arontius: (Justin's Device)
.....I finally made the decision this morning to not attend Sport of Kings. I'm bummed in that I wanted to spend time seeing people at the event, spend time with TBT, and work out with Renart in the kitchen. But at the same time, it is a whole day that I can have at home to get caught up on a few things. I'm feeling really behind at the moment and would very much like to get to a point where I am actually learning and performing as the Kingdom Exchequer, rather than simply reacting to whatever new situation happens to hit my computer on any particular day. Oy!

.....I did get to help at least a little tiny bit Sport of Kings (or SpOrK, as some call it :-)). On Tuesday I pulled out my 12x12 and awning, with all its associated parts, and delivered to Renart at the Tuesday Social for use at Sport of Kings. A group flew in from Avacal and needed shelter that they couldn't bring with them.

.....There is a little corner of my mind that rather wishes I had not accepted the work of putting together a bunch of circlets for Their Majesties. Mainly because it has taken much more time than I had anticipated. On the other hand, I'm hearing good reports coming in from people who are really appreciating the receiving of them. Plus, it is a paycheck of a sort. So I don't have a whole lot of room to complain, so I should stop now. :-)

.....Tomorrow morning TBT will hit the road at 6AM for her trip to Sport of Kings. I plan to hit the workbench shortly thereafter and get started on the next batch. We're still at the point of having twenty-five cut and drilled and ready to go. I have five more to drill and then I can start the edging and facing process. I've budgeted four hours to make that happen tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, it isn't going to be quite as easy as it sounds to get started. I've spent the past several weeks filling the garage with empty plastic storage bins and the remains of July Coronation. I'm going to have to spend the first hour or so clearing out enough space to get to the workbench and out the garage door. I need to do that anyway to get started on packing for September Crown. The packing of which will start next weekend. If I go ahead and get the pavilion and accessories pulled out of the garage and staged in Lord Flasheart, I'll feel much more in control of September Crown preparations.

.....Tomorrow morning on circlets, with a break for lunch. In the afternoon, the plan is to move the remaining items from the Heated Storage Unit to the Large Storage Unit. It is not very much at all. Some portable closet pieces, some bins of craft supplies, and some odds-and-ends. The most difficult item will be the shelving unit and the filing cabinet. I'll leave them for last and if they are heavier than I want to deal with, I'll wait until sometime next week and get some help. The Large Storage Unit has some space for the loose bins on the back shelving unit. I need to organize some of the garden hoses, but that will not take long. Than everything will go neatly on a shelf. There is still a lot of clean-up to do in there, but I need it to happen on a weekend where I have some help. This isn't going to happen until sometime this Fall. It would be nice to have it happen BEFORE Yule Feast, but I'm not confident on that at this time. September, October and November all look full of commitments already.

.....I'm budgeting three to four hours for that move. After that I should be able to plan for a turnover of the smaller unit to the complex before the following weekend and the Barony will have one less bill to pay.

.....After that it'll be on to excavation of the Computer Room. Last week, the wall of boxes in the Living Room was completed. There is still an enormous stack of them in the Dining Room, but all of them are filled with items to be sold on E-Bay or equivalent. Sometime over the next month or so, either TBT or myself will make arrangements to have 'someone' take possession of them and go through the effort of photographing them all and listing them. TBT is thinking of someone out of Tacoma. I'm still hopeful I can find someone local who'll take care of them for us. It'll mean less transportation, and it would be nice for the commission to go to someone we know and like personally. But we'll see. It will take some time and effort to make the sales operation happen, and the commission we have in mind may not be worth it for someone who does not really do this sort of thing for a living. And really? I just want the bins gone!

.....There are still a few piles of loose things left to go through in the Living Room. There is one huge pile of bags, briefcases, computer cases, etc. I need to go through that pile and segregate between 'keep' and 'Goodwill'. There are some nice, padded, computer bags in there. I just don't know if they would work with anything we currently have. There is also a pile of loose beading and embroidery supplies. There is a nice organizer for all this stuff ready to accept all the materials. I just have to sit down, sort through it all and make it happen. After that point I'll clean out the Living Room and we'll be ready for the upcoming Christmas Season. :-)

.....So, what does one do with all the 'stuff' that is too useful or 'cool' to go to Goodwill? Well, one puts it in the Computer Room for future sorting. That may not have been my smartest move. It was already a very crowded place. It's much worse now. There is one path between the door and the desk chair, complete with an obstacle course of stuff to trip you up just in the getting there! Then HUGE mounds of stuff from the floor to the second or third shelf of the bookcases in there. I've managed to knock over the piles several times now while entering and exiting the room. It was bad enough to where I spent at least an hour on Wednesday, and again on Thursday, to try and reclaim some control of this space. I did manage to do some re-organization, and threw out a couple of piles of paper products. It is marginally better now. But a good couple of solid hours is needed to tame this beast to any degree. I'm looking at the East side bookcase and thinking that it is time for a selection of books located there to go away. They are titles I know I'll never read again and are just taking up valuable real estate. I think at least a third to a half of this bookcase can conceivably go to Goodwill. After that point, I can move a metric butt-tonnage of files to the shelving. I'm salivating at the thought. I never imagined a time where empty floor space would actually be sexy. :-)

.....Wherever I end up on Saturday though, Sunday will have to be about excavating the Bedroom. It became the secondary repository of stuff recovered from bins in the Living Room. Mainly in the form of linens and empty stacking boxes. TBT wants to take some time to go through the closet and get rid of a bunch of stuff. But I find it difficult to believe that we'll get to that point before December. The clothes themselves will be fairly easy. It is everything else stored in the closet that will not. I know I have a huge pile of artwork and pictures in there that I have no clue what should happen. There are a number of framed awards. Several large wooden carvings from Maryn Grey. At least one or two painting from people I have known personally and like. None of these things are things I can just casually toss in the trash pile. TBT will probably want to package them up for storage in the garage, but even that is problematic and a large portion of this still will not fit nicely in a storage box! Sigh. I need to start thinking of a solution. Depending on how much the awards and the artwork mean to me personally, I might just opt to make them go away. Hmmm...

.....Still no word from Society on NMS clarification. This could be taken as good news on some levels. Tir Righ had a Level 2 event last weekend that was not advertised in The Crier and that they had geared towards not having to charge for NMS. However, under the newly 'clarified' rules, events that advertise in local newsletters or on local web-site or now liable to collect for NMS. This event of Seagirt's was advertised locally, mainly as a demonstration event to try and recruit new members. We officially asked for an exemption specifically for this event as the 'clarification' came via e-mail approximately a week before the event itself. We did not get a reply, but are running with that at the moment as acceptance of the exemption. We have put out the word though and have warned as many as possible in An Tir that the rules are changing and to get prepared.

.....Actually, I think the part of this 'clarification' that makes people the most nervous is whether or not the Society will declare even Fight Practices that ask for funds from those attending to defray the cost of the site use will have to pay NMS. I've already been warned that this will cause quite a commotion and possibly open rebellion. Although, to be honest, I don't blame them for the warning. I'm personally of the same opinion. But I'll have to obey the rules handed to me. If this is a move towards 'Pay to Play', I would have implemented things differently. But maybe this uber-gradual approach is for the best?

.....With September Crown quickly approaching, I'm starting to get a little nervous in regards to preparations on behalf of Exchequer duties. We're starting to get organized on the Signature Card transfer on the Friday before Crown, but still have to come to a final solution on where and what time. As well as making sure everyone involved can actually be there. I still need to finish my agenda for the Exchequer's Meeting on Saturday of September Crown and send out an e-mail to the e-list to see if there are any other burning topics that Exchequer Corps would like answered. Then I have to pull together all the documentation I need to support the Financial Committee Meeting of Monday morning. Etiennette has promised me that I'll see her Priority List / Check List this weekend sometime. With that list I should have a good game plan of what I need to put together over the next two weeks.

.....Society put out a call for audit material yesterday. The State of California requested a number of items from the SCA that involves all of us. We're required in this round to provide copies of the last bank statement of 2014 and a listing of 'donations' processed through An Tir over the course of 2014. With the Doomsday Reports in hand, this should be fairly straight-forward. Not necessarily easy, but fairly straight-forward. Etiennette is running with this at the moment as she knows exactly where to go and how to pull it all together. I have a pretty good idea of how this is going to work, but Etiennette has promised me that we'll sit down sometime in the next couple of weeks and go through her process for gathering all this information. Then we'll see how close my thought of the process and how it works in reality match.

.....The July Coronation Kingdom Profit Check arrived yesterday. I still have to get with Attia and Nadezdha on reviewing the final report for An Tir / West War so I can write the check of profit and get it deposited. Between the two we should see an increase for a change instead of the loss we've been seeing most of this year.

.....Many, many irons in the fire at the moment with the Exchequerate. A KAS / KBC bid hit my e-mail yesterday. From Glymm Mere. I'm actually happy to see it, probably almost as happy as Julia. :-) At initial glance it looks pretty good. The hotel gave a pretty good price for the space. The bid is missing a few items that have been included in the budgets of the past couple of KAS / KBC events, but I don't think any of the items are Earth-shattering. I am going to do some quick comparisons this weekend and probably give my thumbs up before Monday.

.....At some point on Sunday I need to take some time to sit down and organize my 'to-do' list for the Exchequer Office. If you aren't paying attention you could drown in the details very, very quickly. That's going to be my biggest challenge over the next six months I think. I should have taken this on with much less distraction so that I could concentrate on learning the processes. I think my error was in comparing my thought of what it would be with what moving into the Office of the Chronicler was like. There is a large amount of detail in managing a publication that is actually printed (as it was in my tenure), but in comparison to the detail level involved in managing the Exchequer's Office, it is not much of a comparison.

.....Today, being the 18th birthday of The Rhys Monster, we were talking about going out to dinner or something. I was given no details, but that is not unusual. :-) I am thinking dinner would be a good thing now and should go find out.

.....And here starts the weekend. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....Have noticed that the longer I'm on vacation the easier it is to sleep into the morning. I did not get out of bed until 7AM this morning. I felt like an absolute sluggard! :-) And late for the run to Starbucks. They open at 6AM tomorrow morning you know. :-) We'll be there. Maybe not that early though. :-)

.....Progress has been made on the Computer Room! :-) The three foot stack of paper waiting to be filed has been reduced considerably, sorted, and put into various locations as needed. Just that act alone gave me a good three or four square feet of territory in here. That's significant in this space!

.....Weaving and sewing 'stuff' has been organized and put away, which tidied things up nicely. I've got it organized to the point where I will be able to get things pulled together for the next card weaving project, which I might get organized tomorrow I think.

.....Now I just have to tackle the pile of paper in the collection bins next to the desk. That will take a little while as the number of places where paper there has to be filed is much more difficult to access. But it is relatively out of the way anyway, so I'm feeling rather accomplished today anyway.

.....Woke up with the beginnings of a headache. I hit it hard with acetamenaphin and caffeine. Have been upping the caffeine dosages most of the day. Right now it is just a simple wooziness, so I think I escaped a full on onset of migraine. I'm crossing my fingers.

.....Mom has been called and warned that she will be picked up at around four or four thirty. She was hesitant, but I was very persuasive. She needed to get out of her apartment at least once over the winter break and see actual 'people'. I told her the crowd here would be small and easy to get along with. She still wanted to say 'No' to the day, but she knew I was going to argue so she gave in gracefully. Besides, she also wanted to see The Rhys Monster and this is her opportunity.

.....Stair step has been loaded into Heather and the space heater installed for at least the past hour. So the ride for Mom should be relatively pleasant. TBT keeps talking about getting a more useful van which could be used for commuting as well as eventing. I think Mom would like that a lot. Maybe in a year or so. Just gotta keep the Subaru and Mazda running well for a little while longer.

.....Presents have all been wrapped and distributed around the tree. TBT has been nesting all day. She loves her new floor and the look of the Living Room and has been decorating non-stop all mid-day. :-) Cooking has started in earnest. We are going out to visit friends here in a little bit at which point the turkey goes into the oven. Dinner starts at 5PM. :-)

.....Loreena McKennitt has been on the YouTube feed for the past hour. One of my favorite songs is in play now, 'The Old Ways'. I wish that she would do a concert tour in America at some point. I'd love to see her in person. But it is good inspiration. Always feels like Christmas when her music is playing. Also always makes me want to pull out the gemshorn or recorder as well. :-)

.....One week left of vacation. The 'to-do' list is already forming. Resisting the urge to put more on it than was already available as I have a few fun things I'd like to do, like finishing the banner and a few movies. Gotta go and see 'The Muppets' before it leaves the theatre!

.....All in all, a good Christmas Eve so far though. I feel slightly lazy, but I'm not regretting it a whole lot. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....The past week has not been all that bad in reality. I was thinking that the lead up to Serjeantry Trials would be an angst inducing and emotional train wreck. But I'm finding that I'm gaining the perspective that 'it will be what it will be' and that there isn't a whole lot more I can do to radically change it. There will be highs and lows. Ellen has done a smart job of trying to corral us into one direction, although her sanity may pay for that effort later. :-)

.....Last Thursday was my brother, Sean's, birthday. He turned 42 years old. I guess that makes him 'the answer' now. We didn't get a chance to talk, although I did manage to leave birthday greetings on his Facebook page. Which was after I had the opportunity to peruse his farm pictures. That was rather interesting. We spent part of our youth in California on a farm. We had beef, a horse, lots of chickens, a garden. Even goats. Huge Nubians with the worst tasting milk I think I've ever tasted in my entire life! When we left California, we sold absolutely everything with the intent that our farm days were absolutely behind us all. :-)

.....Which made it all the more surprising when I start seeing pictures of Sean with the horse, the bull and cows, building a chicken coop. All of this on a farm in Sunnyslope. Amazing, I say. But if that is what fascinates Sean and Dad, I'm not going to speak against it. Especially since I still collect and read Mother Earth News magazines.

.....Mom's birthday was on Saturday. We were at Yule Feast, so I didn't get the opportunity to say anything until Monday. She turned 67 on Saturday, and is still working here at the Shipyard. I'm torn about whether or not to talk to her about retirement. She would like to retire, but the finances would not work out well. Plus, I really worry about what she would do without the requirement of getting out of bed each morning, getting dressed and getting herself into work. I have visions of her spending literally years in her easy chair watching the race cars on TV. Which is entirely her prerogative, but I'm not going to encourage it.

.....Yule Feast turned out to be rather nice. There were a couple of comments of not having anything to do since we moved all the Championships off of it. But as I explained to people, we needed the opportunity just to relax and get to know our friends and family locally. We don't ever seem to get that chance as we're running our hind ends off at events trying to keep things organized and running smoothly.

.....We had a fascinating discussion on the new Arts and Sciences Championship rules. We spent about an hour to an hour and a half in dance. Which reminded me how out of shape I was. :-) Then a nice and flowing Court. The feast was absolutely tasty. Which I suspected it would since Petr Catspawz was the Chief Cook. :-) I missed being at the Aquaterra Feast to witness the step-down of Hauk and Rosamund, but our Yule Feast was nice none-the-less.

.....It was our first opportunity as well to try out our new Rotring cartridge calligraphy pen. It was fantastic! I was able to autograph all the scrolls with little trouble. There was a slight scratchiness and a little wobbliness to my name, but I still enjoyed writing it and was at least satisfied with the results. I now need to do a little checking at what lettering we need to use for the Second Age scrolls, something from the thirteenth / fourteenth centuries. It gets a little trickier I think with the flourishes, but the results will be worth it if I invest in even a little practice time over the winter break.

.....The Toys-For-Tots Challenge is turning out great. I'm actually glad that Jenae and Conchobar pushed this year on it. We collected 134 toys since last week. Aquaterra accepted the challenge, but I haven't seen any postings from them on the numbers collected. After Jenae posted the count I wasted no time in forwarding on to the Aquaterra list in the hopes that would either generate an e-mail with their numbers, or something. I haven't seen much yet. I'm not sure how much to pester them on it. I don't actually want to irritate the new Baron and Baroness. But it IS a challenge. :-)

.....Monday was the last preparation night for the Serjeantry candidates. We spoke of the Quests that each would declare should they prove victorious on Saturday. All the Quests seems to be accepted well, so no issues. I like them all as well personally. So, double bonus.

.....Last night was the regular social. TBT was not feeling well at all and so stayed home for the evening. The VFW Hall was well attended. I was pulled aside and given the opportunity to 'improve myself as a Pelican'. :-) I'll use that as the tag-line to some 'go-dos' I have to get done before the end of the month. None of them overly onerous, but if the tasking lingers too long the mold will smell ugly. Being a Pelican can sometimes be a messy job. :-)

.....Tonight is the Wednesday Night Fight Practice at the Soccer Center. I'm hopefully going to get a chance to talk Serjeantry with Sir John in the hopes that he'll undertake an errand for us. I'm crossing my fingers.

.....Thursday is a FREE DAY!!!! I won't know what to do with myself, having a free night at home. It'll feel like freakin' heaven!!! :-) But I'll probably fill it up with anxious wanderings on the computer in preparation for Serjeantry on Saturday. :-)

.....Friday is a house-warming. It should be low key.

.....Then Saturday is the Serjeantry Trials. The schedule is set in as much stone as possible (although I'm sure it is going to shift on the day of :-)). We'll do the best we can, we'll wing the rest, and we'll make it through the end of the day. I'm still glad we finished a bunch of the testing over the past month. I look at what we have scheduled on that one day and picture us trying to get an entire set of Trials done and see in my mind's eye a twenty four hour day of non-stop action. I hope we never get to that point!

.....December is also probably the absolutely worst time in the world to hold a Serjeantry Trials, just sayin'. I'm grateful for Blatha An Oir and others coming to our rescue to help with the testing.

.....I hope that the day turns out magical, at least a little bit. If that magic is being able to put my feet on a footstool at the end of the day with the thought that we at least made it through the day with everyone more-or-less satisfied, I'll be happy with that too. But a little magic would sure be nice! :-)

.....Then, WINTER BREAK. Three weeks with only the usual SCA meetings schedule (and several of them canceled as well!). And two whole weeks off from work! I can hardly wait!!! :-)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....I suppose that Thanksgiving is defined in as many different ways as there are people. For my mother the meaning of Thanksgiving is very much different than mine. :-) As has become traditional I was all set to pick her up from her apartment and take her over to Gwen's house with Tamm and Rhys for the big Thanksgiving Dinner. She was really hesitant on the phone and I finally asked her if she really wanted to go. She tentatively asked if I would be very upset if she just stayed home today. At first I was determined that she get out of her apartment and come to dinner with us, just to interact with other friendly humans. But really? Happiness for her was a comfortable cushioned chair, a body wrapped by a gigantic and warm quilt, a purring kitty on her lap, and NASCAR racing on the television. :-)

.....I relented at that and she was relieved. I think she also was not looking forward to a cold drive on icy roads and several hours on chairs over at Gwen's house. We're on the look-out for a comfortable wheel-chair that is a little bigger in stature where she would be comfortable for a long while. I thought for a little of transporting her cushioned lift chair over to Gwen's. But the hassle would have been astronomical for all involved, including Mom. So I abandoned that idea. I packed some food for her from Gwen's and made sure she was fully stocked on Diet Cokes for the day. :-)

.....NASCAR? I never understood the excitement of NASCAR as a spectator sport. :-)

.....Starbucks was open today! That made it feel like a real holiday! :-) TBT and I shared coffee flavored milk and discussed plans as we always do. Then went back home to finish last minute preparations for Thanksgiving Dinner. Or, TBT did most of the 'preparations', I just did a little clean-up, then when a brain flash hit I went and finished up an article for the Flames and sent it to Rycheza. I was productive, I was. Just wish I could make that a regular thing. :-)

.....Dinner at Gwen's was superb, as usual. She cooks the best bird of anyone I know. I could eat her turkey until I explode, which I almost did. Also as usual. :-) TBT's cooking was excellent as well. Between Sweet Potato bake, pumpkin pie and spice cake, all sugar free, I felt no lack of sweets. Petr and Kierran came over with a fantastic smoked turkey (I've got to convince him to do a feast sometime again soon). Eileen cooked a ham that was delicious. Although by that time I was so stuffed, I nibbled ham and packed a bunch away to take home with me for snacks tomorrow. :-)

.....Madrun and Dillon joined us for dinner this year. I hope that our somewhat dysfunctional family was not too dysfunctional for them. :-) Lots of good conversation was had, which meant that by the time we looked up at the clock many hours has passed and TBT and I were on the verge of falling asleep. This was a shame as I had wanted to go and watch a game of 'Werewolf' played at Talon and Jenae's. Maybe at Christmas, if I can persuade them. :-)

.....The power had gone out again sometime during the day as I returned home to the Television on and running in the living room and all the clocks blinking away furiously. This time I made sure the sprinklers were turned off first thing before I started turning everything else off. No ice sculptures thank you! Althought the roads are already becoming much better to negotiate. The ice is melting away at a pretty good clip.

.....I've never been 'Anti-Thanksgiving' as it has always been more about food for me than Plymoth Rock and the Pilgrims. :-) But I am grateful for having TBT in my life and a lot of good friends. The past year has had a lot of challenges, but I survived them all with my sanity relatively intact. Next year looks to be even better than this last one, if just a tad more busy. :-)

.....The one thing I did forget to do was to call Sean. I'm supposed to go to Mom's tomorrow to help with some clean up, so maybe we'll give him a call and put him on speaker. It'll be like a mini-family reunion. :-)

.....YAWN! Time for bed.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Hmmm, was Wednesday successful? I am not entirely sure. But it's almost done now. :-)

.....Finally finished wrapping the presents this morning first thing. They are now sitting proudly beneath the tree, after having been 'professionally' sorted and organized at least once by Rhys. :-) I'm sure that they'll be reorganized at least one more time between now and Christmas morning. How do I know this you ask? Because even *I* have noticed that the smaller presents can not be seen behind the larger ones, and you MUST have a commanding view of ALL the presents under your care! :-)

.....Started up some laundry, picked up the dishes and loaded the dishwasher and then futzed around on the computer for a while killing a little time before having to go and pick up Mom for our shopping excursion.

.....At first glance Mom's apartment was in utter chaos. The living room looked like a disaster area. I was immediately dismayed. But then Mom pointed out that she had cleaned out the kitchen and cleared the dining room wall in preparation for bookcases. Hence the piles of, mainly books, all over the living room floor. O.K., I was a little less dismayed, but still on the defensive.

.....Once the dead furniture was removed from the living room it looked a little better. I was surprised though at the crowds of people at the dump. Where do all these people live? And why were they at the dump two days BEFORE Christmas? Ponderances of life indeed!

.....Shopping at Fred Meyers. The crowds were heavy but not torturous, so still negotiable. Mom does not like heavy crowds, so she was definitely in grumble mode. But she was also determined to make this happen, so she kept moving. I followed for a while and then started wandering on my own. Found one additional present for TBT and Rhys. Which will have to be wrapped tomorrow sometime.

.....Did a little heraldry research when I returned home. Madrun had her device returned and I was looking at a couple of alternative suggestions to help get her device passed. I found one I think will work pretty good, and it passed the initial Madrun test. At least she sounded positive when she saw it later in the evening. :-)

.....It seemed to be a day heraldry in a couple of areas today as I was reminded by a couple of sources that the SCA is taking another look at their rules of heraldry with an eye at revamping the system. This is problematic and 'fraught with peril' (tm) as far as I'm concerned.

* How do you deal with grandfathered heraldry? (i.e. is it fair to allow 'illegal under the current rules' heraldry?)
* How do you deal with the fact that we work to English Heraldry rules when it is a Japanese persona submitting it (and similar)?
* The evolution of heraldry spans SEVERAL HUNDRED YEARS with the time period of the SCA culture. At what year do you draw the line to say 'before is good' and 'ahead is bad'?

.....and this is just the tip of the iceberg. I may dabble in SCA heraldry, but I'm glad that I'm no longer an SCA Heraldry Wonk. I'll just admire it from afar. Although, now that I'm thinking about it I'd better get off my rear and register my rampant lamb on gules moneybag badge whilst I have the opportunity. Team Haggis will need it some day...

.....Acclimatizing was a good idea for the hammered dulcimer. The strings are starting to keep in tune to each other. Huzzah!

.....More Tolkien was read. But not much else actually was done today. My third stanza did not get written. Where is the world did the day go anyway?! It's already 8PM?! Ack!

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....I'm feeling pretty good for a change today. I spent most of last week fighting off a cold that finally got the best of me on Thursday. I about went into full coma mode on Thursday and stayed that way through Saturday. But I only felt moderately tired and spent today and am actually getting a few chores done.

.....Earlier I went out shopping for mom. It was already in the lower 80's on the thermometer in the car. I had the windows down and the sunroof open and had the '80's channel blasting on the stereo. There's nothing like Prince blasting 'Let's Go Crazy' to bring back those days of long ago. It was May 18th, 1987. I was days from being sprung from the internment camp that was my parent's house in Port Orchard. I was excited about this event that my friend Richard was telling me all about, this thing called 'June Faire'. All my worldly posessions were packed and we were trucking them over to a double-wide trailer in Olalla. I had just received a letter from the Shipyard telling me that I'd been accepted as an apprentice and that I'd start work in July at $8.35 an hour, and I'd just told my boss, Leon Rees, who was paying me $3.35 an hour that I'd be quitting that job in just a couple of weeks.

.....Those were heady times. May has always been a big month in my life. Not just because it is my birth month, but a lot of the big things that have happened in my life have happened in May. Next week I'll be 41. I've never been into Numerology, but there is a certain magic to numbers and mathematics without even bringing the woo-woo into it. 4+1=5. May is a (5) month. (23) is a (5) day (2+3). And 1967 is a (5) year (1+9+6+7=23, 2+3=5). It amazing what you can do with mathematics. It's also easy to see how you can equate numbers into something almost spiritual as well, especially when you consider that the easiest way to explain the nature of the universe is by explaining by way of mathematical expression. :-) If by no other reason than by personal choice, I choose to think that my 41st year of existance will be magical, and leave it at that. :-)

.....The one thing that being sick this last week did was to put me behind on circlet production. I need to catch up this week. Next weekend will be the yearly 'Weekend Before June Faire FREAKFEST' That panicky time of year when you are absolutely sure that you are so freakin' behind that you'll never catch up in time to be ready for June Faire. But like the quote says in 'Shakespeare In Love', 'It's a Mystery'. I know that June Faire will happen. It will be the best June Faire it can possibly be. Go there, do your thing, and it will be fun. I intend to do just that. I will provide what assistance I can to Renart for camping duties. Mateusz and I will drive the magic Budget Flying Carpet to-and-from the storage unit. I will play my horns and dance during June Faire. And I will be a Seneschal-On-The-Standby.

.....I've got to say though that Alis is holding her own and doing a good job as an Autocrat, even with all the new variables thrown her direction. I think that the one person who will probably be freaking out the absolute most will be Her Excellency Brighid. So many Royals will be attending June Faire that she is absolutely beside herself on how to deal with them all. She'll handle it just fine though, I'm thinking. Just have to remind her to breathe every now and then. :-)

.....One thing that is very much different in May of 2008 than it was in May of 1987. I was totally on my own then. Which was exciting in its own way then. But in 2008, I have TBT in my life. I'm a much richer person now because of that. Which will make this June Faire even better than it has ever been before. I could just imagine how wondrous my June Faires would have been if TBT had met and started dating in 1987. Wow! The world would be a much different place, that's for sure! :-)

.....Off to sort circlets!

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Greetings All,

.....What a busy weekend! Seems like it should still be Friday, it moved so fast. But I am glad it is over as we hit and passed several major milestones on the summer's schedule. Only a few more weeks of stress and things should then start slowly winding down. Huzzah!

.....We picked up the keys to Mom's apartment on Friday and moved in the first van load of stuff. It is not a big apartment by any means, but it is far nicer than the apart from which she is moving! Mom hates change and I could see that she wasn't exactly happy with everything, but she was trying her best to be a trouper and move forward.

.....After dropping her off at the old home I ran to pick up the Beloved Tamm and Rhys and we made the 4:15 boat to Seattle. We had to drop Rhys off for the weekend, which bummed the Beloved Tamm somewhat, but there were definitely enough distractions to where she didn't have to think about it much thankfully.

.....We loaded the van with some furniture and other odd pieces, then had dinner at our favorite restaurant, had a little ice cream under the almost full moon, and enjoyed the nice evening. Just hanging out with the Beloved Tamm was so much fun. She is the most beautiful and wonderful woman I know. It was the perfect evening just because she was there.

.....We were home rather late but still managed to get up early enough to make the trip through Starbucks before meeting up with everyone at Mom's old house on Saturday morning. Wow! I have the most fantastic friends in the whole freakin' world! Besides the Beloved Tamm, Bernie, Tsuruko, Gwen, Cedric, Brighid, Talon and Jenae all showed up for the move. Most of these people had never even met my mother before Saturday, but gave up their day to help. Amazing! Everyone swooped in and we had everything loaded up in about 45 minutes. The moving of a lot of the stuff over the past couple of months paid off as well. We rolled over to the new apartment and had everything moved in and set up in about an hour or so. The Beloved Tamm and Brighid ran to K-MART (NOT Wal-Mart :-)) and bought some supplies for the new place. Then everyone got into the act of setting things up (making the bed, setting up the computer, etc.).

.....We then ran out for breakfast then. Afterwards I took Mom shopping and by the time we made it back to her place she was DONE with people. :-) I started putting away groceries and she told me 'NO, go home. I need a nap.' She looked a little overwhelmed a few times, so I told her to call me on the cell if she needed anything and that I'd check in with her on Monday.

.....Saturday afternoon was the big Blackberry Hollow Farm party! Good times. I enjoyed just hanging out and talking with people. The Beloved Tamm was able to hook up again with people that she has been able to for a long while. Especially Scott (Skapti), who managed to behave himself all the way up until he started laying the moves out on Tamm. I had to intervene at that point but only got him to stop when I started kissing on Ciar. :-)

.....It was fun all around. AND, I ALMOST managed to make it out of there dropping off the Kingdom Chronicler archives without picking up the Seneschal(e) files. Well, almost. Angharad caught me and MADE me take them home with me. :-)

.....Sunday was another early riser. We still managed to make it through Starbucks AND get on the 7:15 ferry to Seattle. :-) We started picking things up and loading the van before the rest of the crowd showed up for the day's work. It was Cedric, Brighid, Stivyn (Doug), Bernie, Tsuruko, Gwen, Ralg, and little Brigget for this run. Wow! Again with the thankfulness at having such wonderful friends!!!! We'll have to think of some way to pay them back.

.....By the time we loaded everything up I was seriously worried about how in the hell we were going to get everything into the house. I kept my mouth shut until an opportunity popped up to store a few belongings in Cedric and Brighid's garage, an offer for which I was VERY grateful.

.....Those who drove around made it back to the house at least a good half hour before those of us who took the ferry. Unloading was tricky, the big furniture taking a lot of negotiating to get up the stairs and into the living room. Ralg and Bernie made it happen relatively easily though.

.....By the time all the vehicles were off-loaded, we'd managed to get everything into the house (HUZZAH!). We even had a little bit of negotiating space left. Although the basement seriously reminded me of one of those Bugs Bunny cartoons where the house is stiffed so tightly with dynamite that when Yosemite Sam hops up and done to force the last few sticks into place, the entire place starts buckling at the seams. :-) Come to think of it, maybe the dynamite thing isn't such a bad idea. :-) Just kididng, Tamm would KILL me if I did that to her stuff. The Beloved Tamm and I were DONE at this point and just went out for dinner with Rhys. We felt a little better by the time we got back home and managed to rearrange the Living Room to make it habitable.

.....I'm tired again just thinking of all the work that has been done. But we're finally seeing the end of this particular dance. Yay! Just need to make it through the final clean out of Tamm's house and getting through the mountain of STUFF at the house. Then it'll really start feeling like home.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It was a very long weekend, but sitting at my desk at work it feels like I just left here. What a disconnect. :-)

.....There were a lot of frustrations over the weekend. I arrived at Mom's house early enough on Saturday. And then quickly realized that even though Mom has been saying for two months that she is sorting through her stuff and packing it for the move, that she hasn't really done a thing. I grumbled a little but thankfully not too loudly. I put together a load of stuff and took it to the house. After the off-load my intent was to load up the Baronial Copier and take it to the dump with a load of 'stuff' from Mom's.

.....OMG, the Baronial Copier is freakin' HEAVY. I could not get it into the van by myself, no matter what I did. So I started taking it apart. This thing is definitely from the '70's. Holy Cow! I must have removed a couple of hundred little screws just in the first half hour alone. I eventually was able to get about half of it taken apart and thrown into the van before I had to give it up. Even with half the crap off of it, the copier was STILL too heavy to lift into the van. It is currently a monument to '70's solidness sitting on my driveway. Quite the monolith. :-)

.....Went back to Mom's and loaded up as much junk for the landfill as I could get into the van. Was trying to catch up with the schedule I laid out for the day. And I made some ground as it was a pretty quick trip. Then took Mom out looking at apartments. With her budget and other considerations, Mom does not have a whole lot of choices when it comes to apartments. But that did not phase her, she soundly rejected each and every place at which we toured. There was one she rejected because of the steps going into the apartment. There were three. But there are eight going into her current place. By the end of the day I was rather frustrated. But I managed to keep my mouth shut. Quite the feat, I was rather proud of myself at that point.

.....On Sunday I slept in a little bit, cleaned the house a little and drug myself back to Mom's house. I got in at least one load of stuff and then packed up another before the cavalry arrived. Mistress Gwen and Tsuruko Sensei showed up. I soooooo appreciated them showing up. They swept into the main junk room, packed everything up and loaded a large portion of it into Gwen's truck. I was really grateful. As I've stated before, I've got really good friends. I hope that I can pay them back some day.

.....I was frustrated and cranky by the time we finished loading up the main room at Mom's. I didn't really want to take it out on her even though I was seriously frustrated at her lack of support over the past couple of months. As well as embarrassed that my friends did what she has been promising that she would herself do. So I knew that it was time to call it a day. I took the crew out for lunch at the Mongolian grill in Silverdale and then went home to get ready for the work week.

.....The good news is that the emphasis is off of getting Mom packed in a hurry, as she'll be in her current place for another month ('til the end of July). The bad news is that she's be in her current slum for another month and that my house is going to have to house her stuff for a month longer than I anticipated. Tamm and I are going to have to work around that unfortunately. Sigh! Tamm has enough on her plate without having to work around crap like this. I suppose that I'm being somewhat unfair to Mom, but I'm not feeling very charitable this morning. Better go and have some caffeine. :-)

.....Hope that everyone has a good week. The July Crier is done, and that IS good news, no matter what else happens. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Greetings All,

.....It's a Friday morning at work, I'm sitting here with my cup of tea (with Sugar Free Egg Nog flavoring this morning, interesting combination with Green Tea :-)) and getting ready for the regular Friday crisis du jour. Although, even though I hesitate to say it too loudly, I think that things might just be leveling out here at work. I am very hopeful on that because I could use a few months of being able to really concentrate on things at home. :-)

.....The May issue of The Crier went out the door this week. UMD in Idaho called me yesterday and said that the first batch of First Class Mailings should hit their Post Office today. We'll start seeing them in mailboxes by mid-week next week. Whooo Hooo! Only FIVE more issue left. FIVE!!!! June, July, August, September, and October (with Angharad). Oh! My! God! I can count them all on one hand now. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! :-)

.....Finally got my hands around the new financial reporting requirements for The Crier. Society changed all the reporting rules on yes, but no one remembered to tell me this fact or give me the new forms until March, AFTER I had done everything on the OLD forms. I was a little irritated at that and kind of drug my feet. Master Pyotr has been getting rather anxious on getting those finished, so I finally sat down and plugged in all the numbers. Master Pyotr is reviewing them right now.

.....This weekend will be all about June Faire. My 'to-do' list is long and I'm behind on it. If I could have looked into my crystal ball last September and seen everything on my plate for this year I would have been much more forceful in saying 'NO' to the Chairman position. But I have it now and will do my best. It will not be my best production, but I am determined not to fail. Go insane maybe... :-)

.....I can feel the initial signs of burn out and so have to start being extra careful. I enjoy the SCA too much to burn out on it. This is where all my family and good friends reside. I would miss them all too much if I were to have to go away for a while.

.....I will not be able to spend the weekend with the Beloved Tamm and that bumms me out big time. Whine! Whine! Whine! I can't wait until we get her moved over here. This long distance relationship stuff sucks big time.

.....One more item added to the summer schedule. Looks like I'll have to move my mother out of her duplex at the end of July. Sigh! The landlord is getting ready to retire from her regular job and wants to move family members into Mom's side of the duplex. I suppose that I should be grateful that she agreed to wait until late July. But still, what fantastic timing. Those of you with trucks and strong backs should make themselves scarce towards the end of July or else you'll see me on your doorstep with begging eyes. :-) But we're going to be packing and moving stuff into my garage for the next couple of months, so the end move should not be too bad. Mom does not have a lot of heavy things. I think that finding a new apartment is going to be the hardest part of this whole thing.

.....O.K. it is a Friday morning whine-fest for sure, but Amazon STILL has yet to deliver The Children of Hurin to my doorstep. I'm seriously peeved!

.....Enough with the whining already! :-) Hopefully it is out of my system now. Hope that everyone has a good weekend. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Ever had one of those weeks where, not only does nothing go your way, but everything you touch seems to turn to manure? This has been one of those weeks. But for some reason my attitude is still riding pretty high. I'm not sure why, although it could be that I spent last weekend with the beloved Laurellen and she comes to visit Silverdale this weekend. Can't wait, even though I'll still have Valentine's Day Kharma through which to work. :-)

.....I was so humbled yesterday at work with the delivery of roses from the beloved Tamm for Valentine's Day. She is such a wonderful person. I actually had to leave the office for a little bit so that I wouldn't give the hint that I was getting emotional. Not a good guy moment. :-) I'll say no more.

.....The March Crier is out the freakin' door! Holy Cripes, I am sooooooo ready for this office to go on to Angharad Albannes. It has been fun, but my mind is fried and I am done. The temperature probe has popped, the stuffing is crispy brown. Time for the carving of this bird! Worst case scenario has me at seven more issues. If I can get Angharad up to speed in four or five, so much the better.

.....Hint! If you take on a Kingdom Office, there is a very good reason why the limit is two years. Practically every person to whom I've spoken who has kept one longer has suffered for it in some way. You have been warned! :-)

.....Part of the scramble last night was the finalization of the Pre-Registration Form for June Faire. People are going to get a little bit of a break for pre-registration. Plus we're going to require pre-registration for those who reserve camping space. I'm not totally in love with the pricing schedule as it is a risk. If we do not pull in the income from the modern public that we expect, out inflows might suffer considerably. But in the end I lean towards giving the SCA a break if I can since it is a lot of work to put on June Faire and give the public a good show. Cross your fingers and pray for good weather.

.....Sigh! In the process of getting The Crier out the door and the Pre-Reg. Form done I think that I managed to insult every person who came in contact with me. Sigh! So much for a Pelican's personal charms. Time to go back to Pelican Finishing School. Anyone know where I can sign up for classes? :-)

.....My mother is finally convinced to at least talk to a surgeon about her hips. At the minimum a scraping of the bone spurs. But they may also talk about hip replacement surgery. If it gets her walking for a few more years, I'm all for it. I'm taking a half day today to go for the surgery consultation in Tacoma. We'll see what happens. Wish us luck.

.....My Gods, I am reminded on a weekly basis why I switched from Group Health to Blue Cross. Every time I go to a Group Health appointment with my mother I'm reminded of a cattle slaughter facility. Uncaring people, huge lines, long waits. Ack! My doctor may be a small time General Practitioner, but I'll take him and his staff any day over a Group Health facility.

.....O.K., enough whining for one day. I only have to look over at the roses sitting on my desk to remind me of truly wonderful my life is at this moment. Tamm is the most wonderful person in the world, I'm more convinced then ever before. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....My 29th issue of The Crier was completed last night and uploaded to the Idaho Falls printing facility. Only eight more issues to go! Woo! Hoo! March, April, May, June, July, August, September, and October! I might be able to get out of the October issue, but that'll probably be the transition month so it'll still be busy. I'm reveling in the fact that things might slow down to a manageable pace at that point. I...CANNOT.....WAIT!!! :-)

.....2007 accelerated into high speed almost immediately. Every day at work has been an extreme adventure. Numerous jobs piling up on boats, especially in San Diego. Added tasking connected to the organization. The manilla work folders on my desk are starting to stack up high. I'm only seeing flashes of the grey desktop. I shudder to think of what it'll look like after taking a couple of days off for Twelfth Night. But at the same time I'm looking forward to getting out to Ocean Shores for a couple of days. The Marketplace will not require a huge investment of time to manage, especially after it is set up and running. I'm hoping that I'll be able to snag the beloved Laurellen for at least a couple of walks along the beach. I guess I'll have to bribe Mistress Ellen or Her Excellency Brighid to stand watch over A&S displays for a while. :-)

.....Mom is really looking forward to the trip as well. She gave us a little bit of a scare over the past week. She was feeling faint and dizzy and when they took her into the Emergency Room, they found some blood clots had worked their way into her lungs. They kept her in for observation for a handful of days and finally released her last Sunday. It was a good wake up call for her though. She has a difficult time walking and because of that has become sedentary over the past couple of years. This, along with several other factors, made it easier for the blood clots to form. I told her that if she didn't start taking care of herself that she was going to be in a nursing home in a few years. I felt rather guilty even saying that, but it worked for its intended purpose. She's now motivated to make her doctor's appointments and is even talking about surgery to improve her mobility. Good signs all.

.....With Twelfth Night over this weekend, it'll be past time to rev' up the June Faire machine. Have to get with Tyrus and make sure the propaganda campaign is well in hand. Pre-registration forms will be in the March issue of The Crier. The Marketplace will probably be full before the end of January, even with the jurying process we're employing this year. I'm looking forward to seeing how that process plays out. Also need to start twisting arms for volunteers for various June Faire jobs. Now more then ever I'm seeing the effects of the Barony doing too much over the past couple of years. You can see and hear the burn-out in people as you work hard at trying to persuade them to take on something for June Faire. I'm seeing it in myself and will have to be careful not to let it affect June Faire planning. Motivation will be the big thing for this spring. It'll be easier as Twelfth Night wraps up and becomes history. I think that the prospect of 'time off' after June Faire will help some with the motivation.

.....Gotta run. Take care tonight. I hope that the big snow storm bypasses us, but I'm sure we'll get something. It is now tradition in Dragon's Laire that we get a big snow scare before we autocrat Twelfth Night. This will be our third time. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.


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