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.....We're here, I have a Starbuck Vente Sugar Free Vanilla Soy Latte sitting next to me and am enjoying the WiFi as I wait for my 6AM flight to Chicago. The Mid Level Boss was only a little grouchy to have to meet me in the lobby at 3AM, but I was just waiting for him to cross the line before I reminded him that it was his choice to do so. :-) I don't think he will though as it means getting home earlier in the day.

.....I did stay awake for Project Runway last night. I just could not get to sleep for some reason. Even after it was over I sat there and stared at nothing for over an hour and a half before I eventually dozed off. That might actually make it easier to fall asleep on the Chicago - Seattle flight, which is always a good thing.

.....I should investigate for next time the possibility of taking a red eye from Indianapolis towards Seattle. I don't know why I have never thought to look. If I packed up and checked out of the hotel on Thursday morning, I could drive straight to the airport and grab a flight and be home like at midnight in Seattle. Would save me some travel time on Friday. I'll have to check for next time.

.....Am trying not to fret about the weekend or everything on the agenda. There is very little I can do about it from here and the fretting just makes things worse. Everything will work itself out and nothing at this time is an absolute emergency. It just feels like missing the past week at home put me way behind. But that is just me.

.....Looks like a lot of people are staying in hotels for J.C. I think we need to put together the list of local hotels in Kitsap County and start advertising them. Might be good to convince people to not camp on site. Although I'm split down the middle on whether or not to fret on space at S.C. But the bottom line is that it is easier to park cars visiting us for just a day on to Imperial Avenue rather then find the space and pack them in for the weekend. So I'm going to keep pushing the day trip and not camping. I'm very curious to see how Three Mountains packs everyone in for J.C. I have no doubts they can do it, I just want to see how tight it gets. Curiosity from a planners stand point if nothing else. :-)

.....It'll be good to see TBT as well. I fret a little less when I'm in her company. She is my rock. Life would be a lot less fun, or relaxed, without her in it. I've missed her.

.....Think I'll enjoy the rest of my coffee before boarding starts.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It's probably a good thing that we had nothing planned for this weekend, and that it is a three day weekend, because we is sick! TBT is collapsed on the couch downstairs. Asleep, and has been for hours. I thought I was getting better, then the throat starting getting sore again. The ears clogged up again. Yuck! I hope it doesn't get any worse.

.....The line up for KAS / KBC was e-mailed out to everyone last night. I'm up for judging three bardic entries. The titles were more tantalizing teases than any real base to start researching. I hope we see some documentation in the next few days.

.....One is an instrumental for an instrument that could be any number of items in a branch. Just some quick internet searches ended up adding more questions than were solved. I'll definitely have to see the documentation to see the intent.

.....Another was a poem in a rhyming style fairly common in period. So again, it'll have to be the intent of the poem that dictates how it is judged.

.....The third one is rather intriguing in that I believe it is going to be a Latin poem. I am hoping that it'll be performed in Latin. Latin poetry has a nicely lyrical ring to it if done right. And, of course, thinking of the typical liturgical chant usually done in Latin. Although I don't think this one is going to be eclesiastical in nature.

.....But that is all another two weeks away. A lot could change in that time. I might end up judging none of these things. Which would be rather sad. Especially after a really long drive to site! Gotta remember to unearth the passport. I think I know where it is, but need to actually have to put my hands on it.

.....Glad tomorrow is Friday in any case. The past handful of weeks have been somewhat hectic and I'm looking forward to a little down time. I still would like to get a few things done. Namely a working 'to-do' list for the next month or so. We've got some Serjeantry scheduling to do, as well as some decisions to make.

.....Would like to wrap up some things for September Crown. ACCEPS is ready to launch. Just have to review the form and make a few minor tweaks to it. We'll probably be live with pre-registration in a week or so. Would also like to get the Marketplace Application completed as well. Bronwyn has the July Coronation application as a go-by now. She takes off for Disneyland in a week or so, so I'd definitely like to get this squared away soonest. Then we can put it on the September Crown web-site and announce its availability.

.....Madrone A&S Championship next weekend. I think a group of us are going to be there.

.....Would also like to do some house clean up as well this weekend. And maybe take the stuff in Heather to the landfill. After that I think a weekend of sleeping in and generally not doing much more is in order. I've got a huge stack of books next to the bed that are begging to be read. Maybe Sunday or Monday will be spent entirely in bed. :-) Sounds amazingly lazy but fun. :-)

.....One more day of work to do though. I think that it is time for bed.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....The check from the Kingdom Chronicler's Office for the portion of the legal settlement of the SCA is ready for a second signature and I'll have it into the mail this evening. Just because I'm paranoid I'm going to at least get delivery confirmation at the Post Office kiosk after the Social. I'll just be glad that the whole thing is coming to a conclusion. And it looks like everyone is maintaining an air of civility about the entire process. Which probably amazes me the most out of this whole affair. I was really anticipating flame wars and name calling all over the e-lists. But everyone buckled down and went to work. I wish we approached everything in this manner. The things we could accomplish would be wonderful.

.....I'm hoping and hoping that we as an organization have grown up a little from this experience and shaken off a little of our naiveté. The truly despicable things this person did in the East could really have happened anywhere. Vigilance and attention to detail are not always our strong points as a group, but we need to work on those skills. Amongst other things.

.....Enough said by me on that subject I guess.

.....That check hurt though. The accounts of The Crier are the lowest they've been in well over a decade. The 2010 figures used as a starting point were higher than the account levels are today. It's a good thing we're moving to an electronic format. I guess I will not have to worry so much about what to do with all the extra money as there is far less of it now.

.....Sir Rauokinn brought up a good point in her Live Journal, something we struggle with a lot even in our local branch of Dragon's Laire. An Tir is paying over $120,000.00 as their portion of the settlement while the West is paying around $36,000.00. Both of these figures represent 18% of the amount of the total funds held by the Kingdom in 2010 (including all the sub-branches). Good points were brought up. Is the West divesting itself of savings in order to make purchases (land, regalia, etc.)? Is it just more important to those of the West to purchase what they want and need up front rather than save for 'something better' or a 'rainy day'? Do they have their funds invested in ways that are outside the incorporation? I tended to doubt that one at first, until I started thinking about their Kingdom Land Fund (KHTI), which is an entity completely outside the SCA. Out of necessity and legality, funds cannot go back and forth between these two funds sources at all. But it makes a great and independent way to keep money secure.

.....That is merely speculations though. The West may just have a bigger vision in mind in the handling of their funds, or at least a much different perspective. It would be interesting to come together and discuss our different perspectives and trade ideas.

.....In Dragon's Laire we've always been careful to maintain a healthy balance just in case we have a disastrous June Faire one year. That way we'd have the funds available to support ourselves for at least a year to rebuild if possible. In theory the idea is good, but just how much do you keep in reserves. Enough to cover all the rentals and June Faire for a year? Enough for just June Faire? some have advocated that we keep little to no extra funding as we are a not-for-profit organization. I certainly don't agree with that radical of approach. But balancing out all the different viewpoints and desires of the Baronial Populace can be difficult at times, that's for sure. We could, if necessary, go without a meeting hall, rental fight practice site, and storage units. We've done that in the past, but having all this available has certainly made things much easier on us in many ways.

.....The next several months, at least through June Faire, are going to be interesting to watch from a financial standpoint. We really need June Faire to do extra well this year.

.....I need to keep an eye on the September Crown bills as well. If I can hold off on actually paying many of them until after June Faire, that would be good. I don't really want to have to knock on Kingdom's door and ask for funds up front. Just makes the record keeping more difficult.

.....Serjeantry this year could prove as interesting as last year. In 2011 the model was established. Now we have to go through the growing pains. There will be some changes still in the requirements as we find things that do not work well and things that could work better. We've discovered something already this year we want to incorporate for next year. Last year and this year we announced a time and location of when we would accept Letters of Intent for Serjeantry. We solicited for questions. But we did not, at least this year, actively canvas the Populace to see who was going to submit a Letter. The requirements for the Serjeantry are lengthy, and complex in parts. We need to ensure that the potential candidates understand exactly what they are submitting a Letter to do. I would hate for someone to become excited and passionate about becoming a member of the Serjeantry only to find out that it held obligations that they could not in good conscious accomplish.

.....I think what we might start doing next year is establishing a date, prior to Candlemas, where each potential candidate must meet with us by in order to talk about what they want to do and what they understand of the Serjeantry Program. That way maybe we can head off at least some concerns before they become concerns. Then, if the candidate still truly wants to take part, they can go ahead and submit their Letters. I have often thought that the 'out' was the fact that no oaths are given with the Letters of Intent. But really, a Letter is a commitment and pretty close to an Oath in reality. So we may have to noodle on that concept some more.

.....Something that has become 'tradition' for TBT and myself is a letter to the Baronial e-list after major events and happenings that involve members of the Populace. We think that recognition of the good things people do as part of the SCA is one of our primary missions as Baron and Baroness. The giving of awards is one of the great ways of recognizing these people. But you can't give awards to everyone at an event, they become meaningless quickly. People seem to like their names mentioned though, specifically connected to the things they do at any given event or happening. The letters we've been doing seem to be well received. But they keep getting longer and longer. It might be a good thing that Master Ralg has set a size limit to the Baronial e-list. I'm constantly running against that bulkhead these days. :-)

.....I'm just hoping that there aren't just as many people sighing whenever they see my name flash across the e-list on the computer screen. 'Oh, no, here comes another long snoozer of a post.' At what point does 'recognition fatigue' start setting into the people reading the list? I might start posting short posts on the e-list that direct people to longer ones on the Baronial web-site. I wonder if I can get Aelianora's buy-in on that as the Baronial Web-Minister? Hmmm, might be the way to go. I'll have to solicit some input on that one.

.....Time to update the e-list anyway with items I missed from the original Candlemas post. I seem to be rambling anyway, and it is almost time to go to the Tuesday Social.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It was an interesting day today. Started off with a trip to Sequim. We came to the conclusion in December that the Clallam County Fairgrounds just weren't going to be large enough for September Crown. During that time the Druim Doineann Seneschal, Ivan, asked me about another site he'd been checking out just outside Sequim. This was something of a twist for me as I was in the process of moving the event to a site down here in Kitsap County. But because I was so adamant about keeping Druim Doineann involved in the planning, I said that I would take a look at the site and consider it.

.....The Google Maps of it actually looked promising. It was on a bluff overlooking the Dungeness Spit. The fields looked open and groomed. The roads, while slightly narrow, were direct and manageable. Yet, a couple of things still bothered me. There seemed to be a lot of residential houses around this 'Farm'. The comparison of sizes of fields versus lawns versus fenced areas did not bode well for all the promised 'open' area. So I was a little leery, which is why I didn't say a whole lot about it. But I wanted to give it a shot.

.....TBT decided she wanted to ride up with me. She looked a little tired, but wasn't coughing or hacking, so I relented. She went to sleep before we hit the Hood Canal Bridge. I almost decided to turn around at that moment, but instead kept the fan blowing hot air into the car, and tried to just keep things quiet.

.....When we arrived, this is what we saw of the Farm:

.....The wind was fierce and biting! I walked out the area for camping, parking and event site itself and I could pretty easily see it wasn't going to work. It might fit upwards of 500 campers comfortably, but when you hit the 800 to 1,000 number mark, with all of their elaborate encampments, the farm would be quite squeezed in terms of space. September Crown regularly sees a minimum of 800 people, and at least two years ago, it had over 1,200 people register at gate. Even in this time of economic down turn and the relatively remote location, I think we’d see at least 800 people up there and the site would be hard pressed to camp them all.

.....It was a pretty site though, so I kept walking and that was when I met the owner. He met me with something of a tense "what are you doing on my property" expression, but he was polite. He allowed me to explain why I was taking pictures of the place BEFORE he called the police. :-) When he had heard me out, he didn't seem all that eager to play host to a medieval encampment. And when I looked at how close all his neighbors were in reality, with all of their high end vacation-type homes, I could see that they probably wouldn't enjoy it either.

.....Like I said though, it's a pretty site. I hope that Druim Doineann ends up using it for something at some point. I left a little disappointed, but largely relieved. I had half-expected to find some place that would end up being a better alternative then our Norseland site and having to scramble to put a third new bid in place. Now, I can go ahead and move forward with a clear conscience.

.....The drive back was quiet, but intense. Part of the way the rain pelted the car, but when we went above about 500 feet in elevation, the snow pounded the road hard enough to start sticking. I started getting a little worried at that point. But thankfully it changed to strictly rain by the time we hit the Hood Canal Bridge. I went home as quick as I could and TBT went ahead and fell right asleep. Whatever cold has her in its grip is really knocking her around!

.....The other part of the day I was hit by e-mails of Serjeantry. One person asked me for information on what was needed for the Letter of Intent. Another person e-mailed TBT and myself with their intention to submit a Letter at Candlemas. To date, that means one confirmed and completed letter, one intention to submit, and at least three or more others with serious inquiries. I was a little overwhelmed. Serjeantry is something that was a big thing for me in my own personal decision to put my hat in the ring for Baron. It was something of which I spoke passionate volumes with TBT in why it was a good idea for us to submit. Serjeantry Trials in 2011 was better than I thought it might be, and things just seem to be looking even better this year.

.....Everyone looking at entering this year's class is looking at it with a serious eye. No one seems to be making a frivolous decision. I can see real commitment. It's seriously an exciting thing to see.

.....It was a good afternoon for me and TBT. All the foo from the past year of being Baron and Baroness didn't smell nearly as bad as it did just a few months ago. These are the moments I need to remember the next time Joe Bob tells me I'm an idiot for not doing things his way, or Jane Doe tells me I'm unchivalrous for not taking her side over another. A few more of these moments would even convince me to stay beyond three years.

.....Well, maybe not. It would take a couple dozen more to do that. Might as well be honest about it. Being Baron is not a good long term job for introverts like me.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Just read a Psychology Today article on detrimental overuse of multitasking. Definitely something of which I am guilty. I'd probably get more done efficiently if I could learn to concentrate on just one thing to completion. That's really hard though. I've been taught through years of emergent work planning and rescue to concentrate at whatever is screaming the loudest and drop whatever else I might have been doing. Or, as in the SCA, I tend to hang out with people with various forms of ADD. :-) Of, which, I suppose I may have to add myself to that list of names.

.....Here is the start of the article:

"It Works: Doing One Thing at a Time
The Efficiency and Ease of Single-Tasking
Published on January 7, 2012 by Marietta McCarty in Life Saving Philosophy

Recently I spoke at a three-day retreat devoted to the concept of simplicity and how to realize it in the specific circumstances of our individual lives. The desire of these participants mirrors that of countless students and readers to slow down and simplify. As usual, the arch-enemy can be spotted: the frazzled, distracted, cluttered mind. The answer: learn to give undivided attention to the present moment. How: practice the art of concentration. The outlook: hard job, but hopeful, ever-hopeful.

Isn't it interesting that we must work so hard to get down to the here and now? More interesting still, we do it to ourselves, taking on too much, growing increasingly anxious at getting it all done, restless nights ending frenzied days. But if we practice concentrating, we can be busy, focused, and efficient. Best of all, we can breathe and relax. Not one weekend seeker of simplicity denied that she could make these changes with determined effort. Almost all wondered if they had the discipline to cultivate good focus and stay with the effort for a lifetime. All realized that acquiring an undivided mind is work without end."

.....We did manage to make it out for a Starbucks run yesterday. Although it was late for us. By the time we made it back home it was almost noon. I read for a while and played around on the computer, and other things that allowed me to procrastinate and not get things done.

.....After lunch at Sizzlers and a stop at Madrun's to pick up blue dye, I worked at finishing up the banner. It is all painted now. Looks a little garish. The pithon and feathers were Or and Argent anyway, with some red thrown in for the Dragon's Laire badge. I was a little less successful with an off-red tint to the Baronial Populace Badge as it turned out orange more than anything else. But I'm not going to mess with it. Then, finally, a blue background in the final two-thirds of it. Really does like like a child's finger-painting session. But I'm relatively pleased with it. The colors are rather vibrant.

.....It dried overnight and as soon as I can get on to TBT's schedule, she promised to surge the ends nice and straight for me and create a pole loop for it. I need to make sure the first banner is available for this as well when it happens. Then it will be time to set the dye. I will have to find a steamer to borrow, which is the one disadvantage to working with the dyes rather than the paints from the first round. With the silk paints, I could iron the silk to set the colors.

.....Already thinking about the next banner and have ideas on how I want to work on it, as well as designs. Will try the hoop method, although I can see issues with it already. But if it allows me to straighten out the lines of gutta and make it look more 'professional' overall, I think the extra effort of working section-by-section will be worth it. We'll see.

.....Need to buy some more silk though. I may experiment with a different silk this time as well to see if we can get better results from something that is just a little less filmy, with a little more body to it. Hmmm.

.....Also picked up a set of knitting needles from TBT yesterday, who showed me how to knot in the round. It was far easier than I expected it to be. Maybe I've finally found something that will occupy my hands during long meetings. :-) Still want to learn to naalbind, but one thing at a time. :-)

.....Gotta get some cleaning done on the house today. At least the kitchen and the cat boxes. There are some e-mails that need to go out. The Pelican Notes and meetings to finish up. Maybe even a circlet or two. Need to figure out what I really want to get done first.

.....Need to also arrange for a meeting place to hold next Friday's September Crown meeting. This needs to be the priority actually as several have asked that maybe we find someplace that will allow us to order a beer or glass of wine. :-) I'm sure we can find a meeting room locally somewhere.

.....Would like to get The Crier Doomsday Report going before too much longer, but some of the crucial information is on a hard drive that all-of-a-sudden became essentially obsolete with the last update of Window. Amazing how fast technology moves these days, as well as how fast things become no longer useable. Talon said he might be able to help. I hope so. There was a lot of information stored there.

.....There is a light dusting of snow on the ground here. It doesn't look bad on the roads at all, but is still making me reluctant to go anywhere far today. Ivan wanted to check out a large parcel of land in Sequim and I had kind of thought of doing that today, but may hold off on that. Maybe we'll see how things look around Noon.

.....Time for a shower. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....We're in the final five weeks of the final Project at work. It's been a long, hard slog this summer. Everything that could go wrong has definitely gone wrong. The bad part being that everything that has gone wrong was predicted and management warned last winter, with the results being to basically 'Live With It'. Well, we're doing our best to live through it, one day at a time. I can't wait for October to arrive. I'm looking forward to a couple of weeks of reduced stress.

.....But only two more weekends of heightened alert for the SCA. September Crown and Last Chance. We may just make it with our sanity intact. But I wouldn't play the odds on this one just yet. :-)

.....One big victory today though. Heather was resurrected!!! I gave her a bath yesterday and cleaned up inside, all the while thinking that I was cleaning her up for a funeral. I called AAA this morning and we had her towed to Firestone in Silverdale. They had a heck of a time removing the battery. Les Schwab had done something interesting in putting in the battery last time. But once they replaced the battery? Heather started right up. OMG!!! It's a heavy duty battery, and they fixed the mount, and things were looking up. Because Heather had sat in the driveway for several months, the engine needed a little help, but that didn't take much effort. They still need to find the short in the door mechanisms that keeps the light on even when the doors are closed, but that should be an easy find on the scope tomorrow.

.....I am surprised, and rather pleased. Heather has been a good car, even after all the SCA abuse inflicted on her. I've really missed having a van over the past year as well. We've had things to haul, SCA events to attend, and everything has been harder without a van. I'm glad she's back.

.....So, Wednesday will be all about pulling things out of the garage to start the load up for September Crown. Thursday will be the September Business Meeting. Friday will be final load-up in the morning, on site by early afternoon. It should be a good weekend. :-)

.....Lots of things to do this week in preparation. This is the short list. It's going to grow fast:

* Tuesday Fight Practice. Must talk to Oliver about the June Faire Board selection.
- Scan picture for 'The Flames'.
- Finish and publish Pelican notes.

* Wednesday - Start Packing Heather:
- Round Pavilion
- Awning
- Bed (Includes mattress from Lobelia, blankets, and pillows).
- Banners and Poles (Don't forget Baronial Banners).
- Baronial Pavilion.

* Thursday - September Business Meeting:
- Need Baron and Baroness Letter
@ Talk about Last Chance and Championships
@ Picnic Feast
@ Ask for help on Scribal Activities
- Request funds for prizes
- Reminders about September Crown Baronial Plans (Bardic Fire & Wood for Fire; Baronial Breakfast).

* Friday - September Crown Starts:
- Need Potluck Contribution for Sunday night.
- Need bacon and bread-stuff for communal kitchen.
- Need to prepare Pelican stuff.
- Do I need to give a report for September Crown 2012? Must ask Brighid.
- Pull together financial information for 'The Crier' for discussion with Godith.

.....The list for Last Chance will be rather longish as well. But final decisions are being made. Am anxious to get more information put out on the lists as quickly as possible. One thing at a time.

.....Now I've gone and put myself to sleep. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.

A New Day.

Aug. 9th, 2011 04:55 pm
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.....Yesterday marked a small milestone of sorts. Almost three months of torture wrapped up in the space of a two hour meeting. The beatings lasted until the very last minute, with follow-on penance actions committed to on paper. But today I feel as if a heavy burden that I hadn't even realized was hanging there had been lifted.

.....But if I were asked if a lesson had been learned by me, I would emphatically say 'YES' and that I'll never perform the same error again in the future. Back in May, on Friday the 13th as a matter of fact, I pushed through a work agreement for the Project on which I'm currently the Planning Manager. It was the Friday before the entire thing was due to start on Monday. People had waited until literally the last minute before providing me updates to the agreement. I accepted a number of these updates without doing any second guessing or research on them. Which was my undoing!

.....On Monday the 16th the NAVSEA regulators had reviewed said work agreement, of which I had literally shoved through the signature cycle, and thrown a red flag. I had assigned work without getting the proper authorizations. Everything unraveled at that point. There were countless meetings where my process was investigated under a microscope and every single step along the way discussed in excruciating detail. I was flogged on many occasions.

.....But, in the end? What was being found was that I was doing a better job at living to the actual written requirements than many of my colleagues in other Projects. The final meeting was yesterday, and it drug out past the two hour mark. Lasted until after work. The offices outside of the Conference Room had even shut down the lighting for the evening by the time we exited. But I survived. I went home and felt a lot better than I usually did for a Monday.

.....So now it is time to put the issue aside and get caught up with things. It was amazing how much time and energy has been spent in responding to the issue. The inbox on the desk is overflowing. But this year seems to be the year of learning how best to catch up with thing on which your falling behind, both at work and the SCA.

.....I have learned so much this year in the SCA! I'm just not sure my brain has the capacity for all of it. :-) Next year will be so much better than this year. In some ways I'll at least have an idea of what to expect from various situations and from various people.

.....It's been amazing what I've learned about people this year. Some people have amazed me with what they can accomplish. Their capacity for doing good things under the radar and not wanting to be noticed. Other people have surprised me in their capacity for doing what is best for themselves before, or even caring about, what is best for the organization. In all of these cases I wouldn't have predicted the outcome correctly either. People can have a truly pleasant exterior and a rotten heart. Others can come across as totally bitter and self-centered, and be truly giving and angelic at heart. I'm 44 and still naive about people in a lot of ways. Which I take as a good thing actually. I still think of most people as essentially good, until they prove otherwise to me. I prefer to keep that attitude if I can.

.....Serjeantry is proving to be a real challenge! Every day throws out a new crisis of judgment and decision. We've managed to work our way through all the issues so far. But there will be many more along the way I'm sure. I just feel a little sorry for this first class of candidates as they have to live through the initial growing pains. But I've been incredibly impressed with their ability to roll with the issues. Their inquisitiveness and willingness to try new things has been a joy to watch. My one really big worry now is that on the day of the Trials, if TBT and I have to look at one or more of them and say 'I'm sorry, but you need to start again next year', it will be one of the hardest things I will have ever had to do. I'll have to lean hard on TBT for help on that one. She is a lot more pragmatic than I am, but it isn't going to be easy for her either. Having watched the struggle of these good people for a span of six months, just to tell them 'No'. I'm just hoping, hoping, hoping for the best.

.....If we can make it through this summer of madness, TBT and I will have to hit the road hard to line up judges for the Trials themselves. Madrun was telling me about a Serjeantry meeting they had at her house last night with Master Ralg and Dame Ellen in attendance, which reminded me that TBT and I need to talk to them about getting involved. We have some plans for them, if they are willing. Just haven't had the time to corner them and talk. There are some others we need to snag as well.

.....Finally set up the September Crown / Team Haggis III e-list. We're off and running! Need to set up our first formal meeting for sometime in the next four weeks. Then schedule a walk-through sometime in September. Many of the major roles are filled, but there are still a few I'm really anxious to fill. The biggest being a Gate Coordinator. I really want one on board now to start establishing the rules of the gate, as well as to start scouting out groups to volunteer shifts and / or days. If they can get started now on the commitments, it could be easy by the time next September rolls around. Have someone on board for pre-registration. If we can get that set up early and push it hard, gate could end up being a real breeze.

.....The other big role to fill on my list is a Marshallate Coordinator. We've been discussing the addition of this role to the June Faire Board and I'm really liking the concept as we have discussed. This is a single Point-Of-Contact who can coordinate the schedules of all marshallate activities. They would also help coordinate the space needed, the help needed (i.e. lists, heralds, etc.), the infrastructure needed (i.e. hay bales, eric ropes, etc.). They wouldn't do the work per se, just ensure it got done. It's actually a largish job, and could become very important and needed, and I'd like to see it happen for Team Haggis III.

.....This month is still extremely full. This weekend was supposed to be Autumn War, but a Shipyard function is happening Saturday that I'm committed to attending. Which pretty much wrecks the weekend. I'm going to try for Friday as there is a Youth Combat function at Autumn War and I REALLY want to support Myrick in it. But it is a severe lesson learned about over commitments. Need to take this as a lesson for the future about not committing to things before you know for sure, if at all possible.

.....The weekend of August 20th is Sport-Of-Kings. I know I'm going to be there on Saturday. The details are whether this is a day-trip on Saturday? Or show up early Saturday and stay until Sunday morning? Or just drive there after work on Friday and stay until Sunday morning. I have good friends as several have already offered tent space.

.....The weekend of August 27th is Tir Righ Investiture. I'm headed up there to see Mistress Lenora sitting on the Storm Thrones of Tir Righ! She is a super nice person and Tir Righ is headed for a golden era of chivalry for the next tenure. It will be wonderful to witness in person. :-)

.....Then September Crown. THL Mateusz is in charge of the Baronial Encampment. I've already given him the measurements for TBT and myself. We have about half of our camping equipment put together due to preparations for the picnic. So it will not take a whole lot of effort to finish thankfully. :-)

.....Oooo, that reminds me, I've got a couple of things to grab from Lobelia before Fight Practice. Must run now....

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Well, I'm sitting at Gate A7 at SeaTac Airport. Waiting for a flight that leaves at 11:25PM for Dallas - Fort Worth. Will, hopefully, end up in Indianapolis at about 8:00AM on Monday morning. :-) Once again it's off on an adventure to the wild jungles of Crane, Indiana, to listen to a group of people discuss the triumphs and challenges of installing and maintaining batteries aboard submarines. :-)

.....Actually, it looks like it may be a little exciting this time. Lots going on in the battery world these days. Not entirely sure if it is going to last just the week, or stretch into two. We've been told to prepare for the eventuality. But if things go my way, I'll still be able to bask in the glowing intelligence of Mistress Callista and Sir Donnan. :-) We'll hope for the best.

.....It has been almost a non-stop rollar coaster ride since about KAS / KBC. From there it was a trip to NORWESCON and then the uphill slog through May Crown to June Faire. Even after that we went to Lionhearts last weekend and were slated to go to Honey War this weekend. At least for a day trip. But on Friday I looked at the piles of armor pieces stationed at various locations around the garage and finally had to admit defeat. There were just too many repairs to be made in order to get the armor operable again.

.....I went into TBT's room to say that I would be happy to cheer her on from the sidelines. We started talking about everything we needed to get done before I left on my trip on Sunday and we finally decided that we needed to stay home. It was a tough decision, and I felt guilty all weekend long. But as I sit here in the airport I feel much happier than I would have felt scrambling around all day today trying to get everything done in order to take off. I'll take the guilt if it helps preserve the relief.

.....Although the guilt pangs hard at times. From the sounds of things, Dragon's Laire really rocked the event hard! Took home several major prizes and awards and helped Blatha An Oir rule the day! I do feel a little sorry for Johann and Francisca. A little. :-)

.....Even managed to get the notes done from our Regional Pelican Meeting in May as well as the agenda for the meeting that is set to happen this Thursday. I think this will be the first one I've missed since I became a Pelican. I think. But things are rolling rather well at the moment, so I don't anticipate any surprises. I certainly don't think I'll be missed, which is a good thing.

.....Finally heard back from the Clallam County Fairgrounds folks this weekend. We are getting everything we asked for, including several buildings, the entire arena, and all the open lands, for $1,350. Wow! I wish we could get that kind of deal in Kitsap County! So now I just have to finalize the costs of a handful of biffies and get the trash issue squared away, and I'll have the bid for September Crown, 2012, ready to fly! Only thing really flapping in the breeze at the moment is the official acknowledgement from Druim Doineann that it is O.K. to hold the event in their lands. I already have a verbal from their Seneschal, Ivan, that we can go ahead. Just need to get it in writing. Wish we could have been able to do this with Princess Lenora of Tir Righ in attendance. :-)

.....Had a good talk with Brumbar this weekend. He is building himself another suit of armor and volunteered to help repair mine. Is is a magician at armor making and we'll get it all repaired in no time. I think we'll even be able to get TBT into something adequate. Just in conversation it is looking like we might be able to field something by Autumn War. At least that is the goal.

.....Looking on the horizon, the schedule is not as intense as the run up to June Faire. But there are still a lot of things to plan. July Coronation will be here before we know it. Looks like we'll have about twenty or so merchants in the Marketplace. Which should be easy to map out. Gwenllyn can't be on site until later on Friday, so it looks like it will be myself, TBT and Madrun doing the lay-out. But with only twenty merchants, and the main roads already laid out, things should go fairly quickly. I do NOT miss the days of June Faire when we fielded upwards of eighty merchants. With all the duplication of merchandice, it just doesn't make sense to have that many. Unless, I suppose, you're worried about mark-up. Hmmmm....

.....We'll be in Lobelia for J.C. weekend. We'll have the Rhys Monster with us. Camping and the Rhys Monster do not a fit make. But we finally broke down and decided that we weren't taking Lobelia out enough. We need to start talking it up for a Dragon's Laire encampment. We'll need to find a camp wrangler sooner rather than later. Already have space reserved on the Eric for the Baronial.

.....First weekend of August is our Summer Bardic and Picnic. Some interesting plans are in the roaster now. I keep emphasizing that we want to keep this low key and non-stress. It is just a leisurely picnic and community camp out. Although I'm liking the Arts and Sciences ideas, and the bardic fighting tourney ideas. Some good ideas in the offering. I am really looking forward to a good bardic fire. Wish we could do a pit firing, but I doubt that OPG would like that a whole lot. :-)

.....Then Autumn War right after Summer Bardic. We weren't planning on camping at Autumn War, but if TBT and I are in armor that might change the dynamics a bit. But I think I'm still in favor of a day trip adventure. We have a little time before we have to make up our minds on that one.

.....September Crown down in Chehalis. Already slated as a camping adventure. We'll need to find a Camp Wrangler for this one as well.

.....Then Last Chance the weekend after. Wow! The events really stack on top of each other! At least this one is close to home. Just a couple of blocks away at Silver Spurs.

.....Freakin' busy summer! Think I'll go and check my e-mail and see if anyone posted results from Honey War. I saw something from Baroness Elspeth, but am hoping for more. :-)

.....Wish that TBT were going with me. I think she'd have as much fun traveling as I do.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Then I had better hurry up and get my 'to-do' list done! I don't think that I'll have time after the Rapture. :-) I guess the world is supposed to end a little sooner than 2012. There is a group of people traveling across the country with the warning that the world is going to end on May 21, 2011. Which is grossly unfair, TWO DAYS BEFORE MY BIRTHDAY AND TWELVE DAYS BEFORE JUNE FAIRE!!! At the very least you'd think that heaven could wait just a few more days? :-)

.....At least you should catch the road-show:

.....Lots of things on the 'to-do' list. Which is funny. You'd think that the top five would all involve KAS / KBC. But that event is being so efficiently run by THL Oliver and Dame Ellen that I feel like a fraud being the Baronial 'host' for the festivities. :-) I arranged to take Friday off from work so I could help out, but looks like it might be a fairly relaxing day. I did promise to set up the Baronial Pavilion for use as Dame Gwenllyn's Portable Pottery Studio. But that'll take all of thirty minutes to do.

.....We have a room reserved at the hotel, but TBT never intended on actually sleeping there with Rhys being at home alone. I am going down the list of people involved with KAS / KBC and finding that most of the Baronial Populace is going home each night as well. SBH could be a lonely place after hours. I'm starting to seriously vacillate on whether or not to even keep the room. Especially since Oliver arranged to have one of the meeting rooms available as a Baronial Common Space. Need to make a decision by Tuesday.

.....Have the silk banner on the frame. TBT put down the first few lines. I want to take at least an hour a couple of nights this week and keep working on it. The goal is to have personal banners ready to fly at May Crown. Eric space has been reserved. Now just need to figure out how to get the Baronial Pavilion there and how we want it set up. Need to also make arrangements for a Camp Coordinator to start putting together a Baronial Encampment. A couple of people have sort of volunteered. Will need to get that moving.

.....Started passing out the Marketplace Application for July Coronation. Need to get it posted to the J.C. web-site, the An Tir Merchant's YahooGroups page, and then out to the general populace. Should go fairly quickly. Now we just need to get to the site to take pictures and measurements of the Marketplace. Am tentatively thinking of April 9th in the morning before we go to the Madrone Banquet.

.....Populace site walk-through for June Faire on March 16th (Wednesday) at 6PM. TBT and I will give a guided tour of how things are going to look for June Faire this year. The significant changes being the switch between Erics and Marketplace. Would also like to see who shows up and maybe help some of the newer people who don't feel connected to the event 'find their place' if at all possible.

.....March 23rd will be our first discussion on the topic of Serjeantry. We're handing out the basic overview now. On the 23rd we'll go into details and talk about the timeline involved. There are still some things to crunch. Countess Inga gave me a copy of the Avacal Serjeantry Manual which has a LOT of good stuff in it. I'm trying to see how much I can include now. Will have to come to some firm decisions on the final direction on the weekend of March 19th. I want to have a clear road when we have the discussion. Well, as clear as possible. I think this first year will definitely be one full of learning moments. :-)

.....Need to pester the Clallam County Fairgrounds on their bid. I haven't heard anything for a couple of weeks now.

.....Need to also come to a decision on a picture for the Wyvern Canvas Project (tm). But that is TBT's department thankfully. :-)

.....Am getting sleepy. Let's go to bed before I start inventing more things to do. :-)

.....ZZZZZzzzzzzz, Aaron / Arontius.

The Bid.

Feb. 7th, 2011 06:54 am
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.....As usual the 'to-do' list for the weekend was daunting and unconquerable. But we did manage to get a few things done. One of which was the tour of a site that we're going to use to submit a September Crown bid for 2012. The location is not in Dragon's Laire. Although, according to the Kingdom Seneschal, we do not need to acquire the local group's permission to use the site, I would much rather get their blessing before I proceed too much farther with submission of the bid.

.....TBT, Madrun, Oliver and myself drove up to the site early in the morning on Saturday. It is a fairgrounds facility. The initial impression is that it is fairly well tended, but with lots of buildings on it. Plenty of parking around the perimeter.

.....Across the street from the local airport. Several planes flew overhead as we toured the site. Most were quiet and hardly noticeable. But one was rather loud, and managed to interrupt the conversation for a moment. Will have to mention that in the bid as a possible negative.

.....The staff is eager to please and willing to be as flexible as possible. Seems that Labor Day weekend is not a celebratory weekend in the area, so they are usually open to groups wanting the site. Also were quite willing to work with the local service providers for both trash and biffies to supplement the facility as needed. Although that may be minimal. For their fair they estimate approximately 30,000 attendees with over 1,000 who actually camp or stay on site in some capacity over the course of the weekend. The lady with whom we dealt didn't seem to think we'd have any trouble housing everyone.

.....The first place we looked at was the Grandstand Arena. I was anxious as to whether the ground there would support fighting and whether it was big enough for a Crown List. Oliver declared a 'yes' to both. So that worry was eliminated. In addition there is also a smaller horse arena at the other end of site for the Equestrian Championship, complete with stalls and amenities for the Equestrians. Bonus.

.....We looked in one of the buildings that would work great as either the Marketplace or the Arts & Sciences point. I'm not sure if the Merchant Community would be all for going inside for a September Crown. But there was some lawn space just to the side and the end of this building to put at least some Merchants outside. So maybe the combination of the two might be an enticement. Would certainly save on the space used.

.....Scouted out two other buildings that would work as meeting space and either Arts & Sciences or the Marketplace. So when submitting for a bid proposal from the facility we're going to ask for these three buildings.

.....Three separate sets of showers on site. They are coin operated, but looked clean and neat. I think the fighters will appreciate their availability. If we get the bid we'll have to make sure to emphasize that people save up on their spare change.

.....Nice bardic stage on site. It is a modern trailer that folds out into a stage. With bleachers in front of it. Will definitely work nicely. But that seems to be the one failing of the facility - the modern look of the place. We would have to work hard to try and improve the ambiance. Lots and lots of banners. I think we'd have to get someone on board early whose sole job was to work on decoration.

.....Camping will be compact. There are two large grassy areas that will be the main camping areas. There is quite a bit of open pieces of lawn between buildings that can be used for camping as well. The R.V.s will like the place as there are quite a few R.V. parking spots. Outside the fence line there are two groves of trees that can be used nicely for camping as well. Oh, and an area outside the Grandstand Arena that is usually reserved for parking of the rodeo folks that can be used for camping as well. Our Camping Coordinator will have to be strict on making sure encampments bunch up as much as possible.

.....There is also some city owned land just outside of the Fairgrounds that might be utilized for camping purposes as well. Just to be in-the-know we'll probably ask about the availability of those lands as well.

.....Most of the site is well fenced, although I can see some areas that could be ghosted fairly easily. But we are an honourable Society. So we do our best, try to cover for the less-honourable people, and not worry too much about the rest.

.....Not a perfect site as I can see a handful of issues. But workable, and there are advantages as well working with the local group. Have the Crown and An Tir Community-At-Large pay them a visit would be a good thing for all involved. A little off the beaten path of Central An Tir, but no more so than say a Wastekeep or Wealdsmere event, so I'm not fussed on that one.

.....The Dragon's Laire populace didn't seem too concerned about the drive time when I mentioned the location at the last Business Meeting, so that was heartening. So the next step is a formal bid from the facility itself. If that price is reasonable, then we put together our bid to Kingdom and submit. There are no guarantees that we would actually receive the bid, but it has been a while since Dragon's Laire has done a full-scale outdoor Crown event, so we'd be in the running as long as our financials were in order.

.....On to the next step...

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....I suppose that it's only fair to warn you. And I'm also feeling lazy, so I didn't put anything behind an LJ Cut. If you cut me from your Friends List because I don't LJ Cut, I will not be offended. :-)

.....I was supposed to go to Virginia next week. I wasn't especially looking forward to it, but it was a chance to get away from the desk and phone here. So from that perspective it was looking pretty attractive. That all changed earlier this week when we were told that our Uber-Superiors from NAVSEA in Washington D.C. wanted us to give a presentation on our current Project next week.

.....Not really good timing. We're working our proverbial rear ends off trying to get a Project done on time out at Bangor. We're squeaking by on schedule. Don't ask about our budget, you'd be aghast at how overspent we are. But having to pull out a presentation from thin air really makes me want to scream. The phrase 'when monkeys fly from my butt' is really taking on a new meaning. But it is somewhat amusing to think that, yeah, when NAVSEA wants something, they really CAN make monkeys fly out of your rear. :-)

.....No one is really happy right now, and the guys going to Norfolk are REALLY unhappy as they were counting on me to interact with the Shipyard there and do all the administrative and Project related stuff that can be a real pain when you are trying to set up for a big job.

.....The slightly amusing portion of this dance though being watching the mid-level boss be absolutely frantic earlier this week getting my stuff for Virginia turned over to someone else so that I could get started on a presentation for next week so that he doesn't have to face NAVSEA. :-)

.....On the plus side though I'll be home all weekend, which means that I will get to spend some time at Angharad's house for the big summer social. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to go when I was scheduled to fly out on Sunday. But now I can.

.....Must, must, must get with Talia and finish up our September Crown bid. I'm officially late now. The bid is done. Just have to verify a few things. Talia is going to be my Co-Autocrat. Although she may decide to negotiate that if June Faire becomes a major focus for her. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

.....The September Crown bid is going to be my major Project over the next year to 'reconnect with the Barony'. That was my take-away from the conversations taking place at the Baronial Picnic and after. I think that I can make it something that brings people together and working towards a common goal, with the final outcome being something in which the Barony can take some pride. Will it solve everything? No, but I think that it will help.

.....Also looking forward towards having a steady location for Business Meetings and Socials again. The VFW Hall is not perfect as it will not be an ideal location for Heavy Fight Practice in winter. But we'll make it work. And maybe we can come up with ways that the fighters will still be able to practice somehow, with slow work. Or, if there is enough interest, maybe we could set up the Baronial A&S Pavilion, or go across the street to the Grange Hall, or??? We'll see.

.....On SCA Today there was a story on the Roman origins of Arthur, as in the Mythos. Aelianora mentioned it in her journal and it gave me an interesting thought train today. Mainly centered on J.R.R. Tolkien and his thoughts on a uniquely English Mythos. If you read his treatise 'On Fairy Stories' he goes in depth on a Society's need to have a Mythos to explain that which can not be easily explained. It really doesn't matter whether that mythos has 'scientific' backing. What is important is that it is a story that uniquely belongs to a particular group of people and is their own and explains their own history. It gives identity to the group and the lands they inhabit. It also gives boundaries to their Society, which is a comfort in itself, like the boundaries you give teens. They may seem to be confining on the surface, but in reality those boundaries give separation between you and the infinity of the cosmos. Heady stuff. It would be interesting to do the same thing for Dragon's Laire. :-)

.....I'm going to end on a slightly whiney note. Yes, I am a patient person. Well, most of the time. But not entirely so. When I married TBT, I kind of thought that meant I would like see her from time to time. Weeks of heavy duty work and then weeks of Artist Obsession Mode are making me feel lonely. Her boyfriend Talon is getting more quality time with her than I am. Sigh! Starting to make me feel REALLY glad that I'm NOT an artist. :-)

.....Just sayin'

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

.....I'm sitting here at my desk at work and looking at the piles of STUFF and thinking that I'm glad it's Friday, it's been a long week. :-)

.....On Sunday I board a plane for Washington, D.C. at 0900. With a two hour lay-over in D.C. then a flight to Jacksonville, Florida, for eventual arrival in King's Bay, Georgia. I've already been warned about the alligators. :-)

.....Things are finally starting to flesh themselves out at work, which in Government-Speak means that the level of chaos has grown significantly. :-) I've been slowly ramping up on the new job and letting things slide on the older one. There is a lot to do. I still don't feel prepared for the conference I have to attend on Tuesday. I'm supposed to sound intelligent on a schedule and plan for a ShipAlt in which I'm just starting to learn which way is up. :-) But I've learned to tap dance well for the government, so I should be O.K.

.....Monday will be a tour of the facility and the town. When I first hired into the Shipyard I would never have guessed that 20 years later I'd be touring hotel rooms to see which ones would work better for workers I sent to site. We're supposed to go and look at about eight different sets of Corporate Lodgings on Monday. :-)

.....Not looking forward to the Sunday flight though. I asked for early and the earliest I could get was 0900. I will not be into Jacksonville until after 1900. Argh!

.....Saturday will be busy. The Crier is nearly complete and will leave my hands tomorrow morning. It is late, but the Idaho Falls people tell me that they can have it in the mail by Tuesday next week, so I should be good. I'm actually starting to feel a little sad at giving up the office. It is a lot of hard work and I really do need to give it up, but it has been good to me and I've gained a lot of knowledge, not to mention satisfaction, out of doing it. It'll be like saying good-bye to a friend. I hope that Angharad comes to appreciate it as much as I have.

.....This week has been non-stop. With all the change-over coming up, there has been a lot of churn in the office. Looks like half my office will be re-assigned elsewhere. I'm told temporarily, but I know better about these things. I will not be surprised if the entire landscape has changed when I walk in next Thursday. Oh, well, will not be my problem for much longer. The new boss takes over on September 4th. I'm pushing hard to be out of my desk by then. Wish me luck.

.....Next Friday we're off to Crown. Still debating whether to pavilion it or come in Lobelia. I think what happens with Rhys may play a part in that. If things come together he'll be headed off to the bio-donors that weekend. The Beloved Tamm may have to drive him to Burien and then drive to site. Which might not be a total bad thing. That'll mean that she can get out of Crown earlier if she wants. We'll see what happens.

.....Aelianora says that the first Salsa Fresco of the season is done. Can't wait to taste it!!! :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....You guys get the blow-by-blow today. I'm at the Port Townsend Ferry Dock right now. It is about 10:30 and the dock is about half full of cars. The guy at the ticket booth said that it'll get kind of crowded, but not bad. Most people are going west on Friday and will be going east on Monday.

.....Turned on the laptop and there were a good dozen wireless networks in the area. But I didn't even have to steal their signal, the Ferry System has their own wireless. Pretty cool actually. Wonder if the Crown site will have wireless? I could get my fix this weekend without going into withdrawals. :-)

.....See you all at Crown!

arontius: (Default)
.....Greetings All!

.....I'm about to hit the road in Lobelia. Gonna have breakfast and (hopefully) hit the noon ferry in Port Townsend. I'm just not sure what kind of holiday traffic I'm going to hit.

.....Plan is still a nice leisurely drive through Whidbey and hit the site at 3PM or a little later.

.....Everyone take care on the roads today. They are liable to be brutal with the Labor Day traffic.

.....Hopefully I haven't forgotten anything. :-)

.....Take care, Arontius / Aaron.
arontius: (Default)

.....It's Thursday morning at work and my mind is no longer here. :-) It's on the way north to Poulsbo so that I can pick up Lobelia and get her packed for the drive to Crown. I was super busy yesterday trying to get all my ducks lined up at work so that I could take at least part of the day today off. I think that I'll be able to get out of here by the lunch hour. Then it'll be off to run postal errands, stop by the house real quick on the way to the Storage Unit for Lobelia. Get her back to the house (stopping for gas which will hurt, aarrgghh!) and loaded up for the weekend.

.....Still have to finish a report for Crown Curia and a few other Crown go-dos, so it could be kinda a late night tonight. But I'm looking forward to a leisurely drive up to Port Townsend and through Whidbey Island. Master Ralg reminded me that the ferries could be a bit crowded due to the holiday weekend, so I'm thinking that I'd better get there fairly early just in case I miss one or two of the crossings.

.....Then a stop at Deception Pass for lunch. Bernie and Tsuruko were telling me about some time they spent there. I guess there are some nice trails there with some good vantage points.

.....Then to site. If I remember the site from last time we were there the RV parking will be by the back exit, near the parking lot. It's really not a bad location as you have fairly good access to Court and the Merchant Circles. Last time they allowed mingling of RV camping and tents, which was fun. If you are looking for a place to camp near friendly people, come camp near us. I think that a small number of Dragon's Laire contingent are going to be in that area, including myself, Master Ralg and Mistress Ellen, HE Barnet and HE Tsuruko and I'm sure some others.

.....I'm looking forward to a weekend where I'm not really running with anything and I can just sit and relax for long stretches. It's been a busy summer. There will be some 'Ljotr Stalking' to do (and maybe some Nadezhda stalking as well? Brighid? Is it time to start stalking Viscountess Nadezhda in preparation for her step up at Twelfth Night?). It'll be fun to watch the pirate crowd (albeit a little scary at the same time :-)). People to see and talk to. The Marketplace to look through.

.....Most importantly though. The most beautiful woman in the whole entire world shows up on site Friday night. I haven't seen her since Sunday and it already seems like forever ago. I can't wait!!!! :-)

.....Hope that everyone has a good day. :-)

.....Arontius / Aaron.


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