arontius: (Default)
.....It is Wednesday, a little over seven days before we start setting up the site for September Crown. There are still a number of things left to do before the event, but the countdown is getting louder in my head. It is getting much more difficult to concentrate at work, much to my embarrassment on several occasions. The new job on the East Coast is requiring much more coordination than is the usual case. So I work hard at maintaining focus on where it needs to be and let the other leaders on Team Haggis do what they need to do to get the work done.

.....Last Saturday's Serjeantry Trials were completed, and I believe I even felt a little of that magic from the previous year there several times during the day. The candidates had all worked incredibly hard and it showed. TBT and I were so tense on Friday that we could hardly sleep. That tension did not relax during the day very much at all. The schedule kept pretty much on track though, with some extensive scheduling work by Madrun and Ellen.

.....There were several moments of sheer nervousness. And at least one heart wrenching decision to be made. Which was not easy at all. If anyone thought that we arbitrarily made a snap decision without much soul-searching and wringing of hands, they do not know us very well at all. By the time we made it home that evening, we were absolutely exhausted.

.....Sunday started off quickly with a party to move hay bales from Port Gamble down to the September Crown site. It took a little longer than I wanted it to. But we also had to do some adjustments to the site map. Take some measurements. And a few other things that slowed down the day's progress. But we moved close to 100 bales to site. It'll make do for September Crown, hopefully with enough left over to make it to Last Chance.

.....The Madrone Equestrian Guild traveled from Seattle and toured the site. The only concern I heard expressed was what challenges were to be performed as part of the Kingdom Equestrian Championship at Crown.

.....I also experimented with a plastic tent spike in the secondary camping area. The ground is a little rougher in that patch of land than it is on the main field of site, so there was some concern about stakes being able to be pounded into the ground and staying in place. I pounded a plastic spike in several different place and in every spot the stake pounded in evenly and stayed in place. So I think we'll be O.K. in this area for the weekend.

.....Last night was the Social at Fight Practice and was a good turnout, with some new people in attendance. Heard a number of stories about Autumn War. I put a note out to the list asking about stories from the War, and Arqhai told us about the battles online, which seemed to be epic.

.....Tonight is about the move of the Water Tank from Oliver's house to the site. It has been at Oliver's for a number of years now and I doubt very much that he is sorry to see it go. :-) When we are done with it at September Crown it'll go to its new home at the Poulsbo PUD. Which reminds me that I need to speak to Barnet about making arrangements for that. I'm not sure when we'll have a free day in September to make that move.

.....Tomorrow night is the Regional Pelican Meeting. Actually, a Teleconference. It's an experiment to see if we can make it work O.K. Scheduled to last an hour (as that is all the bridge line time I could capture). The online meeting we did last year was O.K., but had some issues. Conversation flowed based on an individual's typing speed, along with how many people were co-located in the room with the typist. So a person by themselves could be talking up a storm and moving on through the candidates, while the slow typist was spending extra time just trying to get their thoughts typed out. I'm hoping that an actual conversation will flow easier. We'll see.

.....Friday night is my shopping night for event related merchandise. I have a list of stuff like batteries, hoses, marking paint, etc. Renart pointed me towards Home Depot for cheap hosing, so I think I'll start there first. Costco seemed a bust for everything except batteries.

.....Saturday morning I am going to sleep in first. :-) It'll be the first morning I will have been able to do that in a while. I'm very much looking forward to it. Sometime that day though I'll need to bring Lobelia down so we can clean her out and get her ready for September Crown. I'd like to have her all packed up and ready to go by Sunday as we're planning on taking her to Imperial early in the week to have her electrical system checked out. We think it is a dead battery, but we want to make sure as we will be relying on that power for the length of the weekend, four days in total.

.....I also need to clean out the garage. It is stuffed full of things accumulating since June Faire that will need to be packed into the U-Haul on Wednesday for transport to site. Both pavilions, the Arts and Sciences signage, our chairs, and much other assorted 'stuff'. by the time I go through it all maybe I'll be able to walk through the garage again. :-)

.....Time to get busy, got Ajax to pick up and a tank to move.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....Mondays are always tough. Everyone at work seems to want to catch up on stuff they let slide on Friday, and hurry up and get ready for the stuff they have on their plates for the upcoming week. So panic always seems to be in the air. Add to that all the cobweb clearing to be done from being home for two days straight, and it can be a real grindstone. Have I mentioned how much I hate Mondays?

.....This one is actually kind of interesting though, in a rather frustrating way. Dame Angharad has been maintaining Facebook in support of September Crown. We have been putting out messages to let people know they should make sure and pack some water. At first we weren't sure of how we would tap into the water available on site, and whether it was drinkable. Then, when we were given permission to tap into that water and were assured that it was drinkable, it was noted that it was a distance away from most of the camping. So we continued to encourage people to bring their own water to site. Dame Angharad dutifully promoted this on Facebook. And was pretty much beaten over the head for it with demands that all Teams should ensure sites had adequate drinking water before they were allowed to be part of a bid.

.....Dame Angharad handled it quite well actually. On my weekly informational e-mail on September Crown I'm sending out tonight, I'm making sure to include a note on drinking water. Hopefully people read it and regain some calm.

.....Working our way through the vehicle and parking issue. We're publishing notes on all the Parking Passes that essentially state people have 30-minutes to unload their gear once they get to their campsites. We are trying to get cars moved off the camping area as quickly as possible. We have never used this site for an SCA event before. We don't know its particular quirks and pitfalls and I'm being cautious. The fewer cars located in camping means fewer potential traffic jams.

.....People sent Angharad posts expressing their concern with the policy. I will have to spend some time clarifying that policy I think. It really is a hollow 'threat'. We're not planning on towing vehicles. We're not planning on standing around with stopwatches and timing people so they can be bullied out of the area after the 30-minute mark has passed. It is essentially an awareness issue. We really need people to move their vehicles off-site as quickly as possible.

.....I put this subject on today's Informational as well. We'll see what kind of response I get to it directly. If people seriously become unglued, we may need to soften that stance just a bit over the next several weeks. But as an awareness thing? It may be doing its intended purpose anyway.

.....I actually had fun at Summer Madness this last weekend. I was not looking forward to it on Friday as it had already been a long week and I have a 'to-do' list about ten miles long. I pulled myself out of bed on Saturday morning and had to convince myself that I needed to get dressed and get into the car.

.....But once we arrived on site? I had a lot of fun and the day seemed to just breeze by. Although it was HOT out there. I did redden up a bit. Thankfully there was a slight breeze every now and then, and I don't think it was as hot as was predicted. But it was still too hot for me none-the-less. :-)

.....We witnessed Morgan complete the Armored Combat portion of his Serjeantry Trials later in the morning. He and Conchobar sparred for around forty minutes. Morgan is a beast with two weapons. It was mesmerizing to watch. And inspirational. That's actually what I have enjoyed the most from the Serjeantry Trials, the inspiration that comes from watching the candidates perform and succeed.

.....After the individual one-on-one combat forms, Diomedes and Ajax joined in for some squad tactics and leadership trials. Again, in my opinion, Morgan was awesome in everything he did. It was magnificent to watch.

.....About an hour after the combat trials, it was time for the candidates to perform their bardic and dance trials. There were seven candidates present: Master Cedric, THL Morgan, THL Caius, THL Nidda, THL Jenae, THL Magdalena and Lord Albrecht. I enjoyed all of their bardic performances. I think the audience did as well as they maintained their attention throughout. :-)

.....For the dance portion, they all demonstrated the same two dances: Double Bransle and Horses Bransle. In such a large class it is a difficult thing to say they all need to do something different. But we may have to consider that for next year. I don't know. I'm still on the fence at the moment. *I* like dancing, but there are many who would otherwise have nothing to do with it.

.....The final dance was a Carolingian Pavane. Each of the candidates pulled a member of the audience out on to the dance floor with them and taught them the steps to the music. Then everyone lined up and we went danced through complete. At that point they had completed their dance trials. But we still kept dancing for one more song, the Korabushka, which is probably my favorite dance.

.....After that, it was time to set up for the potluck. Theodoric and Ella did a great job with all the cooking. I enjoyed the sausages and pork immensely. I certainly did not go away hungry, that's for sure. :-)

.....We sat around for a couple of hours, until early evening when the Mosquito Air Force came out in force from the surrounding swamps. It was like an air raid, with all of us running for our cars to get the heck out of there as quickly as possible. :-)

.....As we left for the evening I was once again reminded that we had survived a June Faire in the Uplands of Port Gamble one year. It was not our best June Faire, but we did survive. Which further reminded me that September Crown will be fine as that site is larger than the Uplands and will do fine for what we need it to do.

.....On Sunday we scooted back up to site to help Gwenllyn and Loric take down site and pack it all into vehicles for next weekend, when we'll go back to the Uplands for Huntsman's Challenge. :-) I anticipate it will be even easier than the picnic as I think we'll not have to be on site so early. But Sunday may be a challenge as we'll start working on plans to get all the bales of hay moved to the September Crown site.

.....Sigh, one thing at a time. Have to survive the week first.

.....Tonight is the last testing session before Serjeantry Trials itself. A Corpora Test tonight, based on Kingdom Law and Society Corpora. Ten essay questions. It should go fairly quickly as Magdalena gave a stellar training session to most of the candidates. Although, to be honest, most of them knew all the answers before Magdalena even started speaking. :-)

.....Tomorrow night is the regular Social at the VFW. I do not think we have anything scheduled for Wednesday or Thursday, which may be a miracle! But maybe I'll be able to get caught up with a few things dealing with September Crown. Then on Friday, back up to the Uplands to help with Huntsman's Challenge set-up.

.....And the wheel turns again. :-) The following week will be the roll-up to Serjeantry Trials on Saturday the 18th. The 19th will be a day of moving hay bales, and maybe a water tank if we're lucky, out to the September Crown site. If we can make that happen we might have the weekend of August 25th/26th open to actually get ourselves ready for Crown. I'm hoping for that at any rate.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....'Spider Pig! Spider Pig! Does whatever a Spider Pig does!'

.....Ever had one of those thoughts that just seems to be on auto-repeat in your brain? All Day Long!!!!??? Of all the thoughts I could have, it was this one it had to be! :-)

.....Taking just a moment to catch my breath as this is the one day this week that is not overly scheduled with things that must be done. It has finally come to the point where TBT and I will have to split forces to meet all the obligations as well. :-) It has absolutely nothing to do with trust as it has more to do with not having all the information directly. I just like soaking it all in myself. But alas, that is not to be tomorrow. I have a meeting out at the September Crown site to meet with Her Grace Miranda to check out the Equestrian area. Which means that TBT is going to head up the Wyvern meeting in Bremerton.

.....I think in some way TBT is looking forward to the meeting. Well, maybe not. We were9 just adamant from the day we stepped up that if it was a Polling Order that was desired that the members should do the required work for it, including actually meeting and polling. We set the pace by requiring a minimum of four meetings a year, once per quarter. And it has worked for the most part. Although we do need to add another award to the stream. Right now we give out Snapdragons by the handful at the lowest level, and then progress to the Wyvern. There either needs to be something in the middle. Or maybe something above the Wyvern and make it the mid level award. Still musing over that one. Although we have certainly added to the rolls of various awards over the past year. Don't want to saturate the market.

.....I hope that Miranda likes the area picked out for the Equestrians. It is a nice field with a lot of nice amphitheatre-like viewing area above and around. The only real sticking points are the water and the road down to the area. The road is going to be fixed by Barnet next month. The water is still a little sticky. The plan is currently to bring the water tank out to site and set it beside the Equestrian area. But that will require approximately 900-feet of hose to reach from the source to the tank. Or else put the tank on the mid level terrace and fill it up with 450-feet of hose and then move that hose from the tank to the Equestrian area. Either way will require a lot of freakin' hose! :-)

.....I regret now being the sluggard I was last weekend. There is a lot to do over the next couple of weeks, but I did enjoy taking things a little slower. Even though Monday was, well, Monday, I still made it through the Serjeantry Testing of games on Monday evening with most of my humor intact. I actually enjoyed most of it, until I started feeling like a zombie around 7PM. It was time to go home at that point.

.....Even though most of the candidates had been at An Tir / West War over the weekend, most of them still managed to drag themselves to the testing and accomplished all of it with no fuss whatsoever. I was impressed. :-) The only two who did not make it had been hit by issues on the road and had made it in late that day. I did not begrudge them missing the testing at all. They'll easily make it up next Monday, which is one of the few free Mondays during the testing period.

.....Tuesday was the regular Social / Fight Practice. We were shown the video of Sargent Alaricus as he performed a demonstration of his Serjeantry Quest of learning to shoot archery from horseback. It was very nicely done. I'm looking forward to hearing the Tale at our Roundtable Court at the August Picnic. I'm also looking forward to speaking of this to the Barony as a nice example of the Serjeantry learning new information and taking on new challenges during their Quests in order to inspire the Populace, bring new learning and new skills to teach the Populace, and to demonstrate to the entire Kingdom what makes Dragon's Laire the great place it is and how it is going to continue to grow ever greater. I need to spend a little time putting together a few words to the Barony extolling the three Quests completed to date.

.....This weekend is going to be busy. There is a gathering at Blackberry Hollow, the usual summer gathering. It is a rather nice and relaxing day to spend with friends. Then we're slated to take off to another gathering in Seattle. Although we'll probably leave it before the real drinking starts. :-)

.....Sunday has a Retinue Meeting scheduled in the morning and then another gathering in the afternoon. Then it is off to the airport later on Sunday. I have my itinerary and reservations all made, except for parking the car in SeaTac. I must remember to call that one in sometime on Saturday.

.....I'm not looking forward to a week in Indiana. I normally love traveling as it is the chance to see people and places I don't normally see. But the timing for this one is not that great. There is so much happening in August and September. I'd rather stay home and keep up with it. But I really want to go to the conference as there is much happening there as well. All the right people will be gathered together in one location. I'll be able to look various managers and engineers in the eye and gain some understanding on what is happening with our batteries. I always come back home with a lot of information that I am grateful to have received.

.....Friday the 20th of July is going to be a long day though. My flight takes off from Indianapolis at 6AM. It is a two hour flight to Chicago and then a four and a half hour flight to Seattle, arrival at 11:30AM. A trip home as quickly as possible and then piling into the car for a run down to Ranier, Washington in time to check into the hotel for July Coronation.

.....Must remember to get the Baronial Pavilion to Albrecht and Magdalena this weekend. I'm grateful for the fact that they've volunteered to be the custodian there and back. But I've also heard nothing from the Autocrat Team on who is going to be on the Erics and who isn't. We might end up not needing to pull the Baronial at all and sharing space with Madrone. I should probably poke at that tonight with an e-mail or two.

.....The 'to-do' list is starting to grow dramatically. I should probably organize that a bit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....It was actually the first weekend since early May where we didn't have five million things scheduled. Both TBT and I both worked hard to try and make sure we didn't book ourselves for anything either. We both needed a weekend to sleep in and catch up with ourselves at least a little bit. All in all, I think we pretty much succeeded. :-)

.....Friday was one of our only two obligations of the weekend. It was 'Fajita Day' at Conchobar and Eilidh's house over in Port Orchard. They traditionally set aside a weekend in June that is sort of a 'School's Out for Summer' gathering. Most of their friend set are public school teachers, so it makes sense. And since Conchobar and Eilidh come from New Mexico, it also makes sense that Fajita's would be the theme of the Bar-B-Que. :-)

.....Both TBT and I were really tired on Friday and it was our intention to simply make an appearance and leave when we could. But I found the food to be pretty good, the conversation nice, and the evening a pleasant experience to sit out and enjoy in the back yard. The only downer were the mesquitos, which were ferocious!

.....After a while, Conchobar and three other friends of his started on some music. They had a couple of amps set up and a full set. Conchobar sang the primary voice. Mainly '80's music. I found myself really enjoying it. I kept remembering with fondness life in the late '80's and early '90's. Hanging out with friends and playing the music of the day in the garage, or in the living room of the Zombie Zone (the 'communal home' we all rented together as that was all we could afford. :-)).

.....After Conchobar played a set, his band took a break and Nidda and Caius grabbed a couple of ukeleles and sang a couple of songs, including my absolute favorite, Hallelujah. :-) Good stuff. But after that, TBT was starting to fall asleep and really wanted to go home. We'd spent a couple of hours there, and it had flown by, so I packed up our stuff and we went home for the evening.

.....Saturday morning was our ritual Starbucks encounter, after sleeping in for the morning. Even I didn't get out of bed until 7AM, which is extremely late for me. :-) Then it was back home and a clean out of Lobelia. Took a couple of hours to pull everything out and then clean her out some. She started right up when I turned on the master switches, but the hotel batteries will not hold a charge for long at all. We will need to replace them before September Crown.

.....Swept her out and put chemicals in the gray and black water tanks, then grabbed TBT to drop Lobelia up at storage. All the gates were open, so it was easy to put away Lobelia. But when we tried to leave, we found ourselves locked out on the wrong side of the gate! Seems that in all the chaos of June Faire we had paid the Storage Unit late. For $19 they had put a lock-out on our code! I was disgusted. $19? I've had Lobelia stored there for over six years now and this is what I get, and we had even paid the rent. Wow! We need to find a new location to store Lobelia, that's for sure.

.....We had a quick lunch and then met Madrun for a visit to the Baronial Storage Units. The stuff picked up from site later, the stuff that made it into our garages anyway. All of this was collected so it could go back to where it belongs. Which is pretty typical for a June Faire, which usually takes three or four trips back to get everything put away. :-)

.....TBT spent time creating and working on a loom, and I spent Saturday evening researching music for my single entry into KBC next year. With much reluctance I finally gave up any thought of performing on the gemshorn. No matter how much I like it, the gemshorn I play is not qualified really to be called period. Although I really like the sound of it. It has a fingering system much more like a recorder. I could cover a hole or two and play something on it, but I really don't have the time to do the research on it that would be required.

.....So, it is back to the Bass Recorder. I'm going to play some Dowland. 'Lady Hammond's Alman' to be exact. An Elizabethan piece that will be fairly easy to document. There is plenty of period source material to detail how it should be played. Even though it was written by Dowland for a Lute, it is very typical of the day to play his music on other instruments, so extrapolation will be relatively easy. I found a score I liked, and even a digital picture of an extant copy of the Alman, so I'm halfway home. Now I just have to play it well. :-)

.....Today was pretty free-form. I did not feel motivated to any large degree. I did manage to extract the bedroom from the masses of stuff accumulated from June Faire and Honey War. Clothes were put away. SCA 'stuff' was collected and put away. You can now see the Hope Chest and the Dresser Drawers for the first time in three weeks. :-)

.....Laundry was done. Clothes put out for the week. Notes started for meetings I had last week. Nothing completed, but starting them all made me feel better. Then a trip to Gwen's for dinner and to say 'Fare Well' to Truly, who will be leaving us within the next couple of weeks. Rather say, but exciting in the aspect of travel. Sometimes I wish I could travel more. :-) Now, if I could get over my hatred of actually moving, I would be more motivated to find new places in which to travel for work. :-)

.....This week looks to be a little slower than last. THANKFULLY! Items to remember for this week include:

* Complete notes and Action Items from Western Regional Pelican Meeting of last week.
* Complete notes and Action Items from September Crown Meeting of last week.
* Complete arrangements for July Coronation support.
* Get insurance information to Tsuruko so she can submit for Site Insurance and Equestrian Insurance.

.....There are a host of others, but those are the big ticket Must Do's.

.....Time for bed I think.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (June Faire Road Sign)
.....Getting ready for the third meeting of this week, the May Business Meeting. I'm decidedly tired at this point and want to sleep more than anything else. But I need to get everything pulled together so we can get out of here a few minutes early and double-down on the caffeine. :-) I'm just glad that we finished our reports yesterday. I just have to print them out and paraphrase them at the meeting. Tomorrow is Friday, with a weekend of sleeping in at least a little bit.

.....Last night was a September Crown meeting. I had about fifteen people show up for it. Actually more than I expected. I mainly wanted to go through our list of 'go-dos' and keep people thinking about them before the June Faire madness really takes hold. As soon as June Faire is over we'll be moving fast to keep up with everything we need to do to support the event.

.....I need to find a Volunteer Coordinator. Someone to really start walking up to the branches of the Kingdom and working them hard to volunteer for the big duties, like gate. Finding a really motivated and dedicated Volunteer Coordinator is always difficult, but I've got a few ideas and I will see if I can put together some bribable tid-bits to entice potential candidates.

.....Need to also start hitting up the local Baronial Cousins for branch support of various activities. Aquaterra owes us for our support of July Coronation last year. But I would rather approach it as brethren helping brethren rather than an obligation. I'm thinking that they would rather see it that way as well. Really need some dedicated parking support and gate support. Oooo, and a group dedicated to setting up and tearing down the Kingdom Pavilions around the Erics. I forgot to put that on my agenda last night. Need to hit that up soonest with e-mail traffic.

.....This weekend is May Pole up in Druim Doineann. I would like to day trip, but I just don't know if I can. So many things to get done this month in support of May Crown, June Faire and Serjeantry. Any free time I can shake loose in support of those items is a necessity. There are a number of people attending from the Barony, so as a group we'll be well represented. But it always makes a difference to have the Baron and Baroness show up. Even us (although I think Druim Doineann would prefer a visit from Blatha An Oir. Alexsii and Elspeth are more epically heroic than we are. :-)).

.....I need to get up to Lobelia this weekend and pull out stuff I need for May Crown. Should not be a whole lot, but definitely the mattress is needed, some blankets and maybe pillows. The flashlights are up there, as well as the battery supply. May want to pull out some tables. I think we're good for chairs (although we need to put together the new Ikea chairs and pack them in Heather). Then it will be down to the bins of stuff normally needed to support a weekend (clothes, toiletries, food stuff, etc.). Trying my best to pare down the lists to manageable sizes and not pack Heather full of stuff that will not be needed. That's the beauty of starting the packing process so early. I get to THINK about the stuff I'm packing and whether I REALLY need it, instead of just throwing everything in eyesight into Heather and not using half of it over the weekend.

.....June Faire packing will be done over the Memorial Day weekend. I'll bring Lobelia to the house for that packing. The neighbors know it is truly the summer season when they wake up and find the RV and the Rental Truck blocking all the traffic in the Cul-De-Sac. :-) The sailors across the street will suffer the most probably. They have had a half dozen cars parked all over the street and their drive-way for a couple of weeks now.

.....Must also give some thought to our plans for June Faire. We tentatively have a 'Grand Processional' planned for Saturday. Maybe two with the first being a leisurely tour of site with lots of conversation and recognition of those participating and the second being a processional filled with pomp and pageantry. This one will require at least a modicum of preparation to make happen.

.....Also need to speak to a number of people on having someone take on the Bardic gathering of Saturday night at June Faire. TBT and I will be Zombies before Court is done and need someone to organize a gathering, get a fire going and advertise it. That's a hard one though as everyone else will be busy during the day as well and very tired. Hmmm, I've got a few ideas on people though. Do not want to scare them off though. Must be delicate in approach. :-)

.....Looks like a trip to Indiana over the week of July after Coronation. I'll most likely have to leave that Sunday night, so probably a day trip is in order for Coronation. The drive will be about three hours or so, but it isn't bad. Will make for a long day though. Hope there is no grumbling about the lack of support from the Baron and Baroness. Sigh! Those are the complaints that always make me the most crazy. You can only be so many things to so many people. My limit is between two and three. If I try hard enough I can be in two place at any given time. But in times of extra craziness, I can go as high as three. But more is pretty much impossible. :-)

.....The Live Journal SCA Feed had a story on an 'Inflatable Stonehenge' the other day. It was one of those bouncy structures that kids play on and around (in England, I think). The stones were rather realistic and the whole thing looked rather cool. While I was Googling for information on it though I happened to run across a number of other entries of Stonehenge recreations people have built around the world. Some have put A LOT of work into some of these recreations, down to actual several ton stone blocks being put into position. Full Stonehenge recreations, with all stones in place and fully intact. I ran across one in progress that someone was building out of wire and fiberglass. Once each block was completed and painted, they looked incredibly realistic! For only a portion of the weight of complete blocks. I was suddenly seeing visions of a scaled down model in our back yard. We have a really nice shaded grove of grass under the Cedar trees that would make an excellent platform for a Stonehenge recreation. Another project for the wish list of things to do after we step down. :-)

.....A planetary conjunction coming either tonight or tomorrow night, with an enlarged view of the moon this weekend. Astronomically speaking, it is going to be a number of good days to pull out a telescope, or a good set of binoculars, and take a look at things that are not always so beautifully visible. I need to see if I can find the small lens for my telescope and pull it out of storage. Or at least the good camera.

.....Time goes by fast. Must get everything pulled together for tonight.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It was yet another whirlwind weekend that went by way too fast. It'll be just like this through the summer. I'd better get strapped in for the ride.

.....Saturday morning was a trip over to Angharad's house out by Horseshoe Lake for the new June Faire Sign Painting Party. It was hosted officially by the Order of the Wyvern's. But many other hands were involved in the process to this point. Adelheidi purchased the materials. TBT and Albrecht did the initial artwork. Marcus made sure they were delivered to their house for the painting itself. Arion went to the County Recycle Center for the paint. Then a bunch of us turned out at 10AM on Saturday to do some painting.

.....TBT initially set up the color scheme for the figures. I actually like the designs. It is definitely a different style that the old signs, but will work nicely. The colors pulled by Arion are BRIGHT. I thought them somewhat garish at first, but when I stepped back later and looked at them again, I thought that the colors worked great as road-side advertising.

.....Here is the design put together by TBT:

.....We painted one side of all three boards (which were six feet by four feet each). They needed to dry and then flipped over so that the other side could be painted. But we had to get going as TBT had to catch up on orders for her Business, and the next shift of painters were due in the afternoon. So we left around 12:30 or so. We'll have to remember to get pictures of the completed signs. :-)

.....After lunch TBT went to work and I started the pack up of Heather for May Crown. I pulled together both of the smaller pavilions and counted out all the parts to make sure of what we had and what we didn't and then made a list. Everything went into Heather or on the lumber racks at that point. The Baronial Chairs went into Heather, and the bed. Even with all of that packing done, Heather was only around a quarter of the way filled with 'stuff'.

.....Ran down to the Baronial Storage Unit with my lists of missing 'stuff' and pulled out the Baronial Pavilion and packed it up, and then dug out the missing items. Which, as guessed, were all located in the Storage Unit.

.....I think this is the earliest I've ever packed Heather for May Crown infrastructure. Loading the remainder of what we'll need for the weekend should be fairly straight forward. I finished Saturday feeling slightly accomplished. :-)

.....Sunday started with the usual Starbucks run first thing in the morning and then some catching up of chores on the computer. The quarterly financial report for the Office of Kingdom Chronicler is complete and out the door. It will be the last report dealing with paying a printing house directly for production of The Crier.

.....Also made arrangements for upgrading the software to the Chronicler's Office. When Angharad stepped down we picked up CS4 (InDesign). A new Chronicler will take office shortly, so we're going to purchase the next upgrade to CS5.5 / CS6. It is an amazing piece of software. Light years ahead of Pagemaker, which is what I used to produce The Crier. And already advanced from what we purchased as InDesign two years ago.

.....I still find it amazing the things that have simplified themselves in the handful of years since I was Chronicler. I remember having to spend upwards of an hour or two setting up each page of The Crier to be turned into a .pdf in order to send it to the publisher for printing. A single click of the mouse now formats everything and makes it publishing ready. A single keystroke!

.....I still remember producing newsletters in WordPerfect, so I think it is at least a little understandably on why I'm so constantly amazed. :-)

.....Madrun and Dylan showed up after lunch and I was regaled with stories of fighting units at Art of War over the weekend. Dylan had obviously had a very grand time there. :-) I pulled some of the basics from him and posted something to the Baronial e-list about it. Morgan piggy-backed on top of that post sometime later with an absolutely fantastic tale of the weekend and the exploits of the Dragon's Laire Populace members who attended. We need to encourage more people to do that. :-)

.....This evening was a trip to Rich and Gwen's in order to celebrate Rich's Mom's birthday. Rich performed grill duty, something he does very well. It was all very tasty. I also had a little bit of an opportunity to talk to Bernie as well about some of the September Crown site preparations I was hoping Bernie could help in doing. He was all over it. He's going to see what he can do to get a back-hoe out there to help fix the road on site. He also might have an in on a local (to the airport) brush hog that will take out the remaining scotch broom that is messing with our lay-out.

.....This week doesn't look too bad, although the schedule is tight. Tuesday is the regular Social. Wednesday is a September Crown meeting at the Sylvan Way library (I've got to remember to finish the agenda for it). Thursday is the May Business Meeting.

.....May!? Wow, I can't believe it is already May!

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Well, it's Monday night after NORWESCON and it is time to re-insert myself back into The Matrix of 'Real Life'. I'm not looking forward to it, but it had to happen sometime. Tomorrow is going to be rough, followed by not just one, but two meetings in the evening. What timing! I need to watch my patience level closely. Grumpiness will only be tolerated so far.

.....Even though today went by fast, a number of things were completed. Everything that went us to NORWESCON was unloaded and put away. Clothes are in the wash cycle. Food put away. Dishes done for the most part. Even the cat boxes were cleaned again. And the Computer Room was washed down. Definitely a win.

.....Started putting together the big 'to-do' lists for the next handful of months. It is now officially June Faire season, and it will be here fast. The U-Haul reservation was sent to Adelheidi for her records. Invitations re-sent to the local Barons and Baronesses for reservations about the Erics. A note was sent to the Noble Estate list, but this one targeted the neighbors directly. With Their Majesties set to be in attendance, we need the Cousins to get their space reservations locked up as soon as possible.

.....Cedric and Talon gave me their vision of the June Faire Tournaments at the last June Faire Board meeting. I translated my notes and sent the resulting list back to them for review and correction. Once it is complete and accurate I'll start spamming the Noble Estate e-list, and maybe others, to generate more attendance. I need to also emphasize the fact that June Faire is a stop on the Kingdom Heavy and Rapier Tournament Circuits. That should be a draw as well as the hopefully spiffy prizes. Really need to beef up that letter before I send it out.

.....Sent batch of award recommendations in to Gabrielle for June Faire. That's a little earlier than last year, but not by a whole lot. Must do better next year. There are several of the newer awards that need Master Scrolls done as well. I'm not sure there is enough time to get them done prior to June. We may end up giving a few 'Promissory Notes'. Certainly not the preference or either TBT or myself. But sometimes you make some compromises. It's the recognition that is the most important.

.....Held a conversation with the Director from the Port of Bremerton today. I'm impressed that we made it to this level. He seems to be willing to work with us. But I suspect some bad news is coming, along with whatever good news he has to offer. At this point in time, I'd rather get all the cards out on the table so we can punt as we need to. All these unknowns are far worse. We'll make due with what we end up with. Deal with those who'll complain (this is the SCA, complaining is an art form :-)). Then we'll move on and get the event done.

.....First thing first, meeting with the Director.

.....Tomorrow is the June Faire Board meeting. TBT and myself are going to stop off at the VFW Hall first and give Ambrose our best wishes (along with cupcakes) as this will be his last Fight Practice in An Tir. He is on his way to Artemesia shortly. We also have other things to drop off there.

.....Wednesday, TBT has a Regional Laurel's meeting.

.....Thursday is the Spring Wyvern meeting at the Subway on Kitsap Way. Should be a straight-forward meeting and get over fairly quickly.

.....Then it is Friday and a weekend with nothing planned. :-) Not many of them left between now and October. I'm going to enjoy every one of them. :-)

.....Time for bed. Zzzzzzz.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....This cold thing has not been pleasant. I'm glad to start seeing it in the rear view mirror. I finally started feeling somewhat human when I woke up to the alarm this morning. Now I just have to clear out the lungs of all the 'stuff' that has accumulated in them. At least it doesn't hurt so much to cough at this point. It was strange how it came in waves. The first wave was about two weeks ago. Not a whole lot of coughing or respiratory things on that go around. Mainly just a lethargy and run-down feeling with a little bit of stomach ache. The second wave was about a week or so ago. It consisted of a head-cold and body aches, and just a overall 'achy' feeling. This last one was the most dramatic. Lung issues, slight fever, head cold, headaches. Not pleasant. I'm just glad it's finally almost over.

.....Last weekend I had a laundry list of things to get done, but felt poorly enough to not get even half of them done. The one thing on my list that was overdue was a haircut and I ultimately wished I had not done it either. The place I usually use has not done all that great a job the past couple of times I've been there. And I still get charged $17 for the privilege. Not right!

.....Things are still moving painfully slowly on behalf of September Crown. The Bremerton Motorsports Group had been slow in their responses to my latest round of questions, and I found out one of the reasons why in an article published last weekend in the Kitsap Sun. Front page at that! Their 'Master Plan' had originally called out for a Drag Strip raceway as part of the new park that we're currently using for the Crown Site. The submitted plans took out the drag strip itself. There were harsh cries of foul from the proponents of the race site. But what I found interesting in the article itself were the fears of the Industrial Park tenants and the neighbors surrounding the raceway. I didn't think there were that many, but if you look at an aerial view there are more than you might think. Mike Burdick, the BMSG guy who has been assisting us lately, was quoted several times in the article with his regrets on having to remove the drag strip from the Master Plan.

.....A drag strip is a very noisy proposition. In talking to a few people who have some familiarity with this I was basically told that the drag races happening at the strip would probably be heard as far away as Belfair and Gorst in either direction. For those within a mile or so of the strip itself, the noise level would be pretty incredible. The Sun article spoke to the probability of Industrial Park tenants leaving the site.

.....The Bremerton Motorsports Group actually has included us in some of their long term planning, which I find interesting as we haven't even given them a single check as yet. The proposal is that when construction actually begins on the north side of the Highway, our activities would move to the track area on the south side of the Bremerton Airport. Some of the plans include clearing some forest space out for us. Don't know how long we'll be able to stay there before the new highway goes through the area, but I'm certainly open to possibilities. It's not like Dragon's Laire has large and open event sites waiting in line to host us in Kitsap County.

.....Looks like the September Crown pre-registration page goes live on March 2nd. The Marketplace Coordinator has revised the application form. We're looking it over now and it should go live within the next week. I think I'll schedule a Team Haggis gathering for sometime in the next two weeks and we'll see about laying out a game plan for the next several months.

.....I attended a meeting of the Serjeantry candidates last Sunday. It ended up being heraldry night. I looked over a number of possible name and device submissions, conflict checking what I could with the manuals I had. Definitely an enthusiastic group. We also clarified a number of the requirements. Hopefully stating them in a way that could be understood more easily. I took some notes on this that we can pass on to Dame Ellen when we get with her on completing the latest updates. All of the questions have been good ones. I try to encourage the questions whenever possible. The more I can explain something, the easier it ultimately becomes to explain it.

.....This is true to an extent on the Quest. I think everyone is grasping the concept for the most part. The fact that it is not something that is black-and-white makes it a little more difficult to explain. But it is starting to get easier to explain as well as give examples. Every time I talk about it I put out the reminder that the Quest component is going to be different for every single person performing it. It has to be in order to be something that ultimately benefits the person doing it as well as the Barony. If the person performing it really has no interest in doing it, how is that going to inspire others in the Barony to take on something exciting or different or new? I can't wait to see the first couple of completed Quests so we have something concrete and done to which to speak. It may take longer than the allotted six month time frame, but if the serious work is being done to fulfill it, I'm more than willing to extend the deadline. We'll see how that plays out in the overall scheme of how this fits together.

.....Fight Practice and June Faire Populace Meeting tonight at the OSSC. I thought it a good idea to hold it there. It'll possibly bring out a number of people who've never made it to see the OSSC and Fight Practice location.

.....Need to start concentrating on finding a new location for when the VFW Hall rental runs out. The VFW Folks have been really good to us, but we need to find a place again like we had with Seaside Church. A place that all the different groups of the Barony can come together and mingle. I don't really want to go back to the old days of utilizing places like Silverdale Waterfront Park. Sure, it is free and available. But how many people did you actually see out there from November through February? There is a compromise out there somewhere, we just need to get creative. We have until the end of July to find this place. Need a Honey Badger to 'get crackin'.

.....This weekend is the Madrone Arts and Sciences Championship in Magnolia. I'm traveling with a Florence load of ladies bright and early on Saturday morning. It'll be interesting to see the different way in which Madrone judges their Championship. We might come away with some nuggets to add to our process. Although, I like where we are headed in Dragon's Laire. Just needs some finessing.

.....I've got to get going on that 'to-do' list as well. June Faire will be here in a hurry! There are many things to get done. Again, I need to channel my inner Honey Badger. :-) Maybe in more ways than one. :-)

.....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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.....Sometime over the weekend Anne Brynley deleted her Live Journal account. No warning was given. Part of me is curious as to why, but the larger portion is telling me to mind my own business and stay out of it. Sigh.

.....On Live Journal a month or so ago I subscribed to the blogs of a couple of authors that I read religiously. Barbara Hambly regularly updates her Journal with all of her mundane and ordinary life activities. If you thought an author's life was glamorous, reading her Journal will disavow that within days. I'm actually amazed at how, hmmm, normal, she is. :-) Which is really cool, and inspiration in many regards. As in you don't necessarily have to be an ARTIST to be an author. Good thing for me since I'm not one. :-)

.....Diana Paxson also maintains a Journal here on Live Journal. February 20th is her birthday. One of the original founders of the SCA, and definitely an author of note. She has translated many of the big Celtic Mythic stories into Fantasy Novels that follow the original intent rather closely. She is also rather big in some of the Pagan / Norse Mythos communities. She doesn't post nearly as often as Barbara Hambly, but it's still interesting to hear her take on things when she does post.

.....TBT has taken on the major task of tracking down the Baronial Charter signed and sealed by King Tjorkill and Queen Elowyn when we were made a Barony. She posted a couple of e-mails today asking to help track it and from all indications it really is in the possession of THL Maria. If I remember the Scroll correctly, it actually is addressed to her and Baron James, so she might have thought that it actually belonged to her as the 'Founding Baroness'. As I think of those of us who were around at that time, there are only one or two people I think Maria might respond to positively if asked for the Scroll. I'm certainly not one of them. But I think that TBT might be able to get away with it. We'll see.

.....That was one of my absolute favorite June Faire's. One of our last at Frank Raab Park in Poulsbo. I received my AoA on that same day. That first year as a Barony was rather magical. We had some major dreams of the things we would do as a group. That first class of Serjeantry was astounding in their willingness to work together. I still have pictures of them all wearing the uniform of the class. They all wore a red, late period, shirt in a show of solidarity. The Trials themselves took place at the Chico Way fields where the Kitsap County Native Tribes hold their annual PowWow's. What a year that was.

.....THL Renart has volunteered to produce a replacement scroll for the Baronial Charter. I'm sure it would end up looking even better than the original. But I'd still like to see if we could get our hands on the original. Nothing that is ever redone can hold the same sense of 'history' in your hands as holding the original.

.....Need to put together a working 'to-do' list for the next couple of weeks. There are a lot of things coming up on the horizon and if I don't get organized now, I'm never going to stay on top of things. There are a handfull of September Crown foundation pieces to finalize. Then a rather largish group of June Faire items to plan out, especially in the martiallate arena.

.....Then May Crown to fit into the mix. We've got to find someone willing to be the camping coordinator for Crown. It's a rather lengthy drive, so attendance will be on the smaller side. I'll have to ask around and see who is actually going to make the drive.

.....But first a three day weekend coming up. What am I going to do with all that free time. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....I had a September Crown meeting scheduled for this evening, but postponed it last night thinking that the roads would still be a mess this evening. In retrospect it was probably still a good decision. The major roads were quite passable, but many side streets were really still messy. Bridle View Place is definitely a mess, and hard to maneuver.

.....Ready to unveil the September Crown site move, just need to get a few more items lined up. Tip-toeing around Druim Doineann as I really want them to stay involved in the process, and make sure they understand that the site move had nothing to do with them as a group. I probably don't need to be as careful as I am on dealing with them. But there have been a couple of mis-communications with them over the past couple of years, so I am being careful.

.....I lucked out yesterday being a 'Snow Day' from work. I woke up with a migraine and spent most of the day asleep. Finally started feeling more human around 3PM. The work phone had gone off at least a dozen times, most of the calls being the Shipyard sending out notifications of the Shipyard being shut down for the day. :-) But the crew located in Norfolk was feeling rather cut off from the world, having no one with whom to speak at the Yard. :-)

.....The remainder of the Team travels next Monday, so the Office will be rather quiet for several months. It'll be nice for a couple of weeks at least, a nice time in which to get caught up with the WARR, the MOA's that are behind schedule, all the miscellaneous reports that have been at the bottom of the 'In Box' for while. But there will come a time, hmmm, maybe sometime in February, where the quiet of the office will start to become somewhat oppressive. Which is funny, really. :-)

.....This weekend should be relatively slow paced, although today seemed rather strange. Like the third Friday of the week. :-) We have a Wyvern meeting set for tomorrow morning. Looks like it will be rather well attended. Sometime in the afternoon we get to see the new Baronial Addition, Jack. :-) At which we'll be able to also pick up the files that Talon saved for us from our obsolete portable hard drive. Which was a lucky save for me as I'll be able to pull my Crier Exchequer Doomsday Report from it and get it submitted to Kingdom before the deadline.

.....The weather does not look all that great for the weekend, but if the roads are looking pretty good on Sunday I'm going to try and make a run up to Sequim. Ivan has a site in mind he'd like to see used for a larger event in the future. I'd like to take a look as the aerials look pretty good. Plus it'll give me an opportunity to speak with him in person and make sure we're both on the same page with the Crown move. Then we'll be all ready for next Tuesday's meeting.

.....The following weekend is Ursulmas. I need to remember to send out a reminder early next week about Baronial space available at Ursulmas. Also need to send out a reminder about Letters of Intent for Serjeantry. Which also reminds me that we need to review the Serjeantry Manual updates within the next week at the latest and get with Ellen to make sure we're all on the same page. As well as the rest of the Serjeantry. They need to at least review what is going to be offered to those presenting Letters.

.....Which further reminds me that I've got to get the new Serjeantry E-List set up pronto.

.....Thankfully, we had a retinue meeting last weekend so we knocked out most of what is going to happen at Candlemas Court on February 4th. Requests for scrolls have already gone out. We'll have to probably give out some Promissary Notes. Our Scribal Community is hard working and brilliant, and I'd sure like to clone them two or three times over. :-) Need to make some more time at some point to push Scribal. Sigh, I need to clone myself, TBT, and all the retinue, past and present.

.....What I'd really like is Freeze Dried Baronial Retinue, a la Bugs Bunny Martians. Just add water, and up pops an instant minion. If only the Real World (tm) was more like Looney Tunes. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Depending on which weather report you read today we are either going to die by suffocation from the massive amounts of snow that are going to fall, or we are going to freeze to death from the maelstrom of the snow storm about to hit. I hope it waits until at least I get home from work tomorrow. :-)

.....The car has gas. I pulled out the long underwear, the scarf, the gloves, and the hat. The laundry is pretty much done. Wish I could call in sick or similar tomorrow, but there are too many things waiting to get done at work. Half the crew flew today to Norfolk. Several others fly tomorrow. By next Monday everyone will be in Virginia except for me. It'll be a quiet office for a couple of months.

.....It was good to have the day off though. Not a whole lot was done, but it was nice to relax and take care of things at a slower pace. I'm sure that Dr. King would have preferred that I had gone out to do something good for the common welfare of man. But maybe it helps Society as a whole if I start the week in a happier frame of mind. :-)

.....Started off the MLK,Jr. holiday with the usual run at Starbucks, then the run over to Gwen's for a retinue meeting. We went over the calendar for the next several months to make sure we were all on the same page for what events we were attending. The weekends are lining themselves up fast. It's amazing how soon June Faire will be here!

.....Then a discussion of the day at Candlemas. How the judging might look on that day, and how best Her Excellency and I can ensure that at least one of us makes it to every performance, presentation and judging session.

.....Court was a big topic of discussion. Even with Candlemas being as dedicated as it is to the Arts & Sciences, Bardic and Scholar Championships, there will be other things we'll need to stuff into that Court as well. Not the least of which is acceptance of Letters of Intent for Serjeantry. I know of at least a couple coming our way.

.....Ack! And Baby Bibs! There will be a mini-explosion of new members of the Barony over the next couple of months. Baby Bibs with the Baronial Device on them will have to be produced by the gross!

.....After the retinue meeting, I had to run up to the Nexus of Evil in Poulsbo, otherwise known as Wal-Mart, and pick up the new eye glasses. For some reason, they tried to give me someone else's. :-) I picked up the glasses from the counter and thought that something was wrong. First of all, the frames were gold in color, and I remembered picking out silver colored frames. When I put them on everything was blurry. I knew something was wrong at that point. But the clerk valiantly tried to move the earpieces and nose pieces around for about twenty minutes, convinced that they were just not sitting on my face in the correct position. Then he finally went into the back room and discovered that he had picked up the wrong tray. Oops! :-)

.....The world looks a lot different in these glass. A lot sharper, that's for sure! But the focus is making my eyes ache a little. I may have to transition into them for a few days. I hadn't realized just how difference the prescription is now in comparing the old and new glasses.

.....Finally made it back home around 3PM. Most of the rest of the day has been about lounging around and leisurely getting ready for the work week. I sent out e-notes for Serjeantry and Ursulmas. I still have to finalize the September Crown meeting location for Friday, but that'll have to wait until tomorrow so I can finalize the location.

.....Talon was our Guardian Angel today. The hard drive with years of critical information on it went to him to see if any of it was recoverable. Apparently, even though there are corrupted files on the drive, large sections of it are being saved to another disk. Yeah! Talon! I definitely owe him a big one, especially if the Crier folder is more-or-less intact. I'm crossing my fingers!

.....Busy week this week. As long as the Snowpocalypse doesn't materialize there will be a Social and June Faire meeting tomorrow night. Wednesday is Fight Practice. Thursday is a Pearl's meeting. Friday is the September Crown meeting. Saturday will be a Wyvern meeting.

.....And on the seventh day they rested?

.....If Snowpocalypse does happen though, Oliver is all set to pull the trigger on canceling the Social. Certainly don't want anyone getting into trouble just to be Social.

.....Ack! Also just remembered that I have proposed dates for Western Regional Pelican Meetings I have to post. Need to do that pronto.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.....Aaron / Arontius
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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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.....Success was achieved on the garage front today. One more item checked off of my holiday 'to-do' listing. It is relatively cleaned and organized. Looks like, with just a little bit of maneuvering, that we could even get Heather parked in there if we really wanted to do so. A win!

.....Although Heather is stuffed for a trip to the landfill. I managed to get at least a little bit ruthless, although I found out that we've been doing pretty good about reducing our tonnage of 'stuff'. The hard part is keeping everything neat and tidy. Once that is done there is magically a lot more room in which to work.

.....All the lumber was sorted and bundled for the next Camping Season. I find that I'm missing at least four poles to the 12x12 pavilion, and at least two to TBT's round pavilion, as well as one of the pieces to the center pole. I'm making a bet that they are located in the unheated storage unit. I think that one of the 2x4 poles for our day shade is also located there. But I did find all the pins and finials for it, so we're at least part of the way there.

.....The 12x12 is folded up and stored correctly, finally. I'm seriously thinking of experimenting with it. I can pick it up and maneuver it fairly easily myself, so I'm thinking it might be able to go into one of the industrial wash machines at the local laundry facility. If I can get the canvas into it, and put in a really weak bleach solution, could I get it to whiten out cleanly? Get some of the stains off of it? Hmmm, I'm even wondering if maybe a dye process might work as well. Maybe a light, light green or red or blue? Nothing dark as I don't want to fry in the middle of summer. But a light color might be interesting. One step at a time though, into the washer with the bleach and we'll see what happens.

.....Workbenches are cleared and ready for use. All the tooling and materials are put away. All the camping gear is bundled into their own storage bins and stacked neatly away. The uncovered acid did a bit more damage to some of the exposed tooling than I realized at first, but it doesn't look like more than surface rust. So a good cleaning and oiling might fix it all. With the exception of the Harbor Freight drill. It is made of cheap materials and is pretty much starting to fall apart at the seams.

.....All the armor is collected and put away into appropriate piles and bags. I kept it accessible though. I really would like to get it repaired sometime in January. I don't think that Estrella is in the cards this year or next, but Estrella in 2014 might be achievable. At the very least I've got to get into it at least once or twice this year if at all possible.

.....One more trip to the storage unit to drop off some bins of thread and we'll be done with everything there, with the exception of pulling our lumber from the unheated unit. But that will take some effort and it can stay in there safely until we need to get to it, so I'm not too terribly worried.

.....Gotta get the grime off though in time for New Year's celebrations. I'd sure love a nap though. Maybe I can squeeze one in over the next hour? :-)

.....Happy New Year! I'm thinking the Mayans meant 2012 to be a year of renewal myself. So let's celebrate! :-)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Read this quote on CNN today: "'You must understand that, people, we live in direct relation to the heroes and she-roes we have....If we don’t have heroes and she-roes and keep them alive, we are nothing.' - Maya Angelou."

.....Very profound if you think about it. Heroes are the personifications of what we perceive as the best in ourselves and what we consider the most noble aspects of the human race. My heroes are different from the heroes of others because the things that inspire me, that I think are great and wonderful, are different than say those things that TBT finds awesome and powerful in someone whom she admires. I think it speaks of Ms. Angelou's brilliance that she could put something so profound into a statement so relatively simple and succinct.

.....Errands achieved early this morning. Although the Computer Room is still in upheaval. But I can walk around in it and the floor is relatively clean. I may make another attempt at cleaning it tomorrow, but that is tomorrow. :-)

.....Put on my mental and emotional armor for the descent into the fifth plane of hell at 1PM today, called Wal-Mart in the modern world. Was actually rather glad I went through with the Optometrist Appointment there, to be honest. I was really on the fence and ready to cancel, but looking at the waste of an entire year's worth of payments to the Vision Insurance, I finally told myself to be a grown up and deal with it.

.....The nice thing about going to a facility that takes your insurance up front? You have a lot less paperwork with which to deal. Everything was computerized, with authorization on what they would pay for and not pay for immediately given. Instead of the usual 'fill out a crap ton of paper work and cross your fingers on what they will and will not pay for'. Which is what it has been like with the Dental Insurance. We've not yet gone to a dental provider specifically listed as MetLife and have paid for it with a lot of paperwork nightmare. Definitely a lesson to be learned for this next year.

.....Hadn't realized that the last time I had new glasses was before the Gastric Bypass surgery. A lot has changed in that time! For one thing the astigmatism that was in my left eye is now gone. We're not quite sure if that is directly attributable to weight loss, or no longer having high blood pressure, or what. But I'll take it for a win.

.....I'm also going to get away without needing bifocals one more time. :-) It was close though. :-) The doctor is pretty sure that the NEXT set of glasses are going to be bi-focals though. :-)

.....Then the not-so-good stuff. The doctor was looking into my right eye and started asking if I was a smoker. Then if I had been through a recent surgery or major illness. To all of which I replied 'no'. He was sitting and thinking about it when I thought about mentioning to him that I had gastric bypass about six years ago now. It was like a light bulb went off. He noted some macular degeneration and told me that I needed to go and see the doctor and get some blood work done as he thinks I have some vitamin deficiency issues happening. It's been a while since my last blood work, so I'll make that appointment first thing next week. I think I'll make the appointment with Dr. Oh in Federal Way and get a 'for real' reading done as well. I'll use it as a baseline and do a little more pushing on Dr. Minteer over here in Silverdale to get a more aggressive regimen going. I miss Dr. Oh and may need to find a new doctor over on this side of the world.

.....Glasses were then purchased. As in actually glass. I thought hard about the plastic lenses, but the difference in price is pretty significant. I'm used to glass and photogray, so we'll do this one more time. With the Vision Insurance actually in place, I don't think it is going to be six or eight years between new glasses again, so maybe the next go-around we'll go with the plastic lenses.

.....After that the day moved pretty quickly. Feast gear that was covering the table was sorted and put away. We now have two feast boxes packed with relatively matching gear, ready for the next feast. I need to remember to talk to Gwen and get on her list for MATCHING plates, saucers and bowls from Dragonfire Pottery. I know that Gwen secretly grumbles when she sees us NOT using Dragonfire Pottery. And, to be honest, I would rather be advertising the brilliance that is the typical Dragon's Laire artisan. So, we need to get the feast gear situation in order. :-)

.....Cleaned the hall and helped TBT put things away in preparation for Christmas. Made several attempts to start on the Computer Room, but never really made it far. Sooner or later it has to happen, but it isn't going to be easy. Maybe tomorrow... :-)

.....Shopping was done at Fred Meyers. The crowds were not that bad this evening. We timed it right apparently. Tomorrow will probably be a zoo there. But we will not be in it. :-)

.....The morning will be a lazy one. But I do still want to take another stab at cleaning the Computer Room. Then a trip over to Cedric and Brighid's for Christmas Eve gathering and conversations around lunch. Then preparations for Christmas Eve dinner, which means picking up Mom and bringing her over. I'll have to fire up Heather and see if I can get her warmed up a little. I might put a space heater in her for an hour or so in the morning. Have to remember to check the oil as well and connect the battery.

.....We'll have Madrun and Dylan over for dinner. It'll be nice to have them over to share in the conversation. I think that Mom will like Madrun as well.

.....Then it'll be time for Christmas. The Rhys Monster will have a good Christmas, no travels and everything on his wish list. :-) Then a trip over to Gwen's for some afternoon snacks and time with friends.

.....I could get used to retirement. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.


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