Lazy Sunday Morning

Two cups of coffee down, third one in front of me. I keep telling myself I’m going to take weekends off from writing posts here. I’ve usually tried to put something up, but I do take it easy and make them light posts. Today, I’m gonna ramble. It’s going to be a burning hot day, and I’m going to be covered in wool for most of it. I’m getting married in two weeks, and have taken it upon myself to make kilts for myself, my wedding party, and the priest (who is also my fiancee’s father.) At this point I’m hoping my fiancee gets her wedding dress done early and can help with the kilts. I’m not the most productive tailor in the world. My other writing is going well. Got a raft of rejections from some tough markets, and used the opportunity to really re-examine my fiction writing style.…

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Glint of a zweihander off of the shoulder of orion

The neighbours have gotten a little used to seeing a flash of steel in the front yard. When the hot weather comes and the sun shines, we come out from under the bridge. In the rain, the local skytrain station provides us a sheltered spot to keep our blades rust free. But when the time comes, and it’s the brief but glorious Vancouver drought season? It’s time to roam the parks and fields. So from time to time my front yard hosts a little swordplay. It’s not a big yard, so we do a lot of slow work. I like to walk on the grass barefoot, circling a client with a critical eye, looking for hardwired reflexes that need to pared away. Finding bad bits of muscle mojo that need to be chiseled off, and new plaster put in place. At first there was curiosity, and the occasional question, but…

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The monkey knife fight

Many years ago one of my best friends took an exclusive bodyguarding course. Very high level, a little hush-hush, real serious stuff. The first class was kind of interesting. At one point the instructor had them sitting around and asked them if they thought they could beat up Mike Tyson. It was a class full of hard-nosed, realistic types, and they all said no. My friend, having the double blessing of being Finnish and of the same rough and tumble martial arts school as me, said yes, he figured he could beat up Mike Tyson. I suppose the instructor might have smiled at this. Being a crazy whack job like all such instructors, it was probably a knowing smile. I imagine that he could read my friend pretty good, and knew what was coming. The rest of the class, reportedly, smirked at the cocky young fool. The instructor asked my…

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First lesson of swordplay…

What you learn in your first few classes is what you fall back on. I always keep this in mind when teaching new students. Nothing will ever define a students style more than what they learn in those crucial first lessons. My crucial lessons came from Sean Irwin. The local SCA practice used a system of eight classes to introduce the rapier to students. The eight classes were developed by F. Braun McAsh way back when. New students were assigned to an experienced fighter, and put at the back of the hall for separate classes. I still have vivid memories of those lessons. They were in Kennedy Hall in Surrey, which was predominantly a dance hall. Killer wooden floor…you can’t beat those. The hum of the fluorescent lights, the smell of sweat-soaked steel and athletic tape. And duct tape and fibreglass. So much damned duct tape. Back in those days…

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Completely unexpected WTF Wednesday

Short post today. My bike commute, during a sudden and vicious thunderstorm, was interrupted by the sudden need to go ass over teakettle slightly after meeting a car. The driver of the car was one of those sharp fellows who think that stop signs are only meant for occasional use. He was also of the opinion that stopping to check on a downed cyclist was an action requiring a courage to be found only in the rarest of men. So instead of being in a thoughtful and writerly mood, I’m damp, sore, grumpy and nursing a headache. And trying not to wonder if my damaged bike will indeed make the 15km trip back home. It’s a hell of a long walk otherwise. I’m taking it as a sign that I need to give up this foolishness of a holding a graveyard day job. Hell, I should probably finally give up…

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Actually Marozzo cancels out everyone.

I once, for a demo, acted out the famous and oft-quoted fencing scene from “Princess Bride,” with one key difference. We fenced against each other in the period styles quoted, changing from one style to another as dictated by the lines in the movie: Inigo Montoya: You are using Bonetti’s Defense against me, ah? Man in Black: I thought it fitting considering the rocky terrain. Inigo Montoya: Naturally, you must suspect me to attack with Capa Ferro? Man in Black: Naturally… but I find that Thibault cancels out Capa Ferro. Don’t you? Inigo Montoya: Unless the enemy has studied his Agrippa… which I have. It was a rather spectacular demo. We were in the Vancouver Art Gallery, and fenced the entire performance down the length of the giant, sweeping white marble steps. We fenced down the slick surface to the mesmerized looks of models, fashionistas, media moguls, reporters and social…

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