Saturday, November 24, 2007

TRFing

I'm driving home with Misseswether asleep in the front passenger seat and the Wethergirls passed out in thier car seats. Dusk is here on a cold November evening but the car's heater makes it nice and toasty. A block of Tom Petty is playing on the radio and absolutely everything is right with the world.

There's a special feeling of happiness that's only available to good husbands and fathers. It happens as you drive your sleeping crew home after a wonderful day where everyone had a wonderful time and now trust you to protect them on the long drive home. If brandy was an emotion it'd feel something like this. Warm, glowing, safe, and loved. It doesn't get any better than this.

We had spent the day back in the 16th century. It was cold, overcast and windy but everyone was in good cheer. Musicians played, comidians comedied, jugglers and beer wenchs juggled. Food was eaten from sticks. Shiney metal objects were purchased. Mini, Mambo, and Misseswether danced. Daddy carried. I love the faire!

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Alas, silk and drool don't go well together so we went ungarbed. This was the first time in ten years and fifteen faires that we didn't dress the part. It felt really weird.

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E Muzeki, one of my favorite bands.

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Mambowether and Misseswether grooving to E Muzeki's gypsy beat. Mambo was spellbound by all the musicians at the faire!

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For Miniwether, it was all about the rides. We did the giant swing, the ponies, the 3D castle of terror, and others that I've lost count of. The girls is like daddy, she likes to be moving.

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Love.

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Love, plus maybe a hint of confusion.

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Queen Bonnie defines all that is good with RenFest patrons.

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Old, old school Father Christmas. Miniwether asked him for "princess dress-up clothes", Misseswether asked him for music books, and Mambowether asked him for "Gaaa!". I'm very curious to see how Santa interpets "Gaaa!".
Sidenote: If you think Santa has a big smile in this picture you should have seen him with the three hot co-eds sitting on his lap a moment before!

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Asleep.

Life is very, very good to me.

Adventure! Ecitement! Renaissance!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Roads?

Where we're going we don't need roads.
-Dr. Emmett L. Brown

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What to go for a ride?

Question: What do you get when you cross a town's 100th anniversery with a mad scientist in possesion of a flux capacitor?

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Answer: Historical Babes!

So, Friday I got an e-mail from a VIP at the company I work for. She was desperately in need of some people depicting the past one hundred and next one hundred years of Tomball, Texas. It's the town's centenial and she and some of her neighbors were building a float for the town's huge birthday parade. Oh yeah, the parade was Saturday morning. Apparently, tales of my adventures have made it up to the Hallway of Power and she was hoping I might be able to help. I spent a few minutes formulating a plan then e-mailed her back.

Sidenote: If your plan involves accelerating a parade float up to 88 mph, be sure to warn the marching band in front of you first. Those kids playing the tuba aren't know for their nimbleness...

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A JATO covered in aluminum foil and glitter is STILL a JATO.

Ah, time travel. I don't know of anything that can lead to more wacky adventures, strange paradoxs, and new verb tenses. Of course, this one was no different. I mean, if that can of paint hadn't be sitting there I might still be locked in a jailhouse in 2107! And don't get me started on the dangers of pre-generational nookie. Trust me, first names are not enough when you rescue a beautiful schoolmarm from a burning barn then end up hiding under a haystack all night while evil desperados are out searching for you. Get her full name! It'll save a lot of ooky feelings later on when you flip through old family photo albums.

But I digress. To make a long story short, the float was loaded with people of different time periods, tuba players can throw their instruments suprisingly far, and hopefully Monday I'll learn if the float won "Best in the Parade". If not, I may have to fire up the time machine again...

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Trust me, I'm a doctor.

Adventure! Excitement! Excellent!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Oh, so THAT's what it's like...

Dude, you've gotta stop stepping on copperheads.
-Clark to me last Saturday

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I call the big one "Bitey".

I find it rather interesting that my first impulse when encountering a dangerous situation is to try and take a picture of it, especially when it involves venomous snakes. Apparently I clipped the tail of this copperhead as Clark and I were bushwhacking down to a sandbar on Spring Creek. He didn't strike at my heel, I didn't strike at his head. We parted with feelings of mutual respect (in theory, I can't really say for sure what was going through the snakes mind. It could have quite possibly been something like "Yeah, just keep walking heatsack!").

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Bushwhacking.

Clark and I had both been under a lot of stress and so we told our wives "See you tomorrow" and heading into The Borderlands. Our goal was a secluded sandbar half a mile from anywhere. Hey, we'll take what we can get. Once there we set up camp and made ourselves comfortable.

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Clark's bivy, my tarp.

Clark's self-inflating sleeping pad got put in storage while they moved so he had to resort to laying down on a pile of grass which he reported to be quite warm and comfy except for a few twigs.
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Doing it the Les Stroud way!

I did my usual sleeping bag and tarp thing. However, the sand and later on the dew was annoying. I have a nice bivy tent and will probably start using that instead.
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I call it "Camp Lazy".

We had the camp set up by 4pm and spent the next hour collecting wood. We thought it might get cold that night and past experience has taught us you can go through a lot of wood in even a small fire if you need it burning for hours. The basic rule of thumb when camping is collect as much wood as you think you need and then double it!

After that it was time to cook supper. We both took the easy way and had bought dehydrated meals. His was beef stroganoff and mine was some Jamaican BBQ Chicken. Clarked liked his but mine tasted like the boiled sock of a leper. It was NASTY! Luckily, I had something else in reserve: STICK BREAD!

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Yummy!

There are many, many stick bread recipies. I got mine from my old Boy Scout Fieldbook. It's as follows:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dry milk
2 teaspoons baking powder

to which I also added garlic powder and ground Italian herbs. All these were mixed together in a ziploc bag and packed out to the fire. When it was time to cook it I added water to turn it into dough.

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Too much water made it too sticky. Ironic for stick bread, huh? Still worked though.

This ball of dough was wrapped around a debarked, green stick about an inch in diameter and carefully roasted over hot coals (avoid actual flames, they burn the bread).
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Oh man, the smell of campfire and garlic bread. I want to buy perfume that smells like that for Misseswether!

Clark and I were both exhuasted from our jobs so rather than stay up late talking we just went to bed.

SEPARATELY!!

We both slept like logs through the night and morning found us refreshed. I boiled some water taken from Spring Creek to make my breakfast, though with some trepidition. Oh, I wasn't worried about drinking water from Spring Creek, I was worried my dehydrated ham/cheese omelet would taste as bad as last night's Jamacain Chicken leper sock. Luckily I was presently suprised, the dehydrated eggs, though looking like some sort of styrofoam packing material, turned into a pretty delicous breakfast. meanwhile Clark had tea and poptarts.

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Boiling creek water.

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Hey, it doesn't suck!!

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Morning tea

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Toasting poptarts

After that it was time to break camp and head home. We doused the fire, policed the area, packed up and heading back through the woods. It was that point when it hit: nothing had really happened on this adventure.

Sure, I almost stepped on a copperhead but it didn't bite me. Nor did we get caught in a massive lightening storm, almost drown, get lost, chased by bulls/pyscho hermits, or anything else that makes my life interesting.

Oh well, maybe next time...

Adventure! Excitement! No, just peace and quiet!