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.....Last weekend was the Baronial Event of 'Last Chance' where all of the Marshallate Championships for the year are decided over the course of a single day. This year we were able to add the Youth Combat Championship into the plan for the first time in a while. The trade off being that we were not able to pull together an Equestrian Championship.

.....The Equestrian Championship itself is awesome. It is quite the feeling to watch the horses and riders work their way through the tasks required of them for a Championship. But the requirements to hold the Championship are equally awesome in their scope of what must be done. There is insurance to acquire. Huge amounts of space that must be reserved for them. Specialized marshalls that need to be enticed to participate. As much as we like having the Equestrians, we keep having to ask ourselves how much of the Barony is willing to put forth the required effort to have them.

.....For TBT and myself Last Chance marked the completion of a year's worth of Baronial Events as Baron and Baroness. As I look back through the year I'm amazed at how fast it went, but how much has changed as well. Talk about a growth experience! Last year at Yule Feast I stumbled through Court like some drunken bull in a pasture. Since then speaking in Court has become so much easier. I still stumble and struggle with the right words to say. But those words come to me much faster and easier than they used to. :-)

.....There is still much to be learned, of that I have no doubt. But the whole thing does not seem the overwhelming monstrosity it was just a handful of months ago. TBT and I are already looking into the next year and putting together plans to better prepare ourselves for those occasions where it was easy to stumble.

.....In some ways I certainly understand a lot better the reasoning why Jacques and Siobhan stepped down like they did and when they did. And in some ways I owe them a little gratitude. On those occasions I mentally decided that I'd had enough and was determined to give that damned Coronet back to Their Majesties, I would think back to that Fight Practice just before my June Faire in 1999 when I learned that they had decided to step down. I remember the how angry I was and it always made me determined to make it through at least the 'required' three years of tenure. I may cross that finish line limping and delirious, but that finish line will be crossed. :-)

.....I breathed a sigh of relief on Sunday thinking that with Last Chance over I could take some time and maybe slow down a bit, catch up with a few things languishing around the house. Which is a total disaster area at the moment. But the calendar is sitting there laughing at me with reminders of things coming up that require attention. But it's not all event related thankfully.

.....This Friday is our first September Crown meeting, where we're going to make our formal introductions and lay out a timeline of the things that will be done over the next year.

.....Saturday is the Emprise of the Black Lion. There is stuff happening there I would really like to witness. But I would REALLY like to spend that time around the house. I'm really torn at the moment. But I'm leaning towards going to the event. It is North of Seattle. Maybe I could entice TBT to go and have lunch with me at the Fish Place in the Northgate Mall. :-)

.....Sunday is a Serjeantry get-together with Madrun. She takes off for a whole month of travelling after that, so it will be our only chance to slog through the program and make sure she has a good handle on what she needs to study and what she is already prepared to handle. Sometime over the next several weeks we also need to sit down with Dame Ellen and figure out the Serjeantry Matrix and her exact duties as the Serjeantry Secretary.

.....The weekend of October 1st/2nd is a trip up to the Clallam County Fairgrounds for a September Crown site visit. Also would like to squeeze in a trip to Serjeantry Trials for Blatha An Oir, just to witness the proceedings.

.....The weekend of October 8th-10th is a trip to the Ocean in Lobelia. Always relaxing. And it's three days this year, and maybe a fourth if I can get the time off. :-) Hmmm, would like to make a new kite, or buy one, between now and then.

.....The weekend of October 15th-16th is the SCA Board Meeting in Madrone. I found the last Board Meeting I attended to be more interesting than I thought it might be. Witnessing at least some of the process of how the SCA works gives you some insight into why some of the decisions are made the way they are.

.....The weekend of October 22nd-23rd is TBT's birthday weekend. We want to spend at least one day at Woodland Park Zoo. Mostly to make up for the amazingly busy August we survived! The Rhys Monster's birthday happened during that time and he felt rather cheated, and I don't blame him. We'll do our best to make it up to him. Woodland Park is a great way to do that.

.....After that there are rumblings of a trip to Virginia. Our next Project will be in full swing by then at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. I'll have to pay a visit at some point. Any later than that and I start running up against the holidays, something I'd like to avoid. So I'm going to see if I can stake that week into the ground and make it stay put.

.....Then we hit November...

.....I had four goals for the Fall and Winter Season. The first was to work on the Serjeantry Program. The second to jump start our scrolls and ceremonials and put them into some kind of logical and complete order (although Caius did an amazing job of doing that to a rather large degree in preparation for Last Chance). The third was organizing September Crown and putting together a plan for execution. The fourth was silk banners. I'm still determined to complete that one. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It was one crazy week at work. I'm trying to shake it out of my brain so I can concentrate on getting ready for Last Chance tomorrow and not forget anything.

.....Reminders to myself though. The things to concentrate this Fall are:
1.) Serjeantry.
2.) Ceremonies - Includes scrolls, texts, ceremonials, necklaces and catalog of all new awards.
3.) September Crown Timeline and Meeting Schedule.
4.) Silk Banners.

.....Things to remember for tomorrow:
* Wooden striker for bell.
* Tokens for Newcomers.
* All Awards: Baronial Scrolls and Promissory Certificates, Kingdom Scrolls and Necklaces, Baronial Necklaces.
* Remember ALL Kingdom Scrolls.
* Ceremonials for all awards (Caius).
* Snacks for the day (includes drinks and water).
* Contribution for Potluck.
* Go to Fred Meyers as I need some powdered protein.
* Clothes: Sandals, pants, tunic, belt & pouch, necklaces, coronet and cover.
* Baronial Cloaks.
* Someone wants to speak to me about doing something for Team Haggis III.
* Dame Ellen wants to speak about her role in Serjeantry.
* If Sir Martin attends, we want to speak with him as he works with Jahnkin. We're hoping that he'll also work with Caedmon.
* Find out what the rules are for the Baron's Horse Race?
* Tablecloth and Feast Gear.
* Bundle of Fire Wood and Fire Starter. Ask Lady Ceara about fire restrictions.
* Sign Scrolls (Ask Renart first thing if he was able to bring nib and ink. If not, run home quickly and grab).
* Sun hat.
* Dance music? Must remember to ask Madrun about the dance book.
* A flat or two of water.
* Call Gabrielle and ensure the Baronial Seal comes to the event so that THL Conchobar can take it for the box he is going to manufacture for it!!!

.....This last year we asked Adena to lower her water gathering machine a notch, namely so we didn't end the tourney season with a dozen extra flats of water. You know, that was probably not the wisest decision as we could have used those extra flats this year. Next year, when Adena rev's up her water gathering machine and rounds up her troops, I'm going to encourage her to gather all the water she can get from all the local merchants.

.....People sometimes tend to underestimate Adena, but she really is a powerhouse. A little scary. But give her a job and she'll get it done!

.....TBT are starting to find that things are getting lost in the house. We really need to dedicate one weekend to going through all the camping bins and getting organized.

.....And, once we're looking at Last Chance in the rear view mirror, we can get a little bit organized and make up a proper 'to-do' list. I'm afraid of making one at this moment as it would probably be scary long. :-)

.....The nice thing about Last Chance is that it is maybe fifty yards from the house, and maybe a half-mile to a mile to the Baronial Storage Unit. If we find that we've forgotten anything we don't have very far to travel to retrieve it. :-)

.....I should go to bed. It is 11PM. Just hope that I can shut down the conversations all going on in my head at the moment. :-)

.....Arontius.
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.....This weekend is the Last Chance Marshallate Championships of Dragon's Laire. It'll be the last big camping / outdoor event of the year for myself and TBT. It's coming together, albeit with a few wobbles along the way. But it'll happen, Champions will be named, and we'll make it through the weekend. Oh, boy, though, is it going to be hot!

.....Still struggling with the Ceremonies for the Awards, as well as the Champions themselves. This past year we borrowed liberally from Cedric and Brighid's tenure. But their style doesn't really fit with ours very well. We've never been very comfortable with them. And we've not had the time to put together anything new and comprehensive of our own. Caius recently stepped up and put together a bunch of new Ceremonials, borrowing liberally from the Kingdom examples of the awards we plan on giving out. He's put a lot of work into them. We'll want to expand on them, and polish them a bit. But for Last Chance? Caius is our hero. At least we'll sound half-way decent.

.....Then sometime in the next three months we are determined to sit down and hammer out a complete set of Ceremonials that will be the foundation of the remainder of our time. Tsuruko, Caius and Gabrielle are already on board with getting together to do that.

.....One of the things that TBT and I struggled hard with was the concept of being a Baronial Champion itself. During the tenure of Cedric and Brighid, it was their desire that the Championship itself was THE prize of the competition, that people would strive to want to have this title and that it would be the deciding factor in persuading people to want to enter the competition.

.....I actually agreed with that concept and supported it whole-heartedly. And I still agree with the concept as it fulfills the part of me that subscribes to the Arthurian Romance of the SCA game we play. That people would not put forth their effort for a 'thing'. They would put forth their best effort in the noble pursuit of being the Champion of the Barony.

.....The struggle itself though comes from past history, as well as the desires expressed by a number of combatants with whom TBT and I have spoken. The very first event I shepherded solo was a Candlemas. At that time the Rapier Championship of Dragon's Laire was fought at Candlemas each year. At that event the Barony purchased a nice sword that was given as a prize to the person who 'won' the Championship itself. The sword was made by Jess of Prose and Steel. He charged us somewhere between $150 and $200.

.....I cannot remember how many combatants we had at that Championship, but it was well over twenty. The Championship lasted from 10AM into the mid-afternoon, non-stop.

.....This was my standard since that time of what a 'popular' Championship would look like.

.....Recently, we started asking the question of what it would take to bring in more fighters to the various Championships in the Barony and we were surprised at the number of people who told us that a 'spiffy' prize would bring in more people. Even though I was personally of the opinion that people should compete to want to be the Champion itself, we tried thinking to ourselves, 'What is going to benefit the Barony most, more fighters (with their associated experience, knowledge and sheer numbers) or a strong moral position (that being a 'Champion' of the Barony should be worthy)'.

.....So, we're going to experiment over the next couple of years. TBT and I asked the Finance Committee to budget up to $50 for a prize for each Marshallate at Last Chance. This is not much really. But it is a start. We'll see where it goes. I was actually a little embarrassed to ask for it to be honest, simply because my own opinion has been wrapped around the 'Champion' concept for so long.

.....I'm somewhat curious to know if there is a price tag to how much a Championship is worth. Is $50 (or the equivalent in 'stuff') enough to lure some people into competition? If not, what would be? That thought will impact future bottom lines to events of course, and prizes will have to be budgeted into Financial Estimates. We'll have to consider that aspect soon in order to support Candlemas. I'm glad that Yule doesn't have a competition this year. :-)

.....Talon put forth a compromise this week that I really like, based somewhat and expanded from a proposal first mentioned by Sir Fiach. That being a two-pronged Tournament. If I'm understanding it correctly, it goes something like this. People coming to Last Chance could declare for either the Championship or for the Tourney itself. If they won the Tourney, they would get the prize. If they won the Championship, they would gain the title of Champion. But all would enter the same lists. It is a rather good compromise. There are a number of people who do not want to enter this type of competition simply because they felt they did not have the time to perform the duties of a Champion. With this compromise we still gain the benefit of their experience, and more fighters in the list. This may be the way forward. We'll see how it works this weekend.

.....Although it'll be hard to use this event as a gauge seeing as we didn't have much advertising as to having a 'prize'.

.....I'm also curious to see if a prize is a motivation to those who would enter the competitions for Arts and Sciences, Bardic and Scholar in February.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It's been a while since I posted to Live Journal. It's been that busy of a Tourney Season. Definitely a Lesson Learned in how to pace ones self. Next year TBT are SSSSOOOOO going to schedule our next year a LOT better. No more of this every single weekend with the SCA.

.....Work has been a royal pain in the ass as well. We continue down the road of 'Let's make every single mistake we can possibly make in order to get this job done.' At this rate I'm not sure when we're going to get done.

.....But this weekend is Last Chance, our last outdoor event of the year. After this weekend, we'll still be busy, but the pace will ease up a bit. The current Project is currently scheduled to wrap up the first week of October. So I'm still hopeful that by this time next month I'll be catching my breath, and maybe cleaning the house. Holy Crap! The house hasn't been this bad since I was a bachelor living with four others in the Zombie Zone.

.....Even though I don't post much, I still like reading Live Journal. All of my favorite RSS Feeds are located here. I like the pace of Live Journal much more than Facebook as well. Facebook seems overwhelmingly frenetic to me. If I want frenetic all I have to do is go to an SCA event. And Live Journal is a great way to keep up with TBT. She posts some good stuff there sometimes. Even her day-to-day is good to read. Especially when I need a distraction at work. :-)

.....Just scheduled our Fall Regional Pelican Council Meeting on a telephone bridge line. Don't know if the Region will actually go for it yet, but I at least scheduled it so I had it available. Need to send some e-mails out on it and get some opinions on the idea.

.....We had our Pre-September Crown meeting in an electronic Chat Room. There were things I liked and things I really didn't like about the Chat Room meeting.

.....The Good:
* No traveling to a meeting room or space that had to be arranged. Which also means no public restaurants where your meeting competed with the general noise level of the place. And it also meant no last minute clean up sessions in order to make ones house presentable to a group of people. If I wanted, I could have sat in my underwear on the couch and sipped my favorite alcohol of choice (I know, you didn't need that visual :-)).

* No traveling means a savings on gas as well (and ferry fares, and bridge tolls and...).

* Capturing the notes for the meeting was easy. Since everything was typed into the Chat Room, I was able to capture through a cut-and-paste of the conversation. No taking of notes and interpretation of notes needed.

* Access to databases and the internet for information as needed, such as the OP and candidate Wiki Pages.

.....The Challenging:
* Everyone needs to have their own computer to be part of the conversation. We tried to have people meet at houses where one person would type for three or more people. This proved to not be a good idea. I had Cedric and Brighid at my house and was hard pressed to keep up with what they wanted to say. Not to mention that my interpretations of their longer sentences and thoughts were not always exactly what they wanted to say.

* Not everyone is a computer geek. There were people who had issues accessing the Chat Room. Which meant that some people could not join in on the conversation, and they had no help close by to get them there.

* Typing Speed. Some people are naturally fast typists, and some people not so much. Those who are slower are constantly being overtaken by those who are faster.

* Controlling the conversation. Unless harsh ground rules are set and enforced, people would continuously talk over each other. Sometimes the entire conversation would take meandering courses away from topic and it was difficult to bring it back.

* The anonymity. I've noticed that people will say things in front of a computer screen that they might not say when face-to-face with someone.

.....I'm still on the fence as to whether I would like to use a Chat Room in the future. Some of the Regional players really liked it, so I think we'll end up using it again. But I may not be a real advocate, which is why I'm holding out hope that the bridge line idea might help with some of the challenges above.

.....That's some wayward post. I think I'll quit now while I'm relatively still awake. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius
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.....Well, I'm sitting at Gate A7 at SeaTac Airport. Waiting for a flight that leaves at 11:25PM for Dallas - Fort Worth. Will, hopefully, end up in Indianapolis at about 8:00AM on Monday morning. :-) Once again it's off on an adventure to the wild jungles of Crane, Indiana, to listen to a group of people discuss the triumphs and challenges of installing and maintaining batteries aboard submarines. :-)

.....Actually, it looks like it may be a little exciting this time. Lots going on in the battery world these days. Not entirely sure if it is going to last just the week, or stretch into two. We've been told to prepare for the eventuality. But if things go my way, I'll still be able to bask in the glowing intelligence of Mistress Callista and Sir Donnan. :-) We'll hope for the best.

.....It has been almost a non-stop rollar coaster ride since about KAS / KBC. From there it was a trip to NORWESCON and then the uphill slog through May Crown to June Faire. Even after that we went to Lionhearts last weekend and were slated to go to Honey War this weekend. At least for a day trip. But on Friday I looked at the piles of armor pieces stationed at various locations around the garage and finally had to admit defeat. There were just too many repairs to be made in order to get the armor operable again.

.....I went into TBT's room to say that I would be happy to cheer her on from the sidelines. We started talking about everything we needed to get done before I left on my trip on Sunday and we finally decided that we needed to stay home. It was a tough decision, and I felt guilty all weekend long. But as I sit here in the airport I feel much happier than I would have felt scrambling around all day today trying to get everything done in order to take off. I'll take the guilt if it helps preserve the relief.

.....Although the guilt pangs hard at times. From the sounds of things, Dragon's Laire really rocked the event hard! Took home several major prizes and awards and helped Blatha An Oir rule the day! I do feel a little sorry for Johann and Francisca. A little. :-)

.....Even managed to get the notes done from our Regional Pelican Meeting in May as well as the agenda for the meeting that is set to happen this Thursday. I think this will be the first one I've missed since I became a Pelican. I think. But things are rolling rather well at the moment, so I don't anticipate any surprises. I certainly don't think I'll be missed, which is a good thing.

.....Finally heard back from the Clallam County Fairgrounds folks this weekend. We are getting everything we asked for, including several buildings, the entire arena, and all the open lands, for $1,350. Wow! I wish we could get that kind of deal in Kitsap County! So now I just have to finalize the costs of a handful of biffies and get the trash issue squared away, and I'll have the bid for September Crown, 2012, ready to fly! Only thing really flapping in the breeze at the moment is the official acknowledgement from Druim Doineann that it is O.K. to hold the event in their lands. I already have a verbal from their Seneschal, Ivan, that we can go ahead. Just need to get it in writing. Wish we could have been able to do this with Princess Lenora of Tir Righ in attendance. :-)

.....Had a good talk with Brumbar this weekend. He is building himself another suit of armor and volunteered to help repair mine. Is is a magician at armor making and we'll get it all repaired in no time. I think we'll even be able to get TBT into something adequate. Just in conversation it is looking like we might be able to field something by Autumn War. At least that is the goal.

.....Looking on the horizon, the schedule is not as intense as the run up to June Faire. But there are still a lot of things to plan. July Coronation will be here before we know it. Looks like we'll have about twenty or so merchants in the Marketplace. Which should be easy to map out. Gwenllyn can't be on site until later on Friday, so it looks like it will be myself, TBT and Madrun doing the lay-out. But with only twenty merchants, and the main roads already laid out, things should go fairly quickly. I do NOT miss the days of June Faire when we fielded upwards of eighty merchants. With all the duplication of merchandice, it just doesn't make sense to have that many. Unless, I suppose, you're worried about mark-up. Hmmmm....

.....We'll be in Lobelia for J.C. weekend. We'll have the Rhys Monster with us. Camping and the Rhys Monster do not a fit make. But we finally broke down and decided that we weren't taking Lobelia out enough. We need to start talking it up for a Dragon's Laire encampment. We'll need to find a camp wrangler sooner rather than later. Already have space reserved on the Eric for the Baronial.

.....First weekend of August is our Summer Bardic and Picnic. Some interesting plans are in the roaster now. I keep emphasizing that we want to keep this low key and non-stress. It is just a leisurely picnic and community camp out. Although I'm liking the Arts and Sciences ideas, and the bardic fighting tourney ideas. Some good ideas in the offering. I am really looking forward to a good bardic fire. Wish we could do a pit firing, but I doubt that OPG would like that a whole lot. :-)

.....Then Autumn War right after Summer Bardic. We weren't planning on camping at Autumn War, but if TBT and I are in armor that might change the dynamics a bit. But I think I'm still in favor of a day trip adventure. We have a little time before we have to make up our minds on that one.

.....September Crown down in Chehalis. Already slated as a camping adventure. We'll need to find a Camp Wrangler for this one as well.

.....Then Last Chance the weekend after. Wow! The events really stack on top of each other! At least this one is close to home. Just a couple of blocks away at Silver Spurs.

.....Freakin' busy summer! Think I'll go and check my e-mail and see if anyone posted results from Honey War. I saw something from Baroness Elspeth, but am hoping for more. :-)

.....Wish that TBT were going with me. I think she'd have as much fun traveling as I do.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....I actually had a good time at Last Chance this weekend. I'd been anxious for the past couple of weeks about a.) the weather reports which became increasingly gloomy as we approached the date of the event, and b.) the site of supreme anxiety, the Uplands of Port Gamble (based on the Epically Nightmarish Swamp Faire of 2008). But the event was, in the end, a success.

.....Saturday was bright and clear, and HOT, all day long. With all the rain we had over the week, the humidity was really high, which was a little uncomfortable at times. But it was never unbearable. Certainly nothing in comparison to a hot, Georgia, afternoon. I was glad I dressed in layers though, with a light linen tunic as the bottom layer. I could lose layers as needed, and then put them back on as the evening slowly cooled down.

.....We were on site by 1000 Court. As the Heirs we were expected to sit next to Their Excellencies in Court. They warned me that the view and the 'feel' was a lot different when looking out at the Populace as opposed to being a member of the Populace and watching Court. They were definitely right. Sitting up in front there you are the focus of a lot of attention. I watched Their Excellencies to see how they did things, how they acted, and how reacted to cues from the Populace. It was interesting as I had never paid that much attention to those kinds of details in the past.

.....I definitely want to change some of the Ceremonials. I think that TBT does as well. I wrote a lot of the original wording for Their Excellencies when They first stepped up. I was somewhat proud of the words at the time. But they have not stood up well to the wear and tear of history. For one thing they are far too wordy. By the time all the words are read so much time has gone by that people get distracted. We really need to tighten things up. Their Excellencies had already started that process. But we want to convert these to an even more Anglo-Saxon feel. I'd like to also do some conversion to a style closer to a period feel. Which is problematic. If no one can understand what is being said, than they are less inclined to be interested in any part of it.

.....What would be really cool would be a conversion from the current prose to a more poetic format. It really isn't skaldic, although that style is close, but an early anglo-saxon style of poetry was really sing-song in execution. I've listened to scholastic representations of what they most likely resembled and it has a really cool sound. The only trick might be to convert modern english into that style. The nice thing is that in reality an anglo-saxon poetic scroll and ceremony might be easier for a herald to read and say than the current verbiage. We'll see what we end up producing.

.....The final Court was rather emotional. Being Their Excellencies last Baronial Court They had a lot of words They wanted to say, and tokens to give out. I only hope that TBT and I can engender the same loyalty and dedication that Their Excellencies have produced in the Populace.

.....The feast was really good. The Culinary Guild did a fantastic job with the Port and Chicken they grilled during the day. Add that to the side dishes that everyone contributed to the table and certainly no one went away hungry, that's for sure. After dinner, lots of good conversation was had, some music and revelry under the Poof-Ka (the 'Pavilion Formerly Known As'). I wish we could have stayed longer, but TBT and I were tired and wanted to make sure we could pick up Rhys and make it home while still coherent enough to drive.

.....Today went along rather nicely. We were on site by 9:30AM and the Captain-Of-The-Guard Tourney was already in full swing. It was a lot of fun to watch and the combatants were intent on doing their best. Caius finally won and anyone who took the time to watch the Tournament could not doubt their sincerity and desire to want to be Captain of TBT's Guard. TBT may have been reluctant to actually have a guard before we began this process, but watching the dedication of those vying for the Captain's position brought home the beauty of what they did. It was very cool.

.....Break-down of site started around 11AM and we were off site by Noon, which is wonderful for a Last Chance. We ran stuff to the Storage Unit, had lunch, did chores and are now getting ready for the work week. There are lots of things to think about. But right now I'm thinking of one thing at a time and doing my best to stay awake long enough to get laundry for the week. :-)

.....Need to check the 'to-do' list. The next couple of weeks are going to be busy.

.....Zzzzzzzz, Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Last night was the big Baronial Storage Unit Pack-Out for the Last Chance Tournament in the Uplands of Port Gamble. It was a good turn-out actually. Enough people to pack everything into the assembled vehicles, but not so many that we were tripping over each other with abandon.

.....The weather has been making me nervous. Clouds and rain. All the way through the weekend. I kept having visions of June Faire 2008 in the Uplands of Swamp Heaven. I was anxious to get to site and see the score.

.....Sierrena (Ceara), the first time Autocrat, has been an absolute rock of surety. She is going to grow into a fine Autocrat. She is steady, hard working, willing to listen and make decisions. She does not panic, and she works through issues as they arise. I'm impressed.

.....Several new people who joined the branch this year also turned up for the pack-out. They seemed just as un-phased by the weather. This helped ease my mind as well. Positive attitudes should always win the day. :-)

.....Even the grumpy curmudgeonly folks who showed up were more humorous than they were rude. :-)

.....Took us about fourty-five minutes to pack. Probably a little longer than it should, but there was a little miscommunication. And the tieing down of aluminum poles to a roof rack is far more difficult than it should be. They are slippery suckers. I drove at least five miles under the speed limit the entire time in fear of the poles sliding out and on to the road in front of me or behind me. That would have been an 'ack' for sure, especially for the idiots who decided to drive on top of my bumper because I was going to sloo for them.

.....We arrived on site around a quarter after seven and the first thing we did was walk around the site. I was pleasantly surprised. There is plenty of open space that is graveled or well drained. The Uplands have been allowed to drain and dry for a couple of years now, and it shows. There are still boggy spots, but they can be marked and avoided.

.....I'm relatively sure attendance of campers is going to be pretty low this year. Which is sad as this is Their Excellencies last Baronial Event. I wish I had a good alternative, even if just for the feast. I wonder if Port Gamble would let us have the Wedding Pavilion cheap for just the feast? I may have to give them a call today and find out.

.....Ceara has a crew coming to site relatively early today for set-up. TBT is going to be on site to support any Merchants who show up. If anyone reading this is going to be up there today, please help me ensure she doesn't hurt her back. Eh?

.....I'm going to be up there around five-ish. I couldn't get out of work early today. Too many things happening here. But I'm thinking that there will still be things to do after 5PM.

.....I'm actually feeling somewhat guilty for not camping up there this weekend. But we couldn't get Lobelia to site this weekend, and we're just not set up at the moment to get all of our camping equipment up there. But it definitely highlights our camping issues and the need to GET ORGANIZED before next year bites us in the rear ends. We'll need to do more heavy-duty pavilion camping next year and need to be ready. It'll definitely be a priority this winter.

.....Sigh, one of about five hundred priority items for sure. :-) Oh, well, I said yes. So I need to NOT complain and just get busy. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....The weekend went by rather quickly. I can't believe that it is time to get ready to go back to work. I need weekends to be four days long and not two. :-)

.....Saturday was all about cleaning. After seeing TBT on the road to Dragon's Mist, I drug myself over to Mom's house. She has been so overwhelmed by keeping up on the apartment that I volunteered to help see if we could give her some breathing space. I told her I'd be at her place at 8:30AM sharp to get busy. To her credit she was there waiting.

.....Her place was a mess, so I got started right away. We captured the Laundry facilities right away and filled up all the washers. Then I cleared up the living room. By the time I picked up all the soda cans I was poking at her verbally about cleaning up and not letting the trash pile up. She didn't snap back at me and I think I finally realized that she was a little embarrassed at how messy she let the place get. She finally left me to the living room and worked on the dishes in the kitchen.

.....After two and a half hours or so I was done as far as I was going to go. But things were looking a lot better and Mom promised me she would continue to work on the place over the weekend. Although the impression she left me was that she just wanted me gone as I was starting to interfere with her Nascar Race of the day. :-) I was too tired to argue by this time and left.

.....After lunch it was time for our place. It wasn't too bad actually, mainly just maintenance. Cleaned up the kitchen and cat boxes and made sure laundry was done as much as possible.

.....Enjoyed some decadence and read for a while after that. :-)

.....When TBT made it home for the day we immediately went off for dinner at Gwen's. It was a large gathering of people who had shown up to work on tokens for Last Chance. Dinner was hamburgers and hot dogs and was tasty.

.....A new arrival to the Barony was in attendance, Jane D. She's a military traveler who recently spent a lot of time in Drachenwald. She had some great pictures of England. I especially liked the pictures of Glastonbury Abbey that the standing stones of Avebury. It made me REALLY want to go and visit England again. It is such a neat place. So full of ancient history.

.....Today was a lot slower. I was fighting off a headache most of the day. It was not BAD, but I did not feel good. Natious, headachey, and cold hands. Some classic signs of a migraine. But I seemed to miss the worst of it. I hit it hard with tylenol, caffeine and a hot shower. I'm hopeful that I will wake up in the morning without anything left of it.

.....A rather busy week. On Monday I have to run up to Lobelia after work and pick up my bag of dance stuff. I'm spelling Abbot Sion on Tuesday during Fight Practice with a couple of dances. We'll see how well they go over. I definitely want to get a Karabushka in. Also have to remember to grab Gold Key from the heated storage unit to bring with me to the Deputy Gold Key to sort.

.....Wednesday and Thursday will be about getting ready for Last Chance. I'm still on the fence about bringing Lobelia. I would like to be on site for the event, but Lobelia requires some work to get ready, bring to site, and set up for the weekend. I'm actually leaning towards just day-tripping. But we'll see. It looks like we'll be at the Feast on Saturday and it would be nice to be able to just crawl into Lobelia and go to sleep after the feast.

.....I need to get organized before I lose sight of things.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....Holy Damn! It's 104 degrees in Bremerton! I was actually one of the lucky ones today though. I had at least three fans pointed at me and blowing full blast. The guys on the boat didn't have that luxury. Thankfully, management is afraid of lawsuits and started shutting down work after lunch. Anything heat producing on board was shut down. Any jobs that involved inventory or inside shop were emphasized. Someone mentioned a thermometer reading 110 degrees inside a space on the boat. Ack!

.....The bedroom is already walled off and the window box air conditioner going full tilt. We'll be able to sleep tonight at least. :-)

.....Tonight is the site walk through at Silver Spurs for Last Chance. Kassian may get wind burnt at the speed of this walk-through. It is too freakin' hot to spend too much time walking about. :-) Although, to be honest, we wouldn't have to spend a good deal of time there in any case since we were in the same place last year and we've already discussed what things Their Excellencies would like to see changed.

.....Then this weekend we look at a potential site in Poulsbo. There is an event this weekend on the Tribal Property overlooking Liberty Bay in Poulsbo. It will be an excellent chance to see the property with tents and people set up for an event. It will give us an idea of what to expect if we put an event ourselves on the property. I'd still like to see if there is a good chance of holding September Crown there. But to be on the safe side we went ahead and penciled ourselves in at Port Gamble. That, at least, is a sure thing.

.....I like the Poulsbo site though. It has a beautiful view of the Bay and of Mount Ranier. It has one entrance. It has some nice grounds. And it is close to town, but secluded enough to be able to develop the proper ambience for Crown. I'm on the fence though as to its 'for real' viability. Is it too hilly to really be of use? We'll get a better feel for an answer after this weekend I think.

.....As if that wasn't enough I had the Port Orchard Airport dangled in front of me again. The Airplane group that usually holds a Labor Day event out there is thinkin of moving to another site this year. I was asked whether we'd be interested in the site if it were available. I said that yes, we'd be interested. Made me cringe internally, but I thought that this would be a good opportunity to get our foot in the door at least.

.....Man, it's freakin' hot! My desktop and wireless keep crashing on me. Maybe I ought to move both into the bedroom? Hmmm...

.....I thought about maybe going to HSL this weekend, but the more I think about the heat, the less I want to go. :-) OOOooooo, OR, maybe a dip into the Elwha River?! Oooo, with it's ice melt water?! Now that sounds refreshing! Hmmmm......

.....Stay cool everyone!

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....We're here at Fight Practice and I'm taking notes from the meeting to discuss Last Chance Feast and Tourney. Kassian has volunteered to autocrat the event and we're brainstorming ideas on what worked and what didn't work last year.

.....The site is going to be the Silver Spurs Equestrian Center next to the Fairgrounds. It worked out as a great site last year. The unfortunate thing this year is that our preferred dates are not available on the Silver Spurs calendar. The open dates were the first and third weekends of October. The weather becomes VERY problematic as you get later into October, so we're going to push to hold Last Chance October 2nd through 4th. There is a thought that this conflicts with some other event on the calendar, but the online Kingdom Calendar shows an event at Wastekeep and a Madrone A&S Championship. So we're going to try for the first weekend of October. We'll see what kind of disruption this does to Madrone.

.....Need to check in with our current Equestrian Champion, Mistress Miranda, to see if this weekend will work for her as well as she would like to be part of the organizing group for this activity. Countess Miranda was in the loop when the date was first saved on the calendar, so now that it is being forced to be moved we will need to get her input ASAP.

.....Sorcha and Idaminious (sp?) are planning their wedding for Last Chance and have volunteered to coordinate the feast for the event. The Barony will provide the main dish and the setting (tables and chairs), and Sorcha and Company will do the actually preparation of the feast. Last year we had a roast pig and there was thought that maybe the Barony could provide a half-cow, or a sheep, this year. More to follow as the pig from last year was not universally liked.

.....Sorcha will have modern guests for the wedding, so we will use the same formula that was used for Karl Redstone's wake of several years ago in that a list of expected attendees will be provided to gate as a check list when they show up. The wedding will be timed for later in the day so as to not conflict with the event itself. Those attending the wedding will not all be in medieval garb, which is why the wedding is timed for later in the day. Those who actually want to attend the event will be asked to formally sign in at gate and pay a site fee. But those attending just for the wedding will be checked off of the list and will not be asked to pay a site fee.

.....It was mentioned that it might be a good idea to combine the Harvest Ball with Last Chance and have a dance after the feast. Those present seemed to think that this was a good idea.

.....The Arts and Sciences area will be located OUTSIDE the fence near the building this year (as opposed to inside the fence as where it was located last year).

.....It was suggested that the Baroness Tea be done again, but there was not a lot of enthusiasm for this by those present. More discussion to follow. Kassian needs to touch base with Her Excellency to get Her thoughts on the matter.

.....Last year the archery range was located at the far end of the site and it was something of a hefty walk to get from one end of the event to the other. Those present, especially His Excellency, want the actual 'EVENT' more combined, or compact, instead of spread out. A couple of placement ideas were drawn up on the dry erase board and a placement was decided.

.....The placement of Court was discussed. There was some problem with the ambiance of Court being disrupted by having a mass of plastic tables and chairs being in the middle of 'Court'. So it was decided that Court would be set up at a location separate from the actual feast area.

.....Last year, with Last Chance being the weekend after September Crown, the attendee numbers were probably a bit skewed over a typical year. This will have a bearing on the number of Portable Restrooms that are ordered for the weekend, and the number of pumpings that are required. Kassian is going to talk to Arontius and Aelianora on the side to discuss how many should be ordered.

.....Heidi of Dragon's Laire volunteered to arrange for decorations at the event. She was excited about utilizing the Baronial owned banners for enlivening the event and had a bunch of ideas about doing this.

.....Moira and Manus volunteered to be the Gate Coordinators. Kassian needs a Marketplace Coordinator. Need someone to arrange for Pied Piper activities.

.....Need someone to arrange for prizes. His Excellency reminded us that the CHAMPIONSHIPS are their own prizes and so prizes are not needed for these categories. But prizes will be needed for other activities.

.....Waterbearing was discussed. It was acknowledged that waterbearing as an office no longer exists, but it would be nice if something formal was arranged. Last year the Barony purchased a couple of cases of bottled water and left them near the erics. This worked O.K. for the fighting community, but if someone could be found who would take on organizing waterbearing activities, it would be appreciated. Kassian will scout for a volunteer.

.....Need to touch base with the Silver Spurs people on the on-site food vendors to see if they will be present.

.....Kassian will touch base with Aelianora to get a run down of expenses from Last Chance for the past several years to get an idea of what expenses to expect.

.....Last Chance is the event where the Marshallate Championships for Dragon's Laire are decided. The Heavy Fighting, Rapier Fighting, Equestrian, Archery, and Thrown Weapons Championships are decided on Saturday. On Sunday, the Captain of the Baroness' Guard is decided by Tourney.

.....Arontius needs to ensure that the date is changed on the Kingdom Calendar ASAP, and will also touch base with Tsuruko ASAP to see if there are any conflicts with other Equestrian Events on October 2nd through 4th.

.....Site walk-through will be arranged sometime in the next couple of months.

.....Kassian will put together a budget and share it with the Baronial Finance Community sometime in the next month, after discussing past expenses with Aelianora.

.....Let me know if anyone present for the meeting sees any errors or omissions in my notes.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....It's been a long week and I need to distract myself from the huge pile-o'rama of stuff on my desk, at least for a moment. :-)

.....Spent most of this week dealing with a migraine. For me it is a two to three day phenomenon. I can feel the pressure and light sensitivity the first day or so. Then the full blown migraine itself on the second day. Then the third day is spent in a migraine 'hangover', which is where I find myself today. Sort of disconnected and a little wonky. But I am grateful that I'll be done with the damned thing before Last Chance this weekend. I was grumpy most of this week, but thankfully TBT knew all the right things to say to make me happier. :-)

.....I'm also grateful for Last Chance being approximately 500 yards from my front door. :-) I can go home and grab all of those forgotten items whenever needed. I can go home and grab a nap or use the shower or make a for-real lunch. Hmmm, I could get used to this. Now if I could only get June Faire moved to the Fairgrounds..... :-)

.....The Kitsap County Parks and Recreation Department is a frustrating place. I've been trying for a while now to get something going on possibly using the Fairgrounds for June Faire. They acknowledge that they have received my application. But the Department Director has to review and approve the thing before they can negotiate the final price and send me a contract. Argh! So in the meantime I'm bugging the heck out of Port Gamble to ensure that we have the town squared away AND NO WEDDINGS ARE BOOKED so that we can hold June Faire 2009 in town.

.....We have the new Chairperson on board for June Faire. They officially accepted the post yesterday. They reviewed the line-up and agreed that they could work with all on the Team. I have two people to whom I have to discuss their positions and then we can announce to the world the Team. I'll be able to wrap that up this weekend.

.....Managed to get a number of SCA things done this week. Copy is submitted for the October Harvest Dance. EIF is complete for the 'Toys-For-Tots' Tourney (which may end up having a few other surprises occur :-)). Finally took care of the insurance for the Culinary Symposium. Received our permission to conflict with Aquaterra for Yule Feast. Submitted a DRF for Candlemas on February 7th. I even managed to catch all of our finances up for The Crier by paying the latest bill from United Mailing Direct. Even with a migraine I managed to make the week work for me. :-)

.....Have had interesting conversations with the site owner for the Port Orchard Airport. It is a 110 acre site with approximately 80 of that being usable, flat, clear ground. It's a nice place that will make a great event site. Maybe not for June Faire, but definitely for a Kingdom Event, a war, Last Chance, and other things.

.....Unfortunately, there are a few hurdles to jump before the owner will let us use the site. He's had some bad luck with people who have wanted to use the site in the past. Extreme Home Makeover utilized the airport as a staging location for the home they remodeled in Olalla. They basically trashed the place. Left all kinds of trash and garbage. Left nails strewn all over the place. Wrecked several stretches of fence that required repair. They paid the bill for what they did, but the Site Owner still had to get all the clean up and repairs done, which was a pain.

.....Then a car club held an event on the site last year. They agreed to pay a rental fee of $1,500.00. The event itself pulled in approximately $900.00 and the car club didn't have the funds to pay the rest of the rental and basically told the Site Owner that they wouldn't pay. Very frustrating.

.....Surprisingly enough, the final straw was Ron with the Renn. Faire. It seems that he made a run to use the airport as a site for the Renn. Faire. I don't know all the details, but Ron did not make the Site Owner happy with his negotiations.

.....So, the Site Owner is reluctant to rent us the site for any reason. I haven't given up though. There is a person here at work who is good friends with the Site Owner. He has held a number of his own events at the Airport that have been successful and he is acting as a mediator for us. He's been to June Faire and knows me fairly well. He's in the process of talking the Site Owner into at least maybe coming to an event and talking to a few people who manage sites we've used in the past. This is giving me a little hope. We'll see where we go from here.

.....Gotta run. Hope to see as many of you as possible at Last Chance this weekend.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....Greetings All,

.....I spent yesterday at our Dragon's Laire Last Chance Feast and Tourney. It was the second event where I had very little scheduled to do. And I still felt at least a little guilty. :-) But I did help out where I could and enjoyed my stay there.

.....I brought Mom with me. Picked her up at about 10AM, along with her scooter. Mom has trouble getting around these days. The scooter allows her mobility that she wouldn't otherwise have. But boy, is it a pain in the rear to haul around. It was good to get her out of the house though for the day. She spends way too much time at home by herself. Going to have to see if I can get her out some more.

.....We showed up on site at about 11:00 or so. Morning Court was very nearly complete. After getting Mom situated to wander the site, I put stuff away in Mistress Gwen's trailer. Then yakked with Aelianora for a short bit in the Artisan's Display. She and I discussed strategies for next June Faire (already!!! :-)). It was a good discussion. And we're good enough friends that we can argue our own personal viewpoints, no matter how opposing they are, and still be friends at the end of the conversation. :-) Actually, we're good enough friends to where we actually listen to each other, take the other's argument into consideration, and ACCEPT that they might have valuable input that would benefit the situation. Now that is the mark of a very good friendship. :-)

.....I'm feeling very good about this next June Faire Board already. When the slate was announced last Wednesday, the first thing that happened was that myself, Master Ralg and Ian MacKynnes huddled and strategized on what we saw as the major points to hit right out of the starting gate. Wow! It was a good session and gave me a very good feeling for how this next year's June Faire is going to go. There are big changes on the horizon for June Faire and we're going to have to figure out how to make them work. The town is pushing hard for pre-registration so as to have some sort of control over the people who show up, but we all know from experience (as in viewing the Egils experience) that a forced total pre-registration has its own pit-falls. We're also looking at the jurying of merchants and the movement of the Baronial Championships out of June Faire. So next year will be interesting.

.....After that lively discussion, there was another one outside concerning Her Excellency Brighid's first Sargeantry Trials. There were only a handful of people in attendance, and only a few of those thinking of actually going out for the Sargeantry. I guess I expected more for some reason. Although, to be honest, it is something that requires a good deal of commitment for about a year. Which means I should be looking at myself more critically to see if I ACTUALLY have the time. :-) But Aelianora and Ronan are going out for Sargeantry and it is always a lot more to do something like this with a group of friends with whom you can work. :-)

.....The rest of the day was spent in chatting with friends. Got to sit and visit with Mistress Gwen, Richard Dragun, Brummbar, Talia. Even Bjorn Kolbjornsson sat and talked for a while.

.....About 5PM Evening Court began and the people sitting gate at that time were wanted, so I volunteered to sit gate during that time. The first half was pretty quiet, but the second half started picking up. People started arriving for the wake of Karl Redstone. We were told that the free admittance at gate did not start until 7PM. Some people actually paid the event fee. Some people went back to their car to wait it out until 7PM. But some people were very unhappy with the 7PM rule. The embarrassing part was the fact that, to a person, the belligerent ones were all peers. Sigh! I held out until about 6:30 and then made an executive decision and opened up the memorial gate (free of charge) a bit early. :-) Talon and Janae (the Autocrats) backed that up a short time later, so I didn't feel too bad about doing that.

.....Got out of gate a little later then I thought, so when I showed up at the Feast Hall, Mom was already situated at a table. Found out a short time later that we were directly across from [livejournal.com profile] blondtartan and her new husband. They were married at Banner War last weekend. Another LJ User that I met for the first time in person. :-) And they are such incredibly nice people! And incredibly gracious. I was tired and forgot some feast gear and they went right ahead and offered some for our use. Wish I had been more awake. :-)

.....Mom was being a trooper, but about half way through dinner I could see that she had had enough. No complaining though. I grabbed the car and brought it down to the Feast Hall and loaded up her scooter and as soon as a clear shot opened up we had her up and into the van for the ride home. She enjoyed the event I think and is already looking forward to Twelfth Night. :-)

.....Then it was home and to bed. :-) Now it's almost time to head back out to site to get loaded up for the trip back to the storage unit. :-)

.....It was a good day. Would have been better if Laurellen had been there. I've missed her this weekend.

.....Arontius / Aaron.

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