Sweeny Todd

Thanksgiving hell

I try to stay out of the way of the cooking on this day. But i try to stay out of the way of the family. They don't get along very well some times and the strife is hell on me. But i survive. Only to go to hell called work. In the 25 years i have worked i will of worked all of the thanksgivings. So no big deal.
Ray Johnson

(no subject)

I no longer have confidence in my self. I hate this fact. I don't dance any more. I don't write any more. My art is stuck to only a few things. I keep moving forward tho. Its hard some times dragging along such a heavy load in my head. Some day i will get the stuff i need to help out. Till then i will dream of getting my self to the old me.
Uncle Duke

Tails From Ren Faire week 6

"If I had known how soft this was, i would of went for beaver a long time ago."- lady touching the sheared beaver for the first time
Got to faire after some trouble in KC with a bridge closing that was not known to my ride. We got to faire and parked in the side parking lot due to a fun run using the back parking lot. weather was cool and the leaves was falling out of the trees. A pretty decent day to be out at faire. Got to the booth and set up a little more, got the tails restocked. The weekend was ready to start. I decided to go up the hill before cannon, as i was coming back the cannon went off and i got to see the smoke poof in the sky. Kind of a weird start for the day but was actually perfect. lots of new stuff. A new bird skeleton. A Pere David's deer skull. and some other stuff.
Saturday was both busy and not busy. This made for a long day. The crowds would be busy for a little bit then nothing. It made for a long day. At one time boss 2 did 6 credit card trans actions with out putting down the card machine. (all the while helping another customer) Other times there was no one at the booth. This made for a long day. In the end we was all beat. But it was a good day. The cast party/RESCU auction (Renaissance Entertainers Services Crafters United) was held on Saturday night. So after we ate we went to the party. Staid for a little bit. Then we went back to the booth. After sitting around and talking we all went to bed.
Up and got ready for the day. It was a lot like Saturday. Sold through a lot of the tails, and skulls from the skull wall. Lots of ones that we had for a long time, which I was shocked that was still there. Boss 1 on the other end did very well also. Sadly she had no coyote or raccoon skulls left at the end of the day. This is a good thing and a bad thing. This meant we didn't have any for monday. At the end of Sunday we had some of the other people we know from faire stop by the booth and we sat around and talked. It was a good night. Then off to bed.
Monday was columbus day which means school kids. We was a little surprised to see as many kids as we did. More than we have had in a few years. This did not last. By 2 in the afternoon it was quiet. Actually it was quiet before that but you could still see large groups of kids but they was not doing much of any thing other than buying food or talking in groups. Finally at 5 we took and shut down. (Columbus day they close up early) Was home before normal times at the end of a normal week end.
Got to see a lot more people this week end. Some i did not get to talk to because i was helping customers. It was good seeing you and just saying hi. We had a few of our regulars as well that had not been there yet this year. Good to see them as well. Sunday I had a guy that took and was standing off to the side and i could see he was waiting for me to get doe so he could talk to me. He took off his hat and on it was a ring tail cat/coon tail on the back of his has. It was old. As in the last time we had them old. That brought back memories. Come to find out i had sold it to him 20 years ago, It still was going strong. Just shocked me, i pointed out the ones we just started to carry and he was happy. Bought $50 worth of tails. 5 of them being ring tails.
Had a few people that was not a fan of real fur. They made their voices heard. One was not bad, she did not like the real fur, but she took and did not say any thing when her friend was buying some. Then there was the woman who started bitching about the fur and started to tell the people around her all about how the fur was bad. A young lady was standing by the corner of our booth and the lady went to her and said was saying "can you believe they are selling real fur?" and some other stuff. The girl at the corner was my oldest niece. She made me proud with what she told the lady. She said "I'm not going to lose any sleep over it." and the lady flew out of the booth and waited on her friend, who was shopping in the tail area. I respect people who have their own opinions about things. I don't take and tell you to think differently. I might try to educate you on the truth of things if you are not saying the facts. But i will not tell you that you must change your thoughts.
There was a guy that bought some stuff at our booth and he asked boss 2 about making a living at ren faire. Boss 2 said that you can make a living if you have a low standard of living. We have been talking about the fact a lot of people don't see the work it is to be out there. They think "I bet its great, all you do is sit there and people bring you money." My bosses will take and start working on things for next years ren faire about a week after faire. Yes, they will start to clean skulls, skin animals, and buy beads to sell. They buy a lot of the skulls raw, then take and clean them. This means they scrape the meat off them, take and do hot or cold maceration. They will have to peroxide the skulls to make them whiter, or some times they need to degrease the skulls. The furs they sell are a lot of the times ones they skinned them selves. They skin, stretch, scrape, and salt the furs. The inside of the animals they skin are then taken and cleaned just like raw skulls. The animals bones are then separated out in the different types or what they are. To get the furs tanned they either send them to a tanner or drive them to get them to the tanner, also to pick up stuff to work on to get ready. They buy beads and stuff to make bracelets. They take and do lots of other stuff to get ready. As boss 2 says. Its great you can work part days. you can choose which 12 hours you want to work. Yep there is a lot of work that goes in to getting things ready for the next year. It cost money, time, and lots of sweat and toil. They also do a lot of working finding sources for things. It is not that easy to find every thing.
Tails From Ren Fair

Tails From Ren Faire week 5

"I need to cap my raccoon penis"-- Guy looking for a silver cap for a raccoon penis so it can be a little fancier necklace.

Got to faire and parked in the E parking lot because of a fun run using the other parking lot. Well come to find out they had the date wrong and it is the next week that the fun run is happening. Oh well, it was good to walk through faire to get to my booth. What made me sad is that in front of our booth faire helped us out by putting mulch down. boss 2 had to dig it out of the drainage area that the water goes flowing through that area so when it rained we would not flood. they use to put small chip down, now it is larger chunks so it makes for a bigger mess. yay us. Sigh

I get in to the booth and see the bosses daughter again. She was there for the middle person as she had to work this week end. Sad news on that. But we made due.

Saturday was a decent day. We did mostly charges, which is a growing trend. People don't carry money any more. The thing is, people don't understand that we can't do charges for small amounts because we would loose money. (running a charge cost money) So no we can't run a charge for your $1 tail. Sadly this is asked many times a day. Really folks, we can't do it. And the growing trend is people will take and pick an item ask to use a card, then take shop some more for things to get to the $20 minimum. They will nickel and dime it tho. so damn weird.

Got to see a few people out at faire, great seeing them. Found out I missed some because the booth was so busy at time. Sad to hear that.

We sold through a lot of the skull wall this week end. Weird to see it so empty. Sold through a lot of tails as well. At the other end of the booth we sold through a lot of the small skulls. We also sold the baboon skull and the single raccoon head in the tree. With the raccoon gone we could put out the squirrel we have. It is standing and holding a nut. i want to replace the nut with a skull or something creepy. (human eye) But thats just me.

We had a person buy our best wolf. Her and her husband was traveling cross country to all the ren faire's they could. Moving from florida to washington state. They liked our booth and really enjoyed the wolf hides. I heard more people complement us about our booth this week end than the haters. One guy, I have been selling him tails for 12 years now, introduced him self. Come to find out he is a local chef named Tito. Really nice guy. Was told by many others that they buy lots of stuff from us. It warms my heart.

Saturday came to a close and we got every thing cleaned up and put away. Time to fix supper... well sorta. The booth next to us this year lost the main lady that run the booth. They was having a memorial for her. A few people showed up. It was really nice.

As i was putting up the tails in to the booth to close up for the night, my necklace broke. Now it is my fault as the beads was strung on grass and i should of restrung it. time got away from me tho. And i didn't. Weird thing was after it broke, i was walking back and forth dropping more beads. It seams they got twisted in my clothing. So it was so odd to walk, drop a bead. I felt like i was leaving a trail to find my way to and from the porch area and the front of the booth.

Sunday up early and ready for the day. Ate and set up. got the tails restocked and done. Another good day. After last weeks less than craptacular sales we needed another good week end.

Lady Hawks jewelry booth has a tradition. If you leave something at the booth, to get it back you must give her a tail. Now a lot of the tails she has got over the years is from my booth. lately the royalty has been giving her tails as a tribute. This years king and queen was due to come by and they did on sunday. They bought a red tail and will ad embellishments to it. I can't wait to see it. I am really thinking of doing one up as well. Tho i do not know what i would do. Might draw one. I do not know.

We had a few people that tried to screw us over on a skull. It is a bison skull that has a price tag of $75. We keep getting asked if we would take $50 for it. Um no. As boss 2 say, we can not get that many skulls right now. Normally he goes and picks up 50 to 100 raw bison skulls, this year he was only able to get 15. (they buy them uncleaned and clean them all, a long and disgusting job) And it is not a quick job. it takes time and work. So no on that big of a discount on the skull. One guy in the list of people that asked for a discount was not right in the head. Boss 2 took and dealt with him. The guy kept talking about the whale bone he bought from us. He then pointed it out to us. He had bought a piece of antler and tied some beads and a feather on to it, hung it on his wall and called it a whale bone. Ummm, ok. He then started on this rant on why we should sell him the skull for $50. It was going down hill quickly. He left, saying he was going to come back and offer an even lower price.

Faire is a great place to see many different types of costumes. From store bought ones to homemade ones so elaborate it should be used in a movie. I enjoy seeing people dressed up and having fun. Tho there are some times people in costumes that i look at with.... wonder. This week end was one of those times. A guy and lady was walking from the fairy forrest She was in a jungle barbarian outfit. He was dressed as a centaur. yep he was walking with a costume on with a horse backside on it with rollers on the feet. i do not take pictures of costumes people wear, but i had to on that one. It was... just that, it was.

We talk a lot about booth stuff. It is normal talk about every day stuff that the bosses do to get product to sell. But others that happen to walk up and in to those conversations get a little disturbed. Like boss 1 talking about the time she was in a dead pit and got a camel skull. She had to decide if it was worth the trouble to dive in again to find the tooth that was missing. This is a normal conversation for us. to others that has heard this it creeped them out. We had a conversation about some thing this week end and a lady walked up and was laughing. She said "I do not know what you are talking about but I know it has to be one of the weirdest things to hear half way through the conversation.

All in all, another great week end. And so we end another tails for this week

A thought on my mind

I have been ringing up a gentleman in the electronics area for a few years now. He usually buys the same stuff. Cherry cola, and pasta. He would shop, come to the electronics area and wait to be rung up. We have talked over the years. I watched as he hid things from the world. Stuff that I noticed but never mentioned. Because it was not my place to say any thing. I watched his tank top undershirt become a sports bra, and now is a bra. His complection was always smooth, but still had a little stubble. It has slowly went away. He is now starting to work at his job as her self. I'm proud of her, to making steps to becoming who she wants to be.
Some people never will find this joy. They will never know what it is like to finally be able to do that thing that makes them be a whole person. And I'm not just talking changing genders. Thats just a drop in the bucket of what people can do. A blue collar worker could decide to start there own business. A weird looking kid can stand up in front of a crowd and sing for the first time. A person can finally tell there sexual orientation.
So for those people that keep them selves hidden. Never changing things to become what they want to be, I hope you can find that little bit of happieness
Tails From Ren Fair

Tails from Ren Faire weeks 3 and 4

"I always come to touch your beaver."- Girl really in to the sheared and plucked beaver.

My mother come out to faire with us. I was glad she did. It is good for her to see some of the old familiar faces. (She use to work faire as well) Got there a little early so i could relax a little. Got to see the new items that we had. First one I saw was another one of the twin raccoon freeze dried plaques. It took longer to sell this weekend. 6 hours before it was gone. Next up was a capybara skull. A full selection of fruit bats. A hyena skull. And a bird skeleton standing on a knuckle bone. Some new goats, deer, and sheep skulls at my end. Also a full run of tails.

We was set up and ready to go when canon went off. The bosses oldest daughter was there as the person in the middle section of the booth was at a wedding and could not make it in. We was busy so thankfully she was there. Actually it was surprisingly busy for a 3rd week end. Saturday we done fairly well. In fact I think it was the best 3rd week end so far. We was working so hard that I missed the pub crawl coming through. they call out as a group "We need beer, because we are on a pub crawl" as they march by our booth. Sold a few of the skulls off the wall and a few horse and cows off the front post but none of the large skulls. Sad, because they are nice skulls.

By saturday night I was tired. working friday night at walmart and going out to faire makes for a long day. lets just say by 7 it was past the 24 hour mark of me being up. Staid awake till 10:30 which was a shock. Tho it could of been the little excitement we had. After we close down we set up the grill and grill some steaks. (Steaks cut from the bosses Scottish Highland cows they butcher for food) Second boss set it up and started the grill and it was heated. All of a sudden a mouse popped out of the bottom of the grill. (propane grill that has 2 level) It ran out in to the night, then it ran back towards our booth. At the entrance to the front of the booth it dropped some thing. A small baby mouse. Well actually in the feeder mouse range it would be called a fuzzy, so a little older than a baby. After dealing with it, we ate dinner and sat around talking. Next thing we know is another mouse is coming around the corner of the wooden deck that we place the antler on. We could not get to it. After that we all went to bed. Did not see any other mice.

Woke up and started the next day. Slow start, but we got it all done and ready for the day. Sunday started with a bang, or the usual canon going off and nothing. People slowly took and come through. 3 hours after opening i looked at the clock and saw it was only 11 o'clock. Wow, the time went by slowly. Thankfully the sales kept coming. Boss 2 did the best sell of the day. He talked to a guy about the elk skull and the moose skull on the front post. A little while later the guy was at the counter with card in hand and bought the 2 large skulls. Not a bad sell for the day. The best sell tho we ever had was the guy that come in for bunny fur and left with a wolf, a bear, and a buffalo skin.

Sunday was slow as i said. It was interesting to see the difference between the days. The same could be said for the customers. People was taking down tails just to look at them and put them back on the chain. one took down may be 15 tails. and never bought one. One guy did the same with the full furs. Saturday they knew what they wanted and did not need the 20 people waiting with them to make up their minds.

Saw many people. It was good to see them all. Sherri was out on Sunday, she ended up taking home the little bird skeleton. It was so cute. Saw many other people. Glad they stopped by. There seemed to also be a large amount of the transgender community that was out at faire this week end. Good to see them out at faire where people are at least free to be who they are even if for a little while. A lot more barbarian costumes out there this week end as well. One guy was holding a sledge hammer for part of his costume. a real sledge hammer. I was thinking, his arm is going to be tired after a while.

All in all a good week end. When we left on sunday I think we was all tired, but from a great week end of work.

There are families that come in and makes you grind your teeth and all you can do is just work with them on a sale. Boss number 2 and I dealt with a family. the boy bought a tail. they left and every thing was good. Till they came back. The mother was looking at the tail and seen saw dust in the fur. The places that tan furs tumble the fur in saw dust to dry it out. It will stick in to the fur and we try to brush the stuff out of the tails. The mother started to tell us she new it was bugs and wanted the money back from it. Now mind you they had the tail for a few hours by then. Boss 2 was talking to them and told them what the saw dust was. Then the mom started to tell us all about how she looked up info on google and they told her it was bugs. She did google on her phone and become an expert on fur. She then asked boss 2 if he was the owner of the booth. He said yes. I don't think she was expecting that. It was a battle of wills. She wanted money back and we have signs saying no cash back. In the end they got to trade the tail for some thing else. But no cash back. That was about 30 minutes out of our lives we delt with them that we will not get back.

And so concludes another week
"RAIN!"- Our booth when the rain started

Was late getting to faire on Saturday morning due to a shut down bridge and getting lost. But still was a few minutes early. I just did not get the stuff set up like normal (restocking the tails) but it did get done. Saturday we was suppose to be in the 80's and rain starting about 4. It was hotter than 80. It did not start to rain at 4. It was miserable. By the end of the day it was hot and sticky. woof, it was bad. Top it off with lower sales than normal for 4th week end, well we needed to unwind. Sat around and had steak and beer. But still was hot and sticky. We was talking about the day and had moved to the inside of the booth when the rain hit. We looked at each other and said "RAIN!" and went out to the porch area and stood under the edge of the roof. The rain poured down and we soaked our heads and bodies. It felt wonderful. Dropping our temps a little. So nice. A good end to a long day.

As i said the sales was not as good for a 4th weekend. Now not saying we didn't have a good week end, it just was not a forth week end. Actually it was like 3rd and 4th week ends was switched. It was so weird that we did not have any large skull sales till late in the day and it was not really the normal ones we sell. Tails did sell well, but not till the later part of the day. It was just a little off. Lots of people out there tho. It was steampunk week end so there was a lot of steampunk costumes. Some pretty well done, others not so much.

Got to see a few people, it was great to see you all. Thanks for stopping by the booth. We even sold some skulls to you. Yay! They are always cool to pick up, especially when you can get stuff that is not normally seen. I seem to be getting people in to the birds. I told Alan, one of the silver jewelry people that has worked with our booth on some stuff, about the Sooty-headed Bulbul and he showed up and saw it, went home with it. Kind of funny.

There seemed to be a lot of rude people out there this week end. Now I do not tell people how to think on stuff. I don't tell people they should eat meat or wear fur. If you think the tails are wrong, don't come to my shop and look at them. Also do not believe the view points of a meme on stuff. I dealt with a lady who was pissed that we sold tails that was not from road kill. yes, you read that right. She only would buy one from a person that took and used roadkill animals. Sigh. One guy talked with the second boss and was up set. That customer was ruder than my lady. He walked away in a huff. Thankfully people do understand tho. One of my best customers is a vegetarian. She does not eat meat. But for years she has bought tails from me. My bosses deal with these people every day. I do every once in a while during my week ends out at faire.

Sunday was cooler than Saturday. It was down right chilly. We had went through 3 or so gallons of water saturday, sunday we went through a bought a gallon. big difference between the days. Sunday we was a little better on the stuff we normally sell. Thankfully.

There are people that make things a lot harder than it should be. One customer i had this week end came back 3 times and was trying to figure out if they wanted to buy certain tails. She took them off, looked at them, and then finally bought them. Only after spending 15 minutes standing in the way of a few customers. A couple was looking at a skull that they wanted the horns off of it for a costume. It said 120 for the price. they thought it was only 20. Um no, thats why it had a one in front of the other numbers. Sigh

We got our medallions for working at fair this year. They was nicer than the ones we normally get. (those usually are sharp metal squares with edges that have been known to cut fabric or flesh) now i think these are the fancy gift ones they gave to the people that bought the fancy season passes. They was really nice. This got me to thinking tho. I will be at the 30 year mark for fair next year. Might need to do some thing up to give to people to show my 30 years of working out at faire. hmmmm may be.

So ends this weeks tails.
Tails From Ren Fair

Tails From Ren Faire week 2

"Honey, you want some tail? Bet you never heard that before" Lady saying one of the oldest jokes that i hear each year.

Weather was great, tho it rained the day before. But the rain ended and it was sunny the rest of the week end. i got to the booth and was noticing the new skulls on the wall. Then went to the other end to see what was new. That was when i saw the freeze dried raccoon heads sticking out of a hole in a tree, that was on the wall. This shocked me to see it. Kind of cute, but not use to seeing such a thing. 3 hours after opening we sold it. Weird.

Sales was down. Not saying it was slow, but I did not have a $20 sale till almost 1 o'clock on saturday. Basically it ended up being a typical 2nd week end. I hope it will be better this coming week end.

Lots of costumed people out. I can't think of any that really stood out to me. Lots of kilts tho. Some of those did stand out, i really enjoy faire. :)

Took some more pictures from around faire. (well before it opened) I had not thought about some of the areas for a long time. One of the booths that is still up front is a caricature booth. It has been there for a long time. On my way out on sunday me and a person across the way from my booth was talking about the many changes out there. We was happy to know that the roof on the wizards toys pottery booth is from the beginning of faire. 40 years and still there.

We sell tails at faire. I have people i sold to for years. I always like to hear them say our booth is the only one they buy from. Makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

I take and realize not much happened this week end. Saw a few people, but all in all, a easy week end and no drama, may be next week end will be different
Tails From Ren Fair

Tails From Ren Faire week 1

"I did it once with a deer."- Guy talking about tanning a deer hide
I did some thing I had not done since I was 18. I slept the night before i went out to the first day of faire. Normally i work, go home get ready and go out there. But due to my parents going to be out of town, i took the night off so i could get with the person i was going to get a ride with early in the morning. That changed and i didn't take and stopped that day of vacation. So sleep, got up Saturday morning and got ready. Then out to Faire. We went a little early because I like to get acclimated with the new product I have at my end of the booth. We had a lot of african antelope skulls, lots of new colors in the tails department. Also have some wolf paws. These are left over parts from parkas that are being made for the military up in Canada. As for the front post we have an elk skull, a full moose skull (this is a first in the 30/35 years of selling skulls and it just happens to be one from their collection). A yak skull is on the corner of my end. Just a lot of new items all over the areas of the booth.
We have an ocarina cart near the entrance to the fairy forrest and it sucks. The guy running it learnt a single song on saturday morning and plays it all the time. Mary had a little lamb for 16 days will get old quickly.
Saturday was not bad. it was always busy and the day seemed to fly by. Got to see lots of people. A lot of my regulars showed up. Including the guy with the tails. He has bought 25 tails at the least from us. Over the last few years he has not been happy with the ones we have. They was not up to his standards. The boss and I have had problems with him and his not being happy with the ones we have had for sale. Boss number 2 helped out this time and he was happy with what we had. He ended up buying 2 tails. Thank ghod. He will now go get dog tags put on them, and hang them off his belt with the others.
As i have said before you never know what people will buy. For the most part a person will the smaller stuff and the bigger skulls and furs will go near the middle of faire. So when the lady came in and asked for the Gemsbok skull off the wall it was a shock. We sold almost all of the Canadian wolf hides we had, sold a lot of bear hides, sold a Holstein cow skin, sold some leather that was the last we will ever have. I sold a lot of tails. All in all, a pretty good weekend. Tho, it is hard for the bosses to catch up with it being a 4 day week. they got home late on monday night, then will leave early friday afternoon. Leaving little time to process skulls and gather things up to replace the stuff we sold.
Oh, we are having a sale on yellow tails. Buy one yellow tail get another yellow tail of equal or lesser value free. (Team Instinct people might like this sale)
We had a customer that started the monday with a group of people with her that wanted the large elk skull on our post. Had no money and wanted to pay with a card. She was drunk, and needed to sober up before she thought about buying it. This was after the place opened. Near the end of the day she come back. This time she brought 9 people with her to decide on the skull. Oh and she was still very drunk. She kept asking her friends on what she should do. In the end she bought a ram skull. This drama took almost 30 minutes. woof.
This is my 29th year out at faire. I have seen many people come and go. Since last year we lost a few people out at faire. One of them being a wonderful person that use to do the gardening out on the grounds. She would stop by and talk with us a few times a year. We lost some others, but it is her that I will miss the most. Of course it reminds me of the ones we lost before. Yet the faire goes on.. I must say i am glad to see people out there still. I have one friend that said it is her 25th year. Others i know have been out there since the first year. I am glad to see them every year.
This concludes this weeks tails
Uncle Duke

lost love

Got a text from a guy asking if I regretted what we had done. We have been friends for ever. I met him in kindergarten. We would get together for sleep overs and such as we grew up. Then like a lot of teen boys we "fooled around". It didn't change our friendship and i am still close to him. He went on to get married have kids, divorced and then married a sweet heart of a lady. He has lived a rough life and is now dying. So i got this text, asking if i had regrets. I told him no. I asked him the same, and he said yes, never finishing what we started. We talked some more and i know of the guys i have dated or been with, he was the one that got away. Add in a few women in there and i have a lot of regrets about people that got away. sigh
Uncle Duke

going to see dead people

On sunday i will go see the bodies reviled exhibit at union station. I went the time they had it before and enjoyed it. This time will not be any different on that thought. Can not wait.