Thursday, October 29, 2009

Flat Out

Uhhh... where was I?

Monday was sword training. I did the written part of the grading. The practical part comes Saturday. I've been practicing whenever I get the chance -- but since practice for this grading involves waving around about a metre of extremely sharp steel, I have to be pretty much kid-free. That's difficult. I tend to practice at night.

Tuesday: Elder Son was home. Some math was done, and some socio-cultural/historical stuff. And a Get Well card for his friend who fell out of a tree. But Tuesday night I zipped into Launceston (again) and watched movies with the Cool Shiters. Saw a very odd Jackie Chan flick, in which Jackie played it straight. The film is called "The Shinjuku Incident", and it's banned in China, apparently. It's an earnest film, and Jackie does okay in his role - but I didn't find a whole lot to be excited by. It's the story of an illegal Chinese migrant to Japan, who falls in with the Chinese illegals there and gradually gets sucked into organized crime, then duly chewed up and spat out. No surprises. Many others have made this film before, and lacking anything really new to bring to it, the only reason to see it is for the novelty of Jackie Chan in a non-martial, non-entertaining role.

Wednesday: there's a gastro doing the rounds down here. Apparently it's quite nasty. It's knocked quite a few people down, and a while back there was an entire ward of the LGH locked into isolation for it. So, Tuesday night Younger Son got carried into the house after falling ill at his first visit to Cubs. And Natalie's been a bit off her feed, yep. (Oh. I see I didn't mention Cubs. Yeah. First time and all. I had to drive out into the boonies north of Scottsdale to find the hall... and of course, Natalie told me 1530 hours but the boys weren't actually due there until 1630. Useful. But they enjoyed it. At least, they enjoyed it until Younger Son came over all chunderrific.) So -- Wednesday, I made it all the way through the afternoon of Spanish with the lads, but an ill-chosen afternoon snack (I had some chips with the boys. They were fine chips. My stomach wasn't fine. That is all.) I had to call off the evening martial arts class. Nobody likes to see vomit all over the mat, no.

Thursday: uhhhh... yep. More efforts at sword training, and an attempt to get into the domestic stuff. Natalie's done something horrible to her back. She's walking around the place like a cripple, and even rolling over in bed is a production. So there's about twice as much crap to do around the place as usual, but I've got half the time I'm supposed to. And of course, there was the primary school intro ju-jitsu class to occupy the afternoon. I can only be thankful for Kindly Neighbour Lady A, who looked after the Mau-Mau while I was teaching kids the joy of nerve point techniques -- and who remembered to bring along to the school some important paperwork I'd forgotten when she came down with the Mau-Mau to collect her own offspring.

And today?

Today after I dropped the boys off and did the general shopping, I grabbed Neighbour Lady A's little daughter Microblonde, who is the Mau-Mau's Very Best Friend In All The World. And so my morning consisted of two four-year-old girls tearing the place up, down and sideways. No sword training yet. But hopefully, Natalie will take the Mau-Mau with the boys to orchestra... although I suspect I may have to take over that task, because the whole spine thing was looking worse than ever this morning.

I'm taking ten minutes out to put all this down. And to say that the rhododendrons were actually camellias after all. Now I've got to get back to it.

Sword grading tomorrow. Going-away party for Dion after that. Sword seminar on Sunday. And spring has turned my property into an overgrown mass...


  1. Machete's are a sub class of sword, right? And cutting kata's can cut overgrown masses...

  2. Mmm. Not overgrown in a convenient, machete-friendly way. Overgrown in a masses-of-knee-high-grass, the odd fallen tree, and three metre saplings in inconvenient places way. But otherwise, yes.

  3. I heard they're remaking "Red Sonja" with Rose Mcgowan in the role. My initial thought was "how the hell is she going to wield a sword like Brigitte Nielsen?".

    Am I wrong that those things look heavy and that realistically only an amazon chick could really swing one?

  4. Well - for the movies, they use aluminium. And even a stick-thin supermodel can swing one of those.

    But in the real world? Swords have always been practical. No point to 'em if they're not lethal, and if they're too heavy and slow, they're not useful.

    I study Iaido -- a type of Japanese sword technique -- and the particular school I'm with uses older-style blades, rather than the modern lightweight katana. The blades themselves are a yard or more long (in Yankee measure) and while they're not featherweight, they move easily.

    My instructor is female, and probably about fifty years old. She doesn't seem to have much trouble.

    The really big Euro swords generally weren't swung like an axe. They were often used with a mailed/armoured glove, so you could hold them almost like a quarterstaff. You'd only ever wind up for a big swing if you were finishing off somebody who couldn't get out of the way.

  5. U mean everything in the movies isn't real? ;)

    Seriously though, good info and I'm thinkin' this might be a valuable skill for me to pick up for when the zombies attack. I mean cuz when u run outta bullets.....

  6. Oh, absolutely. The ability to swing a sword and successfully dismember others without doing critical injury to oneself is, I feel, much underrated by the modern world -- and the price will be paid one day!