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.....The wind is really starting to pick up. The lights have flickered several times now. Wonder if we'll end up losing power at some point today? It's probably a good thing we're going over to Gwen's here in a while. Being across from the Silverdale Schools has its advantages. They never lose their power, or only lose it for short lengths of time. :-)

.....Santa Clause brought me several nice presents, as usual. :-) I really love the cup Gwen made me with my SCA Device painted on it:

.....I've been spoiled over the years by Gwen. Besides the cup, she is also the one who made my banner, my favorite Pelican circlet, my window device. She's been a really generous friend whom I appreciate a great deal. :-)

.....I cheated for my Sekrit Santa gift to Fearga this year and gave her something made by TBT. I think she'll like it. :-) I was a little on the fence about Sekrit Santa this year. Gwen helped me out last year with a really nice place setting which I sent to my recipient. I never did hear whether or not it was even received, much less liked. Half the fun in giving presents is seeing, or hearing about, the reactions of the recipient. I hope they liked it. I would have. :-)

.....Another really cool present was a sketch of a Greek Orthodox Monk that Brighid gave me. It always reminded her of Gandalf apparently, and she thought it went with me. I have seen it on her wall for a number of years, and have really loved it. The pencil sketch is incredibly detailed. I already have it hanging on the wall right next to my desk. :-)

.....TBT finished out my Farscape collection. It is COMPLETE!!!! Fourth season captured, as well as The Peacekeeper Wars on DVD. I know that it is probably more of a space saver to just download all of these on to a portion of the hard drive. But I'm old fashioned enough to want to have something physical to hold in my hands. :-)

.....What else was cool though was that the story was continued from the conclusion of The Peacekeeper Wars in a graphic novel series. I did not know that. It was advertised on a flyer inside the DVD box and I've been reading portions of it all morning on the Internet. Looks interesting actually.

.....Third Tiki God was acquired as well. TBT wants an aquarium, which is why resin Tiki Gods have been appearing so prolifically lately in my life. :-) I've been a real meany lately (and have felt the appropriate amounts of remorse, trust me :-)), and have really argued against any more pets until our current pet load diminishes some. Three cats do a lot to a household. I never realized how much until the past couple of years. Then there is all the angsting and worrying about them. I know that fish aren't all that angst inducing, and I'd love an aquarium as well. But no more pets for a little while, if we can somehow stand the cuteness overload whenever we pass a really lively parrot or really nice dog. :-)

.....Christmas meals worked out interestingly this year. We had Mom over for dinner last night, and I guess that Christmas Day was with Sean at the apartment. I would have extended the invitation to Sean if I'd have known. But Mom is a little worried about him and I think wants to have a long conversation with him one-on-one. According to Mom he's hanging out with groups and people that are 'not very nice' and she wants to find out more. I hope he's doing O.K.

.....I keep telling Mom about Sean's Facebook page, but have not yet convinced her to sign up for it. She told me last night that she had enough of farming to last a lifetime and has no interest in seeing Sean's cows, horses and chickens. :-) I can't blame her too much. She is the one who did all the goat milking and chicken preparations, among many other things. :-)

.....The Rhys Monster is playing is Nintendo 3DS with abandon, and TBT is using her Zynga gift card. The house is pretty quiet at the moment. I was lost on the Internet and hadn't noticed.

.....Very relaxing. A nice Christmas. :-) With more to follow before the day is over. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Read this quote on CNN today: "'You must understand that, people, we live in direct relation to the heroes and she-roes we have....If we don’t have heroes and she-roes and keep them alive, we are nothing.' - Maya Angelou."

.....Very profound if you think about it. Heroes are the personifications of what we perceive as the best in ourselves and what we consider the most noble aspects of the human race. My heroes are different from the heroes of others because the things that inspire me, that I think are great and wonderful, are different than say those things that TBT finds awesome and powerful in someone whom she admires. I think it speaks of Ms. Angelou's brilliance that she could put something so profound into a statement so relatively simple and succinct.

.....Errands achieved early this morning. Although the Computer Room is still in upheaval. But I can walk around in it and the floor is relatively clean. I may make another attempt at cleaning it tomorrow, but that is tomorrow. :-)

.....Put on my mental and emotional armor for the descent into the fifth plane of hell at 1PM today, called Wal-Mart in the modern world. Was actually rather glad I went through with the Optometrist Appointment there, to be honest. I was really on the fence and ready to cancel, but looking at the waste of an entire year's worth of payments to the Vision Insurance, I finally told myself to be a grown up and deal with it.

.....The nice thing about going to a facility that takes your insurance up front? You have a lot less paperwork with which to deal. Everything was computerized, with authorization on what they would pay for and not pay for immediately given. Instead of the usual 'fill out a crap ton of paper work and cross your fingers on what they will and will not pay for'. Which is what it has been like with the Dental Insurance. We've not yet gone to a dental provider specifically listed as MetLife and have paid for it with a lot of paperwork nightmare. Definitely a lesson to be learned for this next year.

.....Hadn't realized that the last time I had new glasses was before the Gastric Bypass surgery. A lot has changed in that time! For one thing the astigmatism that was in my left eye is now gone. We're not quite sure if that is directly attributable to weight loss, or no longer having high blood pressure, or what. But I'll take it for a win.

.....I'm also going to get away without needing bifocals one more time. :-) It was close though. :-) The doctor is pretty sure that the NEXT set of glasses are going to be bi-focals though. :-)

.....Then the not-so-good stuff. The doctor was looking into my right eye and started asking if I was a smoker. Then if I had been through a recent surgery or major illness. To all of which I replied 'no'. He was sitting and thinking about it when I thought about mentioning to him that I had gastric bypass about six years ago now. It was like a light bulb went off. He noted some macular degeneration and told me that I needed to go and see the doctor and get some blood work done as he thinks I have some vitamin deficiency issues happening. It's been a while since my last blood work, so I'll make that appointment first thing next week. I think I'll make the appointment with Dr. Oh in Federal Way and get a 'for real' reading done as well. I'll use it as a baseline and do a little more pushing on Dr. Minteer over here in Silverdale to get a more aggressive regimen going. I miss Dr. Oh and may need to find a new doctor over on this side of the world.

.....Glasses were then purchased. As in actually glass. I thought hard about the plastic lenses, but the difference in price is pretty significant. I'm used to glass and photogray, so we'll do this one more time. With the Vision Insurance actually in place, I don't think it is going to be six or eight years between new glasses again, so maybe the next go-around we'll go with the plastic lenses.

.....After that the day moved pretty quickly. Feast gear that was covering the table was sorted and put away. We now have two feast boxes packed with relatively matching gear, ready for the next feast. I need to remember to talk to Gwen and get on her list for MATCHING plates, saucers and bowls from Dragonfire Pottery. I know that Gwen secretly grumbles when she sees us NOT using Dragonfire Pottery. And, to be honest, I would rather be advertising the brilliance that is the typical Dragon's Laire artisan. So, we need to get the feast gear situation in order. :-)

.....Cleaned the hall and helped TBT put things away in preparation for Christmas. Made several attempts to start on the Computer Room, but never really made it far. Sooner or later it has to happen, but it isn't going to be easy. Maybe tomorrow... :-)

.....Shopping was done at Fred Meyers. The crowds were not that bad this evening. We timed it right apparently. Tomorrow will probably be a zoo there. But we will not be in it. :-)

.....The morning will be a lazy one. But I do still want to take another stab at cleaning the Computer Room. Then a trip over to Cedric and Brighid's for Christmas Eve gathering and conversations around lunch. Then preparations for Christmas Eve dinner, which means picking up Mom and bringing her over. I'll have to fire up Heather and see if I can get her warmed up a little. I might put a space heater in her for an hour or so in the morning. Have to remember to check the oil as well and connect the battery.

.....We'll have Madrun and Dylan over for dinner. It'll be nice to have them over to share in the conversation. I think that Mom will like Madrun as well.

.....Then it'll be time for Christmas. The Rhys Monster will have a good Christmas, no travels and everything on his wish list. :-) Then a trip over to Gwen's for some afternoon snacks and time with friends.

.....I could get used to retirement. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....On the First Day Of Cthulhumas, My True Love Gave to Me......

.....Taken from

.....Merry Christmas, Tsuruko!!! :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....All the presents are wrapped and sitting beneath the tree. I can attest to a potentially improving economy as I believe that there is a present or two more under there than there was last year. :-)

.....Day started off on a couple of sad notes, but improved. The Rhys Monster had a play date in Seattle. He was up late and tired this morning. It was hard to get out the door in time to meet the ferry. But he is a trooper and managed to get dressed and at least fall asleep in the car. He even managed to wake up early so he could clock into Startcraft for a good hour or so and commune with his online friends. :-)

.....Tried to get Heather jump started this morning. She's a goner for the moment. I started Suzie and connected the two batteries. But even after sitting for a while Heather wouldn't even click when the key was turned. The battery is majorly dead. I think there are a couple of electrical issues happening. She'll have to go in to be checked out. Which means a tow via AAA, probably on Monday.

.....TBT and I spoke at one time of selling Heather as she spends more time sitting in the driveway than actually in service. But shortly after our morning discovery, I was shown why we still have her. I had her full of stuff from both Crown Council and Yule that I hadn't had a chance to put back into the storage unit. Decorations, Gold Key, road signs, pole horses and various other pieces. It was jumbled loosely in a pile in Heather. It took me three FULL trips in the Mazda to get it all put into storage. And I mean FULL trips. Yeah, we need Heather fully functional.

.....I think all of our food shopping is done for the holiday as well. TBT stopped and picked up a few odds-and-ends and then did some leisurely shopping at JoAnn's, where we found a few last minute gifts.

.....Then we went over to the Goodwill and found a wingback chair and side table to put into the Computer Room. It was kind of a monster to get into the house and then the room. But it is comfortable and will make a nice place to read, and watch Hulu on the computer monitor. :-) Tia has already claimed it as her primary bed of choice and is snoozing away. :-) Just have to remember to bring in a spotlight from the basement.

.....We borrowed the truck from Rich and Wendy so I could get the chair home as well as pick up Mom for Christmas dinner here in a couple of hours. Which was awefully nice of them to do. The turkey is cooking in the oven and the house is relatively clean. There are a few things left to clean up, but I'm not too much in a dither about finishing them.

.....I think a nice and relaxing evening, complete with watching the Star Trek Marathon (and maybe putting in DVD's of ST-TNG when the run ends on SciFy :-)) and munching down turkey. And the opening of ONE present as is traditional with TBT (although if it were up to me I'd make everyone wait until tomorrow morning. The anticipation is the best part! :-)).

.....Here's my hoping that everyone who has had an impact in my life over the past year has a wonderful Yule or Christmas, or a Meeting of Fellowship and Good Cheer if nothing else. I'm thinking good thoughts for you all.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....My brother, Sean, turned 41 years old today. :-)

.....This was taken the year after we moved into Washington State, in 1980. I was the same age as the Rhys Monster in this picture. Sean was 11.

.....Christmas was always my holiday when growing up. Sean looks a little lost. :-) But this picture does not do justice to the fact that his hair is a bright and glowing RED.

.....His last couple of birthdays weren't all that great, so I'm hoping that this one was at least a little more plentiful.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Rhys' Gift Box)
.....I had a wonderful Christmas over at the beloved Laurellen's house. I feel spoiled rotten as I received more Christmas presents this year than I have the previous five years combined. It was also the most amazing experience watching Rhys open up presents and seeing the excitement on his face when ripping open the Christmas wrapping and seeing what Santa and others gave to him this year.

.....Between Laurellen, myself and some other relatives we managed to get everything Rhys wanted on his Santa list. The one and only thing that we did not get was a robotic insect, and we've got that one covered as well. My mother is going to buy that one and give it to him at Twelfth Night. She is so excited about the whole thing. She wished for grandkids of her own a long time ago and had about given up on me or my brother giving them to her. Now she is thinking that she might have a grandson to spoil with presents. :-)

.....The User Pic. is of a box that Rhys made just for me as a Christmas present. He took a lot of time selecting the beads and building each side of the box. It was his special gift to me. I think that I'll take it to work and put it on a prominent place on my desk. :-)

.....The beloved Laurellen made me a 'Man-Bag' of my very own, like Cedric's. It is a felted wool bag and when done will have separate pockets inside and will make an excellent storage case for my gemshorn and its tools and music.

.....I also received a whole stack of stuffed dragons that I think will look great in the RV. I'll have to post a picture of them all. They look way cool. Laurellen also found me a couple of excellent reference source books for the language of Old English. I'd seen them both on Amazon before and had wanted to get them for a while. Laurellen knew how much I would like them and had them waiting for me underneath the tree. :-)

.....I guess that several people noticed how much more sensitive I am to the cold weather this year as compared to when I weighed a lot more. I received a couple of fleece wraps and blankets. :-) They have already been put to use. :-) Master Ralg made a bottle stopped of a lathe-turned hardwood that is way cool. It already is planted in my favorite bottle of Don Julio. :-)

.....The beloved Laurellen also spoiled me with a sumptuous Christmas dinner that included special treats made just for me! Her sugar-free pumpkin pie is absolutely the bestest in the whole world! :-)

.....Merouda joined us for dinner as well. It was good to see her out and about. Laurellen, Rhys and I all picked her up a present each for her. I hope that she liked them. :-)

.....I had to come back home today to feed Tia. Plus I promised that I would take my Mom out shopping today, which I did. But I find myself missing Tamm very much this evening and wishing that I were over at her house instead of here. Sigh! Seattle is just too far away from Bremerton! Can't wait until I get back over there. I'm hoping that'll be tomorrow night. But it might be on Thursday. The sooner the better.

.....Arontius / Aaron.
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.....Greetings Everyone!

.....I'm sitting here in the house of the beloved Laurellen and thinking how blessed I have been this year. I have wonderful friends, a great life and the most perfect woman in the world with whom to snuggle on Christmas Eve. I'm practically purring with contentment. :-)

.....I hope that all of you reading this are just as blessed as I am at this moment. I hope that Santa brings you everything on your wish list and more.

.....Merry Christmas everyone!

.....Aaron / Arontius.


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