Sunday, March 31, 2013

Forms, houses and space

I was working on my (self developed) cane form, trying to work out some minor inconsistencies and how that was affecting the related footwork, when I had a realization. I am modifying the form so that it fits in my exercise space, as I am overly concerned with hitting walls, glass things and assorted house plants, rather than what the form should flow like.  I then go to the Kwoon, and promptly adjust it to the space available there. Now, overall, this awareness of my surroundings, and an understanding of the variations I am making is a good thing. I have in my mind the ideal space, such as when I eventually do this in a cleared space in front of judges. My form is a Tee shaped form, about 10’ long and 10’ wide. I can modify it so that it fits in about 6’ by 8’, if required, but it feels cramped in that little space.  With this awareness, I am adjusting how I practice the form (am I moving this way for a logical reason other than not smashing the front window?) and practicing the form in segments that make sense in the allotted space. Next Friday night, this will aid me in that it is easier to find a 10’ by 3’ corridor, then a 10 by 10 square, and share that space with others.  If I am working in a defined area, transient Sifus, and other people with their weapons, will be able to predict where I will be and I will be able to predict when they will be in my space. Hopefully this will help others in how and where they practice as well
Also, I have completed and mailed in Part B of my master electrician prep course to NAIT. Now I will wait to see how I did, and figure out the mistakes, then off to write the government exams (Date TBD)
Dennis Donohue

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Part A Complete

I have just finished writing Part A of my Master Electrician Exam, 3.5 hours worth. Later this week I will write Part B, another 3.5 hours. I was going to write something witty and with great depth and importance, but my brain is feeling like mush right now. I am enjoying reading everybody’s blogs, and Richard is coming up with some deep subjects (I had an insightful reply to his last post, but it is currently lost in the mental porridge of my brain at the moment). Anyways, I am off to plow the driveway, more next week.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Late Blog

I normally blog on Sunday, but this Sunday life interfered, and by the time I did my homework, plowed snow and gave worms and worm poop to our guests, it was past bedtime. I have made it to all my Kung Fu classes, but most of my extra time has been spent doing homework. The course that the homework is for (Master Electrician) is one of my personal I Ho Chuan goals, so I am working on my Kung Fu, just at a single facet of it, mostly due to the end of the month deadline.

Edit: Although our guests came over specifically for worms and worm poop, the worms & poop  were for their own OMG course, which is a part of their I Ho Chuan goals. No worms were sacrificed for supper, although the proper way to prepare them was discussed. Wine and pizza was considered a much better choice for supper by all in attendance, and the worms made it safely to their new home.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Gluten Free Month?

At yesterday’s team meeting, Sifu Brinker mentioned food blogging and a possible challenge to go vegetarian.  I have another suggestion, this time let the food challenge be “Gluten Free” for a month.
There are many reasons for this, from understanding what a Celiac sufferer goes through trying to find lunch, to the effects that Gluten has on your own (and families) bodies. Gluten sensitivity is not a binary, yes I am, no I’m not situation. It is a grey scale, with one end being no I’m not (call this level zero) and full blown life threatening Celiac disease at ten. I have a sensitivity, probably about a two on that scale. What this means is when I went off of gluten to see if it was affecting my lungs, the “arthritis” that I had in my hands, fingers and knees on each weather change went away. Now I had ascribed those pains to “getting old”, not food, so it was not the placebo effect on this one. My wife found that her migraines, already reduced in severity by green smoothies and extra magnesium, were almost eliminated by the removal of gluten. Now it takes a severe weather change, hormonal changes and dehydration together to trigger a migraine, where before any one of those was enough to trigger one.
In fact, the symptoms of gluten sensitivity  vary all over the map, and affect different people in different ways. One of our team members has found that the behavior problems of his son are directly linked to gluten. So instead of the recommended dose of additional ADHD drugs (with their own side effects) the removal of gluten alleviates the problem condition. Chemical addiction to bread and craving for McDonalds? Maybe it’s gluten, not will power that’s the problem. Studies show that gluten sensitive people will eat 400 more calories a day if gluten is in the diet then they naturally want when gluten free. Sore joints? Maybe it’s not only the push-ups , or getting old.
The easiest way to discover if you are gluten sensitive is to go off it for a month, and see if you feel better, or if there is no change.  No change, no problem, you learned a bit about what allergy sufferers go through, and can have some empathy. If however, you feel better, you are now at choice on staying off of something self destructive or going back to your old ways.
We have some advantages if this is done as a group, in that Mrs Donohue has spent time researching recipes, and the ability to group buy on some of the specialty flours required, as well as the support  of a group effort.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Short Blog

This is a short Blog, as I have been studying for then writing my mid-term exam in my Master Electrician Prep course. The exam was allotted five hours to write, I took about 3.5 hours. The exam will be mailed tomorrow morning to NAIT.  The final is coming up, it is allotted 7 hours (3.5 x 2).Once I am done that, I go off to write the actual government exam, also 7 hours (again two 3.5 hour sessions).
As a side note, I have now identified that the kitchen chair I have been using to work on my course is partially responsible for my sore back, so I will exchange it with an office chair for the next while. The reason I am using the kitchen chair & table was that the course sat on my desk, out of sight, out of mind, for too long. I moved to the kitchen table so it was in my face every day and now I should be able to finish on time, although I know where all my free time in March is going...