Thursday, April 30, 2015

On The Reduction of The Want of Things

A couple of weeks ago I began working on "My Wish List" - a list of things that I want, even though I cannot necessarily afford or pay for them now.  Originally I thought it was going to be a long, expensive list - as it has been in years past.
After making the list, I was shocked to see how short it was.

Outside of the one extravagant thing I want to do (train in Japan) the list was rather short and surprisingly pedestrian.  It had a couple of big ticket items on it - a practice naginata and bees supplies - and a number of much smaller items:  A sword stand.  A hammer head and sheaf for training.  Photovoltaics for charging batteries.  A Kettle bell.  A Sports Kilt.  All in all (excluding the trip to Japan, of course) the list ran about $1500.

And that is all I really want.

Sure, I will always continue to buy books - but even in this area my purchases have become a great deal different than they used to be.  I seldom buy new books at full price, preferring primarily used books or Amazon and their discount.  And my range of books that I purchase have shrunk as well - history (there always will be history) and agricultural books, with an occasional sprinkling of science fiction.  And hopefully if I am able to expand the Ichiryo Gusoku project, there will be tools and items to support that as well.

But beyond that, not a lot.

To be honest, that surprises me a great deal.  I would have thought that there would be more on that list.  But as I reflected on it, I realized that things that I desire really revolve around being of use to me or in activities I do.  Things for the sake of things has largely passed.  Things for the sake of appearance have also passed as well - although to be fair, this was never really a thing with me.

The things I really desire - freedom, independence from the system so far as I am able, the privilege to not hold a job I have to keep - are things that simply cannot be directly purchased with money, although money can be used to fund them.  It is here that my true financial interest lies, not in the acquisition of more items that I will scarcely use - better a few things well used than a huge number of things that are only used occasionally or not at all.

I am perhaps not completely free of the tyranny of things - but I am slowly making my way there.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Quail Egg Omelet and Possibilities

So this is the outcome of two weeks of quail eggs:




This is a total of sixteen quail eggs across three quail.  So what does one do with sixteen quail eggs?  Make an omelet:


This was actually almost a full size omelet which Nighean Dhonn and I shared in half.  It was a simple omelet, filled with colby cheese and spinach. We added some strawberries and had a very delightful dinner.

The excitement to me of this is not the omelet itself - it was fairly unremarkable in terms of taste - but of the possibilities it promises.

The four items involved in this meal - quail eggs, cheese, spinach, and strawberries -are all things that are completely possible for me to produce at home.  Right now.  No need for a giant farm or huge section of land.  This is completely reproducible using the resources I have right here, right now.

It will take a lot more work, of course.  More of the yard will have to be brought into production and the quail empire expanded and improved.  I'll need to get strawberries to grow (I think it can be done).  And make lots more cheese.  But the thing can be done.

In a way, this omelet is my Proof of Concept (POC), an idea in the scientific community in which one performs experiments which prove that something is possible.  It may take a great deal more work and development, but the concept is feasible and works.

And that is what gave this the best flavor of all:  the possibility of the future.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Rest Return

Everyone is home;
arriving at 1 AM
makes a bad work day.

(Written on the successful arrival of The Ravishing Mrs. TB and Nighean Gheal's successful return from the urban wilds of New York city.  I picked them up at the airport and yes, we are all quite tired).

Monday, April 27, 2015

On The Planting Of Corn

Today was the day to plant corn in the garden.

I have never been very successful at corn planting here in New Home.  At Old Home I had much less difficulty in getting a crop - perhaps it was not as much as a true corn grower would garner, but it was a large Ziploc bag of kernels for corn bread.  Here, my luck has not been so good.

I have learned a few things, like soaking the seeds before planting and as much sun as I can find (which is odd in that here there is a lot of sun - it just does not help the vegetables at times).  And still, every year, I try one more time to see what I can do.

Today I planted at the tail end of the area I had recently cleared.  I soaked two kinds of corn (Aztec Blue and Painted Mountain corn, both supposedly drought tolerant and something we need in this climate).  40 kernels each.  I got down on the ground and hand poked holes for the soaked kernels.

Being on the ground looking through at the soil close up lets you see lots of things.  Crab grass that needs pulling out (That is going to be a lifetime project until I can face that area of the garden). Roly Polys working the way around the ground (roly polys, by the way, love dog poop.  I have no idea why).  A small colony of ants - not the fire ants that I abhor and will wipe out every chance I get but rather the happy sugar ants - building something on the edge of the garden.

My garden has also become seeded with volunteers.  I am not sure what they are - most likely pumpkins or cantaloupes with a lone tomato plant - but they are rapidly moving into the established category.  It is one of the joys of using one's own compost instead of purchasing it - you never know what you might find.  In my theory of "If it is growing, let us see what it will do" I am keeping all of them where they are and just seeing what develops.  Gardening, ultimately, is an adventure of the very best sort and sometimes the things we do not plan work out for the best.

Finally, armed with my seeds and my holes, Nighean Dhonn and I started planting.  Drop a kernel in a hole, move to the next.  We ran out of holes before kernels - no matter, just poke a few more holes and in they go.  During this time, we got to talk about compost, roly polys, grass snakes, a small dead frog we found, the bushes where the rabbits like to hide the best, and shoo our white rabbit Snowball (who was out in the yard running around with us) away from where we were planting.  All in all, a successful planting day.

I will water the garden in a bit - we had quite the downpour earlier today, but these newly planted seeds did not get the benefit of it - and wait.  It is, of course, ultimately about waiting.  I can plant and water and protect but in the end I will always be surprised - hopefully pleasantly - by what comes up.

That same theory seems to hold about life in general as well - an unexpected pleasant side effect of gardening.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Needing A New Challenge

Sometimes you reach the point where you simply need a new challenge.

It occurred to me again today as I sat through the 50+ visit from an outside company at work.  I began to make a tally of all the things that I had done over the time at the job I currently hold.  As I went through the list of activities that I had done over my time here, I realized that I have hit the point that more is not necessarily mean more challenging.

It is time to find a new challenge.

This is a theme of my life, if I honestly sit and think about it.  I am always seeking challenges - for me, it takes the form of trying new things.  I often fail at them of course - my success with cheeses is overall okay and there was the unfortunate Lemon Beer incident - but at least I am always seeking to do something new and different.  The challenge is in the doing, not always in the succeeding - I can always become better at something (and if one does not die until one becomes a Master, I will around for a very long time indeed).

If I were to stay another 10 years where I am the reality is that I would simply do more of the same.  More visits.  More review.  More documents to sign.  But always the same, in the same orbit, around the same issues.  No challenge.

The time soon approaches, I think, that new challenges will have to be discovered.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Pettiness of Minor Tyrants

There is nothing so annoying as a Minor Tyrant.

You know them.  You have worked with them or stood in line with them or have sat next to them.  We all have at one time.  The person who takes great delight in the minor amount of power that they perceive themselves to hold - and exercise on everyone around them.

You shudder when you hear their voice.  You cringe when you see an e-mail with them titled.  You desperately try to master your anger and disgust when another diktat comes down.

Why?  Because of the nature of the exercise of power.

Minor tyrants major in the exercise of pettiness.  It is what they know.  It is their only claim to fame, this small amount of power that wield about as if it were a lightning bolt. Everything, from the greatest to the smallest, must be exercised and viewed through their lens of life and area of responsibility.  If not, they go to great lengths to make one pay, endlessly seeking ways to undercut the authority of others, always probing for the weakness (no matter how small) that will allow them to feel they have claimed the upper hand.

Oddly enough, those in power above them do not always see their destructive ways.  They may see them as idiosyncratic and possibly as loyal people - after all, many Minor Tyrants always try to ensure that they are well thought of by those above them and and are perceived as valuable.  But those in authority do not see - or maybe choose not to see - the seemingly endless cycle of anger and powerlessness they leave in their wake.

How to deal with Minor Tyrants?  A difficult proposition at best.  There are only two ways I know.  The first is simply to master one's emotions and tongue when one is in their presence or range of power, always seeking to be calm and courteous and work with them - and finally around them to accomplish that which must be done.

The second, of course, is simply to be patient.  More often than not, the Petty Tyrant will eventually overreach themselves in their exercise of pettiness.

And while patience is often difficult to master, it is always quite rewarding in the end, especially in such matters.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

2015 Garden: You Have To Start Sometime

So yesterday I started my 2015 Spring Garden.

I have been delaying, to be honest.  Two reasons really:  one is that I have a tendency to plan too early (or with my luck, too late - but that is a separate issue entirely).  The second is a challenge that I face with many of the projects that I have going on:  I convince myself that it will be such an onerous task that it will take too much time to do it unless I have a large block of time to invest.

But I have had to deal with the fact (at least for reason two) that large blocks of time simply do not exist and I will have to take the bite size chunks that I have, even if that means I only plant one vegetable a day for two weeks.  So yesterday was my first carving out of time.

Today was grain day.  I have actually come to enjoy grains a great deal:  they are satisfying to grow, can be used in a variety of ways, and add a certain beauty to any garden.  The actual cutting and threshing are no more difficult than  working with most other items in a garden - with a couple of buckets, an electric fan, an aluminum bat, and a drying pan one is ready to go.

Today I planted four kinds of grains:  Alfalfa (for nitrogen), a Gazelle rye, Sonoran Wheat (also fast growing) and Sweet Sorghum.  All of these are an experiment for me in one way or another:  the Alfalfa is to put nitrogen back into soil (and maybe get a little hay for the rabbits - who knows?), the rye and wheat are my attempt to find a grain that will grow in the short spring and early summer we have here (water conservation and potential quick turnover of the real estate is the goal here), and the Sorghum is an experiment in trying to grow an alternative to commercially available sugar (if the stuff actually grows, I will have to quickly develop a method of extracting the syrup - another potential adventure waiting to happen).

I never know if  I plant it right - I am too impatient to make straight rows so I just hand sprinkle (or, as turns out, seed packets work even better!), cover with soil, and water.

We will see how it goes - I always temper my enthusiasm with the acceptance that many of the things I plant do not make it and really I am just trying to understand what I can grow at this point.  Still, grain is one of the more forgiving of garden items: give it enough sun and rain and something is sure to grow.

So for better or worse, the gardening season is upon us.  Huzzah!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Quail Sprints

So the permanent housing for the quail has not been determined yet, let alone built.  I am trying to balance out the fact that it needs to be easily portable, both for some kind of "quail tractor" as well as the fact that occasionally it might have to move into garage as we can get terribly cold, and yet sturdy enough to survive our local "critter" population.  As a result, they have been in a large cage - or separated a  bit, as the case is now due to 4 males and two females.

Occasionally, like today, I put out on of those low pens one sets up for puppies or rabbits (maybe 3' high) and cover it with a sheet in the garden area.  The quail love to burrow into the dirt and shavings and the top serves as a pretty good block to anyone getting out.  The set-up has worked pretty well.

Until today.

I was out in the front yard cut out little oak seedlings when Nighean Dhonn comes tearing out the front door.  "One of the quail got out Dad, and I think it is between the houses!"  Sure enough, the dog had nosed open the cage (I had failed to attach it with clothes pins like I usually do) and one had slipped out and flew over the fence.

Quail are not great flyers.  Ours can get maybe 7' in the air and go for about 10' - enough to get a quail out of danger but not enough to let them fly away.  But the hops, combined with their sprints, are enough to save their lives.

For a small little bird, quail run quickly.  They are small, so they fit into places that larger birds like chickens cannot - like under bushes or even under fences.  Their lack of size also makes them hard to grab, and learning to corral them as they get ready to fly is an art.

Our quail moved from between the houses to a flight up and almost to the roof next door before coming down back down and then slipping under the neighbor's fence.  The gate was next door and they have always said come in if we needed to get something out of their yard.  We slipped in and found the quail in their garden, hiding between plants.  A couple of quick darts and a grab and the quail was headed back for his pen.

Just in time for Nighean Dhonn to come tell me that a second quail had flown over the fence into the other neighbor's yard.

Got to meet my neighbor finally (I sure this added to my allure - "Hi, I am the guy that practices sword and runs rabbits around in his yard.  My daughter's quail is running in your yard - mind if I hop in and get it?").  The second quail was a bit hard to corral - I have learned that if I can get them under something they are less likely to fly away and, with my neighbor's help, Number two was captured (got to introduce the neighbors to quail) and on his way back to his cage as well.

One of the cardinal rules of weightlifting (one which I consciously break) is that one does not do much cardio (e.g. running) beyond sprints.  Today I got my fill of wind sprints in chasing quail:  back, forth, up, down, short spurts of speed.  For a such a small bird, they are quite the evader.

I shall need to make sure whatever cage design I end up with has no gaps...

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Irritating Moment of Self Honesty

There is nothing more irritating than a sudden piercing moment of self honesty.

Oh, it is certainly a worthwhile thing. Self honesty leads to self awareness and self awareness leads to action.  And that, of course, is a splendid idea.

But it always comes at a price.  And self honesty charges a very high admission fee indeed.

Because to be self honest is to have the willingness to constant assess one's totality - actions, thoughts, emotions, intents - and be willing to call out and accept when one is wrong or misses the mark.  Following on this, one has to have to presence of mind not just to become aware of these facts but to be willing to take action on them - it is not merely enough to know; we need to do.

But these moments of self honesty seldom come at convenient times for us.  In a happy and perfect world they would come when we are relaxed and calm, fluttering into our consciousness like happy little butterflies that softly land on our hands.  Alas, this is seldom the case: instead they more often than not come crashing into our heads like anvils falling from airplanes, catching us unaware as we are in the midst of some crisis or conflict.

I say "irritating" because on one hand that is exactly what I mean:  the moment that such insights come find me seldom grateful for them as I am usually dealing with something else that needs resolution and suddenly realizing where I miss the mark or a personal weakness I had previously not analyzed is hardly what I need at that moment.  And so I am having to train myself to take those moments of self awareness and honesty and embrace them even in the midst of my conflict and chaos, because it is precisely in those moments that I am most in need of the truths that they offer.

Sudden moments of self honesty can be irritating.  The trick is to make sure that the irritation does not keep us from the truth of them.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Eggs!

So first of all, a little administrative business:  thank you for your patience while I traveled and I apologize for the short posts.  It is a burdensome for me to travel as I am sure it was to keep reading haikus.

Now on to business:  eggs!


(or rather to start out with, egg).

I got up yesterday morning (after the aforementioned travel) and was rushing around to make sure that all was accomplished prior to leaving for work, including checking in on the mob.  I have a small litter pan in the large quail cage with wood shavings (quail love to give themselves dust baths) and saw what looked like a rather large pile of brown in there.  I thought is was a large pile of bird droppings; I was wrong.  The even better part was that when I got home last night, there were an additional two eggs there as well.

This is fairly exciting.  I had thought that we were not going to get any eggs - after all, we have had the quail since September and nothing.  Turns out (I think) that the two Coturnix quail we have are females - why they started now, perhaps we will never know.

Quail eggs are small - about three of their eggs are the equivalent of a chicken egg - but the size of the egg in relationship to the size of the bird is much more impressive than the size of a chicken egg compared to the chicken - one wonders how those little birds can do it.

We are not going to be setting any egg records, of course - even at two eggs a day for 7 days a week divided by 3 we are getting 4 full chicken eggs or so, which we easily eat in a week.  But the excitement of having something like this happen - good heavens, of having something like this work out once - is very gratifying indeed.  It makes me believe with enough planning and foresight, one could actually approach a higher level of protein generation even within the confines of an urban environment.

Now if I just had an incubator to hatch more quail...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

Friday, April 10, 2015

Iai and Life

I received my two things back today:  my hakama and gi and my certificate of the Komei Jyuku:


These are important to me because these things were earned.  They are not a right just by doing Iaijutsu, they are something that is granted when one reaches a certain level of development and proficiency.

These do not (by any stretch of the imagination) represent a stopping place, but rather a recognition that one has now started - truly started - down the path of development of excellence.  Not perfection - we will never achieve that here - but excellence, a continuing growth in how we do that which we do that we may become better in doing it.

I know that many things in my life lack this singularity and clarity of purpose, and I can become greatly bogged down in the minutiae of them.  But in this, is not iai  life?  We only practice a set number of kata but practice them endlessly to become better at them.  This same thinking can - perhaps in my case should - be applied to every area of my life, even the things that I do not think that it applies to - after all, is any job not just the application of the same set of skills day after day, much the same as Iai.  

Iai  is life.  Life is Iai.  It is just that we do not always wield a sword when we practice it.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Commoditized

This week I first felt like a commodity.

This is a new feeling for me.  Prior to this, I felt like I added some value - perhaps not irreplaceable but someone who contributed and would at least be hard to replace.    Now, I feel different.  Like a can of soup or one of many hammers on a shelf - pick one, pick another, the results will be the same.  Any one will do.

The initial realization is a bit of a depressing moment, followed by fear:   Fear of being replaced - because you are suddenly replaceable; Fear of being let go - because your knowledge is now something that competes with all other knowledge out there.

The result seems to be living in fear and working harder, because the understanding that of any kind of social contract has been completely pock marked with holes.  Work harder, because if you are not perceived as adding value - not a lot of value, but even more value - your position is something that is a commodity, and therefore easily replaced.

Is there a resolution to this?  I do not know.  Surely this level of fear and spasmodic reaction cannot go on forever.  Surely the fear will subsided and work will become the ordinary occurance that it always was.

But there is no going back.  I am a commodity, like rice or sugar or gasoline.

And can be discarded at will.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Spring to Summer

Running to Summer,
Spring passes as a cool dream,
Giving way to heat.

(Written because in our neck of the woods, Spring always seems to be a three week event wedged in between Winter and Summer.)

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Monday, April 06, 2015

Bluebonnets

These, my reading community, are bluebonnets:



They are annual occurrence here in New Home and symbolize, more than anything else, the coming of Spring.

Interestingly, prior to blooming they look like a weed, just like any other weed growing in fields or along the roadways.  Then, seemingly all at once, they burst out into bloom (if I would not managed to kill myself trying to stop and take a picture, I would).

For about 3 weeks they will be everywhere, then they will disappear almost as quickly as they came, leaving behind us the promise of next Spring and foreshadowing another long, hot summer.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Clearing Garden Space

I took yesterday off. One of my tasks (which I have had on the list for a while) is to clear more room for a garden.  This lovely piece of real estate was even kindly bricked in but has just had grass growing in it since we arrived:



Phase I was to use a metal rake to pull out as much of the grass as I could:

 Loaded up in the Wheelbarrow:


Keep pushing to then end of the row:


And done:


Phase II:


In this phase I tore up the ground, trying to get at the roots and rhizomes:


This took a while:


And I still had a lot to dispose of:


Phase III:

In Phase III I worked in manure:


And my first use of compost made at home since we moved:

(Turns out that orange peels and compostable coffee filters don't compost that well)

With that, I used a shovel to turn everything over and in:



The finished product:


I soaked it down afterwards and will do so again tomorrow.

The total time to do this exercise was approximately 3 hours total, with probably 2.5 of actual work.  All in all, not a bad expenditure for the day.  I am amazed, even in this simple exercise, how much effort it takes to clear even this small plot of land.  I only used hand tools - rake, pick, shovel.  In some ways a rototiller would make sense, but the exercise is good for me and frankly, I need the practice.

Bonus Track (Mostly for my friend John):  This is what else I have to work with in the backyard:

The pad was here when we bought it.  Not sure what we will do with it:  Would make a fine place for an open air workshop:


The part along the back fence is my current garden.  I intend to expand it to the edge of the dead tree.

The tree growing behind the dead tree provides a hiding place in the summer for the rabbits when they are out.  Eventually I need to put some kind of quail run in there as well.


The low pots are the garden that Nighean Dhonn and I started.  We will need to redo most of them this year, although the one directly in the picture has some wonderful perennials.

There's a lot of work to do, and with our drouthy conditions,  make it more water friendly (and money friendly) and less time for me trying to mow (a task I despise).  Fortunately I do not have a lot of vacations planned this year, so plenty of time to make things better.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Investing Time

The investment of time is a funny thing.

Maybe it is just a thing of creeping closer and closer to 50, or maybe it is just that there is less and less time to be had, but I am starting to look at the output/return of all of my time.

A simple example:  For years (I am not sure - 4 or 5 to be sure) I have been placing quotes that I found useful or inspirational up on Facebook.  For a very long time it seemed to help people (help, I judge, by the amount of "likes" or "shares" one would get).  But lately I have noticed that the responses to my postings have been slim or none - which sort of belies the amount of time I was spending trying to find good ones.

Highland Games falls into this category as well - I do love them, but I only do 9 - 10 games a year.  It is fun and the fitness is great, but how much time should one invest in 12 days a year?

Or writing - really the books I have done in the past more so than this blog (which is a therapeutic exercise as much as anything):  For the hours that I spent writing - how many?  No idea, but easily in excess of 200-300 over 3 years - what was my return beyond accomplishment?  Enough to cover proof costs and an IP address.

Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with these activities - they are in fact some of the activities that give my life texture and color.  But the reality is that the amount of return I get from them in terms of my life situation and what I am doing in it are fairly limited.  And even with that, it is not so much that I should not do them, but rather that I should not obsess or stress so much about them.

Ah, says the hard nosed realist:  Work.  Why do you not stress and focus more on work then? Surely this is a place you spend most of your time and your efforts there will have the greatest impact?  Alas, this is not the work world of long ago:  of the 7 companies I have worked all have been bought out and gone away with only the intellectual property surviving and all effort in the world cannot overcome bureaucratic systems that hinder the ability to move forward rather than enhance it.

So what does this say about how I need to invest my time?

Perhaps what is says is that I simply need to look at the longer point of view, see what I need to have happen 10-15 years from now, and invest in that.  Interestingly, most the activities I currently enjoy doing continue to fit into this category.

Perhaps even more interestingly, career does not.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

On Beef Jerky and a Minor Act of Rebellion

This week I made beef jerky.

It is Nighean Ruadh's fault mostly, she who suggested that I needed to get more protein into my diet.  "Try Beef Jerky"  she said.  "It will be good for snacks."  Fair enough, I thought.  Although I kind of already knew the answer, I went out to price beef jerky.  And was predictably horrified.

Beef is not cheap these days.  It flows down into all beef products.  Even at Costco, my "go-to" cheap place for many things, the cost was well above what I was willing to shell out for such a meager amount.

All right, I thought, so I'll make my own.

I trot myself off to the store and found the cheapest steak I could find:  2 packages (about 1 lb) for $5.00 - very thin cut, but that will do.  I got home and discovered the first problem with my plan: my jerky rub had gone missing, whether through burrowing into the pantry or simply by being disposed of due to age.

But I have books.  And if you have enough books, you can find guidance on how to do anything.

So I make up my own recipe: 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 Worcestershire sauce, and Kosher salt.  Slice the beef and plop it into a Ziplock bag to marinate.  It was supposed to be overnight but I got started too late so it was only 4 hours.  Oh well, what can it hurt?

4 hours later I go to start the oven to dry the jerky.  Second problem with my plan arises:  the recipe says 140 F, my oven (gas) does not go below 170 F.  Again, not an insurmountable problem - it will just dry a bit faster, so I will need to pay a little more attention to the process.  Tin foil over cookie sheet and into the oven it goes. Flip once at about hour 1; by hour 2.5, I have jerky.

It is not great jerky.  If I got this in a store I would bitterly complain that I was cheated.  But let us put things in perspective:  for a total of $6.00 in ingredients and a little natural gas, I have manufactured something I needed and at least saved myself the cost of buying it in the store.

Buried in the midst of this experience are actually two minor acts of rebellion:

1)  The fact that I was willing to make it myself instead of paying for it.  In a world where having others do everything for you except your own specialty, any act of doing something different makes you a rebel.

2)  Winging it when I had no instructions.  Some, I know, would simply have given up - "I do not have what I need so I cannot do anything at all".  Others, confronted by the fact and perhaps not having access to the Internet at that moment, would surrender to "I cannot Google it".  And finally others, faced with a change in cooking temperature, would have thrown up their hands in defeat because it was not what they expected and, instead of taking the time to figure things out or having the experience to do so, would have considered the project as "cannot be completed."

I do not want to overstate my experience.  I made jerky, and not particularly good jerky (I will get better).  But at the same time, any acts of independent thought or action in a world that encourages dependency will be seen, in the eyes of some, as an undesirable trait - and an act of rebellion.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

All I Needed to Know in Life I Learned From Iaijutsu

1)  Your sword is most dangerous  before it is drawn.

2)  Always be ready for the unexpected.

3)  We learn forms (kata) to learn technique.  We learn application (bunkai) and variation (henka) to learn  to use technique in real life.

4)  Always use the biggest and heaviest sword you can.

5)  If the sword is too heavy, train harder.

6)  Timing and spacing are critical to success.

7)  Care for your sword as carefully as you care for yourself.

8)  Always strive to make your level  higher than it was before.

9)  Even when kneeling there are still actions that can be taken.

10)  We will never reach perfection, but we should always practice as if we could.