My deadlift 1RM is up to 175 pounds. I can do flat barbell bench presses and bent-over barbell rows without getting an owie. I did both of those exercises with light weight and I'll have to work up very conservatively, but still...that sure as hell beats a few months ago when I would try to do them with just the bar (which is a VERY light weight for me for both exercises) and no matter how strict my form was, something would bother me.
After months of not giving a rat's ass about the bathroom closet, Chester started pawing his way in there again, and he wrecked part of the styrofoam mold I'd been making for my Zhang He claws. (I'd stored it in there precisely because the cats didn't go in that closet any more. Cat-proof storage in our house is quite limited, so you sometimes have to settle for a spot that you don't think they'll want to get into.) However...making a mold in that way was turning out to be more annoying than advantageous. I could precisely cut out the silhouette of the top and side of the piece on a hot wire scroll table, but there was no good way to carve the curves other than attacking the mold with coarse-grit sandpaper, and that SUCKS...especially when you sand too much and have to spackle Bondo on the messed-up part and then you have a really lumpy mess to sand. Bleh. So I started over using craft foam and my original front/side drawing as a reference. First, I made the hand piece, fitting it over my hand and wrist, and then I started designing the other pieces. One of them fits over the end of the hand piece and the others are nested, so that's really the most logical way to construct them out of foam. Thus far, it's been easier than I expected it to be (especially because I decided to just get the proportions right and not worry about matching my sketch exactly) and fun. To make it into a mold, I'll have to figure out some way to get it to stay stiff and curved. I can probably just duct tape it over some sort of stuffing, like a bunch of empty TP rolls. When it comes to constructing stuff, household junk is your friend. I've been using lots of random circulars from Wegmans to make the patterns for my claws.
I ordered some sizable jars of dark green, blue, and purple dye. By "dark", I mean that the color chips on Dharma Trading's site show up nearly black on my screen. They'll be here by Friday and I'll overdye my green fabric this weekend. I expect it to look quite spiffy.