arontius: (Default)
.....I actually enjoyed May Crown. Unlike TBT, I'm very much a provincial, so I don't suffer the same angst she does in re-living personal history. When TBT started in the SCA, she shot up the ranks like a comet. Became a Laurel within a few years, and a Royal Peer (Princess / Viscountess) very early on in her career. She hung out with all the cool people early and was an integral part of many a momentous occasion in Artemesia. When she travels to the big Kingdom Events, so sees an overlay of the excitement of days past. The thrill of adrenaline. The knowledge that you could affect things on a very large scale.

.....For me, I started out very slowly. For the first three years of my SCA career practically the only event I attended was June Faire. After that I took on very small jobs and hung out with only a small group of friends. Then slowly built on that foundation. I played almost exclusively inside the confines of Dragon's Laire for almost a decade before I started exploring the big world of An Tir. So when I attend the big Kingdom events, there is still a sense of awe that permeates them. When I roll into site, there is the excitement of knowing a new King and Queen are going to be decided, or Crowned, shortly. There are people to meet that I don't see all that often. There are experiences to have that aren't a part of the fabric of Dragon's Laire.

.....The Kingdom Events are also enhanced, of course, by being the Baron and Baroness. You are there to represent a group of people who are vital to the make-up of the Kingdom. I do my best to watch out for them and enhance their experience in any way I can. Being an introvert by nature, this can sometimes be difficult and I am out of my comfort zone on a regular basis. But I think the exercise is a good one for me. I certainly learn much, make new friends, and experience things that I fondly recall later. For all the whining I do about how difficult it is to wear a Coronet, I will miss it when it is gone and am glad to be doing what I am doing now.

.....The drive was a long one on Friday, but the scenery was good. Lots of good conversation with TBT. We don't often get that kind of extended time alone to discuss any and all subjects under the sun, so I took advantage of the time and kept her talking the whole way to site. :-)

.....We caravanned with Madrun and Dylan (in Florence Radcliffe), Dame Eleanor (in Lord Burghley), and Gwenllyn & Tsuruko (in 'the Tahoe' :-)). I'm not big into caravanning with others as I like to go at my own pace. But it is a good feeling to know that there are people traveling with you in case something troublesome comes up. Stopping for a bit to eat and you have instant companionship. And there are others to help you find your way if you get lost. :-)

.....We ended up getting a start from the Mullenix Park-And-Ride at about 8:30 to 8:40AM. Gwenllyn was LATE!!! :-) We made good time though going over Snoqualamie Pass and stopping for lunch in Wynatchee. About three quarters of the way to site we ended up following along with Jess Roe of Prose And Steel, who drives a little slower than I would have liked. Which surprised me considering the type of person he is.

.....We rolled into site about 3:30PM. Jullila (the Autocrat), [livejournal.com profile] julillamagna, greeted us at the gate, with her ever present smile and wave. An attitude she managed to maintain the entire weekend. She did an absolutely fantastic job of being the Autocrat Team Chairman for May Crown. I hope she does more of these events as she is a natural. After a break of course.

.....THL Mateusz had a site marked out for the Barony fairly close to the Erics, right behind Merchant's Row. We had a rather good turn-out for the weekend. We had ten pavilions in our enclave and nineteen people in that area alone from Dragon's Laire. Over in the RV Ghetto were also Master Ralg and Dame Ellen. Over in the Royal Encampment were Master Cedric, Dame Brighid, Don Talentus, THL Jenae, and Lady Magdalena. What is that? Twenty-six people? I would definitely consider that a good turn-out.

.....TBT and I shared a pavilion. THL Madrun was to our right. Lord Radmund started out to Madrun's right, but was moved across the street by the burst water pipe later in the evening on Friday. To our left were Dame Gwenllyn and Tsuruko Sensei in the 12x12 with awning that I lent them for the weekend. To their left were Master Andras and THL Liesel, along with CeCe and Lady Elisabeth Trostin and her daughter Cassie in their own tent. Across the street from them were THL Alaricus and THL Kassandra in their large tent. THL Renart and THL Aelianora were next to them. Then Mateusz and THL Rycheza. Dame Eleanor was beside them. With THL Caius and THL Nidda in the final tents (before Radmund moved in next to them).

.....The weather on Friday was not bad at all, although the sun was fierce. Set-up of pavilions did not take all that long. We headed out to dinner at about 7PM and had dinner at an Australian Steak house on the north side of Omak, which was tasty. After a stop at Safeway for ice and water (after we learned that water to site had been shut off), we made it back to site around 10PM. At that point I thought about wandering site, but I was done for the day and just went to bed.

.....The night was cold, but not unbearably so. I managed to sleep rather well and slept in the next morning until at least 5:30AM or so. Gwen and Tsuruko woke up around 6:30 or 7AM and make short work of preparing breakfast, for which I was very grateful. I took off fairly soon after for my 8AM Pelican meeting.

.....If I end up having any influence whatsoever, I'm going to push to move the Pelican meeting out to 9AM or 10AM (or later) at September Crown. Wish me luck! :-) The meeting itself was really foo-free for the most part (or, the foo that was experienced was expected, which made it not so bad to experience). It went by rather quickly as well. A little after 9AM, I was wandering back to camp to pull stuff together for the rest of the day and putting them into the Dragon Bag, which made its usual appearance at the Pelican Meeting. :-)

.....At 10:30AM we met with a group of the Western Regional Barons and Baronesses at the Aquaterra Pavilion to talk about the June Faire Board of Directors as a concept. I had invited Madrun and Magdalena along for just that purpose. But the majority of the time, almost two hours, was spent talking about Serjeantry. It is interesting how Serjeantry as a concept is really taking off again around the Kingdom. It is modifying itself to fit new uses. Everyone has ideas on what they want to see happen with it, which is making each Barony's 'plan' more and more different from both the original model and from each other to fit their own individual culture. A very fascinating conversation it was. There seems to be consensus that we should do more as a Region together, but there is still a lot of gap to bridge before we can really talk of combined Trials.

.....We lined up for the Grand Processional a little after 12:30PM. There were not a whole lot of branches represented after the seventy-seven fighters were introduced to the Crown. But it was good to come together as a Barony and process into Court. I think that most, if not all, of us in attendance for the weekend processed in. A rather nice sight that was. :-)

.....After the Processional, TBT and I handed out our tokens to those fighting in the Crown lists. Master Cedric and Master Andras were first as they were direct representatives of Dragon's Laire. But we also presented tokens to Sir Rauokinn and Mistress Inga, two people both TBT and I find incredibly inspirational.

.....During the fighting of Crown we had a lot of fun from the Baronial Pavilion recognizing practically everyone who crossed in front of us. Many were surprised, but most found our antics to be amusing and were friendly in return. I think people like being recognized in any situation, even in such a silly capacity.

.....The silliness only expanded though during the evening Court. TBT and I sat directly behind Countess E. and we messed with each other the entire time. We passed out booze by the bottle, teased each other incessantly, and, I think, even managed to embarrass Master James in his capacity as Court Herald. Although he deserved it with how he butchered names of those being called forth! :-)

.....Upon completion of Court we migrated back to camp for dinner. Even though we didn't plan a communal dinner, practically everyone there shared a little of what they had made for themselves. Then we gathered around the firepit for the evening bardic gathering. It started off a little rocky, as per usual. But picked up steam as the evening progress. We were rarely, if ever, in key. But everyone there had fun, which was the intent. Lady Magdalena joined in at one point with her absolutely wicked sense of humor. Master Cedric sang with us a little, completely off-key, which matched my off-key rather well. So it was still a win as far as I was concerned. :-)

.....Caius and Nidda pulled out their ukelele's after a while and played instrumental to a few songs. They ended up playing one of my absolute favorite songs of all time, Hallalujuha. I know the words by heart, but couldn't seem to make the decision as to whether I just wanted to listen to it sung, or to sing along. It ended up being a hodge-podge on my part. But I still enjoyed it immensely.

.....After a couple of hours we all grew tired of singing and migrated in different directions. I followed Brighid and the Seneschallettes over to the big party of the evening. But I didn't stay long as I was rather tired at that point. I ended up in bed by 11PM. I AM getting old. :-)

.....The next morning was another early rise. I was up around 6AM and started quietly breaking down camp before everyone woke up. By the time TBT was stirring, all the decorations were down and ready for stowage. The Curia meeting started at 8:30AM, and I managed to get quite a bit of the campsite put away before having to run.

.....The Kingdom Financial Committee meeting was extra long due to the discussions on Kingdom Events. I did witness Jenae and Magdalena present their bid for An Tir / West War. They were very professional! :-) The bid was a shoe-in, although I did get volunteered to help. Etiennette insisted that their event have its own warranted Exchequer and they asked me to do it. I could not say 'no'. :-) Besides, it will not be a big deal at all. I just reminded myself that I have a couple of questions to e-mail Etiennette about funds for the event.

.....I gave my September Crown report a little later, and it was probably the shortest report I've ever given! I was antsy at that point as I wanted to breat down camp and get on the road! :-) And about an hour and a half later, we were. Still in our caravan. We made it home by 6PM.

.....It was a good weekend. I enjoyed it. And I missed Lobelia only a little bit. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....It's time for May Crown. I am not quite so anxious as I usually am, but then I started packing early. And I'm doing my best to keep June Faire out of my consciousness, at least for this weekend. :-)

.....But even though I'm mostly packed, there seems to be a lot of details to remember, and stuff not yet packed that needs to be brought:

Shopping List: Stick Lighter, Bundle of Wood, Citronella Candle, Fresh Sunscreen, A Quart of Power Steering Fluid, A Quart of Motor Oil, Flat of Bottled Water, Roll of Trash Bags, Tobasco Sauce, Salsa, Bagels, Cream Cheese, String Cheese, Lunch Meat, Oranges, Crackers, Snacks, Soda, and Ice.

DON'T FORGET: PINS FOR CHAIRS; PINS FOR BED; BANNERS; TOKENS FOR BARONIAL POPULACE AT CROWN.

General Packing: Toiletries (Soap, shampoo, razor, brush, deoderant, toothpaste and brush, mouthwash); Pillow In Stuff Bag; Regular Clothes (underwear, socks, sweats, shirts); Sun Hat; Camera and Battery; IPod Touch (cable); Charged Phone (cable); Nook; Batteries; Charged Victoria (Cord and Window Attachment); Plates; Protein and Vitamins; Large Cup; Knife; Large Spoon; Paper Towls; Detergent and Wash Cloth; Large Bowl; Smelly Stuff.

Things Being Planned For May Crown Itself:

* Talk to Countess Elisabeth about War with Madrone at Hot Summer Lights.
* Pelican Agenda and Pelican Notes.
* June Faire Board Discussion.
* Serjeantry Discussion with Western Regional Baronies.
* Get Crier Exchequer Warrant signed.
* September Crown Progress Report.
* Saturday Evening Bardic Gathering.
* Discussion with Mateusz and Rycheza.
* Invitations to Their Royal Highnesses for June Faire (THANK RENART ACCORDINGLY!!!).
* If we see Duchess Miranda, see if we can have a talk with her and Tsuruko about September Crown Equestrian (although I'm not thinking she will be there).

.....We are meeting with our Caravan at the Port Orchard Park-And-Ride at 8:20AM, from there it is the long drive to the Okanagon County Fairgrounds in Omak. Officially, the site opens up at 3PM. We'll have lunch along the way and then should be on site pretty close to 3PM. Mateusz will most likely be on site and be marking out the Baronial Territory for us when we arrive. I'm glad he took on that role. I have no worries on it happening and well. :-)

.....It will probably be an early night bedtime on Friday as there are early Saturday meetings. But if the evening is pleasant, it will be nice to sit around the campfire and chat with friends. A shower is a definite for Saturday evening as well. I love the Fairgrounds for having showers!!! :-)

.....Up early for breakfast, which will be eggs and tortillas (with salsa). It usually works out well to be part of a larger kitchen at events. :-)

.....Pelican meeting is at 8AM on Saturday morning. I have my notes printed out and should be ready to go for the Western Regional portion. Next meeting is at 10:30AM in the Aquaterra Pavilion to talk about the June Faire Board and Serjeantry. During the day there will have to be wandering so as to recognize Populace Members engaged in various tasks around site.

.....Right now I know that Caius is in the Rapier Tournament. I'm pretty sure that Cedric is fighting in Crown itself. But those are the only two I know of for sure. I'm reasonably sure that Talentus is also in the Rapier Tournament, but will double-check on that.

.....Cloaks and Banner Bearer for Processional (if it happens). We need to remember to meet with Renart early in case the invitation to Their Royal Highnesses needs our signatures (I'm not sure it does and am not complaining in the slightest if it doesn't!).

.....Dinner after Evening Court, which will also be prepared prior to event and just needs to be heated. Then Bardic Gathering. My songbook is already packed. As are flashlights and candles.

.....Sunday morning. Curia I think is at 9AM. We'll have started camp break-down by then and I'll keep checking in with Curia and packing Heather as possible. As soon as Curia is over, Heather is final packed and we hit the road for home.

.....Wish I could take Monday off from work. But with June Faire the week after, and the current work-load, that just isn't possible.

.....O.K., I feel a little better now. I was fretting, thinking I was forgetting major issues. But things really are coming together for the weekend.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....It feels somewhat strange to be posting in Live Journal. It's been a while. But at the same time, it somewhat feels like returning home. :-)

.....May was the month of May Crown and June Faire. The Month of Madness. :-)

.....May Crown was actually a lot of fun. We had decided early on that Lobelia was more impersonal and that we should do our best to actually camp with the Barony. So we pulled together items from both of our camping kits and packed up the Gwen Mobile and drove to the event with her. We actually caravanned with Madrun, which was fun in its own right. :-)

.....It was hot on Friday there. All of us were melting before we completed setting up our pavilions. I did my best to help Madrun and Dillon set up their new Panthers. The groundcloth kind of threw me for a loop at first. But when I saw it put together I was rather impressed. The plastic backed sodcloth really seals up the pavilion well, and helps place the pavilion itself when followed. I really do like Panther products. Maybe some day TBT and I will be able to afford one we both like. I sure wish I had not sold off my big round one. Sigh!

.....The Baronial Bardic on Saturday night started off a little rocky, but gained momentum. TBT and I ended up calling it a win. Although the eternal threat from now onwards is if no one comes up with something better, I'm going to sing 'Baby Shark' until either I'm blue in the face, or someone comes up with something better. :-) But Gwenllyn was a real trouper and plied the crowd with several songs to get them into the spirit. After that we had a number of musical entries, stories, anecdotes, jokes, etc. A very good way to get teh Barony to come together.

.....After May Crown, it was the final slog to June Faire. Every year I feel like a virtual June Faire newcomer as it seems every June Faire is brand new in complexity and size. You'd think that after twenty-three June Faire, I'd have the routine down by now. Nope, not on your life. Every year it is a scramble to the finish line. Although this year being Baron alongside TBT may have added to the complexity. At least a little bit. :-)

.....Because Rhys was with us, we camped in Lobelia and fell in love with her again. We had decided that we were going to actually camp the major events this year. But we're re-evaluating that and have deicded that at least at July Coronation we're going to be camping in Lobelia. We'll just have to figure out some way to engage the Barony so that we do not feel so separated from them. Maybe we could get teh RV's stationed near the Baronial Encampment somehow. Hmmm.

.....Took a tour of the new July Coronation site the weekend before June Faire. It is remarkable! Going from Mount Vernon to this site in Sedro Wooley was a huge step UP! It is a huge grassland beside a river in a rural part ofthe County. It has a beautiful view of the mountains and LOTS of space! I think that July Coronation is going to be pretty spectacular.

.....The Event Team has worked hard to include the surrounding branches in the planning efforts. I think it is working out pretty well actually. Dragon's Laire is in charge of the Marketplace. Each local Barony is taking on some separate aspect of the running of the event. The camaraderie seems pretty easy going. I'm liking the Regional Identity being created. Let's see if we can keep it going.

.....The weather for June Faire this year was fantastic! Finally! After several years of fighting off the rain and mud, it felt good to be blessed with the sun for a change. There was still mud and stranded cars in places. But they were minimal and manageable.

.....By the end of the day on Thursday most of the infrastructure was up. I was sitting there looking at Master Ralg and fretting over what in the world was I forgetting. :-) I rather like that feeling actually.

.....I liked the Arts and Sciences Village. It had a lot to see and witness. I also liked the Marketplace on the top of the hill.

.....The Erics needed work. I liked their location a lot. They were a central focus for the Public Demo. Plus, they were easily accessed for armor drop-off and pick-up. But we hadn't given enough thought to size and shape. But it was a valuable Lesson Learned for us to use next year. We have heard some grumbling and will need to ensure that we react early and forcefully next year to counter that. Having a Tournament Level set of prizes helped, so we'll have to push that again next year.

.....Having the Equestrian not in their 'usual' place this year was interesting. That was A LOT of unused space. If we'd had more time to plan, we certainly could have done a lot more with that space. But the Equine Virus that shut down Equestrian did not give us much warning. We were already looking at the space and going, hmmm, we could move archery more to the East and enlarge the Marketplace. Hmmmm.... I'm a Pelican, always thinking about those things.... :-)

.....Court was awesomely smooth. TBT put forth her Countess skills and organized it within an inch of its life with the help of Tsuruko. TBT is pretty smart you know. :-) Glad one of us is. :-) Caius is REALLY starting to come into his own as a super Court Herald. He was absolutely fantastic. Even I was more relaxed than I had been at any earlier Court. Give me a couple more events and even speaking spontaneously will start becoming easier. :-)

.....Lots more details that are percolating, but not right now. I'm going to bed. Because it is 9PM and I CAN. :-) Only two more days until the weekend. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....It has been a somewhat hectic week. We're starting a major new Project at work and the number of details that have threatened to blow up has been staggering. Although that is not a complaint. The last time we started a major Project of this size I was working for The Big Boss who made life equivalent to about the seventh or eighth plane of hell. The current structure is a dream in comparison. So if things are a little rough and hectic, I am more than willing to take them in stride. And, of course, in about four week's time, when things are in full swing, the issues will calm down a degree and we can concentrate on getting things done.

.....After September though? I'm not entirely sure what is going to happen. My workload drops off considerably. There are multitudinous rumors floating around. I should probably poke around and make sure I have some sort of exit strategy.

.....Looks like a trip to Indiana sometime in June for another Battery Conference. This last week it was scheduled for the week immediately following June Faire. I think we might have been able to push it out at least a week. I'm crossing my fingers. Ouch. I could just imagine the fun of parking Lobelia on Sunday and getting up Monday for an early morning flight. :-)

.....This Tuesday at Fight Practice we saw The Rhys Monster in armor and in action. Lots of support from the fighting community. It was supremely cool to watch and I was excited for Rhys. Watching TBT was fun as well. She was so proud and excited, glowing like a 1,000 watt light bulb. :-) The Rhys Monster seemed to enjoy it as well, which bodes well for the future. I think it would be fantastic if he were to pick it up as a hobby he liked to do.

.....It certainly helped having all the comeraderie of the other fighters and all the attention and positive support and attention. He doesn't get a lot of that with spending so much time on the computer. So maybe this will also be an encouragement for him to get out more.

.....This was a little corner of my soul that was sad. I felt a little bit on the outside as I watched Rhys and wished again that Rhys were my son and not another's. As soon as I shine a spotlight on that feeling I know how silly it is. If Rhys were mine and TBT's, he wouldn't be Rhys. And Rhys is perfect the way he is. But, I can't help feeling every now and then that I'm missing out on something. It is a regret that I had to answer before I married TBT. But I still can't help but feel that regret from time to time. Oh, well, some things just can not be solved and you just learn to live with them.

.....I'm amazed some times how well TBT and I actually get along. The number of fights we've actually had since getting married is so low that it is hard to remember the last one whenever we have one. :-) But we are typical in one regard though. Packing! We both have a completely different style of packing and trying to pack together should be a non-starter! :-) This week has been a tough one though, so we ended up on Thursday night pulling the camping stuff from the garage. As we looked for various bits and made a pile of stuff to load into the truck, our different styles clashed. I had a few edgy words and had to clamp down on my tongue several times. I have a rather methodical system of putting stuff away and pulling it out again. TBT is much more free-form. But we managed to get it done with no yelling or screaming. Whoot!

.....Even made a trip to Lobelia. Part of me wished we could have just brought her along for the trip. But camping will be fun too. So we'll have fun. The truck is very nearly loaded. Just a few bins left to put into her. Gwen is supposed to be here around 8AM and then we're going to meet Madrun at the ferry. The Rhys Monster will be home for the weekend. It's never good to force him to another SCA event just before June Faire. :-)

.....Got my Pelican notes packed. My other notes packed. I have a couple of books. Baronial pavilion. Food. Actually, I'm tired of thinking of the list, so I'll stop now. :-)

.....Madrun's birthday tomorrow! It was a good day for all of us when she stepped into Dragon's Laire and our lives. Huzzah! :-)

.....May Crown! Here we come! :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....It's a rare Fight Practice that is a little bit of a slower pace than it has been of late. Helen is teaching a class on sewing in part of the room. There are a small number of other regulars. But most of the rest of the crowd seems to be absent this evening. I know that at least a handful of people are helping Cedric and Brighid remove carpets from the home in Poulsbo. But am not sure where everyone else is this evening.

.....Not necessarily a bad thing. I haven't had a chance to catch up on Live Journal for a number of days.

.....Last Saturday we managed to wake ourselves up early enough to make it out the door by 0700. We had a 0755 ferry to catch to Edmonds, with a 0930 meeting in Mount Vernon to meet with the July Coronation Autocrat Team and walk the site. We took the drive at a fairly leisurely pace and still drove into the parking lot at precisely 0930. That actually made me feel good in that the drive from Edmonds to Mount Vernon is not that long. Less than an hour.

.....We will not be able to set up much on Thursday at Edgewater Park as the contract is pretty strict about not setting up infrastructure before Friday. But we're going to politely ask if we could at least chalk mark lines on the field. I'd very much like to go up to site on Thursday and set up lines before the Merchants arrive on Friday. I've deliberately kept the advertising low key as the space alotted is compact. I'd like to aim for no more than thirty five or so merchants in the Marketplace. But we'll see. Pastische is already in the queue though. :-)

.....Edgewater Park is somewhat deceptive in size. When you first park in the parking area you generally think the park is rather small. But when you walk from end-to-end it is actually a distance. I'd say approximately the area that Wastekeep had for July Coronation last year. Bryson gave us a map of the park with the following dimensions: 536' by 468' by 594' x 310' by 700'. This is just the grassy field portion and does not take into account the RV area and the separate parking areas. There are also a couple of break-out park areas that can be used in a pinch for overflow camping.

.....But it will be tight.

.....We settled on the area for the Marketplace. It will be close to the RV area. I'm going to capture a set of parking places in that area for those of the merchants who need handicapped parking. The gate from this area opens right from parking into the Marketplace. Good location.

.....I have seven merchant applications now. I'm going to post on a weekly basis how much territory we take up so that Bryson can keep track of the space on his master map.

.....I took a group of pictures that I'll post as soon as I can get them off of the camera. They'll show the park location right next to the Skagit River and the close proximity of downtown Mount Vernon. I think a goodly number of people might actually decide to stay in the hotels that are really close by. We will certainly not lack for grocery stores or restaurants either.

.....We took off from Mount Vernon at around 1100 and headed south. Around noon we were in North Seattle and decided we wanted lunch. Neither of us were familiar with the Northgate area so we went bumming around the mall to see what we could find. There was an Oriental Buffet place called 'Bluefin'. I'm used to the Kitsap County version of this place, affectionately known as 'Crappy Chinese Buffet'. But I'd forgotten how much classier everything is in Seattle. The food was actually REALLY GOOD. Fresh made sushi by the gross. Yum.

.....We drove the rest of the way to Madrone and set ourselves up for the Madrone feast. After several hours of good conversation, some good music and dance, it was time for the feast. I definitely ate well this day. All the food was really good.

.....Sunday was a little less hectic. Birthday breakfast for Bernie over at Gwen's. Then time at home trying to clean up a few things and get ready for the work week.

.....I've managed to work on the new banner every night since then. It is about two-thirds done now. Only one color left to apply. It doesn't look spectacular, but I think that it will look pretty cool flying over our encampment at May Crown. I think I can finish the painting / dying by this weekend. I need to get it steamed and washed, which I think I can also get done this weekend. Then I'll have to subtly beg TBT to roll the edges and put a staff link on one end so I can fly it on a banner pole. I can't wait. :-)

.....Next banner will be same length. It will have twice the Or and Argent Checky. It will have the red and black bars for the Baronial Populace, along with the double-headed dragon. It will have the Team Haggis badge next, and then elements from my device. I'll keep the early dragon, but have a seme of quill-pens behind it. A motto bar would be nice as well.

.....Need to pack for NORWESCON this weekend as well. It's almost here! :-)

.....Looking forward to May the big event is May Crown. Space has already been reserved on the Erics for the Baronial. I need to make some sort of arrangement to do something in it for the day. Maybe some munchies and water at the very minimum. Adelheidi is running with the Baronial Encampment. I'd very much like to see if we can get the Barony to host some sort of bardic gathering there on Saturday night. I'll have to remember to talk to Jahnkin and see if we can arrange something. Something at least a little organized.

.....Disjointed post this evening. Am rather tired and sleepy. Going to be a somewhat longish week. Dinner tomorrow night at Brian and Janes. Thursday is a Dragon's Pearls meeting (which is very local at the very least). Friday is still free at this point. Saturday looks to be a trip to a huge fabric sale in Tacoma. I think there is something happening on Sunday, but I can't remember what.

.....Almost time to go. Crowd is definitely small tonight.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....I enjoyed May Crown quite a bit, but it sure took a toll on June Faire preparations. It feels like I'm sprinting to catch up in time to make the Faire next weekend. :-)

.....On Friday I met Madrun and her crew down at the Bremerton Ferry for our caravan across Washington State. I enjoyed hearing stories of the exciting life of a Social Worker on the Reservation. Several hair-raising stories. I knew Madrun was accomplished and a trooper, but I hadn't realized just what she did there. I was certainly impressed.

.....We stopped in Yakima for lunch at Miner's, which is a rather famous burger joint. I should have been more careful about what I ate, but the burger looked really good at that moment. I paid for it the rest of the trip as the body couldn't decide whether it really wanted it or not. :-) But it did taste really good.

.....We pulled into Kennewick at about 3PM and signed into the Fairgrounds. We went looking for space within the established camping areas and quickly realized that there was not enough space for the Baronial Encampment. I gravitated towards a shady area behind the Royal Pavilion where I was camped for July Coronation last year. My inclination was to just start setting up and claim possession, but the fact that I've been a part of many autocrat teams where I HATED people doing this that prevented me from actually doing that very thing. We finally struck a pretty good deal with the Camping Team on site. We took a shady, grassy area on the far side of the RV area. It actually worked out brilliantly as it was a.) shady, b.) allowed the entire Barony (whomever wanted to do so) to camp together, c.) we were not far from the erics, and d.) we were near the RV encampment. I think it was a win all around really.

.....After set-up, I was thinking of dinner. Their Excellencies grabbed me by the arm and took me off to Red Robin in town. I should have suspected something was up by how quickly I was pulled into this, but I was tired. After dinner Cedric convinced the staff of Red Robin to embarrass me as much as possible by getting the rowdy portion of the restaurant to sing 'Happy Birthday' to me. I turned bright, glowing red. And His Excellency scored the dessert. :-)

.....Saturday was a full day. I was still feeling a little off from the day before, so I didn't have much for breakfast. I kept thinking the Pelican meeting was at 8AM, but was reminded that Their Majesties had sensibly decided to start the meetings at 9AM. The meeting was relatively short and foo-free, which I prefer immensely.

.....I relaxed and visited for a couple of hours before the Processional and Invocation. Which it was announced that Sir Sven was fighting for Sir Raoukinn, which is WAY cool. I happen to be quite the fan of Sir Raoukinn! :-)

.....The Seneschal's meeting at 3PM was also foo-free and thankfully straight-to-the-point. I was not in the mood for a wandering attention meeting and I lucked out. :-)

.....The Finals were truly epic to watch! It was Sir Sven and Sir Tiernan. They both died once and then had a double-kill. The field was deathly quite as the last battle was fought. And then Sir Tiernan won! As much as I wanted to see Sir Raoukinn crowned as Princess of An Tir, I was truly overjoyed to see Tiernan and Miranda with the An Tir Coronets on Their heads. They are truly nice people who will be a wonderful King and Queen. Really, no matter who won the Finals of this May Crown, the Kingdom as a whole won. I really like Crowns that end in this fashion. :-)

.....After dinner, I was dog tired. The wind was epic and I was cold. Part of me wanted to go and wander the camp, but the bed won me over and I went to bed early. I was ever so thankful that I packed a few extra blankets. I stayed nice and warm, no matter how cold the night became.

.....I was still feeling off on Sunday morning, but I drug myself together and started breaking down camp when I was up and dressed. The Financial Committee meeting was set for 9AM and my protege, Isketol, was ready to present a bid for Kingdom Arts and Sciences Championship (and Bardic Championship) to be held in Dragon's Laire. I knew we were just one of two bids, the other being a really good bid from Adiantum. I was nervous and jumpy and fully expected Adiantum to be awarded the bid. However, Their Majesties and Highnesses brought up several good points, the chief of which was that since Adiantum already had Twelfth Night, it would be more fair to allow Canadians to have less distance to travel for the very next Kingdom Event. I totally agreed and was glad Their Majesties and Highnesses saw the same thing.

.....I was excited during the presentation and did interrupt Isketol on several points with additional information. I felt badly later as I should have kept my mouth shut and let Isketol run with the bid. But I did apologize later and I don't think Isketol will hold it against me.

.....At one point during the presentation Her Royal Highness, Miranda, looked over at me and asked if I and Marquessa Laurellen were on board to help with the event. I said we were and she smiled. I was very grateful for that as it helped me settle my nervousness and made me feel as if I actually mattered. It was cool and she had perfect timing with those words and smile. She was most certainly thinking of the good of the Kingdom as a whole, but still, I owe her a lot for making me feel so much better with that.

.....After that, the meeting became something of a blur. But I did hear Master James present a bid for the Canton of Silverhart (with the Barony of Wealdsmere) to host Twelfth Night, 2012. The trip over the passes in January will be dicey. But I think that Silverhart will be appreciative of having the Kingdom come to them in January and will treat us well.

.....I went off to grab Heather and packed her up in less than an hour, including the stuff I was taking home from Madrun. I had intended on caravaning back with Madrun. But when I was ready to go, Madrun had another hour or so with her household in breaking down their encampment. I was anxious to hit the road and get home. I was still not feeling great and was missing TBT a lot. I felt badly about abandoning Madrun, but she seemed to be O.K. with the plan, so I decided to just roll with it.

.....The drive home went faster than I thought it would. Traffic was not horrible and the weather cooperated nicely. I made it home in about four hours and a little change. I unpacked the important parts of the van and then collapsed for the evening.

.....TBT had arranged for a gathering to celebrate my birthday. In the end Brummbar, Ralph and Ellen showed up. I was grateful that I was remembered (and many people called me and sent me e-mails to say 'Happy Birthday' as well). But after about an hour, I practically pushed everyone out the door. I was soooo tired. :-)

.....Ralph and Ellen gave me this really cool wood turned bowl for my birthday. We have it on display in the Living Room. Rhys made me a glow-in-the-dark bead mobile which is already hanging over my desk at work. :-)

.....This week has been rough though. I'm still trying to catch up with having taken Friday off. And being distracted with June Faire preparations is not helping one little bit. Sigh! It's going to be hard to make it through to next Wednesday unscathed. :-)

.....I finished the last of the contracts under my control (the tables and chairs). Lobelia now has a new refrigerator and generator service. Suzie has a new clutch. Now I just need to get my damned license renewed so I can actually drive these things around! :-)

.....Lots to do! Let's go!

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

.....I'm all packed and ready to head out in Lobelia. She's making me a little temperamental. I had a difficult time getting the refrigerator started. But after a little clean up operation and leveling Lobelia out on the road in front of the house, we have operable conditions again. The water pump is going like mad but I'm not getting a water out of any of the faucets. But Master Ralg tells me that is probably due to the fact that the pump is slowly filling up the hot water tank. I get water when I open the hot water tank and I'm getting a little out of the outdoor shower nearest the water tank itself. And Master Ralg has a tendency to know of what he speaks. So I'm going to cross my fingers and hope for the best and see what happens.

.....Would be a major bummer to have Lobelia on site and no water. :-) But it is a good warm up run before June Faire. Gives me two weeks to get things fixed.

.....Not looking forward to the gas station and the final fill up. But thems the apples you pay to have an RV.

.....Should be on the road between 9AM and 10AM. Looking forward to a nice and easy ride to Crown. Have lunch in Yakima and be in line when gate opens up.

.....Wish that the Beloved Tamm were going with me. :-(

.....Everyone have a safe trip and see you on site.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....May Crown was fun as usual. :-) And as usual, a learning experience! :-)

.....Camping in Lobelia rocks! Especially when it is hot (you have air conditioning), wet (you have a solid roof over your head), the biffys are crowded (you have your OWN toilet!!!), the ground is uncomfortable (you have your own bed). And the very best part!!!??? It takes you 10 minutes to set up and ten minutes to tear down to hit the road!

.....What made this trip so exciting though was how much more fun staying in Lobelia is when you weigh over 200 pounds LESS than you did the year before. I could go ANYWHERE in, under, over, around, through the RV easier and faster than I ever could before. Driving was a breeze now that I can actually fit comfortably in the chair and set the steering wheel at a comfortable angle. I could fit in the shower comfortably and actually move in there.

.....And this is the ULTIMATE wonder (disgusting as it is :-)), I can now actually sit on the toilet and close the door to the bathroom!!!! :-)

.....I had such a good time in Lobelia that I really want to take all this next week off so that I can go camping in it. :-) Sigh! Back to work tomorrow I go.

.....I made it to site around 1630 on Friday. I met Brighid and Cedrid at the Indian Hill Rest Area and we went into Ellensburg for lunch, then to site. Set up and wandered for a while. Helped some others set up. Set up the Baronial Pavilion, and then did dinner (with Ralg and Ellen) and then did dinner again (with Brighid, Cedric and the bunch).

.....Wandered around site on Friday evening. For a while with Brighid, Countess Elizabeth and a very drunken Gwendolyn of Castle Court. Gwendolyn is one of my Deputies (Listings) and she is an amazingly talented and organized person. It was rather good to see her just hanging out and having some fun. :-) Brighid and I finally left them at Gulenay's vigil and wandered back to the John Wolfstan encampment. They are a very cool group. Sir John has a dedicated household and they work hard at making things look and feel right. His wife Alyna is very nice and of course his Squire Eadric and HIS wife Katerina make a nice addition to their household.

.....Spent some time with the irreverent Rapier Boys of Dragon's Laire (and their cohorts). They are a lot of fun! I really like them all. They also work hard at setting up a really nice encampment. A lot of Panther and Panther-like pavilions and all kinds of accouterments(the hanging lights were a nice touch).

.....I went to bed at around midnight. It rained most of the night.

.....The next day I didn't feel all that hot. So it was only a light breakfast before Pelican meeting at 1000. Finally came to the realization of why the regional meetings and process goes the way it goes and why it is so slow. At any given Kingdom event you only have one hour for everyone to come together and come to a consensus. With three Principalities and two other regions, that hour goes by freakin' fast. Any serious contender needs to have their ducks in a row to make it through the process. Sigh!

.....Wandered through the afternoon. Watched some of the finals, attended at least part of the Investiture Court. Saw Duke Gunnar made a Lion of An Tir (way cool). Took a trip to see the wonder of the the 'Pee Grotto'. I would say more about this, but promised Brighid that I would let her talk about the experience. :-)

.....GOT MY BOOKS AUDITED BY THL SARA!!! :-) Actually, it was a pleasant experience. I spent several years as the Dragon's Laire Exchequer and it was not my favorite place in the SCA. I absolutely HATED the Doomsday Report. But I found out later that the reason I hated it so much was that no one had ever sat down and showed me how to do it right. The budget for the Kingdom Chronicler's office is so much smaller in comparison that it is a lot easier to see how everything fits together and works. Now that I have figured out how to do the report correctly, it isn't so bad. Sara reviewed my books and pointed out a few things I could do better and signed me off as successful. I was gratified. :-)

.....I was surprized with several Birhtday Presents during dinner that evening. I generally don't like Birthday presents. Mainly because I'm always forgetting someone's special occassion and feeling guilty about forgetting. Or driving myself nuts trying to figure out what someone wants for a present. I thought long ago that if I stopped promoting the need for presents, people would stop giving me presents and the vicious cycle would end. But it doesn't! :-) For which I am grateful. Guess I'll just have to figure out how to deal with the guilt. :-) Mistress Gwenllyn got me a hanging Trailer Trash Pink Flamingo for the RV. Mistress Tsuruko got me a stuffed Pelican and THL Eileen got me a set of Pelican earrings. :-) Hey, presents are cool I guess. :-)

.....BUT, the best present of the day came from Marquessa Laurellen. She gave me a locket of her hair! :-) I have a locket of Nimue's hair that I keep in a glass charm that I wear to all SCA events. I haven't decided whether I need to braid the hair of the two most beautiful women in the SCA together and place them in one locket or two get a separate one just for Marquessa Laurellen's. I'm leaning towards a separate one. The beauty and genius of both Marquessa Laurellen and Nimue must be appreciated separately, in their own environment. Like fine wine, mixing them would just ruin the taste. :-) But beyond the freakishness of such a request, having a locket of Laurellen's hair will be an inspiration, as it should be. :-)

.....Woke up Sunday to a bunch of meetings. The first one was cancelled, although the heralds called it and we scrambled to make it. :-) It was the Financial Committee Meeting. But having a cancelled meeting meant BREAKFAST. :-) Which I just had time to make before Curia. I had this nicely written report. If I had just read it I would have been fine, but I'm not a wonderful public speaker and missed about half of what I was going to say. Did the same on the July Coronation report. Her Excellency Brighid jumped in with some important information. I snapped at her just a little bit and now His Highness thinks I'm mean. Sigh! What a way to make a first impression. Made it through the Seneschal's meeting at 1130 and then ran for the RV. Was revving up the engine at 1145 to hit the road.

.....Everyone was nervous about the soft ground, especially Master Ralg and HE Barnet. They weren't sure that they were going to make it through the bog. I put Lobelia in drive and gunned her across the field. Then Master Ralg yelled at me and damn it, I slowed down, and promptly sank into the bog! Damn! Damn! Damn! I tried inching my way out, and sank some more. Tried going back and forth, no luck. Revved the engine in several different directions, still no luck.

.....But a cool thing happened. At least a dozen people all just appeared and started helping. Several people threw would in the mud ruts. Several people even tried to help push. I really was gratified for the help. It was a good reminder about the real generosity of the majority of the people who play in the SCA. Finally had Richard hook a tow rope to his truck and between the two of us managed to get out of the bog. I helped fish out the wood from the mud and then hit the road. Found out later that right after I left they opened a back gate to let everyone out. So my bog experience was a lesson for everyone. :-)

.....Made it home in a little over four hours. Really good time, relatively little traffic on the road. Lobelia is sitting in my driveway now. I think that I'm going to just leave her there until June Faire. It'll give me a chance to really clean her out for the year.

.....See you all later, Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
Woo! Hoo! Just about to hit the road! Lobelia (my RV) and I are going to hit the 0900 Seattle-Bremerton Ferry, be in Seattle around 1000 and hit I-90. With any luck I'll be in Moses Lake between 2PM and 3PM.

See as many of you as possible at May Crown! :-)

Arontius / Aaron.

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