Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pointy Metal Sticks

I gave a quick salute, double checking my foot position as I put on my mask, adjusted my grip on the foil, coming on guard to face my opponent. Advance, advance, parry, retreat, advance, retreat, parry lunge, repost, laugh a bit, parry, retreat, advance, lunge, lunge, lunge, Gotcha!

For 5 weekends (off and on) Paul and I have been taking fencing lessons. (No, no post hole diggers in this class.) Fencing - as in the pointy metal stick version. I've dreamed of learning to fence for a long time... definitely high school, maybe even in grade school. So when the opportunity of taking an 8 week course in beginning foil with the Huntsville Fencing Club I was stoked! I told Paul about it and asked if he'd like to join me. I'm pretty sure Paul never jumped out of bed in the morning with the idea he wanted to learn fencing, but I do think he's enjoying it so far.

And me? Well I'm loving it! Don't think I'm going to turn into Errol Flynn or anything, but I'm holding my own fairly well. What I've seen of competitive fencing is a far cry from all the fancy sword work in Flynn's (or Princess Bride, or Highlander) movies anyway. First off you and your opponent face each other in a straight line - there aren't any rocks, steps, or battleship decks to work on and over. Its also a heck of a lot faster. You use much smaller more controlled movements, often with just a twist of your wrist as opposed to your whole arm. If you tried doing all that fancy stuff you see in the movies - you'd have 5 touches against you even before you straightened out your arm to lunge.

There are 7 of us in the class. Ben, our fencing instructor has told us our class has been making some very good progress - and that overall - we're a bit ahead of the curve. At the end of the past two classes he's let us free-fence for the last 15 to 20 minutes. The first three classes concentrated on history, basic footwork, offense and defense. We've gone on to more complicated parries and combinations of footwork and attacks in the past two classes, culminating in trying to put it all together in the free-fencing at the end. Its really interesting to fence with different people and see what everyone does - each seem have their own forte - speed, defense, parrying, attacks - which eventually will turn into their own personal style depending on what type of fencing they decide to pick up.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Take a Hike!

This past Sunday Paul and I took a break from all the wedding-planning errands and printing to take a hike on Green Mountain with our friend Geoffrey.

Geoffrey and Paul really enjoyed the nice bluff on the east side....

I preferred the view on the west.

With all good hikes there was of course stick-fencing.

There was also some really pretty moss while we were tracking down a mutli-stage cache.

And some early spring flowers too.

As a reward for watching Paul set type and me print (yawn) - I set up some quick stationary printing some flower artwork I had made for Paul and I's wedding invitation. (So the flower artwork is a bit of a sneak peek) Geoff set his Mom's name in type, and I printed matching envelopes. We'll see if his Mom was impressed with his letterpress skills when he gets back after Easter.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday Morning Silliness

Just a sweet video with no particular purpose - other than general coolness. Happy Monday folks! When you click on the link above - be patient - it takes a minute for the web page to load - but its worth it!

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Blast From The Past #37

Been a while for my Blast from the Past, hasn't it? Well, this is a picture of Paul in 2nd grade. Paul said that if he'd done the caption for this photo it would be "Hi, my name is Paul and I have great earning potential." Protractors are funnier! And I also made a promise I'd post photo of me in the 2nd grade when my Mom dug one up.

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