Knives and Fire

Remember my tale of three bamboo?  At the end I mentioned going to Andy and Bax to get a machete in case my bamboo REALLY got outta control.  As in, became sentient and started chasing me and my trusty pooch around the yard.

Well that got me thinkin, see.  About a couple things.

One, is I actually did go to Andy and Bax once and buy a machete.  No clue what happened to it.  I think maybe there were blackberries, and I’m not the kind of girl who can just break out the little pruning shears.  No, I have to go all big time and get a machete, and pretend I’m in the amazon.  I think there may have been some camping usage too.   And of course that one time when that burglar broke in…

Ok, I’m kidding about the camping.

No no, ok I was kidding about the burglar.  But if there had been a burglar, he or she would have been SORRY.  Or at least immensely entertained.

So yes, I have a thing for knives.  And fire.  I like having reasons to use them.  Purely lawful, sane reasons, of course!  Like whacking through underbrush.  Chopping and burning large pieces of wood into smaller ones for various warmth/building/artistic reasons.  (I actually got paid to do that last one once!  Oh, the awesome.  I love movie set work.)  Keeping warm.  Carving a wooden life size kodiak bear.

Ok ok, I was kidding about the bear.  I think.

Really, perhaps now you understand the sheer beauty that is my very own fire pit.  I get to chop up wood.  I get to burn it.  And no one gets hurt.  Mostly.

Which leads me to the story I’d like to regale you with today:

“Knife Safety Class with Morgan, Senior Girl Scout Camp Counselor, Camp Arrowhead, 199…(um)…1995.  Stevenson(ish), Washington.”

I taught a knife safety class to my unit one day, late in the afternoon, before it was time to march back to base camp for dinner.  My unit was camped further than nearly all the other units, since it was one of the oldest.  Our little camp was about a mile hike away from Home Base.  The class went as follows.

First, I demonstrated knife safety with a swiss army knife.  Always hand it to people handle first.  Always pay attention.  Face the blade away from you when collapsing it.  All good, everyone’s paying attention.  A little bit on sharpening blades.

Next, we take a look at the humble camping axe.  Good for chopping small branches and such for firewood.  Use both hands when possible.  Know where you’re aiming for, make sure your hands and feet are out of the way.  Not something the campers would be asked to do, except in emergencies.  Got it?  Good.  Moving on…

Now, being one of the older units, as well as one of the furthest out, we had a wood chopping axe.  Big, long handle, kinda old.  So me and my obsession with large knives is patently unable to resist.  Yes, I’m going to demonstrate to 11-13 year old girls the proper way to chop wood.  Because they need to know this.

I know, I think I mentioned a couple posts ago that I am occasionally a dumbass.  Save it.

So, place the wood on the chopping log.  Up, over the head goes the axe.  Down comes the axe…

On my foot.



OM-MF-G FUCKING OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am proud to say that I did not swear audibly in front of my young, impressionable charges.  The preceding statements were all inside my head.  What can I say, I handle crisis, and pain, pretty well.  But oh lord did that ever hurt.

It was at this point that I noticed my entire unit, as well as my junior counselor, staring at me with wide eyes, and a hush had fallen over the campsite.

So I extract myself from the fetal position I was working towards, and with a big smile say “It’s all good!  I’m ok.  Good boots, you know.”

Luckily, the boots did hold, and I sustained nothing more than a gruesome-looking bruise on the top of my foot.

The moral of this story?

Don’t be a dumbass.  And take your own damn advice.  Knives are DANGEROUS!

Although, I’m still thinking of going to get that machete.  Burglars, you know.

Sept Choses

aka Seven Things.  aka Confess!

1. I’m a card carrying SCA fighter.  I haven’t fought in about a year, but I have every intention of returning this spring. 

(Wearing armour in the cold and wet sucks.  What sucks even more is wearing armour in the cold and wet, and then getting beaten with sticks.) 

I have a full set of armour, much of which I made myself.  Thanks to that experience, I now have the skills required to  build armour, including basic metalsmithing, basic to advanced leatherworking, and expert chain maille.  Ergo, I am a total geek with a very high pain tolerance, a knack for tools, and a penchant for beating grown men and woman about the head and body with sticks, and a tendency to occasionally dress in funny clothes (some of which I also made myself).  Fear me.

2. I am a pyromaniac.  When I was a kid, I built a fire on my front steps out of newspaper, took a disposable camera (they were the latest thing!), stuck my hand in the fire and took a picture.  I never did develop that film, but I really really wish I had.  Heck, I might try it again someday. 

3.  I’m convinced that I will die in a car accident.  I’m hoping that the fact that I *am* convinced of that, will cause me to be more cautious.  So far so good.  *knock on fake wood laminate*

4. I’m not sure this one counts, because it’s not something I did, but I didn’t really see any rules.  And I just have to get this out – I’ve never told anyone this.  A friend of mine, who I used to hang out with a lot years ago but have since lost touch with, had a cat.  A calico cat named Q.  She was cute, and young.  And unfixed.  Sooo, my friend, who was living on very meager means at the time, couldn’t afford to have her fixed.  And then cute little Q went into heat.  My friend was working hard at home on her career as a fashion designer, and got so frustrated with Q’s incessant yowling that she one day took a Q-tip to Q.  Yep, you got it…she fucked her cat Q with a Q-tip.  Apparently it worked though, Q was…satisfied.

5. I watched the very first video on MTV.  I know lots of people who *know* that Video Killed the Radio Star was the first video, but I don’t know a lot of people who watched MTV go on the air.  It’s kind of a cool memory to have. 

6. I used to be fluent in French.  It was a pretty weird feeling when I realized it.  I was walking down the street, just thinking about the stuff I had to do, and people I needed to talk to, so in my head was “Blah blah blah blah blah”  Except I realized, mid street crossing!, that what I was actually thinking was “ze Blah ze blah ze blah ze blah ze blah mais oui!  Zut alor!”!  Have you ever thought in a foreign language without realizing it, and then realize it?  Weird.  It’s long gone, of course, since I quit using it as my relatives learned English/passed away, but those synapse highways are pretty fused.  The cool thing is that I realized not only could I pick up French again pretty quick if I needed to, I could probably do Spanish pretty darn quick too.  But what I really want to learn is Portuguese, so I can talk about saudadeThere’s no real english translation, but I am intimately familiar with the feeling.

7. I am a feeling person.  I live in my feelings.  So it should come as no surprise that I am a total romantic, with a streak of realism that’s been beaten into me.  I truly believe in love, in all its forms, and in my opinion it is one of the most important things in the world.  It is human connection.  In my mind, it is the reason we exist; to foster, create and perfect those human connections.  And as love, connection, exists on a human scale, so it exists in others as well.  Love exists in the attraction of planets, and in the attraction of electrons to protons.  It is the compulsion to unite.  But then, my beliefs have been called ‘the science of faith’. And I better quit there before I get all preachy…I have a tendency to do that when I get on this topic.

I knew I should’ve been a physicist.  Damn.  Physics is the branch of science most likely to prove the existence of G-d. 

There.  Thanks @jarvitron for taggin me, and I mean that in the nicest way.  I’ll tag @cecivirtue, @djtv, @metroknow, and @camikaos.