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Bringing this over from Facebook:

So I have been editing through the responses from my own wall and from the SCA wall to the question: What kind of book do you want to read about the SCA?
There were some great answers and some terrific ideas.
I am going to put the majority of the suggestions on my wall.
Reading through them, the theme seems to be stories about people and events and NSTIW-type stories.
There was also the suggestion of writing about specific "legends" in the SCA.
I guess my main concern is that I will leave out some of the classic stories or people.
I so not worry too much about specific versions, because this is oral history. (Duke Vissevald of the East says there are stories about him he knows are not true, but he doesn't remember which one.)
So toss me ideas -- like Viz and the Drill Sergeant and "Hitting the King with Traffic Cones.
Who are some of the people you want to hear about: Those with us and those who are gone?
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Master Liam's Song List

All-time Favorites
“Born on the Listfield”
Master Ivar Battleskald

“Song of the Shield Wall”
Malkin Gray/Peregrynne Windrider

“The Peasant Knight”
Mistress Rosalind Jehanne/Allen Garretson

“One of Us”
Heather Dale

Lucia Elena Braganza

Kingdom Songs
“Flower of the Desert”
Baldwin of Erebor

Hector of the Black Height

“Stand Brother, Stand”
Truly Carmichael

“I Am of the North”
Aneleda Falconbridge

“Sons of the Dragon”
Garraed Gailbraith

“Shield My Kinsman”
Wyndreth Berginsdottir

History Songs
Andrew of Wolvenwood

“Song of Roland”
Mistress Rosalind Jehanne

“Band of Brothers”
Ken Theriot

“Crusader Song”
Conn MacNall

“Hastings 1066”
Thomas Bordeaux

Funny Songs
“The Feast Song”
Ken Theriot

“Ban The Fencers”
Thomas Bordeaux

“Death, Doom and Gloom”
Cerian Cantwyr

“I’m a Duke, and You’re Not”
Thomas Bordeaux

“Seven Old Laurels”
Efenwealt Whystle/David Gunther

More Favorites
“InDUCKtion Song”
John Inchingham

“Non Nobis”
Psalm 115:1/ Patrick Doyle

“Burden of the Crown”
Baldwin of Erebor

“Stone Soup”
Heather Dale

“Drums Over Pennsic”
Lorelei Skye

“Fruit of the Yew”
James Treebull The Stubborn

“Compact Between Horse and Man”
Dorcas Whitecastle

“Knight’s Leap”
Charles Kingsley/Leslie Fish

“My Old Man’s A . . .”
Valentine Warner/Efenwealt Whystle

“The Leaving Song”
Andrixos Seljukroctonis
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Master Liam’s Favorite SCA musicians
Class Notes from “Liam’s Favorite Songs”

Important note: This is not meant to be a definitive list of singers of the style of SCA folk music (I call it SCA filk, but some of the musicians disagree), It’s not even a definitive list of my favorites. If your favorite artist is not on here, please do not take it the wrong way. There will be time for sharing at the end of class.

Heather Dale: Perhaps the only SCA musi­cian making a living with music, Heather has a wonderful voice and an amazingly dy­namic stage presence. She and guitarist Ben Deschamps travel frequently, and they are always looking for house parties. Heather has a couple of SCA-specific CDs, includ­ing “Call The Names,” and is also distin­guished as a singer of Arthurian lullabies. In fact, Mistress Marion of Heatherdale does not have a Laurel for performing music, but rather for her Arthurian research.

Hector of the Black Height: Chalk up an­other for Ealdormere Laurels. Hector, who also writes the most exquisite scroll texts, has done what I think of as perhaps the best SCA CD ever – “The Red Album” – which include the Ealdormere anthem “Rise,” the poignant, “Home To Ealdormere,” and some of the funniest songs you have ever heard.

John Inchingham: A Midrealm Laurel, first bard who ever gave me a CD. It was a present. John is also an amazing fencer. His five or so CDs are absolutely hilarious and include a number of other outstanding bards like Master Cerian.

Efenwealt Whystle: (He gets to write his) Efenwealt is the alter ego of singer/song­writer Scott Vaughan. In his Efenwealt persona, he is a best described as a modern-day minstrel with a comedic bent. He has been writing and recording music since 1989. Most of his original work is SCA, but he also does Harry Potter music with “The Blubbering Humdingers.”

Bryce de Byram: And in this corner, from Atlantia, a triple peer . . . (why is it all these people are peers?). Bryce is the voice of chiv­alry and honor. In fact, his CD is called “Songs of Chivalry. “Great stuff from a great guy.

Ken Theriot: Not your average Ansteorran knight. (Is there such a thing?) If Hector’s is the best SCA CD I own, Ken’s “Human His­tory” is a very close second.

Lisa Theriot: Another Ansteorran bard of high renown , her CD based on the Canterbury Tales ought to be in every high school teach­er’s library. She writes some of Ken’s songs.

Baldwin of Erebor: One of the old-school SCA bards, his “Welcome to the Current Mid­dle Ages” is a must-own CD.

Aneleda of Falconbridge: She has emereged over the last few years as the strong and con­fident voice of the East, and an advocate for music in the kingdom. “I am of the North is still my favorite, although she has been pro­ducing some other fine work lately.

And more: These are eight folks I listen to a lot. I asked my friends for more, and among those they listed were: Joe Bethancourt, Leslie Fish, Samantha Moore, the Whiskey Bards, Rosalind Jehanne, Mateo de Madris, John ap Wynn, Truly Carmichael, Wyndreth Bergins­dottir and Aneleda of Falconridge. There are many more.

Second note: Many of these artists’ CDs are available at Pennsic. Camelor Treasures, that’s Efenwealt and his lady, have the best selection. John ap Wynn, at the top of Runestone Hill has a number of artists, including his own and all of John Inchingham’s Some will sell CDs after their shows. They are also on line.

Heather Dale: Music available at

Lisa and Ken Theriot: Music available at

Various: Music available at

Music available at
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NCIS: (Last post was around Season 12, Episode 20; Now through all of Season 12).
Here's a direct quote from my last NCIS post:
"I watched a lot of Season 12, and I felt like it was really dragging. My understanding is it picks up in the final episodes, so I will have to go back and watch those."
That turns out to be true. I  have mentioned that I like shows that really get an arc going, and in the last four episodes or so, NCIS really gets a good one going, all the way up to a cliffhanger ending for the season. I am really glad I went back to finish it, and now I am looking forward to the next season.

Zoo: (Last post was at Season 1, Episode 5; Now at Season 1, Episode 7).

Dragging a little bit. The show is a lot more interesting when it focuses on the animals rather than the people. You can definitely see how they are drawing it out a bit, and right now, things are a little confused.

Criminal Minds: (Last post was at Season 1, Episode 6; Now through Season 1, Episode 18).

I am really enjoying this, partly because I have seen all of these before, and while I do not remember the entire plot for each episode, I remember enough of it to be really interested in each episode. Again, I am enjoying watching the character's develop and track who and what Derek tackles along the way.
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With the time I currently have at home, I am available for resume or other writing work.

Here are the details.

Please pass this along.


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This will bring us up current to shows I am watching or have been watching. Again, possible spoilers.

NCIS: Like Criminal Minds, I have watched a lot of NCIS, but there are some seasons missing as well. I do distinctly remember the first episode (but I initially missed the crossover with JAG, another show I really like).

Anyway, this one has been around 12 seasons now, and I am pretty sure I have seen more than half the episoides. I still loathe Tony, even though he is a little less sexist than he used to be. He is still a dick. It's interesting how in the most recent season they are trying to humanize him with his father. Problem is, I find his father incredibly annoying as well.

I like NCIS best when there's an arc going on. The one-off episodes do not hold my attention the way the arc episodes do, even if there is non-arc stuff going on. There are times I feel the characters are somewhat static through the 12 seasons. There's not a lot of character development. There are some character changes, sure. but I am not feeling like there's been the kind of growth you see in other shows. Sure, I love Abby, but she hasn't really changed very much.

If anyone has developed, it's McGee, but I am not always sure I like the direction. I also felt it was kind of cheesy for him to fall in love with Delilah, then have her get paralyzed. Some of their following interactions were pretty awkward.

I watched a lot of Season 12, and I felt like it was really dragging. My understanding is it picks up in the final episodes, so I will have to go back and watch those.

NCIS New Orleans: Here's another I watched from the beginning, and I am absolutely loving it. I did see the two-part crossover with NCIS, and I liked it from the beginning. I am a big Scott Bakula fan, and I adore the way Lucas Black plays LaSalle, right down to him having been the Alabama mascot in college. Sebastian, however, is the Jar-Jar Binks of the show, and Patton Plame (wheelchair guy) is almost as annoying. CCH Pounder is a great actress (I have watched some Warehouse 13, though in the early episodes of W13 we do not see enough of her. Brody's not really developed yet, but I did like the focus on her at midseason. I don't know if LaSalle's brother really adds a lot. I will say this, just as NCIS itself was wearing thin on me, I watched the last few episodes of NCIS: New Orleans and it seemed so much more interesting, active and fresh.  I didn't like what happened at the end, and I will be interested to see what the fallout will be. (Note: I have never watched very much of NCIS: Los Angeles at all. It just seems like a bit much, and I am having trouble wrapping my head around Linda Hunt in the Gibbs/Pride role.)

Chicago Fire: I jumped into this in the middle of the second season and have seen pretty much everything since then. I need to go back and see the first season, but I sometimes find that hard to do. Yes, this is another soap opera set in, well a firehouse in this case. I will address the crossover aspect of the show under Chicago PD, but I do think that's a major strength here. This show, like a number of other lately, doesn't seem to have an issue killing off major characters and working the story line from there. t makes me a little nervous when I start to get to like a character. Again, like many of these types of shows, you have as many major incidents in a single show as a real-world place would have in six months or a year. But that's part of the suspension of disbelief. I feel this show does a great job when it comes to conflicts and tension among the characters. I will be interested to see how things developin the next season.

Chicago PD: Another show that started as a crossover from another, this time with Hank Vought establishing his bad guy credentials in a couple episodes with Chicago Fire. (I do know any other shows that crossover the way these two do, and it's been pretty cool to see Law & Order: SVU pop in there, too. (And apparently Chicago Med is on the horizon for the fall, but we will have a lot of competition in that ER-type category.)

Back to Chicago PD:  One of the things I love about this show is that you do not have typical "TV Tropes" characters, starting with Voight himself. The whole show spins around him playing fast and loose with the rules and his colleagues trying to figure out just how fast and loose they can be. Trudy Platt is a highlight for me, and he portrayal of the desk sergeant (or charge nurse in hospital series) is the best I have seen. You get the idea that she knows every officer inside and out and what is best for him or her. She can be a bit brusque, but she reacts in an apologetic way fairly quickly. Antonio looked interesting at first, but he has flattened out. I do get tired of all of the intramural hookups on this show. Olinsky seems to be going through some development, and I am waiting to see Roman break out. The Nadia story line, while not always believable, was both heart-warming and heartbreaking. I did not like the outcome. Finally, we come to Erin, who has had the most ups and downs and appears to be one of the focal points for the next season. Finally, I will say I enjoy the show (and Chicago PD) when there are extensive crossovers.

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What blogs, other sites, are you reading these days?

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Blue Bloods: I started watching on Hulu, then realized it was  still airing on CBS. I am caught up through the end of the fifth season, but there are gaps in the middle I have not seen. (I will figure that out at some point). I love this show, especially the juxtaposition between Danny Reagan and Hank Voight from Chicago PD. (And other characters as well). You accept in watching this show that it's a morality tale. How can it not be when one of the main scenes in every show is Sunday dinner? It makes me feel guilty I did not eat with my family more often. Yes, again you need to suspend disbelief, but hey, it is a TV show. Tom Selleck is masterful, and even the minor characters have developed and show excellent acting.

Night Shift: I had absolutely no intention of watching this show, then I flipped it on one night and I was hooked. Probably a lot less known than any of the other medical dramas. This one is set in San Antonio, not one of your typical television-set cities, and they use that pretty well. The hook is that many of the docs and nurses are ex-military and some are dealing with flashbacks and PTSD. There is a very strong gay character, an extremely strong and good-looking guy, whose partner (maybe husband by now) lost a leg overseas. My wife is amused because it is such a soap-opera story line, even more so than many of the other shows of its type. So many things happen that you are pushed to the edge of believability, but I enjoy it.

Blacklist: Blame this one on the Super Bowl. I was working that night, watched the end of the game, then got pulled into this show, which I had avoided before. I had no idea what it was about. This episode, which was a new one, featured Ron Perlman, who you will see I am absolutely fascinated by. Once I saw a couple scenes with James Spader, I knew I had to go back and see some previous episodes. This is one of those shows that is definitely driven by a single star. There are some other great performances, and it is a compelling story with a lot of twists, but Spader just shines in this. I had never really noticed him before, but wow is he amazing in this show. I think I have watched most or all of Season 2, and maybe parts of Season 1. I am looking forward to the next season, though if you watch it, you know the tone and focus are likely to change in September.

Sons of Anarchy: OK, this is really odd. I have listed a dozen TV shows I have been watching and now I get to the one I had been watching most intently until I started up with Criminal Minds this week. I have watched most of Seasons 1 and 2 and at times, I am completely blown away by this show. I have done a lot of reading about it as well, and some of the background is really amazing. I mentioned Ron Perlman earlier, and he absolutely makes this show. I have never seen an actor use a prop (his cigar) the way Perlman does. It's an extension of him. You want to walk soap opera? This is soap opera with several sides of torture and murder. I finally had to stop watching late in Season 2, because there was just too much violence and too many secrets.

There is something else about shows like Sons of Anarchy, which have run for a long time and are now finished. There's a lot of documentation out there about the show and in fact I know what happens in the end. Some of the stuff in between, that I know is going to happen, sounds really depressing.

That said, this is a great show. One of the things I like about committing to a show over several seasons is that you get to see the characters develop. At first, it was Clay, Jax and the rest of the Sons. After a while, I began to see the different members and what their roles were. Female roles are important, but problematic at times.

I remain unsure when/if I will go back to watching it.
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Thoughts on TV shows, Part II

Zoo: I had read the James Patterson book, so I was really interested in watching this. I like the changes they made. I am not used to watching current TV. It's been a long time, so the idea of having to wait (and find ways to watch it) is hard. But this is definitely interesting/ Lots of twists. I am through Season 1, Episode 5.

The Last Ship: I read a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction, but I had never read William Brinkley's book. I am glad now that I didn't because, like Zoo, the min-series is very different book.

It's also one of the best TV series I have ever seen. The twist at the end of Season 1 was amazing.
Things slowed a little at the start of Season 2, but I am at now through Season 2, Episode 5. I will definitely keep watching this.

Gotham: This is the third show in a row that I have started from the beginning. That is not very usual for me, because we went so long without broadcast television. I am not a huge Batman geek, but I love what they have done with this show. I think the key to watching this version of the Batman story is being able to suspend your disbelief and make no assumptions about the future. (I learned this from the Star Trek reboot. That was hard to do, but I learned a lot from it.) Again, I am enjoying the twists, and there have been a lot of cool twists. I am looking forward to seeing it develop.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: I guess I have been starting a lot of series from the beginning lately. I was totally hooked until the first break, then my interest really dropped off. I am not sure why. I picked it up enough to get through the end of the first season, but I have not really been watching it since. I didn't make it through a single episode of Agent Carter, which is odd, because I thought I would like it.

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Criminal Minds: So I am pretty well caught up through the end of the current season, so I decided to drop back on Netflix and watch Season 1, Episode 1: "Extreme Aggressor."

I have a difficult relationship with Criminal Minds. I will watch it for a while, then get freaked out, then go back to it later. I have watched much of it already, but the old stuff was a long time ago, so there are pieces I remember and pieces I don't.

Immediate thoughts on the first episode: I didn't realize Morgan didn't trust Gideon at first. He is very negative. (He also quotes Yoda). Reid is really geeky, more so than usual. It was odd to see all men from the team going into the FBI office at first.

I didn't realize just how central Gideon's character was from Day One. It must have been hard for the writers to make the adjustment.
I also noticed the use of music right up front. This is the first show I really noticed the effective use of music.

It will be interesting to watch Penelope develop.

This is the first time I have watched something on Netflix. I love not having commercials.

Binging through Season 1, Episode 3 now. Love the focus on Gideon. I do love having watched the show before, because you can anticipate some of the clues, etc.

Addendum: Through Season 1, Episode 6 now. All in one day. Definitely changes the way your brain processes information.

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OK, so I am writing.
This is a combination of several things. I am out of work on short-term disability because of pneumonia, which I am recovering from, and congestive heart failure, which I am trying to shake.
As much as I would like to do some part-time work for the paper I work for, I can't do that.
What I can do is watch a lot of TV shows on the Internet, and I can write about those.
I grew up watching TV, but I have not had typical cable TV for the last eight years. I continued to pay attention to some things, but didn't watch a lot of others.
Over the last year or so, maybe a little longer, I have discovered streaming shows on the Internet (yes, I am a Luddite), and there are others like West Wing I have watched on DVD.
Anyway, I love sharing ideas, so here are some thoughts on some of the shows I have been watching.
A caveat: Some spoilers are definitely going to slide into these summaries, so be forewarned about that. There will not be a lot, and some of these shows have been around more than a decade, so I would expect you know some things.
Since Facebook and Google+ are not the best platforms for this, I am going to post here.
Look for the first installment later tonight.
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Yes, my LJ feed is mainly "Hey, I am back -- again."

I took some time this morning to update my browser with new bookmarks, actually posted on G+ and will be posting to LinkedIn as well.

Friday is my day off, so I work on, well work. ;) And other kinds of writing, because that's what I do.

I will be around.

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I am still here.


And I will be back.

But it's time for this annual post:

Those of you who have been reading my Facebook and LiveJournal pages for a long time, know that every year, I raise money for Special Olympics New York and jump into Lake George. This will be my 10th plunge (I did three in Massachusetts).
For various reasons, I have been way behind this year, and the plunge is Saturday.
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I am uplifted by the number of comments on my first post back.

Then I realized there has been no second post.

Then I remembered: Oh, yeah, five stories in three days on the death of a 3-month-old, plus today's pot-bust and exchange-concert stories.

Headed to Massachusetts/Rhode Island for a three-day weekend to see all the cool ladies in my life.

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I have been away for a while, succumbing to the instant gratification of Facebook, but I think I am going to stick my feet back in here.

What do you want to know about, well, anything?

liamstliam: (Bear)

The short version here is that I am very concerned with the New York State Legislature’s rapid approval of a gun-control package.

I’ve said that it’s not the laws that concern me so much as the process did.

It’s not necessarily what they did. It’s how they did it.

In order to explain better, please understand that I am a fairly liberal, middle-aged white guy who does not own any guns but has no particularly strong opinion about gun control, other than it needs to be constitutional.

My thought on that is that it’s harder with the Second Amendment, in my opinion, in that it’s not a cut-and-dried as the First Amendment’s “Congress shall make no law . . . “ provision.

It seems to me that some of the things New York did and proposals the president put up the next day, will not survive court tests.

What did New York do?

It made it much easier to classify (and ban) a gun as an assault weapon. It made it illegal for a clip to hold more than seven rounds. It stiffened penalties for crimes using guns.

In addition, it mandated mental-health professionals to report individuals they feel could commit gun violence, and it forced anyone buying ammunition to register that purchase.

OK, we could argue some or all of those. Some, in my opinion are easier to argue against than others.

But the point here is how they did it.

The session started Monday afternoon, and before midnight, the Senate had voted 43-18 in favor of the bill. There was no debate, and the public never had a chance to see or comment on the bill.

The next day, the Assembly debated for five hours before approving it 104-43, and the governor signed the bill in time to make the 6 p.m. news.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo had declared “an emergency requiring the immediate waiver of the three-day waiting period before a vote.”

There was a concern, apparently, of protestors descending on the Capital if the Legislature didn’t get to act quickly.

Wait? People would not get to be heard?

People would not even be able to read the bill? How much time did senators have to read the bill?

People couldn’t contact their legislators with an opinion? (They already expressed their opinion, we were told. Well, I know I didn’t, though my legislators were at the front of the anti-bill movement because of the process.)

I remember well the stop-and-go, give-and-take over the same-gender marriage proposal. That was long and drawn-out, just as so many other bills have been.

Some folks have said, “Well, it was a good thing, so why worry?”

Well, they could do the same thing and vote to put casinos within 10 miles of my house. Or make major changes in school taxes. Or any of several other things.

We used to opine that New York law was made by “three guys in a room” 

This time it was “in the dead of night.”

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OK, one more Polar Plunge post before bed.
One of the other things we are doing to raise money is to have a fund-raising event a couple days before the Plunge.
We have tentative plans, and I will share them when they become untentative.
That said, we are putting auction baskets together for the event.
If you're in a position where you could send something nifty in for an auction -- and with this group that's a broad spectrum -- please contact me, and I will give you the address.
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OK, here we go.

Saturday, Nov. 17 will mark the ninth time I have done the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics.
It might be the first time I plunge in a bikini.
That's up to you!
If you want me to plunge in a bikini, please donate at .
If I get to $2,000, I will plunge in a bikini.
You're horrified by this idea? You don't think the world is ready for this?
Go to and donate to one of my teammates.
If my teammates get more donations than I do -- no matter what I raise -- I will not wear the bikini.
(I will wear my red Hawaiian shorts as I usually do).
I will make the decision based on the totals at 9 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 17
Thank you for your consideration, and please pump up the volume on this.
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[ profile] evilnicola

She went and registered for the Special Olympics New York Polar Plunge today and has $150 already.

The good news is that she is second overall, and she is lifted the team to second place, too.

The bad news is that she has $150 more than me, and we are still $600+ out of first.

No good can come of this!

Unless, you can take a minute and make a donation at

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This is the short version:

As of two weeks from today, I will be taking a position as an editor/reporter at the Glens Falls Post-Star, the local daily in the town in which I live.

I am sad to leave the Granville Sentinel, but I am really looking forward to this!
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