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Smile for Your Close Up

And soon a new camail for it!

Thanks Caleb!

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Soon Now-Update: I Have It!

After 14 years with the old helm, I can almost taste this new one.

Thanks so much to Caleb for agreeing to do it, and to Osprey for sending me the pic.

Obviously this is not done yet. I think Caleb is adding the backplate today, which will have holes for a camail attachment. And then there is brass work to add.

14 gauge stainless, an eight of an inch narrower. The breaths are much larger, so breathing and seeing and drinking should be easier.

I am probably getting a titanium welded flat link camail for it.


update:The helmet arrived today, and it is beautiful, fits right, and won't ever rust! I've got a second hand titanium camail from Knut coming for it. Time to get busy making that portmanteau I'm trading it for.

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Anybody Hungry?

We've got enough food left over to feed about 20 people.

Who knew 26 people can't manage to eat two 20 pound turkeys?

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Thanksgiving Menu

I'm not a huge believer in assigning things for people to bring to a pot luck. There are enough good cooks coming Thursday that I don't have to worry about 16 people bringing Pepperidge farm cookies.

Still, this time around is our biggest Thanksgiving ever, and possibly the most people I've ever tried to feed for a sit down dinner. And because I always forget some detail, it seems wise to start some sort of list. My major concern is with someone planning to bring something which requires significant stove or oven time, as that is at a premium. Please check with me about such things! I expect the smoker, grill, ovens and cooktop to all be in demand!


  • The Biggest Smoked Whole Turkey That Fits on My Smoker
  • Some Other Turkey, Possibly Deboned Whole, not Smoked.
  • Some Very Large Spinach Stuffed Turkey Breast on the Grill
  • Jen's Ham or Other Main Dish that Looked Good at Costco
  • Adam's Fancy-Schmancy Wild Caught Salmon on the Grill Last Minute
  • Brian & Carrie's Mystery Crockpot Meatballs
  • Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes and Apples
  • Twenty Freakin' Pounds of Mashed Purple Potatoes
  • Blue Cheese Cabbage Slaw
  • Vinegar-Honey Glazed Carrots
  • Corn off the Cob by Special Request
  • Catherine's Rolls
  • Catherine's Cranberry Salad that Might Belong Below
  • Thjora's Pumpkin and maybe other Flavor Pies
  • Cosette's Big Pans of Artery Clogging Cheesecake or Similar
  • Evja's Applesauce Cake?

Things We Need

  • Cornbread
  • veggie snack plate
  • Good bread

Watch this space for changes, updates and additions.

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Weirdest Helm Pic Ever

This is from Darkwood Armory's shop, last week.

Boring pic, but I'm excited! Caleb is coming up on Friday to crash with us prior to Holiday Faire, and he thinks he'll have the new helm with him.

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A Busy Non-Crown Weekend

And there's more, much more to do today and tomorrow. I woke up tired!

Gardeners, please save me every non-hosta plant you don't want. I want them.

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That Thanksgiving Thing

Once again, it's time to arrange my favorite way to spend Thanksgiving: By hosting a bunch of our close and new friends for Way Too Much Food.

Traditional activities: I smoke a turkey and go on a last minute mad scramble for some esoteric food ingredient I thought would be easy to find, Thjora does some amazing pies, Adam brings wild caught pacific salmon (at least I hope this is a tradition now!), Helga oversees the purple mashed potatoes, and we completely avoid football. New in the mix this year: four player Wii marathons! Bring your controllers.

If you've ever been before, or been invited before, you're invited again. If you're someone we talk to but haven't invited before, you're invited.

Thjora doesn't like me calling this the "Little Lost Lambs" Thanksgiving, and it really has mutated from that into something else. But if you read this blog and are in the approximate area and have nowhere else to go for Thanksgiving, well, drop me a line. Odds are, you're welcome. Kids are welcome, just keep in mind that our house is slightly non-kid safe. Dinner could be record breaking if all invitees come.

This year, we will certainly be showing off our new garage, probably the newly-paneled rec room, and maybe my new helmet!. Unlike last year, we have no plan to tear out the kitchen on Friday. We still plan to, just not soon.

Other merriment will take place over the weekend, possibly including the often-planned, never realized bonfire, fight practice and maybe a wine tasting. So even if you must have overcooked green beans at grandma's house, come on over the bridge to our place for the rest of the weekend!

Please RSVP to both me and Thjora. The spare rooms are sort of first come first serve, but my in-laws get dibs. They rarely stay over though.

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Impressive Organization on Grounds at UVa

UVa is a conservative school. Ask Anastasia, who was a TA here. These are, to a great extent, the children of privilege, power and pedigree.

Walking (say it with me) the mile from my car to my office this morning, I passed 3 different moving Free Ride to Vote for Obama vans. Every sidewalk was chalked up with reminder after reminder to vote today for Obama. Posters were up on every kiosk. A pro-Obama student with a signboard was in front of every major building, ready to help anyone get to the polls.

On that mile long walk, the entire evidence of the McCain GOTV effort was one white chalk "N" added in front of a single instance of the word "OBAMA" chalked on a walkway.

Update: With a little bit of luck, Tom Perriello will have UVa students, staff and faculty to thank for his seat as the VA 5th District congressman! He's currently down by a few hundred votes--0.36%, so there will be a recount. I'm unclear about whether the absentee and provisional ballots have been cast yet, either. I imagine that absentee will break for Perriello. Could be wrong about that.

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Get Ready

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