Monday, January 2, 2023

American Knights 2018 IMCF World Championships Preview Knight Fights!

Here is the preview of Day Two of the 4-disk project "American Knights, 2018," my documentary of the USA team at the IMCF World Championships at Scone Palace in Scotland!

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Irrisistible Doggie Chewie (Havanese) Attacks Chicken Parm Hero!

This little guy, Captain Chewie, has been going through some health issues lately, so it was good to see him with this healthy appetite...

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Costume Contest Big Apple Comic Con Captain Zorikh March 26, 2022

Here is the Big Apple Comic Con Costume contest that I hosted in March, including, halfway through, a performance by the Death Star Repairmen! The next convention and contest is coming up this Saturday, December 17, at the Hotel New Yorker

Thursday, October 27, 2022

INTENSE WOMEN'S LONGSWORD FIGHT! USA Kyla Hiser v Australian champ at IM...

WOMEN'S KNIGHT FIGHT! Kyla Hiser, USA Knights' women's longsword champion in full-contact medieval armored combat, fights an intense, all-out battle with the Australian champion. After splitting two rounds, the fight goes to a third, bringing the best out of each fighter! 

This is a scene on the second disk co the new, 4-DVD production "American Knights 2018," chronicling the USA team at the International Medieval Combat Federation's world championships at Scone Palace, Scotland. Each disk is being released one month apart, as they are completed. This disk is being released at the beginning of November, 2022.

 If you are digging this sort of action, smash that "Like" button!
For more knight fights and medieval combat action, be sure to subscribe to New York Knights Combat YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/newyorkknightscombat1
Please check out my main channel, which includes my earliest videos of medieval combat in the modern world. http://www.youtube.com/captainzorikh 

 #medievalcombat #longsword #usaknights #scotland #imcf #buhurt #womenslongsword #worldchampionship #hmb #hema #acl #kylahiser #usaknights #americanknights #armoredcombat #knightfight #knights #femaleknight

Friday, October 7, 2022

My Mom's Medical Adventures in 2022 - Part One

 This year my mom has been through a series of medical adventures that I must record so that I can keep it all straight in my head.

PROLOGUE

Over the past few years my mom has been descending into old-age-related dementia. She still knows who she is and who I am and has her long term memories of most of her life up to the past few years, but short term, she will have forgotten what you told her was in her right hand by the time you finish telling her what is in her left. She could ask what day it is several times within ten minutes, and then have to ask it again a few minutes later. If someone is in her apartment but not in the same room with her, she will forget that the person is in her apartment. 

About five years ago she decided to not leave her apartment ever again. She had hurt her foot on the sidewalk and basically decided that it wasn't worth it to go outside any more. The dementia was creeping in, and at times she would lose track of where she was. She was acutely aware of this.

This meant that once a week she would ask me to come over and bring sushi from Balducci's for dinner and do her grocery shopping at Whole Foods. She was even kind enough to take me with her the first time to show me what to buy.

She would ask me to go through her mail with her. So I would open up every envelope and explain to her what it is and ask her what she wanted to do about it. For the most part they were fundraising mailings from non-profits, charities, political action committees, candidates, etc. Most got dumped but some she would contribute the minimum amount once a year.

There was also the statements from her banks and brokerage accounts. They all had to be reviewed and filed away. There were also the bills, all on auto-pay, but still needing to be reviewed and filed. And, of course, the rent once a month, for which i would write the check and she would sign it so I could mail it (using an address label sent by any one of the many organizations who send them in the hope that you will give them money).

And of course, the several magazine subscriptions and seasonally-issued catalogs. Sometimes she would even buy things from them!

When the COVID shutdown hit, she was actually rather proud of herself for being ahead of the curve, insisting on staying home and not going out for anything, which of course, however, meant that I had to do everything. Fortunately, I got vaccinated pretty early and was sure to wear a mask when going to my two essential jobs and when my work brought me in contact with the public.

As the months went on, though, I noticed that my mom was not eating as much as she used to. The bananas were turning black in the fruit bowl. The cartons of milk, bottles of kefir and V-8, and containers of yogurt were not disappearing as fast. Food that I used to buy for her regularly were simply not being cooked and eaten. Produce, like broccoli (crowns only, not the whole stalk), sweet potatoes (not too big, only the size of my fist), Amy's Frozen Organic Macaroni & Cheese which she must have been cooking regularly, because they were always on the shopping list, were all still there in her kitchen week after week, uneaten. The salad greens, pre-chopped stir-fry vegetables, and berries were rotting and getting moldy in the refrigerator. The leftovers of dinner one week would still be in the fridge for weeks after.

Things seemed to pick up when one morning she said she wanted to make a cheese omlette for breakfast. She got out of bed and went into the kitchen and, with my help, made that omlette. as the weeks went by, it became the thing to do. We made an omlette with cheese and ham or turkey and ate it for breakfast with stir-fried vegetables on the side. (my visits had become morning visits when I would get off work from my night job when my day job furloughed me). 

After a while, though, it began to get hard to get her out of bed. She would just sit there or lie there as I asked if the wanted to get up and make a cheese omlette, say yes, and then not get up. Then, after a few minutes, it was like she forgot what I had said we would be doing, and would ask me what she was supposed to be doing at that moment. And I would  have to say "cheese omlette." again and again as she would forget and ask, again and again, around and around.

I started getting her Ensure, which it seemed soon became practically what she was living on. I would need to get her two six-packs every week, at least.

I tried playing games with her, but it became difficult and frustrating for her, as I had to explain the rules every time it was her turn, because she had forgotten them already.

When making the omlettes, she would ask me what she was doing at every turn forgetting that the eggs she had broken were on the counter behind her, for instance, or at what stage in the preparing of breakfast she was.

Getting her out of bed to do things became an insufferable chore. She would say "yes" to every request and then do nothing. The asking and pleading and cajoling would go on as the minutes would tick inexorably away as I would try to get her to get up and do something while it was still early, or not yet late, or I had to leave. Even on the rare occasions when guests came over or we had an appointment or a holiday party to attend,  between the unwillingness to get out of bed and the constant forgetting of what she was doing would make timeliness an often impossible objective.

It was in this condition that the first medical emergency hit.

NEXT: A pain in the arm.

Friday, September 30, 2022

American Knights 2018 IMCF World Championship Day 1 Highlights Knight Fi...

My years of effort are finally deeing fruition! DEspite hardships, inconveniences, tribulations, resistance, technical difficulties and one diva of a camera person (who will remain nameless), the anticipated video record of USA Knights at the 2018  International Medieval COmbat World Championships is finally beginning its release! Below is a two-minute highlight reel of the fist of four disks, each chronicling one of the four days of the competition.

 

This project turned out to be larger than I expected and I wound up with less help than I had planned. There were more hours of footage than ever before, and there was no way it was all going to fit on one disk, even dual layer. So as the days kept slipping past as I plowed through match after match, meking hard decisions aboltu how bet to present each fight and wehere to but the interviews, etc, I realized that I could simply put each day of fighting on a separate disk. Furthermore, rather than keeping all the loyal friends and fans who pre-ordered the video and supported me through my GoFundMe campaign waiting, I decided to release each disk as they are finished!

The first disk was shipped to those who pre-ordered today, and added today to my catalog of videos, music CDs, and comics. The next three are already rough-cut, and should come outat a rate of one per month until the end of the years.

Someday, maybe, I will find the time to make one more special disk that may include a shortened version of the program (fight highlights rather than full fights), more interviews, and more footage shot in connection with this project. But for now, just getting these four disks done is my objective.

Please enjoy that video above and the rough cuts of other matches fromt he tournament below that will appear in the final product. If you feel that this is a worthy project and would like to help it come to completion, please visit the GoFundMe page and become a sponsor (every sponsorship over $30 gets all four disks as they are completed) or go to the catalog page and place your order through Paypal.

 Onward and upward!

Monday, March 28, 2022

About Will Smith, Chris Rock, and a dumb joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith at the Academy Awards "Oscars"

 


Not to pile on too much to the Will Smith hate for his slapping of Chris Rock, but here is my take on it.

This is not meant to diminish the concerns that other people have over the incident, it is simply what concerns me that I have not seen anyone else talk about yet.

There is a barrier between he audience and the performers in any venue or type of performance. it is not necessarily a physical barrier, but a behavioral one. It states that the audience will not physically engage with the performers unless specifically invited.

This barrier is more serious than the one against heckling, as that can sometimes even increase the entertainment value of a performance. It is not meant to keep the performers from interacting with the audience, as that is, in fact, the whole purpose of theater. It is supposed to protect the performers, thus enabling the artists the freedom of expression of their art.

Now, you don't get immunity for your expression by simply declaring it art. There are some things that, while they could be handled in an artistic way, or could even actually be art, should not be done, such as killing people or starving a dog. In such cases, the appropriate authorities or action should be taken to stop such action. But short of that level of activity, the audience should not get on the stage.

If a performer says or does something objectionable, the answer is to boo, or jeer, or walk out. Write a bad review. Tell everyone not to see the show. don't hire the performer. Don't vote for them when they are up for awards. These are all perfectly acceptable actions to take against an objectionable performance.

But once you have crossed the threshold into the performance space you have broken the barrier, and physically connecting with the performer is the ultimate offense. For that you should be escorted from the theater.

IF an audience member is allowed to go on stage today, then that will embolden others to do so elsewhere. This will endanger the performer, who may feel the need to compromise their message for the sake of their safety.

Art, performing or otherwise, is an engine for shock; for change; for influencing emotions. The best artists train themselves to be very good at changing and directing people's emotions. It is the journey through emotions that we look to artists to give us. it enriches life and inspires us. It gives us new perspectives and and understanding. It helps us understand what needs to be taken seriously and what should not be taken so seriously.

And the good ones are not only good at doing that, but are good at guiding us to emotions that will better ourselves and the world around us; to improve our condition and advance our communities and humankind.

But if I have to worry that someone is going to smack me in the face for telling a joke, I may not tell that joke.

Perhaps it was not a good joke. Perhaps it is not a joke that should be told. But if the audience walks out on me, I will get that message without fearing for my life. the bad performer should fear losing their audience, not their life.

While as an actor, he played the macho man well, in the James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum film noir mode well. It was a good look for him as he walked onto the stage, slapped Chris Rock in the face, and walked off.

But this is the real world. not a film noir potboiler. Actions have consequences. To his credit (and not to take anything away from how much he should not have made that joke) Chris Rock knew when to stop, reset, say something that probably was the best joke to make at the time, and move on.

Will Smith was allowed to stick around and get his award. Had he left, either without doing anything or after the incident, he would not have been able to go on stage and pick up that statue and say his words, make his apology, make his statement, and then go party. He might have felt that Chris Rock and his dumb joke won.

But would the world really have thought that? The academy award winner for Best Actor would have walked out of the awards show because the host was a jerk! This would have put Chris Rock in the situation of having to apologize to Smith, the Academy, and the audience for having done something that upset the FREAKIN' BEST ACTOR!

And lets not ignore the fact that this is only a few years after the uproar of the lack of non-white faces in the running. Not a good look on you, Chris.

This all just seems like one of those Chappelle Show sketches, "When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong."

And the meta-irony of it all is that it was a display of the kind of American Married Life Power Dynamics illustrated by Chris Rock's previous joke, the one about how the husband could not win an Oscar if the wife did not.