arontius: (Justin's Device)
.....I finally made the decision this morning to not attend Sport of Kings. I'm bummed in that I wanted to spend time seeing people at the event, spend time with TBT, and work out with Renart in the kitchen. But at the same time, it is a whole day that I can have at home to get caught up on a few things. I'm feeling really behind at the moment and would very much like to get to a point where I am actually learning and performing as the Kingdom Exchequer, rather than simply reacting to whatever new situation happens to hit my computer on any particular day. Oy!

.....I did get to help at least a little tiny bit Sport of Kings (or SpOrK, as some call it :-)). On Tuesday I pulled out my 12x12 and awning, with all its associated parts, and delivered to Renart at the Tuesday Social for use at Sport of Kings. A group flew in from Avacal and needed shelter that they couldn't bring with them.

.....There is a little corner of my mind that rather wishes I had not accepted the work of putting together a bunch of circlets for Their Majesties. Mainly because it has taken much more time than I had anticipated. On the other hand, I'm hearing good reports coming in from people who are really appreciating the receiving of them. Plus, it is a paycheck of a sort. So I don't have a whole lot of room to complain, so I should stop now. :-)

.....Tomorrow morning TBT will hit the road at 6AM for her trip to Sport of Kings. I plan to hit the workbench shortly thereafter and get started on the next batch. We're still at the point of having twenty-five cut and drilled and ready to go. I have five more to drill and then I can start the edging and facing process. I've budgeted four hours to make that happen tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, it isn't going to be quite as easy as it sounds to get started. I've spent the past several weeks filling the garage with empty plastic storage bins and the remains of July Coronation. I'm going to have to spend the first hour or so clearing out enough space to get to the workbench and out the garage door. I need to do that anyway to get started on packing for September Crown. The packing of which will start next weekend. If I go ahead and get the pavilion and accessories pulled out of the garage and staged in Lord Flasheart, I'll feel much more in control of September Crown preparations.

.....Tomorrow morning on circlets, with a break for lunch. In the afternoon, the plan is to move the remaining items from the Heated Storage Unit to the Large Storage Unit. It is not very much at all. Some portable closet pieces, some bins of craft supplies, and some odds-and-ends. The most difficult item will be the shelving unit and the filing cabinet. I'll leave them for last and if they are heavier than I want to deal with, I'll wait until sometime next week and get some help. The Large Storage Unit has some space for the loose bins on the back shelving unit. I need to organize some of the garden hoses, but that will not take long. Than everything will go neatly on a shelf. There is still a lot of clean-up to do in there, but I need it to happen on a weekend where I have some help. This isn't going to happen until sometime this Fall. It would be nice to have it happen BEFORE Yule Feast, but I'm not confident on that at this time. September, October and November all look full of commitments already.

.....I'm budgeting three to four hours for that move. After that I should be able to plan for a turnover of the smaller unit to the complex before the following weekend and the Barony will have one less bill to pay.

.....After that it'll be on to excavation of the Computer Room. Last week, the wall of boxes in the Living Room was completed. There is still an enormous stack of them in the Dining Room, but all of them are filled with items to be sold on E-Bay or equivalent. Sometime over the next month or so, either TBT or myself will make arrangements to have 'someone' take possession of them and go through the effort of photographing them all and listing them. TBT is thinking of someone out of Tacoma. I'm still hopeful I can find someone local who'll take care of them for us. It'll mean less transportation, and it would be nice for the commission to go to someone we know and like personally. But we'll see. It will take some time and effort to make the sales operation happen, and the commission we have in mind may not be worth it for someone who does not really do this sort of thing for a living. And really? I just want the bins gone!

.....There are still a few piles of loose things left to go through in the Living Room. There is one huge pile of bags, briefcases, computer cases, etc. I need to go through that pile and segregate between 'keep' and 'Goodwill'. There are some nice, padded, computer bags in there. I just don't know if they would work with anything we currently have. There is also a pile of loose beading and embroidery supplies. There is a nice organizer for all this stuff ready to accept all the materials. I just have to sit down, sort through it all and make it happen. After that point I'll clean out the Living Room and we'll be ready for the upcoming Christmas Season. :-)

.....So, what does one do with all the 'stuff' that is too useful or 'cool' to go to Goodwill? Well, one puts it in the Computer Room for future sorting. That may not have been my smartest move. It was already a very crowded place. It's much worse now. There is one path between the door and the desk chair, complete with an obstacle course of stuff to trip you up just in the getting there! Then HUGE mounds of stuff from the floor to the second or third shelf of the bookcases in there. I've managed to knock over the piles several times now while entering and exiting the room. It was bad enough to where I spent at least an hour on Wednesday, and again on Thursday, to try and reclaim some control of this space. I did manage to do some re-organization, and threw out a couple of piles of paper products. It is marginally better now. But a good couple of solid hours is needed to tame this beast to any degree. I'm looking at the East side bookcase and thinking that it is time for a selection of books located there to go away. They are titles I know I'll never read again and are just taking up valuable real estate. I think at least a third to a half of this bookcase can conceivably go to Goodwill. After that point, I can move a metric butt-tonnage of files to the shelving. I'm salivating at the thought. I never imagined a time where empty floor space would actually be sexy. :-)

.....Wherever I end up on Saturday though, Sunday will have to be about excavating the Bedroom. It became the secondary repository of stuff recovered from bins in the Living Room. Mainly in the form of linens and empty stacking boxes. TBT wants to take some time to go through the closet and get rid of a bunch of stuff. But I find it difficult to believe that we'll get to that point before December. The clothes themselves will be fairly easy. It is everything else stored in the closet that will not. I know I have a huge pile of artwork and pictures in there that I have no clue what should happen. There are a number of framed awards. Several large wooden carvings from Maryn Grey. At least one or two painting from people I have known personally and like. None of these things are things I can just casually toss in the trash pile. TBT will probably want to package them up for storage in the garage, but even that is problematic and a large portion of this still will not fit nicely in a storage box! Sigh. I need to start thinking of a solution. Depending on how much the awards and the artwork mean to me personally, I might just opt to make them go away. Hmmm...

.....Still no word from Society on NMS clarification. This could be taken as good news on some levels. Tir Righ had a Level 2 event last weekend that was not advertised in The Crier and that they had geared towards not having to charge for NMS. However, under the newly 'clarified' rules, events that advertise in local newsletters or on local web-site or now liable to collect for NMS. This event of Seagirt's was advertised locally, mainly as a demonstration event to try and recruit new members. We officially asked for an exemption specifically for this event as the 'clarification' came via e-mail approximately a week before the event itself. We did not get a reply, but are running with that at the moment as acceptance of the exemption. We have put out the word though and have warned as many as possible in An Tir that the rules are changing and to get prepared.

.....Actually, I think the part of this 'clarification' that makes people the most nervous is whether or not the Society will declare even Fight Practices that ask for funds from those attending to defray the cost of the site use will have to pay NMS. I've already been warned that this will cause quite a commotion and possibly open rebellion. Although, to be honest, I don't blame them for the warning. I'm personally of the same opinion. But I'll have to obey the rules handed to me. If this is a move towards 'Pay to Play', I would have implemented things differently. But maybe this uber-gradual approach is for the best?

.....With September Crown quickly approaching, I'm starting to get a little nervous in regards to preparations on behalf of Exchequer duties. We're starting to get organized on the Signature Card transfer on the Friday before Crown, but still have to come to a final solution on where and what time. As well as making sure everyone involved can actually be there. I still need to finish my agenda for the Exchequer's Meeting on Saturday of September Crown and send out an e-mail to the e-list to see if there are any other burning topics that Exchequer Corps would like answered. Then I have to pull together all the documentation I need to support the Financial Committee Meeting of Monday morning. Etiennette has promised me that I'll see her Priority List / Check List this weekend sometime. With that list I should have a good game plan of what I need to put together over the next two weeks.

.....Society put out a call for audit material yesterday. The State of California requested a number of items from the SCA that involves all of us. We're required in this round to provide copies of the last bank statement of 2014 and a listing of 'donations' processed through An Tir over the course of 2014. With the Doomsday Reports in hand, this should be fairly straight-forward. Not necessarily easy, but fairly straight-forward. Etiennette is running with this at the moment as she knows exactly where to go and how to pull it all together. I have a pretty good idea of how this is going to work, but Etiennette has promised me that we'll sit down sometime in the next couple of weeks and go through her process for gathering all this information. Then we'll see how close my thought of the process and how it works in reality match.

.....The July Coronation Kingdom Profit Check arrived yesterday. I still have to get with Attia and Nadezdha on reviewing the final report for An Tir / West War so I can write the check of profit and get it deposited. Between the two we should see an increase for a change instead of the loss we've been seeing most of this year.

.....Many, many irons in the fire at the moment with the Exchequerate. A KAS / KBC bid hit my e-mail yesterday. From Glymm Mere. I'm actually happy to see it, probably almost as happy as Julia. :-) At initial glance it looks pretty good. The hotel gave a pretty good price for the space. The bid is missing a few items that have been included in the budgets of the past couple of KAS / KBC events, but I don't think any of the items are Earth-shattering. I am going to do some quick comparisons this weekend and probably give my thumbs up before Monday.

.....At some point on Sunday I need to take some time to sit down and organize my 'to-do' list for the Exchequer Office. If you aren't paying attention you could drown in the details very, very quickly. That's going to be my biggest challenge over the next six months I think. I should have taken this on with much less distraction so that I could concentrate on learning the processes. I think my error was in comparing my thought of what it would be with what moving into the Office of the Chronicler was like. There is a large amount of detail in managing a publication that is actually printed (as it was in my tenure), but in comparison to the detail level involved in managing the Exchequer's Office, it is not much of a comparison.

.....Today, being the 18th birthday of The Rhys Monster, we were talking about going out to dinner or something. I was given no details, but that is not unusual. :-) I am thinking dinner would be a good thing now and should go find out.

.....And here starts the weekend. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Justin's Device)
.....It's just about time to head off to the August Business Meeting at the VFW Hall. I'm dragging my feet a little as I'd rather stay at home and catch up on chores that have been accumulating. Or maybe I'm just a little bit peopled out at the moment. Or maybe it is because TBT is headed out for the first meeting of the new Laurel Regional Meeting in Tacoma. I'll be by myself at the Business Meeting. It may actually be a noticeably smaller Business Meeting with all the Laurel in absentia.

.....If nothing else I have to go and get a couple of signatures from Ralg to finish off a few An Tir / West War checks. Envelopes are made out, checks and Request Forms are complete. Once Ralg signs them off they will go into the mail tonight. Which means that I will be able to finalize the reports and journal for An Tir / West War this weekend and put it away for the next year and a half or so. Nothing came in for printing from Baron Finn, so I'm going to call that one a wash for the moment. We may end up with a little bit of refund from the Biffy and / or Trash People. But that is pretty standard. I'll also get a good handle on exactly how much profit the event made though and it'll be on the agenda at September Crown to discuss how much of it to move over to the Kingdom Coffers.

.....I need to start pestering Etiennette for the agenda for the September Crown Financial Committee Meeting. I'm not entirely sure if it'll be myself or her running the show. Etiennette has the knowledge base at the moment and knows what is happening with the accounts and the Kingdom. She is also coordinating the completion of the second quarter branch reports. So she may end up chairing the meeting whether she likes it or not. :-) I should probably warn her, I suppose.

.....After a couple of weeks of relative peace, issues started popping up this week in rapid succession. A number of check requisitions to be processed were near the top of the list. Review of the updated Kingdom Financial Policy is gaining priority rapidly. However, the biggest surprise dropped in from Society. In preparation for PayPal, Society is pushing at a clean-up of the accounts across all the Kingdoms accounts. This includes clearing out all the NMS back-log. Every Kingdom has a listing of events Society feels should have paid NMS, but for some reason did not. An Tir has its own list. Elonda has been working diligently to whittle our list down to nothing. To be honest, I've been incredibly impressed with her diligence and tenacity at dealing with the branches who owe forms, funds, or both. She's managed to do it all professionally, and with no snarkiness or condescending attitude at all.

.....The biggest test of this came in the form of an e-mail from the Society Treasurer. Using extreme 'Corporate Speak' with a great deal of bombastic language, a note arrived in my e-mail describing how the Kingdom was in arrears and needed to 'take action and not sit on a dire situation'. This was in regards to the NMS funds that the Society Offices feel haven't been paid by An Tir to them that should have been. The implications ran deep to the affect that An Tir was deliberately avoiding payment of something owed to Corporate and that we had until early October to make good 'or else'.

.....I understand completely that when dealing with legalities and money we want to get away from the 'club' and treat the administrivia as a 'Business'. You have to do that in today's Corporate and litigious environment. I'm not opposed to that at all. It's when you end up treating your own membership like a tenant you feel is trying to cheat you out of a payment that I object. We're all here for the same thing, to support the concept of the SCA. Treat me professionally and like an adult. Don't treat me like a bad debt. You don't even know me or know all the details. Sigh.

.....After a little back-and-forth, and some excellent communication from Elonda, the SCA Treasurer stepped back a little from the Corporate mindset and started treating us a little better. The tension dropped rapidly after that and we're getting things answered and solved quickly. Right now we're trying to come to consensus as to what exactly defines NMS in terms of an event, which will determine just what events in An Tir owe funds to Corporate. I suspect that An Tir will end up owing money to the Corporate Entity. Exactly how much we shall see.

.....My 'to-do' list for the Exchequer's Office is growing rapidly! It is its own list already as a matter of fact. I need to get hopping to get a group of Deputies on board and working. We have a possible / probable replacement for Elonda when she starts working the Corporate Job full-time. Etiennette is working to get her Transfers Deputy on board and working. I'm hoping to get Deputies lined up to support Bank Accounts (monitoring and set-up); Reporting; and Federal I.D. Number Verification (in preparation for the setup of State Subsidiaries). I'd also like to get a Training Deputy set-up on rolling, but still hoping I can sit down and persuade Etiennette to take on that particular tasking.

.....As soon as I'm starting to feel comfortable in my position, the push and focus will be to put together a comprehensive training program and get it implemented. I would like the branch exchequers to start building internal networks to help each other locally to review their own records and reporting and help each other learn and grow. There is too much learning by trial-and-error. Too much isolation as well. I would very much like the exchequerate to network much more than they are. It is a goal of mine.

.....Another surprise has been the Kingdom Records themselves. I found out recently that starting with Elonda, the Kingdom Financial Records had to be re-built almost from scratch. She could not get her predecessor to give them up. I'm hearing various stories as to why that is. The most widely used one being that he wanted to get them organized before turning them over. But apparently when Etiennette tried to get to these files to look for information in regards to a couple of past issues, she could not actually get to the files themselves and had to go to other sources to get her information. This will become a priority on my list of things to get done. These files are located in Tacoma. Not that far away. I need to start sending out the e-mails and phone calls and see if I can convince him to let me have the files sooner rather than later. Although, enough time has now passed to where these files may not be of much use.

.....Need to get an Exchequer's Meeting on the docket for September Crown. Which means I should probably check in with Julia and make sure I have use of the Seneschale's pavilion during the time frame I want on Saturday of the weekend. The agenda is already being built, with NMS and reporting being at the top of that list. Networking and communications following closely behind.

.....His Excellency let me know on Tuesday that I was one of the people on the June Faire Advisory Panel. Since then I've learned that Madrun and Diomedes are also members. That's three of us. We'll probably learn who the other six are at the Business Meeting tonight. Hopefully we'll learn also when we will meet and the exact purpose of the Panel. Does His Excellency want something specific for June Faire? Or is this first year going to be a concentration of finding out what will work best for the Barony and then working towards some tenable compromise. I have no idea really what to expect. From that standpoint alone I find the concept to be interesting. The clock is ticking though. A June Faire Board is generally put together by September and starts on the tasking list by November. Whatever plan we implement has to move along fairly quickly. I'm hoping that we're not going to be expected to run June Faire 2016? I would have to bow out at that point. But with nine people on the panel I don't think that is the direction we're headed.

.....Gwen posted a note to a group of us speaking to the Artisans Holiday Craft Faire she wants to do again this year. She wants to hit the SCA hard with advertising, which is why she thinks my circlets might be a draw for sales. I'm not so sure, but I thought it would be interesting to be part of the group. So I told Gwen that I was 'in' and would pay whatever share was needed from me for space rental and advertising costs.

.....I have a number of raw designs in the garage and could probably put together twenty or thirty for a sale at the VFW Hall, depending upon which date is agreed upon. It was sounding like October, but TBT and I kept thinking it was a November sale. Like the weekend after Thanksgiving. I would prefer that weekend actually as it would give me a little more time to put together some merchandise. I'll have to dig up the display stand and all the other accoutrements that go along with circlet sales. I haven't actually done a booth in a number of years, but I never did get rid of the gear. Just have to find it all and pull it together.

.....I was putting together a list of everything I would need to support a booth and was reminded of the stash of pendants I have in storage as well. At least 60 - 80 pendants with Ingasbo designs on them. After the years they've been in storage I'm sure they'll need some polishing and clean-up. But other than that they could be ready to go fairly quickly. I think the only problem at that point is what to charge for them. Which has always been a problem with Ingasbo 'stuff'. A lot of hours go into making a circlet or etched design. More than most are willing to pay, especially in a world where China can mass produce this stuff for pennies on the item. I have a suspicion that people are not going to want to pay for circlets and pendants that pay me even minimum wage! But I suppose that I do not need the funds to make a living, so I do not want to give this stuff away either. And, I suppose I could be surprised. We may get all set up and find out that people really will pay decent prices.

.....The water was removed from the nettle bath the other day and the nettle stalks are now drying. Countess Elisabeth took a look at them and thought them not worth the effort. She thinks that I waited too long to pull the stalks last year and am ending up with more woody debris rather than workable fiber. Which means that when these stalks finish drying out and I take a hammer to them I'll end up with a pile of dust rather than some woody dust and a bundle of fiber. I'm not quite ready to give up though, so I'm going to let this stack of nettle stalks finish drying out and see what happens. Even if I end up with just a little bit of usable fiber it will have made the experimentation worth the effort we went through over the past year.

.....I'm also going to make plans to start nettle harvesting in June next year though. The Spring rush should be done, but the nettle will not have started flowering and going to seed yet. I think that is where my basic mistake originates. When I went out harvesting this last time, I should have concentrated on nettle that did not yet have flowers on it. It would have taken some more time, but I might have ended up with a higher quality crop. Hopefully, a 'lesson learned' for next year.

.....When the Recorder Guild went on temporary hiatus this last Spring, a small part of my mind thought it was a dead thing again until I had the time and energy to drive it forward. But I was surprised this last week when I was suddenly included on an e-mail chain from RedBow essentially organizing a Recorder Guild to play locally. It invited both SCA members and members from other local Early Music groups, and wasn't just limited to recorders. She actually gained some interest from a couple of people who play as part of the Early Music group in Seattle. They might play at SCA events, but were already talking about concerts in other venues and situations. Their music selection also went beyond the Renaissance and firmly into the Baroque, with some rather nice pieces as part of their regular repertoire.

.....I asked RedBow if she accidently put my name on the e-mail traffic and she said no and that she was hoping that once things had settled out a little bit for me that I might want to come and play with them. RedBow had heard about Mom and sent her condolences as well. The whole conversation, while a little strange coming from RedBow, was very pleasant and thoughtful on her part. I'm really digging their music selection as well. So I'm thinking that maybe I'll see about whether I can block out the time to attend their practices. I think it would be fun.

.....Just have to be careful about over-commitment. I can feel myself playing that game and would rather avoid it. So I need to practice being thoughtful with what I do with my time over the next year. Practice! Practice! Practice!

.....We'll see how it goes.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....I actually enjoyed May Crown. Unlike TBT, I'm very much a provincial, so I don't suffer the same angst she does in re-living personal history. When TBT started in the SCA, she shot up the ranks like a comet. Became a Laurel within a few years, and a Royal Peer (Princess / Viscountess) very early on in her career. She hung out with all the cool people early and was an integral part of many a momentous occasion in Artemesia. When she travels to the big Kingdom Events, so sees an overlay of the excitement of days past. The thrill of adrenaline. The knowledge that you could affect things on a very large scale.

.....For me, I started out very slowly. For the first three years of my SCA career practically the only event I attended was June Faire. After that I took on very small jobs and hung out with only a small group of friends. Then slowly built on that foundation. I played almost exclusively inside the confines of Dragon's Laire for almost a decade before I started exploring the big world of An Tir. So when I attend the big Kingdom events, there is still a sense of awe that permeates them. When I roll into site, there is the excitement of knowing a new King and Queen are going to be decided, or Crowned, shortly. There are people to meet that I don't see all that often. There are experiences to have that aren't a part of the fabric of Dragon's Laire.

.....The Kingdom Events are also enhanced, of course, by being the Baron and Baroness. You are there to represent a group of people who are vital to the make-up of the Kingdom. I do my best to watch out for them and enhance their experience in any way I can. Being an introvert by nature, this can sometimes be difficult and I am out of my comfort zone on a regular basis. But I think the exercise is a good one for me. I certainly learn much, make new friends, and experience things that I fondly recall later. For all the whining I do about how difficult it is to wear a Coronet, I will miss it when it is gone and am glad to be doing what I am doing now.

.....The drive was a long one on Friday, but the scenery was good. Lots of good conversation with TBT. We don't often get that kind of extended time alone to discuss any and all subjects under the sun, so I took advantage of the time and kept her talking the whole way to site. :-)

.....We caravanned with Madrun and Dylan (in Florence Radcliffe), Dame Eleanor (in Lord Burghley), and Gwenllyn & Tsuruko (in 'the Tahoe' :-)). I'm not big into caravanning with others as I like to go at my own pace. But it is a good feeling to know that there are people traveling with you in case something troublesome comes up. Stopping for a bit to eat and you have instant companionship. And there are others to help you find your way if you get lost. :-)

.....We ended up getting a start from the Mullenix Park-And-Ride at about 8:30 to 8:40AM. Gwenllyn was LATE!!! :-) We made good time though going over Snoqualamie Pass and stopping for lunch in Wynatchee. About three quarters of the way to site we ended up following along with Jess Roe of Prose And Steel, who drives a little slower than I would have liked. Which surprised me considering the type of person he is.

.....We rolled into site about 3:30PM. Jullila (the Autocrat), [livejournal.com profile] julillamagna, greeted us at the gate, with her ever present smile and wave. An attitude she managed to maintain the entire weekend. She did an absolutely fantastic job of being the Autocrat Team Chairman for May Crown. I hope she does more of these events as she is a natural. After a break of course.

.....THL Mateusz had a site marked out for the Barony fairly close to the Erics, right behind Merchant's Row. We had a rather good turn-out for the weekend. We had ten pavilions in our enclave and nineteen people in that area alone from Dragon's Laire. Over in the RV Ghetto were also Master Ralg and Dame Ellen. Over in the Royal Encampment were Master Cedric, Dame Brighid, Don Talentus, THL Jenae, and Lady Magdalena. What is that? Twenty-six people? I would definitely consider that a good turn-out.

.....TBT and I shared a pavilion. THL Madrun was to our right. Lord Radmund started out to Madrun's right, but was moved across the street by the burst water pipe later in the evening on Friday. To our left were Dame Gwenllyn and Tsuruko Sensei in the 12x12 with awning that I lent them for the weekend. To their left were Master Andras and THL Liesel, along with CeCe and Lady Elisabeth Trostin and her daughter Cassie in their own tent. Across the street from them were THL Alaricus and THL Kassandra in their large tent. THL Renart and THL Aelianora were next to them. Then Mateusz and THL Rycheza. Dame Eleanor was beside them. With THL Caius and THL Nidda in the final tents (before Radmund moved in next to them).

.....The weather on Friday was not bad at all, although the sun was fierce. Set-up of pavilions did not take all that long. We headed out to dinner at about 7PM and had dinner at an Australian Steak house on the north side of Omak, which was tasty. After a stop at Safeway for ice and water (after we learned that water to site had been shut off), we made it back to site around 10PM. At that point I thought about wandering site, but I was done for the day and just went to bed.

.....The night was cold, but not unbearably so. I managed to sleep rather well and slept in the next morning until at least 5:30AM or so. Gwen and Tsuruko woke up around 6:30 or 7AM and make short work of preparing breakfast, for which I was very grateful. I took off fairly soon after for my 8AM Pelican meeting.

.....If I end up having any influence whatsoever, I'm going to push to move the Pelican meeting out to 9AM or 10AM (or later) at September Crown. Wish me luck! :-) The meeting itself was really foo-free for the most part (or, the foo that was experienced was expected, which made it not so bad to experience). It went by rather quickly as well. A little after 9AM, I was wandering back to camp to pull stuff together for the rest of the day and putting them into the Dragon Bag, which made its usual appearance at the Pelican Meeting. :-)

.....At 10:30AM we met with a group of the Western Regional Barons and Baronesses at the Aquaterra Pavilion to talk about the June Faire Board of Directors as a concept. I had invited Madrun and Magdalena along for just that purpose. But the majority of the time, almost two hours, was spent talking about Serjeantry. It is interesting how Serjeantry as a concept is really taking off again around the Kingdom. It is modifying itself to fit new uses. Everyone has ideas on what they want to see happen with it, which is making each Barony's 'plan' more and more different from both the original model and from each other to fit their own individual culture. A very fascinating conversation it was. There seems to be consensus that we should do more as a Region together, but there is still a lot of gap to bridge before we can really talk of combined Trials.

.....We lined up for the Grand Processional a little after 12:30PM. There were not a whole lot of branches represented after the seventy-seven fighters were introduced to the Crown. But it was good to come together as a Barony and process into Court. I think that most, if not all, of us in attendance for the weekend processed in. A rather nice sight that was. :-)

.....After the Processional, TBT and I handed out our tokens to those fighting in the Crown lists. Master Cedric and Master Andras were first as they were direct representatives of Dragon's Laire. But we also presented tokens to Sir Rauokinn and Mistress Inga, two people both TBT and I find incredibly inspirational.

.....During the fighting of Crown we had a lot of fun from the Baronial Pavilion recognizing practically everyone who crossed in front of us. Many were surprised, but most found our antics to be amusing and were friendly in return. I think people like being recognized in any situation, even in such a silly capacity.

.....The silliness only expanded though during the evening Court. TBT and I sat directly behind Countess E. and we messed with each other the entire time. We passed out booze by the bottle, teased each other incessantly, and, I think, even managed to embarrass Master James in his capacity as Court Herald. Although he deserved it with how he butchered names of those being called forth! :-)

.....Upon completion of Court we migrated back to camp for dinner. Even though we didn't plan a communal dinner, practically everyone there shared a little of what they had made for themselves. Then we gathered around the firepit for the evening bardic gathering. It started off a little rocky, as per usual. But picked up steam as the evening progress. We were rarely, if ever, in key. But everyone there had fun, which was the intent. Lady Magdalena joined in at one point with her absolutely wicked sense of humor. Master Cedric sang with us a little, completely off-key, which matched my off-key rather well. So it was still a win as far as I was concerned. :-)

.....Caius and Nidda pulled out their ukelele's after a while and played instrumental to a few songs. They ended up playing one of my absolute favorite songs of all time, Hallalujuha. I know the words by heart, but couldn't seem to make the decision as to whether I just wanted to listen to it sung, or to sing along. It ended up being a hodge-podge on my part. But I still enjoyed it immensely.

.....After a couple of hours we all grew tired of singing and migrated in different directions. I followed Brighid and the Seneschallettes over to the big party of the evening. But I didn't stay long as I was rather tired at that point. I ended up in bed by 11PM. I AM getting old. :-)

.....The next morning was another early rise. I was up around 6AM and started quietly breaking down camp before everyone woke up. By the time TBT was stirring, all the decorations were down and ready for stowage. The Curia meeting started at 8:30AM, and I managed to get quite a bit of the campsite put away before having to run.

.....The Kingdom Financial Committee meeting was extra long due to the discussions on Kingdom Events. I did witness Jenae and Magdalena present their bid for An Tir / West War. They were very professional! :-) The bid was a shoe-in, although I did get volunteered to help. Etiennette insisted that their event have its own warranted Exchequer and they asked me to do it. I could not say 'no'. :-) Besides, it will not be a big deal at all. I just reminded myself that I have a couple of questions to e-mail Etiennette about funds for the event.

.....I gave my September Crown report a little later, and it was probably the shortest report I've ever given! I was antsy at that point as I wanted to breat down camp and get on the road! :-) And about an hour and a half later, we were. Still in our caravan. We made it home by 6PM.

.....It was a good weekend. I enjoyed it. And I missed Lobelia only a little bit. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....Last night was the April Baronial Business Meeting. There was definitely a vibe of craziness in the air. It felt rather odd. And I've been obsessing over things from it ever since. I'm hoping that by writing some of them out here I'll pull them out of the hampster wheel of my mind and I can obsess over something else, like NORWESCON. :-)

.....One of our long time players was at the Business Meeting last night. I've seen this person maybe a handful of times over the past couple of years. But they've decided to basically 'return home' for a while and play. Which is probably a good thing for them. I've never left for any length of time, but I've always thought of the SCA as a dysfunctional family of sorts and as in any family, a good place to go to for support when needed.

.....This person may have an interesting time reconnecting with the Barony though. There were several interesting moments last night where people were confused about the questions raised or how to answer them. May have to keep an eye on this one.

.....Ever since the SCA Lawsuit recovery we've been taking an even closer look at our Baronial Finances. How we spend money. How we raise money. What can we do to improve how we do both. To raise awareness, the Baronial Exchequer put together a listing of inflows and outflows from 2011, and used it to set the budget for 2012. Then the Deputy Baronial Exchequer went through that Spread Sheet to give the numbers to the Baronial Populace in attendance last night.

.....We've done similar in the past, and I never know what to expect as it has run the spectrum. From full interest to eyes glazing over from boredom. Last night there was real interest. Which is fantastic! I wish more people were interested in how the funds were generated and spent. But the Deputy Exchequer did not have the answers to the questions raised. Neither did I for that matter. And they were good questions! The first one being if we could get more defined event costs and income by averaging out a number of years, which might be more accurate. The next question being to see some more details in what the expense totals actually were. The Deputy Exchequer is going to take those questions back to the Exchequer and get some more clarification.

.....We had our first Serjeantry Candidate withdraw last night. For good reasons. They need to concentrate on personal life and TBT & I applauded what that person is doing. We made sure to emphasize that they've submitted a Letter of Intent. If they want to start up again next year, or the year after, we'd fully support them in that.

.....We were concerned about another Candidate and had a discussion with them last night. Modern Life is been an issue for this Candidate and we wanted to make sure they understood that they could continue the Trials through to next year's class if they needed to do so. But we were told that Serjeantry was that important to them and they wanted to continue. We certainly wasn't going to argue with that one.

.....Later on that evening, someone mentioned something that really had me obsessing. It was mentioned that the job of Baroness was actually much more difficult than being the Baron. I, frankly, have been thinking about that statement ever since. I find the job of Baron rather difficult to start. I'm not sure I'd want it to be more difficult than it is. :-) I also thought that I had the workload balanced out with TBT rather evenly. I'm thinking that maybe we should take a second look at that. Are there things we can take off of TBT's plate to make things easier for her? TBT's strengths are not mine. And I've tended to think the reverse was true as well. But it is something definitely we need to look at.

.....I need to go and finish packing for NORWESCON. We were up until midnight last night and I'm rather tired. :-) Go figure. :-) Better make a list so that maybe I'll forget less. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....So, I walk into the U.S. Bank branch located in the Albertson's in Silverdale. I've been using this branch to deposit checks into the account for The Crier now since September of 2004. The same primary name has been on the account. The stipend checks from SCA, Corporate have been made out to the same recipient for that entire time, 'SCA, Inc.; The Crier'.

.....So, like I said, I walk into the branch and I ask to deposit this stipend check. The teller takes the check and deposit slip and types the account number into her computer. She then asks me, 'Is 'The Crier' on the account?'

.....'Excuse me? Yes, 'SCA, Inc.; The Crier' is the name on the account.'

.....'I'm showing this account as belonging to 'The Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.'.

.....'Yes, that is what the acronym, 'SCA, Inc.,' refers to.'

.....'But the check is addressed to 'SCA, Inc.; The Crier,' not to 'The Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.' I'm afraid I can't accept this for deposit into the account.'

.....I blink in confusion for a minute or so. 'I've been depositing these same checks, made out to the same addressee, for several years now.' Then I pull out receipts of deposits from earlier this year. 'See, you've accepted deposits for these checks, from the same source, for even larger amounts, for a while now. Can you at least deposit this check into the account while you clear the confusion? There is enough in the account to cover the check if necessary.'

.....'I'm sorry, Sir. I cannot accept this check for deposit. The name on the check does not match the name on the account.'

.....'The checks in my checkbook here have that same name on them.'

.....'Anyone can have any name printed on a check. I'm sorry, but that does not prove anything.'

.....'What would it take to prove that 'SCA, Inc.; The Crier' is the same as 'The Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.'?'

.....'Do you have the Certificate of Incorporation for either 'The Society from Creative Anachronism' or 'SCA, Inc.; The Crier.'?

.....'Um, I don't normally carry those documents around with me.'

.....'I'm sorry, Sir. I cannot deposit your check into this account.'

.....I'm just flabbergasted at this point. TBT was with me, witnessed the entire conversation, and was just fuming. I was rather irritated as well, and wanted to go away for a few minutes and calm down. So I just took the check back and walked away. Went home and grabbed a copy of the SCA Letters of Incorporation, a copy of the last bank statement (which had the same identical title on it as the checks, 'SCA, Inc.; The Crier') and went to the U.S. Bank Branch in Bremerton.

.....Whereat they accepted the check and deposited it without asking me for any further identification or proof of anything.

.....You know, I'm starting to doubt the sanity of any holdings in any bank. Maybe it is time for a complete overhaul of the institution of banking as an industry all together in the United States?

.....Only one more quarter of stipends for The Crier, than this job goes away. Starting to look forward to that with more and more eagerness. :-)

.....Although I still wonder what the future holds at SCA, Inc., and what their plans are exactly. We're looking at a revenue increase in Corporate of close to $75K to $100K a year due to no longer issuing stipends for the publishing of Kingdom newsletters. There hasn't been much talk of where those funds are going officially. I wonder if they are going straight to legal defense. I sure wish we'd hear more of what was really happening. Although I suppose that this might not be the best idea for legal reasons.

.....Maybe a shot of Don Julio or two might do the trick of taking away the irritation of the day instead. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....Grrr, spent several hours this morning trapsing from one end of the County to the other, passing out checks for services needed at June Faire. At one end of the County was Del's for the hay. When I gave them the first check, they took the deposit and gave us the rest. Don't ask me why. So I had to run a second check to them this morning. At the other end of the County was the Party Store for the table and chair rental.

.....Normally, I would just put these things on a credit card and get reimbursed by the Barony. But this last year we deliberately cut up cards and reduced the remaining considerably (by choice). So I had no room to put anything on them. I suppose I could have called the credit card people and had them raise the limits right there, but did not want to do so.

.....So, I understand the reasoning behind why the SCA Financial Policy is to not allow for debit cards. It would be incredibly easy for someone to clean out an account pronto. And there are a lot of 'hacker' issues with which to deal.

.....But a debit card is so useful. And it is not right, or even always the best idea, to put the liability for funds transfers on the back of the populace.

.....So, the SCA set up ACCEPS to allow for credit card use to pre-register for events. Would it be possible for Corporate to set up some financial pool from which they issue out debit cards to branch exchequers? They could set all kinds of limits to these cards. From who could use them, to how much could be taken out each day. I could see all kinds of restrictions put on them. But for an exchequer to have this ability would make a lot of things go faster and easier when paying for event services.

.....From a security aspect, it even makes more sense for all major purchases to go through ONE person (the exchequer) instead of letting autocrat teams make many purchases that the exchequer then has to review before reimbursement.

.....Now, I realize I'm glossing over issues here. But the SCA needs to get itself into the Twenty-First century financially.

.....O.K., done pontificating. Back to work.

.....Aaron / Arontius.

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