Archive for the Pub Library Category

Pipe-Dream Pub Prophesy & Proposal 1997

Posted in Adaptive Reuse, Futurist, Pub Library, Roleplaying / Reenacting, SCOD Status Update Reports, Society Clubs or Social Groups, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2019 by Drogo

The Future of the Middle Ages

 

Written in 1997 by Drogo to Pipe-Dream Pub fellowship (edited and digitized in 2019)

 

Why West Virginia?

 

The rugged, rocky, rolly hills and blue ridge mountains with verdant valleys are a backdrop for snow, rivers, rain, fog, and dusty heat. Cold snowy winters and hot sweaty summers combine with landscape that has the same climate (more or less) as England. Farmland and coal mines; sturdy, beautiful, and backwards in beautiful country ways: a perfect medieval setting for a dwarven tavern.

 

Why Harpers Ferry?

 

While maintaining a hardy mountaineer heart, the spirit of Harpers Ferry has guarded and sustained freedom despite its quaint, hobbiton, touristy appearance. Historic Harpers Ferry has been defined by influential travelers, and thrived in their wake. The guests and visitors act in spiritual freedom immortally, like a chronic hysteresis. As Shirley Dougherty puts it, “History always repeats itself in Harpers Ferry.” Native American sacred land where the Potomac and Shenandoah shed tears of love that ran together between the mountains and formed the rivers. Peter Stevens 1730, Robert Harper 1750, surveyed by George Washington 1797 and Thomas Jefferson for the Federal Armory 1830, John Brown’s Raid to free the slaves 1859, President Clinton and Gore Earth Day 1998 (?) and many other important figures and events are part of our legacy. 

 

Prophecy Proposal 1.  We Try Living Together

 

Trial By Sword and Stone

It is summer 2001 and I have graduated from SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design). In past summers I worked for my Father and HABS (the Historic American Building Survey) as an architectural draftsman, but this summer I have joined the National Guard, and applied to the NPS (National Park Service) Design Center in Harpers Ferry. Three of my history and design friends have taken advantage of the lucrative job market in the DC area, and are currently renting from my parents for metropolitan commuting. The four of us are in a partnership written by round-table contract, and use the school-house in back for a studio office. We also host Gallery exhibits and shows downstairs with antiques, and sometimes entertain B&B guests. There is a substantial flow of money as we prosper.

 

Prophecy Proposal 2.  We Decide on the Pub Site Land Location

 

Trial By Earth 

A link is established in 2002 between 4 other partners, making 7 of us in the Pub Fellowship. We prepare for the Pub by sharing expenses and seeking land. Eventually we find the best site and purchase the property. Acquisition of ideal, strategic site land that is agreeable to everyone may prove to be the most difficult task of all. The amount of variables involved may seem overwhelming.

 

Prophecy Proposal 3.  Investors, Funding, and Financing

 

The Round Table Trial

It is now July 7th, 2003 and the four of us already in town, meet with our newest 3 members at Jefferson’s Rock. Perched upon the Rock of Ages we announce our time is nigh, calling out their arrival into the valley. The rush of the rivers generates a roaring cacophony that titillates our napes as we raise our heads high to the mountains, and declare our individual rights and strengths. Our proclamations echo through the gap, and fly down-stream towards the Capitol of our Nation; flooding the ears of the mundanes. We shout in unison “One for all, and all for one!!! Tally-ho to the Pipe-dream Pub! Hurrah!! Hooray!!! Vivate!!! Liberty!!!” With 7 investors we now can get enough loans and grants and easements. 

 

Prophecy Proposal 4.  Swear Allegiance Fidelity

 

The Trial of Camelot

Discussions and blueprints of the Pub follow after savings are spent in addition to other sources of funding for Pub property and materials. We archive written insurances and oaths of fidelity to the financial, material, and spiritual fellowship. The Sacred Seven can never fall so long as is planned for, with good will and reason. No one will unite if there be an unproven doubt in their mind or gut. We are philosopher kings united by the power of moral reason. None shall be untested, and with good fortune, none unspoken. And with all said, none unbroken. If a break arises it shall no doubt crack with at least one, but before a downfall the crack shall be filled by the spirit of the remaining 6. Even if 4 of the 7 fall, 3 is quite a magic number (in and of itself), and cannot be denied despite trials, though it be less than 4. If nightmares dare to cross o’er the river Styx into this world to turn 5 away from 2, the 2 will prove stronger (though they be fewer), because of the intimate nature of our number. But if the reality remains a dream of one, or the 7 be undone, to the deep dark abyss with this paper and the Pipe-dream shared by none. Each of our dreams must be thus defined and communicated through speech, writing, sounds, drawings, models, and bodily gestures as completely as possible, in order to compare how our individual desires for the collective dream correspond.

 

Prophecy Proposal 5.  Building Construction, Operation, and Sustaining Success

 

The Quest for the Holy Grail

Construction or restoration of the Tavern will ensue. The vision of Camelot will for the first time, be in sight. The combined knowledge of the Pub Fellowship of philosophers will prove a multifaceted tool of inexhaustible energy. As philosophical knights of the round table, we will support each-other as bees in a hive; our Queen is Wisdom (Sophia). Buzzing with ideas, skills, and events our vision will take shape, as hunters acquire resources and exchange places with guards to defend, direct, and build. The material cards we have saved in our hands, will emerge for this ultimate power play. There is such a joyful vitality of powerful energy to the Pub collective, that none spare time to doubt if the dream was worth it. We dance to our own rhythms while we work, so that even the most mundane tasks feel successful. We follow the verdant path of the Goddess in our productive frolicking and fiddling. Indulging in a labor of mind and body, we manifest an artistic functioning time machine, or vehicle for atmospheric revival and mental transportation. The Pub work is life affirming.

 

Maps are drawn and schedules made. The property of the Pub is large enough for a Tavern or Inn (a few acres). The Pub site is nestled away in woods, yet strategically accessible near a major interstate intersection within the DC metro area. There is ample parking up front. A long driveway wraps around back to stables of a half-timber two-story structure. There is a blacksmith’s shop and grounds for birds, cats, dogs, and horses. The main door is hard wood with heavy elaborate iron hinges, and a strong knocker handle ring. The door opens onto the ground level (first floor) bar and hearth of the Pub. All of the doors can be barred from the inside, chain-locked, pad-locked, and key-locked. By day the interior is lit by diamond pane windows, and later by a grand fireplace, candles, and chandeliers at night. Primarily a wood paneled hall with swords, shields, and various artifacts and mathoms displayed on walls and relic racks. The bar is adjacent to the fireplace, with a stair leading up between them. Bathrooms are behind the stairs, with a gallery hall for internet connection. Six tables crowd the room and pipe smoke hangs about. A fiddler rests on a stool in the corner, bar-wench Debbie serves ale, and Brynna (celtic female lark) sings before the fire. All forms of alcohol and herb are sold here, without the stress of an elite menu. If any food is sold, it consists of simple soups, breads, and common organic vegetables. The atmosphere is alluring to farmers, hunters, truckers, and bikers; but also to role-players, SCA, history buffs, reenactors, and even your average curious tourist or excited vacationer escaping from the rat-race.

 

Using the same chimney as the main hall, is the Library for quiet drinking, meditating, and studying. Upstairs is where the owners or bar-keeper lives; private bed-rooms, a study, and guest rooms. The blacksmith lives underground and guards the wine cellar, with dogs. The basement cellar links directly to the stable, bar, and oubliettes. The west wing of the Inn will have a dining hall and more guest rooms, and the east wing will have a kitchen and office. Blessed be, so mote it be.

  • END

[ AUDIO RECORDING of Drogo reading his original letter ]

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Self-Publishing Paradox

Posted in Book Reports, Commercial Corporations, Crafts, Critical Commentary of Civilization, jobs, Languages, Pub Library, Services, Sales or Trade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2018 by Drogo

How DC area book stores handle major publishers vs. local authors in 2018.

Book stores are still stuck in the old mentality with major publishers, rather than allow the flooded local markets to flourish with support. Retail profits largely hinge on perceived ‘popularity’ of brands, which is largely self-perpetuating based on reduced whole sale rates, and exaggerated sales advertising to push the merchandise on customers. Book mongers still have a very snobbish attitude towards local authors, even more so now that printed books are in competition with ebooks. Book mongers, like other capitalists will often declare that “there is a DEMAND’ for what they are selling, just as housing developers do when they create a artificial demand by making the supply and cornering the market with advertising and debt based commercial production.

Here is how one book store describes their consignment process on their website:

“Our consignment program helps us accommodate the overwhelming number of requests from local authors who wish to sell their books and host events at Curious Iguana. If, after reading all the information here, you have any questions, email. Please do not stop by or call the store with questions about our consignment program. Click here to download our Consignment Policies and Consignment Form for Author. Note that we do not read review copies, and we do not accept any books without a completed consignment form and FEE. About events – We receive numerous event requests from local authors every week. Only authors whose books have strong consignment sales and broad reader appeal will be considered for an event on a case-by-case basis. Authors should not expect that consigning books will result in an event.”

Consignment usually forces the local author to be in debt to the local store, rather than provide them with any net income. Local authors tend to purchase more books at stores from commercial authors in one visit, than their books may sell all year; so even local authors are more likely to spend more on international authors than their own book sales will make in years. After a few years of their books not being advertised, but often hidden, the author must then contact the store and ask what has sold, and then pick up their check if any have sold. Now that there are more local authors, they are even asked to pick up their remaining books to make room for others. In essence local authors are treated like cattle, and told they are not worthy to make money, and they should be lucky to have a consignment deal before getting kicked out. Quality differences in the contents of books, whether self published or not, have very little to do with these market issues; as mistakes can be found with many mass produced products. Even National Geographic published the wrong image of a sparrow in a major commercial release; not just typos but the very information that is the focus of the ‘best selling’ book can be factually wrong.

Perhaps some day there will be a book store just for local and self-published authors, and their books will be PURCHASED just like the major brand names are now, rather than relegated to forgotten shelves and treated as though they are not worth the paper they are printed on. Perhaps some day we will invest more in our local economies, rather than giving all profits to a few rich fat cats that could barely care less.

So in this area there are basically 2 stores that accept local authors, but due to demands by local authors that they have a place to sell their books, it is increasingly rare that the small portion of the store dedicated to local authors will have room for everyone in the flooded self-published book market. It seems that self-published is a niche market that is not being allowed space due to corporate monopolist priorities. The competitive cut-throat capitalist monopoly model of economics, stands in contrast to the sharing and networking pluralist (multiplicity) more free-market model. Some business workers pride themselves for being very morally patient with customers, clients, bosses, employees, co-workers, and partners; in that they value them as fellow humans and are very generous to the point of pleasantly accepting financial loss as sacrifice for more happiness. That moral model is considered a bad business model for serious capitalists however, because survival success of business is based on financial capital, not ethical capital. There is a strong historic argument to be made that more financial wealth can be made quicker and greater by meaner people that take huge risks, rather than generous people who tend to give away and share more (studies show these people are often considered ‘poor’).

Self-published authors can be economically vital, if local stores open to showcase them as the main product. Some regional examples may soon show that people will travel from around the world to visit unique collections that support populations directly with financing. Rather than stores asking you pay to maybe keep your book there temporarily, and refusing to talk to authors in person or on the phone about the issue of slavish consignment; an alternative option will be to support stores that support self-published authors, which would make independent authors the best meaning (and most fitting use) of the word ‘common’. Possibly current store owners don’t want to be harming the local economy by practicing their old business models, but supply and demand and advertising have very real aspects that corporations do not want commoners to discuss.

The self-publishing paradox is that although the book market is flooded by grassroots citizens writing and publishing books, the means to support them are not part of conventional business models. Even alternative efforts are suppressed due to social, economic, and linguistic self-destructive elitism. Most people that write books do it because they love it or are best at it, not because of the economic incentives because it is generally well known that artists, musicians, and writers are not given living wages. The attitude that the voice of the people is not worth hearing, has never been considered wise or good.

The ‘Board and Books’ Club

Posted in Adaptive Reuse, Commercial Corporations, Crafts, jobs, Multimedia Communication, Pub Library, Roleplaying / Reenacting, Services, Sales or Trade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2018 by Drogo

Urban Used Book Store and More

Before the apocalypse, some of us had opened a shop in the city for a place to sell what we made, to keep a collective library, and for a local hang out for geeks like us. We called it “The Board & Books” and it was an eclectic social community for all classes of gamers, intellectuals, artists, actors, musicians, and book lovers. We served some food and drink, but it was under the table to avoid needing to renovate and pay fees to code, to keep our expenses low since income was minimal mostly from monthly membership. If you stayed for more than an hour we asked that you pay to stay as long as you like, and that was incentive for return visits to get your money’s worth and have a chair and board to “call your own”. Walking sticks, paintings, and other home-made crafts of all kinds were welcome. On some days a smoking club would rent it, and we locked the door and responded only to the secret knock and call.

Our tiny shop version of the Pipedream Pub was called “The BOARD and Books” because we had at least one table to start with for playing games, writing, and studying books on. Table boards were also used for drinks and food when in private club sessions. The collective library was for our members to place books they liked or wrote, including old and new books. There were also prices on most of the books, on the odd occasion that someone wanted to own it for their personal private hoard. We even managed to sell a few poems.

We had old and new carved wood on display: walking sticks, canes, wands, sculptures, board panels, etc..

We had a converted piano made into a harp, flat-wide-screen digital monitor, and book shelf.

piano desk

Random paintings came and went. Art, music, and books were often traded.

Beamer and Tom made an awesome wooden table from old antiques and local barn boards.

railway-table-by-toyo-kichen-style-o

After a few years membership increased and so rates were raised to pay the bills and make some net profit, until Armageddon. During WW3 there was too much economic depression to charge much, and when the urban infrastructure became bad enough we had to close shop in the city, and focus on the Pipedream Pub in the country.  Many of the items and books from the shop were moved to the Pub library and hearth hall.

[ part of SCOD FALLOUT 2020 series script ]

Self-Publishing

Posted in Book Reports, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing, Pub Library, SCOD Online School with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2014 by Drogo

If anyone has a digital file for a book, i can publish it for about $100 within a month. That is a very low price that the author can pay for my services, to do all the work of format editing and publishing on Amazon and Kindle. It usually takes me over 10 hours, so at $10 an hour that is quite a deal!

Any book sales I will report and share with the authors. It is in my interest to do so, because we could make more successful projects. Identifying success potential is key. I have published over 20 books. Want more information on SCOD publishing? Find me on Facebook or click HERE to collaborate on a book project!

Books Published by Drogo Empedocles

– Drogo Empedocles of SCOD

HFM_1_small

Social Anxiety at Public Parties or Pubs

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Psychology, Pub Library with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2013 by Drogo

Public Parties, Pubs, Clubs, or Bars and Social Anxiety

Thoughts by Drogo Empedocles –

The older I get, the more freakishly strange it feels to go to bars; its always been an odd feeling because it is so different than the rest of society… and yet not odd enough for me, i cant quite explain it.

I am not straight-edge, and I do not consider myself a drug ‘addict’; I strive for moderation most of the time, in most things. However I do like to ‘get out every-once in a while’ and be social, or even host parties; so i would like to express some feelings i have regarding the psychological issues i experience.

Even just to go for music it trips me out. People at parties are a different experience, i remember first learning this at my house as a kid when my parents had Gallery Shows. Some of the social anxiety pressure i think has to do with the amplified volume of collective energy, emotions, and noise. Voice volume gets raised, just to have a conversation or say anything at all; then by nature it feels aggressive or hostile even.

Differences between people aside, im wondering if it is simply the odd condition of people relating to each-other in a much more familiar way than outside the bar? I think it makes it very strange when someone does not interact by those rules in some way, whether being quiet or not wanting to be touched in anyway, etc…

Diversity is important, but it makes for interesting dynamics. Hunter vs Prey scenarios, and what-not. It is funny because im such a sensual and compassionate person at heart, im cool with mutual public affection of common forms, but i realize some other people are not for various reasons, including relationship contracts; and therefore this presents ‘issues’. Usually the most gregarious types of people will be the ones at the party or bar, yet there will inevitably be a minority of introverts or people hostile to affection.

At this point I do not have many conclusions. Perhaps it is simply best to generally avoid the conflict of personalities in any public setting, especially parties and bars.  Yet parties and bars are considered the most fun, and appropriate for Holidays and Celebrations! Hmmmm. I guess I’m somewhere in the middle on all of this, since I am a compassionate introvert at heart, that does occasionally like the thrill of adventure.

Pub Business Plan

Posted in Economics, Pub Library, Victorian Tavern with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2013 by Drogo

So you want to open a Medieval, Victorian, or Fantasy Pub? So do I. Here is a step-by-step list of a typical business plan for opening a pub.

1.  Location, location, location. Town, County, State. Near a highway. Enough space, at a reasonable cost (low monthly fees: mortgage, lease, rent, utilities, etc.). Easy access Parking.

2.  Get a business license, liquor license, insurance, inspections, permit for a club, and whatever else is needed legally in that location.

3. Order enough beer, liquor, wine, and a few food items to last a month or two; always keep stocked, and sell it for more than you pay for it.

4.  Advertise locally, in print, and on-line; with proper signage.

5.  Have a reason for people to come and keep coming back; quality food & drink; affordable costs; membership dues or benefits that other places do not offer; atmosphere and special social scene.

6.  File proper income taxes; accounting for employees and sales.

7.  Deal with problems as a benevolent over-lord.

Sounds simple doesn’t it? So why has it not happened yet? The problems come with the initial start-up costs and rent. Even with a steady stream of patrons, there is no guarantee that sales will cover the cost to run the place; and that is the big gamble – the risk.

ArmoryPub5

Eric Meulemans Interview

Posted in Interviews, Pub Library with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2011 by Drogo

Name of Person interviewed: Sir Eric Meulemans

Reason interviewed: Pipedream Pub

1. Why did you start the Pipedream Pub:

The Pipedream Pub began – as many college-year endeavors do – as the mad hallucinations of a closely-knit group of friends, who desired to actualize their medievalist fantasies in the form of a Prancing-pony-like hangout where they would be free to eat hearty whole-grained breads, play eclectic music of all sorts at all hours, become learned beyond measure in artes arcane, use an abundance of hyphens and ellipses, and generally just hang out and be awesome with one another and perpetuate awesomeness upon the world.

Given the practical constraints of construction of such a physical reality, and, as so many such similar dreams are interrupted by that thing mortals call “life,” the Pipedream Pub lingered in a perpetual Pipedream state, waiting to be brought to fruition in its originally conceived form but over time evolving into much more. Rather than merely being a physical place, the Pipedream Pub became a virtual storehouse for the common interests and developments of its members, who seek to collect and disseminate knowledge for the betterment of those worthy of it.

2. Give some advice for anyone wanting to do what you have done:

Not to sound like a well-worn Nike slogan, but… just do it. If you desire something, pursue it. If you dream of it, build it. Too many among us look upon a mountain in the distance and think “I’d like to go there someday” and yet never take a single step towards it. Move your damn feet and you’ll get there – eventually. Remember, just like the NSA says, the impossible just takes longer.

3. How do you view “Sustainability” in what you do?

I view sustainability in the same way as many of our ideals: it is a constant goal but one rarely attained. Too often we fall prey to the ills of society and the weakness of our own will, but if we remain aware of these failings we can strive to better both through diligence. Sustainability is not just “reduce, reuse, recycle,” it is something that allows for the continued existence and well-being of ourselves and environment through minimal initial impact and long-term considerations of use.

 

4. What is your opinion of “Cooperatives”?

Sounds like some commie plot to me…

Cooperatives have a strong history and continued presence in agriculture for many of the same reasons we intone it here. That it provides for mutual benefit of members with reduced risk, bringing opportunity which could not ordinarily be attained on one’s own. Few are those with all of the skills necessary to conceptualize, design, build, maintain, and manage an organization, and those few who can likely will find it impossible to do all of these in the time they have, so working together and utilizing the strengths of one another to attain a mutual objective is almost a necessity.

5. How important is “Organic” design in your life, as opposed to simple mechanical design? For example in the food you eat, buildings you live in, and work you do…

“Organic” is certainly a bit of an overused and perhaps mis-applied term these days, but I admit a strong fondness for it anyway. Yes, I eat as much “Organic” food as possible, as I wish to limit my intake of toxins as much as possible and to support what I believe to be the proper direction of food production.

From a design standpoint, nature has already figured out how to work everything. Mimicking natural organic design is preferable to reinventing the wheel, yet we so often try to anyway. We tend to live in boxes, and this is not because they are beautiful, or efficient, or even necessarily convenient, but because the building industry told us we should. What other animals live in a box besides the ones we lock them into?

6. Do you have any other plans for future “Development” of these or any other goals?

Yes. I will attain effective immortality so that I have the time in which to meet them all.


ps – Eric Meulemans works at Albion Swords (Albion does make the swords from the Conan films, but the originals (which he is holding) were done by Jody Samson).