NEW STORY!

Jul. 21st, 2017 11:24 am
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[personal profile] zzambrosius_02
 

Strange Times at the Oregon Country Fair

 

A short story by A.M.Brosius

 

They dropped in to the Fair site in the wild area near Daredevil Palace. With his Shifter still active, Ambros Rothakis could see hundreds of overlapped Traces, the spoor of Commonwealthers visiting the Fair over the years. He sent a mental command to the Shifter, shutting it down. It bore a distinct resemblance to a hockey puck, though it was fractionally lighter. He stowed it in a patch pocket on the front of his kilt.

He looked his companion over and thought: ‘It’s a Giant Ant, for all practical purposes. Oh, there are a lot of small differences...and big ones, too; like the Squid sticking out of the top of its head.’

He knew as well that the creature had an internal skeleton as well as its chitinous carapace. ‘...and the cyborg aspect, don’t forget that part. Most of its memory is in the mechanical-biological computer set in its thorax.’

Two metallic tentacles dangled from the silvery rectangular panel set into its carapace. Occasionally these waved around, often in sync with the antennae on the “Ant” part’s head.

‘The machine stores memory and works logically. The Squid feels emotion—exactly what sort is hard to say— and provides motivation. The actual Ant part is more or less a biological bicycle. And these three organisms have been a commensal and collective intelligence for at least several million years.’

He spoke aloud: “This is gonna be a riot. I hope not actually...”

“Rrrr-iot.” The Ant part rotated its head back and forth in that odd way they had: “Thisss isss ‘a metaphor’?

“Yes.” It was hard not to think of the thing as the Ant, even though the ant part was by far the least sentient of the three bits.

The Ant hissed again: “Ssss. For research purposes this-unit has submitted to this...” It rattled the chain attached to a collar around its “neck”.

“Yes,” said Ambros: “You want to know more about humans? This is one aspect of human society. A festival, where some societal norms are absent or reversed, as a contrast to ordinary life. The collar and chain will make you look like an ‘ambiance performer’ rather than a dangerous and unpredictable alien life-form.”

“This-unit is intensely curious. Let us proceed.”

Ambros led the way out of the drop-in site, careful to disturb the vegetation as little as possible. The Ant seemed to understand that: it stepped as carefully as he did. As they approached the edge of the path, the Squid part of the organism shrank to an alarmingly small size, all of its tentacles tucked within itself and its cowl drawn down almost within the Ant’s carapace.

They appeared out of the shrubbery without any warning to the crowd. As people became aware of them a hush fell over the area.

‘That’s an almost eerie thing,’ thought Ambros: ‘It’s never really quiet anywhere on the Fair site during the day.’

His companion’s head swiveled back and forth and its antennae waved and twitched as it sampled the air and listened to the sounds of far-off voices and music. It took up almost the whole of the Upper River Loop as it moved across a narrow bridge and up a slope towards the Eight. Ambros stopped their progress as soon as he got to a wide enough spot on the path.

The crowd nearby was focused to a person on the spectacle of a bearded, longhaired, top-knotted man in a psychedelic kilt, white cloth belt, and long open vest crocheted out of fine white yarn, leading an eight-foot-tall Giant Ant on a chain.

The Ant rose onto its rear legs and waved the front ones about: “Hello humans. Z-z-t.”

The crowd exploded in cheers and applause. The Ant slowly settled back onto all sixes and squatted to the ground.

Ambros grinned and led the Ant onward through the tree-shaded paths and into a larger open space along the edge of the Eight.

The crowd followed; they gathered round, inching closer bit by bit.

A woman in a fairy dress with a feathery wand asked: “Is that a puppet? I mean, an...an automaton? Or is there a person inside it?”

“That’s a good question,” Ambros replied, truthfully. He continued in the same vein: “It’s a person, of sorts.”

“What’s its name?” asked a little boy of six or so.

Ambros pursed his lips: ‘It calls itself ‘This-Unit’ most of the time. I usually call it ‘You-Unit’, but I sometimes call it Bruce just for fun.”

“May we call it Bruce?” asked a girl, about the same age as the boy.

“Ask it.”

The girl reached out tentatively and touched the Ant’s palps: “May we call you Bruce?”

The Ant rose up a little, so that its front legs were free of the ground, and said: “This is satisfactory.” It leaned forward and let its palps range over the girl’s face, which caused her to laugh. After a moment, its mandibles spread wide and clicked, locked in the open position. Ambros sighed, relieved.

The other kids giggled. More children gathered around, since there seemed to be no danger. Parents hung back, allowing the kids room for exploration.

The Ant turned its head towards Ambros: “This is immature human? Of which sort?”

“Ask.”

“I’m a girl, obviously!” the child preempted.

“That is not obvious to...sssBruce-unit.”

Ambros stared at the Ant, astonished: “You never called yourself  Bruce.”

“Immature human asked ‘May we’. Immature humans may.”

“Children,” said Ambros: “Or kids, more informally.”

“Data filed. Children. Kids. Girls...”

“And boys. Sometimes, though rarely, both or neither. When in doubt wait for the child to say.”

“Understood. Humans are fascinating.”

“I know,” said Ambros: “After all, that’s why you are here. Look about you...”

The creature swiveled its head: “Thezzse humans in zzshelters...” It waved its front legs

“Booths,” said Ambros, understanding what the Ant found puzzling.

“Booths...these they have in the Commonwealth, yesss? For distribution of goods and foodstuffs, this-unit recalls.”

“Indeed. Like a Thenoma Plataeo in the Commmonwealth, this festival functions as a craft fair, in part. This is a money economy, though. Things work differently as a result. Do you see how?”

“Mmzzss. We do. Our-unit...our collective judgement finds each of thezsse systems unnecessarily complex.”

“Yes, I suppose you would.”

Some people had wandered off by then; apparently comparative economics was not as amusing as their earlier interaction.

“Show this-unit more things...other aspects of this festival.”

Ambros nodded: “Can you hear the music? Let’s go dancing.”

“What is ‘dancing’?”

The remaining kids laughed uproariously at that question, and their parents laughed a bit, too. Then all the children began to dance, hopping and wriggling and saying: “Like this! Listen to the music!”

The pulsing bass of a reggae band carried from Mainstage to where they were hanging out.

The Ant twitched and its limbs moved rhythmically. Then it said: “Is it wise for this unit to...jump...like that?”

Ambros said: “Maybe not. I’ve seen you jump. Can you hop just a little bit? As in a few centimeters off the ground?”

“SssBruce-unit will try...” The creature flexed its legs and seemed to ponder. It jumped about six feet in the air; the kids leapt away, in some dismay. The Ant pulled its legs in tight so as not to land on any children. Then it stood to all sixes and said: “This-unit will practice in less crowded conditions. Immature humans are each separate intelligences...sssyes?”

“Indeed, they are. Best to do them no harm, under any circumstances.” Ambros gazed sternly at the Ant, which got its attention.

“This-unit comprehends.”

Ambros led the Ant along. A man slapped Ambros on the back, saying: “That’s an amazing performance, dude. You gotta leave out the middle part, though...”

The Ant rose partway and Ambros said: “Chill.” They’d arranged code words for certain aspects of human behavior. Ambros had explained: “Humans often engage in ritualized violence. ‘Chill’ means I am not in danger, however it may appear to you-unit.”

Eventually they reached Sally’s Alley and approached the stage.

The stage was built in the same rustic style as the booths, though of much sturdier materials. The foundation of the construction looked to be enormous logs, cut into pillars and set so as to uphold the stage. The band played a slow reggae beat; the musicians and singers all wore dreadlocks, and performed in various states of undress. 

“Is this too loud for your sensory apparatus?” Ambros inquired.

“This-unit hasss already adjusted.” It waved its antennae at the stage, and its metal tentacles echoed the movement: “D-dreadlocksss?”

Ambros shook his head vehemently: “Not the same meaning here in this Line. Those people have no connection to Eleni Leontari. Or Arrenji-unit.”

“None?”

“None whatsoever.”

The Ant seemed disappointed, though Ambros wasn’t sure how he could tell.

“Okay,” said Ambros: “So, ‘dancing’ consists of rhythmic movements of nearly any sort, sometimes prearranged between two or more partners, sometimes improvised on the spot.”

“This-unit has accessed ‘Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary’ via your ‘Webz’. This-unit does not know how to begin...dancing.”

Ambros grinned: “I recommend that you begin by bending your limbs and straightening them, in time to the music.” Ambros demonstrated; The Ant made shift to imitate him, though six segmented legs made the movement quite odd by human standards. People nearby stared, and tried not to stare, and by various means displayed their curiosity. The Ant seemed not to notice.

“Now try lifting one or two feet from the ground...remain in time with the music...”

“How isss thisss?”

“You are definitely dancing. Never seen anything like it, but it is dancing.

A cloud passed across the sky, blocking the sun briefly. Ambros looked around the horizon, frowning; a chilly breeze passed through Mainstage Meadow, and then dispersed, leaving the temperature somewhat lower in its wake.

A group of children, of both genders and several ages, came twirling along, dressed in full-circle tie-dye skirts that floated out around them as they spun. They laughed and squealed as they changed course; they circled the Ant and Ambros twice before twirling away again.

Ant asked: “Should This-unit spin also?”

“If you do, make sure your limbs do not contact any humans...”

“Understood. This-unit’s visual field is...you would say 345 degrees. This-unit could spin safely...zzzz-but perhaps We will not.”

Ambros nodded: “The better part of valor, and all.”

“This-unit does not understand...”

“Hmm. Maybe some other time would be better to explain the concept of ‘Valor’.”

“This-unit concedes. The definition in ‘Webster’s’ is...ssszz-ridiculous?”

“I can’t argue with that statement.”

 Ambros danced for a while. The Ant did its best, but soon squatted down in the position that meant: “No aggressive intent”.

“Would you like to do something else?” Ambros asked.

“Yess.”

“We could go down East Thirteenth, look at the various crafts on display...we will have to approach the stage closer, then go into the shade on the left.”

“This-unit agrees.” The Ant stood, but stayed on six legs.

The two of them passed along a row of food vendors on their left, weaving between groups of people: some separated by age or gender, some wildly mixed. At least five percent of those they passed wore some sort of outlandish outfit. The Ant stood out even among them.

One man stopped them: dressed as a policeman and walking on short stilts that lifted him head and shoulders above most of the crowd, he spoke mock-officiously: “Do you have a license for that Ant?”

“Chill,” Ambros whispered. Then he replied to the ‘officer’: “For Bruce? He doesn’t need a license, he’s a Free Ant.”

“I see. Well, go about your business then,” the fellow said. As Ambros and Bruce went past, the not-cop said: “That’s the most convincing insect costume I’ve ever seen. Unless it’s a robot...”

Ambros laughed: “Technically a cyborg, actually.” He noticed the guy staring at them as they proceeded. Not-cop frowned, seemingly nonplussed.

They passed a pushcart selling ice cream bars. A girl of about ten years approached, holding a half-eaten chocolate covered treat. She said: “Would you like some ice cream, Bruce?”

Ambros shook his head: ‘Of course, every kid on site knows the Ant’s name by now.’

Bruce hesitated: “Bruce-unit is not scheduled to take nourishment this...zzcycle. But...we will tassste it.”

The girl held the stick high, and the Ant carefully abstracted a dollop of sweet from the end. It touched the stuff with its palps, quivering in reaction.

‘Not sure how I know a shudder of pleasure from any other sort...’ thought Ambros.

The Ant slowly placed the ice cream in its mouth; its mandibles worked, though there was nothing to bite.

It legs straightened, and it shook all over. The girl giggled and other people laughed as well.

Some adults frowned and became more alert.

“You okay, Bruce?” asked Ambros.

“O-o-o-kayyy. That is very high-energy food. Must pauzsse...and control this-unit’s reaction.”

“Got it.” Ambros gently moved the crowd back a bit, saying: “I think Bruce could use a little space, folks.”

Ambros spotted Jake From Security, whom he had met the previous year; Jake watched them intently, occasionally speaking into his radio.

Thunder growled and rumbled. A moment later the sky lit up with lightning off to the west, and very shortly another peal of thunder rolled over them.

People looked to the west in alarm. One woman said: “This wasn’t in the forecast...”

“Precipitation will lassst approximately one of your hours, then dissipate,” Bruce-unit declared: “Many low-lying paths will flood. This Meadow is safe...”

Several people stared openly at the Ant, clearly wondering.

One woman said what many of them were thinking: “How could that thing possibly be a costume or a robot?”

Rain began to fall. Many people scattered in search of shelter; others danced and reveled in the shower, which slowly developed into a downpour.

Ambros said: “Y’know Bruce, I think we better get out of Dodge.”

“Ambros-unit’s reference is obscure. But This-unit comprehends the meaning.”

Ambros led the way back towards the traditional drop-in and jump-out point. He kept his head high, grinning at anyone who stared at them. The rain sluiced from the Ant’s carapace; Ambros soon found himself soaked to the skin.

The Ant suddenly halted, touching Ambros’ shoulder with a foreleg. The machine in the Ant’s chest beeped loudly, forcibly reminding Ambros that the ‘Ant’ was not the sentient part of the organism. The machine said: “Unit-Ambros: this path is flooded ahead.”

“You mean Upper River Loop?”

“Correct designation.”

“How bad?”

“This-unit would not risk stepping in the flow...”

“Right. Let’s head back via East Thirteenth, we’ll send you home from the woody end near our booth.”

They sped up their pace; as they passed Jake, Ambros said: “I guess there’s some bad flooding near Daredevil Palace, Jake. Maybe you should call that in, huh?”

Jake paused, indecisive, then began talking into his radio: “...flooding at URL reported to me by passerby...check on it...barricade...”

Jake’s voice faded as they proceeded to East Thirteenth.

They moved along as fast as Ambros could walk; he slowed the alien down with murmured code words whenever it went too fast for him: “I don’t want to be running. That would just draw attention. And I desperately want to avoid further attention.”

“This-unit agrees. Too many of the humans now doubt that We are a robot or a costume.”

It did not surprise him at all that Jessica, also from Security Crew, picked them up as they passed Community Village. She began to tail them.

Many places along the hard clay path had pools of water, sometimes reaching from one side of the way to the other. Where the pools did not reach the footing was treacherous, and people slipped and slid as they moved about.

The Ant ignored the pools and ponds that blocked the way, striding straight through them. Ambros followed, still holding the end of the chain: ‘Now my boots are soaked through as well.’ He thought.

Suddenly Jessica passed them, at a trot. Her radio squawked at her and she sped up, running and slipping as she went.

Ambros and the Ant soon caught her up: she stood by the side of the road, yelling into her radio as thunder drowned out all the voices nearby.

The wind kicked up again, and it began to rain harder yet.

Nearly everyone standing about was looking up, shading their eyes from the rain. After a moment, Ambros looked up too. Among the leafy branches tossing in the freshened gale, he could see what had to be a child, clinging to one of the larger boughs.

His immediate instinct was to climb after the kid. He looked at the tree and said: “How the bleep did the kid even get up there? There are no side branches for thirty feet!”

“I don’t know how he got up there!” cried a woman standing right next to Ambros: “He has really strong hands! He’s always climbing things!”

Lightning struck a tree less than a hundred yards deep in the woody area nearby. That tree splintered and briefly caught fire, until the downpour snuffed it out. Thunder rolled over them and they felt the shockwave hit them; the ground shook.

The woman screamed and buried her face in her hands.

“Bruce-unit could rescue this child,” said the Ant. “We can summon aid...”

Ambros put his own hand over his face, as the wind howled louder yet and the tree swayed and creaked in the blast. He nodded:

“Do it. Whatever you have in mind. Do it.”

The Ant didn’t trouble to unfasten the chain from around its neck: it just used its mandibles to snap it off short and tossed the broken end to Ambros: “M-m-move these humans back!”

Ambros complied: “Move back a bit please, come on, folks, give the Ant room for whatever it wants to do...”

Two other Ants appeared. Several people screamed.

“That blows our cover...” Ambros shook his head, but continued with crowd control: “... keep back, please...Bruce has a plan...”

Jessica joined him in calming and moving the growing crowd back.

The other two Ants were smaller than ‘Bruce’, one of them significantly so; that smallest one had a distinctly brownish tone to its carapace, and a smaller abdomen.

The Brown Ant scuttled over to the tree and went up like any ordinary sized ant would. The middle sized Ant followed. Bruce went towards the bole of the tree, picking Ambros up with the pincer on one middle leg: “Unit-Ambrose must stand here!”

“Whatever you say, Bruce.”

The Ant climbed until it was a good four feet above Ambros’ head. Then the child shrieked, and all the adults nearby ran towards the base of the tree, trying to see what was going on.

The kid cried out again, then came into the sight of those on the ground. The Brown Ant, now oriented head down, held the kid’s belt in one pincer and passed him to the middle Ant, which creature passed him from one pincer to another until it could pass the child to Bruce, and hence to Ambros where he stood on the ground nearby.

Ambros held the child firmly by the waist, looked into his eyes, and asked: “You okay, kid?”

The boy burst into fresh tears. Ambros yielded the child to his mother, who began alternately scolding and kissing and hugging and ranting.

Bruce turned itself round on the tree trunk, so that it, too, clung to the tree head down. The fashion in which Bruce did that made it clear to all that Bruce was neither a robot nor a costumed human.

“This-unit should ‘Get out of Dodge’. Yes?”

“You and the horse you rode in on.”

The Ants vanished one by one, with the whooshing sound that their exits from a Timeline always made. Most of the people roundabout were concentrated on the rescued child, and heard nothing over wind, rain, and thunder.    

But Jessica From Security happened to be looking right at Bruce as the creature faded from sight, until it was simply gone.

Ambros caught Jessica’s eye: “To report or not to report. That’s the question, right?”

She stared bleakly at him. She shook her head: “No way I can make anyone believe this...” she waved her hands: “...no matter how many witnesses I have.”

Thunder grumbled to the east of them.

“Well then,” he said: “I guess I’ll just go on about my own affairs.” After a moment he said: “Dry clothes. That’ll be first...”

He walked away as the wind died and the rain passed to drizzle.

(no subject)

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:09 pm
stitchwhich: (Default)
[personal profile] stitchwhich
I noticed, again, something that periodically puzzles me. Why do people who walk away from an organization in disgust continue to stay on that organization's social media and feel driven to post replies that play the "I walked away specifically for that (or this) reason" theme?

If you quit, why are you bothering to read the group's discussions? When I quit being a part of an organization, as I did with the Boy Scouts, for example, I leave their social media pages too. It doesn't make sense to take the time to read their discussions.

The only thing I can think of is that those 'quitters' really didn't want to leave the group and are looking for some way to fit back in, for something to inspire them to overcome their memories of the bad in the hope that there will be a new something good.

Out of the Habit

Jul. 19th, 2017 01:35 pm
learnteach: (Default)
[personal profile] learnteach
So much is happening, so much is not happening; I'm out of the habit of journalling here, which I'm sure I'll regret at some point.

JORB: Had an interview, at the place where the VP kept blowing me off. He asked for a lot, gave nothing, so I sent him a presentation with a request (with a SOCK award) in it. IF he contacts me before the end of the month, I'll owe him socks. IF not, no loss.

It leads me to think, what do I really want in a job?

TRAVELS: West/An Tir was low key, but fun. Chuck and Petra were camp close due to hayfever, so I didn't get out as much as I normally do. Did sing Woad a lot, visited a bit, listened to people. Played Stick, got MagPye to sing (beautiful soprano) and a little from Aasa. Heard the Calontiri WestWarsong, which is good but not perfect, and I will learn and teach it.

....more later

Food history

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:11 am
hrj: (LHMP)
[personal profile] hrj
 I'm going back to my more usual pattern of covering thick books one chapter at a time! Velasco will take care of almost two months worth of entries, which will give me some breathing space during my summer travels.
kareina: (Default)
[personal profile] kareina
We got home from our time working on Gustaf's landscaping project on Wednesday evening, which gave us Thursday to recover. David and I sat down with the internet and looked at some options for a replacement computer (which, if I get one, probably means I won't go to the states to visit my sisters in October due to the costs involved), but rather than ordering one straight away, I instead went to my office and brought home my work computer (which is what I am using at the moment). We have a thing in our Dropbox folder that I can use to log into our server and thus access the files from my computer which are backed up there, so it has been working well enough for now. After the Medieval days at Hägnan event I will figure out what I want to do--if we should just fix the old one (he thinks a new hard drive would solve the issues, but it would still be an old computer with a new hard drive, and I don't actually have disks for the operating system, only the programs), or if I will buy a new one, or what.

Friday we drove down to Skellefteå for their Medieval Days event. This is the first time they have done this--they have a lovely site on a small island in the river, accessible via a foot bridge, and I think it will make a great annual event. I would have loved to have participated the full week, but I was also glad to have the time to work on projects for the house (working at Gustaf's counts as working at our place, since he put in so many hours on our landscaping first, so it is a good trade). It was kinda rainy on Friday, and I spent most of the day working on a nålbindning project while sitting in the pavilion of a cute Norwegian merchant (from whom I purchased some fur that looks good with the grey/black diamond twill wool I bought last year at Visby). Caroline had to work on Saturday, and the others were ready to head home earlier than I had expected. I considered just staying--one of the autocrats tried to convince me that even though I hadn't registered for the event I was very welcome--they have room in the crash space tent, and plenty of vegetarian food available. I considered it, but decided it was wiser to head home and accomplish stuff.

Since heading home we have:

* started painting the south side of the house (it has needed it for quite some time)
* did the hand-smoothing of the dirt on the terrace (which we will probably cover over with some sort of concrete or stone tiles, depending on what we find at a reasonable price) to make a nice outdoor entertainment area that doesn't need to be mowed (it would be bothersome to carry a mower down the steps to the terrace anyway)
* built a base for the support frame for the earth cellar roof (out of some birch trees that he cut down over near the shed on the bottom half of the property as they were in the way of the road that his bother put in)
* cleaned out the container
* bought some shelf support brackets (which he has welded into place inside the container)
* started power-sanding the wooden floor of the container (in hopes of getting the smell of old spilled oil out of it)
* done some baking for Hägnan

Now it is Monday and David has returned to work. I have started packing for the event, and will return to that momentarily. Tomorrow we go set up, and then we spend the rest of the week alternating between educating the public about the middle ages during the day, and enjoying an SCA event in the evening.

A new Regency bonnet

Jul. 16th, 2017 10:48 am
frualeydis: (Default)
[personal profile] frualeydis
I was going to spend the whole day yesterday working on two scrolls for the prince and princess of Nordmark, but I have gotten so enthused about regency clothign so I couldn't help myself converting a straw hat that never fit me (very 60s style with a tall crown and rather closed brim) into a bonnet. The tall crown was a definite plus in this project.


bahytt med gr�na band2


bahytt med gr�na band1

Now I must get back to working on those scrolls.
cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
[personal profile] cathyr19355
In which I pass on some links about areas of clothing history about which I know little. If this sort of thing excites you, as it does me, go here for the entry.

(no subject)

Jul. 15th, 2017 12:58 am
stitchwhich: (sewing hamster)
[personal profile] stitchwhich
Our repaired and inspection-passed truck has been returned to us, after we paid a partial ransom for it. The rest of the well-earned blackmail money will be sent from Cooper's Lake after the first of August.

Finally I am doing a sewing project for Pennsic prep. Bossman has a Glastonbury chair which needs a seat cushion. Luckily I have a scrap of green & gold upholstery fabric which will do well to be one, and sufficient batting to fill it. If I'm lucky there will be a big enough piece of it left over that I can use it to craft the front of a back cushion for it also. The trick will be to figure out how to put the cushioning on the back rest since the chair is unfinished and so nails and brads as Right Out. If you have a suggestion, I'm all ears. Bossman suggests strapping it on at left & right sides, with Velcro to connect the strap pieces. As you'd expect, this disturbs my medieval Wa.

I got a fabulous bit of news from a friend. After too many miscarriages, her 10-year-old son will have a younger sibling when the weather turns. She's past the dangerous first trimester so it looks like smooth sailing from here. I am so thrilled for her!

(no subject)

Jul. 13th, 2017 12:26 pm
stitchwhich: (Default)
[personal profile] stitchwhich
I have a question for those reading this who are also in the SCA.

What would you feel about a woman who mooned (dropped her drawers and presented her bare bottom to others) a performer she knew well during a bardic circle in her baronial encampment while children were present? Would you find this amusing? Would your feelings be different if the woman was a newcomer, or a mid-level award holder, or a Peer? Would you have differing views depending upon circumstances?
frualeydis: (Default)
[personal profile] frualeydis
 I made the apron yesterday, and the cap today, so this afternoon Rickard and I could go outside and take some photos of the new Italian gown.

 


More images and info here.


I also took in my regency corset while watching an old adaptation of "Sense and Sensibility" together with Alfhild.



I really am tanned this summer. I usd to spend my summers avoiding the sun, so to not have a tan at Visby Medieval week in August, but some ten years ago I realized that I can't let my hobby rule my whole life. And that I like the way I look with a tan - and besides it's good for my psoriasis.
And convincing for a working class woman of the Quattrocento ;)




(no subject)

Jul. 12th, 2017 10:31 am
stitchwhich: (Default)
[personal profile] stitchwhich
Oh my goodness. The medication has definitely worn off. Today is Eat All The Things Day. I have even eaten two huge bowls of Lucky Charms cereal. Two 3-cup bowls of sugar... and I craved it.

Wow.

It might be time for a new computer

Jul. 11th, 2017 02:58 pm
kareina: (Default)
[personal profile] kareina
I bought my personal computer while living in Italy, so more than seven years ago now. Some months back it started having issues with being painfully slow to turn on or off, so I got into the habit of just leaving it on all the time and only restarting if it was really necessary.

Then it it a time when it was also painfully slow to do anything in it, so David hooked up one of his machines to it and used SpinRite on it, and we did a few other things I don't recall, and it started behaving better. However, it still took ages to restart, so I continued to leave it on all of the time.

However, it was necessary to turn it off before packing it up to bring along when we headed south to Gustaf's house. All was well with it when I turned it on for the first time after we got here, and I was able to update my logs without any issues, after which I turned it off, packed it up and put it back into the camping trailer in which we are sleeping.

Yesterday mor I realized that it is time to turn in my Chatelaine's repot, and so got the computer back out, turned it on, and found it frustratingly slow to respond. I managed to write the report anyway, but had to keep pausing to let it catch up with displaying the previous words before giving it new ones. Then I introduced my computer to the house WiFi and tried logging in to Gmail. I don't know if it was my computer's molasses like speed or issues with the WiFi, but it couldn't manage to display Gmail. So I restarted the computer and tried again, but couldn't actually get anywhere. I couldn't even convince me to let me open Word to look at the report again. After a couple more re-starts I decided that I had had enough and used my phone to send a "report will be late" note and put the computer back into its bag.

This morning I tried again to turn it on, and have discovered that if I push one button or give it one key-stroke command and walk away for some minutes that it has done the task and is ready for the next task when I return. So I have, over the course of a couple of hours, managed to copy that report to a usb and tried to copy my logs. However, it wants to know if I really want to copy those files without their properties, and I have no idea why it thinks that it should discard the properties.

Ordinarily I could have David look at it and solve the problem, but while he is working 15 to 17 hour days on the great landscaping projects of 2017 that isn't an option.

Perhaps it is time to go look at it again and see if it has accomplished that last copying. Or I could check to see if the boys have any tasks I could help with outside (there are some, sometimes, but usually one to drive the digger, one to drive the tractor and one to move the measuring pole with its mini surveying computer into place to check the height of the working surface is enough).
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[personal profile] kareina
Those Granberg boys sure have an amazing work ethic. They started working this morning somewhere between 07:30 and 08:00, and other than two brief breaks for meals and one short coffee break they have been going all day. I tried luring them in for the evening a bit before 23:00 by telling them I had baked coffee cake, but they replied that they didn't want to stop for the day till they finished leveling the part where the new garage will be built.

Medieval camping

Jul. 10th, 2017 11:28 pm
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[personal profile] frualeydis
Last weekend there was a "Medieval Day" at a (semi-)local site where there used to be a castle in the High Middle Ages. Today there is nothing left to see, but it´s a beautiful place next to the sea.

And I swam three times in the sea!

I brought my tent, which I dreaded putting up and taking down for just two days, but it went up really quickly and took almost no time to set up nicely, hiding all the mundane packing stuff behind wall hangings, putting the chest together and putting up mine and Katarina's camping beds.




Rickard was tired after working the whole week, so he and Maja just came down over the day when the market was on Saturday.

Friday night was really perfect - relaxed talking (and some sewing) around the table, with a pot over the fire providing tea water, some wine to drink, and ending with a walk up to the top of the hill where the castle used to be, to look out over the sea.

Saturday was also nice, but you get tired from being "on display" from 10 am to 5 pm, so people went to bed earlier We also wanted to pack early on Sunday morning. But we made a good pottage with whole wheat, carrots, cabbage, onions, bacon and smoked sausages and ate together. Then Gaby and Linus and I went for a swim (my third), we all talked (and sewed) some more. When the others went to bed I took a final walk around the small peninsula, going down to the little beaches or out to the furthest cliffs, before going to bed around midnight. It was a magical feeling those nights, just like it used to be with my old medieval group Nylöse.

Many more photos from the event can be found here.

I also started on a new working class Italian ca 1480s dress from thin wool, and finished everything except the sleeves and six lacing holes . The rest I made yesterday and this morning. 
Of course, when I tried it on it turned out to be too big, so I hade to take it in. It is no fun unpicking all hand sewn garments.

But of course I did it, and this is the result.



It needs an apron and a little white cap, both of which I plan to make this week. Maybe not tomorrow though, because we're going to a friend who stays on one of the islands in the Gothenburg archipelago to barbecue and swim in the sea.

Oh - and my holiday officially started today - I put on the automatic answer function :)




(no subject)

Jul. 10th, 2017 05:49 pm
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[personal profile] stitchwhich
My vision is coming back into focus. That is one less worry for me.

My Pennsic staff members have sorted out all their difficulties (so far as they are letting me know) so I am feeling very positive about how this year is going to go. And now we're into the 'fun time' - pre-packing for the event, whittling down, in my case, the things that I've been bringing every year so it won't be such a burden for my husband when it comes to loading up the truck. Besides - I have too much miscellaneous SCA stuff. I have a perfectly good, if somewhat eye straining, pink collapsible basket I could bring for trips to the shower, except it is full to the brim with SCA tchotchke I've been holding on to, meaning to 'find the right place' to pass it on or to use some time in the future. I am determined, this year, that it get emptied out and all that stuff removed from my house or actually used.

...and today we filled ditches

Jul. 9th, 2017 09:59 pm
kareina: (Default)
[personal profile] kareina
The boys didn't quit on the landscaping project last night till 00:30, and they got up again at 07:00 and have been at it all day (other than a couple of short breaks to eat) and show no signs of stopping any time soon. This is their vacation!

I helped out on several occasions today, for a total of 4.5 hrs, David and I put drainage pipes into ditches and covered over them with gravel so that Per could later use the digger to fill the ditches in with dirt and rocks.

Prior to moving to Sweden I never had much occasion to shovel dirt or gravel. Now I have tossed enough shovel fulls of gravel that I am getting reasonably efficient at it, and have even learned to switch which hand is on the handle and which on the shaft.

Other than shoveling I have managed to catch up my logs, visit with Jenny (Gustaf's wife) get cuddles from two of their cats (of four), drive to the store for snacks, read a chapter in a book, do my yoga, and some nålbinding. Don't I have such an exciting life? Two or three more days of this before we head home.

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