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18 July 2011

Summer Breeze

Full Moon Over Fog in DeForest
"Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter." - Ansel Adams

How that observation opened up possibilities to me. The photo to the left was literally as I dropped off a friend after an evening of rapier practice. I was still parked in his driveway! After that, I dashed home, downloaded it to my computer, tweaked it a bit in Photoshop to look like the way I remember it. Viola! Here is a haunting night shot for you to enjoy.

The Fencing Lesson
A couple of the previous weeks, we've been travelling, but not very far. OK, Upper Michigan is a hike, but we'd do that trip again. We met a bunch of folks from our history club at a township campground in Gwinn, Michigan.

It turned out I was the only rapier safety officer at the event. They only had one fencer other than me there, ready to work out. She hadn't passed her safety test yet, but I was game to teach her a few basics. I also tried not to thrash her. New fencers need to have SOME successes. But why do these new fencers have to have such garish pants? By the way, that's me on the right in the plain blue pants. We can thank my lovely bride for the pictures of me and my student. It's hard to simultaneously control a camera and monitor a sword that's trying to poke me.
Miller's Castle, Pictured Rocks
National Lakeshore
After a couple of nights in Gwinn, we ducked over to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, because I'd heard it was worth the trip. It was and is. Next year, we're adding an extra day to the trip to include more of this lovely out-of-the-way national Treasure. We took advantage of the couple hours we had, and then made our way back home.

Tried Moose Drool beer, just to see what it was like. To quote what I sent my friend, Moose: "Conclusion: Moose Drool is an adequate, if potent, beer. The flavor is nothing special. It shure, strike that, sure has a kisk, strike that, kisk, strike that again, kisck, Really strike that, kick." Moose feels the stuff is best used as bratwurst marinade. None of his friends wanted to drink it.

One of the biggest lessons I learned is how much I value the trust given to me by another person. This last week we traveled again, but to the bustling metropolis of Boscobel, Wisconsin, for my local history club's annual event, affectionately named "WW" or "Dub-Dub". The last couple years, I've been on the set-up crew helping in various ways. One of the biggest projects for set-up is the assembly of the shower building. This structure occupies a 30' trailer and the 8' bed of a full size pickup truck. When assembled, it's about 10' by 45' with two 10' x 20' carports as roofs. Each half has its own water heater and it all drains into the Village's sewer. Ten shower stalls with changing booths to help accomodate the needs of a thousand campers in the summer sun. On Sunday morning, we take the whole thing apart again so we can store it and use it the next year.

Night at Warriors and Warlords 2011
Our Project Leader (Strawboss), Ed, aims me at problems that need solving. He's fully capable of taking these on himself, but by having me do them, it frees his time for other projects/problems. He also trusts me to get it right before going on to the next thing. I like working this way, if only my day job treated me this way more. Recently though, it seems my supervisor at my day job is beginning to appreciate my ability to solve problems. Maybe things are looking up.
All photos, except as noted, Copyright 2011 by W. Clinton Hotaling

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