Bladesmithing origins

Since I will be talking about bladesmithing for a good portion of this blog ive decided that I might as well start at the beginning.

I’ve always wanted to make blades. When I was a kid I could be found questing through the forests of Lebanon Ct with a “sword” (pointy stick) slaying imaginary foes and hewing a path through the underbrush. later in life my main character in my first book was a bladesmith. Yet I never attempted it my self, under the impression that It would be too expensive.

In my Junior year of High School My cousin once removed or something or other AJ Chalifoux enlightened me on the topic. He had spent a good deal of time with Falling Hammer Productions (now known as Dragons Breath Forge) and turned me on to some websites that could get me started (and that he was using to get started).

From there he and I began an epic journey. Where other paid to learn from smiths he and i had no such option. Using the internet and a collection of books we taught ourselves the trade of bladesmithing in theory and since then have been learning it in practice. (yes i built a coal forge in an old grill out of patio blocks a piece of pipe and a hair drier that could reach 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit, take that Macgyver!)

It’s been a hard won journey fraught with difficulties, but as you will see in coming posts, it has been a successful one.

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Longest biking trip to date

It all started a few weeks before may 10th when I was introduced to a girl by a friend of mine. unfortunately it was during school and we go to college three hours apart. We talked almost nonstop over skype and knew that we were interested in each other but also knew we’d have to meet in person before we decided anything else. Driving wasnt an option for me. Yet there was something about her that made me need to meet her in person. So i began to plan the longest biking trip i had ever done even though i hadnt been able to get to the gym in two months.

The original plan was a nice 77.4 mile trip from Lebanon Ct down to Fairfield Ct to visit some friends (Including the girl i had been introduced to), stay the night, and head back. Needless to say it didnt work out quite that way. Never underestimate Murphys law.

My route was supposed to take me through a nice scenic ride , even along bike paths that run along the shore. RIIIIIGHT like that was going to happen. Following printed out directions is excedingly difficult when riding a bike. so i decided what the hey i was going to use the map on my phone and periodically switch on the gps to make sure i was where i was suppposed to be. But the funny thing about the google maps ap is that it doesnt have the bike setting, so i set it to walking to find my route. looked fine to start, no big deal…except it decided to change my route. it all was nice and good, first 16 or so miles was on the airline trail, some peaceful country roads, even went through the nice parts of middletown. Then i got to the newhaven area. my course was charted through pretty much the biggest $hi* hole you can immagine. the slums of east haven…. one of those areas cops dont go out at night. so i got a lovely ride through the land of broken glass, drugdeals on street corners and all that fun stuff. Seriously …maybe its because im an author, but i pay attention to auras. as soon as i got into the slums the place stunk of despair, violence, anger. Good news is i made it out alive past the army of gang members and such ( i think the involuntary snarl on my face might have helped… cus i just look that vicious). after that i ended up getting lost 4 times (turning my trip into about a 90 mile trip).

When i finally rolled into SHU my body was giving out. I could barely stand, my lungs were burned from the cool air, i was dehydrated as heck and about 4000 calories low. I wouldnt be able to move for the next two days. What made it all worth it though was the moment when I met Deanna for the first time. I would do it all again if just for that moment. Never mind that everything worked out between us and we are now in a relationship.

Other than that I got to see the campus Deanna and Shea were telling me all about, meet their friends, and watch a ton of movies while i was recovering from the trip down there.

for the trip home Deanna and her roomies helped me catch a train to water bury to tune my bike ride down to fifty miles. all was well, making good time (especially considering how sore i still was). I toped 65 on this 11% grade 1 mile long hill on the way into Meriden. but could things go right? NOOOOOO. i was on westfield rd in middletown (luckily a very nice place) near a quarry when i hit this deep pothole at about 20 mph maybe closer to 25. ….my innertuoe on my front tire was destroyed, stranding me in the middle of nowhere. luckily i was able to get ahold of my parents and they came and picked me up before it got dark.

Trip summary: Pushed myself to new limits, saw some of the most beautiful landscape of Ct, had a heck of an adventure, oh yeah and was lucky enough to get an amazing girlfriend. not bad for the first week of summer vacation.

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Welcome to My Corner of the Web

For quite some time now I’ve intended to start a blog but never really got around to it. Thankfully my girlfriend encouraged me to do so. In the words Mario “Here we go”.

Alright, I’m going to kick this thing off by giving a bit of a preview of what I will be focusing ion covering in my blog.

If you’ve read my “About” page then you know that I’m a sword making, novel writing, brewing,¬†outdoors man,¬†geologist. Yep, I’m all about living life to its fullest. If there’s an adventure out there within the budget of a poor college student then I’m game. What’s the point of life anyways if you can’t have fun with it and do things others only dream of?

That said, I will be covering my adventures and misadventures in my laundry list of crazy hobbies. I’ll also through in some philosophical discussions, excerpts from what I’m writing, book suggestions, fun links, answer questions anyone might have, and general tom foolery.

So folks, if you are interested then hold on tight because this blog is going to take you for one heck of a ride. They say the pen is mightier than the sword, so you know when you get an author that makes swords and is learning kendo and krav maga that things will really get interesting.

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