Category Archives: Uncategorized

Taking Blacksmithing Classes

Not too far from where I live there is a historical society that has a whole lot of amazing stuff including a real blacksmithing shop. It was a functional shop in days gone by. And it is still functional although now it is used as a part of the historical society. And it is used for classes.

I am taking Saturday Morning classes there and I have already learned so much. They have a lot of resources including a permanent forge and portable forges.  And a whole lot of great blacksmithing tools. The place is great.

I will keep you updated on what is happening there and I will post more pictures of the shop and the various stuff they have. If you are into blacksmithing you are going to love this stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One thing that I really love about what has been happening lately is that Blacksmithing has made a big comeback. It is an art that almost died out. But it is back. Not so much as a needed craft but just as a wonderful hobby that a lot of people are interested in pursuing.

 

Getting ready for a new bee season

I am gearing up for a new batch of bees this spring and I am so excited.  Today me and Dee stained one of the new beehives. Tomorrow we apply a sealant to it. Soon it, along with another hive will be the home for bees. Yay! Here are a couple of pictures.

I will keep you updated on the progress and I will create a tutorial for all this stuff. We are taking two Brushy Mountain hive kits and assembling them, getting them ready for bees. Purchasing them like this saves a lot of money and requires a little bit of easy work.

I will be creating a youtube video for all of this at some point soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O’er the Ramparts we watched

“O’er the ramparts we watched”

If you are a US citizen you are not doubt familiar with that line. It is from the National Anthem. But do you know what a rampart actually is?

It is a castle term, yup! It is a very old word and it refers to the top of a castle wall where soldiers walked.  It is a wonderful old word that isn’t used much any more but our national anthem keeps it alive.

ramparts

 

 

 

 

The song was initially a poem written by Francis Scott Key as he observed Fort McHenry which is a coastal star shaped fort that was bombarded by the British Navy during the war of 1812.

Here is the first verse of the National Anthem:

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Moonlight Meadery

moonlight-meadery-mead

I spent last weekend on a mini vacation with family. We rented a chalet in New Hampshire and made the drive up there. On the way, just as we crossed the border into NH we stopped at the border liquor store. They sell a lot of stuff there because NH is tax free. So, a lot of people make the trip to save on taxes.

I had seen some things about a new Meadery in New Hamshire called “Moonlight Meadery”. So I figured that they might carry some of this mead in the NH Liquor store. ANd sure enough they did! There was a selection of their mead tucked in a corner of the store.

I was surprised to see that the bottles were the half size 375 ml bottles but after tasting it I understood why. Let me explain.

Moonlight meadery has made some really good decisions about mead and what their mead should be. They are dessert wines. Not to be had in large amounts. More of an aperitif. Something sweet to be enjoyed slowly and in smaller doses.

And… they have captured something really important when it comes to mead.  The ancient tradition of the honeymoon gifting. Yes… romance and love. This is what mead is all about. Or what it used to be about.

You see, in days of yore a newly married couple was given enough mead to last them a month. And this is where the term “honeymoon” comes from. The honey mead that was gifted.

Moonlight meadery has stayed true to that tradition and made their mead sweet, delicious and to be consumed in smaller amounts. Thus the smaller bottle.

Just the names are a clue to this. Here are some of the meads that they make:

Sensual, Je’ taime, First Dance, Slow Dance, Embrace, Flame and Wild!

Yup! Great names and great meads that recapture what mead used to be all about. Love and Romance 🙂

So, even though I drank my meads alone there still is hope for me! LOL

I bought both their Apple Pie and their Sensual and enjoyed them both.

If you are new to Mead I recommend giving this meadery a try. Particularly if you want something for you and your significant other to experience together.

Here is a link to their website if you want to give them a look: Moonlight Meadery

 

 

Enjoying the ESO Elder Scrolls online Beta

I have prepurchased the Elder Scrolls Online and have been looking forward to playing it. Well, because of that purchase I got an invitation to the Beta they had this weekend. It was a lot of fun. And here in this article I will give you my thoughts on ESO and how it is!

First off I want to say that this past weekend was a lot of fun for me. I enjoyed the game. I played about ten hours and one thing that was particularly fun was the underwear party! LOL

You might be wondering what an underwear party is. Well the Beta closed at midnight on Sunday night and there was a call out for people to gather at the fountain in their underwear to end the game. I couldn’t resist. I went and stripped down to my undies and joined in the festivities.

elder-scrolls-online-screenshot-1-underwear-party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s me in the front there lying on the ground playing dead. My character name is Arabellis.

Now on to a bit about the game.

I have read a lot of stuff about this game and watched a lot of videos and people have talked a lot about how it doesn’t feel like an Elder Scrolls game. But I disagree with this. To me it felt a lot like an ES game. It just did. I have played almost all of them and have a good feel for them. For me this is a good thing because I love all the games.

And it is a pretty good MMORPG. It just is. Lots of things to do, lots of quests and lots of crafting to do. So it gets lots of pluses for this. But, it does feel a bit cookie cutter. It seems like a typical MMO game. Nothing really new and impressive about it. And that was a tad of a disappointment.  But it all ran pretty smoothly.

One important point for me.

I have played many multiplayer games like warcraft, shadowbane, UO and more. And while they are ok I am not a real big fan of them. This was the appeal of Morrowind and Skyrim for me. They are single player games. Yup. I like the PC single player games. So, ESO 5 being an online Multiplayer game was a bit of a chance for me. I wasn’t too thrilled about it.

But…… I did feel a particular something when it comes to this game. That was the fact that you don’t need to play it multi style. I did very well on my own and I never grouped up. And during a few difficult boss fights there were other players around that helped without grouping. They just joined in the fight. And I liked that a lot.

This seems to be a new thing in the MMO world and I like it a lot! So, big plus there!

One More Thing – Crafting

The crafting system seems to be pretty robust and I like that a lot. There are a lot of things to make and a lot of things to learn in the crafting system. They even have a thing called research where it takes a certain amount of real time hours to learn new skills. I like that too. It throttles back the fast advancement of crafting and reduces the repetition of making stuff.

Anyhoo, Overall I give ESO a B+ for being a pretty good game, good looking, pretty smooth and interesting. But it is definitely not a ground breaker like all the other games in the series have been.

 

 

 

Rembrandt’s fantasy weapon

Rembrandt has a painting called The Night Watch. It is a wonderful painting and it was completed in 1642 and it is one of the most famous paintings in the world. An interesting thing about it is the fantasy weapon that Rembrandt painted into it.  It is very similar to a Halberd or a Guisarme. But nobody knows if it was an actual weapon or just something that Rembrandt created out of his imagination.

If you want to learn more about polearms like this I have an article with pictures right here: Medieval Polearms

Well, it is an interesting thing and a unique weapon. Maybe at some point  I will go ahead and forge one up just for fun.

The first picture shows the painting overall. And the second picture is a closeup of the weapon.

The_Nightwatch_by_Rembrandt

 

closeup-of-weapon

Working on a Medieval helmet

Well, summer is here and I have been plugging away at a lot of things. One project that I am particularly wanting to finish is the medieval helmet. I have some of it done but need to finish it up.

Stay tuned for more. I will be finishing this project and posting it to youtube as soon as possible.

greathelm-1