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.....I am totally looking forward to September Crown this upcoming weekend. It will be fun. Will there be issues? Possibly. Some events have issues. But I am actually excited to see this all come together on a brand new site. The view is superb. The site has potential. It is on the I-5 corridor. We made several governmental entities actually work together in our best interest (how often does THAT happen? :-)). Dragon's Laire once again will prove what a truly awesome place it is.

.....There is part of me though that really wishes Tamm and I had taken Lobelia to go here: <http://www.burningman.com/>. Officially, it starts tomorrow on the playa of Black Rock Desert, 120 miles north of Reno, Nevada. It is a huge, wild, art festival. Not for the faint-of-heart. :-) But I have friends who have attended and are attending again this year, with over 60,000 of their closest friends.

......Can you believe that? Over 60,000 people out in the middle of nowhere, expressing themselves through artistic endeavour. I'm not an artist, but I think that in the middle of all this artistic energy swirling about, even I could touch some artistic part of me that is deeply buried somewhere. Brighid doesn't think I have it, but I think it is in there somewhere. It just needs a gentle nudge to spring forth. :-)

.....There is a web-cam on site this year. You can access it at this site: <http://www.ustream.tv/burningman>.

.....It's got a permanent place on my personal bucket list. After we've stepped down, and after we've gone to England. We'll be there. I'm sure of it. :-)

.....I have to be at work tomorrow and Tuesday. And, I'll have to concentrate on work. That is going to be difficult as hell. :-) The September Crown 'to-do' list is still rather long. Nothing that is epically off-kilter. But I'll most certainly want to work on it rather than on work itself. But work pays the bills. So it has to take the priority. Sigh! :-)

.....Tomorrow, Lobelia goes to Imperial RV for an electrical check-up and a probable battery change. The engine battery seems to be fine. It is the pair of hotel batteries that don't seem to want to hold a charge for long at all. And we'll need them to last all of next weekend. The nice thing is that Imperial is just down the street from site. It'll take me fifteen minutes to drive her from repair to site. Perfect. I spent several hours today loading garb and stuff in Lobelia. So she is almost ready to go from my standpoint. Mainly just foodstuff.

.....Wednesday will be my first day of 'vacation' from work. The U-Haul is picked up at Noon. At which point all the 'stuff' in the garage is loaded. The Storage Unit run will be at 6PM on Wednesday. Already sent out the call for help.

.....Then, Thursday, out to site. Laying out of lines first thing in the morning, up until about 2PM, when people start showing up to set up pavilions and such. We're using the 'set up your personal encampment a day early' carrot to get some help with site set-up. It will not be as intense a set-up as a June Faire, per se. But the Kingdom Pavilions show up at around 6PM or so, and they'll need some help.

.....This weekend was what we needed. It went by fast, but we moved at a slow pace and it allowed us to recharge our batteries a little bit. We were able to do a little bit of house cleaning. Lobelia was captured and somewhat loaded. We had the opportunity to see Diomedes and Inga's new house (which is rather nice). All in all, a good weekend.

.....Let the week of Epic-ness commence. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....For some reason I have a few spare minutes. Rather unusual. I have all my reports and paperwork ready for the Business Meeting. I have a 'to-do' list that is about ten miles long. But there isn't enough time to get started on anything. So I'm sitting here rummaging through Live Journal. :-)

.....Even though there is much happening, it is September Crown that seems to hold most of my attention. For two extreme reasons. I actually like Autocratting events. I like building a Team. I like seeing that Team come together and actually build something cool. Because each Team Haggis is made up of a different set of people, each event shepherded by a Team Haggis is unexpected in its outcome. There are always exciting things that happen.

.....I look forward to building Team Haggis IV some day. I will have stepped down by then and will not feel the absolute need to incorporate everyone in the Barony in the process. I plan on going to certain people and asking them to take on roles for the Team, just so I can see the final outcome. I've got ideas on a Twelfth Night bid. Certainly NOT something that is going to happen for a number of years. But I've got ideas. :-)

.....Although the jury is still out on this September Crown. It's going to happen. Just what adventures happen because of it are difficult to say. We'll see.

.....I would seriously like to take a few moments this weekend to clean the house. It is looking really, really bad. I don't think we've done a complete set of laundry in many weeks now. The cat boxes have been scooped, but really need a cleaning. The kitchen is rather gross. It'll take just a couple of hours to bring it into something resembling close-to-normal.

.....There is a pile of stuff in the garage that needs organization as well. A lot of it will have to go to Crown at the end of the month. It has to move so I can actually get into the garage from the front doors. Most will get loaded into the U-Haul. But there are other things that need to be loaded from there as well. We'll need every single table that we can muster. I've got several heavy duty tables stored in the back, plus a couple of plywood-work stand tables, that can be loaded into the U-Haul.

.....Several people have tried to convince me that we need to camp with the Barony, and there is a part of me that is tempted. But with everything happening and my anxieties about the site itself, I'm still on the 'let's stay in Lobelia' side of things. Which means we have to remember to get some work on her booked. If we get that work done at Imperial the week of Crown, we can drive Lobelia the half-mile to site after the battery work is done. Nice deal. :-)

.....Tomorrow night we'll run up to the picnic and see about the campers and the set-up of site. Gwenllyn has had a rough couple of weeks. I'm hoping that the weekend will be relaxing for her. It should be pretty quiet.

.....TBT wants to do some archery. I'm not sure what I want to do during the day. I'll have to root through my stuff and see what looks appealing. I'll have to fight the urge to want to start taking hay bales to the September Crown site. :-)

.....During the day, probably at several different intervals, we'll be watching the Serjeantry Candidates perform their dance and bardic recitals for the Trials. Several have family obligations to attend later in the day and so will have to finish their performances early. I'm hoping the rest will be able (and want to) stay at least until after the picnic dinner and for the start of bardic to perform. It would be a great way to start the bardic fire session.

.....We did the dancing last year during the later part of the afternoon. So we may end up doing that as well. I need to remind the candidates to not give verbal 'help' during the dancing. That help was not very helpful to Talon on Tuesday. I'm at least partially to blame on that one as well as I was trying to be 'helpful'. The version of the dance music Talon was using was different than any I was used to hearing, so it threw me off. I had to remind myself many times that there are as many variations of steps and music as there are dance ministers in the world.

.....Theodoric is leading the pot-luck dinner on Saturday evening. He'll make sure we have a great main course. If last year's pot-luck was an indication of what to expect, we'll not go away hungry, that's for sure.

.....TBT and Madrun are busy preparing the A&S Siege contest for Saturday. Even *I* do not know what the secret ingredient is this year. It's always a hoot though. I still have the puppet that Mael-Duim made in my image with last year's secret ingredients. :-)

.....We're not camping on site this year, so we'll head off for home late at night on Saturday. And then come back on Sunday for the tear-down of site. I don't think it'll take long. I wish we could leave everything set up for the next weekend's Huntsman's Challenge, but apparently we've been told that everything has to come down.

.....I'm hoping though we still get everything buttoned up in time to get home early so I can get some chores done before we go back to work on Monday.

.....I suppose I should pull myself together for tonight's Business Meeting. It'll be here soon. Oliver's second-to-last. I wonder if he is feeling sad? Or more relieved? I can't tell and don't really want to pry. It's been a tough year for him.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It actually rained today. The clouds gathered and the air became even heavier and thicker. Everything darkened. The the rain fell, in huge sheets. A heavy downpour that drenched everything. Then just as quickly it all went away, the sun came out and everything is about dry. Except the air, which is full of moisture. A very strange place. :-)

.....This year's conference was interesting. Everyone is tired and feeling just a little frustrated. We argued over things for hours and in the end, when we reviewed the Action Item listing, we came to the conclusion that we did not accomplish a whole lot. But I still think it was important to come together and look each other in the eye and remember who that person is on the other end of the phone line when we're yelling at them two weeks from now to get off their rear and get me the parts or the solution or the engineering instruction or ... as fast as possible. It makes a difference.

.....It was twelve hour days all three days here this week. I'm sorry to have missed seeing Donnan and Callista, but I had a feeling and am now glad I didn't call them. I would have hated to have made plans only to cancel them, again. Maybe next year.

.....Tomorrow's flight leaves Indianapolis at 6AM. The American Airlines ticket counter doesn't even open until 5AM. It is an hour and fifteen minute drive from Bloomington to the Airport. Another fifteen minutes to fill the gas tank and another handful of minutes to check in the rental car. So the Mid Level Boss and I are going to meet in the lobby at 3AM tomorrow morning. I need to get to bed here in a little bit, but the first episode in this season's Project Runway starts in about a half hour. I'll probably fall asleep in the middle of it. But they've promised less drama and more design this season, so I'm hopeful. I'm not sure just why I like Project Runway, but for some reason it has captured my interest.

.....Sigh. A fifty minute flight to Chicago. A two and a half hour layover and then a five hour flight home. I'll get home as fast as possible and run a load of laundry through before hopping into Florence the Wonder Van for the drive to J.C. I'm still holding out hope of being interested in checking out the site tomorrow night. But I'm not going to hold my breath.

.....Lots of people to hook up with this weekend. Lots of things to talk about. I feel kind of like a wimp for doing the hotel room. But with an East Coast flight I don't think I could even contemplate a two hour set up of camp, nor a drive down in Lobelia. Making me even more tired just thinking about it.

.....Not to mention that September Crown and Serjeantry will kick into hyper-drive starting Monday.

.....But I do get to see TBT again tomorrow, that will help a lot. :-)

.....Time for bed.
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.....Here I am at Gate A-7, SeaTac Airport, ready to catch my 11:55 flight to Indianapolis via Chicago. The sunset is not quite as dramatic as it was last time I was here, but it is still romantic all the same. I was feeling rushed today with the epic 'to-do' list and the throwing together of things into the suitcase. Thankfully, all my files and 'official' stuff was already neatly piled and ready for package. So it was really only the clothes coming out of the laundry cycle that slowed me down. But I still made it out the door way too early and even though the radio kept talking about slowdowns in Tacoma, it really wasn't that bad a drive.

.....It was really a busy weekend though. I probably should have thought that one through a bit more. But everything I attended was good and / or fun in its own way, so I can't complain too much.

.....Saturday started with the traditional summer outing at Blackberry Hollow south of Port Orchard. Angharad and Marcus were good hosts as usual. We didn't jump into the pool at all, but had great conversations around the dining room table. The best ones dealing with Serjeantry; what it meant and how it should be run. Even though some of the discussions get interesting at times, I always go away with new ideas, or better clarification of what we want to do. I think more people have bought into the program.

.....Then a drive up to North Seattle to Giuseppe and Tom's annual Tiki Party. I generally only know maybe a third of the people who show up for this party so I usually stay on the fringes. But this year a new element was added, a trading card game. It was a great ice breaker and forced people to actually talk to other people they might not normally. At least that was true in my case. We stayed at the party at least an hour longer than we would normally have.

.....Sunday started with a retinue meeting in the morning. We all came together over what was going to happen at July Coronation next weekend. Who was riding with whom. What we needed to bring, and not bring, with us. My plane gets in at 11:30 on Friday, so I think I'll be home around 2PM. I'll have to do some laundry quickly, so I don't expect to hit the road before 4PM. With dinner on the way it could be rather late before we hit Ranier and site. Thankfully, the Baronial Encampment looks set with Brenna and Renart, with the Baronial Pavilion in the capable hands of Albrecht and Magdalena.

.....The following week is epic in its fullness. Serjeantry testing on Monday with Practical and Domestic Sciences. Eight candidates is going to make for a longer evening. Tuesday is the Social with a class taught by Talon. Wednesday is probably when I do the September Crown Public Site Walk-through. Thursday is a Dragon's Pearls meeting. Then Friday will be preparation for Hot Summer Lights in Druim Doineann.

.....I have to remember to do some advertising for Hot Summer Lights on the Dragon's Laire e-list. They introduced more of a larger scale war between Dragon's Laire and Madrone. But with everything filling up the calendar as it has this year, the 'epic war' is not getting the attention it should. We'll have to make up for that next year. But I don't plan on having something like September Crown on the docket next year either!

.....I would love to make some time this week to run over to see Donnan and Callista. But I don't know if it is going to happen. The last time I was in Bloomington the conference ran long all three days. I ended up bailing on them. I don't want to make appointments just to break them at the last minute. So I'm going to try and gauge the conference and see how it looks Wednesday evening before I make the call.

.....I keep hoping that maybe the D.C. bosses would figure out how to make one of these battery conferences happen in Hawaii, or in D.C. itself. :-) Crane, Indiana, is so far out there. Almost an hour and a half drive from the Indianapolis Airport. I should check the weather reports. I hope it is cooling down a little bit from where it was last week. But they do now have a Starbucks in town, so I know they are living in the twenty-first century with the rest of us. :-)

.....Hope TBT enjoys having the king sized bed all to herself. Although I think she would have fun traveling with me on some of these things. Maybe we'll add it to the list of things we feel more like doing when we've stepped down as the Coronets. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....I rather like these short weeks broken by holidays in the middle. Although I think the majority of those working in the Shipyard took the even more intelligent approach of taking a few days off on either side of the holiday, or the entire week. The Parking Garage was practically empty this morning. I was able to sit at my desk and get caught up with things that have been lingering for a while. I'm on the hook to be back to work for Thursday and Friday, so it is possible that I might actually get ahead a little bit. Which would be nice.

.....I'm being good right now while everyone else takes leave so that when I start eating up the leave for events in August and September that I'm not given much grief. September Crown alone is probably going to eat up at least three or four days of leave. I'm going to try and resist taking leave around the Picnic and Huntsman's Challenge, but we will see what happens.

.....The weekend saw some productivity, but not nearly as much as I would have liked. I managed to do some cleaning of the house on Saturday. The kitchen was washed down, with several severe lectures to The Rhys Monster to not mess it up until at least TBT had seen it! :-) The bedroom and computer were cleaned out and vacuumed, along with the hall. Then the laundry was done.

.....After that I spent the afternoon trying to clean out my e-mail inbox. Did manage to reduce from almost 500 down to below 300, so I called that at least partially successful.

.....Then spent some time working on an FAQ for the Norseland Site. It was a very interesting week in that regard. The Equestrian Community had been doing a little research on the September Crown site and ran across some Internet sites talking about Norseland being a remediation site, with a meticulous cleanup effort after many years as an Army Base, a Landfill and a Trailer Park. The Equestrians were worried, after reading these reports of a HazMat clean-up, whether the site would be hazardous to their horses in any way. They were legitimate questions. We had been told the site was safe for human use, but humans don't generally roll around in the dirt and eat the local vegetation.

.....So Tsuruko, as the Equestrian POC, started asking questions of the State Department of Ecology. It did not take long at all before we started seeing an avalanche of e-mails from the State, the County, and the Port speaking about the site and what plans we had for the site. It was an intense day or two. So intense that the people leasing us the Site, the BMP, told us to take them out of the picture until something was ultimately decided. I had one conversation with the BMP where he was upset enough that he suggested we move the event. This was a non-starter as far as I was concerned. I spoke fast and as persuasively as I could and basically talked him off the ledge and told him that we'd deal with all the legal entities and let the BMP know the results when it was all over. They ultimately agreed to that plan and I breathed a short sigh of relief.

.....In the end we held a Teleconference with representatives from the State Dept. of Ecology, someone from the Kitsap Public Health Office, the Port of Bremerton, and Tsuruko and myself. It was a very friendly conversation. The state gave us formal permission to hold September Crown on Norseland and informed us that, among other things, the site was perfectly safe for the plans we had for it and that the area designated for the Equestrians was never even part of the remediation efforts. We came away with a formal statement to that affect (which I've already received in the mail), direction to the final sampling report online (of which I now have a copy), a POC for people to call if they have more questions of the State POC, and well wishes for a good event. I breathed another sigh of relief after that call.

.....Only thing left to do now is to have the Equestrians actually tour the site to make sure the area in question will work for their Tournament. This is supposed to happen in the next couple of weeks.

.....FAQ was put together and will be part of the September Crown web-site shortly.

.....Sunday was a day of migraine. I did not accomplish much at all. I did push my rear out the door in the afternoon to meet Albrecht and Magdalena so we could give them a day shade and a few other things from storage for use at An Tir / West War. I was barely holding it all together at that point, but made it through. I felt a little badly for taking off when Ralg was still trying to organize things. But I wouldn't have been a whole lot of help at that point. I went home, pulled out stuff for Monday and then went to bed for the remainder of the day.

.....Did some research on the internet last night and caught up on some more e-mail. Spent a little bit of time with TBT. Probably should have spent some more, but I was on a mission and intent on finding a few things out. :-) Yes, I can be stubborn on occasion. :-)

.....TBT was told over the weekend, jokingly from what I understand, that she does not put forth a whole lot of effort as Baroness. I may have to find out what exactly was meant by that as hearing it would have bothered me a great deal. I acknowledge quite frankly that this job of Baron and Baroness is one big assed job. No one person can do it effectively alone. TBT and I bring both brain and brawn to the table to manage this job at all. I'm not even saying we're even being very good at it. I'm just saying to even try to be effective requires a lot of effort, a lot of good ideas, a lot of management skills, a lot of intelligence, and a lot of perseverance. The only things that keeps me from feeling completely overwhelmed on occasion is TBT being right there helping me and managing situations with which she has experience or things of which she is just better at dealing with. There are things that I just take over because there are details that just bore TBT to death and she just doesn't like dealing with. I think we make a pretty good team in that regard. If anyone were to say to me that either one of us works any less than the other, I would say they were utterly and completely wrong, with a few additional remarks just to make sure my meaning was not mistaken.

.....Had to get that one out of my system as it really was bothering me a lot last night. I probably need to just let that one go unless it is mentioned to me directly.

.....And, I get to sleep in a little bit tomorrow. Which is a good thing. Along with a picnic with lots of good food. That Richard can grill a rather fantastic steak! :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....There are many other things I should be doing right now, but what I'm doing is procrastinating instead. It's somewhat humorous to think that I'd write in Live Journal to escape working on priorities at the moment. :-) And did you ever have one of those days where you got into the car after work and then suddenly found yourself pulling into your driveway, with no memory of the drive home? Yup, it was one of those days too. :-)

.....It's looking increasingly likely that the trip to Indiana will be the week prior to July Coronation. I'm striking out on finding someone to transport the Baronial and set it up at the event (not to mention bringing it home). I proposed to TBT that we be essentially packed for J.C. before I leave for the week, and then take off for J.C. that Friday afternoon. The plan would be to check into the hotel and then run out to site to set up the pavilion for the weekend. Then take it down after Curia on Sunday for the trip home. TBT is reluctant to go with that plan as it really does call for two nights at the hotel instead of just one. A hit against the budget she does not want to make. I'm also not sure how in the mood I'm going to be to run to an SCA event after a week in Indiana and a rather long plane ride.

.....There is still the possibility that I may not go to Indiana at all. The Mid-Level Boss is definitely going and with the Projects we currently have in Planning and in Execution he is thinking that he may want to leave me at home.

.....There hasn't been a lot of interest in a Baronial Encampment at J.C. With An Tir / West War coming up quickly and then back-to-back Baronial events in August, not to mention September Crown in Dragon's Laire, I can see something of what is driving that reluctance. We finally found someone to corral the encampment itself, but if I can't find someone to take care of the Baronial Pavilion, I may just beg for space with Madrone or one of the other cousins. I'm sure the J.C. Team would like to take back any space they can get.

.....If I could get someone to take responsibility for the Baronial Pavilion, I'd be set! I could just go home from the airport on Friday and then start out for the event early on Saturday, in time to make the first meeting (not sure if it is a Laurel or a Pelican). It'll mean a very early start, but it would be worth it to get put away from the week and in an SCA mindset.

.....The requirement at J.C. for encampments to be hauled in from the road seems to have made some people decide to not camp for the weekend, but day trip or go to a hotel instead. This may actually help the Event Team as I know they've been worried about fitting everyone in on site. It is a pretty site though. I was there last year for Sport of Kings and thought it a nice place to have an event.

.....With Elisabeth managing a Baronial Encampment, we need to give some thought to a Baronial gathering on Saturday night. I'll mention it at the next Business Meeting and on the e-list and see if there is any interest at all.

.....I do want to be at Curia on Sunday though. There have been a couple of issues with the September Crown site. Mainly dealing with Equestrian. I'm aiming to come to full resolution by J.C., and want to make sure I relay the final story to those who care before everyone's attention turns to camping at September Crown.

.....After J.C. I plan to start spamming e-lists on a weekly basis. Angharad is helping me with expanded Event Copy now. I want to emphasize the challenges of the site. The site is built on terraces, which means that going from section to section means traveling. Not conducive for those with mobility challenges. There will be complaints. I'm glad Barnet is going to let us rent the golf cart for the weekend. It'll help a lot.

.....My hope is that the nice and level grassy fields, along with the views of the Olympics (not to mention the amphitheatre affects of the hillsides) will factor into everyone's collective memory of the event. We'd like to use it for events in the future, and this will be the trial run for those events. It probably would have been better to trial run it on something else before Crown, but at $4,000 a weekend that isn't exactly a great option. Land is not cheap in Dragon's Laire!

.....Need to start pushing for content to go onto the September Crown web-pages. The Arts & Sciences Team is preparing a nice set of activities. Merchants are starting to line up. We can post their listings. The Martiallate is starting to get organized. We should be able to at least list the activities that will be happening around the Crown Tournament itself. There may be a lot of details still missing, but by J.C. I would like to have enough content to get people interested in Crown.

.....Hmmm, need to put together a list of FAQ's to put on the web-site about the Event Site itself. As well as a listing of the local amenities. I think I'll work on that this weekend. I'd like to give Aelianora a lot of stuff now so that she can maintain later instead of having to react to emergencies.

.....I've got hundreds of notes of things that need to be done for S.C. as well. Need to get them organized this weekend. Many of them are go-dos that others are working. But I want to keep them in my consciousness as a check-list for later. People are working hard in their respective areas, which is making me happy. Aileen and Marion are coming up with strategies for gate. Tsuruko has been all over the Equestrian Requirements. Theodoric has been thoughtful on parking. So I'm telling myself to concentrate on the things I need to be thinking about.

.....With TBT away from home this weekend it'll be kind of quiet. Cleaning the house will be a priority. But maybe I'll go visit some people I haven't seen for a while. I dropped in rather unannounced to Cedric and Brighid's last Sunday and actually enjoyed the visit. I may do that again. May drop in on a few others as well.

.....A new person last night at the Social approached me about a new Renaissance Faire he would like to hold in Kitsap County. I immediately counseled my brain to not shut down the conversation immediately and just listen. :-) His plan is to purchase ten acres of relatively flat land and then clear it of logs and grass it in preparation for a Faire. He approached me to ask how much interest there might be in having the Baronial Populace provide atmosphere and support. I wasn't quite sure how best to answer him. What I finally said was that he should make plans in such a way to where he is not relying on a volunteer organization such as our to provide support to his Faire. He needed to have a plan in place before he made financial commitments, plans that took care of the land and the payments involved should he have several years of no income from any events held on his property.

.....I was reluctant to bring up Ron Cleveland by name. But I finally did so and advised him to go and talk to Ron. I'm not sure of the wisdom of that suggestion, but I wanted to be fair minded. Ron was making his Faire work for him for a while. If this guy could take what worked for Ron, and leave behind what didn't, maybe he could actually get something to work in Kitsap County for him.

.....The chances of success are against him, but if I had the funding, the energy and the ambition, I think I'd want to do something similar. So why not encourage him? :-)

.....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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.....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.
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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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.....It's about bedtime and I can't believe the weekend is already done. It went by so fast! :-)

.....Saturday was a pretty good day at the Arts and Sciences Day Camp. I woke up with the beginnings of a migraine. I could feel the nausea coming on and the sparkly tunnel vision was already in full swing. So I dowsed it thoroughly in Tylenol and caffeine and hoped for the best. I'd been pretty good with avoiding food triggers, so it was most likely weather related. They are sometimes easier to control, which seemed to be the case with this one. It never did go away completely, but it stayed relatively mellow. I was able to navigate the day relatively well.

.....Arrived on site at 8:30, Dragon's Laire time. :-) Set out street signs and opened up the Hall. Madrun arrived shortly after we did. At 9AM we were thinking maybe that the Day would be lightly attended, but that feeling went away in a hurry. We had a very full Hall well before Noon.

.....I never did feel fully functional, so I never really picked up anything to really do. I spent most of the day in conversation with a lot of people who filtered through site. Although I still ended up missing a few. I had really wanted to spend at least a little time with [livejournal.com profile] aelianora and catch up on a few things and see what she was thinking about these days. But I never did get the chance. Need to send her an e-mail to make she knows that was not on purpose! :-)

.....Did spend some time in the morning in conversation with Renart, talking about the Kingdom Feast. The possibilities for where it could go are boundless! He has a lot of decisions to make and a vision to really nail down. He also has a very talented Team of people, all full of good ideas of their own. Rather exciting, to be honest.

.....Alys showed up later with her sketches of the Team Haggis III logo. She had three of them. One of them was rather disturbing, a winged sheep on a platter with an apple in its mouth. The second was pretty good, the An Tir Crown with the winged sheep logo on the front. But the third design was the winning design, a can of winged haggis. :-) She has just a couple of things to clean up on it and then she'll send me the .pdf so we can get started on T-Shirts. :-)

.....After lunch, TBT led the charter meeting for the Baronial 'Kingdom Arts & Sciences and Bardic Championship Single Entry Support Group'. She came up with the good idea on the return home from the last KAS / KBC. As a support group we could encourage a larger number of us as we process a single entry for next year's competition. With a support group, including monthly meetings and deadlines, it would be easier to keep to a schedule. There would be people to help with questions and presentation. The whole concept made so much sense I was surprised that I'd never heard of something similar before.

.....There were maybe fifteen or eighteen at the gathering. Plus I know there were a handful of others who couldn't be there that day. So if even half the group makes it to KAS / KBC next year, that's a good ten to twelve entries. Maybe Dragon's Laire could actually have a KAS / KBC Champion for a third year in a row. That would be rather cool. :-)

.....The crowds started shrinking around 3PM and I was starting to get tired by then. The only thing I actually managed to do was a couple of rows of knitting on my introductory knitting project. I also pondered what kind of embroidery I was going to do on a wool bag that Madrun put together for me. It was one of the bag designs that was just completed for Kingdom Largesse to be given at Estrella and has an orange stag on it. I had thought of one of the bags for the last round of largesse, but considering that it took me almost four years to do one of the little bags that TBT put together for Baronial Largesse when she first moved over here, it was probably a good thing I waited for this one. :-)

.....At the end of the day we were supposed to go to Bernie and Tsuruko's house for a birthday gathering in celebration of Bernie's birthday. But the head was still throbbing a little and I was toasted from a long day surrounded by people. So I called Bernie and begged forgiveness. Bernie was gracious, especially after I promised him and Tsuruko a drink at NORWESCON next weekend. :-)

.....NORWESCON in three days! The excitement is definitely starting to hit. :-) Heather received a bath today in preparation. She is also gassed up and about ready to go. Just need to clear out the stuff in the back and she'll be ready for pack up on Wednesday.

.....Made it over to Richard's to drop off the gate funds from the Day Camp and chatted with Rich and Gwen for a little while. Then worked on the chores for the week. Laundry is done. Stuff for work is all set up for tomorrow. I even managed to get a preliminary timeline complete for the Serjeantry Trials this summer and sent it out to everyone. The April Baronial Letter is in progress. So I made some progress today. Just not nearly as much as I would have liked.

.....Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with Gene Wilder as the TRUE Willy Wonka, is on the Tele now. It's still a favorite. Although if I don't get to sleep soon, Monday is not going to be much fun at all.

.....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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.....It's Thursday night and I have nowhere outside of the home I have to be. What sounds incredibly wonderful at the moment? A nap, followed by dinner, and then bed. :-) I think I'm a little tired.

.....This morning on the Estrella War Feed on Live Journal, this year's Marketplace Map was published. I was surprised by the relatively small number of merchants attending this year. I immediately thought of the first year I attended Estrella, as a booth monkey for Inga at her booth. There were literally several hundred merchants there in the Marketplace. It took up nearly a quarter of the entire site in and of itself.

.....I've heard from a number of people now about the decline in popularity of Estrella War. There are many reasons why, of course. The truth is probably a combination of all of them. I just hope Atendveldt is thinking of the future though. Great Western War has definitely taken off in popularity and is something of direct competition for Estrella. It may be scheduled for another time of the year. But it takes a lot of funding to attend an event like a inter-Kingdom War. If you have to make a choice as to which one you are going to attend....

.....I, myself, miss Estrella Mountain Park a great deal. It was such a beautiful place. Although I recognize the fact that I miss it much like I miss June Faire at Frank Raab Park. It is nostalgia that fuels that emotion. If events are to grow and evolve, things have to change. It is a natural law.

.....Things are slowing down a little at work. We're in a short window between Projects, wrapping up the last one and starting the wind-up towards the next one. Several of the Team are on leave. I find myself with time to actually catch up on the at work 'to-do' list. I have a check list in Outlook I use to tick mark the 'inbasket' and 'outbasket'. But I actually rely on a stack of 3x5 cards with itemized and prioritized notes on them that I can shuffle as needed. Four weeks ago, this stack of cards numbered eight, with at least four to six tasks to a card. This week I'm down to three cards and a Grand Total of Fifteen item them, some of which aren't even due for months. I revel in these moment. Although I wish this time period were more appropriately placed around June Faire. :-)

.....Lot of people on edge this morning due the the shooting of the officer in Gorst. Kitsap County seems to be turning into the West Seattle Ghetto. Between this shooting, and the one at the Bremerton Public School, and the one in Poulsbo just a few days ago. Hope that it is not a sign of things to come.

.....The news caught me by surprise this morning. I don't watch a lot of Television really any more. But there are a few things I still watch regularly, one of them being the news. I'm still an information junkie, both live T.V. and internet. I feel the necessity to 'know' everything possible about everything around me. Whether I need to know it or not. That need to know has actually gotten me into trouble on occasion. But having ready to access to arcane information has helped at times as well, so I'll take the lumps when they show up.

.....But it was eerie watching the news this morning concerning the police officer shot. There were no names and no suspects at 5AM. Although realistically I knew that I wasn't going to actually see anything between home and the Shipyard, I kept 'looking' around me, expecting something to happen at any moment. Somewhat surreal.

.....The February mail brought the next not-so-good bit of financial news today. The retirement account took another hit again last year. Not big as the total contributions for the year exceeded the loss on investment. But that doesn't make it look much better. My retirement is pretty diversified too. Blech! Need to increase the contributions to that account. We haven't reached the maximum amount yet, which is something like $17,000 a year. Need to check on that.

.....I need to get moving on some clean up. If we're getting out of here at a somewhat early hour on Saturday, there are clothes to be cleaned, some rooms to be straightened up, and at least a few things to pull together for a day in Madrone. I may not have the opportunity tomorrow. There is yet another retirement gathering after work. This time though someone I worked with for a number of years. I'll be sorry to see him go. He and I were a lot alike, to the point where we could both be hear laughing a half a building away when we worked together. :-) He himself was a large guy who had a gastric bypass operation here about three years ago. He's done even better with it than I have! And weighs less than 200 pounds now. Although, I do have to say in my defense that he actually took the time to devote to it and certainly is not involved in anything like the SCA. :-) In fact, I get teased constantly about not having my own life and having sold my body for SCA research. :-) There could be some truth in that statement. :-)

.....I also need to clean up the pile of books next to the bed. The book monster is starting to take over the space again.

.....I picked up a Stephen King story over the Christmas Break, and read through it this week. It was a prelude to his fantasy series of The Dark Tower. For some reason, about once every five years or so, I feel this impulse to read one of his stories. Mainly because the premise sounds interesting, I think maybe my perspective has changed, and I've forgotten what those stories are really like. Once again I was introduced to why it is exactly I really dislike his writing style. He seems to have little to no love for his main characters at all. I can understand characters having flaws and being basically human, but to be almost anti-heroes? Blech. I don't mind tragedy at all. Sometimes a noble tragedy is good for the soul. But inhuman tragedy? Isn't the genocide that actually happens in the world enough without having to make more of it up? I finished the book and felt very unsatisfied with it. Although, I suppose in retrospect I should be grateful. It was a relatively SHORT prelude to a larger book. I didn't get sucked into some awful 500-page description of a character that is killed off unceremoniously on the 501st page. I think this book goes on to the recycle pile. Time to find something else a little more satisfying.

.....I think I've probably spent enough time procrastinating on the computer. Time to get something done.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....This cold thing has not been pleasant. I'm glad to start seeing it in the rear view mirror. I finally started feeling somewhat human when I woke up to the alarm this morning. Now I just have to clear out the lungs of all the 'stuff' that has accumulated in them. At least it doesn't hurt so much to cough at this point. It was strange how it came in waves. The first wave was about two weeks ago. Not a whole lot of coughing or respiratory things on that go around. Mainly just a lethargy and run-down feeling with a little bit of stomach ache. The second wave was about a week or so ago. It consisted of a head-cold and body aches, and just a overall 'achy' feeling. This last one was the most dramatic. Lung issues, slight fever, head cold, headaches. Not pleasant. I'm just glad it's finally almost over.

.....Last weekend I had a laundry list of things to get done, but felt poorly enough to not get even half of them done. The one thing on my list that was overdue was a haircut and I ultimately wished I had not done it either. The place I usually use has not done all that great a job the past couple of times I've been there. And I still get charged $17 for the privilege. Not right!

.....Things are still moving painfully slowly on behalf of September Crown. The Bremerton Motorsports Group had been slow in their responses to my latest round of questions, and I found out one of the reasons why in an article published last weekend in the Kitsap Sun. Front page at that! Their 'Master Plan' had originally called out for a Drag Strip raceway as part of the new park that we're currently using for the Crown Site. The submitted plans took out the drag strip itself. There were harsh cries of foul from the proponents of the race site. But what I found interesting in the article itself were the fears of the Industrial Park tenants and the neighbors surrounding the raceway. I didn't think there were that many, but if you look at an aerial view there are more than you might think. Mike Burdick, the BMSG guy who has been assisting us lately, was quoted several times in the article with his regrets on having to remove the drag strip from the Master Plan.

.....A drag strip is a very noisy proposition. In talking to a few people who have some familiarity with this I was basically told that the drag races happening at the strip would probably be heard as far away as Belfair and Gorst in either direction. For those within a mile or so of the strip itself, the noise level would be pretty incredible. The Sun article spoke to the probability of Industrial Park tenants leaving the site.

.....The Bremerton Motorsports Group actually has included us in some of their long term planning, which I find interesting as we haven't even given them a single check as yet. The proposal is that when construction actually begins on the north side of the Highway, our activities would move to the track area on the south side of the Bremerton Airport. Some of the plans include clearing some forest space out for us. Don't know how long we'll be able to stay there before the new highway goes through the area, but I'm certainly open to possibilities. It's not like Dragon's Laire has large and open event sites waiting in line to host us in Kitsap County.

.....Looks like the September Crown pre-registration page goes live on March 2nd. The Marketplace Coordinator has revised the application form. We're looking it over now and it should go live within the next week. I think I'll schedule a Team Haggis gathering for sometime in the next two weeks and we'll see about laying out a game plan for the next several months.

.....I attended a meeting of the Serjeantry candidates last Sunday. It ended up being heraldry night. I looked over a number of possible name and device submissions, conflict checking what I could with the manuals I had. Definitely an enthusiastic group. We also clarified a number of the requirements. Hopefully stating them in a way that could be understood more easily. I took some notes on this that we can pass on to Dame Ellen when we get with her on completing the latest updates. All of the questions have been good ones. I try to encourage the questions whenever possible. The more I can explain something, the easier it ultimately becomes to explain it.

.....This is true to an extent on the Quest. I think everyone is grasping the concept for the most part. The fact that it is not something that is black-and-white makes it a little more difficult to explain. But it is starting to get easier to explain as well as give examples. Every time I talk about it I put out the reminder that the Quest component is going to be different for every single person performing it. It has to be in order to be something that ultimately benefits the person doing it as well as the Barony. If the person performing it really has no interest in doing it, how is that going to inspire others in the Barony to take on something exciting or different or new? I can't wait to see the first couple of completed Quests so we have something concrete and done to which to speak. It may take longer than the allotted six month time frame, but if the serious work is being done to fulfill it, I'm more than willing to extend the deadline. We'll see how that plays out in the overall scheme of how this fits together.

.....Fight Practice and June Faire Populace Meeting tonight at the OSSC. I thought it a good idea to hold it there. It'll possibly bring out a number of people who've never made it to see the OSSC and Fight Practice location.

.....Need to start concentrating on finding a new location for when the VFW Hall rental runs out. The VFW Folks have been really good to us, but we need to find a place again like we had with Seaside Church. A place that all the different groups of the Barony can come together and mingle. I don't really want to go back to the old days of utilizing places like Silverdale Waterfront Park. Sure, it is free and available. But how many people did you actually see out there from November through February? There is a compromise out there somewhere, we just need to get creative. We have until the end of July to find this place. Need a Honey Badger to 'get crackin'.

.....This weekend is the Madrone Arts and Sciences Championship in Magnolia. I'm traveling with a Florence load of ladies bright and early on Saturday morning. It'll be interesting to see the different way in which Madrone judges their Championship. We might come away with some nuggets to add to our process. Although, I like where we are headed in Dragon's Laire. Just needs some finessing.

.....I've got to get going on that 'to-do' list as well. June Faire will be here in a hurry! There are many things to get done. Again, I need to channel my inner Honey Badger. :-) Maybe in more ways than one. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....This cold thing seems to be kicking my rear. I'm not hacking and coughing badly, but I sure feel run down. Going to the Quilt Show and having lunch with TBT today just about did me in. So I spent the rest of the day watching the Tele and scribling bad sonnetry. I'm hoping I feel a little more human tomorrow.

Amongst the rows of pretty patterns laid,
A labyrinth of color beguiles me.
Sweet breath inhaled, awareness will doth fade.
Fronds sway as God sings soft to them in key.

In harmony a voice arises sweet,
A music suddenly creating life.
A bright ethereal being of heat,
Who dances in air to tunes on a fife.

A magic being woven in the air,
Of words and light built of a beauty fierce.
Its strength a challenge to all who would dare.
Its love a weapon all hearts it can pierce.

Creation is a union with the blesst.
The essence of the universe confessed.

.....Now I think it is time to go and dig up something for dinner. And maybe something hot to drink. It is cold in here.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....I had a September Crown meeting scheduled for this evening, but postponed it last night thinking that the roads would still be a mess this evening. In retrospect it was probably still a good decision. The major roads were quite passable, but many side streets were really still messy. Bridle View Place is definitely a mess, and hard to maneuver.

.....Ready to unveil the September Crown site move, just need to get a few more items lined up. Tip-toeing around Druim Doineann as I really want them to stay involved in the process, and make sure they understand that the site move had nothing to do with them as a group. I probably don't need to be as careful as I am on dealing with them. But there have been a couple of mis-communications with them over the past couple of years, so I am being careful.

.....I lucked out yesterday being a 'Snow Day' from work. I woke up with a migraine and spent most of the day asleep. Finally started feeling more human around 3PM. The work phone had gone off at least a dozen times, most of the calls being the Shipyard sending out notifications of the Shipyard being shut down for the day. :-) But the crew located in Norfolk was feeling rather cut off from the world, having no one with whom to speak at the Yard. :-)

.....The remainder of the Team travels next Monday, so the Office will be rather quiet for several months. It'll be nice for a couple of weeks at least, a nice time in which to get caught up with the WARR, the MOA's that are behind schedule, all the miscellaneous reports that have been at the bottom of the 'In Box' for while. But there will come a time, hmmm, maybe sometime in February, where the quiet of the office will start to become somewhat oppressive. Which is funny, really. :-)

.....This weekend should be relatively slow paced, although today seemed rather strange. Like the third Friday of the week. :-) We have a Wyvern meeting set for tomorrow morning. Looks like it will be rather well attended. Sometime in the afternoon we get to see the new Baronial Addition, Jack. :-) At which we'll be able to also pick up the files that Talon saved for us from our obsolete portable hard drive. Which was a lucky save for me as I'll be able to pull my Crier Exchequer Doomsday Report from it and get it submitted to Kingdom before the deadline.

.....The weather does not look all that great for the weekend, but if the roads are looking pretty good on Sunday I'm going to try and make a run up to Sequim. Ivan has a site in mind he'd like to see used for a larger event in the future. I'd like to take a look as the aerials look pretty good. Plus it'll give me an opportunity to speak with him in person and make sure we're both on the same page with the Crown move. Then we'll be all ready for next Tuesday's meeting.

.....The following weekend is Ursulmas. I need to remember to send out a reminder early next week about Baronial space available at Ursulmas. Also need to send out a reminder about Letters of Intent for Serjeantry. Which also reminds me that we need to review the Serjeantry Manual updates within the next week at the latest and get with Ellen to make sure we're all on the same page. As well as the rest of the Serjeantry. They need to at least review what is going to be offered to those presenting Letters.

.....Which further reminds me that I've got to get the new Serjeantry E-List set up pronto.

.....Thankfully, we had a retinue meeting last weekend so we knocked out most of what is going to happen at Candlemas Court on February 4th. Requests for scrolls have already gone out. We'll have to probably give out some Promissary Notes. Our Scribal Community is hard working and brilliant, and I'd sure like to clone them two or three times over. :-) Need to make some more time at some point to push Scribal. Sigh, I need to clone myself, TBT, and all the retinue, past and present.

.....What I'd really like is Freeze Dried Baronial Retinue, a la Bugs Bunny Martians. Just add water, and up pops an instant minion. If only the Real World (tm) was more like Looney Tunes. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Depending on which weather report you read today we are either going to die by suffocation from the massive amounts of snow that are going to fall, or we are going to freeze to death from the maelstrom of the snow storm about to hit. I hope it waits until at least I get home from work tomorrow. :-)

.....The car has gas. I pulled out the long underwear, the scarf, the gloves, and the hat. The laundry is pretty much done. Wish I could call in sick or similar tomorrow, but there are too many things waiting to get done at work. Half the crew flew today to Norfolk. Several others fly tomorrow. By next Monday everyone will be in Virginia except for me. It'll be a quiet office for a couple of months.

.....It was good to have the day off though. Not a whole lot was done, but it was nice to relax and take care of things at a slower pace. I'm sure that Dr. King would have preferred that I had gone out to do something good for the common welfare of man. But maybe it helps Society as a whole if I start the week in a happier frame of mind. :-)

.....Started off the MLK,Jr. holiday with the usual run at Starbucks, then the run over to Gwen's for a retinue meeting. We went over the calendar for the next several months to make sure we were all on the same page for what events we were attending. The weekends are lining themselves up fast. It's amazing how soon June Faire will be here!

.....Then a discussion of the day at Candlemas. How the judging might look on that day, and how best Her Excellency and I can ensure that at least one of us makes it to every performance, presentation and judging session.

.....Court was a big topic of discussion. Even with Candlemas being as dedicated as it is to the Arts & Sciences, Bardic and Scholar Championships, there will be other things we'll need to stuff into that Court as well. Not the least of which is acceptance of Letters of Intent for Serjeantry. I know of at least a couple coming our way.

.....Ack! And Baby Bibs! There will be a mini-explosion of new members of the Barony over the next couple of months. Baby Bibs with the Baronial Device on them will have to be produced by the gross!

.....After the retinue meeting, I had to run up to the Nexus of Evil in Poulsbo, otherwise known as Wal-Mart, and pick up the new eye glasses. For some reason, they tried to give me someone else's. :-) I picked up the glasses from the counter and thought that something was wrong. First of all, the frames were gold in color, and I remembered picking out silver colored frames. When I put them on everything was blurry. I knew something was wrong at that point. But the clerk valiantly tried to move the earpieces and nose pieces around for about twenty minutes, convinced that they were just not sitting on my face in the correct position. Then he finally went into the back room and discovered that he had picked up the wrong tray. Oops! :-)

.....The world looks a lot different in these glass. A lot sharper, that's for sure! But the focus is making my eyes ache a little. I may have to transition into them for a few days. I hadn't realized just how difference the prescription is now in comparing the old and new glasses.

.....Finally made it back home around 3PM. Most of the rest of the day has been about lounging around and leisurely getting ready for the work week. I sent out e-notes for Serjeantry and Ursulmas. I still have to finalize the September Crown meeting location for Friday, but that'll have to wait until tomorrow so I can finalize the location.

.....Talon was our Guardian Angel today. The hard drive with years of critical information on it went to him to see if any of it was recoverable. Apparently, even though there are corrupted files on the drive, large sections of it are being saved to another disk. Yeah! Talon! I definitely owe him a big one, especially if the Crier folder is more-or-less intact. I'm crossing my fingers!

.....Busy week this week. As long as the Snowpocalypse doesn't materialize there will be a Social and June Faire meeting tomorrow night. Wednesday is Fight Practice. Thursday is a Pearl's meeting. Friday is the September Crown meeting. Saturday will be a Wyvern meeting.

.....And on the seventh day they rested?

.....If Snowpocalypse does happen though, Oliver is all set to pull the trigger on canceling the Social. Certainly don't want anyone getting into trouble just to be Social.

.....Ack! Also just remembered that I have proposed dates for Western Regional Pelican Meetings I have to post. Need to do that pronto.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....One usually associates New Year's Day with thoughts of the future. Of making resolutions (that are usually broken fairly quickly). Me? It was a day of reminiscing. I didn't make any kind of progress on anything worthwhile really. But I still had a good day none-the-less.

.....TBT and I went out for our usual trip to Starbucks this morning. Upon return home I puttered on the computer for a while. For some reason I was in a mood to watch 'The West Wing'. One of my all time favorite T.V. series. YouTube has quite a number of good scenes in little snippets. I must have watched a good hour or so of them before finally getting annoyed that I could only watch short snippets at a time. :-)

.....So, after taking care of a bunch of laundry and working on the new banner for a while, I get a phone call. From Brighid, 'Hey, we're having a 'West Wing' marathon over here. Wanna join?' I really wish she'd stay out of my brain. It's a messy place. Just sayin'. :-)

.....We must have watched at least four episodes from the first season. They weren't even my all time favorites. I still want to see the one built around 'The Carol of the Bells' where Leo tells Josh the story of a friend helping out another friend who's fallen into a hole. Or the one where Admiral Fitzwallace, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, gives his opinion on 'gays in the military'. There are lots and lots of good lines in that series. I'd give a lot to see a President Bartlett in office.

.....The clean up of the garage this last weekend netted a few saves and reminders. I had thought that all my old files and Crier copies were packed for storage in Rubbermaid sealed containers. For some reason some of the very best stuff was in a cardboard box that was near the garage door (dealing with humidity and temperature issues) and had 'stuff' piled on it, slowly destroying it. I'm glad I caught it when I did.

.....At the September Crown where Her Excellency Sineidin made the announcement that An Tir was hosting a 4YC Celebration in Randall, Her Excellency Amanda approached me with a box of old papers that she was intending to toss, but thought that someone might want them. In that box was a set of copies of the first few years of 'The Crier'. It's amazing how far we've come since the days of one page issues of 'The Crier'. :-)



.....Issue No. 1. One page of announcements. :-) Master Ralg will sigh in exasperation at my saving copies of stuff like this, but I personally like being able to have this connection to the past. :-) Although, it might save a good deal of space if I were to scan these into electronic storage? Hmmm, I wonder how much it would cost to have someone do it for me?

.....In my travels to nostalgia, I also found this:



.....TBT has always been HOT!!!! :-) I think I'm one lucky guy. :-)

.....And she only gets better with time. I'm looking forward to another year of walking by her side. :-) Here's to a great 2012! A Dragon Year! Or a '5' Year! Depending upon which superstition happens to amuse you the most. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....TBT's preparation for Christmas? Finishing the hard wood floors enough to be able to put up the Christmas Tree. Even as I type the air nailer is going 'Pop', 'Pop', 'Pop'. :-)

.....The presents have been purchased for the most part. The Rhys Monster is going to have a pretty good Christmas. :-) Just a couple left to get, primarily for Mom. TBT and I went out into the world first thing this morning to brave the crowds, and found Silverdale to be still rather navigable at 1000. Costco already had a line of people at the door, but the usual frenetic pace was not yet in place. The crowds were still polite at Target when we buzzed through there.

.....However, when the Rhys Monster finally made it out of bed and dressed, and we hit the shopping trail, things were not so friendly! Traffic was much more intense and the crowds much less polite. But we still managed to get everything done within a couple of hours. JoAnn's was relatively easy, although the Rhys Monster was rather disappointed as JoAnn's has obviously been picked over hard by the holiday shoppers. He had to do some major searching to find things he wanted to get. Target was a little easier for him, as was Cost Plus. But I think a lesson has been learned. Either shop earlier, or shop the Internet. :-)

.....Kharma is not a nice creature. I waited until almost the last minute to use our Vision Insurance for 2011. I have needed new glasses for a while now. I'm getting really tired of squinting at everything, even with my glasses in place. :-) There are only a handful of Optometrists in Kitsap County who accept our insurance in the first place, and only one who had something available in the next week. Guess where that was? Yup, WalMart. I will be forced to enter the Proverbial Den of Evil tomorrow at 1PM, in Poulsbo. Sigh! Oh, well, it was my own fault.

.....Yesterday was a trip to Seattle, to places we had been wanting to go for a while and just never had time to do. Madrun went along with us. Pike Place was the first stop. I love the feeling of Pike Place, and all the variety. Many eclectic little shops everywhere. Maybe a few less seeing how we're in mid-Winter versus Summer.

.....There was one shop that was an artists' Co-Op store, where art work made by individual artists was sold in one place. TBT could immediately see a venue for some of the things she creates. Like the little creatures she puts together for Christmas every year. It would be interesting to see how much she could charge for some of the things she makes. As Madrun reminded me, artists rarely get paid even a minimum wage for the artwork they create, unless they are either creating unique pieces, or creating mass pieces for a commercial market.

.....I was somewhat sad to see that Shark-In-The-Morning has left Pike Place. It was always a good place to go and put your hands on all the unusual instruments of the world that you heard and read, but had never actually seen in person. I never bought anything from them as they were always outrageously expensive, which is probably why they got rid of their storefront and went primarily internet.

.....Went to one of Madrun's favorite book stores on Capitol Hill where I promptly became engrossed in a couple of books of Arthurian Legends and scholarly interpretations of the meanings involved. Very inspiring actually. Lots of good ideas.

.....Next stop was an Import store and apothecary. Primarily Asian merchandize. There was a carpet bag there of monstrous size that, had it been made out of some other material and not been $250, would have made a great armor bag. :-) But I was thinking that it would make a good instrument bag as well as it was compartmentalized to a degree. And looked rather cool. But $250 was a bit more than I wanted to pay.

.....Ran down to Freemont as I wanted to visit Dusty Strings. But I couldn't find parking to save my life, and we were starting to get hungry. So we ran off to have late lunch. Met Countee E. and Cire at Zoopa's in Tukwilla. Lots of good conversation over how things have been going in Dragon's Laire and Madrone. I continually find it amazing how culturally different Dragon's Laire is from Madrone, even though we are so close to each other geographically. Not better or worse or anything, just different.

.....Traded good advice. Vented on our current frustrations. There are things that can't be 'fixed,' in reality and so must be tolerated gracefully, even if they are frustrating. :-)

.....Spent a couple of hours there and hit the road in a hurry when we realized it was already 4PM and the commute was starting to hit full swing. As it was we had to sit through a couple of good back-ups. Which was a good reminder that Kitsap County traffic is not necessarily that bad really.

.....Tomorrow I have some errands to run in the morning, then my eye appointment at 1PM. But I'd sure like to get a few things struck from my 'to-do' List of Doom.

.....New Cell Phones are finally starting to hit the PRZ (Probable Reality Zone). Costco has some nice discounted plans, through Sprint. There are even a couple of phone that we liked, which we had the opportunity to pick up and feel at Target today. Now we just have to make that one last step and make the deal happen. For me the only part I don't like is the renewal of a two year commitment. I would rather have gone the direction of Ralph and a cheaper version of pay as you go. But I could never fall in love with the phones available or other features.

.....Turkey AND Salmon on the Christmas Eve dinner menu. :-) I love holiday roast turkey. With a fifteen pound bird, there might even be some leftovers for turkey sandwiches for a few days afterwards as well. :-)

.....Hmmm, now I'm hungry. Time to find something on which to nibble.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It's actually been a good weekend so far. I haven't achieved nearly as much on my 'to-do' list as I would have liked. But progress is being made, and I'm getting the chance to slow down just a hair and see if I can catch my breath for a space. :-)

.....Thursday was, of course, Thanksgiving Day itself. TBT contributed a pie, cake (both sugar free), mashed sweet potatoes, and corn. I felt like a slacker as I rode her coat tails for the contribution. :-) But I did help with the clean up, so I don't feel too badly.

.....A nice gathering at Gwen and Rich's house. Not overly huge, just comfortable enough to feel like a family, but not so close as to wish to shoot someone. Always a win at a family gathering. No matter what the family. Everyone behaved themselves as well. Which is an extra bonus.

.....And so much food! Turkey and ham. Stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. Green bean casserole. More different kinds of rolls than could be counted. Cranberry sauces and fruit salads. Desserts of every variety. I was stuffed when we finally left at around 6PM.

.....But we still had another stop to make, for which Madrun and Dylan gave us a ride over. Last year by this time of the day we were in Turkey Coma and fell asleep at home. This year we were determined to make the other big Thanksgiving Dinner of the day which is traditionally held at Talon and Jenae's house. The dinner at Gwen's was absolutely sedate in comparison. :-) All the younger crowd over. Again with every kind of food imaginable. But I'll have to say, a little more experimental. :-) I was watching Tym deep fry those oreos and suddenly wished I could have one. :-) But I mollified myself with a deep fried mashed potato and turkey ball. Which, I have to say, tasted better than it sounds, or I suspected. :-)

.....Then the traditional game of Werewolf. Which is always good for a lot of laughs, if for no other reason than the demonstration of how I.Q. can be lowered by a group activity. :-) It took over an hour for the group to figure out the first Werewolf (Morgan), than another half hour to figure the second (J.R.). I don't think they figured out that Talon was the third until the very end of the game. But he's a master at it. For someone who approaches life with a 'Go Big Or Go Home' attitude he someone manages the fine art of subtlety really well in playing this game.

.....After that game I was just done for the day. I could barely keep my eyes open. I think TBT and I were both in bed before 9PM, which is pretty early for us on a holiday weekend.

.....Yesterday, we toyed with the idea of doing Black Friday shopping. But neither one of us were into managing big crowds. So we hit up Starbucks and set up for a day of banner design. TBT did most of the work on paper. We gave her the elements of what we wanted on our banners and she did a lot of the art work on our paper masters.

.....I'm going for a rounded point this time. Started off the pole end with the Kingdom Checky. Then the Baronial Populace badge (complete this time with double headed Dragon, which looks fantastic!). The the actual pointed end was bordered and had a classic pithon (winged serpent), and a seme of quill pens. This time we also put a sash of a motto on there, which is where I cheated as I had the Tolkien runes of my Pelican medallion put there. It looks really cool. I'm really liking the look of this banner on silk. Every time we do one it gets a little more professional and classy.

.....The only not-so-good part of this one was the silk itself and the transfer of the design. The paper template was put down, with the silk taped to the top of it. But the taping still allowed the silk to slide around too much. The design has a little wobbliness to it in places. Going to have to figure a way to keep the silk taught enough to capture a design transfer as accurately as possible. Something with which to experiment in the future.

.....After the transfer of design, I was done for the day. So we all went out to dinner.

.....Took a break in the middle of the day to go and visit the sale of Gwen and Ellen (pottery and wood). It was a nice gathering. Some good conversation with people as they filtered through. Madrun, Eleanor and I had a good conversation on encampments which stimulated some ideas for how I eventually would like to see our encampment look. Had some good conversation with Countess E on recent Pelican happenings, which made me felt good as her interpretations were similar to mine and so I didn't feel so much like a dork for my own conclusions. Confirmations are a good thing sometimes.

.....Petr and Kierran stopped in at one point and picked up checks for Yule Feast next Saturday. I feel rather badly that we're scheduled against Aquaterra's Baronial Succession. But we'll still have fun. The feast itself will be good. The obligations of the day will be few. The amount of fun scheduled looks pretty doable. :-) I think it should be a pretty good gathering.

.....It was another fairly early night though. I think we were in bed again by 10PM. Are we getting old or what? :-)

.....Today is another banner workshop day. I want to at least get my banner goutta'ed (as if that were a real word :-)). Have about a million e-mails to put out as well. We'll see if I can get at least some of them done today. 'The Muppets' are also playing and I'm thinking I might try to convince TBT to go to a showing. We'll see. I'm firmly a fan of 'The Muppet Movie' and 'Muppets Treasure Island'. I'm a little worried about a Muppets reboot. :-)

.....I should probably organize some sort of 'to-do' list, but the thought really isn't interesting me at the moment. :-) But I may force myself to do so sometime this morning.

.....Aaron / Arontius.

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