Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fighting for the Crown

Wow! What a whirlwind couple of weeks!
As some of you know, I am a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. I have been for 24+ years now, and first picked up a "sword" about 2 years after I discovered the SCA. I fought off and on for about 6 years (whenever I could scrounge enough loaner armor to pull it off). After my wife and got together, I finally completed my own kit, and was able to fight more consistantly. I entered the Baroness' trials to become her Sergeant, and successfully completed her trials. I served as Sergeant to two Baronesses of Terra Pomaria over the course of the next 10 years; turning my belt in at the request of the exiting Baroness, she recalled ALL of the belts at that time. I chose not to re-test, due to having moved in the interim, and not knowing the incoming Baroness. Since then, I have been less than active in the fighting community, only having "suited up" about 6-7 times in the last 10 years. That being said.....
Finding out that September Crown was going to be held in Salem (or Terra Pomaria), was just too tempting for me. I decided to participate in Crown, for the very first time ever.
So, life immediately runs away with all of my free time. Work goes haywire, requiring overtime and server upgrades, boss requiring me to take classes through the community college to increase my knowledge level, local canton needing paperwork filed and reports taken care of, so on and so forth....no time to practice. But, everyone in the Canton, and in my family were really excited about me doing it. Then the other shoe dropped. Normally, the first round of an An Tirian Crown is done by challenges. The field is split into two lines, and the less experienced fighters challenge the Knight of their choice for the first round. They changed the format.... Eight erics, all entrants divided equally amongst them, round robin tournament. The top two fighters from each eric move on to "The Sweet Sixteen". Which is a double elimination tournament. Until eliminated to the final two, who fight the best two out of three. Well, add to the change in process, they cancelled the processional because of the rain (justifiably so), it certainly wasn't the Crown I "grew up with", LOL!

I did it anyway! I suited up, I crowded into the Kingdom Pavilion with the other 67 entrants, and their ladies, and the Heralds, and the list people, and Their Majesties, and their retinue, and the photographers, and anyone and everyone else who happened to be walking by when the downpour started! By the end of the invocation, both my legs were asleep and cramping (I felt like such a wuss!) ROFL! Needless to say, after planning for months to fight, not getting to go to any practices, and looking fondly at my armor from across the room, I fought about as well as I deserved! Meaning I had a blast, but lost all of my fights! hehehe
But, the good thing about it all is...... I enjoyed it so much, I'm thinking of doing it again at May Crown in Wastekeep! How could I not, when my Lady is the motivating and inspirational force in my life, and I strive to bring all the honor my meager efforts can bring to her; and my daughter gave me a wonderful favor in a ceremony the night before that brought the entire encampment to tears!! With these two ladies as my inspiration, I'll be king in no time!

Bye for now!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A long time ago....

Haha, no Star Wars post here! It's been quite awhile since I posted. Just have been so busy with work, creating a new SCA group, getting the kids ready for changing schools (since their current high school is closing in June)and all the niggling things keeping an normal adult busy. I've been so busy, I still have a Christmas tree sitting in in my living room! Still fully decorated! I know, I know, pretty pathetic! second week of March and still Christmas at my house.....

So, the lack of a local SCA group has been a difficult thing to mentally overcome for me. This is a hobby I have been doing for almost 24 years now. I found that to be a completely unacceptable thing, so I did what any insane person would do....I started one! We have been at it now for about 2 years, have a pretty good core membership of about 12-15 people, with another 10-12 infrequent participants. Last month (about 3 weeks ago actually) the closest group to us, The Barony of Three Mountains, gave us their official sponsorship and the go-ahead to proceed with our application for status. Those of you not familiar with the process, because part of the territory we wished to claim was actually part of the Barony, we had to have their agreement to concede the land to us for this purpose. With the concession, we now have the ability to file our paperwork asking for recognition by the Kingdom of An Tir, and the SCA, Inc. Board of Directors. Our biggest hurdle should now be getting our name and coat of arms through the registration process. I am optimistically hoping for recognition of Incipient status at July Coronation in Three Mountains (Portland, OR for the SCA challenged). We'll see how it goes!

Whehw! I wrote that in March, and never got it to a point I felt it was ready to post. A lot of changes since then, (the Christmas tree has migrated to the end of the driveway!) but the big one is the group came together! We pushed all of our paperwork, submitted our name and device, and we were officially recognized at July Coronation as the Incipient Canton of HauksgarĂ°r, in the Barony of Three Mountains! The group is amazing! They have such enthusiasm for our Canton, and take such joy in playing, that it is a pleasure to lead. I wish I had 10 more of them!! LOL
We have had such good support from the other groups in the area, and now we are a real SCA group! Hopefully we can start to do some advertising now, and get some word of mouth out that we are here! Then our membership base can grow, and we can have some larger events. In the meantime, we will continue to camp a a group at other events, have our quarterly potluck type events, and grow.
Now, the Heralds have decided that they like our name, but not our device. Or at least the proportions and the blazon for the device. We've had an old college friend take a look at it, because he has some talent for heraldry. The revised device looks even cooler than the original (which I didn't pick, btw; I voted for a different one! LOL) This is what the revision looks like....Much better I think!
Well, I gotta save something for the next post! See all of you again, much sooner!

til next time!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Well, it's been over a month since I've posted. Sorry for any of you out there on the interwebs trying to follow along! I've just been either very busy, or very sick for most of that time! But, today, I am feeling a little better, inspite of being very sick yesterday. Still a little under the weather, but better.
Went a viking Saturday! I have a group of friends I play with from time-to-time, they call themselves the Vanir-lag. They have been playing at being Vikings (much like the SCA, but Norse)for around 25 years or so now. They have a wonderful woman who fell in love with the group and invited them to have events on her property. So, for the last 5-6 years, they've been building a "Viking Village" on her property. Talk about fun! They've built an absolutely gorgeeous sweat-lodge: Made from recycled lumber from an old cedar fence! They have a forge on site to make ironwork, a cooking hearth with a hand made clay and straw oven they bake bread in, . They're building a kitchen area that they can use year after year, have an archery range and this year, they've built a treadle lathe! Just an amazing advancement for a bunch of part-time amateurs!

Til next time!

Monday, September 22, 2008

High School Years

What is it about time, that makes things less harsh? Many of us looked back on our "High School Years" as vicious nasty years filled with cruelty from others and pain inflicted by thoughtless, arrogant, little people. Others of us look back on those years as a magical time, filled with friendships, wonder and discovery. I think most of us see it as a middle ground... somewhere between the two extremes. Rarely thinking of our own roles in causing discomfort to others, but remembering the things that effected each of us individually.
I remember my High School Years as an experience to be endured. I had a couple of friends, some closer than others, but I certainly never considered myself to be one of the popular kids. I was never comfortable hanging out in "Senior Corner" with the more socially adept kids. I went to a party or two, but could never let my guard down enough to really bond with anyone. I was certainly not "socially adept", or popular by any stretch of my imagination. In spite of that, as I approach the 25th year out of that world, I look back with nostalgia. A simpler time of life (not if you ask my two 9th graders!). When the most important thing was trying to get a girl to like you, wondering if there was going to be a pop-quiz in math, hoping to get an invitation to a party you had heard about indirectly.
It wasn't until I got to college, away from the expectations and pressures of the kids I had gone to school with for 12 years straight, to realize I was a pretty cool guy. I was popular, I dated cheerleaders, I went out for sports, I was a disc jockey on the radio, I went to parties, I HAD parties, and I made friends...LOTS of friends! So, why is it that I look back on high school and remember the pain, but I remember the simple things more fondly? Why do I see those days of yester-year and wonder what those people are doing? Granted, a few of them, I couldn't care less about...the bullies who belittled everyone who wasn't as strong, or outgoing. But it's the other ones; I guess it's the followers I wonder about. The ones who didn't realize they were followers; who acted bad toward you because they were afraid to NOT be one of the popular kids. The ones who were subconciously pigeon-holed by the same expectations and pressures I was, just different pigeon-holes...What kind of human beings did they turn into?
I'm hoping that they're the ones who come to the 25 year reunion, so I can see how they've matured. And I guess, to be honest with myself, so they can see me too. Hoping they've seen what @sses they were, and overcome it. Maybe realize what I did a long time ago, I'm a good person to know. And if they don't, well, I guess there's always my college friends! Eh?! ROFL
What the hell, I'm nostalgic and looking forward to it all!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Whew! A full weekend!

What a frenetic weekend! Friday, I put the finishing touches on a computer project for work, ran home for the kids who had a volleyball game and a football game to play in (both games running simultaneously, at the same school!) I got to the games late because there was a big fire that had closed both lanes of I-84!
So, I had to drive home on a cram-packed Hwy-14; then, after the games, out to dinner for a celebratory pizza. Saturday, a run into Portland to deposit my paycheck (a drawback to living in "the beautiful country", is that there are very few banks out here!) A grocery shopping trip, dinner out with my beautiful wife, then back home to rest up for Sunday. Sunday, another trip into Portland, to the mighty pilgrammage destination for all things homey.....IKEA! Bought loft beds for the Son and the Daughter. Then to Walmart for computer desks and bookshelves. Back home, to ride the kids to get their rooms picked up, so I could put the beds together. Finally finished the assembly at about 9:30 last night. I still have the desks and bookshelves to do, but I see those as after work projects this week. Tonight is SCA fighter practice across the river, tomorrow is a Baronial Council meeting to try and get our new Shire off the ground officially, and I think that somewhere in this week, I have another volleyball or football game to attend! WHEW! I'm tired just typing it out!

Somewhere in the next week or two, I need to come up with $300 to have the carbs on the CB900 rebuilt! But, the Van is sold and gone, my project was approved by the boss, the kids played awesome in their games, the pizza was good, the fire was put out, the check deposited, IKEA was conquered, my wife is still beautiful, and the beds are built! Yay me!!

Love you all!
'til next time...

(This was too cool to NOT share!)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Movies From my Childhood....

The one movie I can remember seeing in the theater as a teenager was Heavy Metal. 1981 (for some reason I had remembered it as coming out earlier). Animated or not, it was one of the coolest things I had ever seen! AND, it had "NEKKID WIMMIN" in it!
"A sweeping story of the battle of good against evil is told through an anthology of short animated films about a glowing green orb (the Loc-Nar) that is the personification of ultimate evil in the universe. Based loosely on the French magazine "Heavy Metal." -Christopher E. Meadows" - per IMDB. It was shown as a double feature (how many of us remember when you could see two movies for the price of one) with another animated movie called American Pop.
"American Pop" is the animated story of a very talented and troubled family starting with 19th century Russia and moving through several generations of musicians. The film covers American music from the pre-jazz age through soul, '50s rock, drug-laden psychadelia, and punk, finally ending with the onset of new wave in the early 1980s.--IMDB says.
I certainly don't remember that much about it, in fact it took me the better part of 25 years for the name of the movie to resurface in my head! (I don't think it had any "Nekkid Wimmin" in it).
Right after that, they closed the movie theater in our town. A town of 3500 people. This was frustrating, because the next closest movie theater was over 12 miles away, in another town. My parents certainly wouldn't allow us to travel to the next town over to see a movie. Now, the TRULY frustrating thing was that they re-opened the theater the next year for a movie that, to this day, I have refused to see based on the greed of that theater owner. He opened the showhouse for 1 week to show the "phenom" movie, E.T. The crowds went 4 blocks down the street! Then, right after, they closed again. I think they eventually sold the place and it was re-opened for a couple of years. Now the building is gone.
Heavy Metal became one of my favorite movies of all time. I was fortunate enough when I went to college to date the gal who was the projectionist for the "student movie night" every week, so when they movie showed up at the college in the winter of 1985, I got to see the show, like 6 times. It was many years before I got to see it again, because of licensing issues and music rights. You can bet that as soon as it became available on VHS, I bought it (that week!). Anyway, all this came about becasue I bought a new movie last week...another one from my youth, Wizards. It came out in 1977, was originally supposed to be called War Wizards, but George Lucas pleaded with Ralph Bakshi to change the name because Star Wars was coming out that same year, and he didn't want to share such similar names. I didn't see Wizards until I got to college in the mid 80's, the same time I discovered the SCA, Elfquest, Monty Python, and Bagels with Cream Cheese on them! It brought back many memories of a day past and a time not forgotten. Yay for yesterday!
Love you all.
Until next time!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Your results:
You are Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)

Never pictured myself as the "Mal" type...always thought I was more like Jayne, except for the sell out on your friends thing! ('course, come to think of it, I don't think he ever ACTUALLY sold them out...he just talked it up).

Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)
Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)
Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)
Wash (Ship Pilot)
Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)
River (Stowaway)
Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
Derrial Book (Shepherd)
Inara Serra (Companion)
A Reaver (Cannibal)
Honest and a defender of the innocent.
You sometimes make mistakes in judgment
but you are generally good and
would protect your crew from harm.

Click here to take the Serenity Personality Quiz