Saturday, November 12, 2011

Food - it's what's for dinner

Rokeclif's A&S Night met at Java Vino, where we discussed which in a list of foods were early period, late period, and modern. By request, I posted a short bibliography of food books on Rokeclif's facebook page.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Herball with a Twist

Kudrun is still working on her herbal, but this time she did a total herbal immersion at Rokeclif's A&S Night. We saw herbs from period herbals and from Kudrun's gardens, and we felt and tasted them as well.  Nature provided oregano and dandelion, mullien and sage. Kudrun cooked up sage-filled pork, thyme-filled meatballs, and a rosemary-infused dipping oil. Sammy liked the mint sample best. Of course, dill seeds were provided to aid digestion.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Novices, Neophytes and Knaves

As the title would suggest, this event, hosted by Turm an dem See on October 1, was intended as an introduction to the SCA. Special accommodations were made for first-timers, such as court with a play-by-play description of what was going on, and a relaxation of the rule for garb.
Kudrun's "Alphabeticall Bestiary" and "So you Want to Buy a Psalter" were my offerings, both taught from my 13th-century perspective.
The awe-full thing -- I was a site token (along with three other folks). What an honor!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


How many shires can boast a 5-year-old who knows about vexillology. Sammy can tell you all about flags, though he'd rather tell you about Iron Man. The Shire of Rokeclif was thinking about banners and flags, so I prepared an overview of such things in period (and 1000 years before). My research may be skewed, but the gonfanon (commonly called a 'banner' today) wasn't used much in period. I still think I should make one.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A source is a source, of course, of course

Warriors and Warlords takes place in a huge city park in Boscobel, Wisconsin. The supply of electricity is limited, so I can't use my favorite period medium - PowerPoint. Still, I scored a few points for Wikipedia in a class on evaluating sources for SCA research. The most important question to be asked is, how much research is necessary for the task? For some questions, one source is sufficient. For other quests, the world is not enough.
Also, what, really, is the task? If I were researching appliqué to teach a class, for example -- "How to Spiff up a Campsite" and "Fifteenth-Century Needlework Techniques" would have very different requirements.
I hope I made it clear that a variety of independent sources were useful to bring one as close to the object of one's research as possible.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


April 30 was the date of Rokeclif's "Games People Played" event. I taught Merells (Mills, Morris... I've seen 29 names for the game.) The picture here is not of Morris, but of a chess set that I adapted. I haven't documented the use of rubber duckies for chess pieces, but this has to fall under the rubric, "if they'd had rubber duckies in the thirteenth century, they'd have played chess with them."

Magic Numbers at Bardic Madness

Since this was Bardic Madness XXI, I thought I'd go with the magic numbers theme and prove that LXII is the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Kudrun explained some of the significance of numbers, with reference to Aristotle, Augustine, Plato, Fibonacci and Boethius. Of particular importance for this event was Pythagoras's observation that all musical harmonies could be expressed in simple ratios.

Bardic Madness is probably the only event I'd travel 700 miles (each way) for a one-day event -- it was worth it. Thank you, Schattentor.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Persona again

Falcon's Gate invited me to reprise "Meeting your persona". This is a college group, so there are always new people coming in. What a delight to meet such enthusiastic kids, ready to learn all kinds of new stuff.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Publish or perish?

No one has to worry about tenure in the SCA, but it's nice to be published anyway. I wrote a couple articles for Northshield's newsletter -- one on saintly heroes, and the other a review of the Luttrell Psalter film on YouTube.