16 January 2012

Wherever I May Roam

So life since New Year's hasn't been terribly exciting.  My hours at work have been pretty dismal and I've heard nothing back about a potential job in California.  My only injury of note is the removal of my right pinky fingerprint, pretty much all the skin got sheared off by some rusty metal.

Last week at the Bhakail fencing practice, a couple of Aethlmearc fencers stopped by.  They hail from the the Barony of Endless Hills, up near Scranton, PA.  Baron Gunnarr, Lord Po Silvertop, Gunnarr's son and one other were there.

Lord Po is unsuspecting.

For some history, at my first Queen's Rapier Championship in Aethlemearc, Po was my first opponent.  Since I had only been fencing...less then a year(?) at that point, I did of course lose, but not before getting a double-kill on the first pass.  Ever since then, I make a point of fighting him whenever I get the chance.  A couple of my local group, Hartshorn-Dale, also made it to the practice, which I was glad to see.  The HD group is pretty small and doesn't get out much, so seeing them fence people other than each other and me was nice.

Anywho, my main two points for writing today are these; Awards, & Pennsic.
This past weekend in Aethlemearc was 12th Night.  Most of my old group, Silva Vulcani went.  My girlfriend, the current Seneschal of the group got inducted into the Order of the Keystone. You can read her story here.  While I'm very happy for her, it got me wondering; as a founding member of that group, would I have gotten something similar by now if I hadn't moved home to eastern PA and the Kingdom of the East?  I know my back-and-forth during school didn't help my fencing game, as people who started shortly after or about the same time as me advanced past me. Missing summer practices put a hurt on me as I couldn't track down the HD fencers at that time.  Back in AE I'm fairly well known I think, between the huge amount of people at Silva Vulcani practices and the amount of events and traveling I did with them. Here in the East, only HD and Bhakail know anything about me.  I hope to change that this weekend, at the Iron Bog Baronial Investiture.  I'll be putting my best forward and making sure they all see the escarbuncle, Aethelmearc's symbol, on my drape.  (Also, I've yet to make a drape for the East.)

Now for Pennsic.  This year is Pennsic 41, and for the first time since Pennsic 1, the allies are getting mixed up.  Traditionally it's East & Co. vs. Mid & Co. This year it's Aethelmearc & Antlantia vs East & Mid.  This puts me in a hard place. Majority of friends will be fighting for AE, but I now have obligations to the East.  Both sides have also promised to single me out on the field.  This is of course assuming I can make it to Pennsic this year. It's not a cheap event.  Have to take a week off of work as well as paying to get in, buying food, camp gear, etc.  If I do go, I'll probably camp with Northern Cross, the household of both the current King and Queen & their successors.  So if I choose to fight for the East, camp could get hysterically awkward.

Such are the woes of a trans-kingdom fencer in the SCA, now if you'll excuse me, I need to go work on point control with my left hand.

03 January 2012

Vanilla Vodka and Orange Soda

The Nor'easter
Is delicious.  Haven't posted in a while. Life's been either too boring or too busy to sit down and write up a post.  Christmas was alright but kinda lack-luster.  It's not as exciting when you're not getting off of school or anything.  I worked the day before and after, so other than excessive amounts of gluttony the holiday wasn't that spectacular.  I got some nice coats and a hat and stuff, though two of the stand-out gifts were a real Black Woods Cuckoo clock that is now ticking away in my room and the Bachmann Nor'easter HO scale train set.  The Nor'easter has an Amtrak Acela HHP-8 loco and 3, LED-lit passenger cars plus track and whatnot.  In real life the HHP-8 (High HorsePower 8000) generates 8000 horsepower (never would've guessed), and runs shorter distance commuter trains than the actual Acela.

New Year's was far more exciting as my girlfriend and other friends came to visit.  My girlfriend and other visitors are from Western PA, so we spent the week doing touristy things.  Our first stop was Philadelphia to see the historic district.  Unfortunately we couldn't get into Independence Hall or the Liberty Bell Pavilion (line wrapped around the building), but we still got to see some neat stuff.  That night I took them to the Bhakail fencing practice so they could get a proper butt-kicking. =P  After the practice we went to the diner with everyone and had a good time.  Thursday we had planned on going to NYC, but we were too beat.  Instead we went to Strasburg.  Strasburg is located out in Lancaster and operates steam-driven passenger trains on a short branch-line.  While we missed the last train of the day (see a trend here?) we did spend a healthy chunk of time in the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum.  Me, my girl, our friend, and my dad and half-sister are all pretty big train fans, so it was a good time.

The next day I took the girls to Valley Forge National Historic Park, and our first stop there was General Washington's Headquarters.  Both girls are history majors and loved every second of it.  We drove around to the park's other major sites, as it was too chilly and time-consuming to walk.  When we had made our loop of the park we had some time to kill before going to Longwood Gardens with my dad, stepmom, and half-sister, so we went to the King of Prussia Mall.  It's the largest mall on the east coast and it was packed! The only store we really got to go into was the LEGO store, which took its toll on all our wallets.

We then met up with my dad and went to Longwood.  So. Many. Lights.  I can't imagine putting up the Christmas lights at that place, it was nuts.  Gorgeous, but nuts.  They also had a pretty awesome garden railroad display that was pretty cool.

Saturday we hung around waiting for the rest of our friends to arrive and when they did we spent New Year's Eve drinking and playing Magic.  New Year's day we took our enlarged group to KoP for a more extensive shopping experience, though the LEGO store was still a hotspot.