Category Archives: Karate

A Crazy, Busy February

February has been a crazy, busy month. Not a bad crazy, busy though. I might have felt swamped at times, but it was an exciting feeling not an overwhelming one.

First, I spent a week at Disney with my family that started and ended with a two day road trip. The quote heard most often during the drive wasn’t “Are we there yet?” or “I’m bored!”, it was “If I had a boarding pass, I would have already been there.” Times have certainly changed since I was a kid traveling across the country in the backseat praying that my dad would need to stop for gas soon so I go use the restroom.

During the weeks leading up to the Disney trip, I worked with Chris Ochs to tackle the formatting of the 2016 Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group (GLVWG) anthology, Write Here, Write Now. I got the ball rolling with the styles, but Chris dealt with all of the problems that come from putting together a bunch of stories from lots of different sources. He’s done an amazing job producing the anthology, and the proofs looked fantastic. We still have a final round of changes to go through, but it will be ready in time for the April release at The Write Stuff, Writers Conference.

Right after the Disney trip it was promotion week at Action Karate Nazareth where I’ve been studying for the last three years or so. Promotion night always involves an intense workout where you are pushing yourself to new limits This one was no exception. As exhausted as I was at the end of the session, I have to admit I loved every minute of it. The real highlight of the week was the board breaking seminar on Friday. Board breaking isn’t an exercise in destruction (as many people think). It’s an exercise in confidence building, and Sensei Bittner is a master at helping the younger students achieve their goals. Watching him with the students always reminds me of how much more I have to learn.

Finally I took part in a presentation at the Palmer Public Library for the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group this weekend. The presentation was about building an author website and consisted of a morning introductory session followed by an afternoon workshop. Lynda Stear covered WordPress, Dawn Sooy covered Wix and I tackled Google’s Blogger. If you aren’t sure what you want to do with a website, then Blogger can be a perfect place to experiment. I used two websites during my share of the presentation. The Independent Writer’s Group Resource Page and an Author Template site, both of which I put together to help people get started.

And, somehow in the middle of all of that, I managed to sneak in a night of Dungeons & Dragons. Monsters were slain, stories were told and laughs were shared.

So, yeah, February was a crazy, busy month, but I’m not complaining. I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Sword Shopping


I needed a sword.

I bet that isn’t something you hear everyday, and if you have heard it it was probably someone joking about the best way to deal with a problem.

That wasn’t me. I needed a sword, and it wasn’t a joke.  It wasn’t for nefarious purposes either.  I confess that I am often seen wearing a hood and carrying archaic weapons, but I am neither a thug nor a vigilante.

I’m a writer. Writes don’t have time to be vigilantes. We are too busy figuring out ways to take over the world, then how to save it before we destroy it.

In this case, I needed a sword for Karate.  I was learning a sword kata and the twenty plus year old bokken I was using was showing its age.

Now a normal person might have just ordered a new one from their Karate instructor.  Since I’m sort of normal, that was what I was going to do.

Then my wife said these wonderful words to me. “Why don’t we go to the martial art’s store and you can pick out the one you want.”


Imagine Tim, The Toolman, Talyor, being asked to go to the hardware store to pick up a screwdriver.  Yeah, I might have drooled a little.

A few days later we are driving to the Asian World of Martial Arts store in Philadelphia.  It’s basically the Home Depot of martial art store.

And I was going to get just one thing, a sword.

I picked up a sword. A 40″ wooden bokken with scabbard.

Next to it was a 24″ bokken. Hmm, that would be just about the right size for my minion. I picked it up too.  My bo and tonfas were as old as the bokken I was replacing. I picked them up too. I got a smaller bo for my minion.

I had been thinking about getting my own pair of sai for a while. The only ones I’ve used in the past were borrowed from a friend.  I grabbed them too.

Finally, I asked a salesperson to show me one of the katanas that I had been eyeballing on the AWMA website. Yep, that went onto the counter too.

Here’s what I walked out of the store with.

father_day_weapons_smallI am ready should modern technology suddenly fail in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.