Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ron Saturno on Knifefighting

I just evaluated a video sent to me showing several people just going at each other with knives. The people attacked in ways that someone would most likely get attacked by the average person under duress. Most of the attacks began with deep lunges with the knife ending up, at, or around shoulder height. The people were usually and initially at or about a step and a half from each other. Mostly, one lunged and the other responded. If both responded to each other and stepped into one another: They both usually seemed confused about what to do next. Their being a step and a half from each other meant that their both coming into one another soon after, put them at corto and near corto range and seemed to put them in a confused state, because of how fast and how close that they both came into danger upon just one step.

Successful movements usually depend upon three things. Structure, movement and distance and they all have to be satisfied. If one of the three is not present and applied the movement (attack) usually fails. Kind of like our needing to have a match, fuel and air to make something burn. We can borrow from the other man in order to complete structure. We can borrow movement from the opponent and we can borrow distance from an opponent. These fighters discombuberation was a result of their messing up on one of the primary requirements of successful movements. Remembering that if even just one needed part of the three is missing, the movement usually fails. When their opponent stepped into them as quickly as they did: They both soon after lost control of target distance, this inhibited their movement, because they lost structure in order to regain control of their seemingly dire situation. They were scared of being hit with the blade. They were planning on engaging their opponent at another range and just couldn't mentally regroup quickly enough to be able to make a telling blow upon their opponent safely. They had joined the confusing, challenging and exciting world of knife fighting. Never a dull moment. When two people play with razor sharp implements with deadly intent: How could knife fighting be anything other than exciting. "Living on the Edge!" These are the new catch words for my style of knife fighting. These people were living on the edge. Teaching students the fluid dynamics of knife fighting is very hard to do. But it can be done. This is where drills can help students learn to automatically and hopefully learn to also properly respond to an attack by their opponent.

One of the rules that I have adopted that was taught to me by Angel Cabales is to go high before low and not low before high. So I initially teach students drills that let one of the students attack high and than low and the other student defends against a high and than low attack with the blade. If we go low before high, the rising arms are are slow, because of the time it took to feint or attempt an attack at the lower range, before rising into the upper attack. We dropped before rising and this is not as effective, because one of our movements was not worrying our opponent. This leaves the arms slightly more subject to cuts and allows the opponent to occupy the high ground throughout the attack. They will have to rise up and we can go down faster than they can come up. Those Big-Macs have fattened a lot of asses (including mine) and getting that ass moving gets harder and slower with each new birthday. So Angel Cabales would feint with a high blow and make the middle blow the meaningful one. The same move works quite well with a knife, just as well. It worked for Angel Cabales and so I believe in the movement. It is a bread and butter Serrada movement. If we bait the opponent with the (high) initial attack, many men and women naturally respond by raising their arms. As they raise their arms: Our next inward traveling movement slices the arm on the way in. This is the high low. Get them to respond to the high offered hit and hit them with the low. Fake the fucker to raise his arm up and expose himself and than slice inward and hopefully catch something good while sliding across his exposed arm. This move has all of the makings of brilliance. We get drama, a rising crescendo and than fulfillment. The defense is to make a strong initial attack upon the incoming blow so that they can't redirect.

Another response is to make a go at the feint and when and if it is not there, drop the forearm into a cross block (like Wing Tsun), while coming in towards them and than controlling them further, depending upon your sensitivity at that moment. A high/low can be directed outside in from a back hand or forehand attack. Both attacks should be prcticed until they are fluid. Getting someone to take the bait takes longer. Well, we are an art. What kind of artist are you? I would not expect a true artist of any given choice to not know the basics of his craft. We might not buy a bad painted picture, but screwing up the basics in the art of knife fighting has much more serious consequences. I loved the video. I love knife fighting. I would love for knife fighting to become an accepted form of exercise, like Jazzercise. Escrima should also have many more tournaments which involve knife fighting. Knife fighting is our forte, because a knife will most likely be the weapon that we as Escrimadors will most likely have to use and defend against in a real life deadly encounter. Much of my personal training focuses upon defending myself unarmed against a knife. I like the worst case scenario type of focused training. Defending unarmed against a knife is nothing, but a serious chess game with sharp chess pieces. So I will further evaluate the video and than send back a response. I am enjoying myself watching the video. Hope the rest of you are enjoying Escrima as much as I am.

Other articles by Master Saturno:


My deepest gratitude to Master Ron Saturno for his kind permission in allowing me to repost his articles to my site. 

You can contact Master Ron Saturno via:

Email: (take out the "NOSPAM")
Phone:  209-513-8027

The Balisong Knife in Movies: Red Dawn (1984)

Today's post is an animated GIF set I made from the movie 1984 movie Red Dawn. It features usage of the Balisong Knife. At the end of this post will be links to previous GIFs I made of the Balisong from other movies.

My sincerest gratitude to Don Rearic for the heads-up about the Balisong in this movie.


First scene with the Balisong, although it's not being used at the moment.

This next GIF is the full scene a little past the above scene:

Tanner (played by Powers Boothe): "All that hate's going to burn you up, kid."
Robert (played by C. Thomas Howell): (carving 'kill' notches on his AK-47 with a Balisong knife) "Keeps me warm."

Split the above GIF into 2 new GIFs with just the balisong usage:

If you missed the previous entries in my project of making animated GIFs of the Balisong in Movies/TV, please check out:

If you like the Balisong knife, please check out the below post for details of a documentary project on the Balisong which needs help with funding to finish:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Ali vs Foreman - Rumble in the Jungle

Ali Regains Title, Flooring Foreman



Special to The New York Times

KINSHASA, Zaire, Wednesday, Oct. 30 -- Under an African moon in the darkness before dawn today, a bee battered a lion as Muhammad Ali registered an eighth-round knockout of George Foreman and regained the world heavyweight title at the age of 32 after a lapse of more than seven years.

It was Foreman's first defeat after 40 victories, including 37 knockouts. Ali registered his 45th victory in 47 bouts with his 31st knockout.

Encouraged by the chant of "Ali, bomaye," from the crowd of nearly 60,000 spectators in the Stade du 20 Mai, boxing's most controversial champion created the most bizarre chapter in his bizarre career.

The only other man to regain the heavyweight title was Floyd Patterson, who knocked out Ingemar Johansen in 1960 after the Swedish boxer had dethroned him the previous year.

From the first round on, Ali took Foreman's most powerful punches without flinching and without wobbling except for a brief moment in the second round. Suddenly, midway in the eighth round, Ali, at 216 1/2 pounds to Foreman's 220, exploded a left-right combination that floored the weary 25-year-old Texan.

Ali had predicted that "after the 10th round, Foreman will fall on his face from exhaustion." As it turned out, Foreman was knocked on his rump in exhaustion. At the time, Foreman was wobbly and weary while Ali somehow had maintained his strength despite the long and violent battering. Groping to his feet, he was counted out by Zack Clayton, the referee, at 2 minutes 58 seconds of the round.

"Foreman was humiliated," Ali said later.

"I did it. I told you he was nothing but did you listen? I told you I was going to jab him in the corners, I told you I was going to take all his shots. I told you he had no skill. I told you he didn't like to be punched."

Ali's reaction was similar to his attitude in 1964 after he won the heavyweight title when Sonny Liston declined to come out for the seventh round of their Miami Beach bout. Ali, then known as Casius Clay, was a 7-1 betting underdog that time. He was a 4-1 underdog to Foreman, unbeaten in 40 previous bouts.

"I lost the fight," Foreman commented, "but I was not beaten. He's now the champion. He has to be respected."

Ali had mentioned that this would be his "last fight" but he dodged questions pertaining to his retirement.

"Foreman was scared," Ali said, "and who would want a rematch. I got to get $10-million before I think about fighting."

At ringside, Joe Frazier, who outpointed Ali in a 15-round decision in 1971 but lost a 12-round decision to him early this year, hoped to arrange a title bout with Ali next year.

"I'm ready for him, " said Frazier, also a former champion. "I know how to fight him now."

Ali joined Floyd Patterson as the only heavyweight champion to recapture the title. Patterson was dethroned by Ingemar Johansson in 1959 but knocked out the Swedish boxer the following year. Patterson also knocked out Johansson in a 1961 bout.

Ali has now won 45 of 47 bouts, with 32 knockouts. His only losses were to Frazier and to Ken Norton, the California heavyweight who broke Ali's jaw in winning a 12-round decision early last year. At that time Ali's career appeared to be waning rapidly.

Ali then outpointed Norton ina rematch and then outpointed Frazier to qualify as Foreman's foremost challenger.

In his three title bouts, Foreman had needed only 11 minutes 35 seconds in dethroning Frazier and successfully defending his crown against Joe (King) Roman and Norton, but in the ring under a canopy in the Zaire capital's soccer stadium, he was unable to pound Ali into submission with the same punches that had demolished the other three.

Ali took command of the spectacle even before Foreman entered the ring. Ali, who weighed 216 1/2 pounds to foreman's 220 at Saturday's weigh-in, arrived in a white satin robe trimmed with what appeared to be an African blanket. He danced and shuffled for nearly 10 minutes before Foreman appeared in a red velvet robe with a blue sash.

During the playing of the national anthems, the Star Spangled Banner and Le Zarois, while two American and two Zaire flags were in the ring, Ali mocked Foreman, who seemed not to see him. Later, while Foreman sat on his stool having his gloves tied on, Ali swooped near him and taunted him with a mock look, to the delight of the crowd.

At the bell, Foreman moved clumsily but quickly. He appeared to slow Ali with a long left hook to the body near the ned of the first round. He also pinned Ali to the ropes and slammed punches with both hands to the rib cage. Ali covered up effectively. When the round ended, Ali sat on his stool and winked across the ring.

In the wait for the second round, the "Ali, bomaye," chant began. When the round started, Foreman again chased Ali, pinning him against the ropes. But suddenly Ali retaliated with a flurry of jabs. Midway in the round, Ali appeared to wobble and he grabbed Foreman's shoulder momentarily. But quickly he swung a right cross and threw several jabs.

During the third, Ali was content to lay on the top rope and permit foreman to pummel him almost at will. But every so often, the old bee would sting the young bear with jabs that snapped back Foreman's head. Instead of sitting on his stool after the third, Ali strolled over to make a face into the closed-circuit TV cameras at ringside.

In the fourth, Ali opened with a quick flurry of jabs that jarred Foreman's head. But still Ali was content to lay on the ropes again. Foreman's legs appeared weary as he walked after Ali and often lunged ineffectively.

When the fifth began, Ali maintained his strange tactics. Other boxers had been toppled quickly by Foreman's sledge-hammer punches but Ali obviously had prepared himself well for this task. Surely his body will be sore tomorrow, but somehow, despite the punches to his face, there was no obvious sign of the punishment.

During the intermission before the sixth, Ali's trainer, Angelo Dundee, hurried across the ring apron to where a Zairian boxing official was trying to tighten the turn-buckle to control the top rope that Ali had been laying against. But instead of tightening it, the Zairian official was loosening it. The rope sagged.

Perhaps on Dundee's orders, Ali avoided those ropes during the sixth. Had he not, he might have toppled backward out of the ring. And in avoiding the ropes, he moved more than he had been before in jabbing Foreman effectively and often.

Stumbling along, Foreman chased Ali throughout the seventh, but his face had puffed, especially around the right eye that had been cut in training, causing a six-week postponement. Foreman was hoping to measure Ali for the big punch that had finished 24 consecutive opponents but his arms were powerless.

Suddenly, with the left-right combination, Ali produced the knockout. Moments later, perhaps overcome with emotion, he sat down in the ring for several moments as his idolaters swarmed onto the canvas to surround him. The Zairian police and paratroopers needed several minutes to clear up the chaotic situation.

Not long after that the dawn broke here. But soon a heavy rainstorm crashed over the stadium. It was raining on an old and a new heavyweight champion.

Ali's Robe Forgotten

In the carpeted dressing room for the fighters underneath the stadium, the clock in each was stopped at 3 o'clock, the original time for the bout here before the end of Daylight Saving Time in the United States last weekend. Foreman entered his room at 2:30 but Ali didn't arrive until almost 3 o'clock.

"Somebody forgot his robe," said a member of Ali's entourage, "and they had to send back to get it."

Foreman had ridden in a Citroen from the nearby Intercontinental Hotel but Ali had been transported with his entourage in a Mercedes Benz bus on the 40-mile trip from his villa at the N'sele diplomatic complex.

Before entering his dressing room, Ali walked out to view the vast crowd that rose to the top of the concrete saucer, where the $10 bleacher seats were. Quickly, he surveyed the multitude, but in the shadow of the portal, he was unseen.

For further info:

Copied from NY Times - On This Day

39 Years ago today... Ali vs Foreman - The Rumble in the Jungle (Full fight)

39 Years ago today ... The Rumble in the Jungle ... Undefeated World Heavyweight Champion George Foreman (25 yrs old, 40-0, 37 KOs) vs Muhammad Ali (32 yrs old, 44-2, 31 KOs)

Foreman, younger, was the heavy favorite. Ali, the underdog, at 32 years of age, lost a step and reflexes too, no longer floating like a bee. Both Joe Frazier and Ken Norton fought Ali four times in very tough bouts in which he won 2 of them, were both demolished by Foreman in 2nd round KO's. The stage was set for what has been called "arguably the greatest sporting event of the 20th century".

Without further ado, here is the full fight. If you have never seen this fight before, prepare yourself. If you have watched this fight before, relive the the Rumble in the Jungle!

For further info:

Ron Saturno - Self-defense while not feeling 100% & Quick thinking!

Stickgrappler's note: Manong Saturno posted this to his Facebook 10/29/13.

This morning I really wanted a hot cup of Java and a bit of pastry. I turned off on Country Club Blvd. off of I=5, because I had a few moments to spare and wanted to stop and get another cup of brew. The place that I stopped in at had a bunch of the fancy Java brews and so I decided just to leave. I already had some coffee in a Starbuck's stainless steel container that I had hoped to save for later: It was a multiple cup morning, it was just one of those days and as I was walking back to my car a hooded man was standing near my car in the sahdowy corner of the complex. It was still a little dark and I didn't see him. I've been fighting the flu and have been feeling like sh!t and really didn't appreciate possibly having to deal with any dumb sh!t. So I pre-positioned some change in my front pocket and approached the car from behind so that the car would be between us. It was still somewhat dark and I was uncomfortable. Sure enough, the person started to walk quickly around my car towards me as I just as quickly circled my car on his opposite side of my car. He didn't appear very happy about it. I could just barely see his face now in the early morning light, He was young, Black and had the snarly look that a lot of young thugs wear as a mark of pride. So being the assh0le that I am I started yelling, "Car Fire!" The coffee shop soon emptied with people wondering if it was their car that was on fire. The young Black male smiled at me and skirted off around the corner of the complex. I never saw a gun and the guy never said a word to me. The whole thing was really just a blip on the screen of life, but things could have turned out much differently.

I really did wonder about the whole event and if I handled the event correctly. Was it the flu that helped me miss the man in the shadows, Am I just getting old and slow? Am I now a beat off from the man that I was many years ago? As an Escrimador it just reinforced my belief that attacks usually come unexpectedly. Many of the people that I talk to harbor a fantasy of being in a challenge. The odds of this really are very slim. The chances of some c0cksucker coming at you quickly and unexpectedly are much, much greater. All in all I probably handled the situation at about a 70% level. I made a few mistakes. I parked away from the lighted area parking, because it was convenient to park near the street in the dark. I wasn't searching with my eyes. I didn't have my flashlight in my hand. I had also left my door unlocked, because I intended to be just right in and right out. Anyway, Christmas is coming and the thugs start to feed on civilians. Please be aware of the harsh economic conditions and the effects this has on the down trodden. Please be aware. Don't lolligag like I did this morning. It could have ended a lot worse than it did.

Other articles by Master Saturno:


My deepest gratitude to Master Ron Saturno for his kind permission in allowing me to repost his articles to my site. 

You can contact Master Ron Saturno via:

Email: (take out the "NOSPAM")
Phone:  209-513-8027

Lou Reed on Tai Chi, Meditation Music and Care of the Knees

Photo Credit:  LA Yoga

Sitting Down With:
Lou Reed
On Tai Chi, Meditation Music and Care of the Knees.


Lou Reed is a singer, songwriter and poet, the other man in black.

He is a denizen of the ’60s; Andy Warhol’s Factory scene and groundbreaking albums beginning with the legendary Velvet Underground.

Alive, kicking and exploring, Reed still inhabits the avant-garde fringes in this, the first decade of the new century. Lou Reed is a Grammy winner and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A long-time pioneer in experimental music, this year Lou has broken new ground in what has long been a somewhat familiar meditation music scene. His new album, Hudson River Wind Meditations, with spare, hypnotic techno-harmonics is a change of pace for him, anyone who listens to meditation music and anyone who is a Lou Reed fan.

Until the album’s release, one would little suspect that for the past twenty years, as well as the dark part of the city and the heart, Lou Reed has also been investigating the heart space of the breath arts.

Specifically, Lou has been studying with Master Ren Guang Yi who also accompanies him occasionally on stage at Reed concert performances. Master Ren’s Chen-style Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) is both soft and hard with occasional sharp bursts of staccato-like thrusts – somewhat like Mr. Reed. Lou Reed seems both quick and even-handed, calm and impulsive. He is scheduled to leave in a few weeks for a European tour. Before leaving for the recording studio in New York, he sat down, manager and personal assistant at his side, to talk to us about something other than Andy Warhol or a walk on the wild side.

His love is Tai Chi. Mine has always been Aikido. We talked about those arts, and music and knees.

Bob: You’ve been practicing Tai Chi for a while I believe?

Lou: For about twenty-four, twenty-five years.

Bob: I remember when I first discovered Aikido. When did you first discover Tai Chi and what was it at that time that you related to?

Lou: In the early ’80s. I was studying a hard style martial art and I was taken aside and told that I would really enjoy this, this other method, discipline. And it started from there.

Bob: Did that turn you on to meditation as well?

Lou: Well, eventually, but certainly not then. Then it was kind of along the lines of ahhh… knocking me across the room to show me what it was.

Bob: Was this when you discovered Master Ren?

Lou: No, Master Ren entered the picture four-and-a-half years ago.

Bob: What was it about um the Chen Taijiquan, made you say “wait a minute here…”

Lou: The power. The power of it was astonishing. This, uh, sudden release, this explosive, exploding power, internal power, exploding power.

Bob: And did this…

Lou: Anybody who’s ever seen it is in our class now (laughter). It’s uh you know it’s a martial art that also happens to be a health system; it’s kind of nice…

Bob: And it…

Lou: …works out to your advantage. You know Aikido and Aikido people, you can only keep that Aikido going so long then it’s probably not a great idea to get thrown down. You know, I mean I don’t know whether you still practice with the throw downs…

Bob: Well my knees are, after two surgeries, uh…

Lou: Aha!

Bob: Yeah.

Lou: There you have it!

Bob: There you have it.

Lou: Yeah. You know, one of the great things, if I may say, about Master Ren is that I was very impressed by the fact he is always watching out for peoples’ knees. Very important. Because in yoga and Tai Chi…I mean I’ve had people try Tai Chi where the teacher doesn’t pay attention put it that way. And it doesn’t even matter what style. But uh where they came back (he laughs) and they can’t walk or they say their knee is…you know…

Bob: …gone

Lou: …if you can get the fundamental stance and get into your body the correct alignment is, it becomes a non-issue. Especially if you have a teacher who corrects that stance of stretch periodically. But if he doesn’t, I mean if you’re like in a big class where no one pays attention to you…

Bob: Yes…

Lou: …and you just follow. You can’t just follow. You know what I mean? Our eyes can fool us. I’ve had this happen to me so many times that I’m not surprised by it anymore. Where I think I’m doing it right and then he comes over and corrects you and you suddenly go from a position of weakness to strength…and you we’re talking about a blade of grass.

That’s a real big deal. It is a really serious issue and one of the guys in our class is a doctor which is kind of interesting and he was in the class uh because his brother had told him about some of the medical benefits accrued from it. And there was a real problem with an area of the body and after doing this that – you know he was heading for surgery and now he’s not. Bob: Well this is interesting because I’ve had to stop practicing Aikido, which is like breaking up a love affair, and I haven’t been able to transfer that love completely because for some reason I go like Tai Chi, the energy just seems too slow I can’t slow down.

Lou: Yeah well…

Bob: Not like me.

Lou: Well its different if you’re talking about Chen Taijiquan. Chen Taijiquan is not that slow one in the park. Put it that way.

Bob: Mm-hmm.

Lou: It’s slow fast. Slow fast. Slow fast power. I mean its fast, there are some forms in there that are so fast you can’t learn it. You know it’s like he won’t even…You know, he shows it to me once in a while, I go, “no” I know like the first eleven moves (laughter).

Bob: That’s enough…

Lou: And that’s exhausting because it’s fast, I mean really fast. And the meditative quality in Chen. I mean seriously. But again it’s like anything else it depends on the teacher. They say Tai Chi is a working meditation. But this is also, you know, the Chen as taught by Ren GuangYi is based around power.

Bob: Is this type of Tai Chi helpful in treating an injury once you have it? I’ve got a knee that the guys want to operate on again.

Lou: It depends what it is and what the teacher would say. The knees are really tricky. One of the guys in our class um was doing a thing called push hands?

Bob: Sure.

Lou: And he did it with someone who was not careful and that person put his knee out. Just like that. He had to have knee surgery. Not because he was negligent but because the other guy pulled a move that you just don’t pull. You know what I mean? As seemingly as gentle as pushing seems to be, this is not gentle.

Bob: Looks gentle, when you see it in the park, but it’s not…

Lou: This push hands is anything but gentle. You know, it just looks that way initially but once you get going it’s not that. But anyway, this guy knocked him down with push hands and this is a very advanced guy that had this done to him – so it’s really a very bad thing. And he had knee surgery. Now he’s back and he’s been doing the practice you know, you’d never even know it. You know, and he’s doing all of it.

But he’s a knowledgeable guy. I can’t answer your question about treating a knee injury, I can’t answer a question like that because I don’t know enough…to recommend. But like I said people come in with shoulder injuries neck injuries and now they don’t exist anymore from practicing the form. I mean it’s an energy-based form that’s very, that has healing properties too. That’s why it’s a health system it’s just also a fighting system. We get a lot of musicians in there like you know violinist with a shoulder problem this kind of stuff… and you know um but they don’t have the problem anymore.

Bob: I should ask you for readers here, is there, uh, is this Chen style available in Los Angeles are there teachers do you know of?

Lou: Uh, um I don’t. You know my teacher Ren GuangYi his teacher is Master Chen Xiao-Wang as in Chen Village Chen Taijiquan and I would go to their web page to see if any of, any of their people are in LA. []

Bob: What’s your practice like? Do you…

Lou: Every day two hours.

Bob: No shit.

Lou: Really. I mean as best as I can within reason you know like sometimes I can’t start the full two but I’m doing it every day. But it’s not because I’m highly disciplined it’s because it makes me feel good.

Bob: When you go on the road, like you’re about to do for an extended trip, you still practice every day?

Lou: I bring my weapons and my stuff and I try to make arrangements somehow to practice.

Bob: Really.

Lou: If I don’t I’m going to be hurting. I’ve crossed – you know what I mean? – I’ve crossed over the line.

Bob: Yeah.

Lou: It used to be it hurt from doing it. And now it hurts if I don’t. So what I do is I go I go into a hotel and I ask them is anybody using this business conference room…and if they’re not, I ask them gee do you mind if I move the chairs? Or, is there a backyard or can is anyone in the parking lot? You know because gyms usually aren’t big enough.

Bob: And this is something you’ll do by yourself…

Lou: Yeah.

Bob: …without music?

Lou: Well I compose my own music…All I need is me and some space. And if I can’t do that I do it in my head.

Bob: Ah, tell me about that.

Lou: I do the form in my head. Like, when if I can’t possibly do it I do it in my head so I don’t forget the moves.

Bob: While you’re sitting or walking or just…

Lou: Doesn’t matter.

Bob: And that’s a form of, well the practice itself is a form of moving meditation.

Lou: Well sure, sure.

Bob: And do you have a meditation practice as well?

Lou: Yeah, I studied with uh… he’s got a book out called The Joy of Living and you can look it up Mingyur M-I-N-G-Y-U-R Rinpoche, you know Rinpoche…? He’s my teacher for flat out meditation and the why’s and when’s of everything.

Bob: David Lynch has a book out about meditation and the creative process…

Lou: Really? No kidding.

Bob: Well he’s a big-time meditator, a part of the TM movement with Maharishi…

Lou: You mean the original Maharishi all the way back in when?

Bob: Yes, he’s now based in Iowa…

Lou: Transcendental Meditation?

Bob: Yes.

Lou: Okay, so that’s the Beatle guy.

Bob: David Lynch has started a foundation called the Lynch Foundation to bring meditation into schools.

Lou: That is so great. You know I was, I forget where the hell we were but we were running into a lot of people from Bali and they get taught this in school…and you know typically, we’re not even given a clue.

Bob: Right.

Lou: Very, very shameful that that part of our education is completely ignored. It’s just really tragic. I think that’s why our foreign policy is what it is but that’s a whole other story. Anyway, good for David Lynch, isn’t that great?

Lou: Well I’m pleased you know my little CD out there…

Bob: Yeah, at some point take a look at his website too because it might be inspirational for you as well. Um let me ask you about your new CD, Hudson River Wind Meditations. What’s the genesis of that?

Lou: I had made it for myself. Just for um a number of different uses, and meditation bodywork Tai Chi and I also would just leave it on all day…because um it absorbs the outside sounds that might be irritating otherwise.

It blends it into whatever’s going on for some reason. I don’t know why that worked but it did. So I just have it on all day, and it’s just filling things in and making it nice. And, I use it for the meditation. People started saying to me “can I have a copy of that,” you know, “can you put that music on?” So I did that enough and then after a while I thought this is really great, you know. We put just the music out on the theory that you probably have your own meditation you’re doing and this is a great music to do it to rather than me putting the voice on it.

Bob: Hmmmm. I have in my notes, and I don’t know if it’s something that I wrote or that you wrote but the sound of radar or sonar…

Lou: That’s not me.

Bob: That’s not you, okay.

Lou: No, I don’t know from radar or sonar, it has nothing to do with me.

Bob: The “Find Your Note” piece there’s the sound of a glass bowl almost…

Lou: Well, it could be a lot of things…but a glass bowl is good enough.

Bob: So you did this essentially did this music for yourself?

Lou: I did it a hundred percent for myself.

Bob: And what kind of reaction have you gotten so far from it being out there?

Lou: People seem to respond to it in the spirit in which it was put out. I mean it is what it is. What I like about it is that it’s not traditional and it’s very modern and contemporary.

And it has certain goals in mind I think it accomplishes them.

Bob: I’m sure it does.

Lou: I’m not different from you or any other people. If it works for me it works for you.

Bob: And the goal being…

Lou: To help you meditate. Or to work at anything where you know the music can be meditative or energizing depending how you’re listening to it. And, like I said it can be an overall aural blanket.

Bob: Your music has always been for me, and I think for many people, part of an edge in the cultural milieu, it’s been on the edge.

Lou: Well, there’s no edge on this, although people would say me even putting it out is on the edge…

Bob: Yes absolutely.

Lou: …to my own career I mean.

Bob: Well that’s true, are you concerned with what people think?

Lou: If I ever listened to what other people think about anything…I would grind to a halt. I don’t have any interest in that side of it or view of it at all.

Bob: That’s never been a part of your craft?

Lou: Yep. Yep. I’m very hard core. I follow the bouncing ball wherever it goes, and I don’t care.

Bob: And when you first started to practice Tai Chi twenty years ago, twenty-five years ago…Did that change your uh the kind of work you were doing in music, really, your approach to what you were creating?

Lou: Learning the fundamentals of foundational strength and alignment is a real big deal…and you can’t lose for knowing that. I wish I’d been a little smarter then than I was, but it’s taken a long time for me to realize the, you know, complexity and simplicity of what I’ve been taught and the ramifications it has on just things like walking and breathing, more or less doing something. And at that point I think I’d have to say good-bye because I have to get to the studio, okay?

Bob: We’re all set.

Lou: I’m gone.

Bob Belinoff is a documentary filmmaker and public health consultant.

Copied from

Rock Legend Lou Reed died at 71 on October 27, 2013

Photo Credit:

3 days ago, rock legend Lou Reed passed away at the age of 71. Although the world knew him as an influential rock legend, some people may not know he was a martial artist also... mostly Taiji/Tai Chi with the past few years under Master Ren Guang-yi of Chen Taiji.

RIP Lou Reed

Lou Reed Tai Chi Photos set to original music by Scott Richman (classmate of Reed's)

Tai Chi with Lou Reed and Master Ren -Tai Chi class in the Northern Foyers at Sydney Opera House during Vivid LIVE 2010.

Trailer for Master Ren GuangYi DVD - Power and Serenity

Copied from NY Times:

Lou Reed, 1942-2013
Outsider Whose Dark, Lyrical Vision Helped Shape Rock ’n’ Roll
Published: October 27, 2013

Lou Reed, the singer, songwriter and guitarist whose work with the Velvet Underground in the 1960s had a major influence on generations of rock musicians, and who remained a powerful if polarizing force for the rest of his life, died on Sunday at his home in Amagansett, N.Y., on Long Island. He was 71.

The cause was liver disease, said Dr. Charles Miller of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, where Mr. Reed had liver transplant surgery this year and was being treated again until a few days ago.

Mr. Reed brought dark themes and a mercurial, sometimes aggressive disposition to rock music. “I’ve always believed that there’s an amazing number of things you can do through a rock ‘n’ roll song,” he once told the journalist Kristine McKenna, “and that you can do serious writing in a rock song if you can somehow do it without losing the beat. The things I’ve written about wouldn’t be considered a big deal if they appeared in a book or movie.”

He played the sport of alienating listeners, defending the right to contradict himself in hostile interviews, to contradict his transgressive image by idealizing sweet or old-fashioned values in word or sound, or to present intuition as blunt logic. But his early work assured him a permanent audience.

The Velvet Underground, which was originally sponsored by Andy Warhol and showcased the songwriting of John Cale as well as Mr. Reed, wrought gradual but profound impact on the high-I.Q., low-virtuosity stratum of punk, alternative and underground rock around the world. Joy Division, Talking Heads, Patti Smith, R.E.M., the Strokes and numerous others were descendants. The composer Brian Eno, in an often-quoted interview from 1982, suggested that if the group’s first album, “The Velvet Underground & Nico,” sold only 30,000 copies during its first five years — a figure probably lower than the reality — “everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.”

Many of the group’s themes — among them love, sexual deviance, alienation, addiction, joy and spiritual transfiguration — stayed in Mr. Reed’s work through his long run of solo recordings. Among the most noteworthy of those records were “Transformer” (1972), “Berlin” (1973) and “New York” (1989). The most notorious, without question, was “Metal Machine Music” (1975).

Beloved of Mr. Reed and not too many others, “Metal Machine Music” was four sides of electric-guitar feedback strobing between two amplifiers, with Mr. Reed altering the speed of the tape recorder; no singing, no drums, no stated key. At the time it was mostly understood, if at all, as a riddle about artistic intent. Was it his truest self? Was it a joke? Or was there no difference?

Mr. Reed wrote in the liner notes that “no one I know has listened to it all the way through, including myself,” but he also defended it as the next step after La Monte Young’s early minimalism. “There’s infinite ways of listening to it,” he told the critic Lester Bangs in 1976.

Not too long after his first recordings, made at 16 with a doo-wop band in Freeport, N.Y., Mr. Reed started singing outside of the song’s melody, as if he were giving a speech with a fluctuating drone in a New York accent. That sound, heard with the Velvet Underground on songs like “Heroin” and “Sweet Jane” and in his post-Velvet songs “Walk on the Wild Side,” “Street Hassle” and others, became one of the most familiar frequencies in rock. He played lead guitar the same way, straining against his limitations.

Mr. Reed confidently made artistic decisions that other musicians would not have even considered. He was an aesthetic primitivist with high-end audio obsessions. He was an English major who understood his work as a form of literature, though he distrusted overly poetic pop lyrics, and though distorted electric guitars and drums sometimes drowned out his words.

Lewis Allan Reed was born on March 2, 1942, in Brooklyn, the son of Sidney Reed, a tax accountant, and Toby Reed, a homemaker. When he was 11 his family moved to Freeport, on Long Island. His mother survives him, as does his sister, Merrill Weiner, and his wife, the composer and musician Laurie Anderson.

Generally resistant to authority and prone to mood swings, Mr. Reed troubled his parents enough that they assented to a doctor’s recommendation for weeks of electroshock therapy at Creedmoor State Psychiatric Hospital in Queens; in 1959, while beginning his music studies at New York University, he underwent further treatment.

After transferring to Syracuse University, he fell into the circle around the poet and short-story writer Delmore Schwartz, one of his English professors. Mr. Reed would later resist being pigeonholed, but his college profile suggests a distinct type: an early-'60s East Coast hipster, a middle-class suburban rebel in love with pre-Beatles rock ‘n’ roll, jazz and street-life writers: William S. Burroughs, Hubert Selby Jr., Raymond Chandler, Allen Ginsberg.

He clearly absorbed and, at least at times, admired Bob Dylan. (“Dylan gets on my nerves,” he said in 1968. “If you were at a party with him, I think you’d tell him to shut up.” Twenty-one years later he would tell Rolling Stone, “Dylan continuously knocks me out.”)

While in college he wrote “Heroin,” a song that accelerates in waves with only two chords. It treated addiction and narcotic ecstasy both critically and without moralizing, as a poet or novelist at that time might have, but not a popular songwriter:

I don’t know just where I’m going

But I’m gonna try for the kingdom, if I can

‘Cause it makes me feel like I’m a man

When I put a spike into my vein

And I tell you things aren’t quite the same

When I’m rushing on my run

And I feel just like Jesus’ son

And I guess that I just don’t know.

After graduation Mr. Reed found work in New York as a staff songwriter for Pickwick International, a label that capitalized on trends in popular music with budget releases by made-up groups. Among his credits for Pickwick were “Johnny Won’t Surf No More” and “The Ostrich,” written for a nonexistent dance craze and sung by Mr. Reed himself.

When Mr. Reed met Mr. Cale, a musician working with La Monte Young’s Theater of Eternal Music, they wanted to combine early-1960s rock with the drones of classical minimalism. They jammed with the guitarist Sterling Morrison, one of Mr. Reed’s Syracuse friends, and the poet and visual artist Angus MacLise on percussion, who was soon replaced by Maureen Tucker, the sister of a college friend of Mr. Reed’s. With Mr. Cale playing viola, keyboards and electric bass, they named themselves the Velvet Underground after the title of a book by Michael Leigh on practices in nonstandard sexuality in the early 1960s, and played their original music at Café Bizarre in Greenwich Village; the filmmaker Barbara Rubin came by with Andy Warhol, who quickly incorporated the band into the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, a touring multimedia performance-art happening with dancers, film projections and the German singer Nico.

The group’s association with Warhol lasted from late 1965 to late 1967, and Mr. Reed thereafter was generally full of praise for Warhol, whom he saw as an exemplary modern artist and New Yorker. A proud New Yorker himself, Mr. Reed squared off against West Coast rock and declared his hatred for hippies. In a 1968 interview he characterized the San Francisco bands of the time, the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane especially, as “tedious, a lie and untalented.”

In mid-1970 Mr. Reed left the Velvet Underground and moved to Long Island, where he worked for two years as a typist in his father’s firm. He made a disappointing solo record toward the end of 1971, but David Bowie, a Velvet Underground fan when there weren’t many, helped advance Mr. Reed’s career: he started playing Velvet Underground songs in concert and helped produce Mr. Reed’s album “Transformer” in London. It rose to No. 29 on Billboard’s Top 200, but as with nearly everything Mr. Reed did, it took time to spread through the culture.

“Walk on the Wild Side,” a quiet, jazzlike single from the album about the hustlers and transvestites around Warhol at the Factory, introduced a new character in each verse and included a reference to fellatio that slipped past the censors; it became an FM radio staple and Mr. Reed’s only Top 40 hit.

In January 1973 he married Bettye Kronstad, whom he had met in 1968 when she was a student; by July of that same year, after the recording of the album “Berlin,” they were divorced. For several years after their relationship ended, Mr. Reed, whose sexual identity seemed to be as fluid as the songs from that time suggested, was romantically involved with a transvestite named Rachel, whose last name has long been uncertain; she was private, but their relationship was public. Rachel, it was assumed, inspired much of his album “Coney Island Baby”; she is also pictured on the cover of “Walk on the Wild Side,” a greatest-hits album.

Mr. Reed’s look toughened in the mid-'70s, toward leather, bleached crew cuts and painted fingernails. He revisited his rickety, strange and vulnerable Velvet Underground songs on the live album “Rock N Roll Animal,” making them hard and slick and ready for a new order of teenage listeners.

By the end of the ‘70s his interviews and songs were full of a drive to change his way of living. In 1980 he married Sylvia Morales, who became his manager and muse. She was the subject of, or at least mentioned in, some of his most forthrightly romantic songs of the 1980s. But their relationship ended toward the end of the decade, and he met Ms. Anderson in the early ‘90s. They lived together in the West Village for more than a decade before marrying in 2008. They continued to live in the West Village as well as in Amagansett.

In middle age Mr. Reed became a kind of cultural elder, acting in films by Wim Wenders and Wayne Wang, befriending the Czech leader Vaclav Havel (who smuggled a copy of a Velvet Underground LP into Prague after a visit to New York in the late 1960s), creating multimedia stage productions with the director Robert Wilson. His own work moved between mature, elegiac singer-songwriter reports on grief, tenderness and age and wilder or more ambitious projects.

“The Raven,” a play and album, was based on writings by Edgar Allan Poe and included the saxophonist Ornette Coleman and the singer Antony Hegarty. For the album “Lulu,” an aggressive collaboration with Metallica based on Frank Wedekind’s play, he found himself in a “Metal Machine Music” redux, once again attacked by critics, once again declaring victory.

He got together with Mr. Cale, Ms. Tucker and Mr. Morrison for a one-off Velvet Underground reunion in 1990 and a tour in 1993. (Mr. Morrison died of lymphoma in 1995.) And he eventually returned to his dark anti-masterpiece: the saxophonist Ulrich Krieger transcribed “Metal Machine Music” for an electroacoustic ensemble in 2002, and in 2009 Mr. Reed performed improvised music inspired by that album with a group, including Mr. Krieger, called Metal Machine Trio.

Sober since the ‘80s and a practitioner of tai chi, Mr. Reed had a liver transplant in April at the Cleveland Clinic. “I am a triumph of modern medicine, physics and chemistry,” he wrote in a public statement upon his release. “I am bigger and stronger than ever.”

But he was back at the clinic for treatment last week. Dr. Miller, who performed the transplant, said Mr. Reed decided to return home after doctors could no longer treat his end-stage liver disease. “We all agreed that we did everything we could,” Dr. Miller said.

Just weeks after his liver transplant, Mr. Reed wrote a review of Kanye West’s album “Yeezus” for the online publication The Talkhouse, celebrating its abrasiveness and returning once more to “Metal Machine Music” to explain an artist’s deepest motives.

“I have never thought of music as a challenge — you always figure the audience is at least as smart as you are,” he wrote. “You do this because you like it, you think what you’re making is beautiful. And if you think it’s beautiful, maybe they think it’s beautiful.”

Emma G. Fitzsimmons contributed reporting.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: October 28, 2013

An earlier version of this obituary misstated several facts about Mr. Reed’s first wife. Her surname is Kronstad, not Kronstadt; she was a student when they met, not a cocktail waitress; and their relationship ended after, not during, the making of Mr. Reed’s album “Berlin.”

A version of this article appears in print on October 28, 2013, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Outsider Whose Dark, Lyrical Vision Helped Shape Rock ’n’ Roll.

For further info:

The Balisong Knife in Movies: Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Continuing with my project of documenting the Balisong Knife in Movies/TV by making animated GIFs, today's entry is from the 1986 cult classic Big Trouble in Little China. Big Trouble in Little China is a special movie but for my animated GIFs project it is a homerun. It features the Balisong aka Butterfly Knife in addition to a Telescopic Baton (another GIF project I have)!

Some thoughts about this movie with relation to Guro Jeff Imada and the Balisong:

  • Too bad with Guro Imada's involvement that there were not more scenes as he literally wrote the book on the Balisong, 2 in fact!
  • It was lame to use Guro Imada's Baton y Balisong as a distraction and someone trips Jack Burton/Kurt Russell from behind

The full scene featuring the awesome Guro Jeff Imada

The above full GIF broken up into 4 separate GIFs below

If you missed the previous entries in my project of making animated GIFs of the Balisong in Movies/TV, please check out:

In case you missed the entries in my "Baton in Movies/TV" series please check out:

If you like the Balisong knife, please check out the post below for details of a documentary project on the Balisong which needs help with funding to finish:

For the record, I've already pledged money. I would like to see this project come to fruition! Please help if you can financially, if not, please share that post to spread the word!

Thank you in advance!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ron Saturno - I am speaking to the children of other Filipino Fathers who practice and love Escrima

At one time Stockton, Ca. had more Filipino's than any where else outside of the Philippines. When I was a child and visited the many farm labor camps surrounding Stockton, Ca. for parties, cock-fights and friendship: They were filled with Filipinos during the various harvest seasons. Asparagus camps were the premier locations for the crack crews of Filipino grass cutters. As the years went slowly by the fields were being worked more and more by farm workers other than Filipinos. There had been a Bracero program that had brought in Mexican laborers. I also saw Middle Eastern laborers brought in. Many years ago there were other laborers from other lands brought in to work in the fertile San Joaquin Valley fields. Farm labor has had a long and illustrious history in the fertile farm lands of California and in other states as well. All of the workers worked long and hard hours for wages that were barely able to keep their families fed and their bills paid. Low pay and no benefits was what farm laborer's had to contend with. Filipinos were strangers in a strange land. When the United Farm Workers Union organized: Many do not know that Filipinos were there as primary organizers from the very beginning. A man could work his whole life in the fields and have next to nothing to show for it. Filipinos tried to fix their plight in legitimate ways. The Filipinos of that bygone era paid in blood, sweat and tears to have earned their place as unknown and barely appreciated men in this great state of California. But they were well honored by those that loved them. When WWII broke out many Filipinos answered the call of duty to defend this great land. They were promised citizenship after the war, which they were later denied after the war. Many do not know that California denied Filipinos the right to wed White women until 1949. Their dark color denied them their right to wed White women, but there skins were heavily darkened from working long hours in the sun to enrich the very men who denied them respect and equality. But they worked through it as most immigrants do. They put their heads down, worked hard and raised families. Their many children in many instances went on to become upstanding members of society. Many of these children got to see their fathers bowed down by age and the many years of stoop labor that their fathers had to endure in the fields. Their Fathers had little to show for years of back breaking labor, but their bent backs. I know these things and remember. I got to see Stockton slowly lose these undervalued members of their community, because of Father Time. Father Time will wait for none of us. I remember the days of old. When I see a child of these immigrants pass away I feel an emptiness in my heart. That child takes many memories with them. That child may be the last living connection with some of those many forgotten immigrants of bygone days. A small piece of history is lost when these connections are broken. One Tony Somera is one of those children who has just passed.

He was a Grand Master and inheritor of the Bahala na System of the late Grand Master Leo Giron. Leo Giron was a decorated combat veteran. He valiantly served the United States of America in WWII. He introduced the Bahala na System of Escrima to Stockton, Ca., after a psychopath murdered many nurses, many years ago. He wanted to teach people how to defend themselves against those who wished to take lives without a just cause. He had a history of trying to fight for and do what was right and just. All of the children raised by Filipino fathers in Stockton, Ca. have a lot of connections between one another. We are the inheritors of the hopes and dreams of our fathers. Their is a lot of shared history between us. When Tony Somera passed away everyone of us should feel the loss and especially other Escrimadors. At times there has been a lot of contention between Escrima Clubs and even their members over the years as well as anger, disgust and outright open hostility. So today I am speaking to the children of other Filipino Fathers who practice and love Escrima.

Isn't it about time that we appreciate the long shared history that we all have between us. Didn't our fathers work and fight for America? Aren't we all Americans yet? Aren't we all worthy of love and compassion and at least of tacit understanding of all of our many faults. I was not a friend of Tony Somera. We were acquaintances who passed each other infrequently and mostly on formal occasions involving Escrima.

But I respected him, because Leo Giron said that he was worthy of respect. Leo Giron earned Tony the right to be respected. So I will try my very best to go to his funeral, just like I went to GM Leo Giron's funeral, because of our shared history. I am saddened by Tony's passing and offer my sincere compassion to those who loved him. An Escrimador has passed, a fellow warrior will not rise again until God raises him. Until then Tony, rest in peace. Just know that there are many others who love the Bahala na System and will do their utmost to keep the art alive and prospering. Bahala na.

Other articles by Master Saturno:


My deepest gratitude to Master Ron Saturno for his kind permission in allowing me to repost his articles to my site. 

You can contact Master Ron Saturno via:

Email: (take out the "NOSPAM")
Phone:  209-513-8027

THE WISDOM OF ... Ashton Kutcher

This new entry in my "The Wisdom of ..." series is on the sage words of Ashton Kutcher. I can hear you say, "Stickgrappler, did you say 'sage' and 'Ashton Kutcher' in the same sentence?"  "Why, yes I did!"

Despite what you may think of him, I only ask that you hear him out ... give him a chance and watch the ~5 minutes acceptance speech he gave at the Teen Choice Awards back on August 12, 2013.


What’s up? Oh wow. Okay okay, let’s be brutally honest — this is the old guy award, this is like the grandpa award and after this I gotta go to the geriatric home. Um, First of all, um, I don’t have a career without you guys. I don’t get to do any of the things I get to do without you. Um you know, I thought that uh, it might be interesting.. You know In Hollywood and in the industry and the stuff we do, there’s a lot of like insider secrets to keeping your career going, and a lot of insider secrets to making things tick. And I feel like a fraud.

My name is actually not even Ashton. Ashton is my middle name. My first name’s Chris. It always has been. It got changed when I was like 19 and I became an actor, but there are some really amazing things that I learned when I was Chris, and I wanted to share those things with you guys because I think it’s helped me be here today. So, it’s really 3 things. The first thing is about opportunity. The second thing is about being sexy. And the third thing is about living life.

So first opportunity. I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work. When I was 13 I had my first job with my Dad carrying shingles up to the roof, and then I got a job washing dishes at a restaurant, and then I got a job in a grocery store deli, and then I got a job in a factory sweeping Cheerio dust off the ground. And I’ve never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job, and every job I had was a stepping stone to my next job and I never quit my job until I had my next job. And so opportunities look a lot like work.

Number two. Being sexy. The sexiest thing in the entire world, is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap, I promise you. It’s just crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less, so don’t buy it. Be smart, be thoughtful, and be generous.

The third thing is something that I just re-learned when I was making this movie about Steve Jobs. And Steve Jobs said when you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way that it is, and that your life is to live your life inside the world and try not to get in too much trouble, and maybe get an education and get a job and make some money and have a family, but life can be a lot broader than that when you realize one simple thing, and that is that everything around us that we call life was made up by people who are no smarter than you, and you can build your own things, you can build your own life that other people can live in. So build a life. Don’t live one, build one. Find your opportunities, and always be sexy. I love you guys.

Was that good or what? Here's the Reader's Digest version:

Ashton Kutcher's 3 Keys to Success and Life

  1. Find your opportunities.
  2. Always be sexy (Be smart, be thoughtful, and be generous.)
  3. Build a life rather than living one.

Here's to your Success in Life!

For more Wisdom from various sources, please check out:

1 Year ago Superstorm Sandy hit NYC hard

Time flies... one year ago, Superstorm Sandy hit NYC hard as well as some other neighboring states. Heard on the news that the millions raised in relief for the victims of Sandy were still not disbursed! Mind-boggling on the redtape and/or corruption going on!

Recap of Sandy copied from Wiki:

Hurricane Sandy (unofficially known as "Superstorm Sandy") was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, as well as the second-costliest hurricane in United States history. Classified as the eighteenth named storm, tenth hurricane and second major hurricane of the year, Sandy was a Category 3 storm at its peak intensity when it made landfall in Cuba.[1] While it was a Category 2 storm off the coast of the Northeastern United States, the storm became the largest Atlantic hurricane on record (as measured by diameter, with winds spanning 1,100 miles (1,800 km)).[2][3] Estimates as of June 2013 assess damage to have been over $68 billion (2013 USD), a total surpassed only by Hurricane Katrina.[4] At least 286 people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries.[5]

Sandy developed from a tropical wave in the western Caribbean Sea on October 22, quickly strengthened, and was upgraded to Tropical Storm Sandy six hours later. Sandy moved slowly northward toward the Greater Antilles and gradually intensified. On October 24, Sandy became a hurricane, made landfall near Kingston, Jamaica, re-emerged a few hours later into the Caribbean Sea and strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane. On October 25, Sandy hit Cuba as a Category 3 hurricane, then weakened to a Category 1 hurricane. Early on October 26, Sandy moved through the Bahamas.[6] On October 27, Sandy briefly weakened to a tropical storm and then restrengthened to a Category 1 hurricane. Early on October 29, Sandy curved north-northwest and then[7] moved ashore near Brigantine, New Jersey, just to the northeast of Atlantic City, as a post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds.[1][8]

In Jamaica, winds left 70% of residents without electricity, blew roofs off buildings, killed one, and caused about $100 million (2012 USD) in damage. In Haiti, Sandy's outer bands brought flooding that killed at least 54, caused food shortages, and left about 200,000 homeless. In the Dominican Republic, two died. In Puerto Rico, one man was swept away by a swollen river. In Cuba, there was extensive coastal flooding and wind damage inland, destroying some 15,000 homes, killing 11, and causing $2 billion (2012 USD) in damage. In The Bahamas, two died amid an estimated $700 million (2012 USD) in damage. In Canada, two were killed in Ontario and an estimated $100 million (2012 CAD) in damage was caused throughout Ontario and Quebec.[9]

In the United States, Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states, including the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine and west across the Appalachian Mountains to Michigan and Wisconsin, with particularly severe damage in New Jersey and New York. Its storm surge hit New York City on October 29, flooding streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city.[10][11] Damage in the United States amounted to $65 billion (2013 USD).[12]

I'm reminded how scammers are always looking for angles to scam. Posted about my experience with one street-level scammer... classic examples of Gavin de Becker's PIN's in action:

Here is a news story about other scammers:

Here's hoping we never ever see another superstorm hit!


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Stickgrappler's Sojourn of Septillion Steps