Sunday, October 29, 2006

1.21 gigawatts of power.

First, still no word from China.

And now, my weekend:

Interesting things flash through one's mind when one's armpit is on fire.

What these thoughts were I can not tell you as it was not my armpit. My thoughts were pretty much, "Dude, your armpit is on fire." followed by, "I wonder what that tastes like."

Uh, not his roasting armpit. I was wondering what the tiki-torch fluid tasted like that all the fire-breathers/fire-jugglers were using. Apparently plastic bottles of petroleum distillates are available in the 16th century.

Yeah, lacking any word from China we decided to fire up the Honda's flux capacitor and head back five centuries. What better break from the stress of modern life than to visit a place where the only drinkable water came in the form of ale? Woo hoo!! Yep, it was time to go to the Texas Renaissance Festival. Ah, Music! Food on sticks! Chainmail bikinis! Swords! Fairies! Pirates! Chainmail bikinis!

It doesn't get much better than that. I took my first day of vacation since LAST THANKSGIVING and we headed up to the site after lunch. Misseswether requires a fairly high level of creature comforts when camping so the Honda was packed to the gills.

The big wooden box is my magic camp crate. It holds just about anything you need to set up camp (excluding the tent, sleeping gear and the portaprivy). Better still, you can set it upright and the big lid flips over to become a food prep/work surface. A second shelf unfolds from the back along with a paper towel rack and inside shelves and boxes hold the gear. I designed and made it myself. I'm sinfully proud of it!

As Ren-luck would have it we ended up parking right next to some fellow members of the on-line RenFest forum. Catherine D'Artois's family and mine quickly bonded and spent most of the faire together. She and her family are amazing cooks and she made the best venison chili I've ever tasted. The secret ingredient was...(e-mail me for the answer). Miniwether bonded instantly with their young children. They played for hours with pine needles, sand and a really big millipede.

Us and them.

We had our camp set up by 4pm but every minute it seemed like another few groups were trickling in. By 8pm however this trickle became a torrent and by Saturday morning well over 1,000 people were on site. In the past we camped up in the "family-friendly" section but this time we decided to try the main camping area. Anything pretty much goes in the main area.

Hence the burning armpit.

Mini- and Missewether crawled into their sleeping bag about 10 pm but I stayed up. Being a light sleeper sucks when you are surrounded by pounding rock music, flaming people, pulsating lights, loud generators and a very ugly breakup between a boyfriend and girlfriend. Actually, that last part was pretty entertaining. The sky was clear causing the temperature to quickly drop down into the high 40's which meant just about everybody was bundled up. A few drunken souls decided to uh, open up to the cool weather, but they were not the type anyone would care to see displayed in such a manner.

Attending the faire on Saturday was it's usual magical trip. Where else can you go and see a centaur trot by or lean against a wall only to discover it's the side of a very large dragon?

This is already Miniwether's fourth faire and she was pumped up. People find her incredibly cute and for some reason just give her stuff. During the course of the day she got money, jewlery, candy, hugs, a hat, assorted fairy stones, and her picture taken many times. As you can see, the large amount of sugar had a rather potent effect on her.

Even a three-year old can metabolise that much sugar without crashing. The end result was 73 minutes of Miniwether asleep in my arms. This worked out well because while she slept we could check out shops and such that would otherwise have to many fragile objects to risk taking her into. On the other hand, after the first hour of holding her the left side of my face went numb. I should probably have that checked out.

I like shopping (ohh, shiney-pointy!) but some of the acts are definately a must-see. Sound and Fury are by far the funniest performers there. For music you can't beat the Star War's influenced Celtic sounds of the Brobdingnagian Bards or gypsy sounds of E Muzeki. Misseswether loved the music, food and the amazing garb of cast members and playtrons (garbed visitors).

Miniwether loved the fairies and they loved her.

I loved Misseswether and Miniwether most of all.

The day came to a close with some of the best fireworks in Texas. Amazingly, these are all launched by just a few guys running back and forth with torches. No electronicaly fired/computer controlled stuff here!
Fire1 Fire2

Fire3 Fire5

Fire6 Fire7

Fire8 Fire4

After that it was time to leave. As usual the Celtic pipe/drum band Tartanic was blowing out tunes in the parking lot. We danced to them for a while then headed back to the camp.

MoshTartanic Done

Once again the girls went to bed early while I and another dad tried to regain our youth amongst the throngs of costumed partiers, firebreathers, drummers and dancers. Several RV's were showing movies projected onto their big, flat sides. Very cool, but it didn't take us long to realize this was a much younger person's game and we returned to our small fire. Soon after I slipped into the tent with my family as the party continued around us.

The next morning revolved around a slow, easy packing of the camp. The faire continued but many campers were heading home.

When Miniwether realized we were about to leave she burst out crying. She was inconsolable. Through her tears she told us that she didn't want to leave the her friends or the fairies and that we should move our house to the faire. I agreed completely and I suspect so would Citibank Visa. Alas, she gathered hugs from everyone around and then, still weeping, climbed into the Honda. An hour and five hundred years later we arrived home. What a great trip.

Adventure! Excitment! Time-travel!

p.s. and still no word from China...


Anonymous said...

it is not petroleum that we use and it has no taste just leaves a odd feeling like baby oil in your mouth

merriwetheradventurer said...

I thought you used Coleman White Gas, kerosene, or lamp paraffin oil...

What do you use?