Monday, January 26, 2009

Something Traditional and Cool

Okay, its not 100% period, but its still just damn cool in my opinion.

Just keep in mind that pipes and drums,as well as a host of other instruments, depending on the time and culture, were how armies coordinated their marches and maneuvers during battle. Pipes have headed the front lines of English and Scottish regiments as late as the landings at the Falkland islands, and though most wars before, including the Normandy landings, the retreat at Dunkurk and several of the major bloodbaths during the first World War.

The Edinburgh Military Tatoo 2008

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

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Time off, a little more than expected.

My little vacation just got an extension. And unfortunately, its going to be a little more total than I had originally thought.

For starters, my computer died. This post is thanks to my wife letting me use her laptop. I am going to try and fix my computer, but that will take time and moment that I don’t have at the moment, so we shall see how that turns out.

Second, I am getting over a back to back infection of a stomach bug followed by a massive head cold that have moved to my chest. I have been sick for a week, and while I am much better now, I am still very, very worn our, congested and overall miserable. The final contributing factor to this is the fact that I am presently being treated for another condition with the drug prednisone. Prednisone is an immunosuppressant, meaning that my normally healthy, powerful, resilient body has a drastically reduced ability to defend itself against even the most basic of infections.


Last but not least, my personal health situation is getting more interesting by the minute.

-I just found out that I may have a form of liver failure that wont show up on any test or scan except a CT scan. So, guess what I will be doing next Friday?

-I finally got on the list for my surgery, after waiting for 3 months to even talk to the doctor, and am now looking forward to having my spleen pulled out in mid February. According to the doctor, the procedure will have me in the hospital for a week (give or take a few days) and is supposed to have me on home rest for three to six weeks. –we had a little chat about that last part, I made him aware that I don’t have anywhere near that much off time saved up from work. He said he understood, and he will make some considerations.

-Even if my surgery goes 100% according to plan, I was just told that I may still have to undergo treatment of one sort or another for the rest of my life. Oh joy!

-and to top it all off, they are also talking about doing a liver biopsy and pulling my gall bladder while there at it. I raised my hand at that and said “How about you pull the appendix while you there and make it a one stop chop?” That got some laughs.

-While all this is going on, I am going down hill ever so slowly. The fatigue is getting gradually worse, and right now I am waking up tired most of the time now. The cramping in my legs (a listed side effect of Prednisone) is costing me between two and four hours of sleep a night, depending on the day. When this whole mess started, I was just shy of two hundred and ninety pounds, Friday I weighed in at 361, and my knees are beat up enough that walking any distance or standing for more than a half an hour is just out of the question.

In short, I’m turning into an old man in many respects.

So, this is me signing off for a while. When my life looks a little more reasonable, and I feel like I can survive an SCA event or meeting, I will be back. But right now, I need to deal with my life with some semblance of a plan, and that plan stats with me putting my health and family first.

So, hopefully, Ill see everyone in April, or there abouts.

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

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Namron and heraldry

Well, like I have said  before, Namron has its own unique take on the SCA and how to have fun. This is nothing bad, mind you, but when it comes to being different, well, you have different, and then you have Namron, God bless them.

Namron's populace meeting was this past Wednesday, and as always I made a determined effort to get there after work.

There were a couple of things worth mentioning here.

Item one:
Wolfgang, while heralding for their excelencies, pointed out that well more than half of the people in the room were Heralds, of one sort or another. And the meeting was not sparcely populated, so that is saying something.

Now, a short time later, this same man was speaking about the new SCA location for the Norman Medieval Fair (I'm not entierly sure if this link will even work after April of 2009).

Long story short, the SCA will have a larger site, but will be a lot farther from the main gates, and several people were lamenting the lack of "front-row" exposure that we normally would have.

Feeling a little frustrated at this logic, I raised my hand to speak. "Hang on a second, didn't we just say that we had a room half-full of heralds? Why not get the best dressed of us to go our and cry the fair for a little while? Thats what a herald does, isn't it?"

Wolfgang looked at me with somewhat wide eyes and goes "Oh, yeah. That's a good idea."

Item two:
I spoke briefly at the end of the meeting. First, I unremorcefully buttered up my audience. I reminded them that back during Mooneschadoe's own Triumph of the Eclipse III it was four heralds from Namron who heralded the even't namesake. And when some Mooneschadeen complaing to me about this, I asked them if they wanted to herald next year's Triumph, and some of them quite literally went running away from me.

"So, if I ever need site or list heralds in the north, I know where to start my search." I told them proudly. -- Please note, there were a number of people sitting taller, and smiling a little wider after this.

I know this sounds like I am beating up on my own group, but the honest truth of the mater is that a number of our members consider heraldry a necissary evil that they like seeing, but hate doing. And there are others who do like heralding, but are legitimately busy during the event. This is large due to stuff like kitchen, autocrating or taking care of their own children.

Moving on... So I butter up the people there, and then move in for the sale's pitch. At the August 2008 Redtape I volunteered to head up list heralding for Anstoerrian 30th year celebration. Make no mistake about it, some of the earlier reports that I have heard talk about having more people hitting each other at this thing than some small events see through their front gate. So, I told Namron that if anyone wanted to let the kingdom know how truely awsome their barony was, this was going to be an excelent chance to do so.

And Item three:
After the meeting was over, Lord Olando, the Barolian Rapier marshal came up to me and said "Ivo, why don't you come over to a Namron Rapier practice and teach us how to list herald. Most of us just sit around during the heavy fighting anyway, and I'm sure we would love to help if we knew how."

You probably would have thought I had just won the lottery from how much I was grinning after that invitation.

So, the 20th of this month will, God willing, be a good chance for me to teach list heralding to Namron and Wiesenfeuer (they have a joint fighter practice). And it will be nice to reconnect with the rapier fighters, Ive been away from the rapier field a little too long at this point.

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

Thursday, January 1, 2009

a year later.

Well, roughly this time last year I sat down and started this blog.

81 posts later, and I'm still plugging along.

I go back and re-read my posts form time to time, partly because I like to remember what I have been up to and what I was saying in the past, and partly because I like to just see what I was thinking at the time.

A lot has happened since this time last year. Both to the north and to me. I have seen leadership, and triumph, hard work, dedication and integrity. I have also seen petty bickering, back stabbing, deceit and malice.

I have faced criticism, and received praise. Been attacked, and defended, by friends and adversaries in ways that still make my head spin at times.

I have advanced my goals, and revisited my personal objectives. I have faced challenges, and both prospered and been found wanting at different times.

In the end, the important thing is that I am still here. Still Heralding and still traveling. Still doing my podcast.

And most important of all, still learning.

The year may be over, but I'm just getting started.

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