Yeah, sorry, haters. Howard the Duck is a delightful sci-fi comedy. Lea Thompson is a surprisingly credible new wave frontwoman. Tim Robbins is so young and so gangly. Jeffrey Jones is no Emilio Lizardo, but he does a good possessed scientist. There are practical effects. There is stop-motion. (There are too many fight scenes and things blowing up, but I feel this way about most movies with any action quotient.) And there is a road trip, with a pit stop at a nuclear power plant. The script is sweet and full of consciously comic-book dialogue and it plays its interspecies romance straight; the only joke that really pulled me up short was a tossed-off sex-change line which mercifully goes by fast. I can't imagine swapping out any of the actors, especially Zien. I had completely forgotten about Richard Kiley as the introductory narrator, B-movie style. I don't even think it's an enjoyably bad movie: I just like it. No regrets of any sort.
 Yeah, sorry, haters. Howard the Duck is a delightful sci-fi comedy. Lea Thompson is a surprisingly credible new wave frontwoman. Tim Robbins is so young and so gangly. Jeffrey Jones is no Emilio Lizardo, but he does a good possessed scientist. There are practical effects. There is stop-motion. (There are too many fight scenes and things blowing up, but I feel this way about most movies with any action quotient.) And there is a road trip, with a pit stop at a nuclear power plant. The script is sweet and full of consciously comic-book dialogue and it plays its interspecies romance straight; the only joke that really pulled me up short was a tossed-off sex-change line which mercifully goes by fast. I can't imagine swapping out any of the actors, especially Zien. I had completely forgotten about Richard Kiley as the introductory narrator, B-movie style. I don't even think it's an enjoyably bad movie: I just like it. No regrets of any sort.
Friday evening The Hardest Arkham Horror game you've ever been in
Saturday day 3rd Reich
Saturday evening Blades in The Dark one-off scenario
Sunday morning Advanced Civilization
Sunday evening Large scale D&D session (a regular at the club, so this is more of a spectacle than something newcomers should do
In addition, I'm hoping the miniatures players will run some Bolt Action, Konflict '47, Warhammer 40K and Check Your Six as time allows. And of course, I'm hoping to play a bunch of shorter games myself.
We'll kick things off Friday at 14:00. We'll go until the last game ends on Sunday night.
Autolycus is being heartbreakingly plaintive right now. He has a vet appointment early in the morning and it requires fasting, which is an impossible concept to explain to a cat. I let him graze all day and gave him a proper dinner at the absolute last moment, but he is attempting to convince me that, actually, in point of fact, he starved since then. We should find him some kind of special treat after the appointment, for being so brave and honest. Last night he and his sister shared in the Rosh Hashanah chicken. All cats are lunisolar.
In honor of the High Holidays, here is a post on Jewish superheroes and here is a brilliant riposte to the rather short-sighted question "How can you be Black and Jewish?"
Back to the relentless grind. At least it is almost autumn.
Tufts Administration Building (TAB), 167 Holland Street, Senior Center, 2nd Floor
Join the City Planning Department for a special update and discussion on the Davis Square Neighborhood Plan. We’re excited to present this meeting with the help of a facilitator who specializes in a meeting format designed to give participants control of the discussion topics. First, city staff will offer an update on the plan started in 2013/14 as well as a look at next steps. Then, to address outstanding topics and ensure that any new ideas and goals are identified, our facilitator will use the Round Robin meeting format, which asks participants to bring up topics for small-group discussions. In short, participants will set the agenda for the night and also shape topics for the next meeting.
At the second meeting in this series on October 19 (at the Community Baptist Church, 31 College Ave. 6-8 p.m.), we’ll take a deeper dive into the community-selected topics and identify action steps to address the goals and needs related to each. City staff will bring in resources and experts on the topic areas selected in the first meeting to serve as a resource during discussions.
Whether your concerns are open space, traffic, parking, streetscape, bicycle infrastructure, housing or more, we hope you’ll join us.
Unfortunately we cannot monitor this page, so if have any questions or need any more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Davis Square Neighborhood Planning visit https://www.somervillebydesign.
Jocelyn has a new circus class on Sunday mornings in Somerville, and needs to be driven there, because there's no train. So, this week I had the plan, drive her to Somerville, continue on to work, and then bicycle home! It was eerie at work -- I was the only car in the parking structure (thus scoring a parking place closest to the gym entrance), and there wasn't anyone in the building (I stopped in to use the restroom and put my lunch for Monday in the fridge).
It was cold and clammy at the start of the ride; wearing my fleece turned this into hot and muggy. Bleah. This may have contributed to my lame performance.
Today I rode in after an early morning meeting. (I'm kind of getting tired of all these morning meetings with Europe and Asia... Oh well. Gotta finish this before sleeping for tomorrow's early morning meeting!) More ordinary performance. I had a bit of a problem after a pit stop -- something I did in locking or unlocking the bike or moving it into or out of the bike rack disengaged the chain from the rear derailleur in a weird way that was really hard to disentangle. I was concerned at first that I'd completely broken the bike and would need to call for rescue, but I managed.
I added up my previous week's exercise mileage (with increasing size of error bar, since I hadn't recorded it, and had to just remember), and it got me to a hundred! Yay! Haven't had one of those in a while either. I'd wait and get accurate mileage for later, except we're getting a visit by the remnants of Jose and it'll rain all week.
Tuesday: 7 RT to bank
Wednesday: 13.8 RT to new yoga location
Thursday: 5.8 short exercise loop
Friday: 9.81 RT to other bank and store
Saturday: 14.48 RT to Mansfield library
Sunday: 25.64 in 2:28 for an average of 10.3
Sunday: 0.75 dorking around after adjusting front derailleur
Monday: 25.82 in 2:23 for an average of 10.8
On the other hand, the screening will be introduced by Thelma Schoonmaker and this is how Andrew Moor in Powell and Pressburger: A Cinema of Magic Spaces (2012) writes about David Niven as Squadron Leader Peter David Carter, the pilot hero of A Matter of Life and Death (look out, textbrick, for once it's not me):
Never an actor of great range, Niven came instead to embody and to articulate a rather out-of-date ideal: gentlemanliness – or 'noblesse oblige'. His light tenor and gamin beauty are those of the nobility: he reveals, if provoked, the upright steeliness of a man with backbone, but this grit often shades over into a likeable, smiling insolence. Though we knew he could be naughty (and the actor was a noted practical joker), it was the forgivable naughtiness of a well-liked schoolboy It is usually his graceful amusement that impresses, rather than his physicality or intellect (to talk of 'grace' might seem antiquated, but old-fashioned words like that seem to fit). He could be the younger son of a minor aristocrat, at times silly but always charming, and in the last instance gallant, gazing upwards with a sparkle in his eyes, a light comedian who, through sensing the necessity of nonsense, is perfect as Phileas Fogg in Around the World in Eighty Days (Michael Anderson, 1956, US). He is fittingly dashing in The Elusive Pimpernel (Powell and Pressburger, 1950), where as Sir Percy Blakeney he embraces foppishness with gusto. His 'airy' quality is winning, and his poetic virtues shine in AMOLAD. He may be well-mannered and eloquent but, as charmers go, his 'classiness' sits easily . . . He is undoubtedly an affectionate figure. Unkindness is not in him, and he is important in our gallery of heroes. But he is never like John Mills, the democratic 1940s ' Everyman'. Mills is the boy next door to everybody and, while that is a nice neighborhood, we really aspire to live next door to Niven. Is it a question of class? We suppose Niven to be a good host of better parties. Mills is like us; Niven is exotic. Cometh the hour, cometh the man, and during the war Niven stood for some of the most valued of principles, but his quality (or was it just his prettiness?) seemed the stuff of a previous, and probably mythical, time. Niven himself was a Sandhurst-trained army man, who joined the Highland Light Infantry in 1928 and served in Malta for two years before drifting towards America and into film acting. In 1939, when he left Hollywood for the army, he was a star, and managed to complete two propaganda films during the war while also serving in the Rifle Brigade . . . In the opening sequence of AMOLAD, it is hard to think of another actor who could mouth Powell and Pressburger's airborne script so convincingly. Bravely putting his house in order, saying his farewells and leaping from his burning plane, he is ridiculously, tearfully beautiful. Notably, it is his voice, travelling to Earth in radio waves, which first attracts the young American girl June, not his looks, and later it is his mind which is damaged, not his body. It is difficult, in fact, to think of the slender Niven in terms of his body at all. We remember the face, and a moustache even more precise and dapper than Anton Walbrook's (which was hiding something). Like Michael Redgrave in The Way to the Stars, he is the most celebrated man of war – the pilot who belongs in the clouds.
So I'm thinking about it.
Unofficial Court Report
The Court of Their Majesties Ioannes and Honig
Held at A Funny Thing Happened to St. Andrew on the Way to the Forum – An Investiture
On September 16, A.S. 52, 2017 C.E.
In the Barony of An Dubhaigeainn
In the morning Court, the following items of business were conducted.
Lord David Vazquez de Valencia stepped down as Baron of An Dubhaigeainn.
Mistress Suzanne Neüber de Londres stepped down as Baroness of An Dubhaigeainn.
Lord Titus Aurelius Magnus was invested as Baron of An Dubhaigeainn. He was given a scroll created by Mistress Catarina Giaocchini.
Lady Sorcha of Stonegrave was invested as Baroness of An Dubhaigeainn. She was given a scroll calligraphed and illuminated by Lady Magdalena Lantfarerin, with words by Mistress Kay Leigh Mac Whyte.
Lord Peter of Hawkwood presented a hand-crafted wooden footrest to Her Majesty.
Lady Sofia Gianetta di Trieste was inducted into the Order of the Maunche for her excellence in costuming. She was given a scroll calligraphed by Lord Vettorio Antonello and illuminated by Mistress Suzanne Neüber de Londres.
Lady Sofia Gianetta di Trieste was then sent to Vigil to contemplate induction into the Order of the Laurel.
Lord Vettorio Antonello was also called to sit Vigil to contemplate induction into the Order of the Laurel for his excellence in calligraphy and illumination.
In the afternoon Court, the following items of business were conducted.
Lord David Vazquez de Valencia was given a Court Barony with Grant of Arms for his service to the Barony of An Dubhaigeainn. He was given a scroll crafted by Lord Vettorio Antonello.
Mistress Suzanne Neüber de Londres was given a thank you scroll, calligraphed by Master Jonathan Blaecstan and illuminated by Mistress Kis Marike, for her service as Baroness of An Dubhaigeainn.
The children of the East were called forward. Their Majesties offered them toys from the Kingdom toy chest if they could capture its bearer, the Court’s newest Baron, David Vazquez de Valencia.
Her Majesty presented Mistress Suzanne Neüber de Londres with the Queen’s Order of Courtesy for her graciousness while serving as Baroness of An Dubhaigeainn. The Queen did the embroidery on the glove.
Their Majesties called for Mistress Jadwiga Zajaczkowa. She was made Guildmistress of the established at the newly re-established East Kingdom Herbalists’ and Apothecaries’ Guild. The Guild’s charter was calligraphed and illuminated by Lady Sarah bas Mordechai.
Genevieve Velleman was called before the Crown. For her work as an archer, and her contribution to the arts and sciences and service in kitchens and at events, she was Awarded Arms. Scroll forthcoming, words by Master Rowen Cloteworthy.
Their Excellencies An Dubhaigeainn presented gifts of welcome to Their Majesties and Their Highnesses.
The Crown called for those newcomers attending their first Royal Progress. Those newcomers were given tokens from the Crown in welcome.
Monkey Makgee was called into Court. For her work in the kitchens, as event steward, and for her work with the arts and sciences, she was awarded the Order of the Silver Wheel. The scroll was created by Lady Onora ingheann Ui Rauirc.
Lady Sláine Baen Ronáin was also called forward to take her place in the Order of the Silver Wheel for her work as an MoL, royal retainer, chatelaine, event steward, and dishwasher. She was given a scroll crafted by Baroness Mari Clock van Hoorne.
Their Majesties called for Barone Francesco Gaetano Gréco d’Edessa. For his work as seneschal, herald, webminister, and chronicler, he was inducted into the Order of the Silver Crescent. In recognition of this, he was given a scroll made by Baroness Aesa feilinn Jossursdottir with words by Master Erhart von Stuttgart.
Conrad Järnhand was called before the Crown. For his contibutions as a fighter, teacher, and combat archer, he was Awarded Arms and given a scroll with calligraphy and illumnation by Lady Triona MacCaskey, words by Master Toki Skaldagorvir.
The Crown next called for Louis of House Three Skulls. For his work as a kitchener and feast cook, he was Awarded Arms and presented a scroll with words and illumnation by Lady Triona MacCaskey and calligraphy by Master Jonathan Blaecstan.
Their Majesties summoned Baroness Sorsha of Stonegrave. For her work as an herbalist, teaching at scholas and demos and running workshops, she was inducted into the Order of the Maunche. She was given a scroll crafted by Pan Jan Janowicz Bogdanski.
The Crown called then for Lady Onora ingheann Ui Rauirc. For her work as a calligrapher and illuminator, she too was inducted into the Order of the Maunche. She was gifted a scroll calligraphed by Lord Vettorio Antonello and illuminated by Vicereine Lada Monguligin.
Emperor Ioannes and Empress Honig then thanked Their event steward, Lord Ronan Fitzrobert, for his work.
Their Majesties requested the attendance of Lady Bianca Anguissola. For her services to the Crown as a retainer and aide, she was presented with a Court Barony and Grant of Arms. The scroll was crafted by Queen Ro Honig von Sommerfeldt with words by Nicol mac Donnachaidh.
Their Imperial Majesties then called for the answer to the question set before Lord Vettorio Antonello. Lord Vettorio was released from his fealty to Mistress Kay Leigh Mac Whyte. Words of support were offered by Sir Antonio Patrasso for the Chivalry. Mistress Nest verch Tangwistel spoke for the Pelican. Sir Antonio read the words of Master Donovan Shinnock for the Defense. Mistress Suzanne Neüber de Londres presented the words of Duchess Thyra Eiriksdottir. Master Ateno of Annun Ridge read the words of Master Alexandre St. Pierre, then spoke words of his own. The scroll was crafted by Mistress Kay Leigh Mac Whyte, with words by Mistress Kay Leigh and Master Ryan McWhyte. Master Vettorio was presented two medallions, two cloaks, and a wreath, then offered his fealty to the Crown.
Lady Sofia Gianetta di Trieste was then called before Emperor Ioannes and Empress Honig to accept her place in the Order of the Laurel. She was released from her apprenticeship to Master Jose Felippe Francisco el Sastre de Madrid. Sir Donnan Fitzgerald came forward to speak on behalf of the Chivalry. Master Philip White spoke for the Order of the Pelican. Master Jean Xavier Boullier offered words for the Order of Defense. Duchess Isabella of York spoke for the Order of the Rose. Lord Ervald LaCoudre Edwardson the Optimistic offered words on behalf of the populace. Mistress Caterina Gioacchini spoke for the Order of the Laurel. The scroll was created by Vicereine Lada Monguligin with words by Master Jose. Mistress Sofia was given several medallions, a mantle, and a wreath. She then offered her fealty to the Crown.
Their Highnesses and Their Majesties offered final words of thanks and appreciation to the Barony of An Dubhaigeainn, then Court was concluded.
These are the events of the day as I recall them. My thanks to the Barony, all the guards, retainers, heralds, scribes, and those others who made the day possible.
For Crown and Kingdom,
Pray know I remain,
– Master Rowen Cloteworthy
Filed under: Court
If I understand things correctly, the presentation of the collection was designed by Jonathon, and is stunningly well done. It starts with several paintings and sculptures with ecclesiastical themes, moving on to secular ones, and ending up with several rooms of magnificent arms and armor from the Viking Age through the Late Renaissance.
Jonathon talked about practically every piece we walked by. His knowledge of what he has is encyclopedic. He talked about the individual pieces, their origins, history, construction, materials, why he put them on public display, and some of the ongoing projects to recreate techniques of construction using the raw materials the armorers had available to them - down to ore from the mines they got their iron and silver from.
I generally don't take pictures of things, because (a) it distracts from my actual viewing of the piece; (b) the person who did it for the book/postcard/print in the gift shop will do a much better job; (c) I'd rather just go back and look at it again. But this time I did take one picture, of a painting depicting St. George and the Dragon. St. George is in armor which was done in silver leaf, and has tarnished to black over time. My plan, when I get home, is to photoshop the armor back to some version of silver, and then show the results in a side by side comparison. Don't know when I'll get to it though - probably not before October sometime, I imagine.
I also learned that Dr. Helmut Nickel, former curator for arms and armor at the Metropolitan Museum Of Art, is still alive. Jonathon says he's 96 now, and so doesn't get out much. I met him once, when Patri arranged for him to come to Boston to give a talk to the SCAdians here. He brought examples. It was glorious. I didn't realize what a wonderful thing I'd attended until years later.
And now, I'm spending one last quiet night recovering at Rick and Libby's place, thinking "There's no place like home".
"The last man nearly ruined this place
He didn't know what to do with it:
If you think this country's bad off now,
Just wait 'til I get through with it!"
(Why yes, I just heard that Grabbers Of Pussies were making a last-ditch effort to repeal the ACA: why do you ask?)
9:30 Armizare Free Expression: Working across the System. Greg Mele may well be the finest martial arts teacher I've ever encountered - and I say that even though I'm not really a Fiore guy. He is certainly a far better teacher than I am. In this class, he didn't teach plays or techniques, though both were in the class - he taught ideas, and used the techniques to explicate them. It was a tour-de-force, and I'm glad I got to see it.
13:00 Pole Arm fighting in the Leichtenauer Tradition. This was pretty much the class that I came to WMAW for, and it didn't disappoint. Even though Christian Tobler gave a very basic class, I got to practice a thing I'd seen in passing and never gave enough credit to.
There are generally two pole arm grips people use - thumbs in the same direction for distance work and powerful oberhau's, and thumbs pointing at each other for close work. Ideally, you'd like to switch between the two.
The problem is that in gauntlets, it's generally difficult to do so, and transitioning from one to the other really can only happen when you are not at hazard. But having one or the other grip telegraphs your intention. It's basically why I always try to fight in close - I pretty much always use a thumbs pointing at each other grip. It's a weakness, and at my age, weaknesses magnify.
But there's a solution to the problem - instead of gripping the pole arm with your leading hand at all, you can let the shaft sit along the palm of your hand. It is easy to shift from this to either of the other two grips, and so if you take that initial neutral grip, you can make your entering move without your opponent having a preview of whether you're going to come fight in or out.
I've done that in practice now, and I'm going to try to do it in tournament at the next convenient opportunity. If I like it as much as I do now, I am going to incorporate it into my teaching.
Monday morning I get a private tour of the armor collection at the Chicago Art Institute, sponsored/arranged for by the Chicago Sword Guild. I expect it to be grand.
Tuesday I get to come home again. I love traveling, but I love coming home just as much.