Feb. 28th, 2012 04:50 pm
arontius: (Default)
.....The Enhanced Drivers License arrived in the mail today. That is eleven calendar days after applying for it. That's rather quick. I shall put away the passport and use it to get across the border this weekend.

.....Although I have to say that I do not photograph well. That squinting at the camera while laughing made me like like I was not all together there. Add in the flushed face and I could have been at the local pub getting my picture taken after my seventh or eighth beer. :-) Oh, well, it'll have to do.

.....It keeps trying to snow. It's looking pretty steady at the moment actually. The latest forecasts call for a warm up slightly by the weekend, so I'm crossing my fingers. I'm aiming to take I-90 over Snoqualamie and then head north at Cle Elum and Wenatchee. We'll be in Florence, the Wonder Van. But Madrun has chains for her, so we should be all right if the worst should happen.

.....Need to finish reading through all the documentation. I'm actually going to enjoy my judging as the documentation I'm reading through is extremely thorough and very interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing all of these items presented. Looks like a good year for KAS / KBC.

.....Actually, I'm more worried about travel to the Social tonight, Fight Practice tomorrow night, and then Business Meeting on Thursday night. Hope that people drive safe.

.....Wish I could skip on Thursday to finish packing. But that probably would not look very good. :-)

.....I'd take Thursday off of work if I could, but our NAVSEA sponsors are visiting us next week for a Program Review meeting. NMCI picked this week to have a systems meltdown. Access to our files and folders would turn off and on like demented Christmas Tree lights all day today. I managed to somehow finish the formal agenda. Still need to finish the Powerpoint Presentation though. Only two days left and a lot of information to gather. Sigh!

.....Have to remember to pack the Heraldry tonight. Someone wanted a consultation. Although Ian also e-mailed the list and said he'd be there. If the snow doesn't keep him home, and he does indeed show up, I think I'll push the client in his direction. Although I need to keep an eye on that so Ian doesn't overwhelm them with his ideas of what is right. He pretty much knows his stuff though.

.....Loading the car with a box of cobblers gear as well that Sir Fiach gave us over the weekend at Madrone's Arts & Sciences Championship. Looks like a show anvil and a bunch of shoe blanks in various mens and womens sizes. Pernell is a leather worker who specializes in shoes and so might be able to tell us if these will be useful to the hobbiest's around here.

.....Might want to get started with loading the car now. The falling snow is looking rather intense. I think I'll go and check the weather report again.

.....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.
arontius: (Default)
.....That's kind of unusual for me. Maybe it really IS one of the harbingers of DOOM!!! The one that is scheduled just DAYS before my 44th birthday. :-)

.....Arrived home to a note from a disgruntled customer. They did NOT read the instructions at Ingasbo and went ahead throwing money in my direction for a circlet that was not in stock and would not be anytime soon. They were VERY put out when they received my e-mail to let them know that what they wanted they couldn't have. Demanded to know when they'd receive their refund. I made sure that happened immediately. Rude customers who don't read instructions are never fun.

.....But they tend to be balanced out by those who are actually pleasant. I had another customer, who again did not read the instructions before sending money my way. But politely asked if the circlet they wanted really was in stock and if so, how soon could they have it? A little politeness goes a long way really. It is rather amazing. I went ahead and gave them a deal on a larger circlet of the same design I had in my completed bin. They will be getting it for the same price as the smaller size. That's definitely what you get for being polite immediately following a dork. :-)

.....Responded to a handful of e-mails. Anne reminded me that I should post a note about the 'tour' TBT and I want to do next Wednesday of the June Faire site and our lay-out tweaks.

.....Am getting excited about KAS / KBC. Makes me wish I were the Autocrat again. :-) But that would take away from Oliver's fun, and I certainly don't want to do that. :-) But even with all the planning foo surrounding the event, it'll end up being smooth and fun. I like that about Dragon's Laire. :-)

.....Then there's Ian. Sigh! A good person and a hard worker. But a maniac in all ways dealing with Society. No secret either, I've told that to him in person on many occasions. :-) But I do my best to find things for him to do. The latest being a number of heraldry projects for awards that TBT and I would like to add to the Baronial awards listing. My e-mail inbox was inundated with a plethora of ideas from him today. Any other Monday I would have run screaming. But I actually took some time to answer his latest couple of e-mails tonight. He was happy, and then immediately refilled the e-mail inbox. :-)

.....But the biggest chunk of time this evening was spent on the silk banner. TBT and I stretched it on the frame yesterday. This evening I took the gouda tipped bottle of black and went over all of the outlines. I was a little wobbly at first, but the lines slowly started improving as I started to get used to the flow of the gouda from the tip. From a distance it doesn't look half bad. Don't get too close though or the wobbly lines will hypnotize you. :-)

.....TBT would have done a much better job with it, but I really want to learn how to do this right. I have visions of many more banners in our future.

.....TBT will go over the lines once the gouda dries to make sure that I did indeed make all the proper connections. We might be actually painting sometime this week. That would be way cool.

.....The banner is looking very Victorian in nature. It has the Kingdom's Or and Argent Checky, then the Gules and Sable of the Barony. Then I took elements of my device and TBT penciled them on the remainder. The Python is very stylized Anglo-Saxon. But the winged cat heads look like they came from the '60's. :-) It was my practice piece and it will be a banner flying at May Crown, so I'm not going to whine. :-)

.....But in my mind though I was seeing the next banner take shape. The Python on it will be very 1350. I might put a seme of Quill Pens around it, a la The Black Prince. It looks cool in my mind, but will have to see it on paper.

.....I think that the next one will have the Team Haggis badge on it as well, between the Baronial Colours and the personal device elements. I'll have to make the Winged Sheep a lot more buff though to fit in with the device elements.

.....Am actually contemplating a tweak to my personal device. I've never been happy with the winged cat in the base. It looks cool on its own, but in conjunction with the Python it just makes the whole thing look too 'busy'. I know, think heraldically, not artistically. But still...

.....Just don't know if I want to run the heraldic gauntlet again though. They are a tough crowd. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Last night was the Baronial Polling. It was a strange night. Not so much in a foo-filled way (at least for me), but not exactly something I'd want to repeat on a regular basis though.

.....I had spam'ed the list with reminders about the Business Meeting starting at 6PM alongside the Polling. It was advertised by THL Angharad, and was listed in The Crier as well. But people still didn't read the 'fine print' and the meeting itself started lightly attended and grew as the evening progress. I think that if I had to do this over again I would indeed advocate starting the whole process at least at 6:30. It is the time people are used to seeing the Business Meeting start, and at least several had to rush over from work.

.....Although, really, I think that if I had to do it over again I'd actually advocate that the Polling be held on a night all its own. Conflicting with the Business Meeting was more of a disruption than I thought it would be. Rolling through the reports in thirty minutes was not very satisfying and certainly left me with the feeling that we were forgetting much.

.....Thankfully, the officers were all prepared with shortened reports, or the standard 'Read It In The Flames'. It felt good to mean that statement again as THL Rycheza is back on board as the Chronicler. It is going to take a little time to sort out subscriptions, format, printing, etc. But I think that Rycheza was a fantastic answer to our issue. Plus, she has good ideas on getting more articles and features into The Flames to actually READ, something I'm looking forward to seeing. :-)

.....Their Excellencies of Blatha An Oir were in attendance as one of the official representatives to the polling. I'm sure our Business Meeting looked pretty chaotic to them. :-) Sir Fiach was also in attendance as the Crown's Representative. He seemed to have a good time with the whole thing. And showed off some nasty bruises he obtained at Crown.

.....I really missed not having Isketol at the meeting! He was unwell and at home, where I am glad he stayed. But I'd forgotten how much it takes to get all the forms straightened out, the receipts collected, the checks written and recorded. And that's the easy part of the Exchequer's job. It was always the Doomsday Report I hated to do the most. Ack! I spent at least a half hour after the Business Meeting proper getting everything financial squared away. I gave the check-book back to Mistress Gwen for delivery and signatures from Isketol. And I realized just this morning I should have sent the Check Advance Forms and receipts back with her as well. Oh, well, I'll get them to Isketol this weekend.

.....Most of the checks could probably have waited. But not the Last Chance ones! We need to pay for the hay and the food this weekend. Where did all the time go? I can't believe it is already mid-September!

.....Lots of questions on heraldry. Once again it was made clear that people have been craving names and devices to be submitted for a while now. THL Anne and THL Oliver are going to join me on Heraldry Night. Marquessa Laurellen is going to help with sketching services. I'm still hopeful of talking to THL Alis about her sketching devices as well. Maybe even a few other stunt-heralds as well. It should be a good night here later in September.

.....About 7:15 I finally made it over to the food table. It was mostly picked clean already. :-) SCA Participants never pass an opportunity for good food. And we have some excellent cooks in Dragon's Laire. :-) I think that Lady Adelheide had an excellent idea when she suggested a German theme. Next month, of course, we get pumpkin. :-) All kinds of orange food and pumpkin food. :-) And His Excellency Cedric is the organizer. :-)

.....I finally sat down and filled out my polling form. I was pretty brain dead by this time, so the form was pretty short and to-the-point and without a lot of details on it. That's what e-mail is for anyway I think.

.....Lots of people in attendance for the Social though. I was pleasantly impressed. Until I found out that Marquessa Laurellen was dealing with foo herself outside. I stuck my head out the door to check on her and she actually seemed to be in her element and talking up a storm. So I left her alone and just checked up on her a couple of times. I know I hate being interrupted when I'm on a roll and she seemed to be working hard at getting a point across, so I stayed out of it.

.....I quietly started picking up items at this point as it was starting to get close to 8PM. Wish I had been more subtle about it as Madrun immediately stopped relaxing and got up to start picking up stuff as well. People were getting tired by this time though, so things cleaned up in fairly short order. By 8:10PM we were all out the door and headed away from the Hall.

.....I did not get a lot in the way of questions about my position on anything in the Barony. I think that people have either made up their minds about whom they want, or else are not concerned (in a good way) about who is selected. I think that is a good position in which to be. Although I myself would have liked to have had more questions come my way. They were good brain food. Gave me things to think about as far as possibilities in improvements. Or other things where I've been doing it one way for so long that I hadn't thought about a different, and
possibly better, way of doing things.

.....Lots of new members in attendance, as well as members whom we haven't seen in a long time. The newer crowd is rather exciting as they all seem to want to really get involved and do things. I had several conversations with a couple of nice ladies who want to do something on the June Faire Board of Directors. We've emphasized how difficult a job it will be and they do not seem phased. Although in my conversations with them I've also always emphasized how rewarding a job it can be as well. I don't think I'm the only one who has explained it this way

.....Relaxing Friday planned, yeah. Must contemplate the 'to-do' list and narrow it down to a handful of things that CAN be accomplished in two days. I will miss TBT on Saturday, especially our morning Starbucks run. But we'll still have Sunday. Must allow for some 'fun time' in that list as well. Hmmm, when to fit that in... :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It wasn't much of a fight at work. Code 360 went to the Mid-Level Boss and the Project Manager and asked if I could come over for a period of six weeks. To which they were promptly told, 'No'. I was a little surprised at this myself. I just finished a big Project. The next one is healthily beyond the horizon (as in next year). Now would have been the perfect time for me to be doing this stand-in. But the answer was 'No, he is busy. Go find someone else.'

.....No one is quite sure why. There are a limited number of Planning Managers who are qualified, so Code 360 is scrambling to see if they can find, or train up, a replacement for the guy traveling to Guam later in September. They haven't quite given up on me (my desk in Code 360 is still in place and has my name card still on it). But I may have to do some interesting gymnastics to join them next year after the next, and last, big Project concludes.

.....This week has definitely been a week of 'catch up'. We finally squared away the EIF for Crown Council last week and scrambled to get some copy put together this week for inclusion in the October issue of The Crier. THL Godith is a very nice person, she saved some space and let us have a little extra time to get the copy to her. But we did manage to make it and now Talia has a little breathing room to get information from Their Majesties for inclusion in next months more comprehensive copy.

.....Read with interest some writing TBT did about her early peerage influences, good and bad. Thinking back to my early days in the SCA, I seem to recall more positive interactions than negative. My early views on the Knighthood were shaped primarily by people like Sir Richard. Someone for whom courteous interaction and poetry was as important as his fighting prowess. I always held his personality in awe and he became my example of what a chivalric person did and how they acted. I can't think of a single action he did or word he said that made me doubt him.

.....Another early influence was Her Excellency Amanda Kendal. She lived in her own plane of existence and always has. That sounds like an indictment of some type, but is not meant as such. To my observation it always seemed that no matter what was happening around her, no matter how chaotic or crazy the work revolved, she flowed through it as if it wasn't there or didn't matter. She just 'was'. She has always had an amazing ability to approach someone and create around them a bubble whereas the object of her attention was the center of her universe. Like I said it is an amazing ability. Some may question her holding the Coronet of Lion's Gate as long as she did. But anyone who had any kind of interaction with her could explain to you exactly why she is held in such awe.

.....I wouldn't presume to say that I've tried to model my own SCA existence around these two people, no matter their influence on me. But I can say that whenever I've had a difficult time or difficult decision to make in the SCA, I do my best to think 'what would Sir Richard do here' or 'what would Her Excellency Amanda say to this person there'. It hasn't always brought about a solution, but it has helped.

.....It is the people we meet in the SCA who have had the greatest impact of course. You can talk all you want about the ambiance of an encampment, the smell of bardic fires, the feel of a linen tunic on your skin. But it is the actions and the words of the people around you that you remember the most for making your heart skip a beat, or the hairs on the back of your neck rise in little goosebumps. Those are really what bring me back for more in the SCA.

.....The memories are pretty intense actually. I remember the day I witnessed TBT walk into the Combined Court at Estrella in her white Elizabethan. The hush that fell on the crowd. The dust shadows that seemed to part around her as she glided across the floor to the An Tir Throne.

.....Several Crown Tournaments roll together as the two finalists approach the eric. The heralds reading the rolls of the past kings of An Tir and the deeds of the fighter that was about to enter combat. I remember a couple of times I found myself holding my breath as the names were read.

.....Lots and lots of memories of the people in the SCA who influenced and continue to influence my thoughts even today. I can think back to those times that were harsh and those people who were unfriendly. But I can honestly say that they are less of an influence on me than those who have made an impact for the positive. I think in that regard I have been a very lucky person.

.....Have to go and get my heraldry all sorted out. Several people want to consult tonight and I said I would bring my books with me. Let's see how really rusty I am. :-) I think that I'll ask Caius about setting up a Heraldry Consultation Night sometime in September. I think people are hungry to get moving on some of their own heraldry again.

.....I wonder how many will show up, actually. The soggy weather may keep many at home. I'm starting to be grateful that Lobelia is coming to Crown with us this weekend. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Yesterday was the Baronial Picnic and final Baronial Polling Q&A. Held at the Manchester Fuel Depot. It was a very beautiful location, directly across from Bainbridge Island with a magnificent view of downtown Seattle. I love the point there. Although the wind was a little biting. I'm not sure if it is always windy like that or if it was just the weather for the day. But I would certainly love to use that location again if Jahnkin will let us.

.....It was fun to sit and chat with people at the picnic. I brought the proverbial 'stuff to do' but did not get around to doing any of it really. I meant to play some music, but didn't ever get to the point of actually pulling out the gemshorn.

.....Brought my books for heraldry consultation but never did connect with Magdelena and her husband on their devices. We're going to meet up at Tuesday's Fight Practice and I'll bring my books with me then.

.....I was the Baronial Book Herald for a number of years, but would never have described myself as a professional. :-) I mainly taught myself the basics, and a bit more, in defense of my own stuff against the SCA College of Heralds. It took me over five years to get a device passed that I could feel comfortable in displaying. I'm still not 100% happy with it, but I can live with it and its alternative back-up.

.....But I learned enough to where I actually enjoyed the mystery and research involved in heraldry and I enjoy helping people when I can discover their own name and device for registration, so I help when I can. I always try to remember to tell people to run their final ideas past a 'real herald' before submission though. :-)

.....As usual there was so much food at the picnic that no one went away hungry. Great selection. And plenty of burgers and dogs for everyone. I think everyone was comfortably full and contentable in time for the final Baronial Q&A at approximately 4PM.

.....I had again keyed myself up for the Q&A. I don't know why I do that because I haven't been handed a question yet that was not straight-forward and actually answerable, even if the answer is 'I honestly don't know at this time'. There was a lot more of the standard questions. But I could see that as there were a number of people in attendance who were not in attendance at the first Q&A.

.....All the candidates appeared to handle their questions with little frustration. More questions on Sargeantry. Some more on the various directions the branch might go and how a Baron and Baroness ought to interact with the branch and its populace and officers. Another question on children's activities. A couple of interesting questions on persona. Some thoughtful questions and none that were 'pointed' or purposefully negative, which I considered a win.

.....The 'Principality' Question was asked. A year or so ago, had I been asked that question, I would have given the asker a dissertation on why we needed to start working toward that now in the Western Region with all motivation and speed. But now, I'm content with the waiting. There really does need to be a ground-swelling of support to make this happen, and a real REASON as to why this would be advantageous to the populace of the area. Is all the work we would have to do to make this happen really worth it? Right now it would be difficult to argue completely that it is, but give us a few more years to get some more motivated people, maybe.

.....Being a dreamer is not necessarily a bad thing (MASTER RALG! :-)), especially in someone like myself who is willing to back it up with the work required to make that dream a reality! :-) Just sayin'...

.....Sargeantry is the other topic where the dreamer in me really comes out in full force. I have lots of ideas floating about to really bring about my 'Arthurian Quest' concepts into focus and I'd love to sit down with a group of people to see them quantified and qualified into a concept that can go forward. Although TBT do disagree on a number of aspects of how this is going to work. If you get both of us on this committee, expect some lively discussion. :-)

.....After the Q&A I felt drained. And we were off to another gathering in Seattle, so we had to pack quickly and leave. I felt guilty for leaving the tear-down to those still on the scene, but we were in a car-pool and I couldn't hold them for too long. I really should have thought that through. If I had I would have driven my own car and let the rest of them go ahead. I knew that I was going to be tired and that I would have wanted to help with the tear-down. Oh, well, something to remember for next time.

.....We went off to Wallingford for the annual Summer South Seas party at Giuseppe's house. It was a nice time and a good crowd. I'm really glad that TBT went as a lot of her peeps were there and she got to talk to people she doesn't see very often. We are kind of isolated a little in Kitsap County and I wish she had the opportunity to visit her Seattle side friends more.

.....Plus she had some drinks too. :-) And was smiling and laughing like you wouldn't believe. :-) Everyone ought to have a few drinks every now and then and just not care for a little while. :-)

.....I stayed in the corner and chatted with Brummbar, Talia, and Tsuruko for a couple of hours before Gwen marshaled the troops and we hit the road home. I zonked out completely in the car. I'm glad TBT and Talia stayed awake to keep Gwen company. And we made it home a little after midnight.

.....A good day actually. Next up in the queue is September Crown. I would have liked to bring Lobelia down for a clean and stock. But gas is expensive for an R.V. and I need to wait a couple of days to make that one happen. So it will be a hurry-up offense come Wednesday or Thursday. And a whirlwind weekend. Glad our Project is done at work for the moment, it'll be easy to get away on Friday. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Hmmm, was Wednesday successful? I am not entirely sure. But it's almost done now. :-)

.....Finally finished wrapping the presents this morning first thing. They are now sitting proudly beneath the tree, after having been 'professionally' sorted and organized at least once by Rhys. :-) I'm sure that they'll be reorganized at least one more time between now and Christmas morning. How do I know this you ask? Because even *I* have noticed that the smaller presents can not be seen behind the larger ones, and you MUST have a commanding view of ALL the presents under your care! :-)

.....Started up some laundry, picked up the dishes and loaded the dishwasher and then futzed around on the computer for a while killing a little time before having to go and pick up Mom for our shopping excursion.

.....At first glance Mom's apartment was in utter chaos. The living room looked like a disaster area. I was immediately dismayed. But then Mom pointed out that she had cleaned out the kitchen and cleared the dining room wall in preparation for bookcases. Hence the piles of, mainly books, all over the living room floor. O.K., I was a little less dismayed, but still on the defensive.

.....Once the dead furniture was removed from the living room it looked a little better. I was surprised though at the crowds of people at the dump. Where do all these people live? And why were they at the dump two days BEFORE Christmas? Ponderances of life indeed!

.....Shopping at Fred Meyers. The crowds were heavy but not torturous, so still negotiable. Mom does not like heavy crowds, so she was definitely in grumble mode. But she was also determined to make this happen, so she kept moving. I followed for a while and then started wandering on my own. Found one additional present for TBT and Rhys. Which will have to be wrapped tomorrow sometime.

.....Did a little heraldry research when I returned home. Madrun had her device returned and I was looking at a couple of alternative suggestions to help get her device passed. I found one I think will work pretty good, and it passed the initial Madrun test. At least she sounded positive when she saw it later in the evening. :-)

.....It seemed to be a day heraldry in a couple of areas today as I was reminded by a couple of sources that the SCA is taking another look at their rules of heraldry with an eye at revamping the system. This is problematic and 'fraught with peril' (tm) as far as I'm concerned.

* How do you deal with grandfathered heraldry? (i.e. is it fair to allow 'illegal under the current rules' heraldry?)
* How do you deal with the fact that we work to English Heraldry rules when it is a Japanese persona submitting it (and similar)?
* The evolution of heraldry spans SEVERAL HUNDRED YEARS with the time period of the SCA culture. At what year do you draw the line to say 'before is good' and 'ahead is bad'?

.....and this is just the tip of the iceberg. I may dabble in SCA heraldry, but I'm glad that I'm no longer an SCA Heraldry Wonk. I'll just admire it from afar. Although, now that I'm thinking about it I'd better get off my rear and register my rampant lamb on gules moneybag badge whilst I have the opportunity. Team Haggis will need it some day...

.....Acclimatizing was a good idea for the hammered dulcimer. The strings are starting to keep in tune to each other. Huzzah!

.....More Tolkien was read. But not much else actually was done today. My third stanza did not get written. Where is the world did the day go anyway?! It's already 8PM?! Ack!

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....The more I hear the name, the more I like it. The Sable Salmon, has a nice ring to it. :-)

.....The Salmon in SCA heraldry:

Aminah al-Zarqah
The following device associated with this name was registered in August of 2003 (via the West): Argent, a rose azure barbed and seeded proper and on a chief azure a salmon naiant embowed argent.

Eoghan Ó Domhnaill
The following device associated with this name was registered in February of 2007 (via Calontir): Argent, two salmon haurient respectant vert and a bordure azure.

Horsa the Lost
The following device associated with this name was registered in November of 1991 (via the East): Azure, two salmon hauriant embowed addorsed argent and in chief a plate.

Koppel fun Baurieux
The following device associated with this name was registered in December of 1981 (via Meridies): Barry wavy argent and azure, on a pile wavy gules a salmon naiant and an osprey passant close argent.

Anastasiya Mikhailovna Mysheva
The following device associated with this name was registered in November of 1991 (via the West): Bendy sinister wavy argent and azure, six salmon hauriant purpure.

Marina Jensdatter
The following device associated with this name was registered in June of 1996 (via Caid):
Gules, a salmon embowed within a bordure Or.

Robbin Greybeard
The following device associated with this name was registered in April of 1982 (via An Tir):
Or, a Great Cormorant volant bendwise sinister proper and on a base azure three salmon naiant argent. [Phalacrocorax carbo]

Isabelle de Lyon
The following device associated with this name was registered in April of 2003 (via the East):
Per chevron azure and gules, two salmon haurient embowed respectant argent and a fleur-de-lys Or.

Andrew MacRobb
The following badge associated with this name was registered in November of 1982 (via the East): Per chevron purpure and Or, in chief a salmon embowed Or.

Suzanne de l'Ouest
The following device associated with this name was registered in May of 1994 (via the East):
Per fess azure and vert, a dance and in chief a salmon naiant argent.

Frozen Mountain, Shire of
The following device associated with this name was registered in November of 1991 (via An Tir): Per fess azure and vert, upon a dance argent a salmon naiant gules, finned sable, and in base a laurel wreath Or.

Loch Soilleir, Barony of
The following badge associated with this name was registered in April of 1992 (via Ansteorra):
Per fess wavy argent and vert, an otter embowed vert and a salmon embowed contourny and inverted argent. for the Order of the Otter of Loch Soilleir

Earc Mac Fíthil
The following device associated with this name was registered in January of 2003 (via An Tir):
Sable, a trillium inverted Or between four salmon naiant in annulo argent.

Freodhoric Jørgenssen Sjøaurebørg
The following device associated with this name was registered in July of 1985 (via Atenveldt):
Sable, on a billet engrailed Or, a salmon haurient gules.

Golden Rivers, Province of
The following badge associated with this name was registered in August of 1979:
Vert, a salmon naiant bendwise sinister Or. for the Order of the Golden Salmon

Petrus filius Silvein
The following device associated with this name was registered in October of 2002 (via the East): Vert, two salmon hauriant embowed addorsed and a bordure Or.

.....Three already in An Tir, and one relatively famous An Tir Scribe (The Wise and Wonderful Suzanne!).

.....Sable Salmon!

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....I was reading the comments posted in the Beloved Tamm's poling this week on heraldry and thinking of my own history with the heralds. It took me over five years to get my name and device passed. If you look at my entry in the An Tir Order of Precedence you'll see a litany of names that failed along the way. It was a very frustrating process for me. Part of it was my own doing, the basis of the name I wanted started out as the name for a roll playing character. So I had handicapped myself from the start. But having lived through all the aspects of the heraldic process, I can certainly agree that it can be a marathon game of 'Chutes and Ladders' where every two or three steps forward invariably leads to a slide backwards at some points. The history of my base name and device is on the Dragon's Laire Baronial web-site. It's a useful tool in what not to do in heraldry.

.....But I would temper that to a degree. Once I started understanding heraldry I actually began to enjoy it. Not the bureaucratic nonsense that the SCA puts into the process, but the heraldry itself. The art of heraldry can be very beautiful. I also find myself drawn to the complexity involved in the legitimate rules process. It can make the process interesting and the final product that much more sacred to the user. Because it is an expression of the person, another variation of the name, it becomes something more that simply artwork or letters on a page. The device seen on my L.J. entries is not my primary device, it is a secondary. I ended up enjoying heraldry so much that I have two registered names, a device and two badges. I was the Dragon's Laire Book Herald for about four years and actually enjoyed quite a bit of it. But those are different topics. :-)

.....I think what makes the process the most frustrating in the SCA is the part that is the most difficult to correct, the human factor.

.....There is a certain amount of arbitrariness to what names and devices pass in one month as opposed to the next. The rules of heraldry are complex, on purpose. If you do any reading on the history of heraldry you quickly find out that heralds in period protected their profession because it was their livelihood, it was how they put food on their table. If any Lord Henry or Lady Anne could understand the rules behind what could and could not go into the creation of a device, why would anyone hire them? Over time that bred a certain amount of arrogance amongst those for whom heraldry was a profession.

.....If you look at the SCA heraldic community, it is a rather close knit one. They are geeks. And I say that with a smile as I count myself among them. In my world, that title is a compliment. But because of the geekiness involved, there is a certain amount of isolation that happens over time. They speak their own language, understandable only (for the most part) by those amongst their heraldic family. I think that this isolation makes it difficult at times for those on the outside to communicate well with them. Hence at least one factor in the frustration level in those for whom heraldry is not their hobby.

.....That isolation also helps foster at least a little bit of the arrogance that I mentioned earlier. In some cases it becomes a 'you could never understand the rules as well as I because you haven't studied them for as long as I'. I see this kind of arrogance at work a lot amongst the engineers who are degreed at the Shipyard. If you don't have that diploma, how can you be as smart as they? :-) This brand of arrogance is seen sometimes amongst the heraldic community. It also makes communication difficult.

.....I remember attending a meeting once of the An Tir heralds. It was a monthly meeting where all the submissions collected over the past month or so were reviewed. They either passed the review and put into a pile for submission to Society, or comments on why they shouldn't be passed on to Society were collected for the rejection letter. What struck me at the meeting was the arrogance. There were many occasions where individual items were ridiculed for bad form, bad artwork, bad use of rules. I really don't think that they realized what they were doing, or even how they sounded. They were a group of geeks that were geeking out on heraldry. But that one meeting really soured my taste for the process. It really reminded me of the Constabulary, whose arrogance and attitude brought it down in the end.

.....Of course I'm generalizing here, I know many, many incredibly nice and hard working heralds who would be horrified if they realized that there was a level of snarkiness involved in SCA heraldry. So take this all with a little caution. :-)

.....I'm not sure that there really is an easy fix to SCA heraldry. Like I mentioned earlier, heraldry is complicated on purpose. The Society itself makes it more so by allowing so many different cultures and such a wide span of time to inject itself into that process. I would hate to see the process 'dumbed down' any. I think in the end it would cheapen the results. The College of Heralds IS working on at least streamlining itself. I'm rather excited to see the online process come up to speed. Some day it could be just a few months of processing to have a registered name and device instead of many months.

.....I suppose another factor in this is the 'Victorian Era' aspect of the SCA. We continually talk about striving to make and do things from a 'period point-of-view', but in reality the things that really draw a large number of us to the SCA, i.e. the chivalry, honour, noblesse oblige, fealty, etc., really have very little to do with things 'in period', They are very Victorian views of the Middle Ages. I think that this applies to heraldry as well. Period heraldry is rather simple in nature. People in the SCA want their devices to really be aspects of themselves as well as tell a story. It is a deeply personal representation of who they are. This also creates a conflict. As a hobby herald without the years of training associated with the heralds of England, how do you negotiate the rules to help your client create something that both lives to a 'period' set of rules, but also appeals to the desires of the client? Very difficult at best.

.....I'm not sure that there is any real solution to relieving the frustration associated with heraldic submissions. Hope I didn't frustrate anyone with my meandering thoughts on a Saturday morning. :-)

.....Have a good day all. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....As far as I was concerned, it was a strange and rather disconcerting evening yesterday, which seems to be continuing into this morning.

.....I rushed around all day yesterday getting caught up from not having been at work on Monday. I did fairly well, although you really couldn't tell that from the piles o'crap stacked all over my desk. But I went home at my normal time for which I was grateful.

.....When I arrived though the Beloved Tamm was not feeling well at all. Tired and listless mainly. She just got over being sick a couple of weeks ago. This bothered me some, especially after hearing that she was still really tired after having taken a good afternoon nap. I debated just bundling her up in the van and taking her to Harrison, for a check if nothing else. But I held off a little and she seemed to be feeling a little better after having a bite to eat. Especially after hearing that she had only had a couple of pieces of toast to eat all day. Sigh!

.....Ran off to Fight Practice. I was running late and am the guy with the key to the building. I need to talk to the church people about a second key. There was a rather large crowd gathered outside the church when I arrived. The weather was rather warm though, so I didn't feel too badly.

.....I was going to either listen to Brighid's class or get caught up on the Pelican notes with my laptop, but Arion asked for some heraldry assistance. I should have thought that one through first. :-) There was a reason I gave up book heraldry for Lent. :-) Heralds make the rules difficult on pupose. :-) We reviewed Arion's rejection letter, which was frustrating because it wasn't very informative. Then we established that what Arion wanted was technically sound as far as heraldry went, which we finally determined that it was (after pouring over a dozen or so web-sites, wish that I had brought some books with me instead). Then went through the online O&A to conflict check. It looked good.

.....By this time my head started to ache. Like I said, there is a reason I don't book herald any more. :-) But the genie was out, a couple of other people saw that an unscheduled heraldry consultation was in process and stepped right up to get their own ideas checked. Ack! By the time we were ready to close up the building, my head was throbbing.

.....But there was one big surprize in store for the evening. This tall guy walked in and I knew that I recognized him, but wasn't sure from where. This was especially true when he nodded at me and said Hi, like I was supposed to know him. I was frantically searching my mind to try and place a face to a name when I was pulled away for heraldry. But later this guy walks up and asks me some questions on armor requirements for rapier. I finally broke down and asked him for his name. He smiled and said 'I'm Tristan, Catelin's son.' Ack! I immediately felt like a dork, but I also felt OLD. I've known this guy for almost fifteen years now. I first met him when he was Rhys' age, ten years old. And here he was at 25. Wow!

.....I remembered immediately the first time I met Tristan. It was at a Yule Feast in the Masonic Temple in Manette. It was his first event and he immediately got involved in a 'boffer' tournament there. He impressed the hell out of everyone there with his gallantry and chivalry. He was taller and older than most of his 'opponents', but he always made sure that he did not take advantage of that fact. He would get on his knees to fight those who were shorter or smaller than him. He would immediately take blows if they counted and he always made sure that the person he was fighting felt good about the fight. How many ten year olds have that presence of mind?

.....He later helped at the potluck feast and then later helped clean the hall so that we could all get out of there as soon as possible. I was certainly impressed. He's always remained that way as well. I hope that he decides to really get involved in Dragon's Laire, we would certainly benefit from his presence I think.

.....I got him hooked up with Talon and the Rapier guys, but I know that he's jonsing to get into heavy if he could only afford it. I'm going to see if I can find some loaner pieces for him to use.

.....Dinner was over at Talon and Jenae's. The Beloved Tamm did not want to go, but Rhys did so that he could have some time playing with Jenae. But Jenae had had a rough day dealing with both students and parents. She was also busy trying to make about a million cookies for the next day. So I said that I would not bring Rhys over. He called a little later wondering if I could come home to pick him up so as to see Jenae and I told him no. He was heart-broken, you could really hear it in his voice both then and when he asked about it later when I arrived home. I'm sure that if Dante were alive he would create a new circle of hell just for those who disappoint Rhys so completely. My portrait will hang prominently, I'm sure.

.....This morning was rather eerie again. The Shipyard Commander has halted all travel to San Diego due to the fires going on in Southern California. There have been a number of people associated with our work down there who have had to be evacuated. None of my people have been affected directly yet. But a lot of the support staff is not available on site. I'm certain that if the work we were doing was not emergent that I would have been told to bring them all home. It'll be interesting to see what happens today.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (RIP - Arontius' Badge.)
.....Back in the '90's when heraldry was new to me and I was excited as hell to get my heraldry all passed, I worked on a badge. The original concept was a silver quill pen on a red flame. There was a conflict though with some other similar badge and so, after consulting with THL Maryn Grey, I put the silver quill pen on a blue flame and it passed quickly through the College of Heralds.

.....At the time I was totally unaware of what the Bluefeather Clan was. Later when I WAS introduced to a number of their group, I didn't think much of it. Don't get me wrong, I have a number of friends who are members of the Bluefeather Clan. But I never counted myself as a member of their clan. And I never made any connections between my badge and their clan.

.....Well, earlier this year I start getting teased mercilessly by THE Royal Peer (Hwolf) and Master Ljotr about the 'Blue Feather Badge' that I seem to be proudly displaying in Lobelia. I laughed at them at first and STILL didn't think that it was a big deal. THEN, several others came up to me (mostly in private) and expressed their own thoughts on the matter. That being that when several of them saw the badge for the first time they thought themselves that I might be claiming space in the Bluefeather Clan.

.....This caught me totally by surprize. I have a difficult enough time relating to women without them having to even consider this line of thought. :-) So, after much consideration, this badge is about to be retired. All copies are about to hit the shredder. But it is not all bad news. It means more space in my heraldic allotment to pass something new! :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.


arontius: (Default)

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