Gentle Readers,

Pennsic was kind of an after thought this year. We weren't planning on going because this was going to be the year we took Lydia to Lithuania. However, what with the potential for unrest in the area we decided that maybe it was not the best time for such a thing so we had the time for Pennsic. I'm still not entirely sure that we made the right choice.

We went early enough for 0 night and that was pretty neat. There was something very cool about walking around an empty Cooper's Lake. It's so much smaller when it's empty.

Last year it was pretty up and down with surprising ups and downs but this year it seemed to be much more even. I had more work to do than I expected as Rapier Champion but I managed to foist off the jobs that I didn't want. I still fought for Her Highness in the Rose Tourney and did pretty middling. That's about what I expected given the quality of fencer I was facing and my level of practice.

I got to go to lots of classes with Lydia which was nice. She learned a bunch of new crafty skills which she is pretty pleased about.

I got to spend time with friends I care about, but not enough. Part of the problem was the dreary weather making things mucky and wet and discouraging travel. The other part of the problem was constant headaches. Right now I'm thinking that those were caused by the unsweetened cold tea in combination with the pressure fronts rolling past. Getting knocked out every afternoon really cuts into your socializing time. They also prevented me from going to the 10th anniversary of the RV Weekend which I was not very happy about.

Most people seemed kind of happy about the colder temperatures but I was disappointed because it meant that the cool summer beers were not as pleasant and I was longing more for darker, heavier beers.

So, to sum up, the good parts of Pennsic were being close to people that I don't get to see nearly enough. The rest was kind of meh. Thankfully that good was very very good.
Gentle Readers,

I've been home from vacation for 3 days. I'm kinda back into the real world but not quite as it's Cortejo and Lydia's birthdays and my parents are visiting too so things are not quite back to normal. I am back at work though so that's about as normal as it gets until I start back at the sword hall next week.

Pennsic was pretty awesome. I got a bit of fencing in. I got to help put together an Italian Villa. I got to cook for an appreciative audience. I fought in 2 war points. I lost in the Champions battle but it was an excellent boute. We lost in the flag battle but mostly because we were outnumbered (by 20%) and they had better tactics.

The weather was mostly hot with a bit of rain. Our pavillion survived and we were fairly comfortable in it but some kind of ceiling fan would be a great addition.

We managed to pack up mostly dry and were in the car before the hail started just as we were leaving for the Recreational Violence weekend.

I think the best part was that I got to see so many old and good friends, even if we only got a few short moments together.

The RV weekend was great. There were only 8 of us there so it was basically an instructors retreat but not having to worry about skillsets as we were teaching was pretty good. My class on messer went well. I'll have to write up an report overall.

We just finished a teleconference baronial meeting. Tired now.
Gentle Readers,

I'm home from pennsic. While I missed you all, I could only go back a few hundred in old posts so I may have missed something important. If there was something that happened in the last 2 weeks that you want me to know about, tell me now.

Pennsic was pretty fun, but surprisingly busy. The things I really had to do was surprisingly large:

  • I taught a class on Pallas Armata

  • I assisted in a couple of I.33 classes

  • I assisted with the Shoe making class

  • Ealdormere Court

  • Skraeling Althing court

  • Fight in the Rapier Champion's war point

  • Attend the Baronial Rapier and Armoured Champions tourneys

  • Fishing class with Lydia

  • Fingerloop braiding with lydia

  • Water battle with lydia

  • Cook for 40 at Chez D'Argent

  • look at chairs




Then there were the things I did because I wanted to:

  • 2 classes with Tom Lioni

  • 3 with Scott Wilson

  • Social obligations

  • Validating our heraldry (no conflicts, looks fantastic, is in the hands of the submission herald)

  • hanging out with lydia

  • hamocks

  • listen to the choir teaser



The things I wanted to do but didn't get to:

  • Attend non martial grownup classes

  • read

  • spend more money

  • cook more

  • sleep more



Things to improve for next year:

  • Try to limit the average daily circuits of pennsic to 2 not 4. Better planning will help.

  • Have 2 copies of the schedule

  • tell the bards that although singing while marching is good, and dramatic slowdowns while singing are good, the 2 together do not work well.

  • Tell the fencing commanders that while knowing how best to hit my opponent would be useful, knowing that he was left handed and favoured curved blades and oblique attacks would be more useful.

  • Eat more cold things and less fried things.

  • try to fence more than a single bout in the whole 2 weeks

  • take at least 1 picture



And now I'll do something that I didn't get to do at pennsic: take a nap.
Gentle Readers,

This year we went back to Pennsic for the first time in, I think, 7 years. It's changed a bit since we were there, but not much. The biggest change that I noticed was the replacement of Tiki torches with those solar powered night lights. That is a very welcome change. It meant that I was not blowing black snot out of my nose for 3 days after leaving.

The weather started off a little wet but the last week was lovely and I have a pealing nose to prove it.

The first few days were pretty rough mostly because I was recovering from incautious consumption of overly sweetened american road food. More and more we discover that it's just not worth trying to eat at a restaurant and instead should try and find a grocery store. Thankfully the pennsic food was actually pretty healthy for me.

Thanks to the rain, I had no dry footwear for a few days so I took the day long (it actually took about 3 days worth of work) shoe making class at Chez D'Argent. They are a very friendly bunch and we ended up falling in with them and spending a fair amount of time at their camp.

While I did do about 12 hours of Fiore classes with Scott from Darkwood, I only did pick-up fencing against 2 people. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but the classes were awesome. I'm sad I missed the Classes with Tom Leoni but he seems keen to be back next year. Apparently the parties are better than at ISMAC.

I fought in the Rapier war points. The first one was a cakewalk. I don't think I even crossed blade in the first fight, our opponents offering so little resistence. They tried a little harder in the second field battle, but to no avail. They elected not to try a third time.

The woods battle was great and I experienced very little ass-hattery. However, I finally have my very own blow calling story: I struck some gentleman in the waist and he called "Belt" and kept fighting. It was all the funnier due to the fact that I did not see a belt on his person, though it may have been under his tabbard.

Lydia had a great time and decided she likes belly dancing (but only if she jingles) and fishing (but needs a longer pole). She was pretty good but it was harder to keep on top of her eating than it is at home.

The courts were all efficient and fun and lots of people we knew got awards that they deserved. Our court especially.

Next year we'll need some camp borders as well as a firepit. We'll also need weather good enough to sit around the fire, but we won't be bringing that from here.
Gentle Readers,

We are leaving shortly for the commencement of our vacation: Birthday dinner with my now 97 year old aunt. Eventually we will make our way to Pennsic. See you two fabulous weeks.

Much love.

Me.

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