arontius: (Justin's Device)
.....Master Cedric arranged for Sir John Wolfstan to hold a fighting class today at the Silverdale Waterfront Park. It was well attended with fighters coming in from Blatha An Oir and Three Mountains. Sir Einar even made the trip from Three Mountains to attend. The fighters of Dragon's Laire were treated to some good lecture and fighting techniques from the Knights of An Tir. They soaked it all in eagerly and seemed to enjoy the class very well.

.....Here is a shot of Sir John at work:

.....TBT took a shot of all those from Dragon's Laire in attendance:

.....I didn't get a good shot or it, but as usual a goodly number of the Modern Public showed their fascination of watching the fighters in action.

.....We even had a good show from the Rapier Combatants of the Barony:

.....Here is a shot of the fighters at work on the Tourney Field that was Silverdale Waterfront Park:

.....Sir John, followed up by Sir Einar, touched on an item that both TBT and I found fascinating as a comparison between the work of what it takes to achieve and maintain Knighthood to that of the Laurels and the Pelicans. Amongst the fighters, and especially the Knights, it is O.K. to lose or fail in combat as it is all a learning experience. When another fighter lands a blow, the defeated can take what was done as a lesson on how to avoid that same blow in the future. He can even take that lesson as a way of attack in the future.

.....When a Laurel or Pelican creates, a failure in the process is often seen as that, a failure. The Laurel or Pelican loses face or favor as the person is supposed to learn the process first and then create the object or the event (or whatever). A failure is not seen as much of a learning process as the Knights see it.

.....This is something even more pronounced amongst the Pelican Community as when a Pelican 'fails' at a process, an event or office or function suffers directly from it. Others suffer from it. When a Knight loses a fight, it is much more of a personal loss and more directly impacts the fighter more than those around them. But I suppose a War Scenario would be an exception to that thought process.

.....It is an interesting comparison and those on the Pelican and Laurel departments could really learn much from watching how the Knights handle learning and loss.

.....I think it is also fascinating that the new direction Dragon's Laire is taking its Arts & Sciences (and Bardic) Championships is moving us as a group in this general direction. The Championship is focusing more on the process than on the final product. Therefore, a 'loss' or a failure is seen as another part of the process, to be taken in as part of the entire creation of the object.

.....It would be interesting to have this conversation with Madrun seeing as how she dislikes the 'Martiallate Method' of deciding a 'Victor' of Arts and Sciences. :-) We may be much closer to the Martiallate Community than we realize. :-)

.....I'd certainly like to hear more on this from those smarter and more articulate than I. It would be a very interesting and exciting conversation.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Was welcomed home today by the 2012 Tax Assessment. The value of our home dropped by approximately $7,000. However, the property taxes increased by approximately $250. I went reading through the assessment and found that the increase was due to a new education levy that went into effect since the last assessment. I used to fill in the 'Yes' box religiously and without thinking for many years (and I'm pretty religious about getting my ballots submitted). But the past couple of years where we've paid the taxes direct rather than having them included in the house payment has made me start hesitating before checking off that 'Yes'.

.....I keep reminding myself that it is an investment on the future, the education of the young. But that increasing bite every year....

.....There is a J.R.R. Tolkien photograph and signed letter up for auction, at this web-site: . The current estimate on price? A mere $39,000 Pounds. Sigh! It's probably one of the more famous pictures taken of Professor Tolkien as well. At least in his later years. I've got to win that lottery!

.....Still fighting off a cold. Last night was frustrating. It was the June Faire meeting. We were sequestered in the kitchen of the VFW Hall. My right ear was clogged and aching. That was a distraction in and of itself. Then add to that the fact that it felt like I had several ear plugs stuck in there good and tight. Argh! I could hear about every third word being spoken around me. I misinterpreted things on several occassions and had to have people repeat things several times. I was grumpy before the meeting was over and finally snapped at Cedric. I apologized later. Thankfully it was Cedric and not some others who might have taken it a lot more personally.

.....I'm feeling better today. The ear is still somewhat clogged, but it is not achy like it was last night. However, TBT is in full blown cold mode now. I have to remember to replenish my zinc mineral supply. I think that's why I've become sick twice over the past month. I'm usually pretty good about keeping up on the zinc, but ran out about a month ago and keep forgetting to order some more.

.....A friend of mine, Linda Sartor, from Santa Rosa in California, was recently arrested in Bahrain. She was part of a group of people organizing protests against the government there as part of the Peace Force initiative. She actually took a break from her place in the Occupy Oakland movement to fly to Bahrain and do this. :-)

.....You can read the story of the group at But here is an excerpt from an e-mail she sent out:

"They treated us very well through the detention and deportation...We hung out on comfortable couches, chatting with the female police officers who were left to watch us during the hours of time it took the authorities to check our identities. I was impressed with how much they knew about me when they called us in one at a time to explain why they were cancelling our visas. They said that in the small print on the tourist visa, it says that we must stay the whole time in the hotel where we told them we were going to be staying upon arrival. Then the other reason was because I participated in illegal protests. They had video taped the first protest which probably numbered in the hundreds of people--the one I described to you, when I got my first experience with tear gas and sound bombs and the two women first got deported. Since it was smallish and we were in close contact with the police, we were quite apparent and I imagine they had good footage of each of us on those tapes. I'm sure that I wasn't so obvious to the authorities in that huge protest (probably more than 10,000 people) when I got separated from my local buddy. And then I didn't even make it to this last protest the day we actually got detained and deported."

.....She makes it sound like she was pulled over for having expired tabs on the car. :-)

.....Still debating on whether or not I want to head on over to Fight Practice. I probably will as I missed last week. I'm sure it doesn't make a real difference whether I'm there or not, but I feel personally guilty when I miss a couple of practices. Like it somehow shows a lack of support on my part for the Fighting Community. I think wearing those Coronets makes you Catholic for some reason. The guilt just seems to ooze from everywhere. :-)

.....But that would be the last until next week. Nothing on the docket tomorrow, Friday, or the weekend. Come on, Friday!

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....There are certainly a lot of things happening right now. It is sometimes difficult to keep them all straightened out and moving in the correct direction.

.....Ursulmas last Saturday was actually fun for me. It is not TBT's favorite event, based on past experiences. But for me, it is a chance to meet and talk with people I haven't seen in a while, and make tentative plans for the upcoming year. The intrepid Madrun and Tsuruko accompanied us in Florence, the Wonder Van, and we arrived at a fairly decent hour. Lots of people lent a hand right away and we were set up in no time at all.

.....We had a pretty healthy contingent of people in the martiallate Tournaments over the weekend. TBT and I did our best to make it to all the Dragon's Laire participants to hand out tokens made by TBT. They seemed to appreciate the recognition, and we think it is definitely important to recognize these people. So having done that always makes me feel pretty good.

.....Made the rounds of the Marketplace. I didn't see much that was new and revolutionary. Although I really thought the wool felted hats looked pretty good. Madrun ended up buying one later in the day. If I had a little more free spending money I might have bought one too. Oh, who am I kidding, I would have blown it all on books at Pastiche and threads at Sparrowhawk's. Just sayin'. Maybe it was a good thing I didn't have any real spending money. :-)

.....Attended the annual Western Regional Calendar Scheduling Meeting as hosted by Countess Daedin. Not a whole lot new and revolutionary, although it was kind of nice that everyone seems to be taking a lot more laid back approach towards sharing dates on the calendar. No head bashing at all. I thought it extremely interesting the difference in attitude between all the branches on the I-5 corridor versus us. They all think of neighboring branches as 'just down the road', which they are. We, on the other hand, are a $38 ferry ride away, practically on the other side of the world. Not sure if that attitude can be overcome, especially if gas prices stay pretty high.

.....Presented the invitation to June Faire, drawn by Renart. It looked really nice, so we definitely took a little pride in presenting it. Tried our best to make sure that Renart stayed in the general area so he could receive the gratitude due, or at least see Their Majesties pleased expressions.

.....At around 5PM or so, TBT was DONE and ready to go. We were all a little tired. I could have stayed a little longer. But Ignition was starting their performance and in that closed off hall the air was already starting to become think and heavy. Ursulmas always seems to do a number on my respiratory system. The cold and stifled air, combined with the many bodies in one location. I woke up wheezing a little on Sunday, and definitely feeling slow and run down. Spent most of Sunday recovering.

.....Monday was all about working on e-mails for September Crown, as well as answering questions needed for Pernell to turn in the ACCEPS form. We're almost done with it. Pernell will get all the signatures on it at the Thursday Business Meeting, along with a check to submit, then we'll be live in no time at all. Getting closer it is.

.....Also spent time resurrecting Crier files from the dead hard drive. We had a difficult time opening up the files on the DVD's that Talon gave us. We eventually were finally able to open the first disc; which thankfully had all the correct files on it. I updated the Spread Sheet and balanced all the books for late December and early January. Then finished the Doomsday Report for The Crier with approximately six hours to spare before the deadline on Tuesday. :-) But it is done!

.....The last checks have been sent out for the last paper edition of The Crier. From now on they will be produced electronically, with the handful of paper copies being produced by VPP in Tennessee. We will no longer take part in the production process, other than creating the files. It was sad to see that last check go into the mail. But it was going to happen. I found it interesting that VPP picked up the SCA contract. They have been aggressively pursuing the SCA since Day 1. I'm curious if there are members of the SCA on the VPP staff?

.....Tuesday night was the Social, along with the inaugural meeting of the Textile Guild. I think at least a dozen or so people showed interest in the Guild, so I'm hopeful that it will take off and do interesting things.

.....Oliver was not at the Social last night. I don't remember him saying that he wouldn't, and he didn't send an e-mail yesterday. I need to give him a call and make sure everything is O.K.

.....Tonight is the weekly Fight Practice at the OSSC. I have to remember to pack the armor from the garage into the car. Thankfully I bundled it all up over Christmas, so I only have to grab the one pile of stuff. There are new people who want to experience fighting in the SCA. I hope they like it. :-) We need more fighters. :-) You certainly can't deny the adrenaline rush you get from the hitting and being hit on the field. It can be addicting.

.....Before Fight Practice though, TBT and I are going to make a run to the Silverdale Harrison and meet the newest member of the Barony, born to Jess Dunn and Ehrig this last week. Ehrig made sure we knew last night that visitors were allowed and welcomed. :-)

.....Thursday is the Business Meeting. Friday is the packing for Candlemas. Then Saturday is Candlemas itself.

.....Right now it looks like three entries in the A&S Championship. Two entries in the Bardic Championship. And one entry in the Scholar Championship. All the entries look interesting. It'll be a long day, but fun as well. It'll be really interesting to see how the model works in the Scholar's Championship of having the one entry be 'judged against a standard'.

.....Evening Court is where the new Serjeantry candidates present their Letters of Intent as well. This year looks to be stunning! Possibly upwards of possibly a dozen, or more, people are presenting Letters. I'm a little overwhelmed just thinking about it. It's going to be a busy summer. But I'm supremely excited as well. Just seeing this Program take off like this, seeing the inspiration that comes with it, the energy, the good feelings of Teamwork and Fellowship. I'm extremely thrilled.

.....Then Sunday is our walk-through of the new September Crown site at the Airport. Many of the Team will be there and we'll brainstorm the possibilities. I definitely want to try and narrow the location of Erics in relation to the Royal Encampment and the Marketplace. Then we can build around that. We'll look at ideas on how to utilize the camping space most effectively, and take a look at the parking situation. We had a couple of ideas were kicking around on off-site parking. Bernie came up with an additional really good idea of utilizing the Airport grassy fields as a parking area. We're making the rounds now of finding the right official with the Port of Bremerton who can give us the go ahead.

.....Then it is off to the proverbial races. I want to get as much planned in February and March as we possibly can. In April the prime build up to June Faire will be in full swing and I don't want to mess with that. We'll fly under the radar primarily before picking up altitude again in June. That's why I tried to apply people to Team Haggis III who weren't already eyeball deep in June Faire planning. I didn't succeed fully, but I made some progress.

.....The week that was and will be on electronic paper. Time to get moving on finishing it. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Tomorrow is TBT's birthday. We're combining it with The Rhys Monster's birthday and going to spend the day in Seattle at the Woodland Park Zoo. The weather does not look that great, but if nothing else the crowds will be smaller. A plus as far as I'm concerned. We're also talking about hitting Pike's Place Market. I'd love to, but after a handful of hours at Woodland Park, I'm not sure this is going to stay in the Itinerary.

.....It was kind of a sqweaker today as to whether or not the Mid-Level Boss was going to ask me to come in for at least part of the day tomorrow. We're still dealing with the change of Fiscal Year from FY'11 to FY'12. The actual change came on October 1st. But the computer systems that handle our finances are apparently unhappy with the number 2012. Maybe there is a little Mayan Silicon Blood running through their proverbial veins?

.....Last night was our first indoor fight practice at the Pendergast Soccer Park. The whole area has sure changed. The last time I spent any time up there was when Fight Practice was held in the National Guard Armory. We drove up there and I didn't recognize the place! Brand new buildings and a lot of relatively newly cleared land. After looking at it, it kind of makes a little more sense as to why they are so reluctant to let us have the Armory for Fight Practice again.

.....Nineteen people signed up and paid on the roster last night, not including most of the observers. We pulled in $144. Which paid for last night's practice and started paying on next Wednesday's practice. A nice momentum start. It felt good to get it deposited today. We'll have to see what we can do to keep that momentum going for the next eleven weeks of practice.

.....The actual practice area is approximately 40 to 50 feet across and maybe double that in length. Certainly enough for all the fighters who attended last night. The lighting was good. The air was warm, but not too warm. There were bleachers for observers to watch. But what I liked the absolute best was the Astroturf surface of the practice area. Spongy and comfortable on the feet. I think this is going to work out rather nicely.

.....To start off the practice nights, both the Rapier and Heavy Fighters held a Tournament. The Rapier Tournament itself finished rather quickly. The finals consisted of THL Caius and M'Lord Ambrose. M'Lord Ambrose came away the victor. The Heavy Tournament finished about thirty minutes later in a final between Master Andras and M'Lord Albrecht. Master Andras was the victor.

.....Both victors won a set of feast gear handcrafted by Mistress Gwenllyn Potter, presented by the most gracious TBT. I think they were both happy with the honours given. :-)

.....By the time 9PM rolled around everyone was tired and left quickly. But we did manage to speak to Caius for a few moments. We're on a roll to pick up the pace on the scribal arts in November. Which is going to include the creation of a new Master Ceremonial. We've been limping along for the past year and it's time to start pulling it all in and creating something useful. Caius is going to the Heraldic Symposium the first Saturday of November, then we'll get together and actually pull everything together into something coherent. It'd be nice to get it all finalized prior to Yule.

.....Tonight is the meeting of the Dragon's Pearls. It should go fairly quickly. Maybe not as quickly as the recent Wyvern meeting went. :-) But at the very least we'll establish meeting dates for 2012.

.....Saturday was going to be a bardic gathering over at Tim and Truly's. But I think that the gathering is going to be pushed on over to the A&S Day Camp on the 29th. That Day Camp is going to be busy. Between the garb classes that TBT wants to teach. To the dancing we want to work with the Serjeantry Candidates for practice. The Heraldic Testing we want to do (although the actual doing is still up in the air. Not sure if the candidates, as a group, are ready on such relatively short notice). The Bardic performances we want to try. There will be a lot happening. But the good part is that we have the VFW Hall for as long as we want on Saturday, so we'll probably have some sort of potluck Saturday evening.

.....On Tuesday we also talked about maybe seeing if a couple of people would be willing to put together some soups and breads or something similar for lunch at the Day Camp. Must remember to speak to TBT on that, and Madrun, as soon as possible. Certainly it doesn't have to be anything elaborate. But there are no restaurants within walking distance. And only a little mini-mart down the road. Although Silverdale proper is just over the hill from the VFW Hall, and it has restaurants aplenty.

.....Sir Richard and Kathy are stopping by this weekend as well. I think we're going to do lunch and then geek out a while in the laboratory of TBT.

.....I sent off a note to the Board about the financing of Kingdom Chroniclers after the discontinuance of the stipend. It took only two days for a response. Which was a politely worded, 'Thank you for your concern. We'll monitor the situation, but we do not think it will be a problem.' I was not sure what I was expecting, so I was not fussed at all. I filed it away for future reference and made sure that THL Godith had a copy. I don't think that Godith, or any near term Chroniclers of An Tir, will have any problems with having the technology and software to put out 'The Crier'. But not all the Kingdoms are financially well off, so it will be interesting to see how things settle out in the long run.

.....Madrun will be home in the next day or so. I've missed her, so it'll be great to see her and hear the actual stories of her cross-country trip.

.....Then Sunday we have nothing scheduled, at least right now. I'd like to keep it that way. There was something to go to every night this week. I need to catch up with myself! :-) Although, Mom keeps poking at me to get into her storage unit and unburying her Christmas decorations. I probably should do that on Sunday, but not looking forward to it as they are BURIED and would require extensive excavation.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....When I was first hired as an apprentice in the Shipyard in 1987, part of the deal of the recruitment were the promises made to me. And it was a recruitment. The Shipyard went to Olympic College and touted what a great deal they were offering; with a college degree, medical benefits, retirement benefits, the opportunity to travel. To a desperate college student who spent as many hours begging for money as he did actually attending classes, this looked like the gates to heaven. I was hooked.

.....Here it is, almost twenty-five years later, and a lot of those promises are evaporating rapidly. I did get an Associate's degree. But every year I'm being asked to pay a larger percentage of my health care, and I'm being told that I'm giving up more of my retirement benefits. We're currently under a two year pay freeze (about to be extended to five).

.....I understand that the country needs to get on better financial footing. I do understand that. And I'm willing to do my part. But at what point do I draw a line in the sand for the promises made to me in 1987? How much am I really willing to give up? I suppose I should be really grateful that I a.) have a job period, and b.) it pays rather well. But that gratitude is only going to go so far.

.....Proposals under serious discussion for us government workers:

* Pension formulas shifting from the current 'high three' to 'high five'.

* Increase the percentage required by FERS (Federal Employee Retirement System) as their contribution by 6.2%.

* Eliminate the FERS plan for new hires entirely and go to a defined contribution option payable at Social Security age to supplement the Thrift Savings Plan.

* Limit the FERS minimum supplement to employees subject to mandatory retirement. This is the option where those retiring before the age of (62) would be paid a percentage of the difference between their retirement pay and Social Security. The current proposal eliminates this completely and basically states you get paid nothing if you retire before (62) until you reach (62). I knew this one was coming though. It was only a matter of time.

* Reduce the Federal workforce by 10% through attrition, hiring one new worker for every three who leave.

* Extend the current pay freeze through 2015 (which basically adds another year to the current plan).

* Eliminate periodic step increases within pay grades.

.....I think that pretty much seals the coffin on the earliest I'm getting out of here. And it's looking like that day is at approximately eighteen years from now. Ouch!

.....I will have put in over fourty years of service by then. I'll have twenty-five of them next July, at which point, according to the current RIF rules, I have to be retired rather than laid off. But I'm not so sure even that is sacred to any degree. Earlier this week I read the first serious discussion of mothballing the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) Aircraft Carrier. It's only twenty years old. That's young to go into the Inactive Fleet. But if the Department of Defense is looking to cut that deep, I wonder just how far they are going to cut its workforce before all is said and done.

.....Off to pick-up Lobelia from Imperial RV out at the airport. They winterized her for the year, and fixed the retractable step. It was closing, but not completely without help, and they had to make some adjustments to it. So now she comes to the house to finish out the laundry and put those things inside that we'll not need until next year. Must remember to put some Dry Air Crystals in her. I'll have to pull out the containers for those from beneath the sink.

.....Then we'll have to run off to the new Fight Practice at the Pendergast Sports Complex to try out our new indoor site. It's heated, brightly lit, has restroom facilities. And? You can buy beer on the premises. How can you go wrong with that? :-)

.....We're kicking the practices off with Tournaments for the Heavy and Rapier Combat crews. Given by TBT of course. :-) We need to remember to pack the largesse bins before we take off for the evening. Master Ralg donated a really nice turned bowl that will make an excellent prize. But I haven't looked in the largesse bins for a while, so there are probably other really cool things in them as well.

.....Had good conversation with one of those opposed to the new indoor site. Not so much that he was opposed to the fighters going there for practice. He was opposed to the 'suggested donation'. His viewpoint being that the fighters should be supported as much as the rest of the Barony was for their Social (at the VFW Hall) and at the A&S Day Camps, where little or nothing is actually charged to those who attended.

.....I could see his viewpoint. Although I think it was eye-opening for him to hear our side of the story on why we are currently on a more 'fiscal responsibility' kick. Even though he'd been told how much effort we've gone through over the past handful of years to find a usable indoor site, I don't think it really made a connection with him until we went into more detail of our searches and why we are being turned away so frequently by all the local groups and facilities.

.....Everyone these days is concerned about liability. As well they should be. One good lawsuit can destroy an organization if they are not careful. If you are a small, local church or school, you often have to weigh the relatively small income you are going to potentially receive from groups who use your facility versus the possible risk of someone becoming hurt (or abused, or molested, or worse) on your property and the victim coming after you for compensation simply because they have nowhere else to go.

.....Like I said, good conversation. Wish we could have had that on a Baronial scale earlier.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Waiting for a process to complete on my computer. So I think I'll post a little on Live Journal. :-)

.....Someone once described Dragon's Laire to me as 'A seething cauldron of chaos interspersed with pockets of brilliant clarity and sheer genius. Sort of like Rocky Road ice cream.' :-) Actually, what they said was far better, but this is what I took away from the conversation and have remembered ever since. And I laugh every time I think about it. :-)

.....Last night was Fight Practice, as usual on a Tuesday night. I had hoped to get several things done, but spent most of it in conversations with people. Angharad and I talked about the June Faire gate hand-out. At the last June Faire Board Meeting I said that I would dig it up so she could use it as a 'go-by' for this year's hand-out if she needed it. She didn't, of course. But it started us talking about how she was gained the tasking for this year, which was partly my fault. But it all worked out for the best as Angharad will be able to churn it out easily, and it will look great.

.....I find it funny sometimes how much communications among people is really a game of telephone. The original thought and intention could be one thing, but by the time it reaches its intended target the meaning and intent could be radically different from where it started. Nothing unexpected there, but the reminder for me is that what I'm thinking and what I'm saying may be two very different things and I need to keep that in mind.

.....Angharad was also talking to me about all my 'to-do' lists that I post on Live Journal. They are a good way to keep organized, but only if they do not get to the point where they are overwhelming. I could have five hundred items on my list. But because it is such a monster to begin, if I start forgetting things was that list useful at all?

.....Angharad had a good idea on how to help this issue. It was simple, but billiant in its own right. We need a secretary to keep our 'to-do' lists. Their job would be to capture all of our Action Items, get us to assign Due Dates to them, and then make sure we are reminded that they need to be done (so they are not forgotten) and maybe to help us find help in getting them done.

.....We have Gwen, who keeps our Calendar of Events (as well as multiple other duties). She is pretty loaded with stuff to do already. So are the rest of our Core Retinue. It would be nice to find someone relatively close by, who could handle our eccentricities (not an easy thing to do in its own right :-)), who could keep us organized on our 'to-do' listing. Something to think about as I don't think a solution is going to jump in front of us and announce its presence with a shout. :-)

.....I'm actually starting to feel a little better about things. We're doing our best to keep up with everything. Will everything be remembered? No. Will everything be perfect? No. But we're moving forward and it'll all happen. That's a hard lesson to learn. But I'm slowly learning it. I'll call it a win.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....We're here at NORWESCON. Currently down in the lounge area where the WiFi is free. The parking lot is still relatively empty and the halls are rather manageable. About this time tomorrow that will certainly not be the case. All of us geeky people will be co-mingling to our heart's content. :-)

.....This will be my very first time in one of the outer wings at the Double Tree. I've managed to hit every NORWESCON here with a room in the tower. I admit that I'll miss the view, but being almost in the middle of things without having to wait for an elevator is rather appealing. It's an experiment.

.....Printed out my schedule and will spend some time crafting a strategy of where I want to be all weekend. Lots of good panels are in the offering. Some good bardic looks like it will be available as well. I'm rather excited. I am also curious to see how TBT and Melusine's panel on Native American costuming goes. I wouldn't have thought of NORWESCON as a place for that. But it has potential. The costuming is intricate and beautiful and will attract attention. And as usual TBT's stuff looks totally awesome.

.....No phone calls from work. I think I lucked out and a.) put the right person in my desk at work, and b.) my preparations on Monday and Tuesday paid off. Huzzah. Although I may have to convince myself tomorrow to not call work if nothing appears on my cell phone. :-)

.....Alys Firekeeper is supposed to check into the hotel tonight. I may try to hunt her down. I see her once a year these days, at NORWESCON. She's living in the San Juan's these days. I am hoping to get the details. I think she is teleworking from there. Wish I could get a job like that.

.....I'm getting tentatively excited about the upcoming Serjeantry Trials. People are coming up and asking good questions. I'm starting to think we might get a good group of people with Letters of Intent at June Faire. After this weekend TBT and I have to sit down and get serious on finishing our scrub of the archery section. Then I have to finish putting together the informational books we're going to pass out to those who submit Letters. I have most of the information, just need to put it together in an intelligent format.

.....I'm getting a little scared as well. Once we get those Letters, TBT are committed as well. There will be an incredible amount of work involved in shepherding the candidates and setting up the Trials. Managing people's expectations not the least of the issues. My biggest fear is of disappointing people in the outcome. I guess I need to follow TBT's lead and 'Soldier On'.

.....Need to get out my own armor as well. Master Ralg was poking me about that last night at Fight Practice and there is no good time to get back into it. I just need to 'do it'. I need to take a day next weekend and pull all the parts together that are in the garage and make sure I actually have a complete set and fix pieces. I also think that there is a piece or two that still has Estrella mud to be scraped from it. That stuff is insidious!

.....Every time I come over to this side of the water I wish that I lived over here. There is so much LIFE over here and so many exciting things to do and see. Whenever I come over here Kitsap County seems like some outbound place in the Arctic Circle somewhere. Sigh! I'm sure I would feel different after just a few days of dealing with the traffic, the noise and the faster-than-fast pace. But right now it just feels, exciting.

.....More posts 'Live From NORWESCON' to follow.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....The drive in to work this morning was much different than it was during the last 'snow storm'. It was wet and viscous this time. I think if it was a choice between the two I would prefer the hard-packed and frozen version of snowed roads as it 'stays put' for the most part when driving over it. The wet snow seems to want to 'help' your car move into unexpected directions.

.....We had about six to eight inches on Fairgrounds Road. The Shipyard was officially operating on a normal day schedule. Although it was interesting as the power went out sometime last night around 2AM. At 4AM my eyes popped open and I got right out of bed without even thinking about it. I clued into the fact there was no power about a minute later. Then walked into the computer room to pick up my watch and verify the time. Yup, 4:02AM. :-)

.....No shower this morning. Sigh! Took me a while to get assembled in the dark though. Hit the road at about 5AM. Suzie was again a trooper on the roads. Although she did slide a bit. I got a scare coming up the hill over Fairgrounds onto Waaga. Somebody in a subcompact could not get the traction necessary to get off of a side street and onto Fairgrounds. I was headed up the hill and was scared they were going to pull in front of me and I was going to have to stop. That would have been bad as I don't know how easy it would have been to get started again.

.....The rest of the drive into the garage was uneventful. The rain was coming down hard already. I bet the snow is gone by noon. Meant a soggy walk in from the garage though. My feet were soaked by the time I made it to my desk.

.....I was not impressed by the response of the road clearing crews in Kitsap County. We pay more in property taxes than they do in Seattle and I don't see the return for value in the form of services. Our infrastructure sucks. Our libraries and emergency services need as many volunteers to fill their ranks as they have paid members and constantly begging for money. Our homeless rely on charities almost alone for any food and housing they receive. Sigh! I'm not sure if I'm turning conservative in my old age or what.

.....I hope the snow goes away by noon. Tonight is Druim Doineann's Business Meeting. Sophia is stepping down as their Seneschale and Ivan is stepping up. They have a lot to discuss. Sophia mentioned anything from branch dissolution to hiatus to leaving things the status quo. We could help but we dare not do too much. We've been accused of meddling in the past and need to wait until specifically asked. Which is frustrating as we're a Barony of 'fixers' and 'doers'. Standing by and waiting to be asked to do something is not our style. But in some situations you have to do just that.

.....I'm thinking good thoughts for them and hoping for the best. I would be sad to see a branch go away. Even into hiatus. I remember when Silverthorn dissolved with all of their big dreams of expansion and new directions. I think they finally disappeared a year later. I know the situations are much different. But once you go down the path of hiatus or dissolution, it's hard to come back.

.....Sir Brendan and Mistress Aryana were at Fight Practice last night! They are really nice people. Even after I failed to recognize them AT ALL until they introduced themselves. I was mightily embarrassed. :-) He brought another fighter with him and they wanted to get re-authorized. We made sure he received an invitation to the next indoor fight practice at the Manchester Fuel Depot. If he could come to even just a couple it would be a fantastic learning opportunity for our fighters in the Barony!

.....Mistress Aryana is no slouch either. We were discussing what Druim Doineann could do to help itself and she offered many good opinions. She dived right into a myriad of topics and knew items of interest in everything we brought up. And was a welcome addition to the conversation. I hope the both of them come and play with us.

.....For the rest of this week: nothing tonight (yeah, I can get caught up in e-mail); Thursday is a Dragon's Pearl meeting; Friday is the Western Regional Pelican Meeting in Tacoma (agenda out, check; must send out reminders by Thursday); Saturday is free (yeah!!!!); Sunday is a retinue meeting; Monday is a holiday (yeah!!!).

.....Gots lots to talk about but never seem to think of Live Journal until just before bed and when I seem to fall asleep just as the screen comes to life. I should think about ways of becoming more disciplined about writing in the journal. Hmmm...

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....I'm not ready to go back to work tomorrow, but when the alarm rings in the morning at 0400 I'll do my best to drag my hind end out of bed. There was a long laundry list of things that were going to be done over the seasonal break. I managed to do at least part of the list, so I consider the break a success. But I sure could have used at least one more week to get a good start on the rest of it. So now I know for the future that saving up three weeks for the end of the year is just too long (I would get bored). But one week is just not long enough. So it is two weeks for 2011.

.....Today I meant to spend around the house in getting things cleaned and straightened out in preparation for the week. But at Noon TBT and I blew off the house to go to the new indoor fight practice site at the Manchester Fuel Depot. The Baronial Marshall, THL Jahnkin, runs the depot and arranged for a twice-a-month fight practice in a large hall on site. He's going to schedule it for Sundays on a not-to-interfere with events schedule.

.....I like having a fight practice on the weekend. It is just a little more leisurely than on a weekday night, where you spend at least part of the time keeping an eye on the clock because you have to get home and ready for bed to keep with your normal workaday schedule. It also means that Fight Practice can actually last for more than just two hours if there is enough interest. Definitely a win. There were four fighters in armor today. I hope we get more in the future.

.....The building itself is a large project hall where vehicles are stored and all the support shops are located. It's one of those large World War II era buildings with the tall ceilings and the upper level windows. It is a wide open space with nothing hanging low enough to hit, no matter how wild the blows. Even though it was freezing outside the temperature was quite comfortable in the space.

.....The support spaces are even equiped with lathes, presses and drills. Plenty of opportunity to build and repair armor as necessary. A very nice location. There was a handful of us who didn't have armor with us and I think all of us wish we had after just a few fights.

.....Spoke with Jahnkin briefly about a summer event that might end up taking the place of the regular summer picnic. For a couple of years now there has been interest in having an event during the summer where the Barony could actually camp that was not so busy that we couldn't take time to slow down and enjoy each other's company. For some reason the first weekend of August was free and clear on the Kingdom Calendar. We spoke with Oliver and wasted no time in submitting a DRF for the weekend. What ends up happening is still up in the air. But we have something set up and ready to go. I'm kind of liking the idea of a local camping event that is maybe a bit more leisurely than our usual fare.

.....This week will be rather busy. TBT is working on a cake for Ralph's retirement gathering tomorrow. Tuesday is the January Business Meeting (which reminds me that we have to get our letter written before then). Thursday is Fight Practice. Friday we hit the road for Twelfth Night. I keep thinking that we're supposed to be doing something on Wednesday as well, but I can't remember what it is . Better consult with the calendar before bed.

.....We have a Baronial gathering tentatively scheduled for the room at Twelfth Night. No one has expressed any sort of interest in doing anything yet, but we'll see. There has been interest though from at least a couple of newer people planning on being in Adiantum next weekend at a sort of guided tour of Twelfth Night. Will have to think how best to work that one.

.....Sigh, time for bed.

.....Aaron / Arontius.


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