They Eyes!, The Eyes!

I’ve been home two days, and I’m  still exhausted. Yep, Ork Wars was a stunning success.Two days and nights of fun, companionship, sleep deprivation, good fun; it rocked.
We arrived on site about 3:00 PM on Friday and I immediately set out to mark all the private rooms. That took about 45 minutes and when  done I got changed into garb and headed up to Troll where I worked until midnight. This was my second time to work as a reservation steward for an event and I learned a LOT the first time. This time the process was a lot smoother. My paperwork was  in much better shape. Hell, Caitriona never even threatened to kill me. Major improvement.
From midnight til about 7:00 AM I was in the feast hall. Theoretically I was there to guide any late arrivals to their bunks, in reality I was there to talk with friends. There was a very small amount of drama that started about 5:00 AM , and took a couple of hours to clear up, but mostly it was a good night.
Saturday was spent mostly just walking around and talking with people. I got to spend some time talking with Gordon and his lovely wife Cerriddyn from Rookshaven. Spent a lot of time talking with Her Excellency Morgana of Axemore, and that is always a particular pleasure. She is one very, very classy lady. At lunch I attended a meeting that included my Baron, Padruig, Lass, Dia and Hrothgar, the Baron of Small Grey Bear. We talked about our respective Gulf Wars camps.
The other highlight of Saturday was the eyes. All the eyes. You see, I have a rather severe phobia about eye injuries. I can watch the most violent slasher movies and not be bothered at all until an injury occurs to somone’s eye. I can’t watch someone put in their contacts because it involves them touching their eyball!!!! . Of course I am not at all reserved about this and therefore most of my friends know about it. So, all day long Saturday people that were wearing freaky, Halloween inspired contacts made a point of coming by and talking to me. Sooner or later I’d notice their damn eyes and freak out. Charlie was probably the worst/best. She was wearing some kind of contact that made it look like her eyes were full of blood. Then to make it even better she handed me a small jar filled with rubber balls that had been painted to look like eyes and said, “Just remember, I’ve got my eyes on you”…or something like that. I can’t remember what she said exactly because I was busy trying not to gag when I realized I was holding a jar full of eyes. I was disgusted, but she was having fun, so that’s cool. Gods!!!, I love my friends.
During the lunch service, and for most of the afternoon KittyKat ran a fundraising candy sale and raised over 100 bucks for the Grey Niche Gate Fund. She and her friends had worked really hard and had ton of very tasty candy, cookies, etc.
Court Saturday afternoon was extremely entertaining. His Majesty got into the spirit of Ork Wars by dressing as the Hunchback of Notre Dame and Her Majesty dressed as the gypsy from the same movie who’s name I can’t remember. Lots of people got very well deserved awards. Elvis and Marisa got Onyx Chalices. Aktay got inducted into the Order of Denial, and his daughter got an Estoile. Dame Brenna got a BOOTY Call (Um, that’s the Baronial Order of Ovation and Thank You) for all the work she has done for the Barony over the last couple of years. I’m ashamed to admit I cannot remember the rest of the awards that were presented but I can honestly tell you I have never laughed so much at any court.
After feast was the heinous haffla, and SCA Trivia contest. I managed to stay awake through the trivia contest but by then I was more or less sleep walking so I headed off to bed and slept for nine hours.
Site clean up Sunday morning went very quickly. Lots of people helped, and we were ready to leave site by 12:30, that has to be damn near a record. We stopped in Jackson for lunch along with JBK, Dulinn, Gunder, and some others. Another great event was over, and it was time to head home.


Sometimes the way to victory is to not fight.

I am feeling in a mood for self revelation tonight. The mood to share something about myself that most of you that read this don’t know about me, so here goes: I love a good debate. I’ll go further than that, I love a good argument. I’m good at it.  Hell, I’ve been known to spend three hours debating/arguing one position , the use of the death penalty as an example, then turn around and spend three hours arguing/debating the other side of the same argument.

I know, I know, you are all shocked and surprised. ……surprised by the fact I was able to type the above paragraph with a strait face.  The fact is that anybody and everybody that knows me, has known me for five minutes, knows I rarely back away from an argument. Especially if it is an issue I feel strongly about.

(again reads several dozen posts on the home group email list)…..

But the thing is, for an argument or debate to be a good argument (and to be clear, I’m not talking about BAD arguments, that’s a subject for another time),  both sides have to be willing to truly listen to the other side.  Both sides must be willing to hear what the other side is saying, and must be willing to admit the other side has valid points. Finally, both sides must be willing to believe that the other side is acting honestly, and not trying to hide something, or scamming someone, etc. etc.

(reads the emails again).

When those conditions don’t exist, it is not a “good” argument/debate. It is just name calling, slander, and does nothing but raise suspicion, disrespect, mistrust,  and ill will. This brings me to the thing I really wanted to reveal, what you may not know about me: I have recently come to truly understand that the best way to win an argument or debate, when it is a bad one, is to simply not get drawn into it.


I’m Done

It is Saturday, and I am done.

I am done with a week that has been long and not particularly pleasant. Not bad, exactly, but just not very good. True, I did have a rather excellent conversation with my sister earlier in the week, and several good conversations with other good friends, but these were the highlights of the week. The rest of the week was ….long, not very productive, and just not very pleasant. I’m glad it’s over.

After the last several hours I am done (temporarily) working on the reservations for Ork Wars. This is the second time that I’ve worked as a reservation steward for an event, and I learned rather a great deal the first time I did it. I think, I’m know, my paperwork is better organized this time. I know that because I’ve spent the last five hours checking the reservation forms line by line and correcting any problems. Then I double checked. Then, just to be safe, I triple checked them. I’ll check them again Monday and Wednesday after I check the baronial mailbox for late reservations, but for tonight I’m done.

I am also done metaphorically pounding my head against a couple of brick walls.

I’m guessing that last statement is going to need a bit of explanation isn’t it? It may take a while, but I’ll try.

Wall1: Location of Grey Niche Events
Ork Wars is going to be held at a site just outside of Utica Mississippi. This is, of course, a rather significant distance from our local event sites. Now, I know some people have been talking and posting to email lists about how much they don’t like having to drive so far for a “local” event. Of course, these people, who are not people that actually come to meetings, or negotiate contracts with site owners, have not ever actually been to the new site, and don’t have any idea what it’s like. Nor do they seem to understand that other groups in our kingdom routinely travel a great distance for their “local events”. They seem to think that as members of Grey Niche, they should be able to have events in their own back yard.
The plain and simple fact is that the Shelby Forest group camps have deteriorated seriously. The Cabins at the Mississippi Group Camps have ALL been condemned. The upkeep of the cabins at the Peirsol group camp has also been cut back significantly. Further, the contract for renting the group camps now specify that there is NO tenting on group camps. That’s in the contract.
The second fact is that there are still a minimum of three Grey Niche Events each year that are local. These events are called Lugh, Theign and Acanthus, Candlemass, and the Baronial Christmas Party. I find it odd that those that seem to be complaining the most about moving Samhain didn’t attend most of those local events either.
I’ve tried to explain to the people that are not happy with moving the location of Samhain why it is a good thing. Tried to explain the benefits of the new site (which is, quite frankly one of the nicest SCA sites I’ve ever seen). I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to address these people’s concerns.
I should point out that the complainers are most definitely a minority. Most people are at least willing to visit the site and support the group. Most of the group that have actually been to the site love it. So, I’m done. I’m done trying to convince the few. Fact is nothing will convince them anyway, so from this point forward my response to those that complain will be, “Sorry to hear that. We’ll have fun without you.”

Wall 2: Changing Friendship
This is somewhat related to the first wall, but one of the people complaing most vocally (at least on an email list I was subscribed to) is a person that I consider a friend. However, I now realize that this person doesn’t believe me, doesn’t trust me, and for reason’s I don’t understand, never will. I further understand that I am no longer willing to put the effort into changing this person’s mind about a lot of things. I can no longer continue to accept the casual insults, the allegations of being a liar, etc. I am not angry, really, I am just done. I’m done defending myself and my friends to this person. I’m done trying to make this person realize that the world is not out to persecute them. I am going to focus my time on people that do believe me and trust me. I wish this person well, but I am done.

Now, I’m done blogging. Done venting. Thank you for putting up with the venting of my anger. Now, I’m going to make jewelry and watch a taped episode of Heroes .


Pleasant conversation.

Not a great deal to update since my last post. Just working, and waiting for the weekend. I did have a rather pleasant, and rather long conversation with my sister Kris last night. We normally talk for 15-20 minutes every other week or so, but last night we ended up talking for almost three hours. We hadn’t done that in a very, very long time.
I guess I should admit that for most of her life I was not a very good brother to her. In fact she and I didn’t begin to form a close relationship until I moved out of the house to go to college. Over the years since we have continued to grow closer, to truly become friends. True, she doesn’t understand some of the choices I have made, and I don’t understand some of the choices she has made, but that’s ok, we respect each other.

We talked about a lot of subjects: the current status of our lives, or memories of different events (both good and bad) when we were younger, major goals and drives, plans for the upcoming holiday. Just as an aside, I can’t frigging believe it is late enough in the year to start making plans for “the Holidays”. It was interesting to hear her memories of different things, different events. We were talking about the same event, but we both remembered it very, very differently. Our perceptions were so different. Although our perceptions were different, both of us were, for lack of a better word, “right”.  I say that because I truly believe that our perception defines our reality.  So, in her perception that trip we made on a vacation when I was 16 and she was eleven was really rather boring. For me that same trip in my perception was lot of fun.

It goes deeper than that though. Our self perception defines our reality, often in ways that we never think about. ……

I had planned a really long exploration of the way self perception can affect each and every one of us, but it’s late, and I’ve got to get up early. I’ll return to this subject again soon.


I need to think about this

I need to read this again, and seriously think about it, but I think I agree with most of what she says. I urge everybody that reads my little bit of drivel to read this . She makes some very good points.  I freely admit I found the article from a link On Kat’s blog…and I thank her for posting it for me to find.


Tape removal is not fun

So, last night I had to check into Methodist Hospital’s Sleep Disorder Clinic to have what’s called a “Sleep Disorder Test”. They apparently call it that because “seven hours of uncomfortable attempts to sleep normally” is to many words.  I had to have this test because my Doctor thinks I may suffer from sleep apnea, which apparently is the scientific name for the conditon “snores damn loud”.
For those of you that have never had to have one of these tests, let me describe it to you. YOu show up at the clinic, they show you the room you will be sleeping in and you are surprised to find that it looks remarkably like a mid range hotel room. It most emphatically DOES NOT look like a hospital room. The very nice technician then asks you to change into what ever you sleep in, and says he’ll be right back to get you “hooked up”.
“Hooked up” refers to  the placing of approximately 3700 electrodes to your head, chest, face, back, legs, and wherever else the technician feels like placing one.  Or ten. This process does not occur in the sleeping room, but in the “Patient Hook Up Room”. That is a room I never want to enter again. These electrodes are held on with pieces of surgical tape. Remember that, it will become important in just a little bit.
Once all the electrodes, and the tape that holds them in place, are attached the technician then escorts you back to the “sleeping room”. He then instructs you to lay down and sleep as normally as possible. Slight problem here. Normally I do not sleep in a room that has a camera trained on me while I sleep. Normally, I do not have the itching caused by approximately 4700 pieces of tape holding approximately 3700 electrodes in place. Normally when I wake up in the middle of the night I don’t have to call a technician on an intercom to come unplug all the wires from the machine so I can stumble to the bathroom and take care of business.
So, for the next seven hours I attempted to sleep. Eventually I did sleep, but while it normally takes me four, five minutes top to get to sleep at home, last night took about an hour and half. I never did get as deeply as asleep as normal. At this point I should point out that I do, I admit, have sleep problems. Usually I only sleep four or five hours a night, and I normally wake up at least twice, sometimes more.
Once it was over I asked the tech what the test showed. Of course he tried really hard to not say anything, claiming it was up to the Doctor to interpret the results. Eventually he did say that he had never had someone snore quite so loudly. Hell, I could have told them I snore loud. Sometimes I wake myself up snoring.
Eventually it was time for the great “unhooking”, the removal of all the electrodes. The removal of the tape. Remember the tape? I assure you, I’ll never forget the tape. See, while I’m bald on my head, I do have a rather hairy chest. There is apparently no way to remove surgical tape that has been installed over chest hair without removing that same hair. The tech tried, he really did, but …but DAMN that was not fun.

Saturday night.

So, been a mere 12 days since I made a post. It feels longer than that.

I don’t really have a lot to post tonight. I had a wonderful, and quite surprising, time at Coronation last weekend. Quite surprising.
This week I’m missing Diamond Wars because my bosses demanded my presence at work. I think they lack imagination.

I spent most of the day making jewelry. Well, I should say I spent most of the day making components I’ll use to make jewelry. Winding the wire on the mandrel, cutting the rings, opening the rings. It’s a time consuming process, and extremely repetitive, but also somewhat mentally liberating. One portion of your brain is focused on what your hands are doing, but a much larger portion of your brain is free to think, to wander, to ponder. Got a lot of thinking done, and actually completed two of the men at arms chains I’m making for His Majesty Sir Uther. Once I get done with this piece I’m going back to it.

I don’t really have any real plans for tomorrow. Not during the day anyway. Tomorrow night I’ll be spending the night at a sleep disorder clinic. My Doc. thinks I probably have sleep apnea. From what I know of the condition I think he’s probably right. I admit I’m not really thrilled with the thought of trying to sleep with a bunch of electrodes attached to me, and even less thrilled by the thought of sleeping with a CPAP mask over my nose. However, I know several people that use CPAP machines, and swear they have made a large difference in their lives.

Ok, off to make more components.


Give me sticks and stones any day.

Before work today I went to lunch at my favorite low cost chinese buffet. I go to this particular restaurant once or twice a week. It is not high cuisine by any means, but I like it. While I was eating my lunch the two women were having a conversation about their children. …..
Before I continue this I should admit I don’t have any children, and the way my life is going, probably never will. Nor do I spend a great deal of time around children. I make no claims to be an authority on child rearing.
Anyway, I over hear this conversation, mostly because they were talking rather loudly, and I heard  one of them make this comment, “and then I told him to rememember that ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me'”. I almost choked on a piece of sweet and sour chicken.
I know she probably meant well, and I’m sure she was genuinely trying to help her child, but what a load of male bovine fecal material. In my life I’ have been hit by sticks and stones, and while those incidents did hurt, they didn’t hurt nearly as much as some of the words I have heard from people.
I too was told by concerned parents, friends, etc, that little rhyme. In a way, I think it actually made things worse. I mean, if words couldn’t hurt, if they didn’t hurt the people telling me that “words could never hurt me”, then I must not be as good, or as strong, or as tough as the people that were telling me that the words couldn’t hurt me. I remember clearly having that thought when I was nine years old.  I had gone to my Dad crying because I was tired of being made fun of at school. He put his arm around me, and repeated that phrase, that rhyme. I know he was trying to help, but I still hurt, and I couldn’t make him understand that. Maybe he did, but didn’t know how to help. Maybe that’s what his folks had told him.
But it’s not true. Worse, it is a lie: words can, and do, hurt. Hurt a lot. Sometimes the hurt is deliberate. Whoever said them wanted to hurt. Far worse is when someobody that truly loves you says something that hurts without meaning to. When they have no idea the impact of what they have said has on you. That is much, much worse. Give me sticks and stones any day.