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Pilfering Personal Peerage Pie?!

In regards to the Omnibus Peerage, one argument that is heard: We will water down the concept/reality of what Peerage is by including more. I will attempt to dismantle that theory. I will use certain groups as examples, but this is a ubiquitous argument and is not limited to, or singling out any specific group. They are examples. Nothing more, nothing less.

Driving in ones lane

Who is made ‘less’? When someone is elevated, they are elevated for what they master in, in their lane. Meaning this candidate is a master of the thing they are, in the space they chose. Someone who is recognized as a Laurel for their woodworking mastery will not be a detriment (nor necessarily as boon for that matter) to the Equestrian community. These two worlds might collide in a weird Venn-y diagram-my world, but not likely. Both will enjoy the benefits of having one so recognized in their ranks, continuing to do what they do, in their mastered field.

What this means is that one being recognized or elevated in their space in no way detracts from the other. Presumably these people are recognized for the work they have done, and hopefully continue to do. These individuals will be asked for support by the Society and Crown on their areas of expertise. It is about singling out individuals who are masters and thought leaders in their space. It identifies people who can be depended on for wisdom and intelligence. In other words, there is no pie. Anyone recognized as a Peer already, is not harmed or damaged in any way. Their voice rendered no less valued, their mastery not diminished in any way.

Peers… they live!

Whether we agree on the mechanics of how and why, one thing we should all agree on, is that Peers already exist, they simply haven’t been recognized as such. In each wonderful area that exists in the Society we could go to those communities, and ask, “Who is the most amazing person in your ‘space’?”. I would wager that any person who is active in that space, has at least one immediate answer. I would further bet that many of those people named would already be Peers in that area. The glaring exception would be people in specific groups in the SCA (eg: archery). Given that they do exist, that by any metric ever used to determine worthiness, a person meets or exceeds them all, why AREN’T they a Peer?

They can be a Peer already

“If they are an archer, they can become a Laurel!” If the argument is to be believed, that ‘granting a Martial Peerage would water down the pool’, then by recognizing an archer as a Laurel, or a Martial Peer would literally take the same space. Meaning regardless of what the individual is a candidate for, you are still adding N+1. So why not recognize them for who they are?

Take the example of an archer is recognized for their art and not their mastery of the martial skill (of which their art is derivative) couldn’t that be insulting? Perhaps this is hard for some to understand because they don’t know much about archery specifically, but this example can be overlaid to anything else. An example I think most people can recognize is this: There is a candidate in the fighting community who exemplifies all Peer traits, is a master of their martial form, derived arts such as making armor, weapons, teaching, and more… Would any member of the Chiv community accept them being made a Laurel for their armor making skill in lieu of a Knight for everything they are? Would that not be insulting to all the dedication and value they bring to every other aspect of the Society?

Let’s do both!

The Society and Crown have recognized individuals as multiple Peers, again and again. If they argument is to be believed that we cannot ‘water down’ the Peerages, then why do multiple Peers exist? Certainly there are members of the Laurel who are also members of the Chiv, and in each space, deserving. Using the water down argument, recognizing someone as a Peer in another space would be wasteful.

But it isn’t, and anyone who knows a worthy individual who holds multiple Peerages, has them for a reason. WHAT are those reasons? The reasons one conjures are the same exact reasons used for allowing recognition for individuals for who they are and what they do, not ASPECTS of who they are and what they do.

Dude, shut up

I will for now, but I’ll conclude with this. If the concept of Peerage is a necessary one, and we as a Society value those candidates, let us recognize those individuals for who and what they are. Respect their space as we continue to respect yours.

In service to the Dream in equity…

Why Are You Doing This? – Omnibus Support

Valiance Proposal Unofficial Badges

The Poll…

I was recently in a conversation with a new friend, who is not terribly familiar with the Proposal, or people’s motivations. They asked about my motivations, and it occurred to me, there may be a group of people who are doing this so they can become peers. It hadn’t occurred to me before.

Prior to that conversation, there was another with a wonderful person who is already a Peer, and the same friend. In this conversation I made the case that, “One should’t seek Peerage as a goal, rather as an ideal.” Luckily I was exposed in a deliberate and informed manner, some counter arguments: The merits of seeking this position and what it can mean.

Having considered the arguments and doing my best to look at this issue through the lens of persons on the ‘outside’, as well as those approaching this from a different perspective, I believed a simple poll would help inform not only myself, but I hoped to get a direct answer from a range of people gauge ‘truth’ from other’s perspectives. It has been pointed out unconstructively, “The poll is poorly written’. Despite not being an expert in this field, I attempted to draft a simple, direct poll that got to the heart of: ‘motive’ of support. However a fair point was made regarding bias of support despite being a poll about support.

The poll was live over the span of a few months and shared on social media and Discord to  groups related to the Proposal, or those who might be affected by it.

Now the results…

question1 question2 question3 question4 question5


I have now, and always been a supporter for a few reasons:

  • There is no valid defensible reason for NOT having a Peerage that covers all martial areas* as does the Laurel for Arts This would directly cover the three pillars of Society: Arts, Service, and Martial**
  • The Society, from lack of a direct path to peerage, have potentially lost out, or pushed away, many people who are Peers, some who have been for decades.
  • Intentionally NOT having a path for specific segments of Society  for who and what they are is damaging to the individuals, AND The Society

About Me

To anyone reading who doesn’t know me, I am a relative nobody in this Society who values friendship and camaraderie above all else. I have ZERO ambitions. When I show up, I want others to have a good time, be engaged, informed, and have fun. Even if it means acting a fool in the process. Self deprecating humor has served me well in my life and has sucked the wind out of detractors. No, there is no hidden message or meaning here. If you ask, I’ll tell you. If I have enemies, Id like to know why. No, I’m not perfect (insert line about glass houses etc here).

Opinions on the poll

The poll has supported (what my have been my obvious bias in the writing) this is something that needs to happen, and those who fight for it, are not doing it for themselves. Assuming the best in people (as I like to do) I believed this would be the case. There are so many worthy individuals who would be in line before me. I truly hope, and believe, others feel the same way. I still don’t think people should strive for an honor or ‘position’, though I can understand some arguments for it.

This issue for me is the #FirstWorldProblem of application of civil rights in the SCA. Of course pale in contrast to ‘real world issues’, it is very important nonetheless. Leaving out specific segments of Society, or having to ‘find ways’ to honor them because there is no direct path, is (IMHO) disgraceful. Further, bolstering a bias through exclusion has been detrimental to the social fabric of the Society. I can’t prove that, I can only speak from personal experience.

Wrapping it up

There is certainly a lot more to say here. Friends who know me will believe me when I say I can gas on and on, and am very driven on this topic. What is also clear is that I wear my heart on my sleeve in this area. Thats OK. I believe, despite decades of the Society saying ‘NO’, that we will get there.

It isn’t about me. It is about the amazing people in this Society who have long deserved recognition. Period. I believe this unofficial poll shows that many others feel the same. That’s my take-away, and I hope yours as well.


* please share your reasons for opposing!

** are there other segments of Society not covered by this?

Finally… Prettify the Poles!

Finished Tent Poles

Step by step I’m making improvements to my camp life. There are two main reasons: To give me joy in my space, and to help immerse others in theirs.

Not much to say here, but I’ll provide some tips and info on the process.

The poles are well over 2 years old, so any warping they might do, it’s been done! If you read the grain and gauge the green-ness of them when purchasing you can reduce the chance of warping. Lightly sanded the them. Measuring out the distances so they are all consistent, made marks with pencils using a drawn reference on a bench. The bans between the two colors I scored with a razor knife to help prevent paint running along the grain. Next applied the paint using one smaller brush to get clean edges.

Let dry…

One by one drawing circles and using a small medium stiff fine brush to paint the purpure circles leaving a void of or for the cheese wedge. Using a black pen, drew in the details of the emmental cheese.

Next is the longest part, two thin coats of marine varnish. A few reasons are to protect other things in the trailer from getting color rubbed off on them, protect the walls of the tent when it is put up, to prevent black marks when stacking and unstacking, and I like smooth things!

Below are the rest of the pics along the path, enjoy!

poles_1 poles_2.1 poles_2 poles_3 poles_4 poles_5 poles_6

Creating Your Own Pole Torch o’ Love!


Greetings friends, if you are like me you like a lil fancy in your life occasionally. I’ve gotten tired of spilling tiki oil and putting away dirty canisters. So when I saw other people with the ‘pillars of flame’ I was intrigued.

For the record, I am not a professional… well, anything. So this is meant to be a guide for a hobby and not intended for strict direction. If you are concerned, seek out a professional for assistance.

Let’s clarify what we are talking about. These are generally vertical poles hooked up to an LP tank. When the top is lit it makes a nice bright fire. Not for warmth mind you, but light.

Constructed well, these give off a tremendous amount of light. However, I’m not necessarily going for lighting up the neighborhood, rather more ‘ambience’. To that end I’ve made modifications that suit my… my… (“idiom sir?”) yes.. idiom! Something like that…

I’m not the first, mind you, to make this kind of adjustment to the basic pillar. There are many fine examples, from adding lava rocks in bowls, or creating patterns with the flames. Here is a version of a tiki torch you can buy from Amazon. These look like they suck fuel worse than a ’65 Ford Mustang.

Im going to walk you through the construction of what I did with some guidance from Brocc Stratton.

First you will need some basic tools:

  • 2 adjustable/crescent wrenches or pipe wrenches
  • lp gas tape for the connections
  • 1/2″ gas pipe
    • one longer pipe length 6-8′
    • one ‘T’
    • one 8″ pipe section
    • two caps
    • gas regulator
    • shut off valve
    • drill
    • ~ 1/16″ drill bit for metal
    • 1/2″ to 3/8″ fitting to regulator (yours may be different)
    • 1″ nipple
    • fiddly bits for the top (in my particular case see below)
      • three couplers
      • 6 washers big enough to fit over pipe
      • punched metal lamp, bowl, or similar that can take direct flame
        • make sure you can fit it on to pipe
      • two 2″ pipe section

Ready? Let’s Goooooo!

From the bottom up add the tape to the 8″ threads, add a cap to one end, and the ‘T’  vertically. Add tape to the 1″ nipple and connect to the horizontal extended ‘T’, then add the valve.

From here you have two choices, you can directly attach the regulator, or you can add a quick release gas linkage. Something similar to what is pictured here. Not strictly necessary, but if you want to be a little more portable this allows for greater flexibility. From here I added an extension line of 6′ so I can keep the tank further away.


Gas Torch with Quick Connector
Gas Torch with Quick Connector
Gas Torch with Regulator Connected
Gas Torch with Regulator Connected





Continuing up we add the length of pipe, again adding the tape anywhere we join the threads. Here is where we add the coupling, as well as the fiddly bits to secure the punched metal, shade, whatever using washers or any other method you can surmise. See illustration below to see how mine are secured.


The smaller section of pipe you use right before the top cap will depend on what you are using as a topper/shade etc… Before adding the shade however, assemble the top pipe and cap. If you have a vice or something, I’d suggest using it for the drilling. I added the cap and used the metal drill bit at 90º and drill holes at 12, 3,6, and 9 o’clock around the side of the cap. Note that the cap will need to be threaded so you can’t go too low, and if you go too high towards the crown, it is solid metal. You will need to fine that ‘sweet spot’.

When adding the lamp top I made a few modifications. A drilled holes near the bottom so water doesn’t pool up. I also used a Dremel to cut a 3/4″ square near the bottom so I can insert a lighter into the chamber to light it.

Tape and mask off the lamp top, and the valve. Any pipe that you don’t want painted. Lightly sand and clean with a rag. I used a self etching primer first, the coated with chrome metal paint. I wouldn’t paint the lamp part of any covering, it can get set alight and now you have another dazzling sight, however unintended.

For funnzies I additionally add rubber furniture feet to the bottom, filled with silicone to protect the bottom cap. The punched lamp toppers I foound as actual electric lamps at two different Marshalls. I disassembled the lamps, created a hole for mounting, and voila!

Lighting the torch: 

When lighting the torch, first start by connecting everything up properly. The open the LP tank. You will usually hear a ‘click’. The proceed to open the line valve. I usual open it further than I need until I hear a gas ‘hiss’ then reduce to 1/4 maximum. Count to 10, then use a long lighter, in my case, inserted into the hole and hold near each of the pin holes in the cap. Sometimes they will light each other up depending.


There is a LOT more I can say here, but I have a drink to finish and more projects to set up! Post any questions below!