dwolfhunter: (Enh!)
Men(or women) of coat armor should take the field with the inspiration of someone besides themselves in their heart. Champion some person in the gallery that pleases you. Join the combat crying the name of your Baroness, your Queen, your Baron, your King, your best friend. But do not enter the combat only for yourself.
It's not unchivalrous ,per se, to join the combat without inspiration, it's sad. This thing we do, this life within our lives, is predicated on serving something greater than ourselves. By entering the battle with only yourself in mind is disingenuous. At the very least take the place you live for your inspiration. Cry out the name of your Shire, your Barony as your "criee". Take upon yourself the mantle of defending the honor of your place. Do battle in the name of your patron Saint, even.
Saint Martin of Tours (patron of soldiers)
Saint Barbara (patron of artillerymen)
Saint Thaddeus ( defender of the weak)
Saint Michael
Saint George(patron of England)
Saint Andrew(patron of Scotland)
Saint Dennis( patron of France)
Saint Jude (patron of lost causes, or hopeless cases)
This isn't to say that it isn't more fun, more enjoyable, to champion a consort of some type. It is a great surge of confidence and energy to know that one's love is watching the combat and that they know you strive for them. But if you're unattached...please try the suggestions above. It costs you little in the grand scheme and adds greatly to the flavour of our game.

My own inspirations are summed up in my battlecries "For Ysabeau and Glory" and "Ad melliorum Deii gloriam". Add this to the fact that I carry her arms upon my shield as an escutcheon of pretense and you can see how clearly she spurs me on.In both a period and "real world" sense.

Try it, you'll like it.

Baron Hamish

I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy.
Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592), French essayist.

"Envy the nation that has heroes!" " Pity the nation that needs them!"- From "Reign of Fire"
dwolfhunter: (SERENITY)
There was a point in time where someone asked my Lady how fast she could get the traditional garb related to an SCA knighting together for me. The answer was moot because it never happened. I have always felt the burning pain and shame of that ...I can't let it go. What did I do that wiped all that away? I have a fiercely adamant view of what the standard is and I try to hold myself to that standard. I am often too rigid. It really doesn't matter any more practically...because as I age I slip farther and farther out of the Chivalry's eye. But it hurts, deep down in my soul...and it reminds me that whatever else I am...I am a chivalric failure
dwolfhunter: (Default)
The SCA and the sum of all fears. An opinion.
I joined the SCA unofficially in 1978, officially in 1982. We were "poor college kids (tm)" and we looked and acted like it. I can honestly say that, during that time, I have never been as discouraged and saddened by this organization as I am now. Is it a sadness that is unwarranted? Is there reason to be discouraged? Well, I guess you'll have to draw your own conclusions.
When I and many of my contemporaries began in the SCA we had an optimism and a zeal for the "current Middle Ages" unmatched by our clothes, our armor or our camping gear...but we had fun. We had an atmosphere of sharing and ownership that transcended that fact. We also had the small thin veneer of smarter, older members who taught us medieval ideals and who got us motivated to make nicer gear, or provided it on loan when that was not possible.
Sure, some folks abused the privilege...it happens in any organization. But we policed ourselves. We paid attention to the group and we believed that what harmed one of us diminished all of us. When people abused our charity and generosity...they got the hint to snap out of it or move on. We rarely criticized our fellows for their garb or their fighting gear...because ours was little better, if at all. We made small improvements as we went...and sometimes, we made great leaps and bounds.
We didn't go to events and sleep in hotels...we welcomed complete strangers into to our homes and shared what we had or splurged to make their stay an event in itself. Again , sometimes that went badly, sometimes spectacularly well, and it all balanced out. Our events were small affairs...potlucks and small tourneys ...we broke even most times and what mattered was having fun and getting "our Medieval" on. No one was trying to make money or build a group bank account, and when you worked event staff, you were doing it out of charity and responsibility and a sense of duty . Tourney winners got to sit at high table and crown their ladies Queen of Love and Beauty for the day. Most of us were pretty happy with that. Oh sure, we wanted more pageantry and more "periodicity"...but we knew it wouldn't happen today. We dreamt of making it better and we worked for that.
Bigger is not always better. Neither is more always better. Along the way , some of our rules became "guidelines and suggestions"...and we turned into an "big tent" organization. We welcomed people who didn't really share our ideals and who didn't care about our rules...and instead of telling them to go do their own thing elsewhere, we swallowed the BS they spat back at us about how we were unfair, or elitist or "crushing THEIR dream" and we folded like a cheap suit. Worse, fearing that we were all in danger of legal actions and a litigious society that accepted no personal responsibility for itself, we allowed ourselves to be incorporated..."for our own good". Which is really IMO where we as a group began the long slow slide into irrelevance. Corporations do not act for the good of the rank in file...they operate for the benefit of the Corporation. When an organization repeatedly fails to live up to even its most basic tenets...that organization is broken. When an organization cannot operate without breaking its own rules , that organization has failed.
Also, as we grew in the Society and got so that our gear was more historical, or our craftwork became more proficient, we somehow forgot where we came from. We began to treat the kids coming into the Society like they were deficient because they weren't as good as us...despite the fact that were exactly the same as we were when we began. We began buying our gear rather than making it. We shared less and griped more. We began splitting "households" and guilds off from our local groups to avoid the parts of the local groups we didn't like...rather than solve the issues at hand. Households and Guilds can kill Baronies and Shires by bleeding off members. We've all seen it happen. Hell some of us have MADE it happen. We indulged in internecine politics and petty power manipulation, because that's what volunteer organizations do. Not all of our administrators abused their roles...just enough did.
We also forgot that as new people came in...someone of the "old guard" would have to invest in them the way we had invested in each other or others had invested in us. An attitude of "Why should I spend time and material on them if they're just gonna deploy, graduate, move on to another group?" became more than just an occasional thing...it started becoming the norm. We were bitching and moaning about falling membership while simultaneously driving new member away. We were failing to realize that investment in human capital is all that keeps a volunteer group alive. It's kind of ironic that group mostly composed of self-identified geeks, nerds , etc...would end up treating people the way that they themselves were treated in high school, by the cool kids.
So...how do we fix it? Above all we need to police ourselves first.
1: Re-establish a set of concrete rules and policies to govern the group according to its founding principle: To re-enact/re-create the Middle Ages/Renaissance periods of Asia, Europe and the Middle East. No vampires, no pirates, no elves, no fairies, PERIOD. The words "reasonable attempt at pre 17th Century garb" should be changed to specify the materials and items allowed and not allowed per the historical standard.
2: Our membership needs to remember that Duty, Honor and Service are qualities to be balanced with Compassion, Charity, and Fairness. This organization no longer has room for selfish, egotistical, me-firsters who can't conceive of serving something bigger than themselves.
3: I am not naive enough to believe that these solutions are as simple as they are stated to be. I am painting with a broad brush on purpose here. It won't be easy...but ask yourselves this: Shall we continue as a group of idealists striving to portray a historical period? Or shall we ride the present addled, rot-riddled ship of fools down to its ultimately ignominious demise? Maybe we should get smaller and tighter rather than larger and lose our identity completely. That's all I have. Now I will pull on my asbestos undies and await the inevitable parade of the butt-hurt and the sanctimonious who can expound at great length how evil and mean spirited my OPINION is rather than do anything about the problems we are all aware exist.
dwolfhunter: (Default)
Invariably, every leather worker gets this question...usually asked by a snarky high-school/college aged emo dweeb: "So >sniff< how do you source your leather?" I will ask you to imagine the nasal, whiny, sanctimonious tome of voice...I can't reproduce it in prose.
Far from being angry or crude and responding with the first thing that comes to my mind at times like those...I usually say something like this:" Well, thank you for asking. I would like to tell you that all the animals,whose skins I use, lived full, happy little livestock lives and died of old age after days of sunshine and fluffy bunnies...but I choose not to begin our relationship with a lie. There's a thriving meat industry in this country and it would be irresponsible to allow the hides- which are a by product- to go to waste. So while it's a tad indelicate and apparently a little repellent to you...it does have the benefit of being environmentally responsible and sustainable. Anything else?"
dwolfhunter: (PANZER)
In response to some folks getting all bent out of shape on another related site...I work leather. I make things out of leather FOR MONEY. Which means I have to cater to several diverse runs of customer and display those products in public occasionally. This means that If I am at a Biker event or Pennsic , for instance, I might have revealing leather apparel for the fairer sex on display as well as paddles flogging devices and so forth and it will be displayed with the belts, pouches, bags etc...that I sell as my main product lines. Or if I am at a gun and Knife show there will probably be substantial gun and knife leather on display amongst other things. Either way I may or may not have hired booth personnel to model some of this apparel. I may or may not have located these items further into my stall where kids wandering with their parents can't see them...I may even be wearing the leather kilt myself if the weather isn't "Meat falling off the bone" hot. Should you choose to regard any of my more risqué products as "Objectifying and/or demeaning to women" or any staff I may have hired/asked to wear my products as being objectified or demeaned..I am going to point out that I am not a slave owner. Anyone working for me is doing so for a buck and with their free and informed consent. I will also point out that my shop/stall/booth is a place where I do business with many diverse customers with diverse tastes. If you and yours are incapable of turning the fuck around and walking out of a store/stall/booth I cannot credit you with volition or sentience. If you choose to attack me or anyone...ANYONE in my employ with regards to my work...you should not do so and instead do it with me, in person , face to face so I can tell you to shut the fuque up and grow up or throatpunch/ arm-bar choke the living daylights out of your arrogant, entitled, busybody, social justice warrior ass myself. Seriously people ...different strokes and all. Get offa my lawn.
dwolfhunter: (Woof2)
1. What gives you the best feeling of pride when you remember your military service?
Answer: Mostly the fact that I followed in my Ancestors' footsteps and survived it all. My family puts a lot of store by the theory that if you want the benefits of society, you need to shoulder some of the duties. I have done that and served, survived with honor. I tested everything I knew about myself and everything I thought about myself and then put the pieces back together when I figured out how badly wrong I had been. I led men and served something far bigger than myself...and gradually understood everything about what that meant.

2. What is your greatest personal challenge in day-to-day living?
Answer: My temper. I have one...I hang onto it with both hands and try to wield it sparingly. I am impatient with stupidity and with obfuscation and I speak out when either are being perpetrated in my presence ( for instance someone giving out a Laurel for mudlarking...which recently caused me to both excoriate the Laurels as a category and to ban-hammer many many people from my friends list. See? Now I can say it here and you don't have to get involved at all. :>))) ).

3. If you had the ability to travel back in time to spend the rest of your life as a guard/companion to one person, who would that person be?
Answer: I think I would be content being the bodyguard for Emperor Marcus Aurelius. The job would suck, but the conversations would have been stellar.

4. How would you explain to a n00b what is so attractive about your fetish (as it were - I couldn't think of a good phrase for this) in sex-play? I am looking for how you would try to get your grandmother, or someone you cared about but knew they'd not ever think of that kind of kink, how to convey to them an appreciation or understanding of what it brings the practitioners.
Answer: Wow. Well to start with "Fetish" is the correct word clinically...so we're good there. Hmmmmm...well lemme see...You know, I have never thought about it this way. I suppose :"I get real and massively enhanced pleasure from being in charge in the bedroom/playroom and occasionally in public. I often use rougher than usual sexual play and sometimes psychological manipulation to enhance the pleasure of sex with a willing, similarly minded, consenting partner." Most of my more rational relatives would probably grok that...My Mother and Grandmothers would lose their nuts and start lighting candles and saying novenas.

5. If you could eliminate from the world one particular sort of living thing, what would it be?
I have always said that the best thing for the human race would be the immediate, random removal of half of the population of the planet. But if I had to pick a single particular living thing...I think the world could probably get along quite well without people as a species.
dwolfhunter: (Woof2)
1. What is your persona’s name?
Hamish MacLeod
2. What year was your persona born?
3. What is your persona’s native country?
4. What is your persona’s current country?
Brittany and Scotland-depending upon the season.
5. What are the climates of your persona's native and current countries?
Cold, rainy and occasionally sub-polar
6. What are the terrains of your persona's native and current countries?
Rocky promontories and wide, marshy moors
7. In what city/town/barn was your persona born?
8. What city does your persona currently claim as "home"?
9. What are/were your persona’s parents’ names?
Alexander and Margaret MacLeod
10. What are/were your persona’s parents’ occupation(s)?
Father was hangman for the city of Berwick, Mother tended the household.
11. Does your persona have any siblings, and if so, are any still alive?
No living siblings.
12. Is your persona married?
13. What are the marriage customs and typical age of marriage for your persona's culture/time-frame?
Standard 13th C Catholic church ceremony, at the church door.
14. What type of building does your persona currently live in?
Substantial tower house and small holding.
15. With whom does your persona live?
With my Breton born wife...whom I met and married on campaign.
16. Are there members of your persona's household that are not related to your persons
(servants/retainers, wards/fosterlings, guests, etc.)?
Several servants...grooms, hostlers, cook, scullions, men at arms etc...
17. Were pets kept during your persona’s culture/time-frame? If so, what kind, if any, does your persona have?
Cats are a household necessity for vermin control. Dogs for hunting. Horses for transport.
18. What is your persona’s occupation?
A Baron of the Scottish Court, and Officer Justiciar for Selkirk, Roxburgh and Peebles.
19. How old is your persona?
20. How long do people like your persona tend to live?
Average age of mortality...between 45 and 60.
21. What is your persona’s ethnicity?
22. Who is your persona’s current employer?
King James the 3rd
23. Would your persona have been literate in your chosen culture/time-frame?
24. What level of education does your persona have?
Enough schooling to read, write ,tally accounts and speak in multiple languages.
25. Where was your persona educated?
26. What languages does your persona speak?
Gaelic, English, French and Latin
27. What units of measure were used by your persona’s culture/time-frame?
Pounds, ounces, Ells, yards , feet, gills, minims, drams, hogsheads, barrels, gross, etc...
28. What type of money did people of your persona’s culture/time-frame use?
The mark, the penny, the half penny, the shilling, the florin and the livre d'or
29. What kind of legal system exists in your persona’s culture/time-frame, and who make the laws?
Scotland primarily followed English/Norman law customs with some recourse to older Brehon Law.
30. What is the status of women among your persona’s culture/time-frame, and can they own property or conduct business?
They can own a business, conduct business, own land... When/if their husband died, they inherited his property and often his trade. When she died, she decided how her things were split among her children. Women can sign contracts and perform all civil actions same as men.
31. What major events have occurred during your persona’s lifetime? (Natural catastrophes, wars, revolutions, discoveries, etc.?)
Significant battles with the French, The black death, a good deal of internecine warfare between clans.
32. Does your persona fight? If so, where did your persona learn to fight?
Trained from age seven , first as a squire and then as a man at arms and later Baron. Skilled with the sword, the bow and the lance. As well as the axe, the mace and the pollaxe.
33 What type of armour and weapons were used by fighters in your persona’s culture/time-frame? And how were such obtained?
Armor and weapons for the Scots more or less follows the pattern for arms and armor found in France or England during the same period.
34. List your persona’s skills and hobbies. For each, write down where your persona learned them.
Hunting, riding, shooting(self bow)
35. What "class" is your persona? (I.e., royalty, nobility, merchant, middle, artisan, slave, etc.)
Nobility (Baron)
36. How widely has your persona traveled?
Wars in Brittany and the German kingdoms. Pilgrimage to Rome.
37. In what capacity has your persona traveled? (I.e., military, sailor, rich person’s hobby, etc.)
Military and religious pilgrimage
38. Who is your persona’s current monarch?
James III
39. Who is the current Pope during your persona time?
Celestine V
40. What religion is your persona?
41. What kind of religious duties would be required of your persona?
Regular daily Catholic services.
42. How did people of your persona’s culture/time-frame deal with trade?
cash exchange and barter.
43. With respect to international relations, does your persona favor colonization, isolationism, conquest/conversion, open trade, etc.?
Staunchly favors Scottish independence and preservation of the Auld Alliance with France.
44. How does your persona personally obtain goods (food, drink, clothes, etc.)?
What are vassals for, really???
45. How did people of your persona’s culture/time-frame tell time?
Sundial, Waterclock
46. How did people of your persona’s culture/time-frame keep track of days?
47. What type of clothes does your persona normally wear?
Average Nobleman's habit for the early 1300's
48. What type of clothes does your persona wear for special occasions?
Average Nobleman's habit for the early 1300's
49. Are there any (sumptuary) laws restricting what your persona can wear?
Not in Scotland , no.
50. What does your persona eat in a normal day?
Meat and fish based diet with cooked vegetables and fruits, yeast raised bread and large quantities of beer, ale, cider and perry. Uisgebaugh.
51. How is food prepared and preserved in your persona’s culture/time-frame?
By my servants.
52. What spices were available to your persona and how expensive were they?
Expensive? Very. Salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, grains of paradise, cubebs, etc...
53. What were the eating habits of people of your persona’s culture/time-frame?
Meat and fish heavy diet, Observant of Lent...meatless Fridays etc... No breakfast to speak of, Dinner(the big noonday meal) then supper( a light meal after sunset).
54. What are the cleaning/bathing habits of your persona’s culture/time-frame?
Regular bathing...at least once a week. Swabbing off/sponge bath daily or when dirty.
55. What types of wildlife live in your persona's area?
Boar, wolves, red deer, wild salmon, wildcats, stoats, martens, foxes, gamebirds etc...
56. Name your persona’s favorite musicians/artists/dances.
regional musicians, no artists to speak of...Dances the pavanne, galliard, various bransles
57. What political figure/party/movement does your persona support?
The king and the council of the lairds.
58. Who is the most significant thinker of your persona’s time?
Unaware of the great thinkers of Europe...defer to my advisors re: such things.
59. What does your persona consider to be the greatest social problem their country?
The Royal Succession, taxes and war
60. What is most likely to cause your persona’s death?
The Black Death.
61. What type of medical aid is available in your persona’s culture/time-frame, and does your persona have access to it?
Surgery performed by professional surgeons/chirurgeons, most other medical care provided by herb doctors or "wise" folk. Natural remedies using the local pharmacopeia.
62. List at least three of your persona’s goals in life. (Learn to write, become apprenticed to a craftsman, visit the "big city",
Crush my nearest neighbor and add his lands to mine. Make fortune in the wool trade. Have enough money to leave to my descendents.
63. What does your persona know of history/science/medicine/geography?
The world is round. He knows basic chemistry of the empirical type. History is also geneology to him. Medecine is what you order when you're sick.
64. What’s the most striking scientific achievement of which your persona is aware?
65. Does your persona consider the Earth to be flat, round, or hollow?
The earth is round...and possibly hollow.
66. Does your persona believe that the Earth revolves around the Sun, or vice-versa?
Solar centric with Earth as satellite.
67. What does your persona consider to be the causes of criminal behavior?
bad breeding and poverty in combination.

68. What does your persona consider to be the true measure of a man?
His deeds and his word.
69. Who has most influenced your persona’s thoughts on these questions?
Classical education: Marcus Aurelius, Aristotle, Plato. Socrates...etc...
70. Did your persona’s culture/time-frame have heraldry?
dwolfhunter: (Woof2)
A year without a job is no laughing matter, especially when you resigned form the best job you've had in most of your life. Let it be said that while I was right and my reasons were good...I am an idiot.
I lost a best friend of thirteen years to something that killed him in less than three weeks of onset...damn cats anyway. I am still not over him and I hate the way that that makes me feel in relation to the younger cats' health situation.
I am sick to death of moving in to hopelessly fragmented, Balkanized, standoffish SCA groups who do NOTHING together as a group. Especially when they do not even see how fucked up they are...this is two of those in a row now, and I am sick of it. IN the "words" of the lolcat... "Fuck that, Fuck this, Fuck all those...FUCK THIS IN PARTICULAR!"

What do I want? I want a good job ,in a place where the SCA is a tight knit FUN group to be in and I want it now. Don't bother suggesting groups or places...unless there's solid banking jobs AND SCA groups that do not SUCK, in any place my wife is willing to live...it doesn't matter. And YES I am whingeing...and being selfish and unrealistic, deal with it, I am.
dwolfhunter: (Woof2)
So I passed a milestone. >snerk< and it hardly hurt at all. 50 is a number...much like 30 was. Some years I would love to repeat or to have back to amend. But regret is something I only do sporadically. Today is 50 years plus one...bring it.
dwolfhunter: (Woof2)
Happy 4th of July! A somewhat lackluster, toss-off greeting to express the pride we feel in the day we became an independent nation. A toss-off greeting that means effectively nothing to those who mumble it over their first cuppa coffee or cheerfully blurt it out at the cashier's stands and coffee counters of our great nation. Like "Have a nice day", it's become somewhat lame ...as though , having become so distant from the actual day, we've forgotten what that independence cost.
Cost is one of those things that Americans hate to think about. What did your freedom cost? Who paid for it? Did you help pay the check yourself? Well let's hit the wayback machine and begin at the beginning...on this day July the fourth 1776 We declared war on the greatest Empire the world had ever seen. An Empire with a nearly undefeated army that owned a fifth of the world. Anyone making book that day would've been crazy to put their money on the Americans.
But , longshots really do payoff sometimes. We banded together, regardless of politics, religion, race and class and we took the British to the woodshed. Admittedly, the cost was high and the fight was long. It even needed a rinse-repeat in 1812 to cement it in the world's mind. We'd paid heavily in blood, and bought our freedom. Then, because the South( as usual) couldn't get past using people like things and running its economy on other's backs...we nearly destroyed it all. Why? because apparently some Americans forget what it took to make them Americans. We're stupid that way.
What did it take, you ask? Why it took remembering that we are free people in a society of Laws. We are endowed to seek to live our lives, do it without undue interference by the government, and pursue our personal happiness in any manner we can legally do so. We are free to work for those who will pay us properly for the work we do. We are entitled to seek our living by the sweat of our brows or the labor of our minds..and we are entitled to be treated with fairness and equality by our employers and peers.
Somehow we have lost sight of some of those values. This country was established without a National religion...why? Because being a nation of religious and political exiles makes you set up the new country WITHOUT an established National religion...and allow people to worship freely or not at all as they choose. This country was created with an eye toward Equitability not Fairness. It was created with the proposition that all men( and women) were created equal...and it was clear ( if you bother to read the writings of the founders) that exploitation of the lower classes was regarded as wrong...not as a crime, but morally wrong. The laboring man was a figure of pride and respect and the upper classes screwed him at their peril.
Apparently we have also forgotten that the people have the right to speak freely and not be silenced by the dictates of larger interests. In a land where money equals speech...MONEY ALWAYS SPEAKS LOUDER. When are we going to remember this?
The labor of millions built this country. They strove and fought and earned their pay...and they made sure that the rich bosses had to respect them. Why are we giving that away? The faith and patriotism of millions built this country...all together but joined as one. Why are we allowing splinter religions and zealots to divide us? The blood and sweat, toil and tears of our soldiers , sailors, airmen, and marines has secured our liberty and security. Why are we allowing spies, traitors and selfish small minded people to destroy what has been so costly to obtain? I wish my fellow Americans a Happy Fourth of July...or rather: "Happy Independence Day" without irony. But I'd feel better about it if I believed for one second that the People I say it to knew, or even cared about the cost.
dwolfhunter: (Woof2)
Every moment o that day is etched in my brain. I love her as much or more than I did the day I said "I do.".It doesn;t matter what others think of me, so long as she loves me. It is testiment to the fact that the Gods are kind, that she picked me. 17 and counting.
dwolfhunter: (Woof2)
Our world came to a sudden, shattering stop at a little before eleven hundred hours today. No earthquakes or tornados…no fires or floods. Only the passing of Our dear friend of thirteen years, Beltaine. He made his first trip home from the barn (where he was born) in the pocket of my old leather vest. We brought him to Beltaine circle at the Caer because we were pressed for time and because we wanted to show him off.
A ball of fur, paws, and eyes no bigger than my two fists together( about the size of my heart, I am reliably told)…huddled in my vest pocket…experiencing the world for the first time. He was made much of by the humans in the group and by the one Samoyed who saw him only as a hiss and a face full of claws. Beltaine’s opinion of dogs was forever cemented at the end of Modi’s nose.
Beltaine grew, and grew, and grew…in fact , he grew into one of the largest cats many of our circle had ever seen. He was a good-natured, if slightly dopey cat. Contented to partner our other cats as they came and went… Shadow of blessed memory, Fate of blessed memory, and Quintus the new comer. He tolerated the Big monkey; accepting his friendship and care, and loved the smaller female monkey with all of his feline heart. He got sick and passed from this Earth to the next, so quickly that we his family are still reeling from the speed of it.
The last few days have been spent doing human things and then comforting our ailing friend…who was, in the end too uncomfortable to anything but lie under the bed and look at us with his big cinnamon eyes, and sigh. As addled as I am…I recognized that look of pain. I recognized that can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t use the box is the last stage for cats. Julie and I agreed that we would not put him through anything else…the vet could prolong his life at a cost of dignity, pain, and no guarantee of full recovery. There was no other right choice.
This morning, having loved on him with all of our hearts…we put him in the van and drove to the vet for the last time. He was a sweet natured cat to the last. He passed quietly and relaxed for the first time in a week. Our world is a darker, less happy place today. We are heartbroken and griefstricken. Good bye Beltaine, son of George, stepson of Shadow, Comrade of Julie, Quintus and Dennis…Go romp with your pride mates( Suzy, Shadow, Fate) in the lands of the blessed until we see you once again.
dwolfhunter: (Woof2)
Based upon long observation from the inside, I have a very long manic upswing leading to a steep drop into a depressive stage. Right now...in the face of my job situation and all that that entails; I can't afford to be at the bottom of this well. Yet here I am. Motivation is hard. Keeping up with my job search is eating my whole consciousness. I am so frustrated...I would rather be in combat, in danger of losing my life than this crap. I am gonna finish my coffee and try and distract myself with a project.
dwolfhunter: (Woof2)
Proof that it never goes away...the other day. As I was walking in Philly' I saw a face I knew. I shouted his name and began walking toward him. I repeated his name several times as I approached him. "Hey manno, it's ME, Sparks! Dude, it's ME!" The young Hispanic man looked at me like I was out of my frigging mind...and he was entirely correct to do so. The name I was calling him by was that of a man who died in the 80's/90's. A man I saw die, whose blood I wore for days afterward. A man who served with me in a "very bad place". The young man was ok after I had apologised and explained that I had taken him for someone else. I went home and unashamedly poured myself a drink to calm my nerves. It never really goes away.
dwolfhunter: (Woof2)
Okay...maybe you missed it. You're so mentally bum foozled by your Bible, your preacher and ,all your own screwed up hang-ups that you have forgotten a couple of things: The 14th amendment to the US Constitution (you know, the one that ended slavery among other things?) guarantees every American...EVERY AMERICAN...EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN equal treatment under the law. NO the Constitution is not a cafeteria menu...you cannot accept and venerate the second and the tenth without all the others attached...even Roe v. Wade...DEAL WITH IT.
Also, you so proudly state that the Supreme Court of the United States is not the ultimate arbiter of what is and is not Constitutional in this country. Well, as anyone who has ever actually read the document would know: the Supreme Court of the United States IS in fact, the ultimate arbiter of what is and is not Constitutional in this country. It's in the Constitution. Those two things alone make your assertion that gay Americans have no right under law to marry and conduct themselves as legally married citizens of this country, invalid.
A Right...as guaranteed by the Constitution can't be taken away except by repeal of the amendment that guarantees it. That's why it's a right and not a privilege or a guideline. I try not to call people stupid as a rule. I try to be tolerant. I try to hold my temper and not say the things I normally say when arrant bullshit happens right in front of me. We have separation of church and state so that churches and every foamy-lipped mentally deficient goon-bag of a preacher cannot make this Country a theocracy.
The Law is the Law, no matter what your church says. No matter how you personally feel about it. No matter how badly you whine about it on Fox News. If you treated African-Americans( or any other hyphenated American for that matter) the way you treat Gays today..you'd be arrested for gross violations of their civil rights. Shame on you for being so benighted. Shame on you for forgetting that our laws are what make us the country we are. And while we are a culture and a nation in decline...we do not have to decline to the level of the Islamic nations we fear and revile, and become a nation ruled by God rather than one inspired by God.
dwolfhunter: (Woof2)
Go ahead. ask me anything...but expect a "Me" style answer.
dwolfhunter: (Woof2)
1. If a fairy Godmother could grant you the removal of one source of your inner anger, what would you ask her to remove?

I would never allow such a thing. My anger comes from pain and experience and, as such, it is as much a part of me as my flesh I WOULD ask her to grant me more constructive ways of dealing with my anger though. I have learned some ways...they aren't always enough.

2. You are hosting an evening meal with three guests - all of whom are persons from history. Who would you invite, and why?

Leonidas of Sparta- Because if anyone can give me a better lesson on hard choices and leadership, he can. Robert the Bruce, because when you grow on Scottish History instead of faery tales...you latch on to heroes pretty early.I would love to meet the man and compare/contrast to the legend.Rudyard Kipling...because KIPLING!!!!!!!

3. If you were asked to be a member of the BoD, what would you feel would be the most important item to address in the SCA?

The fact that we are consistently, by being a corporation and therefore a business over-legislating, over-thinking, over-working; everything about our HOBBY and forgetting that we are trying to be a place of recreation, education, and hopefully fun.

4. What is your favorite flower?
Domestic flowers? Roses, all sorts. Wild plants? I have a fondness for wild orchids and "corpse flowers"

4. Which of the five senses could you live without? (And concurrently, which one could you not live without?
Courtesy of Uncle Sam , both my sight and my hearing are seriously damaged already. I could least live without vision.
dwolfhunter: (Default)
We went to Delftwood's Feast of the Seven Deadly Sins last weekend. We stayed with very good friends who did everything in their power to make the weekend wonderful. Of course, being the people they are, they succeeded. HRM Aethelmearc sought me out to say hello, The Ladies of the Caer were their usual, wonderful selves...It was sooooo good to see them, all of them.
Old Delftwood friends and other AE friends were coming up to us all day, saying how happy they were to see us. It was really nice. I missed some faces in the crowd. Some who could not be there...and some who have passed beyond such things forever.
I began to grow a touch maudlin about that, when an old battle-buddy of mine said: "Cheer the fuck up...do you get how many people have walked through the doors and then dropped everything to go say hello to you guys, whn they saw you here? I know they wouldn't do that for ******* or I, if we'd gone away for nearly 10 years and then just showed up again."
I laughed it off when he said it...and then as I wandered away, I thought more about it. Wow.He was right. I never seem to notice the impact that I have upon other people. I have no real grasp of how other people feel about me. I have never understood why people were happy to see me. I have never really expected people to miss me when I left or to even wonder where I went. I suspect that this is some mental aberration of mine. Some twisted , fucked up part of my brain that goes along with the rest of my emotional hangups.
I prize others with a fierceness and dedication that sometimes hurts...but I never felt the same about myself, or thought that others would. Or did. Or do.
To those of you who feel that for whatever reasons I am "of worth" to you... Thank you. Thank you for your faith in me, your love and your respect. I promise you all that I am gonna try to be more cognisant of the fact that if youse guys value me....that I should value myself as well. Maybe this is one of those lessons it's not too late to learn.
dwolfhunter: (Woof2)
Just received the most kind and civil kiss-off letter I have ever received from a prospective employer. It was a lovely interview, and I had high hopes. Thy talked cash and bennies and it really sounded like something had stuck...alas, no. There is nothig more anger producing in my life than being told "You're fantastic, you're intelligent and you skills are impressive...but we don't want you." Especially when cash is a tight as iot is and I feel like a sponge.
Especially when I fight everyday to avoid turning into a dirtbag hermit like my deceased father-in-law. Especially when the woman I love looks worried over cash and I can't do anything about it until I get a goddamned job! I am so angry and frustrated right now. There gotta be a way out of this. I just don't see it.
dwolfhunter: (Woof2)
Yesterday, I was given an image that resonated with myself image. I was cooking dinner and a cast iron pan...clearly stressed beyond its ability to endure, cracked. The pan was purchased some twenty years ago at a garage sale...and bore no makers mark or indication of its manufacturer. However, it had been in the seller's family for many years before I bought it and had given yeoman service to me for many as well. In that moment , I was forcibly reminded that iron; like men, will break. Even the strongest materials must, at some point, yield to the forces of nature and entropy.
I was struck by the correlation of this incident to my own life. Time and again, I have faced the forces of my life and stood strong. I have made storm and danger to break around me like waves against the prow of a ship. I have to ask myself how much longer I can do so. When and where is my breaking point? What will be the final blow?
And then, it occurred to me that it just doesn't matter. It doesn't matter because I am not made of ductile iron. I am human. I am flesh bonded to and imbued with will and desire. It dawned on me that as long as I have the will and the desire...that I am unbreakable. Entropy may erode my body, but my will is my own province. My desire is my demesne. Cast iron is replaceable, recyclable and ultimately re-forgeable. I have been forged of stuff that cannot be recycled, replaced or re-forged. Like every other being on the planet, I get to remake myself anew every day. Bring it!
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