Now To The Random Stuffage

Three, count them, three posts today. I might just be clearing off stuff before Lilies.

First, I want to take this time to tell Gateway to go to hell. I ordered a laptop from them on 25 May 2007 and received it several days later. In March, the system power supply died and I spent $45 shipping it back to Gateway and have them repair it. That took over a week, plus an extra day to wait before the shipping guy and I actually were able to me, a day that should not have happened but Gateway couldn’t provide me with a tracking number. On 26 May 2008, I pulled the system out of its case and it was doing some odd things, hitting a “t” actually put “t67 ” on the screen. I spent several days downloading virus checkers and keyboard mappers but that didn’t solve the problem. I called them on 3 June and they said they would fix it for $300. “Out of warranty, there’s nothing we can do.” As a former computer professional who did customer service I’m here to tell you that is crap. I had a Gateway laptop for 373 days at that point, and they had the computer, according to their records, for more than a week counting the 2 days to build it and the week to fix it. Counting the week or so I tried to diagnose the problem, I essentially payed $1750 for a laptop for 350 days. Not good. They specifically said that when they made their decision not to work with me they not only realized when I bought it, but had on their records how long they had had it. They also specifically said that warranty problems on a system don’t give any kind of credit to extending the warranty. In other words, they don’t care how little usage you get of the product, after 365 days *from the point you order the system, not the point you recieve it* they don’t feel they have any responsibility.

So, please tell anyone you know who is interested in buying a new computer to avoid Gateway, their customer service is some of the worst I have ever seen.

On to better stuff. I’m making progress with a whole bunch of things. Lilies prep is progressing. I almost have new armor. I’ve done some work on my comps. I’m stressed and tired and going too fast, but hey, I seem to like that because that always seems to be the case 🙂


OK, so I’m doing my second meme of 2008. I’m pretty sure that’s more than I did for all of 2007 so obviously I’m now a meme addict.

Anyway, this one is an interview. I’ve been asked five questions by Elasait and here are the responses. I’ll interview you as well if you ask in the comments. However, I may not get to you for a couple of weeks as there is that whole Lilies thing.

Elasait’s questions to me.
1. What made you decide to ask Fernando to squire you?
When I decided to squire I wanted to become more a part of Calontir so I wanted a knight outside of Vatavia. I wanted a knight that would push me to be a better all around person and member of the SCA. I wanted a knight that would help me become a better commander, because some day I would like to be the general of the army. I was debating this during Fernando and Lyriel’s reign, but Fernando wasn’t even close to my radar, I just never once thought about him. Then they came to a small local Vatavian event and I was one of the few faces in the singing circle that he knew, and he started singing You’ve Lost All Sense Of Feeling, and on the line “squire, squire, I get down on my knees to you,” he got down on his knees to me. And I went “Wow, he’s not just a king, he’s a knight!” And that was that. One postscript, Fernando’s much more careful who he sings that song to now 😉

2. What’s the most memorable thing that’s ever happened to you?
Wow, that’s hard to say. In the SCA, probably Katrine asking me to be her Champion, but getting fyrded, having Eoforwic treat me as they have, reciting the Wanderer on the Fyrdraca and in the Norstead longhouse, are all right there as well.

Outside of the SCA, I would say that probably the most memorable good events were my marriage and the perfect game I pitched for Kirby’s in 1997. Slow-pitch softball perfect games do not grow on trees. However, I’ve been blessed with lots of great memories and events in my life, so picking from any of them is a real challenge.

3. What do you think you’ll be doing in 5 years? 10 years?
Hopefully gaining tenure in 5 years and in 10 publishing my second book.

4. Of places you’ve never been, where in the world would you most like to go and why?
Hmmm, too many choices. OK, this probably isn’t what you meant, but I would like to actually be at the next Super Bowl the Cowboys win 🙂 I would also like to go to a whole slew of places in England that I didn’t get to last time like Gloucester and Durham. I would also like to walk Offa’s Dyke some day. I didn’t really get to spend any time in Wales or Scotland last time, so that would be cool. I would love to hang out at an Irish pub in, say, Limerick or Galway, for a week. I want to visit Caen, Rouen, and Aachen to the see the burial churches of William, Richard, and Charlemagne. I think it would be fun to make the pilgrimage from say, Tours, to Santiago de Compostela. Oktoberfest at a mid-sized town in Bavaria. Uhhhh, I’m not sure I can really answer this question.

5. How did you come to choose your academic specialty?
Well, Calontir had something to do with it, but mostly it was because I started enjoying Anglo-Saxon poetry right after I read Tolkien the first time. The more I get into Anglo-Saxon society, the more I admire the ideals of their belief system. It’s about fulfilling responsibilities, not defending prerogatives. My main complaint about the animated Beowulf wasn’t that they changed the story, I expected that, but that their portrayal of the society was absolutely horrid in so many ways. Anyway, back to your original question, I came back to grad school to be a professor, decided on history as a department, decided on medieval as a broad field, and then basically decided I wanted to wallow in Old English poetry for the rest of my life.

Magic Music Making My Morning Mood

I saw my 18th or 19th Rush concert on Saturday.

I have seen at least one show from every tour since the Grace Under Pressure tour in 1982.

I have loved every one of them.

But I think this was the best show I have ever seen from them.

Rush put out a new album last year and toured last summer. I saw them in Raleigh with my nephews (their first concert ever) and St. Louis with Ted, who got me into Rush in the first place near 30 years ago. This time was with Malachi, who hadn’t been to a Rush concert in 25 years or so.

However, the demographic at Rush concerts is essentially the same people each time. Not everyone likes Rush, but those who do REALLY like Rush. They use many of the same video add-ons for the same songs each time, making Rush concerts exhilarating and comforting at the same time.

But this show was different. Their set list last year and this year were pretty close. They played in front of the same people as last year, basically. And they knew this. And so they added a bunch of tweaks and extra artistic flourishes to their songs. I especially liked the point in Red Barcheta when Alex stopped playing and Geddy and Neil simply played the bass and drum portions of the bridge. I hadn’t recalled them ever doing that, and it seems to have really resonated with Rush fans on the blogs and lists.

Usually, they take a great deal of pride in playing their songs note for note, but this show they seemed more relaxed than I have ever seen them before. They’ve always been comfortable not taking themselves seriously, but while they take their music very seriously, they have gotten to the point where they’re comfortable playing around with stuff.

I loved it.