anything like jam or creme, but they were still very good.
Well, that's all I have to say for now.  Good night, everyone.

-Max out      

Friday, June 18, 2010

#1 and more

No, I am not numero uno, in case you thought that's what I was about to say. 
I made my first sale with my job today...only one knife, so my $15 base pay is higher than the $5.10 commission, but a first sale is a first sale, right?  

Right now my car is in the shop again to find out why the rear seems to move around when the car hits bump;
the mechanic says it's probably not the shocks.  Instead, something is loose.

Tomorrow I'm going with my family to Kure tomorrow I mean we'll be leaving at around 4:00 in the morning, since the event starts at 7 am.
Everyone fishes off the pier (and I've never caught anything all the times I've been there) and tries to win the "biggest fish" contest and sometimes keeps the fish, and other times throws it to the waiting pelicans.
Once, a crab grabbed somebody's line and got pulled up some of the way before letting go and dropping back into the water.  Well, I'm going to get ready for bed now.
Have a good evening, everyone.

-Max out 

Feel the Power...

It's late (or rather - it's very early now...), so I'm going to take a shower in a second, but first, some late night ramblings on the theme of power.  This is another post to skip if you wanted some especially intellectually stimulating statements...but who knows?

Someone once said power is a drug...I think I would agree; what about you?
I'm positive power can become quite addictive - primarily if you had a very visible sort of power such as a superpower like telekinesis, although even military, corporate, and other kinds of power  
In my case, I'd prefer telekinesis, partly because I'm actually doing something and can immediately see the effects of using that power, whereas if you're a wealthy, influential, and powerful person (take the Illuminati or just someone in Washington who wields a lot of power), you usually have to wait a bit to see the fruits of your labors come to pass.  Then again, to control the world might be kind of cool, although even though there are things I might try to fix, there's only so much you can do even if you do control most of the world, and anyway, I'm not a power-hungry dictator - what do I want the world for? 

On a somewhat related but slightly different topic:
Have you ever listened to what I call a "battle cry" song that might be a call to action (for instance, Million Voices, Come Alive, Running Out of Time by BarlowGirl, as well as Hero and Awake and Alive by Skillet...there are probably many more that you could think of) and felt a shiver go down your spine?
That shiver down my spine usually happens when I think about the "power" thing...I should be more specific:
Listening to "We're a million strong and getting stronger still..." and watching the part of V for Vendetta where the whole crowd of people were wearing "V" costumes (Guy Fawkes mask, black hat, cape, etc.) gave me that feeling, where I got the shiver down my spine...while it would be pretty cool to have superpowers and singlehandedly save the day or just wreak havoc on evildoers while quoting lines such as "dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return", I think there is something quite formidable and powerful and perhaps even somewhat awe-inspiring in some cases in knowing that if you're one of a mass of people who unite in a cause, the power there can be great, for either good or evil (remember the Tower of Babel?).
Well, it's late, and if I keep on writing, I'll probably just get more disjointed and maybe redundant and who knows what else?  
So here I conclude, after having given another piece of my mind...

-Max out

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Recent happenings

I just got a job the other day with a company named Vector Marketing.  I'm supposed to be clear about the fact that I am an independent contractor selling products for the company and not an employee of the company, so that's why I'm making this statement.  Anyway, my job basically consists of setting up appointments with people I know or people I've been referred to by people I know (although I haven't gotten to the "appointments with friends of friends" stage yet). 

I drove my car back from the shop the other day so it's up and running again, although it still needs to have various parts replaced, such as a new radio antenna - mine is missing one).  
If only I could get 100+ mpg...paying for gas and other stuff is difficult when you don't really have a steady income and your store of cash is rapidly dwindling.

[Update: 6-11-10]

OK, like I said, I work for Vector (and as of yet, I still haven't got any sales right now.
However, I put in another online application for my preferred job - a Geek Squad In-Store Computer Electronics Technician job (
Hopefully I'll get that one, but I'm also re-applying at Family Dollar, and if I can find out how to do so, at Food Lion as well.  

-Max out

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Things I've learned from some of my experiences in life

1) If you're looking for gifts for kids, I don't recommend the latest toy or just something that "looks like it would be fun for kids."  Some things never get old, such as Nerf guns; LEGO toys/sets; knives, machetes, bokkens and practice swords, etc. (if the kids are old enough).  Kids may get tired of certain toys, but some things will last for a long time and likely provide a lot of enjoyment.

2) When giving someone a gift, it's often good to surprise them, but I think it's better to ask them what they would like, or if you know what they would like but not the model, style, etc. ask them, rather than getting something they don't like as much as something else.  For instance, if someone wants a car, knife, book, or just about anything that has more than one model, find out which specific model they want (including color and anything else).  Of course, if you can manage to ask someone what they'd like in some offhand fashion so they don't suspect anything, do so, although that may be fairly difficult to accomplish.

3) When swinging from vines, immediately stop if you hear a crack!  
If you do not because the vine is still attached to the tree and nothing seems to have happened, the vine may break when you are parallel to the ground, causing your head to hit the dirt with some force and giving you a concussion.  In fact, it might be a good idea to stay away from small vines hanging from trees altogether, or at least to not swing so that if you fall, you'll land on something other than your feet...or rear, I suppose.
On your head, for instance; not good.
And before you snicker, keep in mind that this is from quite a few years ago.

[To be continued...]

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Two books by Josh Harris

You've probably heard of Josh Harris, the author of the book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye.
He's also the older brother of the twins, Alex and Brett, who wrote Do Hard Things, which I wrote a review about in the past.  I recommend his book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, as well as the sequel, boy meets girl.  (yes, its title is not capitalized for some reason)  The first book deals primarily with the subject of casual dating and why it's not a good idea, and the second deals with courtship.  To put it simply, "Here's what not to do, and here's what to do."  
Like I said earlier in this post, I recommend both books to any Christian who's not married yet.  Even if you take issue with the books, read them and tell me what you disagree with.  One single guy who goes to my church told me what he disliked about both books and even though we didn't agree on everything, I could mostly see where he was coming from, and we had an interesting conversation. 
The second book is good reading even if you don't foresee getting married in the very near future, but particularly if you think you've found the "right one" and want some advice on what you should do while in the courtship stage to both glorify God and protect the other person.  One thing Josh Harris says in boy meets girl that I find pretty significant is that if a courtship ends with both people not getting married to each other, it was not a failure.  This is because a courtship is a time for a man and woman to see if they might be compatible and the right ones for each other.  
Courtship is obviously different than casual dating, which just has pleasure for the moment in mind; while there is a bit more to it than this, it's basically just trying to get to know a person better to see if they're the one you want to marry (note that while there's always the possibility that the courtship may be broken off,  marriage is the end in mind).  

-Max out