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2003-07-10 - 11:33 p.m.

Kimmie's Questions:

1a) What was the most difficult piece of armor you ever made?

I would probably have to say my mitten gauntlets. Trying to dish tiny plates means you will inadvertantly pound your fingers repeatedly....Then there is getting all of the pieces shaped right.

1b) What is your favorite piece?

I'd have to say my current Barbute. I had only minimal help from T-Bone in trying to get the curves right in joining the sides to the bowl. I like how the reduced profile crest came out. I have a lovely armor abortion with a lethal crest in my shop to remind me not to do stupid things. If I sharpened that crest I could do lots of damage....GRIN

I also like my fencing gorget, as I did it all by myself. (OK, my lovely assistant, Theo, is insisting on credit with the measurements and marking...) Working out the pattern.... Playing with rolls. And some year I'll get around to the actual roping on the other top lame....

2a) You travel a lot for your job. What are some of the more interesting places you have been to while out traveling?

I was sent to Singapore while co-oping to support a demonstration at an international standards meeting. Sentosa Island is a neat park. I missed going to Adelaide, Australia to deliver a system I had developed/adapted as I had to return to school...

I once took my radio system on the road through London, Munich and Luxembourg. Bitter to have lost the photos from Munich to the evil print shop that ate the negatives....

I've also been to meetings in Malmo, Sweden twice, both in the dead of winter. Copenhagen is right across the channel. The Tojhusmuseet (Danish Royal Armoury) has an amazing collection of period firearms.

Been to Jarvenpaa, Finland, which is about 30min north of Helsinki. Since I couldn't get out for another day after I finished what I needed to do, I arranged a side trip over to Stockholm.

Another meeting was in Honolulu, which later became a vacation with my sweetie. Biked down a volcano and hiked to the bottom of a large waterfall. Maui is definitely the nicer island.

I've been to Madrid, Spain. The royal armory was closed for renovation. Can we say BITTER?!?! At least I made it to Toledo, Segovia & El Escorial while I was there. That also involved Roland having fun trying to communicate with bus driver after missing my stop and not knowing a whit of Spanish....I've gotten pretty good at eeking by.

I've also been to Toulouse, France for a meeting. Some of those mountain-top castles are truly impressive and it still amazes me someone actually managed to take Montsegur. It is literally a castle built on the top of a giant rock. Let's just say it isn't handicap-accessible. Some loons actually scaled a nearby cliff face at night and hauled up a catapult to bombard the castle. While most sane folks would just lay siege and starve them out, when the folks inside sunk out and killed the Papal Legate, they had to pay.... Still bummed I didn't have time to make it over to Carcassone.

Also been to Martinique. Got to see Empress Josephine's ancestral home, or the ruins of it. This would be where my wife fed my lunch to the feral kittens.... The start of a tradition for her.... It was also cool driving through the rain forest.

There's also been Brussels and Rio de Janiero. I think you'd have to pay me a lot to get me to go back to Rio. Brussels, Ghent and Bruges have some nice sites to see. And I've had the best grilled Calamari in a Chinese restaurant in Brussels....Go figure.

Then there are trips to Ottawa and Montreal. The first Ottawa trip is my I have my

2b) What things do you miss the most at home?

That is a no-brainer. My wife.... And being on 2-week trips where you are stuck in a meeting all day gets old fast. Only in Spain could you actually do anything beyond walk around and eat after the meetings....

3a) You fight both heavy and rapier and those groups don't always get along too well. Why do you think there is such a large division between the two communities?

Rapier is a newer activity and had to struggle for acceptance. Some armored combatants see rapier drawing off new folks, as it can be cheaper to start up and doesn't involve as much physical punishment. And because rapier had to do PR to get going, it had energy and new things. For a while, the armored combat side seemed to stagnate a bit. I think that may have caused some folks to develop a negative view of rapier rather than dealing with the actual problem at hand. Folks like Cuan and Ragnarr are trying to deal with the proper issues now of making armored combat fun to participate.

Personally, I don't really see a huge division. Yes, there are folks who have issues on both sides, but I believe they are in the minority. Most play their own game. A few like myself, cross between the two.

3b) What could each side do to improve relations with each other?

The rapier proponents have always tried to emphasize our support for the Kingdom. For example, there is the Queen's Spears, of which I am currently the captain. See how that goes this weekend..... Some chivalry, like Vlad, and a few others occasionally fence.

It is mostly recognizing that each activity has its place. Time is better spent emphasizing the positives of each rather than infighting, which only hurts both sides.

3c) Do you ever find yourself torn when there are problems between the rapier and heavy community?

I'm not sure 'torn' is the right word. I do find myself having a need to work the issues. Part of being a White Scarf and now a Pelican. I don't see it as one or the other, but both have their place.

4) What are the perks of being married to a Rocket Scientist?

Theo says 'Access to Goddard for biking & rollerblading.' Most of the perks are more related to her randomly overeducated nature than being a 'Rocket Scientist' per say. Keeps life interesting to get Theo-stories 24/7. That and it can be amusing to teach the Theo about electronics components, processor architectures, and communications systems.

(Of course, interjects Theo, it's my job to know a lot about blow down modes, and I spent fifteen minutes this morning discussing various methods of tie downs and restraints. Some men might find that a plus. Did Roland just cut his eyes at you? asks Nia. Yes, in fact, he did says Theo.)

5a) Should someone come along and ask to be your protégé, what kind of personality traits would you want to see in them before you agreed?

I don't claim to know all of the answers as I'm still trying to figure out what it really means to be a peer, but....

They would have to be someone I could be friends with. The peer-student relationship is too close for that not to be the case. It would also have to be someone I would have things to teach, or what would be the point? Once I figure out what that might be, I might even consider a student....

5b) What would immediately turn you off to a potential protégé?

Besides the obvious stuff like being a jerk....hmmmm. Not particularly fond of narrow-minded folks.


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