Archive for November 24th, 2005

A Novel Idea

Thursday, November 24th, 2005

MM,

Okay, I mentioned in another blog that I’ve been reading quite a bit lately.

I finished reading The Silmarillion by Tolkien about two weeks ago. Now, at the recommendation of Nathan, I’m reading Robert Jordan’s serial, The Wheel of Time. Of course, I have to start at book one, The Eye of the World and there is now book eleven released. A long way to go to catch up, but that’s okay. It’s been awhile since I’ve enjoyed great fantasy reading. I’m almost done the first book and will have to run out and get the second one soon. (Nathan only has the hardcover versions of the later books.)

In addition, I will have to read Nathan’s new novel soon (http://www.natesimpson.com/blog/archives/2005/11/21/novelizing/). It’s in the editing stage now, but meanwhile he’s working on his third novel. A novel about a cat. Hehe… he started that one awhile ago actually, but the kittens and I have convinced him to finish it. 😀 It will be amusing to read when that’s done too.

Lots of reading to do – explains why I haven’t been writing lately. Just one of those phases I guess.

Okay, enough blogging for today. Back to The Wheel of Time.

BB,
Cassandrah
Your local webmistress
Brigid’s Flame

The Idiocy Often Called the “Superior Species”

Thursday, November 24th, 2005

MM,

This just in the news recently. City of Toronto is thinking of enforcing animal licensing by-laws and this isn’t referring to animals being kept at the zoo – this is about the “Fluffy” we keep as pets (cat or dog, take your pick). Here’s the news story – Pulse24.com – Dogged Pursuit?

Now what is appalling to me isn’t just that they are thinking of enforcing this by-law but that they have this licensing law to begin with. From an animal rights perspective, cats and dogs have every right to live freely in this city, in this country, on this PLANET – as much as humans do! Whatever happened to enlightenment? Still a long way away for this society, I guess. In addition, the fees for pets is cheaper if they are spayed/neutered and have been microchipped. How’s that for enlightened? Little Fluffy has to give up something of himself just to get a discount so he can live here. Imagine if this was forced on humans, how much of an outrage would there be? Imagine if some alien species took over the planet and imposed a fee on every man and woman and gave a discount if he/she had a vasectomy/hysterectomy. Or better yet, imagine an alternate reality where perhaps reptiles overran the population and decided that humans were procreating too fast, so they made us pay fees just for being here and gave us a discount if we… went under the knife? I say treat animals the way we’d like to be treated. Fairly. As equal living, conscious beings. But I guess, sadly, not everyone can see beyond their hand in front of their greedy eyes. Such near-sightedness, so much for being a “superior species”.

The City of Toronto website says that we can “save” money from the animal licensing (Animal Services: Licensing – Toronto Public Health) How much of a fool do they think its citizens are? Pray tell me how me dishing out money EVERY YEAR for an ludicrous fee will save me money? It seems to me I’d save money NOT paying a fee every year. And what about the pet rescue missions? This certainly makes it much harder for them to keep rescuing the cats and dogs off the streets if they have to pay fees on top of normal pet care needs for every animal they rescue.

For those who are interested in the legal aspects of this, see Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349. Note sections 349-10, 349-18, and 349-25 as well as footnote 13. The City is planning on enforcing the licensing fees as per the Provincial Offences Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.33, s. 61. Just great, nearly every citizen in the City of Toronto would then be considered to be “offenders”. Lovely. Thanks for turning us into “Toronto the Bad”, no longer “the good”.

Cassandrah
Your local webmistress and pet lover
Brigid’s Flame

Training update – November 11 to 21

Thursday, November 24th, 2005

Friday, November 11

I went to gumdo class and learned the rest of pattern #4 and learned all of pattern #5. Because of the demo in December I decided I won’t test for gumdo that month. Too much to work on. Besides I figure an extra two months practice before the next belt in swords will be good. It’s good to work on the basic techniques before moving on.

Saturday, November 12

We had a colour belt test for which the black belts have to attend and help grade. The people testing did fairly well – some better than others, but overall good. We had a short black belt meeting after. I was thankful we did not have any training as I was exhausted that day.

Wednesday, November 16

Okay, so I stayed home Sunday to Tuesday. It’s because I started reading some fantasy novels (recommended by Nathan of course!). I knew that once I started reading these books, I’d be absorbed by them. So, now I’m reading The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. Book 11 was just released. I have a long way to go… starting at book one, The Eye of the World. And before that, I just finished reading The Silmarillion by Tolkien.

Wednesday I decided I needed to do some running. I ran to Park Road and Bloor Street (approximately a half mile) in 4 minutes 36 seconds. I went to the bank then ran home from Church and Bloor streets in 3 minutes 58 seconds. Pretty good.

I didn’t make it into the do jang. I stayed home and practiced sword patterns, duelling techniques and candle snuffing. I’m working on two candles now (this really works out the biceps and triceps!). I also practiced some taekwondo hand techniques (what a workout!) that we don’t normally practice in the do jang. I switched do jangs and found out that they concentrate mostly on kicking, so I have to make myself practice some hand stuff on my own. I find it peculiar how people just want to focus on kicking and not balance out their martial arts with hand techniques. It’s good to know how to use both your hands and feet (and let’s recall that taekwondo means “the art of the hands and feet”). Keep a balance between the two. There are pros and cons to using both hand and foot techniques. Thus, once in awhile I practice some stuff on my own. I also needed to decide on what techniques to do for the board breaking demo.

I even got Nathan to do some taekwondo stuff… 😀 Our arms were very sore after! But it felt good to get a decent workout.

Thursday, November 17

I went to the do jang to practice some stuff for the demo. I needed to practice the self-defence routine for the demo and some patterns.

Sunday, November 20

Okay, just getting into The Wheel of Time. Book is intriguing. Couldn’t tear myself away and go to the do jang on Friday or Saturday. Sunday, I stayed home. I practiced some candle snuffing (two candles). Giving my arms a good workout this week. I think it’s because I hadn’t been in the gym for awhile. Anyway arms are very sore. I don’t think it’s the biceps really anymore, it’s the brachialis (the muscle that initiates the lever movement of the arm). The brachialis is a very hard muscle to build up. If I recall my anatomy reading, the brachialis does more work than the biceps – but it’s the biceps that gets the attention, isn’t that just the way of life? One does all the work while the other gets the credit for it. Sheesh.

Monday, November 21

Yay! I made it to the do jang just to practice for the demo. I needed to practice the self-defence routine with my partner. I had to show him what to do. It’s a women’s self-defense routine – the guy does all the attacking. I also practiced patterns again. I think I got a third person to do the patterns with for the demo.

After the do jang I headed to the gym. My knee is really screaming at me to go work out my quads and hamstrings.

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

My brachiali were still sore from candle snuffing so I only did a few reps of the bicep curl. The muscles still haven’t rebuilt I suppose. I guess I really worked them with the candle snuffing. I do at least a hundred cuts when practicing I think. I lose count, but I know it’s more than a hundred. I skimmed on the pushups – just 10 reps of each kind (I do 4 different kinds of pushups) and did 20 on my fingertips while doing the side splits. Didn’t have enough time to do full stretching so did some light stretching and went home. Gym was closing. My tail bone is still sore – no situps still.

Cassandrah
Your local webmistress
Brigid’s Flame