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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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.....I worked hard at trying to keep the list short, but it still managed to gain some momentum over the past several days. :-) I have now decided to lock it down and will refuse to add to it. And then ensure that for every hour of stuff that 'must be done' and hour of 'is fun to do' is included for balance. As I look at the list though there are several things that could conceivably fall in both or either category. Hmmm.

.....Today is a celebration day! For Ralph and Gwen's birthdays. Out of respect we don't ask for ages. But it is nice to gather with friends and celebrate at our most favorite type of celebration - FOOD!

.....Then more food later, at Matt and Rycheza's for their annual tree trimming party. We had to miss last year's gathering for some reason. I think it was Aquaterra's Yule. But this year we'll definitely go. Matt and Rycheza are good people and it'll be fun to hang out with them for a while.

.....Made a running start at the list yesterday. Spent several hours doing the deep clean of the bathroom. It sparkles like a vampire now. That CLR stuff works incredibly well at removing hard water stains. I'd always thought of it as a gimmick. Now I'm a believer.

.....Tried to brave the Post Office on two separate occasions during the day. It was an absolute mad-house both times!!!! We finally ended up making it work late in the evening and using the kiosk. TBT will still have to brave the crowds next week in order to get her overseas package shipped. I do not envy her that trip. It'll be rough!

.....Mom wanted to see if we could get to her Christmas decorations in the storage unit, so I stopped by there and made the valiant effort. Had some fun with the crabby lady in the office by typing in the code for the Baronial Storage Unit and then opening up Mom's. :-) Took her about ten minutes to come running down the street in her putt-putt mobile to make sure I was not robbing it blind, and then give me a several minute lecture on using the right combination at the gate. I was polite and didn't remind her that she messed up Mom's combination in the system and wouldn't fix it until I brought Mom into the office. Blech!

.....Worked on the financial report for The Crier. All the paperwork is in order. Checks about to be signed and sent off. All income deposited. Would like to finish the Doomsday Report, but Microsoft put a bug into that plan. With the latest Windows patch, the drivers for the external hard drive were made obsolete. The company that manufactured the hard drive was bought out by Seagate and updates were not available. And, of course, the Doomsday Report is on the external hard drive and my back up is six months old. I could recreate it, but would rather not if I can help it. It'll require a lot of work.

.....But will shake all that off and have some fun. I'm looking forward to sleeping in past 4AM tomorrow. Although I still can't seem to sleep much past 5AM. :-) Looking forward to a trip to Seattle. Cell phones and new eye glasses from Costco are also in the plans for the next day or so.

.....Been staring at the portable loom and wanting to grab Madrun on Tuesday for another lesson in the missed hole card weaving technique. I need to cut off what's on there now and warp it up again. I'm really liking the thin wood cards that TBT put on there for the last lesson. They are easy to work, and don't take up nearly the space the monster sized cardboard cards take. Yes, it sometimes takes me a while to accept the truth as the truth. I am, sometimes, a little stubborn. :-)

.....Need to also ping Francesca in Glymm Mere and see how the Yule Feast Toys-For-Tots gathering went. Aquaterra refuses to post a number. :-) I think our 134 toys collected is looking pretty fine! :-)

.....Off to breakfast!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....We're at the Annual Family Outing at Pacific Beach. TBT, the Rhys Monster and I are camped out in Lobelia in the RV campground of the MWR site. The weather has been a little off this year, but not bad. The beach is as beautiful as ever. I could watch the ocean continuously for hours. The companionship has been good. Three of us in the confined space of Lobelia has been mostly fine. I've mainly been worried about TBT, who came down with a bad cold / cough last week and has been slowly recovering. Today has been the first day that she has been reasonably 'herself'. The Rhys Monster is his own creature on his very own planet. Which makes it a challenge to live in a confined space with him for an extended time period (I'm told the same attitude applies to all teenagers), but we've managed to remain on good terms, which I'll call a win. I've only felt like biting his head off once or twice when I've found his dirty clothes or food scattered about. But I've been a little on edge myself between worrying about TBT and de-stressing from the hectic pace of work.

.....I've managed to avoid plugging into my e-mail more than twice this year. That is rather unusual for me. I usually go into withdrawal if I haven't checked into my e-mail three or four times a day. But I really did need the break and time away from the computer, which is good for me. But I knew that I would have to plug back in at some point. :-)

.....Just saw the word from Countess Melissa that Her Excellency Amanda was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. Which makes me all kinds of sad on many levels. But I'll do my best to maintain a positive attitude as that is what it takes to live after such a diagnosis. And Amanda is certainly tackling it upfront with a positive and challenging attitude. If anyone can beat it through sheer will, determination, and positive attitude, it would be her.

.....I'll never forget working around her at 3YC when Countess Melissa managed The Daily Progress. Baroness Amanda just has this, air, about her that is not of this planet. It is a serene regalness that she carries with her whether she is in an SCA persona or in her 'real life'. If she wanted to she could be a Saint without having to even be a member of the Catholic Faith.

.....I fervently wish her the very best, and all my hopes!!!

.....The kite weather was not good yesterday. I could get none of my box type kites to stay in the air to save my life. I finally gave up after an hour or so and watched those who had Delta type kites, or stunt kites, fly them in the limited air movement. The wind picked up later in teh day, and the Rhys Monster demonstrated some really nice moves on his kite. But we didn't try again yesterday.

.....This morning though we trooped on down to the ocean and pulled out the kites and success was had! I launched by Dragon Box Kite right up into the air. It was flying fine, so I tied it to the Gwen Mobile, and pulled out the Box Star Kite. It was beautiful! I had a little bit of a rocky start, but finally got it into the air. I let the string out to its four hundred and twenty five foot limit and let it fly there for a while. Then I started having a problem in that it started to spin and do loop-de-loops. I started pulling it in before it did something crazy, and was glad I did so when it did a huge loop and dove to the ground. I did get it up in the air again, but kept it on a shorter tether.

.....Traced it down to the probability that it was the rather cheap string I was using. It wasn't a nylon kite string with a high tensile strength. It was a plumbing string line we found at Lowes. I could not pull it apart, or tear it without a knife. But what was happening was that it was starting to unravel, or untwist, which was causing it to spin. I need to get a better line for it. I also need to get a good reel for it as well. The reel I was using was not working well. Would also like to try a swivel on it, and put some stringers on it as well.

.....Found out why the $10 kite from Harbour Freight is the $10 kite from Harbour Freight. :-) The bottom line, as always, is 'you get what you pay for'. :-) It is beautiful, but is not balanced well and is made from a cheaper material. We might be able to get it to fly at some point on its own, but it will take some work. Although I'm liking the idea of attaching it as 'line laundry' onto the line with the Star Box. :-)

.....Went to Galway Bay in Ocean Shores for dinner last night. The Irish food was good. The music was TERRIBLE. But was good for a laugh. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time, to the point where I was starting to feel sorry for the poor guy. It takes a little guts to put yourself in that position. But still, if you are going to be a professional musician, you need to change your tempo from time to time, change your range, sing music that you can actually sing, and play something besides a synthesizer from time to time. Think the Lounge act from 'The Blues Brothers', but completely devoid of talent. I think I was more disappointed because I was really expecting, hmmm, IRISH MUSIC. :-)

.....Back home tomorrow. Time to get psyched up for the second certification at work this week. This will be the big one. After that one, it really will be downhill from there. Wish I knew what I will be doing at work next month. With the new 'Product Line Management' no one really knows how things are going to play out.

.....Next weekend is the SCA BoD Meeting in SeaTac. I'm actually looking forward to it in the hopes that I'll get some sort of indication of the current mindset and direction of the SCA Corporate. It might go some ways to figuring out how things are going to look for the next couple of years.

.....Plus, I'm looking forward to seeing Countess 'E'. She's always fun to be around. :-)

.....Almost 5:30. I think it is almost dinner time. I should get back to Lobelia before I miss out on grilled steak!!!

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....I guess everyone at work figured out 'the way forward' and implemented 'the plan'. I have been told to come back to work tomorrow morning. That was a fast vacation! But the good news is that my leave request was officially denied by management and duly signed. Which means that any left over leave I have on the books after the last pay period of the year will get rolled over into 2011.

.....The Mid Level Boss still thinks that I'll have the week between Christmas and New Years at home. And possibly two or three days next week as well. Once 'the way forward' has paper, support, materials, and people (i.e. the PLAN) there isn't a whole lot for me to do. Especially considering that the Shipyard will be shut down during that period. It kills me though that even though Bangor and Bremerton are considered one command, one is shut down and the other will stay officially open during the Curtailment period. :-)

.....I enjoyed today. Worked through a bunch of e-mail. Cleaned the kitchen. Took several naps. Went out and had lunch with TBT and picked up some sugar free flavorings. I was thinking it was a good preview for the next two weeks. Maybe I should have spent more of that time actually doing things instead. :-)

.....TBT visited the local St. Vincent's as well. I think that if I do get a day or two over the next couple of weeks that I'd like to clear out the Computer Room. The Ingasbo Boxes can go into the closet or downstairs. All the files can find a new home. Then one of several wingback chairs will make it home from St. Vincent's to the Computer Room. Along with a side table and lamp, and maybe a footstool. Then I can have a relaxing reading area. Maybe even work from the chair using a wireless keyboard. In my mind it reminds me of that silly orange lounge chair I used to drag to events with me when I camped with the SLTC. Man, it was comfortable! But the looks I received from people were funny! :-)

.....Still would like to get all of my notes organized. I've been invaded by the Sticky Note Monster and it is an insidious beast! Post-It Notes are supposed to be reminders of things that need to be done. But it is sure hard to get anything actually done when there are reminder notes everywhere! The truly important things get lost in the mess and it is hard to get anything actually started. Let's see what I can do to tame this beast over the next hour or so. But I have started off on the wrong foot anyway by checking into Live Journal first rather than getting started. NOT a good precedent. :-)

.....We did get our first Baronial Report to Crown out the door today though. It is somewhat late, but it was our first one. I'm still a little unsure of its contents. I followed previous reports to a degree from Their Excellencies Cedric and Brighid, but kept finding myself writing it like a Seneschal's Report. :-) Ah, well, if you like to read before bed to help get you to sleep, reading our report might be the best thing aside from a hot toddy!

.....Managed to get more clean up of the desktop computer done as well. The e-mail folders are now clean! I moved, saved, deleted, etc. over 400,000 e-mails. The oldest ones being from 2000. I found myself reading my e-mails to the predecessor Team to Team Haggis as we were gearing up for my first June Faire. I was a much different person in those days. A lot sillier, that's for sure. I'm not sure how I managed to get the Team to actually follow my lead, to be honest, as I couldn't seem to go in one direction for any more than a few moments at a time. I chased chickens everywhere, whether they belonged to me or not! But it was evident that I was having fun, and that's the important thing.

.....After a few weeks of work I finally eliminated enough to actually defragment the computer. It took a while, but things are actually moving a little faster again. Wow! A ten year old computer! Dell used to make some good computers. As is evidenced by this one. I've abused it horribly and it is still chugging along. Amazing!

.....Sigh! Must get some laundry done if I'm going in to work tomorrow. Whine! Whine! Whine!

.....At least it is only a one day work week before the weekend. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....For the last couple of weeks things have been very intense at work. The equipment our group installs aboard submarines has been failing and no one can figure out exactly why. We've had dozens and dozens of meetings and Telecoms with some of the smartest people the Navy can find trying to work through the issue. Not much luck so far.

.....The word late last week was that we were going to work through the Holiday Curtailment Period. Several of us have quite a number of 'Must Leave' hours to burn that we were all hoping to use up during the last few weeks of the Calendar Year. But as 'Managers' there was a somewhat delicate push to let the Must Leave not used 'go away'. Or better yet, donate it to those who needed donated leave because of medical and other required leave that left them in the hole.

.....I had (92) hours of Must Leave to use this year and I hit that magic hour yesterday at 1120 and was still at work five hours later. I still hadn't been given definitive word on what was going to happen with that leave. I'm sure there were interesting conversations happening though as we all had turned in Leave Applications for using all of that leave and those applications had neither been approved or denied.

.....The Mid-Level Boss told me to not come in today. But the Big Boss told me he needed another letter written first thing in the morning, so I was in at 0600 working on a letter. When the Mid-Level Boss came in a couple of hours later he was rather upset and he walked on over to the Big Boss' Office to chew him out. Made me feel special, it did. Someone was trying to look out for his guys. Kind of rare sometimes in the government work force these days.

.....Conversations became even more intense today. I took part in one Telecom where Captains were actually yelling at each other. I've been part of conversations before where they've subtly told each how screwed up they thought the other was acting, but this was the first time I've heard one Captain tell another that they didn't understand what they were talking about and maybe they should study it a while before they say something that further revealed how little they actually knew. It was quite intense.

.....By Noon little progress had been made and I was getting ready for the next round of meetings when the Mid-Level Boss walked into the office and told me to go home. I was caught off guard and asked him when I should plan to come back. He told me to call in on Thursday and again on Friday, but that his plan was for me to not come back until January.

.....I thought this was a fine idea, but wasn't going to be the guy who leaves everyone else there to fend for themselves. But it looks like there is going to be a couple of weeks of R&D to the mid-level boss is going to stay through Friday so as to conduct a couple of tours for Admirals visiting site, but he was going to start using his Must Leave this weekend.

.....And the eight hours of Must Leave I've used so far? Looks like I'm going to get it back next year.

.....It was a good day in the end. I think that I'll sleep in some tomorrow morning and then spend a couple of hours doing very little as I slowly draw up a few 'to-do' lists to cover the next couple of weeks. :-) This down time will be good. I'm tired and need to recharge the mental batteries a little bit. It was starting to get to the point where I was simply focusing on putting one foot in front of the other and letting everything else go as needed. Not exactly a good way to run a life.

.....Hmmm, maybe a trip to the Beach is in order. Certainly lots of time with some friends. Definitely some quality time with TBT (can never get too much of Vitamin TBT :-)). A couple of movies would be nice. Lots of reading. I think I can fill the down time. :-)

.....Right now? I think it is bed time. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....The past five days have been interesting in a variety of ways. The impending step-up is creating a lot of emotion. Not negatively. It's just when so much energy is generated and concentrated on a specific event, it tends to make people really edgy.

.....Last Friday was the first day back to work. I had over (500) e-mails in the inbox and I could hear the William Tell running continuously through my mind for most of the day as I did my best to catch back up with everything I'd missed. Of course, several crises events happened while I was away. Although I dealt with most of it over the phone, there was still the clean up left to do.

.....Even though it was a busy day, it was not bad. When you are away for a while people are reminded of what you actually do for them. And if you are even half-way competent, they realize what they are missing when you are not there quietly making things happen behind the scenes. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people who specifically came up to me to say thanks for helping them as much as I do. It was an ego boost that is always appreciated. :-)

.....Even from the Project Manager. I personally like him, but he tends to be a gruff person on ocassion. But in this case he was glad to see me back as he needed an official letter written as quickly as possible. And I do official 'government speak' rather well. :-) Another ego boost.

.....Wrapped up the Baronial Ceremony on Saturday, at least the major writing portions. Nearly all of my purely Anglo-Saxon passages were basically cut from the final. I certainly understand why. They made the whole thing LONG, difficult to read, and difficult to be understood. People's attention span is only a certain length of time, and we don't want them to become bored to death.

.....After all of the emotions that will be generated with saying good-bye to Their Excellencies Cedric and Brighid, I'm now doubly glad we took to our portion with a minimalist approach. By the time the Coronets are actually placed on our heads people will be just about DONE and want a DRINK! I know I will.

.....I did not delete all of my original volumous passages though. I think I'll use bits and pieces of it for future scrolls and ceremonies.

.....Came up with actual texts for two scrolls also on Saturday. I felt a little inspired to do so. They are written in a Chaucerian format. Ran them through the herald and a small group of people and they met generally favorable reviews. The herald said that he would like to read them. A couple of others gave me good feed-back. Even TBT put her official approval to them. I just need to shuffle them off to the Scribal Coordinator. Two more down, only ten million left to go. :-)

.....I was worried that they would sound like Dr. Suess, especially as I used modern english. But when spoken and intonated with the correct emphasis, the Dr. Suess-ism can be avoided. We'll work on that. Madrun thought I should be less timid on using Middle English in the scroll text. You don't want to use so much that the meaning is lost, but adding a few unfamiliar words will add to the flavor of the piece and the atmosphere that needs to be generated. It was good advice and I'm going to work more on that with the next texts.

.....Another pleasant surprise over the weekend was THL Godith. I was getting ready to turn over all the accounts of The Crier to the Kingdom Exchequerate and she asked me to stay on board as she liked working with me. I was flattered. Another ego boost to the weekend. Now that I have it streamlined to my own system, it really is easy to keep. THL Elonda has to approve the set-up, but we'll see. I need to be careful as well. Wearing that Coronet is a rather tough job, especially as I don't have the easy Charisma that Cedric does. Things will be a little harder for me. But I think it will work itself out fine.

.....I'm a little nervous about the weekend, but mostly excited to see things play themselves out. And it will definitely be nice to scale back the excitement level a little and work on other things. It's looking like half the Knowne World is showing up for Saturday, so I'm trying my best not to let that make me nervous. If I can keep from tripping as I climb the stairs, I'll be happy. :-)

.....Lots to do for the foreseeable future. I'm glad that the winter break is on the horizon. Two and a half weeks of must leave to use! I think that I'll spend the first week doing nothing but sleeping in every day! :-) The 'to-do' list is quite extensive though, so the sleeping in may not happen. But we'll see. :-)

.....Talon let me know that the government is again allowing us to access our personal e-mail at work. I went into Comcast a short time ago and it let me in. Fantastic! I'll have to be careful to make sure to only access during lunch, but that's fine by me. I'm just glad I'm not as cut off from the rest of the world as I was.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Disneyland is a freakin' awesome place. The three days we actually played there were a whirlwind of fun. What a trip down memory lane too. The dichotomy of being there now and the nine year old me playing on the rides was just overwhelming at times. But I can definitely say that even at 43 Disneyland is a fun place to visit and entirely worth the trip!

.....TBT used her Delta Frequent Flyer miles to get us there and back. I personally do not mind Delta at all. After flying with United on several ocassions I can affirm that Delta is a dream in comparison. TBT disagrees but she hasn't flown a whole lot in the past handful of years, so I don't think she realizes just how much the airlines have changed.

.....We left near five in the afternoon, with a relatively short layover in Salt Lake City. Got into the Orange County / John Wayne International Airport after 10PM. Our shuttle to the airport, while chaotic, got us there in relatively good condition and speed. Again, TBT is going to disagree I think, but I've traveled via far worse so I was still happy by the time we made it into our room.

.....Our room was my only real disappointment of the whole trip. It was TINY! One queen sized bed and barely enough room for the three of us to turn around, much less share each others air for three whole days. :-) Thankfully we didn't spend a whole lot of time there.

.....The next morning I was up early. At 5AM I was getting into the shower and getting rather excited at the prospects of the day. :-) TBT and the Rhys Monster were up by 6:30 or so and after a little prodding we quickly hit the hotel's Continental Breakfast and hurried on down the street to grab our Park Hopper passes. I am SO glad the park got rid of the ticket booklets. And the 'FastPass' system makes the lines much, much shorter than I ever remember them. I think the most we waited for a ride was about fourty minutes, which is a dream compared to the hours people used to wait.

.....That first day we hit the big rides in Tommorrow Land, Space Mountain and Nemo's Submarine Adventure. The last time I was at Disneyland I rode the old Submarine and the new ride is much better, although I miss the mermaid. But the animatronic seagulls made up for the mermaids. :-) 'Mine! Mine! Mine!' :-)

.....Space Mountain was new to me. A rollar coaster to the stars. I wouldn't classify it as scary, but it was thrilling. :-)

.....Autopia was still the same ride it was thirty years ago. :-) As was the Matterhorn. That Yeti's arm is getting TIRED. :-) It waved 'Hi' to us with a much stiffer wave than it did a long time ago. :-)

.....After lunch we spent the day in the California Adventures Park. This was entirely new to me. The last time I was there the land it sat on was about a million acres of parking lot. This juxtapostion was really weird to me. I remember a couple of times with Mom looking for our car and seeming to walk forever from the main gate to it.

.....That first day we did the Bear Mountain water ride. It was fantastic! And we got absolutely soaked! Which was kinda nice on the hot day it was. :-)

.....TBT and the Rhys Monster did the California Screamin' Coaster. This was the 'biggest' Disney had to offer. Gosh though, if I remember correctly, the Coasters at Magic Mountain make this one look like a pre-school ride. We need to take Rhys there some day I think.

.....By the end of the day we were standing in line for 'Mickey's Fun Wheel' which was basically a big Ferris Wheel where the gondola's slid on rails. It was O.K., but we stood in line for fourty minutes and heard the Ferris Wheel warning so often that we were hearing it in our dreams for days afterward! 'Welcome to Mickey's Fun Wheel. Please keep your arms and your legs inside the gondola at all times. Please supervise your children at all times. Thank you, and have a fun ride!' Oh, God! By the ten billionth time of hearing that I just wanted the ride to be over! :-)

.....The next day we did an extended exploration of Disneyland itself. The Haunted Mansion is way cool, and set to 'A Nightmare Before Christmas' theme. We did the Indiana Jones ride, and at least two or three more rides of Space Mountain. :-) The Enchanted Tiki Room is cheesy, but all the talking birds are still cool to watch. :-)

.....We never did get to ride the Columbia, or the Mark Twain River Boat. But we sure tried! :-) We finally did Splash Mountain and even rode Poohs Wild Honey Ride. Where the Mushroom Laced dreams of Pooh were wild to witness. :-)

.....On our last day, TBT started it off by doing the Tower of Terror. I wasn't feelin' up to the challenge, so I hung out below. Then we did our last grand tour of Disneyland. We buzzed through ToonTown, then hit Fantasyland. The Teacups really caught me off-guard! I remember being nine and having to stretch to look out of them. Here I was at fourty trying to squeeze my body confortably in one of them. It was amazing! But I had to ride them for old times sake.

.....Toad's Wild Ride is still there. :-) But they've built castle walls around it now. It looks much better than it used to.

.....The steam locomotive was ridden at least a dozen times and we finally managed to figure out how to use it strategically to get from place to place. :-) The monorails were ridden and are as cool as they were thirty years ago. Although they've been greatly modernized. I think Seattle could learn a thing or two from Disney.

.....Rhys had had enough by Monday afternoon and took the rest of the day off. It gave TBT and I a chance to hang out together for a few rides. We got to see the Muppets 3D Adventure. I loved it! But I'm a big Muppets fan. :-) Then we rode the Condor Flats ride, which is basically a trip on a moving seat through some of California's best scenery. It was well done. And piping in the smells of the forest and other scenes was a nice touch.

.....We were done ourselves before the fireworks on Monday and limped our way back to the hotel room. We were so sore. Which made the plane trips the next day hard! But we made it back in time to drag things into the house before Fight Practice.

.....I was dragging all day today, which wasn't helped by a cold I seemed to pick up somewhere along the way. I am NOT looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. :-) But on the good side I only have two days to make it through.

.....Although the weekend is filled. Sigh! It's time for bed. I am TIRED!

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It was actually a beautiful site. The sun was setting over the lake, with the clouds reflecting on the waters and the horizon turning all kinds of reds and yellows. Quite a nice welcome. :-)

.....The Salt Lake City International Airport looks amazingly like.....almost every other airport in existence! :-) But it is still fun to be traveling. Although I think Rhys is already done with the traveling part. He just wants to be there. :-)

.....Delta keeps a tight flight schedule though. The flight leaving the gate before us to Oakland left and at least a dozen people came running in from various other Delta flights, hoping they had made their connection. One by one they were sent to the Courtesy Phones to make arrangements for new flights. Having a layover of an hour or so seems boring, but I'd rather have the time to make it to the next gate, rather than running my hind end off, hopefully making it, and being directed to the Courtesy Phones. Just sayin...

.....TBT wants the computer. Guess I should let her have it. My computer fix is done for the moment. I'm sure Ralph is chuckling in glee. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....We're here. We made it. We're at Gate S2 awaiting our 4:45PM flight to Salt Lake City. If you'd have asked me our chances of actually making it here this morning, I might have given you even odds as I was NOT motivated to get moving at all.

.....Mainly it was the mind doing loop-de-loops over handing off the Seneschallate to Oliver last night. It was tough, and still is. He is entirely competent and a great diplomat. He'll do a fantastic job with the office, especially since he has far more time during the course of a normal week to actually devote to it. Which, of course, is one of my regrets, all of those things that are loose ends that I will not finish.

.....It's tough to let go though. I thought last night at the Business Meetings things might have gone worse for me on the emotional side. But it was a quiet night and that helped. I stayed in the rhythm of the reports and made it through the night without thinking, really, that it was my last Business Meeting. It still hasn't really hit, except as a vague notion of loss. But things are already getting incredibly busy and I just need to let go.

.....Enough with the whining. I think I'm driving friends away with it. [ profile] hopeful_archer took me off of her friends list yesterday. I hope my whining isn't driving friends away. I may have to ask her about that.

.....Disneyland! I haven't been there since 1976. The last time I was there they hadn't broken ground on Space Mountain yet. My mother, brother and myself had made the two hour drive from Outer Mongolia (otherwise known as Weldon, CA) to tour the Bicentenial Train. They shuffled us through there so fast that we had toured and were done by 10AM, so Mom decided, 'What the heck, let's go to Disneyland!' Of course, my brother and I weren't going to argue with that one. :-) It was a lot of fun.

.....The place is like doubled in size now, with lots more to do and see. I'm looking forward to it. The weather looks nice as well. The hotest day will be 87 degrees, the others being in the upper 70's and lower 80's. I'd still like to make the drive down there sometime. Maybe this December. I have almost three weeks of leave to use up then. That might be a good time for a drive.

.....But only if my 'to-do' list is caught up! Between scroll texts and ceremonies and planzzzz, things are already hopping and will hit warp speed when we get back next week.

.....Actually, I think that TBT picked a good time for this. It is like a nice exclamation point and separation between one life and the next. I think I'll work on that as my mantra.

.....TBT wants to log on to LJ before we board, I suppose I'd better let her on the computer now. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....It was a pleasant weekend at Pacific Beach. The weather was rather cooperative really. The RV Park had only a handful of other campers in it. There was really little to no weekend foo. My only regret is that we couldn't stay out there a few more days. :-)

.....On Friday we made it out of town close to noon. We probably could have made it out earlier, but I was taking a leisurely approach to the day and wasn't really anxious to make it anywhere by any particular time. TBT was excited though, and wanted to get out to the beach as soon as possible. So I finally picked up the pace and finished the laundrey and packing.

.....Lots of road foo was to be had though. We came up to the shooting outside of Allyn (although we didn't know any of the details at the time). Ended up having to turn Lobelia around on a two lane road and taking a detour. Lobelia is much more nimble than she looks though and made it around in fairly short order by taking the Grapeview Loop around all the road happenings.

.....In Hoquiam we were stuck in all of the construction mess there. By the time we made it on to site, we'd been on the road for almost four hours. Almost twice as long as it should have taken. But the destination was worth it. The ocean was beautiful and the weather was awesome. We set up Lobelia in her spot in nothing flat and I took a quick walk on the beach. I love watching the ocean. Could do it for hours on end if allowed. :-)

.....Everyone else made it in within an hour or so after our arrival. Ralph and Ellen had started much earlier than us and had secured our location. We arrived next. Then Bernie & Tsuruko and Richard and Gwen a short time later. Then still later Tom & Guiseppe and finally Loric & Eileen.

.....I sat and yakked for a while, but ended up going to bed fairly early. I call it all camping. But can it really be called camping when you have full power for a microwave, cable television to two TV's in the RV, central heating and running hot water? It was very comfortable camping, that's for sure. :-)

.....Saturday was beautiful. There were some clouds overhead during communal breakfast, but it burned off fairly quickly. We went down to the beach before noon and started flying kites. At one point we had ten flying at one time. I just had my old dragon box kite, by Loric and Richard each had some really colorful and cool looking kites. TBT and Rhys flew his stunt kite and did a really great job with acrobatics. They each had it in the air far longer than ever in the past.

.....After a couple of hours of kite flying we all gathered in the park for lunch and then after an excursion to the local kite shop, we each went our separate ways for the afternoon. Some took naps. I went and soaked in the hot tub for a little while.

.....Dinner was the only real disappointment for the weekend. The Pacific Beach resort is an old government site converted to a DOD resort. There is a restaurant on site and nothing available in town. So we usually eat there at night. This was my third or fourth year at the restaurant and as ususl the food was not good. I'm still trying to recover somewhat. I think that next year I'll be part of the crew that makes the run down to Ocean Shores. Sure, it is a half hour or so drive. But Galways and authentic Irish (and good) food is located there. It'll be worth the drive. :-)

.....Everyone slept in today, with a leisurely breakfast some time after 9AM. Then a leisurely pack up and move out. The drive home went fast. But I was sure tired by the time I made it home. I did some readying for the work week, checked and answered e-mail, worked on the June Faire Board stuff, and then basically collapsed. I think that the minute I hit send on this thing I'll be asleep. :-)

.....For being over a decade old, Lobelia is still running great. She was a good by. Need to get her cleaned out moved back to storage. We have a trip with destiny and Mickey Mouse next weekend. :-)

.....And a whole laundry list of things that must be done this week. Including my last Business Meeting as Seneschal on Thursday. I've been trying not to think on it too much as it will make me sad. But I need to get and stay organized so I turn over something worthy to Oliver.

.....Hmmm, must get a good 'to-do' list done. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....There was a FOUR HOUR WEST WING MARATHON this morning. Daytime TV is INSIDIOUS in its ability to distract one from stuff one SHOULD be doing. Bad TV! :-)

.....It's also very cold. :-) TBT is on the road shepherding the Rhys unit home from his Christmas with the other side of the family. Lots of family drama and foo from which we'll be recovering over the next twenty four hours. But there are side benefits. We are not exactly the most 'with-it' parents in existance, but with these trips Rhys generally sees that we're not the worst alternatives either. So, even with the bad day and the distressed Mom, all will be well in the end.

.....We had Christmas Eve dinner with my Mom today. With the traditional turkey and all the traditional sides. We have now made the turkey slathered with mayonaise the 'tradition' here as it makes for a fantastic turkey. When carving said bird I mainly was pulling bones from a pile of carcass. Ultra-tender! TBT keeps getting the giggles from her friends for not being a cook. But she's a pretty damned fine cook in reality.

.....It sure was quiet without Rhys here though. He is our usual soundtrack for the day and the lack of that soundtrack was keenly felt. TBT was noticeably down as well. Thankfully it was only for the day though. The tree is full of presents and Rhys is pretty resilient. By 8AM tomorrow morning the downers of today should be already a distant memory.

.....Sean confirmed his presence at Christmas Day dinner tomorrow and now Mom is nervous. The apartment is still somewhat chaotic, but looking better. I'm ready for practically anything tomorrow. But I do not think it will be drama filled.

.....Rhys and TBT picked up gloves and a scarf for a Christmas present and I have a heavy coat I've never worn that I think I'll throw into the box. He can probably use it as when Mom talked to him today he was working at cutting firewood. What was funny though was that she talked to him on his cell phone. I still can't picture him carrying a cell phone around with him. :-)

.....Everyone is excited at the prospect of seeing Avatar sometime this weekend. But I was so scarred by 'Happy Feet' that I'm not as excited about the propect of an animated movie with a 'message'. I'm more intrigued to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie myself. But I'm also a story snob, something I seem to be gaining with age. :-) So we'll see. I might be disappointed by both. :-)

.....Saturday seems like a lifetime away. I need to look at my 'to-do' list and see what's up on the agenda. I've been taking it easy for the past couple. I'd sure like to get SOMETHING done. :-)

.....But first with the opening of presents. Wonder when Rhys will be up in the morning? :-)

.....Wonder what my Sekrit Santa got for me? I don't even know who it is from either. The only clue was the address in Monroe. No name. Which means no clues as to what it is either. :-)

.....TBT wants to open ONE present before bed, but I'm resistent. The ANTICIPATION is the best part of Christmas. Why lessen that anticipation by eliminating even one present? :-) We'll see.

.....Hope everyone has a wonderful and restful and Drahma-free holiday.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Hmmm, was Wednesday successful? I am not entirely sure. But it's almost done now. :-)

.....Finally finished wrapping the presents this morning first thing. They are now sitting proudly beneath the tree, after having been 'professionally' sorted and organized at least once by Rhys. :-) I'm sure that they'll be reorganized at least one more time between now and Christmas morning. How do I know this you ask? Because even *I* have noticed that the smaller presents can not be seen behind the larger ones, and you MUST have a commanding view of ALL the presents under your care! :-)

.....Started up some laundry, picked up the dishes and loaded the dishwasher and then futzed around on the computer for a while killing a little time before having to go and pick up Mom for our shopping excursion.

.....At first glance Mom's apartment was in utter chaos. The living room looked like a disaster area. I was immediately dismayed. But then Mom pointed out that she had cleaned out the kitchen and cleared the dining room wall in preparation for bookcases. Hence the piles of, mainly books, all over the living room floor. O.K., I was a little less dismayed, but still on the defensive.

.....Once the dead furniture was removed from the living room it looked a little better. I was surprised though at the crowds of people at the dump. Where do all these people live? And why were they at the dump two days BEFORE Christmas? Ponderances of life indeed!

.....Shopping at Fred Meyers. The crowds were heavy but not torturous, so still negotiable. Mom does not like heavy crowds, so she was definitely in grumble mode. But she was also determined to make this happen, so she kept moving. I followed for a while and then started wandering on my own. Found one additional present for TBT and Rhys. Which will have to be wrapped tomorrow sometime.

.....Did a little heraldry research when I returned home. Madrun had her device returned and I was looking at a couple of alternative suggestions to help get her device passed. I found one I think will work pretty good, and it passed the initial Madrun test. At least she sounded positive when she saw it later in the evening. :-)

.....It seemed to be a day heraldry in a couple of areas today as I was reminded by a couple of sources that the SCA is taking another look at their rules of heraldry with an eye at revamping the system. This is problematic and 'fraught with peril' (tm) as far as I'm concerned.

* How do you deal with grandfathered heraldry? (i.e. is it fair to allow 'illegal under the current rules' heraldry?)
* How do you deal with the fact that we work to English Heraldry rules when it is a Japanese persona submitting it (and similar)?
* The evolution of heraldry spans SEVERAL HUNDRED YEARS with the time period of the SCA culture. At what year do you draw the line to say 'before is good' and 'ahead is bad'?

.....and this is just the tip of the iceberg. I may dabble in SCA heraldry, but I'm glad that I'm no longer an SCA Heraldry Wonk. I'll just admire it from afar. Although, now that I'm thinking about it I'd better get off my rear and register my rampant lamb on gules moneybag badge whilst I have the opportunity. Team Haggis will need it some day...

.....Acclimatizing was a good idea for the hammered dulcimer. The strings are starting to keep in tune to each other. Huzzah!

.....More Tolkien was read. But not much else actually was done today. My third stanza did not get written. Where is the world did the day go anyway?! It's already 8PM?! Ack!

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....I actually made a little progress on a few things today. :-)

.....I unburied the hammered dulcimer and worked a little on tuning it. It's going to be a little while though. It has been closeted for a while. I suspect that it will not 'settle' for a couple of days as it acclimatizes to being actually played and NOT being in its case. I was chasing strings all over the place. As I tuned a pair and moved on to set it against the next, I would finish that second one just to find that it did not ring true to the first one. Part of it is me having to re-figure out what I'm doing, I'm sure.

.....It was a pleasure to hear the strings being struck with the hammers though. I could listen simply to the notes being struck and think it wondrous music. :-) Which I found myself doing way too often. :-)

.....Pulled out the tiny loom I borrowed from TBT and re-figured out how to RE-start the card weaving. Finally made it to a point where I was getting the tension to an acceptable level (where the shuttle thread could no longer be seen :-)). I think I'll bring that with me to work on this evening at Fight Practice.

.....Went out to have lunch with Gwen over on the West side of Bremerton. I'm working on trying to convince someone from Dragon's Laire to go out for the Kingdom Arts and Sciences Championship sometime. I think that Mistess Gwen has a repertoire that could make the grade. Now just have to convince her to do it. :-)

.....Worked on a second stanza for my epic. Definitely needs some work, but will record it here for future effort:

With skillful fingers a great spell she wove.
Her hands moved in an intricate life dance,
As faster and still faster did they rove.
A blur of flesh on this cloth of romance.

Arose then images of elegance,
From wafting colours floating in the air.
The specters of high kings did they enhance,
As willing souls allowed them to ensnare.

All that was ill of health was then laid bare.

.....Time to get cleaned up and ready for Fight Practice. It will be interesting to see how many make it there tonight. I suppose it could go either way: not many people because they are all involved in holiday pursuits, or a lot of people because they are all on vacation and looking for something to keep them entertained. :-)

.....O.K. enough delay. Time to roll...

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....As has been usual, I did not get nearly as much done today as I would have liked. :-) But maybe that is the nature of vacations. :-)

.....We did get to celebrate Master Ralg's birthday at a brunch out at the airport (Bremerton NATIONAL Airport :-)). The last time we did the brunch it was a lot better it seemed than this time. But there were still good things to eat. We certainly did not go away hungry.

.....I started to get depressed though as the conversation kept hitting work things. No matter how many times we tried to strike in another direction. Very sad. Hopefully not an indication of how retirement will go. :-)

.....Did some grocery shopping for Mom in preparation for Christmas dinner at her place. This may have been the best thing that could have happened to her. She is getting more and more excited about having us over on Christmas. She is actually gutting the apartment and doing her absolute best to get it cleaned for us. I already have orders to show up on Wednesday with the van so we can take dead furniture to the dump. :-)

.....She also wants to wait until Thursday to finish her dinner shopping. But I shudder at the prospects of that and may try to convince her to at least go on Wednesday, if not Tuesday.

.....Returned home and did some reading, which was fun and relaxing. Also did a little writing on a couple of different things. Which was also fun.

.....Was looking for a coat and ran across my wool felt tophot. It is very steampunk and I thought looked pretty cool. Certainly not a bowler like what Talon wears, but maybe I'll wear it around and see what sort of reaction I get. Awfully dusty though. Looks more grey from dusk than the actual black that it should be. TBT gave me some ideas on cleaning it.

.....I remember wearing this hat back in the late '80's, and I wasn't the only one to wear this style. Amazing how fashion travels around in circles. Although it wasn't 'steampunk' back then. I can't remember exactly why tophats were popular for a couple of years then. Although at the time I actually liked wearing my fedora more, which is probably why this tophat even exists. I think that my fedora dies back in the '90's. :-)

.....Now all I need is a Victorian overcoat. :-)

.....Let's see how close I can stick to my agenda for tomorrow:

* Sand a set of circlets.
* Pull out first section of Baronial Customary for dissection (must also remember to add Theodoric to the discussion list).
* Pull together all Seneschal files for organization (from all their various locations).
* Tune hammered dulcimer.

.....That looks like a manageable list. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Yesterday was actually a good way to end the week, although I started off resistant. I had a lunch scheduled with Richard in Olympia. I fell into my newly usual pattern of watching 'The West Wing' and being rather lazy, which is not good as it means very little gets done. When 10AM rolled around I was having a hard time collecting everything to get into the van to make the drive. I also wasn't looking forward to a drive to Olympia. How's that for epic whining! :-)

.....But thankfully I just did it and the drive was actually quite pleasant. Richard accepted my being late with his usual good grace and we headed out to a Bar-B-Que place located in an off-the-wall turn out of the highways to Aberdeen.

.....Good Bar-B-Que! I had the lunch special of pulled pork, chicken and beef. Very good stuff. And I WAS stuffed by the end of lunch.

.....As is also usual, Richard and I started talking and hours went by without my even noticing it. We've been making this a yearly tradition now. Every year I say I'm going down for an hour or so and I am always still amazed when four or more hours go by. :-) That's what happens when a year's worth of conversation has to be done in a short period of time.

.....I'm not sure why that is, but for some reason I like bouncing my thoughts and ideas off of Richard and listening to his take on life. It helps me see things with a new perspective and usually ends up invigorating me with excitement for the new year and new ideas for me to persue. Richard is a very inspiring person, someone whom I admire. With definitely a few more brain cells than myself, and a surety of spirit that I sometimes lack.

.....I also left his house with a box of Tolkien books! Most of which I already had, but a few titles I didn't. I realized later that the synposis of The Silmarillion was one I didn't have. I have one from a different author. So this was a very cool find! And I was already reading through it before bed. :-)

.....Most of the rest of the books will go into the 'Tolkien Lending Library'. A phenomena I do not promote widely, but which a few select people know. :-)

.....Richard also introduced me to a new Middle Earth Board Game called 'Middle Earth Quest'. It looks really good, and a lot of fun to play! The rules are complex and full of details, but of the intelligent sort. A full game takes about four hours to play, which could be problematic. But still looks fun. Richard sent me a link to the rules online. I think I'll read through them and pass them along to TBT. Maybe we could get a game together sometime over the Holiday Break? Hmmm.....

.....Even though I was horribly late leaving Richard's, I had to stop at the Trader Joe's in Olympia. I sure wish that Kitsap County could have a Trader Joe's. We are so redneck over here though, I am not sure we could convince them to set up a store. But I'm still hopeful. Central Market is always crowded and it is a variation of Trader Joes. So we'll see.

.....I picked up some Jo-Jo's for Rhys and then hit the road. When I realized just how late I was I made frantic cell phone calls to TBT and Brighid to make sure someone got word to Rebecca that it was not on purpose and that I was going to be just a little late in getting over there. We'd been invited over to watch the Christmas Ship's make their passage from the Bremerton Yacht Club through the Port Washington Narrows.

.....I resisted the temptation to speed through Shelton and Belfair (I do not have the Cop and Ticket Karma that TBT has. They always seem to catch me. :-)). But still made it home in pretty good time. We ran over to Rebecca and Tym's in time to watch the festivities. Rebecca and Tym were fantastic hosts and we had a really good time over there. We also learned a lot of the Jewish traditions of the 'holidays' which was interesting in itself.

.....Rebecca gifted me with a stack of Shakespearean Plays in booklets from 1908. I thought that they were way cool and I was happy to receive them.

.....By the time we made it home I was tired but happy. I read a little Tolkien and then fell asleep. :-)

.....Now I have a list of things to get done!

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Vacation, Day 3, was mainly spent coughing and blowing my nose. I seemed to have picked up that cold going around. I started feeling better towards the end of the day, but most of the day was spent with the feeling that I was trying to swim through the proverbial maple syrup.

.....And yet again, I succumbed to two hours of 'The West Wing' in the morning. But I consoled myself with working on The Baronial Directory with the laptop on the couch at the same time. I could really get used to the work-at-home thing, or telecommuting, in my bathrobe, all day long. :-) Living in a bathrobe is actually quite comfortable. :-)

.....Working with the laptop proved a little easier as well. I had to go back-and-forth to the desktop for information stored there. But the real lift-and-tote work I could get done on the laptop. And by 2PM, the revamped version of The Baronial Directory was complete. I printed out a copy, made corrections, and then printed out a final version that I can take to Kinko's for copies.

.....Sigh! My frustration with the desktop keeps growing. Instead of drooling for a Kindle I need to face reality and actually invest in a computer system. I need to hit up Talon for some help there. Stupid ancient computer! It's pretty bad when I consider my government computer, with the latest programs from 2003, as an ADVANCED system. Sigh!

.....I posted to the Baronial list thinking that a few people might want hard copy issues of the Directory and promptly received requests for almost twenty copies. By 8PM the number had grown to almost fourty. It kind of surprised me as I had thought for sure that everyone would want the electronic version. But more people think like me than I suspected. They like having that SOMETHING in their hands to hold. Something that can be scribbled upon with notes. Maybe the Barony is full of older people. :-)

.....I did not get a whole lot else done except cleaning up the computer room. I just didn't feel up to much else today. Will have to try and make up for that tomorrow, but am not going to force the issue.

.....On the queue for tomorrow:
* Clean Bathroom.
* June Faire Meeting with Ian, Elisabeth and Talia.
* Start discussion on updating the Baronial Customary.
* Update Notes and Database for the Western Regional Pelicans.
* Set Up Chronicler's Doomsday Report.
* Set Up End-Of-Year Seneschal's Report.
* Finish up potential September Crown bid information.
* Pull out hammered dulcimer and see what it would take to tune it.

.....I think that I need to interject a few more 'fun' things into the queue. It is a vacation after all.

.....Hmmm, it looks like heraldically a salmon is NOT a fish, it is a salmon. But I'm betting that it would still conflict with a fish in direct comparison.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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.....Today wasn't quite as productive as yesterday. Actually, a little more frustrating.

.....I succumbed once again to the lure of 'The West Wing' for two hours this morning. That show is insidious. :-) Then I kicked myself and got on to the computer. Did at least four pieces of Seneschal business, which made me start feeling productive again.

.....Then I started trying to mess with the latest update of the Baronial Directory. Ack!

.....THL Anne did a monumental job of updating the directory earlier this year. I printed up a number of copies and announced it at a Business Meeting or two. But didn't get a lot of takers. But with so many other things happening over the summer, I didn't advertise nearly as well as I should have. A couple of people asked me over the past month about when the updated Directory was going to actually come out and they were surprised when I let them know that I passed out copies over the summer. At least three people asked for copies as soon as I could get them made and delivered.

.....So I opened up the Directory and started to see about making copies. This is when I noticed that some of the Officer information was already out of date. So I decided that I would dump everything into Publisher and see about a.) updating the information, and b.) reformatting to save space and make the Directory look uniform.

.....That is when the fight started. My version of Word is from 2000. Microsoft has stopped releasing updates to it and it does not like working with Microsoft Windows XP anymore. Ack! I could not get the Directory to come up complete in Word to save my life. I finally was able to open it up in WordPad so I could copy and paste into Publisher, which is also ancient. I probably should just bite the bullet and dump it all into Pagemaker and at least enter the decade, if not 2009.

.....But by the time I was able to pull something up on which I could actually move forward four hours had passed and it was time to start getting ready for Fight Practice. How humiliating and frustrating. I'm getting old and outdated! Ack! Waaaaa!!!!!!! :-)

.....Time to seriously start thinking of upgrading the damned computer and its contents and enter the 21st Century. :-)

.....Next in the queue starting tomorrow:
* Start Discussion On The Baronial Customary.
* Update the Western Regional Pelican Notes and Database With Collected Information.
* Finish E-Mails and Phone Conversations With Potential September Crown Site Owners.
* Actually FINISH the Baronial Directory.
* Clean The Computer Room.
* Clean Bathroom.

.....That's enough for one day. I had been thinking of going to Olympic Hot Springs, but the weather does not look all that great for Wednesday. Maybe on Thursday.

.....Time to start wrapping up Fight Practice.

.....Also, if anyone ever figures out who mis-treated Angharad, we need to get together a discussion committee for said individual. I'm still steamed about that. Grrrr.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....I turned off the cell phone, but being the paranoid dork that I am couldn't help but check it at least a half dozen times today. But guess what, work left me alone. Absolutely no messages. Huzzah! But the Project Manager could tell I was pretty stressed out last week and told me that he was going to make an effort to see that I wasn't bothered unless absolutely necessary. I'm rather grateful and now that I see he was sincere will make an effort to actually start relaxing. :-)

.....Although I should say that with caveats, because I started off the day by relaxing with two hours of 'The West Wing' on Bravo. I love that show almost as much as [ profile] brighidross does.

.....Then I decided I should do something constructive and actually replaced the garbage disposal. Things went a lot faster than I thought they would. Took about an hour, with most of that being just cleaning out the cupboard so I could actually get to the disposal. But it works. Way Cool! It's actually embarrassing to think that the replacement has been sitting next to the wall for about a year waiting to be replaced. :-) Oh, well, it finally DID get done.

.....Then I felt absolutely industrious and cleaned the kitchen, including actually mopping the floor. It looks actually like a kitchen now. Probably for just a very short time period, but a kitchen none-the-less!

.....Then I packaged my Sekrit Santa present, as well as my own 'emergency circlet order'. :-) Someone is getting married on December 18th in LaMesa, California, and begged me for a Wyvern pattern circlet for the wedding. How can I turn down a Bridezilla in true panic in time for a Christmas wedding? Although I may have cooked my own goose as she still hasn't paid me for the Express Mail shipment. I have only been stiffed twice in all my time running with Ingasbo, so I'm crossing my fingers that putting a little trust in this bride was not a bad move on my part.

.....Especially after the HOUR-AND-A-HALF-WAIT in the Post Office. Holy Cow! What a riot! But what made the wait truly tremendous wasn't the Post Office itself, or the clerks. It was the people in line. There were a number of them that were truly RUDE! Come on, people. Do you REALLY think that the clerks are being slow because they want to listen to you whine and complain about them? Hell, if I were them I'd want to get the line done as fast as possible so I wouldn't have to listen to you any more!

.....What made the wait tolerable though was a discussion by the two people in front of me. One of them was eighty years old and was recollecting what times were like waiting in line at the Post Office during the depression. There are a lot of things that have changed with technology and the electronics age, but there are things that haven't changed at all. Like waiting in line to get packages mailed to relatives at Christmas time. :-)

.....Did a little more Christmas shopping. And harassed Mom some more in the hopes that she'll get her apartment cleaned before Christmas. Right now the plan is to have dinner on Christmas day with Mom, Tamm, and my brother Sean over at her place. Tamm hasn't met Sean yet, and I'm rather excited to see him as well. It has been at least four or five years since I last saw him.

.....Still in the queue for this evening are the watering of the plants and a little bit of Seneschal paperwork.

.....Tomorrow will be a little more cleaning in the house. If the weather is half-decent I may clean out Heather. But I'm not betting on that. More likely I'll probably start off on the storage racks next to the work area in the garage. I'd love to get them organized enough where we could actually find things again and use them as shelves.

.....Fight Practice tomorrow night. Wednesday I'm toying with a trip to the hot springs, but that will be weather dependent as well. Thursday will be a June Faire meetings. Friday will be a trip to Olympia.

.....Man, this vacation thing goes by way too fast. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....So, it is Day No. 6 of two-week vacation away from the Shipyard. I'm about to take my shower before Rhys and I head out to the Seattle Aquarium, when the cell phone rings. Like an idiot I don't even bother to see who it is, I just open the damned thing up and answer. It's the Shipyard. Emergent Work has broken loose on a boat and *I* am needed in to work as soon as possible to start working on some paper. I'm MAJORLY bummed at this point. Going into work was the LAST thing I wanted to do.

.....The guy on the other end of the phone asks if I can be in that day. I bite off the first answer that comes to mind and say, 'No, I have child care duties today. The earliest I can come on in is tomorrow.' Sigh! I should have thought faster and said that I was far away and couldn't get back until January. But, oh well. Nothing to be done about it at that point. I do the best I can to make sure that we get through the Rhys agenda for the day. We actually did make it to the Seattle Aquarium, Chuck E. Cheeses, and the Point Defiance Zoo. All three were kind of disappointing to Rhys, but I was happy that we were actually able to squeeze it all into a day.

.....I give the beloved Laurellen a hug when she gets home and run to make the 6:45 ferry, which I did with no time to spare and make it home sometime after 8. I was not about to repeat the excercise of Tuesday Night / Wednesday morning and actually try and drive around. :-)

.....And now I'm here at work. I've gone through the 267 e-mails clogging up the inbox and am pulling out all the references for the paper I have to complete today. Sigh! The Shipyard is a ghost town. The Parking Garage was almost empty this morning when I parked. It was very eerie. Sigh! It's going to be a long day.

.....Sigh! And no razor in the house that I could find this morning, so I look like some shaggy wildabeast. I usually don't shave on a holiday break and it has been about a week now, so the shagginess is on the verge of being awesomely bad. Hopefully I have no presentations to give today.

.....O.K. enough whining. See you all later. Only a few days left before Christmas. I am sooooo looking forward to watching Rhys tear open presents from under the tree. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.


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