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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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.....The trouble with 'vacation' is that, eventually, vacation ends and you have to re-enter The Real World (tm). :-) I am NOT looking forward to getting up at 0400 tomorrow morning and making my way in to the Shipyard. But I don't think I'll be alone in that regard. I think a lot of us will be dragging through the day tomorrow. At least it will only be a three day week. That'll help a little bit.

.....Took a little while this evening to find everything and put it together. The work cell phone, the badge, the beeper. They were all in different places and took a little bit of detective work.

.....The 'to-do' list gathered dust the last couple of days. I just couldn't get motivated to do anything really on it. Mainly read books and explored on the computer. A couple of last trips to Starbucks.

.....Spent a good half-hour or so scraping off the beard-like thing on my face. :-) Certainly does not grow very fast, and was really starting to get to that itchy stage. Desperately need a haircut, but did not get the chance. I'm sure that I'll get at least one hint this week about looking 'professional'. But thankfully, with the change in Operational Officer, and the general rev-up of the work scene, I might escape notice until I can actually get it fixed. :-)

.....The new banner started getting dyed today. The Kingdom checkey pattern is done. The Baronial Populace section is done. Started the black and red blocked pattern on the next section, but basically stopped there as I need to decide on a color scheme I actually like.

.....The dye flows quite a bit differently than the silk paints did. The yellow was really nice and smooth. The red not-so-much so. It had some of the same blotchiness issues that the paints had in large single color areas. It'll be interesting to see if that corrects any when it is steamed and fixed into place. But the 'stiffness' of the silk paints does not seem to be evident in the silk dyes, so they may actually fly even a little easier than the painted silk.

.....I had red, black and yellow borrowed from Madrun, but may want to borrow a blue or a green. Some of components just would not look right if they were painted as planned, so I will have to change the color scheme somewhat.

.....The big wooden frames are not working all that well either. When stretched tight on the frames, any movement of the frames pulls the silk in different directions and can lead easily to rips and tears in the silk. Especially if your silk is stored on this frame over time, like mine is. Ideally, once attached to the frame, the banner should probably be completed in one setting. But I've never been able to clear that kind of space off of my calendar to do that. :-)

.....TBT came up with a nice idea. She sent me a link to a quilt stand on E-Bay. The stand sits off the ground about three or four feet. The fabric sits over the top and locking pieces hold the fabric snugly to the frame so that you can work at stitching. I could see this being used for silk banner manufacture pretty easily. It was made from plastic tubing, so I'm wondering if this is something we can put together ourselves fairly easily.

.....We'll get this banner done though before moving on to the next 'improvement'. :-) Another day or so of painting. Then some repairs. Then setting of the dyes. When will it be done? Maybe March or April. :-)

.....Tomorrow night is the January Business Meeting. Then planning and packing for Twelfth Night. We'll start the year going from zero to warp speed in a matter of days. Really need to clear the cobwebs out of the brain and get a new 'to-do' list going. That'll probably be on the agenda for tomorrow. Along with the monthly Baronial letter and a bunch of stuff for Twelfth Night itself.

.....Work re-starts on the same day at J.R.R. Tolkien's birthday though. January 3, 1892. Tomorrow will be 120th anniversary of his birth. Happy Birthday, Professor Tolkien! :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....A little less than two days before the Winter Curtailment period starts. Vacation! For two whole weeks! I cannot wait! Which makes going to work and keeping some measure of focus on the job that much more difficult! :-) But I'm not alone in that regard. Every day this week there are a number of fewer cars in the garage as others start using the remainder of their Must Leave for the year. There are also decidedly fewer people roaming the halls and byways.

.....I put together a preliminary 'to-do' list for the vacation weeks. I've measured each item carefully before adding it to the listing. I'm resisting hard the urge to put the usual overwhelming list of tasks together, fully knowing that such a list is impossible at best to fulfill. Leading to certain disappointment. :-)

.....But there are a number of items that definitely made the cut. Some of them actually fun, some of them things I've wanted to get done for a while now.

.....The garage must get cleared!!! Must!!! Must!!! Must!!! We can barely walk through it. The work bench is a mess, mainly with my armor pieces all over the place. They must be collected and put away until a free weekend comes up to where I can actually make repairs to them.

.....I know I'm going to find some arcane piece of Baronial owned gear that was hurriedly unloaded from the U-Haul after June Faire. It all must go back to the Storage Unit!

.....The camping gear will also be sorted and hard decisions made. We need to finish combining two campsites of equipment into one and get the gear packed away in tubs for storage and for easy event packing. Events will be done with Lobelia next year, but an equal number of events will be done in pavilion as well. Between the armor and camp gear, that should clear at least a quarter of the garage alone.

.....Then it'll be time to tackle the shelving units. There is a lot of miscellaneous, junk, on them. Just clearing the junk alone will net us quite a bit of room I think. Maybe even enough to put the camping gear on shelves. What a thought! :-)

.....Then at least half the rugs will be going away. Some of them I've had for well over a decade. But many of them are falling apart. They need to go. It's time.

.....I'm salivating at the thought of a usable garage again! :-)

.....Movies will be seen! I definitely want to hit The Muppets. Sherlock Holmes is definitely on that list as well. I wonder if we will be able to catch both at the Riddell Theatre? I need to check that out.

.....There will be trips to various places not in Kitsap County.

.....The new silk banner will be done as well. It has been gutta'ed. Need to carefully look it over to make sure all the lines are solid. Then go to town on the dye process. Should be a single day operation. Then I'll see if I can get into TBT's schedule to actually sew them complete. Will not take long, but will make a big different in hanging them on a pole versus duct taping them to a pole.

.....There will be people visited. I know TBT and I both want to go and visit Countess E. Matt and Rycheza are on the list, as are Petr and Kierran for at least a lunch.

.....I know that I have at least one article to write for Rycheza and inclusion into The Flames. It'll be a good run up to the receiving of Letter of Intent for Serjeantry at Candlemas. Which reminds me that I better remember to spam the e-list with that information as well. And get something to Aelianora for inclusion on the web-site.

.....I have some Ceremonials I'd like to write, and some scroll texts to get done and reviewed by the Scribal folks. Caius did a great job of putting together a Master Ceremonial to support us at Last Chance. I'd really like to take it to the next step and personalize it for TBT and myself. Plus, we need to polish off the scroll texts for the new awards given out this year.

.....We need to formalize our Progress for 2012. 2011 was rough in several ways, and there were several instances where we made promises to be somewhere and then ultimately could not fulfill those promises, due primarily to conflicting promises. It's very difficult to be in two places at the same time. This year we have a list of events that we promise to attend, which is decidedly shorter than last year. We MAY attend events beyond that list, but no promises will be made until pretty close to those dates. So hopefully, we'll be able to time manage a little better this year and not wear ourselves out so thoroughly.

.....I'll need to make sure I leave at least a couple of days free to do absolutely nothing. Although a trip to the ocean or something similar sounds really interestingly nice at the moment.

.....Organized 'to-do' list to be completed by Friday. Huzzah!

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....The past four days went by in a rush! It's hard to believe that it is time to go back to work tomorrow. At least we have a little Christmas slowdown coming on the horizon in a handful of weeks. Just have to make it through the next two weeks.

.....The banner making was a little frustrating. TBT drew up an absolutely fantastic design on paper. But the pencil transfer did not go very well. Then the gutta outlining was not all that satisfying either. There are wobbly lines, thick lines, thin lines, and a variety of small mistakes on there that don't make me very happy with it. I was going to start with the dye process today, but did not feel motivated.

.....TBT and I were talking about various methods that might help with the outlining. We spoke of Talon's method of projecting the design on the wall where the silk has been tacked down. That'll work, but for a larger banner, you'll need a rather large wall space. We also talked about maybe using a large quilting hoop and outline the banner a section at a time. This will help keep things steady, but the amount of time needed all together will be pretty massive. A embroidery stretcher and tapestry frame were also suggested. We'll have to try out these methods next time and see what works best.

.....Another busy week. Monday is continued Serjeantry Testing. Practical & Domestic Sciences and Games are on tap for the evening. Tuesday is the Social at the VFW Hall. Wednesday is a Toys-For-Tots Tournament at Fight Practice. Thursday is the December Business Meeting. Saturday is Yule Feast.

.....I'm a little saddened that Aquaterra's Yule was scheduled on top of ours. I would have liked to have seen Hauk and Rosamunds step-down. They've been good friends, people we've always been able to go to and know that we have friends available whenever we needed some in Cousins. They will be missed. Half the Kingdom is going to be in attendance for the Ceremony, so it'll be a lot of fun. But our Yule Feast doesn't look bad. Kierran has the day nicely scheduled, and Petr is a fantastic cook, so the food will be great.

.....The following Monday will be the finalization of Quests for the Serjeantry Candidates. Which means that TBT and I have some homework to get done this week. Saturday, December 10th, will be the final Trials for Serjeantry. It'll be a rather long day. But it'll be interesting to witness. Then we'll move into the Questing portion of the Program. This is where our Serjeantry really starts veering off of the typical Kingdom standard. But it is also something that gives our Serjeantry a purpose that continues even after they've been into the group. So I'm rather excited to see this come together.

.....Need to start pumping up the acceptance of Letters of Intent for Candlemas. It'll be here before we know it.

.....Time for bed. This has made me really tired. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It's actually been a good weekend so far. I haven't achieved nearly as much on my 'to-do' list as I would have liked. But progress is being made, and I'm getting the chance to slow down just a hair and see if I can catch my breath for a space. :-)

.....Thursday was, of course, Thanksgiving Day itself. TBT contributed a pie, cake (both sugar free), mashed sweet potatoes, and corn. I felt like a slacker as I rode her coat tails for the contribution. :-) But I did help with the clean up, so I don't feel too badly.

.....A nice gathering at Gwen and Rich's house. Not overly huge, just comfortable enough to feel like a family, but not so close as to wish to shoot someone. Always a win at a family gathering. No matter what the family. Everyone behaved themselves as well. Which is an extra bonus.

.....And so much food! Turkey and ham. Stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. Green bean casserole. More different kinds of rolls than could be counted. Cranberry sauces and fruit salads. Desserts of every variety. I was stuffed when we finally left at around 6PM.

.....But we still had another stop to make, for which Madrun and Dylan gave us a ride over. Last year by this time of the day we were in Turkey Coma and fell asleep at home. This year we were determined to make the other big Thanksgiving Dinner of the day which is traditionally held at Talon and Jenae's house. The dinner at Gwen's was absolutely sedate in comparison. :-) All the younger crowd over. Again with every kind of food imaginable. But I'll have to say, a little more experimental. :-) I was watching Tym deep fry those oreos and suddenly wished I could have one. :-) But I mollified myself with a deep fried mashed potato and turkey ball. Which, I have to say, tasted better than it sounds, or I suspected. :-)

.....Then the traditional game of Werewolf. Which is always good for a lot of laughs, if for no other reason than the demonstration of how I.Q. can be lowered by a group activity. :-) It took over an hour for the group to figure out the first Werewolf (Morgan), than another half hour to figure the second (J.R.). I don't think they figured out that Talon was the third until the very end of the game. But he's a master at it. For someone who approaches life with a 'Go Big Or Go Home' attitude he someone manages the fine art of subtlety really well in playing this game.

.....After that game I was just done for the day. I could barely keep my eyes open. I think TBT and I were both in bed before 9PM, which is pretty early for us on a holiday weekend.

.....Yesterday, we toyed with the idea of doing Black Friday shopping. But neither one of us were into managing big crowds. So we hit up Starbucks and set up for a day of banner design. TBT did most of the work on paper. We gave her the elements of what we wanted on our banners and she did a lot of the art work on our paper masters.

.....I'm going for a rounded point this time. Started off the pole end with the Kingdom Checky. Then the Baronial Populace badge (complete this time with double headed Dragon, which looks fantastic!). The the actual pointed end was bordered and had a classic pithon (winged serpent), and a seme of quill pens. This time we also put a sash of a motto on there, which is where I cheated as I had the Tolkien runes of my Pelican medallion put there. It looks really cool. I'm really liking the look of this banner on silk. Every time we do one it gets a little more professional and classy.

.....The only not-so-good part of this one was the silk itself and the transfer of the design. The paper template was put down, with the silk taped to the top of it. But the taping still allowed the silk to slide around too much. The design has a little wobbliness to it in places. Going to have to figure a way to keep the silk taught enough to capture a design transfer as accurately as possible. Something with which to experiment in the future.

.....After the transfer of design, I was done for the day. So we all went out to dinner.

.....Took a break in the middle of the day to go and visit the sale of Gwen and Ellen (pottery and wood). It was a nice gathering. Some good conversation with people as they filtered through. Madrun, Eleanor and I had a good conversation on encampments which stimulated some ideas for how I eventually would like to see our encampment look. Had some good conversation with Countess E on recent Pelican happenings, which made me felt good as her interpretations were similar to mine and so I didn't feel so much like a dork for my own conclusions. Confirmations are a good thing sometimes.

.....Petr and Kierran stopped in at one point and picked up checks for Yule Feast next Saturday. I feel rather badly that we're scheduled against Aquaterra's Baronial Succession. But we'll still have fun. The feast itself will be good. The obligations of the day will be few. The amount of fun scheduled looks pretty doable. :-) I think it should be a pretty good gathering.

.....It was another fairly early night though. I think we were in bed again by 10PM. Are we getting old or what? :-)

.....Today is another banner workshop day. I want to at least get my banner goutta'ed (as if that were a real word :-)). Have about a million e-mails to put out as well. We'll see if I can get at least some of them done today. 'The Muppets' are also playing and I'm thinking I might try to convince TBT to go to a showing. We'll see. I'm firmly a fan of 'The Muppet Movie' and 'Muppets Treasure Island'. I'm a little worried about a Muppets reboot. :-)

.....I should probably organize some sort of 'to-do' list, but the thought really isn't interesting me at the moment. :-) But I may force myself to do so sometime this morning.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Spent the day with TBT and Gwen in Seattle. Had fun at Seattle Pottery being inspired by the books and supplies dealing with glass blowing. Spent some time at Costplus by Pike's Place. Then a trip to Dick Blick's Art Supply on Capital Hill.

.....There was a contingent of the 'Occupy Seattle' group on the grounds of Seattle University across the street from Dick Blick's. Tents set up on the grass. Slogans plastered on signs denouncing corporate culture. It was rather inspiring, at least to me. I felt a longing to go and join them. At least to soak in the mood of the crowd encamped there.

.....Picked up a cartridge calligraphy pen that I've been wanting to get for a while. I had the chance to play with the one Renart had at Last Chance. Unlike some of the Speedball cartridge pens I've used in the past, this one flowed smoothly and was easy to handle. It scraped the paper a little, but it only requires a little self control to keep it moving precisely. I should practice more with the regular nibs and an inkwell, but this is a great way to practice at least my name for signing scrolls.

.....After a late lunch at Zoopa's we made it home around 4PM. I felt extremely unmotivated the rest of the evening. There is about ten million things to get done, but I ended up playing on the computer and watching the last Harry Potter movie, for the third time. But at least it is quality time with TBT down in her studio. :-)

.....Must get a few things done tomorrow:
* E-mails to the local e-lists (Barons and Baronesses) pertaining to challenges in the Toys-For-Tots Tournaents - both marshallate (November 30th) and A&S (at Yule).
* Finish tests for Heraldry and SCA Geography for the Serjeantry Testing on Monday.
* Finish pounding out Serjeantry Matrix (call up Dame Ellen to ensure we're on the same page).
* E-mail the Baronial e-list with the Serjeantry Event Copy and request for help.
* List of items I'd like to see happen at Yule Feast Court (so I can sit down with TBT and finalize a version of the Agenda).
* Pull together a gift and message to Aquaterra to ensure that they know we are not skipping out on their Succession on a whim.
* Go through the agenda of the Serjeantry Trials and start pulling together the pieces needed.
* Must give Renart and Aelianora a call - see if there is a good time to meet for conversation to catch up on some details on updates from the past handful of days.
* Pull together notes for Retinue meeting this week.
* Pull together ideas for next silk banner.
* Start putting together the larger 'to-do' lists for a.) the next three weeks, and b.) the two weeks of vacation happening at the end of December.

.....Tickets for Sting at the Paramount are coming down in price. I should never have signed up for updates. Tickets are still available for both Monday, December 5th, and Tuesday, December 6th. On the floor, they are still $200 to $300 each. But up in the nosebleed sections in the rear, there are now tickets available for $36 each. Hmmmm. Hmmmm. I wonder if I could get Tuesday or Wednesday off from work. I'd really like to go.

.....Short week this week. Serjeantry gathering on Monday. Dragon's Laire Social on Tuesday. A meeting on Wednesday. But the work week is over at that point. Looking forward to a four day weekend.

.....Thanksgiving this Thursday. Mom has already told me that she would like to stay home this year. I think there is something on T.V. she wants to see. I wonder if there is some big European Grand Prix happening or something? :-) We'll put together a plate and take it over for her. Maybe on our way over to Talon and Jenae's. Last year we were in Turkey coma late in the afternoon, and after getting Mom home all I could do was drive home and pass out. I think that TBT and I are going to try really hard this year to at least make an appearance and say 'Hi'. Haven't said anything though. Surprising people is a lot better than having to apologize later for not showing up when expected.

.....Friday is a banner design day. I want to get designs drawn on to the silk and at least get the goutta process done. This time we're going with the dyes instead of the paints, to see how the process differs. I'd like to have a couple more even, but that'll take time to make happen.

.....Haven't thought far enough to cover the weekend. One thing at a time.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It's hard to believe that it is already May 1st. It seems like yesterday that it was January!

.....Actually, yesterday was the Arts and Sciences Day Camp at the Odd Fellows Hall in West Bremerton. It was actually a pretty good day of geeking out with others and learning new things. As well as seeing what others were doing. I brought a bin full of things to do. And actually ended up working on a few things, which was rather cool.

.....Saw Deirdre in the morning and was reminded of the bookcases that are currently located at her house. They are the folding rattan Baronial Library bookcases originally donated by THL Inga. They are still usable, but no one seems to want them. And Deridre is rightfully wanting them gone from her place. I need to remember to stop by her house in the next day or so and pick them up. Someone suggested that the Roving Irishmen could use them in setting up their household encampment. I'll ask them if they want them this Tuesday and then confer with Master Ralg and THL Oliver to make sure they are O.K. with them going away.

.....Had a good look at THL Pernell's silk painted banner. She did a good job with it! Her proposed device was nicely rendered on her triangle of silk. She also took some time and patience in painting hers. The colors were all nice and even, as well as vibrant. I made a handful of mistakes on mine, namely not painting the largest color areas in one setting. The areas that I did over time are pretty clearly visible. But it'll work and I'm excited to see it done. Seeing Pernell's definitely was another push into getting my next one done.

.....When things settled down in the afternoon I pulled out my loom and did some cardweaving. THL Madrun watched my method for a few minutes and made a couple of timely suggestions on how to improve the tension on my band by keep a loop of weft available as I turned the card, and then then work on a more even tension as I finished pulled the thread through. It was a very simple trick, but netted immediate results. I could see improvements right away.

.....I hadn't really enjoyed the silk-wool blend when I first pulled everything together on this loom. But things really were moving easily and fast yesterday and I was making quick progress. It was rather enjoyable. I wasn't in love with the color combination of white, black and blue. But I was inspired to hurry up and finish this band so I could warp up a new one. As a matter of fact I was so entranced that I finished the whole thing earlier today. I'll have to figure out a new pattern quickly so I don't lose momentum.

.....Madrun promised a lesson or two when things slow down. I can figure out regular patterns. But I'd love to be able to draft original patterns, or weave them on the fly. I'm just not savvy enough to do that yet (if ever). But we'll have to wait at least until after June Faire before that happens. :-)

.....Spent a little quality time with Aelianora. Not nearly enough, but I don't think I'll ever be able to remedy that one. :-) As usual I'm in awe of all the things she is managing to accomplish these days. Not the least of which is keep Ian employed and focused on the web-site in a manageable capacity. IMPRESSIVE! TBT and I want to meet with Aelianora at some point over the next month to talk about the web-site. TBT had been doing some preliminary work on it before Aelianora took the reins, and has a few ideas she'd like to float. Plus, it is always fun to site and chat. And if Renart does some cooking as well? Bonus! :-)

.....We slept in a little later this morning than we had wanted to. We didn't hit Starbucks until after 10AM. But we did something radical after that. We went to Office Depot and picked up a new computer!

.....OMG! I haven't had a new computer since I moved into this house in 2000. I hadn't realized until today that the computer I have has been doing all my work for me for almost eleven years! I'm sure that is almost ninety in computer progress years (sort of like seventy-seven in dog years :-)). I'm sure I'll feel almost agoraphobic the first time I really start playing on it. Holy Cow! I'll be able to open up the Internet and will be type URL's almost immediately! No more running into other rooms to get chores done while I wait for the Internet to queue up. I don't know how I'll be able to handle it! :-)

.....Ran into Cedric and Brighid today. Then JR, and Tymothy and a bunch of others. Some good conversation was had. But TBT and I had to get the weekly shopping done, so we didn't get to stick around and talk for too long unfortunately. But we did get to congratulate Talon for successfully completing his fourth marathon! That is IMPRESSIVE!

.....Will start making inroads on the May Crown and June Faire 'Action Item' lists this week. Things will move relatively quickly.

.....Have to hit up a few people on Tuesday at Fight Practice for help at May Crown, June Faire and July Coronation. Wednesday is the June Faire Board Meeting. Then Thursday is the May Business Meeting. Another full week.

.....I would have liked to have gone to Druim Doineann's May Pole this Saturday, but have another requirement in the hopper. And considering that every other weekend this month is booked with SCA Activities, I need to keep this weekend open for personal 'go-dos' or else I'll be running to catch up until sometime in late June. Not a good thing.

.....Hmmm, starting to get late. Must get ready to go to work tomorrow.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....I'm not necessarily a wedding enthusiast. Wearing a lot of dressy clothes and sitting through a ceremony are not things I normally like doing a whole lot. But, you know, there is something, special, about watching the wedding of Royalty in England. For one thing, you are looking at something steeped in history. The continuation of something that has direct connections to a World Event that happened almost a thousand years ago. It's rather cool.

.....Plus, I'm a big fan of British Royalty anyway. Well, maybe not Prince Charles. But definitely Queen Elizabeth and Prince William. :-)

.....I could not get tomorrow off from work though. Too many things happening, and I'm still trying to catch up from being away from my desk for four work days this last week. I'm reconciling the disappointment in my mind with the fact that I know a couple of people who are recording everything on their DVR's, so I'll be able to watch later. Plus, I'll catch a little of the aftermath tomorrow morning at around 4:30AM, when I normally sit down to breakfast and catch the early news.

.....Wish I could be in England to see it all in person. :-)

.....Still trying to decide what to do at the A&S Day Camp on Saturday. My initial inclination was to pack the Gemshorn and Recorder and play a little music. If I had thought of it earlier I would have e-mailed a few people to see if they'd consider bringing their instruments as well. Although maybe I could pack a handful of sopranos and the one or two altos I have in a bag somewhere? Then pass them out? Maybe I could get a little consort going for the day... Hmm...

.....Might pack some cards and threads, along with one of the frames and set up for some cardweaving. I have not done that in a while and it could be something I could put into a bag and pull around with me as a 'busy project' if it is on the small frame. I've got something on the frame, but it is in the wool-silk thread that I have not liked working at all. I may just pull it off and start over with a linen thread. I know we have a bunch downstairs in storage. And with the resident expert, Madrun, in attendance on Saturday, this may be the way to go.

.....Depending on who shows up, I may hit up some of the archery people to help with the archery section of the re-booted Serjeantry. Just to get their input as this is the weakest area of the Trials. The plan is to sit down with Master Andras, Master Cedric and THL Arion and discuss the tweaking of this portion, at some point in May. But things are going to be pretty hectic, so the more input I can get overall the better.

.....If some of the potential candidates are present on Saturday, it would be a great time to sit down with them and gage their preparations for submittal of their Letters of Intent at June Faire. TBT and I are hoping to sit down with each one and find out how their letters are progressing, who their support staff is, give them an idea of what to really expect with the process, and answer any questions they may have at this point. Which reminds me that I need to put out an e-mail on this topic.

.....I know that TBT has some projects in the hopper as well. Need to ask her about that. I saw the Baronial largesse bags on her Project Table downstairs. If she was thinking of putting them together on Saturday, I might get involved with that project. The bags look pretty cool, would make good largess bags, or maybe even cool prize bags for June Faire. It's all about the prizes for June Faire right now. :-)

.....I'm also itching to get started on the next silk banner as well. If I can secure the services of a projector for Saturday, I could get the elements of what I want on the next banner projected on a wall and then sketched on to some silk. I know that Talon has a projector. I believe that Anne has one as well. I'll have to see what kind of arrangements I can make in a hurry between now and then. I'll also need to see if I can sneak some time out of TBT's hectic schedule to serge a length of silk for me to use. We've got some left from our stash (five yards goes a lot further than I thought it would :-)). So I need to pull it out and make a cut on the remaining. If the right people are present on Saturday, I might even be able to get the first one sewn so that I can put it on a banner pole. Maybe I'll pack a pole and bar and fly the first banner to see how it looks.

.....Well, need to decide what to do fairly quickly. Don't have a whole lot of preparation time left. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....This one was all my fault though. I had some ice cream with sorbitol on Thursday, and had a little more than I should have along with a Mountain Dew chaser. I knew that things would not end well, and I was right. By Friday evening my head was spinning and most of Saturday was spent in recovery.

.....But I'm feeling a lot better today, so things must get done. This Wednesday we head off to NORWESCON. The house has to be at least relatively clean, all the laundry done, and things pulled out that we'll need for the weekend.

.....Although it is not a good sign that I've already been distracted by the TV. I'm not normally a fan of Rick Steves and his travel show. But today he is doing a tour of the Cotswolds of England. Starting out from London and walking through a lot of the little towns and villages of the area, then through Stratford, and ending in Cambridge.

.....What a beautiful area! Full of gardens and and cathedrals and castle ruins from hundreds of years ago. Warwick Castle looks ready to explore now! And renting a punt for one of the canals outside Cambridge sounds like the perfect way to spend a Sunday. Makes me want to get on a plane today!

.....Before I forget, 'Zombies of Mass Destruction' is currently one of the movies available on the 'On Demand' section of Comcast. If you are in the mood to see Eric de Dragonslaire as a zombie who meets his end via a weedeater, you'll be richly rewarded. :-) Plus, you get to see our very own Talia in one of her big screen extravaganza's. :-)

.....I did manage to get a couple of things done yesterday. The banner has been ironed within an inch of its life. It's ready for the final step of sewing so that it can be put on a pole. Then it will be ready to go. The changes the ironing made were subtle. The banner was marginally less stiff afterwards. But the ironing did not help any with the mottling of the colors (although I was warned that would be the case). The paint is heavier on the silk than I imagined it would be as well. I have my doubts as to how well it will fly as it seems heavier than even the ripstop flags of the same size I have.

.....I'm not a big fan of the silk paint, Dye-Na-Flo. The next one I do will be a silk dye versus a silk paint. But it was good to try it out and do the process and see the results. Otherwise I wouldn't know and would wonder. Definitely have ideas on the design I want to do already and am anxious to get started as soon as possible. Don't think I'll be able to get that one done by May Crown or June Faire. But I'm hoping that July Coronation may be possible.

.....The 'to-do' list for today:

* Winter Quarterly Doomsday for The Crier.
* Deposit the Fall, 2010, stipend check for The Crier.
* Make phone calls to nominated candidates for Aquaterra Coronets (to follow up e-mails).
* Input latest merchants into the July Coronation Marketplace Spreadsheet.
* Send out receipts of space request for J.C. Marketplace.
* Send out e-mail talking about May Crown encampment.
* Send out e-mail asking for J.C. Marketplace help.
* Work on agenda for next Pelican Regional in May.
* Get laundry done.
* Clean bedroom (put away SCA 'stuff' from last weekend).
* Pull out microwave and electric ice chest for NORWESCON. Stage in Living Room.
* Pull out large suitcase from its hiding place in garage.
* Pull out at least one large bin to stage for NORWESCON packing.

.....Mid week last week things were not looking good for getting out of town this week on Wednesday for NORWESCON. A number of Fleet issues were taking up a lot of time to figure out how we were going to support. But the new Big Boss surprised me. He apparently had had enough of the recent culture of crisis management and made a number of phone calls. The result being that a lot of the burden of recent crisis were removed from our shoulders. Friday was rather interesting. The Mid Level Boss returns to work tomorrow. It'll be interesting to see how he reacts.

.....After NORWESCON though, it'll be all about June Faire. Must get some understanding on how the Marshallate is going to work so we can talk to it accurately and plan around it. Need to figure out how were going to run Courts and when they are going to happen. Need to figure out how we're going to take care of the Crown on Their visit. Need to figure out the logistics of what we want to do on the Saturday evening gathering. Lots to do though and the clock will be ticking loudly. I don't think I'll craft that 'to-do' list until after next weekend. I'd probably be overwhelmed quickly if I tried.

.....One thing at a time.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Huh. According to SciFi Wire progress is now being made on the production of the 'Dragonriders of Pern' movie. I'm not sure whether to be excited or skeptical. It has the potential to go in several different directions. I suppose it'll depend on the story they really want to do, how much they want to cover, how much action takes precedent over story, etc. I'll tentatively look forward to it in the interim. I read the stories a lot when younger and enjoyed them a lot.

.....I had high hopes for the Narnia movies. But with three of them out now I can say that I am disappointed in them. Visually they look pretty good. The scenery and photography are nice. But the acting and the story line translations have not been very good. Nor have they been very gripping. 'The Voyage of the Dawn Treader' had great potential as a movie and I left the theatre, frankly, yawning. In fact, believe it or not, I think Peter Jackson did a better job of putting 'Lord of the Rings' on to the big screen than was done for Narnia. Which is sad since I think that Peter Jackson did things to the story that should require him to be beg the Tolkien Estate for redemption!

.....Hope that we hear something on the Pern effort next week at NORWESCON.

.....Must, must, must get my Ingasbo SpreadSheet for 2010 completed so that TBT can finish filing our taxes. It's the only hold-out information at the moment. And it doesn't take an incredible amount of time to do. I just have to condense my income and expense sheet from last year and classify all the entries as appropriate. Shouldn't take more than an hour. Just haven't had the time to do it. Would be nice to complete to also pay off Washington State and their sales tax requirements. I've received a multitude of 'Pay or Die!' notices now and must get that finished before they send the Goon Squad after me.

.....Lots of things in the hopper at work. Not bad things. Just lots of things. It's like work has ADD or something. I'm only allowed to concentrate on any one thing for a stretch of five minutes at a time before the next crisis phones into the desk. Next week it looks like a flight out for the Team to Kings Bay, Georgia. I'm actually glad I received the 'head's up' today as that gives me a handful of days to get everything put together and out the door before it affects NORWESCON. It'll be a squeaker. And it probably means that at the very least I'll have to bring my cell phone with me to SeaTac for the duration. Sigh! Was hoping to leave it at home.

.....The Mid Level Boss was on vacation last week and this week. He'll be back next Monday. So he can take the baton on this particular crisis. I think that I'll even not feel all that guilty as I'm sitting in the hot tub at the Doubletree Hotel. :-)

.....I may be considered as 'non-essential', but the stress level is certainly not proving that. I'm starting to wonder if this was not such a good time to take on the Coronet. Too late now I suppose as I'm not about to give it up this early, but need to force some adjustments at work before things get too overloaded. I'm sure glad the old Big Boss is gone. Life would be completely hell if he were still in place.

.....Banner will be completely painted tonight! Will let it dry over the next day or so and then will get it steamed on Friday or Saturday. I'll have to check in with Anne to make sure that really is the next step in the process. Then it will be time for cleaning and final sewing. Almost done! I can hardly wait to see it flying. I'll have to set up the banner pole in the front yard and fly this from it for a while just to see how it looks. Not incredibly happy with the 'mottled' look of the paint. But am hoping that the steaming process smooths that out a bit. At the very least you can't really notice unless you get close to it. I have learned a lot by working this banner. Lessons learned that will definitely be applied to the next one!

.....Meeting tonight at Brian and Jane's house. The hook was a Salmon dinner. But the conversation will be concerning an elaborate feast that Brian and Jane want to do at Yule in 2012. It'll be interesting to hear their ideas. I'd like to see it be a 'full on' feast. Which, in my mind, means a themed served feast, complete with all the trimmings. Alongside the proper entertainment, and a hall that is decorated completely to match the theme. I remember the Feast that was in Tournaments Illuminated that was decked out in full glory with banners and walls and trencher tables and thrones. It really was Camelot. I'm hoping to convince Brian and Jane to maybe go to the same extreme. With a year and a half to plan they certainly could. Wouldn't it be cool to also have it as a story in Tournaments Illuminated as well? :-)

.....The 'to-do' lists are getting chaotic again. I have a couple of dozen sticky notes in my notebooks and my iPod Touch is speaking in three different languages from all the conflicting notes I'm inputting. Must spend some time this weekend and get a little organized. I'm not even sure what 'to-do' item is the highest priority at the moment.

.....Well, I suppose it could be worse. At least I don't have to move during this time as well.

.....Gotta get ready to go to dinner.

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

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

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

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

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

.....But it will be tight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It was a long day at work, but was still hoping to get a laundry list of stuff done at home. Didn't make it a quarter of the way through the list, but at least I didn't throw it away completely. :-)

.....The entire Shipyard is abuzz with both the looming government shutdown and all the proposed changes coming from the GOP. Not all of them will pass, but this has been the year of the 'evil Federal woker who steals from the average American's paycheck', so I think at least some of the changes will be enacted when the dust settles.

.....On Friday we at the Shipyard were considered 'esssential', which meant that if the government went into shutdown, we would still report to work. On Monday most of us were classified as 'non-essential'. Then today we were again classified as 'essential'. I suppose we'll find out for sure on Monday morning when we show up at the Shipyard gate and we're either let in, or told to go home.

.....A two year pay freeze is already in effect. The five year pay freeze is gaining momentum, so most of the experts are telling us to be prepared for it. Others things being discussed are the elimination of our retirement, in which case we would take the funds accumulated and roll them into some private 401K, or equivalent, and the government would cease with their matching funds. Other discussion points are a reduction of medical insurance, raises in the retirement age (again), and other, even less appealling options. Sigh! The landscape is going to be interesting when I get ready to retire in twenty years. But, I suppose on the other hand, it'll be worth consideration to actually leave the Shipyard and work for an organization that fits me a lot more.

.....The only thing that keeps a lot of the Federal workforce in place is the benefits package, and maybe a little security (although that is getting to be less and less of a consideration). Retaining any talent is going to become more and more difficult and any effieciency the government has in getting anything done will go away to where the pay and benefits really are. Hope that someone up there takes that into consideration at some point.

.....Worked on the silk banner this evening. It was actually easier than I thought it would be. We're using a silk 'paint', but it really acted a lot like a dye. I barely brushed the silk and the paint would spread very much like a dye. But even with that the progress was a lot slower than I expected it to be. In about an hour and a half I was able to complete the Pithon only. But I was happier with the yellow (gold) color than I thought I would be. I'm hoping to get the Or chequey done on Friday, and maybe the red bars and background. But we'll see.

.....Last night's Serjeantry discussion turned out better than I thought it would. We had almost thirty people listing into the conversation. All twenty of the hand-outs I had printed out were given to those who wanted them. There was a lot of excitement as well as a lot of good questions asked. I think that we'll get at least a couple of people turning in Letters of Intent at June Faire, maybe upwards of six to eight, which would make me very happy.

.....People accepted the concept of the Quest and the Round Table better than I thought they might have. The very titles beg a certain amount of corniness. But the concepts are solid. The Quest being a person achievement and the Round Table being a forum to provide inspiration to the Populace. People seemed to grok the concepts and become excited.

.....There were a number of people who could not make the conversation last night and I ended up sending out another six copies of the handout today. There are still a couple of bugs to work out, mainly the section dealing with Yoemen, but the rest of it is pretty sound. So here we go. :-)

.....Tomorrow night is the Business Meeting. I sent myself a bunch of notes and will put together our letter sometime during the day. June Faire is the big item on the horizon, and there is a lot of preparation to get done. We have to figure out how were going to best support the Tourney Circuit Tournaments of Sir Raoukinn and Monseignor Talon. Maybe a spiffy prize. Also need to figure out how were going to do our 'progresses' around site, complete with banners and musicians and all the pomp and circumstance we can arrange between now and then.

.....But before then is May Crown. Thankfully, Adelheidi is going to ensure that the encampment is arranged, which takes a burden from us. Eric space has already been reserved for the Baronial Pavilion, but we still need to figure out how were going to get it, as well as our own camping gear, to site. Heather (the van) is currently down and I don't think she is going to be operable between now and May Crown. We may have to rent a 'Tourney-Mo-bile', but we'll find something.

.....Am falling asleep and probably should go to bed.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It was a pretty typical Monday in that my brain was fried by the time I walked in the door after work. But after a nice dinner and conversation with TBT, and a little Starbucks pick-me-up, I felt at least slightly refreshed and willing to get a few things done. :-)

.....The Serjeantry hand-outs were tweaked and finalized. There is still some longer term work to be done to them, especially as concerns the requirements for Yoemen. But the write-up is complete for tomorrow night's discussion at Fight Practice. Only thing left to do is print out a dozen or so copies and practice the fine art of not looking nervous as the presentation is made.

.....Need to speak to Master Andrus, Arion and Cedric about a 'get-together' to talk about fleshing out the Yoemen section, and add appropriate verbiage for Thrown Weapons.

.....The silk banner was tweaked slightly. It needed far less work in outlining than I imagined. But it is now ready for actual painting, which will be done on Wednesday night while TBT is away at a Western Regional Laurel's meeting. I think we'll see both mine and TBT's flying over our pavilion at May Crown. I can't wait to see them. Actually I'm even more excited to get moving on the follow-up generation. I can already see them in my mind. Need to get some more silk ordered as soon as possible.

.....Probably should have been more productive on other things, but had fun looking through TBT's ruffs on display on the web-site she posted in her Live Journal entry this evening. Made me want to do something creative. So I put away thoughts of finishing my taxes for Ingasbo and started working on the Heroic Couplet exercise that Master Gaerred assigned to us on the 'Bards of An Tir' list in Facebook. Kind of wish that group had been done in Live Journal instead of Facebook. But I'll still make it work.

.....The exercise wanted us to conentrate at creating Heroic Couplets. Two lines of Iambic Pentameter, with each line finishing with a rhyme. Five sets of Heroic Couplets were assigned, with bonus points if all five sets were related to the point of creating a cohesive poem. I didn't get the bonus points, but I did manage to finish the assignment:

In ordered rows of grey providing lore
Celestial armies forward into war

With joy they surge in fearsome ships of war
Thrown tridents pierce the dark with bolts that gore

Their streaming manes did roil with efforts fierce
Great hearts in passion heavens soul will pierce

To soar the heavens wide my soul did leap
The beauty in her eyes did make me weep

The summer wind did laugh with childish glee
A warmth that wraps the soul, it is the key

.....I may have to try this again later this week if time allows.

.....On the 'to-do' list for this week are:

.....Tuesday: Fight Practice with Serjeantry Presentation.
.....Wednesday: Work on Silk Banner.
.....Thursday: April Business Meeting.
.....Friday: Relatively Free. Huzzah! :-)
.....Saturday: Trip to J.C. site in the morning. Madrone Banquet in the afternoon / evening.
.....Sunday: Brunch at Gwen's.

.....I'm sure there is something I'm forgetting. Just too tired to remember at the moment though. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....That's kind of unusual for me. Maybe it really IS one of the harbingers of DOOM!!! The one that is scheduled just DAYS before my 44th birthday. :-)

.....Arrived home to a note from a disgruntled customer. They did NOT read the instructions at Ingasbo and went ahead throwing money in my direction for a circlet that was not in stock and would not be anytime soon. They were VERY put out when they received my e-mail to let them know that what they wanted they couldn't have. Demanded to know when they'd receive their refund. I made sure that happened immediately. Rude customers who don't read instructions are never fun.

.....But they tend to be balanced out by those who are actually pleasant. I had another customer, who again did not read the instructions before sending money my way. But politely asked if the circlet they wanted really was in stock and if so, how soon could they have it? A little politeness goes a long way really. It is rather amazing. I went ahead and gave them a deal on a larger circlet of the same design I had in my completed bin. They will be getting it for the same price as the smaller size. That's definitely what you get for being polite immediately following a dork. :-)

.....Responded to a handful of e-mails. Anne reminded me that I should post a note about the 'tour' TBT and I want to do next Wednesday of the June Faire site and our lay-out tweaks.

.....Am getting excited about KAS / KBC. Makes me wish I were the Autocrat again. :-) But that would take away from Oliver's fun, and I certainly don't want to do that. :-) But even with all the planning foo surrounding the event, it'll end up being smooth and fun. I like that about Dragon's Laire. :-)

.....Then there's Ian. Sigh! A good person and a hard worker. But a maniac in all ways dealing with Society. No secret either, I've told that to him in person on many occasions. :-) But I do my best to find things for him to do. The latest being a number of heraldry projects for awards that TBT and I would like to add to the Baronial awards listing. My e-mail inbox was inundated with a plethora of ideas from him today. Any other Monday I would have run screaming. But I actually took some time to answer his latest couple of e-mails tonight. He was happy, and then immediately refilled the e-mail inbox. :-)

.....But the biggest chunk of time this evening was spent on the silk banner. TBT and I stretched it on the frame yesterday. This evening I took the gouda tipped bottle of black and went over all of the outlines. I was a little wobbly at first, but the lines slowly started improving as I started to get used to the flow of the gouda from the tip. From a distance it doesn't look half bad. Don't get too close though or the wobbly lines will hypnotize you. :-)

.....TBT would have done a much better job with it, but I really want to learn how to do this right. I have visions of many more banners in our future.

.....TBT will go over the lines once the gouda dries to make sure that I did indeed make all the proper connections. We might be actually painting sometime this week. That would be way cool.

.....The banner is looking very Victorian in nature. It has the Kingdom's Or and Argent Checky, then the Gules and Sable of the Barony. Then I took elements of my device and TBT penciled them on the remainder. The Python is very stylized Anglo-Saxon. But the winged cat heads look like they came from the '60's. :-) It was my practice piece and it will be a banner flying at May Crown, so I'm not going to whine. :-)

.....But in my mind though I was seeing the next banner take shape. The Python on it will be very 1350. I might put a seme of Quill Pens around it, a la The Black Prince. It looks cool in my mind, but will have to see it on paper.

.....I think that the next one will have the Team Haggis badge on it as well, between the Baronial Colours and the personal device elements. I'll have to make the Winged Sheep a lot more buff though to fit in with the device elements.

.....Am actually contemplating a tweak to my personal device. I've never been happy with the winged cat in the base. It looks cool on its own, but in conjunction with the Python it just makes the whole thing look too 'busy'. I know, think heraldically, not artistically. But still...

.....Just don't know if I want to run the heraldic gauntlet again though. They are a tough crowd. :-)

.....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.
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.....It's the start of a three day weekend, and I'm happy about that. This past week has been rather frustrating. Both at work and in dealings with the SCA it's been like everyone around me is speaking English and I'm speaking some bastardized form of Pig-Latin. The more I try to get myself understood, the less I seem to be understood.

.....Yesterday was the worst and culminated in e-mail traffic where I had to go back and read what I wrote several times as the recipient took what I had sent and interpreted it in a way that was not intended in the slightest. I read the response and stared at the computer screen going, 'Huh?'. Then proceeded to try and pull the remainder of the hair off of my head in frustration.

.....I've complained bitterly about this several times already, but its still there. As a Seneschal, you can point to rules and processes and say 'Yes, this is right' and 'No, you can't do that'. But as a Coronet, things are so much more nebulous. You have to balance egos and styles and wants and desires with the ultimate needs of the Barony and try to move the whole mess forward while maintaining as many egos intact as possible. It's not easy!

.....This morning TBT and I went and did our normal Starbucks run. I was still feeling strung out and frustrated. When we sat down a Journey song came on the radio and for some odd reason the first thing I thought of was a scene from 'Heavy Metal'. The one where the warrior girl puts on her armored boots and climbs aboard her 'Sparrow of Doom' to do battle with Evil Incarnate.

.....'Ca-Caw! Ca-Caw!'

.....I start laughing and giggling hysterically and it did the trick. The frustrations of the week finally slid away and I was able to let it go. The problems are still there, but I don't need to own them. I'll do what I can to help resolve them. We'll work to make things happen and the Barony to move forward.

.....TBT and I have a lunch date with Madrun today. That will be fun. We'll probably start talking and then four hours later we'll look at the clock and wonder what happened. Having resolved all the World's crisis of course. :-)

.....TBT and I also have to pick out silk dyes today from Dharma Trading. THL Anne is taking lead on the banner making. Excellent! She is ready to move forward on purchasing, with a group of us contributing to the kitty. She just needs to know what colors TBT and I need for our banners. We've decided we want to get four done. Instead of two really large ones, we'll do four slightly smaller ones. We want to do one each utilizing our primary devices (python and fleur-dy-lys). One utilizing my winged cat. And a fourth one using the combined device banner that TBT made for our step-up. I can't wait to do these. We have a day scheduled for February to actually get together in Anne's garage to draw out the banners and dye the silk.

.....To-Do List:
.....Pull out Silk.
.....Rough Draft of four banners (decide on final elements).
.....Anne is going to get the remainder of the dyes that Conchobar has to see what is already available.
.....Get Anne the colors that we need.
.....Anne will let us know how much we need to contribute and what supplies we need to acquire.
.....Anne will order supplies from Dharma Trading.
.....Banner making party at Anne's.

.....Retinue meeting tomorrow. Must remember to go through my notes and make a list of things I want to make sure and talk about. Definitely need to make an agenda for Candlemas.

.....Time to clean house. I hear TBT in the kitchen and the cat boxes definitely need cleaning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....On one hand I am regretting that TBT and I didn't stay over on Saturday for NORWESCON. But on the other hand I got to sleep in a little this morning, get a few things done today and get ready for work tomorrow without feeling rushed or like I was behind the ball. Maybe next year we go early on Thursday instead and just plan on taking Monday off from work. We'll see.

.....Caught the tail end of the Baronial banner making workshop yesterday. Made sure to pay for our silk so that it didn't get sold off to someone else. :-) The stuff they were making was really cool. Made me really want to get with TBT and get some designs going. Most everyone there was doing something along the lines of two yards in length. They had the Or and Argent chequey pattern at the base, with elements of their personal devices going from there down to the point of the guidon.

.....For mine I'd start with the Or and Argent pattern. But I would really like to incorporate something from the Barony next, before including elements from my personal devices and badges. Just not sure what. I could just use a divided gules and sable field, with maybe the two-headed populace badge on top of that. But it looks really a little busy in my mind's eye.

.....What to include from there could be interesting as well. I have a large number of elements that I could use from my various registered device and badges. I have Or pithons, winged cats, money bags with winged sheep on them, bordures with sable tails on them. There are a large number of choices.

.....TBT was also talking of a combined charge that could be rather interesting as well. She was suggesting something along the lines of a jessant-de-lys, which is a creature's head intersected by a Fleur-de-lys. The pictures I reviewed in Fox-Davies looked quite interesting.

.....This could be difficult, but fun. :-)

.....Managed to get a few chores done today. Caught up with the Crier books. Am ready to deposit checks tomorrow after work. Found our proof-of-purchase for June Faire insurance and sent a letter to the Corporate Office to follow up and ensure that Port Gamble gets their FAX. Straightened out the date for Last Chance Tourney, which will be on the weekend after September Crown. I'm a little hesitant about scheduling so close to September Crown, but all other weekends that month have several conflicts, so that really is the only weekend available. I worked on getting Yule Feast moving. Heck, I even cleaned out the garage and took stuff to the Baronial Storage Unit and Lobelia. As far as the day went, I did pretty good. :-)

.....This week will be about getting ready for Crown Council and getting circlets done. But things are starting to get easier. Fewer obligations means less stress means more sleep. I like that and could really get used to that. :-)

.....Sigh! Now if I could only get that to be a success approach for work. :-)

.....Time to go and get some sleep and get myself ready for the work week. :-)

.....Arontius / Aaron.


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