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Manarelle maintains and refines


Manarelle

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Slight adjustment to hobby categories this time around.

 

Goals:

  • Exercise: Weights, cardio, PT, and Kenpo.
  • Languages: French, Russian, and Japanese.
  • Crafting: Practice Kenpo knives, 3rd pair of work pants, Mjolnir.

 

It seems like less than last time, but if I have two craft projects going, my brain goes wonky and neither end up getting done in a timely fashion. This also doesn't show that I've rediscovered the joys of reading (although my tastes have changed drastically), and that the garden will be rearing its head soon. So I suppose the focus of this challenge is discipline in crafting and, as always, finding balance. 

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Manarelle the Level 54 Amazon Assassin

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ALWAYS BE FINDING BALANCE. :) 

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2 hours ago, Manarelle said:

I feel like so much of my life can be boiled down to "striving for balance" and "throwing things out of whack." I realize that's a gross oversimplification, but it stands, nonetheless.

So true.  I think that finding harmony in life is the real challenge.

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I had a look at Kenpo knives on Google images, they are cute. I didn't know Kenpo had weapon practice. I did aikido for a wee while and we had weapon practice (staff, sword and knife but the wooden type obviously). It was really cool! That, and the multiple attackers thingy. That was great for both the head and the body, as you really get under pressure and raw instincts are coming to the surface fairly quickly, it was very interesting to be able to practice that, mentally not just physically. But I digress :lol:

And what do you read these days out of curiosity? I'm getting towards the end of a book series, some inspiration wouldn't hurt.

 

13 hours ago, Manarelle said:

So I suppose the focus of this challenge is discipline in crafting and, as always, finding balance. 


Good one. And that you pin-pointed the exact source of a previous issue. I still tend to fret about every so often but I'm not entirely sure why.

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I am by no means knowledgeable in Kenpo, but our instructor says that anything that can be done with the empty hand can also be done with a knife. One student has metal practice knives he brings in now and then, and we've been taught a few moves, but they seem very... final. Perhaps that's just my "never have been in life or death situation" perspective, though. 

 

I just finished Family of Spies: Inside the John Walker Spy Ring by Pete Early. Before that was The Man Without A Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin by Masha Gessen, and The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia also by Masha Gessen. Next up is When Violence Is The Answer by Tim Larkin. Fun stuff, no? My go-to relaxing books are the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovich, basically magic plus the police force in London. 

 

8 hours ago, @mu said:

Good one. And that you pin-pointed the exact source of a previous issue. I still tend to fret about every so often but I'm not entirely sure why.

 

This is just my experience, ymmv, but I found that I was so used to worrying about why things weren't right that I would doubt myself even when I was fairly sure I'd found the answer. Not that one shouldn't question oneself, but generally when I find that vague sense of "but something must be wrong" lurking in the back of my head, it's usually just self-doubt, not real problems. 

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Manarelle the Level 54 Amazon Assassin

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First draft of the kenpo knife is done. First is the inside, showing the cut-down (and dulled, just in case) butter knife, then with everything glued together, and finally the sanded, heated, finished project.

1%20Inside.jpg 2%20Glued%20together.jpg 

 

3%20FInished%201.jpg 5%20Finished%203.jpg

 

Reflections: 1) It's not perfect, but hey, it's a rough draft. 2) Don't use glue gun glue for seams that will be exposed to heat sealing later (duh, you'd think, but no...). 3) The heat sealing really makes it look a lot more finished. 4) Confidence for Mjolnir? Obtained. Mu hu. Ha ha. 

 

Final test will be this weekend when the teacher gives feedback, but he seemed happy. We shall see. 

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Manarelle the Level 54 Amazon Assassin

Gryffindarling and Sith Acolyte, somehow.

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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24 minutes ago, Manarelle said:

First draft of the kenpo knife is done. First is the inside, showing the cut-down (and dulled, just in case) butter knife, then with everything glued together, and finally the sanded, heated, finished project.

 

 

Reflections: 1) It's not perfect, but hey, it's a rough draft. 2) Don't use glue gun glue for seams that will be exposed to heat sealing later (duh, you'd think, but no...). 3) The heat sealing really makes it look a lot more finished. 4) Confidence for Mjolnir? Obtained. Mu hu. Ha ha. 

 

Final test will be this weekend when the teacher gives feedback, but he seemed happy. We shall see. 

What is the relationship between kenpo and the knife?

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
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11 hours ago, peelout said:

What is the relationship between kenpo and the knife?

 

American Kenpo Karate has knife techniques, and according to my teacher, anything done with an open hand can also be done with a knife in hand. He's tried to show us some attacks and defenses, but without appropriate props, it's a little difficult. 

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Gryffindarling and Sith Acolyte, somehow.

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On 2/8/2018 at 6:22 PM, Manarelle said:

I am by no means knowledgeable in Kenpo, but our instructor says that anything that can be done with the empty hand can also be done with a knife. One student has metal practice knives he brings in now and then, and we've been taught a few moves, but they seem very... final. Perhaps that's just my "never have been in life or death situation" perspective, though. 

 

Me neither (fortunately). Our aikido teacher, who was from Glasgow (the city has a bit of a knife reputation), told us: if you get in a real knife situation, just run - as fast as you can! Cardio training might be the best defense :lol:

 

On 2/8/2018 at 6:22 PM, Manarelle said:

I just finished Family of Spies: Inside the John Walker Spy Ring by Pete Early. Before that was The Man Without A Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin by Masha Gessen, and The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia also by Masha Gessen. Next up is When Violence Is The Answer by Tim Larkin. Fun stuff, no? My go-to relaxing books are the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovich, basically magic plus the police force in London. 

 

Indeed heavy stuff! Someone else recommended the Larkin's book to me.


Good work! It's a pretty blade full of curves, not the easiest to pick I think!

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On 08/02/2018 at 6:22 PM, Manarelle said:

This is just my experience, ymmv, but I found that I was so used to worrying about why things weren't right that I would doubt myself even when I was fairly sure I'd found the answer. Not that one shouldn't question oneself, but generally when I find that vague sense of "but something must be wrong" lurking in the back of my head, it's usually just self-doubt, not real problems. 

 

Very possibly. I was also thinking of low patience threshold at the root of it, "not progressing fast enough -> something must be wrong -> doubt" sort of line.

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On 2/7/2018 at 12:56 PM, Manarelle said:

feel like so much of my life can be boiled down to "striving for balance" and "throwing things out of whack."

Yup.  This.  I feel like as I get older I start thinking of it as "Now I will intentionally throw things out of whack" as opposed to trying to balance everything.  But that's only on a good day. Most of the time it's thrown out of whack by me running blindly forward into some new cool thing. Alas. 


The knife is cool! I hope it works for practice. 

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On 2/9/2018 at 7:42 PM, zeroh13 said:

Following!

 

Hello again! I am a horrible friend who needs to learn to visit other forums, not just assassins'. 

 

On 2/10/2018 at 12:38 AM, @mu said:

Indeed heavy stuff! Someone else recommended the Larkin's book to me.


Good work! It's a pretty blade full of curves, not the easiest to pick I think!

 

I can highly recommend the Larkin book. Finished it today, and it has a lot of good thinking points. The blade was not my choice, apparently the head of our branch of Kenpo developed it specifically for knife work. The curves were actually not that bad, using a Dremel to fine-tune and round the edges. Got approval for the knife today - it got put to work in today's class, in fact - and I've already started the other three that I have butter knives for. Should be able to finish them by next weekend, then it's back to sewing. Speaking of which....

 

Week 0:

  • Exercise: 2 days weights, 2 days cardio, PT and Kenpo today.
  • Languages: Done.
  • Crafting: Kenpo knives.

Nothing particularly exciting this week, other than the knife success. Ordered seeds for the garden, made a loaf of challah bread for my gentleman to turn into enough french toast that I don't have to make breakfast at all this week, and did not horribly faceplant on a minor Russian test, so yay. 

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Manarelle the Level 54 Amazon Assassin

Gryffindarling and Sith Acolyte, somehow.

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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14 hours ago, Manarelle said:

made a loaf of challah bread for my gentleman to turn into enough french toast that I don't have to make breakfast at all this week

YUSSS

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On 2/12/2018 at 5:11 AM, Manarelle said:

I can highly recommend the Larkin book. Finished it today, and it has a lot of good thinking points.

 

I'll try to get my hands on it when I'm finished with Inspector Rebus (Scottish crime/police series).

 

On 2/12/2018 at 5:11 AM, Manarelle said:

The blade was not my choice, apparently the head of our branch of Kenpo developed it specifically for knife work. The curves were actually not that bad, using a Dremel to fine-tune and round the edges. Got approval for the knife today - it got put to work in today's class


That's fantastic!

 

On 2/12/2018 at 5:11 AM, Manarelle said:

made a loaf of challah bread for my gentleman to turn into enough french toast that I don't have to make breakfast at all this week

 

:wub: oh oh French toast, long time I haven't had any.

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On 2/8/2018 at 5:56 AM, Manarelle said:

I feel like so much of my life can be boiled down to "striving for balance" and "throwing things out of whack." I realize that's a gross oversimplification, but it stands, nonetheless.

#storyofmylife #currentquest

 

On 2/10/2018 at 2:38 PM, @mu said:

Our aikido teacher, who was from Glasgow (the city has a bit of a knife reputation), told us: if you get in a real knife situation, just run - as fast as you can! Cardio training might be the best defense :lol:

Hahahahaha! I totally agree, and would totally die in a Zombie apocalypse, unless they do run really slowly.

 

Another great challenge - these knives are really cool! I love the picture you post of your crafts. I remember pictures of your garden last year - I will expect some this year too ^_^ 

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"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising up every time we fall." Confucius

 

 

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5 hours ago, Norgaard said:

whats the fun of balancing if you dont get thrown off course every now and then ;)

 

good look with the challenge!

 

I need to remember this more often. I frequently view things that throw me off as interruptions; need to realize they're just practice and not inherently bad. Thank you. :)

 

4 hours ago, Asuka said:

Another great challenge - these knives are really cool! I love the picture you post of your crafts. I remember pictures of your garden last year - I will expect some this year too ^_^ 

 

Oh yes, there will be gardening pictures. I'm simplifying things this year, but there will also be some basic structure updates. Right now it's not very impressive. I planted cover crops in the fall, thinking they'd go wild and provide good green manure to till under for spring... Reality did not match the pictures in my head (surprise). I sha'n't bore you with the actual pictures, it looks a lot like a dead garden with struggling, half-frozen rows of tiny, cowering green shoots, but there will be more when it gets interesting. 

 

Instead, here are three more knives in process. I've hollowed out the foam of one side of each, now just need to hollow the second side, glue them together, sand them down, and heat seal them. Then if I want to get really silly, I might throw together a carry case so I don't have to shove 4 foam knives in my purse or walk around with a plastic bag looking classy.  

 

8154fda9-f934-472f-b2d5-624dfe47da82.jpg

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Manarelle the Level 54 Amazon Assassin

Gryffindarling and Sith Acolyte, somehow.

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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14 hours ago, Manarelle said:

Then if I want to get really silly, I might throw together a carry case so I don't have to shove 4 foam knives in my purse or walk around with a plastic bag looking classy.  

In my office, our bags get X-rayed going out to make sure we don't steal any prototype (I work for Samsung).

I can imagine the X-ray guy going "What is that in your bag?" "Oh, just 4 knives for Kendo. Wanna see?"  :applause:

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"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising up every time we fall." Confucius

 

 

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Week 1:

  • Exercise: 3 days weights, 2 days cardio, PT and Kenpo tomorrow.
  • Languages: Iffy.
  • Crafting: Kenpo knives and work pants.

This week did not go quite as planned, but I still got stuff done. Had an interesting epiphany at the gym, as I realized I was casually tossing 25# barbells from hand to hand, something that six months ago was not possible. Neat to see progress being made. Languages took a hit this week, I think just from icky weather and needing more decompress time, also a last-minute doctor's appointment mid-week that threw my lunches off. I'd thought I would finish the Kenpo knives this week, but after 36 hours of curing, the gorilla glue still wasn't 100% dry, so I didn't have time to sand them down before class tomorrow. Rather than waste crafting time, however, I went ahead with the next set of work pants. It's an exception to my "one craft at a time" rule, but I'm hoping to finish them both this coming week and clear the slate (and finally get rid of terribly-fitted, old and fraying work pants!). Overall, decent week. 

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Manarelle the Level 54 Amazon Assassin

Gryffindarling and Sith Acolyte, somehow.

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On 2/18/2018 at 5:44 AM, Manarelle said:

Had an interesting epiphany at the gym, as I realized I was casually tossing 25# barbells from hand to hand, something that six months ago was not possible. Neat to see progress being made.

 

he he nice one ! Always a pleasant surprise :P
I saw else where you were looking for parallettes at the gym. You could make them your-self in pvc (or wood). The web is full of DIY designs. It's not very expensive and if you make your own pair,  you can set them to a height that is comfortable for you. Lower ones are harder.
My father-in-law made mine. They are knee heights. For L-sit and stuff, it's easier, and for other exercises that I could do on lower parallettes (e.g. pushups), I have my feet on a sofa. A good compromise for me so far.

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5 hours ago, @mu said:

I saw else where you were looking for parallettes at the gym. You could make them your-self in pvc (or wood). The web is full of DIY designs. It's not very expensive and if you make your own pair,  you can set them to a height that is comfortable for you. Lower ones are harder.

 

I was hoping to keep using them at the gym, because it ties in quite nicely with the other stuff I do there, but it's been a few weeks now and they're not fixed, and they're not always available when I'm there, so I may just go ahead and make my own, thank you. I quite like your tall ones that let you do pike practice.

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Manarelle the Level 54 Amazon Assassin

Gryffindarling and Sith Acolyte, somehow.

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