Category Archives: Green

Free Martial Arts Training at Home (and WOOTW #76)

A couple of my friends after a successful trial for rank advancement. Start training in Cabal Fang too. What are you waiting for?

The Hermit Path Distance Learning Program is what we call our Cabal Fang Martial Arts home study course.  It’s absolutely free because we are a genuine, truly-and-for-real, non-profit educational corporation.

Sign up today and you’ll get a free download coupon for the 300+ page Cabal Fang Study Course.  All you have to do is complete the exercises and workouts, keep a training journal, and submit scans of your journals each month.

Remember those ads they used to run in comic books back in the 70s? We are NOT like them. Photo courtesy of Mr. Dan Kelly and his super cool website

Cabal Fang is a mind-body-spirit martial art.  Our emphasis is on getting fighting fit, learning how to fight, and getting your head together.

No, you can’t learn to fight by studying solo.  But there are two other dimensions that you can definitely pursue at home — fitness and spirit.

Weightlifters know that if they pick up heavy objects that are hard to lift, they’ll get stronger.  Cabal Fang is not easy.  Nothing that makes you stronger is ever going to be.  But trust me — you can do this.

And now for the workout of the week.

Cabal Fang “No Excuses” Workout of the Week #76

  • Eye-patched.  Prepare to fight with a handicap if necessary.  Tie a bandanna or tenugui around your head such that one eye is covered.  Set a timer for 3 x 3:00/1:00 and get after that bag with maximum damage in mind — punches and kicks.  Really try to beat the stuffing out of it.  Caution: Depth perception is difficult with one eye covered — don’t get hurt.  Don’t have a bag?  Make one.  Nowhere to hang it?  Lash it to a tree.  No excuses!
  • Calisthenics pyramid.  Full pyramid to 7 of Hop Push-ups, Pikes, Finger-tip Push-ups, and Jumping Jacks (that’ll be 49 of each exercise total).  If/when you gas on the Push-ups, drop to knees.  Can’t do do Hop Push-ups with a hop at the top?  Do them regular. Can’t do Finger-tip Push-ups?  Do them on knuckles instead.  No excuses — only substitutions or step-downs.
  • Searching for excuses.  Set a timer for 10 minutes.  Assume your meditative posture of choice, close your eyes, and regulate your breathing.  Imagine that your life is a video recording.  In your mind’s eye, start it playing backwards from right now.  Watch the video playing backwards, noting as you go the things that you’ve been making excuses about.  When the timer beeps, get out your training journal and write down the things that you’re going to do, say, correct, overcome, etc. by throwing your excuses into the negative behavior dustbin.

I created the pyramid workout using PTDICE — a set of 9 dice which I designed and marketed a couple of years ago. I have a few sets left. If you want one, send me an email at and I’ll sell you a set for $15.00.

Did you enjoy reading this?  Then the Cabal Fang book will blow your mind.  Buy a paper copy on Amazon or from Createspace or download the ebook here.


Tiny Origami Swans


Very small origami swans made from a single gum wrapper

Because really tiny swans are really friggin cute.



Keep Cup

imageThis is my new KeepCup.  I’ve had it for a week (which amounts to roughly thirty cups of coffee¹) and I already love it.  Since the cup ecologically “pays for itself” in just fifteen uses, it has already paid for itself twice.  You can get one here.

They are fully customizable, part by part.  So if you don’t want a brown and black one like mine, you can choose from about twenty different colors for the cup, band, lid, and plug to create your own masterpiece.

It’s a durable (tested to 1,500 uses!), non-insulated, spill-resistant cup that can be used for any kind of beverage.  Durability is important to me because, let’s face it, I’m a hardcore java junkie who really puts the wear and tear on his equipment.  My Aladdin cup broke and had to be fixed, and my Tervis had to be retired because hard water stains accumulated on the inner rim until it looked like the shore of the Dead Sea (sorry Tervis, but I don’t care what you say, your cups are for clear liquids only).

KeepCups are sustainably manufactured in Australia and shipped from distribution hubs in AU, UK and the US.


¹ Look, I’m a writer.  I drink a lot of coffee.  Before work I have four cups in a ceramic mug at the house, and then I start using the KeepCup on the road and at the office, where I knock back another five or so cups.  I try to limit my consumption to a pot a day, because, you know, that would just be excessive.  Better than swilling bourbon all day, right?

Cold Sunset

imageI took  this picture at sunset on Jan. 6th, right before the two-day cold snap that plunged us into overnight lows almost in the single digits.

Looking at the sunset it seemed that something was coming, that the sunset held some special significance.  I had heard the forecast of course, so it’s possible it that what I felt was nothing more than a little subconscious anticipation or dread.  Who knows?

Look at this cold sunset and judge for yourself.



My Custom Insulated Mug, Sort of


I made some mods to my cup. Cool, right?

I dropped my insulated mug and it broke.  It’s one of those with the inner liner, and it broke right along the top.  What a pisser — this is not just any mug, it’s the expensive Aladdin one that is completely spill-proof, the one I use to smuggle coffee into theaters that don’t serve it.  Not the mug’s fault.  I dropped it on asphalt on a cold day.

I was about to throw it away when I realized that I might be able to fix it.  People should fix more stuff instead of chucking it into landfills.  I checked, and as it happens, Gorilla Glue is stable and food safe once fully cured.  My other favorite glue, JB Weld, is not food safe (I once fixed an engine block with JB Weld — I’m not kidding — it held for two weeks until I could get it fixed properly).

So I got out the Gorilla Glue and set to work.  First I glued one of my martial arts club’s patches to the inner liner and let it dry.  I figured, why not?  Works for Tervis, right?  Then I and reassembled it.  The glue dripped a little (why didn’t I turn the thing upside down to dry?), so I disguised the drips with blood red nail polish borrowed from my wife so that the drips would look like blood.

Why blood?  I don’t know, geez, it’s art.  Gimme a break.

Eating Local: Deep Run Roadhouse


This is the catfish sandwich from Deep Run Road House. It will make you weep tears of joy and wonder.

I prefer to prepare my own meals using locally sourced food and free-range meat and eggs.  It’s tough to get those kinds of ingredients at an affordable restaurant, but when when I eat out, I at least like to go to private shops, non-chain restaurants, and good old-fashioned American eateries.

So Saturday night I had dinner at Deep Run Road House over on Gayton Road in Richmond.  I can’t speak to the sourcing of their ingredients, but I can say that I didn’t give my hard-earned cash to some faceless mega-corporation.  In fact, when I went up to the condiments area and looked for some salt, the guy that handed it to me was the owner.  We talked a bit and he was super.  Aren’t people cool?  Real people who make real stuff for other real people?

I had the catfish sandwich.  This super-crunchy flavorful thing is the size of small cantaloupe and comes on a fluffy, toasted bun with tomatoes, pickles, field greens, a slab of onion, and an amazing tartar sauce packed with minced onions and capers.  Capers, I tell you – capers.  I could sit and eat this tartar sauce with with a @*#$&%# spoon.  I may be a little guy, but I eat like a Viking after a long day of pillaging and sacking.  This sandwich filled me up just right, and that’s saying something.

My daughter had the pulled chicken bbq sandwich (which was too big for her to finish) and a side of greens.  I tasted both and they were outstanding.  Note that I am a connoisseur of greens, so you can trust me when I say they’re good.  Just the right amount of smoky meat, not too salty, and with just hint of sweetness and zip.  My daughter said, “These are the best greens I’ve ever had.”  What about my greens?  I make bangin’ greens!  She didn’t even bother to preface her statement with “I’m sorry Dad, but…”  That stings.

This is no common roadhouse (even though the NC style bbq sauce on the table is called “Swayze Sauce”).  These are roadhouse dishes prepared with gourmet skill.  We ate like kings for $20.00.  Good service, great food, reasonable prices.  What’s not to love?

Next time: the 1/3 lb Bison Burger!