Gentle Readers,

Progress continues on all fronts and today feels like a pretty good day. That seems pretty good for a Monday.

I spent most of my weekend down in my Man Studio where I was working on a trade project. I have a friend who is exceptionally good at naalbinding (Viking crochet) and I am not. She tried to tech me and I understood the stitch but I need a better way of managing the increases because I keep ending up with ruffly doilies.

Since i don't think I'll have it any time soon and I really want better socks I offered a trade and she decided that some of the chains I'd been making would be great.

So far, I've made 2 lengths that I'm happy with and 2 that I need to do better. What really helped with the first ones us to set up a good process and I'm still trying to figure that out for the other two.

The trick seems to be figuring out the initial shape so you can set up a jig.
Gentle Readers,

For some reason this has turned into my SCA and Swordplay blog. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing but I do think it's interesting that this is 1) the only thing I really seem to want to write about long form and 2) I don't really want to put these thoughts in a fully public and more visible place.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about the fact that I've been offering classes and presentations and many such things at events for years now and nobody cares. The majority of people involved in anything I do for A&S are people who happen to be standing beside me when I start the class or people who have to actually judge it. I'm no longer interested in presenting information to an audience of none. I love this stuff. I love teaching it. I love talking about it. I love doing it. I don't love being met with indifference. Even hostility would be better as it would be something to push back against.

From now on I'm no longer volunteering classes. If someone asks me a question I'll talk their ear off. If someone asks me to teach on a particular subject I'll be there with bells on (or mail (same thing)). However I'm done preparing a class or presentation, bringing equipment, and going out of my way to do something that does nothing but fill an empty spot in a schedule instead of filling the empty place in peoples' hearts that should be filled with swordplay.
Gentle Readers,

We've been back from our SCA weekend for a couple of hours and I'm still processing I think.

This was the year I finally made it into Pent. My goal was to enter 5 items created in classes taken at events over the last year. I mostly succeeded in that goal. I'm pretty proud that I had all of my items done ahead of time and that I had managed to get all of my paperwork in ahead of schedule. I do wish that I had thought to print out said paperwork to bring with me and hadn't had to hastely rewrite everything at the event.

The commentary on everything was great. I had some wonderful conversations with a bunch of people whos opinions I greatly respect. They had wonderful suggestions for me and everyone was quite complementary of my work, which given that it was all my first attempt at whatever it was, was pretty flattering.

Even the pent presentation went well. I was able to present my case to the judges and bug out without too much difficulty. They seemed appreciative of my goals.

The less positive experience was my presentation on messer. Thanks to scheduling conflicts I was not able to do my presentation until just before court. I was not happy with the presentation at all. I really don't feel like I was able to present my knowledge at it's actual level or even at a level I was happy with (I'm not sure which of those would be higher). Given the time constraints and the lack of information about the judges level of knowledge ahead of time I had a plan for how I could present stuff and it really did not work at all. I think I will be able to do better next time, but that still doesn't help much with this one.

The space itself was pretty opressive with no sound damping and terrible acoustics. Given the site fee, it appears that it was pretty expensive as well. My mood was pretty up thanks to the piles of posive feedback but I think if I hadn't had that, I would have been pretty miserable.

We were able to have a good visit with our awesome hostellers and also had a lovely dinner the next day before our journey home. For our dinner host's first turkey, it was delicious.
Gentle Readers,

Are you there? Are there non-gentle readers? Do you feel like I'm not talking to you too?

What's up? Well, things are a little stressful at the moment. Work has just gone insane. For some reason, this week just went to hell in a handbasket. First thing we got this week was our senior QA person giving his 2 weeks notice. The week went downhill from there with several major hardware failures and a bunch of stupid issues in the code base.

Things at the Swordhall have been good but busy. I've been taking a lot the main classes while Craig is running the Intro Private Lessons for the various deals he's run ($60 for 2 lessons, 3 classes and a t-shirt!) and that's super fun but it can be a bit of a downer when there are no students. Also, with things running until 10, that makes for super long days. I still love the Gross Messer more than many things.

On the baronial front there were some minor stresses but they seem to have worked themselves out without much energy needed on our part. This is a good thing. In fact we're in the middle of 3 weeks off between events which is pretty unusual. There are some events we could have gone to, but thankfully, we've managed to convince ourselves to take a break.

Lydia, who was like a feral beast at bead time over the last full moon seems to have come to some kind of epiphany and has been quite wonderful, working hard to get her stuff done and basically be a great person to share the house with. I don't know what caused the change, but I'm really happy about it. I hope it lasts for a little while.

She's been really into weaving lately. We got one of the weaving kits from the dollarstore and she's making a bunch and been stitching them together with the goal of eventually making a quilt. I'm hoping to get her to try something like inkle or tablet weaving and see how she does at that.

I've been trying to get my A&S on too. We have a new queen in ealdormere who is quite lovely and who really likes late period. There are a number of the locals who have been trying hard to match her look with Late Period garb of their own. They have convinced me to try and as I have passed on most of my stuff from then, I am thus trying to get something new done for our big local event the first weekend of November.

It took me a while to figure out what it was that I wanted to make. Moroni's Tailor was tempting but not quite what I was looking for. I wasn't feeling the Peascod look so that took out pretty much everything from Alsega. The Henrican stuff in the Tudor Tailor didn't really grab me. So, what do I cleverly decide to make? The Nils Stuer outfit.

I do actually have reasons for the madness. Firstly it's german(ish) and is contemporous with Meyer who I've been studying. Secondly the outfit is black leather and velvet and was worn when Nils was stabbed to death in a cathedral by a Mad King. It's goth as fuck. I don't have any experience with sewing leather clothing.

Maybe this plan was not well thought through.

That may explain yesterdays exhaustion followed by last nights horrible insomnia which lead to even worse exhaustion and my choosing to call in sick to try and get more sleep. I went in and got my work computer at 7am to bring home to maybe do some work from home (traffic still sucked at 7am. wtf?). Unfortunatly, my back to bed plans were foiled thanks to today being the day we scheduled the early morning duct cleaning.

So yeah. Right now I have my hands pretty full. I think if someone were to suggest that I was burning the candle at both ends, I would respond with surprise that I didn't have to also be burning it in the middle too.

One interesting thing about the exhaustion is that my brain seems to be burning extra creative fuel. I'm writing here for one thing. I'm constantly visualizing construction methodology and I've got flash fiction zipping through my brain. This is pretty cool, but I think I might rather not be tired. At least for a little bit.
Gentle Readers,

Here I lie, after a lovely weekend.

As hoped the A&S thing was lovely. There were 50 people. I've been to smaller events (that had less active participation). I got my hood pieces (outer and liner) cut out and had some facinating discussions with all kinds of people.

We sent Lydia off to the twins house and headed home child free. I'm pretty sure we were both asleep before 9:30. I'm not sure what it was but I managed to sleep through the night, only waking up once. This rest made for todays good spirits I think.

The fight for life was amazing. We had 3 schools together and did a day of swordfigting with no drama and very little ego. I wasn't as good at the armoured combat as I had hoped and the steel legs I was wearing are aweful. I also only got in one round because the helmet I had gaped and exposed my neck. I didn't think that i could have tied it down until after I had gotten out of my armour.

The day was very positve and we raised almost 2K for the Walk for Life fundraiser. I think the fact that it was a fund raiser was what helped peope check their egos at the door. There was no sense that this was about prooving anything, it was just a means to collect money for a charity.

Afterwards was a lovely potluck to which I managed to contribute things other people ate.

Now, heres hoping for another good nights sleep.
Gentle Readers,

My weekend started with a lovely dinner with Kira-lynn and has continued in this pleasant manner. At the moment I am lounging about considering lunch while I listen to all the water fall from the sky. After said lunch we're off to do crafts at the A&S day. I'm hoping to work on a hood, but it seems likely that I will also do some pewter work with Lydia.

Tomorrow, as previously mentioned, is the Fight For Life fundraiser which I am very much looking forward to. Hopefully we will have some photos from that to share. If you are nearby come and check us out at hintonburg park.
Gentle Readers,

Happy Thanksgiving. Sure, you may not be celebrating it, but I can still wish it to you.

Once again, as is frequently the case at my house during the daylight hours, I am the only person awake. Not a bad thing, but it can be a little lonely. Less so when one of the sleepyheads is curled up beside me. Aparenly my room is the household Thanksgiving napping destination, much to my surprise when I walk in to discover people asleep on my bed.

Among the many things running through my head, I'm thinking what I can enter in Kingdom A&S (at least partly because I have to have the entries submitted by the 13th). I've got the Landsknect and Lydia's kirtle. I need to pad and strap a helmet so that would count. I could do a brief presentation on Gros Messer. I could do a small bit of calligraphy, as I have been practicing my letters.

I think, given all that, I can (and should) enter Pent.

In other news, I'm getting rid of stuff at a good clip. I cleaned out my closet and was able to get a dresser out of my room (speaking of which, anyone want a nice drawer unit, formerly from our kitchen and of late used for clothes? Free). I've got slightly more floor space now and plently of light. I've got a couple more piles to deal with this afternoon and tomorrow morning. Still it was great to get rid of a full car load of stuff. It's remarkable what I still have trouble letting go of. So many little pieces of personal history that have an emotional resonance but no practical purpose in my life.

I need to take William Morris' advice more consistently.

In other news we spent last night stuffing ourselves with the piles of food that Reyl spent the day making. Today we will spend the night stuffing our selves with the food that ClinkerFiasco has spent a couple of days making without the benefit of an oven. She's a brave woman.

OK. lets see if I can deal with another pile without waking up snori.

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j_v_lynch

May 2016

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