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Finished Stephen King's "Revival" - pretty good, though not to the heights of, say, 11/22/63. Overall it was more a reflection on getting older, mixed with that old Americana, a bit of scientific mystery, and riffs on carnies and religious shows - so far so good - but the end felt disappointing somehow. The climax was well done, but a little too formulaic and didn't really quite fit the rest of the book. It's as if King had a nicely-done vignette with no story to it, which he then decided to weld on to a novel that needed a bit more punch as if to show he could still do that. Overall good, though.
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Last book I read was Nancy Holder's Buffy book, Blood And Fog, which had some good bits, but.... Compared to her others it felt like something that had been either written in a hurry to fill a gap in the schedule, or messed around a lot somewhere behind the scenes by others.

Coincidentally, it's foggy here this morning, as if to mark October 1st. I associate that more with Holmes, though, so I might start on House Of Silk.
lonemagpie: Craig icon (007)
Oh, so I finatty read Trigger Mortis (Anthony Horowitz) which was pretty good. The much-vaunted having Pussy Galore back -and indeed that whole section - was basically irrelevant padding, and that chasing-a-bomb-carrying-train-by-road-through-NYC thing was straight out of Die Hard With A Vengeance, but overall it felt more like a proper Bond novel than any of the guest-written ones so far...
lonemagpie: robot maria (robot maria)
For those wondering, that's the fourth of the initial five double eye injections down. I'm now missing only about three letters of the entire chart from the vision test beforehand with the right eye, and six or so with the left. They did manage to hit a vein in the right eyeball, so it now looks like the bottom half of the white is filled with blood (this doesn't show from the inside, nor is there any discomfort apart from the usual in both) - I wonder how many ebola scares I'll cause in town.

On the diabetic front, they looked at the numbers, still happily in the sixes, and sent for a blood test to check the three-month score (so I didn't hear that at the time, as a different department had borrowed the machine) - the plan is now to discharge me to the GP, do six-monthly blood tests, and prescribe tablets if the numbers creep up. In short, then, my oancreas is happy to continue to work with the right diet and exercise.

Then on the way home the first bus I could have got was over 10 minutes late, and so in such a hurry that the cunt didn't bother to stop for me.

CSI Raglan

Aug. 26th, 2016 09:40 pm
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Oh, now I remember what the other thing I meant to post about Raglan was - CSI Raglan.

There was this dead pig, to be cooked, and it had been arranged that it would be part of a live weapons test to see just what the historical weapons we re-enact would actually do to an organic human-analogue. It was very educational, scary in implication, and I'd urge HEMAists and re-enactors to look into this: I'd brought along my live rapier (17th Century Deschaux pattern, a French type) and used this to determine stuff like how much force does it take to run someone through, what happens when you twist the blade, and so forth.

Nowadays we have our puncture-tested clothing, and debate the calibration of how hard we make a touch with the point of the blade - are we doing it too hard or too lightly?

Long story short, the force required to reach out and press the light switch... put the blade clean through the carcass and our the other side. Think about that for a minute. Now think about this: the force we'd think of a good thrust in SCA fencing - say twice as the light switch - put the blade six inches into the carcass... through mail. Or chainmail as most people call it.

What this means is when you see a movie where they put the tip in and then give it a dramatic shove... In real life it'd already be through the guy. Puncture proofed clothing? With pointy blades it'd make no difference. This is why we have rubber blunts on the points, folks. Twisting the blade left a nice pencil-diameter tube through which any internal fluids would just pour out nicely.

A variety of other weapons were tried - an axe blade didn't cleave, but smashed ribs, a warhammer's spike left a diamond-shaped gusher both with and without mail... A scimitar didn't cleave, but worked well on the thrust. I'm focused on the rapier simply because that was my part. I did take the matching parrying dagger also, but didn't bother use it - I suspect the mail would have stopped it because the wider blade would give the material more surface to push against.

So, yeah, fascinating stuff, lovely bit of experimental learning.
lonemagpie: gojira patronus (gojira)
Music Monday - how much do I love this track? It's the Breaking The Wall music from Heaven Sent, and used on the menu screen for the DVDs and Blu-Rays, and is the most evidence that we need a series 9 soundtrack asap.

lonemagpie: Craig icon (007)
That was a fun week and a half. There were some early teething troubles, with cooking equipment not working, and stuff like that, and getting my foot sunburnt to extent that from the Wednesday on it was so bandaged that I couldn't wear my good suede garb boots for fighting was annoying.

Things got better as the week went on, however, and some really cool stuff happened, some of which was also thought-provoking to me. For example, I did go in some tournaments - basically all the fencing ones except the Ladies Tourney (for obvious reasons) and the Brighthelm one (as when I did one of those at Coronet I found there was basically no fencing involved in it) – and they were fun. I debated with myself (and a couple of others) a lot about whether to do the “novices” one (for those who haven't won an SCA tourney or been Princess's Champion) as, being far from a nbovie, I worried that it'd either be unfair to anyone I beat, and/or embarrassing to not win. The format seemed interesting too – score one of each of six body parts to win. So I was the most experienced fencer there and I came last (could I get a right leg? Could I buggery? I'm in this to kill people!)... But it showed me something interesting internally:

All I could think of was it being like school sports day, and how I'd always be last picked for the team, and come last in every race. So I try to be conservative, and it's not really my style, since I come from choreography and HEMA as a background. Then, as soon as it's announced that two people have made their six parts and won... I turn into fucking (Prequel) Obi-Wan or something, and am chasing people around the field to saw parts off, and pulling Matrix-style horizontal-from-the-knees-while-cutting-the-throat-of-the-person-nailing-me-into-the-grass moves... Translation: I have no tournament head; instead I have a put-o-a-good-show-for-the-audience head, even in unchoreographed contests.

Several people said throughout the week that I'd be better just sticking to that more showy and aggressive style, as it both is more entertaining and works better for me. Which I know it does. (It's also been suggested that I ought to do well in a Princess's Champion tourney).

Elsewhere in tournaments, it was cool to fight ni-ten-ichi with both katanas against the only other fencer who uses a Japanese style with a tachi – both of us doing the correct form too. Oh, mustn't forget, I was given a token from HH Catriona for good deaths, in the form of a coin to pay the ferryman... I'm going to have that sewn into my fencing jacket. I also forgot to mention my amusement at Lynette and myself working together as "horrific, like a gang." Oh, and directly following from that, my confusion at the bizarre comedy rules that meant the two of us killing everybody mean somebody else won the team thing, rather than Lynette - I think I was fencing too sober.

The other fun fencing bits were in the Castle Melees at either end of the week, which I'll come to in a minute, and the Prize Plays. The first one, Katherne's Free Scholar, I did left-handed for practice, and also I did most of the two Prefect plays at the end left handed too (Though had to drop out of the last fifteen minutes of that, as when I reached for the water bottle my hand was trembling, suggesting low blood sugar. So, trying to not be stupid with this diabetic thing, I decided I was out and sought sandwiches.) In between I went right-handed for Lynette's Provost play, as our styles suit that better, though again I stepped out of that a few minutes from the end.

I also unexpectedly found myself authing in stick and shield on the Friday morning, after the Oxford Rolls. Having not expected to be doing that, I hadn't eaten for armoured combat, but had enough in me after the auth to stick around and take part in the armoured Brighthelm tourney, which was more fun for me than the fencing version at Coronet. Having not eaten for it I dropped out halfway through, though.

Elsewhere I found the time to buy a ship, and Letter Of Marque And Reprisal, so Wolfram is now Captain Wolfram of the Privateer Aerys. (Captain Wolfram sounds cooler than Captain von Falkenstein, who probably needs to be played by Conrad Veidt in a greatcoat and monocle.) I also sung pirate metal songs to too many people... I just realised after getting home that, though I have the Barbossa costume, and most of my SCA garb is kind of piratey, this kind of relates to a different area of my life in which I swore I wouldn't be Will fucking Turner, and now it's weighing me towards being Will fucking Turner.... Bollocks.

Um, what else? Hung around with lots of cool friends, caught up with my cowriter about a thing, and... Oh, yeah, the second fencing castle melee. There was a movie moment if ever there was one: ended up on my knees with a rapier in the left hand and katana in the right, fending off multiple opponents all using case of rapiers, while Master of Defence Cernac led Baron Antonio, Lynette, and others in chanting “Wolf-Ram! Wolf-Ram!” I was boned anyway, but could at least choose my way out, and I'm going to remember that chant for a long time.

Other thoughts: A lot of people commented on how I was looking much better – healthier – this year than last, and I felt better too, despite being Night Steward twice, and lack of sleep. I had no coffee on several days and didn't actually notice a difference, TBH. I found upon returning that I felt a certain weird sense of closure- I mean, the disasters of the last year really started in April, but the full on health crap manifested from the allergy incident at last year's Raglan onwards, and here I've been back and in one piece, managing the glucose numbers despite more carbs and buggered up food routine while camping... I dunno, it did feel like a good and successful conclusion to a year or a season-arc.

Now I'm back, and I need to get on with moving on, getting work done, making the new house my home... So, yeah, those are my thoughts for the moment on my summer holiday at Ffair Rhaglen XII.
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Day 31 - Scene that made you stand up and cheer.

Two spring to mind. One is in Superman II, after Supes has removed his powers, the villains take over, and Clark goes back to the Fortress of Solitude to find a piece of Kryptonite... At which point there's a sequence where we start hearing a muted rumble of the theme, newspapers on the street are blown around by something passing over, people look up - and that was enough to get the whole cinema audience cheering.

This is the other one, though it was only myself and one othr Scottish guy in a Leeds cinema who were actually cheering...

lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Day 30 - Saddest death scene

Oh, I’m not really sure. My default go-to here would be Spock in Wrath Of Khan, but I don’t want to do the obvious, and my other most likely pick - Arwen’s vision of an Aragron-less future in The Two Towers - isn’t really a death scene.

Tracy in OHMSS is more of a shock moment, (and my reaction to Vesper’s in Casino Royale has nothing to do with the character and everything to do with mmory)...Sirius Black’s is too fumbled and WTF....

This is really another category where most of my feels would come from TV shows rather than movies. That said, I’m always affected by a good self-sacrifice blaze of glory, so Katsumoto in Last Samurai, Stoick in How To Train Your Dragon 2, V in V For Vendetta.... Any of those kind of suicidal charge into impossible odds thigs.

Which, I suppose, ultimately brings me back, after all other attempts have failed, to:

lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Day 29 - Movie you have watched more than ten times. Well, trying to avoid anything with the words Star Wars or James Bond involved...
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Day 28 - Most over-hyped movie.

Usually the latest one. Especially if it involves superheroes.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Day 27 - Best villain

Well, there are a lot of great villains I really love for various reasons: Hans Gruber, Keyser Soze, Guy of Gisburn, Francisco Scaramanga, etc - in fact I may have to make or find a villains’ month meme for October.

But, for those of us of a certain age, there is one figure more iconically villainous than any other... Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith...

lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Day 26 - Freakishly weird movie ending.

Well, neither freakish nor weird means necessarily bad, so this is a favourite....

lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Day 25 - A movie you plan on watching (old or new).

I could list a top 250 movies old and new that I plan on watching, but a semi-random choice from the shelf I can see from here, which I hope will be a work-related watch, would include this

lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Day 23 - Best explosion or action scene

I have lots of favourite action scenes, but this is probably my favourite explosion. Yippee-ki-ay…

lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Day 22 - Favourite final scene/line

Well, since I already used the end scene of The Usual Suspects as an answer, I’ll pick a final line here.

“This may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
lonemagpie: Bogie & Bacall (Bogie & Bacall)
Day 21 - Favourite romantic couple.

Oh. Here we have a problem, in that most of my favourite ships are from TV shows, not movies. Tempted though I am to say Rick Blaine and Louis Renault...

But then I realised the question doesn’t say “characters” and so the answer became a lot easier!

Who else, but Bogie and Bacall.
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Day 20 - Favourite kiss. Oh, easily that one I had at the end of the first Nine Worlds with-

Oh, wait, favourite kiss in a *movie*? Right....

I'm going to cheat a bit, and interpret this as the favourite kissing *scene*, and go a bit different, with (spoilers here, but it's been 28 fucking years, come on) the end of Cinema Paradiso, in which, as the cinema is sold to be demolished and replaced by a car park, the now-adult who used to be the kid helping the old blind projectionist finally sees the reel of screen kisses that the village priest had cut out of all the classics shown there back in the day...

lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Day 19 - Best cast.

Hm. I’m tempted to go with Casablanca again here, or The Blues Brothers. But both of those had been previous answers this month, and I want a different one each time. So...

Either version of Ocean’s 11 is tempting, as is The Expendables, and I very very nearly plumped for Heat... but I’m going to go a little bit more old school....

Almost tied with The Longest Day, but Steve McQueen wins it for this one. Wander down the bit parts and you’ve got David McCallum, Gordon Jackson, even Ian fucking Chesterton from Dr Who is in it.


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