Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Fencing Drills

I started doing drills on Joseph Swetnam's techniques last night at fencing practice. The cross-body parry with the dagger is very effective, if you can remember to do it. It will catch just about any thrust to the body, giving you a nice counter opportunity, too. I'll have to keep working on that one a lot.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Defense of Marriage

OK, this is a totally off-topic rant for me, but why not: it's my blog, after all.

Here's what I think about defense of marriage: marriage is an institution that has traditionally been administered by religious authorities. Ministers, priests, mullahs, and so forth have been pronouncing people married since the invention of the wheel (if not longer). Modern governments have taken it upon themselves to assign rights and responsibilities to married couples, but I really don't think it's their business deciding who can and can't get married (assuming the interested parties are of legal age and not too closely related).

Therefore, if two individuals can find a religious authority willing to pronounce them married, they are married, no matter what the state or the general population thinks. To deny them the legal rights normally accorded to married couples is religious descrimination, which the Constitution of the United States expressly forbids.

Please do not manipulate these statements to conclude that only a religious authority can marry people; common law marriages have been around for ages, too. I just don't think the government should be saying "these two people can be married, but these other two can't".

Monday, March 21, 2005

Gulf Wars XIV

Oh, what a week. It had it's up times (like La Gran Companiya kicking copious amounts of heiney in the Rapier field battles) and down times (like the almost-everpresent cold, my lady being laid up with a hip injury most of the week, and the rather unfriendly ravine battle). I think the ball list that I put together for Tuesday night was pretty well received, I just wish I'd thought to put together a snack bar like the Trimarins did. Maybe next year.

Apart from the ravine battle, the rapier fighting was pretty good this year. We just didn't have it together that day, it seems. I couldn't seem to hit anybody (although that improved some when I borrowed Zofeia's 40-inch epee), and I think I spent more time walking back to the resurrection point than fighting. Maybe it was War Point Fever, but there seemed to be an awful lot of hard shots going around both ways in that fight, too. Some people take this stuff just a wee bit too seriously, methinks.

The fort battles fought after the ravine battle were much more fun. No war points were at stake, so everyone relaxed. Somehow I ended up being the overall commander of my side during the first two rounds of that battle (mental note, if you ask a bunch of Dons who's in charge, they'll probably give it to you). Commanding wasn't actually a lot of work, though. People who knew each other had already grouped together, and some of them already had goals in mind; all I needed to do was make sure there weren't any gaps left uncovered. We won the first two battles (both as defenders and attackers), then I went back to camp for a shower, thinking they were done doing schlager battles for the day (I'd gotten enough of epees at the ravine). Seems my side lost the two battles fought after I left, so I'll shamelessly take credit for the wins. Not really -- those groups I talked about earlier seemed to have a good idea of what needed doing and took care of it, my strategic contribution was pretty small.

We had town battles later in the week (among hay bales arranged into streets and buildings), and Her Majesty Ashildr was able to make it out for the fighting, too. I wasn't in charge of more than a few people in those, but our side ruled the day completely. Feodor and his 45-inch schlager are wicked in a narrow alley.

Did I mention the Rose Tourney? For me, there wasn't much to it. I drew Don Edward Mercer in the first round of a single-elimination tourney (which wasn't even the usual 2-of-3 per round), and I was out after one fight. *Sigh*

Anyway, back to battles. Field battles on Saturday, and La Gran Companiya rocked. I was on the company's offensive flanking team with Corbin and Ysabel. There was much chasing of Trimarins in the backfield in the first battle -- I'm still wondering who the bantery fellow with the big silver buckler was that we chased for 15 minutes -- talk about fast on your feet. Second battle, I got picked off pretty early, but Ansteorra (with whom we were fighting this year) still won the battle. After that we fought a friendship battle: Ansteorra and Trimaris against the rest of the Known World. Apparently after spending the rest of the week fighting each other, Ansteorra and Trimaris were not prepared to cooperate as allies -- I think that was the shortest and most decisive of the three battles.

The big news for Meridien fencers was the announcement of the new Meridien Order of the Blade (aka "the MOB"). Yes, we have a new armigerous rapier award in our kingdom. Congratulations to Tormod, Damiano, Edmund, Erik, Irene, Ricarte, and Regne.

I'd like to thank those who came out on Thursday evening to wish my wife and I a happy anniversary. We'll try to make it a bigger party next year.

That mostly wraps it up for Gulf Wars XIV. Hopefully we'll see a bunch of our friends again at Border Raids in June (as well as at assorted smaller events between now and then).


Sunday, March 20, 2005

Back from Gulf Wars

Long drive... very weary... more tomorrow.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Departing for Gulf Wars

The packing of the tubbies is complete, and the packing of the transport is about to commence. A week of pre-cooking and freezing, planning the Meridien ball, and researching obscure fencing texts culminates in this. Needless to say, you won't hear from me for a week. Hopefully I'll have stories and pictures to share upon my return. Try not to let the mundane world fall apart while I'm gone.

Monday, March 07, 2005


My friend Richard continues to lure me down the dark, techie path. I updated the software of the Glaedenfeld Forum this evening. It's not an update anyone would notice, except maybe some lowlife hacker scum who wants to crash the forum and exploit the server that runs it. Nonetheless, I can feel the nerd flowing through me.

Regional War Practice

Travelled out to the Cumberland Plateau for Easareigh's Regional War Practice over the weekend. All of six fencers present once Julianna remembered she had athletic shoes in the car. That's enough to practice some three-on-three melees, which we did. I also put some more Swetnam techniques into practice, and I keep liking them better and better. His "true guard" seems to have limitations against people who use a low guard, but switching to his crossguard or forehand guard seems to compensate well enough. I really need to insist on more drilling at practice to help people get a feel for distance, I think.

One week left until Gulf Wars!

Friday, March 04, 2005

Dreary, Dreary Me

I hope no one arrived late to dance practice last night and wondered where I was, because I got rather grumpy after waiting 30 minutes beyond start time for students to show up and left.

Grumble, grumble...

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Oooh... Translations!

Yes, Talan has sent me translations for several of the steps found in Laccio d'Amore. There are still a few to go, but this is excellent! Now, of course, I have to try to figure out just what Caroso is trying to say...