arontius: (Justin's Device)

.....E-Mail went out today. Furloughs starting on April 26th. That doesn't cover May Crown or June Faire. But An Tir / West War, July Coronation, and September Crown ARE.

.....I'm trying to look on the brighter side of things. Still a lot of unanswered questions though. We'll see how things shake out.

.....And, there is still a chance the Navy / DOD will find a way out of furloughs. The disruptions will hurt hard.

.....Aaron / Arontius.

.....Edited: Damn! When the e-mail said April 26th, I assumed it to be a non-payday weekend. It actually IS a Payday weekend! So May Crown and June Faire are furlough weekends while An Tir / West War, July Coronation and September Crown are not! Well, thanfully, I hadn`t made any changes to my leave schedule.

.....O.K., this officially sucks!

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It's happening. In about three days now. :-) Can you feel the excitement in the air? The tension building? Do you feel this overwhelming need to throw your arms in the air and flail them like Kermit the Frog?

.....Maybe that's just me. :-)

.....One day of work down. I have my stand-ins all selected and approved. For the most part, there is one left that needs to be indoctrinated. But all the 'go-dos' have been lined up to either finish tomorrow, or wait on the back-burner until next Wednesday when I get back to work. I'm lucky in one regard as this seems to be a rather popular week to take vacation. There are a lot of people away from work, which means many meetings are being postponed until later in the week, next week. I'm good with that.

.....All the supplies have been purchased. I thought I might need some more marking paint. That is, until Jenae texted me and reminded me of the case waiting for me to pick up at their place left over from An Tir / West War. It was good timing on her part and for me as I was going to stop at Lowes on the way home and buy one more case. :-) We might end up needing some more marking paint. We'll see how things go on Thursday. If I have to do so, McClendon's Hardware is about a ten minute drive away in Belfair and I can buy another handful of cans as needed.

.....All of my SCA clothes have been stuffed into Lobelia. But there is a list of stuff that still needs to get packed. We were going to drop off Lobelia at Imperial this evening, but we saw some good prices on batteries at Costco over the weekend. Between that and Imperial telling us that they have no room to store Lobelia even for an extra day, we decided to risk it and just buy two new hotel batteries and install them. I removed the existing ones right after work and put them in TBT's car. She's going to stop at Costco tomorrow and pick up new ones and turn these in for replacement.

.....Ralg said he'd help with the battery selection and installation, so I feel better about making this decision with the least risk. I'm still worried that there is a power drain somewhere that needs to be found by a professional. But the fact that these are about five years old and have sat through several winters all connected, I'm thinking that we've nailed the culprit down fairly well.

.....Not taking Lobelia to Imperial tonight means we'll have to make arrangements to get her and the U-Haul to site on Thursday. I may have TBT be signed on as a driver on Wednesday as well. She can drive the U-Haul and I'll grab Lobelia on Thursday morning.

.....I think tonight, since Lobelia is still here, I'm going to have to pull together some more stuff to put into Lobelia for the weekend. I've got some stuff bags I can pull out for the regular clothing and other soft goods. It's primarily the food-stuff I'm most worried about getting to site and loaded into Lobelia unmolested. Might want to think about some ice as well.

.....What I really need to do, I think, is take a few moments and write out a list of stuff that needs to be done for myself personally to support September Crown. Otherwise I'm grabbing at loose thoughts and not remembering them long enough to make any use of them.

.....Must not forget Madrun's circlet either! It's sitting in the Computer Room right now. This is my reminder to pick it up and put it someplace I will not forget it. Like maybe in Lobelia now.

.....Tomorrow night is the regular Social at the VFW Hall. I need to ask Aileen about her plans for capturing people who camp on Thursday night. She'll have to have at least a book ready to go for them. As well as site tokens. Don't know about the Site Handouts. They get turned in today to Staples for printing from Angharad. They might be on site by Thursday possibly, but I don't know that for sure yet.

.....Also need to ask Aileen about her volunteers for Friday itself. As is usual, much of the volunteer base will be showing up and setting up on Friday, and so will not be available for gate help until later in the day. It could make for a very long day for Aileen if she is stuck at the gate for a fourteen plus hour day! Will have to see what I can do to shore that up a bit.

.....Most of the questions coming my way seem to be relatively simple at the moment. I've told several dozen people now that there will be drinking water on site. That seems to be an anxious point for a number of people. Having food vendors on site seems to be a hot topic as well. That one is a little surprising as there have not been that many food vendors at Crown Events lately. At least not what I remember. I don't think there were any at July Coronation. The one food vendor at May Crown was part of the Fairgrounds holding the event. September Crown last year did not have any food vendors as I recall. I wonder if the Airport Diner across the street is going to be packed at times with hungry SCA people? They've been warned. :-)

.....The other big question is a 'Day Trip Fee'. Because of the expenses involved we really had to say no to a reduced day trip fee. Many people have been surprised by that. But consider the costs involved. It was $4,000 just in site rental alone. It is not cheap holding events in Kitsap County!

.....Still need to see about a roving patrol of Peers and Peer-Like Object (PLO's) to put their eyeballs on people partying over the weekend and give them the 'an adult is watching you' look from time to time. It generally works well in moderating parties that seem to be getting loud or crazy. We don't need people being any more silly than normal at this site. Especially when we'll be in such close quarters.

.....Also need to talk about radio channels. Team Haggis III will be on a general radio channel for the weekend. But I may end up carrying a second radio to listen in to the camping coordination on Friday. I also need to gently let the Team know that they should consider having a second radio for personal conversations. Some joking and nonsense is fine and helps break up the tension. But I'm not sure everyone really wants to know what TBT and I are going to do for dinner that evening. :-)

.....Have to make sure that my emergency contact list is in order. I have my instructions and address ready for instant clarification. But need to know who my direct contacts are in the Police Department and Fire Department are. I know they reviewed our site plans and know we'll be at Norseland all this weekend as they reviewed and bought off on the Special Event Application. But when I received the license to actually hold the event, they didn't give me that information. I need to make some phone calls tomorrow.

.....Also need to call Hemley's and Hall's Hauling one last time to make sure we're on the same page for deliveries of dumpster and Biffies this week to site. No frantic calls to them on Friday wondering where in the world they are.

.....Time to get moving.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It was actually cooler today. When we passed the bank thermometer this afternoon it blinking 84 degrees. Although the humidity was still way up there. The clouds looked ominous on the horizon, but there were no storm warnings on the radio.

.....Last night was different. The temperature was into the 90's past dark. The clouds were just as dark, but no rain. We could see flashes of lightning and the radio would give warnings at ten minute intervals warning people to stay indoors and watch for high winds. I don't think they were worried about the Bloomington area, more to the south. But it was eerie all the same.

.....Long day at the conference. I was mainly a bystander today watching the drama. There is a lot to do, and only so much money with which to do it. So things that have been on the back burner now for years and years get to stay there for yet another year. Then we argued over how to prioritize the truly important stuff. Definitely a long day.

.....But, I did stop and get a picture of the one and only Starbucks in a 75-mile radios:


.....And it's a drive through. :-)

.....So, now I need to convince TBT to come with me the next time I travel to Indiana. :-)

.....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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.....July 13th seems to be an awesome date all around! :-) I had forgotten that twenty-five years ago today I walked into the Apprentice School at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and started my career as, an Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic. Shop 38. :-) I was reminded when the Mid Level Boss stopped me on my way out the door this afternoon and presented me with my 'official' twenty-five year certificate and pin. :-)

.....Wow! What a memory. Even though Olympic College sponsored the Apprenticeship, it was very much Shipyard in character and philosophy. Nearly did me in that first three month period, so different it was from anything I was used to at O.C. I was one of the last Apprentice Classes required to take mechanical engineering drawing. As in, sit down at a board and draw things out with compass, rule and pencil. :-) Ours was one of the last classes required to do Descriptive Geometry without a computer.

.....We were, however, one of the first classes no longer required to take a class on how to use a slide rule. :-) Making me feel old now.

.....The last time I touched anything to do with Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Equipment was on the USS NIMITZ in 1991 - 1992. I was lead on installing all the HPAC Units on board. There are plenty of people who are surprised that I was ever mechanical in nature, as I certainly don't display any willingness to do it now. :-) But I did have fun on that job. It was the first time I had some real responsibility and I actually made it work out right. I had a good Team and I was able to figure out how to do everything on my own. A good feeling.

.....Things moved fast after that though. Almost lost my job a year or two later during the RIF / Right-Sizing at the Shipyard. Was moved to the Insulator Shop and spent many years pulling off the skin from submarines. Moved to HazMat Planning. Then hit the big time with Emergent Work Planning in 1999. Then ShipAlt installation in 2007.

.....Sometimes I wish I had stuck it out and went through college. But things work out the way they are supposed to work out. The Shipyard has been pretty good to me, so I'm grateful.

.....Happy Twenty-Fifth Anniversary, Shipyard! Only twenty more years left to go until we part company. :-)

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.....I showed up at my desk this morning and there was an SF-50 sitting there. Effective July 1st I'm now a permanent GS-13 Planning Manager for the Submarine Department at PSNS & IMF.

.....It did not come with a pay raise or anything, but it was a big step none the less.

.....To say I'm surprised would be the understatement of the day. I fully expected the clock to run out on my five years of temporary promotion next February and to be silently pulled back to a GS-12 position as a JPL. I especially thought this as I watched the standards for Planning Manager become more finely tuned over the past two years. Currently before Planning Manager candidates are even considered they are either already degreed engineers, or in some sort of program towards their Bachelor's degree in either management or engineering fields. Which is not extremely difficult to do as there are several programs with either Olympic College or out-of-area colleges working in partnership with the Navy.

.....But me? I have an Apprenticeship from the Shipyard and an Associates Degree through Olympic Community College. My blue collar roots definitely show through when the Planning Managers all get together. I don't exactly speak their language. I don't think the same way they do.

.....Wow. Just, Wow!

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.....I was thinking about when I last posted to Live Journal and realized that it had been over a week. The time has really run away from me. But I still would swear to anything that June Faire Season is a temporal phenomena that really messes with the mind. At least it does with mine. :-)

.....Work has been rather intense lately. The Shipyard is taking a deep breath before really launching into a grand re-structuring of the management, from the top of the civilian leadership, all the way down. A lot of people are antsy and full of anticipation. Some positive, some negative, but mainly just a 'let's hurry up and get started because we're tired of waiting'.

.....The structure of our Submarine Battery Team is something of a model for what the larger Shipyard structure is going to look like when all is said and done. In fact, our Team is specifically called out in the Desk Guide as an example of how the new model works, and can be successful. So from that standpoint, I'm not worried much about a lot of huge changes coming my way. But the desk guide I just finished reading has a lot of differences between what we do and what the new model is supposed to be, so I am a little nervous. We'll see. The model is supposed to be fully functional by the end of July.

.....Our schedule in and of itself has been rather intense as well. We're in the midst of one installation, have another fully in preparation to launch in August, and three more right behind it. Next year is going to be tough.

.....June Faire looks like it will go well. The Board is fully engaged and everything is lining up nicely. It even looks like there are people who are going to miss May Crown so that they can attend to June Faire. Well, I suppose that could be just me, but it kind of seems that way. :-)

.....The Serjeantry Schedule has been out for a while, and we'll jump into it as soon as we've recovered from June Faire. There has been a large amount of angsting about the Trials being on the same weekend as Autumn War. We are taking a harder look at it to see if we can't move the Trials to an earlier date and compress the overall schedule some. That's just me talking now. Haven't vetted that with all the other parties who play into that prominently (like the Candidates and the Secretary), but it would be nice to free up just a little more of August in preparation for September Crown.

.....Packed a little more for May Crown today. At least one stuff bag and a bin. Excavated the bedroom a bit. Most of the clothes are put away and we can walk from one end of the room to the other. The kitchen is excavated as well. The cat boxes are all cleaned. Laundry has been moving for several hours now. So I feel a little accomplished.

.....Would like to finish the bedroom tonight as tomorrow might be a little busy. The 'to-do' list is long. I think we'll try to get the sign done though. It will be such a nice day tomorrow that the paint will dry in a hurry. I don't think it will take long either. Which reminds me that I need to see about making the arrangements to get the signs to Poulsbo. They go up over the three day weekend. I must remember, I think I'll write that down now.

.....Tsuruko reminded us about June Faire Court as well. We have a rough draft, but must finalize it. Would really also like to make arrangements for a meeting with Caius so we could go through a walk-through of the plan.

.....Dame Tamlyn has been working hard to produce a set of charters for the Barony, especially some of the newer awards that TBT and I created. I had a good look at the Dragon's Company charter today. It was absolutely fantastic! We haven't been able to concentrate on the details of the charters as we would have liked, but Dame Tamlyn really ran with this one and the results are even more fantastic than I thought they might be.

.....I have whined a lot about how much work being Baron has been. But I think I need to mention the wins more often, because they are certainly there. In the end, no matter how difficult it has been, I'm actually very glad to have had the opportunity to be the Baron of Dragon's Laire. It has been and will be the biggest and best learning experiences I've had in the SCA.

.....TBT just awoke from her nap and mentioned the magic word on her way down the hall, 'dinner'. I think I'll sign off for now. Will probably post the upcoming 'to-do' list tomorrow, which will most likely be epic. I should enjoy the current good feeling for as long a moment as possible. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Back at Dallas - Fort Worth, waiting for our plane to reboard. I suppose I could have stayed on board, but really wanted to stretch my legs.

.....The Dallas airport is HUGE!

.....I must be tired as I can't think of anything else to say. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....That was sure a whirlwind tour of Georgia. We toyed with the idea of staying an extra day or two to try and get a few support services issues squared away, but decided in the end it wouldn't really be worth it as most of the information we need is located at home.

.....Mostly a successful trip. And enough frustrations emerged from the meetings to convince me that taking the trip was worth it. I keep operating under this assumption that people who work out of the same offices actually speak to each other, and that is not the case. So I'm actually about two months behind in my planning from where I wanted (and that I was) to be. So, more work when I get back to my desk, with a quicker pace.

.....I don't think I'll have to come back to Georgia before August. And if I can get things squared away fast enough, I might be able to avoid that as well. August is a bad month to leave the state, there are just too many things happening. Ack!

.....Looks like I might be Indiana bound in late July for a week. It's only a week though. But it precedes three weeks of training at the Yard. Not good timing! I will have to work on rescheduling that training to sometime later in October or November.

.....Jacksonville International Airport is growing. Even from the last time I was here. Another concourse, and a bunch more shopping. It's actually a nice looking place. With Kings Bay growing in scope and the news that Mayport is going to take on more work, I'm not surprised. Jacksonville could really use the growth. A lot of their infrastructure was suffering. An influx of government funding flowing from the local bases could be a real boost.

.....I may have to revise the negative opinion I had of American Airlines. I was able to change to a window seat quickly and easily. The check in was a breeze. Everyone was polite and efficient. Hopefully not an anomoly. The flight again goes through Dallas - Fort Worth. But we do not change planes. We will land for about an hour or so and then re-board for the remainder of the flight to Seattle.

.....The Subaru is parked and waiting for me at SeaTac. Hopefully I'll be actually home before three. That would be good. I did not sleep very well the past few nights and could use a nice long nap before heading into work tomorrow. Lots to get done and want to get them done and off my desk fast. May is going to be fast and furious and coming from many different directions,

.....I hate the connotations on this parable thrown at me. But it does fit: "The gazelle wakes up on the African plains with the knowledge that it has to run faster than the fastest lion or it will get eaten. The lion wakes up knowing that it has to run faster then the slowest gazelle or it will starve. So no matter whether you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up you'd better be running."

.....Sigh, I'm turning Corporate. I think I need to learn how to start drinking again. :-)

.....Mmmmmmmm, Starbucks! :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....As usual, it was a couple of long flights from Seattle. Both flights were absolutely packed with people. To the point I ended up having to have a middle seat on both flights. Normally, I hate the middle seat. But I was struck this time by how easy it was. I always hated the middle seat from the days where I weighed much more than I do now, and would sometimes get stuck in the middle seat. Invariably, I'd be pressing on the people on both sides of me. And I'd always have to ask for a seat-belt extension, which was always embarrassing. This time though, for some reason I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that I fit easily in the seat. With room for both of my row mates. There was plenty of room on the seat belt. For some reason, I was surprised by how easy it was. And pleased.

.....It's been almost ten years now since the Gastric Bypass, and there are still days like this that make me happy with the reminder of how things have changed for the better. The much, much better. :-)

.....Made it in to Jacksonville at about 12:30 local time and immediately went to the base to get hooked up with a pass. Then went and did our errands on site. Took a look at our office, and the lay-down and work areas. Did not get to talk to anyone actually connected with the Project Team, but we'll get that opportunity tomorrow. So we weren't terribly worried.

.....Both the Mid Level Boss and I were both zombies by 3PM, so we took off for out hotels. I took a nap for a couple of hours, and will head back to bed shortly. But I did go out for dinner and to see what has changed in St. Marys and Kingsland. Absolutely nothing has changed. :-) Sigh, and no Starbucks yet either. Well, I'll only be here a couple of days. So I shouldn't miss my lattes too terribly much.

.....The morning was actually rather chilly and windy. In the fourties and fifties. But by late afternoon, the wind had died down and the day warmed up into the seventies, with the humidity to match.

.....The one thing that really hasn't changed is the Wal-Mart of Doom. If anything, the local Nexus of All Evil has only grown larger. And is now surrounded by a Zombie Horde of Warriors (or at least that's what they look like to me). I feel sad for the local populace, they know not what they do. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Watching the sun set from Gate A-8 at SeaTac Airport. There is something romantic in watching the airplanes take off and land across the sunset. :-)

.....On the 11:20PM flight to Dallas - Fort Worth, at which point I'll catch the 7:20AM flight to Jacksonville, Florida. On my way to a conference in Kings Bay to discuss an upcoming installation. We'll actually get into Jacksonville sometime around 11AM, grab our car and then run out to Kings Bay to get our gate passes. We're going to do our best to get down to the waterfront tomorrow afternoon and claim space for our office and work area. Then see how many connections we can make with those actually working for TRF-Kings Bay.

.....Tuesday is the actual conference itself. We'll meet with all the others performing installations during this availability and see if we can de-conflict all of our schedules. Then we'll make as many deals as possible to help each other out and prepare our work agreements so they actually make sense. Or at least as much as possible. When the work actually starts, the paper sometimes isn't worth a whole lot. I think the more important thing is to network with everyone involved so that it is faster and easier to get things done when trying to work together.

.....The Mid-Level Boss tried to convince me to take a Tuesday night red eye out of Jacksonville so that we could be back at work on Wednesday. I gave him THE LOOK and reminded him that HE was the 'Employee Of The Year', not me. :-) I think he was pulling my leg though as when I asked him what flight he booked he told me that he had grabbed the same Wednesday flight as I did. :-)

.....Spent an hour this afternoon watching the Serjeantry Candidates practice their fire starting. I still find it magical to watch the process. When Conchobar lit up his nest of sisal and it started burning, I aplauded him. :-) I guess I'm easily amused and excited. :-) I had a great time watching them all learn the process. I just wish I could have stayed to actually watch them all light their fires. :-)

.....It really took me back to my own Boy Scouting adventures. I was lighting fires like that some twenty-five or so years ago. I wish I had been taught about the char cloth as Conchobar taught everyone. That seemed to make things so much easier. When I learned I had the flint and steel and rained sparks down on a bed of fuzz. The dandelion fuzz I used went up nicely. But the char cloth seems to hold the sparks longer and catch them easier.

.....I practiced starting fires for a good month straight. We had a Boy Scout Jamboree with an Orientation Challenge. We were given coordinates that we had to find and then start a fire to mark our location. It was timed to the point where the fire was actually burning wood. I must have lit hundreds of little fires so I could churn it out in just a few minutes. I bet it would take me a lot longer now as I'd have to relearn how to hold the flint and strike it properly. But I suppose it wouldn't take too long before it came back to me.

.....Went up to the September Crown site on Saturday to scout out parking and RV camping. I'm glad we picked up the area we did for parking, but it still doesn't seem large enough to me. Theodoric, Master Ralg and I walked the area over several times to see it from different angles. We'll get several hundred cars there, but we'll have to resort to alternatives as well, including parking around the Pea Patch and alongside the road. But we've got alternatives.

.....Was able to drive the Subaru all the way down to the bottom of the site, where the Equestrian Activities are going to be. I did not have any problems in driving down there, but then I was not hauling a horse trailer either. There is one section of the gravel road that I think is going to have to be leveled out a bit for the trailers. I sent out a call to Bernie to see if he can help with a grader or similar.

.....Would also like to grab a brush hog to clear out the area where archery is set to happen. It isn't think with Scotch Broom, but might be by September. I suppose I could come out there on a couple of consecutive weekends and chop down Scotch Broom as well. But a Brush Hog is so much easier and faster. We'll have to see what we can do.

.....Left the keys for the VFW Hall with TBT so she can open it. I'm only away for three days, so I think it'll be more of a vacation than anything else. She'll have the entire bed all to herself. Well, as much as Constantine will allow her to have. :-) I'm always a little anxious when I go away, but she is a adult who can take care of herself quite well. Which I remind myself every time I do get anxious.

.....I forget what's on tap for next weekend. Although I do want to get organized for my May 2nd September Crown meeting. I need to put together an agenda for it. I also need to develop a few coping strategies for Ian. :-) Although I'm starting to come up with lists of things for him to do. Active minds like his need to be kept busy so that they'll stay out of trouble. :-)

.....Oooooo, also have to remember to pull the pavilions out of the garage next weekend. If I'm remembering correctly, we accidently put several vital pieces of all our pavilions into the Baronial Storage Unit. I'll pull everything out and take stock of what we have and what we're missing, and then stow everything on Heather. Then go down to the Baronial Storage Unit and pull out the Baronial Pavilion for storage in Heather to set up at May Crown. Then root through the poles and such to find our missing pieces. Then we'll be all set for May Crown and June Faire.

.....I think I'll close down the computer and wander for a bit. I would like to stretch my legs before the long flight. Will not get the chance to do so again for a while.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Fragment The First: On Tuesday at the Baronial Fight Practice / Social, a member of the Populace was talking to me about a new policy being implemented at Autumn War this year. Those in charge of various activities at the event are being asked to read and sign a 'contract' in support of the activities they are managing. This contract outlined what services were specifically going to be provided. What time they were to be on site and leave site. What facilities and structures they were responsible for overseeing. What hours they had to be in operation. There were apparently other guidelines and restrictions as well outlined in the 'contract'.

.....The person who was relaying this to me was unwilling to sign the contract. They were actually feeling a little insulted. In their case they had been providing this services for several years now. They'd always provided exactly what they said they would provide, and followed all the rules and guidelines given to them. This signing of a 'contract' to them implied that their word was no longer trusted. I could see why they were feeling like they were, to be honest.

.....It'll be interesting to see how this policy works out for Autumn War. I could see a 'contract' being implemented if these people were being paid for their services. Or if they were borrowing specialized or valuable equipment. But for an event that is staffed by volunteers? In support of an event that is catering to those same volunteers? I could really see that turning people away from volunteering all together. And not just because they feel insulted. I could see people reluctant from volunteering based on the simple fact that they would not want the added 'responsibility' implied in a contract.

.....My guess is that this is stemming from others who have made promises in the past but have not lived up to them. But that is inherent in a Volunteer Organization. It's the nature of 'Real Life' versus 'Hobby Life' and all the conflicts between (no matter how you define them).

.....This resembles a Renaissance Faire attitude actually. I'm curious if the inspiration for this came from that direction. At Renaissance Faires I've seen, the performers sign a contract and are paid for their services. Doesn't necessarily mean in a monetary sense as it could be camping or board. That would be a radical shift for the SCA, more in a 'pay to play' direction. It might be the answer to a lot of financial woes. But it certainly goes against some of the very basic tenets of the SCA.

.....Fragment The Second: There is a push happening for a Baronial Gathering on Saturday evening of June Faire. TBT and I are really conflicted on how this should work. The King and Queen will be holding Court that evening, and it will be long. There is at least one Peerage Ceremony of which I know is happening, and maybe another. TBT and I are also planning our own Court sometime in that time frame. So, by the time all is said and done, it will most likely be 8PM or so before we are all drifting back to our camps. We will have urged everyone to have made arrangements for dinner to happen before or during Court (due to a long and physically demanding day), so setting up a Baronial Pot-Luck for the evening seems like a non-starter. At dusk there is a Fire Show tentatively scheduled, and it is always well attended, so I'm not sure that scheduling a Bardic Gathering for that time seems problematic as well. So that really leaves a Bardic Gathering for later in the evening. TBT and I will be exhausted by then. We'll make a presence, but it will not exactly be an active presence.

.....I'm scouting about for ideas on where to take this. A gathering is important as it helps group unity. We like to promote Dragon's Laire as a family, or at least a group of good friends who work together. We should do something. Maybe we could have someone else sponsor a Bardic of some type that we also attend. We'll have to talk about this more and see what ideas come up.

.....Fragment The Third: We finally mitigated the last concerns with the September Crown site this week! Huzzah! The third site owner is no longer in the picture as the Port of Bremerton now officially controls that land. We met with the Port of Bremerton director on Monday to walk over the area and we were given everything we wanted. They want a contract, and to be named on the site insurance certificate. But they will not require a payment at all. Which is great!

.....Looks like they are also going to mow and brush-cut the site for us as well. Fantastic! This will save us a goodly number of dollars. Those dollars will probably go towards paying on the metered water to site. But it'll balance out in the end. The Port of Bremerton folks were also helpful in advice for traffic patterns and other ideas we might implement for the site. I'm starting to get excited. This weekend, the Parking Coordinator, the RV Coordinator, and I will walk over the area and come up with a plan we like.

.....September Crown planning meeting set up for May 2nd. We'll put together our overarching Planning Timetable for the rest of the summer. We have to be careful to not take any momentum away from June Faire. But there are a large number of things that could be done 'under the radar' between now and mid June.

.....Fragment The Fourth: This summer looks extremely scary. Starting with May Crown all the way through to Last Chance sometime in September. If there is not an event on the weekend itself, there is a Serjeantry Testing session the immediate Monday following each weekend. I thought we might be able to day trip to May Faire and Honey Way. But I just don't see how we're going to be able to do it. An Tir / West War is totally off of the table at this point.

.....Next year should be a little better. We'll have a pool of Serjeants who can lead the testing cycle. We'll be fine-tuning the requirements and trying to get them into a final form that is actually publishable. Although I'm still hopeful to make that happen this year. There are people who want to follow the Trials by following along with the written requirements. Which is actually a good way to audit the system in preparation of making a run for it themselves. My goal is to take each section bite-by-bite this summer as each test is completed and make adjustments right then, while it is fresh in everyone's minds. Then, after the Trials are complete in August, we'll be able to publish the final summary.

.....This August / September will be the worst. Picnic the first weekend. Huntsman's Challenge the second. Serjeantry Trials the third. One free weekend to prepare for September Crown. Then September Crown itself. We'll have one free weekend off after that, then the Last Chance Marshallate Championships will take place. It's somewhat exhilarating, but just thinking about it is tiring me out. :-)

.....Fragment The Fifth: One of the things that has defined our tenure are the messages to the e-list basically thanking and recognizing everyone for their efforts on behalf of the Barony. It is a small token, but one that seems to be appreciated by some. Others roll their eyes and hit the delete key every time they see one of them. :-) For which I understand and hold no animosity. They are huge masses of words to read through. But it has been good training in the art of putting out meaningful words by the gross. It has actually helped at work as well. Over the past six months I've been writing up awards recommendations and articles on what the Shipyard Team has been doing in support of the overall mission. Every one of those write-ups has garnered attention and achieved whatever goal was sought. Every one of the awards recommendations ended up as a winner. Every write-up I've done has been taken almost word-for-word and put into the Shipyard newsletter. It's been rather cool to watch.

.....Now, if I could shift that style over to Science Fiction / Fantasy, it would be outstandingly cool! I'd change careers in a heart-beat and just write for a living. Editing has never been my strong suit though. There would still be much to learn before I could get to that point. Starting with focus and the ability to stick to one thing through to completion. That's a very difficult one for me. :-)

.....Now it's time for the weekend. Many things on the 'to-do' list. But sleeping in for an extra hour or so each day certainly makes up for it. :-)

.....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.

At Work.

Mar. 13th, 2012 04:59 pm
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.....On the pier near my office today there was a group of Shop 64 Shipwrights and Insulators working on the side of a submarine. The weather was rough today and they worked through it all. The sideways rain, the wind, the pellets of ice, the snow, and even the occasional bits of sunshine that filtered through.

.....It was not difficult to remember back some fifteen years or so ago when I was one of them on the side of a submarine at the pier. The rain would be driving in sideways at just above freezing. It didn't seem to matter how well you bundled yourself, you could still look forward to being soaked to the bone in a couple of hours.

.....I was a lot younger and much less of a wimp then. It wasn't such a big deal to come inside the work hangout and warm up for a few moments before going back out into it. But age has definitely turned me into a weather wimp. :-) A couple of hours of that these days and I'd whine like crazy. :-)

.....My office companions have definitely proven just how weird they are. I went away for a meeting in the morning and when I had made it back to my desk just before lunch I found this hanging off of my monitor:

.....It's not like I've never heard the joke before. But the picture was just a little creepy. :-) Although it could be that I was never a fan of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. Mom says that I would never sit still and watch it. I always thought it boring. Now, if it had been 'Professor Tolkien's Neighborhood', that might have been a whole different story. :-)

.....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.


Feb. 28th, 2012 04:50 pm
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.....The Enhanced Drivers License arrived in the mail today. That is eleven calendar days after applying for it. That's rather quick. I shall put away the passport and use it to get across the border this weekend.

.....Although I have to say that I do not photograph well. That squinting at the camera while laughing made me like like I was not all together there. Add in the flushed face and I could have been at the local pub getting my picture taken after my seventh or eighth beer. :-) Oh, well, it'll have to do.

.....It keeps trying to snow. It's looking pretty steady at the moment actually. The latest forecasts call for a warm up slightly by the weekend, so I'm crossing my fingers. I'm aiming to take I-90 over Snoqualamie and then head north at Cle Elum and Wenatchee. We'll be in Florence, the Wonder Van. But Madrun has chains for her, so we should be all right if the worst should happen.

.....Need to finish reading through all the documentation. I'm actually going to enjoy my judging as the documentation I'm reading through is extremely thorough and very interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing all of these items presented. Looks like a good year for KAS / KBC.

.....Actually, I'm more worried about travel to the Social tonight, Fight Practice tomorrow night, and then Business Meeting on Thursday night. Hope that people drive safe.

.....Wish I could skip on Thursday to finish packing. But that probably would not look very good. :-)

.....I'd take Thursday off of work if I could, but our NAVSEA sponsors are visiting us next week for a Program Review meeting. NMCI picked this week to have a systems meltdown. Access to our files and folders would turn off and on like demented Christmas Tree lights all day today. I managed to somehow finish the formal agenda. Still need to finish the Powerpoint Presentation though. Only two days left and a lot of information to gather. Sigh!

.....Have to remember to pack the Heraldry tonight. Someone wanted a consultation. Although Ian also e-mailed the list and said he'd be there. If the snow doesn't keep him home, and he does indeed show up, I think I'll push the client in his direction. Although I need to keep an eye on that so Ian doesn't overwhelm them with his ideas of what is right. He pretty much knows his stuff though.

.....Loading the car with a box of cobblers gear as well that Sir Fiach gave us over the weekend at Madrone's Arts & Sciences Championship. Looks like a show anvil and a bunch of shoe blanks in various mens and womens sizes. Pernell is a leather worker who specializes in shoes and so might be able to tell us if these will be useful to the hobbiest's around here.

.....Might want to get started with loading the car now. The falling snow is looking rather intense. I think I'll go and check the weather report again.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Nicol Williamson, well known as Merlin in 'Excalibur' of the '80's died this last week. Rather sad. The movie was a total cheese-fest, but his Merlin was rather cool.

.....It has been an interesting week at work. Admiral McCoy, NAVSEA 00, our ultimate Boss, is on site tomorrow at Bangor's Delta Pier to preside over an awards ceremony in honour of the recent completion of a submarine availability. A number of members of our Team will be a part of the Ceremony, which is cool. But the intensity of the preparations have been incredible! Every day this week I've been called and e-mailed and asked dozens of questions about who will actually be present, what Shops they represent, how they are going to get out to Bangor. There have even been subtle statements along the lines of making sure they look nice for the ceremony (i.e. go and ensure a bath has been taken :-)).

.....The presentation I wrote was scrutinized in every possible direction. The Admiral is not going to read it at all, he is merely going to recite names and shake hands. But the fact that he MIGHT read the presentation made the Awards Committee angst mightily over every single word I wrote. I think that if they had realized up front that there would be a chance of being read they might have insisted someone else actually write the words. :-) But in the end what I wrote was declared 'acceptable'. :-)

.....As amusing as all this has been, I'll be glad when it is all over tomorrow. Everything else has been put on the back burner so we could prepare for this, so there will be a backlog on which to catch up next week.

.....On Tuesday evening I had a meeting at the Social to formally present the Norseland Site as our new September Crown site. It went over relatively well. Some are excited with the prospects of a new event site in Kitsap County. Some are concerned with the site's shortcomings. I'm in the middle, but moving over to the excited side. The steep hillsides make me nervous, as well as the overall roughness of the site. But the prospects of working with a clean canvas are exciting in themselves. The location is nice and relatively central. The fact that we get to 'test drive' the site with an event OTHER than June Faire is nice. The views of the Olympics are really nice. Besides, it is time to start moving forward. Past time actually. So let's make it work.

.....The thing that the Tuesday meeting did do for me was to remind me about the good things of working with a dynamic team, especially a DRAGON'S LAIRE Team. :-) Good ideas started racking up almost immediately. THL Barnet, in rapid fire succession, gave me three fantastic ideas on how to open up more territory for camping by new possibilities on parking the cars off-site. He also proposed some good ideas on easy ways to clear and grade a couple of areas to give us a great return on camping territory. Others had good ideas on lay-out and traffic patterns and other good ideas. The synergy was a great feeling. Made me wish I had done this in December, even while I was still trying to make the Clallam County Fairgrounds to work.

.....The site walk-through is the day after Candlemas. I'll have to make sure I schedule a follow-up meeting as soon as possible in February and try to build on the new momentum being created.

.....This Saturday is Ursulmas. We have space reserved for Dragon's Laire around the Erics. TBT and I are traveling with Madrun and Tsuruko. Looks like we're not going to be able to get to site until around 9AM on Saturday morning. At least three people though have volunteered to capture our reserved space and defend it as needed until we get there. The weather for the day looks a little wet, but snow is not forecast, so I'm thankful.

.....Next Saturday is Candlemas. I'm actually looking forward to witnessing the competitions. And the new format.

.....Then the declarations of Serjeantry will be presented at Evening Court. I'm still overwhelmed as it looks like almost a dozen people have stated their intentions to submit letters. This thing keeps getting better and better. I hope that it brings to the participants the same excitement it is bringing to TBT and myself.

.....Dame Ellen is working hard at organizing the handbook as well. It is going to look so much better this year than it did last year. At the very least it is going to be much more cohesive, especially with a lot of the lessons we learned from last year that are now incorporated. Dame Ellen has some homework for us to finish this weekend so we'll be able to pass something out at Candlemas as promised.

.....Note to myself, need to send out e-mails for the Serjeantry history paragraphs I'd like to get added to the Manual. Must remember to contact Master Ralg. Her Excellency Melissa as well. She is a little busy right now, but she has still promised me SOMETHING at some point. So I'll keep asking, just have to remember not to push too hard.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Psst, don't tell anyone. But Project Runway All Stars premiers tonight (thanks for the reminder, Anne :-)). I know it isn't exactly a very masculine thing to like to watch, but for some strange reason I'm kind of addicted to the show. :-) I should be grateful that Live Journal seems to be primarily populated, and commented upon, by women. I hope Mondo walks away with the prize myself. :-)

.....What this means is that I've got to stop lounging about in front of the computer and get my ass in gear at packing for the weekend. It's going to be tougher than normal since we have limited space inside our Chariot, Florence Radcliff. I'm going to see if I can get everything I can stand with into two 'stuff' bags. Then sneak in a computer bag and my day-pack for 'small' items. :-)

.....It was a near thing getting Friday off from work. Things are gearing up rapidly towards a point in late January where we're going to be assigned three Projects to finish, but only enough people and funding to do two of them. There will be lots of headaches on that one. FY'12 is only one quarter done and we're already at a funding level reduced from last year. Which itself was reduced from the previous year. And we're being told to brace ourselves as the fiscal belt tightening is just getting started. What an amazing thing to witness, this fight for funding.

.....MapQuest is telling me that the drive is supposed to take six hours and sixteen minutes. We're going to take the 8:45 AM Seattle Ferry, thereby missing most of the morning rush hour. Snoqualamie Pass looks pretty clear in the DOT cameras. So, even taking into account a lunch hour, I'm thinking that we'll be at the site at around 5PM.

.....Gotta remember to plug in the phone, the iPod Touch and the camera battery tonight as well. I have my Pelican notes packed. My September Crown stuff packed. My meeting times, places and agendas for the weekend packed. We're going to get munchies for the Friday night Social once we get into Couer d'Alene, so I don't have to worry on that score.

.....Now I just have to decide on what, if any, extras to bring with me to stay busy during the slower parts of the weekend.

.....Damn, the duffle bags are packed away in Lobelia. I guess the 'stuff' bags really will be stuff bags. Oh, well, it'll be a good lesson for me in learning how to think lean.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....The 'Super Sekrit' Project that TBT is working is pretty awesome. I can't say any more as I was sworn to secrecy. But I was definitely impressed. But, really, is there anything that TBT CAN'T do with flair and brilliance and beauty? :-)

.....It did not take long at all for life to speed up epically after the holidays! I was informed today that NAVSEA is going to perform a material audit of one of my jobs of FY'11 next March. A preliminary look has already been done and I'm already answering about a million questions. It's going to be a busy three months at work!

.....Then there is a two week trip to Norfolk to fit in there at some point. I'm trying to maneuver it so that it happens AFTER Candlemas in February.

.....Almost ready to make the long drive to Twelfth Night on Friday. Sharing a ride with TBT, Madrun, Gwen and Tsuruko. We'll keep each other awake if nothing else. :-) Hoping for an early start on Friday. It'll be a severe lesson on packing light.

.....Need two sets of clothes (modern) and two sets of garb. Need the circlets and the cloaks and the 'bling'. Need the door 'banner' and want to bring the camera. Would also like to bring the lap top.

.....Friday is a Baronial gathering in our room. We're leaving the ice chest at home to save space, so we'll have to shop for snacks in Coeur d'Alene. Will need some plates and serving utensils as well.

.....Pelican meeting on Saturday morning. My agenda and supporting material will be printed out tomorrow at work. I'd like to go to the Seneschal Meeting later in the day. I'd also like to touch base with Master Ljotr again. I'm looking forward to seeing him as Kingdom Seneschal again. :-)

.....Nothing needed for Court except for something to keep my hands busy. Might be a good time to have TBT teach me how to knit. I've been asking her to teach me for a while, but we've never had the chance.

.....Kingdom Rapier Tourney on Saturday night. Dragon's Laire has at least three participants. We need to remember to bring tokens, any leftover munchies we have, and some bottled water to support our fighters.

.....Also would love to hit Her Excellency Elisabeth's room. They are having a Madrone, and guests, gathering in her rooms. :-)

.....Sunday morning at 0900 is the Financial Committee Meeting. Would like to discuss the Regional Feast and get a ruling. No matter what that ruling is we'll at least be able to finally move forward with the concept at that point. I know that Renart is getting antsy and would like to start seriously planning. Can't blame him. So this will at least be a decision point.

.....Also need to update the budget for September Crown. We've had some changes forced on us that exceed our 10% overage. Sigh! But the changes will ultimately be for the better.

.....Then it will be time for the long drive home. With Ursulmas and Candlemas approaching quickly on the horizon. Seriously need to sit down and generate a comprehensive 'to-do' list. There are a lot of things that need to be done soon and I'm losing track of some of them. Can't let that happen.

.....Now I'm really tired. Time for bed. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius
arontius: (Default)
.....Attended a meeting at the Shipyard which bodes well for the U.S. Economy at large.

.....From about 2008 through 2010, recruiting and retaining engineers for work at the Shipyard was relatively easy. It was one of the few entities actually hiring. When recruiters went to various colleges around the country, engineering students eagerly handed in resumes and applications for the Shipyard. For those years, the number of engineers putting in notices of termination was virtually non-existent.

.....Starting this summer though, there was a marked drop off in the number of engineering students who wanted to sign on to work at the Shipyard. Then starting in October there was a marked rise in the number of notices of impending departures for engineers planning on terminating their service to the Shipyard.

.....Engineering work at the Shipyard is rather boring. The work can be monotonous. The technology, for the most part, tends to lag behind the general industry by a good decade or so (more in some cases). To top it all off, the average pay for an engineer at the Shipyard is below the industry standard, and well below what other similar industries around the Puget Sound are paying engineers of any discipline. It used to be a continual effort to recruit and hire engineers. Even more difficult to keep them here.

.....Departing engineers are excitedly talking about the new and interesting work they are being hired to do around the Country. Locally, even Boeing is hiring engineers aplenty again.

.....The Shipyard is putting together mitigation plans to deal with the drainage of talent. Which could be bad news for the Shipyard, but a good indication that maybe things in the U.S. are headed for better times financially.



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