Corby Recommends

All the stuff Corby likes that you can get for money.
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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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Hot Water At Pennsic: Is This Better than Our Current Camp Tech?

This Portable Tankless Water Heater is much smaller, uses the same propane tanks, and is actually designed to do what most Pennsic camps want it to do, unlike a big tank water heater.

I'm not suggesting we get rid of what we have that works, but maybe other camps who are revising or creating their shower system could use something like this. If we didn't have a solution already, this would seem a no brainer.

Then again, is it worth the cost to stop having to haul that big thing around? The owners (Roland and Theo, I think) might be able to sell the old tank for more than one of these costs!

On the other hand, we might need three of them: one for each shower, and one for the sink. Other camps might need less.

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I just signed up for Twitter as sircorby.

Theoretically, this will automatically be posted to my livejournal, if not

I'll use this for major events of the day at the war, like "arrived without trauma or drama," "really stupid hot," "raining tomcats and hoehandles," "broke my femur in the bridge battle," "garlic chicken bread bowl for lunch," "Atlantia kicked everyone's ass," "left site for beer and the 1:15 Dark Knight in Butler," and so on.

Hell, that could almost be my whole war right there. Hopefully not the femur stuff.

Oh, and PACKING IS DONE!!!!!!!

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Pennsic Prep and the Best Shield in the World

To calm Isabel and hopefully not annoy Thjora, I thought I'd mention that my Pennsic prep has gone pretty smoothly. Last night I painted the gold onto the Best Shield in the World, and also finished covering the cute little heavy T6 shield blank Alan gave me. (Don't be too shocked: First, it is the heaviest piece of T6 I've ever seen, and second, it is probably just going to be a loaner.) Philip was over this weekend and used his amazing helicopter repair skills to properly re-fiberglas the Best Shield. Here's a pic of it after repair and before recovering.

This shield is two years old. I'd thought it was three. But in any case, it has proven to be remarkably durable. Yes, I wish its shape was slightly different, and I wish it was slightly smaller. Those are my errors, not Reynard's! He does amazing work, and I hope I'll always be fighting with one of his shields. Rigid shields have spoiled me. When I had to use my old aluminum one this past spring, I hated it. So wobbly when it gets hit.

Tonight, hopefully Lewis is coming over to help with reapplication of the crows, and I'll get the green chief painted.

Perhaps we'll debate what to paint on the new little T6er too. Otherwise, things remaining undone that must be done before we leave:

  1. Tie new loops for the tent. No biggie.
  2. Paint war standard poles. An hour or so.
  3. Old Camail attached to Phrygian Helm. Could wait 'til the war.
  4. Reattach camail to demi-helm. Ditto.
  5. Print out SCA biz cards for Thjora and me. Done shortly. Yay for a slack job.
  6. Shopping, because Thjora has enough to do.
  7. Put some plants in the ground.
  8. Air in the cart tires.
  9. Pack

It Will Be Done.

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What I'm Reading and Want to Read

This started out as a comment on Clare's LJ, but then I realized it would be worth noting here.

Currently reading:

"Who Really Runs The World?: The War Between Globalization and Democracy" (Thom Burnett, Alex Games)
After that, I'd like to chew through this, which came highly recommended by stringmonkey:

"Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA" (Tim Weiner)
And for fun, sometime this summer I'd like to finally get around to this, which I have somehow missed all these years. Apparently it is a fundamental part of my SF education:

"Ender's Game" (Orson Scott Card)

What are you reading? What do you want to read this summer?

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New New Knees for Armored Combat

Sometime at Sapphire Joust, my right Alpinestars Bionic Knee Guard cracked in two places. It didn't break enough to immediately lose protective integrity, but it will if I keep using it. I think this comes from fighting on my knees. Not bad for two years use, I suppose, especially since they aren't designed for what we use them for! At University I found out that both of Turgeis' have cracked too. He's got more weight on him, so more stress on the knees when he's legged.
So I set out to buy a new pair. But I looked around first, especially because I knew I wouldn't get them from the Motorcycle Superstore again.

Answer alpha knee guards for armored combatI found the Answer Alpha Knee Guard and it is better than the Alpinestars in all but one way. Generally heavier duty, it has real kinda-Chicago screws holding the upper and lower together. This is better than the odd proprietary aluminum pivot and c-pin on the Alpinestars. The Answers also have two pivots on each side of the knee for better articulation. The knee cop is made of nylon and the upper and lower are polycarbonate, all heavier than the Alpinestars.

They're bigger, so should offer more protection, though most of that protection is on the shin where I already wear something. But they could be a shinsaver for anyone who doesn't already wear a greave or gaiter.

The straps are more adjustable and have physical snaps into the body of the upper and lower, so they should stay in place better.

Very importantly, they are much more comfortable when kneeling. This was the biggest drawback to the Alpinestars.

Oh, and they're cheaper than the Alpinestars by at least $10, if not $20!

The only thing that was better about the Alpinestars is that they were a little deeper. I need to add a small piece of leather or plastic to protect the top of my fibula on the outside of my calf just below the knee. This also means that mesomorphs like Turgeis may not fit into these without other additions. also shipped these in record time, a full week or more faster than Motorcycle Superstore. The guy on the phone was helpful enough to steer me to the Answer knee guards after I initially wanted a pair of Reflex Knee/Shin Guards, which are exactly the same and the same price, but out of stock. Ok, they're different colors. You can also get those Answer Knees at Amazon.

If you buy some based on my recommendation, you must promise me that I'll never see them visible during a tournament. Put them under your damn pants!

Folding Cart

Corby can you repost your folding cart info. I can't seem to find it anywhere.


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If anyone out there uses Skype, drop me an email with your ID.
Or find me online at removethisMikeDawson-in-VA.
I'm usually logged in to Skype at work, sometimes at home.

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I Think I Need One of These

From One Horse Shy

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The Squires' Friend: Stainless Steel Foldit Folding Cart

I picked up this stainless steel Fold-It cart at Costco sometime around 1995, just after we bought our first house.  It has also been to every Pennsic since then. Susanna and I took it on the first Quest of the Dragon's Egg and Colin and I took it on the second. It has hauled uncountable bags of ice over 12 years. It comes out to the field for almost every battle, practice and tourney at the war. It won't win any A&S competitions and we hide it behind the arming tent so it doesn't detract from the appearance of camp, but it pulls easier than any period wooden cart and it folds small enough that I can jam it into the back of the truck after everything else is packed. That's a lifesaver, because sometimes I forget it until everything else is already loaded!  I have not been gentle with this cart, but repairs to it have been a matter of replacing blown rivets with heavier bolts.  The current model has black wheels, which I suppose is a little better appearance than the electric blue ones on ours.  Oh yeah, it is also quite handy around the yard at home.  Over the years several people have asked me where I got mine. I know Finn and Elizabeth have one, and I see more and more of them at the war every year. Costco doesn't carry them regularly, but you can buy them now on Amazon for about $200. That's right around what I paid for mine in 1995! Get one this year and you'll still have it to pack into your flying car for Pennsic 48 in 2019.

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