September 10th, 2006


Soggy but enthusiastic

We're at home now. The rain was predicted to go on all day (after having rained through the previous night), the fair site seriously needs some gravel or paving where cars are expected to drive, and irpooh had already fallen in the mud last night as we were packing to go home. This morning the route we took to park yesterday was blocked off, and the alternate routes and parking places were seas of mud. We didn't want to risk another fall—so we are home today.

That said...the Des Moines Renaissance Faire is pretty darned impressive for a first year event. The buildings are very nice; the vendors I dealt with were very good (I didn't get to do much shopping, alas). There were fine performers there—I especially enjoyed the recorder consorts present (Elil and Bethesda) and tried not to drool too conspicuously while looking at their instruments, and having Three Pints Gone actually in town is a triumph.

The fairies that I first recall seeing at Riverssance were there, and they are darned good at what they do.

I didn't see anything wrong that time, grass, and pavement won't fix, and I'm hoping that they will exhibit the enlightened attitude that Siouxland and Riverssance display.
  • Current Music
    "Yew Tree," Three Pints Gone

I think we'll call it done...

Two days, and no freeze, despite GL screensavers running all over the place. I think we'll call it good.

Boy, am I glad. I don't want to invest more in the box, because it's obsolete. Socket A has had its day. (OK...maybe RAM, if there's a REALLY good price on it, because Firefox and Thunderbird seem to slow things way down if they're left up for a day or so, and drives swap usage way up. But it would have to be an insanely good price.)

Guess I'll post about my experience over on the nVidia Linux forum, for completeness and honesty's sake.
  • Current Mood
    relieved relieved

More about DMRF and other weekend things

I should set down a more detailed description of this weekend:

As mentioned earlier, I got very little sleep, thanks to putting off generating and printing CDs and inserts. Bad me. (We discovered that every time we've generated a batch of them, there's something different. First there was the "eye test" cover; another batch had a different track order; this one is somewhat different in the insert. If we ever get to be famous, anal-retentive people will carefully catalog such things... but then, a false proposition implies anything, right?)

We got to the site somewhere between 8:30 and 9:00, and parked by William O'Wickham and his fine family. Sir Rat was quite chivalrous and helped us with the wagonload of stuff, and as we trudged fairward we saw Three Pints Gone making their way in. (Whee!) Across the bridge and around the corner and... someone once put it, DA-yum. The site looked good in the videos, but seeing it in person is even more impressive. The stages were nice, though if they could maybe have one side without the decorative rocks so we could roll the wagon up into convenient position, that would be great.

Saw old friends: Amos's Fabulous Foods (set up in a building made to look like a ship's prow; Robert Uy of Orckes & Trolles was there as a solo act, singing from upstairs). The castle is nice (though the inside is, at least currently, set up for shopwork and the like—on the way to the flush toilet facilities, I caught myself and turned in time to avoid going out on the stage during the wedding. Whew...).

Three Pints Gone kicked posterior, as they always do (and make it look easy).

There were some wonderful belly dancers present (though Nasira will always be my favorite...).

There were two full-fledged recorder consorts there: the Bethesda Recorder Consort, from down near Clarinda, Iowa, and the Elil Recorder Consort (I didn't have the courage to ask whether they'd read Watership Down). Both were quite good, and boy, do I envy them their recorders.

We went with turkey crepes for lunch; mine with plain cheese sauce, irpooh's with jalapeños. We split a pineapple sorbet. I think our dietitian would be pleased.

Saw old friends. One guy I hadn't seen for some time; we met via a fellow who is, alas, no longer with us, and he's been taking pictures at Renaissance fairs at least since the first Des Moines fair I attended. Sold two CDs (so we'll be set for Nodaway and Riverssance). I was pleasantly surprised to see the fairies that we saw at Riverssance; they're all wonderful, but the green fairy stands out in my mind for sheer elegance and the way she draws children into participating, to their delight. They never break character.

I was disappointed not to see the woman who does the Norman Medieval Fair under the name "The Living Tree"; she'd said that she would be here. Sigh.

Audiences were good and appreciative...

...and then the rain came.

It wasn't heavy, but it was relentless. (It's supposed to fade out tomorrow sometime.) We were soaked; I think we kept Scurvy and the camera out of the weather, and the flip chart for "Will You Buy a Fine Dog?", but we were miserable.

We soldiered on through the Last Huzzah, and hustled towards our vehicles... It was slick as snot, and irpooh fell in the mud. We did, again with kind and much-appreciated help from Sir Rat and others, make it to the minivan and get everything inside.

There was a mass migration to CiCi's Pizza, but we've had our fill of "invasions," so we didn't go. Instead, we had dinner with the members of Three Pints Gone at El Águila Real, not far from where we live and where they were staying. They're not just damned good musicians, they're mighty fine people, and we had a blast.

Home after a gas refill ($2.179/gallon! Yay!), and we crashed.

This morning, as we said earlier, the rain was relentless, and the paths to the fair site and what places there were to park treacherous. Could we have safely made it in to the site proper, we'd have done it, but no way could we risk another fall. We're getting old and decrepit, sad to say. So...we called Greg and bowed out, and will (quite reasonably) get half of what we agreed to originally.

Even on Saturday before the rain, earlier rain was still making its effect felt. You'd sink into the ground in many spots, and we couldn't sit on the devices we'd brought for the purposes because they sank into the ground even better. I can't imagine what it was like today.

On the whole, we had a good time. I think that much will improve when they get some grass growing on the site, and reasonable gravel on the paths. I hope that they will pay attention to patron and performer feedback as Siouxland and Riverssance and the new Amana fair have and are.
  • Current Mood
    pleased pleased