Thursday, January 19, 2017

Getting back into the swing of things

My hand/wrist issues have been getting better. I've been knocking the rust off, and actually using my rapier.  I've not been using the two handed sword as much.  I had been using my shorter blade since its lighter and thus not as fatiguing to my arm.  Tuesday, for the first time in quite a while, I put my tournament blade on my rig and fenced with it.  It felt very good to me.

I warmed up quickly with a set of passes with Don Sebastian Xavier (aka: Skippy, Sparky, Shackles).  It was nice to see him out and we were both knocking the rust off.  I was able to fight my fight, and even be more aggressive in controlling the bouts than I normally am.

Next up was working a little with His Nextelency, Jonathan Miles.  He wants to be a better fencer, not retreat so much as his primary defense and work on his blade work.  I showed him a trick I used which was to close my eyes and do drills with some opposition and disengages.  He was able to continually find my blade just by touch and not get out of position.  He could even feel an attack coming and responded properly.  I repeated the lesson later that evening with Christoper Serpentius (or whatever his SCA name is now).

Next up was a lesson with Berenika (aka Lucy). We both had rapier and dagger, but I brought out my 30" blade.  She was not used to having reach on an opponent, so when she closed, I was at the advantage.  I was able to get my blade free and on point, or I was quicker to the draw on the inside with the dagger.  We sat down and discussed what happened, her observations, and how things were going for her.

I then picked a fight with Dominico, who was standing around.  After a few passes, I noticed he was still strong arming his blade, so we worked on grip, theory, and then disengages around a doorknob.

My last partner for the night was Master Orlando.  Again, rapier and daggers, my favorite form.  During these passes, everything was flowing as if I didn't have an injury that prevented me from fencing.  Oh, don't get me wrong, Orlando was still able to tag me, but I felt good about my fencing for the first time in a long time.

I also noticed that I had more stamina than I used to have.  Not sure if this is because of going to the gym, vitamins, changes in my diet, but I'll take it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Pennsic XLV

Pennsic was ....
  • Hot
  • Humid
  • Fun
  • Relaxing
  • Stressful
  • Anxiety inducing
  • Painful
It was a little weird staying offsite but I am very glad we did, for our sake and that of the little man.  We drove out on Saturday morning, after not getting much sleep the night before.  We arrived onsite and trolled right in.  Since we could not check into the bed and breakfast, we walked around and caught up with friends.  We checked into the B&B around 4:30, moved the stuff in, and had dinner at Applebee's in Butler.  Sleep was eh.  I should have taken our pillows with us.

Sunday, I drove to site early to get a paid parking pass, so we would not be parking over the top of the hill.  Paid parking pass acquired, I drove back to get Jennie and Evan.  I suited up to  get inspected for the rapier field, and did a few pickups.  I was trying out the two handed sword to get my range down with the two-hander.  Stuck around to watch rapier champions.  E passed out but Stacey took up his chant of "GOlando" when Master Orlando Sforza was up to fence.  We grabbed some food and then back to the B&B for bedtime, except we were to meet people for coffee, so we turned around, parked, and then hung out for about an hour before  heading back for bed.

Monday, I did a few more pickups.  Most enjoyable were those with Warder Fergus, he with rapier and dagger against my long sword.  I cracked the handle on my long sword when fencing Mikulaj and had to make an emergency repair with duct tape so it  would not get worse.
In the rapier battle, which started way late, I started out with the Southern Region.  There we faced a lot of Atlantia, with a smattering of Midrealm fencers.  As we we dominating the open field, Nataliia directed me to head up the line to  assist with the other flags.  I was able to help out in the broken field section, but after being backed over a hay bale, I opted to move up towards the fort and assist the Handsome Boys/Calivers and Ansteroa.  I was able to help push the enemy forces around the tower, but we never had enough people to keep the ground and flank them and gain the tower.  Intense and fun fighting.  Just wish it was not so bloody hot.  Doroga's girlfriend is amazing, having cool towels for the fencers at the resurrection line.  I think that saved me.  Had an "interesting" conversation with a Midrealm MOD after the battle, but it all worked out.  Funny though as the old me would have blown up at this person.  Being a dad has changed me as I now have a lot more patience.  As I said though, all good now, and now I have a new friend.  Jennie, E, and I went to dinner over at DeLondres.  Yummy ribs and good company.  Then onto Master Phillip White's ice cream social

Tuesday, a few pickups, but not too much fencing due to the increasing heat.  I helped to marshal the early goings of the cadet tournament and signed in a few friends.  I'm so glad to see the tournament i started thriving with 95 entrants this year, even up against the Ansteorran tournament.  I was not a fan of the melee scenario.  In the first pass, as a defender, I held off an advancing line with my cohorts until I was DFBed.  I think I threw on shot to back a few people off.  In the second go around, as an attacker, a advanced on a few skirmishers, saw Bruce and Trap and an Atlantian MOD.  He looked at me, I threw my shot, he looked away at a group advancing on him, as he started to look back, I connected with my shot to his mask, right about the jaw line.  He felt it was hard and asked me to give my medallion number to  a marshal.  I complied, resurrected at the nearest flag and tried to get back in the fight, but it was soon over.  I had tracked him on his way back to his resurrection point.  I apologized, we discussed it, and we were all good.  I introduced him to Jean Xavier as my Peer.  I  then went to where the marshals were having their meeting.  When they wrapped up, I talked with Frasier, told him that we were all good.  Did I feel the shot was hard?  It doesn't matter it what it comes down to.  My opponent felt it was hard.  I stepped up and did the right things afterwards. I will call this personal growth.  I saw my opponent later in the food court.  We talked a little more, I apologized again, he said there was no need.  All good there.  After all the fencing we went over to An Dub to hang out with Jean Xavier and Gianetta.  Evan was passed out due to the heat and we needed a place to just sit and (try to) chill.  We had a nice dinner.  Gianetta setup a tub of water for Evan to splash in, as he was overheated.  His smile returned.  We then went back to the B&B for showers and a bath for Evan, and bed.

Wednesday was our last day.  We cut it short.  Jennie went shopping with Engracia.  I followed with Evan, but not too closely.  We went for a walk down to House Hedgehog, where E passed out.  We spent some time down there just hanging out.  E slept the whole time, so when we got back up to the top of the hill, we called it a day, got in the car with the A/C blasting, and headed back.  We got cleaned up and headed out for dinner to North Country Brewing Company in Slippery Rock.  It has become our post-Pennsic meal of choice.

Thursday, we drove home.  I was worried about how E would do in the car with us leaving after breakfast, but he was great.  He passed out for a bit or kept himself entertained.  We got home and stopped at Costco and we ran into my grandmother and my mom.  I unpacked the truck later that evening.

Overall it was a pretty good Pennsic.  I am glad we didn't camp, but I missed being onsite. We shall see what next year brings.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Stuff...

So I'm still having problems with my hand.  I thought it was getting better.  I've switched out my keyboard for work to one with a negative incline.  I've changed from a mouse to a trackball.  I'm giving it rest, but as soon as I pick up a sword, it starts to hurt.

Last night, I helped to authorize 3 new fencers.  We had four people at the practice authorize for the first time.  Watching Malcolm fencing Erika, it was an easy authorization to observe.  I did some pickups with Dominico to prep him, and then fenced his authorization bout.  The third of the night was Anton, who I observed.  It was not an easy one to judge from outside, so I asked him to fence me some.  I was satisfied and another authorization was completed.

My last fight of the night was Wulfgar, who wanted to do 48 passes for the night, as he's turning 48 on Thursday.  He was at 40 passes, so he only needed eight more.  We had some fun passes completing his goal.

In other news, I've ordered a Federschwert from Castille Armory.  I have the Hanwei version, but its too floppy.  This one is being ground down to work as an SCA Heavy Rapier blade and not limited to C&T.  I hope to have this in before Pennsic.

I'm also going to be making a handle and cross guard to go on my 45" blade.  I am given to calling it the "Pennsic War Atrocity".  My actual hope is that this will help me with my hand issues during Pennsic, as I'll be able to use both hands to support the weapon.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Practice Report - 6/28/16

After a great time fencing on Saturday, not sure what happened on Tuesday at practice.  Went out and fought  Jonathan, gave him my buckler and I took single.  Hand started cramping up immediately.  Took a break, did some teaching with Rachel.  That was my practice.  I have a feeling it's all the typing I do all day long.

Tonight I am heading to a session on Italian Rapier by Maestro Tom Outwin.  I may have to leave early to pick up my father at the airport.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Potted Arms - 5/25/16

I was undecided about going to Potted Arms in the Canton of Hawk's Reach (corrected from - Lions End), Barony of An Dubhegeinn. I wanted to go, but my hands had been bothering me. I wanted to fence, to see friends, and it would likely be the last time I'd have to see John Radburne in a while as he's moving halfway across the continent. Not that I get to see him that often, but he's one of my favorite people, to fence or just hang out with.

So the morning cane and I took E to get bagels. I was still undecided, but was feeling ok.  I got home and decided that I would go battle the traffic on Long Island to get to the event. Traffic getting there was not to bad for the L.I.E. during a summer weekend. I got on site in under two hours. Got ready to fence and was asked to fight an authorization. It was with John and for case of rapiers. A no brainer, but the forms must be followed. It was a fun few passes but the hand started acting up. So I took it easy and entered the first tournament which included a hat auction of fencers. I brought out my mask, and my herald spoke well of the character that inspired the design. I went to Vitorrio for $20.

The tournament was a fun scenario that would take too long to explain. I never did get to light Alexander MacGlouchlin with the torch as I wanted to. When I was the witch, I took out all the villagers scoring max points. This had me tied at the end with my provost sister, Miriam Giant Slayer. So a single bout would determine the victor. I won after a hard fought bout, taking the prize for my sponsor.

I did some pick ups with Adi before the next tournament, a straight up double elimination affair with bouts being best 2 of 3. I drew Eanraig, Targai, John (loss), Vitorrio, and then wound up in the finals with John. We agreed to go blind (keeping what we picked up first, without seeing what our opponent had chosen) as it was rotating weapons forms, best 3 out of 5.

(Bouts how I recall it, but I may be off)

* first bout: me-buckler,  John-stick 
* second bout: me-dagger,  John-dagger
* third bout: me-case (I gave up the secondary),  John-single
* forth bout: me-singleJohn-case

He won 2, I won 2, setting up a final bout. John had not re-authorized in non-rigid parry, so we both agreed with the marshals to fight either single or rapier and dagger. Baroness Suzanne choose dagger after employing the very scientific, eenie, meenie, miney, mo method. John took the final bout. I'm thankful to my most worthy opponent and friend who allowed me a few stoppages to relieve the discomfort in my sword hand. All my fights were very clean and I thank all of my opponents on the day. It was a great day of fencing.

In court, I was called up as the winner of the first tournament. My sponsor was presented with a mirror box, and then it was revealed the prize was a blade of my choosing. The people of An Dubhegeinn are as gracious as they are generous. John was presented with a wooden cooler for his victory and Eanraig was declared the new champion of the barony.

I had dinner with John and Adi at a Fridays, and while the meal was good, the company was even better. I wish I got to see them both more often. Lots of laughs and just a good feeling you get when spending time with people you like. Adi said it best after I toasted "to good friends". She corrected me and said family and is so true.

After dinner it wad a slog through traffic to get home. Thankfully my GPS avoided some major delays. I got home exhausted but it was worth it.

I know Long Island is a pain to get to, but they have a great spirit and some fun and  challenging fencers. It was a good day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Practice report - 6-14

Well, practice sucked for me this week.  My hand issues that showed up at SRWC had felt better until I picked up a rapier and tried to use it.  I tried fencing Malcolm and I was hurting and off.  I unwrapped  it, and then used some prewrap and athletic tape to try and support the muscles.  Ithen tried to  do a few passes with Jonathan.  Yeah, that didn't help either.

Today its bothering me more, especially when typing or using the mouse.  I'm now going to look up some exercises to do and stretches.  Lucy gave me a stretch to try and do.

Time to work on the fencing lefty I guess....

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Practice report and SRWC

Practice this past week went ok. I had no motivation for a number of factors.  Mike asked me to drill with a new fencer, Jeff.  To set his mane in memory, I called him, "Jeff, the god of biscuits" from an Eddie Izard shot in religion.  Anyway, we worked a lot from the ground up as this was his 4th practice. He seemed to grasp the concepts I was giving, so we kept at it. I can't believe we spent so much time worthing, and I didn't get to spar once and I was still happy with the night.
And E gave Jeff a new nickname. He kept saying, "Daddy fencing 'skits" to Jennie. She finally figured out he meant biscuits because he had overheard me reference Eddie Izard from halfway across the room Jeff's wife heard it and laughed, so I think he has been christened.

SRWC

A day where nothing seemed to be working right. My right hand cramped up in warm ups and settled up. Pain in the base of my thumb and along the pinkie side. I went 2-2 in the tournament. I tried fencing more but the hand was hurting too much. Additionally, I knew where my mistakes were but everything just felt off.
With the heat, Jennie and I took Evan to the pool for a swim. That was the best part of my day, followed closely by setting a dear friend elevated to the order of defense.  I count myself lucky that I get to see Orlando every week and pick his brain on a multitude of subjects.
We tried to stay through court, but R was done. He passed out in the car quickly and didn't even wake up for food, lemonade, or my offer of a french fry.