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05 December 2014 @ 11:22 pm
Late spring and Summer  
The late spring and summer passed by really quite quickly. Most of my free time was spent settling into the house or planning the wedding. I didn't really feel unpacked until late June, then our big SCA event was in early July.

I was not in charge of Warriors and Warlords this year, thank goodness, but I was responsible for the classes, the overall schedule, and the site booklet, so that ate a certain amount of time. The event was held at a new site and, as is often the case, there were some bumps along the way as we adjusted to the realities of the new location. I liked the location we had for the Authentic Encampment and the classes - it was central and shaded and felt separate enough from regular camping to feel apart, but close enough to feel welcoming to folks who wanted to visit. I again had a fair number of entries into my Geektastic Challenge - an A&S competition that focuses on obscure or less-than-sexy entries that are well-documented. It's a showcase for all those daily-life things that often get overlooked at a bean count (I always joke that I can tell what will win a bean count from 10 paces - it is always the shiniest thing or, failing that, the biggest thing). This year's winner was oatcakes. They were OK oatcakes, but pretty bland - the stellar component was the research paper which included translations from French and redactions of period recipes. Really niftty. :) We had a bit of adventure because of thunderstorms - we had to do some emergency trenching and we cooked food on my tent's porch, being well convinced that even if sparks jumped, they would not light the awning on fire. It was also the first big camping event that whymc and I went to as a couple and I think things went reasonably well. As usual, I brought too much stuff, but we did use most of it and it all got home one way or another.

Pennsic was a pretty quiet event for me. We were gone for about a week and a half, so I hired goldfrog's 5-year-old to come feed by birdies as a money-earned-for-work life lesson. I miss having Mr. Scott around for social purposes and for in-home birdie care, but the little Miss did a fine job. The trip out was uneventful - despite theoretically having one less tent and set of bedding, the car was still crammed to the gills. We keep talking about taking a trailer and leaving it at the Coopers', but this was not the year for it... Perhaps next year. Set up was HOT and had the usual stressors, but once the tent was up, it was smooth sailing. whymc had made some new tables that worked brilliantly for keeping the tent organized and stuff off the ground. I brought a handwashing station that was a life-changer - being able to REALLY wash your hands whenever you want was just so nice - hand sanitizer and wipes just don't cut it. The Mister and I tried to volunteer for some security shifts, but they were full up by the time we checked, about 6 hours after setting up! We worked some Gate shifts instead, which worked out pretty well and we ended up checking in some of our good friends who we otherwise would not have had a chance to connect with over the War. Otherwise, the war was a pretty standard pattern of classes in the day, dinner with campmates, and then wandering to parties/babysitting apprentice #2's daughter/turning in early, in roughly equal proportions. Apprentice #2 was Queen at Pennsic, but I didn't get called on much. I arranged some royalty gifts and babysat a few nights, but otherwise was not needed as staff. Pennsic was cooll again this year, which was nice. I can take pretty high temperatures pretty gracefully, but it is still nice to be able to sit through a lecture without worrying that your brain is going to cook in your skull. I didn't sign up to teach anything formally this year. I did end up accidentally TAing one class - I was trapped in the tent by a downpour (I had a class in there the hour before and the hour after and just decided it was not worth going back to camp and getting soaked between) - and a new teacher was trying to teach beginning embroidery to a class of nearly 30 students, some of whom could not thread a needle. I didn't want to be bossypants, but offered my assistance which she accepted. I also "taught" on Beggar's Lane again as part of my teaching-as-performance art plan. (My theory is that a lot of people who go to Pennsic don't take classes because they "don't have time" but that if you offer them a "pick up" class on a short topic, you can ambush them into learning something.) This year, I taught Whipcording - it's a slightly longer class than the Magic Veil Stitch, but with the strings up in the tree branches, it is somewhat more dramatic and easier to draw people in. :) I taught about 50 classes, all told, so I think that's a win. I really should teach a proper class next year and think about what I could do for a "performance art" gig too... maybe making toggles? We'll see. I like it to be hands-on and no more than 5 minutes and applicable to many different times and places. I suppose if I don't come up with something, I can do a second year of whipcording.

Throughout the Spring and Summer was the work formulary season. As usual, problems cropped up at the least convenient times, but thanks to the powers of teh intrawebz, I was able to address them from tents in the Northwoods or on the Serengeti. The process was somewhat less annoying this year, except for the number of unscheduled "bonus" rejections we got. Most annoying award goes to the rejection that was mandating I add a drug to formulary immediately!-how-dare-you-not-have-this-on-formulary!... when it had not yet bbeen approved/on the market in May when we initially constructed the formulary. Ugh. Feds. We finally did get final-final (maybe?) approval in mid-November, conveniently after the 10/31 deadline to get members the next CY's formulary. *sigh*
Current Mood: contentcontent
jtdiii: Biojtdiii on December 6th, 2014 03:43 pm (UTC)
At a recent A&S display the clear winner was an attempt to recreate gunpowder from a period recipe. The woman is mundanely a chemist and after each step she analyzed the optimal chemical yields, the actual yields and an analysis of what might have gone wrong and how to improve it.

Alas her end product only sizzled. The major conclusion was she needed to ferment the chicken droppings longer.

Not flashy but still impressive
eithni: jumpingeithni on December 9th, 2014 05:08 am (UTC)
Sweet! That's awesome. :)