Robert Burns, Scottish Poet

Ariesna and I just got back from our local Burns Supper. For those of you not entirely up on your Scottish culture, this meal is held in honor of Robert Burns. To quote the BBC:

The Burns Supper is an institution of Scottish life, a night to celebrate the life and genius of the national Bard. Suppers can be everything from an informal gathering of friends to a huge, formal dinner full of pomp and circumstance.

The Burns Supper we attend is put on by our local scottish heritage society, HAGGIS. It is a friendly gathering with bagpipe music, dancing and much fellowship1. Some years are more formal than others, this year it was a bit more relaxed. Two of the toasts were given by members of Wylde Nept. One of those was the toast to the lassies and it was a lovely bit of poetry that he came up with. Poetry just filled with imagery, graphic imagery. If you’ve ever been to one of their performances or heard some of their recordings; you’ll know exactly what sort of imagery. *wink, wink*2 The deserts at the supper were quite good.

Wait a minute, why am I talking about desert and not about the haggis? Well, I tried haggis the first year I attended the Burns Supper…. Now I tend go to the nearby Czech Village Restaurant and enjoy a different nationality’s speciality cooking. Though I understand this year’s haggis was supposed to be good…. If you like that sort of thing. Anyhoo, myself and a few others who enjoy aspects of the Burns Supper other than the haggis headed to the Czech Village Restaurant where we had a lovely meal. Then we hurried back to the Burns Supper, got a bit of the deserts (which as previously mentioned were quite good) and listened to the toasts (also previously mentioned)3. Then there was much dancing and the raffle.

The raffle is one way HAGGIS raises funds for its various good works (a scholarship, grants, etc…). Members of the society donate prizes and you buy raffle tickets for chances to win. They divvy the donations into 3 tables of adult prizes and one just for the kids. The “A” table is where all the scotch goes and any other higher-end items. “B” table items are still nice, but usually not as expensive as “A” and so on for “C”. Additionally, there’s usually one big prize of the night that doesn’t get put out on the “A” table until late in the evening. If you buy about $10 worth of tickets, odds are good that you’ll go home with something though there’s no telling what it’ll be. This year & last, Ariesna & I have plunked down $20 for tickets. Last year, we struck out and didn’t go home with anything at all4. Then this year our tickets were on fire! We won:

  • a tartan blanket
  • a shot glass with the scottish lion on the side
  • a stuffed animal (a small dog holding a heart which says “I Wuf You!”)

And those are only the prizes we kept for ourselves. We also ended up winning tonight’s big prize, a replica of Scottish Claymore5! Since I already had one, we gave with to AWelkin and her husband, both of whom seemed quite interested in it. We also had another “A” table winning ticket which we gave to our friends E&D. They picked themselves up a bottle of scotch. Then the raffle got down to the final prize of the night, a boxed “christmas cake”. We also had the winning ticket for that and Ariesna tried to give it to AWelkin’s friends D&P but they didn’t want it. While Ariesna was doing that, one of the guys (George) from Wylde Nept and run up, claiming the prize. I’m not sure if Ariesna had noticed that but she went up and turned in the ticket. George ran the cake back over to Michelle, dropped to one knee and tried to give the cake to her. She resisted but he was being insistant; so I decided to come to her rescue. I walked over and told him that she’s my wife and he can keep the cake. Everybody had a good chuckle and we left for home soon afterwards. 🙂

1 Blathering on with your friends.
2 Nothing too blatant, but very obivous.
3 Yes, I am rambling a bit but then I’ve been sitting near a loudspeaker playing scottish music for the past couple of hours and my brain’s still shaken up a bit.
4 Ok, that’s not strickly true. Last year, our friend Greg was along for the supper. He had to leave sooner than we did and left us his tickets. We won a bottle of wine with his ticket and we’re still holding onto it for him.
5 This is a two-handed sword about 5-6 feet long.

Gossamer Commons, 16 Nov 2006

To borrow “snarkism”, somebody deserves a tasty, tasty biscut for today’s bit of hilarity over at Gossamer Commons.

If you do not regularly follow the strip; Malachite saved Keith from a Barghast by summoning forth Apokoryfoma. She’s a Neriad and the Viceroy of the Cul-de-Sac. She also happens to be Malachite’s ex-girlfriend. *laugh* If that were not bad enough by her code Keith is now required to make some sort of sacrifice to her, as a token of gratitude for saving him. Unfortunately, he’s not exactly overburned with resources at the moment and offers up a candy bar. Today’s strip is Appie’s reaction. Greg Holkan‘s art and Eric Burns‘ one line of text in this strip blend beautifully. Malachite’s reaction in the background of the strip is particularly worth paying attention to. 😀

Gossamer Commons

Later today, I’ll be posting PLotW1 but before that happens here’s a different link that you should really check out. Gossamer Commons is a relatively recent webcomic, started back in March 2005 by Eric Burns and Greg Holkan. Eric writes, Greg draws. The premise is something like so; the main character, Keith, has saved the life of a fairy child. Since he did this while knowing that seeing the fairy would mark him for death2; the Fairies owe him 1 boon of Keith’s choosing. As Keith has longed to be a published author; he requests, as his boon, that the Fairies give him a muse so he can great the great American novel. A novel that will inspire generations to come and will be read by annoyed college freshmen four hundred years from now. 🙂 Mr. Holkan uses a variety of methods in his artwork on the strip and so far it’s working really well, but the thing that keeps me coming back and reading the new strip is the writing (done by Mr. Burns.). Since I’m not much of a writer myself; I charge you with looking at today’s strip for an example how good this strip can be.

Keep up the good work fellas, we’ll be watching you!

1 Pukka’s Links of the Week
2 Apparently in the GC world just seeing one of the Fairies will automagically mark you for death.

I just updated my portal page to include a web comic that I’d forgotten to add but have been reading for a while now. Bunny. It was Applegeeks that pointed me to Bunny originally and I’m very glad they did as I feel Bunny really brings The Funny.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about by The Funny, go read Websnark’s FAQ. In fact, you should be reading Websnark anyway as it’s a great resource for people who like webcomics.