Bagpipes on the Breeze

Last Saturday, Jennifer and I woke up late for a change. There was a Scottish Games event in our town, less than a mile away from our house, and through the bathroom window I could hear the sounds of the bagpipes as they were tuning up (which sounds something like a sick cat being drawn and quartered). I felt good. I love Scottish games, and I was looking forward to my parents coming up and joining us at the games.

When my parents showed up, we walked over to the site of the games, where it became quickly obvious that there was to be no haggis served. This puzzles me, not just because haggis is a fine delicacy that people delight in all the world over, but also because the local purveyor of haggis, the Scottish Meat Pie Company (which has a website somewhere around here, though I can never find it when I need it) is a mere three blocks from my house. You remember, it’s the place where I bought the haggis that my sisters and I gave to my father for Christmas a year or so ago. Well, even without the haggis to eat (and who knows how many Weight-Watchers Points are in a haggis anyway?), I was able to find a T-shirt which reads, “Real men eat haggis!” This made me feel better.

We wandered through the Calvacade of Clans. My stepfather is descended from Clan Ross, so we hit that booth first. These clan booths don’t really have much to offer if you’re not a member of the clan they represent; usually just information about upcoming events, mailing lists, and chances to meet other members of the clan. The people are friendly enough, though. So I started chatting with one of the folks at the Clan Ross booth, quickly explaining that I wasn’t a member of Clan Ross, and that my last name is Crawford, not Andrews.

“Oh, Crawford!” the man replied. “Well, I think that Clan Lindsay has a booth here somewhere. And Crawford is a sept of Lindsay, you know.”

“Neat,” I said cleverly. “But I’m not really descended from the clan. I’m descended from a group of Cherokee that took the name Crawford because they were forced to take a European name, and Crawford was the last name of an English general that they liked.”

The man nodded. “Well, look at this,” he said, handing me a pamphlet listing all the affiliations of Clan Ross. “Part of the annual budget of Clan Ross actually goes to the Trail of Tears. Because of Captain John Ross, you know?”

I didn’t know, but I was intrigued. The Trail of Tears is the name of the period of history when the Cherokee people were forced to move, en masse, from their homeland in Georgia to Oklahoma. Thousands died, mostly women and children, and that’s why it’s called the Trail of Tears. I don’t know the history of John Ross, but I resolved to start researching it as soon as I got home.

Um. I still haven’t started that yet.

Anyway, I did swing by the Clan Lindsay booth, but there really wasn’t much there to look at. So we left that part of the Games to explore other areas.

In the middle of the Calvacade of Clans was this dragon. It’s made of steel and wood and breathes fire and is as large as a Volkswagon Bus. Jennifer made me promise to make one for her. I haven’t started that yet, either.

And at the entrance/exit of the Calvacade was an information booth. The sign above it read “Clan Information”. Naturally, I went over to ask them what their tartan looked like. In return, I got a puzzled look. Oh well.

I love Scottish Games. There’s always great music (Tempest played this year — Tempest, one of my favorite bands ever, played just a mile from my house!), interesting people to talk to, and neat vendors to look at. All in all, it was a worthwhile day, even if it was topped by the worst production of Music Man that I’ve ever seen. But more on that some other time.

In other news, I’m still working as a temporary employee here in this office, plugging away at Solaris and Oracle. The management has just recently opened it as a permanent position, and of course I submitted an application. I spoke with my boss and he assures me that unless someone shows up with outstanding qualifications, the job is pretty much mine. Keep your fingers crossed for me, okay?

The spectre of hypertension has been raised yet again by my pulmonologist. So today I’ve got an appointment to see my regular doctor to see if there’s anything that can be done about that. Again.

And finally, I’ve reformatted my journal entries. Neat, huh? I’m working on eliminating tables as a layout tool for my pages, and using cascading stylesheets instead; if you look at the source code for this page, you’ll see that frames are not involved in the making of this page. But be warned, though; this new style looks as intended only in Mozilla-based browsers (Mozilla or Netscape or Firebird). If you’re using Internet Explorer, which is very buggy when it comes to style sheets, then upgrade thee to a standards-based browser today.