Monday, November 21, 2011


Keith/Gunwaldt and I are in Texas visiting our oldest (Kirby/Magnus). I heard from Bardolf (Marty) last night that he and Kendrick (Brett Henry) were named companions of the Order of the Heart of the Scorpion of al-Barran at al-Barran's Toys for Tots event. And Bella (Ashlee) was made a member of the Order of the Scorpion. Those are good awards both Gunwaldt and I have received, and I think it's very sweet that one of our children is still that involved in the SCA.

Bella also got the baroness's prize for arts and sciences (?official name?) for a banner she made.

I don't have any photos from yesterday, but here's something from our garage not so long ago. :-)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Great review, and insanely bad review ("for balance"?)

October 19, 2011, I was tagged in a facebook post, so I dutifully went to read what it said, and was flattered. The one response at the time was interesting, and made me curious.

David Peters (Wade Averey)

David Peters

Since I find myself with more time than usual I have been exercising that mass of grey between my ears. As luck would have it while trudging along the web I stumbled upon a great resource. If you have not yet read it do so and if you live near enough to Sandra Dodd I am officially jealous.
Humility and Formality

Rob Hotch-r
I mean the best way possible, but you need to hit yourself with something heavy until you forget everything yoil read. Once people read that book they are never the same. I've seen it ruin people, primarily because it does make a lot of sense. Do what you want but you've been warned.

David Peters
‎Rob ~ Are there specifics you have in mind? Feel free to reply privately if you wish.

Sandra Dodd
Perhaps he means that people who have high ideals and principles can become disappointed with the realities of the SCA. I've seen that some with my students and associates. They thought they wanted to know lots, but the more they knew, the more they saw reality fall short of ideals. (If it's not that, Rob, reply privately because I probably don't want to know. :-) )

Rob Hotch-r
I mean that every person I've known who's read that book was one person before they read it and then different after (usually feeling that they need to tell people that they've read it-almost an instinctual "hey I've been baptized" response). I don't know if there are spores ala' Invasion of the Body Snatchers somehow hidden in the physical pages or if there's a hypnotique trance induced by repeating words, phrases, etc. (I don't really think any of these things) but it literally changes people and, I personally feel, not usually in a good way. Maybe, which has been a suspicion, there is no fault with the actual tome necessarily, but the content is interpreted by the reader as to give some sort of permission (not necessarily intended) to those who've got a latent arrogant streak or secret egotistical urges, to let those respective flags fly proudly. I've only glimpsed pages and veiwed small sections (as I've intentionally avoided an actual full reading-specifically because of this.) and though there is a lot of what I know about it that I agree with, it's just not going to happen and I will never advise anyone to read it. Write me off as a cook, or as jaded former society, whatever flavor you please. I realize that you're proud of your work Sandra and have every right to be. There's just bad ju-ju in there.

Sandra Dodd
‎#1, it's not "a book." It's ten e-mails. So if you don't even know what it is, and you haven't read it, it seems odd that you would appoint yourself a guardian or even reviewer. "Bad ju-ju"? "Tome"?

#2, What do you mean,"Write me off as a cook"...? A kook, did you mean? There's nothing in there that should bother cooks.

Rob Hotch-r
#1 Bleh #2 Bleh Bleh I'm doing this little email geek dance with you. You created poison and that's it.

Oh. Then I guess he deleted that one (which I had cut and pasted) and put this:
‎#1 Bleh #2 Bleh Bleh I'm not doing this little email geek dance with you. You created poison and that's it.

Doing this, not doing this. It didn't seem like a "geek dance" to me. It seemed like someone attempting to seem knowledgable and important in the absence of any real knowledge or weight. It seemed like someone flinging poo on someone else's happiness. Monkey poo.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wallet, Scrip, Satchel, Shoulder Bag (but not purse)

New page on the site, blast from the past, about the fairly recent past (A.S. XXV and thereabout), the medieval past (naturally), and documenting with dictionaries (again)., and my abiding joy in connecting dots.

The image here isn't part of that other page, but is a bonus image. I was at the Victoria and Albert museum this summer with the once Lady Adelicia sans Coeur of Gloucester (now Carolyn Pihl, living in the UK and Sweden, alternately). There was a display of art salvaged from churches that were no longer standing for one reason or another. Other photos from that day can be seen here:

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Recipe site

Recipes with photos, from various periods of history. The one I clicked right too is something my mom used to make and I didn't like when I was a kid, but if it were made with better salmon than canned (which wasn't so easily available or affordable when I was a kid), it could be good. :-) I do feel bad, in retrospect, that I said "yuck!" and then went on to really care about Saxon recipes. So it goes. And she used corn meal instead of oatmeal, and I made corn bread just yesterday, so the connections just keep rolling on.

When I was in Hampton Court last summer there was a good fire-building demo in the kitchen, starting with flint and tinder and moving on to an all-day sustainable serious-business fire the likes of which I had never seen. And they have a website with Tudor recipes:

Monday, August 29, 2011

"Clusters of Ash Keys"

That is the registered device of someone who won't be using it. Lady Mariassa Ashgrove of the Marche of Norborough in the Middle Kingdom. I've just put an obituary up for her. I should have done it sooner, but other things kept jumping ahead of it on the list.

I feel very at peace keeping this page. Mariassa's device is beautiful. Per bend invected Or and vert, two clusters of ash keys counterchanged. When I put up a new note, I think of creating and tending a grave in a peaceful cemetery. This summer I got to stay in 'the manse' (the minister's house) in the Yarrow Valley in the Scottish Borders. The house had once had servants, and there were service bells in the kitchen, mostly disconnected. There was a wall along the back of the house, separating the garden of the manse from the church and cemetery behind. I went out and walked and took photos felt the quiet peace.

That was a home education connection ("home ed" they call it in the UK; homeschooling in the US), and I might return there. One morning very early I went to the unlocked church and played the organ.

When I add the notification of another passing, I think of my own friends who have passed from life or maybe just from my own life, as I have passed from being a physical presence in some people's lives to being a memory, and I feel rich in remembrance.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Maud's Toy Horse

Here are the photos I have of a recent project by Matilda:

Because this project was contributed to the war effort (A&S, to glorify the Outlands and all that good stuff), there is documentation, and the PDF (words and the best of the images) is here:
Give it a few seconds to load.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ye Headless House Handbook...

Ah, the things you stumble across when you try to procrastinate on work by surfing the web!

In this case, I came across a note in ThinkWell#6 on your website regarding Ye Headlesse House Fighters' Handbook and Training Manual.  Yes, it is still available in hard copy.  (Some day I may get it scanned in so electronic copies are available.  Who knows, I might even put up a website and post it!)  The price is unchanged.  [US$8.00 each, plus $US2.00 postage (US$4.00 for Canadian addresses)]

Copies can be ordered from
  William Jouris
  684 Gwen Ct.
  Danville, CA 94526

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Master Ark Kazad wrote something beautiful

What the SCA means to me

I was just at the An Tir Crown Tournament in Fort McLeod, Alberta and I was interviewed by a reporter from the local paper. He was curious about the Society and what had held my interest for so many years.

I love playing in the Current Middle Ages. I like the pageantry, the costumes, the comraderie, the creativity. I realized, though, that the most important things about the Society for me are things you can't see, thing not apparent to a reporter walking through an event for the first time.

The SCA is a place where people can come and be the person they really want to be. It is outside of normal time and normal concerns. No matter what you do to make a living or what your social status is, here the playing field is equal. Here you can be your ideal self.

The SCA is based on the code of honor and chivalry. We say it is not the Middle Ages as they were, but as they might have been in the best of all possible worlds. It is a historically based fantasy, a Utopian society. Everyone starts out equal and rank is earned through your own effort. It is a place where you can take risks, because it is, when all is said and done, a game.

I am something of a recluse, but in the SCA I am social. I am an ordinary craftsman, but in the SCA I am respected as a Master of the Laurel. I don't have much of a singing voice, but in the SCA I became a bard. I am a pacifist, but I took up the rapier and became a passable fencer. I shot archery and always came in last, but I had fun.

I have seen troubled young men enter the Society and be taken on as squires by knights. They found an acceptable outlet for their aggression, and in the process they were taught to be honorable and chivalrous. They learned self control and they were taught this by a man they admired and respected.

Yes, when all is said and done, the SCA is a game. But there is a lot to be learned in the playing. I know I am a better man for the years I have spent in the Current Middle Ages.

I am Master Ark of Ringholden, O.L.

That is from this page:
and he's also just come to facebook, in case anyone who comes by this wants to communicate with him there.
The photo below is part of one at

The part about knighthood made me think to link this, too:, something I wrote fifteen years ago, when I was very active in the Society.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Atenveldt Reunion Songbook (1983)

Mistress Kate Holford created a PDF of "The Special Edition 25¢ throwaya Atenveldt Reunion Songbook," March A.S. XVII (1983).

My favorite parts are the advertisement for Honest AElflaed's Used Treasures on the back, and this part of the intro:

"The Keeper" doesn't really fit this category [drinking songs], or rather it wouldn't in a proper big book, but as it's neither a round nor a ballad, here it falls. It's a cheerful and innocuous little thing, and I dedicate it to a world which could use more cheerful and innocuous little things."

Kate also scanned the cover of an Outlandish Herald. I'll link that near its proper month in the history notes, fall of 1982.

Kate's PDF

Friday, January 28, 2011

Nice quote about leaving the SCA

"I miss all the good parts. I tend to view the SCA like the Princess Bride or Moby Dick. With just the good parts it’s really wonderful but with the whole unabridged version it can get to you. (Chapter two --- the Whale.) Still, even though I don’t do much with it. I’m grateful for all it did for me… I would be missing such a large part of my life without it."

Clare RosMuir St. John, Ansteorra

We were chatting by e-mail, and she said she's not angry about anything, she just outgrew the need and interest and some other things, like cleaning her house, are more interesting now.

I think that's true of many people. For various reasons another interest or focus takes more of one's life until the SCA is smaller.

Comments, ideas, theories and disputations are welcome. :-)javascript:void(0)