Me - Headshot

Back to the future - ten years down the rabbit hole

So what why update here when I have Facebook, Fetlife and such..? Why update here when the owner of the SUP is one of Putin's cronies (the reason I let my paid account expire btw)? This system is so freakin' antiquated that transferring entries and comments to say Blogger or a LiveJournal emulator would take months.

History and memories...

It's hard to let some aspects of my past go. LiveJournal is one of them. I have so many of memories and emotions tied up in this journal, it's hard to let them go or move on in some respects. Much of this journal is wrapped around my struggles and joys of living in SoCal. I documented the aftermath of my first marriage and the loss followed it. I turned to a loose circle of internet friends and associates here as sounding board and it grew into something more. LiveJournal became my first publishing platform and was where I documented so many adventures. Those photos, explorations, shows and events helped me reopen my eyes to the beauty and the joy I felt as a child. I saw the world anew through the lens of a camera.

When the joy went out of SCA events in Caid, I turned to my camera, my journal and my friends here. When I couldn't afford to do things as a single parent, I took my kids out on some amazing and wonderful adventures exploring abandoned and frequently historic places. Those stories and photos feel like yesterday.

And then there was Angie.. I've been gone from SoCal for over 6 years now, and I still think of her every day. Time has healed my heart so many of those memories, those thoughts and feelings are warm and even longing. Yes, I still miss her and doubt I'll ever forget her.

LiveJournal contacts and associations helped me when I got to Huntsville. Some of my long term friends and connections over the years here are from those early connections.

Moving down the path (less traveled)..

So this bring me to the here and the now. When I moved here in 2008, I never expected to become a manager in my day job. Never fathomed that I'd be called a subject matter expert in it either. I watched my daughter not only survive high school, which she dreaded, but move along to become an outstanding Fine Arts major at her University. She'll be a Senior next year. I've watched my son go from a soccer player to a sprinter running with the high school varsity track team as a freshman. He's also on the A-B honor roll and tested in the top 1% of the country in in math and science. The step-son is doing well in school and in advanced placement courses, but his habit of acting then thinking is disturbing.

Tammy's medical condition isn't worsening, but isn't improving either. She's taken herself off all her medications in order to purge herself and eliminate the possibility of unforeseen interactions. She's trying to fix a healthy diet but the fatigue and pain is limiting her. Her fading memory is even more disturbing.

Hadn't meant for this to be an introspective post, but there it is. I'm here. I'm alive. I'm not going to guarantee I'll be posting here regularly, but I'm not gone. Life is keeping me busy.
Me - Headshot

Back from the Dead

Just a quick note.

This Yule, my darlin wife got me a new computer. While I was comfortable with the old one, editing any photos was painfully slow. Like 1983 Yugo with bent axle kinda slow. Not the new one. In a session today where I would have been happy getting one set of photos edited, tagged and resized, I've gotten nearly four sets done.

Given that, expect to see a bit more here from me in the near future!
Me - Headshot

Not dead yet..

Life has been keeping way too busy of late. I took an extended break from photography for the last two months (till this past Saturday). In that time, I've been working on Halloween decorations and amazingly, teaching fencing again. With the exception of a week, I've made it to rapier practice locally for the last two and a half months.
Me - Headshot

To My SCA Friends and Family

There's a saying, "All Good Things Must Come to An End"...

I've always felt that phrase was trite and sometimes even selfish. In this case, I find myself choking on it because it applies to me.

For over 22 years (since 1991 in the MidRealm), fencing and rapier combat has been woven deeply into the fiber of my being. I've fought at the highest levels in the Society for Creative Anachronism, taught at 5 Known World Academies of the Rapier (and countless events), championed the introduction of new weapons and rules, done demos for thousands and led units in SCA wars with hundreds of my companions. Contrary to some, it was never about recognitions or awards or scarves... Throughout it all, I've fought for the sheer joy of the competition and proving my skills on the field.

For the past few years, I've come out less and less to play. I've still felt the love for the tourney and the challenge of facing opponents, but my body's been telling me otherwise. I've got to finally listen to it. Some of you know that my right hand was badly hurt by a former student over 7 years ago. While I've come back from many injuries on the field, that injury caused significant nerve damage to my sword hand. Every day since then, I've been dealing with constant pain. Some days it's been better, some days worse, but always constant. While pushing through the pain works for a while, that has also caused the nerve to be pinched and occasional loss of feeling or numbness in my right hand. Imagine fighting at speed and suddenly the blade you think is in your grasp is clattering across the ground. Not good.

I'd be lying through my teeth if I said this doesn't scare the Hell out of me. It's been a major reason behind my lack of recent participation. I can't begin to describe how heartbreaking its felt. The last thing I want to do is to face an opponent, a friend or a newcomer to this game and due to a moment of numbness in the fingers, lose control of my blade at tourney speed and hurt them. I don't want to cause an injury potentially as severely as the ones I was dealt. Given that, it's hard to step onto the tourney or melee field with that haunting my thoughts.

So here it is...

As I choke back the tears, I have decided after 22 years of competition to step away from tourney and melee rapier combat in the SCA. I can and will still teach and spar at lower speeds of the training environment. I will also seek to marshal if my home kingdom will ever see fit to grant me a warrant. Perhaps I can also help here and there to recruit more people to play this game and feel the same joy that I've felt from it. While I don't discount the possibility of a doctor figuring out a way to fix my hand, for now and on my terms, I'm going to step away from the rapier field as a competitor.

It's been an honor to fight with so many of you.

Yours in truly humble service,

The Honorable Lord (HL) John James MacCrimmon
Companion of the Argent Rapier of Meridies
Order of the Duelist of Caid
Order of the Crossed Swords of Caid (x2)
Me - Headshot

Notes and Motes

Just a quick message. Due to work schedules, we will not be going to DragonCon at the end of the month. Add that to several other recent issues and I'm frustrated beyond words.

Speaking of work, I was nominated for an Agency wide honor / recognition. 30 contractors out of a workforce of over 7000 were nominated. I wasn't selected but wow. I think that's why I'm covering the projects they've been assigning me to.

Photo wise, I'm nearly caught up on photo work. I have a wedding to edit but I'm waiting on their selections. I have a shoot this weekend and next. This weekend has been in the works for 6 months and there was drama getting to it. The following weekend is a paid gig. After that, I'm putting down the camera for a while. First off, it needs to go in for repairs. Second, I have projects around the house I need to work on.

Speaking of unnecessary drama, the house in Lancaster is finally empty of tenants. We have to clean it up and make some minor repairs and I will sign the closing papers. This will free me from the place.
Me - Headshot

Notes and Motes - Quick Before Work

Busy Busy Busy..

Spent the last couple days editing photos from a modeling set taken in May. Started sorting through photos from the recent business trip to Colorado Springs. It's been a week now and I think I can go through them without being overly critical.

On Friday, we drive up to my mom's for the weekend. Saturday is my high school class reunion. 30 years has come and gone. Frightening to think of it. It doesn't feel that long ago and I don't feel that old.

Chris got a special present today. The budding virtuoso now owns an upright double bass care of his mother. When he gets back from visiting her, I expect the house will vibrate. Given his various instruments, his room is resembling a band storage closet.

Still no news on selling the house in SoCal. Words don't come close to how frustrated I am.