Wednesday, June 28, 2006

An attempt at explaining sources to someone on the Rialto

When you do research, you are looking at different levels of sources. The closer to the original, the better the source (allegedly) because it's closer to pure original.

A primary source is the object itself- a kimono verified as being dated to X for example- you look yourself at where the seams are, how they are sewn, feel the silk material and determine the weight and weft of it. You make your own understanding of what is a kimono from X by directly interacting with it. This is of course the ideal.

A secondary source is someone else telling you about their interactions with a primary source. Someone who is a curator of a museum for instance that has a lot of kimonos, not only from X, but Y and Z, and is willing to tell you (either directly via book or web page) the differences, construction techniques, etc. But they may not know something about these kimonos that is vital to you personally- like how the knot is tied at the end of the seam and are the ends of the thread tucked away, or did they use a loop start and sew the threads back in on themselves. Many describers of garb don't get that detailed, but if you want to make something as accurate as possible, you may want that detail. However, secondary sources are great compilers of data that you may not otherwise realize or have access to, so it's important to see a lot of secondary sources.

Tertiary sources read a lot of secondary sources and compile their own set of data to share based on other people's thoughts about the subject. All research papers tend to be this way by necessity. If you read the same bibliography, you may come to different conclusions than another person reading the same data. I read a lot of plumbing research. Some of the secondary and tertiary sources would rather write for the punchline than for the actual facts, and this makes figuring out which is true and which is twisted to fit the joke very difficult. If you read the whole bibliography about kimonos, and then explore to find old kimonos in garage sales or other cheap sales (I've bought bulk kimonos in buying silk by the pound from a Japanese dealer), and find that there is a flaw in that website's research, that's not a perfect source for your kimono information. Rather, you should take that other person's research and build on your information on the subject and go from there. See what you can find of museums, books, magazines, and even more websites.

Translations also add one more step to the distance between you and the original, because it's hard to have a perfect translation.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

George's Packing List

(pulled off a door where I have kept it taped up for convenient reference- hopefully someone will find this vaguely useful)

Have within easy reach in the car:
Pre-registration packet
ID and proof of SCA membership

Tent, poles, ropes & stakes, ground cloth, something to pound stakes with. (Do assemble tent at least once before Pennsic to make sure everything is still there).
Fly for tent/shade.
Disposable mat for door to wipe feet/store shoes.
Shovel. (trench around tent if rainy, sump pit regardless).
Stuff to sleep on. I have a platform bed now. Air mattress, sheets, blankets, or sleeping bag and pad. Air pump. Pillows.
Coleman lantern, battery powered lantern, flashlight, little tea light lanterns for outside tent to mark which one is my tent so I can find it.
Batteries for anything that needs batteries.
Spare mantles for the Coleman lantern.
Clothes. (spare set in ziplock bag left in truck for dire emergencies and one set of mundanes to go home in). Undies.
Extra Socks.
Court Garb.
Rain cloak.
Cloak for warmth (it can get cold at night).
Something to store garb on- if you have a way to hang it, that's great!
Shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, hairbrush, hair ties, and all other toiletries including feminine necessaries.
Folding table.
water/drinks only cooler
water bottles.
Coleman stove, lighter.
Fire extinquisher
Pan for heating water.
Dishpan and dish soap. Sos pads.
Dish towels.
Large frying pan and sauce pan.
cutting board.
Mixing spoon, spatula, sharp knife.
extra silverware, extra coffee cups (expect company).
Drinking mugs, ideally with leash or other personalization.
Wine glasses, tasting glass.
cork screw, can opener.
Olive oil.
veggie peeler
eating dishes.
Dutch oven.
Ziplock bags.
Garbage bags.
First aid kit
Pepto bismol, Tums, Band-Aids, Tylenol, decongestant, and any other drug you could possibly want, including your prescription drugs. There is a fridge at Chirugeon point for refrigerated drugs if you really need it.
Phone card.
Camera, film.
Baldrics and other necessary insignia/uniforms.
Scroll case.
Extra cloth to cover unsightly things, or to use to carry things.
Shortwave radio for weather reports.
Any booze. Wine racks.
Needlepoint or other to-hand craft.
Notebook, pens.
Duct tape and clothespins.
Shield, Armor, weapons, rivits or other things for repair and maintennance of armor and weapons.
Authorization cards
Ace bandages and tiger balm.
Fighting boots
*COMFORTABLE* shoes, ideally two or more pairs, so if one is wet, you can change. Do not bring NEW shoes. Blisters suck at Pennsic.
Extra Socks.
Carrying baskets.
Gift baskets, if needed.
Extra ciggies if you smoke.
Banners and a way to hang them.
Small fans.
Toolkit: Screwdriver, pliers, cutters, files, hammer
Wagon or cart
grate to go over sump pit (scout the neighborhood for thrown out fridges and use the shelves).

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