Great blue heron preening on the grass near the cemetery pond. I deduce it had already speared breakfast. Same bird (?) in the water weeds hunting when I came back, plus a possible second in the far part of the pond.
One squashed and leaky raccoon about four miles into my ride, looked like a second-year critter. That's near a cafe, and I suspect the lure of a ripe dumpster was involved.
Not totally lethal out there, yet (82 F now), so I got out on the bike. Did not die.
15.25 miles, 1:13:12
Last week I wrote about Jason Van Dyke, a lawyer, violence-threatener, bigot, and perhaps-ironically self-styled Proud Boy. This was a post of little consequence, unless you count the attempt to glitterbomb me through the mail:
Anyway, the post attracted a commenter who styled himself "Cory G." who came bearing a fantastical tale about Mr. Van Dyke, a tale that seemed only nominally to criticize him and more likely representing an attempt to make him seem like a dangerous badass, as a badass might be imagined by a lonely 14-year-old.
So I checked Cory G's IP address. That IP address came back to "Texas Title." Texas Title? That sounds familiar. There's a blog "Texas Title," operated by "Jason," associated with a law firm in Texas:
And, funny coincidence, Jason Van Dyke listed himself on the Texas State Bar Website as working at that same firm:
I wrote to Mr. Van Dyke to determine if I could, with his help, unravel this mystery. He offered a series of responses, denying being "Cory G" and claiming he no longer worked at the firm. You can tell it was really Jason because he offered a gratuitous threat of violence against Cory G.
I blocked you on Twitter and blocked most of the faggots commenting on yoyr sorry excuse for an article. Are you talking about Cory Grant?
There is nobody I know by that name working for them. As of Monday, I no longer work there either thanks to you so it couldnt have been me. I see no need to comment further since you wont believe me anyway.
If you are tslking to Cory Grant, you moght consider staying away from him before I have to go teach him ti mind his business.
Fuck off. You're interfering with my beer drinking and I dont have time for you or your bullshit blog. I dont know what youre talking about, so sit and spin
Query as to whether I have a moral or legal obligation to warn Cory G he may be in danger.
Anyway, he's still refusing to apologize for building Western Civilization, so he has that going for him, which is nice.
Updated to add:
Ah, my dear friends, I have a terrible dilemma before me. Both Olga and Natalia wish to be my wife; each has written several times to me of their passion. They are equally attractive; both are looking for love, but neither appears to be able to do laundry.
Well. That's really not a dilemma at all, is it?
So, today was an odd day. One of those days where Things Got Done, but they were Entirely the Wrong Things. On the other hand, a day that includes a milkshake and an unexpected ride in the country can't be too far awry.
At least, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
I did make it to gym and waked for miles. My "gym book" this go is a Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal, and a buncha other awards, soon, I'm told to be Major Motion Picture. Again.
AWIT was published when I was 10 years old. Despite this, I didn't read it (the first time) until I was an adult. It was sitting on a table in EJ Korvette's in...damned if I remember -- Towson, probably. Anyhow, remainder table, one among many of its own kind, and many others, not necessary of its kind. I was waiting for my then-boyfriend to finish up doing something or another, and started to read AWIT, as the most interesting looking book on the table, and by the time he re-appeared, I'd tessered once already and wasn't about to miss the rest of the story. It was a buck I never regretted spending.
I read AWIT a couple times since then, but not for 20 years or so -- found the sequels, but none of them held my interest beyond the first two pages. . . So, yanno, life goes on; so many books, so little time; and all like that.
But AWIT is going to be coming out as a movie next year; this time, so the hype goes, done right, which means that lots of people who read it as kids, and who imprinted on it, are re-reading. And some are being disappointed, and blogging about their disappointment (one more time from the choir: What an age we live in). Now, by the time I'd read AWIT, I'd read. . .a buncha books, many of them science fiction/fantasy (Back when I started reading sf/f, you could easily read the monthly titles, and still have room left over for others kinds of books. It just wasn't possible, if you were any shakes of a reader at all, to read only science fiction.). I thought AWIT was a good enough book. Certainly, the Mrs. Whatsit, Who, and Which have pleasantly improved my inner life. Meg irritated me -- but Meg was supposed to irritate me. Partly, after all, this was a story about Meg coming to terms with Meg, and if she could stand it, so could I.
I did have some reservations about the sudden appearance and utter acceptance of Calvin, especially the part where he liked Meg straight off. Otherwise, he seemed like good enough kid.
Charles Wallace was being set up either as John the Baptist, or the new Christ figure, but I'd already read Perelandra, and Out of the Silent Planet and whassis -- That Hideous Strength. Plus, I'd been raised Roman Catholic. All of which meant I was pretty good at ignoring the God-stuff and following the story along.
So, anyhow. I read it back then; liked it well enough. Read it a couple times more and liked it on rereads.
This time, I'm still liking it. Meg perhaps annoys me less, but, then I know how the story goes, more or less. I find that I misplaced a couple things on the timeline, but no big surprises so far. . .The Happy Medium, surprisingly or not, irritates me more than Meg does this time. Hmm.
One of the reviewers I read was saddened by the fact that AWIT didn't sing for them anymore, and blamed -- the 60s (given a 1962 pub date, and its long history of rejection, AWIT was probably written in the late 50s). The 60s, said the reviewer are just too unbelievable to a person of modern sensibility, and the story therefore suffers from its setting.
I will go on record here as saying that the 60s setting doesn't detract from the story at all, for this reviewer. OTOH, I lived through the 60s.
After gym, I ran the rest of the errands on my list -- sadly, neither CVS nor Agway had any of the bug repellents I had pinned my hopes upon, so I wound up ordering from the internet, rather than shopping locally.
Agway did provide me with a ginormous lacy yellow day lily, a hug pot of bee balm and a
Jimmy hosta with white bells (the hosta on the other end of the property have blue/purple bells). I have probably under-bought, but the wallet gets a vote, and this will at least start a Cat Garden Renaissance.
For those keeping score at home, I remain Utterly Delighted with my new fountain pen, which has scarcely been out of my hand since I bought it. So delighted am I, that I have purchased another Pilot Metropolitan, this is the formal White Tiger color scheme, and blue ink, so I will have a fine signing pen at Confluence.
And that? Really is all the news that's fit to print.
Everybody stay cool, or warm, as appropriate.
What I really want to know: Can I rip off GVoice's old/retired web interface legally? Or more accurately, can I pay somebody else to do it for me with reasonable ability to assure them they won't go to jail or get sued into oblivion for doing it?
To be clear, there are some nifty functional subtleties I'd want to make off with, which I wouldn't even want to bother pretending I came up with on my own. For instance, there's some interesting algorithm for how texts are batched into threads which I haven't entirely reversed engineered, but make a huge difference in readability.
Here's how it happened; I went out for a walk around dusk, because I hadn't gotten any exercise that day, and I tromped around campus for a while playing Pokémon Go and about the fourth time the app crashed on me I decided I'd had enough exercise and started walking home. By now it was full dark, maybe 10 pm or 10:15.
I was tromping down the street full tilt in my usual "take no prisoners" pace, when I noticed a couple of police cars by the back dock of the Post Office, with their flashing blue lights on. As I came by I saw a white car pulled over in the glare of their headlights being searched by a policeman while a pair of young people sat stiffly on the nose of the police car with another policeman talking to them.
I would ordinarily have passed by, politely pretending not to notice these stressed people. But these are not ordinary times and I've been hearing things, and I started weighing things over in my head. The girl was white, very blond--the boy was wearing a red watch cap and I couldn't see enough of him to be sure of his color. A couple of my friends had mentioned the Power Of The Middle-Aged White Woman to keep cops from getting violent. Should I stay?
Could the police men even see me in the dark? I was wearing a white shirt; surely they could. Wait, now the boy turned his head and I could see he was white too. Maybe they didn't need me. Probably they didn't. I should go.
But I could feel the urge to turn around and leave, especially when the policemen kept glancing my way. Like a social repulsor field. And I thought: maybe I should stay just for the practice. Practice Being There. So I stayed.
The policemen glanced at me again. I reminded myself I had every right to be there, and to watch policemen doing interesting things on public property. I stayed. One of the policemen drove away. Mosquitoes came and expressed their pleasure that I had been so accommodating as to wear shorts. I asked myself what Judi would do. I stayed. A new policeman drove up and talked to the kids a while.
Then he walked over to me saying "May I help you?" Jimminy Christmas he was actually taller than me which doesn't happen very often.
I smiled and said "No thanks, I'm just watching."
He said "that's fine, you have every right to watch." (Ha. White Woman Privilege at work.) "I just wondered if you knew these juveniles."
I smiled and shook my head and said "Sorry, no."
He walked back over to the kids. My feet got tired and I leaned against a nearby stone wall. More talking. I wondered if there might be ticks in the lawn the stone wall was retaining. I hoped not. Presently he led the girl over to his police car. I moved a bit so I could see that he wasn't hurting her. She got in the back of his car. He drove her away. I sat back down on the stone wall.
After a while the boy was allowed to go sit in the driver's seat of his car. He smoked a cigarette. I stayed. And a while after that the remaining policeman got in his car, pulled out and drove away, and the boy did likewise and I went home.
I stayed for roughly an hour and came home with tired feet and new mosquito bites, and had Kip check me for ticks before I went to bed. (No ticks, whew; ticks really give me the creeps.) It was not an easy thing to resist the social repulsion field and all the voices in my own head telling me everything was fine and I didn't have to be there and I was probably embarrassing those kids or the policemen or both, and for nothing. But it was a lot easier for me than it would have been for someone who didn't have my advantages. And hopefully next time it will be easier still.
Because there will be a next time. I'm practicing.
Our twentieth A&S Research Paper comes to us from Lady Tola knitýr, of the Shire of Quintavia. She examines the history and background of these beautiful small purses, and then demonstrates how they can be made by a skilled modern craftsperson. (Prospective future contributors, please check out our original Call for Papers.)
Knit Purses in 14thC Switzerland
The oldest items that can be truly defined as knit (rather than made with naalbinding techniques), are knitted cotton fragments from Egypt, approximately 11th to 12th Century. Slightly later, but still in Egypt, knit cotton socks appear, with museum authorities estimating that they were made somewhere from 1200-1500. These Egyptian pieces were the first knit in stockinette stitch in the round, where a tube is knit with needles that are pointed on both ends. In The History of Handknitting, Richard Rutt indicates that these were almost certainly knit with rods, that may have been hooked. Very few extant knitting needles have been found, which may be a result of the simplicity of double-pointed needles, but an excavation in York discovered two copper alloy rods with a rounded point on each end, dated to the late 14th century, that scholars suggest may have been used as knitting needles.
In Europe, the earliest knit pieces appeared in the mid to late 13th century, as a Spanish glove, Spanish cushion covers, and a mitten fragment from Estonia. Following these pieces are five knitted purses from Sion, Switzerland and a sixth purse found in Chur, in the German-speaking eastern Switzerland. All six are dated to the 14th century. The purses were all knit with silk thread, very finely knitted from the top down, closed at the bottom with a three-needle bind-off, and usually used two colors at a time to create a pattern.
A number of paintings in the middle ages show Mary, mother of Jesus, knitting with double pointed needles. The “knitting Madonnas” lead me to believe that at this time, knitting was done by women in the home, rather than in guilds, as was the case towards the end of the Middle Ages.
Across Europe, the Roman Catholic church was a vital part of life in the Middle Ages. The papal states in Italy were the seat of power, and became independent from the Holy Roman Empire, which allowed the church to hold land as a sovereign entity. Massive landholdings as well as financial gifts to the church in the form of tithing helped the church become powerful politically. Because of the great importance and wealth of the church, the finest materials were used in furnishing churches and clothing the clergy. Precious metals like gold and silver, as well as luxurious silk, ivory, and gems, were crafted into decorations, vestments, and reliquaries used to hold the remains of holy places, saints, or items they had touched. Because of the importance of the church to this day, many textiles in the form of garments and reliquaries were preserved through the ages.
Many of these textiles were created by women, both nuns and laywomen, to show their piety and devotion to the church. Because of the importance of the textiles, which were largely in the form of intricate embroidered items, the Church kept detailed records of many of these donations. In some cases, it is unclear as to whether the names of the women who donated the textile items were the artisans, or commissioned the pieces for the church. Many Queens, such as Queen Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror, are listed as the donors of embroidered items. Queen Margaret of Scotland even established a workshop for noble women to gather and create religious textiles. While embroidery gets most of the attention in historical study and recreation, a number of church textiles were also knitted items.
The city of Sion is home to the oldest Roman Catholic diocese in Switzerland. Historical records reflect bishops there as early as the 4th Century. Several churches have stood in Sion over the centuries, and construction on the present-day cathedral began in 1450.
In the early 20th Century, Ernst Alfred Stückelberg was granted access to relics in the treasury of the cathedral of Sion. Stückelberg was a professor of Christian antiquarian studies at the University of Basel as well as a researcher and lecturer of Christian archaeology and monuments. Stückelberg’s essays do not detail the excavation of the artifacts, which could provide greater context for the items, but we do know that one of the items that he found was a wooden chest studded with gold-plated silver, which contained five knitted purses. During the Middle Ages, purses were used for both secular and religious purposes. The Sion purses are thought to have been used as reliquary bags, to hold the remains of saints.
The Sion purses appear in Richard Rutt’s A History of Handknitting, but were first studied by Brigitta Schmedding in Mittelalterliche Textilien in Kirchen Und Klöstern Der Schweiz (Medieval Textiles in Churches and Monasteries of Switzerland). Schmedding had a doctorate from the University of Freiburg, having written her dissertation on the Romanesque Madonnas of Switzerland in the 12th and 13th century, and also graduated from the Abegg Foundation’s three-year training in textile preservation. The purses are currently located in the Château de Valère, the historical museum in Sion. I have attempted to contact the staff of the museum to obtain color pictures of the purses, but have not received any response.
Schmedding also studied a sixth purse, found in Chur, Switzerland, which is generally referred to as the Chur purse and is strikingly similar to the Sion purses. Both Schmedding and Rutt conclude that the purses likely came from the same creator or workshop due to the similarities. I believe that these purses were likely knit by one woman, who then gave them to the church, since they are very similar and could represent devotion to the church.
The purses were all knit with silk thread, very finely knitted from the top down, closed at the bottom with a three-needle bind-off, and usually used two colors at a time to create a pattern. Schmedding indicates that the threads are s-spun (spun in a clockwise manner), but does not indicate whether they were singles or plied. Silk thread from the same time period used in embroidery and sewing was 2-ply, with the single threads Z-spun and the two threads plied together with an S-spin.
For the technique, Schmedding describes the knit in the round technique, describes the bottom of the purse being laid flat and knit together, and indicates that it was probably knit on a frame. Her description of the bottom of the purse matches the technique of a three-needle bind off, which is a technique used to join two pieces of knitting that are still on the needles, essentially binding off the stitches and seaming them together at the same time. With regard to Schmedding’s suggestion of a frame, the stocking knitting frame was not invented until 1589. There are, however, images of double-pointed knitting needles in art from the Middle Ages, as referenced earlier, so I would conclude that these purses were likely knit on double-pointed knitting needles.
The following analysis relies mostly on Schmedding, but also references Rutt. Since Rutt’s names for the bags are simpler, each bag is referenced first with Rutt’s naming convention, then Schmedding’s, with the associated catalog number. I also created my own charts, because I found that I was not satisfied with Rutt’s interpretations (and Schmedding doesn’t have any charts). Rutt’s charts can serve as a starting point, but close examination of photos often reveals mistakes or omissions. There is even a case where he indicates different colors on a purse than Schmedding describes, and as Schmedding had documented hands-on experience restoring the purses, I am inclined to trust her conclusions over his. All photos are taken from Mittelalterliche Textilien in Kirchen Und Klöstern Der Schweiz: Katalog; the charts that follow each description are my own.
Sion relic-purse I (268 Reliquary bag), p. 285
Measurements: Bag is 27 cm x 24 cm (10.6” x 9.4”) Fringe is 17 cm (6.7”) Pattern repeat is 2.7 cm x 1.6 cm (1.1” x 0.6”)
Gauge: 70 stitches and 70 rows = 10 cm (4”) (a note about gauge – knitting gauge is measured by the number of stitches and the number of rows in a 10 cm x 10 cm or 4” x 4” square)
Colors: Red, light green, light blue, white, beige
Sion relic-purse III (269 Reliquary bag), p. 286
Measurements: Bag is 23 cm x 19.5 cm (9.1” x 7.7”) Fringe is 16 cm (6.3”) Pattern repeat is 7.4 cm x 1.9 cm (2.9” x 0.75”)
Gauge: 50-60 stitches and 70 rows = 10 cm (4”)
Colors: Violet, red, light green, light blue, white, beige
Sion relic-purse IV (272 Reliquary bag), p. 288
Measurements: Bag is 20.6 cm x 19 cm (8.1” x 7.5”) Fringe is 14 cm (5.5”) Pattern repeat is 3 cm x 1.7 cm (1.2” x 0.67”)
Gauge: 70 stitches and 70 rows = 10 cm (4”)
Colors: Violet, white, beige, light green
Sion relic-purse V (270 Fragment of a reliquary bag), p. 287
Measurements: Fragment is 20.5 cm x 21.8 cm (8.1” x 8.6”) Fringe is not present, because the lower half of the bag is missing. Pattern repeat is 6.5 cm x 2.3 cm (2.6” x 0.9”)
Gauge: 75 stitches and 90 rows = 10 cm (4”)
Colors: Red, light green, beige, white, violet, light blue
Chur purse (92 Reliquary bag), p. 91
Measurements: Bag is 34 cm x 24.5 cm (13.4” x 9.6”) Fringe is 13 cm (5.1”) Pattern repeat is 12 cm x 12-13 cm (4.7” x 5.1”)
Gauge: 90 stitches and 70 rows = 10 cm (4”)
Colors: Red, light blue, dark blue, white, beige, green
I chose Sion relic-purse III for my first attempt at recreating one of the Sion purses. To get the appropriate gauge (50-60 st to 10 cm/4”), I needed to use size 00000 (5/0) needles, which are 1 mm in diameter. For reference, the knitting website Ravelry has a database of over 400,000 patterns, with the largest percentage of patterns using size 6 needles. On size 6 needles, a knitter could reasonably expect to get 21-24 stitches to 10 centimeters. When using standard commercial yarn, even the smallest common gauge range, for size 000-1 needles, is approximately 33-40 stitches to 10 centimeters.
For the thread, I chose Halcyon Yarn’s 2/30 Gemstone Silk. The 2/30 designation indicates that it is 2-ply and the single plies equal 30 times the standard length of 560 yards, or 16,800 yards. The larger the second number is, the thinner the yarn is. This yarn was also spun in the same way as silk threads from the time period of the Sion purses, with a Z-spun single and the two threads plied together with an S-spin.
With metal knitting needles and silk thread, there is little resistance to keep the stitches on the needles. The needles I had on hand were 4” long, so I would recommend longer needles or a circular needle (though not period, it makes things a lot easier) to alleviate the slipping issues. There are also not point protectors in small enough sizes for 5/0 needles, so I cut pieces of a cork to use for that purpose.
About halfway through knitting the bag, I realized that working the ends of the yarn in as I knit the bag would save me a lot of weaving in work in the end. There are multiple ways of doing this, but my main technique was just carrying the ends along as if they were part of the colorwork, and twisting them behind the working yarn every three or so stitches. Some of the different ways to work the ends in can be found here.
To finish the bag, I wove in and trimmed all of the ends, and then blocked the bag. Blocking serves two purposes – to gently shape the knit object, and to even out stitches. To block the bag, I soaked it in water and then used metal rods woven through the stitches to shape it into an even rectangle, then let it air dry. The blocking made a big difference in the appearance of the purse. After it was blocked, I attached 12 tassels, then used fingerloop braiding to make a drawstring and a carrying loop. The only pictures I have found of this particular purse are in black and white, but a picture of the Chur purse shows that the tassels, drawstring, and loop were all made of multiple colors, so I concluded that they could be the same on this purse. It is unclear from the pictures what technique was used to make the strings, so I decided to use fingerloop braiding, since I already knew how to fingerloop braid. The drawstrings are “A Round Lace of 5 Loops” and the carrying loop is “A Broad Lace of 5 Loops,” both of which were found on medieval purses.
After completing the purse, I discovered that my purse measured considerably smaller than the original. Sion Purse III measured approximately 9.1″ x 7.7″ and my recreation measured 5.75″ x 5.25″. The vertical repeats were the same, the horizontal repeats were the same. I measured the gauge of my purse, and it had a gauge of 88 st and 92 rows = 4″. The extant piece had a gauge of 50-60 st and 70 rows = 4″. I realized that the gauge swatch I had knit was in one color. When knitting colorwork (two or more colors), the knitting will tend to have tighter gauge than when knitting with a single color. Lesson learned: Knit your gauge swatch in the same manner as you will knit your project. If it’s in the round, do it in the round (which I did). If it’s colorwork, do it in colorwork (which I did not). I could have knit this project with needles the next size up, if not larger. However, The Sion and Chur purses do vary in gauge, and one purse has gauge of 75 st and 90 rows = 4″ while another has gauge of 90 st and 70 rows = 4″. So while my gauge is not accurate for the specific purse I was recreating, it is historically accurate for other knit purses.
My next goal is handspinning silk to knit a purse of my own design. Silkworm cocoons have been used to make silk for thousands of years, and there are two basic varieties: wild and cultivated. Wild silkworms, since they feed on whatever leaves happen to be available, do not produce a uniform fiber. They are also usually harvested after the silkworm has emerged from its cocoon, so the cocoon can not be harvested as a single thread, but results in multiple pieces and makes it more difficult to process for spinning purposes. Cultivated silkworms may be referred to as Bombyx (their scientific name) or Mulberry (after their food source), and produce a much finer and smoother fiber. These silkworms have been bred in controlled environments for over 5,000 years. Since they only eat Mulberry leaves, there is much greater consistency across cocoons, and the silk is harvested before the silkworm emerges, so the cocoon can be processed in one unbroken strand. I was interested in what the difference really looked like when thread was spun and knit, so I tested it out. In the below picture, the reddish pink is a wild silk, and the white is a cultivated silk. The difference between the two types is readily apparent when presented side-by-side. To make the most reliable comparison, I spun and plied each silk within days of each other, trying for the thinnest spin I could manage without breaking, and knit them on the same size needles. The wild silk was more difficult to spin, and spun thicker despite my attempts to draft it to a smaller thread. It was dyed, which the cultivated was not, but it was commercially dyed, so the process shouldn’t have affected the fibers in an adverse manner.
In addition to the handspinning, I also decided to try my hand at natural dyeing. I have done a couple experiments with natural dyes, namely with black walnut hulls, alkanet root, and onion skins, using alum as a mordant. Mordants are used to help dyes adhere to the fiber, and alum was a commonly used mordant in the middle ages. All three of the dyestuffs I used were available and used during the middle ages. The alkanet root and black walnut hulls were purchased as powders, and I gathered the onion skins to create the dyebath myself. In the below images, the smaller skeins are commercially spun silk while the larger skeins are my handspun. From left to right, the colors were obtained with alkanet root, black walnut hulls, and onion skins. My next step with this project will be charting a design with a medieval aesthetic and knitting a purse with my own handspun and natural dyed silk.
The knit purses that were found in Sion and Chur, Switzerland and dated to the 14th Century were likely reliquary bags, used to hold important religious objects. They were made from silk, a prized material, and were found with other religious items in cathedrals. Because several paintings of the same period depict Madonna knitting, I believe that they are the work of a woman, who made them to show her devotion to the church. Because they have slightly different gauges, they were likely knit over many years, or with different sized needles. They are intricately designed, finely knit, and show a high level of skill. The knitter who created them likely also made other objects, since colorwork knitting and knitting on very small needles are skills that take considerable time and practice to get to a competent level.
Benns, Elizabeth, and Gina Barrett. Tak v Bowes Departed: A 15th Century Braiding Manual Examined. Great Britain: Soper Lane, 2005.
Boehm, Barbara Drake. “Relics and Reliquaries in Medieval Christianity.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (originally published October 2001, last revised April 2011). 14 May 2017.
Crowfoot, Elisabeth, Frances Pritchard, and Kay Staniland. Textiles and Clothing, C.1150-c.1450. Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Boydell, 2006.
Gilbert, Rosalie. “Medieval Dyestuffs, Dyeing & Colour Names.” Rosalie’s Medieval Woman. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2017.
Historic Enterprises. “Colors.” Historic Enterprises. Historic Enterprises, n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2017.
Laning, Chris. “Medieval Masterpieces: The Purses of Sion.” Knitting Traditions Spring 2013: 74-76.
Lins, Joseph. “Sion.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 16 May 2017.
Logan, F. Donald. A History of the Church in the Middle Ages. London: Routledge, 2013. Web. 14 May 2017.
Ottaway, Patrick, and Nicola S.H. Rogers. Craft, industry and everyday life: finds from Medieval York. York: Council for British Archaeology, 2002.
Rutt, Richard. A History of Handknitting. Interweave, 1987.
Schmedding, Brigitta. Mittelalterliche Textilien in Kirchen Und Klöstern Der Schweiz: Katalog. Bern: Stämpfli, 1978.
Schulenburg, Jane Tibbetts. Holy Women and the Needle Arts: Piety, Devotion, and Stitching the Sacred, ca. 500- 1150. In Katherine Allen Smith and Scott Wells (Ed.), Negotiating Community and Difference in Medieval Europe: Gender, Power, Patronage, and the Authority of Religion in Latin Christendom (pp. 83-110), 2009.
Filed under: A&S Research Papers, Arts and Sciences Tagged: a&s, Arts and Sciences
I should have posted this yesterday, but appropriately enough, I was too busy prepping for the game I ran last night. 🙂
Dice Tales: Essays on Roleplaying Games and Storytelling is out now! If you play RPGs and have an interest in them from the narrative side of things — the ways we use them to tell stories, and what GMs and players can do to make them work better in that regard — you may find it of interest. Follow the link to buy it from Book View Cafe, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, iTunes, Kobo, or (in a first for me) DriveThruRPG. And if any parts of it wind up working their way into the games you play or run, let me know!
Also, the New Worlds Patreon has headed off into the wilds of rudeness, with two posts on “Gestures of Contempt” and “Insults.” The theme will continue through the end of this month before turning in a new direction for August. Remember that patrons at the $5 level and above can request topics, so if there’s something you’d like to see me discuss, you can make that happen!
First Canada thistle blooms (which tells you something about how New England views Canada), cotoneaster and evening primrose flowering in town, milkweed starting to form pods.
No roadkill, not even a flattened squirrel.
Roads got sorta-dry, still cloudy, got out on the bike. Thick air. Did not die.
15.29 miles, 1:15:05
Over the last couple of weeks I've gotten communications from five different strangers alerting me of something outrageous: the Los Angeles Times has brought a SLAPP suit against Ted Rall! OMG!
Except they haven't, of course. But the people who wrote me aren't to blame — at least not entirely. They're only accepting Ted Rall's silly and utterly dishonest narrative about events in a lawsuit he filed.
In short, Ted is incensed that the law protects everyone, even big mean companies.
Ted Rall is an author and cartoonist, and the first person I'd go to if I wanted someone to put a 9/11 widow in her place. Back in May 2015 he wrote a column about a 2001 encounter with the Los Angeles Police Department, portraying an officer as abusing and mistreating him over a jaywalking ticket. The Los Angeles Times — which ran the column, and occasionally runs Rall's content — conducted an investigation, decided that Rall had lied about the incident, and fired him and explained how they concluded that he lied about the encounter.
[This post is not about offering an analysis or interpretation of the divergent reports of that incident, or about the oddity of the LAPD sending the Times decade-old recordings to contradict a columnist.]
After demanding retractions, Ted Rall sued Tribune Company, Tribune Media Company, Tribune Publishing Company, Tribune Interactive, Tribune Media Net Inc., Los Angeles Times Communications, the Los Angeles Times, and four individuals. In his complaint he brought claims for defamation, defamation per se1, blacklisting under the California Labor Code2, retaliation under the California Labor Code, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, wrongful termination, breach of express oral contract not to terminate, and breach of implied contract not to terminate.
Anyone who practices defamation defense could have predicted where things went from here. Since Ted Rall lives out of state, the Times defendants filed a motion asking the court to force him to post a bond covering costs under California Code of Civil Procedure section 1030. That's a standard move; I did the same thing when I represented Patrick Frey pro bono. Any defendant sued in California by any out-of-state plaintiff can take advantage of the statute. The law reflects a realization that if a defendant wins and gets an award of costs, it's more difficult to pursue an out-of-state plaintiff to collect. It's a particularly valuable tool when — as here — the defendant has a potential anti-SLAPP motion, because then "costs" can include the attorney fees the defendant might recover. Here, though the Times defendants asked for a bond of $300,0003, the Court ordered Rall to post a bond of $75,000, which he did with donations from fans.
The Times defendants also filed three anti-SLAPP motions. (Rall complains that the defendants broke their arguments into three motions to make it harder for them to oppose them or to make more money. In fact, Rall sues so many people, and offers so many causes of action and theories, that any attorney would have broken the motions up — it wasn't practical to file an omnibus motion within the page limit.) I've been writing about anti-SLAPP statutes and why they are so important to protect speech for a long time. In short, an anti-SLAPP motion is a tool — a creature of state statute — that gives a defendant an opportunity to dismiss a case, and recover attorney fees, if (1) the lawsuit is aimed at speech protected under the statute, and (2) the plaintiff can't produce evidence sufficient to show they could win. It's most useful when a defendant has an absolute statutory or First Amendment defense to a censorious lawsuit. You can read the Times defendants' motions here, here, and here.4
The court has already granted one of the anti-SLAPP motions — the one filed on behalf of the individuals. You can read the ruling here. The court applied the two-step anti-SLAPP analysis, finding (1) that the defendants had carried their burden of showing that the complaint was directed at speech covered by the statute, and (2) Rall could not prevail on his claims because he was suing over speech that was either non-actionable opinion or protected under "fair comment" privilege. As of this writing, the judge has taken the second anti-SLAPP motion under submission after argument and will rule on it soon.
The purpose of this post isn't to analyze whether the judge was right to grant the anti-SLAPP motion, or whether Rall has a case. I may look at that in a future post. The point of this post is that Ted Rall is being dishonest and misleading about what's happening in his case, and contemptibly decrying the concept that the law protects everyone.
Consider Rall's fundraising page, where he attacks the anti-SLAPP statute and Section 1030:
All Ted wants is for a jury of his peers to hear his story. He is confident that they will agree that what the Times did was illegal. Before that can happen, however, Ted has to get past California's notorious "anti-SLAPP" law. According to the LA Times' own editorial board, anti-SLAPP was passed to protect small individuals from big corporations, as when "a deep-pocketed corporation, developer or government official files a lawsuit whose real purpose is to silence a critic, punish a whistleblower or win a commercial dispute."
In this case, however, the Times — part of a huge $420 million corporation called Tronc (formerly Tribune Publishing) — is Goliath pretending to be David, turning the statute on its head in order to try to bankrupt Ted into a "pay to play" legal maneuver. Under anti-SLAPP, Rall has to prove that he is likely to prevail in his lawsuit before he begins depositions, discovery, and the actual lawsuit process…which are likely to reveal more skullduggery among corrupt Times officials.
The Times has backed away from their assertions that Ted lied, as they realize that they have made a huge mistake. Now, they’re trying to prevail through technicalities. The Times' lawyer Kelli Sager of the pro-corporation law firm Davis Wright Tremaine filed a motion demanding that Rall post a whopping $300,000 bond . This is in case the Times wins their disgusting anti-SLAPP motion, which would allow the Times to be awarded their attorneys' fees…to be paid for by Ted.
Fortunately, the judge ordered the amount reduced to $75,000. Still, that's a lot of money. Most states ask for a few hundred bucks, maybe a thousand. It's a lot more money than Ted, who earned $300/week at the Times, has access to.
Which is where you came in. More than 750 supporters came through with $75,000!
But that was just the beginning. The Times' lawyers are aggressive, highly-paid and well-connected — and ruthless. They will do anything they can to stop the Times from being held accountable, including destroying Ted.
In short, Ted Rall — who sued a newspaper, a handful of parent companies, and a bunch of journalists for their speech and for dropping his column — is trying to portray himself as the hero of speech and the defendants as the villains and aggressors. This is utter bunk. Contrary to Rall's suggestion, the anti-SLAPP statute protects everyone equally, whether they're a pauper or a billion-dollar corporation. It protects speech, not just people who are ideologically acceptable to Rall. Rall's suggestion that the anti-SLAPP statute is only supposed to protect little people against big developers is flat wrong. California courts have repeatedly said that it's supposed to be "broadly construed to encourage continued participation in free speech and petition activities." Moreover, courts have very specifically rejected Rall's argument: "Respondents also contend the Legislature intended the SLAPP statute to apply to tort actions brought by large corporations that lead to prolonged litigation. No such limitation appears on the face of the statute, and it has not been so construed by the courts."
Rall is even more off the rails elsewhere, penning what amount to screeds about class enemies receiving due process. He tries to portray himself as something like a criminal defendant forced to defend himself — for having to answer a motion to dismiss a defamation claim he brought. Despite the fact that he is suing a basket of corporations and individuals for their speech, he treats with contempt and scorn the suggestion that he is trying to impede their speech. He attacks the individual lawyers who argued the anti-SLAPP motions on behalf of their clients. He screams that anti-SLAPP statutes harm free speech (Really) and complains that it's expensive to litigate — as a plaintiff responding to an anti-SLAPP motion.
Let's review, in the wake of all this strife, what an anti-SLAPP motion does. It's not like a trial. The judge doesn't weigh evidence. The judge does only two things: (1) determine if the complaint attacks speech that falls into the categories protected by the statute, and if so, (2) evaluate if the plaintiff has provided any evidence which, if believed, would be enough to support a claim.5 Practically speaking, a defendant can only win an anti-SLAPP complaint in two situations: (1) where the plaintiff has no evidence supporting their attack on speech, or (2) where the speech the plaintiff is attacking is protected as a matter of law — like an opinion. He's trying to portray the anti-SLAPP law — which broadly supports the rights of all sorts of people, whether or not Ted Rall agrees with them — into a tool of oppression. His petulance is nauseating:
I’m suing the Los Angeles Times. I’m the plaintiff. I’m the one who was wronged. The Times should be defending themselves from my accusations that they fired and libeled me as a favor to a police chief.
But this is America.
Deep-pocketed defendants like the Times — owned by a corporation with the weird name Tronc and a market capitalization in excess of $400 million — are taking advantage of America’s collapsing court system to turn justice on its head. In worn-out Trump-era America, the corruption and confusion that used to be associated with the developing world has been normalized.
In effect, Ted Rall is complaining that he can't inflict the burden, expense, and chilling effect of frivolous claims on speakers all the way through trial. He's couching it in misleading language. His gullible fans — and some people who should know better — are eating it up. And his campaign of disinformation is succeeding in part. I'm getting emails like this:
Cartoonist Ted Rall ($300/week) is the target of an anti-SLAPP suit by the LA Times, which seems to me (a non-lawyer) to be a reversal of the intent of the law.
. . .
Ted is facing this suit because of his writing about an interaction with LA police during a stop for jaywalking.
Well propagandized, Ted. Have you considered a job at the White House?Copyright 2017 by the named Popehat author.
The SCA is seeking candidates for several Society-level positions: Society Seneschal and Vice President of Operations, Society Minister of Arts and Sciences, and Society Webminister. The full job descriptions as well as details about applying for the positions for each are listed below.
Society Seneschal and Vice President of Operations.
The Board of Directors of the Society for Creative Anachronism is now accepting applications for the position of Society Seneschal (Vice-President for Operations). This is a part-time, paid position, which requires approximately thirty plus hours per week.
Applicants must possess strong telephone skills, and be very capable of interacting with unique SCA personalities. The ability to process and distill large amounts of information from different sources is a requirement. Organizational and problem solving skills are essential. Having held a Kingdom Seneschal position, while not required, is preferred. Applicants must possess enough space at home for a medium sized office, have immediate access to internet, PC and printer, and possess word processing skills.
Position Requirements and Responsibilities:
–Prior experience in a position of leadership within the SCA or leading volunteer organizations
–Oversee directly and indirectly the planning and implementation of all game side activities.
–Good working knowledge of current SCA corporate documents
–Ensure confidentiality of all investigations
–Quarterly review of all Kingdom Seneschal Reports
–Interface as a corporate spokesperson for information management
–Explore, evaluate and create new documentation as needed to ensure a positive game side experience
— Management experience with both volunteers and employees
–Report to the Chairman and President regarding matters of significant importance to the SCA, Inc.
–Office, Project and Resource management
–Excellent communication skills both written and oral
–Writing to a mass audience and speaking publicly
–The ability to connect to internet/communicate via internet is required
The Society Seneschal deals with large amounts of correspondence (mostly electronic, some telephone and a portion written) with a wide number of individuals including, but not limited to all kingdom seneschals, royalty, and corporate level offices, especially the President, Vice-President for Corporate Operations and the Executive Assistant to the Board of Directors.
Applicants must be available for the four quarterly Board Discussion Sessions per year (typically held on Fridays), held in addition to the four Board meeting days per year (typically on Saturdays). As Thursdays and Sundays tend to be travel days, each applicant must have sixteen days available per year, of which eight are week days. Additional traveling may be required. Availability for up to eight evening conference calls per year (generally starting at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time) is also required.
The successful candidate will plan, organize, and facilitate regular Kingdom Seneschals Meetings held via Go To Meeting for purposes of training as needed.
The successful candidate must be available to provide periodic advice to the Seneschals, the Crowns and Their Heirs in the 20 Kingdoms. This will incur a degree of time on the telephone and electronic mail.
The Society Seneschal-Vice President of Operations is responsible for supervising sanction activity as described in Section X of Corpora, and the Uniform Sanction Procedure as noted in the Seneschal handbook and the current Sanction Guide.
Resumes (professional and medieval, including awards and titles) must be sent to SCA Inc., Box 360789, Milpitas CA 95036, or firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than October 31, 2017. You may also email comments http://lists.sca.org/listinfo/
Society Minister of Arts and Sciences
The Society for Creative Anachronism is seeking candidates for the position of Society Minister of Arts and Sciences (MOAS), which is a warranted 3-year term of service.
The Minister of Arts and Sciences is the officer responsible for reporting on the artistic programs of the SCA, fostering the study of medieval culture and technology, and for promoting methods for producing historically inspired artifacts and performances.
Duties and responsibilities include:
• coordinating the efforts of kingdom officers in the field;
• promoting the dissemination of accurate information;
• responding to inquiries from the membership and artisans in a courteous and timely manner;
• constructive problem solving;
• ensuring accurate and consistent reporting from A&S officers to meet the SCA’s audited charitable reporting requirements;
• reporting quarterly on the artistic programs of the SCA.
• performing other duties assigned by the Board.
This is an unpaid position. Applicants should be paid members of the Society and able to travel to other kingdoms as approved by the board, and have easy access to phone, computer, mail and e-mail. Experience in both the practice and coordination of the Arts and Sciences as practiced in the SCA is strongly preferred.
Hard copies of résumés (both professional and SCA related, including offices held and honors) must be sent to the attention of ‘The Board of Directors’, SCA, Inc., P.O. Box 360789, Milpitas, CA 95036-0789. Electronic courtesy copies should also be sent to email@example.com by October 1, 2017.
This position reports to the SCA Board of Directors.
The Society Webminister is a supervisory position, and is not involved in maintenance of the Corporate website (www.sca.org).
The Society Webminister is responsible for the following duties:
1. Ongoing development and revision of the Society Webminister’s policies and procedures, as detailed in the Society Webminister Handbook.
Said work will not only include making sure that solutions are provided for current issues, but will also include observing trends, being aware of potential issues and streamlining the Webministry as a whole to provide better service to the SCA and potential members thereof.
2. Warranting of kingdom-level Webministers, where necessary.
3. Supervision of all kingdom-level websites, including proper use of domain names, monitoring content, regular reporting from Kingdom Webministers, and enforcement of the Society Webministry policies and procedures.
4. Working with Kingdom Webministers to ensure they develop and
enforce clear guidelines for local SCA group websites based on the standards found in the Society Webminister’s Handbook.
5. Acting as a subject matter expert and resource regarding issues related to electronic publications and websites at the kingdom and local levels, including, but not limited to: copyright issues, privacy issues, and technology-related issues.
6. Quarterly reporting to the Board of Directors for the SCA, Inc.
Required for this position are: dependable email access; dependable phone access; moderate to expert proficiency in web-related technologies(e.g. HTML, Java, PSP, ASP, web hosting issues, etc.); moderate Microsoft Word proficiency; and the ability to clearly communicate via email, phone, and in written reports.
Prior experience as a Webminister in the SCA is required; prior experience as a kingdom webminister is highly desired.
Those interested in the Position of Society Webminister should submit their SCA and modern era resumes to both firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. The deadline for applications is extended until October 1, 2017.
Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
Milpitas, CA 95036
You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Filed under: Announcements, Official Notices
As the autocrat for the East Kingdom 50 Year Celebration to be held next
year, I have a few staff positions that I need to fill.
If you are interested in any of these positions, please e-mail your
intent and list of qualifications to: email@example.com
Please keep in mind that each department head will also be needing their
own staffs. If you are interested in being on staff, please keep an eye
on 50year.eastkingdom.org. We will be updating the staff listing and
activating email accounts for each department head.
Merchant Coordinator (hard goods)– This person will be responsible for
coordinating merchants who would like to vend at the event. Ideally,
this person would be familiar with NYS regulations regarding permits,
etc. (This would include spice merchants as they do not fall under food
Merchant Coordinator (food)– This person will be responsible for
coordinating any food merchants who would like to vend at this event.
Reaching out to food truck vendors in the Albany area would also be a
plus. Ideally, this person would also be familiar with NYS regulations
as pertains to food vending at an event.
Fencing MiC– This person would be in charge of all fencing related
activites at the event. Coordinating tournies or melees, managing
marshalls and inspections. Set up and tear down of the fencing area.
Disability services– This person would be responsible for coordinating
space in disability camping, coordinating access to medically necessary
charging stations and any other issues that would arise.
Media liaison– This person will be responsible for escorting media thru
the site and managing any other issues as pertains to that position.
Event herald– This person would be responsible for coordinating with TRM
and event staff as to time and place of Opening and Closing Ceremonies,
as well as any processions or other ceremonial functions to happen at
the event outside of normal Court operations.
Royal liaison– This person would be responsible for helping Our and
visiting Royalty with their needs onsite, such as camping space (in
tandem with the Land Office), schedules, setting up viewing
pavilions/sitting areas, etc.
Again, if you are interested in any of these positions, send your
intent, along with contact info and any relevant experience to:
In Service to the Crown and Realm,
En tant qu’Intendante des Célébrations du 50ième anniversaire du Royaume de l’Est, qui auront lieu l’année prochaine, nous sommes toujours à la recherche de personnes pour combler quelques positions restantes.
Si une de ces positions vous intéresse, veuillez envoyer votre lettre d’intention et la liste de vos qualifications par courriel au: firstname.lastname@example.org
Veuillez garder en mémoire que chaque chef de département devra aussi se trouver du personnel. Si vous aimeriez faire partie du personnel, gardez un oeil sur 50year.eastkingdom.org. Nous mettrons à jour la liste du personnel et activerons des addresses courriel pour chaque chef de département.
Coordonnateur des marchands (marchandise)– Cette personne sera responsable de coordonner les marchands qui souhaitent vendre à l’événement. Idéalement, cette personne serait familière avec les lois et régulations de l’État de New York au regard des permis requis, etc. (Ceci inclus les marchands d’épices, comme ils ne tombent pas sous la régulation s’appliquant à la nourriture, ci-dessous.)
Coordonnateur des marchands (nourriture)– Cette personne sera responsable de coordonner tous les vendeurs de nourriture qui aimeraient vendre leurs produits à l’événement. Joindre des propriétaires de camions de bouffe de rue dans la région d’Albany serait un plus. Idéalement, cette personne serait familière avec les lois et régulations de l’État de New York au regard de la vente d’aliments à un événement.
Maréchal en charge de l’Escrime– Cette personne sera en charge de toutes les activités reliées à l’escrime pendant l’événement. Ceci inclus coordonner les tournois ou les mêlées, gérer les maréchaux présents, ainsi que les inspections. Il serait aussi responsable d’organiser la mise en place et le démontage de l’espace réservé à l’escrime.
Services d’invalidité– Cette personne sera responsable de coordonner l’espace disponible pour le campement handicapé, coordonner l’accès aux stations de chargement pour besoins médicaux et toute autre situation reliée se présentant.
Liaison avec les médias– Cette personne sera responsable d’escorter les médias au travers du site et de gérer toute autre situation pertinente à cette position. Cette personne sera aussi en charge de la publicité entourant l’événement, etc.
Héraut d’événement– Cette personne sera responsable de coordonner avec Leurs Royales Majestés et le personnel de l’événement le moment et l’endroit ou auront lieu les Cérémonies d’Ouverture et de Fermeture, ainsi que toute procession ou autre fonction cérémonielle se tenant en dehors des planifications de Cour régulières.
Liaison Royale– Cette personne sera responsable d’aider Notre Royauté, ainsi que toute Royauté visitant notre événement avec leurs besoins sur le site, comme aider avec l’espace de campement (en tandem avec l’Office du Terrain), les horaires, monter des pavillons/espaces de repos, etc.
Encore une fois, si vous êtes intéressés par n’importe laquelle de ces positions, envoyez votre intention, avec vos informations de contact et toute expérience pertinente à:
En Service à la Couronne et au Royaume,
Filed under: Uncategorized