Posts from March of 2008

Healthy Yet Tasty

Posted March 27, 2008

By Claymore and Gladius

Posted March 06, 2008

Since I mentioned our longswords in the sidebar I figured I should offer an explanation. Last year we were blessed to be able to attend Vision Forum's celebration of the Jamestown Quadricentennial in the Historic Triangle, allowing us to in one trip visit the actual Jamestown settlement, walk the Yorktown battlefield, and see colonial Williamsburg (a recreation of the former capital of Virginia). We saw many wonderful sights which for the sake of this post will be postponed to another time.

While we were there we came across a young entrepreneur who manufactured makeshift swords of various lengths out of PVC pipes, some foam padding, and half a ton of duct tape. We were so inspired that on returning my brother Joel pulled out a couple of hockey sticks he inherited from my older brothers when they got married and fashioned them into scale longswords measured against a standard claymore (not to be confused with the land mine of the same name). We now have besides those a shorter weapon roughly the size of the roman gladius which is my second choice when I must handicap myself against younger opponents. We fight at a slightly reduced pace seeing as how we currently don't have armor, but we do have a few scrapes and bruises nonetheless. For techniques I searched online and found an excellent article on the art of German longsword from which we base our style. Since Germany once encompassed most of Europe and influenced the rest greatly the longsword certainly may trace its history there.

Images of Unchoreographed Longsword Combat

Sparring Lefthanded With My Youngest Brother

Initial stances. (low roof guard and crossed fools guard)

I demonstrate a twisting thrust to get around his blade.

Mom wanted more action for the pictures so I switched to both hands (notice the blurred blade).

I think I was executing an overcut while changing guards.

A More Lively Combat

I almost took his arm off (not literally) with this thrust, but he voided (dodged) superbly and saved his torso (a killing stroke by our rules).

You can't see very well, but I'm twirling the sword one-handed around both sides of my body.

At this point he's lost (by our rules) his left leg via a fake followed by a direct thrust earlier on. Here you see a low right-side roof guard with the lower hand inverted for an undercut (foreground) and a left-side fool's guard (background).

"The Lads"

Here's me (top-left) with my three primary antagonists (the far-right one is our sword-smith). Here you can observe the extent of our sparring weapons: two knives (far-right), the longswords (second from right, top-left), and the gladius (bottom-left).

Looking tough. You can see a right ox-guard (top-left), something between a plow and roof guard (bottom-left), a low roof guard (second from right), and probably what would be referred to as an ox guard with the two knives (far-right).

Yet Another Designing Fit

Posted March 05, 2008

I discovered two days ago that one of my websites is getting nearly 200 visitors (that's people, not hits) every month so I figured I better put out a better design on it than the last one I did.

A while back I'd toyed with a potential redesign with a nifty slide effect for screenshots.

You can check it out on the live site now.

The other design I implemented yesterday was of course for this site. I was... very satisfied at getting the shadow effects down the first time. I'd seen it used hundreds of times (yes, literally) but hadn't ever tried to implement it. It turned out to be pretty simple once I looked into it. I also found another beautiful image for the header (I like misty looks). I also created a page listing some of the software tools I frequently use and a set of site designs (most of which are old or simple).

The Quietest Storm

Posted March 04, 2008

We got hit by a large storm last night... or were supposed to be. I couldn't sleep in my bedroom because my bed is next to a window without the benefit of working blinds. I decided since most of the other rooms had siblings in them to just bed down on the floor in the office next to my computer. Big mistake. I don't think I got 2 hours of sleep between that and migrating back to my room around 5:30. Anyway, pray I don't fall asleep and burn everyone's breakfast (pancakes, yum!). Maybe I'll try randomizing some ingredients to spice things up. I dunno.