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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.

Newest travel schedule

My brother,  still sore about the Bartman game, wanted me to post something to knock that post off the top of my feed, so here is my travel schedule for the next few months:

Dec  14, Kris Kinder, Forgotten Sea, Calontir
Dec 21, Midwinter, al Barran, Outlands
Jan 4, Twelfth Night, Lonely Tower, Calontir
Jan 11, Coronation, Forgotten Sea, Calontir, Tentative for trim
Jan 18, Twelfth Night, Ayreton, Midrealm
Jan 25, Birka, Stonemarche, East
Feb 1, Kingdom A&S, Bright Hills, Atlantia
Feb 8, Lion’s Tourney, Oldenfeld, Trimaris, Tentative
Feb 15, Val Day, Three hills, Midrealm
Feb 22, Bonwicke Artisan, Bonwicke, Ansteorra  Tentative
Feb 24-Mar 1, Estrella War, Atenveldt
Mar 8-15  Gulf Wars, Gleann Abhann
Mar 22  Hare Affair, Falcon’s Keep, Northshield, Very Tentative
Mar 29 Crown, Wyvern Cliffe, Calontir


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.

A Laurel Ceremony

snailstichr was elevated to the Laurel at Lilies, five years ago.
Herald:          O come now, Laurel College, all learnéd and sage.
          May you speak with the wisdom that comes with your art.
          By your hands are created the works of past age.
          Your High Sovereign and Consort would hear from your hearts.

          I am Christaen Jannsen who shapes clay by hand
          And as long as I’ve labored in southernmost shire
          Has there been too an artist, a prize of our land
          By the worth of her handwork she lifts herself higher.

          I am Liriel, Laurel, whose stitching brought fame.
          Many years have I watched as her needle skill grew.
          In both teaching and knowledge we’re judged now the same.
Liriel and Christaen
          Now as Laurels we humbly do seek boon from you.

Liriel:  For her skill and knowledge
Christaen:  And teaching and fostering of embroidery and needle arts,
Liriel:   We do ask that Fionna nic Alisdair be recognized as a Mistress of the Ancient
and Right Worshipful Order of the Laurel.Read more...Collapse )

          And receive now the dubbing, which by skill have you won
          May you always keep learning and building your skill.    DUBBING RIGHT
Belle:   May you treat all as equals, as you’ve always done.  DUBBING RIGHT
Both:  May this Laurel bring joy, as We know it will.  DUBBING HEAD

Anton:  O arise now good Laurel and go through the world
          Let all know this action was proper and meet.
Belle:  As the Order enfolds you and banner’s unfurled
          May you hear now the cry when strong work is complete.

Laurels:  Ta – da.

Anton:  Let the herald now read forth the words of Our Writ
Which Andrixos, her husband did ably compose
Belle:  Lady Eostre, gold belted with pen and true wit
          Marked Our Words and Our Wills so eternity knows.

New Schedule

Here is the schedule update.
Aug 28- Sept 1  Battlemoor (Outlands)
Sept 3-8  Autumn Wars (An Tir)
Sept 14  Coronation (Meridies)
Sept 21 Coronation (Aethelmaerc)
Sept 28  Gryphon’s Fest (Calontir), for Knighting of Robert Brockman
Oct 5-6  Crown Tourney (West)
Oct 8-13  Great Western War (Caid)
Oct 19 Crown Tourney (Middle)
Oct 26  Uncertain
Nov 2  Crown  (Calontir)
Nov 9  Southern Crucades (Atenveldt)
Nov 16  Uncertain
Nov 22-24  Bordermarch (Ansteorra)
Nov 30  Long nights (Trimaris)
Dec 8 Likely Magna Faire  (Meridies)
Dec 15  Kris Kinder  (Calontir)
Dec 22  Midwinter  (Outlands)

Those underlined are much more firmly arranged.  As always, there is some uncertainty here, and I am always open to nominations for large events in kingdoms that haven’t seen me recently.  Many of the events have not yet been contacted, but indicate an openness to merchants.


Travel schedule

So I am not yet back home from Pennsic (5.5 more hours), and it is time to put together my fall travel schedule.
Aug 10  Weekend off
Aug 17 Uncertain, maybe Cross and Crescent (Northshield and Calontir)
Aug 24 Uncertain, maybe Cattle Raids (Calontir)
Aug 28- Sept 1  Battlemoor (Outlands)
Sept 3-8  Autumn Wars (An Tir)
Sept 14  Coronation (Meridies)
Sept 21  Uncertain, maybe Eclipse (Ansteorra), or Bacon War (Atlantia)
Sept 28  Gryphon’s Fest (Calontir), for Knighting of Robert Brockman
Oct 5-6  Crown Tourney (West)
Oct 8-13  Great Western War (Caid)
Oct 19 Crown Tourney (Middle)
Oct 26  Uncertain
Nov 2  Crown  (Calontir)
Nov 9  Uncertain, likely Southern Crucades (Atenveldt)
Nov 16  Uncertain
Nov 22-24  Bordermarch (Ansteorra)
Nov 30  Long nights (Trimaris)
Dec 8 Likely Magna Faire  (Meridies)
Dec 15  Kris Kinder  (Calontir)
Dec 22  Midwinter  (Outlands)

Those underlined are much more firmly arranged.  As always, there is some uncertainty here, and I am always open to nominations for large events in kingdoms that haven’t seen me recently.  Many of the events have not yet been contacted, but indicate an openness to merchants. 

Late for Pennsic, again

It happens at least every other year.   My plans for Pennsic are set.  I visit the nieces and nephews in South Bend (Oh, and Mom, Brother, and Sister-in-Law, as well).   Then there is a realestate emergency, delaying my departure.  Two years ago it was a busted pipe in a rental unit I had a tenant moving into on the Sunday of Land Grab.  Of course I found out the Friday of land grab.  I arrived in time for Rhodri's opening Monday bardic, but just barely.  This year, it is two units, that have been vacant for almost a month.  The big one, which has had one tenant since I owned it, had been in bad shape when I bought the place in 2007, had deteriorated in the mean time.  I had budgeted a month, and had a fyrdman on the payroll for a good part of the time, but there was so much to get done.  I hope to leave Sunday by 3pm.  Snailstichr and I still want to go to South Bend, as there is a niece she has never met, and another, looking forward to second grade, who wasn't yet talking when last they met.  I am to bed soon to be going, and little will stop me.



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