Going the Distance

One of the biggest keys in winning any fight, with swords or without is distance.  At its very simplest, if you cannot reach your opponent you cannot hope to win.  So the tallest swordsman wins, right?  Not remotely.  Oh, height helps to be sure, but a mastery of the sword begins and ends with mastery of distance. The trick seems almost geometrically impossible at first, to enter a distance where you can safely strike your opponent without him being able to reach you in return.  It can be done, although it isn’t easy and the movement involved is actually pretty cool. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Fights

I`m taking classes again.  Sword classes.  It`s good to be on the receiving end of lessons once more and I`m having a blast.  And remember kids, any instructor who can`t see the value of being a student as well should be avoided at all costs.  At the end of last class we had an open sparring session and even though I had more than a few great passes, two fights in particular stood out as being particularly excellent. Continue reading

The Basics of Carrot Cake Decoration

In many ways cake is the Holy Grail of baking.  Beautiful cakes are the ultimate goal of most home bakers and it’s where the money is professionally.  Just look at all those fancy cake shows on the food network and you’ll get a definite sense of this.  So we can accept that your goal may be to be the next big name in wedding cakes, but how to begin?  Well how about we start with making a cake and making it all pretty using nothing but the most basic techniques.  We will look at simple masking your cake with icing and also see how to cover it up if you’re just not happy with the results.  After all, you may not get it on the first time, so practice lots.  You don’t even need to eat the results if you find yourself buried in cake.  I know that my neighbours are more than willing to help me out of such predicaments. Continue reading