Posts Tagged ‘fun’

I was just at my friend Nicki’s, and her cousin Amanda’s combined birthday party. Apparently, Tom Selleck is well thought of here:

Tom Selleck cake at Nicki and Amanda's birthday party.

Tom Selleck cake at Nicki and Amanda's birthday party.



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Yup–going to the Maryland Renaissance Faire again this year, with the Mary Wash Fencing Club. There’s a lot of overlap with the Renaissance Club so we usually band together and head out that way for the last weekend of the festival. This year it’s the 18th of October.

They’re headed out at like, really early in the morning–I think I’ll wait and go at a slightly later time.

Should be a fun time, and hope to see you all there! What could be better than: sword fighting, awesome music (including the Pyrates Royale), comedy, tragedy, and everything “on a stick?” Including meat, cheesecake… cheesecake? Yup.

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This looks like fun:

Virginia Scottish Games and Festival

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a Highland Games. Fredericksburg used to be on the international circuit and actually hosted the World Championship one year (1997, I think). One of the pros, Carl Braun (what a great name for a heavy athletics competitor 🙂 ) lives here, so he and his family had organized a games and festival here for several years. Alas, the games are here no longer.

I do think it’s funny that all Scottish sports are based on “take something heavy and throw it.” Cabers, hammers, weights, stones, and bundles of straw. Ask my mate Rob about that. 😀

That’s not the complete games, of course. They compete in just about anything, but primarily you have the sports (throwing heavy objects), the music, the dancing, and dogs. Kind of like a local ag fair in the country. Although in the States, you don’t have the telephone pole toss, usually.

Anyway, that’s next weekend; I’ll have to check my sched and see if I might go one of the days. See you there!

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So, since the Pyrates from my previous post asked so nicely, we did go to see them at the Virginia Renaissance Faire yesterday. 🙂

It was our usual raggedy crew of longsword fencers, plus some other old friends. We showed up before 1100, whereupon we immediately went to the pub tent for breakfast (in my case, hard cider 😀 ) and to listen to the Pyrates.

They were fun as usual, with mayhem breaking out particularly bad when during a song where Captain Moone tried to demonstrate the loss of a leg. Hysterical.

For a relatively tame version:

This was the one weekend they were going to be there, so I’m glad we got to go then. The fiddler of the Pyrates, Chelle Fulk (aka Molly Stubbs aka the Cute Blonde With The Big Smile 😉 ) will be returning the last weekend of the Faire with another group of hers, Keltish. I’d like to see that, but I think I’m helping some friends move that weekend. Ah, maybe some other time…

Apparently, they were also the first band to perform live in Second Life. Hunh.

The Virginia Ren Faire is a much smaller version of the Maryland one. We had a fun time, nonetheless. We wandered about, looking at this and that, and I even bought stuff this time, including a nice, but (very) expensive cotton shirt, and a pre-publication fiction book signed by the author, Lynn Hardy.

It spitted rain at us a few times, and sun came out a few times. But overall a pleasant day, neither too hot nor too cold.

Afterwards, on the way home, we ran into some major stormage on 95N. Later that evening, most of the crew met up at Bailey’s, a restaurant in Central Park (Fredericksburg, not New York City), and proceeded to have dinner.

A long, but good day.

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So–I ended up going to see these guys this evening.

Outta the blue, an old friend from my Dahlgren days called me up and said that she wanted to go see the Pipes & Drums of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards up at GMU. It was in a few hours; her husband couldn’t make it–would I like to go?

I was in inertia mode and not really wanting to go anywhere: I wanted to work out; I had been out late last night at a really fun party at some other friends’ place (Dan and Michelle); there’s some stuff I should probably do around the house, etc…

After hemming and hawing for a couple of minutes, I decided: ehnn, what the heck? She purchased tix online, and we were ready.

I had enough time to get a good “Navy SEALS” workout (more on that sometime), a shower, and a meal, then she showed up. We found our way, and ended up an hour early.

Which was okay, because they had a “lecture/Q & A” session an hour beforehand. See how that works out? 🙂

Anyway, that was a lot of fun. The Senior Music Director, Major Graham Jones was a hoot as he introduced three of the band leaders, explained about the unit, and took questions from the audience. He *is* a MAJOR character… 🙂

So, to muddle things up a bit, it turned out there were actually two bands playing: The Band of the Coldstream Guards, and the Pipes & Drums of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (official designator SCOTS DG).

You can check the history of each on the websites if you wish. But for the playing, first out came the Coldstream Guards Band, and they were gooood… then they went backstage and then the Pipes and Drums of the SCOTS DG came out. Then the Coldstream Guards joined them and they played together. And they played either separately or together at different times after that all night. It was fantastic. Lots o’ fun, and very moving for parts of it.

For one section, they played a series of tributes to American songs such including a good bit of JP Sousa, and America the Beautiful. The played songs of the American Services, and when Anchors Away came up, many of the audience members up stood (Navy Vets, I’m guessing), as many did when the other services’ songs were played. Cool.

All in all, a great show. Thanks, Nanc!

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Okay–so now that I can post…

The long and short of my post, before I got so rudely interrupted, was that I ended up playing a video game with friends last night.

(Those who know me, know that I “don’t” play video games, and the meat of what I was saying was the why of that. Maybe later.)

Over at my friends’ house, we all ended up playing the Xbox 360 game “Rock Band.” They had quite a get-up: at least two guitars, a voice microphone, and the game drum set. Pretty cool.

Apparently it’s an expansion of the “Guitar Hero” premise–you play simplified instruments that resemble the real thing, and hit the correct buttons (or pads in the drum set) corresponding to the note that needs played at the right time as it comes scrolling down the screen, Tetris-like. Only you don’t have to worry about flipping or twisting the “note” or anything (though that seems like an idea for another game, eh?), just hitting it at the right time.

The guitar and bass use the same implement, and the note is activated when you “strum” up or down on the little springy toggle lever where you would do the same thing on a guitar. The notes are chosen up on the neck; they are good-sized color-coded buttons that correspond with the… lozenge-like notes that scroll down the screen.

Anyway, I watched three of the guys play for a few songs, then I jumped in, and took up bass so that Eric could take the mic.

I did pretty well for never having seen the game before, or even the predecessor, Guitar Hero. In fact, on “Easy” mode, I was getting scores up in the high 80%s, and then the 90 percents. And that’s with accidentally taking Lead Guitar on the first song. It’s pretty addictive, and a lot of fun, too.

And as a band, we were kickin’ some metal booty…

Eric’s wife Cass came up, and after a while, I handed off bass to her. Previously, Chris had played bass, and Cass lead guitar. However, with the switch-up, Chris on lead, Cass on bass (Jim on drums, Eric, vocals), they were doing better than they had ever before. Even when they switched to “Medium” for a song or two to practice before going back “on tour.”

While I was playing and Cass was watching, she kept saying that she wished she was taking pix–I guess we must’ve looked all rocked-out and intense or something… 🙂

Oh, and the other thing is that you create a persona to be your player onscreen. They all had some nifty avatars; to get going quickly I just took some default guy and name, which was okay by me.

But Chris’s character was “from Stockholm,” and he kept doing a mock-Swedish rocker accent a la’ one of the guys from the cartoon “Metalocalypse.”

So, if something was really good, and rang true to the heavy metal stereotype or formula, then the saying was: “This xxxx is metals,” in the accent of his character. Hence the title of this post.

In addition, winning money enabled them to be able to buy more “metal” gear to dress their characters in, and fancier instruments, etc.

Great fun it was! Recommended.

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Live or Memorex?

Here’s a nice short film I came across on YouTube:


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