Thursday, September 20, 2018

No practice this week

No practice this week due to celebrating teh Yom Kippour holiday and other issues.  Tuesday evening, I developed a migraine.  It was so bad not even a narcotic pain killer put a dent in it.  Add to that a knee that is still hurting, and I knew I was not going to make practice in Bhakail this week. 

Instead, we had a nice break-fast with Murray and Chrissy.  I made my version of eggs benedict:

  • Croissants
  • Prosciutto
  • Chipolte holindaise sauce
  • Poached eggs
We served it with cauliflower hashbrowns and prosciutto wrapped asparagus.  Dessert was some fresh berries:  Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries.  Overall, it was a nice evening.  I started feeling the migraine coming back, so I lowered the lights and took some meds.  Thankfully I stopped most of the symptoms and we were able to resume as normal. 

I got a decent night of sleep after watching Forged In Fire.  Evan work us up around 4:00, and Jennie went to comfort him.  He was worried all night someone was going to take his bunny away.  Its the one suffed animal he bonded with and we are not sure where this idea got into his head.  Unfortunately, I think he's inheritied some of my anxieties.

This weekend is River War in my home barony of Iron Bog.  Collin Monro is running his "Body Parts" tournament.  I think this is payback for my tournament idea at Bhakail Commons.  There will also be melees, as befitting a "war".  Let's see how my body holds up.  At least it is close to home.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Falling Leaves / Roses Tourney

I love the Roses Tournament.  I have been fortunate to be sponsored for the last three years by Duchess Aikaterine and be on her team.  I wish my fencing was a bit better.  It was good, but I did something to my left knee last week and it was giving me problems.  Add that to my right ankle, and I was in a lot of pain after the day.

Friday, I worked a half day and then we go the car packed up.  We headed out around 2:00, grabbed some lunch on the road as we got a late start, and made our way to the hostess with the mostest, Miss Sally's house in Easton, MA.  Connecticut was full of Connecticidiots as traffic was pretty bad on both the Merritt and 95.  We arrived and I was tired, having been up since 5:30 AM.  A quick dinner and then I was done.  Sleep was restless, Evan was coughing all night.  I was snoring pretty loud according to Jennie.  I could not get comfortable.  She wound up sleeping on the couch in the living room.  Neither of us got rest.

Saturday, we had to wake Evan up, which was unusual.  We got dressed and headed to the event. Dragging my stuff from the parking lot to the field, I twisted the already aching knee.  We found Mercedes and Frasier and staked out space for TOAD-landia.  Antonio and Stacey got onsite and I helped to unload their trailer and setup the TOAD fly.  Before morning court, Lissa gifted me with a beautiful piece of pottery which I in turn gave to my wife.  Lissa, Declan, Aibhilin, Lorenzo, and his girlfriend joined us, which was very nice.

I got some warmups in with Doroga.  I used his height against him by staying in a low crouch and forcing him to adjust to the height difference.  I also used my 37" rapier, giving me a mechanical advantage against his 45" blade and long arms.  We fought with rapier and dagger and then with single rapiers for a few passes.  They were a lot of fun.  I think I strained something in my right foot while fencing him.

For the tournament, Duchess Aikaterine's team consisted of:

  • Sir Antonio, MOD, OGR
  • myself, OGR
  • Xavier the Sinister, OGR
  • Gregori Rogue Montana, Silver Rapier
  • Mable Fortune
One of the problems with the Roses Tournament has been finding teams to fight.  We managed to get in 6 fights with other teams.  We were later told teams needed 5 fights.  We were asked not to fight anymore (officially).  I had good bouts with Remy, Ogedai, Aesa (from Maine), Jamie, Christofel, and my cadet neice: Muirenn.  All were good, challenging fights.

I was thankful that my team was told we were done.  I know it was only 6 fights but also a lot of standing and by that time, I was done.  With Evan having a cough and Jennie and I both tired, we made our way quickly and quietly to the car.  I managed to find Evan's hat and sunglasses in the bathroom on our way out.  

We got back to Sally's house, I got in a shower, and then we headed out for dinner.  I needed protein, so I had a steak.  Then I had half of Evan's cheeseburger.  I was a bit hungry.  We got back, hung out for a bit, and we all turned in early.  This time I slept on the couch so Jennie could have the bed.  I knew I'd be snoring as my nose was stuffy.  

Sunday morning, we left Sally's and headed over to see Zsuzsy.  We had brunch with her, and then we went to her workplace, Salon Zed.  Zsu cut Jennie's hair and it looks so good on her.  We were out of there around 1:30 or so, and on our way back to NJ.  Connecticut was still the same when it comes to traffic.  We got to our town about 7:00 and went for sushi before getting home.  I got Evan to bed, and then soon we passed out. It was good to be in our bed.

This morning as I type this, my foot and knee still hurt.  The ankle hurts too but about what is normal, considering we are expecting rain.  Hopefully I'll make practice in Bhakail this week.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Ducal Challenge

I had a good time at Ducal Challege. The roads were wet and we left a bit later than we had hoped. I really need to remember to pack the night before. We were staying Saturday night at my parent's house, so we had to do some extra, non-event related packing.

We got to the site, checked in at troll, and then to the MOL table. I dropped the tray of baklava on the rapier prize table. The ground was damp and there was a slight slope to where we were to be fencing, so I opted to use a two handed sowrd in the list, rather than risk going for a lunge and hurting myself (as my ankle had been bothering me for a few days).

The pools were called, and I wound up in a great list with Justin Aucoin, David Tanguay, Matthew Kriebel, BobbyTights, Ilene Boucher, Kate Sokol, Annie Mohawk, Douglas Brooks, Nicolas Ferrero, Lindsay Gobin and one other who I cannot recall. A newly authorized fencer was very nervous when going to the list, so I talked to her a bit, hopefully got her to relax and have some fun. McCoy Munoz and Daniel Vildoso, thank you for marshalling our pool. I had a good day in the pool, coming out without any losses.

There was a break before the 16, so I got in to crongratulate Whitney Sternberg on her impending elevation as we would not be able to stay for court. She is going to make an awesome peer of the society.

I should have stopped in to see Ellesbeth Donofrey, but timing was not in my favor. Congratulations Ellesbeth Donofrey, well deserved, and you have been a force of nature for good in the society for many years.

In the 16, my first pairing was with Ray Edwards, of course. I missed him by " " that much..... but it was a great fun bout. I miss you terribly my brother.

Second round was against Mike Bannon. He knows me well so I had to change things up on him. I was lucky to leg him, but i forget how long his reach is for a guy who is not so tall. He was almost able to get me a few times, so I had to be cautious and setup and wait for my shot.

Third round was the baby OGR, Doroga. I came in under him, and it was a beautiful double tap, first to the belly and then light tap on cup. We laughed about it, but it was a good bout.

My final bout of the day was with Frank Hetherington III. I over extended and took too long to recover and he pounced on the opening and hit me so nice and clean. Every time I fence him, he continues to get better and better.

In the prize selection phase, I was lucky enough that my first choice was still there, so I have added another piece of art to the Thomas V. Berger gallery.

It was fun to see Evan playing with Turi and Kathleen's children and Lukesand Erikas' son. They are all so cute together. We packed up and headed to my parents' house to get changed and drop off Evan.

After a quick snack, we headed to Antonio and Stacey's house, where we knew people would be heading for dinner. We arrived and Marietta was there waiting for the food, but Christopher Butler was waiting at the train station, so I volunteered to pick him up. It was nice chatting with them both when we got back to the house before everyone got back from the event. I somehow managed to hurt myself when walking. Ice pack was gotten and I put my leg up for a bit. I did it again later in the evening. Not sure what happened, but Rachael Dufford got me her cane so I had some support. (good to have a cadet who likes to fight rigid parry).

We got back to my parents' house and tried to pass out, but a little boy takes up a lot of room in the bed. I woke up and made another tray of baklava for Rosh Hashannah dinner that evening. Jennie, Evan, and I headed out for dim sum with Miriam H Friedman Berger, Tom, Tina Edana, Maxine Lee. As always the food was good, but the company was better.

I passed out for a nap on the couch during the Giants game. Dinner with the family was had, and we headed home. It was a good weekend, but I want to know where it went.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Training Day #1

So I need to get into shape.  I've talked a big game about this, but tonight, after getting Evan into bed, I rode my exercise bike for the first time in a long time.  I am a sweaty mess, but I did a 20 minute spinning workout, following an online video.  1 day down, more to come....

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Settmour Practice - 9/19

Its much harder to get up to Glen Gardener for practice.  I used to be about half an hour away.  Now the practice is at least 90 minutes away.  Thankfully, the drive is made easier with some companionship.  Last night, my amazing cadet joined me for the trek up and back.  We had some good conversation on all sorts of topics, fencing and non-fencing related.

Ellynor wanted to work on case, so we went out to work on that.  I took my rapier and dagger out against her.  After making her work her left hand, by cancelling out her right, she was getting a better feel for the form.  She was still letting me get up the middle on her.  We went outside where there was some airflow and talked about it.  I showed her a different technique for fencing case, which seemed to make more sense to her.  She was able to process it and put it into play that same evening.

I then went out and did some passes with Master Orlando.  We both took buckler and it was back and forth, with him besting me more often.  I was not getting the control on him with my buckler that I am normally am able to achieve.  He hit me with some very pretty shots, one a slow thrust that I was expecting to deflect with the buckler, which he just went right over it.  I love fencing him as he pushes me with any and every form.

I then broke out the long sword for some passes with Duke Omega.  It was a fun fight, well paced, and not like I would have expected prior to the bouts.  On our last bout, we were both moving forward and he hit me right between the muscles in the shoulder (I think he hit bone).  That caused me to have to pause for a bit.

I then fought Duchess Caoilfhionn with the long sword.  When we got more room and it changed from a linear fight to one where she was moving around, the fight changed significantly.  On our last pass, I caught her flatfoot and with a stouter blow than intended.  We talked it over afterwards, as I was not the only one to catch her with a hard shot.

I was done for the night, as the heat and humidity were oppressive inside.  I talked with Jeff of Biscuits about how to get inside a long swords reach.  Omega helped me with the demonstration.  Then I showed Caoilfionn a few opportunities and ways to use half-swording to her advantage when pressed.

It was nice to have Ellynor to drive back with.  Last week, Jennie and Evan were with me.  The long drive home was made much easier by having company.  I've offered a ride to others who live down in the Iron Bog area.  Hopefully they will take me up on it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Back in the saddle again

Since the move down to south jersey, I've been trying to get back to fencing. I hit the first bhakail practice after pennsic, had two bouts and I was done.  Eldrich and Morrwyl were teeing off on me. I was having issues even seeing them fire their shots until after they had buried them in my body. I was having shoulder/arm issues, so I called it an early night.

The following week I went to practice in settmour. What used to be a quick drive is now a long drive. I did get to fence some, but not as much as hoped. No issues except stamina.

I went back bhakail for practice but felt off.  I had the start of a migraine. I got some bouts in but not a lot.

Bhakail Commons is their rapier champions tourney. I felt good fencing there and was the top finisher in my pool. I fenced with the two hander or rapier. In the finals, Colin and I agreed to start single, then the loser would pick the best form until sometime win two bouts. I won the single bout, he chose buckler which he won, so I chose two handed sword for the final. Winning that bout made me champion of bhakail.

The following week I returned to settmour for Tuesday practice. Did pretty well there working in my game.

This week, I hit both settmour and bhakail. Not as much fencing as I'd have liked on Tuesday,  but had some nice passes. At bhakail, they had a round robin tournament going. I finished at the top with only a single loss. I fenced it all with rapier and dagger. Had some nice talks with people. I didn't have any ankle wrap with me so I'm hoping that it doesn't hurt tomorrow.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Mudthaw 2017

Mudthaw was yesterday and it was one of the best events I've been to in a long time.  It was my first time at this site, which was used last year.  The site is gorgeous, but the restriction is no fencing on the grass, so it was in the parking lot.
We got to the event a little later than I had anticipated.  I just made the tail end of the OGR meeting and to collect part of the tithe.  We got settled near the fencing list, and I had a nice warm up with my longsword against a nice lady from Silver Rylle.  I did a little more warm ups, but nothing too taxing.  During the Cut and Thrust tournament, Their Excellencies Settmour Swamp came over and asked if they could witness my taking a cadet. So with words exchanged and a scarf tied on, I now have one awesome cadet in Ellynor Redpath.  She also received a dress scarf made by my wife with a unicorn pin, my original cadet/TOAD scarf, and a tiny bling box with her arms burned into it.  The scarf I tied on her was made by Sir Antonio.
For the tournament of the day, my first round was Ogedai.  Go figure.  He took case, I took my dagger.  I was able to parry and strike a shot while he was throwing with his left hand.  I was his only loss in the tournament.  I lost to Kenrick, beat someone (can't recall his name), and lost to Develin.  Overall not the day I wanted, but I had fun.  I did some pickups with Llewellyn, and then some two on one against Aesa and Eanraig.  Fencing on asphalt hurts though.  I tweaked my back and even a day later, my ankle is still hurting.
We stayed through court enough to see Jonathan and Teresa ascend to the baronial seats of Settmour Swamp, but after that, the small child was done, so we left the event and headed home.  We went out for sushi with Jean Xavier and Gianetta and then showed up with them in tow for a little socializing at Antonio and Elizabeth's house.  Saying our goodbyes, we went back to our house to pass out.
I made breakfast this morning for everyone, various flavors of pancakes (blueberry, strawberry, cinnamon swirl, chocolate chip, and cinnamon swirl/chocolate chip). 
One really nice thing was seeing a lot of old and new friends. From Edmund, to Xavier and Taryn, to Straya and Rowen, it was as people said, a throw back event. Friends are what make the SCA.