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I am an Officer in the US Army. I work in the Special Operations arena. I am married and have three amazing children. I hope to retire in a few years (yeh, right.). I have a forge, an anvil, more hammers than my wife thinks necessary, and a whole lotta' files and hand tools. Even though I don't get to work on my knives as often as I would like I am still completely obsessed with it.

Congratulations! You have found the greatest group of people in the world here; all backgrounds and all experience levels. Enjoy.

 

Matt "NT Howl'n Gecko" Bray

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When I'm not beating on metal I baby-sit 25 attorneys. I'm the records and facilities manager for the firm. I have a 16 year old autistic son who is my pride and joy. I have happily passed down my fam

Was born in Washington, DC in 1976 and raised in the DC 'burbs where I stayed until about 6 months ago when I moved to PA. I've been a computer geek of some type or another since I was 4 and that's wh

I feel like I have become a lurker on my own forum and thought this would be a good time to reintroduce myself.   I started smithing in 1976 partly because I had time on my hands and mostly because

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While not a bladesmith yet, I hope to be - at least create my own forge, or own my own forge shop. I am humbled by all the beautiful craftsmanship I see on this board.

 

There is something magical about watching a billet of material being shaped by the force of the human hand. I have worked with open and closed die shops, helping them to understand their heat treating process - this could be anything from titanium blades in VT, superalloy sections of jet engines in France, of large gun barrels in PA, or golf club heads in IL - I enjoy just watching. There is something very powerful and fullfilling about seeing and participating in manipulating metal to the desired shape and use.

 

Born 1956, and knew from a very early age that I was going to be an engineer. It wasn't until high school that I knew I wanted to be a metallurgist. I attended Carnegie Mellon for a couple of years before I flunked out. Took a year off to verify and confirm what I wanted to do. I finished my BS in Metallurgical Engineering at Ohio State University. Started to work as a manufacturing engineer responsible for the aluminum and steel heat treat shop at a small aircraft company in St. Louis, where they assembled the F/A-18, F-15 and AV-8B. My shop did everything, from heat treating the F/A-18 landing gear, to wing skins for the MD-11. I did this for 13 years. At the same time I got my MS Metallurgical Engineering degree from the University at Missouri-Rolla. I designed a small endothermic generator to invstigate carburizing kinetics. Management decided that heat treating was non-value added, and I started doing failure analysis and crash investigations. I did this for 6 years, and really enjoyed it. In this time I started work on my PhD in Metallurgical Engineering, working on the development of microstructure of thick plate aluminum during hot rolling. Within a week of graduation, my services were no longer needed. Immediately afterwards, I started working for an international company that produced metal working products - with the primary focus on quenchants. I knew thay made good products, as I would only allow these quenchants in my shop. So the family moved to Valley Forge PA, where I am the traveling "guru" on heat treating and quenching. I have been everywhere from Beijing to Zagreb visiting all sorts of heat treating shops, forge shops - anywhere that needed some help in heat treating, and control of distortion. Once I remember helping a small Catholic school in Sri Lanka make repair parts - they would forge them, carburize and quench. Using simple things like a bicyle, we were able to design and fabricate an agitated quench tank, and help them improve the quality of their carburizing, using simple tools, and materials that they could make or scrounge. I still hear from some of the students today. In the past 5 years, I have 1,000,000 seat miles traveling the world at customers, conferences and the like. In reality I am the technical guy who helps the salesperson make the sale from the technical side.

 

I love heat treating. I am on the Board of Directors of the ASM Heat Treating Society. I enjoy helping people with heat treating questions, and other metallurgical type questions. Just being on the board the short time that I have, I have learned a great deal about the practical side of blade smiting, and in awe with the beauty of the blades.

 

If you have a metallurgical question, quenching question, or heat treating question, please feel free to ask. I will try to answer. I will also ask a lot of dumb questions, like "why?" and "how you do that?". Thank you.

 

Scott

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I'm from Pennsylvania, moved to Oregon in 1977. I've had a few different jobs but machining stuck for me. What can I say I love working with metal. I work in a custom hydraulic cylinder shop, for a corporation. And I do a little blacksmithing and knife making for fun. I saw a Daniel Winkler knife when I was a teenager, that got me started. The guys at work think I'm nuts, I work all day just to go home and work on knives and other metal projects. The whole blacksmithing, mountain man, bagpipe, beermaking thing makes some of them wonder. :wacko: My shop is now done, anyone here is welcome.

 

Jim Pennock

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Born in 1976 in a small town in the Adirondack mountains. I studied Japanese language in college, lived there for a year. I entertained the idea of working as a translator in a city, but I decided to move back to the woods with my wife (made the right choice). Out my front door, I can be in thick, seemingly endless woods in less than a minute.

 

I have always loved the knife as a tool. I still have the first knife I ever owned, a small lockback that I spent weeks saving up the $5 it cost, from my allowance. Made many spears and bow/arrows with it.

 

I spend alot of my free time hiking in the ADKs, the mountains which are so dear to me. I also blow into a shakuhachi from time to time.

 

Forging is new to me, but I love it, everything about it. I love how the tools speak to you when you are using them correctly. Forging makes me feel like I am a kid again, but playing with grown-up toys. I just want to make good knives.

 

This forum has been so incredibly valuable to me as a beginner, I am humbled and honored to be a part of this community.

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I write mystery novels for a living. I write under my own name as well as under the names Ruth Birmingham and Lynn Abercrombie. I think this year I'll publish something like eight novels. I don't know, maybe less. But it's somewher in that range. That's about what it takes to make a decent living. Should add up to about half a million words I'll crank out this year. (Not including here.)

 

These days I probably spend a good bit more time making blades than I do writing, though. (Which tells you why I seem to be working pretty much seven days a week and pretty much from the time I get up until the time I go to sleep. Never set out to be a workaholic. It just seems to be the only alternative to having the bank take my house away.) The good thing is, I hardly do anything that I don't love.

 

I live in Atlanta with my wife and six year old son.

Edited by Walter Sorrells
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Hi guys,

 

I got myself a new computer and hopefully will be on a broadband connection very soon, so I have "come out of hiding".

 

I am an unemployable misfit who makes blades 'cause I love it more than anything else I have ever done for a living. Full time smith since, hmmn, 1988 I guess.

 

Walter I very much enjoyed the two books of yours I have read !

 

Howard Clark

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Hey all, I'm 35 born in Columbia, Louisiana. I'm still living in Louisiana just a few miles from where I was born. High school grad. I made a stock removal samurai sword during my senior year in the schools shop from a piece of a saw blade that I "liberated" from my dads collection of stuff. I've always been interested in knives and swords and such ever since I can remember.

I work as a shore tankerman in the maritime industry. (I load and discharge barges of liquid petrolium products. ie: gasoline, diesel, naptha, IPA, MEK, methanol, toulene......the list goes on and on). Oh; while I'm thinking about it. I'm in the prime location for getting some cable (we call em' wires) for making cable damascus! I have some on standby for when my Dad and I make a gas forge.

I'm married to a wonderfull woman for about 5 1/2 years, no children (unless you want to count our 2 Labs and 2 min pins like she and I do) LOL.

That's it pretty much in a nut shell. I can go on and on but I'm sure yall have other irons in the fire (pun intended) LOL

 

Thanks, Willie Nappier

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well here 'goes

 

I'm a homicide detective for too many hours a week. My education is in electronics and have previously worked in the defense industry.

 

Dad was a self employed engineer / iron worker and I have been around steel my whole life. I started making blades a lilttle over ten years ago. I started by learning stock removal and have over recent years leaned toward smithing. I'm part of the Del Rosa Tribe Neo-Tribal Bladesmiths. Heck, I even joined ABS after meandering around it for years.

 

I used to enjoy martial arts and competetive combat shooting, but nowadays I focus on blades and even catch an occasional fish or two. Hunting, hiking, survivalism all interest me as time permits.

 

I used to keep a low profile when I worked under cover narcotics, but as a homicide detective I'm in the paper and on the TV so often, I figure keeping private is no longer an option. So I'm out from under my rock. :blink:

 

There are a whole lot of you that inspire me. I enjoy the work that you all post.

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My turn.

 

I've been working for Uncle Sam for the last 7 years as a geospatial analyst, recently rebranded as an "analytic methodologist". I double majored in Geography, and Electronic Media and Filmic Arts.

 

I've been interested in metalwork for about 9 years now, first came to it wanting to know how to make armor, then found a couple old knife websites, discovered the Neo Tribal Metalsmiths, then started opening up my mind to the whole wonderful world of bladesmithing, casting, and now smelting.

 

My bladesmithing is what I call the apprentiship to my retirement, so that in another 20 years when I'm through earning your tax money, I can buy groceries off what I craft. By then, hopefully I'll have accumulated enough knowledge, experience, and equipment to call myself "good" and "profitable".

 

I cannot begin to express my thanks for the sorts of people who frequent the internet, hammerin's, and any other form of communicating their experience and skill. The free flow of information to those that want to do something with it is outstanding. Keeping the old knowledge alive and working together to learn new things just blows me away, and I'm honored to be a very very small part of it.

 

Thanks for letting me play.

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  • 2 months later...

so, who am i?

i'm a caucasian male, in the 24 - 30 demographic, and i've just come back from the pub. in light of the british news reports today, i feel i should post something in the spirit of the tolerance, patience and understanding that i've found to be a hallmark of this forum, and yet i find that words escape me now. i just thank whoever's listening that our craft has been blessed, these few years, by an openess and willingness to share which makes me truly humble. i don't know that there's any key to human co-existence, but i hope, truly, that the spirit of understanding expressed here might show the way. i'm sorry for hijacking this thread, and don, feel free to delete this, but it's been a weird night,

thanks,

jake.

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i cant speak for anyone else, but to me, your sentiments are perfectly understandable, jake.

 

anyway, i suppose if i'm going to ask any stupid questions, i might as well introduce myself. i was dubbed geoff about seventeen years ago. in that short expanse from then 'till now, ive managed to play the violin for about ten years, as well as play every other instrument i get near. bladesmithing is, oddly enough, the earliest tradition of my family; both my great-grandfather and his brother were smiths and changed their name to swyka in the way over from the ukraine. the greatest appeal that the craft has for me is the immediate connection it has with it's history. anyway, i have only minimal experience for now, but hope to learn much from all of you, and the peters valley craft center which is in my near vicinity. thanks for your time

 

geoff

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Thanks for the comments Jake. There is a unique environment of openess and sharing within the bladesmithing community. It is deliberate and orginates from the early days in this country when the working smiths got together to share information so that we all could grow.

 

It is vitally important for the continuance of the craft that information not be hoarded, but for it to work there are some simple guide rules. First, when you learn something, you honor that by giving credit to the person you learned it from. Second, that you share information that you have worked hard to discover. This is really difficult the first time because now you realize how much it cost you to earn that information, but the reward is immediate when you see the appreciation. Third, you are obligated to pass the craft on, by teaching when you can and by sharing your passion.

 

We are establishing a model and so far it has been sustained because each of us appreciates, respects and values it. I am very grateful for the openess within this forum, we are all enriched.

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well i was born in muskogee okla .sept.13 1971 im a full time truck driver.(i hear the boo" and hisses)but i really enjoy my job.married the love of my life in april of this year moved to arkansas learning to hammer some steal on the side.

charlie

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Hi everybody

 

I have been skirting around this topic for a long time. I have had an amazingly full and wonderful life and that means I will need some time to get it all in here. Just kidding, I will keep it simple.

 

I was born on the 1st of October 1966 (that's right, the big four-oh this year!) In Cape Town South Africa. My dad is a metalworker and I grew up with hot metal everywhere, even at home. We lived in Namibia for a while (It was called South West Africa then.) My dad worked as a Boilermaker on the Copper Mine in a town called Tsumeb (There's some entertainment for ya, learn how to pronounce that!) We moved Back to Cape Town and then things got interesting.

 

By the age of 12 I was Mechanic and Pit Crew for my dad's Racing Car. Later (16) I was racing Motorcycles myself.

 

I moved to Johannesburg, Gauteng. I have been married and divorced and now have three wonderful children; Bianca (17), Danilo (13), and Lucien (10).

 

I met a wonderful woman, Melonie, and we have been together for 7 years. She is my martial arts instructor (Godan) and I presently hold the grade of Shodan in Traditional Jiu Jitsu. I have represented South Africa in international competition and as such hold "Protea" Colours for this. We run our own Dojo in Benoni, Johannesburg. We are enthusiastic hikers and have hiked some of the most beutiful terrain in Africa (the world?), together. We are doing another one in a few weeks, I am hoping to get a few digital shots to post for you guys. We both own Motorcycles and ride them whenever we can, usually Sunday mornings for a "Breakfast Run" with the local bike club. There's nothing like 140 mph before breakfast! B) More pictures to follow if ya like. In between this we like to go to gym, play squash, and spin. We both ended up with knee injuries a while back so we've packed on a bit of blubber. That will change.

 

I presently hold the position of Sales Manager for a company that imports a range of pumps from the USA. My job requres that I travel a lot, so I am away from my workshop most week days.

 

I enjoy DIY and do all my own building, tiling, painting, plumbing and electrical.

 

Then, when I thought it couldn't possibly get better, I found that I had never quite shaken my passion for knives and more specifically swords. Melonie holds a grade in Iado and her swords hold a place of honour in the house. They started me thinking, and I ended up on this site.

 

I would like to thank Mr Fogg for the site and the forum. I have been amazed since the very first time I found you guys, at how much information you are all prepared to share. As you can imagine, my time is restricted but I am busy building my forge at the moment and will post my results ASAP. I have only completed one knife using the stock-removal technique, and I am busy with my second. I am losing interest in this method though and I can't wait to start forging.

 

Well that's the short version I hope it didn't bore ya'll too much.

 

Regards

Wayne Viola

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Do people boo and hiss truck drivers? It's a noble profession. Without truck drivers where would this country be? :) (the U.S. or any developed country for that matter?)

yes archie i get the 1 finger salute at least twice a week because im slow and in there way oh well i wave all fingers back. :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everybody

 

I guess it is time I introduced myself - otherwise procrastination and modesty will have the upper hand and postpone this for another undue time.

 

I've been lurking on this forum for quite a while now, and I have learned more than I could ever think of in so doing. Many thanks to you guys for having created this place and keeping it this way.

 

My name's Fabrice Cognot - you have to be French to pronounce it correctly, sorry :P, so you can just call me Fab.

I live in Dijon, Burgundy, France, with my beautiful Sarah and our son Nils. My days are spent looking after him (he only arrived about 10 months ago, we're slowly getting to know each other, see ;) ) and researching all aspects of the archaeology of weapons, as Oakeshott put it, in Western Europe. Still learning a lot on that matter. I own a Master's degree in Mediaeval Archaeology, and I'm trying to finish a PhD on that subject.

 

After having spent some time learning how to use these things (and still working on it), I finally summonned my courage and picked up a hammer and bits of red-hot metal, just to see what I could do with (and also after having watched skillful people do it). And, obviously, I am still working on it. Don't know if I'll ever post any pic of what I do on this forum, but who knows...

Enough about me for now.

 

Heartfelt congrats for this place :35:

 

Cheers

 

Fab

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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't know why I've procrastinated in posting in here, but here goes. The hard part will be getting me to shut up. :rolleyes:

Stereotypical farm kid growing up.

I'm 31, married with 3 kids (ages 13, 3, & 1) and live on the edge of Thayer, a town they say has 600 people (they must be including dogs, cats, and goldfish) about 30 miles South of Springfield, Illinois. It's the perfect situation for my wife and I- I can look out the back door and see fields, my wife (who is from various urban environments) can look out the front door and see houses.

My life has ended up in the great place it is in due to 2 events completly changing my plans:

1. I graduated from Culver-Stockton College with a degree in Criminal Justice, and had a police acadamy lined up when I destroyed my left knee. While rehabbing it, I worked in my Mother's day care center. I decided I really liked working with preschoolers, so I went back to school for Early Childhood Education and now run my own home-based daycare center.

2. I had left Childcare for a couple of years because the pay sucks and was working as an abuse couselor. I had had it with that job and was preparing to move west to find more opportunities in childcare when I got a new client at a nursing home. The social service director was cute but had a picture of a guy on her desk. Turns out it was her brother and since I hadn't asked her out, she asked me out. 1 hour into the date I new I had to marry this woman, so I stayed here.

 

I made a few blades from Bob Engnath's kits in high school, then started teaching myself forging after college. I made what a friend described best as "butt ugly knives that cut really good" (I'm thinking about using that as a slogan). 2 1/2 years ago the combination of a shop breakin, moving, and a very difficult pregnancy for my wife put my bladesmithing on hiatus. I just got done a little while ago with my new shop and am getting back into the swing of things. I want to thank everyone on the forum- I'm getting tons of new ideas about design and construction.

Dang- this is a long post. Sorry- I told you'all I talk too much. :o

Dave Armour

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Hi everybody... B)

My name is Daniel Jobim and I'm from Brazil. I was born in a city called Porto Alegre, in Rio Grande do Sul state. I just started to make knifes, and I'm really excited about it.

I work in the tourism department in a city called Nova Petropolis. If you know Luciano Dorneles and Rodrigo Sfreddo, they live here too. That's where I started to get involved in bladesmithing.

Hope one day get to the USA and show my work at the Blade Show.

Well, that's about it. :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi guys, the first name is Brent and I was born in Seattle WA in 1964. I grew up watching and helping my dad who was always tinkering around in his shop. My dad worked for Benz spring Co. forging custom coil and leaf springs. I would go to work with him on Saturdays since he worked 1/2 days just to watch the forging, quenching and tempering process. the process facinated me then as much as it does now.

 

I have worked as an amusement park ride operator, vet assistant and firefighter/EMT. In 1983 A drunk driver T-boned my ambulance and badly injured a lumbar disk. By 1990 I had to re-train into another profession. I now work in physical rehab.

 

Fourteen years ago my wife and I bought eight acres of virgin remote property with a view of Mt Rainier and the Bald hills, two ponds and a creek. Three acres are old growth douglas fir and assorted hardwoods. I built my shop before the house was built, it's all about priorities. Neighbors are fine as long as I can't see or hear them. We get to see a vast assortment of wildlife such as deer, elk, raccons, possums, coyotes, bald eagles, otters and many other critters every day. We have chickens, pygmy goats, dogs, cats and few other four legged free loaders that I lose track of.

 

In 1999 my daughter was born and is the lightly spoiled only child. She keeps me on my feet and has the same level of curiosity as her dad.

 

I first attempted knife forging over ten years ago but gave it up out of frustration. I did not know anyone else who forged to get help from. Then two years ago I decided to try it again after watching a couple basic forging DVD's. Then I found a couple knife making forums and my learning curve improved (not much though). Thanks to the forums I found a few knife makers that are in my area also. Aside from making messes and loud noises in my shop I also enjoy fishing, prospecting and mountain climbing. I have climbed Rainier, St Helens and Olympus. The only glaciated mountain left to climb in the state is Mt. Adams.

 

Believe it or not this is the ultra condensed version. I have had my hands in many hobbies and interests and have experienced enough to fill three lifetimes.

 

I hope I can contribute back to the forums as much as I have learned from them. I never know what is going bore or help other forumites.

Edited by B Finnigan
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello, I grew up in Tulsa, OK went through school there. I then joined the Marine Corps in 1999 in the infantry. I specialized in mortars for a time and then became a water survival instructor. Traveled/trained in the U.S. Japan and Korea and then got out after four years. After that I went to the University of Houston to study history. My original goal was to go on to graduate school and teach ancient Roman history at the college level but fell in love with blacksmithing and bladesmithing. My goal now is to finish this last year at UH and begin another journey into blacksmithing, primarily focusing on gates and railings to the wealthy clients. On the side I will continue bladesmithing for fun. I work out a good deal, play the guitar, read the classics/history books, shoot firearms, backpacking and hunting. Oh and I love to drink Guinness!

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  • 1 month later...

Greetings Don, and everyone else who makes this a most genuine and informational forum. I was born in 1961, and I lived in many countries before I moved to the United States in 1970. My father is American and was employed in aviation, my mother is Bristish - now naturalized American.

 

I have been a police officer, EMT, teacher, student, manager, and now I'm using my FAA A&P license to work on airplanes in Cairo, Egypt. After spending a good chunk of my life in Idaho, I find that I enjoy fly fishing and hunting (deer,elk, coyote, phesantand partridge) as well as precision shooting and scuba diving. I studied Political Science at the University, and I'm looking into grad school. I enjoy reading and researching subjects that interest me. I have a son who is building houses in Boise, and a daughter who is raising my grandson in Sun Valley, Idaho. I live with my wife and step-daughter, who are both Egyptian.

 

I have always appreciated the way a good knife feels in the hand, and my experience with swords comes from the Philipino art of Escrima. I don't have a forge yet, just obtaining the proper tooling is difficult, and more expensive here than in the States. I haven't given up, just another challenge to put behind me. Right now, I'm collecting different types of steels, and different types of handle materials. What I've seen on this forum is truly inspirational, and I am humbled by the honesty and skills of these bladesmiths.

 

When I get back to the States I'm going to enroll in the ABS school and go from there. I am constantly on the lookout for excellent instruction, and good friends. I will be monitoring the goings-on here as I haven't started to make my own blades yet, but that time is coming. There is magic in this world, and the proof is in the metal.

 

Thank you for letting me share.

 

Tom Driscoll

Edited by Tom Driscoll
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  • 4 weeks later...

I guess I'll throw myself out there, too. I'm Doug Bostic, 18, high-school graduate. I currently run shop-counter at my martial arts school, where I also teach on occasion. Currently looking for a new job w/ better pay. I just recently got into the bladesmithing world, and am still running amok like a kid in a candy shop. I got into it all actually due to my mom suggesting that I check it out, and I've thanked her profusely since.The first "knife" I made was a 9" dagger I made from a palm branch with files and sandpaper I snuck out of the shed and into the alley, whenI was about 8. Actually got a decent edge on it, as far as scrap wood goes. I was, a few years later, able to talk my grandmother to pick me up a puny little pocket knife, my first actual knife, from her work. I carried that knife around with me for quite a few years until I got a bigger one. It now is in the possesion of my girlfriend, who I'll brag about in a bit.

 

A self-taught artist, hodge-podge musician, attemted writer writer and general fabricator of ideas into material form, I've dabbled into just about everything I could get my hands into, and probably a few things I should have left alone. My obsession with SPOs (sharp, pointy objects) began when I was young, with my dad reading me Tolkien as a bedtime story. I blame Monty Python for everything else wrong with me, though.

 

I survived my way through elementry and middle school with relative ease, then found high school and crashed and burned for a year and a half. Then, half way through my sophmore year, I found a nice young lady who seemed interested in me. All it took for me to realize it was her making me chase her down for half an hour after she filchd my wallet. A nice little scar on my hand later, I asked her out. She's put up with me and my radical socio-political rants since. She's an absolutely amazing person, and an absolute math whiz. She also is an archer, and is planning on trying out for the Olympic team.

 

I'm currently dragging my feet after last semester of high-school, planning on going into archaeology or psychology as my major, and studying Norse culture and history when I have time.

 

Well, that's more than most of you probably cared to hear; but yeah, that's me in a few hundred words

Edited by Doug Bostic
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life story eh?

 

well first off my real names Guy (waiten to get it changed) Im a flat lander but spent most of my time growing up on the BC coast (canada) but spend as many summers in saskatchewan as i can. right now im a exchange student in Finland and just turned 18 a few weeks ago, im here for another 5 months (been here since aug) then i have to go home and finish up my high school.....after that its off to collage for either welding or a maching im not really sure which one at this point but i still have some time to decide. whatever way i go i would like to eventualy get my own shop and work for myself (i know my boss is gunna be a prick, my dads is to and he's also self employed). hopfuly move somplace where i have space to 'wheel my land cruiser which i also want to build up during my seinor year of high school. yea, i dunno what else, grew up working in my old mans carpentry shop, ill work there when i get home again and yea...with all this goin i hope to have enough time to continue karate, hockey and set up a little smithy at my parents place where i can forge blades and learn more about this awesome art. sometimes i need to keep in mind theres only 24 hours in the day...im sure if dont my gf back home will remind me though haha...she is also awesome

 

oh yea....been forging knives for about 5 or 6 months now but i only get to about once i a week at a class...its my addiction so i go to meetings

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