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.....On Wednesday evening TBT and I went to Kingston Middle School to listen to Jon Rose from OPG talk about the fundamental changes about to take place in Port Gamble. I was a little surprised at how many people showed up for the discussion. The entire Gym was filled, with people on the surrounding bleachers and standing to the back of the room.

.....Around the room were pictures and drawings from various groups who wanted to have a say in the future development of Port Gamble. There is quite a push for the 'natural element' to take the center stage. Versus any sort of industrial or even merchandising center. Complete with nods towards eco-friendly (i.e. self-sustaining) cultures. There are groups very much interested in the hiking and trail development of the area, as well as use of the Gamble Bay and Hood Canal to promote kayak and boating cultures.

.....The discussion followed the story in the Kitsap Sun very closely in reality. Mr. Rose put out two proposals that are going to be presented to Kitsap County by the end of the year. One is centered around a new housing complex that will cover the open fields of the town. The Mill Site would become boardwalk and commercial space, with restaurants (plural) and some boutique space, alongside museums and cultural items of interest. There is much interest in developing the farm up where the greenhouses are located. The thrust being that it might support the town with local produce and green stuff. Alongside a winery back in the hills. Jon really likes the concept of the winery as he mentioned it at least a dozen times. :-)

.....The second concept was slightly more industrial in nature. Again, the empty spaces of town would be filled with homes. Small ramblers with a look and feel much as they might have had a hundred years ago. The farm concept is still in place. But in the Mill Lot the emphasis of this second plan with to put light industry in place. Maybe with some more mainstream shopping.

.....No one present, including OPG representatives, liked the second plan very much. Everyone preferred more of a easy or residential setting.

.....The local Suquamish Tribe had been vociferously against the plans OPG was drawing. For a number of reasons, the primary one being as they want someone to be responsible to finish cleaning up the mess in Gamble Bay. They were also want to have some say in the development of the waterfront itself. Their cultural identity is very much tied to the coast line in Port Gamble. They would have liked to have had the waterfront area given back to them for purposes of redeveloping aqua cultural pursuits, but they eventually figured out that wasn't going to happen. But they did get the next best thing. Gamble Bay is going to continue to be cleaned and fixed in such a manner so as to allow them to start fishing again in a generation or so, and maybe shellfish harvesting earlier. They will also continue to have something to say as to what development goes down in the Mill Lot so as to have the least amount of impact possible on the Bay and their lands across the Bay.

.....When all the song and dance was done, we, as one of the groups currently using the open lands of Port Gamble, were left with very little about which to be excited. All the open space is going to be developed, some of it into housing and some into commercial pursuits. Even the Uplands is not going to be developed any further than it is, and may even be put back into a natural habitat and made into wetlands and Trails.

.....Julie and Shawna were both in attendance at the Kingston presentation. They were friendly, but did not give even a hint of what any future plans might be.

.....The key for us is the timing. The 'Master Plan' is to be submitted by the close of 2012. OPG has been working closely with Kitsap County throughout the process, so there will be no surprises. The Master Plan will be approved fairly quickly in the early half of 2013. Once that is officially issued, funding will be allocated and plans put into motion. This process will most likely close out 2013. Ground breaking, at the earliest, could begin sometime in 2014.

.....Everyone I spoke to at the presentation doesn't expect this to be quite so quick though. They expect it to be three to four years before the ground breaking actually commences. For June Faire, we have 2013 for sure (it's already been contracted) and 2014 most likely. That gives us a couple of years to get serious on an alternate location. The Norseland site is a possibility. But our lay-out and game plan would have to change to accommodate a new venue. Not to mention the issues with parking that would still have to be worked out.

.....The Port Orchard Airport is another prospect, but we'll have to do some serious talking with the site owners and come up with ways to talk them into trusting us. That will not be easy. I spoke with them late last year and they were still not interested in other groups using the space.

.....That leaves us the Fairgrounds. I've submitted several applications to get June Faire to be re-considered there. But our dates conflict with other activities happening at the same time. To make the Fairgrounds work for us, we'd have to either consider moving the dates or start moving up the food chain in County Government to help us clear the hurdles. I'm feeling better about this route actually since my recent dealings with the Port of Bremerton. They have issues, but have been much more user friendly than they have in the past.

.....I'm hoping that we have enough time to leave our successors at least one June Faire with a settled location. If we're at Port Gamble for three or four more years, we should be good. If we're only there another year or so that could present a problem. No matter how experienced our successors are June Faire is highly stressful that first year. I was certainly unprepared for the different kind of stress it brings to the experience. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It's the Summer Solstice and it is a nice day. A little on the nippy side, but not bad. Plus that bright, yellow thing in the sky felt good when walking to the car. :-)

.....I can tell also that TBT is solidly back on her diet. Know how I can tell? The Rhys Monster is baking brownies. The Brownie Production Machine always gets turned up a notch when TBT goes on a diet plan. I think it tortures me far more than it tortures TBT though. Just sayin'. :-)

.....Tonight is the final June Faire Board meeting for the 2012 Board of Directors. We've been warned that it may go on for a while. Those on this year's Board had ideas they implemented this year that worked out well, and have ideas they would like to see happen during future June Faires'. Which is a good thing, and what you want to see. You take what worked well and build on it to something better. And since we'll be in Port Gamble again for at least one more year, those ideas will come in handy.

.....Need to see if any of this year's Board wants to stay on the Board for next year. I don't think that Madrun does. :-) Talon might though. Marion possibly (although being the Baronial Exchequer may change her mind). I know that Adelheidi does. Angharad, I'm not sure. Brighid, I'm reasonably sure does not. :-)

.....Port Gamble and OPG have been making progress lately in their local disputes with the County and the Port Gamble Native American Tribe who monitors the improvements / changes OPG wants to make to the area. Permits are looking like they are coming together and the tribe is starting to drop some of their demands, or come to compromises on them with OPG. The reinvention of Port Gamble may happen sooner than we anticipated. I am still not seeing hard dates anywhere, so I'm not holding my breath. The future plan also calls for event space as part of the overall plans. Still no real idea of what this 'event space' will be in terms of actual size, but I continue to hope. Open land in Kitsap County is not in abundance, and what is available is not cheap. Anything useable for an event the size of June Faire is to be cherished and maintained as much as possible. Sure, Port Gamble has issues, but give me the perfect site in Kitsap County and I'll show you something we simply would not be able to afford.

.....The notes from last Thursday's September Crown meeting have been completed and issued to the Team Haggis III e-list. There are a lot of things to do in the next two and a half months. But the Team is already motivated and seems excited about wanting to do things. I was cornered last night at the Tuesday Social for a complaint that I am not giving enough for one of the Team Members to do. They were not whining, they just want to be taken seriously and I understand that. So I gave them some more tasking. :-)

.....The notes from last Wednesday's Regional Pelican Meeting have been completed as well. Sending out notes to the Kingdom e-list to solicit for information. One more item removed from my current 'to-do' list. If I can get a couple of free hours tomorrow night, I'll put in the next episode of The West Wing (currently in Season 3) and work on the overall 'to-do' list.

.....Friday is a stop at the heated storage unit to give the Gold Key garb to Adena so it can be laundered post-June Faire. That will not take long though. It is a Payday Friday, so maybe I'll swing home and grab TBT for a night out at dinner. Date nights for us have been pretty dull since putting on the Coronets. Heaven is simply a night of having nothing to do. :-)

.....Saturday looks busy. We have a meeting with Ellen to discuss Serjeantry and start formulating plans for the August Serjeantry Trials. Need to look at the overall summer Serjeantry schedule and see if there are any land mines in it. I don't think so, but it helps if the three of us talk things out to ensure there are no surprises. If all three of us understand the same thing and can articulate it clearly to each other, we have achieved success. :-) There is a lot of work to the Serjeantry Program. One of my fears is that the next Baron and Baroness may simply drop it all together as it requires so much effort that they may not have the time to take it onto themselves. All the more reason to have a sizeable cadre of Serjeantry Members before TBT and I step down. If nothing else, we're hopeful that given all their effort they'll want to see the Program continue and will do the leg-work. Will keep my fingers crossed as I would someday like to take part in that Program myself.

.....Sunday is a Team Haggis III site walk-through out at the Airport. Archery location will be finally decided, which will hopefully open up some more parking (if the land we're going to receive is conducive to parking). We'll have measuring wheels with us and some flags and will get a 'for real' look at how much space the erics will need. We will also want to measure the distance between the metered water and the Equestrian Area. How much hosing will be needed (if we go that route). I'm a big fan of going to the site itself as often as possible. It is easy to forget the feel and lay-out of the space and its actual size. Getting in touch with it gives you better ideas when laying out your plans.

.....'Brave' opens up in theatres this weekend. The animation looks rather stunning in all the commercials I've seen. I think we'll try to go if we can carve up the time to do so.

.....Would like to pull out the Bass Recorder this weekend and see how it sounds through a pass of 'Lady Hammond's Alman'. It is a John Dowland piece that I'm going to do as a single entry next year at KAS / KBC. I probably shouldn't as time is definitely a precious commodity, but I've been missing music a lot lately and I think this will be fun to do. If I can commit even an hour or two a week to practicing it, the song will be passable at least come next March. KAS / KBC looks like it will be local next year, another good incentive.

.....People are gearing up to attend An Tir / West War in a couple of weeks. There is a part of me that still would really like to go. But there is just too much happening this year. I'm already working on plans to attend next year. I volunteered to be the Financial POC for the event, interacting between Etiennette and the Co-Chairs (Jenae and Magdalena). I'd deposit funds into the bank account I hold and then draft checks as needed. As well as provide the required quarterly reports. After September Crown, I could also help with contracts and such if they need it. I learned a lot working almost the same job for Brighid several years back and think I would be a lot more adept at it this time around. Hopefully I can make it seamless and easy for them.

.....This would be my first time at An Tir / West War in a number of years. I think it has been ten years since I was there last. I went with Inga Calle when she was merchanting Ingasbo. That was one hot event in Caversgate. Half of the Populace in attendance were sitting in the river at about 3PM in the afternoon. I still had a lot of fun though and am looking forward to Gold Beach. 2013 will be my first trip there. :-)

.....Time to go to the June Faire meeting.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It was actually the first weekend since early May where we didn't have five million things scheduled. Both TBT and I both worked hard to try and make sure we didn't book ourselves for anything either. We both needed a weekend to sleep in and catch up with ourselves at least a little bit. All in all, I think we pretty much succeeded. :-)

.....Friday was one of our only two obligations of the weekend. It was 'Fajita Day' at Conchobar and Eilidh's house over in Port Orchard. They traditionally set aside a weekend in June that is sort of a 'School's Out for Summer' gathering. Most of their friend set are public school teachers, so it makes sense. And since Conchobar and Eilidh come from New Mexico, it also makes sense that Fajita's would be the theme of the Bar-B-Que. :-)

.....Both TBT and I were really tired on Friday and it was our intention to simply make an appearance and leave when we could. But I found the food to be pretty good, the conversation nice, and the evening a pleasant experience to sit out and enjoy in the back yard. The only downer were the mesquitos, which were ferocious!

.....After a while, Conchobar and three other friends of his started on some music. They had a couple of amps set up and a full set. Conchobar sang the primary voice. Mainly '80's music. I found myself really enjoying it. I kept remembering with fondness life in the late '80's and early '90's. Hanging out with friends and playing the music of the day in the garage, or in the living room of the Zombie Zone (the 'communal home' we all rented together as that was all we could afford. :-)).

.....After Conchobar played a set, his band took a break and Nidda and Caius grabbed a couple of ukeleles and sang a couple of songs, including my absolute favorite, Hallelujah. :-) Good stuff. But after that, TBT was starting to fall asleep and really wanted to go home. We'd spent a couple of hours there, and it had flown by, so I packed up our stuff and we went home for the evening.

.....Saturday morning was our ritual Starbucks encounter, after sleeping in for the morning. Even I didn't get out of bed until 7AM, which is extremely late for me. :-) Then it was back home and a clean out of Lobelia. Took a couple of hours to pull everything out and then clean her out some. She started right up when I turned on the master switches, but the hotel batteries will not hold a charge for long at all. We will need to replace them before September Crown.

.....Swept her out and put chemicals in the gray and black water tanks, then grabbed TBT to drop Lobelia up at storage. All the gates were open, so it was easy to put away Lobelia. But when we tried to leave, we found ourselves locked out on the wrong side of the gate! Seems that in all the chaos of June Faire we had paid the Storage Unit late. For $19 they had put a lock-out on our code! I was disgusted. $19? I've had Lobelia stored there for over six years now and this is what I get, and we had even paid the rent. Wow! We need to find a new location to store Lobelia, that's for sure.

.....We had a quick lunch and then met Madrun for a visit to the Baronial Storage Units. The stuff picked up from site later, the stuff that made it into our garages anyway. All of this was collected so it could go back to where it belongs. Which is pretty typical for a June Faire, which usually takes three or four trips back to get everything put away. :-)

.....TBT spent time creating and working on a loom, and I spent Saturday evening researching music for my single entry into KBC next year. With much reluctance I finally gave up any thought of performing on the gemshorn. No matter how much I like it, the gemshorn I play is not qualified really to be called period. Although I really like the sound of it. It has a fingering system much more like a recorder. I could cover a hole or two and play something on it, but I really don't have the time to do the research on it that would be required.

.....So, it is back to the Bass Recorder. I'm going to play some Dowland. 'Lady Hammond's Alman' to be exact. An Elizabethan piece that will be fairly easy to document. There is plenty of period source material to detail how it should be played. Even though it was written by Dowland for a Lute, it is very typical of the day to play his music on other instruments, so extrapolation will be relatively easy. I found a score I liked, and even a digital picture of an extant copy of the Alman, so I'm halfway home. Now I just have to play it well. :-)

.....Today was pretty free-form. I did not feel motivated to any large degree. I did manage to extract the bedroom from the masses of stuff accumulated from June Faire and Honey War. Clothes were put away. SCA 'stuff' was collected and put away. You can now see the Hope Chest and the Dresser Drawers for the first time in three weeks. :-)

.....Laundry was done. Clothes put out for the week. Notes started for meetings I had last week. Nothing completed, but starting them all made me feel better. Then a trip to Gwen's for dinner and to say 'Fare Well' to Truly, who will be leaving us within the next couple of weeks. Rather say, but exciting in the aspect of travel. Sometimes I wish I could travel more. :-) Now, if I could get over my hatred of actually moving, I would be more motivated to find new places in which to travel for work. :-)

.....This week looks to be a little slower than last. THANKFULLY! Items to remember for this week include:

* Complete notes and Action Items from Western Regional Pelican Meeting of last week.
* Complete notes and Action Items from September Crown Meeting of last week.
* Complete arrangements for July Coronation support.
* Get insurance information to Tsuruko so she can submit for Site Insurance and Equestrian Insurance.

.....There are a host of others, but those are the big ticket Must Do's.

.....Time for bed I think.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Only three more 'get ups' until the weekend. It is that reward for having survived the past six or so weeks of the SCA Speedway. :-)

.....I was talking to someone last night about the policy of closely regulating the number of people who stayed overnight on Thursday before June Faire. I have to admire the Board's certitude on implementing the policy this year, and certainly understand why they did it. Last year was kind of chaotic. We had hordes of volunteers who were eager to help, but we only had so much for them to do at any one time. Most of the infrastructure was set up by late in the afternoon, but by then most of the volunteers were setting up their own encampments and paying attention to their own preparations for the weekend. I can't blame them either. It was their understanding that if they lent a hand they would be allowed to set up. The details were just that, details.

.....Even that was relatively organized compared to the first year at Port Gamble where the call was put out to people to spend the night on Thursday if they helped set up infrastructure. The response was HUGE. I remember looking over at Cedric out the back end of the U-Haul and wondering how in the world we were going to get all these people organized. I think it was the year he was the June Faire Chairman. None of us expected that kind of response. Thankfully, most of the infrastructure of site was still set up before all these people melted away. Although it still seemed like the usual people at the end, loading stuff into the U-Haul and putting it all back into the Storage Unit.

.....We know that OPG, and the residents of Port Gamble, are sometimes uncomfortable with the number of people who end up staying on site overnight Thursday. We need to find out what that threshold is to make sure we don't cross it. We also need to continue the drumbeat of insurance. Either our named insurance has to cover the site starting on Thursday, and we need to ensure those volunteering on Thursday realize and understand that the insurance will not cover them in case something stupid happens.

.....We were brainstorming ideas back-and-forth last night and I wanted to put them on my June Faire tag as a reminder for next year. I'll pull it up as a 'lesson learned' and see if the Board for next year would be receptive to doing any of this. Most of this is pretty obvious actually, and doesn't take a genius to see. But, you know, when you are in the middle of the June Faire chaos you sometimes forget the most simple things. If it is written down, it is easier to catch and utilize.

.....1.) Have someone dedicated to putting together a plan for the Thursday set-up. This person would work with the SCA Coordinator on what needs to be set up on Thursday. Make sure that equipment is coming in and when and then organize the volunteers to systematically work that plan through to completion.

.....2.) When people volunteer to help with Thursday set-up prior to the June Faire weekend, immediately put them on a Team. Team A would be in charge of putting up Pavilion A, Pavilion B, etc. Team B would support decorating the site. Team c would help with marking out painted lines for camping or the Marketplace. Team D would put out all the road signs. Whatever needed to be done on Thursday. They would be required to be on site together as a Team at a certain time on Thursday to start the process. When they had completed their tasking, they would then be free to set up their personal encampments.

.....3.) I don't know if this is an equitable trade or not, but certainly worth a conversation. If a handful of people with strong backs would volunteer to dedicate time on Sunday to break down and unload the U-Haul at the Storage Unit, they could then be allowed to set up their own personal encampments on Thursday and / or stay over on Thursday night as their 'payment' for dedicating that Sunday time.

.....4.) Everyone wanting to set up personal encampments on Thursday would be required to put in a certain number of hours of service before they started on their personal encampments. They would 'clock in' with a coordinator, put in their hours, and then report back to the coordinator at the end of their 'shift' and tell the coordinator what actions they did. This way we wouldn't have to be as organized as to Teams and be a little more free form.

.....5.) This is kind of a wild idea, but it was an interesting thought. We hire a group to come in and set up our infrastructure for us. I can see this idea as being unpopular, but I'm intrigued about giving a neighboring barony, shire or local civic group in need something like $500 to set up 'X' number of pavilions on Thursday. This way we eliminate the camping and personal set-up issue all together. But it does require the outlay of funds.

.....Any plans that are made are only good if someone is available to police them. Just thinking back to May of this year, we had May Crown two weeks prior to June Faire. We had a host of other summer activities that needed attention. June Faire itself has hundreds of details that need attention. Not to mention the coordination of dozens and dozens of volunteers. Volunteers being the operative word. None of these people are being paid to provide these many hours of service and have to juggle it all with the immediate concerns of holding down modern jobs and maintaining households.

.....June Faire XXXI is only eleven and a half months away. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Yesterday at Honey War we rallied the troops of Dragon's Laire and essentially marched into Court with much proverbial pomp and circumstance. It was a rather inspirational, albeit short, moment that came together with little real forethought or planning. But since then I've been thinking quite a bit about it. Over the past couple of years TBT and I have given a lot of thought to processionals and ways to make them more pageantry filled at June Faire. The Honey War march, plus a few things we did at this last June Faire are giving me ideas and clues on how TBT and I can make this work. We are not outgoing, boisterous, people. We are more on the quiet side. So what worked for Cedric and Brighid wouldn't necessary work for us.

.....At Honey War, we started speaking to those present about gathering together as a group to offer our services to Blatha An Oir officially. As the fighters gathered their fighting gear, THL Conchobar and THL Richard spoke to others to ensure they were in on a gathering to march into Court. We wanted to use the Dragon's Laire standard, but the fighters were loaded down with their fighting gear so we asked Mistress Gwenllyn to carry the banner for us.

.....THL Conchobar suggested that we organize the troops into a marching unit or into columns. Which was an excellent idea. Conchobar went ahead and organized the troops into two columns. He asked about a herald and immediately volunteered to perform the service. We hadn't thought of any formal words, so we asked him to speak whatever came to mind. So the line up had Conchobar out in front to herald the march. Then TBT and I followed as the Baron and Baroness. Following us was Mistress Gwenllyn carrying the standard of the Barony. Then, finally, a double column of Dragon's Laire troops and allies who all agreed to fight under the Dragon's Laire banner.

.....Conchobar started heralding in a loud voice the entrance of the Barony of Dragon's Laire. He spoke of TBT and myself and spoke with pride of the strength of the troops. We stayed in formation as we marched around the perimeter of the Erics and ended our march at the Glymm Mere Baronial Pavilion. As Conchobar marched and heralded, everyone around the Erics stopped whatever it was they were working and watched as the Baronial forces marched by them. It was quite a moment.

.....This was actually the next step in something we been slowing ruminating over for over a year now. Something that has been extremely slow, to be honest. But I was intrigued and kick-started at June Faire just last weekend. We had planned on walking a couple of processionals in order to recognize people for the things we were doing and to award people with scrolls we did not have the time to give at Saturday evening Court. We had a number of things rolled into that plan, but Saturday proved to be so busy that we never had the opportunity to implement anything. On Sunday though, we had some time.

.....We decided at that time to pull out all the scrolls we had and ensure they had all the proper accompaniment (necklaces, tokens, etc.). Tsuruko Sensei acted as our traveling Court Herald. M'Lord Brian Devereaux acted as our Standard Bearer. The pageantry of carrying the standard made a big difference in the moment. It had flair and a certain amount of regalness to the occasion.

.....We circled the site, starting with the Arts & Sciences Village, moving through the Marketplace and Demonstration Camps, down through the Archery and Thrown Weapons Ranges, and ended back on to the Erics.

.....We would stop place to place and admire and comment on what we saw. We'd observe artisans in action, fighters in combat. If we ran into one of the people for whom we carried scrolls, we'd stop and create a mini-ceremony. We'd ask them to take a knee and then Tsuruko would launch into the ceremony. We'd take hands and do our best to make it a meaningful moment for the recipient. As we worked through each one we found that it created a little 'mini-event' amongst all the other happenings at June Faire. The Modern Public would stop and watch in curiosity. Those members of the SCA in the area would stop and watch, applauding at appropriate moments. The whole approach worked out even better than I thought it would.

.....So, next year, I'd like to take it maybe a little further. I don't want it to seem too staged, but maybe a few more people in our party. To create an instant audience if nothing else. We would get banners, standards and pennants for themselves to carry as well. If we could get even a couple of Her Excellency's Guards in their livery to walk with us, along with a musician or two, the scene would be set! Something to definitely put on the wish list for next year.

.....Something we had wanted to do this year was a 'Grand Processional' into evening Court. This would involve the banner, a cup bearer, multiple guards, the Champions, musicians, the entire works! The Grand Processional itself would be at least ten minutes in length as it would also involve heraldic pronouncements procedural entrances into Court. AS we neared the time for Court this year, the entire idea was set aside. Primarily because it was actually Their Majesties' Court, but also because of the chaos of the day and how much effort it took to get things as organized as they were. To do something of this scale would definitely require a bit of preplanning and staging. Maybe even a dress rehearsal. Doing something like this off the cuff is a disaster in the making. But, can you imagine how it would look!

.....Pageantry is something that has taken a little bit of a back seat over the past year and a half. I think it is time to nudge it forward a little. Not overpoweringly so, just so that people are aware of its importance. There just isn't enough time to do everything you want to do. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Oi! I'm glad it's Friday! It's been a rather long week! Even though we have Honey War to attend tomorrow, we'll still be able to sleep in for a little and the schedule will not be a race. So maybe we will get to relax a little bit. I'm really tired and looking forward to Sunday, when I really get to sleep in some! :-)

.....Lots of thoughts still churning in my head from June Faire. Many impressive things happened as part of the event. Some things that worked, but could have worked better. And some things that didn't work at all, or were foo-filled beyond normal. I want to get all of this down in black-and-white, but maybe one thing at a time for a while. Like a bunch of tangled strings, if I pull out one at a time maybe I can get them all organized.

.....One thing that worked for me, finally, was Baronial Court on Saturday. TBT is a professional at that type of interaction, so Court has never been a big deal to her. But I am not a natural at all. I'll never forget my very first Court at Yule Feast in 2011. What a disaster! I kept blanking out in mid-sentence. Kept getting flustered over what to say. Kept turning to TBT to carry on the conversation. Never seemed to know where I needed to be at any given moment.

.....But improvement has been steady. I have my own way of getting myself organized, and when I started doing that more for myself and then integrating it within TBT's style, things became much smoother and more efficient for me. The Court Staff has been excellent and professional throughout this period. Between them and TBT carrying the conversation at times, it has definitely helped prevent me from looking like a complete idiot. :-)

.....AS usual, Tsuruko put out a preliminary agenda for June Faire Court. She plugged in all the notes from our retinue meeting to make it as complete as possible with the information she had. At work, I routinely put together agendas and run meetings by them. They keep me organized and focused and help from meandering and getting lost. Once I put one together and familiarize myself with it, I usually don't need to even have it with me as I have it imprinted on my mind. But it makes a great starting point to get myself organized in the first place.

.....I opened up Tsuruko's agenda and started adding to it. The new awards with the new names we'd developed for them. I added business that had come up since the last retinue meeting and then anything else TBT and I thought important. Then I organized the listing in a format that let us easily add and subtract items from that list. Since Their Majesties had at least two hours worth of business, we decided that we needed to hold our Court to an hour. TBT and I looked at our list of business and did our best to time it to an hour in length.

.....After TBT had reviewed the list and essentially gave her blessing to it, I studied it so I had a good idea on how it was going to flow. I made copies for Caius and the rest of the Court staff to review and have available. Then I went through each line item and made sure we had scrolls, medallions and any other materials needed to support each items of business. Some of the new awards were so new that we did not have scrolls for them, so we had to generate promissory notes for them.

.....Thankfully, we had plenty of necklaces and medallions to pass out with each award. Gwenllyn and Company have made dozens and dozens of necklaces. I think at this point we have enough necklaces to give one to every single member of the Barony! Although I am NOT complaining. I think this is great! And to top that off, Rebecca added to the stash just before June Faire itself.

.....I wrote some words for some of the new awards and TBT made up the scrolls on the computer and printed them up. They looked nice. We made sure we had a scroll and a specialty medallion for the new Wyvern (Caius). Conchobar painted a special scroll on some wood in an Elizabethan styling that looked especially great! :-)

.....Saturday afternoon, TBT and I started organizing over an hour before Court. We pulled out all the Court Business and placed it in order on one of the back tables, making sure that all the supporting material was in place. Some items had to be shuffled and replaced. We pulled out medallions and necklaces. Made sure we had all the appropriate prizes, and the right number, were available.

.....At the same time, the Court Coordinator, Tsuruko, and the Court Herald, Caius, were making up note cards for all the business happening during Court. Familiarizing themselves with everything to be presented. They were also preparing to have guest heralds dropped into the schedule. The Serjeantry Candidates are required to perform an item of Court Business and they were all lined up to be ready for this to happen.

.....At around 5:30PM, we lined up in a Processional and followed Their Majesties into Court. It was actually a Royal Court with lots of Their own business. About an hour into Their Court, They turned it over to us and Caius did a great job of stepping right into the swing of things. After a few up front wobbled, his voice and presence settled into a nice and regal flair. The Baronial Court Staff flowed! Tsuruko and Gwenllyn passed materials to us smoothly and efficiently. We were always being passed materials right when we needed. We had a nice rhythm where TBT would give the necklaces and medallions and I would give the scrolls to the recipients.

.....I took on more of the vocal role during this Court. For some reason, I still find it nerve wracking to speak in Baronial Court. Which is odd as I have no problems conducting meetings or giving presentations at work. I figure it has something to do with how I think of my audiences. At work, it is professional and impersonal for the most part. In the SCA it is more familial. But I'm working on it and TBT let me go to town. I only wobbled a few times, which made me feel a little more confident.

.....Those times I stumbled are when I blanked out on the deeds of those who were being presented awards. I'd look at them and forget completely why they were there. I think next time I need to put those notes on the Court Agenda. Shortened bullets maybe instead of complete notes, just something to queue a reminder. That might help prevent the blanking out.

.....One of my favorite presentations was for the awarding of the Serjeantry Cloaks to THL Jahnkin and THL Madrun, who had both completed their Quests after they completed their Trials last December. For me, it was the culmination of a lot of angsting and work. I spoke to the reasons why I thought the Quest was important and touched base on what the Quests were for Jahnkin and Madrun. I had a lot more I wanted to say, but in my mind the clock was ticking loudly and going 'faster...faster...faster...'. So I kept the presentation short.

.....TBT had been working on the cloaks up until the very last minute. To someone unfamiliar with our thought process, they looked rather simple and unadorned, but that just fed into what I wanted to say. That being the newness and freshness of the new members of Serjeantry. And how, over time, the cloaks would be weighty with the experiences each Quest brought to the Serjeantry members. Those experiences translated into tokens that would be added to the cloaks over time.

.....It was an exciting moment for me. We're going to have the new members speak the tales of their Quests at the Baronial Picnic later this summer, and we'll have a lot more to say at that time. But it looks like the primary mission is being accomplished. People are interested and asking questions and thinking that they would like to try the Serjeantry Program for themselves. It is my hope that this excitement will continue to feed the Program.

.....The other favorite presentation of mine was for The Dragon's Keep. This is a new award of ours being given to households who have devoted themselves to the Barony or given special and / or extended service to the Barony. We gave this first one to House Awry. The household nominally headed by THL Conrad Ross, son of Cedric and Brighid. The entire household made a lot of noise as Conrad approached the thrones, and even more as they were called to rise and approach. It turned into a very special moment. House Awry has worked hard behind the scenes, especially at June Faire, for many years now. It is good to see them recognized for all that hard work.

.....We gave out a Wyvern (extended service to the Barony), Snapdragons (service), Bumblebees (arts & sciences), Dragon's Company (service to the martiallate), the Dragon's Keep, and an Argent Pavilion (for distinguished and period (or 'perioid') encampments. We also managed to adopt two people into the Barony (Mistress Morgaine and Mistress Althaia). Prizes were given for the Martiallate Championships of the day. War was formally arbitrated by Druim Doineann (a story unto its own). The Serjeantry Cloaks given. It was a long Baronial Court.

.....But as we gave our last presentation and sent Court back to Their Majesties, I took note of my watch. We had done the entire agenda, and had done it in one hour and five minutes! Outstanding! We couldn't have done it without Tsuruko, Brian Devereaux, Caius and Gwenllyn working as an efficient Team behind us. The Baronial Champions even assisted with the movement of material and largesse to speed things up. Between THL Richard (Heavy Champion), THL Mateusz (Arts and Sciences Champion) and Roderkr (Thrown Weapons Champion), we were well attended!

.....THL Talia, our Bardic Champion sat in front of us in her best entertainer garb (after providing the food we ate during Court. Thank you, Talia!!!!). She sat alongside THL Nidda, the Kingdom Bardic Champion, and was as energetic as Nidda in keeping the audience entertained. We may have to ask her to continue with that over the rest of her tenure. :-) I was especially convinced of that the following day as Talia sang in Court for us to keep things rolling while we were trying to get organized.

.....After Their Majesties took back control of Court, TBT had a drink and I finally relaxed some. Court went really well and I was grateful! :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....I'm just now starting to come out of the June Faire fog and starting to feel closer to normal again, although still really dragging. Monday, I ignored feeling tired and sore so I could get through the day of clean up and taking stuff into the house. But as soon as I was home that afternoon, it was Zombie time.

.....Tuesday was a hamster wheel at work, trying to get caught back up with the stuff that had piled up on my desk. The Mid-Level Boss was not happy with my taking that time off. Not that he complained directly about it, but the past couple of days have been a little tense. It finally came to a head today with a proper dressing down, of which I just kept my mouth shut. Unusual enough for me that he ended his rant early and moved on. Usually, I spend extra time arguing with him until it gets to the point of people wanting to leave the office. :-) I was still tired though and it was easier to bite my tongue than to do the usual.

.....Tuesday was also the June Business Meeting. More popular than I expected it to be. I made notes, for which I'm glad because I've already forgotten much of what was said. :-) I rambled through the Baron and Baroness letter, hoping that I made sense for the most part. Although I did manage to wake myself up enough to plug the importance of being respectful and courteous to our volunteer base, which really is our lifeblood.

.....Yesterday was my first complete evening home without somewhere I had to be. TBT and I went out to dinner at Azteca and then I worked on getting e-mails out the door. Everyone has been seriously concentrating on June Faire, to the exclusion of many other things. After the Business Meeting people started waking up and realizing that it was only two months before Serjeantry Trials and two and a half months before September Crown. No one panicked, but I could feel the concern in much of the e-mail traffic coming my way.

.....Arrangements have been made to hold the Spring Western Regional Pelican Meeting in Tacoma. A meeting room has been booked and e-mail notice sent out. We're a go. This one looks like it is going to be more attended than usual. Which I think is good news. We have a number of candidates that need to be figured out and moved on, in one way or another. If we can get a diverse crowd to the meeting, it would help settle a lot of issues. Now I have to get the agenda chopped up and tossed, then uploaded onto the Kingdom Server. It will be done this weekend.

.....Serjeantry Agenda has been re-worked and sent out for review and reminded to the candidates. It was not changed a great deal, mainly combining a few tests to free up a few nights. And the moving of Military Sciences to the Trials themselves. But we had to make sure everyone was on the same page before mass confusion was created.

.....We racked our brains and tried a number of different possibilities, but we ultimately could not move the Trials off of Autumn War. I feel for Blatha An Oir. It was just the proverbial perfect storm this year though. A new event, Huntsman's Challenge, and Dragon's Laire hosting of September Crown. Add to that a rather large class and a hugely busy September calendar, and we were stuck. We're going to mitigate as best we can. TBT and I are day-tripping to Honey War this weekend, and sending formal representation to Autumn War itself. We're also going to ensure early on that we do not run into this issue next year.

.....I'm rather excited that people are already talking about entering the Serjeantry Program next year. At least a half dozen people have asked probing questions about what the Trials are and how best to get through them. I'll be happy if three of them enter next year. I'll be ecstatic if we get six letters of intent going next year.

.....The one thing that seems to intrigue people the most is the Quest component of our Serjeantry Program. It has been very interesting to get the questions and feed-back on the concept. The flexibility and uniqueness of the idea seems to be its greatest strength. Although that very concept could be its greatest weakness during times of complacency. We'll have to monitor that closely.

.....I wish I had spoken of the results more. But it was an exciting thing to see the Serjeantry Cloaks placed over the shoulders of THL Jahnkin and THL Madrun at Saturday Court during June Faire. I spoke briefly about the cloaks being a blank slate, in preparation to carry the weight of the Questing of years with the tokens that will be placed upon them each year. The Quests are a nice way of keeping the Serjeantry engaged and active long after they've completed their Trials. A way to continue active inspiration of the Baronial Populace, hopefully into trying new things of their own. Really exciting stuff. :-)

.....The last e-mail of the evening was of our next September Crown meeting. At least a half dozen members of Team Haggis III hit me with e-mail traffic this week to ask about contract items, placement of activities, ideas on parking, how to run gate. People are ready to get moving on this. I'm actually glad to see the excitement. A part of me wished that I had had a week off to recover from June Faire. :-) But I am glad that things are moving already. I set up a meeting on June 14th. Just need to make sure I still have the conference room at the library booked for us. Then get an agenda completed and prioritized.

.....At June Faire last weekend, I took on a new Protégé, THL Adelheide Leeuwin. I'm still floored by the fact that I've attended as many June Faires as she has been alive! That fact just seems to keep rolling around and around in my brain, like churning water at the bottom of a fall. She is good people though, and just in the past handful of years that I've known her the maturity and growth have been very noticeable. She is motivated and wants to do big things. I doubt very much that I'll actually have to do much for her, other than advocate as needed. And maybe be available for advice as needed. But she already has big plans for things to do and is actively working on making them happen.

.....I formally passed on the blue rope belt that Master Ralg gave to me like a decade or so ago. For some reason it seemed to go with Adelheide's personality more than it did with Isketol or Aelianora. Adelheide is actually more like me than my other two Protégé are. Which is why I think we'll get along well. Although I have to say I also value Aelianora and Isketol highly because they are so different than I am. :-)

.....Isketol has other priorities these days, mainly his health. He hasn't been actively playing in about two years now. I don't really want to end that relationship unless he asks. I'm good with where it is at the moment.

.....Aelianora is super busy with her own stuff as well. The farm keeps her extremely busy, as does her book and research. She is on a slightly different path. But I love talking with her and listening to her research and her thoughts on things. So I'm certainly not going to let that relationship go either. I try to make it a point to check in with her as often as I can. As well as make sure I have a complete resume close by, with all of her activities duly logged on it. :-) She's another one that I don't think will need any 'help' from me. She'll come to that point sometime where she'll decide to kick it on to the next level towards service and she'll be utterly unstoppable. In the meantime, she still manages to provide more service than people realize. Good people she is. :-)

.....Not much on the agenda for this evening. I think I'll enjoy that for as long as possible. This Saturday will be a day-trip to Honey War. I have to remember tokens for all the Dragon's Laire populace taking part in the War Point competitions. Looks like it could be upwards of two dozen. TBT would whip out a bunch of her tassels. But maybe I could put something together utilizing our Arion-made tokens. Hmmm, must think on that one. Sunday will be a Lobelia clean-out day, so she can be taken back to storage. Then back to work.

.....Next Monday is a trip to Madrone to negotiate War at Hot Summer Lights in Druim Doineann. If things work out right, it could be quite the gathering late in July. If Madrone, Aquaterra, Blatha An Oir and Dragon's Laire can get motivated there could be many fighters in the war. That would be fantastic for Druim Doineann. It could be just the motivation they need to go to that next level.

.....Although I thought it a very cool thing on Tuesday when Althon announced that the Shire had come together and volunteered nineteen people to help directly with September Crown. They want to help at gate. That is good news! We can certainly use the help. We'll need to make sure to show them some extra love for supporting us that much.

.....I don't think there is anything yet planned for the weekend of June 16th/17th, so it might really be, dare I say it?, a free weekend. :-) I certainly hope so! :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....It's Friday morning of June Faire. I'm within a half hour of heading to site. I'm sure there are ten million things that need to be done between now and tomorrow, but I can't seem to think straight at the moment. :-)

.....The pack-up went well on Wednesday. We loaded the U-Haul in just over an hour. The truck we ended up renting was a behemoth! They didn't have our regular 17' truck available, so we were given the 24' diesel. It made me a little nervous driving about town. Not to mention the narrow roads of the storage unit complex visited to pick up bottled water for the weekend. I had to perform one of those 300 point turns to get it in and out of the complex. Eeep!

.....Thursday started off cloudy and cool. Everyone who arrived on site was a little sluggish. But by 11AM we were rolling with the stuff. By 4PM a lot of the infrastructure was already set up, which was nice. The set up today for us should be fairly straight-forward, allowing us all to deal with the 'surprises' that always seem to come up on June Faire opening day.

.....I still have to put together the Baronial Chairs. Then clean out the U-Haul and get it parked down in the Mill Lot. Then I need to get Lobelia all set up and decked out. Then go through the lists of stuff we need for Courts tomorrow and make sure I have everything I need. TBT will be finishing off cloaks and day shades today, and then arrive on site later.

.....Just not feeling totally 'with it' though for some reason. Need to see if I can get an attitude adjustment sometime later today. Maybe a Quad, Vente, Sugar Free Vanilla, Latte, will help do the trick. Just need to wait for the clothes to finish drying.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (June Faire Road Sign)
.....I loaded the new sign into Heather, stopped by Richard Dragun's house to pick him up, called Magdalena and Albrecht to meet us, and we headed north to install our brand new road sign at the Poulsbo Informational Roadside Signage. :-)

.....The lighter wood made things go much faster than the older signs, that's for sure. Richard, with his longer arms, put the signs into position. We rattled the signs into place and knocked them into position.

.....Here is the sign looking East:



.....With the thinner wood, imperfections are much more apparent. In this case it meant that two of the boards did not line up, exactly, even after a lot of tapping and moving.

.....Here is the sign looking West:



.....This side looks better actually. :-)

.....TBT did a great job with the artwork. Albrecht did a FANTASTIC job translating that image onto the wood. The Wyverns as an Order did a lot of the leg-work on the artwork, with TBT following up with the outlining. I think this one is much closer to us style-wise than the older sign, but that could just be me.

.....This really is the OFFICIAL start of the June Faire holiday week. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....I was thinking about when I last posted to Live Journal and realized that it had been over a week. The time has really run away from me. But I still would swear to anything that June Faire Season is a temporal phenomena that really messes with the mind. At least it does with mine. :-)

.....Work has been rather intense lately. The Shipyard is taking a deep breath before really launching into a grand re-structuring of the management, from the top of the civilian leadership, all the way down. A lot of people are antsy and full of anticipation. Some positive, some negative, but mainly just a 'let's hurry up and get started because we're tired of waiting'.

.....The structure of our Submarine Battery Team is something of a model for what the larger Shipyard structure is going to look like when all is said and done. In fact, our Team is specifically called out in the Desk Guide as an example of how the new model works, and can be successful. So from that standpoint, I'm not worried much about a lot of huge changes coming my way. But the desk guide I just finished reading has a lot of differences between what we do and what the new model is supposed to be, so I am a little nervous. We'll see. The model is supposed to be fully functional by the end of July.

.....Our schedule in and of itself has been rather intense as well. We're in the midst of one installation, have another fully in preparation to launch in August, and three more right behind it. Next year is going to be tough.

.....June Faire looks like it will go well. The Board is fully engaged and everything is lining up nicely. It even looks like there are people who are going to miss May Crown so that they can attend to June Faire. Well, I suppose that could be just me, but it kind of seems that way. :-)

.....The Serjeantry Schedule has been out for a while, and we'll jump into it as soon as we've recovered from June Faire. There has been a large amount of angsting about the Trials being on the same weekend as Autumn War. We are taking a harder look at it to see if we can't move the Trials to an earlier date and compress the overall schedule some. That's just me talking now. Haven't vetted that with all the other parties who play into that prominently (like the Candidates and the Secretary), but it would be nice to free up just a little more of August in preparation for September Crown.

.....Packed a little more for May Crown today. At least one stuff bag and a bin. Excavated the bedroom a bit. Most of the clothes are put away and we can walk from one end of the room to the other. The kitchen is excavated as well. The cat boxes are all cleaned. Laundry has been moving for several hours now. So I feel a little accomplished.

.....Would like to finish the bedroom tonight as tomorrow might be a little busy. The 'to-do' list is long. I think we'll try to get the sign done though. It will be such a nice day tomorrow that the paint will dry in a hurry. I don't think it will take long either. Which reminds me that I need to see about making the arrangements to get the signs to Poulsbo. They go up over the three day weekend. I must remember, I think I'll write that down now.

.....Tsuruko reminded us about June Faire Court as well. We have a rough draft, but must finalize it. Would really also like to make arrangements for a meeting with Caius so we could go through a walk-through of the plan.

.....Dame Tamlyn has been working hard to produce a set of charters for the Barony, especially some of the newer awards that TBT and I created. I had a good look at the Dragon's Company charter today. It was absolutely fantastic! We haven't been able to concentrate on the details of the charters as we would have liked, but Dame Tamlyn really ran with this one and the results are even more fantastic than I thought they might be.

.....I have whined a lot about how much work being Baron has been. But I think I need to mention the wins more often, because they are certainly there. In the end, no matter how difficult it has been, I'm actually very glad to have had the opportunity to be the Baron of Dragon's Laire. It has been and will be the biggest and best learning experiences I've had in the SCA.

.....TBT just awoke from her nap and mentioned the magic word on her way down the hall, 'dinner'. I think I'll sign off for now. Will probably post the upcoming 'to-do' list tomorrow, which will most likely be epic. I should enjoy the current good feeling for as long a moment as possible. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (June Faire Road Sign)
.....Getting ready for the third meeting of this week, the May Business Meeting. I'm decidedly tired at this point and want to sleep more than anything else. But I need to get everything pulled together so we can get out of here a few minutes early and double-down on the caffeine. :-) I'm just glad that we finished our reports yesterday. I just have to print them out and paraphrase them at the meeting. Tomorrow is Friday, with a weekend of sleeping in at least a little bit.

.....Last night was a September Crown meeting. I had about fifteen people show up for it. Actually more than I expected. I mainly wanted to go through our list of 'go-dos' and keep people thinking about them before the June Faire madness really takes hold. As soon as June Faire is over we'll be moving fast to keep up with everything we need to do to support the event.

.....I need to find a Volunteer Coordinator. Someone to really start walking up to the branches of the Kingdom and working them hard to volunteer for the big duties, like gate. Finding a really motivated and dedicated Volunteer Coordinator is always difficult, but I've got a few ideas and I will see if I can put together some bribable tid-bits to entice potential candidates.

.....Need to also start hitting up the local Baronial Cousins for branch support of various activities. Aquaterra owes us for our support of July Coronation last year. But I would rather approach it as brethren helping brethren rather than an obligation. I'm thinking that they would rather see it that way as well. Really need some dedicated parking support and gate support. Oooo, and a group dedicated to setting up and tearing down the Kingdom Pavilions around the Erics. I forgot to put that on my agenda last night. Need to hit that up soonest with e-mail traffic.

.....This weekend is May Pole up in Druim Doineann. I would like to day trip, but I just don't know if I can. So many things to get done this month in support of May Crown, June Faire and Serjeantry. Any free time I can shake loose in support of those items is a necessity. There are a number of people attending from the Barony, so as a group we'll be well represented. But it always makes a difference to have the Baron and Baroness show up. Even us (although I think Druim Doineann would prefer a visit from Blatha An Oir. Alexsii and Elspeth are more epically heroic than we are. :-)).

.....I need to get up to Lobelia this weekend and pull out stuff I need for May Crown. Should not be a whole lot, but definitely the mattress is needed, some blankets and maybe pillows. The flashlights are up there, as well as the battery supply. May want to pull out some tables. I think we're good for chairs (although we need to put together the new Ikea chairs and pack them in Heather). Then it will be down to the bins of stuff normally needed to support a weekend (clothes, toiletries, food stuff, etc.). Trying my best to pare down the lists to manageable sizes and not pack Heather full of stuff that will not be needed. That's the beauty of starting the packing process so early. I get to THINK about the stuff I'm packing and whether I REALLY need it, instead of just throwing everything in eyesight into Heather and not using half of it over the weekend.

.....June Faire packing will be done over the Memorial Day weekend. I'll bring Lobelia to the house for that packing. The neighbors know it is truly the summer season when they wake up and find the RV and the Rental Truck blocking all the traffic in the Cul-De-Sac. :-) The sailors across the street will suffer the most probably. They have had a half dozen cars parked all over the street and their drive-way for a couple of weeks now.

.....Must also give some thought to our plans for June Faire. We tentatively have a 'Grand Processional' planned for Saturday. Maybe two with the first being a leisurely tour of site with lots of conversation and recognition of those participating and the second being a processional filled with pomp and pageantry. This one will require at least a modicum of preparation to make happen.

.....Also need to speak to a number of people on having someone take on the Bardic gathering of Saturday night at June Faire. TBT and I will be Zombies before Court is done and need someone to organize a gathering, get a fire going and advertise it. That's a hard one though as everyone else will be busy during the day as well and very tired. Hmmm, I've got a few ideas on people though. Do not want to scare them off though. Must be delicate in approach. :-)

.....Looks like a trip to Indiana over the week of July after Coronation. I'll most likely have to leave that Sunday night, so probably a day trip is in order for Coronation. The drive will be about three hours or so, but it isn't bad. Will make for a long day though. Hope there is no grumbling about the lack of support from the Baron and Baroness. Sigh! Those are the complaints that always make me the most crazy. You can only be so many things to so many people. My limit is between two and three. If I try hard enough I can be in two place at any given time. But in times of extra craziness, I can go as high as three. But more is pretty much impossible. :-)

.....The Live Journal SCA Feed had a story on an 'Inflatable Stonehenge' the other day. It was one of those bouncy structures that kids play on and around (in England, I think). The stones were rather realistic and the whole thing looked rather cool. While I was Googling for information on it though I happened to run across a number of other entries of Stonehenge recreations people have built around the world. Some have put A LOT of work into some of these recreations, down to actual several ton stone blocks being put into position. Full Stonehenge recreations, with all stones in place and fully intact. I ran across one in progress that someone was building out of wire and fiberglass. Once each block was completed and painted, they looked incredibly realistic! For only a portion of the weight of complete blocks. I was suddenly seeing visions of a scaled down model in our back yard. We have a really nice shaded grove of grass under the Cedar trees that would make an excellent platform for a Stonehenge recreation. Another project for the wish list of things to do after we step down. :-)

.....A planetary conjunction coming either tonight or tomorrow night, with an enlarged view of the moon this weekend. Astronomically speaking, it is going to be a number of good days to pull out a telescope, or a good set of binoculars, and take a look at things that are not always so beautifully visible. I need to see if I can find the small lens for my telescope and pull it out of storage. Or at least the good camera.

.....Time goes by fast. Must get everything pulled together for tonight.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....It was yet another whirlwind weekend that went by way too fast. It'll be just like this through the summer. I'd better get strapped in for the ride.

.....Saturday morning was a trip over to Angharad's house out by Horseshoe Lake for the new June Faire Sign Painting Party. It was hosted officially by the Order of the Wyvern's. But many other hands were involved in the process to this point. Adelheidi purchased the materials. TBT and Albrecht did the initial artwork. Marcus made sure they were delivered to their house for the painting itself. Arion went to the County Recycle Center for the paint. Then a bunch of us turned out at 10AM on Saturday to do some painting.

.....TBT initially set up the color scheme for the figures. I actually like the designs. It is definitely a different style that the old signs, but will work nicely. The colors pulled by Arion are BRIGHT. I thought them somewhat garish at first, but when I stepped back later and looked at them again, I thought that the colors worked great as road-side advertising.

.....Here is the design put together by TBT:

.....We painted one side of all three boards (which were six feet by four feet each). They needed to dry and then flipped over so that the other side could be painted. But we had to get going as TBT had to catch up on orders for her Business, and the next shift of painters were due in the afternoon. So we left around 12:30 or so. We'll have to remember to get pictures of the completed signs. :-)

.....After lunch TBT went to work and I started the pack up of Heather for May Crown. I pulled together both of the smaller pavilions and counted out all the parts to make sure of what we had and what we didn't and then made a list. Everything went into Heather or on the lumber racks at that point. The Baronial Chairs went into Heather, and the bed. Even with all of that packing done, Heather was only around a quarter of the way filled with 'stuff'.

.....Ran down to the Baronial Storage Unit with my lists of missing 'stuff' and pulled out the Baronial Pavilion and packed it up, and then dug out the missing items. Which, as guessed, were all located in the Storage Unit.

.....I think this is the earliest I've ever packed Heather for May Crown infrastructure. Loading the remainder of what we'll need for the weekend should be fairly straight forward. I finished Saturday feeling slightly accomplished. :-)

.....Sunday started with the usual Starbucks run first thing in the morning and then some catching up of chores on the computer. The quarterly financial report for the Office of Kingdom Chronicler is complete and out the door. It will be the last report dealing with paying a printing house directly for production of The Crier.

.....Also made arrangements for upgrading the software to the Chronicler's Office. When Angharad stepped down we picked up CS4 (InDesign). A new Chronicler will take office shortly, so we're going to purchase the next upgrade to CS5.5 / CS6. It is an amazing piece of software. Light years ahead of Pagemaker, which is what I used to produce The Crier. And already advanced from what we purchased as InDesign two years ago.

.....I still find it amazing the things that have simplified themselves in the handful of years since I was Chronicler. I remember having to spend upwards of an hour or two setting up each page of The Crier to be turned into a .pdf in order to send it to the publisher for printing. A single click of the mouse now formats everything and makes it publishing ready. A single keystroke!

.....I still remember producing newsletters in WordPerfect, so I think it is at least a little understandably on why I'm so constantly amazed. :-)

.....Madrun and Dylan showed up after lunch and I was regaled with stories of fighting units at Art of War over the weekend. Dylan had obviously had a very grand time there. :-) I pulled some of the basics from him and posted something to the Baronial e-list about it. Morgan piggy-backed on top of that post sometime later with an absolutely fantastic tale of the weekend and the exploits of the Dragon's Laire Populace members who attended. We need to encourage more people to do that. :-)

.....This evening was a trip to Rich and Gwen's in order to celebrate Rich's Mom's birthday. Rich performed grill duty, something he does very well. It was all very tasty. I also had a little bit of an opportunity to talk to Bernie as well about some of the September Crown site preparations I was hoping Bernie could help in doing. He was all over it. He's going to see what he can do to get a back-hoe out there to help fix the road on site. He also might have an in on a local (to the airport) brush hog that will take out the remaining scotch broom that is messing with our lay-out.

.....This week doesn't look too bad, although the schedule is tight. Tuesday is the regular Social. Wednesday is a September Crown meeting at the Sylvan Way library (I've got to remember to finish the agenda for it). Thursday is the May Business Meeting.

.....May!? Wow, I can't believe it is already May!

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....Fragment The First: On Tuesday at the Baronial Fight Practice / Social, a member of the Populace was talking to me about a new policy being implemented at Autumn War this year. Those in charge of various activities at the event are being asked to read and sign a 'contract' in support of the activities they are managing. This contract outlined what services were specifically going to be provided. What time they were to be on site and leave site. What facilities and structures they were responsible for overseeing. What hours they had to be in operation. There were apparently other guidelines and restrictions as well outlined in the 'contract'.

.....The person who was relaying this to me was unwilling to sign the contract. They were actually feeling a little insulted. In their case they had been providing this services for several years now. They'd always provided exactly what they said they would provide, and followed all the rules and guidelines given to them. This signing of a 'contract' to them implied that their word was no longer trusted. I could see why they were feeling like they were, to be honest.

.....It'll be interesting to see how this policy works out for Autumn War. I could see a 'contract' being implemented if these people were being paid for their services. Or if they were borrowing specialized or valuable equipment. But for an event that is staffed by volunteers? In support of an event that is catering to those same volunteers? I could really see that turning people away from volunteering all together. And not just because they feel insulted. I could see people reluctant from volunteering based on the simple fact that they would not want the added 'responsibility' implied in a contract.

.....My guess is that this is stemming from others who have made promises in the past but have not lived up to them. But that is inherent in a Volunteer Organization. It's the nature of 'Real Life' versus 'Hobby Life' and all the conflicts between (no matter how you define them).

.....This resembles a Renaissance Faire attitude actually. I'm curious if the inspiration for this came from that direction. At Renaissance Faires I've seen, the performers sign a contract and are paid for their services. Doesn't necessarily mean in a monetary sense as it could be camping or board. That would be a radical shift for the SCA, more in a 'pay to play' direction. It might be the answer to a lot of financial woes. But it certainly goes against some of the very basic tenets of the SCA.

.....Fragment The Second: There is a push happening for a Baronial Gathering on Saturday evening of June Faire. TBT and I are really conflicted on how this should work. The King and Queen will be holding Court that evening, and it will be long. There is at least one Peerage Ceremony of which I know is happening, and maybe another. TBT and I are also planning our own Court sometime in that time frame. So, by the time all is said and done, it will most likely be 8PM or so before we are all drifting back to our camps. We will have urged everyone to have made arrangements for dinner to happen before or during Court (due to a long and physically demanding day), so setting up a Baronial Pot-Luck for the evening seems like a non-starter. At dusk there is a Fire Show tentatively scheduled, and it is always well attended, so I'm not sure that scheduling a Bardic Gathering for that time seems problematic as well. So that really leaves a Bardic Gathering for later in the evening. TBT and I will be exhausted by then. We'll make a presence, but it will not exactly be an active presence.

.....I'm scouting about for ideas on where to take this. A gathering is important as it helps group unity. We like to promote Dragon's Laire as a family, or at least a group of good friends who work together. We should do something. Maybe we could have someone else sponsor a Bardic of some type that we also attend. We'll have to talk about this more and see what ideas come up.

.....Fragment The Third: We finally mitigated the last concerns with the September Crown site this week! Huzzah! The third site owner is no longer in the picture as the Port of Bremerton now officially controls that land. We met with the Port of Bremerton director on Monday to walk over the area and we were given everything we wanted. They want a contract, and to be named on the site insurance certificate. But they will not require a payment at all. Which is great!

.....Looks like they are also going to mow and brush-cut the site for us as well. Fantastic! This will save us a goodly number of dollars. Those dollars will probably go towards paying on the metered water to site. But it'll balance out in the end. The Port of Bremerton folks were also helpful in advice for traffic patterns and other ideas we might implement for the site. I'm starting to get excited. This weekend, the Parking Coordinator, the RV Coordinator, and I will walk over the area and come up with a plan we like.

.....September Crown planning meeting set up for May 2nd. We'll put together our overarching Planning Timetable for the rest of the summer. We have to be careful to not take any momentum away from June Faire. But there are a large number of things that could be done 'under the radar' between now and mid June.

.....Fragment The Fourth: This summer looks extremely scary. Starting with May Crown all the way through to Last Chance sometime in September. If there is not an event on the weekend itself, there is a Serjeantry Testing session the immediate Monday following each weekend. I thought we might be able to day trip to May Faire and Honey Way. But I just don't see how we're going to be able to do it. An Tir / West War is totally off of the table at this point.

.....Next year should be a little better. We'll have a pool of Serjeants who can lead the testing cycle. We'll be fine-tuning the requirements and trying to get them into a final form that is actually publishable. Although I'm still hopeful to make that happen this year. There are people who want to follow the Trials by following along with the written requirements. Which is actually a good way to audit the system in preparation of making a run for it themselves. My goal is to take each section bite-by-bite this summer as each test is completed and make adjustments right then, while it is fresh in everyone's minds. Then, after the Trials are complete in August, we'll be able to publish the final summary.

.....This August / September will be the worst. Picnic the first weekend. Huntsman's Challenge the second. Serjeantry Trials the third. One free weekend to prepare for September Crown. Then September Crown itself. We'll have one free weekend off after that, then the Last Chance Marshallate Championships will take place. It's somewhat exhilarating, but just thinking about it is tiring me out. :-)

.....Fragment The Fifth: One of the things that has defined our tenure are the messages to the e-list basically thanking and recognizing everyone for their efforts on behalf of the Barony. It is a small token, but one that seems to be appreciated by some. Others roll their eyes and hit the delete key every time they see one of them. :-) For which I understand and hold no animosity. They are huge masses of words to read through. But it has been good training in the art of putting out meaningful words by the gross. It has actually helped at work as well. Over the past six months I've been writing up awards recommendations and articles on what the Shipyard Team has been doing in support of the overall mission. Every one of those write-ups has garnered attention and achieved whatever goal was sought. Every one of the awards recommendations ended up as a winner. Every write-up I've done has been taken almost word-for-word and put into the Shipyard newsletter. It's been rather cool to watch.

.....Now, if I could shift that style over to Science Fiction / Fantasy, it would be outstandingly cool! I'd change careers in a heart-beat and just write for a living. Editing has never been my strong suit though. There would still be much to learn before I could get to that point. Starting with focus and the ability to stick to one thing through to completion. That's a very difficult one for me. :-)

.....Now it's time for the weekend. Many things on the 'to-do' list. But sleeping in for an extra hour or so each day certainly makes up for it. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Well, it's Monday night after NORWESCON and it is time to re-insert myself back into The Matrix of 'Real Life'. I'm not looking forward to it, but it had to happen sometime. Tomorrow is going to be rough, followed by not just one, but two meetings in the evening. What timing! I need to watch my patience level closely. Grumpiness will only be tolerated so far.

.....Even though today went by fast, a number of things were completed. Everything that went us to NORWESCON was unloaded and put away. Clothes are in the wash cycle. Food put away. Dishes done for the most part. Even the cat boxes were cleaned again. And the Computer Room was washed down. Definitely a win.

.....Started putting together the big 'to-do' lists for the next handful of months. It is now officially June Faire season, and it will be here fast. The U-Haul reservation was sent to Adelheidi for her records. Invitations re-sent to the local Barons and Baronesses for reservations about the Erics. A note was sent to the Noble Estate list, but this one targeted the neighbors directly. With Their Majesties set to be in attendance, we need the Cousins to get their space reservations locked up as soon as possible.

.....Cedric and Talon gave me their vision of the June Faire Tournaments at the last June Faire Board meeting. I translated my notes and sent the resulting list back to them for review and correction. Once it is complete and accurate I'll start spamming the Noble Estate e-list, and maybe others, to generate more attendance. I need to also emphasize the fact that June Faire is a stop on the Kingdom Heavy and Rapier Tournament Circuits. That should be a draw as well as the hopefully spiffy prizes. Really need to beef up that letter before I send it out.

.....Sent batch of award recommendations in to Gabrielle for June Faire. That's a little earlier than last year, but not by a whole lot. Must do better next year. There are several of the newer awards that need Master Scrolls done as well. I'm not sure there is enough time to get them done prior to June. We may end up giving a few 'Promissory Notes'. Certainly not the preference or either TBT or myself. But sometimes you make some compromises. It's the recognition that is the most important.

.....Held a conversation with the Director from the Port of Bremerton today. I'm impressed that we made it to this level. He seems to be willing to work with us. But I suspect some bad news is coming, along with whatever good news he has to offer. At this point in time, I'd rather get all the cards out on the table so we can punt as we need to. All these unknowns are far worse. We'll make due with what we end up with. Deal with those who'll complain (this is the SCA, complaining is an art form :-)). Then we'll move on and get the event done.

.....First thing first, meeting with the Director.

.....Tomorrow is the June Faire Board meeting. TBT and myself are going to stop off at the VFW Hall first and give Ambrose our best wishes (along with cupcakes) as this will be his last Fight Practice in An Tir. He is on his way to Artemesia shortly. We also have other things to drop off there.

.....Wednesday, TBT has a Regional Laurel's meeting.

.....Thursday is the Spring Wyvern meeting at the Subway on Kitsap Way. Should be a straight-forward meeting and get over fairly quickly.

.....Then it is Friday and a weekend with nothing planned. :-) Not many of them left between now and October. I'm going to enjoy every one of them. :-)

.....Time for bed. Zzzzzzz.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....I'm rather sleepy today for some reason. I was last evening as well. The weekend demands do not look incredibly intense, so maybe I can catch up on my sleeping a little bit.

.....Last night we were visited by the three ghosts of....hmm, wrong story. :-) We were, however, visited by three people who wanted to either drop off stuff, talk or otherwise catch up on things. Actually, something of a rare occurrence.

.....Gwen stopped by first. We chewed on her copy for the Baronial Picnic this summer. It already looked good, but as I like lots of details in what I read, I added stuff for her. She can always edit it away if she so chooses. We talked about the largesse bags for a while and whether or not the Barony would do the next set or not. I am encouraging not as this summer is going to be supremely hectic for all of us, considering that we have the expanded picnic, the Huntsman's Challenge, and then September Crown to work towards.

.....We also talked about the one entry Arts & Sciences / Bardic / Scholar Championship concept the Barony started implementing this year. The more we work on it, the more exciting it actually becomes. I still want to sit down with Madrun and TBT and wade through the Bardic portion. I'm very much a proponent of adding a section emphasizing the basics: i.e. for a musical piece the Challenger would have to run through a series of standard drills or equivalent to prove their basic musical acumen (scales, musical notation, basic musical theory, etc.). This might take the place of the progression portion of the 'object' entry. But that is a very preliminary thought. More to follow.

.....I'm starting to get excited about a Bardic entry. I was pulling out books this week on Morris dancing with the thought of performing one. A Morris Dance would require quite a bit of research, more so than say a recorder performance. But I'd also been thinking that it is about time a Recorder Consort come back to play in the Barony. If the Single Entry is a spring board for some music, maybe we can continue the music for dedicated performances at Yule or something. A dedicated goal always helps regular practices stay regular. :-)

.....Sometime during Gwen's visit Conchobar stopped by with the second largesse bag completed by Eilidh. It was nicely done. I thought all the bags turned out rather nice, and were very much reflections of the person working on them. No two of them looked alike and I thought that to be a good thing as some of them really 'popped' from the individuality put into them. Elen's bags are especially intricate and look really good. Although I'm partial to the bag that TBT is working. Yeah, I'm biased. :-)

.....Madrun is, when she has the time, going to put together a bag for me to work on without a due date. I actually had fun working the small one I received from TBT some four or so years ago. It's a great way to keep the hands busy during meetings, gatherings and such.

.....Our Inga of Dragon's Laire showed up a short time later, just as Gwen was leaving. She had more Inkle Weaving done by Adena to put into the largesse pile. She also wanted to get some feedback from TBT on the largesse bag she was working. Hers looked great as well. Some elaborate outlining in many colors with definite plans for the interior of the beast. I think we almost have her convinced to sign up to Live Journal as well. :-)

.....Tonight is the new Fight Practice day and time. From 6PM to 8PM at the OSSC for the next handful of weeks, before we move Fight Practice back to the VFW Hall. It'll be interesting to see if a new day or time helps with the numbers at all. I'm mulling over whether I want to go or not. I suppose I'd better decide in a hurry.

.....The June Faire Board meeting of Tuesday night was interesting in another regard. I was more of a spectator than someone on the ground floor, and it was an interesting viewpoint from the perspective of someone who has been actively participating in June Faire for over twenty years now. On several occasions I really found myself just on the verge of saying, 'We tried that at this June Faire and it didn't work very well because of X.' Yes, there it was, Old Timers Disease. I do have to say though that I managed to not let my mouth betray me for the most part. What I did do was whenever the thought came out I would write it down so that I could think about it for a while. If it was worthy of mentioning, I'll make a note and mention it to Madrun or Magdalena. If it really isn't applicable, I'll just forget it. As it was, I did trip over myself at least once. The road signs. The road signs were a big deal the last couple of years we were at Frank Raab Park, then they sort of faded away. I mentioned that we'd done signs in the past and to check and see if we had any left in storage (they might have all been tossed long ago). It is always better for the group to at least talk it through. What might not have worked ten or twenty years ago might work very well now. Like I said, interesting perspective. And really, I can do without the eye roll that invariably comes from the listeners when an old timer actually does say, 'We used to do that and....'. :-)

.....I wish more people would come back to Live Journal. Although I do understand the appeal of Facebook. I am not in love with its fast pace and crowded atmosphere though. It could be the Friends List I have though. I have a handful of highly political people on it. Some of whom have no hesitation in putting out some of the most outrageous stuff. Usually I just ignore it, but some of the time it just catches me for some reason. I don't know why. Although I learned my lesson in trying to correct a highly rabid person. He mis-quoted President Washington (a mis-quote that is all over the internet) and I sent him a note with the correct quote. He took it as an attack on his political position and I received a two page reply of vitriol. I just deleted it and took him off my list. Several others are nearing that same point.

.....Someone posted a seriously inflammatory image on Raphaella's Facebook page yesterday and I had to think seriously about whether or not it was time to clean house on my Facebook account to make sure I don't have 'friends' on there who would do that sort of thing. In the end though I stuck to my timeline. But from now on people only get one chance with me. I don't mind viewpoints I find unpleasant. But when used to bludgeon me I call foul and clean up begins.

.....Tomorrow the Mid Level Boss goes away on leave for a week and a half. I was put in charge for the time he was away. Usually he puts one of the Execution Managers in that spot. But it does mean I can't call in sick tomorrow and make it a three day weekend like I was kind of thinking of doing. :-) But all of us in the office are on leave next Thursday and Friday. There is a large scale security drill happening over the next week and it's been advised to take leave if possible. No one needed to ask me twice. :-)

.....If I want to go to Fight Practice, I suppose I'd better start pulling myself together.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....I enjoyed the Kingdom Arts & Sciences and Bardic Championships immensely last weekend, but if the decision to go had been based on what I should have done I probably shouldn't have gone. Our customer at NAVSEA visited us for a Program Review this week. There was more than a little anxiety on the part of management and I spent the first couple of days of the week putting together all kinds of data, adding much information and changing the Powerpoint countless times.

.....In the end the presentations went rather well. We learned much of what is happening at a higher level in the NAVSEA Battery Community, their plans for the future and the challenges they face. The customer had a good look at what we face on the ground level and the whys behind the processes we used. They were able to see how every dollar was spent and why it was and ways they could make it easier on us.

.....The reductions of budget which have been a mantra for many years now have progressed beyond mere slogans to rather drastic and sometimes unexpectedly large cuts. Our program at the NAVSEA level had to absorb millions of dollars of cuts for the next handful of years. Installations still have to happen, so every dime is being examined closely. Every expense questioned more than ever before. In some ways, not necessarily a bad thing. But in others it makes progress painfully slow and research difficult at best. Problems that come up have to stay unsolved at some level for longer time periods than they would have in the past.

.....The meetings were intense and I had to drag myself home as a zombie a couple of times this week. But then I had to put that Silver ring on my head and support the Barony. I love Dragon's Laire, don't get me wrong. But sometimes when given the choice of supporting the Barony and crawling into bed, that bed looks pretty damned inviting. :-)

.....Tuesday night was the Social and was rather well attended. Several people have really taken up the cause of Kingdom largesse and are producing material by the gross. It is heartening to watch and I encouraged everything I could. TBT is seen as the artist though, so it is her approval that is generally sought in this category. I don't mind at all. :-) I had my own issues of supporting heraldry and answering Serjeantry questions. Being a Jack-Of-All-Trades (Master-Of-None) keeps one rather busy. :-)

.....But I did score one nice victory. THL Mateusz agreed to wrangle the Dragon's Laire encampment at May Crown in Omak. This is a score as he is meticulous in his mapping and lay-out and has a good feel for placing people. He is organized and thorough. I will put this out of my mind and not even worry about it, which is rather a relief.

.....Wednesday was Fight Practice at the OSSC. A rather decent turn-out. People we don't see elsewhere always show up for activities like archery and fight practice, which makes a good reason to attend as often as possible. Also makes me glad that Fight Practice and Social are coming back together at the same location and same day in a handful of weeks.

.....TBT cleaned the kitchen on Friday and I worked on backfilling with another load of dishes, laundry and cat boxes. It always amazes me how housework goes chaotic in a hurry. The minute you turn your back the gremlins turn your house into a disaster area. :-)

.....Saturday was a busy day. Started off with a June Faire Site Walk-Through with the Board at 10AM. The major placement of activities was decided, as well as combat formats. Things are really starting to come together. The Board were interacting well and solving issues fairly easily. We ended the meeting on a good note. Plus, we had the opportunity to have good Bar-B-Que on site. Always a plus.

.....Then it was off to the Regional Pelican Meeting at 1PM. A better turn out than I expected, to be honest. Plus many others in the Region who could not attend sent me notes to be included into the overall set of notes from the meeting.

.....There is a lot of pressure from outside the Region to move us in particular direction. The Region itself has its own perspective on things. It can sometimes be interesting to be the Regional Secretary. I actually enjoy the job itself as I learn a lot about many people I might not otherwise interact with. But I find the balancing act a little difficult at times. Maintaining a certain level of neutrality is important to me, especially on some occasions where I think that things are going in strange directions. But, ouch!

.....The notes I publish as the Regional Secretary take up a lot of space. To the point where I have ended up editing far more than I would like. I took a tour of the notes from the other Regions last night to gain some different perspective and was frankly rather surprised at the lack of details contained therein. Our notes definitely fall on the side of being thorough. But even then I think they lack detail. Even though JL has increased the size of the database, I think the notes are going to come off of the database server and reside on the computer (with back ups) and will be e-mailed upon request. That way they can be as large as necessary.

.....Contributing to the candidates database is much better anyway. It's much easier to pull from there to put together presentations. I encourage everyone to do this anyway, but I need to push it more.

.....The whole thing is going to come to a head at some point. Culturally, I find it amazing how differently the Regions act and process information. How do you manage a 'standard'? I'm not totally sure that is possible, but...we'll see what happens.

.....Then it was off to birthday parties. I enjoyed the conversations and interactions. It was fun to just relax and laugh for a while. TBT tired out by 9PM, but I still was having too much fun. She stayed for me until 10PM and then had to call it. I felt bad for essentially forcing her to stay out later than she wanted. We probably should have taken separate cars. But when she called it, I left and didn't argue.

.....Moving the clocks all forward an hour, slowly. I have to get TBT out of bed sometime soon if we're going to do a Starbucks run before the retinue meeting at 10AM. Then it is off to an Arion meeting at 1PM. Sometime today we have to do our shopping run as well. Another busy day. I'm glad nothing is scheduled for next weekend. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Sometime over the weekend Anne Brynley deleted her Live Journal account. No warning was given. Part of me is curious as to why, but the larger portion is telling me to mind my own business and stay out of it. Sigh.

.....On Live Journal a month or so ago I subscribed to the blogs of a couple of authors that I read religiously. Barbara Hambly regularly updates her Journal with all of her mundane and ordinary life activities. If you thought an author's life was glamorous, reading her Journal will disavow that within days. I'm actually amazed at how, hmmm, normal, she is. :-) Which is really cool, and inspiration in many regards. As in you don't necessarily have to be an ARTIST to be an author. Good thing for me since I'm not one. :-)

.....Diana Paxson also maintains a Journal here on Live Journal. February 20th is her birthday. One of the original founders of the SCA, and definitely an author of note. She has translated many of the big Celtic Mythic stories into Fantasy Novels that follow the original intent rather closely. She is also rather big in some of the Pagan / Norse Mythos communities. She doesn't post nearly as often as Barbara Hambly, but it's still interesting to hear her take on things when she does post.

.....TBT has taken on the major task of tracking down the Baronial Charter signed and sealed by King Tjorkill and Queen Elowyn when we were made a Barony. She posted a couple of e-mails today asking to help track it and from all indications it really is in the possession of THL Maria. If I remember the Scroll correctly, it actually is addressed to her and Baron James, so she might have thought that it actually belonged to her as the 'Founding Baroness'. As I think of those of us who were around at that time, there are only one or two people I think Maria might respond to positively if asked for the Scroll. I'm certainly not one of them. But I think that TBT might be able to get away with it. We'll see.

.....That was one of my absolute favorite June Faire's. One of our last at Frank Raab Park in Poulsbo. I received my AoA on that same day. That first year as a Barony was rather magical. We had some major dreams of the things we would do as a group. That first class of Serjeantry was astounding in their willingness to work together. I still have pictures of them all wearing the uniform of the class. They all wore a red, late period, shirt in a show of solidarity. The Trials themselves took place at the Chico Way fields where the Kitsap County Native Tribes hold their annual PowWow's. What a year that was.

.....THL Renart has volunteered to produce a replacement scroll for the Baronial Charter. I'm sure it would end up looking even better than the original. But I'd still like to see if we could get our hands on the original. Nothing that is ever redone can hold the same sense of 'history' in your hands as holding the original.

.....Need to put together a working 'to-do' list for the next couple of weeks. There are a lot of things coming up on the horizon and if I don't get organized now, I'm never going to stay on top of things. There are a handfull of September Crown foundation pieces to finalize. Then a rather largish group of June Faire items to plan out, especially in the martiallate arena.

.....Then May Crown to fit into the mix. We've got to find someone willing to be the camping coordinator for Crown. It's a rather lengthy drive, so attendance will be on the smaller side. I'll have to ask around and see who is actually going to make the drive.

.....But first a three day weekend coming up. What am I going to do with all that free time. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....The check from the Kingdom Chronicler's Office for the portion of the legal settlement of the SCA is ready for a second signature and I'll have it into the mail this evening. Just because I'm paranoid I'm going to at least get delivery confirmation at the Post Office kiosk after the Social. I'll just be glad that the whole thing is coming to a conclusion. And it looks like everyone is maintaining an air of civility about the entire process. Which probably amazes me the most out of this whole affair. I was really anticipating flame wars and name calling all over the e-lists. But everyone buckled down and went to work. I wish we approached everything in this manner. The things we could accomplish would be wonderful.

.....I'm hoping and hoping that we as an organization have grown up a little from this experience and shaken off a little of our naiveté. The truly despicable things this person did in the East could really have happened anywhere. Vigilance and attention to detail are not always our strong points as a group, but we need to work on those skills. Amongst other things.

.....Enough said by me on that subject I guess.

.....That check hurt though. The accounts of The Crier are the lowest they've been in well over a decade. The 2010 figures used as a starting point were higher than the account levels are today. It's a good thing we're moving to an electronic format. I guess I will not have to worry so much about what to do with all the extra money as there is far less of it now.

.....Sir Rauokinn brought up a good point in her Live Journal, something we struggle with a lot even in our local branch of Dragon's Laire. An Tir is paying over $120,000.00 as their portion of the settlement while the West is paying around $36,000.00. Both of these figures represent 18% of the amount of the total funds held by the Kingdom in 2010 (including all the sub-branches). Good points were brought up. Is the West divesting itself of savings in order to make purchases (land, regalia, etc.)? Is it just more important to those of the West to purchase what they want and need up front rather than save for 'something better' or a 'rainy day'? Do they have their funds invested in ways that are outside the incorporation? I tended to doubt that one at first, until I started thinking about their Kingdom Land Fund (KHTI), which is an entity completely outside the SCA. Out of necessity and legality, funds cannot go back and forth between these two funds sources at all. But it makes a great and independent way to keep money secure.

.....That is merely speculations though. The West may just have a bigger vision in mind in the handling of their funds, or at least a much different perspective. It would be interesting to come together and discuss our different perspectives and trade ideas.

.....In Dragon's Laire we've always been careful to maintain a healthy balance just in case we have a disastrous June Faire one year. That way we'd have the funds available to support ourselves for at least a year to rebuild if possible. In theory the idea is good, but just how much do you keep in reserves. Enough to cover all the rentals and June Faire for a year? Enough for just June Faire? some have advocated that we keep little to no extra funding as we are a not-for-profit organization. I certainly don't agree with that radical of approach. But balancing out all the different viewpoints and desires of the Baronial Populace can be difficult at times, that's for sure. We could, if necessary, go without a meeting hall, rental fight practice site, and storage units. We've done that in the past, but having all this available has certainly made things much easier on us in many ways.

.....The next several months, at least through June Faire, are going to be interesting to watch from a financial standpoint. We really need June Faire to do extra well this year.

.....I need to keep an eye on the September Crown bills as well. If I can hold off on actually paying many of them until after June Faire, that would be good. I don't really want to have to knock on Kingdom's door and ask for funds up front. Just makes the record keeping more difficult.

.....Serjeantry this year could prove as interesting as last year. In 2011 the model was established. Now we have to go through the growing pains. There will be some changes still in the requirements as we find things that do not work well and things that could work better. We've discovered something already this year we want to incorporate for next year. Last year and this year we announced a time and location of when we would accept Letters of Intent for Serjeantry. We solicited for questions. But we did not, at least this year, actively canvas the Populace to see who was going to submit a Letter. The requirements for the Serjeantry are lengthy, and complex in parts. We need to ensure that the potential candidates understand exactly what they are submitting a Letter to do. I would hate for someone to become excited and passionate about becoming a member of the Serjeantry only to find out that it held obligations that they could not in good conscious accomplish.

.....I think what we might start doing next year is establishing a date, prior to Candlemas, where each potential candidate must meet with us by in order to talk about what they want to do and what they understand of the Serjeantry Program. That way maybe we can head off at least some concerns before they become concerns. Then, if the candidate still truly wants to take part, they can go ahead and submit their Letters. I have often thought that the 'out' was the fact that no oaths are given with the Letters of Intent. But really, a Letter is a commitment and pretty close to an Oath in reality. So we may have to noodle on that concept some more.

.....Something that has become 'tradition' for TBT and myself is a letter to the Baronial e-list after major events and happenings that involve members of the Populace. We think that recognition of the good things people do as part of the SCA is one of our primary missions as Baron and Baroness. The giving of awards is one of the great ways of recognizing these people. But you can't give awards to everyone at an event, they become meaningless quickly. People seem to like their names mentioned though, specifically connected to the things they do at any given event or happening. The letters we've been doing seem to be well received. But they keep getting longer and longer. It might be a good thing that Master Ralg has set a size limit to the Baronial e-list. I'm constantly running against that bulkhead these days. :-)

.....I'm just hoping that there aren't just as many people sighing whenever they see my name flash across the e-list on the computer screen. 'Oh, no, here comes another long snoozer of a post.' At what point does 'recognition fatigue' start setting into the people reading the list? I might start posting short posts on the e-list that direct people to longer ones on the Baronial web-site. I wonder if I can get Aelianora's buy-in on that as the Baronial Web-Minister? Hmmm, might be the way to go. I'll have to solicit some input on that one.

.....Time to update the e-list anyway with items I missed from the original Candlemas post. I seem to be rambling anyway, and it is almost time to go to the Tuesday Social.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....You know, I was cautiously optimistic on the prospects for Peter Jackson's interpretation of 'The Hobbit'. The scope is much narrower than 'The Lord of the Rings'. The amount of emotional territory it covers is much less than LotR. The prospects for creative imagery greater in scope (think Smaug or Beorn). Morgan Freeman makes an excellent Bilbo. The Dwarves look great in their roles.

.....Then...I read this article tonight on a report someone wrote after watching the latest trailer for 'The Hobbit'. All of a sudden all the anxieties returned. There is potential for another travesty in the making.

.....Here is an excerpt:

....."So when it comes to the Hobbit trailer, I don’t mind Galadriel showing up. We knew they were going to make The Hobbit into two movies, which meant we were likely to see Gandalf be Gandalf and take on the Necromancer. Nice! I like epic wizard battles, and I like the idea of the white counsel placed on film. But …

.....I can imagine no reason the Galadriel I know from the books would ever touch Gandalf like that. More than that, I can imagine no reason the maia (demi-god) Gandalf would ever, ever look at any elf with the kind of need you can see in that clip. Uh-oh!

.....My friends, Peter, Fran, Phillipa, I beg you, please don’t make Gandalf needy! Please do not wreck his nobility. You have already done so with two other of my favorite characters. I just ask you, don’t mess with Gandalf’s motivations. Don’t make him unsure of himself, and don’t let Galadriel be his guide or his girlfriend: partner, yes; girlfriend or guide, no. Just don’t do it! If you already have done it, you can still save it. You have a year. A quick one day re-shoot, and I bet it will be all better — OK, now I am begging, I will stop. But after the flaws in the LotR adaptations, I am concerned. Trust is easily broken and difficult to repair. Getting this right would go a long way — I hope you do."

.....Read the entire article and prepare to be frightened. It is located here: <http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2012/01/hobbit-trailer/>.

.....Already making arrangements to see one of the first showings on December 14th, but now I'm a little worried. Oh, well, I'm sure the pendulum will swing the other way, at least for a while. :-)

.....It was rather a long week, coming off of Twelfth Night like it was, with its own long drive. But the traveling was not so bad. The hours on the road went by fairly quickly with TBT, myself, Madrun, Gwen and Tsuruko all sharing the drive. The only time the drive started seeming long was when we were almost home and we were all just DONE with the weekend. :-)

.....Lots of good things at Twelfth Night itself. And even managed to get some work done. Made progress on September Crown site location there. Supported an event for a member of the Dragon's Laire Populace who has a good idea on running a Kingdom Level Feast. Looks like it is almost in the bag as the Kingdom was willing to actually sponsor after reviewing the numbers. I'm looking forward to seeing the concept come into fruition. It's one of those events that is almost as fun to plan as it is to execute. Interesting without being huge and overbloatedly complex. He should have a good time with it I am thinking.

.....The work week was all about getting the Team ready and out the door to go back to Norfolk the Tuesday after the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday. Which it looks like is going to happen fairly easily. Looks like my travel to site will happen sometime in February. If I can time it just right I should be able to avoid traveling over Candlemas, Madrone A&S, and Kingdom KAS / KBC, or at least I'm hoping so.

.....Government keeps getting leaner and meaner. I wrote up an award for the crew who performed an installation this last summer, way under cost and ahead of schedule. Which is saying a lot considering the size and complexity of the work done. When my award write-up went upstairs, we were given the bitter truth. All awards budgets were stripped almost dry before the Fiscal Year had even started. The Mid-Level Boss and I had to reduce the group award down to an award for just a few of the very best performances. Who'll receive only a few hundred dollars for all their efforts. It was rather agonizing trying to pare down that list.

.....But I continue to count myself as relatively lucky. News reached me this week of someone I knew at work who had been stripped of his security clearance. Told to report to security where he was asked for his badge, and then escorted to the gate. He's in the process of hiring a lawyer now, but DoD does not mess around with these things. Unless and until he can prove his absolute innocence, he is out of a job.

.....Tuesday was the first June Faire Board meeting of this year. It was rather pleasant actually. Everyone on the Board was engaged and had good ideas to present. They all worked well together. There was still the Dragon's Laire tendency to talk over each other in their excitement. But it was a pleasant excitement versus the frenetic type of excitement we sometimes see. This bodes well for what we'll see in June.

.....Wednesday was Fight Practice at the OSSC. Brighid and I argued over Pelican notes. :-) But it was still a good conversation.

.....I started seriously playing in the SCA in 1991. I received my Pelican in 2005. A span of fourteen years. Which I'm told is just a little longer than average. I'm not entirely sure on that and probably should do some research. But where I was headed was that someone told me at one time that I might have been delayed for a little because of my weight, that I was maybe viewed negatively in an unconscious way because of my being grossly overweight. I don't know whether that was true or not, and there is certainly no way of ever proving it (nor would I want to do so), but I read an interesting article today on how being overweight affects your chances of landing jobs or job promotions. I have a feeling there is some truth to the article as I noticed that my promotions at work came more quickly after my gastric bypass surgery. I was also wondering about that connection in the SCA as well.

.....Take a look if you are interested: <http://www.bankrate.com/finance/personal-finance/money-motives-to-lose-weight.aspx?ec_id=cmct_03_comm_pf_image_headline>

.....Thursday was cleaning up and catching up at home. With a run at the new episode of 'Project Runway'. I'm not sure just why I'm a fan. I don't sew. I am certainly not a fashion snob by any means. But for some reason the show has struck a chord with me as it is the only regularly scheduled show (other than the news) that I actually watch on the Tele these days. Last night's episode was all about clothing for the Opera. With only one or two exceptions, everything created actually looked interesting.

.....Next week's episode could either be interesting and funny, or rather weird, as it looks like the challenge is to create fashion for Miss Piggy of the Muppets. Hmm.....

.....A whole three days of a weekend upcoming. With nowhere we have to be! Huzzah. I need to finish the Doomsday Report for The Crier. Need to finish my overhaul of the Western Region Pelican Notes. Have some e-mails to send out and some September Crown stuff to organize. So, it'll be a fairly busy weekend. But not frenetic, which is good. I'm sooooo looking forward to sleeping in for a while tomorrow morning. :-)

.....I think I'll go and read something for a while before bed. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....Today we completed Certification No. 1. It took a lot of concentrated corraling of engineers, sailors and administrators. Lots of running from place to place to place. Lots of Muppet Arm Flailing. Lots of phone calls and review of ancient certification tomes of knowledge. But at 5PM, the CO of the Boat received from the hand of the lead engineer a binder of certification paper. This act signifies the official completion of installation and permission to procede with final testing, which will commence on Monday. Huzzah.

.....The final countdown has begun. Final certification is set for Wednesday. We have at least a dozen meetings left to live through. An epic number of Muppet Arm Flailing sessions. And we're all crossing our fingers, and every other body appendage available, that final testing goes off with no hitch.

.....The end is near. The end is near.

.....But I do get this weekend off. I had feared that I would be chained to my desk until late tonight trying to get all the signatures in place. But everything magically came together this afternoon. I was amazed. It was a mystery. :-) But now I get the weekend off. I've got ten million things to get done at home. But it will be....at home. :-)

.....Read a note on Facebook the other day. Someone was explaining why they did not like Live Journal. Basically it came down to having to plow through tons of inane conversations and whining and other 'stuff' that didn't interest them in the least. I can understand that. I don't agree with that, but I understand it. I personally like reading all that inane stuff. It makes for me a connection with someone, strengthens friendship, gives me glimpses into the lives of people I don't know as well as I would like to know them. But I'm just weird that way I guess.

.....However, I know that 90% of the stuff I put in Live Journal is crap. I accept that. I ramble a lot. I understand that. So, if you needed my permission to unfriend me, now is your chance. You have my permission. Fly free! I will not hold it against you. I promise. :-) Although, to be honest. You never needed my permission to unfriend yourself from me anyway. People have done it, and will continue to do so, whether I say anything or not. But some people feel badly for unfriending themselves from another. I can understand that as well. Which is why I'm giving this 'official permission' to do so now. :-)

.....Met today with the Secretary for the Bremerton Motorsports Group. They are leasing a site from the Port of Bremerton out at the Airport that the Barony has been salivating over for YEARS! Every attempt to run the gauntlet through the Port has met a stone wall of nothingness. How BMG was able to pull it off? I don't know. But we could learn some lessons from them! :-)

.....I looked at their eventual plans for the site. The centerpiece being one huge drag racing strip, with full on grandstands to the side. It is enormous! The rest of the site is filled with racetrcks and car courses and all manner of motorsports tracks. It is rather ambitious.

.....However, it is going to take a lot of capital. Millions of dollars. And the group is just getting started. So it could be a number of years before development even gets off of the ground. That's where we come into the picture. It is a great site! All ready to host a June Faire. BMG is talking about it amongst themselves. But Bernie spoke with the President of the BMG, and between him and the Secretary I spoke to today, things are looking somewhat promising to start talking. We'll see how it goes.

.....This, of course, assumes many things. The price is right. The contract is right. The June Faire Board for 2012 is willing to go with this site and plan. And finally, and most important, the Barony as a whole is ready to take on this site.

.....I'm going to run out to the site this weekend and take some pictures. I'll post a few of the better ones to Live Journal.

.....Now I'm going to relax a little and get ready to maybe, like, sleep in a little both days this weekend. :-) YES!!!!!

.....Aaron / Arontius.

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