Monthly Archives: September 2014

13 Skills Update

My goal of mastering 13 skills in 2013 fell a little short. However, while I failed before I still want to keep improving myself and my skill set. Every day I don’t get a little better at something will be a day wasted.

Original post can be found here:

1: Archery

I want to learn more about bow hunting. When I was younger my father taught me the basics of how to shoot a hay bail, but I want to learn how to actually hunt deer with a bow.

-That didn’t happen. While I still want to do this, it is being pushed to the back burner for now. I want to focus on my martial arts and budget permitting, my skill with firearms.

#2: CCW

I want to take a concealed carry class. I bought a groupon for the class and will be taking it soon.

-I did get my CCW. So, one goal met so far.

#3: Accounting

I studied accounting, and I want to get a job were I will actually do accounting. So I’m learning how to use quickbooks!

-That fell to the wayside. My past three accounting/fiance gigs have been with corporations that use SAP. My time would be better spent revisiting my accounting basic or SAP than learning quickbooks.

#4: Blade Sharpening

In the past when I tried to put an edge on a pocket knife it ended up duller then when I started.

-I played around with this a little bit and ruined the edge of a machete. More recently I worked the edge of my heavy kukri, and I think I did a passable job on it. I still need to keep working on this though.

#5: Beer Making

I’m going to brew some oatmeal stout.

-With the help of a friend I did brew some oatmeal stout. The first 25 or so bottle tasted… not so good. They were overly sweet and bland tasting. I left the remaining bottles in the back of my pantry for a little over two months, and then it tasted much better. The beer needed to age longer than I allowed it. Beginner’s mistake.

#6: Firearms

I’m passable at best when it comes to hunting, and I want to improve on that.

I’ve gotten a little bit better with my pistol, but I still don’t feel comfortable with carrying it yet. I lack a good under the waistband holster, and my accuracy is “minute of bad guy” at ten yards.

#7: Build a Solar Oven

I have no idea what a solar oven is, but it sounds cool.

-I learned what it is, but have no desire to make one. Especially since my new place has a lot of shade, the solar oven would be of limited use.

#8: Martial Arts

I want to learn how to use a spear. Just thought it would be cool.

-I learned a little of the spear through the SCA (society for creative anachronism), but I haven’t been active in the society for over a year now. I recently joined a Jeet-Kun-Do gym and I’m learning unarmed striking and how to use Filipino style weaponry.

#9: Wine Making

I want to make some hard cider. Not exactly the same as wine, but similar in practice.

-I did make some hard cider. It didn’t really work out so well. Through a couple of mistakes on my part the cider didn’t turn out, and it was a big let down. However, we kept about two gallons of fresh cider that in time became hard cider (natural yeast did its part). I may try again this year if my family has time to get together and work on it.


Armas Kali

One thing I want to write about on this blog is my return to martial arts. I recently started training at KSK martial arts (of Lansing, MI). They offer classes for weapons, striking, and ground fighting. I am training in the weapons and striking for now.

The weapons course is “Armas Kali”. In Filipino this means something to the effect of “Weapon Hand Motion”. Guro Kent (my chief instructor) teaches single stick, double stick, knife, knife and stick (dagga y spada), and swordsmanship.

Currently all I’m learning the basics (12 angles, warm up drills, and Amaras) of the single stick and double stick.


I started the T 25 workout system today. All I can say right now is that it is tough. I got about five minutes into the workout and both of my feet cramped up. At that point my fiancee’ suggested that I follow the modifier “Tanya”.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this sort of video exercise routine, they provide the viewer with an option of doing a lower fitness/impact option as they go through the routine. In the phase 1 cardio DVD, the modifier was Tanya. When introducing Tanya, the instructor (Shawn T) let me know that “Tanya had a baby”.

I was doing a postpartum workout routine today, and I clearly have a long way to go.

Fitness Status

Cardio- Weak: I was sweating like a hooker in church within the first five minutes.

Strength- Weak: I haven’t tried lifting in a while, but I wasn’t very strong the last time I lifted so I doubt I’ve gotten stronger since.

Balance/ Coordination- Clumsy: I had trouble keeping proper body posture when I was jumping around. Hopefully this gets better once I strengthen up my core.