[personal profile] archangelbeth on cats

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:19 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly posting in [community profile] metaquotes
Cats can reproduce by budding. Make sure to dispose of all brushed fur properly.

Context needs to comb her cat more often.

Coming Soon!

Sep. 22nd, 2017 04:29 pm
[personal profile] herooftheage
This is just a reminder that the mini-gaming convention I'm holding at 3 Trolls Games And Puzzles begins in just seven days! I've fleshed out the scheduled events a bit, but don't let that fool you - games should break out spontaneously whenever folks like. Here's what we have so far:

Friday evening The Hardest Arkham Horror game you've ever been in
Saturday day 3rd Reich
Saturday evening Blades in The Dark one-off scenario
Sunday morning Advanced Civilization
Sunday evening Large scale D&D session (a regular at the club, so this is more of a spectacle than something newcomers should do

In addition, I'm hoping the miniatures players will run some Bolt Action, Konflict '47, Warhammer 40K and Check Your Six as time allows. And of course, I'm hoping to play a bunch of shorter games myself.

We'll kick things off Friday at 14:00. We'll go until the last game ends on Sunday night.

The Epilogue

Sep. 18th, 2017 06:42 pm
[personal profile] herooftheage
Today I got a guided tour of the new Arms & Armor exhibit at the Chicago Institute Of Art from the associate curator for Arms and Armor, Jonathon Tavares, who is a friend of the Chicago Swordplay Guild. With the demise of the Higgins, Jonathon claimed this collection was probably the 3rd largest in the country.

If I understand things correctly, the presentation of the collection was designed by Jonathon, and is stunningly well done. It starts with several paintings and sculptures with ecclesiastical themes, moving on to secular ones, and ending up with several rooms of magnificent arms and armor from the Viking Age through the Late Renaissance.

Jonathon talked about practically every piece we walked by. His knowledge of what he has is encyclopedic. He talked about the individual pieces, their origins, history, construction, materials, why he put them on public display, and some of the ongoing projects to recreate techniques of construction using the raw materials the armorers had available to them - down to ore from the mines they got their iron and silver from.

I generally don't take pictures of things, because (a) it distracts from my actual viewing of the piece; (b) the person who did it for the book/postcard/print in the gift shop will do a much better job; (c) I'd rather just go back and look at it again. But this time I did take one picture, of a painting depicting St. George and the Dragon. St. George is in armor which was done in silver leaf, and has tarnished to black over time. My plan, when I get home, is to photoshop the armor back to some version of silver, and then show the results in a side by side comparison. Don't know when I'll get to it though - probably not before October sometime, I imagine.

I also learned that Dr. Helmut Nickel, former curator for arms and armor at the Metropolitan Museum Of Art, is still alive. Jonathon says he's 96 now, and so doesn't get out much. I met him once, when Patri arranged for him to come to Boston to give a talk to the SCAdians here. He brought examples. It was glorious. I didn't realize what a wonderful thing I'd attended until years later.

And now, I'm spending one last quiet night recovering at Rick and Libby's place, thinking "There's no place like home".
full_metal_ox: (Default)
[personal profile] full_metal_ox posting in [community profile] metaquotes
[personal profile] sasha_honeypalm's musical tribute to Barbara G. Walker's (professionally published!) novel
Amazon:


Don't know much about history
Don't know much about theology
Don't know much 'bout how to write a book
Don't know how to cite the quotes I took
But I know all that I say must be true
And I know if you believed it, too
What a wonderful world this would be

Don't know much about geography
Don't know much sociology
Don't know how to understand folklore
Don't know what a reference book is for
But I do know that one god is bad
And if we'd kept the goddess we once had
What a wonderful world this would be

Now, I don't claim to be a goddess
But I'm tryin' to be
For maybe if I'm a goddess, people
You'll all worship me.

Don't know much about history
Don't know much about technology
Don't know much...


[personal profile] rosepsyche's paean to the Power of Story is also quoteworthy:

I have to call "bull" on Antiope's reasoning that art and music are inferior because they are "not alive" for another reason. No, such creations aren't living, breathing things. However (and I apologize if this gets a bit corny), the best of them can seem as if they are alive, get us invested in their characters, have us cheering about their triumphs and crying over their tragedies. They are just as valuable in their own way for their ability to entertain, to inspire, to teach, to help us grow and develop by seeing the world from a new point of view, and I don't think anyone involved in creating them would appreciate being told that their work can never compare to something that was squeezed out of a vagina.


Context sporks the world's worst Wonder Woman fanfic.

The Finale

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:43 pm
[personal profile] herooftheage
It was a great last day. I've loved the whole thing. I'm coming back in two years (next year we're cruising the Eastern Med.) I can recommend this event to anyone with a serious interest in European weapons fighting. While HEMA uses its own rules set to play the game they play, the classes all have adaptability to varying rules sets in mind, even when that wasn't built in explicitly, so far as I can tell.

9:30 Armizare Free Expression: Working across the System. Greg Mele may well be the finest martial arts teacher I've ever encountered - and I say that even though I'm not really a Fiore guy. He is certainly a far better teacher than I am. In this class, he didn't teach plays or techniques, though both were in the class - he taught ideas, and used the techniques to explicate them. It was a tour-de-force, and I'm glad I got to see it.

13:00 Pole Arm fighting in the Leichtenauer Tradition. This was pretty much the class that I came to WMAW for, and it didn't disappoint. Even though Christian Tobler gave a very basic class, I got to practice a thing I'd seen in passing and never gave enough credit to.

There are generally two pole arm grips people use - thumbs in the same direction for distance work and powerful oberhau's, and thumbs pointing at each other for close work. Ideally, you'd like to switch between the two.

The problem is that in gauntlets, it's generally difficult to do so, and transitioning from one to the other really can only happen when you are not at hazard. But having one or the other grip telegraphs your intention. It's basically why I always try to fight in close - I pretty much always use a thumbs pointing at each other grip. It's a weakness, and at my age, weaknesses magnify.

But there's a solution to the problem - instead of gripping the pole arm with your leading hand at all, you can let the shaft sit along the palm of your hand. It is easy to shift from this to either of the other two grips, and so if you take that initial neutral grip, you can make your entering move without your opponent having a preview of whether you're going to come fight in or out.

I've done that in practice now, and I'm going to try to do it in tournament at the next convenient opportunity. If I like it as much as I do now, I am going to incorporate it into my teaching.

Monday morning I get a private tour of the armor collection at the Chicago Art Institute, sponsored/arranged for by the Chicago Sword Guild. I expect it to be grand.

Tuesday I get to come home again. I love traveling, but I love coming home just as much.

Day3

Sep. 16th, 2017 07:15 pm
[personal profile] herooftheage
So running on fumes for the past couple of weeks finally caught up with me, and today ended up being a very laid-back day for me. Just as well, given the intensity of yesterday.

9am: lecture of the flexibility of historical fencing swords. Daniel Jaquet presented some findings from studying the physical properties of three "fencing swords" (swords specifically used for practice) in Zurich.

11:00 Armored combat clinic and monitored sparring. Mostly I hung out with Bob Charette and talked about differences between HEMA and SCA combat, and we both talked to some people about some finer points of poleax fighting.

12:45 Wrestling techniques for armored opponents. Daniel demonstrated several of his reconstructions from a German fight book about wrestling techniques in armor. I think he's still in an early stage with a lot of this stuff - he has a couple of techniques down cold, and thinks some of the other techniques are fanciful. This is a sort of well known place reconstructors end up in when they have had the first insight into their material, but haven't worked through enough to understand beyond the first flush yet. Sort of like archeologists calling unidentified items religious artifacts. I think it sort of ends up being a placeholder.

Anyway, I got some insight into throwing people around in armor, but it was during this class that I sort of shut down for the rest of the day. I ended up auditing

15:00 Monte's Two Handed Sword - The Levata. So there was this early 16th century guy who published a hodgepodge of instructions on fighting. Like many fencing masters of his time, he thought two-handed sword fighting was the basis for everything else, and so used those techniques, which he called the Levata, as the foundation for a lot of his instructions on a variety of forms. This class went through some of them. I was I'd had some gas left, because they looked like they were having a lot of fun.

I'm skipping the feast and entertainment tonight, in the hopes of being back up to form tomorrow. The premier HEMA pole arm guy is teaching a pole arm class, and he knows stuff I do not. That's got to change, at least in small part.

Day 2

Sep. 15th, 2017 09:51 pm
[personal profile] herooftheage
Today I took two longer classes

9:00 Bruchius and the Dutch Rapier Tradition. I gather this wasn't what was actually taught - the instructor decided to talk about Dutch rapier fighting as it relates to tempo. There was still a ton of information I got. Amongst other things, I got some info on why Thomas Of Effingham holds his rapier the way he does. :)

It also turned out most of the class was above my pay grade. The first half of the class was introductory rapier techniques, reminiscent of techniques Quinn has briefly shown me. I was terrible at them. Apparently, trying to finesse your way through a guard so you can poke a person isn't all that much like knocking them into next week with a poleax. Who knew? Someday I may get good at that - it is certainly my intent. Today was not that day. I bowed out at the half-way point when they started doing much more advanced stuff, and went and audited (since I didn't have equipment) the Spanish sword and buckler class.

13:00 Persian War Wrestling. I did somewhat better in this class. :) Though it was still a bit problematical, for reasons I'll go into below. The instructor was quite expert, and of a very serious nature. He wanted us to know that this wasn't a class where the partners are cooperative to get to the right result, but really wanted us to resist and try to frustrate our opponents at every turn.

I have no formal background in wrestling at all, but have picked up a thing or two over the years - there's a reason why in my heyday charging opponents all bounced off me. This is important for later.

What the instructor stressed was: (a) you need to get close to your opponent, putting your body on theirs a lot; (b) you can't just charge in, but have to frustrate their guard first; (c) you need to mix up which part of the body you go for, so your opponent doesn't know a priori if you're planning on lifting him up or throwing them down. He then started on a variety of techniques of breaking through guards. I learned a lot in a short period of time.

But now for the problem bits. We get to the end of the indoor part of the session, and he asks for a couple of volunteers. Naturally I go up. Another guy, 6'5" or so, and very fit, is the other volunteer, and asks him to demo the first technique we learned. He does. It doesn't work. That is he can go through the motions of the technique, and sort of get to the desired position to throw me, but in doing so, he didn't actually restrict me, and is therefore unable to throw me to the ground. We talk a bit about why that happened, and then the instructor has a third volunteer come up to demonstrate the second technique.

Same thing. Doesn't work. The guy sort of executes the move, but I frustrate him enough that he doesn't control me at all when the time comes for the throw. We go through the same rigamarole again.

The instructor decides to do the third technique himself. This time it partially works. He displaces me, and I'm not free of action, but I am in a solid stance, so he can't actually throw me directly. However, if he wanted to, he was in a position to punch my kidneys very hard, and the way for me to get out of that was to go to the ground, which I did.

He then did the submission move, but I managed to get an arm up to fend things off, so I was in a place of distress, but not yet helpless. His counter to that was, interestingly, to roll back and forth across my chest so I expelled all the air in my lungs, and then I was done.

But here's the thing. I'm pretty sure that rather than just hold him off like I did, I could have thrown him off me and recovered. Maybe he was prepared for that, but I decided not to try that, and here's why:

The problem was the situation. (a) he was teaching basic techniques. The thing about basic technique is that if the sport is fair and interesting, it can be countered. If the first easy thing was guaranteed to work, it wouldn't be much of a sport. (b) The instructor could, in fact, have seriously injured me anytime he wanted to. But of course, he'd never do that. By setting up a situation where I was supposed to resist to my utmost, we escalated to the point where he'd either have to do some other technique or do something more drastic than was reasonable for the setting we were in.

I face this problem teaching historical poleax sometime. Since I do a lot of set play teaching, we often get to a point where one of the partners can do something to frustrate their partner - but the point is to teach the technique. The technique isn't flawed because there's a way to frustrate it - if someone does, you switch over to Plan B. The point is to get a lot of different techniques into the repertoire.

So the bottom line is I did learn a lot, I wasn't all that happy with how I behaved during the demos, and I also wasn't all that happy with not seeing some better way to navigate through the situation. It's a teaching moment I don't have a good answer for, and I wish I did.

Day 1

Sep. 14th, 2017 07:38 pm
[personal profile] herooftheage
10:30 Abrizare class with daggers and rapiers. This was grappling with weapons. The dagger stuff was reasonably easy, the rapier arm lock was a big trickier. It was all a lot of fun, and I'm going to be interested in the results of the Midrealm wresting-while-fighting experiment - it seems like a pretty dangerous thing to incorporate into a full-contact sport, because it would be awfully easy to break bones. Still, with a modicum of care, it is both a lot of fun, and brings people to closer contact with judicial combat.

13:00 Drills for Armored combat. This was HEMA-style armored combat, and so these were all drills meant to get at the unarmored bits of fully armored people - armpit, palm, eyeslot, and other creases in the armor. It was all half-swording drills, which were fascinating.

At the end was a drill that I may try to see if it'll fly in the cut and thust practices. Basically, it's build your own set play. Partners start in a defensive position, in or out of range. The leader makes some sort of entering play against that which the follower doesn't respond to. Reset, and do it again, until the leader is happy with their entering move. Then do it again, except now the follower responds with both a defense and attack. Keep doing that until the responder is happy with what they have, and then the leader adds segment 3, responder segment 4, etc. until the logic of the situation requires a break. That drill really supercharged my learning how to half-sword.

14:30 Montante class. A Montante is a Spanish great sword. No, that's not right. Well, it's right, but its not descriptive. A Montante is an impossibly large weapon. It's a level 120 Horde weapon from World Of Warcraft. Its a weapon large and heavy enough that even Flieg would approve of it. It isn't meant for single combat, it's made to clear streets in a riot, to knock a Ritter off his horse, to stove in the side of a pike formation. It is a weapon best wielded by Demi-gods.

You know how you use different moves when you are fighting half a dozen people, and aren't just worried about one? Those are the moves we practiced. I keep thinking, somehow I've got to be able to use this stuff in an SCA melee to bust up a line, but I don't think I could get a weapon passed that could do what we did today - and that's counting that I have an in with the Earl Marshal. :)

After the Montante class, I was done. By done, I mean no longer able to lift my arms up, and wondering why it is people think expending the energy to walk is a good idea - so I skipped the last class of the day, which is too bad since it was Persian spear technique, and I gather the guy who teaches it really knows his stuff.

The hotel I'm staying at has a pool with a jacuzzi. I may have to go buy swim trunks.

Tomorrow is another day.

[personal profile] pink_halen on eggs and cages

Sep. 12th, 2017 11:01 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly posting in [community profile] metaquotes
It seems that Starbucks is offering sandwiches with Cage Free Egg Whites. Personally, I never keep my egg whites in cages. Usually keeping them in their shells works just fine.

Context is free-range.

They had me at "Hello"

Sep. 11th, 2017 10:26 pm
[personal profile] herooftheage
Am I going to get CBS All-Access for the sake of one show somewhat related to the primary show of my youth?

Yes. Yes I am.

And the sheep goes "Baa".

To Infinity, And Beyond!

Sep. 11th, 2017 07:20 pm
[personal profile] herooftheage
Tomorrow, I'm heading off to Chicago, both to visit friends there, and to attend the Western Martial Arts Workshop. It occurs to me that making this my first Historical European Martial Arts event is probably something like making Pennsic one's first SCA event - the baptism by fire will make whether I am for these folks crystal clear.

I have a good feeling about this. No, really, I do.

[personal profile] ivy is a stranger in a strange land

Sep. 10th, 2017 05:45 pm
rydra_wong: dreamsheep with spork and "SheepSpork" logo; no, it wouldn't make any more sense if you saw it  (dreamwidth -- sheepspork)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] metaquotes
Everyone was nice to me, but I found it hard to participate in some of the conversations because everyone else there was fluent in Gearhead and I just don't care. It was all

One dude: "How do you like that model BLQ45Z?"
Other dude: "It's got pretty good flang, but the chimping bleederweep doesn't zerbert as well as I like in the corners."
First dude: "I heard that floppykush helps with the zerberting, tried that?"
Third dude: "My next squelch is gonna be a floppykush! Used to have a panpan bleederweep, but you know what they say about those oilsquirms!"
All dudes: [nod sagely and then argue]


Context is locked; QWP.

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