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Laminated Polearm Pic

Here it is, all glued up.

See a few entries back at New Rules = Refurb'ed Polearm for older details. The head is still not as heavy as I would like, but I don't want to increase the profile more. Of course it still needs tape, etc. Maybe some leather on the edge will give it the heft I want.

I think I'll name this one Lamentation.

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Next Event: Journey to the Crusades

Less than two weeks to a nice local event Journey to the Crusades. Crash space is available if you don't want to camp.

This year I get to fight. I hope Bryce lets us fight around and on the picnic tables like I allowed last year. I expect the turn out will be much better than last year too. I know there's already been some emphasis on the event as we talk to the more enthusiastic new people in Isenfir.

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Great Demo Yesterday

Yesterday's demo at the Triangle was one of the best I've attended. Sure we could have had more combatants (where were you guys?) but we had enough, and the crowds were constant without being overwhelming.

I don't recall a more receptive crowd ever. It seemed like a very large number of the spectators were actually there on purpose, to see what the SCA is. Good work Charles on getting the word out to this year's student mailing list.

And while plenty of students came out and many stayed for almost the whole time, there were lots of townspeople too. And very interestingly, I noticed that several different times, new people who had not arrived together ended up chatting with each other, sometimes for quite a while. And that is a really great sign, since that means the new people will connect with each other and not just the established members.

My camera went around, lots of people took pics. I'll post them tomorrow, since I left the camera at home today.

Thanks to everyone who came out and helped. I'm really going to be surprised if this demo and our other recruiting activities this month don't ultimately end us up with 6+ new members.

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Girard le Bourguignon

Girard joined the household at Tournament of Chivalry in the spring of 2008, after discussing and training with Corby since Pennsic 2007. He resides in Windmaster's Hill and fights sword and shield and polearm primarily.

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Ursus is Great! (Storvik Novice Pics)

This was a great exchange between Baron Ansel and me in the melees after the tourneys. I'm so glad Ursus caught some of it. Many other great pictures there too.

It was hot at Novice, but fun, even with the nosy wandering around of unsupervised children. Discussion of this after the fact had me coming up with the idea of temporary tattoos featuring a cartoon kid taking a lollipop from a cartoon vulture in a trench coat, with the text "I WAS LEFT UNSUPERVISED BY MY PARENTS" inscribed around it in flowery script. Those would be fun to hand out to kids. Deserving ones.

Congrats to Ru and Amos, winners of the Novice and Unbelted tournaments. And nice job Theron, who ran the tournaments quickly and on time. All marshals should aspire to such.

Also, it proved to be a warning about my conditioning and upcoming Pennsic. My back has kept me from much of the conditioning I intended to do this summer, and now I have two weeks to catch up since my back is better now. With such a fight-packed War planned, I need to improve my stamina! Must get to the gym, must aerobicize.

Right now though, I must burritocize.

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Tournament of Chivalry

A lovely weekend trip to Tournament of Chivalry. After much tooth gnashing last week, the number of knights in attendance proved to be more than adequate.

Friday night Roland was gracious enough to help me finish off Girard's squire belt, whose buckle end I was perhaps a bit overambitious in designing. But it came out fine, with help of several of Roland's fancy hammers.

Girard didn't have any last minute change of heart, so just before the fighting began he gave his fealty to me as my squire. Welcome to him and his lady! And special thanks to Evja, who came just for the ceremony on what turned out to be the last weekend before her husband Tom ships out to Iraq for another six months.

Img 1970 Girard's Pics here.
And my few pics here.

Thoughts on the tourney

If I recall from Genvieve, the Mistress of the Lists correctly, there were 86 fighters in the list. About 15 knights. My impression of the unbelts as a whole is that the top end was relatively well represented, the bottom end was there in force, and the mid range was oddly absent. Clearly, gas prices affected attendance, as the number of people who had traveled from below the Virginia state line could be counted on one hand.

Allowing the unbelts to choose between tourney fights, sparring passes and instructional time made for a more collegial atmosphere between the participants. I am undecided about whether this was a good thing. Certainly this was a less intense Tournament of Chivalry than any previous.
The "three passes" option also slowed down the line of those waiting to fight.

Great weapon skill is very lacking among our unbelted fighters.

Several people told me there were some good pics of me taken. I can't wait.

After the tourney we had a lovely party at Jen & Alan's, which thankfully I didn't have to cook for.
Countess Alexis made a surprise appearance, everyone had a good time, and I decided I needed a nap around 9:30. That turned in to a solid twelve hours of sleep.

Then a yucky drive home in the rain, and an afternoon of enforced laziness on the sofa, since all our projects are outdoor ones just now.

Much to my surprise, I'm not particularly sore today, and I only have one bruise: perfectly off target on the inside of my right wrist.

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But Can It Pass an Authorization?

If it wasn't born, does it have to be 18 to authorize?

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3 and 0 becomes... Oops!

3 and 5? Ah well, we had a good start to our run at Ice Castles this weekend. Philip, Adelric (formerly Hagan) and I formed the "Blowing the Dust Off" team, and roared out of the gate at Ice Castles to a 3-0 start.

Alas, we ended the day 3 and 5. The order of the day brought us to the toughest teams later, and Adelric's ankle made him less and less mobile as we went on. Still, several of those losing fights were near things. Of course, several of them were decisive losses.

The tourney was cramped, also well attended, which was frankly a pleasant surprise. Things could have run more smoothly, and it would have been smart of me to look closely at the schedule for the day and realize we did not need to be there by 11 in order to get into the main tourney--they ran a novice list ahead of it!

So much for sleeping in.

After the tourney the Chivalry held the field and I got some good fights from the unbelts. Much to my relief, my hand appears to be 99% returned to its pre-injury state. Hooray for that.

My ankle was oddly stiff the next day, but nothing to worry about, and my shoulder didn't bother me at all! Though I am sore sore sore from the first day of fighting in 3 months. No surprise there, I should be.

More practice needed! To the pell! To the gym! Well, maybe tomorrow.

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UVa has a World Expert on Ancient Warfare

He held a lecture last night, sponsored by the Classics Society. Apparently it was the best attended lecture they've ever held.

Ancient Warfare in Modern Cinema by Professor Lendon of the History Department was quite enjoyable. He made appropriate fun of 300, Spartacus and several other movies, while using them as a jumping off point to talk about ancient warfare.

Nevertheless, I wrote this down in the midst of his talk, just after he suggested that ancient duels were short, since Homer spent little time describing the actual duels.

It is a conceit of the literary to imagine that writers are more capable of describing than people are of acting.

To suggest that people of a given time were simple only because a writer describes them simply, puts all credit on the writer and all criticism on those he writes about.

Personally, I think that the warriors Homer described (assuming they were in any sense real people) were professional men who were expert at what they did, and as capable of complex martial art as any black belt.

Imagining that people weren't smart in ancient times is a failure of imagination on the order of believing that space aliens were necessary to build the pyramids. Just because you can't figure out how to build a pyramid without a backhoe doesn't mean that our ancestors could not.

Maybe Homer didn't like, or just wasn't very good at describing one on one fights.

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Much Gnashing of Teeth Saved

Turns out our decision for me to not fight in this weekend's crown tourney was filled with unintentional foresight.

Last Sunday morning, while trying to grab Max's collar, my fingers "popped" off of the collar and I felt something also pop in my hand. Apparently I've pulled a muscle and it is usually not a problem but infrequently quite painful.

One way to make it hurt like hell is to...try throwing a sword blow.

So, just as well. It doesn't seem to be getting better in any sort of hurry.

Go Jason. Go Gunther. Go Ansel!

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