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Into The Home Stretch

The term paper, she is done and handed in. Le Thesis, she chugs along. I've got one final paper, one final exam, and a final quiz in Hebrew. I think I may be able to make it through this semester alive after all.

And, to my amusement, someone left a paddle at the Key Desk last night for me to find this morning. It's one of those big, solid chunks o' wood whose sole purpose in life is to elicit the response: "Thank you, sir! May I have another?" I've had it prominently on display this morning, and strangely enough, I've had much less whining and complaining than usual. I recommend this approach to everyone who has to deal with customers. A paddle on display saves much discussion.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 6th, 2005 07:18 pm (UTC)
It's one of those big, solid chunks o' wood whose sole purpose in life is to elicit the response: "Thank you, sir! May I have another?"

LOL, my dad had one of those, but thankfully I don't recall ever being on the receiving end of it.... my brothers cannot claim that. :D

And hey, if it helps, then good. Perhaps hang your fencing sword near it too. And put some ketchup on the end of it.
Dec. 6th, 2005 08:40 pm (UTC)
The paddle certainly did catch people's attention.

And I'm sure you were never on the receiving end of your dad's paddle. I think I'm glad that my dad was not the corporal punishment type,* for I would have had an aching tuchus on a regular basis.

*he didn't believe in it, and he also wasn't very good at it. He did get mad enough at me once to take a swipe at me, but he missed and smashed his hand into the wall.
Dec. 6th, 2005 08:51 pm (UTC)
Ooh, excellent idea. Now where’ll I get me one of those? It could come in handy. I like Nilmandra’s suggestion of having your fencing sword there too. We never had paddles at home either but I got a smack of the wooden spoon quite a lot as a child...

Hurrah for nearly being done with this semester! Only another few months and we'll have to start treating you with more respect ;-)
Dec. 6th, 2005 09:03 pm (UTC)
Only another few months and we'll have to start treating you with more respect ;-)

Considering it'll just be my MA, a simple "Yeth, marthter," will do nicely.
Dec. 7th, 2005 04:24 pm (UTC)
I'm going to need a HUGE paddle to keep next to the register at Nelyo's! I wish I'd known about this when I worked at The Piece....
Dec. 8th, 2005 03:13 am (UTC)
Hmmm. Check with your local college fraternities?
Dec. 8th, 2005 03:18 am (UTC)
If I went to UMBC, where they used to broadcast chess matches on closed circuit TVs in the Student Union, I might come back with a coaxial cable and an old TI-83...maybe tie them up with cable and bonk them over the head with the TI?

*wonders why I didn't go to a normal school that has parties and such*
Dec. 7th, 2005 04:25 pm (UTC)
OT--strength in sword play
Hi, Pony. You're my blade expert so I'm barging in with a question.

How important is strength in sword fighting? If I make trolls strong enough to work together to push over a tree, would an elf still be able to parry a blow etc.?


Dec. 8th, 2005 03:27 am (UTC)
Re: OT--strength in sword play
How important is pure physical strength in sword fighting? Less so than you'd think. If you're looking at two combatants with similarly sized weapons, it's almost entirely irrelevant. You just have to be strong enough to wield the weapon. Coach Mike is a foot taller than me and at least seventy-five pounds heavier. I'm sure he's massively stronger than I am, but that makes absolutely no difference on the strip. The reason for this is that, the way swords are constructed and the way parrying works, it becomes a game of timing and leverage. And leverage will trump brute strength any time.

In the ideal parry, you catch the tip of your opponent's blade with the guard of your own while stepping backwards at the same time. The tip is the weak part of the blade, called the foible, and the base, near the guard and called the forte, is strong. The foible is flexible, the forte is stiff. A foible trapped against a forte won't be able to get around it, no matter how strong the foible's owner is, because as pressure builds on the foible, it'll just bend.

The parrying fencer also retreats as she parries. This serves a couple of purposes. First, it provides a little extra room in case she misses the parry, which happens far more often than any fencer cares to admit. Second, it puts the parrying fencer in a better position to catch her opponent's foible, which is moving towards her very quickly.

Of course, this only applies if the weapons are of similar size and weight. An épée up against a broadsword. . . well, the broadsword might well just slice the épée right in half. Same thing with a morningstar against a sword -- one of the things a morningstar is designed to do is tangle up a swordsperson and potentially disarm them. Same with nunchuks. But even here, it's the weight and design of the weapons, not the strength of the soldier, that matters.

Something else that might apply to your elves vs. trolls scenario: I'm not really sure how big the trolls are, but when people get to be very very muscular and strong, they often sacrifice a great deal of speed and flexibility. A slender, bendable elf could certainly get in, stab, and get out while the large muscle-bound troll was still swinging the blade around.

That help?
Dec. 8th, 2005 03:35 am (UTC)
Re: OT--strength in sword play
Helps a lot! Thank you.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


by Illsaysheis

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