Saturday, October 18, 2008

Work....This and That

Today is Saturday. I am at work. I am waiting on a water based UV
curable topcoat to dehydrate in an oven so that I may run it through a
UV oven. This is sort of a high tech approach to watching paint dry and
that is just as fascinating as you might think.

I decided during these dry times, that I would start on my journal
entry. Work is increasingly getting between me and competing in
tournaments and fencing in general. I was looking forward to competing
in a tournament in Raleigh next week and veterans tournament in Durham
the following weekend. I will be in Mexico both weekends, though I have
not lost ALL hope in competing in the veterans tournament. I will
attempt to get my work done earlier and change my flight. If the
costumer and my boss will cooperate, I have a chance of pulling that
off. I hate this. On the other hand I am grateful I have a job, when so many
people do not.

I had hope of competing in a tournament in Virginia or at KOS tomorrow.
However, I am not sure that at the time of this writing ( due to the
last few days at work) that I would be up to it mentally or physically.
I will decide tonight.

This week in fencing was okay. My lessons are good as all Coach Miller's
lessons are, but I am not getting to fence hardly at all. I have got to
figure something out in this regard if there is to be any hope of
improvement.

This week I was also thinking about the Division. I think Greg Sparr is
doing a very good job. He is an excellent and prolific communicator. (
not TO prolific ...I would say it is the perfect amount.) I assume that
most people feel the same way I do, as I have not heard anything
negative. If there was much to complain about, I would have heard about
it by now. In this Division, that is just about the same thing as
saying, " Good job Greg!" So..............Good job Greg!

I coached our two beginners on Monday. I think it is going well, but I lack
patience. Not patience in the sense of " you keep doing that wrong over
and over again", but patience in the sense that I want them out on the
strip fencing........NOW! Go have some fun....see what this all
about.....fall in love with it! Next week after some foot work and some
review I am putting them on the strip. I think the young man is hooked
already. The pretty young girl is doing fencing as a high school senior
project and will only be with us two more times. Still, I want her to
leave knowing what it is like and having some fun. Having fun should be
the goal of most fencers. I try to make it my goal. Speaking of fun,
Mario is going to hemorrhage when he gets back. Hiya ...Mario! Rather
than an introduction to each weapon with bouting at the end of the
session, my approach is....There is a sabre......I would introduce you
to it.....but I don't know Mr.Sabre.........this is a foil....it is a
training weapon to get you ready for epee....they both require you to
understand ROW and I am only mildly acquainted with Mr. ROW....also it
would require me to waste my time and yours trying to find lames and
such that fit your small little bodies....so grab the GOOD weapon and
lets get on with it!

I am waiting for my water based UV curable topcoat to dehydrate again.
Once I was an artist in the world of furniture finishing and well known
for it. Sadly, as the industry has all but left the United States, I now
work on kitchen cabinet finishes and wood flooring. Interesting at
times, but not nearly as creative. ( Note: I know almost anything about
finishing furniture...wood flooring....or kitchen cabinets with stuff
you get from a hardware store. What I did was industrial and my
companies make their own products. That is where my experience lies.)


I have been thinking a lot lately as to why I keep a journal. As my
previous journal is disappearing, except in the bowls of this one, I
often think about it. I know why I got started. I was mimicking Woody.
About four and half years ago, I did not know what a "blog" was. I read
Woody's and began to know more about him than my own brother. It was
kind of an empty knowledge. I knew that I was learning a lot about him,
but I knew that he knew almost nothing about me. In time that changed or
is changing.

Editors Note: I will get back to wondering why I keep a journal in a
moment. But at the moment I feel the need for a healthy dose of "
journal drift".

A lot of fencers keep meticulous records of their bouts at tournaments.
I think for many that is a good practice. I have seen people add to
their records " where" they got hit on the strip. I often think that is
a bit overboard. I know where I get hit on the strip. Some place middle
or a bit over on my opponents side generally. Though I am gifted enough
to be hit damn near any place on the strip. I figure most of my actions
take place in the middle or on my opponents side due to the fact that my
leg speed is not as good as many. Though my hand speed and
reaction timeis still pretty fair.......if I focus.

Okay....back to wondering why I keep a journal. I thought of this more,
when I was considering a pen and ink journal and making it more clinical
and technical. I still think that would be fun to do. Matt Cox saw that
my journal was no longer going to be available and was kind enough to
create a place on his web site where I could continue. His effort was of
course not just for me, but for any interested party. I thought that was
very kind of him. I wrote back and told him that while I deeply
appreciated his efforts, I wanted to remain obscure. He wrote back and
told me that I was not nearly as obscure as I thought and that he knew
many people that lurked on my blog. That was kind of a shocker. I
thought I had a fair idea of who read my journal. A few friends...a few
fencers......sometimes...fencer friends.....sometimes the person just
goofing off and looking around. When I switched to this area for
recording my journal, I tried to Google it to see if I could find it. I
couldn't, but I found my old one immediately. I also found that parts of
it were on a fencing web site in Hawaii. Who knew? IZ rules!!!...by the
way.

So do I keep a journal for other people to read...or for myself. Does it
bother me that no one will be able to find my entries here? Not really.
I think most of my friends know I have moved and that is what matters. I
know that I record this for my friends and anyone else that is
interested enough to read. (Poor souls) But I know now that I keep this
for me as well. I just had the opportunity to DL my old journal to this
one. I read about my life fencing for the last two years or so. I was
very moved by the experience....the good times...and the not so good
times.....came back in total clarity. It was awesome. I would encourage
any fencer to keep some sort of journal. If you stay with the
sport....if there are people and times that you never want to
forget.....this is a heck of a scrapbook!

The next tournament I attend, I will be writing my entry as I drive
home. It is a very reflective time.

4 comments:

Woody said...

Yours is a page turner. I keep coming back, wherever its gone off to.

I find it helpful to read your blog and remember what it was I was trying to do.

Cobalt said...

Actually, I'm just usually bored.

Regarding location on strip: There are actually places on strip where certain opponents are stronger/weaker. It's zone theory. You might want to consider adding it, you might be surprised what you find.

http://www.fencing.net/training-tips/tactical-theory/zone-theory-%11-physical-zones-on-the-fencing-piste.html

Some people love fencing in between the lines, some people start getting more open to counterattacks when you draw them back a little bit. Sometimes I use it to see if one of my students is riding the back of the strip too much.

Basically, it shows whether someone is too predictable or not.

Meredith D. said...

Thanks for the link, Jim! Love your journal, too!

Anonymous said...

I'm one of the lurkers, or used to be, I guess. As a 45-year-old who has been fencing for almost six years, I can relate to a lot of what you have to say.

I suspect you are being read by a lot more people than you would guess