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Some first thoughts on Norwescon 36:

The first thing I noticed is that this con starts on Thursday. Maybe this has been going on for a long time and I was just clueless...that’s likely, actually. So, because of our arrival on Friday at 7:30ish PM, I noted several panels on Thursday and Friday that might have been interesting. None of Saturdays panels interested me too much. I dropped in on a couple such, then left. There was a panel on “Norse sword, shield, spear and tactical combat” which I checked out. However, one look at the rest of the attendees and I realized that the panel, which was advertised as hands on, would not be teaching me anything. In retrospect, I should have joined in and become a teacher. The Moderator was a guy I remember from SCA back in the day, Bill Gruner (Wilhelm the Far-Traveller).

The next day, he Moderated a panel on one-to-one combat for writers. Bill G. is involved now in a group, The Empire of Medieval Pursuits, a spinoff from SCA. He brought along from that group a certain long-banished Duke along with the Duke’s student, to demonstrate armored combat for writers. That was impressive: even though the ceiling was too low for them to really go at it, they did demonstrate a few things. I recall how ridiculously fast Duke A was, back when I fought him occasionally. He hasn’t lost a step, so far as I can see.

After the panel I approached Bill G., who remembered who I am, and we quickly agreed that I was a good fit for the “Medieval History and Swordplay” track, which he is in charge of. “Yes, I want you on my panels, and my goal is to get you on my track, and into the con for free next year.” This alone made the expense and time spent on the weekend worthwhile.

Other highlights of the weekend included: a remote-controlled dalek that was rolling around amusing people; two excellent Klingon outfits, almost worthy of the originals; an interesting conversation with some friends of Beth and Travis, Stephen and Nicole. But the most amusing thing was the reaction on Saturday night when their little groupuscule brought out the ten-foot-high Totaro costume. I had heard about this thing, and about the reactions it elicited, but to see it in action is something else. It bows, its ears wiggle, it hugs people, and Totaro lovers of all ages become squealing quivering blobs of five-year-oldness at the first sight of it. It’s something to witness, I do declare.

Maybe more later...

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