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Lt_Laurel: Becoming the Shadow Lion, Episode 1 - Earning My Sword


ShadowLion

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It is still dark when I awake. I slip out of bed, already dressed, and gather up the things that I laid out the night before. I put on the warm cap and jacket, and stuff a cloth bag in my pocket, then sneak downstairs to the kitchen.
 

I am in luck. Most of the preparations for tonight's celebration were finished yesterday and no one is in the kitchen yet. So I stuff a couple of biscuits and several slices of meat into my bag and exit out the back door that opens onto the kitchen garden without having to make up any stories about where I am going or what I am doing.

 

All is quiet as I pass around the back of the armory and the two buildings where my mother's students live. I am so excited at what today will hold! I have waited almost a year and a half for it, ever since I saw my older sister receive her training sword the day she turned seven. Today it will be my turn and I intend to be ready.

 

 

My Main Quest: Become as unstoppable as the heroine in my novel!

(The gory details of the following can be found in my Battle Log.)


1) Build effective, efficient, and sustainable systems WIS-2 CHA-1

To achieve my Main Quest and Life Quest Goals, I will follow the Plan of Action as detailed in my Battle Log. The Plan addresses these areas with specific, measurable actions:

A ) "Basic Systems," the Foundational Success Plan

B ) "Eat Well," the Food Success Plan

C ) "Train Hard," Fitness Success Plan


2) Lose 12 pounds and 6% BF CON-4


3) Become a sleek, strong, and supple ranger with lots of stamina STR-4 DEX-1

To achieve this goal, I will use a mix of mobility, strength, and endurance exercises:

3 x 1 minute planks, 30 sec rest interval

5 regular pushups

1 exercise band assisted pullup

2 x 25 bw squats

2 x 10 bw lunges per side

Complete Tai Chi form (24 movement) and saber form memorized

15 minute mile on level ground, no pack weight


4 ) Creativity Quest WIS-2 CHA-1





ART/CRAFT
 - Knit a pair of socks



MUSIC
 - Complete the the repertoire goal started last challenge and share with accountabilibuddies.

WRITING - Write 18,000 words


All of the above goals will be graded with the standard A, B, C, D, or F system using the usual percentages.

 

EDIT 0823 11/17/2013 - Removed previous challenge gamification storyline in anticipation of inserting new material.

EDIT 1530 11/17/2013 - Changed Topic Title from "Lt_Laurel - Becoming One of ha'Cathach's Rangers" to "Lt_Laurel: Becoming the Shadow Lion, Episode 1 - Earning My Sword"

 

EDIT 0039 11/19/2013 - Added first part of new storyline to head of topic post.

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All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

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In my last challenge, I determined that success in leveling up my life and living my dreams would require me to become as unstoppable as the heroine in the novel I am writing. That was as far as I took the idea at the time. Now, in contemplating how to make that more of a reality in this challenge, I realized that I could go quite a bit further in "gamifying" my challenge. I could create my own challenge persona based on the fantasy world and characters in my novel, "Return of the Shadow Lion." That would be more fun and would tie my fitness efforts more strongly to my creative projects. Win-Win!


Though I am a long ways from being able to play the heroine role - Ariel ha' Cathach, the "Shadow Lion" of the story - I can play a character who learns to live her own version of being as fit and fiercely committed as her soon-to-be mentor. We rejoin Lieutenant Lauriel ha' Azza as she begins her journey and I experiment with how to meld story and challenge posts into something remotely intelligible...



EDIT 0821 11/17/2013 - Removed previous challenge storyline of "Lauriel ha' Azza" in anticipation of inserting new material that will directly contradict the above post.

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

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Hi, Jessfit! I'm just the opposite - I can knit just about anything, but when I crochet, well, I end up with a mess! I'm in the thinking stages on the socks right now. Got a nice stash of yarns and a couple of patterns that I've flagged to do. Just have to make a decision! I will definitely post updates and pics...

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

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SOCKS ARE THE BEST THINGS EVER TO KNIT EVER EVER EVER.

ehm. More calmly now... great goals! Your stuff always seems so organized.

I LOVE knitting socks! I've narrowed my choice of pattern and am deciding on whether to go toe-up or top-down, and whether I want to try two at a time or not. I've got quite a stash of yarn, so once the pattern is chosen I should be able to cast on right away!

"Seems" is the operative word, I think. The appearance of organization is just the desperate attempt of an extremely distractable mind to impose some sort of order on absolute chaos!

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

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The only socks I've tried were toe-up, but I don't think I was skilled enough for the heel.  There are also heel-last patterns so that you can replace it as it wears out.  Have you encountered any two-at once sock patterns?

 

I know... not helping. :P

I have conditions that affect my social awareness.  If I am rude, tell me what I could do better.

5'8" & 220 260 pounds | Miles Walked: X

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Love following along on your adventures, so here I be!

Level 83 ~*~ Ranger

Deviant Art Gallery   ||  YouTube Channel

Current Challenge

"It is difficult.  All things worth keeping are."  Thane Krios - Mass Effect 2

"Maybe it's not as simple as you imagined, Seeker."  Varric Tethras Dragon Age 2

"Staying within your limits is no fun, Ryder."  Vetra Nyx - ME: Andromeda

Spoiler

 

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The only socks I've tried were toe-up, but I don't think I was skilled enough for the heel.  There are also heel-last patterns so that you can replace it as it wears out.  Have you encountered any two-at once sock patterns?

 

I know... not helping. :tongue:

 

I've always done the afterthought heel, but am gathering my courage for a turned heel. I have a book on two-at-once socks and want to try that, too, but am not sure how many new variables to introduce on one project. I want to do a lace pattern, but I would have to adapt it to the new method, as I got the two-at-a-time book for the method not the patterns.

 

Seriously, the knitting of the socks gets me so excited. I cannot wait to see this

 

I will post progress and final pics for you...

 

 

Love following along on your adventures, so here I be!

 

Hiya, Starpuck! Love your new challenge theme and can't wait to see you kicking this challenge!

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

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Great first day. All gory details of food and exercise are over on the battle log. Suffice to say systems worked well and I did very well with diet and exercise. Wanted to do more with creative projects, but my logging is showing that I am still overestimating what one person can do in a day and today frontloading the exercise, systems and diet goals was higher on the list. I cleared out some nagging chores and should be able to jump into more creative pursuits by Wednesday.

 

I'm waffling on my gamification storyline. I really like the idea of doing it, but am not that excited about my character for some reason. Not sure what I need to do there.

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

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Hey, remember the perfectionism thing. You've done pretty well with food, be happy with that and maintain it. You have a lot of time to be more creative or learn how to manage your time, so take it easy. Congrats for your first day.

Human: Ranger

5 STR | 3 DEX | 5 STA | 4 CON | 2 WIS | 3 CHA

 

 

 

Current challenge: keep it simple

battle log | epic quest

Last challenges: ΜΟΛΩΠΛΑΒΕ | prepare to a half-marathon

 

MEMENTO MORI

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Thanks for the reminder, daggart! Today tends to be a pretty busy day at work, but with the prep I put in yesterday and working my systems today, I got my week one new recipe done and am having some time on a lunch break to do some posting. Hopefully, I can get my socks started tonight and get in some music practice and/or writing.

 

Pumpkin Ice Cream

100% organic ingredients, paleoish/primalish occasional treat category

100% full-fat cream, maple syrup, egg yolks, and spices

4oz serving - 380 calories; 34g fat/14 g carbs/1g protein

I based my recipe on these directions, substituting 5 oz. maple syrup for the brown sugar. I think I overcooked it a bit and the recipe came out thicker and a lot less volume than I expected, so added another 14 oz of cream and 1 oz more of maple syrup to get what I judged to be the right consistency and amount. It came out great! Here's right after churning:

 

gallery_17054_743_59082.jpg

 

I believe it could easily work with a coconut milk base and/or honey as the sweetener. In previous a paleo ice cream trial (strawberry), I tried Sweet Drops stevia extract. The flavor was good, but the texture became very hard and icy. My maple syrup and cream vanilla ice cream came out great.

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All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

Link to comment

That looks so delicious!

 

The flavor is great, but it needs less fat. It left a grease slick in my mouth. I'm thinking next time I'll go with half-and-half and it'll be just right!

 

I've never gotten brave enough to try socks - and of course I've already got such a big stash, I can't really justify starting something that won't use existing yarn.  Looking forward to seeing how your challenge goes.

 

Socks aren't that bad if you start out with a simple pattern and graduate up in complexity every couple of pairs. I've done a lot of them to go into wildland boots - just plain wool socks with after-thought heels, so they could be replaced when they wore out (and so I didn't have to do the short-rowing and turning part). Got where I could design my own for just about any foot. I'm ready to level up now, though.

 

Socks are fun and very portable. Great for staying awake during long, boring meetings and conference sessions, etc. You can sit in the back and get something useful done!

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

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Sock Pattern and Yarn Decided!

 

I decided to go with a simpler design and focus on new technique acquisition. These will be toe-up socks using a somewhat unique method of increasing the sock developed by Cat Bordhi and, if I can adapt it to the two-at-a-time method, I will.

 

My wool sock yarn stash, with future yarns in the plastic tub (can you tell I like purple?) and tonight's lucky winner at the bottom of the picture:

 

sock yarn stash

 
My pattern is "Rushing Rivulet" from this book:
 

sock patt book

 
Gauge swatch will commence before the weekend, and then it is full speed ahead for the weekend!

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

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I've always done the afterthought heel, but am gathering my courage for a turned heel. I have a book on two-at-once socks and want to try that, too, but am not sure how many new variables to introduce on one project. I want to do a lace pattern, but I would have to adapt it to the new method, as I got the two-at-a-time book for the method not the patterns.

 

I've done one afterthought heel and didn't care for the way it fit my foot. Turning a heel is actually pretty easy.  f you've done short rows before turning the heel will be a breeze.  If not it'll still be easy if you trust your pattern.  When it says turn your work it really does mean it.  

 

I have that book somewhere I think, but I haven't used it.  Would love to know what you think of the pattern when you are finished!

Pixie Warrior 

I aim to misbehave

 

My NF Character, My Current Challenge

 

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I've done one afterthought heel and didn't care for the way it fit my foot. Turning a heel is actually pretty easy.  f you've done short rows before turning the heel will be a breeze.  If not it'll still be easy if you trust your pattern.  When it says turn your work it really does mean it.  

 

I have that book somewhere I think, but I haven't used it.  Would love to know what you think of the pattern when you are finished!

 

I'll let you know how it goes. I liked the afterthought heel because it was easy to replace when it wore out. It fit me fine, but I think that was because I used a 2/3 circumference. Most people just use half from what I've heard. I made one pair like that, switched to 2/3, and never went back.

 

I did a little bit of shortrowing on a scarf about a year ago, so I think I'll be OK. I'll keep your good advice in mind about the turn, though, because I vaguely remember trying to do a sample heel a while back and I managed to goof it up. I suspect it was that I didn't turn properly. I got frustrated trying to fix it and went back to my tried and true patterns, but now I've seen all these great top down ideas. I'll just have to learn how to do a proper turned heel!

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

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Ouch. The truth hurts.

 

Over in my battle log, I've been dithering about changing up my challenge theme. I haven't been emotionally invested in my character and it doesn't make any sense to spend a bunch of precious writing time on a minor character that will probably get cut in the next draft anyway. So, I had to ask myself why I persisted in such folly...

 

I didn't like the answer: I'm a dilettante. I don't want to push myself that hard. It's fun to THINK about being badass and play around with all my hobbies and dream, but I know my main character (after all these years). Ariel ha'Cathach is not amused. She is going to whup my sorry ass into shape harder than any of my fire academy instructors or my ex-jarhead fire captain ever did. She will not let me weasel out on what I say I want or be anything less than the best of what I am capable. And that scares the beejeezus out of me. Now, I understand all of my foot-dragging...

 

And, yes, I'm being hard on myself. I totally deserve it. If I can't woman up and do this, it's time to pack up my toys and go home. This is the make-or-break moment that I have avoided, but most needed. The do or do not.

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

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F*ck! I understand the sense of your last post, but not the details (speaking problems). Alright, you had a bad day (I say this because the theme change, the broken string and the time you spent changing it), but we are on the beginning and you can change everything you want to because you have time enough. What is more, I know that you would encourage any of us in the same situation to do what we consider the better: it's preferable one change at time than following something we are not comfortable with.

Human: Ranger

5 STR | 3 DEX | 5 STA | 4 CON | 2 WIS | 3 CHA

 

 

 

Current challenge: keep it simple

battle log | epic quest

Last challenges: ΜΟΛΩΠΛΑΒΕ | prepare to a half-marathon

 

MEMENTO MORI

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F*ck! I understand the sense of your last post, but not the details (speaking problems). Alright, you had a bad day (I say this because the theme change, the broken string and the time you spent changing it), but we are on the beginning and you can change everything you want to because you have time enough. What is more, I know that you would encourage any of us in the same situation to do what we consider the better: it's preferable one change at time than following something we are not comfortable with.

 

Don't worry! Everything will be alright. I am changing my theme and I am not quitting or giving up. I'm really just YELLING AT MYSELF for being stupid and lazy and taking the easy way out so often in my life.

 

In a way, I am already changing my theme and the rant above is part of it.  With the theme change, I will be both the new recruit and the officer screaming at that recruit to shape up. I will be roleplaying my main character to become more like her - a tough, hardened warrior who is determined to save those under her command and knows that the only way to do that is to demand that they become their very best. Ariel ha' Cathach would not let me get away with some of the things I do.

 

It's sort of weird to explain it. Does it make sense that I am going to be walking in my main character's footsteps, to use her journey to become better myself? To do that, though, means I will have to listen to and learn from the character that lives in my head, while I continue to write her story in my novel. It's convoluted, maybe even a little schizophrenic, but I think it will work because she is my hero and what I aspire to be like, even if I really don't want to live the particular series of disasters that I have created for her!

 

The day was a bit frustrating at times, but it wasn't bad - I lost some weight, practiced, knitted, did Tai Chi, ate reasonably well. And, now I'm getting my story straightened out, too! I won't be wasting time on some side character. I'm going right to the heart of the story and testing it and myself!

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

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