Sunday, February 25, 2007


I just returned from fencing in a low level (E and Under) tournament in Charlotte. It was both good and disappointing at the same time.

There was an open event that was high rated before this event, but I could not make it in time and given my present set of circumstances I did not feel much like fighting with the big boys.

In the event I fenced in, there were 17 competitors in the mixed event. I finished in first place in pools. I had never done that before. In truth, it was a very easy pool.( Except for the wily...yet cute Miss Nicole.)  I have whined about it when it was a tough pool, I think I should be up front when they are really easy. It was a pool of 5 and I had 6 or 7 touches scored against I remember. I will have to wait and see the results on Ask Fred to get the low down. ( Make a note here about one of the guys I fenced in pools. I beat him 5-2.)

As I was in first place, I had an empty place under my name in the DE's to start. They said it was NOT a "bye." I did not get the whole thing, but I ended up fencing my friend Jordan. I hated that. I had to fence my best and I did.

Then I had to fence the guy I beat 5-2 in pools. He beat the tar out of me. Though after thinking about it on the long ride home, I beat the tar out of me. I just went stupid and he is one of the wild fencers, with big takes that give me hard time because they do not fence well. I don't know if that makes sense, but it is true and not sour grapes.

What I wanted to happen was for me to win that little event. I wanted to win and say, " This is for my friend Beth," ( Of course it would have been for me as well.....I do not lie to myself.) That would have made a good story, but it seems the things that would make a good story do not often work out. Sorry Beth...I tried!

There were some good stories at this tournament. Henri and Mike helped Nick Hallman when he went down with God awful cramps. There efforts were appreciated. They are good ambassadors for the club and for North Carolina fencing. I was proud that they were my teammate/ father of teammate.

Hunter Yeaton (a KOS kid) fenced in both the "Open" and the "E and Under." I do not know this kid well and I am sure he does not know me at all, but he has had an influence on my fencing. A couple of years ago I saw him getting the crud beat out of him in epee....but he was having the BEST time! He handled it with humor and enthusiasm. I see him now and he is a good fencer. he was one of two kids I worried about in the "E and Under" event. He still has that youthful enthusiasm and ready smile. He tried to help Henri prepare to fence a guy. To me...he is a good kid. I hope he keeps that attitude all his life.

I think most of my teammates did well and had a good time. For me it was a mixed bag, but I am glad I went.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

For Beth

Last Friday I fenced at DFC. It was mostly kids and not challenging.

Monday I went to help at foil because we had a bunch of girl scouts coming in to learn about fencing. Everyone rallied to help and it went well for the girl scouts. The regulars kind of got the shaft that night, but it could not be helped.

Tonight I had a good group lesson with Coach Miller and an even better private lesson. He bragged on me and it really made me feel good. I needed something like that.

My job search continues. Tomorrow will be week three. I talked to an ESC lady the other day. She told me that there is not supposed to be prejudice when it come to hiring someone in there fifitys....but there certainly is. I am determined to use my gray hair to my advantage and come through this thing. I hope determination counts for making something happen!

This weekend, certain touches, I make will be for my friend Beth. Beth is not well, but I am sure that she will be in the future. In the mean time she must hang up her blades for a while. It will just be for a while...I am sure. Someday my sister-in-arms and I are going to fence each other.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Friday and Food

Friday fencing started at lunch. The gang met to have some great Asian food. Mario orchestrated the small event and it was yummy! Good food and good conversation was had by all. There were lots of little bits of information and Cam only had to give her "mean look" once. It really isn't that mean fact ... it is kind of cute. I am looking forward to tales from Woody and Cams road trip to the mountains this weekend.

Friday night I mostly fenced little kids. The last one I fenced I tried fencing slow and easy with my eyes closed. I would like to say something Zen-like happened so my journal entry would be more interesting............but .......................sadly....nothing Zen-like occurred.

Henri is putting pressure on me to come to foil on Monday. I do not think I even have a working weapon. I will give this some thought. I am racked with guilt, as it is something I should be helping the club with, but I just do not enjoy it. I think if I go, I may do some footwork and see if there are some new people I can help.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I fenced last night. It was a little "in club" Valentine's Day tournament with seven people doing epee. It was fun. We had strawberries and chocolate. It was a good time.

I did not do so well in pools, but did much better in DEs, as seems to be my usual way of doing things for some reason. I came in second after a good DE with Tommy. I was up 7-3 at one point and then it was give and take for a while. I began to tire and as he rallied to make it 11-11.  I was just spent. We did not have a stop watch to take a one minute break.

That bout was not important. What was important was that I am becoming able to fence. Henri tells me I am suffering from situational depression. Loosing your job of 27 years with few prospects (the jobs are in Asia now) and a crippled wife....kid or two in college...I think it is understandable that you could be a mental mess for a while if you had no way to take care of them. This has always been my biggest fear. That I could not take care of them.  Last week I could barely function with an epee in my hand...or much any other way. Last night I could focus.

This makes me feel better. I look for small victories and it helps me get through. This is one.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Well....I am making it through the day without wanting to throw up. While I am still nervous, I am not a nervous wreck. That may come and go.

I have two possible job prospects. I do not want to get my hopes up on either. They are just that....prospects. I am daring to hope that one of them is a little more, but I am trying to brace myself for disappointment.

I fenced twice last week. I guess you could call it that. I was a brain dead zombie. I have actually now seen what it is like to have NO mental game. Let me tell you...mental game...IMPORTANT! I could not even concentrate much on lessons.

Dave thanks for your post. I will be in contact when I can get myself a bit more together.

Kathy, thanks so much for all your help and support. Don't stop!

I have not been reading blogs and boards lately. I will get back to checking on you all soon....I am sure of it!


Monday, February 5, 2007

~ sigh~

I debated about posting this for some time, but I think I will.

Thursday I lost my job after around 27 years of service. In essence (it is more complicated) my job went overseas. I have know this could happen for a couple of years, but I clung to the hope that I could hang on to closer to retirement. Hope is one thing and the real world is another.
I design furniture finishes. ( Again, it is more complicated than that, but that is the gist of it.) This type of business is what I have been doing for the last 33 years. I am not sure what else I might be qualified for. but I guess I will find out.

I am not concerned about what I do or even the salary as much as I am health care for Anne.  Her condition is beyond expensive. I have not given a lot of thought to keeping Sam in collage if things go bad. I can't sleep and I am sick with worry.

The good news is at the present rate of weight loss I am having from stress, I think I might hit my ideal weight in about a week or so.

I have a fairly good severance package and I am okay for a few months.

The day after this happened I was to go to the Iron Maiden. ( Women's Fencing Tournament) I really did not wish to go, but people were counting on me for a place to stay.
Anne wanted me to go to take my mind off it. It did at times, as long as I was focused on something. Other times it was pretty bad. It was good to go and hang out with the gang. Perhaps that was the best idea.

I am going to cut back on fencing for the next couple of months. Save a little gas and money.  Not stop, but give up a couple of nights. Mostly I can't really focus on it. I am just to distracted.

So, if I don't post often or if you don't see me around as much, this is the reason.

If you do see me around, do me a favor. Don't ask me if I found anything yet. I think this might be slow going.



Thursday, February 1, 2007


I another excellent group lesson with Coach Miller last night. I got in all the bouting I could stand. 
                                                                                                                                                                               Tommy was there for the first time. Tommy is the perfect guy for me to fence. He is much better than I am, but not so good that I can't beat him once in a while...or at least make him work for it.

I took a PL with Coach Miller last night, as the weather today (snow and ice) may make it to difficult/safe to travel to Chapel Hill. He told me I was doing good in a couple of areas and showing much improvement. I really needed to hear that. It gives me hope.

Henri got a bit miffed at me (not really...she just likes to yank my chain) because she had said good things about my fencing, but I only got happy when Coach Miller said something. I figure I best tell her that I appreciate her support as well. ( This could save me from having her pinch some of my skin and twist. I am still recovering from one of those brutal attacks.)

Cam had her first PL with Coach Miller last night as well. She seemed to love it and it helped her. When she is happy and excited she really lights up! I like that.

I am looking forward to everyone staying with me at my beach house this weekend and going to the Iron Maiden. I hope everyone has a good time.

The comments from Kathz and Beth sort of surprised me, concerning supporting women's fencing. I never even thought about it in that manner. I just thought it sounded like fun. Besides...women fencers smell better than men....even sweaty.