jjmaccrimmon: (Me - Headshot)
This is something I wrote in reply to an SCA-Snark post on another board. I'm copying my reply here because it stands to remind me and any of the SCA folks who still read this blog, of what we have, what's changed and why we (I) play.

----------------------------------

Wow.. I had to read, re-read and then go through the comments. I didn't know whether to be angry, lament or laugh. Over 20 years of play (some very active and some not so much), I've seen much of what you mentioned and I think I understand what your point is.

We all play in the SCA. We play at costumes. We play at fighting styles. We play at creating objects. We play at creating a society (small "s" intended) that makes "The Dream" as we think it should be. Notice how many times I used "play" in this? I say play because we can't and don't want to recreate period accurately. "The Dream" is different for everyone.

We create a measure of fantasy in everything we do because the reality of some aspects of period would be horrifying. The Python's were right when they said "no-one expects the Inquisition.." Our Kingdoms, Barony's and Shires mirror our world now; our attitudes now and our circumstances now. The SCA has always been a haven for those of us either seeking to escape the mundane, or the excesses & the limitations of where and how we live. Yeah, sadly some people bring those attitudes or mindsets of the mundane world into the Society. Some kingdoms are known for the hedonism, some for the plastic personalities, some for the warmth. We try to recreate and enjoy in a measure that's not always equal.

The division between the fun mavens and the authenticity police was there 20 years ago when I first got my membership and will probably still be there in whatever incarnation the SCA becomes in 20 years hence. In a sense, that Yin and Yang has always fueled the Society and the creative tension that kept it growing. It fueled my participation in many respects. I've taught historical styles and techniques of fighting and tempered every lesson with the knowledge that if I taught it as the period fencing or weapons masters did, I would have permanently disabled or killed people even with tipped points and dulled blades. Sometimes we have to give ground from the authentic to have the fun.

We used to police our own but as we grew bigger and faster, we seem to have lost ourselves in the process. We forgot how to teach people we brought into the SCA. The comment made that the Society changed ten years ago is fairly accurate. That was when the BoD became very corporate. I petitioned and pleaded for greater transparency in the BoD member selection process then. It didn't happen. I was one of the folks heavily involved in the 4th peerage petition. It's slowly being killed by committee. On a personal sense, over 20 years, I've watched many undeserving but well connected people get rewards and recognitions, while I've seen just as many deserving individuals be ignored. I've seen personal vendettas and personal triumphs. That's just like life.. Just like the very real and very mundane world.

So why keep doing it?... If we mirror the mundane world in many of our behaviors, attitudes and faults, why do I personally keep putting on funny clothes and drag my ass out onto the field to fight? It's not the recognitions (after 20 years you'd think I'd have more)... It's not the clothes or position... It's the people, the friendships I've made and the sheer joy I get for playing. I can if only briefly, become another person, pit skill versus skill and believe that things can be better or different.
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/nov/25/shocking-truth-about-crackdown-occupy

It's damn scary when it takes a British paper to clearly report on something the US media is either too afraid of, paid by or blind to.  OWS does have a purpose and a message.

Quote -

The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics. Most often cited
was legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling,
which lets boundless sums enter the campaign process.

No 2: reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent
item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act – the Depression-era law,
done away with by President Clinton, that separates investment banks
from commercial banks. This law would correct the conditions for the
recent crisis, as investment banks could not take risks for profit that
create kale derivatives out of thin air, and wipe out the commercial and
savings banks.

No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against
the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to
pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.

- Unquote

jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Regious persecution or bad blood - you judge
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41959553/ns/business-us_business/

Unclear on the concept of showing up for your DWI hearing
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42211662/ns/us_news-weird_news/
jjmaccrimmon: (Political - Republican Rant)
OMGss - Watch this article! Rachel Maddow isn't blowing this out of proportion. What she is describing is effectively how the NAZI's stole power in Germany. Except this isn't Berlin, or Lepzig, or Bremen; this is Ann Arbor, and Lansing and Detroit. They claim a crisis and then take away your powers as citiizens for the greater power of the leader.


jjmaccrimmon: (Political - Republican Rant)
Ind. official: 'Use live ammunition' on protesters - U.S. news - Life - msnbc.com

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41736625/ns/us_news-life/

This Tea Party supporter and Indiana Deputy State Attorney General actually Tweeted that he would have authorized state troopers to use live ammo on the "thugs and bullies" (peacefully) protesting in the Wisconsin Statehouse.

What the Hell has gone wrong with some people in this country..?
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Given that British Petroleum (BP) has managed to muck up the Gulf of Mexico along the US southern coast so well, it amazes me to think that this is a company with over 50 years of offshore drilling experience. Is it hubris, corporate ignorance or lack of retaining/empowering technical experts that caused the blow out on the well that is fouling thousands of square miles of Gulf waters? Where was the back up plans? Where was the testing on equipment and procedure? Where was the emergency response plan for everything? It didn’t exist according to most reports. BP has been winging it from the start it appears, with no plans to stop, contain or safely clean up the spill.

So many ideas have been mentioned. Some are simple and others are completely insane. Of the simple ones, one person wrote about simply building a mound of rock over the well head and pour maritime concrete over the whole thing. It was deemed unfeasible for fear the oil would leak around the bottom of the mound. I shocked a dear friend in chat a few days ago when I mentioned one of the more demented ideas I’ve actually heard. Tactical nuke. No this wasn’t my idea, it came via one of the self proclaimed ‘experts’ out there. They actually presented the idea of a detonating a 1kt device about 200 feet above the wellhead to compress and fuse the subsurface rock while the fireball would burn up and vaporize oil soaked waters. They even pointed out that the islands we conducted underwater tests near in the Pacific have recovered well. They failed to consider the blast would generate a 30 foot tidal wave that would hit a close to 700 miles of US Gulf coast alone. In addition, it would likely foul oil coming from any (remaining) oil platforms within 100 miles. The EMP burst would ruin electronics w/in 25 miles. And oh I didn’t mention that we signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty which bans this sort of action. Sorry name of multiple lady friends, I took the dark humor a bit too far. While I admit I played Devil’s Advocate a bit with this ludicrous idea, I didn’t get to mention that it wouldn’t work and that the political powers would NEVER allow this to happen.

ideas, solutions and insanity )
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
This is an excerpt of a customer service message I sent to the corporate HQ of Another Broken Egg regarding their Huntsville restaurant on Jones Valley Rd after a visit for brunch this past Sunday..

Never again! This is a sentiment that my family and I uttered as we left the Huntsville location. Over the past two years, I’ve taken my family to Another Broken Egg less and less. This past Sunday’s experience closed the door for me. My principal complaint was on the speed of the service and quality of service or lack of.

After a 30 minute wait to get a table for my family, once we were seated, we faced another 10 minute wait for our waitress to pay enough attention come take our drink orders. It took 10 minutes for her to come out with two sodas, a sweet tea, coffee & a juice. Yes they were busy but these were simple orders. It got worse..

When drinks came out, are ordered our brunch keeping it simple as well. From that point it took over 40 minutes for our meal of two Banana’s Foster, a kid’s French toast and two egg dishes to come out. For the next 40 minutes plus, I had to flag down our waitress several times to get refills because she would not regularly check our table. Yes, it was busy, not she had time to stand behind or beside the bar to chat and joke with the man tending the bar at the restaurant. We watched two tables seated after us receive their meals (and regular service) well before we got ours. We finally asked for the manager to try and discover why our meal was ‘flagged’ for slow service. His explanation was that he’d effectively opened his patio for dining and yet then admitted he didn’t have a full staff AND was short a cook. He assured us that he’d make up for the slow service on the bill. It never happened.

After our food finally came out, our waitress continued to ignore or forget to bring out necessities for the meal until it was too late to do any good. Our toddler ate most of his French toast without syrup because it took so long to get it brought out.

One other thing that struck me was that apparently a current or former employee of ABE Café was seated with his family behind us. Why would this be notable? On at least three occasions I watched him enter the kitchen area to get foods, condiments or (surprisingly) his check for the meal. Given that he wasn’t in uniform and had not washed up prior to any of these ‘visited’ I believe this was a health code violation.

We finally finished and got our check (the quickest visit by our waitress yet that meal), nearly 2 1/2 hours after arriving there. The manager’s assurance to “make things right on the bill” never occurred and we given a full price check. Rather than wait for another 10 to 20 minutes for your manager or waitress to deem us worth attention, I paid my $63.49 bill and left without leaving a tip.

I will not come back to this restaurant and I will now tell my friends and associates to avoid your restaurant. Perhaps I should also forward this message to the local weekly (The Valley Planet) and let them know their rating of Another Broken Egg Café as the #2 Brunch spot in Huntsville was in error. In this case it referred to the shitty service. I will never waste my money at this restaurant again.

*** Normally I don't do reviews of restaurants and businesses especially when I'm angry. This is an exception and one that I actually decided to wait a few days to calm my temper over it.***
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
After yesterday's rant, I felt it deserved a follow-up.

I failed to mention that my lovely girlfriend wrote a scathing message to their customer (dis)service department. That compared well to what I said to their senior front-end manager today.

We left Huntsville a little before 9am Central (10am Atlanta time). There was no way I was going to run the risk of being later than 3 hours before the flight (which was what they told one customer yesterday - while telling me two hours). The traffic was actually lighter today, so we made near record time.

When we got to the airport and headed directly to check-in (required for unaccompanied minors), we wiated for perhaps 5 minutes before being approached by a clerk/attendant. When I mentioned that we'd tried this all yesterday, he immediately pulled us out of the line and directly to the first counter available. While checking us in, he asked what had happened and seemed genuinely upset. I also think he'd gotten to hear this already from others today. After getting the kids checked in, he gave them 4 free meal vouchers and told me in no uncertain terms that I needed to tell the shift manager what happened yesterday. Hummm.. a sign of genuine interest perhaps?..

When the manager came over, I explained the timeline and the resulting hardships. He pulled me back to a counter and checked out the kids file verifying what I told him. Then he called for "Sharon" the representative (acting supervisor from yesterday) to come over immediately. While she was in route, he told us that none of this should have happened and apologized for the severe inconvience. In a few minutes the rep who'd blown us off and argued with me about check in yesterday (Tuesday) arrived. She was all smiles and sunshine to me in front of the manager unlike how she'd treated us the before. After a short discussion, he issued each child a voucher for $200 in Delta credits ($400 total).

Does it make the situation better. I'm not sure. I'm utterly exhausted and sore from two days of driving and stress. Work was understanding about the situation, but I'm going to go back to a potential train wreck due to a briefing I have tomorrow afternoon. Yeah.. I'm still not sure the kids or I will ever fly Delta again, but we'll see. I'm still planning to contact my company's travel service to make note of the initial screw up and go from there. Delta is one of their "prefered carriers" and they like to know how their employees are treated.

As for today, after the long discussion, we headed out to the gate and wiated for the flight. Because the unaccompanied status for Chris, I got to go out to the gate with them. Delta doesn't have a special boarding time for minors and such, so they boarded with the rest of their zone on the plane. We had our tearful goodbyes and then they were off (35 minutes late but who's counting after a full day). The drive back to Huntsville was relatively quick though I had one scare with a city police car in northern Georgia who initially roared out of his trap and pulled up behind me then moved to another vehicle.
jjmaccrimmon: (Frustrated)
Interesting bit of new evidence of improper influence. Thanks [livejournal.com profile] nebris


jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
This was posted via Fox News. Thanks Jim for the point out.


jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
Thank you for posting this Leesa


jjmaccrimmon: (Political - Republican Rant)
Keith Olbermann takes on the hate spew / tolerance of McCain/Palin


jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
I'm planning to send a copy of this message to the Icelandic embassy. The e-mail in the previous link is to the translator/friend of hers.

----------------------------------------------

To His Excellency, Albert Jónsson, Icelandic Ambassador to the United States,

An Open Letter Regarding the Treatment of Miss Erla Osk Arnardottir Lillendahl


Yesterday I learned of a horrendous and heinous breach of some very basic principles of conduct and behavior that most citizens of the United States hold dear. The treatment that Miss Lillendahl received in the hands of representatives of US Homeland Security during her recent visit to the United States was appalling and shameful. The behavior of the officials who detained her was inexcusable and aberrant in my eyes.

I visited Iceland years ago as a member of the US Air Force. The warmth, friendliness and easy going nature of the Icelandic people stuck in my memory. Those attitudes are also typical among common citizens here in the US. Her treatment at the hands of a group of small-minded, vicious, security bureaucrats is not what we expect of our government’s representatives.

Most Americans have expectations of fair or normal treatment for people whether they are US citizens or visitors to this country. Sadly my government has become irrationally paranoid of terrorists. That fear has been instilled into the organizations that are supposed to watch and protect the borders. What happened to her was neither fair nor normal. It was a breech of respect, protocols, basic rights and due process. I can only speak for myself in this letter, as a private US citizen. As such, please convey to Miss Lillendahl my sincerest and heartfelt apologies. Hopefully in years to come, she will be able to visit this country without fear of harassment. On that occasion, I hope she will be able to see for herself the real measure of good will, friendliness and hospitality common among the citizens of the United States.

With deep regret,



http://www.iceland.org/us/
mailto:icemb.wash@utn.stjr.is
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
A good friend posted this story and associated news article in her journal and I went beyond livid after reading this.

Here's the news article about a young woman from Iceland who flew into NYC for a shopping trip. She'd visited the US over a decade before.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22263392/

Here's her account (translated) with vivid detail on how our Homeland (fucking fasist term) Security people treated her.

http://eggmann.blog.is/blog/eggmann/entry/389611/

Imagine a country where the people who guard the borders have a high school (or lower) level education. Imagine a bewildering set of rules, restrictions and protocols they must follow, but they aren't accessible to the public or human rights groups. Imagine that these people have the right to detain, question and imprison 'foriegners' for days, weeks and months on end without ever giving a reason, producing charges or permitting (legally mandated) contact with Consular officials of your government..

Welcome to Amerika! Special thanks to the "USA Patriot Act" for making all this insanity possible.

To tell you, I have visited Iceland where the young woman in the story is from. These are perhaps the friendiest and most easy going people in the world. This is inexecusable behavior on the part of the small minded, dim-witted and cruel 'Homeland' insecurity apperatchiks.

I may will e-mail this young woman to express my shame as citizen of what used to be a free country and beacon to the world. NO-ONE should be treated like this. S he was denied her basic rights to contact her embassy, counsel and to have summary review per multiple diplomatic agreements and treaties.
jjmaccrimmon: (Political - Republican Rant)
Without a doubt, this guy has Bush and his cronnies pegged. Now if someone would act and actually press charges.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21644133/
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
US Immigration deporting wives of US Servicemen – yes, it’s possible.
http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/10/03/military.deportation/index.htm

There’s a quote by an immigration enforcement advocate that’s completely out of control:

”That's just fine, according to Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which lobbies for tougher laws on illegal immigration.
"What you're talking about is amnesty for illegal immigrants who have a relative in the armed forces, and that's just outrageous," he said. "What we're talking about here is letting lawbreakers get away with their actions just because they have a relative in the military. ... There's no justification for that kind of policy."


This is where I get sick to my stomach. This ass-hat is talking about the wives (with US born children) of US Military personnel deployed overseas. Unfricken-believeable!
jjmaccrimmon: (Republican Rant)
Normally I think of Donald Trump as a self promoter and sometimes a jerk of the first order. Every so often though, a gem of insight slips from his mouth and like this one.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2007/09/24/the-donald-time-for-bush-to-go-into-hiding/

Given Bush's lunar sized ego, he won't find time to work on his knitting or choose more coloring books or comics for his Presiduncial Library. Thankful for the Democrats and our collective future as a nation, he'll keep telling everyone his views of the world (as seen in Darth Cheney's crystal ball).
jjmaccrimmon: (Default)
I was going to post another set of photos from an abaandoned site trip [livejournal.com profile] badgerphone I took over the summer but the photos are gone. Not the little place holder telling me I'm a bad boy, but nothing. So I reuploaded them again and well nothing is still there.. WTF?!

I then tried to upload using their new bulk upload tool.. still nothing

Anyone else having this trouble?
jjmaccrimmon: (Political Rant - Big Brother)
Snagged from [livejournal.com profile] argentla


I just got an e-mail that the Senate is likely to vote tomorrow on the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act -- Amendment 2022 to the Department of Defense authorization bill (S. 1585). This is to reverse at least part of the war on the right of habeas corpus that the Bush administration has been waging.

Please, please contact your senators ASAP and urge them to vote for Amendment 2022.

Folks I can’t emphasize the importance of the basic principle of Habeas Corpus in criminal cases. For those who don’t know what it means literally to produce the body/person. In non-Latin legal terms it means that the accused or held has a right to be brought before a public court or hearing to determine the legal reason for their being held.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habeas_Corpus

Following 9/11, the Patriot Act restricted the basic right of Habeas Corpus for ‘terror’ suspects. Any terrorist suspects can be detained and held secretly under the current law. This current situation is a travesty of actual justice and the American standard of a fair and open legal system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habeas_Corpus_Restoration_Act_of_2007
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:S.185:
jjmaccrimmon: (Master Gracey)
After yesterday's disasters (more on that tomorrow), I found out today that I'm an insensitive ass from someone who promised that they would communicate with me for good and bad. Another complete stranger, who doesn't know me or my background for shit told me I was a liar. Just f-ing great. You want to know how I feel? My stomach's been in knots since Saturday night. My kids have been walking on eggshells since Saturday's exploration (concerned that they did the wrong thing). Needless to say, we stayed home today. I editted and uploaded 450 photos. Now my back is as f-ed up as my stomach.

I believe the video says how I feel and how I felt far better than I can or will.

Edit since the embed didn't work right.
http://www.youtube.com/v/AO9dbmJ_2zU

Signing off for the night...

Lyrics )

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jjmaccrimmon

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