Saturday's main project was Moving Mother. Mom had decided that, as soon as she retired, she wanted to move closer to one kid or the other -- and given that it was conceivable for her to afford a house in MA, and not really in CA, she decided that moving up here was the thing to do. oh_susana helped her find a nice condo out in Amherst that was within her price range, and we moved her yesterday. I hired Gentle Giant for the job, and got exactly what I expected: they cost top dollar, but they are consistently excellent. We got the usual pair of guys who appeared to be college athletes: smart, quick and considerably stronger than they looked. The move was kind of complicated (with Mom's stuff scattered between my aunt's house in Carlisle, a storage unit in Westford, and our place here in Burlington), but the guys got it done as efficiently as could be reasonably hoped. Gentle Giant remains one of those companies I recommend without reservation.
Anyway, we got Mom settled in, and I gave her the first lessons in how to use her fancy new TV/VCR setup. I expect to be introducing her to the various SCA groups around the state over the next year, so many of you will probably get to meet her sometime in the near future. She's where my Pelican side comes from (lifelong professional secretary, and an Elizabethan history buff), so I suspect she'll find a niche.
After that, I dashed back to this end of the state early enough for us to spend a while at liamstliam and alethea_eastrid's wedding reception and hang out with folks for a little while. (Continuing this summer's All Parties, All the Time theme.) We got to briefly see yet another cross-section of the Barony, and much good schmoozing was had.
And thence over to Readercon for the Annual Kirk Poland Memorial Bad Prose Contest, one of my treats of the year. It's basically a high-end game of Fictionary. They read about a page of unspeakably bad prose from some old science fiction novel, and then a collection of possible continuations -- the real one, and one from each contestant. The audience votes on which one is real: each vote for a contestant's entry gives them one point, and each vote for the real thing counts towards the audience's score. The audience actually came unusually close, coming in second, but the real prose in the last entry was *so* unimaginably, ridiculously, hilariously awful (basically an extended sequence of thesaurus words) that most people didn't think it could possibly be real.
Today, like yesterday, was quadruply booked, but since one of those was a local event, it won. I wound up spending the bulk of the day at the archery butts -- I didn't bother to formally enter in the Baronial Champion competition, but I could use the practice before Pennsic. I scored 58 in a slightly abbreviated Carolingian Shoot -- a mediocre score in absolute terms, but better than I expected after not shooting for about two years. (It was slightly abbreviated because I got there late, but that probably made no difference to my score: the early rounds were the really long distances, where I would have been lucky to get 2 or 3 points.)
A special treat of the day was getting handed a loaner combat crossbow and bolts from lucianus -- he gave them to me literally moments before I was going to ask if I could borrow them. So now I need to figure out some sort of target I can set up in the back yard, to get some practice before Pennsic this time. I'm looking forward to it: I had forgotten how much I enjoy archery in general. While I'll probably never be a brilliant archer, I consistently find it a fun activity.
The weather tried to turn against us at the end of the event, but the Carolingians steadfastly defied it. Rain in the summer isn't much of a burden, especially since it held off until after most of us were done shooting. So we all dashed our stuff into the cars, and waited out the rain. Finally, Court was dominated by a really lovely going-away for Yaacov, who was given a big pile of archery equipment so that he can encourage the art out in Roaring Wastes when he moves there...