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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....Tennyson's poetry is, in my opinion, either really, really good, or really, really bad. In this case, 'The Lady of Shalott' is one of my absolute favorite poems...

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And through the field the road runs by
To many towered Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round and island there below,
The island of Shalott.

.....It seems like a Tennyson type of day. I hope the weather lasts a few days. :-)

.....The State of Washington was finally paid last night for the sales tax I owed them from Ingasbo last year. I put together all my forms and spread sheets much earlier this year in support of the Federal Taxes, and all the appropriate figures were included on to the appropriate Federal tax forms. Then I put the paperwork aside. Every time I thought about it I kept thinking that I had already paid the State at the same time. A vicious cycle for sure. :-)

.....They wanted their money though. I was starting to get phone messages on the house phone. You know, the one on which we rarely check for messages? :-) So I slogged through it last night. Ended up owing the State of Washington almost $35. Which included a 25% late fee.

.....At some point soon I believe, just from looking at the forms, that a tax will be collected for sales made out of State and Country. That will end up being an interesting accounting maneuver. I can just imagine that if Washington State charges me for sales outside the state, the receiving state will charge the individual for that sale. Will I have to collect for both? It is already an interesting maneuver keeping track of the different sales tax rates in various locations within the State. Will I then have to track the different sales tax rates of any of the municipalities, counties, and states to which I make sales?

.....Definitely going to have to do some reading up on the issue.

.....I'm just glad I don't keep an inventory. All my circlets are done to order. I've pondered expansion into other areas at times. But keeping up with circlet orders takes enough energy and concentration. Maybe something for the future.

.....The Baronial Pavilion was loaded into the Jahnkin Mobile last night for transport to Hot Summer Lights. Part of me wishes I had taken it myself to the event today and camped. But there is a lot to do at home, and certainly TBT needs every spare moment she can get in catching up with her orders. All I have to do is to look at the August calendar to realize that any weekend night I get to sleep in my own bed should be cherished. :-) So it is home tonight and a trip to Druim Doineann fairly early in the morning.

.....It'll be interesting to see if Baron Alexsii makes an appearance at Hot Summer Lights. He's expected to. But I know there are things happening in the Blatha An Oir area as well. I know his Squire, who happens to be the HSL Autocrat, has probably worked hard at persuading him that he needs to be in attendance. I suppose they could split their forces, with Her Excellency Elspeth going to one function, and Baron Alexsii the other.

.....In either case, HSL looks to be more exciting this year than it has been in a number of years. You can see the excitement felt by the Shire Populace in reading their postings to the Shire e-list.

.....TBT and I will have our first Sargent's testing on Saturday as well. Both Jahnkin and Caedmon wanted to be put through the paces and be tested for their abilities at Heavy Fighting. Master Cedric is going to be our judge for the occasion. We sent him the criteria for the testing and Cedric understood the intent right away. He will do a great job with it, and already had ideas on how to improve upon it for next year.

.....The hardest part is making it challenging, showing the skills and abilities of the candidates, and proving that the candidates are good heavy fighters. Don't want to make it challenging to the point though that it becomes difficult to judge, or find judges to accomplish. TBT and I wanted to ease back just a little on the requirements as we emphasized the eventual Quest being as important as the Trials themselves. And something that could be done in a six month period.

.....It's been a difficult balancing act. Trying to ensure that all the various branches of the Serjeantry are evenly balanced in what is expected of them. But directly comparing Heavy Fighting for Sargents against Artistry for Courtiers is impossible. So ensuring that the Trials take as much ability and dedication for each branch to accomplish? That has been the real challenge for us. And will continue to be so.

.....Not only will Jahnkin and Caedmon have to prove their individual fighting abilities, they will also have to prove their abilities to lead a group of fighters into and through scenarios as well. I'm looking forward to watching this aspect just to see what each of the candidates do. Jahnkin and Caedmon are very different people and their leadership styles of course are very different. So what tactics and strategy will they each use?

.....Which led me to wondering how we see the same thing in the Arts and Sciences Courtiers. Can teaching be considered in the same league? Not really. So I wonder if there is something along the lines of a giant arts project that can be assigned to Arts and Sciences Courtier candidates to prove their abilities to lead, as well as use tactics and strategy to succeed at a task?

.....Or is this something that a Courtier even needs to worry about? After we get through this year and have set the Candidates on their Quests, it'll be interesting to sit them all down and go through all the questions I've been collecting over the past handful of months. There will be a few changes in the requirements next year I'm thinking.

.....No armor for either TBT or myself this weekend. Mine still needs some work and TBT is still missing a few pieces. Neither of us have really had the time to devote to this at all. We'll end up being observers again. Which means of course that I'll be teased unmercifully again. Sigh! :-)

.....Sunday will be all about getting ready for the Summer Madness weekend next. The garage looks like a disaster area and all of our camping stuff is intermixed with everything else in there. Will definitely require several hours of organization to get it pulled. Not bringing everything I usually bring to a camping event. I think the multitudinous banners will stay home. Half the chairs will stay packed, alongside most of the carpeting. :-) I think that 'fun and relaxing' better be the mantra.

.....But I should go ahead and finish pulling out the stuff I need for tomorrow now. That way I'm not scrambling for it at 0600 tomorrow. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....The first reason I had to miss An Tir / West happened today. I had to attend my very first formal critique meeting at work. Last month I was in a hurry in trying to get a formal agreement established on who was responsible for what tasks on a job we were about to start. Because I was in a hurry I bypassed several steps in the process and the agreement was incorrectly signed off as complete.

.....Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal as these agreements are non-binding in any real shape or form, but because of the type of work involved my mistake gained instant attention from people whom you really want to avoid if at all possible.

.....I went into the gathering and stated right off that I made a mistake and then immediately worked to correct it as soon as it was recognized as a mistake. However, I think that the reason the Navy likes to do these critique things is very much like some people rub the noses of pets into the mess they make. The very awfulness of the nose rubbing is a serious reminder and deterrent against doing the same thing in the future.

.....After two hours of digging into the weeds of the issue, I was drained. But I survived Round 1. Round 2 is the 'Management Brief' in about two weeks. The Boss told me that it would be fine and he is the type of person who wouldn't tell me that if he didn't believe it, so I took comfort in that. I was also reminded by others that people I highly respect have several critiques under their belts and that having my first at the twenty-four year mark was not necessarily as bad as I thought it was.

.....I would have preferred to have gone my entire career without having to go through this process myself.

.....I'm in a whinny mood tonight. I did not feel well yesterday and feel tired and crabby tonight because of it. I think it was something I ate as I was up and down all night. Ever since the surgery my stomach and intestines do not have the teflon coating they used to. Things I used to eat with no problem cause me all kinds of grief these days. It has been interesting as things I used to love to eat I've been avoiding. The most depressing being some spicy foods.

.....Then there are the merchants. The deadline for the July Coronation Marketplace was three weeks ago. I extended that deadline to last weekend. And I'm still getting frantic requests to get a copy of the application and space saved. And the worst part is that the people giving me the most grief are the same people giving me the same excuses for being so late as they gave me over ten years ago when applying for June Faire two weeks before the event. Sigh!

.....I think the reason I'm so whinny is that I would rather be at An Tir / West War where everyone else seems to be. I need to stop moping and start thinking of everything I'm going to be able to get done this weekend because I'm not at the War.

.....Tomorrow is Friday and the start of a three day weekend. So I think I'll also take comfort in that. I have a long laundry list of things I want to get done. But there are a few fun things on the list as well. There is a Bar-B-Que planned for Saturday. That'll be nice.

.....I think I also sold a couple of circlets as well. If the orders actually do come through I think I'll have enough in the hopper to get another sheet of designs ordered and delivered. My stock is starting to run low and I haven't had the capital to stock up.

.....I should get the garage straightened up so I can get the circlets done. It is rather a mess, especially with June Faire 'stuff' piled up everywhere. And it would be good to go through that stuff anyway in preparation for July Coronation. Which reminds me that I have to go up to Poulsbo and bring Lobelia down to be cleaned out in preparation for July Coronation.

.....Now my 'to-do' list is starting to wander. I need to stop the wandering and make up a 'to-do' list for the weekend. If I can get at least a little organized maybe I'll actually get a few things done. :-)
arontius: (Default)
.....Huh. According to SciFi Wire progress is now being made on the production of the 'Dragonriders of Pern' movie. I'm not sure whether to be excited or skeptical. It has the potential to go in several different directions. I suppose it'll depend on the story they really want to do, how much they want to cover, how much action takes precedent over story, etc. I'll tentatively look forward to it in the interim. I read the stories a lot when younger and enjoyed them a lot.

.....I had high hopes for the Narnia movies. But with three of them out now I can say that I am disappointed in them. Visually they look pretty good. The scenery and photography are nice. But the acting and the story line translations have not been very good. Nor have they been very gripping. 'The Voyage of the Dawn Treader' had great potential as a movie and I left the theatre, frankly, yawning. In fact, believe it or not, I think Peter Jackson did a better job of putting 'Lord of the Rings' on to the big screen than was done for Narnia. Which is sad since I think that Peter Jackson did things to the story that should require him to be beg the Tolkien Estate for redemption!

.....Hope that we hear something on the Pern effort next week at NORWESCON.

.....Must, must, must get my Ingasbo SpreadSheet for 2010 completed so that TBT can finish filing our taxes. It's the only hold-out information at the moment. And it doesn't take an incredible amount of time to do. I just have to condense my income and expense sheet from last year and classify all the entries as appropriate. Shouldn't take more than an hour. Just haven't had the time to do it. Would be nice to complete to also pay off Washington State and their sales tax requirements. I've received a multitude of 'Pay or Die!' notices now and must get that finished before they send the Goon Squad after me.

.....Lots of things in the hopper at work. Not bad things. Just lots of things. It's like work has ADD or something. I'm only allowed to concentrate on any one thing for a stretch of five minutes at a time before the next crisis phones into the desk. Next week it looks like a flight out for the Team to Kings Bay, Georgia. I'm actually glad I received the 'head's up' today as that gives me a handful of days to get everything put together and out the door before it affects NORWESCON. It'll be a squeaker. And it probably means that at the very least I'll have to bring my cell phone with me to SeaTac for the duration. Sigh! Was hoping to leave it at home.

.....The Mid Level Boss was on vacation last week and this week. He'll be back next Monday. So he can take the baton on this particular crisis. I think that I'll even not feel all that guilty as I'm sitting in the hot tub at the Doubletree Hotel. :-)

.....I may be considered as 'non-essential', but the stress level is certainly not proving that. I'm starting to wonder if this was not such a good time to take on the Coronet. Too late now I suppose as I'm not about to give it up this early, but need to force some adjustments at work before things get too overloaded. I'm sure glad the old Big Boss is gone. Life would be completely hell if he were still in place.

.....Banner will be completely painted tonight! Will let it dry over the next day or so and then will get it steamed on Friday or Saturday. I'll have to check in with Anne to make sure that really is the next step in the process. Then it will be time for cleaning and final sewing. Almost done! I can hardly wait to see it flying. I'll have to set up the banner pole in the front yard and fly this from it for a while just to see how it looks. Not incredibly happy with the 'mottled' look of the paint. But am hoping that the steaming process smooths that out a bit. At the very least you can't really notice unless you get close to it. I have learned a lot by working this banner. Lessons learned that will definitely be applied to the next one!

.....Meeting tonight at Brian and Jane's house. The hook was a Salmon dinner. But the conversation will be concerning an elaborate feast that Brian and Jane want to do at Yule in 2012. It'll be interesting to hear their ideas. I'd like to see it be a 'full on' feast. Which, in my mind, means a themed served feast, complete with all the trimmings. Alongside the proper entertainment, and a hall that is decorated completely to match the theme. I remember the Feast that was in Tournaments Illuminated that was decked out in full glory with banners and walls and trencher tables and thrones. It really was Camelot. I'm hoping to convince Brian and Jane to maybe go to the same extreme. With a year and a half to plan they certainly could. Wouldn't it be cool to also have it as a story in Tournaments Illuminated as well? :-)

.....The 'to-do' lists are getting chaotic again. I have a couple of dozen sticky notes in my notebooks and my iPod Touch is speaking in three different languages from all the conflicting notes I'm inputting. Must spend some time this weekend and get a little organized. I'm not even sure what 'to-do' item is the highest priority at the moment.

.....Well, I suppose it could be worse. At least I don't have to move during this time as well.

.....Gotta get ready to go to dinner.

.....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.
arontius: (Default)
.....It was an interesting day of catching up with a few things and contemplating others.

.....I woke up at about 0500 and pulled out the circlets I finished in the workshop yesterday. They went through the final polish and shaping. Then finally into their shipping bags. I do not like to rogue I'm using right now. I miss my fabulustre greatly and need to get at least a tube or two before the next order comes into the e-mail. I wish Alpha would come back on line.

.....I received a flurry of order requests over the past handful of days. Invariably people placed orders without checking in with me first (as the Ingasbo web-site requests) and invariably most of the order requests were for a.) patterns I do not have currently in stock AND b.) they are all wanted BEFORE Christmas. Sigh! I had to do three refunds this morning. Thankfully PayPal doesn't charge me for the refunds. But the people sending me the money ended up paying PayPal $1.50 each for the priviledge of having their funds returned to them. :-) TBT and I are thinking of ways we can beef up the web-site to explain this to better degree.

.....TBT still had a chance to chat and coffee at Starbucks before heading off to Ralph's birthday breakfast at the Airport Diner. The buffet was O.K. It has been better, and worse. I left full and we had a lot of good conversation around the table. Ralph was in a good mood and received a number of nice presents. TBT and I were extremely lame as we forgot to even get a Birthday Card. One of these days we'll join the human race and remember those things. :-)

.....Ran back home before noon where I packaged up circlets for shipment out via Priority Mail at the Post Office kiosk. Most of the orders were for the East Coast. I'm not holding my breath that they'll arrive by Christmas, but that would be nice. One order went out to Wasilla, Alaska. It has a chance to arrive by Thursday, but they were definitely nervous buyers. I received almost daily requests for status updates. They wanted the circlet at least a week ago and I told them it wouldn't be done, and they accepted that. But I should have checked the anxiety meter as they pegged it a few times. :-)

.....Threw boxes in the car and met Gwen as she dropped off Brigget for the day. I was fretting over a Sekrit Santa gift for a recipient who is a Duchess from the West. I google-stalked her a bit and I couldn't come up with any good ideas. As usual Gwen came through with a fantastic looking feast setting, complete with goblet. I think I just need to give in to reality and hire Gwen as the official Baronial Miracle Worker (tm).

.....TBT and I ran out a short time later and went shopping for Mom. She stayed home today, but I didn't harass her at all. She rode the bus by herself yesterday to the Kitsap Mall and walked its length back and forth. I was extremely pleased. The apartment was messy, but showed signs that she was working on it. So I felt that I needed to keep my mouth shut today. :-) I took her shopping list and went to the store for her. TBT found a turkey at a good price at Albertsons and we picked that up as well. We're going to have Mom over for Christmas Eve and do the family thing. Mom was all excited as she picked up a game Rhys wanted. She also picked up her own Mobile Hot Spot that she is all excited about using with her new e-Readers. :-)

.....TBT and I then braved JoAnn's, which wasn't too bad. Then ran to Gwen's for the present, then the Post Office, then a quick lunch before heading home. Picked up Rhys and went out shopping again. Back to JoAnn's with TBT's list of Christmas Wishes. Which kind of takes away the 'mystery' of Christmas, but sure makes shopping a lot easier. :-) Only problem was that JoAnn's had had a number of sales over the weekend and many shelves were bare, especially the Gingher Scissors! Which has become something of a tradition to get at Christmas.

.....Just so we could 'prove' our non-conformity, Rhys and I did the rebellious thing and went to Fred Meyers and bought a few presents that WEREN'T on the approved shopping list. :-)

.....All my Christmas shopping is done and I'm just about ready for the work week. I wish I were really on my vacation, but if I have any luck at all I should be able to get out at mid-day on Wednesday. I'm crossing my fingers hard as I'll still have eleven days of vacation still at that point. There is a large laundry list of things I'd love to complete.

.....The Wyverns have been discussing a project of painted canvas scenes that can be hung at halls like the VFW to give a more period ambiance to the places we use for events. She asked me to upload a bunch of local outdoor scenes, some of them of the Olympic Mountains. One of the pictures was of Hart Lake. It sure looked like a certain Heart Lake I hiked to as a Boy Scout a lot of years ago. Made me want to go out for a hike.

.....If the weather is even half decent maybe next week maybe I could sneak in a day hike to Olympic Hot Springs. I've never been there this late in the year, so I bet the trailhead is back a few miles from where I usually start. I may have to check on that.

.....Hmmm, need to check in with Sir Richard as well. I was going to see about hanging out with him for a day. Will have to see what sort of trouble we can get into. :-)

.....And it is after 2100. Time for bed. 0400 comes way too early....Zzzzzz.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....TBT was not feeling well this morning, so we had a late start out the door for our usual Starbucks run. I was feeling a bit sluggish myself and slept in until at least 0600 before getting out of bed. But we finally rev'ved up for the day and made plans.

.....I'm still trying to figure out what to get for my Sekrit Santa gift. The person I drew this year is someone whom I've never met and have no clue as to their likes and dislikes. I have google-stalked them a bit, so I suppose that I have a little bit of a clue. But I'm scratching my head. My personal deadline is tomorrow. No matter what, even if the gift is cheesy and lame it must go out the door on Monday.

.....To that end, and a few other things, I went to work in Ingasbo on the workbench and did some metal-work today. I pulled out a few circlets, some pendants, and a few bracelets. I had an order come through on a circlet that I have to get into the mail on Monday. And I wanted to experiment on a few ideas for other metal gifts from Ingasbo. I'm just not as versatile as TBT though and struggled mightily.

.....Went into the studio at around 1030 and when I finally looked at my watch again it was almost 1430. Almost four hours had gone by and I hadn't even noticed. Very little to show for it as well. But I did finish the studio work on the circlet order. Just a final polish needed on it before bending it into final position. I also have some bracelets on the workbench to finish as well as a few pendants and pins. I'm hoping to get enough metal done tomorrow to make a decent showing into the mail on Monday.

.....Thinking of largesse 'stuff' as well. The bracelets should go over well. Just have to complete a dozen of them. Which will happen as soon as the Shipyard actually lets me go on my leave. I think that if I have even a little extra time I'll coat them with Envirotex as well so they don't react to the bearers skin.

.....The belt sander is starting to go as well. May have to think of a replacement soon. Or consider going to a grinding wheel. The wheel would probably be a faster way to shape circlets, but it is a monster. I like the finesse of a sanding belt a lot more. Will have to think some on that.

.....The drill press is suffering as well. We left an open container of etching acid next to the press. Just the vapors from the acid bath were enough to leave a rather thick coating of rust all over the drill press. It is a cheaper Harbor Freight (made in China) model. But it is still something that couldn't be replaced over night. So I made sure to move the bath away and will definitely oil and rub down the drill press tomorrow.

.....Made it over to the household dinner at Petr and Kierran's later in the afternoon. Petr and Kierran made smoked pork and prime rib as the main dishes. Reminded me just how good of cooks they were and I worked hard on them to think about maybe doing a feast next year or sometime soon. I think I finally got Petr convinced, and I solemnly swore that should he provide a feast that I would ensure he did NOT receive any additional award or title. I promised completely. :-) I would love a prime rib feast. Mmmmmm. :-)

.....It was a good turn out. Chris and her boyfriend, Greg, were already there when we arrived. Barnet and Tsuruko arrived soon after we did. Then Ralph and Ellen. Then Gwenllyn and Brigget. Then Brumbar. Then Stiven and Jocelyn with the two girls in tow, looking rather cute in the Christmas outfits. :-) The food was all good. The conversation pleasant. We all left feeling good.

.....Then it was off for a whirlwind visit to Yvon and Morte's for their Christmas gathering, which was quite large! And as usual, the snacks were absolutely fantastic! Even though I had quite enough to eat over at Petr and Kierran's, I could not resist sampling the goods. Mushroom tarts, spinach dip, meat pastries. It was all good. Made me wish I hadn't stuffed myself so thoroughly at Petr and Kierran's.

.....Spent most of my time talking to Mateusz and Renart. Good conversation. I had a good time. Then we ran into Anne and Aelianora and more good conversation followed. There was a point though that I finally hit the wall and was just, done. It wasn't anyone there. I was just tired and wanted to go home. So we made our goodbyes known to Yvon and Morte and went home. Thankfully we live only a short distance from them.

.....We should have stopped by Talon and Jenae's as they were having their Christmas gathering today as well. But I just couldn't. At some point I'm going to have to make it up to them as this was the second gathering I've missed at their place. I'll have to think of something.

.....Tomorrow's big ticket items: finish circlets, go to Ralph's birthday gathering, get to Mateusz and Rycheza's tree trimming if at all possible, and do all the chores necessary to get to work the next day. Sigh! I'm already tired and it does not look like a long list at all. :-)

.....Zzzzzzzzz. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....I had thought about going back to September Crown today to watch the Tournament, but TBT still wasn't feeling 100% this morning and we did end up sleeping in some today. By the time we did our usual Starbucks run it was running almost 11AM and I gave up all pretense of thinking of going back to Chehalis. Although part of me is now wishing I had gone. It sounded like an epic finals, between Duke Thorin and Sir Skeggi. With Sir Skeggi as the victor.

.....I was just starting out my term as Kingdom Chroniclet when Sir Skeggi last wore the Crown. I learned a LOT during that reign. :-)

.....Yesterday was actually a good day. After coming to the conclusion that TBT was not going to come with me I made it on the road before 8AM. I think I bought out everything Albertsons had to offer in the way of pita bread, which was the donation of TBT and myself for the Crown feasting tables.

.....It was a two hour drive to site, but it was fun to rock out to music and a noise level the was probably higher than is recommended for keeping ones hearing intact. :-) The drive went by fast and the site was relatively easy to find.

.....Glymm Mere has a nice site in this farm, I hope they use it for other events in the future. Although it was a little disheartening to realize that this site was noted to be many dozens of feet under water during the last big flood of the area several years ago. :-)

.....Once on site I found the R.V. encampment right away and parked the Subaru in the space I had saved for Lobelia. After getting dressed I started schlepping stuff to their various locations. The shoes and dog kennel went to the Baronial Encampment. The ton of pita bread went to Her Excellency's pavilion.

.....I meant to go to the Chronicler's Meeting, but I ended up talking to various people I haven't seen in a while. I was actually glad I had that opportunity as it was good to catch up with people.

.....The Seneschal's meeting was interesting. It was scheduled online and by Master James for Saturday, but for some reason the site copy had it scheduled for Sunday. It was only a small gathering, but good conversation was had. I thought it was interesting that Master Ljotr and Viscountess Nedezdha both wanted their old jobs back. :-)

.....I wandered through Merchant's Row after that and stuck my head into the Apprentice Tea. I ended up looking at Madrun's stellar cardweaving for a bit. Her silk weaving is absolutely brilliant. I was going to chat a bit longer, but the organizers wanted to slap a name tag on me and have me REALLY stay a while, but I wasn't really interested. :-)

.....I took a small nap while waiting for the Pelican Meeting. then had an interesting conversation with Jahnkin and Adelheid on Sargeantry. It helped straighted a few ideas out in my mind. No matter who is selected to wear the next Coronets, it will be interesting to see where we end up taking Sargeantry.

.....The Pelican meeting went a lot better than I expected, albeit an hour and fifteen minutes long. :-) We may need to learn something from the Laurel's. They were in-and-out in less than a half hour. ;-)

.....After a quick dinner hour it was time for the Royal Contenders gathering on the Erics. In reality it was a lot different than what I envisioned. But I quite enjoyed the results. The Irish Rovers and the Culinary Guild (with Rycheza and Matt in charge) had a fantastic offering. As did a large number of other groups.

.....The actual introduction of the 'Contenders' was lengthy, lasting well into the night. But I think the idea ended up being a good one for pageantry and maybe saving some time in the processional the next day.

.....They were not even two-thirds done before I started getting really tired and it was starting to get dark. I wanted to get off-site before full dark hit as I wasn't sure of the road. So I high tailed it out of there, right after Gwenllyn and Talia.

.....The drive home was actually not bad, and I was never in danger of falling asleep after getting pulled over three times by the police for a burned out head-lamp. :-) But I made it home by 10PM and crawled into bed.

.....Today was much slower, but I did get a few things done. I finished up a circlet order, which was exciting in its own right as the orders have been on the slow side this year. Then TBT and I went out for lunch and a little shopping, including the purchase of new headlights for both of our cars. :-) Which were changed out fairly rapidly upon return to home.

.....We finished the day with dinner at Gwen's where TBT is working on the still that Gwen made me. TBT is glazing it in Fleur-De-Lys' and arabesque patterning in glazing colors. It's going to look quite cool.

.....'Clash Of The Titans' was on the viewing agenda. It wasn't GOOD, but it wasn't horrible either. :-)

.....On tomorrow's agenda are the chores that need to be done before the work week starts, and Mom will want to get some shopping done. I should check the iPod as I think there are other things I wanted to get done as well.

.....YAWN, Aaron / Arontius. :-)
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.....Friday was not all that great. But I found, as usual, I have a lot of good friends who cheered me up in epically fast time through Live Journal replies and personal e-mails and phone calls telling me to shut up and quit whining. :-) The rest of the weekend was actually pretty good. People were seen, things were done, some relaxation was had...

.....Saturday morning we were up early for Rhys' birthday. He wanted to go to I-HOP for breakfast (for the pancakes / waffles I think, with lots of butter and syrup :-)). We all walked out of there full. Then it was off to Target to see if we could decide on a bicycle or game he wanted. We found neither. But it was a good outing anyway. I think there is a shopping trip in the very near future to pick up that special game he wanted. :-)

.....At noon it was off on a whirlwind drive to Washougal for Gulenay's wedding ceremony. She picked a really good day for it. The weather was clear and bright, but not unbearably warm. A gentle breeze kicked up every now and then to blow away the stifled air. The setting was next to a stream off of a country type road. The cathedral pavilion was set up as the ceremonial chamber so-to-speak where the vows were read.

.....That cathedral was also set up at our July Coronation in Port Gamble. It is a beautiful structure. I've heard stories that it is complicated to set up. But it looks simple, in a magnificent fashion, with lots of curves and arches.

.....A really diverse crowd in attendance. Although it was fairly easy to pick out the modern attendees versus those SCA members in attendance. :-) It becomes a game actually at events such as this. I did see, and speak with, Nedezhda. Connor and his lady were there, sans harp. Khalja was there with Olin, who officiated the ceremony. He looked very important in his suit. :-) There were many others as well, but you can see them all in the many sets of pictures floating around.

.....I asked Connor if he was playing his harp, but he wasn't. He was only a spectator for this one. I was a little disappointed. But I could understand if he WANTED to take a break every now and then. I'm sure that as a talented harpist, he is asked quite frequently to play for weddings and such. I could see how that could lead to burn out. But I couldn't help it for being just a little disappointed. I loves some good harp music. :-)

.....Ceremony itself was over in about twenty minutes. I didn't feel so bad for how short ours was after that. Olin did mention that Einar (Aaron) had to be vetted first by all of Gulenay's Friends, which was a good reminder that Gulenay better be the happiest woman on the planet for the rest of her life, or else! :-) Einar will do well, I'm sure.

.....They had bagpipes process them in and out, which I definitely liked. Well played too.

.....Then to the feasting! Hlutwige and her crew provided the food and it was EXCELLENT! Yum!

.....By 6PM, we edged for the car. We were harassed for leaving before the toasts. But three hours is a long drive and we needed to pick up the Rhys Monster from Gwen's before it got to be too late.

.....Sunday I was left home while TBT and the Rhys Monster went to Seattle for the Birthday Zoo Crawl with the Kid Crew. I was on call for a Project Certification. I ended up going in for a short while to FAX some paper to Georgia, but it really was a bust. I did manage to get
chores done at home. The laundry finally was finished for a few brief moments. The kitchen was also cleaned, for a few brief moments. :-)

.....Also did a couple of circlets in the garage. I am NOT a businessman and I AM a sucker for brides. :-) I received this e-mail last week from a bride to be who described her upcoming wedding in many details. After which she spoke of her limited budget and the fact she 'really, really loved my circlets and wanted one that went with her wedding gown really well'. Like I said, I'm a sucker. But I limited it to a 20% discount (and shipping) and said I would have to receive payment first before shipping. Not a total sucker. But she did SOUND sincere. :-)

.....I am totally out of Fabulustre and not liking the straight rouge polish at all, even in combination with different grits. Fabulustre may be messy as all hell and hard to clean from the metal. But it leaves such a buttery finish that is much better than the rouge. I'm going to have to break down and order some more.

.....A good weekend actually. Need a few more of those to really recharge the batteries. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....I was catching up with a few orders of Ingasbo circlets today. I've been running low on Fabulustre and my usual source, Alpha Lapidary, is not yet back into business. So I've been conserving my 'stash' as keenly as possible.

.....So today I started experimenting on first reducing the amount I used all together. Then alternating between a layer of rouge polish, followed by a layer of Fabulustre. It was interesting how different the metal was to work. Not necessarily all good, but not all bad either. And the clean up time was phenomenally short!

.....The rouge does not leave the 'buttery' finish that straight Fabulustre does, so I don't think that I'll ever ditch Fabulustre completely. But the rouge is much cheaper and can be found at the local hardware store. I might try several different grades of rouge and see if a finer grade will get a better finish.

.....Fabulustre is still my preferred though. Not only is it easy to work, it also leaves behind an oil that keeps the metal soft, supple and shiny more than straight rouge.

.....I would also make a bet that the Fabulustre actually keeps the surface looking and feeling better for a longer period of time. I have one of the circlets set aside to compare with other circlets to see how long it takes to start 'fading'.

.....Six circlets made it through the mill. One was an order out of state and one was an order for two circlets of 'Wolves' pattern for Eadric and Katerina. When they placed the order they did not know Ingasbo was me and I didn't recognize their modern names right off. I would have given them the 'friends' price (i.e. reduced) if they had talked to me first. I felt kind of badly that they ended up spending as much as they did. I need to send out a reminder that people who know me can get the 'friends' price if they talk to me about what they want, first. :-)

.....Now that June Faire is over, I'm really hoping to catch up on a few projects. Including a number of Ingasbo projects. Here's hoping...

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....This evening I fielded yet another e-mail from someone in Montreal who wants a deal on a set of eight to ten circlets. We've been bantering back-and-forth on price and availability and this guy seems pretty serious as he sent me a list of specific circlets and a request on a final figure with shipping.

.....I'm going to give him 15% off of each circlet if he orders at least eight of them. But the novelty of batch orders has now worn off and he gets no freebies, unlike the guy from England. :-)

.....In any case he hasn't committed, yet. So I'm not going to hold my breath. But maybe this is the order that actually buys my Kindle from Spamazon? Probably not, but it WILL be the order that finances the new sheet of designs from TBT and myself in December, with at least one sample sheet before the end of the month? That would be excellent!

.....Or possibly an order for a sheet of designs in actual silver. I'm toying with the idea, but the price per circlet would be pretty steep (upwards of $80 to $100 for a single narrow circlet). I'm not sure that the marketplace would pay that kind of money for a narrow circlet in silver, especially if it doesn't look a whole lot different than a circlet of the same design in nickel.

.....Will have to pick TBT's brain for some advice.

.....This is like the third or fourth inquiry for a batch order this year. Usually I field maybe one a year, and not very serious ones at that. I'm kind of curious at what demographics are driving this trend.

.....Looks like the vacation schedule now has at least three days devoted to circlet Research and Development. :-)

.....Played a little with TBT's dishing block yesterday and dished out some blanks that could be made into spoons with etched patterns. Just have to figure out a good way to attach the dished metal to the patterned pieces. Soldering is messy and riveting still looks weird. I'll have to play with that some more. Another item to add to the vacation schedule. :-)

.....I'd better hurry up and put that thing together before I end up with a list of stuff to do that is longer than the amount of time I actually have off of work for the vacation. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....An interesting e-mail that hit the desk of Ingasbo this morning...

"Hello,

I send you this e-mail on behalf of the XXX team.

We are a small group of individuals trying to start our own company of medieval themed LARPS (live action role playing games) and accessories supplier.

We are still into phase one of our development which consists in expanding the LARPS membership in order to attain the necessaries funds to pay the incorporation fees.

This brings me to the explanation of the question you may be asking yourself: “why are we contacting you?”

We are currently looking for sponsors and/or business partners.

Sponsorship details:

We are looking for financial and/or equipment sponsorship to help us acquire good quality costume and accessories for our LARP.

What we can offer in return for your support:

A link from our website to yours, using your own web banner if you have any.

If you have any physical banner you can send us, it will be used during all our LARPs and medieval events.

If you have a catalogue of your productions, we can show it during our events and take orders from our members.

Partnership details:

We are looking for financial partnership to help us acquire good quality costume and accessories for our LARP. This usually takes the form of a discount when placing orders for a fixed quantity.

What we can offer in our end of the partnership:

Ordering from you any accessories you can provide will always take precedence rather then ordering from any other retailer.

If you have a catalogue of your productions, we can show it during our events and take orders from our members.

We are looking forward to your response.

The XXX Team"

.....I'm not totally sold on the proposition and the arrangements, but I tend to admire their ingenuity.

.....Aaron / Arontius.

Musing.

Nov. 15th, 2009 06:04 am
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.....It's been an interesting weekend so far. Well, interesting by MY standards, probably boring for most others. :-)

.....TBT escaped on her grand adventure on Friday, leaving the Rhys Monster home with me. I caught up with e-mail before dinner, with the RM a constant stream of conversation behind me. I tried to pay attention at first, but then finally mastered the art of nodding or saying 'Uh, huh' at appropriate enough points where I could concentrate on the e-mails in front of me. :-) Although as much of that time was tending to Farmville as it was answering e-mails. I may have to curtail that particular mindlessness, it's actually starting to eat into my precious free time. :-)

.....Took the RM out to Chinese dinner. Which was pretty good even though it was at the local Mongolian Grill dive. I'm leary of that place normally as I have returned from there ill a couple of times. But this time I ordered from the menu rather than the grill and it wasn't too bad. The RM continued with the stream of verbal consciousness and I did my absolute best to follow along. :-)

.....Then it was time for a viewing of Up. I made it through the short stories at the beginning and then promptly fell asleep when the movie actually started. I was informed the next morning that I had failed in my duties and my next opportunity to try again was on Sunday. I'll do better next time.

.....Took the RM over to Rich and Wendy's house to spend the day. They are so accommodating. I actually am starting to feel guilty whenever I drop the RM there. I keep thinking that I'm taking advantage of their generosity. But I make sure to ask point blank if they are up to the task. And it is always good when we can get the RM out of the house for a while. So I shook it off and made ready to do other things.

.....The RM did inform me though that he thought a sleep over would be good and that I should bring a sleeping bag, a pillow and a book later in the day. I was surprised but pleased and told I would do just that.

.....Then it was off to run erands. I had a long laundrey list of them, a list I'm staring at still now. :-)

.....I did manage to get my Computer Room and the kitchen cleaned though. The laundrey is about done. The cat boxes were cleaned. So I did get a few things accomplished.

.....It was at that time that I received good news from my friend in England. He sent me money via PayPal and paid for his order of (10) circlets! Wow! And it isn't a re-enactor. This is a guy who arranges weddings in England. He's had a couple of people ask about circlets like what I carry in Ingasbo and decided that he wanted to have an 'outlet' for them. It took me about a month to get them all done. I wasn't sure that he was going to wait that long for them, but he did.

.....I'm not a very good businessman, I can tell you that. I felt guilty for charging him a little over $300 for the set (after taking 15% off of the price of each circlet) that I threw in several freebies as well (bracelets and a couple of 'oops' circlets). All in all he is getting a fantastic deal. And I'm still hoping that he likes what he receives.

.....So I bundled everything up and ran to the Post Office. Cost me about $40 to ship, plus the new and dreaded Customs Declaration Form that the Post Office warns everyone on their front door will take a minimum of ten minutes to input (which it did). But it was worth it.

.....When I returned home, I drooled over Kindles for a little while. But moved quickly away when I started to feel my resolve slip. :-) And I went over to the Cratex site to buy supplies for the shop. Sigh! Being practical is good I suppose. :-) But, wow, it was a good thing that this order can through when it did. Supplies are getting expensive!

.....I was dutiful and also ordered vitamins as needed. :-) And a sugar free graham cracker crust. I ran across a sugar free cheesecake recipe that looks pretty good. I think that I want to try it for Thanksgiving. I have missed cheesecake, so I'm hoping for the best. Sugar free is a real chancey thing. Every now and then you'll taste something good, but a lot of it tastes BAD!!!!

.....Now I'm running late. Running off to check a potential event site with the crew, and the lady who discovered this potential. I've got three possible event sites of my own in the running now for my own events, not to mention the Twelfth Night I'd like to do. I really need to throw a dart at them and pick the one I really like best and get it put together and submitted. Which I want to do in plenty of time to start rotating them before this Twelfth Night.

.....O.K., really have to run now.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....I'm really starting to envy those who have a 5-4-9 work schedule. I think that I could really get used to having a three day weekend every other week. On normal weekends it seems that I spend Saturday de-stressing from the week and getting major chores done. Then Sunday seems to be spent getting stuff done in support of the upcoming work week. There never seems to be a chance to just relax and just enjoy 'time' for a while.

.....This weekend I managed to make a little dent in the house. I finished cleaning out my bathroom. Tackled the bedroom. Which included knocking down the five foot high piles of clothes and 'stuff'. Took the air conditioner out of the window for the winter season. I managed to at least straighten out the computer room. I mucked out the kitchen as well, which made me feel accomplished! :-)

.....I received a third e-mail from my guy in Great Britain who wants to market my circlets there. Hmmm, I think that he may actually be serious!? That's a little scary. I have a dozen circlets sitting on the workbench. I spent a handful of hours on them and guided them through the edging cycle. Next comes polishing and then clean up. I could be done in just a couple of weeks. I'm still not convinced that this guy is going to actually put money down when he sees the bill, but I'm just a little hopeful at the moment.

.....I feel just a little guilty, but if this actually comes through I think that I'm going to buy myself a Kindle off of Amazon. I've been enamoured with them ever since I saw Khalja's post on how much she liked hers and I went to Spamazon to check it out. Wow! an Ipod for books! I could have my entire collection on this one tablet. It's kind of awesome really.

.....Although I should probably spend the extra on something practical. My cratex wheel may need replacement sometime within the next handful of months. I went to Rio Grande on Sunday to see how much a new wheel was going to set me back. I'm glad that I was sitting down! Holy Cow! This wheel now costs $120! When I bought this one about eight or so years ago it was only about thirty or fourty dollars! Circlet prices are definitely going to have to go up in price!

.....Saw Catelin twice this weekend. The second time with Kierran today. She didn't want to go alone herself, something I completely understand. We spent about an hour and a half there. Catelin seemed a little more tired today as she was just a little more fuzzy. Sounds like she is going to a home care facility in the next few days though. Ross is posting updates to Facebook though, so I'd better start logging into Facebook more often.

.....Psyching myself up for the work week. Hopefully it will be a little less stressful than the past couple. Will definitely spend a few evenings working on circlets. If things go well I might be looking at shipping to Great Britain sometime next weekend. That would be cool.

.....Paid off the Baronial Storage Unit today. Yeah!

.....Next weekend is the A&S Field Day (on Saturday). I will sit in on the Ithra discussion as it sounds like fun. I should think of something to do there. Maybe I'll bring my gems horn. If I see Rebecca I might suggest that she bring her recorder. And Pernell as well. We might get in some recorder consort time, which actually sounds kind of fun at the moment.

.....I'm toying with the idea of going for Baronial Bardic. Currently there is only one entrant. To make the Championship official we would need at least two entrants. But I'm not sure that I actually have the time to do the work needed to prepare. Much less fulfill the requirements of the office. The last time I was Bardic Champion I never could seem to find the time to actual DO anything with the position. And I don't see much change this time either.

.....I think that I'll pack up some dance stuff as well.

.....Should be a good day, all-in-all.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....I don't get the kind of traffic that TBT gets at The Renaissance Tailor, but every now and then I get some interesting stuff sent to me at Ingasbo...

"I was wondering about the thickness of the metal on your 1" wide circlets. I'm specifically interested in the Wide Knotwork Circlet, or the Knotwork Treasure Circlet. I want to mount a pair of deer antlers to a circlet, and I was wondering if the metal will twist under their weight."

.....Attached was this picture...




.....I especially liked the shirt. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
.....Proprietor, Ingasbo Circlets. :-)
arontius: (Default)
.....Happy Birthday, [livejournal.com profile] wendy_lady! Hope that it was wonderful. :-) I'm just amazed that I remembered, or thought about, posting something on it. That is not something I usually think of doing. :-)

.....Good Luck in Philadelphia, [livejournal.com profile] aelianora! I wish that I could be there in person when you amaze the professors there with your presentation. I can't wait until I can start addressing you as DOCTOR Giles, Ph.D.. :-)

.....[livejournal.com profile] cynthia_bolin brought a batch of books over this evening. She is downsizing into a smaller apartment. There was some good titles there and it was a book feeding frenzy. :-) But in the fray we picked up some books that we think that others might like. [livejournal.com profile] manikenxl, we found a handful of books on puppetry. Don't know if you'll find anything useful amongst them, but let me know when we'll be in the same place at the same time and I'll bring them along.

.....[livejournal.com profile] angharadalbanes, we found some books on the old celtic religions that we picked up thinking that maybe you'd like them. Same thing, if I figure out some time and location where we'll be in the same space, I'll pack them along.

.....Got a circlet almost done today. Also worked on some largesse bracelets / armlets, and some bracelets for Their Excellencies. The only thing is that I've forgotten which design His Excellency is using to denote his Huscarls. :-) I pulled out two sets of designs and will work on both of them. Whichever design isn't His Excellency's will go into a box to Pennsic. TBT is going to ship some ruffs to Pennsic for sale and said that I could throw in a couple of things. I'm curious to see if my circlets will sell.

.....One of these years I'd like to make the pilgrimage to Pennsic. At least for the experience. It's like the SCA version of a trip to Mecca. One year I'll be there. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....TBT, Rhys and I went to dinner last night with some friends to the new BBQ place in Silverdale. We were sitting there chatting when all of a sudden two hands place themselves over my eyes, a pair of lips gives me a kiss on the cheek and a sultry voices say, 'Hi Arontius'. I did a half turn and was surprised to see Ellainyia there. I was happy to see Ellainyia out and about and was saying my hellos when I turned back to TBT, who said something along the lines of 'Who is the strange woman who is kissing you in public?' *I*? am caught dumbfounded and immediately start stuttering and turning five hundred shades of red, until I noticed that I'm being teased unmercifully by TBT. Not fair! :-)

.....TBT is working on a new web-site for Ingasbo. She showed me some preliminary looks for the front page of it last night. OMG! It looks absolutely fantastic. Of course, we all know that TBT is a creative genius, but it is amazing the innovative and beautiful stuff she designs. I'm just in awe. Just as an example, she took my Ingasbo logo of the stylized Norse ship, changed its color, added some waves and text and now it just POPS out at you. Some realatively simple concepts that improved it a thousand fold.

.....And you should see the concepts for the rest of that first page! She's got this cool picture of a Norse ironing board that will expand to fit selections. It has the dual Norse beast heads on top. It's going to look fantastic when it is all done.

.....And, of course, I feel guilty. :-) She has her own workload, she should be stuck building my web-site. And I'm always wondering if there is an implication on my part in any way that she's obligated to do it because she is at home during the day and I go to work. I find that implication rather appalling. It also implies a sense of ownership as well. I find THAT concept absolutely abhorrent! Sigh! This angsty moment brought to you this day by the letter 'I'.

.....Damn! I'll admit it. I have OCD. I've been packing the van for J.C. for a handful of days now. I've been obsessing over what to bring and what I'm leaving behind. I'm actually glad that I'm carpooling with Ronan as it physically limits that amount of STUFF that I can put into the van. I've packed and re-packed a number of bins three or four times now because I keep finding myself throwing stuff in there that I KNOW I'll never use over the course of the weekend. Definitely learning lots that I hope I can apply to the 100-item challenge.

.....Bet you didn't know I was so high maintenance, did you? :-)

.....Ronan and I are planning on taking off tomorrow at 7AM. I want to be on site as soon as it opens. We did not make a camping reservation for the Barony until the last minute (last weekend). I was told by the autocrat (and RIGHTLY so) that it was too late to tetris us into her map. But she did tell me to be there early to claim some space. I threw the invite out to the Barony to gather measurements. Not a whole lot of people are going from Dragon's Laire though. I don't know if it is the gas issue? I, myself, am still recovering a little from the trauma of June Faire, so if that is part of the attitude, I can understand.

.....The plan is to go over Snoqualamie and south through Yakima. But someone told me that it might be faster to go south, then east to Kennewick. Anyone have thoughts on that?

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....I've had PayPal as part of my web-site, www.ingasbo.com, for at least five years now. It has been a fantastic relationship. It allows for credit cards to be accepted, without paying huge bank fees. It allows for easy purchase of my circlets. It gives a great set of records of business transactions. I really have liked using it.

.....For the past couple of months though a couple of problems have come up, the most notable of which has been a lack of notifications of payment or inquiry. A number of orders have been placed about which I hear nothing until I actually go to the PayPal web-site to see them. Rather frustrating in the fact that I've relied on that notification as a reminder and work order.

.....So I go to the contact section of the PayPal web-site and go through the process of asking them why I'm having this problem. In reply I get this reply from them that is so generic in nature that my first take on it is that it is the most patronizing set of actions that I've seen in a long time. I am sitting there grumbling under my breath, composing in my mind this blast of verbiage basically telling them to pull their heads out of their posterior caverns and listen to me.

.....Then I stop a second and think about what I wrote to them in the first place. I said nothing to them about already checking my spam folder, or that I have not changed my e-mail address and that I already went through all of what I considered to be the obvious first steps in trying to figure out what is happening. I just tell them that I'm having this problem.

.....Now, I'm sure that this IT person deals with hundreds of irate and downright foolish people on a daily basis. The fact that this person did their best to be polite to me was a good thing. And I'm sure that many, many others wouldn't hesitate before unloading their frustrations out on this IT person.

.....I'm composing a NEW letter, outlining everything I've already done to solve the problem on my own in the hopes that they'll actually do a little investigation for me to see if there are any problems happening from their end. We'll see what happens.

.....So, it's time to practice being nice. I don't know if Master Ralg is tranferring curmudgeonness to me via osmosis, but this getting old thing is turning me into a grouch. And I seem to be able to go from nice to grouch in 1.8 seconds flat. I think that I need to start hanging out with nice people a little more often. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....OMG! Over the weekend I shipped out three circlets to addresses in the U.S. All three of them were over $7, with the most expensive being $9. Ingsbo currently charges $5.50 for shipping. Wow! I knew then that I had to get my shipping prices increased in a hurry. But I still thought that I had some time.

.....Well, I just returned from the Post Office after having shipped a single narrow circlet to England. It cost me $26 to ship it. I charged $32 for the circlet itself and $5.50 to ship it. Off of the $37.50 this client sent me via PayPal I gained approximately $11.00. After discounting the cost of supplies I ended up actually LOSING money on this circlet. Holy Cow! It's tough being a small business in today's world.

.....Normally, I would have brought the circlet home and sent an e-mail to the customer requesting additional shipping. But I was stuck on this one. PayPal never notified me via e-mail on this order (the first time this has ever happened to me). By the time the customer contacted me wondering what happened I told her that I'd ship the circlet to her without increased postage as an apology. Wish I had thought about that more before making the offer.

.....Things are a lot different than they were last year. My last set of shipments was early summer in 2007. The standard shipping price them was $4.25 for domestic shipments and approximately $11.00 for shipments to England. Ingasbo went on hiatus for the wedding and the big move. The hiatus turned out to be a little longer than anticipated, but I never thought prices on everything would rise so dramatically. Sheet metal prices almost doubled. The sanding and grinding supplies went up by at least a third. Even my post office box went up significantly.

.....I think that I had better get the prices raised on my web-site sooner rather than later. That's for sure!

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....Form of a ......? :-)

.....So, I was going to post my thoughts on June Faire last weekend. But the pain is just too damned close (and my feet STILL hurt :-)). Then I thought that I might post my hopes for next year's June Faire. But I'm holding my breath on a couple of things coming together for it.

.....Then I thought that I would post my thoughts on moving Fight Practice and the Business Meeting, but I want to maintain my neutrality as long as possible (and I'm still freakin' mad at Seaside Church for the way they've been treating us).

.....Then I thought that I would post what I have planned for the remainder of the week and this weekend. But, you know, all I really want to do is sleep and watch the TV until the drool starts pooling at my feet below my gaping mouth.

.....So, I guess what I will post is something that finally made me want to wake up and actually do something for really the first time this week. :-) TBT drew this celtic knotwork and pelican design that looks really cool. I looked at it and thought that if it was reduced it would make a fantastic etched bracelet / arm band. I'm pulling together a bunch of design ideas on a new sheet of circlet and etched metal pendants, arm bands and other pieces. If anyone has any design ideas that they think would make a nice circlet design, let me know.

.....So I'm explaining my idea of the celtic Pelican armband to TBT and she doesn't exactly share my excitement. She picks up the design, puts it back down and then slams her wrists together above her head and shouts, 'Wonder Pelicans! Activate! Form of an....A@@@@@@!'

.....Sigh! Pelicans never get the love! Damn Laurels! :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.

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