the system at work.

One way to deal with the Nigerian scam--make up an H.P. Lovecraft story and see if the criminal notices. Almost as good as Tales of Plush Cthulhu.

The web comic Goats has a short treatise on the codpiece: part one and part two.

I had jury selection today, first time I ever showed up and went through the process. It might be my favorite part of the American legal system, and the one I have the most faith in. Did you know that juries have no legal obligation to issue a guilty verdict even if the evidence clearly indicates guilt? Check out the Fully Informed Jury Association for more information. I thought it might be kind of fun to get a trial, but after three hours I was released. I did make it to the library to get some books, though.

When was the last time you read a really blistering book review?

Maybe the defining characteristic of an obsessive sort of mind like mine is that a lot of things seem to happen without your explicit intention. That doesn't really explain what's going on, so I'll describe a transformation I feel happening at the moment that I'm not consciously controlling.

At the moment a lot of my spare thoughts are taken up by visualized aikido movements. I'm not focusing on them or consciously thinking about them, but in a spare moment of staring off into space, I start casually going over and over the movements. I took some time to examine this process on the drive home tonight, and it seems that my physical knowledge ("muscle memory", it's usually called) of aikido, from seven weeks of classes, the feeling of my body going through those motions, is merging with what I know about the principles involved--my conceptual understanding of the deflection and redirection of energy, and my imagined sense of how I think my body would feel putting that into practice (that imagined simulation, for better or worse, coming mostly from Kung Fu: The Legend Continues). Essentially I've had these intuitive understandings of concepts like "blending with your opponent", and those understandings are now being refined by direct experience; and it's being done automatically, as if there are little thought-robots in my mind making a bunch of incremental adjustments.

It's so startling, too, to have a real physical focus in a way that I think I've never experienced. This might be due to the aikido practice matching up so closely to those intuitive understandings I've been going over in my head for so many years, that the physical practice is like the missing ingredient in a powerful chemical reaction...a body practice with intent and awareness, and desire, because it's something I've wanted to do for so long. I'm enjoying the strength and the flexibility and the losing weight, not just for themselves but because they're incidental to something I love.

So there.