Thursday, April 21, 2011

An Observation

When did it become necessary for kids to be constantly entertained?
Game consoles are now available in many cars. Heaven forbid that kids have to look out the window during a trip. Now they can watch videos or play games without ever having to see the beautiful world around them.
Hand held game consoles are common place. Sometimes it seems as if many kids have either a cell phone or a game console in their hands almost every hour of the day.

Which brings me to my observation...

Some background first:
The monthly Pasadena primitive skills gatherings that I participate in are amazing collections of knowledge and fun things to do. At these gatherings you can learn how to make bows, arrows, string and rope, work with gourds, learn how to make stone arrowheads, make fire with sticks, slings, bolos, bowstrings, do leatherwork... and the list goes on. If there is something you're interested in there is probably someone who can get you started on it or at least cheer you on. People pay big bucks for the type of knowledge we freely pass out at Pasadena. In fact, a national specialty woodworking store has bowmaking classes available for $395. The information taught in the class is identical to what may be found for free at Pasadena.

That all sounds pretty good, doesn't it?
Kind of exciting...
Different from your regularly scheduled Sunday...

So tell me, why would a kid choose to sit at a picnic bench and play with his hand held game console instead of participating in the fun?
All this wonderful stuff is going on around him, other kids are shooting their bows at the target bales, and yet he sits there with a glazed look on his face as he watches tiny figures on the game screen.

I don't even know what to type, I'm so baffled.

Happy archery...?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chamberlin Ranch re-cap

So I’ve finally slowed down a little bit so I can give my account of the Chamberlin Ranch shoot last weekend.

Headed toward the event the weather wasn’t looking good. Forecasts were showing a good chance of rain on Thursday, a higher chance on Friday (with thunderstorms), and then clearing to good weather on Saturday and Sunday.

And that’s pretty much what happened.

The drive up on Wednesday was good. I got gas and picked up a couple things at the store in Buelton before heading out to the shoot site. Once there I sorted out where I’d camp and set up the booth and settled in. I was very fortunate to have Mike (damned if I can remember his last name) on one side. I first met Mike at this shoot last year and really enjoyed his company. He did a pretty thriving business making bowstrings and selling French Opinel knives for an extremely reasonable price. He’s a good stringmaker, too, I had him make one for my spare Abbott bow.

Thursday dawned nice but got cloudy as the day progressed. The afternoon eventually saw some drizzle with occasional rain. We went to town for dinner and had a good one at A.J. Spurs in Buelton. We go there every year and they put on a good feed. I still can’t believe the spring traps they have as ornaments on the walls are fully functional. I can’t tell you how tempted I am to set one and leave it for the next nosey kid. No, I’ll never do it but am I turning into a devious individual or what?

Friday was colder and wetter. The predicted rain and occasional thundershowers rolled in so everyone just relaxed under cover and enjoyed being there.

Friday night… now Friday night was interesting. It turned out to be about the second coldest night I’ve ever spent camping. I was warm enough in my bag but would have slept better if my air mattress hadn’t leaked. We have about four mattresses in the garage and we can never remember which ones leak. We knew for sure that the Coleman mattress did not leak so I took that one on the trip. Turns out that it does leak so every morning saw my hips hitting the ground by about 6am. Anyway, Saturday morning saw everything covered with a very heavy frost with occasional ice where we had standing water. A couple people quoted about 23 degrees overnight and I don’t think I’d argue that point.

Saturday and Sunday were the actual days of the shoot and everyone had a great time. I only shot one of the three courses and opened up my booth when we finished the first course.

I’d like to thank everyone who stopped to chat with me over the five days I was at the shoot and especially those who purchased something from me.

Beef jerky was gone by Saturday afternoon, all the heavier spined arrows I’d made up went to new homes, a good handful of bowsocks are now protecting bows for their new owners, and there was a lot of traffic with bamboo arrow shafts. In fact, all the heavier spines are sold out and I need to make a new order for more.

This has been an excellent shoot every time I’ve attended. If you’re in the area and haven’t been to the shoot you owe it to yourself to go. In my opinion, this is the best traditional shoot in southern California.

Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures while at the shoot. But if you'd like to see some good ones, go to THIS PaleoPlanet thread and see what folks have posted there. On the second page... yes, that's me with the green knit cap pulled down over my eyes. Fayme made the cap as a prototype and it needs a little fit adjustment. Sure was warm, though!

Coming up, I’ll be at the SCA Robin Hood shoot at Woodley Park in Van Nuys on April 30.

After that we have the Conejo Valley Archers Pacific Coast Traditional Challenge in Simi Valley on May 7 and 8. This is the second best traditional shoot in the area and I’m really looking forward to it.

Happy archery!