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Bacon Wars

I risked the weather, and ended up having a great time at the event. Philip was kind enough to drive, and we had no trouble at all getting to the site, deep in the Chesapeake Bay hinterlands, reminiscent of the old South. In fact we were pretty early. It's probably a sign of how taken with the day that I was, that I didn't find any time to pull out my camera and take any pictures.

Was great to see people (though I'm a little surprised at how low the attendance was) and fighting was pretty good. I didn't experience any problems anyway, but Philip, Chris and I focused on guarding a flank, so never really interacted with the cart itself. Care Mear pretty handily defeated Tir Y don in the majority of the melees, securing their victory for the day.
After that Came the Cross and Lily tournament, and I'm happily surprised to reveal that fighting through a pretty interesting field, I ended up finishing second overall for the day. Definitely my best fight for the day was a tough one versus his Majesty, which I managed to win, surprising even myself.
My newly re-gloved gauntlets barely require any adjustment, all my weapons held up, I didn't forget anything, so all in all local the day I win.
But damn, I'm going to be sore tomorrow.

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Defining "Middle Aged"

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WANT

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SilentStageGallery.com [From “Raven” Hand-Embellished Art Print by Mathew Curran ]

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Defending the Gate: All over now but for the groaning

I've had a hot shower and a delicious meal from Barbecue Exchange in Gordonsville on the way home. I've got a glass of wine and a quiet evening, so here's a recap of the day.

I was surprisingly successful at putting all my gear together, considering the number of times I've loaned pieces out since I last fought--which was Pennsic. I don't recommend seven months off and then fighting hard for four hours. Tomorrow won't be fun, but I'm really going to hate Monday.
After rendezvousing with Philip along the way and stocking up on Girl Scout cookies, we made it to the site in typical SCA time: 30 minutes late. But the fighting hadn't started yet. I didn't finish arming in time for the first melee, but only because my fighting pants had lost their drawstring and getting a new one in them took an embarrassing amount of time.
But before the arming up mess, I had a chance to place my Jakks Action Cam at the top of the gate, with Turgeis' kind permission. Having now looked at the footage, it isn't great, but I'll cut a few bits together later and post them to my youtube channel.
Turning on the camera. With my polearm.
As ever, the Gate itself was a centerpiece, the thing that makes the fighting at this event unique. I missed the last year or two, so seeing the gate in its current incarnation was a treat. In the past it was rarely up to the hard use it got, but this gate is, as the builders proudly proclaimed, quite over engineered. There wasn't even a wobble this year. The worst thing that happened with it was my putting my backup dagger and mace on top, only to come back for them later and discover they had fallen inside, where they could not be reached before taking the gate apart.
Luckily it wasn't much of a backup weapon day.
On one attack of the gate defenders, I had a spear & ended up tangling with a shield man, using the haft to pin his arm as I maneuvered closer. Ultimately I ended up completely inverting the spear to face thrust him. But my favorite moment was in the three-sided open melee with the gate as the victory condition. I got behind the Wolfshaven team guys and commandeered them, ordering their remaining forces forward into the warm embrace of my teammates.
In one of the open field battles I misjudged the range of a Galacian warhammer and got hit right off the bat right on the top of my flat helmet. Hardest blow I've been hit with in years. Perhaps the power of the blow was in part due to my having stolen two spears from the fellow earlier in the day.
My brother Justus was on fire today, easily earning a Shark's Tooth from His Majesty.
With the siren call of barbecue to urge us, we took off just as court started, like two dumb stickjocks. Many thanks to Turgeis and Sunniva who offered us fabulous hospitality the moment we arrived, and to everyone who made the event work.
My last thoughts? I should fight more. Unusual melees are fun. Robear's spear tip works great. Peanut Butter Patties are surprisingly good with cheap box burgundy. And I should be in bed.
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Whew. What a Weekend

I'm finally back at work after a whole holiday weekend away from home.  Sapphire Joust was great, though I didn't get to fight and I've discovered I don't much like being Marshal in Charge of Anything at big events. Thankfully no marshal related problems. Congrats to Joscelyn for winning the Sapphire Prize!  Wish I had bothered to pull my camera out for some pictures. 

Special thanks to Maggie S, who kept me hydrated on the field, and to Blackspear for dinner Saturday night. Extra bonus: Snagged a hotel room bed that same evening! Hooray Gen's generosity! 

With the double whammy of no fighting at Sapphire and limited or no attendance at Pennsic, I find my motivation for making new armor (see my entry a few back) or fighting a bit lacking. And being sick last week didn't help. But this week it is time to get back into the gym!

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Greybeard Tourney

If it was held today, I'd be able to enter!

Damn kids, get off of my eric!
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How To Do It

Time: Midnight.

Wine: Three glasses through the evening. And a cider.
Dinner: Stir fry from scratch for 4.
Tire Pressure: Checked & fixed.
Gear: Packed.
Free space: Nearly none.
Difficulty with new, odd shaped shield: None.
Harsh words spoken: Zero.
Gorgeous blondes on that sofa nearby: One.
Time for a shower and bed?: YES
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Off to War!

Packing has gone well, though of course the last bit is always the test of that. But right now there seems to be plenty of room for the one cooler, my clothes, the new Justus shield and the cart. And that's about all that's left!

Kit hasn't been sleeping well, so in an effort to let her get some rest we are not getting out of town at dawn. Maybe dawn:30.
As ever, there are projects undone, or things that must be finished at the war. But not so bad. And my back is better than it was either of the last two years. Hooray for that!
Weather reports look reasonable. Here's hoping for a great war! I'll be making occasional posts to my twitter account throughout Pennsic.
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New Deep Curved Shield by Justus

Here's the new shield! Just lacking some drying time and a couple crows.

new Shield
More pictures at this link. Yes, they may look sideways for now, that should clear up.
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Pennsic Prep DOES Get Easier

I first went to Pennsic XVI, I think. Brad Freeman and I realized we could go on Tuesday of what was then a one week event, I made some phone calls and got camping space. We went up Thursday in his Civic, which wasn't terribly loaded. But then neither of us had armor, we only had a backpacking tent. And probably 3 sets of garb between us. No, we didn't share. 

Since then, Pennsic prep has become more epic. But I've noticed that over the past few years, things have settled down. (Not so much for Thjora, who is sewing like a fiend for Her Highness, but that's not related to our camp prep.) We now haul approximately 17 times as much stuff, but it is more or less the same stuff that we've been hauling for five or more years. So we know where it goes, how it fits, and most importantly, we already have it. We aren't hustling to make it before the War.
Which is, I suppose, my way of saying: Take heart and keep at it. Pennsic does get easier after, oh, ten tries or so. Though I wonder if I'll be able to figure out how to pack if we get a new vehicle. That Ranger has been to Pennsic every year since 1993!
Packed Ranger
That said, there are always things that need repair or replacement before Pennsic. Here's my current list:
  • Finish my new, pretty evil polearm. I need a name for it too!
  • Refurbish my vambraces--which pair depends on whether I can find the old, pretty right arm one. Where is it?!
  • Hang and cover and paint my new Justus Ultra-Curved 13th Century Heater, which I should see for the first time tonight!
  • Recover the small aluminum shield.
  • Make a scabbard and belt for my new rattan cross hilted sword. Philip is making the cross hilt.
  • Tighten up my gauntlet lacings.
  • Repad the insides of my plastic knees.
  • Final strap and reinforce work on Kit's portmanteau

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