Pursuit of Perfection:

It is ours but to constantly strive for perfection. I intend to document below small ways in which the everyday can become more exceptional.

Suburi

posted Jan 10, 2011, 7:15 PM by Mr. M   [ updated Jan 10, 2011, 7:17 PM ]

Suburi is repetitive cutting exercises in Japanese swordsmanship used to develop skill, power, and precision. This is actually, though perhaps boring, also perhaps the best way to perfect any skill. 

Tips for the proper preparation of Tea

posted Jan 5, 2011, 12:26 AM by Mr. M   [ updated Jan 5, 2011, 12:29 AM ]

A fun bit of trivia to start. Did you know that the principle reason for the difference in power between Europe and America is often attributed to the need to provide for everyone plugging in their electric tea kettles?

As I sat to drink a goodly cup of tea, I recalled to myself the intent to make note of some of those actions that can bring about a more enjoyable cup to those that drink it as well. Pay you attention most that would think to make such for others. Whether you engage in English "High Tea," or Japanese "Tea Ceremony," these tips should do you well.

Note you first that the heat of the water should be modulated depending on what type of tea you brew. Black teas require a rolling boil, whereas green and white teas should be well below boiling before being poured over your leaves. Tea bags, being ground so finely, should be steeped in water not quite boiling.

The next most frequent mistake I often see in the making of good tea is the treatment of pots and or mugs. In that hot water should be placed within them and poured out before the tea ever touches either. This is because should you want your tea to steep with best regard, the vessel must not be room-temperature or cold as they will leech the warmth from the water meant to be creating your infusion.

A final note on additives. Honey and sugar have little effect based upon order. However, milk should always be added first as otherwise the milk will scald through gradual heating. Never put milk and lemon in together, as the one will be curdled by the other.

Beyond this, be sure to check the correct timing for your specific type of tea.

Take care, and enjoy.

Handshakes

posted Aug 20, 2010, 11:38 PM by Mr. M   [ updated Aug 21, 2010, 3:36 AM ]

Handshakes should be firm, but not overpowering. There are several ways to help yourself achieve this.

1. If you have a very weak grip, try extending your forefinger slightly when you shake. When you point your forefinger the muscle dynamics of your hand makes your other fingers able to grip stronger. This technique was pioneered by Japanese swordsmen.

2. If you are frequently getting people grabbing your fingers approach with your fingers splayed. This forces the other person to grab your palm.

3. If you are still feeling like you have a weak handshake, reach with your palm pointed slightly downward. Having your hand on top gives you more leverage.

4. Remember that what you are going for a is a good firm handshake. Limp hands and overly aggressive ones reflect equally poorly on your character.

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