19 Aug
2014

Only in the SCA

driving_with_an_avilDuring Pennsic, my Knight, Count Cellach and I bumped into two very awesome people I got to know during the reign, Sir Byron and Sir Ariella of Aethelmearc. We talked with them at the food court.  Before Pennsic, Sir Byron had had suffered a minor injury to his foot when he accidentally knocked his anvil over.

I shook my head. “Yea, I hate it when that happens”, I said. “Well, that because you’re in the SCA,” he said. When he was explaining the injury to his family, one of them asked. “Did the Road Runner get away?”. Normal people do not have anvils, much less knock them over.

This is one of many little things I often take for granted that sounds funny in the modern world, but is common place for all of us in the SCA. One of the many great things we do is to provide opportunities for people to step outside their comfort zone to try something new. Read More »

12 Aug
2014

Happy New Year!

balloonsWhen I was young, I would always try my hardest to stay up on New Year’s Eve for the ball to the drop. I didn’t make it very often, but if I did, I would cheer, then pass out shortly after. The next day, I might be asked something about resolutions. I didn’t really understand the importance of saying I decided to make a change. I just wanted to stay up late and eat junk food. Many of my first resolutions were to stay up until midnight on New Year’s. The new year always had an air of excitement around it. I feel that same excitement today….

I’ve returned home from another Pennsic.  Overly tired, I’ve unloaded the trailer and the van into the living room where the totes will sit and slowly be picked over in the weeks to come to be re-inventoried and re-organized.
Read More »

29 Jul
2014

Welcome Home

pennsic_campThe Pennsic War is the single largest SCA event. Ten to fifteen thousand people come together for two weeks of the year in what is deemed the most of everything the SCA has to offer.

One of the many things I’m impressed with about Pennsic lies in watching it come together.  Nearly overnight, a grass field becomes a thriving city.

The first night everyone camps together on the battlefield. This is referred to as Zero Night. The cars stream in from all over the country and set up side by side. This year, like many others, as I walked through the rows of cars, people would greet me with a hug, and the phrase “Welcome Home”. It’s always been fun for me to think of Pennsic as Home, and those other 50 weeks of the year as somewhere I’m only visiting. Read More »

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

cbf7265d75f8fcae2f1eb2b6ed460611

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 »

I joined the SCA later than most. I ache, and I’m sore a lot. Maybe I’m just too old to amount to anything? Or maybe I just need be wiser going about it?
What is it that makes a truly great event that all will remember for a lifetime? If the SCA is a canvas, what picture do we paint?
Each award that is handed out reduces the value of all awards previously received. Or does it?
Over the course of the Reign, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of the most hardworking, amazing people I’ve ever known. But who are they?
One of the most important virtues is often forgotten or overlooked, yet is critical to being a Knight.
I tell the Tale of Jung-mie the Queen of Trimaris who fights with the heart of the Dragon
What we like to happen and what did happen often blurs together in memory to making something better. The tale of Magrat's valiant last stand.
What happens after we get home from an event? Does the person we are over the weekend get packed like our armor and garb?
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?