Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Vienna Armour

above is the famous Golden Armour in vienna. A fairly standard armour, but heavily decorated with bas relief. This is parade armour at its best.

The mechanism worn under the armour. Below is the description.

spring mechanisms for jousting armour. The right spot gets hit, the armour goes flying and the crowd goes wild. Below is the plaque which goes with the above armour.

above is authentic jousting armour padding. As far as I know,the only surviving examples. They are clearly removable from their helms and have brow and chin ribbons. They would probably drop a chain mail hood over the cloth and just slide the helmet on.
The above VERY unusual piece is a practice armour. The arms are just incredibly detailed!

and lastly, here is one of the armours from the back. You almost NEVER see an armour from the back. Good details to spot are the hammer marks in the neillo (blackened) depressed area, and the leather straps underneath the shoulder guard.
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Saturday, December 25, 2010

New course in the new year

This is the emails I got from Algonquin College. As you can see...there WILL be courses back to back in the new year...basic and advanced. Then concurrently in the Spring.

cut and paste follows. My request is below the answer (in typical email fashion! grin!)

Hi Bill,
Close but not quite.....

Basic Course ---- Algonquin Woodroffe Campus
Course Code GEN0088 Fee is $171 incl HST
Course runs from 7 - 9:15 p.m. for six weeks then 7 - 9:30 p.m. on the last week
Dates are correct.

Advanced Course --- Algonquin Woodroffe Campus
Course Code GEN0105 Fee is $171 incl HST
Course Dates: March 4 - April 15
Course Time: 7 - 9:15 pm. For six weeks then 7 - 9:30 on the last week

In the Spring Semester these two courses will run concurrently (Wednesdays and Fridays)


Florianne (Flo) Gauthier
Personal Development
Tel: 613.727.4723 ext 5079
Fax: 613.727.7727

-----Original Message-----
From: William Fedun []
Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:16 AM
To: Florianne Gauthier
Subject: RE: FW: Chilvalrous Swordhandling and Advanced Chivalrous Swordhandling -- Spring 2011

Now this is what I have sent out to my students. Is this correct?
There have been so many emails that I admit to being a bit confused.

Basic Course....Algonquin Woodruff Campus, the gym in the "P" building.
Course Code GEN0088. cost for this course is $160.57 incl HST

Its a go! seven until nine thirty Wednesday evenings in P-121
January 19th until 2 March 2011. Seven week days of 2.5 hours per
night. We are trying a "combined" class, just as an experiment.

Advanced Course .....Algonquin Woodruff Campus (16 hours Friday
evenings 7 to 9:30 in the "P" building.

Course Code GEN 0105 Cost for this course is $160.57 incl HST
There is not a course scheduled on Fridays in January unless y'all get
together and ask for one. If there are enough signups, we'll do it.
The next scheduled advanced course is
Fridays, May 6th to June 17th.

Algonquin College Registrar's Office is 1385 Woodruff Ave, Rm. C150,
Ottawa Ont., K2G 1V8. tel 613-727-0002, or 1-800-565-4723,
fax613-727-7754 email

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sword Arts

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Armouring AS a business

The South Tower Armoury is more than a business, more than a hobby. In many ways it is a lifestyle choice. I mean, in what other business can you run where you can travel to Europe every winter just to visit museums!

Watching the "Dragons Den", a reality show dealing with inventors coming into meet the "money lending Dragons", I was struck by the reality that my business, the South Tower Armouring Guild had been sort of spinning its wheels. Not growing, really, and certainly not collapsing backwards! What it HAS been doing is getting better and better at quality and beauty. I am certainly not getting ready to retire, in fact the opposite, I am getting ready to really get some great things going!
The fact that my bread and butter, the basic "beginner's" helms and such can no longer be made economically has caused me to re-evaluate the direction I am going in. There is still tremendous future in custom work...both medieval and in the Anime and fantasy worlds. And there is still a future in running all this AS a business.

A business is not a difficult thing to create. I ran mine for 18 years without so much as a business plan. A fellow who was in here t'other day (a banker) wants me to create a business plan, and a set of goals. He didn't really contribute much, but then he was not being paid to contribute much. My business is my life, and I won't take life coaching from anyone!!! (That's the problem I guess...grin!)

Normally a business has human resources which come together to create something. I watched a movie one time that had these immortal lines it. The girl was flirting with the guy, and said to him....
"So you are a business man. What does a business man do?"
"Fills orders"
"Well I have an order for you to fill..." she said as she twirled a lock of hair around her finger.

Cute. And what a concise statement THAT is! A business exists to fill orders. Not to play back biting politics, not to hang with cool people, not to drink coffee in the break room all day, not even to build or do great things. A business needs to have a buyer, a salesman to find the buyer, a producer or creator of the goods, a facilitator (the businessman) to bring them together!

I like running a business because all successful business persons have to be goal oriented. A successful employee's goals pretty much extend to "treat me like a human being and pay me a living wage". A successful boss's goals are "we have a product which needs to be sold/made/moved, and will motivate the workers to do that. A successful business man has to bring the goods to the customer, he or she needs not be a good employee OR a good boss to be a good businessman. Three different goals, three different philosophies.

As a businessman myself, I find that the greatest difficulty is the lack of sure knowledge of exactly what I am doing, with what and to whom! Even after 18 years, I feel like the Newfie going into the ditch, you know, the one who says "Here, hold my beer boy, and watch dis then!" I may not know what I am doing, but by George, it'll get done somehow!

I hate the term "Just Do It". It sounds so trite and mundane. But the fact is, if you don't Just Do It, you will always fail. It is shorthand way to overcome the natural timidity. I know you don't normally think of Bill as timid kind of guy, but there are times. I need to "Just Do It" every day! Most people are timid. They play a game called the "Yes But" game. I find myself doing it from time to time. (Oh you know that game..."Why don't you get a good job", "Well YES I suppose I could, BUT I need the education", "Can't you get the education at the High School? "YES BUT I need money to pay the tuition". Well, you have a job right now don't you? "YES BUT its not enough to pay tuition".) (All this is a distillation of "Transactional Analysis", a much overlooked field IMHO.) Justification for timidity is not appropriate for a businessman. But it is a natural thing, not to be ashamed of. It is our natural timidity which keeps us from driving into ditches "just to see what will happen".

So, if your goal is to become a businessperson, you MUST not be timid. On the face of it, this seems to fly in the face of common sense and advise. The usual naysayers all say the same thing..."if there was a market for that product, there would a hundred people selling it, and of course, there is the corrollary....a hundred people are selling that product, what makes you think you can sell it as well?" Well, I notice that cell phones are still selling like hot cakes even though most people now have them.

All business people are flying by seat of their pants with insufficient information and no resources. You HAVE all the knowledge and resources to run a successful business just like this one now! So, for the coming year, let me just say this...

Hang onto my beer, and watch this!!!


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