Swordsmanship - ten year retrospective

It's been about a decade since I started messing around with swords in an organized way.

In that time it's given me a bunch of muscles I didn't have before and made me considerably more fit. I've also collected and lost innumerable bruises, had a knee injury last year I'm only just recovered from, and developed permanent light calluses at the base of my left pinky and both middle fingers. Sometimes it has improved my posture, sometimes I slump anyway. I don't even walk the same way since I often wear shoes with no heel on them after much barefoot training.

Mentally it's made me better at shutting up and taking instruction. It's also given me more of an appreciation for the limits of thinking vs. doing - not that I'm even close to being a man of action even so!

I've spent considerable money on useful practice equipment and even more money on just plain swords. It's also mostly replaced RPGs as my timesink and obsession. It's the first difficult physical thing I haven't given up on quickly, and the only form of exercise that I don't find immensely boring.

I've still got a long way before I become really good, if I ever do. Still, it's been very good for me whether I am very good at it or merely trying.

The Sonambulist

This book is living proof that it takes more than good prose stylings to produce a novel, and that when you add one of every spice the resulting stew tastes mostly just brown. Spoilers follow, but honestly you shouldn't read the book anyway.

It's a book which has a down at the heels stage magician detective, a mysterious mute (the titled Sonambulist) who does not bleed when stabbed and drinks only milk, an albino... and a zillion other things... and makes use of almost none of them. The mysterious mute? Still mysterious by the end, we learn nothing about him despite the fact that he's the sidekick of the main character (the magician). Character development? None. Narrator revealed in a twist? Yes, he turns out the be the villian!... and it's boring as hell. Plot to destroy the city? Check, but we don't care about it. Zombie Coleridge? Yep. Yawn. Demonic assassins? Wait, why were they even added? What do they bring? Bleh. Also there's a man living backward through time. Sort of. Does he add anything to the story? No.

I give this book one star for being able to put a sentence together well, but rest assured the author won't do anything with it.

a rare political post

I'm really vexed that the filibuster has forced me to vote for someone who is able to take a gold plated sure thing on a silver platter with spangles and brass band and drop it on the floor and then run it over with a truck. A loss to learn again the lesson that you have to nominate someone who has done more than work his or her way up in the party to take the big offices would possibly have been educational for the Democrats.

I'm sure in the senate she will have a long career during which she will perhaps amass a record of accomplishment something like a single year of the man she's replacing. And when she wins we're unlikely to replace her until she leaves on her own.