Heavy Logix.

Lateral Thoughts on Life.

Thirty Six Strategies of Ancient China.

 

friends I do have are not that generous. I really appreciated it and of course I want my “blessings” if you will call them that to continue so 
I am eager to share my knowledge again.
   The book details the so-called “Thirty Six Stratagems” that have been famous in Martial arts and the military history of China for 
perhaps thousands of years. The thirty six strategies are simple proverbs but they contain the essence of all ways and methods of 
winning that are used in all competitive endeavors. 
Whether your area of battle is chess, poker, warfare, martial arts or business I assure you these stratagems can serve you well on your 
journey to victory.
 1.Fool The Emperor To Cross The Sea.
2.Besiege Wei To Rescue Zhao.
3.Kill With A Borrowed Sword.
4.Await The Exhausted Enemy At Your Ease.
5.Loot A Burning House.
6.Clamour In The East, Attack In The West.
7.Create Something From Nothing.
8.Openly Repair The Walkway, Secretly March To Chancan.
9.Observe The Fire On The Opposite Shore.
10.Hide The Dagger Behind A Smile.
11.Let The Plum Tree Wither In Place Of The Peach.
12.Seize The Opportunity To Lead The Sheep Away.
13.Beat The Grass To Startle The Snake.
14.Borrow A Corpse To Raise The Spirit.
15.Lure The Tiger Down The Mountain.
16.To Catch Something, First Let It Go.
17.Toss Out A Brick To Attract Jade.
18.To Catch The Bandit First Capture Their Leader
19.Steal The Firewood From Under The Pot.
20.Trouble The Water To Catch The Fish.
21.Shed Your Skin Like The Golden Cicada.
22.Shut The Door To Catch The Thief.
23.Befriend A Distant Enemy To Attack One Nearby.
24.Borrow The Road To Conquer Guo.
25.Replace The Beams With Rotten Timbers.
26.Point At The Mulberry, But Curse The Locust Tree.
27.Feign Madness, But Keep Your Balance.
28.Lure Your Enemy Onto The Roof, Then Take Away The Ladder.
29.Deck The Dead Tree With Silk Blossoms.
30.Exchange The Role Of Guest For That Of Host.
31.The Strategy Of Beautiful Women.
32.The Strategy Of Open City Gates.
33.The Strategy Of Sowing Discord.
34.The Strategy Of Injuring Yourself.
35.The Strategy Of Combining Tactics.
36.If All Else Fails Retreat.
 Check out the website version of this book for a detailed explanation of each stratagem 
For more info on the amazing culture of China check this lovely site
 http://www.cultural-china.com/

 I am holding in my hands a book, one which I have dreamt of reading for a couple years now, one which I have never seen in any Jamaican bookstore, it’s entitled “The Thirty Six Strategies of Ancient China” by Stefan Verstappen. 

36cover

 The book, being in my hands now, is proof that dreams can become reality (although it may take awhile and happen in an unexpected way). It also proves what I said in the much earlier post “Tit for Tat” to be true.

    I had given my knowledge, of various other books, freely in my Facebook status messages and it caused an intense discussion about a few books worth reading. Some suggested “Think and Grow Rich”, others said authors like Wallace Wattles and Elmer Wheeler (I mentioned an old book by Wheeler which is fully described in the post “Make Daydreams Come True” ) during all this discussion. An old time high school friend of mine named Alison Walker-Grant, who was in the Facebook discussion, offered to get me some of the self help and success books we were talking about and I mentioned this title by Verstappen to her instead as one I was really eager to read.

   I was still somewhat surprised to actually see the book arrive in my mailbox. Surprised  simply because… well… I hardly have any real friends, even though I’m a near celebrity on Facebook, and the few friends I do have do not seem to be very generous, material-wise.

   So I really appreciate the gift and of course I want my blessings to continue flowing so I am eager to share my knowledge again.

   The book details the so-called “Thirty Six Stratagems” that have been famous in Martial arts and the military history of China for perhaps thousands of years. The thirty six strategies are simple proverbs but they contain the essence of all ways and methods of winning that are used in all competitive endeavors. 

Whether your area of battle is chess, poker, warfare, martial arts or business, or some other competitive field, I assure you these stratagems can serve you well on your journey to resounding victory.

 1.Fool The Emperor To Cross The Sea.

2.Besiege Wei To Rescue Zhao.

3.Kill With A Borrowed Sword.

4.Await The Exhausted Enemy At Your Ease.

5.Loot A Burning House.

6.Clamour In The East, Attack In The West.

7.Create Something From Nothing.

8.Openly Repair The Walkway, Secretly March To Chancan.

9.Observe The Fire On The Opposite Shore.

10.Hide The Dagger Behind A Smile.

11.Let The Plum Tree Wither In Place Of The Peach.

12.Seize The Opportunity To Lead The Sheep Away.

13.Beat The Grass To Startle The Snake.

14.Borrow A Corpse To Raise The Spirit.

15.Lure The Tiger Down The Mountain.

16.To Catch Something, First Let It Go.

17.Toss Out A Brick To Attract Jade.

18.To Catch The Bandit First Capture Their Leader

19.Steal The Firewood From Under The Pot.

20.Trouble The Water To Catch The Fish.

21.Shed Your Skin Like The Golden Cicada.

22.Shut The Door To Catch The Thief.

23.Befriend A Distant Enemy To Attack One Nearby.

24.Borrow The Road To Conquer Guo.

25.Replace The Beams With Rotten Timbers.

26.Point At The Mulberry, But Curse The Locust Tree.

27.Feign Madness, But Keep Your Balance.

28.Lure Your Enemy Onto The Roof, Then Take Away The Ladder.

29.Deck The Dead Tree With Silk Blossoms.

30.Exchange The Role Of Guest For That Of Host.

31.The Strategy Of Beautiful Women.

32.The Strategy Of Open City Gates.

33.The Strategy Of Sowing Discord.

34.The Strategy Of Injuring Yourself.

35.The Strategy Of Combining Tactics.

36.If All Else Fails Retreat.

 Check out the website version of this book for a detailed explanation of each stratagem 

http://www.chinastrategies.com/table.htm

For more info on the amazing culture of China check this lovely site

 http://www.cultural-china.com/

May 15, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Doppelganger.

Once a lady came up and hugged me in Mega Mart , only to look into my face closely and suddenly realize she had mistaken me for her dentist. I never realized that dentists were so chummy with their patients and her look of total embarrassment, upon realizing her mistake, was really priceless.

You see, aside from the unusual and largely useless super power of, “Always being asked for advice”, I also have the even less useful and potentially dangerous “Familiar Face” super power, that Ruthibelle perfectly described, in her recent blog.

Basically anywhere I go, no matter how remote or distant, no matter how far removed, from my normal circles of orbit, I always encounter some curious person, who swears they’ve met me before.

“Haven’t I met you somewhere before ?”, they ask.

Sometimes, after talking with me they realize they’ve made a mistake at which point they swear that the person they know, “Joe Blow”, or whoever, looks exactly like me.

Sometimes I know the person who they say looks like me or I get to see a photo of the “doppelganger” later on. Sadly, I’ve found that these people they think look “exactly” like me are invariably “unprepossessing” or downright ugly and of course have no similarity to me at all.

This got me thinking and I realized it’s similar to how many people think all Asians look alike or the way “every Jamaican looks the same” to some tourists.

In Jamaica where people are habitually lumped into racial classes, “cooley”, “whiteman”,”browning”, “chiney”, it’s easy for people to mistakenly think you look just like someone else from whatever group. They don’t take time to look for anything more that might identify you.

Every Chinese (and even the Japanese too) becomes “Mr. Chin” to them. It’s even sadder if your name really is “Mr. Chin”. Everyone thinks they know you, yet they don’t know anything about you at all.

When you’re racially mixed, and belong to maybe three or more of such groupings, it’s even more likely you’ll look like someone they know, “exactly the same”, to them, in fact.

Clothing and accessories can help create problems too. Wear glasses and you look like every other nerd out there. Wear the brand that their friend sports and your alibi is permanently screwed-up. Heaven forbid if you drive the same type of car.

” But you must be Joe Blow Chin, the Cooley from Manor Ghetto, because him drive a Honda too.”, they will tell you with all sincerity.

Ok, I guess I don’t know my own name then.

My advice is to beat a hasty retreat, smile if you must but don’t even wave. Being the wrong person at the wrong time can get you killed. Looking like Joe Blow is my daily grind but looking like Joe Grind can get your head blown off (no puns intended). I mean some jealous husband out there could really kill you.

Once when I was in high school just walking home a guy in a car stopped and politely asked me if my name was Jason. I said no at which point I was met with a stream of obscenities. ” I’m looking for that guy Jason, who lives around here, him dead if I ever find him.”, said the irate driver and then the car sped off. If this person had been a trifle more hot headed I would have been seriously hurt while the real Jason or Joe Grind continued to have his fun.

Coincidences do happen but it’s a real dumb way to get killed.

Strangely enough there was a time when my next door neighbor had the same last name as my mom and drove the same type of car and they were both members of the same church and even had the same occupation. It was an incredible coincidence but very real. They didn’t look much alike though.

Even more bizarre however was this particular instance when a lady, I used to work with, kept telling me she knew someone that looked just like me. Of course with my super-powers I thought nothing much of it. “Yes, yes, I’m sure you do, he looks just like me, I’m sure.”, I replied sarcastically with a smug smile. Finally with an air of haughty satisfaction she brought a company magazine with Joe Blow’s photo. I stared at the photo. I stared again. I felt kind of tired, suddenly, I had to sit down. I stared one more time.

The smug smile was completely wiped off my face. It was the Horror of Horrors. I’d have preferred to stare at a monster, a Frankenstein, a Creature from the Black Lagoon. Instead it was …myself. A real doppelganger. I felt like Leonardo Di Caprio…The Man in the Iron Mask…he looked more like me than my own brothers do. I had thought it was fiction, but his baldness, his sharp eyes, his every handsome feature…they were all mine too. I was looking at myself and I did not know him.

Twins.

Twins.

I was looking at myself and I did not know him. That’s deep.

Since then other people have mistaken me for this person also. The guy works at some credit union and he really looks like he could be my brother or something, at least in the photo I saw. Then to top it off his last name was very similar to mine, just slightly different. That is kinda scary, makes you wonder. Are we really that unique ?

“Haven’t I met you somewhere before ?”.

Nah, you just saw my face on Facebook.

“Haven’t I met you somewhere before ?”.

Not in this lifetime. Keep on moving.

February 1, 2009 Posted by | blog, humor, non fiction, super power, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Matchmaking, Marraige and Masturbation.

For some bizarre reason, which I still can’t fully fathom, people often ask me for directions to places even though I’m just as lost as they are.

They always ask me and they get upset if I say I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I wear glasses, or something, all I know is, people expect me to know stuff and they always ask for my advice.

When I’m in a store, for instance, people always come up to me and ask me where various items are, as if I work there or something. Quite often I’m trying to find the same items they are and also have no clue.

(Sometimes I’m tempted to act like I work there and then advise them to shop somewhere else, kinda like what Danny Devito did in the movie “Ruthless People” when he answered a wrong number.  “Who do you want ? You want Mary ? (wrong number) . Yeah Mary is here, but I’m shagging her right now, call back later okay ? “, that guy Danny always cracks me up.)

Anyway, let’s get back to whatever convoluted point I was trying to make. I was saying, it seems that while drifting around aimlessly from aisle to aisle, searching for the latest version of sliced Hardo bread, I appear to know what I’m doing. Or perhaps, in their desperation, they really don’t even care anymore where they get advice from. They ask me. Anything they need to know.

Lately though, aside from being asked for directions to the cucumber or hearing that common query, ” Where is the whipped cream ? “, I’ve noticed that lately many people are asking me about the three M’s.

You know ? The three M’s. Matchmaking, Marraige and Masturbation.

Ok, I lied, they only ask me about marraige, but I find that it often reveals that they really have a problem finding a decent match and this frustration seems to be driving more and more to seek Masturbation as a temporary solution. They don’t tell me this last one either, but I can read between the lines, and I know where the Mozarella is too, because I read between the aisles.

Here’s my best advice to you, before you even ask ;

Match Making. If you’re reading blogs, instead of hanging out at sleazy bars and stageshows, then chances are you’ll have better luck at online dating than in trying to break the ice in person. My matchmaking advice is Do it Yourself . Just take a good photo of yourself and post it along with an interesting profile at Tagged and VibesconnectFacebook is also an excellent place to network, or meet people, but it’s not really designed for dating and I would recommend it solely for business contacts and for keeping in touch with old friends.

Marraige. It’s all based on communication. In my case things improved a lot once my wife got a laptop and we could message each other from different rooms of the house.

Since that might not work well for everyone read this blog by a pastor and practice what he preaches. Keep learning and hopefully your spouse does the same.

Masturbation. My masturbation advice is do not Do it Yourself , it can be dangerous.

Be Careful.

Be Careful.

January 31, 2009 Posted by | blog, humor, marraige, Strategy, success, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Billy Scorpio.

Woke up very early and logged into Facebook thinking to myself, “the early worm probably catches the bird”, when I saw one of Jamaica’s best photographers, a guy we’ll call Billy Scorpio, on my chat list. Everyone else in Jamaica seemed to be still sleeping.

Billy Scorpio is someone I never met before, in the real world, but I always admired his work and even had the temerity to make comments, in his Facebook Photo albums, when I particularly hated or,  more usually, when I loved, something he did. He always took the remarks of his many fans with a good natured laugh.

I sometimes daydreamed about what it must be like to have a job like his, instead of one that’s just stressful and under-paid. He gets to photograph the country’s top music performers and actors, he works with the most beautiful women all day long. They fawn over his every word, realising that his skills and opinion can make or break their careers. He spends his days telling them which skimpy clothes to wear and what erotic positions to assume. They love him for it. It’s a hard life, but I guess someone had to do it. Billy Scorpio is that lucky guy.

To my surprise he actually initiated a conversation with me, by saying something about my status message, and after some idle banter  I said to him that it must be tough for him to focus with so many beautiful women on the set of his shoots.

He laughed, then quickly replied, with words that I’d replay in my mind for years to come, “You must hunt like a lion …he picks one gazelle and really only hunts for her…he hardly sees the rest of the herd.”

Hunt Like a Lion

Hunt Like a Lion

He then discussed a photo of his I liked and I said it could be the start of a bigger project. He asked me how I would develop such an idea further. After many probing questions, which made me wonder how viable the idea really was, he suddenly found a unifying idea, a big concept, that could link a series of such photos and I then mentioned a potential sponsor.

I had one last reservation, one more doubt, ” Someone in the world must have done it before. ” I said.

“So ? Just do it better.” Billy answered.

I knew our ideas were sound but I also know I have no credentials in his area of expertise. I felt curious since it’s rare in Jamaica for people to be so willing to listen to an amateur’s view.

“Why would you even ask me about this ? You’re the pro, I should be trying to learn from you here.” I said.

“That’s why I asked you. You have a fresh perspective.”, Billy Scorpio replied instantly.

He thanked me for the brainstorm session and said he was heading back to sleep. He promised I’d soon see the results because he was definitely going to work on the project we discussed. He left quickly.

I was stunned. I had just spoken to a Master.

I had learnt from reading Musashi, ( in The Book of Five Rings ), that a true master always learns a thousand things, from one thing, yet it still never failed to amaze me when I met a true master.

Billy Scorpio is such a master. He has focused on mastering but one thing, Photography. From this mastery he has learnt about the importance of Focus and how Perspective can affect your Vision. He has developed Vison way beyond that in his camera’s lens. He had the Eye of the Predator. Realizing the value of both hard work and rest. He strived to always keep a fresh Perspective. He’d never be hungry for prey, because he was always hungry to improve himself.

January 12, 2009 Posted by | Beautiful Women, Lateral Thinking, Photography, Strategy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments