Showing posts from 2012

Fine and Fresh

The problem with complaining is, well, unless something constructive is done immediately after, it is mostly destructive. Done, okay on to constructive.

First I would like to introduce a new idea, feedback on fencing form. It is done all over all the time by coaches for their students, but how do people that are far away or only get visits, or can't afford direct feedback able to improve? I think that there should be a forum, in the old sense of the word too, where people can post videos of themselves doing specific drills/actions that the community can constructively criticize. There might be a future option of paying for a professional opinion, but that is just a subset of ideas for the bigger idea.

The beginning of the forum is here: Please feel free to sign-up and start discussions and maybe post a video.

The second idea is to branch off on my own to set up a fencing class or two. I think that this would remove me from my apathy that I mentio…

On Running...

And running on.

I think I can pretty much wrap up this year's running, even though we are still 32 days out according to my overly optimistic goal of running 300 miles this year. I am at 91 miles and will probably make it to 100, maybe 120 but not 150, and definitely not 300.

Last year I managed to make it to 150 and felt pretty good about myself. At the beginning of the year I set a goal of 300, rationalizing that it is only around 6 miles a week. I've run 6 miles this week so far, but it is an outlying point and I might add 5 miles to it. Most other weeks have been rainy, voggy, or busy.

First I hate running in the rain. Get water in the eyes, soggy shoes, an extra 20 pounds. Not fun. I do have more clothing and I really just need a new pair of shoes so that I will have two pairs to even that out, or at least not putting on wet clothes/shoes for a run during a nice day. I have less and less excuses, now I just need some glasses that are clear so I can run early mornings.


Finding Apathy

Does taking on responsibility in something you enjoy cause apathy? Very possibly. It doesn't help that when I arrive at the usual time there might be someone around, but usually no one. That makes it a bit harder. I don't think taking on responsibility would cause so much apathy without that thrown into the mix. Also just the assumption that I am a bank... Not very fun.

Enough complaining. I will go to fencing this evening after going home for a light dinner and a few minutes of downtime. Then I will go, and if no one is there I will either run outside or around the gym, hopefully it isn't raining because it will be much more fun to run outside. Unlikely as that is.

My brother came into town last week. We went snorkeling at Kapoho on Wednesday. Thursday we went to prayer just as normal except we managed to bring my brother and our housemate because of the turkey trot down at bay front. That was a decent 5k, one of the flattest courses here on the island. I managed a 26:30i…

Fits and Starts

Another post in quick succession.

We had fencing twice more last week, which is twice more than I am used to, but it was well worth it. Again we had the two coaches from Oahu, Mike Aiao and Saul Mendoza. (This time I learned his name and saw it written as well.)

Saul worked us pretty hard Thursday and Saturday. I was pretty happy with going through drills and just getting in some good practice. I almost put a complaint here, but lets just say I will be working harder to get people to do drills. I will need to work with whoever shows up at the right time, beyond that it is up to them. That was tough not complaining.

Last time I wrote about the footwork, Saul worked us for more than a half hour trying to correct some of our bad habits. But the most recent two the footwork was a minor compared to the bladework. We paired off and he went around teaching and correcting. On Saturday he specifically talked to me about how to do the exercises as a teacher with a student. That was excellent al…


I am not very good at staying motivated. I can get really excited and start something, but it is tough to keep going. This blog may be an example of gaining and losing interest. Do an inverse on the number of days between posts divided by the average number and you will see a not so good trend. So let's try this:

Tuesday Mike Aiao and a few fencers came out from Oahu. Mike started us out on the footwork for about 10 minutes, I would like to comment on how late everyone started fencing, but let's keep to the subject at hand.

Mike drilled us on Basic footwork, then handed it over to another experienced fencer, whose name completely escapes me. He is a coach too. He took us through footwork, correcting people with too wide of a stance and getting us to move and work for it. Here are a few of the exercises:

Advance-Retreat - of course, really simple and basic, but many people don't focus on this after they think they have "mastered" it.Double advance-Double retreat - …

Chugging Along

Getting back into the swing of things.These last few weeks have been pretty horrendous for fencing and running.

Many things conspired to limit fencing, plans and cancellations, but finally got to fence last night. I fenced a bit and practiced some too. After being up the mountain yesterday, and getting up to do 1.5 miles in the morning I certainly wasn't at top performance, however it was definitely good to fence. I certainly need to improve, as we have a person that can soundly beat me. It is quite amazing how much of a motivator that is, in fact it will be an excellent learning opportunity.

I really need to work on my point control, and in that direction I have made a ball with a string through it. Really simple, but attaching a clamp to the beam and then dangling the ball from it should help my point control become better. Or rather I will improve my point control. Another thing is reactions, I need to definitely put in place stock actions as well as leave the door open for fle…

Snow Chains in Hawaii

Yes, you read the title correctly, we were required to use chains today. Of course there being snow made the poor rangers freak out. Some of it may have required chains, but especially after plowing the chains are just being ruined and ruining the tires. Having grown up in Wyoming I know that chains are useful, but seriously 3 inches of mostly fresh snow? It is when it starts getting packed and icy that chains really help.

But having fun replacing disks. Putting 2 160 GB SSDs in plus 2 2TB HDDs in eight different computers. Being at nearly 14,000 feet up here on Mauna Kea really can do damage to disks, the head needs an air cushion and it doesn't get it. Head slams into disk, disk is kaput. That is why SSDs are so much better, once you get beyond their sudden infant death syndrome, but those are pretty rare.

Anyway, back to work.

Rats in Paradise

Or: Raining for Weeks Straight Induce Rats to Take Shelter in Houses and Cause the People Inside Much Trouble.

Hawaii did not always have rats. Hawaii did not always have anything that is here, but rats are certainly more recent than many things we think of as Hawaiian. They came via ships just as mosquitoes did, but they climbed down ropes, or even swam from ships. Hard to keep track of, mosquitoes were just dumped into fresh water as larva as someone refilled their water barrels, which could have been prevented. The rats would have made it here one way or another. Of course they started wiping out endemic bird populations, so some smart person brought in mongeese to hunt and eat them, not realizing that mongeese are diurnal and rats are nocturnal. And the mongeese eat birds and bird-eggs too.

But the reason I am relating this is because we had the opportunity to meet one of these interlopers this weekend. I would love to say that I didn't have to kill it, but then I would be as …

Update, These Days...

Doing quite a bit better these days so far as motivation goes. Although really need to be more disciplined for exercise, but I really dislike running in the rain. I guess I could get another set of shoes so that I can let them dry, but I also need to remember to take out the insoles and flatten them so that I don't get blisters from slightly curled insoles.

Fencing is probably completely off for this week. First Mauna Loa School is doing something so we can't fence there, and Thursday I am going up the mountain and may be up there until 21:00 which would be at least an hour after the longest winded fencers are still there. Oh well. Also in fencing news I won't be going to any interesting tournaments when I go to the ESC Conference in March for work. And I looked at May when Jessie and I will be attending her sister's graduation, nothing, but maybe we are just too far out. There are tournaments happening, but they are all qualifiers for nationals and since I am not from…

Feeling a bit better

Fencing was certainly better last night, though I still managed to over do it. I was able to fence 4 or 5 people and did quite well against them. I am working on recognizing patterns and reactions.

I noticed it specifically with one fencer. After a few direct attacks that ended with a huge parry riposte against me, I figured out the a feint disengage worked. He is a lefty and I am a righty, so I went for his quarte, inside and drew the parry and then disengaged nearly a full circle to get him on the chest. I was down 3-1 or 3-0, but managed to win the bout with 5-4.

Also mobility and endurance really helped, although I was at the end of my endurance nearly. Need to work further on that. Speaking of, now to go walking.


Ah, motivation...

Fencing has been pretty slow recently, we had a few traveling fencers grace us with their presence. That was fun, and challenging. People here are getting better, or maybe I am sliding back into the morass of sloppy fencing. I hope it is the former.

I have decided that I am not going to try to put anyone through exercises and drills. I would rather not have to restart a dozen times with late-comers, but they don't bother me as much as those who prefer to stab over learning how to stab... A fine line I know. As such I have only really taken a few beginners through basic footwork and swordwork, otherwise I am pretty demotivated.

I fence but I feel lethargic, it is usually after sitting in a chair for nearly 8 hours so that is part of the problem. I also have been slacking on running and exercising outside of fencing, and it shows. Last week when there was only one strip and I was working on my own, I managed to overdo it. Go figure. I have a chance, possibly, to go…