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Science & brawling
I'll be doing a martial arts exhibition tomorrow at a special premiere of Ronny Yu's "Fearless". Diversity is always fun, especially when you spend most your time inside reading and writing.

Jet Li's Fearless poster
A couple of days ago, amidst all my studying for the final exams coming up, my former martial arts instructor called me up and asked if I could do him a favor. Turns out the favor is to show some of my (now rusty) martial arts skills. XFM, a local radio station is having a special premiere on what's supposed to be Jet Li's last martial arts movie, Fearless, and before the show we go up on the stage and do our thing.

What is our thing? You might ask if you haven't known me that long. Well, what better way explain but to show you a little video! I managed to dig up the only video I have of one of my sparring sessions since when I was working out (see below, quicktime). Unfortunately, it's in a bit of a bad shape (imported from VHS), but watchable — kind of like my body is now when compared to how it was four years ago: in a bit of a bad shape, but watchable. Maybe this exhibition will give me the jumpstart I need to start working out again.

Well, to give a bit of insight into the video: I used to practice "Scientific Fighting" — reality based self-defense training. The classes themselves were basically as you can imagine a martial arts class, but on occasion we dressed up in protective gear and "sparred" full-contact to see what good our training was doing.

The video below is from one of these sparring sessions, which are incredibly hard on your body and usually required using muscles you didn't know you had (I've cut out the parts where we take each other down and wrestle on the floor, they're generally boring to watch). I remember on more than one occasion having felt like I was passing out after these sessions, just from pure exhaustion. Great excercise. Really. It is.

Anyway, without further ado, I present the sparring.
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Busy Weeks
Logo for ZZZ, our project's make-belief company
Wooh. Been quite busy these past two weeks. Yesterday my group finally finished a project on managing large-scale software projects (softwareology?), which was quite energy draining. The logo up there is the logo of our make-belief company ZZZ — which incidentally was the sound I wanted to make during the last hours of working on the project. Just to be clear, this time I didn't make the logo, my group member Einar Valur did.


So there hasn't much been going on to talk about. Mainly been busy on RU related work and projects. Something funny happened the other day though. Some of you might be familiar with the TV Show
Arrested Development. Well, Me and Diljá were watching season 1 where one of the main characters is eating a candy apple and manages to break a part of his front tooth. About 10 seconds after this happens I hear a "crunching" noise at my side, followed by a very whiny "Ooohhh nooooooo". Diljá had broken her filling, in the exact same tooth at the exact same place. Haha. Coincidences can be very entertaining when it's not you who's breaking your teeth (evil grin).

In my
last post, I mentioned that I made a pledge to myself to draw more often. I might as well show some of the stuff I've been doing. In my ongoing attempt to organize my life, I made the following plan:

Pasted Graphic 1

So I'm currently at the "Figure proportion study" phase — and will remain there for some time as long as I've got this much to do ('til christmas probably). Without further ado, here are some sketches.
FigureStudy_Boxing_oct5th06FigureStudy_oct7th06
The boxer // Mocking someone

FigureStudy_pointing_oct5th06FigureStudy_Running&Turning_oct8th06

The martians are coming? // Running and turning

FigureStudy_Walloping_oct12th06
Jumping over the creek

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Now is the Winter of our Disconnect
Finally, after a dreary week of a dead internet connection, I'm online again. What a ride — and indeed, there's a story to it.

It all started last monday when my router, in what I thought was just another moodswing, promptly decided to cease and desist. Of course, on a monday it's worse — as that meant no relaxation time in front of the computer reading news over my coffee before heading to school. Dreadful.

It so happens that my router has been acting up every now and then, but restarting it usually does the trick. In my naiveness, when restarting didn't work I decided to exchange it at my service provider for a newer model. Happy back at home I plugged in my brand new router, but of course: .... nothing. That's when I finally noticed it: The phone-line seemed to be picking up no ADSL connection! Argh! In a panic attack I called my service provider, hoping that it'd just be something on their side... like a coffee spill on some wires, or a rat that'd found a nesting place on one of their motherboards. But alas, no such luck.

Two days later I'd made two drives (and a dozen phonecalls) to have my router reconfigured, exchanged to another model, and then changed back. I'm unsure whether I should call them incompetent, or call myself a sucker for driving back and forth all the time. At this point I'd grown a bit annoyed of the back-and-forths, and frustrated from not getting my "information fix" daily, so the providers sent a man over to my house to make sure I wasn't just a moron who'd forgotten to plug in his router phone-cord. Needless to say, the visit didn't fix the connection. But it was quite ironic later to find out that
the man had left my router's phone-cord unplugged.

If this were The Shining, I'd have written a novel already.

But the show went on. Not being quite content with sitting around while other people procrastinate fixing my life-line, I called up the national phone company (all ISP's in Iceland lease connections from a single phone company). After some explanations and a couple of headscratches, the technical "expert" proudly proclaimed he'd realized what the problem was: You haven't had an active ADSL connection since 2004, at which point you moved to the internet service provider Hive.

Seeing dead internet connections
"I see dead internet connections"
My Sixth Sense Experience
No ADSL connection since 2004? This is what the main character in the movie "Sixth Sense" must have felt like when he discovered he'd been dead for years.

As if this weren't weird enough, my internet service provider (ISP) is called Vortex — Hive is quite another ISP whom which I've never had any business with. How mind-boggingly bizarre.

It turns out that my ISP is leasing lines from another ISP, who's leasing lines from the national phone co. — a "secret" my ISP was not so willing to admit after my Sherlock-styled inquiry into these matters. Now, I'm not much for internet styled abbreviations, but WTF? It also seemed that this "collaboration" was hush-hush amongst the workers of the two ISP's, because in my conversations with Hive, a special guy had to be called in, and even he didn't know who needed to alert the public phone company of the problem.

Today, I was finally blessed with a green, static light indicating I was online again, after at least 4 rides to my ISP, a couple of rides to the University to check my mail, and about 15 phonecalls allover Reykjavík to figure out just what was going on.

In any case, it wasn't all bad. I made a pledge to myself, or an early new-years resolution, to start drawing more again. More on that later.
As Krisleifur @ CADIA pointed out today, breaking your habits every now and then are usually very good for you.

But I'm still going to refer to these past 7 days as "The Great Disconnection of 2006".


Later.
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