Sunday, 19 October 2014

Squire, Protect Me?

Something I do to entertain myself is cast random people I meet in movies I will probably never make. (Read an interview with other people who do this as well!)

It's an internal kind of improvisation game I play with myself to pass the time when I have nothing better to do. Such as pursue my current passion which is storytelling. The two things are really the same, except that in one arena I express stories to myself internally as the sole audience and in the other I express them externally on digital paper with mostly the same result.

At what point does contemplation becomes pontification?

I don't know, but in the pretend movie of my life I would cast my mate Shayne as the Joker character.

A combination sidekick of sorts with healthy doses of Wing Commander's Maniac, Top Gun's Jester and Starfox's Falco, Joker is one crazy mofo.

Meet my mate and one of the most chill people I know.

(This pic would have been around my 24th birthday in 1998. In this shot I'm wearing the "Rusty Mail" which was the sixth incarnation of my personal armour.)

"Watch Your Six!"

To me a good wingman is savvy, on the ball, loyal and generally all the things I'm not as a natural leader. Kind of like Maverick in Top Gun, I'm pretty wreckless in my approach to things. Which is why I need good wingmen to cover my ass.
Random fact: Believe it or not Shayne is actually "Minor Internet Celebrity." Mostly because he's on IMDB due a roll I got him in a 2005 Shania Twain biographical movie filmed on location in Sudbury.


We attended our first Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) Event together in the early 90's, I'm guessing around 1993.

I've actually been to less than a dozen SCA events of the years and my memory is less than perfect, but I seem to recall we lost our SCA cherry North of Toronto at Caledon East. We were attending with a friend of my who was a Scadian veteran and therefore excellent guide to the day's festivities.

This was the first time I ever met a group who collectively knew what chainmail even was. At this point I had been making it for a little over 5 years.

There was archery, combat, a court, awards for beautifully reproduced medieval arts and of course vendors. This was the first time I met Bill "the Sword Goy" Fendun of the South Tower Armouring Guild (S.T.A.G.), a modern Machiavellian in terms of medieval goods in Canada. 

I was wearing my moosehide and chain coat and I explained my passion for chainmail. He told me that I'd never make a living from it and to not bother. I bought a pamphlet called "The S.T.A.G. Method" from him which explained his guild's method. This "encouragement" went on to inspire the original Art of Chainmail. A project that took close to another 9 years to bring to fruition, with the greater bulk of the work coming in the final 4 years.

I bought the reproduction barbarian sword seen in many of my photos from Bill. To this day we still keep in touch and he even helped encourage the audacity of The Art of Chainmail II by suggesting chainmail lampshades as a project potential.

Here Shayne sports my original shirt and second armour incarnation. Kind of exactly like Rhodey Rhodes to my Tony Stark


We had previously appeared together in 1992 when I wore the same armour incarnation for Canada's 125th birthday bash in Kagawong.

I created the bulk of the mail for this coat, which represents the fifth iteration of my personal armour, while working at the Gore Bay Museum in the autumn of 92.

The helmet was a non-articulated version of an all-leather Lobster Helm to go with my "Buff Coat" in an attempt to seem somewhat English civil war-ish.


Recently Shayne reminded me that there was still hope for humanity. I was complaining that there were no more good "flying in space games." To us this terms means a history of virtual space simulators that starts as possibly as far back as our mutually favorite arcade in Sudbury, J.J.'s, and a sit down version of  the original Star Wars X-Wing game, I can't be sure.

But, we've both played pretty much every "flying in space" game there has ever been on the PC. From X-Wing to Tie Fighter, to X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter, To Wing Commander to Privateer to Wing Commander Privateer, we both flew "the shit" out of those old school space simulators. Which in retrospect all seem to come from a time period known as "the good old days."

(This suddenly reminds me of Bruce Springsteen and the Boss's "Glory Days" for some reason.)

Anyhow, gravity gets me down and as much as I love flight simulators, I love "flying in space games" more and was lamenting the fact that there were no more such titles on the horizon.

That's when he said "you're wrong!" Which is one of my favorite things to hear because it means there's something new to learn.

He then continued, "Check it out!" And directed my attention to Chris Roberts latest crowd sourcing effort Star Citizen and I was totally blown away.

Not that I have the kind of scratch to afford the hardware involved, but the fact that after all these years one of my heroes could surmount all the publisher's negativity and finally do a project his own way was completely awe-inspiring.

Especially because he raised something like $55,000,000 (the most ever raised via crowd-funding at the time) to do it right! Surely this means that my modest crowd-source to Kickstart AOC 2.0 at $5.5k is well within reach.


Thanks again to Shayne Beausoleil for agreeing to be interviewed for Diary of a Chainman and for also agreeing to do an exclusive podcast interview with me live from the fantastical off-island locale of Sudbury as part of the Kickstart The Art of Chainmail II crowd-sourced project coming soon to Indiegogo.

Q. Who are you?

A. My full name is Shayne David Richard Beausoleil... but you can call me

Q. Where are you from?

A. Earth.  More Specific?  Canada!  More specific? Ontario? MORE SPECIFIC?!
 Sudbury. MORE SPECIFIC? Go away, stalker.

Q. What is your product, service or promotion?

A. I run a bi-weekly podcast called The Dish.

Q. What makes you laugh?

A. Generally things that my mind finds amusing. But farts will forever make me

Q. What is something most people don't know about you?

A. Honestly most people don't know a lot about me; and that's the way I intend
to keep it. Keep em guessing is what my second cousin would say.

Or was it keep em running? I can't recall.

Q. What are you working on right now?

A. Nothing exciting to tell you the truth. Just maintaining the status quo.

Q. Who are your influences?

A. No one in particular to be honest.  I draw from the creativity of the world.

Q. How did you get started?

A. Podcasting?  My friend Sam runs a Webcomic hosting site called Comic Dish
and he wanted to do a podcast to help get information out to the users.  He
invited me along because we have a good energy together.

After a while he lost interest in the show and gave it to me, I've been
doing it ever since.

Q. What advice do you have for anyone who wishes to follow in your

A. Think about the repercussions your words will have with your audience.

Q. What is one thing you would do to make the world a better place?

A. I have no way of making the world a better place with one action.  It would
take the action of three quarters of the population, or more, across several
transactions each to make the world a better place.

...also I recycle.

Q. What makes for a good question?

A. Sentences that end in a question mark.

Absolutely brilliant! Thanks again Shayne! May the force be with you, always!

As Shayne so eloquently points out, any statement can be a question as long as it is phrased or perhaps better, enunciated with an up note. North of the border this pronunciation is actually rare as we tend to end our statements on a down note. Where as south of the border, the Mericans have mastered turning "Howdy Y'all?" into it's own class of customer service all its own.

Typography-wise a question mark denotes the questioning up note purrfectly, don't you think? 

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