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Biggest complaint about Pennsic 39?

topic posted Sun, August 22, 2010 - 10:22 AM by  Kyrnn
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For me, its the overabuse of the allowance of service dogs. I've seen some really needless uses of service dogs, like using as a mule to carry an insulin pack. Seriously, this can't be put into a backpack? Also, having service dogs being brought onto the buses is a bad move too, as some can take up quite a bit of space on a tiny bus. And what about t those people allergic to dogs?

A lot of people really pushed the limit on service dog allowances just to bring the family pet with them to war.
posted by:
Kyrnn
New Jersey
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  • Agreed - and it goes further than dogs. There was some woman dragging a poor cat around on a leash in the marketplace last year - didn't see another "service" cat this year but was told there were at least one or two on site. Unless they are truly trained for it AND able to deal with the noise/heat/crowds etc. at an event like this, calling a pet a "service" animal just so you can bring it along seems rediculously cruel to the animal. As long as this is supposed to be a no-pets event, anyone wanting to bring a service animal on site should be required to provide documentation from their doctor showing proof that the animal is a bonafide service animal. That's not trying to discriminate - that's trying to protect the animals from their irresponsible owners.

    And on that note - on the final Thursday, folks from security were driving around the lake looking for a black and white dog that had gotten loose. I hope it was found safely - does anyone know?

    The biggest complaint I heard this year, however, had to do with garb - or I shall I say the complete lack of garb. Not "bad" garb, not "ren faire vs. SCA" garb, but NO attempt at garb whatsoever. Jeans and t-shirts in the marketplace and in classes - repeatedly (clue: you aren't a Viking just because you have a t-shirt with a cartoon drawing of a Viking on the front). Three girls walking around the lake late one night during the second week wearing short, cotton sundresses. Some chick wearing black leggings, tennis shoes, and a black t-shirt with a ripped, half-falling apart waist cincher that looked like it had been made from a straight jacket - which was right up there with the chick wearing a bikini top and cartoon-print PJ bottoms in the market.

    I'm no garb snob by any means - I'm usually careful about what I wear during the day, but I wear some non-authentic ME dance clothes or some of my nicer ren-faire stuff in the evenings. I attend some dance classes in the ME tent in more modern work-out wear (amazingly easy to cover with a skirt/veil when going to/from class). And yes, it was hot, so I don't expect to see anyone decked out in full Tudor or Elizabethan in the middle of summer. I don't care what anyone wears while in the privacy of their camp or when obviously just arriving on site/setting up/heading out on a town run...but what we saw this year went far beyond that, and we saw a LOT of it.

    And it isn't helped by the crap that more and more merchants are selling - garage sale and Goodwill junk that doesn't remotely pass as anything that should be sold at an SCA event or that could be repurposed for a history-themed event. Or even better-quality items that are inappropriate to this particular event (i.e. keep the Steam Punk stuff for a different event). I've got to believe that there's a long waiting list of merchants who would like to sell at Pennsic - does the Pennsic Mayor/staff/SCA have any say in who does or doesn't get to merchant at Pennsic? I'd like to see the organization take a more juried approach to screen out the inventory that's inappropriate or simply utter garbage and bring in more worthwhile items.

    Phew - OK - rant mode off!!
    • "As long as this is supposed to be a no-pets event, anyone wanting to bring a service animal on site should be required to provide documentation from their doctor showing proof that the animal is a bonafide service animal. That's not trying to discriminate - that's trying to protect the animals from their irresponsible owners. '

      And under the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is illegal. No owner of a business or organizer of an event may require certification of a service animal's status before permitting the service animal to accompany a person with a disability.
    • Couldn't agree more on the garb thing really. Though I haven't been to war for the past three years (last was Pennsic 36..technically), I've seen it on a decline since Pennsic 30 at an alarming rate. What folks do in their own camps is their own thing and I know that myself and several other people in my camp take liberties quite a bit when it's hot out or just down right pouring. Who wants to get garb soaked or sweat to death? Even then I'll pride the mud and dirt that gets on my garb after a night out in the rain or mudfest that breaks out. With that though, I'm all for folks taking a few liberties with things and I do it quite a bit at night but I've always backed things up as I'm an "actor in costume" to explain a few things that are a little over the top or what not, but it always looks close to period...sort of, maybe...if you've had enough rum...

      There's no reason that people shouldn't make the attempt. It's really not that hard and I think a lot of this has to do with people coming to Pennsic for reasons that are just to party and their friends are saying things like "Oh it's cool! It's a non-stop party" blah blah blah and they have no clue what Pennsic is really about or should be about.
  • Really? Service Dogs is your pet peeve?! Not Glow sticks? Not wannabe Twilight Goth idiots walking around in black trench coats? Not people deciding that the ditch beside your camp looks like a good place to puke? Not idiots building fires too big and damaging peoples tents with floating cinders? Service Dogs?

    I have to admit I would not mind at all if people were just allowed to bring their pets so long as they were required to clean up after them and the pet could be expelled from site if it was unruly. So service dogs doesn't even make it to my list of things to complain about. I'll grant you using a service dog as a pack mule is a pretty crappy thing to do to an animal, but their presence does not bother me... not even a little.

    To me the thing that ticks me off is CARS!!!
    And the Pennsic staff kissing the ass of tin hats.

    People driving all over the site at all hours of the night
    People parking cars in their camps
    Parking not doing anything about it even after several complaints
    Party wagons nearly running people down because the driver is too stupid to stay sober while breaking site rules

    There was one camp on my block that had 3-4 vehicles parked in their camp the whole war from land grab Saturday until I left on the final Saturday. They did the same thing last year, we complained about it last year... we complained about it this year we even took our complaint directly to the mayor when he had open office hours and we were pretty much told by the mayor that nothing was going to be done about it because the camp was a Barony that is run by a Duke.

    Different rules just because you can hit people with a stick.

    That is my biggest complaint about Pennsic. There are rules... They exist for good reasons... EVERYBODY should be held responsible for following them.
    • Clarification - I don't mind the presence of the dogs - I like animals more than most people and enjoy seeing them around.

      What I don't like is what appears to be an abuse of the allowance for service animals. Perhaps that's not what's going on, but I've seen a few things that are suspect. And I frankly won't give a fat rat's behind what the American's with Disabilities Act says the first time an animal that is NOT truly a service animal and trained to cope with stressfull circumstances gets lost, injured, or run over because they freaked out at an event they shouldn't have been at in the first place.
      • Last year there was an incident I heard of (second hand admittedly) where a service dog bit a person who was going to pet it. The excuse was that the dog was "on duty" and the person shouldn't have been petting them anyway. But your service dog should be the MOST well trained when they are on duty in public. The animal may truly have been a service animal but it was a poor one if it was.

        And the ADA service animal policy only applies to businesses that are open to the public. While Pennsic pretty much lets everyone in it is not considered a "public" event I'm pretty sure, so may not fall under the auspices of the ADA act. Also, you can ask if the animal is a service animal and what tasks it is trained to perform. www.ada.gov/svcanimb.htm

        I agree that the determination of "service animal" is liberally used in our society.
        • simple answer to this a rule that even service peeps can't say no to. Many places have a rule that all service animals must have a coat on that says something like "service dog in training" or " service dog on duty, do not pet"

          I have seen more than one service dog "nip" at someone trying to pet them. Pets are people too, and if they get to hot, they can forget or laps in training. Think about it, if you are so hot you about to pass out, what do you think a dog with a fur coat is feeling like? If I put a fur coat on you in the hot Pennsic sun, sooner or later you going to bite someone too.


          This is not something that would be answered here, but if you bring it up to the Coopers I am sure they will address it.

          val
    • See, I didnt see ANY "sparkly vampire" kids this war, and I was expecting too. Glow sticks have been proven period in Pennsic Independent, kinda. People dont puke near my tent because the portacastles are right there (much to my dismay during "cleaning times" P U!)

      Yeah the cars are an issue, but they always have been. I think it'll have to come down to rogue attacks with spraypaint at 4 am to make people realize their vehicle shouldnt be there. No one else does jack sh*t about it, and they havent and they probably never will. I've come to a compromise there - if you MUST drive your car at night on the local roads, go to hazard lights only, no headlights, just hazards and parking lights. Headlights kill my darkness-attuned eyes.

      But service dogs on the buses is really crappy to everyone involved.
    • Solution, find another duke and ask them to help you out. I know at least one who'd not only get them to move the f*ing cars, but would do it so they wouldn't be mad about it.
      • I missed not hearing bagpipes...and the cars do need to be dealt with ... and as much as I know people like them and use them, I do not like seeing yellow school buses driving around all day...black buses would blend in better, but maybe they get the school buses cheaper or something ?

        Other than that...it was a fantastic Pennsic - ranks up there as one of my favorites and even though it was humid, hot and sweaty, it hardly rained - rain at Pennsic always makes me super cranky !

        Can't wait for XL !! Wooo !!
        • Oh...AND....I really do not have a problem with the amping of any instruments...I can totally overlook that in order to have great music playing to dance to...I love the earthy and raw sound of the drums around the fire but I also love to hear well arranged melodies for dancing / performing....and seriously, COME ON, there are oh soooo many other more blantant things to complain about than an amped instrument...

          It's important to pick your battles...which ones are really gonna make it or break it ?
  • I don't share the same feelings about the above complaints. None of the above bothers me because it's gone on for my entire 15 years of going to War. The heat bothered me, that's about it. And a couple of really unchivalrous acts toward my friend who had a baby. Otherwise I can only complain that War is too damn short and that I didn't have enough time to do everything I wanted to do...again my complaint every year!
    • Cars parked in camps are beyond annoying. They threaten to remove the owners from the event and they should do it. . . I think think of at least 20 cars that sat in various camps for what seemed most of Pennsic. Remove the owners PERMANENTLY and I would bet the problem goes away.

      The other issue I had with this year is an ongoing one. Our block is over-full, and has been for several years. Yet they KEEP cramming more groups in. We lost a TON of land because of "compression" - again. The ONLY reason we were able to have a firepit at all this year is that one of the largest tents in camp died horribly during peace week and that allowed us to rearrange and allow for greater common space.

      I would also like to see "attempt" at garb be enforced.

      Aside from all of that, my war was awesome :-)
  • only will comment about the "service" pet.

    By law you can not tell them no, those some states have it where they have to be clearly marked and papered, most don't. Like when you see a dog with a vest on saying service dog at work. Those this is nice many states don't make you do this. So if a well trained dog is there and the person tells you its a service dog many won't question it. Most because of a fear of a law suite or bad PR.

    Another change is that some service pets are for people with some kind of mental distress. (wow I am being PC or what there). lol Again in some cases this pet is to keep the person more balanced. But some abuse this just because they cant' seem to put the pet in the kennel. But again, many won't push the point due to fear of being sued or bad PR.

    All in all it's not to bad. I get more upset when they permit the gray hounds then say not other type of dog is permited. Both my dogs are well trained and love to go to events.

    val
    • I guess it'll take people stepping in dog shit to get them to complain about the issue, which likely is the next step no pun intended. Or someone having an allergy attack on a bus or in a food court because people are bringing their dogs around with them. Fortunately I'm not allergic, and hell, I even like SOME dogs, but is it alright to tell people allergic to dogs to "shut up and deal with it"? I've seen a growing rise of this in mundania too (people bringing their dogs into shops, etc)
  • Agree with the NO Garb problem (I saw people in mundanes walking in the market with a friend in garb. "Friends shouldn't let friends walk naked"), and the in camp parking lot.

    And the modern mundane merchandise being sold OUT FRONT of the shops.
    (At least keep it under the counter, like any good counter-band!!)


    SO, what happens next??
    Do we just complain and bitch about these abuses?

    Or do we do something? And if so, what can we do?
    (Except for taking on the Federal Gov and the service animals)

    I fear if "good people do nothing" the day will come when those who want an authentic medieval event will have to go some place other than Pennsic.

    • abu Shadi D...

      "SO, what happens next??
      Do we just complain and bitch about these abuses?

      Or do we do something? And if so, what can we do?
      (Except for taking on the Federal Gov and the service animals)

      I fear if "good people do nothing" the day will come when those who want an authentic medieval event will have to go some place other than Pennsic."

      I am afraid of this as well.

      The SCA and especially Pennsic becomes more and more LARP and less and less Recreation every year. When I see abuses of site rules I complain about them, and make it known to the powers that be that I am displeased by it. This year was very disappointing when the Mayor of Pennsic pretty much said in not these exact words that the Duke parking cars in his camp near my camp had a pass because he was a Duke.

      As individuals there is next to nothing we can do about most of these problems. What I have done is make it as uncomfortable for those breaking the rules as I can. Point and laugh at someone out of garb. Walk in the dead center of the road while the car is behind me, and take my sweet time getting off to the side. But, if everyone started doing it... If people hosting parties started insisting that anyone coming into their camp were in garb... If merchants refused to serve people not in garb, if the teachers in classes were ejected from their class anyone not in garb... It might be a kind of dickish thing to do, but if enough people do it and it takes a party wagon a half hour to get to the party because people in the road simply refuse to part for them, or people out of garb are constantly being ridiculed or refused service for being naked it might have an effect.

      All that being said. Pennsic is still awesome. I will admit to wearing blinders to most of these problems. I come to pennsic to not worry about petty things, and refuse to let it all ruin my war. I know this thread is supposed to be about complaints but I feel like I am whinning about how much I hate Pennsic and I DO NOT hate Pennsic. I LOVE Pennsic and intend to come back for many many years to come.
      • My biggest complaint is so big, I'm going to make a separate post about it, because I'd love to brainstorm solutions.

        My big complaint is BUGS. Specifically 1. black flies and 2. stomach viruses, not necessarily unrelated.

        In my 7 years of Pennsic, this was the absolute first year that anyone in my camp had an issue with bugs, mostly flies, and I blame it on the much lower bat population. This year I saw just a handful of bats in 2 weeks...and I camp on the lake! Not only is the Northeast bat population already down in recent years due to that fungus disease that claimed a lot of colonies, but according to a native PA friend, the state actually eliminated a few colonies due to a rabies scare, before the Feds stepped in to stop them. I hope that's not true, because: Way to go, PA...that's how we all get West Nile Virus. How do we bring back the bats? Or get Coopers to selectively crop-dust or something?

        I can deal with a few flies, sure. But the reason I am really freaked out is because I'm wondering if the higher bug population contributed to the sudden-onset stomach virus that claimed probably hundreds of victims in the last few days of war. It was definitely not food poisoning. I got it Thursday night and, after vomiting for about 9 hours, got taken up to Chiurgeons for an IV and anti-nausea meds. Two others in camp got taken up later on Friday, the husband on Saturday night and another in our camp Sunday morning. When I went up, Chirugeons said 40+ people had been in on Thursday-Friday for the same thing, and about 20+ a day for a few days prior. When my camp-mate went up on
        Sunday morning, she said the count was 70+ people Friday-Saturday.

        So that's probably upwards of 200 people with vomiting and abdominal cramping, all in the last few days of War. Chirugeons said they could not find a single common food link among all people that they treated, and patients were coming in from all over the site, not from a specific area or group of camps. My guess? Black flies, which land on waste and then our food.

        So what do we do to improve things for next year???

        • Okay, two more complaints, actually. (Sorry!)

          I was very upset that we could not shop on Saturday, which (combined with the weather) encouraged a lot of people on my block and around all of site to pack up and leave early. Having been sick Thursday night and most of Friday, it was a big disappointment to have that day taken away from me, and I missed out on my last day ritual marketplace walkabout. Bring it back!!! Don't cut our Pennsic short!

          Secondly, the archery situation. It needs its own dedicated bus, and that idea about putting the flag up when a marshall is on the range should actually, you know, happen.

          There were at least two days when the range was open but the flag wasn't up, and no one wants to go all the way there just to find out the range is closed! Trying to shoot an hour or two or practice on the range at Pennsic has turned into a 4-5 hour event. It takes just as long to walk there as it does to take the bus, plus the little buses are way too small to allow archers with equipment to file in and out in any kind of order. Just loading and unloading a single bus takes 15 minutes or more, and on a good day there is a huge crowd (including kids) trying to get on the bus and having to wait an hour for another one.

          Create a dedicated bus just to go to the range and back, or, better yet, bring back the hay wagons just to go from the battlefield (near Troll), with one stop at the far side of the battlefield for the B blocks folks, then right to the range and back again. Archers can sign special release forms to ride the wagons (as I understand they were eliminated for safety reasons because of folks jumping off them when they were in motion) and that way keep them just for that purpose, with no liability on Coopers.

          • My biggest complaint would be the electric bass guitar, clearly audible from over five camps away. I tend to judge the dickishness of things by how many people it can disrupt at once, combined with how "in-your-face" it is. Beer/soda cans in hand and elf ears are on the lower end for me. I can walk right past if I'm conversing with someone else, and not even notice them. Then would come T-shirt garb. It will actually stand out enough to draw your attention if it's in front of you. Worse would be glow sticks and blinky LED's. They're an obvious clash in a radius of dozens of feet at night, sometimes even when not in line of sight. The absolute worst, of course, is a jackass with an amplified electric bass, capable of crashing people's revelry in a radius of hundreds of feet.

            The worst part was when I mentioned my fantasy where Bluto Blutarsky visits said "guitar player," a few of my campmates had no idea what I was talking about. I felt obliged to shake my fist and yell at those kids to get off my lawn... Sigh.
            • I my self find little to complain about. I do agree that the car situation was out of control and the garb thing needs to be dealt with. I suggest a boycott of anyone not in garb. Make them invisible. Don't talk to them and don't do business with them and especially don't give them drinks at the bar. At that point they will realize that they had made a big mistake leaving camp dressed like that and will have to go back to their tent if they wish to join the rest of us in the anachronism.

              As for car, my camp is most likely the farthest camp from troll past the swamp where we had two ladies with disabilities. Walking up to the A & S tent in not an option. But since we are so far back in the forest and up over a ridge no one from the road would be able to see the car so I just put on blinders and ignore it. But once the rule is broken it becomes contagious and other members of the camp felt it just as simple to leave their cars in came. To the point that making a issue over it was to become outcast in my own camp. So every day I would wake and dress in my latest garb and set for a new day at war only to be walk out of my tent and see a mini van in my face reminding me that I will have to leave this place and go back to the real world sooner that I would like.

              Lastly I want the hay wagon back. The beautiful tour around the lake on a sunny day looking at the encampments doing what they do and enjoying the would be spectacle that is Pennsic, not to mention a ride up the hill to the barn to boot. Now it's the short bus and you have to have a real good reason to get on that thing IMO. Friends from my camp jumped onto it just before the rain hit during Midnight madness while my family and I sat out the rain at the food court then trudged back to camp only to beat them their by 20 minutes. My friends found themselves sitting on this thing for 1and half hours as it drove way past B bock and back with no warning on where it was headed next. I would much prefer to walking in the rain soaked to the bone and covered in mud than to sit on a cramped hot unventilated short school bus full of people where their wet dirty garb they had been in for the past two day and what scents their fabrics had picked up have been activated my the rain to make a sauna Ode to BO for a hour and half. F that. Bring back the hay wagon for the lake and another for the Serengeti and battlefield. (This includes the N and B blocks. Don't want to count anyone out.) The large tour bus for four years ago in the B block was just too much and this year too little.

              End rant.
              • Yes, yes, yes, what he said! Bring the hay wagons back!!!! They were the best, most fun way to get around Pennsic. And when people from the tractors would drive past your camp, you can wave and cheer at them because you can see their smiling faces!!!
                • my apologizes. My pc has a auto spell check and it has permitted me to be as dyslexic as I am and still communicate. But going back and reading my posts shows me that I spelled things right but used them in the wrong place. There, Their, they're, keeps getting me in trouble and other types like My instead of By are still typos even when spelled correctly. Where and wear are also pissers. So sorry again.

                  Now back to your normally scheduled rants.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    No Worries Godfree...

                    I'd rather have the occasional misspelling than people typing in text speak.

                    OMG! DYS... LOL!

                    I can never make any sense of it. It takes me much longer to read all that than anything misspelled.

                    I'm not going to turn this into a rant about texting though. This thread is supposed to be about Pennsic rants.

                    I also miss the hay wagons very much. From what I understand they were done away with because too many idiots were jumping onto and off of them while they were in motion. There were injuries so the Coopers in order to protect people from their own stupidity just stopped running them.

                    Society protecting people from them self is another subject I could rant about. I personally think that having a few "dangerous" things around teaches us to be responsible. If you don't learn to be responsible you get hurt. Either way... I doubt any amount of public pressure will get the Coopers to bring the wagons back. Too much liability if people got injured in the past.
                    • There should be a liability clause that would have to be signed at troll to get in. Something like any injury or damage caused to you or your property while participating or observance in any event or activity while on the Cooper Camp Grounds will find no fault of the Coopers or the SCA during said Event. So if your a dumb ass and try jumping on the hay wagon while it is in motion and you get a boo boo on you shin, it's your own damn fault.
                      • maybe we can start a communication with the coopers....

                        'we all do love the old hay wagons. how can we go about getting the hay-wagons back? what do we need to do, and how can we facilitate this? please :)'

                        :D
                        • D'ner, that's a great idea. I had originally thought about some sort of release form just for haywagons to the archery range and back (because it's a controlled, smaller group of people likely carrying equipment and less likely to "hop" onto or off of anything). But maybe release forms or limited liability clauses or some such could work for all of site? Lack of easy archery access, though is my a big pet peeve. I'd love to find a solution.
                      • There is a liability waiver that's signed by everyone who goes through troll. (I know I'm not making this up, because my SO remembers reading and signing it too). However, liability waivers don't hold up in court, so the Coopers still feel the need to cover their asses WRT things like the hay wagons. If someone (or someone's insurance company) sued over an injury sustained by jumping onto/off of a moving hay wagon, the Coopers would likely lose because they knew, due to the history of using the hay wagons, that such injuries were not only possible but likely.
          • I will talk to Brom about the archery this year. He was there all week. I don't know about the flag deal but I can tell you the archery peeps are just as pissed about lack of transport as you are.

            I know he was talking about this before pennsic because it was a problem last year.
            • Why did they move the archery off of the mountain? I heard the woods battle up there was pure hell and they plan not to use that area again for the battles. I liked the archery range up there. Not only do you have a great view, it just seems to be the right place for archers. On the high ground.
              • Yeah the archery thing is something that needs to be in a better place. My wife did not even make it up to the range today and we have a couple friends who are archery marshals that didn't even bring gear because they knew they weren't going to get out there. I swear the archery range is half way to Ohio.
  • it's not so much about this pennsic - it's next year - we camp on B08 which now the coopers are turning into PAID parking..... so we are being displaced for the 40th - i am very sad and admittedly my initial reaction was that i didn't want to go.. no clue as to wear they will be putting everyone on B08 =o(

    more money in their pockets i guess.. be damned the happiness of an entire block full of people that have gotten along for 10 years and never had issues with land grab etc..

    blah.. =o(
    • Huh, interesting...sad to see B08 being removed like that. I've often wondered what would happen if they decided to remove B09 from the map myself...would definitely be hard as my camp pretty much founded the block...we camped there before it was one even!

      I don't get the need for "paid parking" at all to be honest. The lots that are in the B-Blocks are big enough as it is and unless they were going to expand the handicapped spaces which are down by B08 already, I don't get the point as Paid Parking is just above B06 already....
    • every has to remember, THE COOPERS ARE NOT MEMBERS OF THE SCA, they are business people. Make a profit or go out of business. Some of the land the Coopers use for Pennsic is rented. Not all but some. Could be this lot is rented those who own it see more money for themself to turn it into paid parking.

      Is it harsh? maybe. But one rule that has never changed at Pennsic is, you are not sure you will have the same spot as last year.

      Now how much of a "profit" is needed, well that is up to the business owner. It is true you must keep your customers happy, but say you can park 100 cars at $25.00 a car you have 100 customer happy. But in the same spot you piss off say 20 who lose their camping spot well that is still 80/20 on the said of good customers. It's just business, not personal.

      val
  • I thought that service animals HAD to have documentation for the owner's medical need to be permitted on-site?
    Even if their home state doesn't require a service/training jacket, can Pennsic require one? (And agreed, people with pet allergies will probably start to complain - but I'm allergic to cigarette smoke and *I* have to just suck it up and deal...)

    I did meet a fellow a few years ago - blind, with a jacketed and harnessed service dog - a few blocks from my camp. The dog was clearly off-duty so I asked permission to pet him, and received permission along with "He's used to being the surrogate pet for everyone here. Its OK to stop us even if he's on-duty so long as we're not obviously in a hurry". Clearly a VERY well-trained animal. But I also got licked to death this year by a dog-in-training, outside the store. I didn't mind the doggy-kisses but was surprised that the trainer was being so relaxed with an animal supposedly in training.

    With regard to the buses.... I wonder if we'd be allowed to dress them up with barding or something.... but I have to say they're VERY useful. although ONE big bus would be nice from the B-block security point to archery and back. I wish they'd put archery back on the hill by thrown weapons where it used to be!

    *******************************
    My biggest peeves were cars, lack of ANY attempt at garb, and people smoking/bringing lit cigarettes into portas.

    The cars... we had 3 parked right across from our gate ALL WEEK, despite repeated complaints to security. Apparently someone was a friend of someone in parking, and those cars were never moved, even though they were a quick hop from paid parking and getting multiple complaints from their neighbors.

    Lack of garb has been discussed at length elsewhere.

    (start rant)

    Lit cigarettes in portas. I'm severely allergic to cigarette smoke, as I mentioned above. I'll generally make the effort, outdoors, to move away from it, or hold my breath to "get through the gauntlet". Theres NO getting away from it when its trapped in a porta! I actually (several times this war) started to step in and literally didn't make it past the threshold, started hacking and coughing, because the blue box REEKED of cigarette smoke. And there wasn't another one open a couple times (I have a medical issue, when nature calls, I'd best answer DAMNED fast!)

    Smokers, really... ask a friend to hold your cig while you take a leak. Finish the butt and throw it out BEFORE you go where we all have to. Set it on the dirt and let it burn while you step inside (I've seen people do this). but DON'T bring it into the portas! And please, if you see someone about to step in with a lit butt, say something to them. I've done this. Like teens with cells,half of them honestly don't realize its still in their hands and a problem!

    (end rant)
    • I got an answer about buses and archery at Pennsic this year. DON"T blame the archery peeps, they begged for a bus JUST for Archery and the Mayor of Pennsic said NO.

      Here how it was told to me.

      There is 4 buses each to leave about 15 mins a part so if every things work out on the avg a bus should hit the pickup point about every 15 mins right? LOL these 4 buses do the whole loop of Pennsic. IF one get delayed for any reason it will sooner or later have one of the other buses catch up with it.

      Then there was the problem that all the drivers where taking there breaks all at the same time. Soon now you have people waiting that hour for lunch at the first stop which makes it over an 2 hours for the last stop.


      Every one feel like they are back in 5th grade math yet? So it didn't take much for the buses to get out of wack.

      Best thing to do is start emailing the power that be for Pennsic for next year and beg for a bus that will go from point A right to the archery field. But again there is no fault to be put on the archery team for this, they begged for the bus and was told no.

      val
      • Ya know I got to admit... I was not particularly impressed with this mayor when I spoke with him. It seems to me that he caved to the pressure applied to him by mucky mucks in the society, but gave little regard to the populous. I went to him to complain about cars that were parked in a camp near mine and all the Mayor would say was "Well... you know Duke Logan." Like he had no power over him.

        My question is he is the AUTOCRAT right? that means PERSON WITH UNLIMITED POWER right? By rights he should be able to give an order to any staff person and they have to obey it. That is what Autocrat means right? Now I realize that if he ruled Pennsic with an iron fist then no one would attend the event. On the other hand... enforcing the rules is a mandatory part of the job.

        The bus situation was a catastrophe this year. I don't ride them... so it doesn't effect me, but I can't count the number of times I saw three buses drive down the road bumper to bumper then not see a bus for an hour after that. Not having one to go to the archery range just meant that very few people did archery this year. I know at least three archers that just didn't shoot at all. I would be willing to bet that some Duke or King got a bug up his ass about the buses and "suggested" they change things this year and the 4 buses driving 15 minutes apart is what they came up with. So having to rent 4 buses meant that there probably was not money in the budget to rent one exclusively for archery. The problem is the more moving parts something has the easier it is for it to get messed up.
        • In fairness, I used the buses more this year than any previous year. Minus for once or twice, I happened to have the luck of catching the bus just as it was pulling up.

          If archers want to fight a bigger battle, EZ UPS on the archery field would be helpful, for waiting archers. A main reason archers didnt shoot this year was because there is NO COVER from the blazing hot sun - not for archers, nor for marshals. Being able to duck out of the sun for a while is vital for happy archers and marshals. EZ ups should be provided at each station. Also, there was NO gatorade to be had at the archery range, only water. I wont get into the debate, but there's a lot of times where Gatorade trumps water as dehydration prevention. But none for the archers this year.

          Archery has really taken the role of the unwanted stepchild this year.
          • In fairness, the bus situation out to the archery range was much improved this year over last. This year the buses seemed to be arriving every 15-20 minutes during War week. However, it's definitely true they're awfully cramped for people with archery equipment. The hay wagon would be a lot better--but I seem to recall that was one of the issues last year (the hay wagon couldn't handle mud or ruts).

            Also agree that sunshades would make a world of difference on the range. There were no sunshades on the old range, but all of the ranges were close to the main tent, whereas at this one the clout was a considerable distance from the tent.

            I also miss the old Champions' roving range. Nothing was in an actual woods this year.
        • for the record Autocrats don't have "unlimited power" in fact have see more than once an autocrat removed from his/her duties because they was pissing off someone of higher rank. One of the times the rule was clearly posted some duke said "I'm duke (&*&^&)^& and I out rank everyone here" When the autocrat tried to push it, he went to the barion of the group 30 mins later the autocrat was off site. And the autocrat was IN THE RIGHT.

          Our little group is no longer, every voice counts, said to say. IF they have rank and you don't. Walk away it's a losing battle.

          val
          • I know autocrats don't have unlimited power. But that is what autocrat means... THE person in charge. Not the guy that organizes the event, but the dictator of it. I was just pointing out the inconsistency.

            I am a firm believer that NO ONE should be above the rules. I realize that nobles crapping on the peasants and not having to obey laws is period, but we are recreating the BEST PARTS of the middle ages.
    • The only time my gag reflex kicked in in a porto (the first time and I've been in some RANK porto's) was in one where someone threw some butts into the men's pisser. take a butt and toss a little urine on it and you have one of the foulest smelling things on earth. I'm also sensitive to smoke. I get migranes from it, itchy throat red eyes, sneezing. It sucks. People just need to keep them out of enclosed public space.
  • Unsu...
     
    When people see bullshit, they need to call bullshit, right then and there. Publically. On the spot. As if one carried righteous cojones.
    We need to police ourselves.
    • Malicious,
      I was about to reply to Abu Shadi about this situation, but you beat me to the punch. Perhaps what Pennsic needs is an actual period police force. Basically a night watch sort of volunteer organization to collect information and help the mayor and Coopers enforce the rules. For instance, jury the merchants. Get a crowd of volunteer medievalists to go around the entire merchant area and rate each merchant according to a set of standards. Positive points for having more document-able merchandise than modern. Positive points for keeping the modern stuff in back. More positive points for no modern stuff. More points for making the merchandise yourself. The top ten merchants could be given sighs to place in front of their booths with the Better Merchants Bureau seal of approval. The bottom three could be reported to Cindy Cooper, or whoever rents out merchant space.
      Complaints about camps with parked cars could be investigated and offenders/camps could be listed in the Pennsic Independent, or whatever it is currently called. Sort of the way dead beat dads are outed in the real world. Send bad entertainers to perform anti-auto ballads in front of the offending camps.
      I am sure there are many other ideas.
      • I rather like Jim's idea about the merchants. Maybe not having an official jury process or anything (after all a real jury is time consuming and pennsic being run by volunteers it would be tough to coordinate.) but having an award given to the best of in various categories nominated and voted on by the pennsic populous would be great. In this way we are not forcing merchants to jump through more hoops to set up at pennsic, but we are still applying pressure to them to step up their game and be more period.
  • I have been reading your ideas through here and I just want to say this is why I so love hanging out with y’all. This group is about the cleverest bunch of monkeys I know.

    For the sake of venting, I’m adding my biggest complaint (other than the swarm of black flies in our blocks). We are at the top of the world: B-blocks. We’ve been there since it opened and live in a happy bubble with our neighbors EXCEPT the barony that moved in across the road a few years ago. They came in taking up pretty much the entire block and have felt that because of their numbers they can dictate the way of the lands.

    They have an inept bugler who attempts to call revelry at an hour much too early for everyone else. They insist on parking cars (and trailers) along the road or in our camp. They’ve moved portacastles and dumpsters off their site and onto our lands because they deemed it so.

    This year they had a dumpster moved an entire block over so that everyone along the top road had to go use the battlefield dumpster or the one at the end of the world by the corn field. Mind you, we have someone in camp with mobility issues and this was just one more hurtle to overcome. They also were playing some sort of rubber ducky baseball game in which they were hitting said ducks across the street and into a pavilion in our camp. Then they invited children using the portacastles INTO THEIR CAMP to give away the ducks. This is NOT the BEHAVIOR I EXPECT from someone/a group that attends Pennsic. They really could go away now.
    • Fearghus,
      >
      I like the idea of the populous vote. On the down side there would be problems with a general vote. We could possibly arrange for every Pennsic merchant book to come with one ballot. This would greatly reduce stuffing of the ballot box, unless a merchant actually resorted to buying ballots. However, there would be the problem of collecting the ballots and counting them. There might be hundreds. This would also have to wait until late in the event to allow most people to vote. My idea was to find say 10 individuals, give each a spread sheet with all the booth numbers and have them go around at their leisure early in the event. The spread sheets would then be tabulated. Either way, there would be organization and work involved. Unfortunately I'd be too busy, and as a merchant myself, would likely have to recuse myself.
      Another possibility which just now occurred to me is to have the A&S folks handle the judging. Of course they would rate only items made my artist craftsmen merchants. So it would take less time. But I am sure the A&S people are equipped for this sort of thing.
      • So you are suggesting a "Juried" system then? (sigh) Similar to the art shows or the Renn festivals....

        While i see a need here I don;t wholeheartedly agree that it needs to be ALL period. Being able to stroll the merchant area and buy a cool stuffie for the kids is a necessity not only for parents that are placating (bribing) un-ruly children but for those that need to bring something back for the youngin's left at home.
        • according to the Pennsicwar.org site:

          *******
          Merchants are categorized in one of three levels:

          •Level 1: Artisans making/selling only SCA specific*, hand-made items
          •Level 2: Merchants making/selling only SCA specific* items
          •Level 3: Merchants making/selling only SCA specific* or SCA related** items
          * SCA specific: Items that can be documented from 500 - 1650 AD
          ** SCA related: Items with an SCA context/theme

          New merchant applicants selling at the Level 1 category will be considered most favorably followed by levels 2 then 3. Merchandise not falling in the three categories would be given the least consideration.
          ******

          In other words, its SUPPOSED to be juried already! I suspect some of the merchants have just gotten lazy.
          So if the populace (or a representative group thereof) wanted to further jury the merchants, it could be done by the above categories, and offer some visible token that designates that? (could even designate category if someone wanted to take the time)

          Because, you know, it IS an SCA event.
          • Jenna,
            Thanks for the heads up. I wasn't aware that there was actually a system in place for selecting merchants. I know a guy who sells corsets. He sold at Gulf Wars for years and then a couple years ago was denied space by the merchant autocrat since his line of goods were deemed inappropriate. So there is some policing going on.
            • Jim,

              no problem... the only reason I was aware of it was that I merchanted with a small group my second Pennsic. When the group fell apart I looked into going solo (I'm a potter). So I knew that there was a system in place. Most people wouldn't have any reason to be looking at the merchant pages on pennsicwar.org. Take a look at the merchant rules sometime... you'll have a better appreciation for what the merchants do!

              J
            • would like to know what the deem "inappropriate" about corsets....LOL I think all the women should wear them...LOL and they are peirod...

              I merchant at Gulf Wars for awhile. 16hour drives just got to much for me. Any way, compaired to Pennsic rules Gulf Wars was very simple.

              val
      • Was a Pennsic Merchant for 8 years, I can tell you right now, this will never happen. Though Cindy and crew is very open to input on merchants old and new alike. It's not a simple as "who we want".

        There is not only what level the merchant is on but other factors as well.

        Here is a good exp. Sword sells. Now if you make your own swords then that is one thing, but if you are like 20 others wanting in sell all the same stuff then it becomes a price war. Everyone walks around going damn I just saw the same stuff 2 booths over. etc, etc, etc, so there is not much there to make people happy.

        So Cindy and crew looks at all the merchants and say ok, we have 9 sword people already, due to whatever we will only permit 7 and we have 2 new ones that make bitchen custom pieces. Out of the 9, 6 are selling almost the same thing. For Cindy and the people of Pennsic the choice is keep the same old same old, have a price war and hear merchants bitch about how bad things was or bring in new blood, new and better stock. Which is better for the merchants, which is better for the buyer and which is over best for Pennsic merchants??

        As both a merchant and a buyer, cut some of the "same old" and bring in new stuff.

        Another problem that is not been brought up is that if enough people bitch about a merchant, Cindy will bar them from site. NOW this has happen more than once bent a few noses out of joint. And we all know that the merchant is never the problem, rgh

        This year I was bared from merchanting because I didn't show up last year because of family problems. Someone told Cindy that I blew them off for another event. We didn't and I understand due to the last minute cancel of our space it was a problem for her.. We took our spanking and hope we will be back next year.

        Others whom this has happen to said all sorts of untruths about why they got spanked. Cindy in the 10 years I have known her has never done anythng just on a whim. The merchant was always given a fair chance to correct the problems and failed to address them.

        OF all the jobs at Pennsic, Cindy and her crew truely have the hardest one of them all.

        val
        • Mine:

          - The FARGIN' heat...
          - The damnable buses. We NEED the haywagons back. Try hauling a cooler on/off that damned bus? And the atmosphere, while being hauled by a tractor ain't nuttin' at all the same at all like a team of horses (- and yeah, horse-poop is PERIOD and wouldn't bother me a whit..) - but it's FAR sight better than those yellow tin boxes. Rode one once this year - won't do it often again - heel spur or no..
          - Garb - needs to be an attempt at period - period.
          - WHY couldn't there be an ice station (a booth with several large freezer boxes like up-top) placed at the end of the electrical line behind the lake ( add a few hundred yards) with a daily ice delivery by the truck? Want to see fewer vehicles around? - make ice accessible for camps that are a half-mile plus away from the store so's when someone returns they have ICE, not slush.
          - The "bad goth garb" glow-stick population did seem to be down a bit this year from a few years back. Huzzah for that. Public remonstrations of those offenders of this and the 'no garb' problems would - I feel - likely remedy the situation before long. If you wanna play/see Football - DON'T go down to the Baseball diamond and demand what you wanna see.
          - ONE more hike in prices and I may just start skipping years. Fuel prices were DOWN this year - so why did rates go UP? Bullsh*t.
          - Walk past me and not be able to give the (formerly) normal courtesy of a nod or a "good day" because you're too busy yammering on your mucking cell phone and I just MAY accidentally stumble and crush that damnable offensive item under my boot heel. Twice.
          - Your camera likely HAS a "no flash" feature for low-light which you'll find out about IF YOU READ THE GODDANG' MANUAL that came with it. Done.
          • Cowboy you rock!

            I'm with you on the tiny buses sucking.

            Ice station. That is freaking brilliant!!!

            (But it won't help if they run out of ice topside like this year)


            How about a solar shower closer to the Swamp? That would sure cut down on the sheer amount of crap we pack every year..
          • "Manual that came with it." BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Cowboy, can I borrow your time machine and go back to 1995 when they actually last gave out manuals with the cameras you bought? I requested a manual for my most recent camera, computer, and phone, and oh, how the children who sold them to me laughed and laughed! They referred me to the "online manual." WHY CAN'T I HAVE A PAPER COPY TO TAKE TO PENNSIC so I don't annoy Cowboy?!
  • I was one of the Archery Marshals for 39 (the tan guy with the skunk hawk and loud voice.) EVERY DAMN DAY we complained to the Mayor about 2 things:
    1) The buses sucked.

    One day a group of people waited 2 hours for a bus when it came it was full of people so the driver did not even stop. I know for a fact that the Cooper eventually got involved with this situation.

    2) Cars on the range.

    Like I said buses sucked but some how this turned into people trying to drive from the Paid parking on B block to the range. I lived in the swamp and was given the option of having a battle field pass but turned it down to set a good example. We nearly kicked one guy off site because he got pissed off when we told him to take his car away. He pulled the "I am a Duke and a Knight of this society." I responded with "I am range marshal and have a walkie-talkie and these rules are posted everywhere." I happened to know who his King was and had a little conversation with him on my way home that night.

    As for the reason we moved to the new range.

    ITS HUGE.
    Does anyone remember the old Marshal towers? Next year we get two. We even have 40 acres more we can use if we want to.

    The Coopers do rent a huge amount of room from other people hence the raise in price. Some of those people SUCK! One wanted nearly $100000 for 10 acres of SWAMP LAND. Here in Ohio you would have to PAY someone $100000 to take swamp land.
    • My number one major annoyance at Pennsic 39 and at many Pennsics prior are the BUSES! Yes, there are buses at Pennsic. Some people complain about golf carts, many complain about cars, but the things that really annoy me are the big yellow buses! Big yellow modern post 1600CE buses. I'll be walking up the road from the lake and all of a sudden behind me is a big yellow modern bus. I have to walk off the road and in some places stop and wait while the bus slowly rumbles past . I have examined the Bayeaux tapestry, or at least photos of it in books, and I can assure you it does not contain so much as one depiction of a yellow school bus. In fact, in all my years of study, I have not seen a single SCA period illumination of a bus anywhere near a medieval battle. So in my estimation, people who complain about elf ears and fur bikinis, but who ride the buses at Pennsic are hypocrites!
      I therefore propose the first annual Pennsic Bus Boycott! So unless you are disabled or grossly obese, after years of riding around Pennsic via bus, you should be joining the chorus "Ban The Buses!"
    • Wow! a hundred grand for 10 acres of swamp? Why would they rent or buy a swamp? Well, it's hard to bllame someone for trying to make a buck.

      On the other hand, ten acres is over 430,000 square feet. If it's campable, it would pay for itself in a few years, and if it has shade, people would be fighting over the right to camp there.
      • Yes, that swamp would definately be worth the investment! Gladius, they should bring back the wagons, at least they were period! :-)
        • We want wagons! Ban The Buses!
          • If we could get them horsedrawn then they would really be period horse apples and all! :-))
            • I have never riiden the bus at Pennsic, but I think they are a needed evil for people with kids or for folks who aren't as mobile as they would like. And although I love horses, I think that it would be a logistical nightmare (and a liability disaster) to have horsedrawn wagons at War. There are just too many things that can go wrong. On the other hand, if there were a couple of busses that were properly painted (as opposed to yellow) in a Pennsic friendly motif, and if they stopped running at 9:30, that would go a long way towards making me happy.

              As for golf carts...at Pennsic 39, some of the Cooper's neigbors behind the B-block decided to shoot off some fireworks (big ones) and aparently the security staff thought it was someone attending war. Suddenly every cart in the place converged on the block at a high rate of speed, intent on catching the culprits red-handed. I understand the need for security. I even volunteered to do foot patrols (which have been done away with), but the golf carts need to be mechanically limited to no more than 10 mph. It's only a matter of time before someone gets seriously hurt by one of these things.

              Just my dos centavos.

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