Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Another ghost story

I built my blacksmith shop on the site of an old stable. At night, when the buzzing florescents are turned off, you can hear the stamping of old horse's feet, the jingling of bits and harness, and the prrrrrrrr of expelled breath that horses do. I find it rather comfy actually. Nice to have company on a lonely evening. I occasionally sleep there, surrounded by the spirits of the gentle animals. I asked the old historian at the museum about it, and he told me that the stable had burned sometime in the 1920's and all the horses burned to death. Well, they stayed together even years later, still in their stalls, and happy (in a horsey sort of way) to see me when I come in to swing my hammers.
My house was built in 1867, and of course has had dozens of people die in it over that time. None of them ever stuck around though, because I would know if there was a malevalent spirit around. I go anywhere in this place alone, and into the shop, but I WON'T go into the "second" back yard after dark. I don't mind it so much when the sun is out, but I refuse to enter it after dark. And I am a guy who reads grave markers after midnight! There is something about that back yard which makes me feel totally creeped out. I am a little sorry I buried my little dog there when he died...he has to face this all on his own, with out his pack leader (me) to help him.
I am SOOOO superstitious. When my dad died, I left him his sword (over the objections of some of his Knights of Columbus mates) and a handful of silver. You can go anywhere with money and weapons!
Tomorrow is all saints day, and tonight is the time to tell you ghostly experiences. I hope some of the readers will leave a story or two.

All Hallow's Eve

I cannot upload pictures to blogger today. Darn it!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Trevor Burbick

credit for this picture....... Trevor Berbick at his gym in Montreal in 1999. (CPimages/Ryan Remiorz)

Trevor, you have been an inspiration to me. I cheered you at the Montreal Olympics in '76. I saw your fight against Ali in '81, and the fight was clean and was between gentlemen. You were nothing less than magnificent. Rest in Peace mon.

Trevor Burbick, world heavyweight champion boxer, Olymic gold medal winner, dead at 52.


(What a movie that man's life would make!)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Military Cartoons

I admit to a secret vice. Okay, not so secret. I LOVE military cartoons. They appear in newsletters in all services in all conflicts.

Back before Blogs, Captain George Rarey documented his service career in a series of cartoons. Above is one of them...he was so happy when his wife let him know she had given him a son, he drew cartoons of his joy. Here is the commentary from the letter at the time... click on the image to see it full size.

"Rarey's Letter: March 28, 1944. May I compliment you, Madame, on your wonderful courage. You carried the whole thing off beautifully - as we Englandicized Anglo-Saxons say, “Good show, my deah, cheahs!” I mean it, Betty Lou. I’m awfully proud of you...Now I’m in possession of a few facts - 8 pounds, 6 ounces - what a man! What a husky little brute! That’s fine. Wish I could have done something to help - I hope you had an easy time of it...We chipped in some hogs and Gator Kline flew up to Scotland to get us some scotch. They didn’t have any so he brought back 36 quarts of rum in his belly tank (no foolin”).

A lot more pictures may be found here on Rarey's sons tribute web site. George Rarey was KIA in June of 1944. I presume that is the son who is illlustrated in the picture above. grin! Sadly, even the son has passed away, but the artwork remains! Please visit it. The human dimention is often overlooked in wartime propaganda, and George Rarey is one of the "keepers".


Monday, October 23, 2006


Dropped into the Canadian Museum of Civilization after class on Sunday. I saw one exhibit...on ice skating. I didn't realize how many different kinds and styles of skate there has been made here in the last couple of centuries. Myself..I don't skate. I have never found skates which didn't hurt. I mean hurt a lot! I was going to see the "Petra" exhibit (Petra is an ancient town in Jordan) but everybody else had seen it, and I didn't want to go in alone. The children finally drove me out....laughing and running around is good, but they can't seem to do it without screaming in excitement. Which I suppose if fine at a midway, but not in the museum cafeteria. I know, its normal behaviour. And normally it doesn't bother me, but for some reason, it got on my nerves. Just tired I guess. And they were just kids being kids.
(Only I could teach a sword class, attend a museum, drive Quebec traffic and be too bored to stay awake...geeeez)

In the news... (and I don't know why I found this to be so gosh darned funny...'cept I remember a post from Ovonia Red a few months ago stating "Dude, Don't Buy a Dell!"

The Washington Post Style Invitational asked readers for songs for a product, company, organization or agency, set to any Beatles song:

Ikea (to "Norwegian Wood")
These dressers and shelves,
Though they look nice,
Don't build themselves.
Packed flat in a box,
Tight as we could:
Ikea wood.
Wordless instruction sheets may have you pulling your hair;
If you're not careful, your bookshelf may end up a chair.
You'll, when you are done,
Have a screw loose more ways than one.
If something drove youCrazy for good,
Ikea would.
(Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

.............Dell Laptops (to "Hey Jude")
Hey, dude, you got a Dell.
It's the laptop of your desire.
Remember to trade the battery in,
Lest it begin
to catch on fire. . . .
And anytime you feel the heat,
hey dude, retreat,
Don't think that they're only trying to test us.
And don't you know that it's no joke --
When you see smoke
You'll wish that your clothing was asbestos.
Ow ow ow ow ow, ow ow ow ow
. . .(David Smith, Santa Cruz, Calif.)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Dive, Dive, Dive

Went diving in the St. Lawrence River yesterday. Very interesting. There is an area that is made BY divers FOR divers....several anchors and blocks of concrete, all in a big circle. Plus a big old wooden sailboat sunk on purpose for divers to explore, and for fish to take a break in.

For some reason, we are getting better at it. Easier to get into our wet suits, (though still pretty difficult to stretch that mouse pad across by big butt) and we didn't forget anything. This was the first time Brenda and I dove entirely by ourselves, and of course a fair number of annoying (read potentially dangerous) things happened. To get around to the port side of the boat meant crossing the guide rope, I went over it, and she tried to go under it. She got tangled in the rope, and though it was not a bad tangle, everytime she would turn to get her tank unsnarled, the rope would wrap around some other part of her equipment. I can see why divers carry knives....nets and fishing lines could prove devestatingly dangerous. She was pretty much untangled by the time I got myself into position to do something about it, so she really didn't need me, but it is the sort of thing that helps you learn.

Then a good hard swim upstream past the boat. All this rain this month has made the current pretty stiff, and I found that I was puffing and panting with the effort! Using up my air at a scary rate. Brenda was much more relaxed than I was. Then we got back on the rope, and I swam alongside while Brenda pulled herself along the rope. This is on the uphill part of the tour, so like a beginner I wasn't watching my buoyancy, and suddenly it was out of control, and I shot for the surface. Fine...its only 40 feet....well, 40 feet up and 60 feet downstream! So by the time I got it sorted out, I was in for another stiff swim. I followed her bubbles. Just as I got to Brenda, she followed protocol, and because she couldn't see me, she launched for the surface.

And, as protocol demands, I followed. Like totally out of breath by that point! And no way were we ever going to find that guide rope again! Let alone be able to sprint to get to it! I must have looked like I was in extremis, panting like a puppy dog...sucking wind like I had just run a race. So we sort of dog paddled over to the rocks, and I tried to catch my breath. Discovered that the tank, and weights (38 pounds of weights alone!) made the clambor across the rocks really difficult. There was NO WAY Brenda would be able to do it without dumping her gear, and though I was plenty strong enough to do it, the heart and lungs complained mightily! (step to the next rock...pant, breathe, pick out another rock...pant breathe pant....) But once I got over to the car, dumped my gear and got the ring with the rope out to Brenda, it wasn't so bad.

I had made a couple of beginner mistakes....not realizing we were going uphill (as you go up, the air in your wet suit expands, and you have to adjust your buoyancy to stay neutral by dumping air) , and then not being able to find my buoyancy air release when I needed it, being upside down trying to swim down making the buoyancy air release like, totally useless, then not being in good enough shape to sprint when I needed to sprint....all in all TOTALLY embarrassing. Not especially dangerous, but not the way I planned to end the dive. As Brenda pointed out...it is from our mistakes that we learn. Well, as long as I didn't have to learn to breathe water, I'm happy.

The picture was taken last year on our check out dives, and are of Brenda and our dive master. Click on the images to enlarge.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A Ghost Story

Click on the image to enlarge. (This image is actually part of a series of tarot cards put out by Mr. Luis Royo...his web site is here....http://www.luisroyo.com/ A visit there will shake your world.)

Don't have many ghost stories, but this one actually happened to me. Back in '89 or so, I was part of a team which would respond to "situations". This of course had nothing to do with my regular job fixing airplanes, but was a secondary duty. So it was off with the coveralls, put away the tools, and on with the helmet, combat clothing and draw a rifle and head out to the situation...in this case my job was to guard the site of a downed aircraft. Set up a little perimeter, just be the guy on the ground. There were two of us.

In this relatively unremarkable case, a heavy dual chopper had an in flight emergency, and set down in a field outside a little town only about an hour across the Quebec border. So Dave and I set out to find the place. Very pretty...late in the year. Leaves were pretty much all down, and blowing in little drifts, and all the little roadside stands were closed for the season. Jack o'lanterns were showing up on every doorstep, and it was a beautiful sunny Saturday.

The day went more or less as we expected...the pilots officers had off loaded the lobsters they were smuggling home from Halifax and then vanished off to a function of some sort, the flight engineer did up his paperwork and went back to the base to find more paperwork, and the technicians from the unit which owned those choppers had showed up to decide what equipment would be needed to get this bird home, and then they too vanished. So it was just me, Dave, the pickup truck, and some village kids. And then they eventually all went home as well.

So guarding a crash site. Not an exciting job, but it had to be done. I had showed up at about noon, and expected a relief sometime around 8. Well, 8 o'clock went by, and the sun was pretty much down, and no relief. Then 9 o'clock. Then 10 o'clock went by. Clearly they had forgotten about us, and it wasn't as if our two way radios could reach all the way back to base. Then a mountie drove up with a message from the base telling us that the relief guys just could not find us, and they had gone back to base. Ahh, well that explained it. Well, it WAS dark and maybe understandable that they missed us. Me and Dave were just imagining how frustrated the poor guys were, driving all over a strange part of the planet looking for us. Our radios were on, but we had not picked up any plaintive messages...pretty much par for the course. You know, in my entire military career, I NEVER had radios that worked! I figure thats just another way that real life deviates from the movies! But, I digress....

The mountie told us he could get a message back to base for us, and I told him that we would wait for their truck in town under the street light. There was only one. Then after the Mountie drove off, the reality settled back in...we couldn't leave our post, and so one of us would have to hike into town, and the other would sit in the nice warm pickup truck. Dave's rock broke my scissors, and so, slinging my rifle, I hiked the 15 minutes or so into town, wondering why it had never occured to me to ask the mountie for a ride. Actually, it was a nice evening. A little frosty maybe, mostly a full moon, a few clouds, and every living soul in the place was inside watching Hockey Night in Canada. And there in front of the church was the street light. Right at a curve in the road...anybody coming down the road could not possibly miss me. So I stood under that light. And waited. And waited.

So, gradually all the house lights went out as the hockey game ended. And the traffic got less and less. And the time went on, and it was getting a little chilly. And my legs were getting a tired of standing so I looked around, and there was the church steps. "Ah, I'll just sit there and wait, and come out into the street if any headlights show up on that road!" And so I made myself as comfy as I could under a sign that proclaimed to all and sundry that Jean Luc and Margarite were being married that day. I missed THAT too! Ah well.

And the imagination started going. Here it was approaching midnight, I was tired from being on duty ALL DAY! And I'm sitting on frosty concrete church steps and there are grave stones all around me. And this little dialogue started going in my head. "Oh right...its the side door of the church and there is a graveyard here. I'm sitting in a bleepin graveyard waiting for some nitwits who can't read a bleepin map! And the wind is picking up a bit and the leaves are rustling like a living thing. And there's one of the residents bony hands reaching around the gravestone just off to the left. Uh huh. Shake your head Bill...naah, there is nothing there. " "I'm finally getting comfortable. No lights on the highway. Wind is rattling the few remaining leaves out of the trees. Motion off to the left. There's that hand again. Clear as day, not more than 20 feet away. Right there in the light, reaching around that gravestone. Right. Its got to be one of those cardboard skeletons they are decorating the town with leading up to Halloween. Just blowing around in the wind, like the leaves. So why don't cha go over and see. Naah, I'm comfy right here thank you, and besides, its not there any more. Just your imagination."

"No, there it is again. Right. Well, this is clearly a case where I will just have to put my fears at rest. I'll just go over there, deeper into that graveyard and see for myself. Oh wait, is that a headlight? No. Blast. Well, lets see. Lets fix that bayonette on this beat up old rifle and see whats in there. Why not go back and stand under the light? Well, if I did THAT, I would NEVER get up the nerve to come back and sit down on the steps would I? And I don't fancy standing there under that light until dawn. Sort it out now, and get it over with."

So I looked around to make sure nobody could see me, fixed my bayonette, and crept up on that grave stone, glad that there was nobody there to see me! I could see that hand reach around, sweep sideways, then go back out of sight. Plain as day. So I stepped softly, and then suddenly jumped around the stone to surprise the resident.

And I flushed a pheasant. Poor thing was just eating the rice scattered from the wedding earlier in the day, and this big thing (me) scares the be-jazus out it. So it beats the air "thump thump thump" and gobbles in fear as it launches right up in my face. What I had seen in the half light was its long white tail feathers, which my overactive imagination had interpreted as a skeleton hand. When you flush a pheasant it makes as much noise as it can to scare the crap out of an attacker, and it nearly did that! I thought my heart had stopped though!

Well, shortly after that, my relief guys arrived, found me standing out under the light, calm and composed and way too happy to see them to complain about their being late. And I have NEVER been back to that town.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

More pics from Chrysler's Farm

Well, the wall was built, a series of forts which stretched from Nova Scotia to Detroit. But it wasn't bricks and mortar which did the job, it was thousands of people who decided "enough is enough" and drew a line and defended it. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. We lost most of Maine, Vermont and all of Washington State, but we re-drew the border to what it is now and gave the diplomats a chance. Then the people who did the fighting went away, and ordinary people came in to live, and they respected those lines drawn in the dirt with blood, and can't imagine any other way. Terrorism won't be stopped by a line of forts...but by thousands of eagle eyed resolute individuals who are prepared to participate in the collective security. Sort of a Federal Level Neighbourhood Watch.

Click on the images to enlarge. You will see the beautiful trees, an new one planted on that hill every year, the youngest near the bottom. All sugar maples. And me trudging up the glacis of that fort. A glacis is not a flat slope incidently, it is actually defined by the fall of a stnadard musket ball fired from the wall at the top. Regardless, its a long trek.

More pics from Chrysler's Farm

Well, the wall was built, a series of forts which stretched from Nova Scotia to Detroit. But it wasn't bricks and mortar which did the job, it was thousands of people who decided "enough is enough" and drew a line and defended it. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. We lost most of Maine, Vermont and all of Washington State, but we re-drew the border to what it is now and gave the diplomats a chance. Then the people who did the fighting went away, and ordinary people came in to live, and they respected those lines drawn in the dirt with blood, and can't imagine any other way. Terrorism won't be stopped by a line of forts...but by thousands of eagle eyed resolute individuals who are prepared to participate in the collective security. Sort of a Federal Level Neighbourhood Watch.

Click on the images to enlarge. You will see the beautiful trees, an new one planted on that hill every year, the youngest near the bottom. All sugar maples. And me trudging up the glacis of that fort. A glacis is not a flat slope incidently, it is actually defined by the fall of a stnadard musket ball fired from the wall at the top. Regardless, its a long trek.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Thousand Mile Fence

I read with great interest the US Dept. of Homeland Security's plan to build a fence the entire length of the US-Canadian border. Actually, it is more than a thousand miles...it is actually 8800 kilometers.


Remarkable. It is particularly amazing since there once WAS such a wall. Well, actually a series of forts, the 1812 version of the "virtual" fence, the intention of which was to limit US aggression. Hard to imagine the mindset of the time...when the biggest danger to public peace was US funded Fenian Irish terrorists bound and determined to drive the British out of North America. Not to mention real honest to goodness regular troops! Hard to imagine now. Well, unless you are angling for that contract to build this five thousand mile fence! In which case, media and fear are your friends!

Top pic is of the top of the hill, looking over the St. Lawrence. Over t'other side of the big boat is where them pesky 'mericans live. Don't worry, they gots guns pointed this way too! Click on the image to see it full size.

Middle picture...the story accordin to Parks Canada. Musta been a good fight. I see the beautiful bronze plaque has been fouled by a no doubt 'merican sea gull. Went to t'other side a while back...the story on the much larger bronze plaque across the river differs in several major respects. Most notably, accordin' to the words etched in stone over thar, that they didn't get thar arses whupped, they just had to go home to be with their families. What----ever!

Bottom picture....the magnificent monument afirming the eternal peace between the two peoples since the unfortunate mis-understanding at Crysler's Farm back in 1813. In all that time, it is only just NOW that the Re-public-ans have decided that in response to the threat posed by Canada, and they are a gonna make a thousand mile fence. Well, we already gots the forts mate!

What else can I add to this. Oh, right. The history. The guns date from the time, and are naval cannons which are mounted on English "garrison" mounts. These have all been shot out, and were taken out of service to live out their lives as a sort of military statuary. The cast iron gun mounts would not stand up to more than three or four shots before it would crack, so during high alerts, they would make cannon mounts out of wooden beams, and keep the cast iron for the long periods between engagements. We know these are English because they have this cool 1-2-3 flat areas at the back which mirror the wood beams. The French ones don't use that style...they are much fancier...and the American gun mounts are very plain and no nonsense. Makes you seem like a guru when you look at a picture of the walls of (say) old Quebec and can identify the country of origin of cannons at a glance!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Three Piece Armour

This is my latest "3 piece suit". I call it a "3 piece suit" because it is three pieces in the top, three fauld lames, and three pieces in the back. This one incorporates several new ideas. For instance, the homemade buckles in front. (not the middle one...the ones high on the side which fasten the shoulder straps.) First time I ever made those...it was easier than I anticipated. I think making buckes shall be standard from here on in. They look better, they keep the work "in house". Also, I picadilled the armour. That is to say, I installed leather "rub strips" to protect the finish.

Other new inventions...the new style tassets. After getting my leg stuck by sharp edged tassets, I am now going to make them like this. And of course, the entire thing is wheeled. Including the faulds. This takes out the hammer marks so prevalent on amateur armours. I also riveted the edges of the faulds at the corners to help them to curl inwards instead of flaring out. I always thought the outward flaring to be silly, even if it WAS what happened in the old days. This might work, or maybe I will have to come up with something better.

All in all, I am proud enough of this piece to put it up on my blog. For what its worth, this is the one you saw me working on a few posts back at the Marmora Fair.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

RIP Col. Jeff Cooper

Born 10 May 1920. Died 25 September 2006
The man who single handedly brought shooting into the 20th century. The father of what is commonly known as "The Modern Technique" of handgun shooting, and considered by many to be the world's foremost expert on the use and history of small arms. Jeff Cooper was THE inspiration for anybody who even contemplated using or carrying a firearm...his picture was on the wall in the range where I was Range Safety Officer for so many years. He had no time for cowboys or kids...he figured anybody who picked up a gun had better become an adult toot sweet. If you werent willing to be an adult, then leave the blamed thing alone! He was the ultimate law abiding armed citizen.

He believed that if a country did not put a military on its soil, then some other country surely would, and he further believed that if you didn't protect your family or belongings or your country with possibly lethal force, you deserved to lose it. Nobody I know believes EVERYTHING that this man says, however I certainly be glad and proud to have him on my side.

And yeah, in light of school shootings this last week, it seems cruel to commemorate a man whose business was violence, however, this guy trained the police. He WAS the police. He was the person you called when some nut case is shooting up your school. He goes in when everybody else is going out. He was an inspiration.

More of his biography is here....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Cooper_(colonel)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


This beautiful medieval palace was demolished to make room for a baroque masterpiece...the residence of the Kings of France, the Louvre. Even the walls in front have been extensively modified, where they exist at all. This is one of the only views of this magnificent edifice. If you stood on the same place today, you would be looking directly at one of the most romantic bridges in Europe...the Pont Du Art. However, this painting was made long before it was built.

October, the month of tilling and sowing, is represented along the left bank of the Seine. The view is from the vicinity of the Hôtel de Nesle, the Duc de Berry's Paris residence, from approximately the same vantage point as in the month of June.In June the Limbourgs looked east, while here they turn toward the north; in June they painted the Palais de la Cité, former residence of the kings of France, while here they show the Louvre, the royal residence since the time of Philippe Auguste (reigned 1180-1223).Before us is the imposing mass of the Louvre of Charles V, the Duc de Berry's brother, as seen from the windows of the Duke's hôtel; it is rendered so scrupulously that we can make out its every detail.In the middle rises a big tower, the dungeon built by Philippe Auguste, whose outline is traced in the paving of the château's cour carrée (square courtyard). This dungeon, commonly called the Tour du Louvre, symbolized the royal prerogative; from here appanages were granted, and here the royal treasure was housed.In the miniature the dungeon hides the northwest tower, known as the Tour de la Fauconnerie, where Charles V kept the precious manuscripts of his library. But we can see the three other corner towers: to the right is the Tour de la Taillerie; then the eastern facade protected by twin towers whose outline is also visible on the courtyard paving; farther to the left is the Tour de la Grande Chapelle, followed by the southern facade, also with double towers.Every detail is so precise that even today, several centuries after this Louvre's destruction, a model of it was made possible thanks largely to the Limbourgs' painting. An enceinte marked by the towers and machicolated balconies stretches along the Seine in front of the château. At left is a postern.Tiny figures stroll on the quai from which steps lead to the river, giving access to the boats.In the foreground, in the fields bordering the left bank, a peasant wearing a blue tunic sows seeds that he carries in a white cloth pouch. A bag of grain lies on the ground behind him, beyond which birds peck at the newly sown seeds.At the left, another peasant on horseback draws a harrow on which a heavy stone has been placed to make it penetrate more deeply into the earth. A scarecrow dressed as an archer and strings drawn between stakes both help discourage birds from eating the seeds.This scene of country life in the shadow of the royal residence gives us a vivid image of the outskirts of Paris at the beginning of the fifteenth century.

The Hotel du Nestle is still there of course...but it is a hotel. Here is an excerpt from its colourful past.

The following excerpt is taken from Around and About Paris/Volume 1. So if you cannot make it to Paris, just dream your way there in company of author Thirza Vallois. It is part of a walk she has designed in the 6th arrondissement of the Left Bank, at the famous Hôtel de Nesle, which faces the Pont des Art, the most romantic of Paris's bridges.

The medieval Hôtel de Nesle was second to none, except perhaps to the Louvre on the opposite bank, the home of Jean, duc de Berry (the king's brother) and of his fabulous illuminated manuscript, Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, his world-famous Book of Hours. The original defence tower had been erected around 1220 by Philippe Hamelin, the Provost of Paris, and was therefore known as the Tour Hamelin. A gate was soon added to the walls, roughly 30 meters to the south, on the site of the present entrance to the Mazarine Library of the Institut de France (no 23 quai de Conti). A plan on the façade of the eastern wing of the Institut de France indicates the precise location of the tower and gate. When later Simon de Clermont, the Lord of Nesle, built a palace next to them, they became known respectively as La Tour and La Porte de Nesle.
From 1308 pm, when Philippe le Bel had bought the palace, it became the residence of various members of the royal family. Its waterside location, though pleasing, made it vulnerable to flooding and it therefore was provided with the first quai in the city (now quai de Conti), which was built in 1313 by Etienne Barbette, the road surveyor of Paris. Philippe le Bel's three sons, the future Louis X, Philippe V and Charles IV, married respectively Marguerite, jeanne and Blanche de Bourgogne (the latter two were sisters and cousins of Marguerite). All three resided in the palace and seem to have used its tower for their amorous liaisons. One day, however, their sister-in-law Isabelle, Philippe le Bel's daughter and wife of Edward II of England, noticed three gentlemen wearing the three purses she had given the three princesses as gifts. Needless to dwell on the scandal that ensued, nor to enumerate the list of tortures inflicted on the princesses' lovers (which included, of course, castration) before they were finally decapitated and hanged by the armpits to be devoured by birds of prey. Marguerite and Blanche were shaved and dispatched to languish at the Château-Gaillard of Andelys (on route to Normandy), while Jeanne was locked up in the castle of Dourdan, south-west of Paris. Blanche was later forced to take the veil, Marguerite was suffocated between two mattresses by order of her husband Louis X, who wished to remarry, but Jeanne was offered the beautiful Hôtel de Nesle by her loving husband, Philippe V, who, moreover, generously passed away in 1322, leaving Jeanne free to lead a life of merry widowhood for the next seven years. Was she the queen who, as Brantôme wrote three centuries later, used to watch out from the tower for passers-by and, having sent for them and exhausted their sexual potency, had them tied up in sacks and precipitated from the top of the tower into the water to drown? Brantôme could not confirm this allegation but added that most Parisians believed the story to be true. Which is already corroborated by the famous poet François Villon two centuries earlier, who, in his moving Ballade des dames du temps jadis (1461), put to music and sung by Georges Brassens, evokes the queen who ordered Buridan to be thrown in a sack into the Seine:
Semblablement où est la royne Qui commanda que Buridan Fust jecté en un sac en Seyne?
Similarly where is the queen Who odered Buridan To be thrown in a sack into the Seine? Buridan, who is supposed to have been her lover during those seven years and to have escaped death by falling on a boat loaded with hay, later became the rector of the University of Paris and outlived Jeanne by 30 years. The rival he injured subsequently, when he was involved in another liaison, later became no other than Pope Clément VI.

http://www.metropoleparis.com/1998/336/336nesle.html A link for the modern Tour Hamelin.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Tourney, Fall of '06

click on these magnificent images to enlarge.

top....me and Steve L. on the firing line. Andrew, Eric, and Christian, left to right.

2nd...Steve, Eric, and Christian

3rd....Zlanth, Me and Steve. I was trying to loosten that gorget!

4th...Zlanth, Bill, Steve and Andrew. I am trying to figure out why I can't close the elbow joint. Then suddenly, it "popped", and I had full movement.

5th....Christian, Stag, Steve, and Andrew showing off their tourney prizes. Andrew has GOT to get a helm.....that hockey stuff just sucks. Also allows him to fight way too good. He won the castle.

6th...Gang up. Stag and Christian taking on Steve

7th.....Steve and Cristian going at it.