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Time for New Gear

I'm very interested in getting back to a pair of vambraces that look more like these, which are one set back.

I stopped using them because they didn't fit quite right. They weren't protective enough around the points of the elbow, especially on the inside. So I made the ones I have now.

Sadly, these are not as pretty, especially now that they have aged and darkened. I really like the light yellowish tan color that I get from using Fiebing's  yellow, but it just does not stay that color over time. It gets darker and darker as it absorbs sweat. For example, here is my current gorget when new.

It currently looks almost black. This reminds me that I also need to make a new gorget. And, while I'm at it, I might as well make it all match and do up a new pair of gaiters. The current ones are still perfectly serviceable, which is amazing since I'm damn certain they were made around 1994, if not earlier. I recall the original motivation for making them was that Kyle had a tendency to hit low when we practiced back at Holliday Elementary!

Here they are at Thorbrandr's coronation, 1994, looking very new.
Time to design! And get into the shop.

One of my other problems with the pretty vambraces is that the octofoil washers seen here were painted gold, not brass, so they scuffed and then rusted. They also had the alarming tendency, if hit just right, to bend up, presenting my opponents with a nice little steel cutting edge. Bad.

So if anyone knows of a reasonable source for pretty, durable brass or bronze stud decorations please let me know. This more or less leaves out every SCA merchant source, because a buck or two each is not reasonable. I probably need 60 of them, if I'm going to use them on my gorget, half gauntlet, gauntlet cuffs, vambraces and gaiters.

corby's picture

New Work Out

My new lj friend and weightlifting freak pinkminx has designed a work out regimen for me. I tried it yesterday for the first time.

Since I'm coming off a long break that included sacro-iliac problems and a pulled abdominal oblique that refuses to actually finish healing, I'm taking it very slowly.

The AFC at UVa is a great facility, but apparently Wednesday nights are popular, even back in the free weight room where the huge guys work out.

Yesterday, this was the plan and how I did, after the warm up bike ride to the Aquatic and Fitness Center.

5 x 5 squats with a bar.
I had never done free squats before, so even though I felt silly, I just did them with the bar. Even the last set was easy, but still, I feel it in my quads today.

3 x 5 deadlifts with a bar.
These were very straightforward and also easy. So ridiculously easy that after one set with the bar, I threw 20 lbs. on it. Still stupidly easy, but I realize the importance of starting slowly as I learn proper technique.

3 x 15 push ups.
These nearly kicked my ass. The first set of 15 was easy. The third was nearly not finished.

5 x 5 horizontal pull-ups or five sets of as many regular chin-ups or pull-ups you can crank out.
These did kick my ass. The AFC is strangely lacking in enough pull up spots, and while I knew how to arrange equipment to do horizontal pull ups, most of the gear was in constant use. So I did 6/5/5 pull/chin ups, and then the inverted bench press came open long enough for me to finish with 2 sets of 15 horizontal pull ups.

At this point I realized I had not looked up the back hyperextensions, so I went and got a hot tub soak for 15 minutes. Then I rode my bike back to my car, home, dinner, and intent to finish:

3 x 15 back hyperextensions.
Fail. I don't have the equipment necessary to do these at home.

3 x  5/15 of ab exercise of choice. "Planks" were recommended.
I tried these. My oblique abdominal complained after 2 and made me stop at three. I need to figure out another way to exercise my abs.

After Effects
I'm moderately sore today, in a way that I didn't expect. Normally I get sore two days out from a workout. Maybe that means I'll be too stiff to move tomorrow.

Practice tonight should be interesting! And Friday's work out is more intense. Oh crap--The AFC is closed this Friday! Spring break starts. Must make do with weights at home.

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corby's picture

The Best, Easiest Things To Avoid or Remove from your SCA Kit

This list will expand over time and will be available at . I think of these things, know I should write them down, and then forget. Now it is here, and I'll come back to it as other things resurface in my mind.

The idea here is to note the things that 1) too many people do, 2) Are easy or cheap to change or avoid, 3) are in no way medieval. Feel free to chime in!

  • Ring Belts. I've never seen an example of one of these in period. Belts have real buckles.
  • T shirts whose collars are visible under your tunic. Get an undertunic, or a v neck t if you must.
  • Tankard Holders. These are from the 1970's Renn Faire Period.
  • More than 2 favors on your belt. Some people look like rag merchants from so many.
corby's picture

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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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.

corby's picture

Just the Thing for Pennsic?

Perhaps one of these would be better in the Great Pumpkin II?

Cool Tool: Aladdin Lamps

If Thjora likes them, I might get one for our tent. Or considering last night's power outage, for around the house!

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Hard to be Republican These Days

But here's some voter guidance!

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For all you Knitter/Baker/Marzipan Fans

VeganYumYum » Knit Night Cupcakes
via Boing Boing, the bestest web site in the world.

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New Dog Toy Polearm Cross Guard

IMG_3313.JPG  Here's Max helping to show off my new find, an "Orka" brand dog toy that may serve well as a cross guard or mace head. This is the largest size they make. It cost $12 at Target.  As made, its openings are too small to fit legal rattan through.  IMG_3318.JPG  However, cutting off about half an inch of an end, there's now a 1 1/4" hole all the way through to the other end, which also needs to be cut off. First I used a pocket knife to make the initial cut, then I used leather shears which worked even better. After that I remembered I have a band saw, and used that for the second cut. The rubber tries to bind the blade, but that's the best way to cut it. Just go slow.  IMG_3319.JPG  This is as far down the rattan as I could get it without some sort of lubricant, at least with any hope of getting it off again. It is  quite snug but I think a bit of water will allow me to move it where I want. Placed here, it really makes me want to hit something with it. But these points are way too stiff to use as is for a striking surface.  My initial plan is to use them as cross guards at the bottom of the blade.  I'll have this ready to try for Tournament of Chivalry this weekend. Hey I just found that Amazon sells these cheaper than Target or PetSmart.  That link takes you to the thrusting tip.   This one takes you to the cross guard/mace head.

corby's picture

New Dog Toy Thrusting Tip

dog toy thrusting tip
This is something Thjora discovered at Target. It's a dog toy but makes a great butt spike thrusting tip. It has a bit of heft to it, folds over without pinching, and probably works really well to move shield edges and such around. Roland, the Atlantian Earl Marshal, has approved this for use.

I attached mine with contact cement.

A visit to my local target today proved fruitless. While Thjora got them for about $4 each, that was apparently the sale price on the pink ones. At PetSmart today, I paid $12 for one. Which is still a deal compared to the SCA specific molded thrusting tips.

I also picked up another dog toy that looks like a giant blue rubber caltrop, which I plan to mount as an X bar crossguard if I can make it fit. No pictures of that yet.

Hey I just found that Amazon sells these cheaper than Target or PetSmart.

More pictures of the thrusting tip below.

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