Cormac Gets a Bath Sunday, May 31 2009 

26 May 2009
After three days in the non-air-conditioned Texas heat and humidity I was ready for a shower as soon as I walked in the door on Monday night. The dogs aren’t so lucky. Lacking opposable thumbs, they have not the dexterity to crawl in the shower, turn the water on and adjust it just so. Instead, they get a water-hose bath. I don’t think they mind.
Cormac and the Hose
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 28 May 2009)

Listening to:
Bottle and a Gun by Hollywood Undead
from Swan Songs

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.125 sec (1/8)
Aperture: f/4.0
Focal Length: 11.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: Off

Memorial Day Sunday, May 31 2009 

25 May 2009
Memorial Day (Observed) here in the U.S. I’ve never been what one would call a "Proud American." I’ve been dismayed, disillusioned and frustrated by American policy for most of my life. My father, a war veteran gave his heart, career and soul to the United States Army and yet they had no use for him. So, in the late 70s, all of a sudden my father found himself without a job, without a career and with a young wife and two small children to care for. Yeah. Go Army. Yet, through all this cynicism and self-professed dislike for the country in which I accidentally was born, I find myself with a deep-abiding pride of my country-men. No where in the world will you find such an incredible array of servants that give and give and give for their country their entire lives. I’m not one of them nor will I ever be, but every year on Memorial Day, I am moved to tears by these brave, beautiful men and women that march proudly through the streets of our Scarborough Faire village wearing a Yellow Ribbon. They march in unison and every step of the way they are applauded by the good people of the village – both residents and visitors alike. Some day, I hope to be brave enough and selfless enough to be like them.

Still without my camera, I used Mike’s camera to get this shot of his wife.
Brandy
Cheers

~KR (Written on 28 May 2009)

Listening to:
The Swing by INXS
from The Swing

Camera: Nikon D40X
Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/4.8
Focal Length: 116 mm
Focal Length: 116.5 mm
ISO Speed: 1100
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: Off, Did not fire

Sunday Sunday, May 31 2009 

24 May 2009
Sunday. As hot and gross and icky a day as I can recall in a long, long time. My manager took the day off to go to the wedding of his uncle, so Bill, Dwayne and I rocked and rolled the shop into the single best sales day that shop has ever had. There was just something about the day that had people queued up to hand me money. It was nice and definitely helped rescue the season financially.

**UPDATE (1 June 2009)**
Even as busy as we were, I somehow managed to find the time to escape the shop for an hour with my lady-wife and head down to the Cat & Fiddle pub. The Cat & Fiddle is the newest pub at Scarborough Renaissance Festival and is home to the twice-a-day wine tasting hosted by my good friend Flynn!
Flynn
Thanks, Flynn, for a great time and good wines. Here’s hoping it was such a success that it will be a Scarborough staple for many years to come.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 27 May 2009)

Listening to:
Hog Eye Man by Martin Carthy & Family
from Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys

Camera: Canon PowerShot SX110 IS
Exposure: 0.125 sec (1/8)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 6 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: Off

Saturday Friday, May 29 2009 

23 May 2009
Saturday. The final Saturday of faire. The day started cloudy, grey & humid and rather quickly disintegrated into yuck. But, that didn’t stop the people from coming to faire. And come they did, in happy, clumpy droves.
And they bought. Well, they bought from me, anyway. Being a purveyor of boardgames and other activities that have no recurring expense associated with them, I’m in a prime position for the economic downturn. The price point is right (less than the cost of a date-night at the movies) for most games and the games I sell have immense re-playability factors (part of my criteria for carrying a game in the first place). So, I found myself in a position where, despite the humidity and eventual downpour, the people were scampering into my shop, buying a game and skipping out. Now, if I can find a photo to reflect this. ūüôā

**UPDATE**
No photo to reflect the way the day went, but I did get a late-night photo of the hat I wore all day. True to my photographic belief that "less is sometimes more" I give you a small portion of the grandness that is my Black & Yellow Landsknecht chapeau.

Yellow Feather in a Black Hat

Cheers.

~KR (Written on 27 May 2009)

Listening to:
Sunshine of Your Love by Ozzy Osbourne
from Under Cover

Camera: Canon PowerShot SX110 IS
Exposure: 0.125 sec (1/8)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 6 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: Off

Friday Before a Weekend Friday, May 29 2009 

22 May 2009
Marita Beth and I were headed to faire on Friday night, when I suddenly reached back into the front pocket of my backpack in fear that I had neglected to place my camera back in the pocket after having it out at work. My fears were come-to-life and I spent a panicky hour trying to track down someone to rescue my camera from my desktop and lock it up safely. I have absolutely no trust in the cleaning crew having lost things to their grubby hands in the past so I simply had to find someone or make the hour-plus trip to the office to rescue it myself Since it was nearly 9pm, finding someone in the office was much harder than it might otherwise have been, but I finally did track down a co-worker who locked my camera safely away in her desk drawer. Thank you, Nancy!

Therefore, I was at the final weekend of faire without my camera. ūüė¶

I took photos, but always with someone else’s camera. So, now I patiently wait for those photos to arrive in my hands. At that time, I will update these posts with the appropriate shot from the day.

**UPDATE (June 1 2009)
I finally have most of the photos from various peoples and am updating these posts as I can. This photo, while technically taken at 12 minutes into Saturday will be my Friday night photo because I had not yet gone to bed. Marcus, Marita Beth & I (and later, Gregg) stayed up, chatted, ate cheese & drank wine until way too late for a “school night”. All without a photo. So, this is a shot of some of MB’s discarded jewellery (spelled correctly before someone tries to correct me…just British rather than American spelling) as we prepared for bed.
jewellry
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 27 May 2009)

Listening to:
I Should Have Known Better by Jim Diamond
from Burning Hearts: Best Sad Songs for Your Soul

Camera: Canon PowerShot SX110 IS
Exposure: 0.125 sec (1/8)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 6 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: Off

DataTraveler Friday, May 29 2009 

21 May 2009
Our ITS (Intranet Technology Security) division has decided, for reason known only to them, that file-sharing sites are verboten! A technology I have used for a few years now to share data with our vendors (I can’t email a 30 MB file because of email restrictions on both sides) is suddenly gone with no corporate-wide replacement technology. So, in order to share these critical files, I actually have to load them onto my personal thumbdrive, take them home and upload them from my house computer. It’s a good thing my loyalty is high, because this is the sort of thing that a typical employee should not be expected to do. But, the vendor MUST have those files, too, in order to provide our field with the necessary technology to do their jobs. Therefore, I think I’m doing the right thing, but it’s frustrating nonetheless.
DataTraveler
My 2GB Kensington DataTraveler replete with coffee stains.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 27 May 2009)

Listening to:
Relax (Jam & Spoon Trip-O-Matic Fairy Tale Mix) by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
from Relax – Maxi CD

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.067 sec (1/15)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: -2/3 EV
Flash: Off

Memorial Day Parade 2009 Thursday, May 28 2009 

Memorial Day Parade 2009

25 May 2009

After two days of clouds and rain and even thunder and lightning, Memorial Day Monday dawned beautifully.¬† And, the crowds at Scarborough Renaissance Festival took advantage of it!¬† Unfortunately, in continuation of what seems to be the trend this spring, they were not in a spendy mood!¬† At least not for high-dollar merchandise.¬† East Wind Games did great with an average price point in the twenty dollar range, and with a product mix that’s perfect for these difficult times when “Family Game Night” wins out over other more costly activities.¬† But, across the street, with fabulous, high-quality Renaissance costuming . . . not so much in the way of sales.¬† My typical sales curve is way up on closing weekends—-but, not this time.

One highlight of the day, though, no matter how high or low the sales, is the Memorial Day Parade.¬† Now, I know that every faire has a parade, every day it’s open.¬† And, I know that thousands of Memorial Day parades are held throughout this fine country.¬† But, I’d wager that few are as special and as appreciated as is this Memorial Day Parade at Scarborough Renaissance Festival.

Upon arrival at the front gate, all American veterans are invited to visit the “cottage” and pick up their yellow ribbon sash, where they are then given instructions for where to be when to join in marching in the parade.¬†¬†¬†Unlike other parades at faire, this parade is led by an American Flag, and all the various flags of the military branches.¬† Then, a giant American flag is carried by an appropriate number of vets.¬† And then, the sea of yellow ribbon sashes.¬† Men and women, young and old, in renfaire costumes, in blue jeans, some even in military uniforms—-all wearing a yellow ribbon sash, and all marching in a parade that causes life at faire to pause and notice.¬† Cameras are everywhere.¬† And very few eyes remain dry.¬† It’s one of my favourite events of the year.

~MB

My New Hat and “Joie de Vivre” Thursday, May 28 2009 

My New Hat

24 May 2009

Kyle and I started day #2 of our three-day Memorial Day weekend at faire with the admission that we were tired and not really in the mood for yet another hot, rainy faire day.¬† Kyle said that he had had a conversation the day before (no doubt referring to dealing with a faire day in the muggy rain) wherein somebody exclaimed that they had misplaced their “give-a-shit.”¬† That made me chuckle.¬† Apparently, the colloquialisms continued around this circle of friends, with each member of the group chiming in with what they were lacking and one of them used the phrase “Joie de Vivre.”¬†

Now, just a couple of days ago, Kyle had uttered those words and asked me —as he often does about a word or phrase in French—what it meant. (I love the confidence he places in me, that I have somehow miraculously retained a tiny bit of my many years of French classes, despite the fact that these occasional questions from him are the only workout my memory gets on the subject!)¬† After asking him to repeat himself a few times, and dusting off the files in my brain marked “French vocabulary,” I came up with the meaning I remembered—-“joy of life” or “joy of living” and we talked about how needing to find one’s “joy of living” was in some ways akin to needing to find one’s “give a shit” or “motivation” or “caring.”¬† It certainly made sense to me in the context of the conversation he was describing.

Then, our conversation turned to the fact that once again, just days after learning a new phrase, he seemed to be hearing it over and over.¬† I told him “There’s a name for that.”¬† “Serendipity,” he offered.¬† And, I said, “Well, sort of, but that’s not what I mean.¬† “Serendipity” is less specific . . . it just refers to any good thing at the right time.”¬† I have now, also looked that up, and it is a little more specific that that, in actuality.¬† It is¬†the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely.¬† And the related “synchronicity” actually refers to the experience of two or more events which are¬†causally unrelated¬†occurring together in a supposedly¬†meaningful manner. In order to count as synchronicity, the events should be unlikely to occur together by chance.

But, I digress.¬† I told him I had run across a specific label for the phenomenon of learning something new, only to be confronted with it again and again, immediately thereafter.¬†In fact, I’ve told him that before, but I’ve never been able to remember what it’s called.¬† Today was no exception¬†and¬†while I had to give up and feel foolish, he had to run to his booth at that point.¬† Since, I was still getting dressed,¬† I kissed him goodbye, and then sat down with Google.¬† And, after some searching, I found it again.¬† Not serendipitous, as I found exactly what I went searching to find!

It’s called¬†the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon.¬† And because I am forgetful, Kyle will learn of this discovery of mine at the same time as all of our other readers.¬† I did not remember to tell him when I saw him next.¬† The article is well-written, enjoyable and even thought-provoking.¬† Enjoy.

Meanwhile, I experienced a resurgence in my “joie de vivre” today, because I have a new hat!¬† Our talented friend Kathel of Lionheart Hats came to me a couple of weeks ago with a new hat design and flattered me by wanting my suggestions and feedback.¬† We played with it, and talked about it, and she went away with a revised plan.¬† Yesterday, she showed up with the fruits of her labours . . . a handful of fabulous new hats, one of which she made in the colours I wear the most, with me in mind.¬† I handed her money without hesitation.¬† My photo shows it, and I happily wore it all day. (Kathel and I later joked about how bad business must be when you start making your product for specific people who haven’t requested it, and then hand deliver it to them, hoping they’ll want it badly enough to pay you!)

~MB

A New Friend Thursday, May 28 2009 

A New Friend

23 May 2009

(edited on 29 May) ūüôā

I actually know people who believe that one can have too many friends. I don’t.

Granted, the word “friend” is used far too loosely. Most of the people that most of us call “friends” probably would be better described as “acquaintances.” Social network sites like MySpace and Facebook do much to muddy those waters. I, for one, am very picky about who I add as a “friend” on such sites. And, I don’t know many of even those people, as well as I’d like. But, to really have “too many friends?” I don’t think it’s possible!

On that note, Kyle and I have a brand new friend, effective today! She made my day, and so I introduced her to Kyle and snapped their photo. Her name is Terry . . . although, I realize now that I didn’t find out the correct spelling of her name, so I may have it wrong.¬† (addendum: just found out it should be “Teri.”) She is charming and effervescent, witty and engaging. She is a playtron at the faire, and a talented seamstress (she showed me her husband’s doublet that she’d recently made!) and obviously we have much in common! ūüėČ

The story of our meeting, is what is so special to me . . . I was sitting at the table in our Pendragon Costumes shoppe, finishing up a discussion with a special order customer. As I was bidding those folks farewell, I heard one of my girls telling someone, “she’s right over here . . .” and I knew I was about to be asked a question of some kind. As my worker spoke to introduce the scenario: “MaritaBeth . . . ” the customer interrupted: “You’re MaritaBeth! Hi!”

I didn’t recognize the face, so I cheerfully but curiously replied with “Hi. Do we know each other?” She immediately, but only briefly got rather shy, and quietly said, “Um, no. I follow your blog.”

That was my introduction to Teri. I was, of course, rather floored, and incredibly flattered. How? Why? I wanted to know. Her interests in faire and in costuming and sewing are the logical connection. We chatted for quite a while, and before she left Kyle came in and more conversation ensued, and photos happened.¬†¬† She told us she had followed intently, our travels in the UK this winter!¬† And, she said even on the regular days we are entertaining to her.¬† I was so surprised to think that somebody we had never met was following the KRuMB. We know that we have friends (and acquaintances) who read the KRuMB and rarely, if ever, make a comment, and thereby stay pretty much under our radar. But, I hadn’t really stopped to consider that there might be people out there following our daily adventures, that we hadn’t even met, yet! It still actually rather boggles my mind.

Well, now we know one more reader! And I’m glad to call her a friend. (Now, I just hope she’ll write us a comment and tell me how to spell her name!) ūüėČ

~MB

(tee hee: she linked to me on Flickr! I guess she doesn’t have to give up her stalker status here on the KRuMB! Hi, Teri! :-P)

Sleeve Danglies Wednesday, May 27 2009 

Sleeve Danglies

22 May 2009

Today went pretty smoothly—I got just about everything done that I’d hoped I could.¬† And we got out of the house at a decent time, grabbed some dinner on the way, and got to faire before it was pitch black.¬† After unloading, and checking in product, we sat and enjoyed a wonderful visit with Marcus, and with Gregg for a while, over an assortment of wines and cheeses.¬† It was a perfect final Friday.

As we were getting ready for bed, I took this photo of¬†Kyle’s hanging sleeve ties and the stuff under them—it’s such fun colours and patterns . . .

~MB

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