Archive for the ‘kung fu’ Category

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Holiday Greetings, From The Chamber

December 18, 2008

I just thought I’d mention that my activity will be a little light around here, with all the hustle and bustle and whatnot.  But don’t worry, I’m still checking in when I get the chance.

Anyway, here’s one of my rare open threads.  But if the holiday season isn’t a sufficient topic of discussion in and of itself, I’ll take the liberty of adding a little entertainment in my own style…

So, since I was in the mood for some classic kung fu from the ’70’s, I’ll present the final scene from The Mystery Of Chessboxing (aka Shuang ma lian huan), where the infamous Ghost Faced Killer meets his demise. 

I know its cliché, but they just don’t make ’em like this anymore.  Too bad, really.

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Yep, I’ve Got A Blavatar Too

December 5, 2008

After a year of spreading the purple throwing star around to every blog, message board and random social networking service I came across, the circle is finally complete.  As silly as it might sound, I’ve been itching for one of these for quite some time, and just recently the good folks at WordPress.com granted The Chamber an early Christmas gift:

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I’ve got an avatar, a gravatar, and now…a blavatar!  Cool huh?

As an aside, there is a slightly amusing background story on how the star came to be, in case you’re curious.  I was pretty peeved at the WordPress people at the time, but lately I’ve been thinking it may have been one of the best things to have happened to The Chamber.  With little setbacks come great ideas, I guess. 

So, the purple shuriken of the Brave Nomadic Warrior of the Political Web ™ is now universal and worldwide.  Sort of my own “ghost face killing plate” (if you’re down with kung fu cinema metaphors), so you know who’s around when you see it.

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Off For A Short Vacation

July 18, 2008

I’m going to work tomorrow and leaving directly for a little fun in the sun here in the glow of our beautiful Minnesota summer.   The destination:  Big Rock Resort in Walker, MN.   I’ll be hypermiling the whole 3 hr trip, although it might be a good idea to put some extra weight (in the form of a spare wheel and jack) into Slow and Low.   Blowing a tire on my way to work without a spare would be an inconvenience, but having it happen in the middle of nowhere would positively suck, after all.

Anyway, I’m guessing that there will be no internet access where I’m going and won’t be able to respond to any comments or emails, but I’ll leave the light on for ya.   If any of those lame spammers get through the filter, please ignore them.  Or, stab them with a fireplace poker or something, and I’ll clean up the mess when I get back sometime late Tuesday.

In the meantime, you can enjoy a little kung fu video:


Chen Zhen kicks ass even when blindfolded, don’tcha know?

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Obama’s Kung Fu Is Strong

February 29, 2008

Well, there I go again; using kung fu as a metaphor.  I can’t help it today, ’cause there’s just no other way to describe what happened. 

First,  The blogs were buzzing about this lame and overly dramatized ad that featured Hillary Clinton as a woman who apparently never sleeps (or, at least, never puts on pajamas) and is able to answer a ringing phone at 3am.   I know what she was trying to get across with this thing (that only she has the experience to handle whatever terrible news that phone call may bring), but I’m not sure it’s really going to work.   Maybe this was the “kitchen sink” we were promised.  I dunno.  Half the blogs thought this would be a better ad for McCain to run.   All I know is that the ad got a lot of attention and reaction on both sides of the spectrum today (complete with some Matchbox 20 references), and there seemed to be an air of anticipation for Obama’s response.  Whether that perceived need was borne from the effectiveness of the ad or simply the hype that surrounded it, I’m not sure, but it was there.

Well, we didn’t have to wait too long.  Within hours:

I don’t think these ads will work this time because the question is not about picking up the phone. The question is, what kind of judgment will you exercise when you pick up that phone. In fact, we have had a red phone moment; it was the decision to invade Iraq.

 Senator Clinton gave the wrong answer. George Bush gave the wrong answer. John McCain gave the wrong answer. I stood up and I said that a war in Iraq would be unwise. It cost us thousands of lives and billions of dollars. I said that it would distract us from the real threat that we face, and that we should take the fight to al Qaeda in Afghanistan. That’s the judgment I made on the most important foreign policy decision of our generation.

and…

A reporter asked whether Clinton should drop out after Ohio and Texas. Obama adviser Richard Danzig responded:

“I would encourage you on March 5 to call Sen. Clinton at 3 a.m. and ask that question.”

Ouch!  And most impressively:

You saw that right.  Obama came out with a rebuttal ad…the same day!  Apparently Obama has taken the criticism that he is dangerously slow to counterattack to heart, because I think even the Obama-haters out there would have to find that impressive in and of itself.   That phone rang, and Obama answered.  While Hillary’s camp was spending $100,000 at the deli, Obama was obviously putting together a pretty good team (a quality that would also reflect well on him as president).

Exit question:  Can we expect the political warfare to continue to be fought on the battleground of youtube.com?  The “1984” vid may be revealing the tip of the iceberg.  With a relatively small but competent staff of video editors and sound mixers, a candidate could crank out stuff like this a few times per day.  For free.  The only danger, I suppose,  is the more you put out, the less control you’d have over the message.  This would increase the likelihood of something coming back to bite you in the ass.  But with a well-oiled machine, these kinds of instant rebuttals can be quite powerful and effective.  

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

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Chamber Music

December 14, 2007

Hello Chamber readers!  If you have your computer speakers turned on, you might notice that I’ve added sound to this blog.  Enjoy!

Truth be told, I actually agonized over this decision somewhat.  The Sonific feature has been available to WordPress.com bloggers for a while now, but I noticed that the vast majority of the WP.com sites that I’ve visited in the past don’t use it.  In fact, most blogs in general don’t have sound, probably because it’s viewed as a distraction or… downright annoying.   This was probably the main reason for my hesitation.

Nevertheless, I’m going to give it a try.  After much internal debate, and a significant amount of searching the Sonific library, I finally chose a selection that I feel would enhance the character the Chamber.  I really wanted to stay within the parameters of the theme I’m working with here, so I chose “Sounds of the Chen and Sui Dynasties” by Min Xiao-Fen.  In addition to the fact that this piece delivers the “kung fu movie” feel that I was looking for, I think it’s kinda neat that my handle is included in the title (I had no idea there was a Chen dynasty, incidentally),  along with the added bonus that the album cover even matches the color scheme.   I might add to the playlist; we’ll see.

Anyway, for now, I’ve placed player at the very bottom of the sidebar.  If it’s drivin’ ya nuts, you can click the pause button to stop it.  

Update:  I’ve noticed that the track starts at the beginning whenever you go to a different page or post (or if you refresh the page), so I’ve decided to buffer the track with a sound effect.  That way, if you’re quickly jumping around on the blog you wouldn’t hear the first few seconds of the track each time you clicked (which would sound like a broken record, I suppose).  Instead, you’ll hear a couple of nifty explosions.  Like: Boom!  New page.

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Hollywood’s Creativity Keg Is Officially Cashed

May 22, 2007

I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but this summer’s major movie offerings seem to have a something in common: 3.  Let’s take a look:

Let me know if I missed any.   Pretty soon they’re going to have to come up with a new comic book just so they can make a movie out of it, since everything else has been done already.  Oh well, as long as they can slap Shrek on every other thing in the grocery store, I suppose they’ll keep doing it. 

At least there’s a little bit of kung fu in there. 😉

Update:  I’ve decided to add reviews from fellow wordpress bloggers for these movies as I stumble upon them.

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Strike A Pose, Kung-Fu Style

March 30, 2007

It probably doesn’t take the average reader of my blog too long to figure out that I’m a fan of kung-fu movies.  I’m not quite sure what it is about them that I find entertaining, but I know I’ve liked them since my childhood (I know I’m not the only one who watched Kung Fu Theater).  I’m not sure where I’d be placed on rating of fanaticism, but let’s just say that I own 40 or so of them on DVD and I’ve seen many, many more.  I’ve actually thought about how the genre has evolved from the Shaw Bros. days to appearing in major Hollywood films like The Matrix, but that subject will have to wait for some future post here.

One thing I’ve always found really cool and different about the older ones (in particular) is the way the fight scenes incorporate a sort of machismo and LOTS of posturing.  These scenes will typically have many “squaring off” pose breaks interspersed within the choreographed action sequences.  It’s almost as if these directors and screenwriters knew that this moment before the combatants engaged each other had high excitement value, so they figured on having it happen as many times as possible before the fight’s conclusion.  I’ve noticed that it seems to be a source of some creativity on the part of the both actor and director.  As this type of thing became more popular, I’m sure the filmmakers were challenged to come up with new and hip ways of doing it.   A perfect example of this style of action sequencing taken to the max is the final fight scene in the Woo-ping classic The Buddhist Fist.

Fun stuff!  I’ll add more fun kung fu observations in the future.