22 Jul
2014

The most wonderful time of the year!

Image7As the happy time of the year draws nigh and all thoughts and dreams turn to Pennsic, I find myself doing the most traditional activities of the season. I can see from watching my social media feeds that many of us are also celebrating this time of year in the same fashion, that is, staying up late into the night trying to finish that last piece of garb, or building a new shower.

If you’re taking a break from those last minute boot repairs or stitching the canvas of your pavilion back together, let me regale you with a tale from the book of great Pennsic tales of the past. Read More »

15 Jul
2014

The Future of Honorable Combat

futureWhat makes our sport different than nearly every other martial art is that it is the recipient who must call a shot “good”.

Of course, this isn’t without it’s downside. In theory, someone could decided to “never” take a hit. In a recent conversation with a friend, I was asked if I thought modern equipment such as body sensors could help eliminate this problem. I think some highly competitive people don’t care for the idea of a “subjective” resolution to a fight.

After I shook the visions of cyborg samurai warriors running around the lists at Pennsic only to be chased down by a man in lanskennect with a laser eye and a robotic arm, I started to focus on what such an implementation, assuming it was even possible, would mean. Read More »

8 Jul
2014

Getting too old for this…

95c617480bfbd94fe619d1fc3a3ea60dI was recently out with some friends at lunch, and the World Cup soccer games were on all the mega sized LCD screens around the restaurant.

Over the explanation about how kicking the ball over the uprights (or goal as they called it) does not result in a field goal, there is no two point conversion, someone mentioned that soccer players are normally in their early 20’s, and by 30 they “become too weak and slow to continuing playing the game” and are forced into retirement.

I’m quite bit a older than that, and I’m very much stronger, thinner and faster than I ever was at 30. The SCA is pretty much the reason why, you get a lot stronger being a warrior rather than playing one in a MMO. Read More »

1 Jul
2014

Pieces of Heart: Charity

ravenhomeThe kind of Charity I prefer is the kind that allows people an opportunity to work to improve their situation. For the last two years, I’ve worked for a company that writes software that supports the Developmental Disabilities community.

People with DD are people with severe chronic mental or physical impairments that make independent living difficult. Issues like Down Syndrome and severe Cerebral Palsy.

Read More »

24 Jun
2014

Canvas

10365978_303322299835840_8368601304973197106_n When I think back to the most fun scenarios I’ve ever fought on a melee field, I find myself sifting through scenarios like the following:

So there is this big war event thingy coming up in a few months, and we should be like ready and stuff. There are going to be a number of dudes over there, so we are  just going to sorta run at them. We’ll do that 4 or 5 times, then we’ll do a same thing only as a “bridge” battle, then we’ll do a bunch of broken field battles. In the breaks, we can talk about the issues with getting your router’s NAT set up correctly and how to prioritize network traffic to favor streaming content over surfing packets.

Read More »

17 Jun
2014

Grounded: The Virtue of Humility

free_rock_stone_stock_by_aelathen-d6rxcrfWhat does a person do to exhibit the Virtue of Humility?

Looking back at people who play sports, it seems the players who do not brag, the ones who don’t over exaggerate their accomplishments, show Humility. While bragging is a visible action against Humility, the virtue itself is much deeper.

Merriam-Webster defines Humility as “the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people”. This is the modern and common way of explaining this virtue.  I’m sure all of us have heard this before, at length.

This explanation is why I have never understood Humility. If I’m not better than someone, then I’m at the bottom of the stack. Everyone I meet is better than me? I didn’t need to think about that very long to see it isn’t true. You’re better than that, and so am I.  If I think I’m better than someone, can I still show Humility? Read More »

10 Jun
2014

The one who inspires

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I joined the SCA before I met my wife. When I was talking about fighting in a tournament, I was told that it was not good for a man to fight for himself, but it was right for him to have someone to fight for, and whatever winnings I might gain were to be given to the one who inspired me.

While I followed that advice, at the time I didn’t understand it. If I’m doing all the work, why shouldn’t I keep the prize? On the other hand, girls like it when you give them shiny things.  How could this go wrong? Read More »

3 Jun
2014

Net Zero Sum

servericjulieannaSome years ago, I was working on generating an award conspiracy to get someone in my local group a Purple Fret (the Midrealm AoA level service award).

I don’t remember much about the conversation or even who was there. I remember when I suggested getting the candidate, whose name has slipped my mind, an award, and I asked for recommendations to be entered. One of the members of the conversation said “I don’t think it’s appropriate yet, I know what it took to get mine!” Read More »

27 May
2014

Amazing & Surprising

I spend most of time in the SCA getting hit in the head and contemplating ways of not getting hit in the head. Granted I would like to look nice while this both of these processes are going on. So, I had to learn to do a number of odd things, like set gores, make buttons, smith armor, and so on.

I can’t suggest I’m good at any of them. I always muddle my way through somehow and get something at the end that is usable enough. I certainly wouldn’t suggest I could teach or judge this muddled process of creating a product usable on the lists or to try to not look like such a slouch in court. Read More »

13 May
2014

Rocket Cats

Franz_Helm_man_loading_a_cannonAre you at the end of a long campaign? Do you long to see home and loved ones, but your King has demanded you take this one last keep before you can return? Are you expecting your siege to last until winter? Read More »

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The biggest Tournament in our Kingdom has come, and I have found the greatest fighter that walks among us. Who is it? The answer may surprise you.
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Court is my favorite part of an event, but it wasn't always that way. I used to rarely attend. What changed? I'll explain....
Being made a Court Baron, certainly hasn't made me any more excellent than I was before. So What does being a Court Baron mean?