Monday, October 19, 2015

Here today, gone tomorrow

I'll be deleting this blog pretty soon. It was fun while it lasted but I just don't use it anymore. I haven't for years.

Blogger is a great platform, but more suited to long, well thought out posts.

Catch my bullshit and ramblings on tumblr, at

Or not. I'd be surprised if more than two people ever saw this.

Field report - Merrel Trail Gloves - I was meant to post this years ago

I've been meaning to write a review of these shoes, because people who are considering running barefoot have asked me before. Also I promised the reddit group, barefoot running a review, so here we go.

10/10, would buy again.

I've had them fore a month now; I use them almost every day, and they are easily the most comfortable shoes I own. Before using these, I just used Dunlop volleys for running; they fulfilled all my needs - forefoot striking when running, and a fairly versatile shoe for martial arts, and anything else I might need to do. The downside was that they compressed my pinky a little bit, and also wore down to a flat surface after a few months. While they were super grippy when I started using them, they would be ridiculous after a short amount of time.

Well, the Trail Gloves don't have this problem. I've been using them almost every day since I got them (I put them on the instant I bought them); now I can see a tiny bit of wear on the tread. But I've definitely put them through their paces.

1. Running - Over the last month and a half I've clocked up maybe 100km in them (seriously, who's counting?) - I ran a half marathon in them this morning - just for the hell of it, they're super freakin' comfortable to run in, but you don't want to heel-strike with them, even flat foot striking isn't so great with them. But hey, it isn't meant to be.

2. Martial Arts - The reason I bought them, really. Running doesn't shred a pair of shoes nearly as much as fighting - Before I'd made the switch, I'd been using the same old pair of Dunlop Volleys, while also working through a pair of new volleys every two months or so. While they aren't quite as grippy as Volleys (seriously, the first time you use volleys you're GLUED to the floor. Not so great when you step in dog turd, but that's a story for another time), they are more than adequate. They do, however, have a couple of shortcomings, specifically for fighting.

- There's nothing much across the toes of the shoe; If you're kicking someone, you damn well better have those toes curled up. This is probably for the best, as you're supposed to kick with the ball, not the toes, and this is something I've improved a fair amount since I've started using my Trails.
- Non existent padding on the instep. I strike with my shin anyway, this is no big deal for me, but if you miss, and you hit with the front of your ankle (the head of the Talus, with your foot plantar-flexed, for all you anatomy nerds out there), it's gonna hurt like a sonofabitch.
- Stomping with a minimalist shoe isn't exactly what I'd call comfortable. If you're hitting a kickshield, or godforbid, a person, it's no problem. but some of us crazy kids like to practise on walls.

So basically, nothing that improved technique can't solve.

3. Random dumb shit - I competed in the New South Wales Warrior Dash over the weekend. I don't think another shoe would have helped too much (apart from maybe some sprinting spikes or something like that). I was slipping and sliding a lot, not much that can be helped about that, but on some of the obstacles, traction left quite a bit to be desir
ed. I fell off one of them actually, the balance-across-the-beams one, on the way down, because I couldn't get enough traction. I'm not sure what can be done about this though.
Washing dishes, drinking beer/apple juice/water - The top is made of mesh. This is good when running on a really hot day; a bit of breeze enters the shoe, and your foot gets a tiny bit cooler. Cool story bro. Spill a tiny bit of liquid on top of your shoe though, and your foot is wet.
Would be better with waterproofing.
Apparently Merrel has released a minimalist shoe with gore-tex, but it's a different design. In any case, they might have to be my next purchase, after my trails are worn out. Though I would prefer the Trail Glove design, except with at least the top being water proof.

4. Every day use - I guess this translates to 'aesthetic', because we've already established that these things are comfortable as. Ok, aesthetically speaking, they're yellow.
Like, fucking, yellow. I'm not a fan of yellow, but it's what the place I bought them at had. They don't look too bad, but could definitely use less
yellow. All that being said, I use them every day. To put things in a bit of perspective, if I were to die while wearing a shoe, I'd prefer to die wearing the one in the middle, not the clusterfuck of aesthetics that are Vibram Five Fingers, and/or KSO's.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dale's peer reviewed psych test

I was just subjected to a gruelling psychological analysis.

The answers are... Disturbing.

You can try this at home.

My answer

So what does it mean?

What is it all for??
How people see you-|-How you see yourself
Your home life------|-Your career---------
Your Sex life--------|-Your future---------

Ok, just to clarify, 'How I see myself' is a mystical spiral lollipop, and my career is symbolised by the rocket clock from Play School

Hasta Luego

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

For your viewing pleasure - MCMAP

So, MMA (Mixed Martial Arts, to those who don't know) is a totally awesome sport and I really enjoy watching it. While K-1 and Boxing tournaments have better striking, and pure grappling competitions will have better um... Grappling, what I really enjoy about MMA is that it is so unpredictable. I've seen guys who are significantly better fighters than their opponents lose.

Over the last couple of decades, MMA has really evolved as a sport, and at the highest levels, the fighters are world class athletes. Last year, UFC fighters Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Gabriel Gonzaga, Marcus Davis, and a former Marine, Brian Stann, along with UFC president Dana White visited the Marine Corps base, for a little taste of how the Marine Corps trains.


*spoiler alert*

Marines train hard.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Pretty rad, huh?

Thursday, February 10, 2011


You know, smileys, emoticons, whatever, those little things in SMS' and online conversations that are supposed to tell people that you're smiling or laughing... Basically just adding another dimension of expression to a conversation.

Cool invention huh. Yeah, pretty cool...

Until they go wrong.

I use MSN messenger. I liked the old version better. Now I'm not saying this in a pretentious hipster douchetard way, it's more or less the same thing, and if it's any better than the old version I can't tell. It's probably more stable or something. The emoticons in the old version, however, didn't look like they were plotting to cut your face off in your sleep.

Oh, you thought I was exaggerating?

Look at it again.

"Don't turn your back on me."

This here is 'Sarcastic Smiley'. Sarcastic my ass. Sarcastically just slipped a roofie into your drink. I don't know whether or not it's the tilt of the eyebrow, or something else, but I don't feel safe around this smiley... Just... Get it away from me.

I don't know what the hell this is supposed to be... Angry... I suppose. But it just doesn't convey that emotion, y'know. The first time I saw this I thought "What the hell, this guy doesn't look angry..." And then I got to speculating.

Maybe he sleeps upside down, and is like, really happy at the moment.

Maybe someone drew a face on a slice of salami. They did it wrong.

Maybe he has heatstroke, and that's actually a pained grimace.

Either way, he needs help.

This is supposed to be 'vampire bat'. The animation is a vampire face morphing into a bat and flying away, but in this frame it looks like an egg.

This is the safest you'll feel for a while.

Insert bacon here -->

: ) haunts my dreams.

It is Jame Gumb. It is Alex Delarge. It is Legion. It is Hannibal, come to beat down your city's walls.

And I always forget... MSN is different now man... It has evil in it.

You'll be typing, and innocently put in :) and then BAM

You've invited it into your presence.

Surprise, Cindy.

I will enjoy watching you fail.

*heavy breathing*

It's everywhere.

I hope you listen to this warning. It's best that you learn from my mistakes, and don't repeat them.

Hasta Luego.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Navidad Salvadoreña

A question I get asked a lot here is 'how do you celebrate Christmas in Australia?'

I don't rightly know!! See, we always celebrated it El Salvador style at our place.

1. Make lots of food.

2. Visit friends and hang out.

Except we do it on the 24th.

The Average Aussie family does more or less the same thing, except on the 25th, and with more beach-ness... Right?

8 PM on the 24th, and I was on track to having a pretty crappy Christmas. My Grandma was pretty ill, and she was in hospital (no dramas folks, she's much better now, I'd say she's at 80%), and I was on catching up on the stuff I hadn't read.

Anyway, I got lucky and ended up celebrating Christmas El Salvador style, doing the rounds with my Great Uncle Toño and his family. It was awesome fun; I met his in-laws who were great fun. I had an absolute blast there =D

It was a familiar experience, except I felt a little bit removed from it; they were very welcoming, but Christmas away from home sucks.

After that we headed to my cousin Carlos' place, where we let off a bunch of firecrackers at midnight. I've never blown sh*t up before, I don't really have a taste for it. Those firecrackers are LOUD!! And when you put them next to each other they act like cluster bombs, throwing little packages that spread noise, smoke and bits of shredded newspaper everywhere. I felt like I was playing worms or something.

Ahhhhh that's all I have to say about that.

Miss you guys, see you soon!!

And Merry Christmas!!

Mariachis and market stalls

The Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe was on the 12th (yeah this is really long overdue), who is the Patron Saint of the Americas. I personally don't think anyone in Latin America should be Catholic (or anywhere else really, but especially here), but as an anthropological exercise it was ok, I guess. Maybe. Not that I know anything about anthropology.

The cathedral where people gather to venerate her was absolutely packed. I've been in mosh pits at metal concerts that weren't as packed as that. I didn't actually get in either; wasn't really feeling the Mariachi music anyway.

A few quiet days; just buying stuff etc.

On Thursday I went to Lake Coatepeque in/near Santa Ana, with my Grandma and her friends from some cooking club.

I suggest you google it. Now.

You're welcome.

I'll post the rest of the photos later.

Saturday the 18th I went to Puerto de la Libertad, with my Grandma, Tia Irma and another relative, Lili. Great food, great views, poor place. There were a bunch of kids dancing in the sand. I was informed that they were doing it for money, and people were throwing coins in the sand for them to go pick up. Personally, I found that very unsettling on a few levels, but I took a photo then wrapped some quarters in a napkin (so they wouldn't bury themselves in the sand because of inertia) and threw it to them (we were 3 stories above them).

I had a brief conversation with a guy who had to flee the country in the early 80's, and is now working in an international shipping company or something. He was kind enough to take a photo of me and my family before we left. Sadly, our conversation had to be cut short (cause we left...), I wanted to hear more.

We looked around other areas of Puerto de la Libertad and I made an unsavoury discovery about this tourist district...


are fucking


Seriously, fuck Mariachis.

Have you ever been having a meal with someone and then suddenly a band starts playing at full volume 27 centimeters from your head? It is impossible to have a seated conversation in Puerto de la Libertad, as there will be a Mariachi band within strangling distance. That band will be playing El Peluquero Salvatrucha.

Ok so that song is totally bitchin' and I never thought I would like a song that featured the accordion but hearing it 4 times in 3 minutes (bands playing simultaneously) will piss you off.

They're like locusts. They're like the locust. Or the flood.

One more gripe before I sign off


The Freo Markets are great. You love them. Don't lie. Markets in El Salvador tend to have a bigger range and better prices but dammit the people who run them are RUDE!

I understand that they are trying to make a living in difficult conditions, so I'll excuse some of their behaviour completely. Namely, the annoying call of 'I'll give you a good price' or 'You look like you need...' etc etc. Even the yelling of their price at an annoyingly loud volume. Whatever, I can dig it.

There are three consistent and specific behaviours that really infuriate me though, and they are counterproductive too.

1. The face. Stay out of it. If I have to dodge you, because you are now in my way and you want to sell me something, you're too close. And those fish you've thrust in my eyes have questionable freshness. If I want fish, I'll look for you.

2. The wrists. KYFHO. I walked PAST your stall because it has nothing of interest for me. I'm not going to suddenly decide I need to buy a skirt just because you grabbed my wrist. It's always the girls who grab your wrist, and my mens intuition tells me that a lot of guys got punched in the mouth before a lesson was learned here. If your marketing style relies on a social taboo to avoid violence you're doing it wrong.

Number two goes especially for the kid who you pay to get on the microbus, this would be especially distressing to the elderly who might not be strong enough, or able to keep up with the bus long enough to remove themselves from the kid's grasp, and I know it happens cause it happened to my grandma.

As with Number 1, if I want transport, or womens clothes, I'll look for you.

3. The volume. TURN IT THE FUCK DOWN. Good news: I decided you have something I want. Now, I want to know how much it costs. But I can't hear you, because every stall (including yours) has the volume on some awful song cranked up TO THE MAX!! I have two theories.
a) People in markets can lipread amazingly well, except I usually have to repeat myself.
b) The volume is up as high as it goes to prevent people from haggling, except this is taking place in a Salvadoran market, and whoever thinks that might work should really know better.

Anyway, I hope that made you laugh.

Hasta Luego.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

7/12/2010 - Homecoming tour part 3 - Waking up in El Salvador

Not copied from my journal, at the time.

I'll only relate a few experiences, as there are things to do, places to be, people to meet etc...

Yesterday I went to a tourist district in Las Palmas; a tourist town North West of San Salvador, close to the Honduran border. That place is hilly as bru. The town itself is very high up, and I'm not sure if it was the pressure, or perhaps the fact that I was tired from a um... Stomach upset, but I didn't feel so great up there. It was also bloody cold... Bloody windy... The drive itself took about 2 hours, and there were more changes in altitude than I've ever experienced in my life...

Oh, and drivers here are Craaaaaaaazy yo!!

On the way there were the kinds of sights you just won't see in Western Australia. I can't say for the Eastern States because I haven't been there, but it's sure aroused my interest...

Winding roads through valleys and over hills, absolutely stunning views... But also farmers who are dirt poor, shanty towns and lone shacks. Abandoned houses in the hills, which may or may not have been shot to pieces. Oh, and rivers. Of course I've seen The Avon and Swan Rivers in WA... But four rivers in one day (including the River Lempo)?


Unheard of.

I bought a whole bunch of Souveneirs in Las Palmas =D

Hasta Luego

4/12/2010 - Homecoming tour part 2 - Homecoming

(From my journal, at the time)

It's hard to figure out which direction you're facing when you're on a plane. LA to San Salvador was 4 hours, the sun rose over the Atlantic but I was facing the Pacific. We flew over Mexico; we might have flown over Honduras and Guatemala but I can't be sure. What I do know is that there were lots of fires in Mexico. Bonfires or something... I could see them from the plane, so they must have been pretty big; or maybe it was a trick of the light, with everything looking bright in comparison to the dark...

We flew over a city in a cove; the divisions between rich and poor could be seen, even at night, from a plane. Rich, coastline houses had large, bright lights. A little more inland and you have your people who are well off, with normal lights, I guess. The rest of the city was a fuzzy mass of lights; a perpetual brown out, I guess.

In this same city, as we nearly passed out of view, there was a very large explosion; about a seventh of the brown out area instantly lost power... The explosion must have been a power station, or substation or something. Tought times I guess... I hope they're ok.

From the sky, the low Salvadorean clouds hugged the terrain; like Icing on a cake, but more like a turbulent, whitewater river, flowing over rough rocks, and then frozen in time. A very striking image.

El Salvador is a hilly country; there are lots of hills. It looks like something out of smugglers run. It looks like parts of Farcry 2. It looks like Panau (wow I'm such a nerd). From what I saw from the sky, Salvadorean Beaches aint got shit on Australian beaches. Flying over the pacific, as we turned to land at the airport, I saw a lot of pollution. Not happy.

The first place my family took me to was to a church on a hill, overlooking some of the more dangerous parts of San Salvador; two out of the 14 districts. One hell of a view.

We made it home (Close to the base of the San Salvador Volcano. I want to climb it). I passed out for a few hours, and then my uncle took me to a shopping centre. It's maybe as big as Garden City, except with three or four floors, 8 times as many shops, and 8 times as many shoppers to fill them. Everything here is so compact.

Despite this, people don't seem to get in each other's way. There aren't as many of what I like to call 'Stupid walkers'; people who should be force fed walking lessons, or a bullet, because they don't know how to walk down a fucking sidewalk without getting in everyone's way.

None of them here.


1. It feels like I never left. I don't know how else to describe it. The sounds, the smells, there is an uncanny familiarity about all this, despite the differences, and the danger.

2. Gunsgunsguns. If I walk out the front door, turn right, then left then walk for 45 seconds there is a really good chance I'll see at least one guy holding a shotgun big enough to ride. There are lots of cops.

3. Compactness - but no bad walkers. For at least a month, bad walkers won't piss me off, and my health will thank me for it...

4. Razor wire. Bars. Every home is locked down tight. I've never seen anything like it.

Hasta Luego

Monday, December 06, 2010

3/12/2010 - Homecoming tour part 1 - Crossing the Pacific

(From my Journal, at the time)

So here I am, sitting in LAX, the first the first two legs of my journey to El Salvador completed. If I could take a plane back right now I would. I´m sleep deprived, frustrated and a little lonely.

The people here are so unfriendly, and it´s obvious to me that the bottom line to everything here, is money. Got too many bags? Use this trolley for 4 dollars... Wanna sit down? You can share these four couches with the whole airport, or use our lounge, entry, 25 dollars.

Seriously, America?


Observations I've made today.

1. Flying sucks. Not moving for 12 hours on the Sydney to LAX (with the wonderful reward of having to be in LAX)... 'nuff said.

2. American customs are cocks.
'Do you understand English?'
'Ummm... Yeah.'
'Because it asks for my US Residential Address, and I DON'T HAVE a US Residential Address.'

Fuck head.

3. Everyone in LAX Speaks spanish.

4. LA is a hole. Oh, sure, it looks real nice in the movies. I'd like to know how much it costs to filter out all the smog on film. Visibility there is at best, a kilometer. The air tastes like shit and cordite. You can't see the city from the plane, and as we were taking off I thought it was raining.


Hasta Luego.