Sechsunddreissig Strategien

Posted by me on Monday, the 23rd day of January, anno domini 2006 at 9:05 PM, local time.

So, while I hope to not get into the habit of just regurgitating things to this site, I thought it might be worthwhile to list the 36 strategies. They are unlikely to be part of your standard education, and they can help us all in many things, from playing Go to the business world. Not to mention, of course, war.

Anyway, here are the standard thirty-six, without explanation (which is likely to cause some confusion :-)

  • Deceive the sky to cross the ocean.
  • Surround Wei to rescue Zhao.
  • Borrow one’s hand to kill.
  • Make your enemy tire himself out while conserving energy.
  • Use the opportunity of fire to rob others.
  • Feign an attack in the east and attack in the west.
  • Create something from nothing.
  • Secretly utilize the Chen Chang passage.
  • Watch the fires burning across the river.
  • Knife sheathed in a smile.
  • Plum tree sacrifices for the Peach tree.
  • Stealing a goat along the way.
  • Startle the snake by hitting the grass around it.
  • Borrow another’s corpse to resurrect the soul.
  • Entice the tiger to leave its mountain lair.
  • In order to capture, one must let loose.
  • Tossing out a brick to get a jade.
  • Defeat the enemy by capturing their chief.
  • Remove the firewood under the cooking pot.
  • Fish in disturbed waters.
  • Slough off the cicada’s shell.
  • Shut the door to catch the thief.
  • Befriend a distant state while attacking a neighbor.
  • Obtain safe passage to conquer the Kingdom of Guo.
  • Replace the beams with rotten timbers.
  • Point at the mulberry and curse the locust.
  • Pretend to be a pig in order to eat the tiger.
  • Remove the ladder when the enemy has ascended to the roof.
  • Deck the tree with false blossoms.
  • Make the host and the guest exchange places.
  • The beauty trap.
  • Empty fort.
  • Let the enemy’s own spy sow discord in the enemy camp.
  • Inflict injury on one’s self to win the enemy’s trust.
  • Chain together the enemy’s ships.
  • If All Else Fails, Retreat.

Now, you may have noticed that some of these appear to be completely worthless. But they’re good stuff, trust me. Take some time to think them over. Mull, mull, mull.

That is all. Gute Nacht.

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Too many books.

Posted by me on Wednesday, the 28th day of December, anno domini 2005 at 10:21 PM, local time.

Having come home for Christmas, I am spending several nights in my childhood bedroom. Now, it certainly looks nothing now as it did in my younger years, but it still contains the same items, just now they are stored away in boxes and the like in the closet. What currently occupies the vast majority of the room is books. Books on bookshelves, books in piles, books stacked up neatly, and books stacked completely haphazardly. I recall that at one point, I had planned to remove my bed from the room to make more room for books. I would merely sleep on the floor in a sleeping bag, said I. I was ignored. At any rate, there are still a lot of books in here. As everyone who has seen my apartment in Rochester knows, I have a lot of books there as well. But, there is simply not enough room to bring all the books that are here back to Rochester with me. They would have to sit in boxes somewhere, waiting for a time when they could range free on bookshelves and possibly be read sometime this century. (By someone. I have long since given up the hope that I would read all my books. Its simply not possible. Especially since the rate that new books are purchased currently exceeds the rate that books are read. I now only hope that someday, someone of my line may find a given book useful for something. Hopefully not burning…)

While thats all very interesting, you might say, why should I care? Well, for the sole purpose of having a place for all my books, I think I need to buy a house. It will most likely not be the house I will live in until my death, or even until my retirement, or even raise a family in, but I need to buy a house. And I probably should do so somewhat soon, so that my hard-earned (oh, who am I kidding?) money will stop going down the drain in the form of rent. Of course, I do have some time before my lease is up, but at the very least, I should probably begin looking relatively soon here. And the first step there is to leverage my current finances a tad better, by refinancing and consolidating loans and the like, so that when the time comes I know how much I can afford in a down payment and mortgage payments.

Again, I’m sure there are many people who couldn’t possibly care less. And thats fine. I never claimed you had to read this thing. :-)

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My God, what was she thinking???

Posted by me on Tuesday, the 27th day of December, anno domini 2005 at 9:00 PM, local time.

So, I have previously read all of the fantastical works of Robin Hobb, a female fantasy writer who only (relatively) recently burst on the scene with three great series, the Liveship series, the Assassin series, and the Tawny Man series. All three were great. A great cast, plots that were worth reading about, and while you might or might not come away from reading them with a new sense of wonder about the world you live in, or feeling closer to the core of your being, at least you got some enjoyment out of it!!

Now, coming off of all that greatness, she has released a new book. Shaman’s Crossing. A standalone novel in a new universe about a boy’s childhood and early adulthood learning to be a soldier. And to do so, he must defeat the evil tree woman. Yes, thats right, the evil tree woman. Now, throughout the entire book, I was hoping for a bit more, and just not finding it. There was a modicum of enjoyment, but the cast was shallow (really just one main character and a few supporters that you actually might give a crap about) and the plot was extremely stationary. The first several chapters were told in what appeared to be flashbacks, and so maybe you would expect to eventually get to the real story, but no, the last flashback just turned into the rest of the book and then you were done. The End.

So, really, I don’t know what she was hoping to achieve in this meager offering. I think she should go back to what she is good at: High Fantasy! Stop experimenting with this tripe and use your talents for good, not for evil!

Ok, just to step back a bit, overall, I didn’t completely hate the book. At no point did I fear that I would keel over for boredom, nor was I made a worse person for reading the book. But it didn’t change me in any good way either. Also, before you just take my word for it, you should probably know that Uncle Orson actually liked it quite a bit, which is saying something. Overall, I placed the book in the “That which need not be read” category (which wasn’t really intended for books to begin with, but here we are) and not in the “That which must be mocked” or “That which must be stomped upon” or “Those books which must be burned” categories.

But, it was also not placed into the “That which should be praised” or “Those books which must be read” categories, so, that says a lot too. It takes a lot for me to not really like a book. (Which very nearly calls into question the very existence of the bad-book and bad-movie categories on this site. They could, quite possibly, be rather empty of content for some time to come.)

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Good Enough, says I

Posted by me on Saturday, the 17th day of December, anno domini 2005 at 7:08 PM, local time.

Ok, this is likely to be the final form of the page. Depending on the levels of ridicule I receive, it could possibly change, but thats unlikely, due to my extreme lethargy. The single image in the header will change at whim, a la Google. I’m still working on the default image, which will likely be a simple 印章. Know of any good carvers of stone? My own attempt is a bit slow going.

At any rate, this will hopefully be the last meta-content post. I would like to start posting real articles so people don’t get quite as bored with this, but I wanted to get the site theme squared away first.

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Just messing around

Posted by me on Wednesday, the 14th day of December, anno domini 2005 at 4:50 AM, local time.

Trying to get acquainted with this thing. Bit better theme now. Might not still be perfect. Not in love with that shade of blue, actually.

Meant to add a link in the last post to test out the inter-blog linking stuff, so here it is now. Number 9 in that post and the degradation of the English language.

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