NLP III and the fat guy in a T-shirt

Last night I went home and felt bored, really bored, so I thought to myself, I can go out and do my supreme ultimate boxing (a rather poor translation of taijiquan).

I returned to the jedi mind tricks and I repeated to myself several times: “I can feel no emotions, my mind is empty” and in a sense it worked. I felt really centered and balanced. The problem was that “Go away gnats” didn’t have the same effect. So, I learnt the hard way that gnats are sith-lords.

Anyway, this morning I was going to return to the park to do three sets. Someone have conveniently moved the benches into the bushes(!), so there’s enough room for me between all the junkies and the drunks. After a few minutes some fat guy with a hooded sweater and a goth/metal t-shirts moves closer to have a look at what I’m doing. I finish the set and I move to a different location which I prefer but was previously occupied by said junkies. When I start the second set, the guy starts doing his own free-form-supreme-ultimate-whatever-kata-shit and I’m trying to avoid laughing (“I can feel no emotions. This guy is pathetic. No, wait!”). It looked like the start of your basic shaolin-movie combined with some strikes through the air and kicks to the lamp-post. He must have seen too many films.

When I finished the second set, he was still at it but the park was suddenly full of russian and french tourist, so I made my escape.

NLP II

This afternoon I was walking around town tired and hungry trying to call a friend of mine who hadn’t answered my calls in three days. This was getting frustrating.

Anyway, I sat down on a “barbie leg” and was letting this get to me. Then I said to myself: “There’s nothing you can do. The first step to overcome this problem is to accept the situation”. I started thinking. At first I didn’t feel convinced. Then I tried again.

There’s nothing you can do. The first step to overcome this problem is to accept the situation

Might as well say it a few times and see if it helps:

The first step to overcome this problem is to accept the situation
The first step to overcome this problem is to accept the situation
The first step to overcome this problem is to accept the situation
The first step to overcome this problem is to accept the situation
The first step to overcome this problem is to accept the situation
The first step to overcome this problem is to accept the situation
The first step to overcome this problem is to accept the situation
The first step to overcome this problem is to accept the situation
The first step to overcome this problem is to accept the situation
The first step to overcome this problem is to accept the situation
The first step to overcome this problem is to accept the situation

and the strangest thing happened. My mood switched and I felt happy, well at least happier than before.

Apparently NLP works, but I’m still sceptical about it.

NLP

Some time ago a friend of mine, a philosophy student who tends to call himself Timmy, was attending a course on starting your own company. As a part of that course, there was an introduction to NLP, neurolinguistic programming, this was meant to be a tool for them to keep focused on finishing the task they had previously taken on. The method was simply to focus on the positive benefits you’d get from succeeding in this task so that you’d make sure you actually did succeed. We discussed this in some detail over coffee and we agreed that this could be a dangerous tool in the right hands since you could convince yourself to do almost anything with this method.

Then some time later, I read “The Game” by Neil Strauss, a book more or less describing two years of the author’s life while trying to learn confidence with women (OK, to learn “to pick up chicks”). Some of the more perverse techniques described in the book are certain speed dating techniques using NLP and hypnosis. I’m certain that using those methods to get laid is not too far from rape, it certainly couldn’t be classified as voluntarily. Not only that, he also mentions having two meetings with Tom Cruise who in the hands of the scientology movement has also learnt techniques to singlemindedly focus on any given task at any time, like NLP more or less.

Then earlier today, I get an email from a local Yoga-institution, the yoga room, and it turns out that one of their instructors in addition to being a skilled yoga-practitioner, a health- and fitnessinstructor, is also a trained NLP-coach and has been trained as a prison guard. I have actually met this person once and I would say she was completely mad. I was working in a café and she wanted to change the recipe of what I was making (almost to the extent that it was pointless to serve), didn’t have enough money to pay with and was generally annoying from the moment she sat down to the moment she left.

In these times of war…

I was reading something about the borders of Thailand and on the same site, I discovered a link to an article about how the borders of the middle east could be redrawn to fit ethnic groups. I found this interesting partly because I never knew exactly how the ethnic make up of the middle east was. These maps show very clearly how different the middle east could be. I know about the large ethnic minorities in Baluchistan and Kurdistan, but not that there are other significant groups that should, in a sense, be listened to. It’s taken from the Armed Forces Journal and you can see the original article here
Maps under the cut

Jehovah! Jehovah!

Today I was stopped by the Jehova’s witnesses, actully just one witness to be exact (I still wonder where they put the judge and the jury…). Declining any interest in her publications, she never the less wanted to have a conversation with me.

She was smiling very broadly saying that when she was young, like me or a little younger she didn’t know much. I replied that perhaps she knew more now? She said that she knew more about religion at least. She said that she couldn’t accept the theory of evolution because it was based on the concept of time which was flawed. I retorted that perhaps her understanding of time was a little simple, she could easily imagine a year or even a hundred years, but 70 million years is perhaps a little beyond anyone’s comprehension. Her next argument was that there would have to be an intelligent being creating all this beauty. My reply was that it depends on what you see as beauty. Not all consider trees and plants to be beatiful, seeing these things as good or beautiful is a choice we make and not something that is necessarily intrinsic. Her next argument was that Darwin searched for the missing link in the precambrian layers. My reply was that of all skeletons that die only minute fragments are preserved and not all areas are possible to be searched. Even if the skeleton existed at some point doesn’t mean it’s still preserved. At that point I think she realized she wasn’t getting anywhere.

Perhaps a discussion between a rather quick-witted science teacher and a scared little witness is not an even match.

steak tartare

Yesterday, I had a visit from two old friends. I felt a bit under the weather due to the bump on my head but it was fun. I had asked Thomas over to make me a meal, he’s known for his culinary explorations…

He suggested steak tartare, I have never eaten raw beef before, so I thought it was a good idea to try. Go back ten years and I wouldn’t have eaten it if he had paid me to do it.

I tasted… strange. The combination of raw egg yolk with raw meat and pickled vegetables is strange and even a little scary, but it was good in a sense. I felt really full, I couldn’t even finish my part. Today I’ve been googling the recipe and his seems to be rather different from what I found online.

This is Thomas’ Steak Tartare. Try if you dare. The combination of raw meat and raw egg yolk is a very real salmonella risk, so I presume this is not for the faint at heart…

Ingredients:
Ground Beef (250g per person)
Eggs
Capers
Beets
Gherkins
Bread
Salt’n’pepa

First seperate the egg yolk from the white. Remove the white string thing from the yolk

Slice the bread and divide the beef into as many pieces as there are slices of bread (we used three per person), spread it on the bread and sprinkle with salt’n’pepa.

Finely chop the gherkins and beets, then spread capers, beets and gherkins over the meat, squeeze it into the meat. Spread as much yolk as you want over the meat-bread-spread-thing (I’m so eloquent today) and stuff your face with it.

I’ve seen some other recipes for this online that I would actually have preferred, with worcestersauce and with the pickled greeneries more integrated into the meat.

You can of course buy entrecote, remove the fat and chop the meat yourself. If you are to behave like a true tatar, you must lodge the meat under your saddle and it will be lean by the time you arrive. Don’t be surprised if it tastes of horse.