Sunday, January 30, 2011


It is hard to do something that no one else does.

Profound thought of the day.
But it is true.  It is hard to eat correctly when so many others are eating whatever they please and destroying their bodies.  It is hard to exercise when it seems so few others do.  It is hard to do right, when everyone around you isn't.

So how do I keep motivated to continue with this lifestyle I have chosen?

I have to fix my sights on why I am living like this, when I could much more easily live like everyone else, and lead a good, comfortable life, instead of prodding myself forward in these paths.
There are other paths I could be on and still be a good person.  I don't have to take this to the extreme.  But I do.  And when it gets hard, I have to remind myself of my reasons.  So what are my reasons?  I want to be able to brag about it?  I hope to be viewed as a wonderful person because of it?  I hope to get points because of it?
No, here are my reasons, pure and simple.

One, is that I want to live a healthier life.  Eating well and exercising well, and therefore feeling a lot better physically.

Two, is that I want to have the strength and knowledge to protect myself and others.  I can't have that if I do not eat or train well.

Three, most importantly, I want to glorify my Maker.  I want to behave in a way that makes Him glad.  Working badly at my job will not bring Him glory.  Turning a blind eye on those in need will not bring Him glory.  So I train my mind as well as my body.

There are my reasons, and here I stand.

Until next time.

In the shadow of the Greatest Shinobi

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Japanese Alphabet

Four alphabets.  Three main ones, then one that is called romaji, which is Japanese written in English letters.  Like what I used in my last post about Japanese.  "Ichi, ni, san..." That is romaji.

But that isn't what they use usually in Japan.
No, the three they use are Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji.

Hiragana is the main alphabet, the one used for Japanese words.

Katakana, which is used for foreign words, such as foreign names and words borrowed from other languages.

And Kanji, which consists of Chinese characters.

In Japanese, there are five vowels- A, E, I, O, and U- Then all the rest of the letters end in one of these vowels, which a couple exceptions. Examples are: "Ka", "Shi", "Tsu", "Ne", and "Ho".

One can find many lists of Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji letters through Google, so if you are interested in learning, there you are.  I am using flash cards to get mine down.  I  keep them by my bed and practice them whenever I see them, trace them with my finger to get the shape down, and write them on various things.  Slowly, but surely, the letters will become embedded.

In the shadow of the Greatest Shinobi

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Of Work, Snow, and Friendships

Work and snow, snow and work... They don't go very well together, do they?  I don't find that they do here anyways...

But during these days of snow, I wondered, how do you work?
Are you one of the people who call in sick when you are perfectly well?
Perhaps one who slacks off, not really caring what gets done as long as you get paid?
A hard worker, but abrasive to your coworkers?
A hard worker when your boss is around?
Do you get the job done, but with a bitter spirit?
I then asked myself, how should a shinobi go about their jobs?  Well, the answer isn't much different than how anyone else should go about their job...
There are many workers now, who have jobs, but don't work.  They have jobs, but they are not grateful for them.
From the very first opportunity, we should begin cultivating a good reputation.  Do all your tasks thoroughly, quickly, and with a cheerful spirit.  Think of who will be influenced by what you are doing.  Do you clean?  Think of the people who will enjoy having a clean space to be in.  Do you cook?  Think of how someone will enjoy the food you make.  Do you teach?  Think of how someday, your students will be able to perform a skill because of you.  Whatever you do, think how it will be enjoyed by another person.

Some have jobs, but they do not take advantage of being able to connect with others in it.
You may say, well, shinobi are supposed to be dark and mysterious, why should they move in social circles?
Whoever said shinobi didn't have friends?  No, friends are quite important.  I'm not saying you should have a hundred mediocre friendships, where you simply call each other friends, but hardly ever talk or know each other.  But one should have a close knit circle of friends that they can trust.
I've found that in my mind, I break down friendship into three levels.
Friendly acquaintances- People who I don't know terribly well, but I wouldn't call them strangers and I wouldn't call them enemies.
Friends- People who I know fairly well, who I wouldn't mind confiding some medium important things in.
Good friends- People who I know well, who I can confide just about everything in.  People who I would choose to be with me if I were stranded on an island (not that I foresee that happening anytime soon...).
Everyone needs some from each of these categories... and I also think that the number of people in each category would decrease as the friends get closer.  You are not going to have as many "Good friends" as you have "Friendly acquaintances".
And so, in your workplace, the people you work around should be able to fall into one of these categories.  Now I know, some people will not want your friendship, but still be friendly toward them.  Set an example for them to follow, both in attitude and action.
And throw a snowball at them to get them to loosen up.
Just joking!  Don't throw snowballs at people that are already annoyed with you.  It doesn't tend to improve their temper...

Until next time...
In the shadow of the Greatest Shinobi

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I don't know how many of you, my faithful possibly nonexistent readers, are interested in learning Japanese.  But seeing as Japan is where we, the shinobi, originated from, I believe it is good to at least have some grasp of it.

So, I've decided to take a preschool approach to it.  Learn the alphabets, days of the week, months, counting, and seasons.  Some phrases and vocabulary.  Listen to Japanese with subtitles so I can have a clue of what is being said.  Like how children start learning, suddenly immersed in this new thing called talking.

I've taken to reciting what the current day of the week is, what month it is, and what season it is, everyday.  Then saying what tomorrow will be and what yesterday was, then reciting all the days of the week and all the months.  I've also taken to counting to twenty everyday, reciting the seasons, reviewing what of the alphabets I know and adding a new letter once I have one down, and reciting a few phrases.

Kyoo wa nan-nichi desu ka? - What is today's date?
Kyoo wa ichi-gatsu hatsuka desu. - Today is January 20th.
Kyoo wa nanyoobi desu ka? - What is today?
Mokuyoobi desu. - It's Thursday.
Kino wa suiyoubi desu. - Yesterday was Wednesday.
Ashita wa kin'youbi desu. - Tomorrow is Friday.
Fuyu desu. - It is Winter.

Getsuyoobi - Monday
Kayoobi - Tuesday
Suiyoobi - Wednesday
Mokuyoobi - Thursday
Kinyoobi - Friday
Doyoobi - Saturday
Nichiyoobi - Sunday
Nichigatsu - January
Nigatsu - February
Sangatsu - March
Shigatsu - April
Gogatsu - May
Rokugatsu - June
Shichigatsu - July
Hachigatsu - August
Kugatsu - September
Juugatsu - October
Juuichigatsu - November
Juunigatsu - December

Ichi - One
Ni - Two
San - Three
Shi - Four
Go - Five
Roku - Six
Shichi - Seven
Hachi - Eight
Ku - Nine
Ju - Ten
Juuichi - Eleven
Juuni - Twelve
Juusan - Thirteen
Juushi - Fourteen
Juugo - Fifteen
Juuroku - Sixteen
Juushichi - Seventeen
Juuhachi - Eighteen
Juuku - Nineteen
Nijuu - Twenty

Fuyu - Winter
Haru - Spring
Natsu - Summer
Aki - Autumn

Gomenasai - I'm sorry
Sumimasen - I'm sorry (formal)
Anata wa eigo/hihongo wo hanashimasuka? - Do you speak english/japanese?
Sukoshi dake - Just a little.
Arigato - Thank you.
Arigatou - Thank you very much.
Kudasai - Please.

 And this post is already beginning to be overly long, so my comments on the alphabet system will have to wait...

In the shadow of the Greatest Shinobi

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

In Which I Relate The Wonders of Coffee

Yes, I know.  It probably seems obvious that shinobi and coffee go hand in hand.  Night warriors and all, and yes, I'm completely a night person.  Sadly enough though, I have a job that requires my getting up at an unearthly time in the morning.  Now to me, anything before eight is shudderable.
Before seven?
That, to me, is unthinkable.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm quite capable of getting up at five, and even four, to catch a plane or get to a marathon, for those don't require getting up that early consistently.  And are, much of the time, voluntary.
Jobs are another matter completely.
But now I'm just complaining.

Since I go to work so early, I, in turn, get out earlier.  And this morning my wonderful vehicle (she really is quite a lovely car) needed gas.  Now I don't know about you, but when it is still quite early enough in the morning for me to wish for my bed, and also much below freezing, the last thing I especially want to do is stand outside in the wind and wait for my car to drink its fill.  (and have you noticed the price of gas lately??)
But it was necessary, so I went and obeyed the command of my car.
While I was standing, the unpleasant smell and taste of petrol permeating my nose, and my extremities going slowly numb, someone walks by with a steaming cup of coffee.

First, I must state that I once had a relative that worked at this gas station, so I had been entitled to discounted coffee here.  And I knew it to be good.
Second, I could just hear the delicious brew calling my name.
What's a sleep deprived, cold shinobi to do in such circumstances?
Well, I know what I did, and I'm sure you can guess.  I was soon driving home with my own steaming cup of coffee warming me up and slowly spreading life and energy to my weary body.
By the time I was home, I felt much more chipper and warm.  So I must say that coffee is a great medicine for the cold and tired.  Black coffee with hardly any sugar or the coffee flavored milk people call lattes, it's all good.  So long as it isn't drunk too close to bedtime...

Now I believe I must say something in defense of the cold, which I didn't give a very good word here.
The cold is quite pleasant, when it isn't early in the morning.  I would much rather it be zero degrees than one hundred.  Add snow to the mix and it makes things even better- so long as it is good sticky snow that you can ball up and hurl at people, or make statues out of.

So there you have a rambling post, dripping with coffee and snowflakes.  What are your opinions on these matters?

In the shadow of the Greatest Shinobi

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Something Tugging At Me, That Perhaps You Are Thinking...

"If this person is so adamant about how we shouldn't blow bells and whistles before what we're doing, why do they have a blog telling all this stuff that they're doing?"
Well, I don't know if you are thinking this, my perhaps non-existent reader, but I might be if I were reading it.  And I pondered it today while driving.

My reason for beginning this blog has already been stated, I shall not repeat it.  But why am I beginning this blog to state all that?  Why am I beginning a blog to talk about my beliefs and what I do, when I said we shouldn't brag about it?

First, I'm not bragging about this.

Second, I want to spur others to be more than words.  I've met many people who announce "I'm a ninja!", who show off their karate or whatever and think they're just great and people should fear and respect them.  Some people take it to such an extent as beating up on others.  Someone I know was a victim of that, and all I can say is that it is lucky for them I wasn't around when it happened.  I don't take kindly to those who talk big stuff, then maybe beat up on a few people who are unable to stand up to them to "prove" that they're big stuff.

I suppose you could call this post an admonishment... perhaps I should add that to the title...

At any rate, no, those who are acting like that, you are not true ninja.  You are not shinobi.  You are not to be looked up to.
There it is, plain and simple, my opinion on that matter.

Now that I have admonished you, I add this:
Get serious.  Get real.  Be someone that actually deserves honor.  Those who deserve honor are the ones who aren't looking for it.
I'm not asking you to act a part, I'm asking you to be.  Be more than the standards and expectations of this world.

Go forth and do good, but do it to honor others.

I feel as if I am repeating myself now.  Ah well.

All these past posts have been of a more serious kind.  Trust me, there will be more to come, but I also intend to have simply rambling posts, more lighthearted, just the thoughts of a shinobi as they go about their day.  Maybe not even thoughts.  Maybe it will be pure nothing that you'll look at and think "Why on earth did they post that?"
And I'll go ahead and answer that question now, before it is put forward.

Simply because, though life is serious, one should have fun during it.  Times that are only relaxing, or fun, or amusing, or just plain random.  Like children, they can be serious when it is necessary, but they aren't walking around with the world on their shoulders.  Sure, adults have more knowledge and therefore carry greater responsibility, but does that mean they should become sour faced and no longer see any fun in life?
That is my viewpoint.  I don't demand that you accept it and begin living by it, but I suggest you consider it.  It shall be reflected here, I assure you.

In the shadow of the Greatest Shinobi

Friday, January 14, 2011

In Which I Greet My Unknown, Invisible, and Perhaps Non-Existant Readers

Greetings, those I cannot see and those who may not even be there. It is my hope someone will find this blog, and find it to be useful, helpful, or at least amusing...

Here is the beginning of something new. Hopefully something productive. Perhaps something that will cause debate.

Now you may be curious as to the purpose of this blog, despite the description off to the side. I wish to state my beliefs, findings and observations of the world, and perhaps ramble about nothings. We shall see.

I don’t believe in stereotyping. Many claim that ninja are bloodthirsty berserkers, bent on killing whatever they come across and getting all the profit they possibly can. Some were like that, yes. I will not deny the truth. The truth is a precious thing, which must be protected in this day and age...
But I’m getting off subject.
I’m determined to show that there can be ninja, or shinobi as I prefer to call them, here in the modern world. Shinobi who are determined to do good. Who *do* good. Who don’t care what the world thinks of them. Who do what is right no matter what others say. Who stand up for what they believe. Who are patient, kind, do not envy, do not boast of their own doings, are not wrongly proud, are not rude, self seeking, or easily angered. Who keep no record of wrong, who do not delight in evil, but rejoice in the truth. Who protect, hope, trust, and persevere.
Who are lovers, not fighters, but who will fight for what they love.
Who don’t call attention to what they do.
Because shinobi are all about secrecy, right?

Yes... That is what I wish to prove. Of course, there is only so much one can prove through a blog, it must be a lifestyle, but I wish to encourage others to make this commitment also.

I will be posting principles, goals, suggestions, etc here. And I challenge you to join in this. Become your city’s shinobi. Your workplace’s shinobi. Because every place needs a shinobi looking out for it.

Until next time.
In the shadow of the The Greatest Shinobi