Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Something of a Holiday.

Well, I'm, going to do something I haven't done before, at least not on my terms. I'm going to take a holiday. Or Rather a couple of them, from the SCA.

January and February are going to be light months for me anyway. No events, and no major activities. So, Im going to cut all of the Mooneschadowe meetings out of them as well. Well, almost all of the meetings.

I'm still going to make populace meetings for Mooneschadowe, Northkeep, Namron and Wiesefeuer, and I hope to cut more podcasts too. All of that will stay the same.

I just need a little break, and I think a few weeks of no meetings will give that to me. It will give me time to write, work on some book heraldry stuff I've been wanting to do, and maybe even start on the textbooks I've been wanting to write for Site and List heraldry.

I'm not planning to reinvent myself or anyting, but after 11 years in the game, and time off usually coming when other stuff muscles in and takes what time I have outright, I'm, just feeling like maybe I need a break on my terms.

Don't worry, I'll be here posting and writing just like always.
Or so I hope, anyway.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fair of the Harvest

Well, its good to be back. I took my son and we day-tripped fair of the harvest yesterday, out at Will Rodger's Boy Scout Camp. My wife stayed home, she needed a break from life and I was glad to give it to her.

As far as Heraldry went, I didn't do a single, solitary thing. I wanted...and NEEDED... a break of my own. And much to my good fortune, the Event Steward, a good friend of mine, was totally on top of things and had a ready supply of heralds and herald type people to help her run the event. So thing's went over smashingly well.

I, on the other hand, spent most of the vent chasing my son (age 3) around and talking with friends. I must admit, the cold air seems to have done something of a number on my throat, but I'll live.

Overall, it was a good event, and according to the Steward, they beat their break-even, and sold all of their feasts, so it was a good event and it made money...

Always good things!

And on a side note, I was pleased to discover that the 9-year-old daughter of a good friend of mine is now the adult bardic champion of the Canton of Chemin Noir. The Bardic competition last night was evidently a challanging format that she met head on, and bested all others in a very well regulated, point-based judging system.

At court she got to stand in between between the rapier and the heavy champion so that she was standing between the two thrones and could see out to the audience. It was rather cute, I must admit.

Congradulations to her, and I hope she is now up to the challange of being a titled champion for the next year.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Blackfeather News - November show.

Quick note for all my loyal readers on this blog.

The Blackfeather News is BACK!

I just posted a November show.

Thank you.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled web browsing.

Ivo Blackhawk.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sick and tired.

Well, I normally don't want to want to get into too much detail about my personal life on this blog, but at this rate, their is a point where you just say "What the hell".

About 18 months ago now, give or take I started to get really tired really easily. After that, it went from just being tired to starting to look jaundice. If you don't know what that is, Wikipedia it.

Well, after dealing with an idiot doctor (and I'm not kidding, this guy was 100% moron grade in how he dealt with me), I finally find another doctor who was willing to actually try and find out what was wrong with me.

Well, that was about a year ago now, and things aren't exactly better yet.

The layman's explanation is that my immune system has done haywire, and it is attacking my red blood cells. This means that my body isn't getting enough oxygen because Red blood cells are what move O2 from the Lungs to the body itself. This was why I was getting tired.

Anyway, the treatment for this is prednizone, a steroid that supresses the imuse system, and pritty much messes with your body overall while its at it.

The short version of the story is that on top of the personality issues (which really manifest themselves at home more than anywhere else) I am constantly hungry (even when i am actually full) and my legs are now constantly under threat of massive cramps, like the type that require me to get out of bed at 3 in the monrning and streatch out a full blown charly horse for twenty minutes. This all on top of the fact that my red blood cell count is low enouigh that if I stand up suddenly, I get really, light headed, and when you stand six foot four, light headed is not a good experience.

Overall, its not a fun existance.

Dont get me wrong, Im not saying this for sympathy. Beelvie me, I dont need sympathy. I just am sick and tired of smiling and telling people, "Oh it was just a long week at work" when I see them at events and I look like I got run vover by a heard of spampeeding horses.


The situation is not static, and their is a course of action, but like everything else about this damned situation...its taking its own sweet time to unfold.

Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Monday, November 17, 2008

A few new things

I just added links to two new pages. They should be linked to the top left of the blog.

They cover SCA heraldry and Heraldry in general. Would love feedback on either one. And I am no copy-set editor, so any spelling or grammar corrections are appreciated too.



I am hoping to use these pages as a basic introduction to heraldry resource for people who dont know what SCA heraldry is. I got a lot of that when i started teaching, and I think its important that we have some basic "into 101" pages out there.


You know you're out there.

Well, after this weekend, I was finally taken by the impulse to try and see who actually reads my blog. Honestly, I would be surprised if I get ten names, but weirder things have happened.

On the left side of the Screen is a gadget that lets you sign up as a follower. If you don't mind, let me know who's out there. I'm curious.

Also, different topic. For all my heraldic interests, I don't eat sleep and breath SCA. I have a life...with many different facets. and I have several Blogs I maintain. Also on the left side of this page should be a newly added list of my blogs for people to check out and read if they want.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Inspiration at Axman

Okay, Its been a while since I made it to a little event. A long while actually. With me concentrating on the baronies so heavily over the past year, and their not being many shires left in the north, small events are actually rather rare up here.

Well, Skorragarðr put one on this weekend, and I must say, it was a lot of fun.

And their was something else about it that was good too.

I didn't do a lot.

Now, let me explain before that last sentence gets taken all out of context.

I showed up to help, with joy in my heart and eager to herald here and there.
And no sooner had I showed up than I was greeted by about seven different people, half of whom knew me by name, the others all just knew me at "the herald".

Needless to say, their is a warm fuzzy feeling that comes with that.

But something remarkable happened too. A lot of people wanted to help.
It started with Thora, an 11 year old girl who had site heralded with me for a few events before, and wanted to do it again at her event (she's local to
Skorragarðr, so I totally understand the draw).

Well, despite being a child, she acquitted herself well for a full round of heraldry, walking the full distance of sight with me and shouting the hour's announcements with good volume and good diction. I can't ask for more, not from a child, and not from an adult. She did her part, and did it well.

I covered two heralds during the day, nothing specail, but I had fun.

And then in the afternoon,
Sæmundr (thats supposedly how the vikings managed to spell the name "Simon") the -Pure, followed me out for his own on-the-job-training.

To his credit, he started with good intent, and an honest effort. Though after hearing him the first time, I decided to offer some inspiratoon.

"Okay... here's what I need you to do. Imagin that your son is 100 yards away, and about to accidently back off of a train platform with the 11:30 mentro express heading this way at top speed. You have to make sure you are heard the first time, cause you wont have a second chance."

Well, let me tell you, that got results :)

All kidding asside, he did a great job, covered the site well, and had excelent diction and good projection.

This may all sound dry and technical, but for Voice heralds, words like projection and diction are the tools of our trade, if you have them, your in the game, if you dont... well, your not.

Sarait heralded for both morning and afternoon courts, and did an excelent job of it. She's still new, and still green in many respects, but their excelencies Narmron are a good set of leaders, and hold a fun court, and Sarait is a good student of detail and attention their to. She's a credit to her group, and a hard worker. This weekend, as both a herald and an event Steward, she did Skorragarðr proud in my opinion.

And, after all that, I was Thrilled to see both Sarait and Saemundr get their Award's of Arms. Poor Sarait cried with hers, which I think is a touching sign of how muich she works, and how little she expectes in return. She's out there to have fun, and has it in spades. When I see people cry at an AOA, it warms my heart becauce it shows how much they value the award, and likely how much they will apreciate the friends who helped them be so recognized.

Sarait is the same person who at Namron walked off the field after her first time list heralding and said "I'm hooked, when can I go back on!". And let me tell you, she was absolutely glowing from the experience.

I must say... I have had a lot of people lately tell me that the work I am doing is inspiring to them.

And yes, part of me does enjoy that. Its a sign of acomplishment, A sign of progress, and just an overall good thing, and I dont apologize for feeling good about it.

But what I dont think a lot of people realize is that it these people also inspire me.

Some time ago, I saw an eager newcomer ask about heraldry and then sit in on my class at King's college. The next thing I know, she's signing up to be the herald of her canton, and diving into heraldry. She and I got Warranted together at the same class at Redtape this year, and now she's a fill fledged officer, pulling an officer's workload.

In her first year as a paid member of the SCA, she had done more than I did in mine, and will likely continue on that path.

THAT is inspiring, to me and it should be to others.

Today, I saw a husband who said that he was shy and had stage fright follow me out onto site and cry site heraldry for the first time. Nothing magical happened then, but when it was over, I saw a little more confidence in his eyes, and a little more enthusiasium for the art.

THAT is inspiration, that is progess.

These are good things.

Today I saw an eleven year old do a job that many adults wont even try their hands at.

THAT is inspiration.

And ALL of these are good things.

I am proud of what I have acomplished...but what I have done pales in comparison with what each of these people have decided to do with the rudimentary skills I have given them. I taught them the basics, but it takes more than knowledge to go out and do somehing with those skills. It takes character, courage, and honor...and everyone I have spoke of here demonstrated those in spades today.

Axman was a little event. But little events can produce great things, and this event did just that.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk

Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Night before...

Okay, Axman is tomorrow,and one of my students is the autocrat so I am going to make sure I make it there and help her cry the list and maybe offer to stunt herald court for her.

I'm starting to feel a little too comfortable with my situation at the monent. Its not that I am not happy heralding. Truth be told, nothing could be father from the truth. But still, I dont feel challenged, or even that rushed when i do these things any more.

Do I need to do more, or do I need to change my focus? Maybe both? maybe I'm just overreacting to life's other pressures at the moment. I don't know.

But one thing is for sure, I will be out there tomorow calling the list when I'm needed. Because that is what I said I was going to do, and by God, I am going to keep my word.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Monday, November 10, 2008

Winterkingdom... and Food

Whoever said the fastest way to a man's heart was his stomach probably knew human nature pretty well.

I'm set to teach three hours worth of classes at Northkeep's Winterkingdom in December, and I wanted to host two roundtables, one for bardic, and one for Heraldry.

Well, the preliminary list of classes had enough Heraldry in its own right that I really didn't want to add another hour block to conflict with everyone else, especially with something like a round table where I really think everyone should have the option of coming since its, well... a round table; the more the merrier.

My solution came from the bards, of all places. Lady Lilana Barnes made a comment that we should host the Bardic round table early in the morning (first class slot) and have breakfast with it.

I thought that was a pritty cool idea, and ran with it. One of the things I normally HATE about first hour class slots is the fact that they have poor atendance. But I think Lilana hit the nail on the head, food might up attendance enouigh to make it worth doing.

So... how does this apply to heralds?

The middle of the day is the one hour lunch break. And they usually serve a tavern then.

i figured, what the hell...We can have a lunchtime roundtable dicsussion , and let eveyone bring their food to the conversation. That way I'm no conflicting with another class, and eveyrone gets to eat. Truight be told, it will probaly be really short, we will probably loose a good 15 to 20 minutes with people just getting food, but still, that leaves a good fourty minutes of conversation that dosn't distract from the rest of the event.

It looks good on paper, I just hope it pans out.

Now I have to figure out what in the heck I am doing for breakfast food for that Bardic Roundtable.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"