DMW Martial Arts Kick-a-thon, 2008

by Terry 11/21/2008 10:06:00 AM

DMW Martial Arts is having its annual kick-a-thon fundraiser this week. The school is raising money to buy Thanksgiving food baskets and such for the local community.

My daughter, Kaitlin, was the top fund raiser last year. She set high goals and reached them. This year she had soccer practice and other commitments which prevented her from devoting as much time hunting sponsors. Last weekend Kaitlin fell on her bottom while roller skating with her soccer team, which made kicking this week a sore proposition.  Nonetheless, she is kicking along with the rest of her class. She broke out in tears after the first class, but I had no idea she was in that much pain during the class. She wanted to stick it through.

I have six classes over the week where I am accumulating kicks. My total so far for the first four classes is just over 5000 kicks. I actually lost count on Wednesday and need to track down the notes. I am not trying to reach any particular goal but it would be nice to know where I am.

Instructor Leni and her son are in a competition with each other. Their goal is 10,000 kicks over the week. I think, as of last night, they are around 7000 kicks each. In Instructor Leni’s Black Belt Class last night we did just over 1000, followed by my Leadership class where we reached my planned 1002 kicks in 45 minutes.

To give a sense of effort involved, consider repeated kicks on bags (think football tackle dummies) are hard on the feet. You get callused over months of practice, but doing 2000 kicks in 90 minutes tests your limits. I wore my mat-shoes last night because I have small cuts bleeding out. It is a serious goal indeed of 10,000 kicks for Instructor Leni and her son.

Most of the kids will average, I think, around 2000 to 2500 kicks over the week. They are showing their strengths. I hope the parents are proud.

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More 35mm Film Containers

by Terry 11/18/2008 4:47:00 PM

On her way home from a doctor’s appointment, Karen stopped at another film processing place and acquired another bag of 35mm film containers. I now have, I am guessing, a couple hundred little black and opaque containers. I think Karen is really enjoying her “container drive”. Now I am running into a problem. How do I wash and dry all these things?

I am collection an impressive mass of bottles of all sizes for my lab. This is recycling at its best, re-use freely available stuff.

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A Busy Weekend, Errands, Yard Work and Little Pieces

by Terry 11/17/2008 3:53:00 PM

I had a busy weekend with lots of errands, some yard work and time to see the new James Bond movie last with my friends Richard and Joel.

The new Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, was, well, another Bond movie; but certainly better than any of the Bond movies with Rodger Moore. Daniel Craig is pretty good in the role. Many people have been saying this for awhile, so there is not much to add there. If you like James Bond movies, Quantum or Solace is entertaining. I would recommend catching the matinee showing instead of the full-price ticket.

Two summers ago I hired a local teen to mow my yard. I have a small yard and his price is hard to beat. I have gotten used to not mowing. Nevertheless, I broke out the mower and attacked the lawn Sunday morning. I was surprised to have to do this, as typically October is usually the last time the lawn is mowed for the year. We have had a bit of warm ‘banana-express’ rainfall followed by lot of sun keeping the lawn from going completely dormant. I am hoping I do not have to mow again before March. The real downside is the short days and low-angle sun mean much of my yard is turning into moss. It looks like I will have some work ahead of me this spring.

Karen and I ran errands Saturday. Karen, who at times is happy to exclaim she is an outstanding secretary for our household, arranged for me to pick up more 35mm plastic film canisters. I now have the local Costco, Walgreens and Bartell Drugstores saving them for me. I have several hundred I will have to wash and put to use. I think I am formulating a plan for what to do.

A couple friends with the local PTSA have indicated I should put together an after-school program of some kind at the local elementary. That could be fun and I need to give this some thought. It could be a great way to entice a few kids to pursue a science career in the future. Most of the after-school programs are about an hour long, once a week over four to six weeks. What I would like to do is figure out some way to have the kids walk away with a ‘starter kit’ of some kind.

In previous years, a group called Mad Science ran after-school courses. These were extremely popular, filled to capacity. To my knowledge they have not had this program this year. The ‘science’ taught was not so exciting and the kids walked out with little to take home or much in the way of an understanding of science and the scientific method. I will need to quiz my daughter and a few other kids who attended last year to see what they remember and learned from the experience. This will shape what I decide to do.

It is also time I get my ‘science club’ in gear. It would be nice to work these together somehow. Things are beginning to come together quickly; I just do not know exactly what it will look like yet.

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Belt Testing Tonight, November, 2008

by Terry 11/14/2008 3:53:00 PM

Tonight is another DMW Martial Arts belt test. For me this is another credit-test with no new belt issued. I just go and do my best and say thanks for the workout. I am not eligible for my 2nd degree until March, 2010, nevertheless I keep practicing and working and learning.

I did a 45 minute workout this afternoon to loosen my body for the day. I would have otherwise been sitting at my desk for eight or nine consecutive hours. Sitting all day and then jumping into a two hour workout is never a brilliant plan. I have had injuries to prove that enough. My workout today consisted of stretching and practicing forms (called poomse in Tae Kwon Do).

I also made an effort to work through some of the weapons forms I know; Nun chuck, Kama and Bo staff. I used to know a form with the Sai (http://www.tkdtutor.com/16Weapons/Offensive/Sai/Sai01.htm), but I have managed to forget enough of the Sai form that I do not try anymore. As a result of this, I have made one of my personal goals, in working towards my next black belt, to maintain or improve the proficiency with the weapons I have started to learn so far. This will help with the requirements I need to meet for my 2nd degree. I will get serious with the planning in January. For now I just try not to lose what I have. It is not exactly like riding bike.

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Would you like fires with that?

by Terry 11/12/2008 4:02:00 PM

I had a brief email exchange yesterday from a good friend, Charles, one of the brightest people I know. The email dialog was written while we were both at work, and is a bit choppy; nonetheless, I decided to leave the spelling and grammar errors intact as it adds a bit of ironic humor considering we are both literate and bright people.

From: Charles
Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 8:51 AM
To: Losansky, Terry D
Subject: Thought you would be interested, given your hobby

http://science.slashdot.org/science/08/11/11/150231.shtml 

Charles


From: Losansky, Terry D
Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 9:16 AM
To: Charles
Subject: RE: Thought you would be interested, given your hobby

Hello Charles,

Thanks! I happened to read the source article, http://pubs.acs.org/cen/science/86/8645sci1.html, yesterday. I am glad it is making the rounds.

It is interesting to observe the fear and suspicion people have at first learning about my little lab. The remarkable part is that once the knee-jerk reaction is past, the curiosity and encouragement come out. Reading the Slashdot comments tell the same story.

The two local pharmacies in my town, owned by the same family, at first were kind of hesitant to talk with me. After a few months of getting to know me, and learn that I am not a criminal, I have established a legal supply chain through them for chemicals, glassware, used storage bottles and possibly arranged a tour of their compounding lab.

I just finished reading a series of books on the history of science. I am saddened at how scientific studies have gone from something akin to civic duty in the 1800’s into criminal precursors today. I am thinking on how to contribute to changing that mindset.

I recently learned about the ‘science cafes’ which are slowly gaining popularity. I am researching starting one in my neighborhood. See Seattle Science on Tap, http://scienceontap.org/.

Take care,

Terry Dee Losansky


From: Charles
Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 9:22 AM
To: Losansky, Terry D
Subject: RE: Thought you would be interested, given your hobby

The comments from slashdot that struck me the most were the ones how the neighbor said "you are allowed to do that" to both the chem lab and to making bread. I grew up doing physics and chemestry experiments with my uncle. Formed a major part of who I am today.

Charles


From: Losansky, Terry D
Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 9:30AM
To: Charles
Subject: RE: Thought you would be interested, given your hobby

“I grew up doing physics and chemestry experiments with my uncle. Formed a major part of who I am today.”

I am not surprised to hear you say that. I hear similar things from some of the smartest people I know. What the next generation of smart kids will say is what concerns me. “I grew up playing DS. Would you like fires with that?”

Terry Dee Losansky


Know I right good! Indeed. Would you like fires with that?

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Science on Tap at T.S. McHugh's Pub

by Terry 11/5/2008 4:21:00 PM

Science on Tap has regular meetings in Seattle. I am unable to attend the meeting tonight, or likely this month, but on Tuesday, December 2nd, there is an event at T.S. McHugh’s Pub. I like that pub and Karen is interested in the topic. I may need to alter my martial arts schedule a little and find a sitter for Kaitlin on a school night so we can attend. I expect it will be worth going. I also am going to try and get my friend Richard to attend, if I can.

Richard and Lorraine were over for dinner last night. Richard pointed out the only reason he came to dinner is that I have an apparently endless supply of pistachio nuts in a dish on the counter. This is the same Richard whom Lorraine referred to as the “Richard Experience”. Anyway, I mentioned to Richard I also have Guinness stout in the fridge. Richard’s reply was, “Ah, another reason to like you.”

So with that I may be able to tempt Richard to attend too. T.S. McHugh’s serves Guinness on tap.

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Science Club Ideas, Café Scientifique

by Terry 11/4/2008 9:25:00 AM

Robert Bruce Thompson mentioned Café Scientifique this morning on his web site. The idea of a monthly open gathering to hear topical discussions on science and technology has been in rattling in the back of my head for about a year. Mostly I would say to myself, “wouldn’t it be cool if there were some regular meeting of science-minded individuals that could talk about all things science?” But then I would be immediately sidetracked on to other things like work and family and so on.

However, I have plans for a science club. The club aspect is taking longer to organize than I wish. (It’s that work and family stuff...) But having ideas for activities is part of the plan. My initial goal for a science club is tutoring through experimentation and getting the point of the scientific method. I have additional goals of fostering science in the community through, for example, demonstrations at science fairs. But what better way to foster science than to encourage our young future scientists to engage in open discussions with people who do real science?

Better yet, a long term goal would be to have a science club organize and sponsor its own Café Scientifique. I am not sure I can take it on myself at this time, but that is what a club is often for; collectively doing what cannot be done individually toward a goal or activity.

For now there are two regular Café events in Seattle. See Science on Tap. Maybe there will someday be a Snoqualmie Science Café.

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About Terry Losansky

Terry Dee Losansky

I am a software architect, actively practice and teach martial arts and live in Snoqualmie, Washington. I have an amazing daughter who is the jewel of my life.

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