Monday, October 11, 2010


This weekend I went to a weekend-long Belegarth camping event called Octoberfest. It was quite an entertaining experience.

I first found another member of the park who agreed to give me a ride up there, and he wanted to go on Thursday. We agreed that he would pick me up on Thursday afternoon, after my meeting with my research group. Previously, my professor asked me to send him visualizations of the output of our program so that he could put it in a presentation. I sent them to him before the meeting, but when we viewed them at the meeting he told me that the visualizations didn't look right and I would need to redo them. There wasn't enough time to do them before I had to head up, so I called the park to ask if they had wireless Internet access there. They said that they do have Internet access, but "it doesn't always work because of the woods." I was surprised that a campground would even have wireless Internet, and the statement about "it doesn't always work because of the woods" made me a little suspicious that he thought that "wireless Internet" meant a 3G signal (which wouldn't help connect the computer to the Internet) but I put my plan into action anyway. I brought my laptop up, and when I got there I found out that they did, in fact, have actual wireless Internet. So I was able to finish my work and send it off.

The next day, I put the computer back in the trunk of the car, left the 21st century behind, and got suited up for a day of medieval warfare. There were big battles with dozens of people on a side, and there were many different scenarios, including castle battles (there's a wooden castle on the field with platforms that you can shoot from), realm battles, and unit battles. There were only about 5-6 other members of House Valdemar there, so we had to use tricky tactics, like waiting until two larger groups were engaged with each other and then stabbing one of them in the back. At the end of the day there was a feast, which was soup in a "bowl" made of bread. I didn't have any soup and just got the bread bowl, and there was also a stall selling quesadillas. After the feast, I wandered around the campsite looking for something to do and I saw that in one of the buildings a game of Texas Hold-Em was starting up. I played some Texas Hold-Em, and the first game I was eliminated about in the middle, and in the second game I came in 2nd place out of 6.

Then on Saturday there was another day of fighting. There were no more castle battles this day because there were too many people to fit in the castle, which was a shame because the castle battle was my favorite part of the fighting on Friday. But there was still lots more realm and unit battles. At the end of the day there were some tournaments. I participated in the archery tournament. I won the first round but got eliminated int he second round by the player who would go on to win the tournament. Then there was another feast, and after the feast there was supposed to be the "Bardic Games", which is a contest where you do a "bardic performance." When I heard about that contest I entered it, planning to do an improv comedy routine, but never got a chance since the contest was canceled since I was the only one who signed up. Also, I did run into Steve Cecchin, the head of Nero Chicago, the Nero group that also meets at Stonehouse Park. He said there was a special Halloween event that is happening that weekend and that he could try to find me a ride up there. I haven't decided yet whether I will want to go.


Dan Mont said...

Hi Alex,

Sounds like a great weekend of combining work with pleasure.

Have you solved the identification problem in regards to your archery? Since you didn;t mention it, I'm thinking maybe it isn't as a big of a problem anymore.

Also...have you ever seen the sitcom "The Big Bang Theory"? It is about a group of friends who are all physics nerds. There is lots of geek humor in it. I think you might find it funny. We have the DVDs so when you come to Vietnam you can see it.

Nanette Goodman said...

Sounds like a blast