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.....The Pelican Regional Teleconference, as a process, turned out to be interesting from a number of aspects. I will tentatively call it a win.

.....I set things up to start at 6PM. At my end were myself, Cedric and Brighid. Like clockwork, Master Ralg, Angharad, Althaia, Mir, and Isolde joined into the conversation. The Teleconference was set up for an hour. I probably should have made it for 7PM, but 6PM was the cheaper rate. And it was an 'introductory' special, so I was somewhat limited on the time and length of Teleconference time I could have. Eduardo phoned in at about three minutes until seven as his calendar had set it in the wrong hour.

.....The Good:

.....The process of calling into the conference itself was easy and straight-forward. There was very little that could go wrong. You simply dialed a phone number and then enter a bridge number when called. You were automatically included into the conversation at that point. Even from the stand-point of the moderator the only additional function I had to do was type in an additional four digit PIN when prompted.

.....The conversation flowed rather easily. The group did a great job of not talking over each other or each other's points. Even when things became a little excitable people only bunched up a time or two. And even then people rapidly backed up, apologized and moved forward in an organized fashion.

.....The conversation was in real time. There were no delays caused by any one individual's typing speed. It was like we were in the same room even though we weren't.

.....Everyone loved the fact that they didn't have to travel anywhere to attend the conference.

.....The Not-So-Good:

.....Our phone set-up. We ended up having to use Cedric's cell phone as our speaker phone. It had a great microphone on it. You could be across the room, speaking at a normal level, and still be clearly heard. However, it had a scratchy speaker. There were several times where we had to decipher what another speaker was trying to say. The next time we do this, it'll be worth the time and effort to find a real speaker phone.

.....The input. There were only eight people initially on the call. That is really no more than we usually have at a Regional Level Meeting, in person or not. Part of that was probably the time, 6PM versus 7PM. But no one complained about that aspect until the phone call itself. We've tried both an online and a Teleconference now and neither one has generated any more additional input than meeting in person has.

.....The bottom line really is that the best way to hold a Regional Meeting is face-to-face. It is easy to hold and control a conversation. You can read body language and have a more direct conversation. You are not so limited on time, as in, you can power through an entire listing more easily in person.

.....The next Regional is scheduled for a Saturday in October. I think I'm going to push it to be a face-to-face, which probably means we'll have to hold it somewhere in the Seattle Metropolitan Area. I'm O.K. with that, especially on a Saturday where I'm not checking my watch every ten minutes because I'm thinking about that 4AM alarm for work the next morning.

.....We're supposed to decide on dates for our Regional Meetings in 2013. We might also at that time make a decision about which meeting(s) might be a Teleconference / Online. With that much advance warning we might be able to generate a larger attendance. Although considering that all of the 2012 meetings were scheduled in December of 2011, I'm not sure if that is a help or not.

.....Only thing we haven't really tried yet is a Regional E-Mail meeting. I have not been a big fan of the E-Mail meetings we've held on the Kingdom level. But if we, as a Region, agreed on a more specific protocol and set of criteria that must be met, we might try it. We could have the Regional Meeting be several days in length, going over the agenda section by section. Must ponder that one a bit more. AFTER SEPTEMBER CROWN, I'll put a proposal together. It could be something we try out at our Winter, 2013, meeting.

.....Still, all in all, I liked the Teleconference. Good conversation that happened easily. Even with the issues involved, I'm still going to call it a win.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....One crisis completed at work. One more left to work through. Then I'll feel better about taking leave around Labor Day. Things were not looking good a couple of days ago. The Team is on site and many of the things we had put into place unraveled completely. We scrambled to get alternatives set up and operable. It takes a lot of effort to get something as large as a government entity moving in a course correction. But we're getting there. The timing was just not the best though. I wish it had waited just a handful of weeks more, or had not happened at all.

.....I think most of my Live Journals this month are going to be nothing but lists of things that must be done for September Crown, rants about people who are doing their best to make September Crown my epitaph, or various and sundry whinings about how tired I am of all this. Which strikes me as amusing as the day after Crown I'll probably write about how wonderful an experience it was. :-) I think though that I mainly find the writing about it to be cathartic. I can get my worries out of my system, sort of an exorcism, and move on to something that really is important, and certainly more interesting. The job of autocratting an event is actually fun. I love seeing it all come together. But when the special personalities start coming out in full force is when the energy drain really quickens.

.....Those on my friends list should be pretty much used to all the whining by now though.

.....The one thing that is finally about to be done is Madrun's circlet. In the grand scheme of things it is just a tiny, tiny part of the big picture. The torc made by TBT is incredibly beautiful, and I think will be well received judging from the reaction of everyone who has seen it to date. But I wanted to have something to be able to give to Madrun that came from my own hands. I'm not a tailor. I'll be so busy with September Crown that I really can't take any part of the vigil or party on to myself. But this is something I can give to her to show my own appreciation and pride in her accomplishment. She can wear it once for the ceremony and then have it available in case she has an apprentice or friend someday who needs a circlet of their own.

.....Had to clear some space in the garage though to make that happen. It is a total disaster area at the moment. The entire front half is filled with stuff accumulated from June Faire, Honey War, July Coronation, etc. I'll have to get it organized to go into the U-Haul for September Crown, but that can happen next weekend. Had to clear quite a bit of space around the buffing wheel. I did remember to throw a tarp up behind the wheel and try and contain some of the dust. I'm actually glad TBT is about done with the torc as the garage is just a little messier now. :-)

.....I had the opportunity to come home a few hours early today and I'm glad I took it. It allowed me the chance to work the circlet (as I don't know how I'm going to squeeze any more free time out of the schedule in the next two weeks), but it unexpectantly allowed me to spend a few hours with TBT as we ran around town to do errands. We haven't had a lot of chances to just hang out together lately. Even though we were just doing chores, it was still fun to spend time with her. :-)

.....Tomorrow night will be the last minute angsting about Serjeantry. Although I surely can only whine a little on that one. I'm not one of the candidates! I know several of them are very nervous. But judging from some of the recent conversations, they have all been seriously digging into their studies. I'm looking forward to some interesting presentations on Saturday.

.....It'll be a long day, starting early and ending later than last year. TBT and I will have to split forces to witness as much of the proceedings as possible. But the schedule is set. The judges look to be set. The autocrat and lunch-o-crat look to be set. We're as ready as we're going to be. Just a few last minute things for TBT and I to pull together before the Trials.

.....Last year seemed chaotic as well leading up to the Trials. TBT and I had no idea how the day was going to turn out. But somehow a little magic surfaced sometime during the day and it all came together. There is no guarantee that we'll be able to tap into that same magic this year, but I'm ever hopeful.

.....Sunday will be busy. We have two loads of hay to move from Port Gamble to the September Crown site. Supposedly, the Madrone Equestrian Guild is going to meet us on site for a walk-through of the Equestrian area. But I haven't seen any confirmation on that. I wonder if Tsuruko has heard anything on her end? I'll have to ask.

.....Retinue meeting on Sunday night. September Crown is not a Baronial event, of course. But there will be stuff to prepare for it. Last Chance will come up rather quickly in September as well and we should see what we can do to prepare for it as well. We still need to get the final listing of awards to Gabrielle. She and her scribal support are really churning out the scrolls, for which we're grateful. I'm hoping that after September Crown we'll get a chance to sit down with her and see where we are on getting charters made for some of the newer awards.

.....Next Thursday will be our Regional Pelican Meeting. It's going to be a Teleconference. Everyone can stay local with no long drives. I'm hopeful that it'll work for us. I have to get the agenda put together and uploaded to the web-site, but that should come together fairly quickly. We'll have a little bit of a learning curve to work through the etiquette of a Teleconference so as to avoid talking all over each other. Although we tend to do that anyway, even when we're meeting face-to-face, so I don't expect that to be any new and vexing problem. :-)

.....Next week will be the full on onslaught of September Crown preparations. Supplies to be purchased. Support verified. Printings done. Talk Ian off the ledge before someone blows a gasket at something he's said (I include myself in that category as well :-)). I think I'm going to try and convince a few people to help me move the water tank on Wednesday. But I need to verify that Barnet will actually be available that day as well. It'll take at least three other sturdy bodies besides myself to make this happen. The tank is not incredibly heavy, but it sure is bulky.

.....The City of Bremerton has been interested in our preparations for September Crown. The Board of Health and I have been playing phone tag for a couple of days now as they are trying to find out about our food merchants who'll be on site. I asked Bronwyn to warn the merchants, but I think I'll send another reminder so that they are all forewarned. We've never worked with the City of Bremerton in this capacity before so I don't really have a good idea of what to expect.

.....The weekend of August 25the and 26th is my last deep breath before it all happens. I intend to sleep in on both days and as leisurely as possible make my final preparations for the event. Lobelia has to come down for clean out and stocking. The stuff in the garage has to be organized so it will go into the U-Haul. I'd also very much like to clean the house at least a little bit as it is an absolute pit at the moment.

.....Then Crown starts, with set-up starting on Thursday, and the masses arriving on Friday, August 31st. Three days later we'll be done and I'll be ready for a good, long rest. Only have to make it through eighteen more days. Keep moving, one day at a time.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....I went out to dinner at 7PM and all the local bank thermometers were still reading 95 degrees, with the humidity to match. Indiana is an absolute oven right now! The air conditioner is blasting at high speed in the hotel room. The instant you walk out that door it's like someone throws a heavy wool blanket over your head, one that was just pulled out of a boiling pot of water. It's Africa hot, as in the heart of the steamy swamps hot. :-)

.....I should be in bed but I'm finding it hard to get to sleep. Wasn't able to get much sleep on the flight to Chicago last night. A couple of passengers seemed to want to party the entire time. Every time I dozed off some loud conversation or laughter would wake me back up. I don't think I was the only one though. There were a lot of bleary eyed passengers lined up at the Starbucks just outside the gate in Chicago.

.....By the time the Mid-Level Boss and I made it into Bloomington, we both said very little before heading to our rooms for a nap. I dozed for a little while, but still couldn't get to sleep, so I pulled out my notes for the Conference and started putting things together for it and making sure I had all of my facts straight. I am confident that I'm ready for practically anything thrown my way, but I'm still a little nervous that something unexpected might come up.

.....Took a break late in the afternoon and caught up with my e-mail. Some interesting traffic at home. Stuff that TBT took care of. I went ahead and finished off our State of the Barony report and sent it off to TRM and TRH. I tried to keep it succinct, but still clocked in at three pages. :-) I even went through it two or three times to see what I could do to trim it down some more. It's late, but at least we got it turned into the Crown.

.....Received some feed-back via e-mail on a bridge line we can use for our next Regional Pelican Meeting as well. Wish I'd gone this route six months ago as it was easy and cheap. With no long term commitments to make. Which seems to be the norm for a lot of the 'professional' bridge line providers. Also don't need a computer either, which is another plus. Any phone can call into the central number. So we'll give it a try and see how it works. Certainly a lot better than the Online Chat I'm betting. I need to get some e-mail out on that soon.

.....Bloomington is so full of contrasts! I drove through the downtown area and drove by three or four alternative food stores, a Whole Foods, a Trader Joes knock-off. It's interesting. But I suppose that would fit with the University of Indiana being based here. But at the same time there are also a lot of cars in the area covered with conservative slogans, lots of bible verse. And of course, the required nexus of evil, as in Wal-Mart, is growing like a cancer at the edge of town.

.....And, of course, there IS a Starbucks in town. :-) A drive through Starbucks at that. Guess where I'm stopping tomorrow morning on my way out to Crane? :-)

.....Let's try for that sleep button again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Oy! It's Friday! Huzzah! I desperately need a scaled back weekend to do a little recharging as my brain has just about turned to mush. :-)

.....I was tired all week, and had to spend parts of Wednesday and Thursday fighting off a migraine, but things were actually going pretty good. Accomplishments were made. Meetings were had. Plans were formed. From that standpoint, it really was not a bad week.

.....Tuesday was our New Comers Night, Post June Faire. We probably should have sucked it up and had this happen the previous week, directly after June Faire when the sights of June Faire were fresh in people's minds. But things conspired against it, especially the moving of the Business Meeting. As it was, we still had a good turn-out of people, both modern and member. People were friendly and engaging, on both sides. Something that might not have been so much in evidence the week prior, so it might have been a trade off.

.....I shook hands with fifteen new people who came to the VFW Hall. I chatted with them all for a little. Some I took over to introduce to the needlework and sewing people. Some were interested in heraldry, and since Ian was unable to be present that night, I showed off my heraldry books and explained a little about the complexities of heraldry, as well as the added layers of complexity associated with SCA heraldry. :-)

.....Some people wanted nothing to do with sedentary arts, so they were taken outside to watch the fighting and gain a little insight on what it took to join the martiallate, including some archery and thrown weapons. It was fun to see as their faces lit up with excitement and a light gleam from their eyes as they pictured themselves in armor. It was very easy to read their thoughts at that point. :-) I've been there, so I recognize those dreaming half smiles of conquest. :-)

.....We had a potluck for the evening, a relaxed gathering of 'not in garb'. I wondered how that would work out, and it seemed to work out great. Being in garb tends to 'separate' the members from the modern attendees. So being in normal garb seemed to make us a little more approachable. That Albrecht is a smart Chatelaine.

.....Not being a people person by nature though, I was wrung out after a couple of hours of being 'on', and woke up the next morning being very tired. This was Wednesday, the day of the Regional Pelican Meeting. Thankfully, Master Ralg volunteered to drive to Tacoma, for which I was grateful. I had many printed copies of the Agenda, a roster for attendees, and added notes for candidates that people had specifically requested.

.....The meeting was at the Round Table just off of I-5. I had the large meeting room reserved for us, which worked out pretty good. I had some salad and a personal pizza and we launched into the meeting. There were twelve of us present that night, which is actually a good turn-out. I was interested in the mix though. Of the twelve present, there were three long time players, and the remainder were from my generation or later. Evolution in progress. You can see the shift in consciousness happening, which I find exceedingly interesting to witness.

.....Lots of good conversation. But after two hours the natives were getting restless. :-) Cedric was starting to pace. Master Ralg was standing off in the corner and several were starting to push the agenda. So I walked through the remainder as fast as I could and we did manage to keep it at the two hour mark, and go through every name on the list even if only a single read through.

.....We're trying to see if we can find an alternate method to include a wider audience of Western Regional Pelicans. We've tried an online meeting and it did not go well as the conversation could not be controlled at all. People walked over each other constantly. We could impose some rules to try and get that manageable, but I'm not a fan as some who are technologically twisted might be left out. So we're seeing if we can get a phone bridge line set up for one of the next meetings. That would be a little easier to control and the only technology needed is the ability to dial a phone. If you have a speaker phone, even better. :-)

.....Last night was the September Crown meeting. I had a great turn out, at least sixteen people in attendance. I also was in full migraine by that point, so I was a little loopy but still mostly coherent. We accomplished much though and had great conversation! Lots of go-dos, but I felt a little better about a number of things.

.....We had a solid game plan for organizing the martiallate activities. Althaia was there and we nailed down even more who was doing what and when actions had to be done. We talked Heavy, Rapier, and Youth and talked about what support would be needed, including lists and water-bearing. Althaia is going to work with Master Cedric to work out a lot of these details. Including the acquisition of more Eric poles and ropes. She is going to touch base with Madrone. I already have a call out to Aquaterra asking for help in this area, and will be following up shortly.

.....Renart has a plan for working the schedule to the point where we have something, at least tentative, to give to Their Majesties when They step up at July Coronation. He is going to start behind the scenes to talk to the Kingdom Officers and Guild Leaders to start adding their meetings to the schedule. We'd like to start spamming the e-lists, but I'm not big on interfering with July Coronation too much if we can help it. Renart will make it happen.

.....We talked over ideas about land management and ways to squeeze the most out of what we have. We moved a couple of activities to potentially open up more camping and parking space. Barnet is making arrangements to gravel and level road parts, and clear sections of the land of brush. Elisabeth is gridding out areas already dedicated to camping. As more sections as declared for camping, she'll grid them out and start putting reservations on them. We'll have to play tetris to some degree to get everyone comfortably on site. But we have experience with that.

.....We talked about parking and RVs, brainstorming ideas on how to enlarge what we have. This is when Arion suggested moving the archery to give us another section of land for potential camping and / or parking. We need to look over this area during out walk-through on the 24th and see just how usable it is.

.....Equestrian is going to lead to a few anxiety moments. Tsuruko is working on getting Ivan, Duchess Miranda and herself on to site to walk the area dedicated to Equestrian activities. The land itself looks rather nice. What isn't so nice is the road down to it as it is a little twisty in sections. Also what isn't so nice is the water supply, which will either have to be trucked in, or run down on a half-mile long hose. Barnet has a lead on renting a water truck for the weekend, which might work the best. We'll have to pay for the site's metered water anyway, so depending on how much renting the truck will be, it might be the best way to go.

.....Angharad is working on copy and the site hand-out. Already collecting information. She and I are going to get together on expanded copy this month. We need to have a short version for The Crier. But I plan on doing a very much expanded version that she can chop down for use as needed. We have about a week to make this happen.

.....Ian is all over maps, signs and the T-Shirts. He was actually painless for the most part at the meeting. Under control for the most part. For which I was grateful. With a migraine, it wouldn't have taken much for me to throw him out of the house. Maybe he picked up on that early? :-)

.....All in all, a good meeting. I have to put together the notes and action items and send them out. Which I'm hoping to get done this weekend. But other than notes, I plan on sleeping in both days, hanging out with TBT and maybe a friend or two, and catching up on cleaning the house and Lobelia. I worked a little on the house on Monday, TBT spent some good time on it yesterday. But it still needs some help. And if we can get Lobelia put back into her storage unit in Poulsbo, I think the neighbors would be happier. :-)

.....A relaxing weekend. Finally!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It's the start of the Regional Security Drill. My work cell has been beeping at me all morning to warn me of new and updated security warnings at work. I'm rather glad I did give in and take advantage of the liberal leave policy. Thursday and Friday off are kind of nice. I think that most of the Yard took advantage of it as well. No phone calls at all this morning. It's a little eerie.

.....Although it is kind of busy in its own way. The next four days are the online Crown Council. An ambitious agenda was put out. Our last Regional meeting was just twelve days ago and I had to get the notes filtered and put onto the Kingdom database. Then comply with the data requests from the Kingdom Secretary. I was able to get them done, but would like to have had more time to organize and expand on data. I suppose that was my fault for proposing a Winter meeting so close to the Crown Council Meeting.

.....The notes actually look more organized online than they have been. We've been working on some possible process changes as well to help tame the ever increasing size of the notes, as well as use the candidate's database more online. Eduardo suggested putting a link within the notes to each candidate's database entry, where the solid history of the candidate could be recorded. That way the notes themselves could be a repository of the current thoughts of the Regions and plans moving forward on how to best support the candidates. Organization, what a concept. :-)

.....The Western Region has probably seventy or so members in it. But there is a core group of around six or so whom I can count on to be there no matter where the meeting is. Coutess Elizabeth is one of those members, who attended the March 10th meeting. I need to remember to give her a huge hug the next time I see her. :-)

.....At some point this morning I need to break away from the computer and do something else, or else I'll be physically peeling my eyes from it. I want to put together some sort of formal 'to-do' list for the upcoming few months to June Faire as there are a lot of things to get done and a lot of things to potentially forget.

.....Tonight is Fight Practice at the OSSC. I think I'll want to go to that. Tomorrow I think I want to go to Seattle. Sometime this weekend we're spending some time with Gwenllyn. We have to get into the Storage Unit sometime this weekend to pull out one of the clothing racks for Gold Key. I know there is something else I'm forgetting that we're supposed to be doing this weekend. I'll think of it as some point I'm sure.

.....Finally getting a little good news from the September Crown site. We have a source for drinking water on site. The Port of Bremerton has a Pea Patch located at the entrance. We weren't allowed at first to access their water. We weren't even sure that the water provided there was even drinkable. But I received formal word this week that we have it and it is drinkable. Fantastic!

.....Also have a new Point-Of-Contact with the Port of Bremerton to discuss the Pea Patch area. Every little bit of extra land will help. The site is large, but not as large as say the Nix Farm. So I'm a little paranoid. Parking is my next big concern.

.....I think I'll make the Corned Beef today as well. Theodoric makes a batch for everyone who'd like some each year around St. Patrick's Day. It is always really tasty too. And lasts me for several days as TBT and The Rhys Monster don't touch it.

.....I have not received any sort of link to my issue of The Crier. Nor have I received one in the mail. I need to ping Society on that and find out what is happening.

.....TBT and I were talking about writing up Baronial Award Descriptions as well. I think the next batch of them were mine to write up. The new ones for Martiallate Service (Dragon's Compaignie), A&S Service (Mano Minos), and Persona Development (Dragon's Mantle). I think I'll try to do that this afternoon as well. Although that keeps me on the computer longer. Hmm, maybe I'll save that one for later this weekend. :-)

.....O.K. Must. Get. Away. From. The. Computer. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It's hard to believe it is already about 8PM on Sunday night. I do not feel the need or desire to go into work tomorrow. :-) But at least today was productive. Only one more thing to do really tonight and then I think I'll trundle off to bed.

.....TBT seems to be coming down with a cold that I'm managing to avoid. I really think I escaped through the return of zinc to my diet. I was out of zinc and not taking any during the last two colds I had, and I'm avoiding this one. I know that isn't any sort of real and scientific proof, but it is a rather telling coincidence as far as I'm concerned.

.....This week will be a short work week. A rather large security drill is scheduled and most non-essential personnel were given the option of taking the most intensive days of the drill off from work on liberal leave. So next weekend will be a four day weekend, which will be kind of nice.

.....Taking the security drills of this week seriously though. Taking a look at what I'm lugging around in my backpack to reduce the amount of 'stuff' in it. There is no contraband in it, but a nice and fat backpack makes a nice target to those watching the gate and can be a call for a thorough search of its contents. Which will take time and effort that I'd rather put into either getting to my desk or going home after work. :-)

.....My portion of the taxes were completed today. I put the Ingasbo Spread Sheet together for 2011. Paid the Washington State Sales Tax and filled with the state for last year. Then .pdf'ed everything for TBT so she could finish out our Federal Tax filing. Everything else was already completed and ready to go, just waiting for the Ingasbo stuff to come together.

.....Most of this morning and last night was spent in putting together the Western Regional Pelican notes and data for the Winter Quarter. Lots of loose notes that had to come together into one place. Candidates that had to be added to the database. Files to be updated. E-mails to be sent out. But it also finally came together this afternoon. I sent out an e-mail to the Regional e-list and will be all ready to go before the Kingdom's online meeting of later this week.

.....Spent some time trying to get the Smart Phone talking correctly with Project Gutenberg. For some reason, none of the E-Pubs downloadable from PG would open correctly in any of the readers that were supposed to be compatible. They would when downloaded to the desktop, but not the phone. I finally stumbled on the solution after a couple of hours of frustration, and I'm not entirely sure how I fixed the issue. But I was totally caught off guard when The Four Feathers and then A Princess of Mars opened up for me. I'm not going to complain and will enjoy the downloads.

.....Project Gutenberg has been fantastic! It's amazing how many titles are available for download there. Amazon and Barnes & Nobles may not see me for a while. :-)

.....Yesterday was the really non-productive day of the weekend. I spent a handful of hours trying to clean up files on the computer and put them into some sort of logical order. It's a mess when you don't set up and maintain something easy and organized. What you end up with in that case are files scattered everywhere on your computer and difficulty in finding anything. But I finally mucked out everything to a system and location where I'll actually be able to find something in the future.

.....Friday was my first day as the Execution Manager in charge of the group in the absence of the Mid Level Boss. The required crisis hit very first thing in the morning. I was riding that surfboard pretty good until the Mid Level Boss showed up anyway. The people who were calling me were not happy with my answers and we're calling him in ever increasing desperation. :-) He came in and solved the problem, using a source he'd not told anyone about. So even though I ended up looking a little like a dork, I had done the right thing and stuck to it. I like the Planning side of things much more. Engineers and Technicians are more esoteric perhaps, but far less 'jumpy' than those who are actually working on the deckplates. :-)

.....Almost missed Conchobar's performance of 'Irish' music at the Silverdale Antique Mall on Saturday night. He had a good turn out there. Lots of bad luck (exploding amplifiers, bad acoustics, etc.), but he still managed to pull off a good show. I enjoyed his singing quite a bit and wish he had played longer. I made sure to emphasize how much I wanted to hear more, and at an SCA event. :-)

.....This week should be relatively easy. There is the usual Social on Tuesday, and Fight Practice on Thursday evening. But no other meetings are scheduled and I do believe that next weekend is free as well. I'm salivating at the thought. :-) I'm sure TBT is as well. She and her group worked hard this weekend to get the Kingdom Largesse bags completed so they could be shipped off to Ula by tomorrow's deadline. They look pretty good. I saw TBT taking pictures of them, so I think they'll be posted soon.

.....I should put together a 'to-do' list for the week, but I'm starting to fall asleep and I do really want to clean out the backpack before bedtime. I think it is time to close up shop on the computer for this weekend.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.....Here is an excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.....Aaron / Arontius
arontius: (Default)
.....Yesterday a migraine attacked. I could feel it start close to noon, and it just got progressively worse. By the time I made it home all I could was getting into bed and sleeping it off. Which is exactly what I did. Missed a 7PM appointment to the Pelican Test Chat Room. Woke up at 10PM, rolled over, turned off the alarm and went back to sleep.

.....Called in sick this morning, which will have its own payback tomorrow. Which is a sigh! But I'm still glad I did it. Was able to relax and slow down a bit for a change today. Had lunch with TBT. Cleared some e-mail from the computer. Finished a circlet order. Am ready to hop into the shower before heading off to Fight Practice.

.....I'm excited about the Pelican Chat Room meeting later this month. It will have its own bugs to work out. But I'm thinking that it will ultimately enable MORE people to join in on the conversation. You can be at work, or at home relaxing, rather than trying to fight your way through traffic to try and make it to another meeting.

.....The main bug to work out is actually how to converse. When we're all face-to-face we can work in a modified Roberts rules. Or, at the very least, try our best not to talk all over each other. When you are in an online chatroom, you don't really have that luxury. And none of us in the Western Region are exactly, patient, in the way we approach things. :-) It will be a learning experience.

.....The migraines died back quite a bit after June Faire, so I think that stress has something to do with them. But I've got blood work done and waiting to be analyzed. It could also very well be an imbalance in the vitamins and protein, which Dr. Oh was religious in mentioning when I was still seeing him. Wish that Dr. Minteer were as diligent as Dr. Oh, but I'm also not so into fighting Seattle traffic to go and see Dr. Oh on a regular basis.

.....This weekend is our event of 'Summer Madness'. TBT and I plan on camping on Friday and Saturday nights. I have to pull the stuff out of the garage tomorrow night. Need to arrange for a ride to get it to site as well. Hmmm, need to remember to shop for regular food and a potluck contribution as well. I look forward to a leisurely camping thing. Not entirely sure what we're going to get this weekend, but will try to be ready for just about anything. :-)

.....The weather looks like it will be nice though. That's good. A lot of people look like they will be day-tripping. Which is O.K. This is an experiment. We'll see what people think afterwards.

.....Following weekend is Autumn War. We were planning on day-tripping. But there is a Shipyard function on Saturday that I wanted to take TBT and the Rhys Monster to. I'm not sure how we're going to handle that. We might have to back out of Autumn War, which is regretful. Will have to think that over some more. The original intent had been to go there on Friday and participate in some war. But there is no actual WAR on Friday, at least on the schedule. How sad is that?

.....O.K., I suppose I need to stop procrastinating and go take a shower now.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....I'm at the Indianapolis Airport after a rather interesting night. The Indiana DOT, who seem to be making it a career to redo all the roads in and around Bloomington, were staying at the Days Inn where I was located. At least some of them were. For some reason, Thursday night was 'Party Night'. And, boy, do they know how to party!!! The music was going past midnight.

.....Apparently that was not enough of a thrill for them. Around about 1AM I get a knock at the door. I am rather groggy with sleep at the moment so I ignore it. A minute or two later there is another set of knocks, louder and more insistent this time. I'm all set to ignore it again, thinking of the partying DOT folks, but all of a sudden start thinking 'What if something happened at home and someone is trying to get a hold of me?' This woke me up completely and I hop out of bed and run to the door, forgetting my lack of attire. Thankfully, I remember this just as I'm swinging open the door.

.....Of course, the intelligent person would have looked through the peep hole first and determined the security level. Me? Naw. The door swings open and I stand behind it for the most part.

.....What do I see? A lady all dressed up as if running to a party. I blink for a second and say, 'Yes?'. To which she replies, 'My name is Venessa and you were...looking for someone?' I blink a minute or so before I say, 'I think you have the wrong room'. She scrambles for a piece of paper in her pocket and discovers she wanted Room 115, not 113. At least she made it close.

.....When I left the hotel at 3AM, they were still having a good time as I could hear it rather clearly through the walls. I think that next time I travel to Bloomington, I'll go down the street to the Holliday Inn Express. :-)

.....Mmmmm, Starbucks! On a plane for an hour to Chicago. Then the long four and a half hour slog to Seattle. But I did manage to score an Exit Aisle again. Sweet! I'll be able to stretch out.

.....I finally figured out why people pay so much for Eddie Bauer shirts. Other than the brand name of course. TBT and I found one at the good will last weekend. A linen shirt. It is amazingly comfortable and soft. I wore it earlier this week and washed it so I could wear it on the plane for the ride home. I wouldn't pay $35 or more for it. But the $5 price tag was nice. I'm going to have to haunt the Goodwill on a regular basis to look for more of them.

.....The Western Pelican Meeting was cancelled last night for a number of reasons. I think we'll be O.K. But it is good information to use for next year's planning. June is not a good month for meetings. After surviving June Faire, I fully agree! :-)

.....Last time I ran through Chicago, the WiFi was not free. So I may not post there. But maybe I'll save the fodder for tonight or tomorrow. I feel some poetry coagulating in my brain. This gives people the chance to run and hide before they are forced to see it. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....I was working on the notes from the last 'Western Regional' Pelican Council meeting and thought I would pass this note out to any who would submit a formal recommendation for someone to be a Pelican. We like receiving those recommendations as they often tell us things about candidates that we never knew. Plus they also make us aware of candidates that hadn't crossed our threshold of thought or view as yet.

.....But what I wanted to say was that it is great to hear that Person X is a good leader, a good teacher, a nice person, etc. But what we also want to hear is WHAT that person did and does. This is the direct evidence of the 'body of work' we can use to SHOW what that person does to be a Pelican. Did they invent a new system of doing things that is employed around the Kingdom? Did they hold Kingdom Office X? Did they Autocrat the first Known World Basket Making Symposium that was attended unexpectedly by 5,000 and still ran efficiently and was fun? These are the direct items that can be helpful when looking at a candidate's body of work.

.....When a candidate is discussed at the Regional level, a lot of the times the people in the Regional Council will know them because they are local and have probably run into them at a local event, or had local dealings with them. But when we bring a candidate up at the full Kingdom Council, this is less often the case. An Tir is a big Kingdom and someone can make big changes and do a lot of good service and still may not be known from the local plumber in the Summits or Avacal. Having all the details is very important at that point.

.....Just something I wanted to put out there while I was thinking about it.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....So, it was Saturday in Court at Twelfth Night. The Pelican Council was surrounding the feet of Their Majesties Tiernan and Miranda and a candidate was just named to join the Companions. A very good thing. But at that moment I had a leg cramp hit me and I was seeing stars and could barely contain myself. The second it looked like the current business was done, I struggled to my feet and practically ran for my chair.

.....While I was NOT paying attention Her Majesty had Her Grace Wrenn brought up before the order and was in the process of naming her as a new Companion of the Order. What I SHOULD have done at that moment was get up off the chair and made my way back to the group, even if it was to stand towards the back. But something in my pea-sized brain told me to just stay put and not interrupt anything.

.....I applauded alongside everyone and was definitely enthusiastic.I'd watched the presentations in Council and had read through her resume. I'd definitely witnessed her in action at many events. Plus, I like her personally. So I was fully supportive of the elevation.

.....Come to find out later that at least a couple of people watched me walk back to my chair and sit down and thought maybe I was not in support of Her Grace as a Companion. ACK! It's amazing how perceptions like that get started and perpetuate. I was rather horrified. I need to make plans to definitely seek her out at the next event (maybe Ursulmas I hope) and make sure she knows that I'm FULLY supportive of the elevation.

.....In reality? She probably doesn't know me from the local turnip salesman. :-) But I would hate to think that she would even hear that opinion.

.....I'll tag this as a 'to-do' and it'll be my reminder for Ursulmas.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....I've had my current job for nearly four years now, and will be married for four years this summer, and still have not quite adjusted to the radical change in routine in my life. As I think back to 'life before' there was a procedure for keeping the house at least relatively neat and tidy. The cat box was regularly cleaned. The driveway swept. The plants watered. These days I can't seem to manage to stay on top of the dishes to save my life! :-)

.....This morning the new disappointment was the houseplants. It was the routine to water the plants every Sunday, every Sunday and Wednesday during the summer. This morning I happened to notice the wilting leaves on the Avocado and was dismayed to find that the Avocado and one of the coffee trees were completely dried out and dead. The other coffee was dried out and wilted hard. It may survive. But I was sad as I've had these for a while. When I started thinking about it I realized that it had been over four weeks since I had watered the plants last. Damn!

.....I'd been thinking lately that maybe a small dog, or even a bird might be a fun addition to the household. But now I'm having a hard time convincing myself that I have the ability to care for another animal if I can't seem to take care of the houseplants. :-) That's a long term muse though. The cat-tastrophe we are currently living will probably be around for quite a while. :-)

.....I would NOT change anything I have right now. I like being married. TBT is an incredibly important part of my life now. But I need to figure out some way to get some routine again in my life. Nothing I've tried to date has helped a whole lot. Time to try some other techniques. Just not quite sure what yet.

.....I mentioned last night to someone that we had a retinue meeting scheduled for this weekend and they were puzzled as to why we had so many of them. I had to think about that a while. I can honestly say that it is entirely for my benefit. It has been amazing how chaotic everything has been. The hardest part about being part of this Coronet Team is in moving the process forward and herding all the cats in a single direction. :-) I like the meetings as they help me to focus my thoughts and organize the schedule of things that need to be done. It helps me to have a logical and as sensible a plan as possible that I can follow to help ensure we cover all the needs.

.....Plus, I like discussing ideas with others. It helps me to see things from different perspectives and ensure that we're making the best decisions possible. That we're not forgetting important things and people. Multiple brains are better than single brains as far as I'm concerned.

.....And, really, I just like our retinue personally. They've all been wonderful people with whom to work. Intelligent and industrious. Caring and considerate. All fantastic personalites. I enjoy their company and conversation. I do need to keep reminding myself to ask them to speak up when they've had enough of meetings. No need to overindulge my ego. Although, considering everyone who's been involved, I really can't think of any of them who would hesitate to speak up if they think they've had enough. :-) I know that TBT can take them or leave them, so we'll see.

.....Regional Pelican meeting tonight. One of the big things is to set the meetings for the Spring, Summer and Fall Quarters of 2011. The Laurels have been doing this for a while. I thought that we might as well try this approach and see how it works. We all have such diverse and busy schedules that there is never a good day and time to meet, so we might as well throw 'something' out there to plan around. Not everyone is going to make it, but enough generally will to make a quorum.

.....Plus a stop at Harbor Freight Tools along the way! That thought alone was enough to make TBT consider driving Ralph and I to Tacoma so she could partake. I'll have to remember that for future reference. :-)

.....On the horizon, let's see. Next weekend is the Sunday Fight Practice at Manchester Fuel Depot. If we're lucky Sir Brendan might be there. That would be way cool.

.....Then the following weekend is Ursulmas. We put out a call for the Barony to gather around the Erics to cheer on Dragon's Laire fighters competing in the Tournaments. I hope we get a good turnout. The Ursulmas Autocrat responded to the post right away with offers of helping to organize space for us, which I thought was very considerate of them. I think it will be a good day.

.....We also have a silk banner making workshop coming up. I'm really looking forward to it. THL Anne is setting it up. I've wanted to get banners done for TBT and I for a while now. I'm excited at the prospect of possibly having them for May Crown and June Faire. YES! :-)

.....Must get started with the day. I'm looking forward to a three-day weekend. One more reason to be happy with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as if there wasn't enough already. :-) May be the last free weekend for a while though.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....It's a Saturday night, but I think it is going to be an early evening. I'm having a hard time keeping my eyes open. But I've got Season 3 of 'Farscape' buzzing through the DVD player. I'd forgotten how cool a show it was. It is actually keeping me awake. :-)

.....Rang in the New Year over at Cedric and Brighid's house. It was probably the last year at the current Casa St. Brighid as they are looking to move later this year. Although in comparison to years past it was an overall quiet evening. I think we're getting old. :-) By 10PM we were all getting a little drousy and by 11PM Ronan was sleeping loudly in the corner of the room. At midnight Cedric blew up half the neighborhood in fireworks. TBT and I left shortly afterwards.

.....Woke up fairly early this morning for a road tour of Kitsap County. Had breakfast at Casa St. Brighid. Then ran to Ki and Eliza's for their New Year's gathering. Then ran out to Tim and Truly's for their New Year's gathering. The only problem with that plan was that a.) we got lost and toured several neighborhoods filled with dog walking inhabitants that looked suspisciously like Zombie's on the hunt, and b.) Tim and Truly's gathering wasn't scheduled to start until much later in the afternoon. Which probably explained why there was no one home when we showed up. :-)

.....We were tired by that point and decided to go home and pick up the Rhys Monster for dinner at the Japanese Hibachi place in Silverdale. Which is good, although expensive. For the same price we could have driven to Mizu's in Tukwilla and had better food. Oh, well. It's a lesson we learn at least once a season.

.....After that we went and took a whirlwind tour of the new Casa Andrus and Liesel. It's directly behind where they were living in Manette. It's a house with the typical seventies lay-out, but looked nice with the hardwood floors. Prices in Bremerton are really starting to come down as they spent $154K on the place. In East Bremerton / Manette. Wow! Same place would have been $225K or so about a year or a year and a half ago. Just that thought alone excited TBT. She longs for a Craftsman style house that she can make over with a Mother-In-Law apartment and a parking pad for Lobelia.

.....Tomorrow will be all about getting ready for the work week. Things will be on fast-forward all over the place at that point. It's hard to believe that Twelfth Night will be next weekend. I'm hoping to get Friday off so we can get to Eugene by mid-day. Although we'll have to make it through the January Business Meeting first.

.....Tomorrow will also be the first indoor Fight Practice of the season at the Manchester Fuel Depot. I'm intrigued at the prospect. I'm hoping that it'll become a regular thing. Also may have a line on a northern Baronial practice as well, indoors and at least relatively warm.

.....Lot's going on in just January alone. We need to get the Serjeantry Re-Boot going. There is Ursulmas to consider. A Regional Pelican meeting is going to have to be scheduled somewhere in the maelstrom. Then the Baronial Arts and Sciences Championship. At this point there are no declared competitors. I hope we get a couple that show up unexpectedly. But a Plan B is brewing that has promise.

.....Then Candlemas and the Kingdom Arts & Sciences and Bardic on the horizon. Estrella is wrapped up in all this fun. No chance to go this year, but I have PLANZ (tm) at seeing if I can get a Baronial Pilgrimage going to the sun-filled lands of the South in 2012.

.....All right, need to concentrate on one thing at a time. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....I was torn between laughter and frustration when I heard the below. See if you can spot the major and minor flaws in the argument before I point them out.

.....Setting: Kingdon Arts & Sciences and Bardic Championship.

.....There was some discussion concerning possible Peerage Meetings that might be scheduled at the event. It was argued that in the past several years too many Peerage Meetings were being scheduled during the Championship. The problem being that too many judges are pulled away from actual judging to attend these meetings. It was hoped that all Peerage (and other) meetings would be curtailed EXCEPT THE LAURELS MEETING.

.....Major Logic Flaw: Doesn't it stand to reason that the pool of judges at Kingdom A&S and Bardic Championship would come PRIMARILY from the Laurel's Council? So, by having a Laurel's Meeting in the first place, aren't the Laurel's themselves taking away from their own pool of judges?

.....Minor Logic Flaw No. 1: Peerage (and other) meetings do not have to be scheduled to interfere with the judging schedule. They can be scheduled for Friday night, for earlier on Saturday, for Sunday morning, etc.

.....Minor Logic Flaw No. 2: Peerage meetings are scheduled to assist the Crown in gathering information on possible candidates under consideration by The Crown. If it is most convenient for those who have informaton to meet at Kingdom A&S and Bardic to provide information to the Council and The Crown; than however inconvenient it is, The Crown may decide that They want to hear Their Council(s) speak at Kingdom A&S and Bardic.

.....Sideline Logic Flaw: O.K. I suppose that it makes sense that Laurels would want to meet at Kingdom A&S and Bardoc because that event presents the greatest concentration of Laurels at a Kingdom Event. I also suppose that this same logic is true for the Chivalry at Crown Events and July Coronation, for those of the Gray Goose Shaft at September Crown, for those of the White Scarf at Twelfth Night, etc. So, at what event does it make sense that a gathering of PELICANS would naturally take place? Is there a Kingdom Event where there is a natural concentration of Pelicans that also naturally begets a Pelican meeting?

.....I apologize for sounding crabby. I already feel less crabby for having typed this. But as a Regional Pelican Secretary where it is getting increasingly difficult to find a day and time where I can get enough of our Region to actually get together in one place to actually meet and discuss an agenda, I find the above arguments against meetings wherever and whenever I can get a group together very frustrating.

.....As a Pelican I also find a sense of descrimination present in the above argument as well. I don't think that it is intentional, but I'm getting tired of hearing it.

.....O.K., I'm taking off my crabby pants now.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....On Saturday of this last weekend, the Western Regional Pelican Council held a regional meeting after the SCA BoD meeting. It seemed an awfully convenient way to arrange things. And the Embassy Suites in Tukwilla is a fantastic site. I wonder what the prices are to rent that hotel for a Twelfth Night? Hmmm... :-)

.....But I digress...

.....I'm not going to discuss anything that was part of the conversation or the dynamics of the meeting itself, other than to say that we had a good turnout, which made me happy. But something surfaced that has me wondering about my role in the Regional Council.

.....I act as Co-Secretary, along with Anne-Marie, of the Regional Council. We set up meetings, put together the agenda, chair the meetings, take and post notes and act as the mouth-piece for the council.

.....Something I've always kind of done as secretary is do my best to maintain a sense of neutrality towards the candidate pool and individual candidates that are brought forth for consideration. I want to reduce, as much as possible, even the appearance that I might try to influence the candidacy of certain individuals with my role as a secretary. Sometimes I actually say something about this person or that person, but most of the time I try to keep my mouth shut and let the rest of the council do the speaking. I just move the agenda along as much as possible to ensure that we cover everything that we wanted to cover.

.....After the meeting on Saturday, someone was speaking to me about what happened at the meeting and the suggestion was made in passing that I should speak up more if I am in disagreement with something that was said in council, especially if it in connection with a candidate of whom I feel especially strongly.

.....This irritated me a little and made me wonder if I do indeed do a dis-service to a candidate whom I know has done good things by not speaking up more. I've been frustrated on a number of occasions when I've wanted to speak but felt compelled to not simply because I want to maintain that silly neutrality thing.

.....So, is there a happy medium where you can maintain a sense of neutrality towards the council as a whole and still feel that you are speaking on the subjects and candidates that you should? Or should a secretary's job really be as a completely neutral party and that a secretary should just plan on staying silent for the length of their tenure?

.....Seems something of a silly thing on which to worry, but it's causing me a little angst. I'd like to do a good job if at all possible.

.....Looking forward to seeing everyone at July Coronation next weekend. And it's good to see [livejournal.com profile] scratchel back, we missed you. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.

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