Archive for October, 2005

Cassandrah’s Thoughts… on Humility and being Humble

Monday, October 31st, 2005

Never think you are better than you are, but think you CAN be better.

The above is a thought that came to me when I was thinking of how to achieve humility. My thinking process is this. IF you think you are better than you are, you step out of your proper place and appear to others as being arrogant. You end up needing to be put in your place, so to speak. IF, however, you think you CAN be better, you KNOW your proper place, but only seek to change it by trying to be better. You never step out of your proper place and never appear arrogant to others as you are as good as you think you are and always know you can be better (if you choose to try).

The first state of mind (thinking you are better than you are) has much to do with low self-esteem. You don’t want to see yourself as you are for whatever reason (maybe you fear you don’t like yourself?) The second state of mind (thinking you can be better) reflects a healthy attitude towards yourself. You can see yourself as you are and if there’s something you’re not happy with, you work to better it. That is part of being humble. Knowing yourself and accepting yourself and honestly working to be better (if you choose). You’ll never have to be put in your place.

Never think you are better than you are, but think you CAN be better.

If everyone worked on being humble, it might do this world some good.

BB,
Cassandrah
Your local webmistress
Brigid’s Flame

Training update – October 23 to 28

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

Okay, it has been awhile since I updated on my training. So here it is:

Sunday

I did manage to make myself run. I ran to Yonge and Bloor using the same route as before. This time the total time was 9 minutes 28 seconds for the one mile. Not my best time, but still good. Some days are easy; some days are hard.

Tuesday

I went to gumdo. I got to learn the next duelling technique (#4). We learn two new ones each belt level and two new patterns as well. I decided to take taekwondo after as well. I noticed my endurance for sparring has improved since I started running.

Wednesday

I went running again. I ran to Yonge and Bloor again for the one mile. I took a short break walking through the concourse (had to buy some hair elastics), then I ran home from Park Road. My time for the one mile was 8 minutes 16 seconds. The run home from Park Road is just over half a mile. My time for that was 4 minutes 58 seconds.

After my run, I went to the do jang again. I took the patterns class and helped teach again. It’s always a pleasure, especially when you get really good students to teach. Then, I decided to take the next taekwondo class. We did lots of non-contact sparring (very hard to do as you have to have good control to not hit each other!). I took a surprising fall (OUCH!) doing a back kick. I think the floor was little slippery and I tried to move forward too much during the kick. I landed pretty much flat on my front and my face. :( I’m fine though. Just more embarassing than anything.

After the do jang, I went to the gym to get some weight training in. Here’s the list of exercises. It is pretty much the full circuit, except for some free weights that I do for the shoulders (keep forgetting about those recently – don’t know why).

Leg press
Hamstring flexor
Hip adductors
Hip abductors
Pull-ups (again military and parallel)
Dips
Chest press
Bar pulls (works the muscles next to the scapulae on the back)
Pectoral press
Shoulder fly
Shoulder lift
Bicep curl
Tricep extensor
Leg lifts
Back extensor

Afterwards I did my push-ups and some stretching. Then I headed home happily worked out and totally tired.

Thursday

I missed gumdo class, but took taekwondo. It was a good class, we are getting to practice other kicks more often. After class, I practiced my new sword duelling technique and the taekwondo palgwes. I haven’t decided what forms to do yet for the demo. Still trying to decide. I need to practice the palgwes more.

Friday

I went to gumdo class. It was good. We get to do more stuff because there’s no taekwondo classes on Fridays. We had a normal class, then got to work on patterns. I learned about half of the next pattern (#4) and the next duelling technique (#5). We then got to practice candle snuffing and some one-on-one sword sparring drills. Then we did some free sparring with the foam swords.

What a busy week! I’m beginning to think I exercise all the time. Hehehe. Now it’s time to get some rest as I couldn’t sleep for some reason.

Cassandrah
Your local webmistress
Brigid’s Flame

Alchemy Explains How a Lit Candle can be Snuffed Out by a Sword

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

MM,

Okay, this has been on my mind so I thought I’d do a little research.

Since I started taking gumdo classes, I pretty much assumed that if a sword generated enough wind, it would snuff out a lit candle. This assumption was based on the fact that a person can blow out a candle if they exhaled enough air at a lit candle. Going further with my assumption, I assumed that a bigger candle flame or more lit candles would need more wind than a small flame or just one candle. Therefore, in trying to snuff out a lit candle with a sword, a significant amount of speed in the sword cut (force) is needed to generate enough wind for the task of snuffing a candle (or two or three or more). Of course, an equivalent amount of control is required to stop the sword from hitting the candle. Now, for some reason, no one seems to believe that a certain amount of force is needed to put out a candle flame with a sword. (Some people may think that since even kids can snuff a candle, it doesn’t require force. Well, I really don’t think people are giving some of these kids enough credit, they may look small but they could actually be generating more force than what is observed – and trust me on this since I know lots of little tykes in martial arts.) Below is a little explanation on blowing out a candle (from Principles of Alchemy).

Well then, how come I can blow out a candle?
Because the candle flame is small and you can blow a lot of air!
The three methods we discussed for extinguishing a flame (Water, Earth and “bad” Air) all smother the fuel, and thus keep the oxygen out. But blowing out a flame doesn’t smother it. Instead you are stripping the fire away from its fuel.

What?! What are you talking about?
Fire makes more fire by continuing to the burn the fuel. Fire needs fire to continue burning.
Nope, I still don’t get it.
OK. As a fire burns in a particular spot, it runs out of fuel. But the heat it gives off is enough to cause the fuel nearby to ignite.
When you say “ignite”, you mean to start burning. Right?
Right. So a fire must constantly search out more fuel to burn if it is to be kept alive.
Yeah. So?
So, when you blow hard on a candle flame you are using your breath to push the hot flame away from the fuel. Remove the heat from the fuel and you’ve stopped the reaction.
Oh, I see. So when I try to blow out a small candle I’m trying to push the flame away from new fuel.
That’s right. A bigger flame requires a bigger push of air from you to push it away from the fuel.
But at some point the fire is too big to blow out. Right?
Right! The bigger the flame the more air you need to push quickly at it in order to push the fire away from the fuel. In the 20th century they have some fire accidents involving very good fuels that produce very big fires. To put out these “super-fires”, they must use explosives to blow the flame away from the fuel.
Wow. Sounds exciting.
But I’ve noticed that I can make a flame grow brighter if I blow it just a little. Gently.
Yes. When you blow gently on a small flame you push a fresh supply of oxygen to it. And you might even help the flame reach new fuel that would normally be out of reach.
So, you can make a fire better or worse by blowing on it!
Yes. It depends on the size of the fire and how hard you blow. I’ve seen people try to swat down a fire with a coat or apron. If the fire is small enough and they swat it correctly, they put out the fire. But sometimes they make it worse! They fan the flames, adding more oxygen and making the fire grow.

Now, let’s extrapolate this to blowing out a candle with a sword. Here’s what happens when a sword is swung down on a candle flame. First, the sword cut generates a certain amount of wind (air). This wind pushes the hot flame away from the wick (the fuel). If there is enough wind to completely push the flame away from the wick, it doesn’t ignite and keep burning. The candle flame will then be snuffed out. The passage above also explains why a candle flame may almost go out but seemingly comes back to life again. If not enough wind is used to push the flame away, the flame just gathers the oxygen and keeps burning the wick. The candle stays lit. It also explains why with more than one candle, one candle may be snuffed out with the sword but then be re-lit by the other candle. The wind can just push the hot flame onto the unlit wick (the fuel) and it will burn again.

Now, I’m not sure about anyone else, but if I swing my sword faster, more wind is generated. Therefore, if I swing my sword at the necessary speed towards the candle flame without hitting it (that is, abruptly stopping the strike thereby exhibiting good control and technique), the candle should snuff out. Yes, candle snuffing with a sword is done with good technique, but with a little help from alchemy.

MM,
Cassandrah
Your local webmistress and swordsperson
Brigid’s Flame

Personality Quiz

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

My score for the quiz (see below) is 47. 😀 My personality description is in italics below.

1. When do you feel your best?
a) in the morning
b) during the afternoon ? early evening
c) late at night

2. You usually walk…
a) fairly fast, with long steps
b) fairly fast, with little steps
c) less fast head up, looking the world in the face
d) less fast, head down
e) very slowly

3. When talking to people you.
a) stand with your arms folded
b) have your hands clasped
c) have one or both your hands on your hips
d) touch or push the person to whom you are talking
e) play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your
hair

4. When relaxing, you sit with.
a) your knees bent with your legs neatly side by side
b) your legs crossed
c) your legs stretched out or straight
d) one leg curled under you

5. When something really amuses you, you react with…
a) big appreciated laugh
b) a laugh, but not a loud one
c) a quiet chuckle
d) a sheepish smile

6. When you go to a party or social gathering you…
a) make a loud entrance so everyone notices you
b) make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone
you know
c) make the quietest entrance, trying to stay
unnoticed

7. You’re working very hard, concentrating hard, and
you’re interrupted……
a) welcome the break
b) feel extremely irritated
c) vary between these two extremes

8. Which of the following colors do you like most?
a) Red or orange
b) black
c) yellow or light blue
d) green
e) dark blue or purple
f) white
g) brown or gray

9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few
moments before going to sleep you are….
a) stretched out on your back
b) stretched out face down on your stomach
c) on your side, slightly curled
d) with your head on one arm
e) with your head under the covers

10. You often dream that you are…
a) falling
b) fighting or struggling
c) searching for something or somebody
d) flying or floating
e) you usually have dreamless sleep
f) your dreams are always pleasant

POINTS
1. (a) 2 (b) 4 (c) 6
2 . (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 7 (d) 2 (e) 1
3. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 5 (d) 7 (e) 6
4. (a) 4 (b) 6 (c) 2 (d) 1
5. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 2
6. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 2
7. (a) 6 (b) 2 (c) 4
8. (a) 6 (b) 7 (c) 5 (d) 4 (e) 3 (f) 2 (g) 1
9. (a) 7 (b) 6 (c) 4 (d) 2 (e) 1
10. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 6 (f) 1

Now add up the total number of points.

OVER 60 POINTS Others see you as someone they should
“handle with care.”
You’re seen as vain, self-centered, and who is
extremely dominant. Others may admire you,
wishing they could be more like you, but don’t always
trust you, hesitating to become too
deeply involved with you.

51 TO 60 POINTS Others see you as an exciting, highly
volatile, rather impulsive
personality; a natural leader, who’s quick to make
decisions, though not always the right
ones. They see you as bold and adventuresome, someone
who will try anything once; someone
who takes chances and enjoys an adventure. They enjoy
being in your company because of
the excitement you radiate.

41 TO 50 POINTS Others see you as fresh, lively,
charming, amusing, practical, and
always interesting; someone who’s constantly in the
center of attention, but sufficiently
well-balanced not to let it go to their head. They
also see you as kind, considerate, and
understanding; someone who’ll always cheer them up and
help them out.

31 TO 40 POINTS Others see you as sensible, cautious,
careful &practical. They see you as
clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person
who makes friends too quickly or
easily, but someone who’s extremely loyal to friends
you do make and who expect the same
loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you
realize it takes a lot to shake your
trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you
a long time to get over if that trust is ever broken.

21 TO 30 POINTS Your friends see you as painstaking
and fussy. They see you as very
cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady
plodder. It would really surprise them if you
ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the
moment, expecting you to examine
everything carefully from every angle and then,
usually decide against it. They
think this reaction is caused partly by your careful
nature.

UNDER 21 POINTS People think you are shy,nervous, and
indecisive, someone who needs
looking after, who always wants someone else to make
the decisions &who doesn’t want to
get involved with anyone or anything! They see you as
a worrier who always sees problems that
don’t exist. Some people think you’re boring. Only
those who know you well know that
you aren’t.

Cassandrah
Your local webmistress
Brigid’s Flame

I got my orange belt in gumdo!

Saturday, October 22nd, 2005

What else is there to say? I passed. I did my duelling techniques, patterns, and candle snuffing. Well, there’s also a terminology test too. Phew. I got some of the easier questions.

Though I was not over-anxious about the test (I knew I would pass), I was a little nervous. After all those years of doing taekwondo tests, this is more nerve wracking for some reason. I think it’s probably because there’s less people testing compared to the taekwondo tests I’ve had before. Or maybe I just don’t recall being so nervous as a beginner in taekwondo. It probably wasn’t until I was an intermediate belt that I began to be more relaxed during those tests. Hopefully, I’ll relax more once I get to the higher levels in gumdo too.

I did manage to snuff out the candle again. Yay! This time in considerably less tries. It seems I’m improving on my cuts – getting more control over the power of the strike. The next challenge is snuffing out two candles at once, so that’s something to look forward to along with new forms to learn.

For now though, I guess I should just be happy with doing well on the test (and getting to learn more new stuff). Nathan said I did very well, so I’ll take his word for it. 😀

Cassandrah
Your local webmistress
Brigid’s Flame

Training update – taekwondo

Saturday, October 22nd, 2005

Okay, I’ve been a little lax the last two days. I did go to taekwondo on Thursday at least. I skipped the gumdo class since I was running late anyway. Taekwondo was good. I got a good workout.

I was going to go to the gym after, but I was working on the self-defence demo – mostly teaching other people what to do for it as I was the one who came up with it (I’m using a variety of stuff I was taught before). The demo is in December so I have lots of time to practice. Right now, it’s just getting people together and letting them know what to do for the demo. Overall, I’m hoping to have a good demo and trying to not get too stressed getting this together. *sigh* I keep telling myself I’ll feel good afterwards for a job well done. :)

Cassandrah
Your local webmistress
Brigid’s Flame

Song lyrics for Look at Us Now by Sarina Paris

Saturday, October 22nd, 2005

Don’t you just hate when those lyrics websites mess up the lyrics? I do and since I couldn’t find the right lyrics for Look at Us Now by Sarina Paris, I thought I should post it here, just because…

Look at Us Now – Sarina Paris

Verse 1:

For all the times that we, we ever were to be
Look at us, baby, look at us now
For everyday that I should have you by my side
We’ll make it, baby, look at us now

For every night I pray, I know that you will say (stay – first time only)
Look at us, baby, look at us now
Remembering the time our love was not so fine
We made it, baby, look at us now

Baby, look at us

Bridge:

Everybody believed we would never be
Look at us, up above, we are so in love
Everyday, in your arms, baby, can’t go wrong
We are strong, look at us now

(Repeat Verse 1)

Baby, look at us
Baby, look at us
Baby, look at us

(Bridge)

Verse 2:

For every night I dream, together you and me
Look at us, baby, look at us now
And like a flower blooms, the glowing of the moon
We’ll make it, baby, look at us now

Though everyone believed that we could never be
Look at us, baby, look at us now
Now all the hurt is gone, I knew it all along
We’d make it, baby, look at us now

Baby, look at us

Baby, look at us
Baby, look at us
Baby, look at us
Baby, look at us

Bridge 2:

For every night I dream, baby, look at us
For every night I dream, baby, look at us
For every night I dream, baby, look at us
For every night I –

Dream, dream, dream, dream, dream,
Dream, dream, dream, dream, dream,
Dream, dream, dream, dream, dream,
Dream, dream, dream, dream, dream,
dream, dream, dream, dream, dream (fade)

Verse 3:

For every night I dream, the more I do believe
Look at us, baby, look at us now
A bird up in the sky, our love we’ll not deny
We’ll make it, baby, look at us now

In all you ever do, I know you will be true
Look at us, baby, look at us now
A story of our kind is one to never die
We’ll make it, baby, look at us now

Baby, look at us

(Repeat Verse 1)

Baby, look at us
Baby, look at us
Baby, look at us

BB,
Cassandrah
Your local webmistress
Brigid’s Flame

Street running (October 19) and gumdo practice

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

Nathan and I went for a run to Yonge and Bloor using our previous route for a mile run. We got there in 10 minutes. Subtracting the wait at the traffic lights, it took us 8 minutes 33 seconds. This is a good pace so far. A 10 km run would be done in less than an hour if this pace was maintained. After a break at Yonge andBloor, we decided to run back making the total distance ran 1.5 miles. We ran from Bloor Street and Park Road to home (half mile) in 4 minutes 47 seconds. A little slow, but we already ran 1 mile so I expected to slow down. Overall, we ran a total of 1.5 miles today which is good. I should be able to run 1.5 miles non-stop soon. Eventually I should be able to pick up the speed for that once I get used to running 1.5 miles fairly often.

I’m happy so far. A 10 km run is starting to look easier each passing day, even on days like today when I’m feeling too lethargic to run. :) Honestly, if Nathan didn’t decide to run with me today I might have stayed home. I was feeling that lethargic! I normally push myself to exercise, unless I just have too much to do. Frankly though, nothing is more important than keeping fit and healthy.

After we got home, I practiced some candle snuffing for the gumdo test on Friday. I decided to test for orange belt, so thought I should practice at least once before the test. I practiced on two candles at first because I figured if I practice on two candles it will make trying to snuff one candle a little easier. It was. I’m starting to get that “feel” of the sword cut. You can tell the difference between a cut that is good and one that isn’t. I think I snuffed the candle out in 15 or less tries, which is what I wanted. Hopefully I can do that again on Friday. Wish me luck and relaxed arms.

Cassandrah
Your local webmistress
Brigid’s Flame

Tarot reading for a friend

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

MM,

I just posted a tarot interpretation for a friend of mine on her blog, http://www.livejournal.com/users/urban_pagan/22953.html.

If anyone wants a tarot reading or just an interpretation, you can post a comment here or send me an email through Brigid’s Flame.

BB,
Cassandrah
Your local webmistress
Brigid’s Flame