Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Canids and Raptors

The dogs are a little hard to see in the rain... but they did a bang-up job anyway, totally ignoring the wet and wind of Hurricane Irene. Granted, it was just the beginning of the hurricane, but unpleasant enough to be standing in, much less trying to sniff out bombs or catch the bad guys. Good Dogs! Afterwards, everybody moved inside for a little petting and publicity work, and they were alongside the German Shepherd Rescue folks, looking for great homes for great dogs.
Also inside were the Virginia Raptor Conservancy, with several of their ambassadors. There was a Red Tailed Hawk, Harris Hawk, Screech Owl, Barred Owl, Kestral, a hybrid (soon to have DNA analysis) and my fav, a Gyrfalcon. I surely wish I had the time to be a falconer, but really, it just isn't possible as long as I am working these hours. I can't even give a dog proper excercise, I wouldn't try a falcon or hawk. Maybe someday though. Maybe. But aren't they gorgeous? Aren't they?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene... Dodging The Bullet

It would seem we have once more escaped serious harm from Mother Nature. Although not all were as lucky as we, certainly it could have been far worse, and the hype of the media caused more panic than was really good. Note, I do not say necessary, but good. There was so much panic in this area, people at the grocery store were shovong and cursing at each other over a quart of milk... so sad.
None the less, it could have been very bad indeed, and it was bad enough for very many people. Those of us who suffered neither the loss of power, nor injury, nor property damage are thanking God (or whatever) that we are in that category.
There was nasty wind here, and lots of rain, and in the morning I saw lots of leaf trash, small branches and even big branches down, but not even one tree on my way to work. No one near me lost power, but in the city and just a little away there were plenty of losses. All of my friends but one are accounted for, and I am very thankful. The one probably doesn't have power, and I hope to reach her soon.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Did It Have To Be Snakes?

So, this is what I found in my basement this week. This is not my photo, I didn't have the presence of mind to get my camera and snap a photo, but this is the species. It is a juvenile black ratsnake. They are not poisonous, they are in fact quite helpful, being rodent hunters extraordinaire.... still, I don't really want them in my basement.
I didn't find them (yes, them) in pristine condition, some were dead, but some not. When the extractors came to remove the dead ones (the ones I found first) there was a lovely shiny scaly coil behind, curled up around our pipes. Sigh. Now we are waiting for the rental agent to get the info to get it sealed up. I don't want them killed, they are good snakes, just not IN my house!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pennsic Wrap Up

There are so many sights at Pennsic, so many things to see and do. The bookstore gets alot of my business, in fact I went there first among stores, except for buying my ropes and stakes!
We have our own post office, too. Open from 1000 to 1400 weekdays of War Week. With our own postmark! They really do like us there.
There's a great fresh fruit and veggie store, AND it has fresh bread! I only had to make one trip to the GiantEagle for the two weeks.... perfect.
The fancy tent is the royal dinner....
pretty fancy digs! The royalty all have banners behind their chairs. It makes for a very colorful setup.
There is lovely chainmail for sale too, and armour, and so much more. Too much to show.
One of my friends had a new bed made for her this year.... and along with the bed, came this HUGE chair, which was promptly christened Edith Ann. Anyone who doesn't remember Saturday Night Live needs to look up the reference! Meg and I both fit in it!

Friends are the most important thing I see at Pennsic, and so I saved a few photos of them for the last.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Amazing Camps

There are some very cool camps on site. Wandering around yields many photo ops, and here are a few. The first is the Darkyard encampment. Wandering around at night, it is a bit eerie!
I dont know the next, it is just random lovely tents.
The third is the temple at Familia Gladiatoria down by the lake. The temple is most impressive!
The carved gate is from Norseland, gentles who were gracious in directing a lost lady one night!
The last 3 photos are of Springwood, wherer Meghan spent many waking hours. She met a very nice young man there, or rather was introduced by a mutual friend, and hit it off rather well. Dan is not only good looking but quite polite, evidently bright and charming and enterprising as well, as he has a tea import business. Yummy tea, too. He lives in Pittsburgh, and is coming to visit Meg in a couple weeks. Hmm.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pennsic is chock full of fabulous entertainments....
first, there was the goat. Yes, I know I showed it before, but this is a way better picture! The next night, it was baconwrapped lamb on the spit.... but I didn't get a picture of that, I just ate it up! Yum!
Marion of Heatherdale is one of my fav performers, she absolutely radiates her love of her music, and everyone around her catches that enthusiasm. Here, she is singing a wonderful, dark, creepy, hauntingly beautiful lullaby to Mordred. There was a dance correographed to this that I learned earlier in the week. Beautiful!
I think the absolute best show this Pennsic was the Evening with the Masters, a group of instrumental musicians who set up a vignette in 14th century Spain, as music teachers meeting after classes at University to discuss their students, eat a little, play the new (!) music and have a little fun. They played a musical game where one began a short phrase, then completed it, and the other had to play that then add a phrase. They went back and forth until one made a mistake, then he had to take a drink of wine. After about ten minutes, it was pretty funny! Midway through the vignette, in walks one of the best medieval vocalists I know of, Owen Phyffe. Fabulous!
The same night there was the Kenneth and Adelaide show. They do modern songs of historical events and filk as well. My favorite of theirs is Band of Brothers, based of course on Henry V's speech. Very very powerful.
Duke Moonwolf also sang, as he does every year, and did our favorite Pennsic IV anthem, as well as I Wish I Was a Flying Monkey (while wearing a flying monkey hat). If only I had a picture of THAT!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sort of Random Pictures

The days are filled with entertainment! The Clan Tinker does fun stuff like juggling, unicycle riding, sword swallowing and (at night) best of all, fire dancing! Good stuff!
The shop below is where I purchased my pots and lamps, and has the best potter! He is very good about research, and will make whatever you wish of accurate stuff.
The wooden fort sits on the battlefield, and is the setting for several of the battles. This first of the war is a valley battle, deliniated by haybales, and fought in front of the fort. Some battles are actually fought over the fort. There are swords and pikes, of course, arrows and axes, but there are also larger weapons: trebuchets, mangonels, catapults, ballista, even arbalesti.....siege engines of war made not too dangerous! :)
Nights are filled with music and friendship, Duke Moonwolf led off my shows with his annual Benefit Concert.
There were no Cobra Helos this year from the nearby reserve base, just a couple C130 transports, but we did have a couple ultralights show up this year.... really sorta cool. Okay, more later!