jjmaccrimmon: (Me - SCA Cavalier)
Anther friend here and in real life has died suddenly of a massive heart attack. Scott Jacqua (Don Njall) [livejournal.com profile] hagerson was a fencer, herald, blacksmith and archer, I met and became good friends with him and his wife Sandra in southern California (Caid). When I moved to Alabama, one of the first folks I knew in the region was Scott (he'd moved to Knoxville, TN the year before). Over the last year, he'd had several debilitating bouts with bronchitis and flu which weakened him.

Scott was a great friend and an advocate when I had few in Caid. He's been an amazing sounding board and offered excellent advice. I will sorely miss him.
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
For those who don't know, I play in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). During my time in California, I counted this young woman as my friend. My son fought in and was her Champion (in youth combat). This spring Duchess Kolfinna ("Kitty") fought along side me and the fencers of my adopted home of "The Kingdom of Meridies" at the recent Gulf Wars event in Mississippi. Long before becoming a knight in the SCA, Sir Kolfinna got her start in martial activites on the rapier field.


In sadness,


HL John James MacCrimmon


Forwarded by request


---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Lorissa (Lora) <lorissais@...>
Date: Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 11:56 AM


Please cross post:

It is with deep regret and much sorrow that after getting permission
from Sven, I pass on that Duchess Kolfinna will loose her brave fight
with H1N1 today, October 1st, 2009. We all feel a great loss but
Kolfinna's family asks that her friends refrain from coming up to the
hospital. There will be a memorial at Great Western War and there will
be more information on that and final arrangements posted on the
website later http://www.kolfinna.sca-caid.org/


Thank you

Viscountess Lorissa du Griffin, OP

Chamberlain to TRMs Edward II & Mora II

King & Queen of Caid
jjmaccrimmon: (SCA Shield)
Greeting all,


Folks I thought I would share this little tidbit of info that has been under discussion in the Caid youth combat community. I believe it applies here, because many kingdoms have fencers that are allowed to practice and authorize as young as 14 and heavy combat as young as 16 in some kingdoms. Although the discussions started in youth combat, this will be applied to ALL combat forms dealing with youth (not my words). Read and debate. Below is what I've posted in Caid's YC and Rapier lists.

First off, I have children and maintain extensive security / background checks due my work, but this is sounding more like an exercise in liability protection versus actual youth protection. I wish that the BoD and our Society officers would stop assuming that we are idiots in couching it this way.

the real costs – my personal view )
Master Aaron Swiftrunner’s original message )
jjmaccrimmon: (SCA Shield)
I'm hearing some very unpleasant rumors about me recently. Funny how it seems to be coordinated in advance of my potential return to playing in the SCA locally. Same old nasty fiction... Hopefully this is merely a misunderstanding rather than intentional mischief or deceit.

No drama allowed...
jjmaccrimmon: (SCA Cavalier)
Well folks, I've come to a decision that for good, bad or indifferent is worth considering. I've been away from the SCA, Caid, Dun Or and the (remains) of The Cross & Dragon for almost six months. In March after Estrella has come and gone, the kids and I will come back to play a little.

What's changed since you left?
My attitude and frustration with certain aspects of the local SCA has eased. My hand is mostly functional and I've recharged the "batteries" that the SCA (friends, associates, & activities) had left utterly drained. I’ve been told changes are happening. I can’t be the judge of that if I’m not around.

Are you going to be as active as before?
Yes & No. I'm better positioned now to step back and either watch or play. The last year I was involved, I autocrated, sub-autocratted or coordinated, four events, including several with Caidan royals attending. This was on top of marshalling, teaching and so forth. I'm not going to allow myself to get drawn back into that deceptively, exhausting cycle again. The work that went into these events versus the rewards or disappointments were utterly disproportionate.

Why this timing?
In September and October of last year, I swore to myself that only two things would bring me back to play. One was the direct and meaning meaningful request of friends telling me I was wanted (not needed). The other was a need to recover.

But you’re going to miss Estrella, etc etc...
Estrella has always been a lot of work contrary to popular opinion. Over the last few years, I'd been the one to coordinate much of the camp arrangements (read: cat herding) for Cross and Dragon. The cost, the travel, the timing and the emotions wrapped up in this event are close to overwhelming on a normal basis. Given my frame of mind, my expectations need to start a bit lower than the second largest event in the Society. Yes, it means missing weddings, old friends, and the activities, but I don’t know that I could handle that level of activity just yet.

Will you be fencing/involved with rapier again?
I really don’t know. In August of last year, I had the index and middle finger on my right hand badly broken and hyper-extended. I didn’t realize how badly damaged they were till after Known World Academy of the Rapier when I final saw a doctor. I’m not sure I can safely handle a rapier at this point. I know that combined with mild arthritis in my hands already, I am unlikely to be competitive in tourneys anymore. We’ll see. I hadn’t picked up a sword till last weekend when [livejournal.com profile] aeddie stayed overnight after Festival of the Rose. In all likelihood, my tourney fighting days are over.

Will you be supporting boff.. er.. Youth Combat?
Yes

We’ll see – that’s all for now. I haven’t figured out which event will be first but we’ll see.
jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Thoughtful)
First things first VOTE TODAY !!! Make your voice heard loud enough the politicos can’t twist things.

That being said, I’m rapidly loosing patience with my house guest Trish. Aside from her quirks of personality, she’s now impinging on my scheduling of shoots and activities. This coming weekend she wants to take Brenna (my daughter) down to a friend’s house in Torrance to hang out. This leaves me with Chris (my 7 year old son). Kinda makes it hard to travel to adult venues to shoot shows and so forth. I guess I’ve become spoilt that I could have Brenna watch him. I’ve been able to rely on her and start up the photography business. I may need someone to watch him Friday night till late.

Friday Night w/ZONK )
Saturday and points beyond )
Decisions were mentioned – Substantial bitching to follow )
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
This was a wild and emotional weekend for me. Lot’s of highs and some bittersweet lows. In fact, I almost feel I need a few days to recover from my weekend.

Friday afternoon, I busted out of work a little early and started getting ready for shooting at Fright Night LA for Noah [livejournal.com profile] dirtnap13. I brought Trish along with me to help out and to let her try to make contacts with the various media types that were there. It was rainy and nasty on the drive down and we barely made it there at the time he requested. Once we got there, I got settled and found where the best sight lines were for shooting. Trish was put to work helping to play security at the gate and hand out flyers. From 8pm till 2am, I mixed and mingled with the cream of the alternative art and (dare I say) porn community of Los Angeles. Several adult stars were in attendance, one Playboy model, several directors, multiple young women answering a casting call for models and various other interesting souls mixed and mingled. Wow.. As the evening progressed, my external flash elected to take a dive and ceased working consistently. Some affected shots are salvageable, but it’s very frustrating.

Increasing levels of insanity, er activity )
jjmaccrimmon: (Courtier)
I have a small dilemma. I have about 60 photos I need to format, finish and copy to CD-R for Sven and Kitty remaining from June Coronation / QC. The problem is, with my finger in a brace, I can’t manipulate the program to do it right. Grrr... Must improvise...

Update: tried to improvise.. didn’t work. I can’t do the kind of manipulation of filters and settings left handed. I came close, but I’m too much of a perfectionist. Sizing and cropping requires the fine motor control that my left hand doesn’t have. Filter settings to fix the color problems at that Gawd-awful site is even more intensive.

I’m just going to put what I have on CD-R and shelve the project till I can use my hand again. I don’t feel like I can reasonably delay giving them the photos any longer.

PS. I finally located Charmayn’s mailing address and can send her the CD-r of her photos too.
jjmaccrimmon: (Cold)
Burn out is such a difficult thing to talk about. It makes me feel like I’m giving up. On one hand, I so dearly want to lash out at some of the aspects of the SCA and Caid I've grown to despise. I could be pointed and bitter in some respects and regarding some people and situations (like the back biting, the abuses, the egos and so forth). I choose not to be. I do not wish to lose the measure of personal chivalry I've always tried to have and tried to show towards others. Could I keep trying to do more to change things in a positive manner? It’s not an easy, safe or simple question. How am I supposed to show enthusiasm about the things the SCA is supposed to stand for: chivalry, courtesy, honor and recreating the better aspects of the period, when I’m having trouble seeing them for myself?

We all know the adage that sometimes "the mind is willing, but the body will not follow." Is there a point where the body is willing, but the heart isn't?

When is enough really enough? )
jjmaccrimmon: (Frustrated)
X-posted from e-mail-

Greetings folks,

I wanted to get this out to the appropriate folks. As some of you know, I was planning to take a gradual sabatical from the SCA for a while. I was going to ease into and still try to attend practices and a very very select few events over the coming months (run or help run four events and not come away a bit burned out). My recent hand injuries have changed those plans too.

I just got home from the doctors office today. It's broken, no literally. The right index finger is broken behind the knuckle, dislocated and to add insult to injury badly sprained. Hey, at least nothing's torn (my orignal concern). We even noticed an older (recent break in my middle finger on the x-rays. In the short run, I'm out of fighting for the foreable future. ::shrug:: Training stuff with the left hand I can handle, but I'm not even going to try since I want to protect the hand that still works.
jjmaccrimmon: (Cavalier)
Her Majesty asked me to hold off on posting these till she returned from Pennsic. I’m very happy to offer them now (in batches). Continuing the series of shots taken at Caid Coronation Crown Tourney in June, these show the approach and investiture of the current King and Queen of Caid, Sir Sven and Sir Kolfinna (her preference).


Approaching Destiny

A New Era )
jjmaccrimmon: (Cavalier)
People wandered, festivities occurred and such were the candid expressions and behaviors of the good folks attending Rapier Open this barely two weeks ago. On a beautiful afternoon in the Altavian foothills (near Sylmar), a very skilled group of combatants joined in friendship to test their skills against one another.


Lady Ceridwen Grey, Member of Cross and Dragon

Candid Preparations )
The game is afoot )
jjmaccrimmon: (Cavalier)
Caid Rapier Open took place this past weekend. Great fighting and good time was had by all it seemed. I was wasn’t anywhere near winning, but enjoyed myself.. It was a particularly good time for my friend Don Lot Ramirez, Captain of the good ship White Star. Not only did Lot win the tourney, this was a special day because he and his beautiful Lady, Caterina di Cellini, were getting married (sorta). In fact Jeff and Adriane have been married five years, but in this they elected to marry their SCA personas in a traditional, Hebrew service as would have been done in the late 1500’s.

The bride and groom have seen and approved the posting of these photos.



Marriage, in a historic way )
jjmaccrimmon: (Cavalier)
After taking a break from the photos and formatting required to repair many of these, I’m pleased to offer the last photo from Dirk and Charmayn’s closing court. In the last 35 minutes, the emotion ran deep. What many in the audience may not have seen was the depth of feeling these Royals showed each other and the people close by. No matter what was said, political issues debated or problems that may have arisen from this reign, their last few minutes on the Thrones meant something deeply to both of them.



Final awards (8 images behind the cut) )
The military presentation and salute (3 photos behind the cut) )
Dismissing Court (13 photos) )
jjmaccrimmon: (Cavalier)
Other than achieving a Crown, the highest level of recognition in the SCA, is the Peerage. The people inducted into these orders have shown consistent levels of skill in arts or fights; or service to the Society. At June Coronation, I had the pleasure of watching two friends ascend to the peerage. One became a Pelican (recognized for low term and sustained service), and one became a Laurel (recognized for historical research and teaching of Renaissance combat techniques, and their application in rapier combat in particular). This entry is dedicated to Mistress Aldgytha of Ashwood, in recognition of her elevation to the Order of the Pelican; and to Maestro Giacomo Cavalli da Treviso, in recognition of his elevation to the Order of the Laurel.


The symbol of the Order

A Mistress is Recognized (8 images behind the cut) )

A Master is Recognized (11 images behind the cut) )
jjmaccrimmon: (Cavalier)
On a personal note,
On-going computer update )

One of the things I’ve always enjoyed at the final court of each reign in Caid is the display of scroll work done during the year here. In contrast to some Kingdoms, the Crown typically hands out a promissory scroll, for AoA level recognitions and a rare couple of GoA’s. The permanent or presentation scrolls are done under commission and are coordinated between the scribe and the recipient. Put simply, these can and do turn into marvelous works of art. These are some of the samples of scroll work done by the gifted scribes and showcased at court.



Scroll highlights (22 images behind the cut) )
jjmaccrimmon: (Cavalier)
The following photos are from the early parts of court to just before the first break.


Don Lot Ramirez looking on

Final Court highlights (22 images behind the cut) )
jjmaccrimmon: (Cavalier)
With my home computer down (probable hard drive failure), I’m not going to be able to work on these for a while. Not to worry, the photos were all stored on my secondary hard drive. That being said, I’d already uploaded a substantial number of images on-line. With a little luck, I should have my computer back in a couple days, and can upload photos from Investiture Court and Queen’s Champion.

I’ll note a couple of important things here. First, it’s taken me two months of hard work to get multiple filter settings developed to actually get these images to look half-way presentable. Being something of a perfectionist, I simply refuse to post things that don’t look good enough. The lighting conditions were horrendous, so I was surprised I was to save as many photos as I could.

The following photos are from the early parts of court to just before the first break.


Awards and Recognitions

Final Court highlights (20 images behind the cut) )
jjmaccrimmon: (Cavalier)
FINALLY!
With my home computer down (probable hard drive failure), I’m not going to be able to work on these for a while. Not to worry, the photos were all stored on my secondary hard drive. That being said, I’d already uploaded a substantial number of images on-line. With a little luck, I should have my computer back in a couple days, and can upload photos from Investiture Court and Queen’s Champion.

I’ll note a couple of important things here. First, it’s taken me two months of hard work to get multiple filter settings developed to actually get these images to look half-way presentable. Being something of a perfectionist, I simply refuse to post things that don’t look good enough. The lighting conditions were horrendous, so I was surprised I was to save as many photos as I could.

The following photos are from just before Court started and through the early parts of court.


Don Ian Duncanson, HRM Charmayn’s Rapier Champion

Final Court highlights (20 images behind the cut) )
jjmaccrimmon: (Cavalier)
Greetings unto the populace,


Dustwell, er.. Darkwell War has come and gone with much rejoicing. This year a great many people from in and outside the Barony of Dun Or contributed a tremendous amount of time and effort to set-up and run this event. Without that unselfish support and assistance, this Darkwell would have been a disaster. We should be able to look at ourselves with pride individually and as a group in pulling together this war in less than two months. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Regrettably, the weather made some of our efforts and planning come to naught. Like many others, I expected it to be hot rather than windy. We countered this with the idea of establishing misting stations. Instead winds of 20 to 40 miles an hour assaulted our tents, day shades and encampments with blown dust, sand and grit. Along with several of our visitor’s pavilions and tents, Dun Or saw two of our day shades destroyed and another (pop-up) damaged. Despite all of it, we endured and worked around it. As was pointed out to me multiple times, the winds and damage they caused were out of our control.

It can certainly be said that this new site had some serious growing pains. Some had a measure in which we can improve them and others were the nature of the site itself. In the coming weeks, I very much hope to discuss with members of the Barony, officers of the event and perhaps with our Royalty options, ideas and options for the future use or improvement of the site. Some things can be dealt with (stone privies for example), but others are not (lack of grass). Perhaps in considering these matters as a group, we can plan better for the future, or offer up other options for alternate sites.

Before I close, I want to address an issue that myself, Lady Fadtia and Their Excellencies became aware of in the course of the event. For various reasons, some personal and some (sadly) political, a number of groups elected to stay away from Darkwell. Whether it was due to concerns over the weather, the drive, the cost of gas or the undeveloped site; it caused a substantial number of people to elect not to attend. What concerns me more was the other influences on attendance. Both Event Stewards overheard individuals calling their friends and associates via cell phones and telling them “not to waste their time driving up”, that “the site was snake infested and dirty” or that “this was a disgusting, redneck location.” Though unsubstantiated at this point, we have also heard that similar info even made it onto the internet. We do know several large households elected not to attend for “personal reasons” I will elect not to delve into. In any case, the loss was mutual. This was one of the lightest attended Darkwell Wars in perhaps a decade and will impact the Barony financially. To these individuals and groups, it was a loss in terms of chivalry, charitable treatment of others and loss of goodwill will be incalculable.

Much as I would like to thank everyone individually, that list would be as long as this letter as is. There are a specific few I do have to single out. To my co-autocrat Fadtia and our deputy, Anghared, you have my deepest appreciation for the hard work, careful planning and frequent injections of sanity to the event. To my marshals, Haldorr, Amara, Cera, Tuvor, Teka and Ish; thank you for putting together some great activities that everyone seemed to enjoy tremendously. Beyond that, my mind is fraying too much to write more and I can only offer my genuine and sincere thanks to the good gentles that came, participated and made the very best of the weekend. I think we did the best we could, and with hope, next year will be better.


YIS,

HL John James MacCrimmon
Darkwell XVIII Event Steward

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