Aug 132009
 Thursday, 13 August 2009  Posted by at 12:47 events, SCA, travel Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »

As A does not get his schedule until the week before,  we were not sure when we would be able to leave for Pennsic.  This left planning up in the air somewhat, but then he did get his schedule. Closing on Thursday the 30th, off from Friday the 31st through Saturday the 8th. Opening on Sunday the 9th. This meant we were not going to be able to get on the road until Friday and we would need to leave Pennsic the following Friday. Not ideal, but it would work.
About a week before Pennsic the AC in my car failed.  I added a can of refrigerant and within three days it was out again. Brought it to the dealership and $600 later they replaced the low pressure hose. Two days later, no cooling. Brought it back and another $500 and they replaced the high pressure hose. Things seemed to work after that.

Friday morning, I wanted to be on the road by 7:30/8. We actually got on the road by 10:30. Before we actually managed to leave the house, Girard calls me and says its been raining for three days, Roxeter Road behind camp is closed, and we will need to carry everything from the car over the foot bridge into camp, and to get ready for a wet war. *sigh*
The ride up was basically uneventful.  We stopped just past Summersville at a Walmart to buy more refrigerant and recharge the AC. (The dealership called me to ask how satisfied I was with the service – any guesses how I answered?) We also went through The Slowest McDonalds Drive Through In The World â„¢ – took us thirty minutes to order, get a ten pack of McNuggets and two sodas – and they only gave us one straw, so we had to turn around and go back to get the second one.  We made one other stop – to find an ABC store.

We arrive at Pennsic around 7:30/8 and Calli looks at me from behind the troll booth and says ‘Go look at the map of closed roads and cry.” I reply with “Hi Calli, Nice to see you. Girard already called and gave me the heads up.” I should note that it stopped raining that morning and was nice all day both for our ride and at Pennsic.

The nice person checking me and A in finds A’s registration but can’t find mine. She comes back and asks if the spelling of my name on my membership card is correct and I confirm it is. Still, she cannot find my pre-reserve paperwork. Calli ponders why she is looking there for it and realizes that she is reading my middle initial and last name as one word. Crisis averted.

We head off from troll to camp, and are meet everyone who is there. A quick assessment of Roxeter and we decide its passable, and pull the car around and into camp. We get ourselves set up, do the storage shed run, and get settled in enough to crash out after a long day driving.

The week at Pennsic went by in a blink. Some things that stick out:

-    Wandering through the merchants and not seeing anything special that jumped out at me. I recall thinking maybe I have been playing and going to Pennsic enough that its pretty much the same and I don’t need or want much of it anymore.

-    Possibly the single funniest moment of the war and still makes me laugh thinking about it. I am hanging out in Vermine and I mention that Nia said to hug those she likes and spit on those she doesn’t. I think it was Theo who jumped in with ‘Hug or Spit? I hope you don’t run out of hugs or the choice will be Or Spit…’

-    MOLing both the Free Scholar’s Charity Tourney and the Atlantian 5-Man Melee. I love working both of those tourneys every year. And watching the Marshalls modify The Slightly Irritated Sea Bass into the Slightly Irregular Sea Bass provided immense enjoyment. I like that the MOLs had veto power over the team names – I think we should keep that as a general rule. They also need to clarify the details on the Free Scholar Tourney as several people I spoke to thought it meant you had to be a Free Scholar to participate.

-    The wandering beer wagon. So, we had all this left over beer and decided to load it into the wagon and take it to the Atlantian Social. Along the way we stopped and served beer to many a passer by – and many whose camp we were passing by. It was a very fun thing to do. In fact we are talking about making a wandering beer wagon a plan for next year.

-    Bog hopping, and why does the Blue Feather camp have a clock on their sign. Short answer, because they had space and why not do a public service and provide a clock. If only they would stop over heating in the plastic encasement. This all told to us by Caleb who turned out to be very fun. Glad we met him.

-    Having some of my worst garb used as an example of how to do things correctly. A wanted to go to a ‘What not to wear’ class and it sounded fun. Turned out to be a ‘let me critique your garb’ session and less fun then advertised. But the teacher was explaining how to miter trim and called me forward as my late period Pelican work tunic had mitered trim on it.

-    Running into Johann. Lost his (and Gryphon, Larissa, et al) phone numbers when my cell phone went crashing off the fifth story of the parking deck. Had no idea he would be at Pennsic – and up until four days before land grab neither did he. Hardly recognized him until he started speaking. Somehow I should not be surprised that he found Allison and began hanging out with her. Makes a lot of sense.

-    Making dinner for the camp on Thursday before Windmasters’ court. Lots of improvising and such but still a good meal that went pretty far. Definitely repeatable.

-    Finding the perfect coronet at Duchess Isabel’s store. Too bad it didn’t fit. Need to either email her my measurements or find someone to commission a similar style from.

-    The B double E double R U N with their Excellen-Gs.

-    Generally feeling relaxed and not on a schedule with no commitments aside from the two tourney MOLings.

This is the first war I can recall where by the end of it I was not ready to go home. Usually I get to the end of war week and I am done with Pennsic, but this year, for some reason, I did not have that. In fact, I wanted to stay another week.

The drive home was uneventful. We got on the road at 6:30 on Friday night. We crusied along talking and listening to podcasts and at around 1:30 we both were hungry (and you cant find anything open at that time) and I was too tired to drive anymore. We could not find where we packed A’s glasses, so we got a hotel room about 2:30 from home. We got up the next morning, took a long hot shower, had a nice breakfast at the Hampton Inn we were staying at, and was home by 1:30. By Sunday night all of the laundry was done and 95% of everything was away.

All told, a very good war.

Jun 052009
 Friday, 5 June 2009  Posted by at 09:11 events, history, news Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »

6 June 1944 – 65 years ago today – Allied forces landed at the beaches of Normandy. A lot has been said and written about that day, but twenty five years ago today the President Ronald Reagan gave what is perhaps the definitive speech on D-Day. Here is the text of that speech:

We’re here to mark that day in history when the Allied peoples joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.

We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but forty years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs. Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.

The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers — at the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machine-guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting only ninety could still bear arms.

Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there.

These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.

Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender’s poem. You are men who in your ‘lives fought for life…and left the vivid air signed with your honor’…

Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith, and belief; it was loyalty and love.

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge — and pray God we have not lost it — that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One’s country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.

May 262009
 Tuesday, 26 May 2009  Posted by at 12:52 events, geek, house, life, people Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  No Responses »

Lets see… on Saturday, A & I had the day off together, which NEVER happens. We slept in a  little, too Garbo for a nice long walk, cleaned out the fridge including washing it down inside, stopped by The G’s to try out their Wii Fit,  then ran a bunch of errands, which included buying a Wii Fit. For the record, this may be the first video game console I have owned since the Atari 2600. (Consider yourself either old or geeky if you didn’t need to click the link to know what I was talking about.) That evening we engaged in the next step of the Cock Ale.

A few notes on the cock ale …First, for those who don’t do period brewing, or even any brewing, the cock ale recipe is kind of legendary. Everyone talks about it in a chiding sort of way, but I dont know anyone who has actually done it – few internet accounts show that people dont read as they have used raw chicken. Fools.

Secondly, if you take out the chicken the recipe sounds really good – ale with raisins, dates, nutmeg, mace, and sherry. Yum. This leads to my plan. I have done a very very basic ale for the base – I didn’t even add hops, but have used oak chips for my bittering agent, which is a first for me. I have siphoned off maybe a half gallon of that for comparative purposes. Then I have about a gallon with cock in it – well its a gallon jug with the adjunct ingredients and topped with the ale. The remainder is the recipe without the cock as that actually sounds quite drinkable.

Now the dimea… I really wanted to have it for Rapier Academy but couldn’t get my act together to get it done. Now my choice is to either bring it to Golden Rose and offer it up as a side highlight, or save it for Pennsic and bring it to the A&S display in the barn (do they let you display alcohol? I dont even know…). I would really like to make it more of an A&S thing then a curiosity thing, but it means either I only brew one beer for the baronial parties as I only have two kegs – and I despise bottling. Plus I have to store and transport it and space going to Pennsic is always at a premium.

Anyway, back to the weekend… Saturday night we went to the Bavarian Brathaus in Cary. A had heard ads for them on the radio, and we quickly convined a small crowd to join us (The Gs, Wystric & Sunnevia, and Duncan). Awesome food, awesome waiter, and good times. Afterwards we went home and played with the Wii for a little while.

Sunday… A worked, and I ran errands, took Garbo to the dog park, did laundry, and cleaned the house. Thank heavens for Brigida. Without her the house would not have been half as clean for the party. That evening, we got a call from Maddellena begging us to come help her eat a turke. She had fortuitous timing as we both realiezed we were hungry and without a dinner plan. We finished what we were in the middle of, grabbed showers and headed over for a very fun evening. Then back home, a few more tasks, and then more Wii.

Monday, A did a few last minute things around the house, and headed off to work. I took Garbo for a long walk, and looking at the weather and forecast called the Gs asking them to bring their pavillion over. I got back home and realized that there was nothing more to be done I watched a few episodes of The Big Bang Theory as I did random bits that came to me.

At just before three the sky opened up and I became convinced that we would not have anyone for the party. Silly me. By my count we had 43 people come by. And I am sure I missed one or two in the counting. That makes this the biggest cookout we have done so far. Thanks to everyone who came, who helped out, and who helped clean up. And special thanks to Dreya for making the beds look like someone actually tends to them.

All told a really good weekend.

Feb 052009
 Thursday, 5 February 2009  Posted by at 11:31 events Tagged with: ,  No Responses »

The Charlotte Ikea opens at 10am on Wednesday 18 February. They “… are going to be doing something special for everyone on opening morning…”

A happens to have the day off, and I happen to have vacation time, so… anyone up for some swedish meatballs?

Feb 042009
 Wednesday, 4 February 2009  Posted by at 16:14 events, SCA Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »

Adam’s dad was meeting us at an event once – his first. We told him to call us just before he got to site and we would meet him at troll. Adam then had to explain that, no, there was not going to be someone in a troll costume that he should look for to find us.

Sep 112002
 Wednesday, 11 September 2002  Posted by at 14:18 events, history, news, politics Tagged with: , , , , ,  1 Response »

[Ed. Note ~ Ported from my old Diaryland blog on 11 September 2009]

September 11 in:

Ethiopia: New Year

Pakistan: Jinnah Day (1948)

Tunisia: Evening of Destiny

Hispanics: National Hispanic Heritage Week – – – – – ( Sunday )

US: National Grandparents’ Day – – – – – ( Sunday )

Afghanistan: National Assembly Foundation Day (1964) – – – – – ( Wednesday )

Scotland: Fisherman’s Walk Day – – – – – ( Friday )

September 11 Religious Observances:

Orth : Comm of the Beheading of St John the Baptist (8/29 OS)

RC : Commemoration of SS Protus & Hyacinth, martyrs

September 11 In History:

1609 – Henry Hudson discovers Manhattan island

1777 – Battle of Brandywine, Pa; Americans lose to British

1789 – Alexander Hamilton appointed Secretary of the Treasury

1814 – An American fleet scored a decisive victory over the British in the Battle of Lake Champlain in the War of 1812.

1847 – Stephen Foster performed his Oh! Susanna for the very first time. The performance, for a crowd at the Eagle Saloon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, earned Foster a bottle of whiskey.

1853 – 1st electric telegraph in use, Merchant’s Exchange to Pt Lobos

1857 – Mormon fanatic John D. Lee, angered over President Buchanan’s order to remove Brigham Young from governorship of the Utah Territory, incited a band of Mormons and Indians to massacre a California-bound wagon train of 135 (mostly Methodists) in Mountain Meadows, Utah.

1862 – O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) was born – author: short stories: Gift of the Magi; died June 5, 1910

1875 – 1st newspaper cartoon strip

1877 – The first comic-character timepiece was patented by the Waterbury Clock Company. It was another 56 years before the same company produced the first Mickey Mouse watch.

1883 – The mail chute was patented by James G. Cuttler, a former Mayor of Rochester, NY. The device was first used in the Elwood Building in Rochester. Mail chutes can still be seen — and sometimes, they still work — in many old office buildings.

1885 – D.H. (David Herbert) Lawrence was born – writer: Lady Chatterly’s Lover; died in Mar 2, 1930

1889 – Start of the Sherlock Holmes adventure “The Crooked Man” (BG)

1913 – Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant was born – football coach: University of Alabama: the winningest coach in college football [323 wins, 85 losses, 17 ties in 25 years]; died Jan 26, 1983

1917 – Ferdinand (Edralin) Marcos was born – President of the Philippines [1966-1986]; his corrupt government was overthrown in 1986; died Sep 28, 1989

1919 – US marines invade Honduras

1922 – British mandate of Palestine begins

1923 – The ZR-1 (biggest active dirigible) flies over NY’s tallest skyscraper, the Woolworth Tower

1926 – Aloha Tower dedicated in Honolulu

1927 – Babe Ruth hits 50th of 60 homers

1935 – Gherman Titov was born – Russian cosmonaut: second man in space [first was Yuri Gagarin]; first man to spend more than a day in space [25 hours: Vostok 2: 1961]; died Sep 20, 2000

1936 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam) by pressing a key in Washington to signal the startup of the dam’s first hydroelectric generator in Nevada.

1940 – Brian (Russell) De Palma was born – director: Carrie, The Untouchables, Bonfire of the Vanities, Body Double, Scarface, Wise Guys

1941 – Charles A. Lindbergh sparked charges of anti-Semitism with a speech in which he blamed ”the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration” for trying to draw the United States into World War II.

1941 – FDR orders any Axis ship found in American waters be shot on sight

1943 – Mickey Hart was born – musician: drums, songwriter: group: Grateful Dead: St. Stephen, China Cat Sunflower, Dark Star, Alabama Getaway; scored part of film: Apocalypse Now

1944 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill met in Canada at the second Quebec Conference.

1946 – 1st mobile long-distance car-to-car telephone conversation

1951 – Florence Chadwick becomes 1st woman to swim the English Channel from England to France. It takes 16 hours & 19 minutes

1952 – West German Chancellor Adenauer signs a reparation pact for Jews

1954 – The Miss America Pageant was televised for the first time. Bob Russell — not Bert Parks — was the host. Lee Meriwether was crowned Miss America by a panel of judges that included movie queen Grace Kelly.

1959 – Elroy Face of the Pittsburgh Pirates saw his 22-game winning streak come to an end. Face lost to the LA Dodgers, 5-4. He did, however, finish the 1959 season with an impressive 18-1 record. For those of you with baseballs for heads, who can’t figure out how he ended up with 18 wins for the season instead of 22 … Face won the other four games at the end of the 1958 season.

1960 – The 17th Olympic games close in Rome

1961 – Bob Dylan’s 1st NY performance

1962 – Ringo Starr joined John, Paul, George and Andy White (session drummer) to record Love Me Do at Abbey Road, London, England. Ringo played tambourine. It took 17 takes to complete Love Me Do to everyone’s satisfaction.

1962 – Kristy McNichol was born – Emmy Award-winning actress: Family [1976-77, 1978-79]; Empty Nest, Apple’s Way, Baby of the Bride, Women of Valor, Dream Lover, Only When I Laugh, Little Darlings, The Summer of My German Soldier

1965 – Beatles’ “Help!,” album goes #1 & stays #1 for 9 weeks

1967 – Harry Connick Jr. was born – Grammy Award-winning singer: We are in Love; actor: Copycat, When Harry Met Sally

1967 – ”The Carol Burnett Show” premiered on CBS.

1967 – US Surveyor 5 makes 1st chemical analysis of lunar material

1970 – “Would you believe?” The last of the Get Smart series on CBS-TV was aired.

1971 – Former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev died at age 77.

1974 – The St. Louis Cardinals took seven hours, four minutes and 25 innings to beat the New York Mets 4-3 at Shea Stadium in Flushing, NY. The game set a National League record for innings played in a night game. It was the second-longest game in professional baseball history. Fans went home at 3:10 a.m.

1977 – TV’s Rhoda gets divorced

1984 – Bruce Springsteen broke the attendance record at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. The Boss entertained 16,800 fans for the first of six sold-out shows. Springsteen broke his own record; one he set during a visit to Philly in 1981.

1985 – Pete Rose broke the major-league record for hits. He connected for hit #4,192 against Eric Show of San Diego.

1986 – The stock market’s Dow Jones Industrial Avgerage plunged 86.61 points to 1792.89. 237.57 million shares were traded making it the busiest day ever (to that day) on Wall Street.

1987 – CBS went black for six minutes after anchorman Dan Rather walked off the set of ”The CBS Evening News” because a tennis tournament being carried by the network ran overtime.

1991 – 14 die in a Continental Express commuter plane crash near Houston

1994 – Andre Agassi won the men’s title at the U.S. Open tennis tournament, defeating Michael Stich 6-1, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5.

1997 – The Army issued a searing indictment of itself, asserting that ”sexual harassment exists throughout the Army, crossing gender, rank and racial lines.”

1999 – Serena Williams won the U.S. Open women’s title at age 17 in only her second year as a pro. Williams beat top-seeded Martina Hingis, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).

1997 – The Scots voted to create their own Parliament after 290 years of union with England.

1998 Congress released Kenneth Starr’s report that offered graphic details of President Clinton’s alleged sexual misconduct and leveled accusations of perjury and obstruction of justice; the president’s attorneys quickly issued a rebuttal.

2001 – The worst terrorist attack on American soil – 2819+ die as a result of hijacked airplane attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Western Pennsylvania.