Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Day of Sport (Baseball and Jousting)

Two weeks ago I got an email from Jessica to the effect of:

      "Do you want to go to the Pittsburgh Renaissance Fair?"

My response was:

      "HECK YES I DO!"

So this past Saturday was the day. I was stoked. There was a little problem getting there (Gwyn's car broke down on the way to the meeting point) but eventually all of us got there.

I have never been to an event like this, I didn't really know what to expect. Part of me was worried that it was going to be hokey, that there would be minimum wage paid teenagers standing in plywood huts, trying to not be bored. Upon walking in to the gates, I was amazed. This place was magical. There was not a single plywood anything, all of the buildings were solidly made to look like period pieces. Every single person who appeared to be working was dressed in full gear, and sporting an accent to match their character. It was amazing! There were random musicians walking around playing tunes, there were vendors walking around, there were people heckling passer buys to buy something or play a game (there were a number of mid-evil games, like axe throwing, and archery...).

One of the things that I rapidly realized was that only 1/4 of the people dressed up were working. Most of the people who were in non-normal clothes were guests. And there were some great looking people! Yes, the time period did shift a lot, there were pirates (both realistic looking ones, and women wearing 'mature' Halloween costumes), Kings and Queens, scots in kilts, guys in leaseholder, ladies in dirndl, and lots and lots of corsets (lets just say that is both a great thing and a horrible thing). I had no idea it would be such an event! I don't really know why I had that misconception, but it was great to watch everyone, and look at the detail in some people's clothes.

So events for the day:
I killed a dragon!
She (and by she, I mean Gwyn) was so happy!
All I needed was some Mead to wash it down with.
New favorite picture of Gwyn.
The Royal Processional
A Joust!
Fire Breathing!
Other things included looking through all of the shops (Gwyn had to try on a corset, she looked great) (I wanted a sword... but I resisted), watching a few performers, glass blowing demonstration and ended the day with a little 'Cast In Bronze':
Crazy Awesome.
This guy was playing a carillon, a rather large piano type instrument, but with bells instead of strings. It was amazing to watch, and hear. This guy is really good at what he does. If you want to check out more, Cast in Bronze.
On our way out... Great Day!
But wait! There is more!

Here is Pittsburgh, there is a change of feeling when the Steelers start playing (which they have for those of you who don't follow the NFL). Unfortunately, part of this change is that the Buccos end their season. But the ECE-Grad organization was able to secure $10 Pirates tickets  for one of the last home games of the season. So after packing up at the Ren Faire, Gwyn and I headed to PNC park for a relaxing night of baseball. I really do love baseball, and I really do enjoy the Pirates (sorry Mariners!). I now own 4 Pirates shirts, so I guess that makes me a fan (or it just means they give out a lot of shirts (EDIT 9/29/2011, as pointed out by my mother, shirts is spelled with a 'r')).

I am sooooo excited! LETS GO BUCS!
I have learned. At a Steelers even you bring your terrible towel, but at a Pirates game you bring your Pirate Flag. Good thing I already had one of those... But in games past, I just had the flag, and no pole to wave it on. So this time I brought a pole with me. With the help of a borrowed swiffer handle, I had my flag. And I used it as much as I could with out pissing off the people behind me.
Raise The Jolly Roger!
It was a great evening, the Pirates beat the Reds.

Sunday was relaxing, and enjoyable. SPYS (the youthgroup at Shadyside) went to Highland park after church to hang out. It was very fun to play around with the students. We eventually started a giant game of tag on the play structure (it is like the one in CDA, the giant wooden castle looking thing). All fun and games until one of the students broke his fall with his face. But he did pop back up and kept running around.

Later in the day, I helped Gwyn take out her AC unit in her room (this required a lot of moving stuff around) and enjoyed a lovely outside meal with her family and some family friends.

Monday and yesterday were full of robot business. Lots and lots of it. The labs are always due on Tuesday, which means Monday and Tuesday morning are full of testing. But we got it in, and it worked great! Now just on to MEMS work:
This one is going up on the fridge when I am done.


  1. The fair looks like a lot of fun! Gramps is jealous seeing you scarf down a turkey leg, you ruffian! Interesting assignment you showed. MES means what again?

  2. MEMS - MicroElectroMechanical Systems. It is like a german got a hold of a engineering book and made up this word.

    Basically really small (like micro meters) system. Things like small sensors, and gyros, and accelerometers, and mirrors... and gears. Because, you know we need micron sized gears.

    Actually: funny story. So DARPA is trying to make a fully mechanical computer that will work even after a E.M.P. has gone off. It would be a computer made entirely out of mechanical parts, like the gears I made fun of above.

  3. The Renaissance Fair looks so fun! I'm sad I couldn't go!