Latest event schedule

It has been a while, but here is where I will be:

Jan 9 Calontir Coronation
Jan 16 Ansteorra Coronation
Jan 23 Ice Castles Atlantia
Jan 29-30  Birka East
Feb 6  Seven Deadly Sins, Aethelmaerc
Feb 13  ValDay Middle
Feb 20 WarCollege, Ansteorra
Feb 23 Estrella War,  Atenveldt
Mar 5  weekend off?
Mar 13-19 Gulf Wars
Mar 26  Calontir Crown
April 2  Trimaris Crown
April 9 Ansteorra Coronation
April 16 uncertain
April 22-24 Figments and Filaments, Kansas City
April 30 uncertain
May 1-6  West Kingdom Celebration
May 13  An Tir Crown
May 20 Caid Crown
May 27 Horse and Falcon Calontir
June 4  uncertain
June 10-16 War of the Lilies Calontir
June 18-25  SCA 50 Year
June 28-July 2  An Tir West War
July 9 Calontir Coronation  or July 7-10  Warrior and Warlords, Northshield
July 16 uncertain
July 23  uncertain
July 31- August 14 Pennsic
August 27 Atenveldt Crown??
August 31-Sept 5  Battlemoor Outlands

Laurel Scroll for Nicolas L'Anguile

I was most pleased to travel to Gleann Abhann this weekend past for Candlelight Camp, and the elevation to the Laurel of
Baron Nicolas L'Anguile, who dwelt awhile in Grimfells.

In River’s Vale, Gleann Abhann called, King Uther reigns as Sovereign,
And by his side Queen Brigit sits, alike in royal station.
The Argent Ram, whose Crowns They wear, has blessed this land with bounty:
White-girded Knights, by fealty bound, preserve the Kingdom’s Borders,
The Pelicans, who serve the Realm, do daily fight disorder,
But this day’s theme is artisans, who fill Our Land with beauty.
Since ancient times a Laurel wreath has marked the brow of crafters,
Whose scholarship and teaching skill provide broad inspiration,
And by their works of pen, and saw, and likewise nimble needle
Do fill the land with treasures rich the glory of Our Kingdom.
When one has mastered diverse skills, and shared them with Our People,
And bears himself with noble mien, and serves as fine example,
It is Our Royal Right and Will to recognize with Peerage
That all might see and all might know his value to Gleann Abhann.
A tailor skilled, a scholar sage, who served Our Royal grandsire
And by his raiment stakes his claim to Laurel’s leafy circlet.
The Baron Nicolas L’Anguile has knelt before his Sovereigns,
There vestments donned and warnings heard, and fealty oath did offer.
We name him Peer and Laurel true and bid him pray continue
To do such things and craft such works as brought him to Our notice.
From this day forth he badges bears and holds his arms by Patent.
His fire-steels shall send forth sparks of learning through the Kingdom.
We name him Peer, his rank increase, and grant him Royal License
To capture eels and elvers young and sell them in the markets,
And gift each year ten els of cloth, of finest silken damask.
These things we do the last of May, in Small Grey Bear’s fine holdings,
In year the ninth and fortieth, since first Our days were numbered.

Uther                                    Brigit
King                                       Queen

County Scroll for Anton

While looking up something else, I realized that while I had posted Isabeau's County scroll here, I had not yet posted Anton's.

In interest of fairness.

We exalt now Our Kingly father, who flew as a Falcon,
Lithe Dancer in Battle, in every way regal,
Firm steward of Calontir, the gold-giving Anton,
His eyes ever watchful, seeing good in all subjects.

From Black-Star land came he, but so well learned our ways,
That only those with memory sharp knew him as other
Than true-born, purple-blooded son of the Heartland.
His noble deeds did prove he bore the Falcon's keen eye.

We exalt him for his true holding to true calling,
For as Our King Law-wise was he, and full counseled.
He held peers' words and thegns' as valued as bright gold,
And not even the smallest need escaped his eyes' gaze.

When at summer's start all did gather a Lilies' Lake,
Tradesmen and guild did raise red sword one to the other.
He let squabble play out as long as was seemly and merry,
Then invoked Royal Peace, lest eye be taken for an eye.

We exalt him as war-leader, who skimmed over waves of foe-blood
At ancient war-plain, made sacred by annual pilgrimages.
Woe to the Tyger, when facing the Falcon war-lusting.
His eyes set on Honour, the prize dearer than base Vict'ry.

We exalt Anton Raghelan, who served as King 'til this day.
We exalt Anton Raghelan, recognizing County's achievement.
We exalt Anton Raghelan, with gold 'battled brow-ring.
We exalt Anton, and pray to see through eyes clear as his.

By these words do We, Luther and Maerwyn, newly and rightly crowned King and Queen of Calontir, recognize Anton Raghelan as one who has ruled this Our Kingdom, and take joy in proclaiming his Comital rank and rights from this thirteenth day of September in the forty-third year of the Society ever onward.  

Scroll Text: Duncan of Skeene's Huscarl

In honor of my friend Duncan, who was invited into the Chivalry this weekend.

Fernando the Falcon and Lyriel, Lily,
Standing again at the Crossroads of Fate,
Enfolded and guarded by Calontir's Levy -
We stand at full ready to guard Phaedra's Gate.

Great is the power of the proud Falcon War Host,
Soldiers well trained who Our valour uphold,
With axes and scutums, greatsword and long spear,
Through weapons of warfare true glories unfold.

Yet in battle's peril a strong shield is needed,
A stout oaken shaft and keen bright axe blade.
Heart of the Heartland now calls Its protectors -
We summon the Huscarls by Our Ancestors made.

But still in Our war host their stands such a soldier
Well stocked with death blows - Wise in war's ways.
Our grand-dame's protector, a far traveled veteran,
Worthy of honor  - To the Hirth him We raise

Spiller of wound-dew, none best him in war-lust,
Fiercest in slaughter, this feeder of crows.
We Grant Arms and crossed axes to the sharp tongued Duncan
Called Skeene for his homeland, grim bane of Our foes.

Round his neck do We place now this badge of the Order,
And Grant to him always such privilege and right
As held since the first days by the Iren Hirth's warriors -
Well earned by their prowess, their valour, their might.

But with such advancement their comes also duty
To guard well Our borders against highlander's raid.
He must raise up a stone keep and a strong string of towers,
And send us nine coins of ten of the tolls that are paid.

By our seals we confirm it - his Lordship's high honour
On the seventeenth of February, the year XXXV.
On the sands of Estrella in Atenveldt's homelands
As Duncan has striven so shall we all strive.

Fernando the Falcon and Lyriel Lily.
Standing again at the Crossroads of Fate,
With Duncan of Skeene enrolled as a Huscarl
We stand now full ready to guard Phaedra's Gate.

Fernando Lyriel
Rey Reine

Calon Cross scroll for Neathery of Safita

At Gulf Wars, the following was presented:

In Calontir, the Falcon Land, Martino reigns as Sovereign,
With wisdom clear and mercy just he makes the realm to prosper.
And by his side stands Ariel, the flower of the Kingdom
Whose belt of white and Laurelled brow bespeak her as full worthy.
But each of them served well the Realm, before their Royal Crowning.
And thus they know the long hours spent by all the Kingdom’s servants.
Within the realm was such a jewel, a treasure of the Heartland
Who lived in town of Safita, where summer burned like smithy.
Beneath the Crac de l’Ospital she built a place of learning
She summoned all the well-taught minds and students soon did follow
For year on year the learning bloomed and came forth many scholars.
Academy, Bright Falcon named, did fill the land with sages.
And so she did in Lily-lands, where summers likewise smoldered.
But scholar’s robes she’ll put aside when other tasks need tending,
Our summer war, which all enjoy, was aided by her guidance.
Her pen and brush too serve the Realm, producing Royal Charters.
By all these deeds her worth is known, and held up as example
For all to see and follow well, and note a realm’s true servant.
So as the Falcon flew to War, unbound by hood or jesses,
The Royal Pair, the King and Queen, did call this worthy forward.
“O, Neathery of Safita, We praise you in Court Royal,
And mark you with the Calon Cross, sign equal of your labors.
Join now this group who daily toil, for benefit of Kingdom,
And let none bar you from their ranks, lest they should see our anger.”

By these words did Martino and Ariel, King and Queen of Calontir create Neathery of
Safita a Companion of the Cross of Calontir, conveying to her all rights, duties and
responsibilities, on the 13th day of March, AS XLVII, while on campaign in Glenn Abhann.

This was done in Byzantine "City Verse" (my term for Political Verse).
Neathery has excavated at Safita, which is near the castle now known as the Crac de Chevallier.

Express Text

At Twelfth Night, I was approached by the Chamberlain, asking me to attend upon Their Majesties in Their Privy Chamber.
They needed a scroll text for court in an hour and a half.

Here is what I managed...

Fierce roll the dark clouds
Bringing doom to our foemen.
Black are the omens
For all those who oppose Us.
Our warhost is hewn
With the axes of huscarls
Unknowing of limb's pain
Once battle begins.
The lithman's axe crashes
Like swift strike of lightning,
Drawing all eyes to witness
What has been laid low.
When huscarls charge forward
Their roar is like thunder,
Death-dealing deep rumble,
The last sound slain foes hear.
Who of Our warhost
Is unflinching in tempest?
Which of Our soldiers
Brings foemen such fear?
Who should be trusted
With axes and duties?
Whose task as a huscarl
Is to guard Calontir?
Kneels now before Us
One worthy of honor
By battle's prowess,
His arm-strength did shine.
Conr Stumaere,
The Whirlwind of Melee.
Conr Sturmaere,
Whose sword stroke is lightning.
Conr Sturmaere,
Who roars warlike thunder.
Conr Sturmaere,
Be a Huscarl this day.

By these words did Damien and Issabell King and Queen of Calontir induct Conr Sturmaere
into the Order of the Iren Hirth, confirming all ancient and associated rights, responsibilities,
and badges conferred by law and custom on this the fourth day of January in the 48th year
of the Society in Our Barony of Lonely Tower.

Damien Rex   Issabell Regina

Without time to do research, I went with the baseless supposition that "Sturmaere" was etymologically related to "stormy".
I still haven't checked to see if it is the case, but it worked for the text.


Two Scroll Texts

This weekend, my former Apprentice, Dolan Madoc of Harlech, and his lady Kezia von Holzenhaus stepped down as Baron and Baroness of Lonely Tower.
I had the opportunity to write their retirement texts, a Court Baronage for him, but as she already had a Court Baronage, she simply received a writ of retirement.

Once again, I checked out Jenny Rowland's Early Welsh Saga Poetry from the UARK library (I think I am the only one who checks it out.) and used it for my model.

Removed from the head is the Coronet.
From snowy locks intended for younger, darker hair,
As years and seasons turn, so barons and kings.

Lifted from the head is the Coronet.
Three years of serving by leading,
Led by seven pair royal crowned heads.

Taken from the brow is the Lonely Tower Coronet.
As it was in earliest day, to replaced with Laurel wreath,
Return in full to your songs, quarrels and tales.

Pulled from the head is the Crownlet of the land.
Hosts were led not with sword,
But bow and shaft, which slew many foes.

Doffed from the head is the Golden Coronet,
Lesser Crown of Greater Crown.
Marking ruler of Baronage, First Subject of King.

Withdrawn from the head is the browband of power
Its strength was your people
Its rule-right was your King.

Snatched from the head is the band of Unig Twr
For use by the successor,
Your term is well completed.

Dislodged from the head is Lonely Tower’s burden.
Grateful are your people, and Kings
For three long years of service.

Raised from the head is the Gold Coronet
To make room for silver,
The mark of service given and leisure gained.

Withdrawn from the head is the Coronet,
No longer Lonely Tower’s  Baron,
But ever in court Calontir.

Bared is the head of Coronet,
Making room for new journeys,
Go forth, Dolan Madoc, Court Baron henceforth.

By these words do We, Damien and Issabell, King and Queen of Calontir,  create Dolan Madoc of Harlech a Baron of Our Court, investing him will all ancient rights, including the use of a Coronet of Silver, surmounted by six pearls, from this fourth day of January in the forty eighth year of the Society, in Our Barony of Lonely Tower, which he did lately rule in Our name.

We Damien and Issabell, by grace of sword and strength of inspiration King and Queen of Calontir, confess and make known to all mankind, the great high esteem and parental love in which We hold Kezia von Holzenhaus, from whom We have most recently lifted the burden of serving among Our First Nobles as Our Baroness of Lonely Tower.   While We have granted her peace and retirement from all attendant duties, We are restricted from granting her the traditional and expected Baronage of Our Court, well earned through her deeds, as Our Most learned and wise Predecessors, Eringlen and Eleanor, saw fit to do so in ancient days.  Therefore, We double all land holdings originallygranted  in those days and command this Baroness to assemble all legal documents pertaining thereto and present them to Us two weeks hence for further adjudication.

Damien                  Issabell
Konig                     Konigen

For twenty years, Dolan and Kezia have advanced in rank, holding between them four Grants of Arms, two Court Baronages and a Peerage, and yet in none of the scrolls attached to them were they given any land holdings, as is so often the custom in Calontir scrolls at this level.  Their string of bad luck continues.  Kezia's retirement writ allows her to double her holdings of nothing, and is useless as it commands her to present documentation a week after Coronation....

BTW, I miscounted.  They had served as Baronage of Lonely Tower for four years.


Mr. Fix-it

Over the past few days, my tenants (in two different units) have reported a furnace that was cycling on and off frequently, but occasionally, and that the water heater was putting out only enough hot water for one shower.

Google (and friends) to the rescue!

Initially, the furnace was operating properly in my presence.  I replaced the filter, and the batteries in the thermostat, and that kept the furnace operating properly for one night.  But the next day I got a call that it was cycling again. snailstichr reminded me that we had a friend who worked for an HVAC company, and a few minutes of phone conversation, and a few more minutes with sandpaper on the flame sensor solved the issue.  I saw the tenant this afternoon and he confirmed that the furnace had behaved properly throughout the very cold night.

The water heater, according to internet research, was suffering the loss of the "dip tube", the internal extension of the cold water inlet, which while galvanized pipe on the outside, is flimsy PVC on the inside.  Furthermore, apparently the years of 1996-98 were the dark days of dip-tube technology, when instead of strong, sturdy schedule 40, the standard was more akin to reconstituted eggshells.  Guess when my water heater was made.

A new dip-tube was acquired, from the plumbing supply store, which meant that it cost three times what the internet suggested.  The water line feeding the heater was turned off, probably for the first time in 17 years, and I started working on removing the old dip tube stub, the galvanized pipe on the outside.  It would not budge.  I borrowed a big pipe wrench.  No luck.  I realized I needed a torch.  This was, after all, a handyman project, which comes the Anglo-Saxon: excuse to buy tools.  I worked the pipe to break the corrosion that started about the same time the blue dress was stained.  No luck.  I added a long pipe to the end of the pipe wrench as a cheater bar, extending my leverage.  What was it that Archimedes said?  "Give me a solid place to stand, and I will move the world."

Yeah, that solid place bit... The water heather was not attached to anything,  so I could only use one arm on the wrench, while giving the water heater a bear hug with my other arm.  Nothing.   Luckily, my neighbor allowed himself to be wrangled into helping.  I held the heater while he finally managed to unscrew the pipe.  The dip tube was replaced and all seemed well, until we turned the water back on and found leaks in the supply line, no doubt due the stresses recently placed upon it after so many sedentary years.  Yet another trip to the hardware store, another $50 in parts, and replacing my big burly neighbor with the petite snailstichr, I faced a pipe back behind the heater, with far too much wobble to attack directly with the wrench.  I wedged snailstichr around the side of the heater, where she could get one hand on the pipe, I got my left hand across the top of the heater to grab it as well, and then went to work.  It took about half an hour to loosen the pipe, and from there it was gravy.  Three furlongs of teflon tape on the pipe threads of the various fittings, and it all was reassembled without leaks.

The last thing to do was turn the main water supply back on.  Did I mention that I was required to put my arm almost to the shoulder into icy water, with a wrench, in the muddy darkness to accomplish that?

I earned my hot chocolate tonight.

I expect that had I called for professional help on these two issues, it would have cost about $300, unless I was told to get a new water heater, which would have doubled that amount.  My time is worth that and more...  My father and grandfather taught me a level of self reliance and an unwillingness to pay to replace something that could be repaired, particularly if I could do it myself.  I think they would approve of the results I managed.

Oct 14

Yes, October 14 was yesterday. I just noticed the connection today.

My brother was at the infamous Steve Bartman game, where a foul ball led the Chicago Cubs down a path too well trodden. Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of that dark day.

A week or so later, I came up with a formulation that I repeat up to this day.

A brief note of explanation: the Bardic singing culture of Calontir emphasizes noble defeat, disaster in battle, and has a particular fixation on the Saxon loss at the Battle of Hastings.

Combining those two elements, I maintain this: Being a life-long Chicago Cubs fan has been the perfect preparation for being a Calontir bard.

It was only today that I noticed the real connection: October 14 is not only Bartman day, but also the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.


Howard Johnson's Poor Management

This evening, at 10:30 pm, I checked into the Howard Johnson's in Bakersfield, CA.  At 10:45, I went to the front desk to buy tokens to do laundry.  At no point did the front desk clerk inform me that the laundry would be locked from 11 pm to 11 am.  There was no sign in the laundry room of these hours, save for the front of the door, which was invisible since it was open.  Now my clothes are behind a locked door, the desk clerk has changed shifts, so the new one is not responsible for my problem, and as she doesn't have the key, she can't do anything.  Since I had planned to leave early in the morning, this has caused me to miss an important appointment, as the earliest possible time I might be able to have dry clothes is 9am.

All the original front desk clerk had to do was say, "The Laundry closes in 10 minutes." We would not have bought tokens, arranged to do our laundry elsewhere. Instead, we are waiting for a police patrol officer to arrive so that we can file a theft of property claim against Howard Johnson's.