Number 36.

Dec. 12th, 2012 08:25 pm
arontius: (Justin's Device)
.....Almost done. We have final review tomorrow and the big test on Friday. I desperately tried to get my testing moved to Thursday so I could join in the premier of The Hobbit, and it looked for a while like I had succeeded. But on Monday the ruling came down. I'm stuck in testing on Friday. Sigh!

.....But I'm almost done! Next week will be a headache, but it'll be a headache at my regular desk, with regular things to get done, and no information being crammed down my throat like some goose being prepared for fois gras. Which, actually, is a pretty good analogy of the past two and a half weeks.

.....Sonnetry is whirling around in my brain. I'm not in a mood to polish it, but want to get what I have in to being so I can work on it later.

The path before them glittered fiery light.
A paving of glass shards in tortured shapes.
Their feet paid tolls in bloodied oaths of plight.
Their will resolved, about their shoulder drapes.

The lamentations heard on either side.
Those many whose gaze strayed from the true faith.
Or those for whom pain they could not abide.
All those who will forever be a wraith.

Together they walked forth with clasping hands.
A fortress to withstand all that assault.
With fortitude gained with their nuptial bands.
Trials overcome to heaven they will vault.

With laughter bold, they declare that they've won.
The love they share is much more strong than one.

.....Two more days. Two more days. Only two days left.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
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)
.....One crisis completed at work. One more left to work through. Then I'll feel better about taking leave around Labor Day. Things were not looking good a couple of days ago. The Team is on site and many of the things we had put into place unraveled completely. We scrambled to get alternatives set up and operable. It takes a lot of effort to get something as large as a government entity moving in a course correction. But we're getting there. The timing was just not the best though. I wish it had waited just a handful of weeks more, or had not happened at all.

.....I think most of my Live Journals this month are going to be nothing but lists of things that must be done for September Crown, rants about people who are doing their best to make September Crown my epitaph, or various and sundry whinings about how tired I am of all this. Which strikes me as amusing as the day after Crown I'll probably write about how wonderful an experience it was. :-) I think though that I mainly find the writing about it to be cathartic. I can get my worries out of my system, sort of an exorcism, and move on to something that really is important, and certainly more interesting. The job of autocratting an event is actually fun. I love seeing it all come together. But when the special personalities start coming out in full force is when the energy drain really quickens.

.....Those on my friends list should be pretty much used to all the whining by now though.

.....The one thing that is finally about to be done is Madrun's circlet. In the grand scheme of things it is just a tiny, tiny part of the big picture. The torc made by TBT is incredibly beautiful, and I think will be well received judging from the reaction of everyone who has seen it to date. But I wanted to have something to be able to give to Madrun that came from my own hands. I'm not a tailor. I'll be so busy with September Crown that I really can't take any part of the vigil or party on to myself. But this is something I can give to her to show my own appreciation and pride in her accomplishment. She can wear it once for the ceremony and then have it available in case she has an apprentice or friend someday who needs a circlet of their own.

.....Had to clear some space in the garage though to make that happen. It is a total disaster area at the moment. The entire front half is filled with stuff accumulated from June Faire, Honey War, July Coronation, etc. I'll have to get it organized to go into the U-Haul for September Crown, but that can happen next weekend. Had to clear quite a bit of space around the buffing wheel. I did remember to throw a tarp up behind the wheel and try and contain some of the dust. I'm actually glad TBT is about done with the torc as the garage is just a little messier now. :-)

.....I had the opportunity to come home a few hours early today and I'm glad I took it. It allowed me the chance to work the circlet (as I don't know how I'm going to squeeze any more free time out of the schedule in the next two weeks), but it unexpectantly allowed me to spend a few hours with TBT as we ran around town to do errands. We haven't had a lot of chances to just hang out together lately. Even though we were just doing chores, it was still fun to spend time with her. :-)

.....Tomorrow night will be the last minute angsting about Serjeantry. Although I surely can only whine a little on that one. I'm not one of the candidates! I know several of them are very nervous. But judging from some of the recent conversations, they have all been seriously digging into their studies. I'm looking forward to some interesting presentations on Saturday.

.....It'll be a long day, starting early and ending later than last year. TBT and I will have to split forces to witness as much of the proceedings as possible. But the schedule is set. The judges look to be set. The autocrat and lunch-o-crat look to be set. We're as ready as we're going to be. Just a few last minute things for TBT and I to pull together before the Trials.

.....Last year seemed chaotic as well leading up to the Trials. TBT and I had no idea how the day was going to turn out. But somehow a little magic surfaced sometime during the day and it all came together. There is no guarantee that we'll be able to tap into that same magic this year, but I'm ever hopeful.

.....Sunday will be busy. We have two loads of hay to move from Port Gamble to the September Crown site. Supposedly, the Madrone Equestrian Guild is going to meet us on site for a walk-through of the Equestrian area. But I haven't seen any confirmation on that. I wonder if Tsuruko has heard anything on her end? I'll have to ask.

.....Retinue meeting on Sunday night. September Crown is not a Baronial event, of course. But there will be stuff to prepare for it. Last Chance will come up rather quickly in September as well and we should see what we can do to prepare for it as well. We still need to get the final listing of awards to Gabrielle. She and her scribal support are really churning out the scrolls, for which we're grateful. I'm hoping that after September Crown we'll get a chance to sit down with her and see where we are on getting charters made for some of the newer awards.

.....Next Thursday will be our Regional Pelican Meeting. It's going to be a Teleconference. Everyone can stay local with no long drives. I'm hopeful that it'll work for us. I have to get the agenda put together and uploaded to the web-site, but that should come together fairly quickly. We'll have a little bit of a learning curve to work through the etiquette of a Teleconference so as to avoid talking all over each other. Although we tend to do that anyway, even when we're meeting face-to-face, so I don't expect that to be any new and vexing problem. :-)

.....Next week will be the full on onslaught of September Crown preparations. Supplies to be purchased. Support verified. Printings done. Talk Ian off the ledge before someone blows a gasket at something he's said (I include myself in that category as well :-)). I think I'm going to try and convince a few people to help me move the water tank on Wednesday. But I need to verify that Barnet will actually be available that day as well. It'll take at least three other sturdy bodies besides myself to make this happen. The tank is not incredibly heavy, but it sure is bulky.

.....The City of Bremerton has been interested in our preparations for September Crown. The Board of Health and I have been playing phone tag for a couple of days now as they are trying to find out about our food merchants who'll be on site. I asked Bronwyn to warn the merchants, but I think I'll send another reminder so that they are all forewarned. We've never worked with the City of Bremerton in this capacity before so I don't really have a good idea of what to expect.

.....The weekend of August 25the and 26th is my last deep breath before it all happens. I intend to sleep in on both days and as leisurely as possible make my final preparations for the event. Lobelia has to come down for clean out and stocking. The stuff in the garage has to be organized so it will go into the U-Haul. I'd also very much like to clean the house at least a little bit as it is an absolute pit at the moment.

.....Then Crown starts, with set-up starting on Thursday, and the masses arriving on Friday, August 31st. Three days later we'll be done and I'll be ready for a good, long rest. Only have to make it through eighteen more days. Keep moving, one day at a time.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....It actually rained today. The clouds gathered and the air became even heavier and thicker. Everything darkened. The the rain fell, in huge sheets. A heavy downpour that drenched everything. Then just as quickly it all went away, the sun came out and everything is about dry. Except the air, which is full of moisture. A very strange place. :-)

.....This year's conference was interesting. Everyone is tired and feeling just a little frustrated. We argued over things for hours and in the end, when we reviewed the Action Item listing, we came to the conclusion that we did not accomplish a whole lot. But I still think it was important to come together and look each other in the eye and remember who that person is on the other end of the phone line when we're yelling at them two weeks from now to get off their rear and get me the parts or the solution or the engineering instruction or ... as fast as possible. It makes a difference.

.....It was twelve hour days all three days here this week. I'm sorry to have missed seeing Donnan and Callista, but I had a feeling and am now glad I didn't call them. I would have hated to have made plans only to cancel them, again. Maybe next year.

.....Tomorrow's flight leaves Indianapolis at 6AM. The American Airlines ticket counter doesn't even open until 5AM. It is an hour and fifteen minute drive from Bloomington to the Airport. Another fifteen minutes to fill the gas tank and another handful of minutes to check in the rental car. So the Mid Level Boss and I are going to meet in the lobby at 3AM tomorrow morning. I need to get to bed here in a little bit, but the first episode in this season's Project Runway starts in about a half hour. I'll probably fall asleep in the middle of it. But they've promised less drama and more design this season, so I'm hopeful. I'm not sure just why I like Project Runway, but for some reason it has captured my interest.

.....Sigh. A fifty minute flight to Chicago. A two and a half hour layover and then a five hour flight home. I'll get home as fast as possible and run a load of laundry through before hopping into Florence the Wonder Van for the drive to J.C. I'm still holding out hope of being interested in checking out the site tomorrow night. But I'm not going to hold my breath.

.....Lots of people to hook up with this weekend. Lots of things to talk about. I feel kind of like a wimp for doing the hotel room. But with an East Coast flight I don't think I could even contemplate a two hour set up of camp, nor a drive down in Lobelia. Making me even more tired just thinking about it.

.....Not to mention that September Crown and Serjeantry will kick into hyper-drive starting Monday.

.....But I do get to see TBT again tomorrow, that will help a lot. :-)

.....Time for bed.
arontius: (Default)
.....Here I am at Gate A-7, SeaTac Airport, ready to catch my 11:55 flight to Indianapolis via Chicago. The sunset is not quite as dramatic as it was last time I was here, but it is still romantic all the same. I was feeling rushed today with the epic 'to-do' list and the throwing together of things into the suitcase. Thankfully, all my files and 'official' stuff was already neatly piled and ready for package. So it was really only the clothes coming out of the laundry cycle that slowed me down. But I still made it out the door way too early and even though the radio kept talking about slowdowns in Tacoma, it really wasn't that bad a drive.

.....It was really a busy weekend though. I probably should have thought that one through a bit more. But everything I attended was good and / or fun in its own way, so I can't complain too much.

.....Saturday started with the traditional summer outing at Blackberry Hollow south of Port Orchard. Angharad and Marcus were good hosts as usual. We didn't jump into the pool at all, but had great conversations around the dining room table. The best ones dealing with Serjeantry; what it meant and how it should be run. Even though some of the discussions get interesting at times, I always go away with new ideas, or better clarification of what we want to do. I think more people have bought into the program.

.....Then a drive up to North Seattle to Giuseppe and Tom's annual Tiki Party. I generally only know maybe a third of the people who show up for this party so I usually stay on the fringes. But this year a new element was added, a trading card game. It was a great ice breaker and forced people to actually talk to other people they might not normally. At least that was true in my case. We stayed at the party at least an hour longer than we would normally have.

.....Sunday started with a retinue meeting in the morning. We all came together over what was going to happen at July Coronation next weekend. Who was riding with whom. What we needed to bring, and not bring, with us. My plane gets in at 11:30 on Friday, so I think I'll be home around 2PM. I'll have to do some laundry quickly, so I don't expect to hit the road before 4PM. With dinner on the way it could be rather late before we hit Ranier and site. Thankfully, the Baronial Encampment looks set with Brenna and Renart, with the Baronial Pavilion in the capable hands of Albrecht and Magdalena.

.....The following week is epic in its fullness. Serjeantry testing on Monday with Practical and Domestic Sciences. Eight candidates is going to make for a longer evening. Tuesday is the Social with a class taught by Talon. Wednesday is probably when I do the September Crown Public Site Walk-through. Thursday is a Dragon's Pearls meeting. Then Friday will be preparation for Hot Summer Lights in Druim Doineann.

.....I have to remember to do some advertising for Hot Summer Lights on the Dragon's Laire e-list. They introduced more of a larger scale war between Dragon's Laire and Madrone. But with everything filling up the calendar as it has this year, the 'epic war' is not getting the attention it should. We'll have to make up for that next year. But I don't plan on having something like September Crown on the docket next year either!

.....I would love to make some time this week to run over to see Donnan and Callista. But I don't know if it is going to happen. The last time I was in Bloomington the conference ran long all three days. I ended up bailing on them. I don't want to make appointments just to break them at the last minute. So I'm going to try and gauge the conference and see how it looks Wednesday evening before I make the call.

.....I keep hoping that maybe the D.C. bosses would figure out how to make one of these battery conferences happen in Hawaii, or in D.C. itself. :-) Crane, Indiana, is so far out there. Almost an hour and a half drive from the Indianapolis Airport. I should check the weather reports. I hope it is cooling down a little bit from where it was last week. But they do now have a Starbucks in town, so I know they are living in the twenty-first century with the rest of us. :-)

.....Hope TBT enjoys having the king sized bed all to herself. Although I think she would have fun traveling with me on some of these things. Maybe we'll add it to the list of things we feel more like doing when we've stepped down as the Coronets. :-)

.....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.
arontius: (Default)
.....I'm just now starting to come out of the June Faire fog and starting to feel closer to normal again, although still really dragging. Monday, I ignored feeling tired and sore so I could get through the day of clean up and taking stuff into the house. But as soon as I was home that afternoon, it was Zombie time.

.....Tuesday was a hamster wheel at work, trying to get caught back up with the stuff that had piled up on my desk. The Mid-Level Boss was not happy with my taking that time off. Not that he complained directly about it, but the past couple of days have been a little tense. It finally came to a head today with a proper dressing down, of which I just kept my mouth shut. Unusual enough for me that he ended his rant early and moved on. Usually, I spend extra time arguing with him until it gets to the point of people wanting to leave the office. :-) I was still tired though and it was easier to bite my tongue than to do the usual.

.....Tuesday was also the June Business Meeting. More popular than I expected it to be. I made notes, for which I'm glad because I've already forgotten much of what was said. :-) I rambled through the Baron and Baroness letter, hoping that I made sense for the most part. Although I did manage to wake myself up enough to plug the importance of being respectful and courteous to our volunteer base, which really is our lifeblood.

.....Yesterday was my first complete evening home without somewhere I had to be. TBT and I went out to dinner at Azteca and then I worked on getting e-mails out the door. Everyone has been seriously concentrating on June Faire, to the exclusion of many other things. After the Business Meeting people started waking up and realizing that it was only two months before Serjeantry Trials and two and a half months before September Crown. No one panicked, but I could feel the concern in much of the e-mail traffic coming my way.

.....Arrangements have been made to hold the Spring Western Regional Pelican Meeting in Tacoma. A meeting room has been booked and e-mail notice sent out. We're a go. This one looks like it is going to be more attended than usual. Which I think is good news. We have a number of candidates that need to be figured out and moved on, in one way or another. If we can get a diverse crowd to the meeting, it would help settle a lot of issues. Now I have to get the agenda chopped up and tossed, then uploaded onto the Kingdom Server. It will be done this weekend.

.....Serjeantry Agenda has been re-worked and sent out for review and reminded to the candidates. It was not changed a great deal, mainly combining a few tests to free up a few nights. And the moving of Military Sciences to the Trials themselves. But we had to make sure everyone was on the same page before mass confusion was created.

.....We racked our brains and tried a number of different possibilities, but we ultimately could not move the Trials off of Autumn War. I feel for Blatha An Oir. It was just the proverbial perfect storm this year though. A new event, Huntsman's Challenge, and Dragon's Laire hosting of September Crown. Add to that a rather large class and a hugely busy September calendar, and we were stuck. We're going to mitigate as best we can. TBT and I are day-tripping to Honey War this weekend, and sending formal representation to Autumn War itself. We're also going to ensure early on that we do not run into this issue next year.

.....I'm rather excited that people are already talking about entering the Serjeantry Program next year. At least a half dozen people have asked probing questions about what the Trials are and how best to get through them. I'll be happy if three of them enter next year. I'll be ecstatic if we get six letters of intent going next year.

.....The one thing that seems to intrigue people the most is the Quest component of our Serjeantry Program. It has been very interesting to get the questions and feed-back on the concept. The flexibility and uniqueness of the idea seems to be its greatest strength. Although that very concept could be its greatest weakness during times of complacency. We'll have to monitor that closely.

.....I wish I had spoken of the results more. But it was an exciting thing to see the Serjeantry Cloaks placed over the shoulders of THL Jahnkin and THL Madrun at Saturday Court during June Faire. I spoke briefly about the cloaks being a blank slate, in preparation to carry the weight of the Questing of years with the tokens that will be placed upon them each year. The Quests are a nice way of keeping the Serjeantry engaged and active long after they've completed their Trials. A way to continue active inspiration of the Baronial Populace, hopefully into trying new things of their own. Really exciting stuff. :-)

.....The last e-mail of the evening was of our next September Crown meeting. At least a half dozen members of Team Haggis III hit me with e-mail traffic this week to ask about contract items, placement of activities, ideas on parking, how to run gate. People are ready to get moving on this. I'm actually glad to see the excitement. A part of me wished that I had had a week off to recover from June Faire. :-) But I am glad that things are moving already. I set up a meeting on June 14th. Just need to make sure I still have the conference room at the library booked for us. Then get an agenda completed and prioritized.

.....At June Faire last weekend, I took on a new Protégé, THL Adelheide Leeuwin. I'm still floored by the fact that I've attended as many June Faires as she has been alive! That fact just seems to keep rolling around and around in my brain, like churning water at the bottom of a fall. She is good people though, and just in the past handful of years that I've known her the maturity and growth have been very noticeable. She is motivated and wants to do big things. I doubt very much that I'll actually have to do much for her, other than advocate as needed. And maybe be available for advice as needed. But she already has big plans for things to do and is actively working on making them happen.

.....I formally passed on the blue rope belt that Master Ralg gave to me like a decade or so ago. For some reason it seemed to go with Adelheide's personality more than it did with Isketol or Aelianora. Adelheide is actually more like me than my other two Protégé are. Which is why I think we'll get along well. Although I have to say I also value Aelianora and Isketol highly because they are so different than I am. :-)

.....Isketol has other priorities these days, mainly his health. He hasn't been actively playing in about two years now. I don't really want to end that relationship unless he asks. I'm good with where it is at the moment.

.....Aelianora is super busy with her own stuff as well. The farm keeps her extremely busy, as does her book and research. She is on a slightly different path. But I love talking with her and listening to her research and her thoughts on things. So I'm certainly not going to let that relationship go either. I try to make it a point to check in with her as often as I can. As well as make sure I have a complete resume close by, with all of her activities duly logged on it. :-) She's another one that I don't think will need any 'help' from me. She'll come to that point sometime where she'll decide to kick it on to the next level towards service and she'll be utterly unstoppable. In the meantime, she still manages to provide more service than people realize. Good people she is. :-)

.....Not much on the agenda for this evening. I think I'll enjoy that for as long as possible. This Saturday will be a day-trip to Honey War. I have to remember tokens for all the Dragon's Laire populace taking part in the War Point competitions. Looks like it could be upwards of two dozen. TBT would whip out a bunch of her tassels. But maybe I could put something together utilizing our Arion-made tokens. Hmmm, must think on that one. Sunday will be a Lobelia clean-out day, so she can be taken back to storage. Then back to work.

.....Next Monday is a trip to Madrone to negotiate War at Hot Summer Lights in Druim Doineann. If things work out right, it could be quite the gathering late in July. If Madrone, Aquaterra, Blatha An Oir and Dragon's Laire can get motivated there could be many fighters in the war. That would be fantastic for Druim Doineann. It could be just the motivation they need to go to that next level.

.....Although I thought it a very cool thing on Tuesday when Althon announced that the Shire had come together and volunteered nineteen people to help directly with September Crown. They want to help at gate. That is good news! We can certainly use the help. We'll need to make sure to show them some extra love for supporting us that much.

.....I don't think there is anything yet planned for the weekend of June 16th/17th, so it might really be, dare I say it?, a free weekend. :-) I certainly hope so! :-)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....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.
arontius: (Default)
.....It's hard to believe it is already about 8PM on Sunday night. I do not feel the need or desire to go into work tomorrow. :-) But at least today was productive. Only one more thing to do really tonight and then I think I'll trundle off to bed.

.....TBT seems to be coming down with a cold that I'm managing to avoid. I really think I escaped through the return of zinc to my diet. I was out of zinc and not taking any during the last two colds I had, and I'm avoiding this one. I know that isn't any sort of real and scientific proof, but it is a rather telling coincidence as far as I'm concerned.

.....This week will be a short work week. A rather large security drill is scheduled and most non-essential personnel were given the option of taking the most intensive days of the drill off from work on liberal leave. So next weekend will be a four day weekend, which will be kind of nice.

.....Taking the security drills of this week seriously though. Taking a look at what I'm lugging around in my backpack to reduce the amount of 'stuff' in it. There is no contraband in it, but a nice and fat backpack makes a nice target to those watching the gate and can be a call for a thorough search of its contents. Which will take time and effort that I'd rather put into either getting to my desk or going home after work. :-)

.....My portion of the taxes were completed today. I put the Ingasbo Spread Sheet together for 2011. Paid the Washington State Sales Tax and filled with the state for last year. Then .pdf'ed everything for TBT so she could finish out our Federal Tax filing. Everything else was already completed and ready to go, just waiting for the Ingasbo stuff to come together.

.....Most of this morning and last night was spent in putting together the Western Regional Pelican notes and data for the Winter Quarter. Lots of loose notes that had to come together into one place. Candidates that had to be added to the database. Files to be updated. E-mails to be sent out. But it also finally came together this afternoon. I sent out an e-mail to the Regional e-list and will be all ready to go before the Kingdom's online meeting of later this week.

.....Spent some time trying to get the Smart Phone talking correctly with Project Gutenberg. For some reason, none of the E-Pubs downloadable from PG would open correctly in any of the readers that were supposed to be compatible. They would when downloaded to the desktop, but not the phone. I finally stumbled on the solution after a couple of hours of frustration, and I'm not entirely sure how I fixed the issue. But I was totally caught off guard when The Four Feathers and then A Princess of Mars opened up for me. I'm not going to complain and will enjoy the downloads.

.....Project Gutenberg has been fantastic! It's amazing how many titles are available for download there. Amazon and Barnes & Nobles may not see me for a while. :-)

.....Yesterday was the really non-productive day of the weekend. I spent a handful of hours trying to clean up files on the computer and put them into some sort of logical order. It's a mess when you don't set up and maintain something easy and organized. What you end up with in that case are files scattered everywhere on your computer and difficulty in finding anything. But I finally mucked out everything to a system and location where I'll actually be able to find something in the future.

.....Friday was my first day as the Execution Manager in charge of the group in the absence of the Mid Level Boss. The required crisis hit very first thing in the morning. I was riding that surfboard pretty good until the Mid Level Boss showed up anyway. The people who were calling me were not happy with my answers and we're calling him in ever increasing desperation. :-) He came in and solved the problem, using a source he'd not told anyone about. So even though I ended up looking a little like a dork, I had done the right thing and stuck to it. I like the Planning side of things much more. Engineers and Technicians are more esoteric perhaps, but far less 'jumpy' than those who are actually working on the deckplates. :-)

.....Almost missed Conchobar's performance of 'Irish' music at the Silverdale Antique Mall on Saturday night. He had a good turn out there. Lots of bad luck (exploding amplifiers, bad acoustics, etc.), but he still managed to pull off a good show. I enjoyed his singing quite a bit and wish he had played longer. I made sure to emphasize how much I wanted to hear more, and at an SCA event. :-)

.....This week should be relatively easy. There is the usual Social on Tuesday, and Fight Practice on Thursday evening. But no other meetings are scheduled and I do believe that next weekend is free as well. I'm salivating at the thought. :-) I'm sure TBT is as well. She and her group worked hard this weekend to get the Kingdom Largesse bags completed so they could be shipped off to Ula by tomorrow's deadline. They look pretty good. I saw TBT taking pictures of them, so I think they'll be posted soon.

.....I should put together a 'to-do' list for the week, but I'm starting to fall asleep and I do really want to clean out the backpack before bedtime. I think it is time to close up shop on the computer for this weekend.

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....I'm rather sleepy today for some reason. I was last evening as well. The weekend demands do not look incredibly intense, so maybe I can catch up on my sleeping a little bit.

.....Last night we were visited by the three ghosts of....hmm, wrong story. :-) We were, however, visited by three people who wanted to either drop off stuff, talk or otherwise catch up on things. Actually, something of a rare occurrence.

.....Gwen stopped by first. We chewed on her copy for the Baronial Picnic this summer. It already looked good, but as I like lots of details in what I read, I added stuff for her. She can always edit it away if she so chooses. We talked about the largesse bags for a while and whether or not the Barony would do the next set or not. I am encouraging not as this summer is going to be supremely hectic for all of us, considering that we have the expanded picnic, the Huntsman's Challenge, and then September Crown to work towards.

.....We also talked about the one entry Arts & Sciences / Bardic / Scholar Championship concept the Barony started implementing this year. The more we work on it, the more exciting it actually becomes. I still want to sit down with Madrun and TBT and wade through the Bardic portion. I'm very much a proponent of adding a section emphasizing the basics: i.e. for a musical piece the Challenger would have to run through a series of standard drills or equivalent to prove their basic musical acumen (scales, musical notation, basic musical theory, etc.). This might take the place of the progression portion of the 'object' entry. But that is a very preliminary thought. More to follow.

.....I'm starting to get excited about a Bardic entry. I was pulling out books this week on Morris dancing with the thought of performing one. A Morris Dance would require quite a bit of research, more so than say a recorder performance. But I'd also been thinking that it is about time a Recorder Consort come back to play in the Barony. If the Single Entry is a spring board for some music, maybe we can continue the music for dedicated performances at Yule or something. A dedicated goal always helps regular practices stay regular. :-)

.....Sometime during Gwen's visit Conchobar stopped by with the second largesse bag completed by Eilidh. It was nicely done. I thought all the bags turned out rather nice, and were very much reflections of the person working on them. No two of them looked alike and I thought that to be a good thing as some of them really 'popped' from the individuality put into them. Elen's bags are especially intricate and look really good. Although I'm partial to the bag that TBT is working. Yeah, I'm biased. :-)

.....Madrun is, when she has the time, going to put together a bag for me to work on without a due date. I actually had fun working the small one I received from TBT some four or so years ago. It's a great way to keep the hands busy during meetings, gatherings and such.

.....Our Inga of Dragon's Laire showed up a short time later, just as Gwen was leaving. She had more Inkle Weaving done by Adena to put into the largesse pile. She also wanted to get some feedback from TBT on the largesse bag she was working. Hers looked great as well. Some elaborate outlining in many colors with definite plans for the interior of the beast. I think we almost have her convinced to sign up to Live Journal as well. :-)

.....Tonight is the new Fight Practice day and time. From 6PM to 8PM at the OSSC for the next handful of weeks, before we move Fight Practice back to the VFW Hall. It'll be interesting to see if a new day or time helps with the numbers at all. I'm mulling over whether I want to go or not. I suppose I'd better decide in a hurry.

.....The June Faire Board meeting of Tuesday night was interesting in another regard. I was more of a spectator than someone on the ground floor, and it was an interesting viewpoint from the perspective of someone who has been actively participating in June Faire for over twenty years now. On several occasions I really found myself just on the verge of saying, 'We tried that at this June Faire and it didn't work very well because of X.' Yes, there it was, Old Timers Disease. I do have to say though that I managed to not let my mouth betray me for the most part. What I did do was whenever the thought came out I would write it down so that I could think about it for a while. If it was worthy of mentioning, I'll make a note and mention it to Madrun or Magdalena. If it really isn't applicable, I'll just forget it. As it was, I did trip over myself at least once. The road signs. The road signs were a big deal the last couple of years we were at Frank Raab Park, then they sort of faded away. I mentioned that we'd done signs in the past and to check and see if we had any left in storage (they might have all been tossed long ago). It is always better for the group to at least talk it through. What might not have worked ten or twenty years ago might work very well now. Like I said, interesting perspective. And really, I can do without the eye roll that invariably comes from the listeners when an old timer actually does say, 'We used to do that and....'. :-)

.....I wish more people would come back to Live Journal. Although I do understand the appeal of Facebook. I am not in love with its fast pace and crowded atmosphere though. It could be the Friends List I have though. I have a handful of highly political people on it. Some of whom have no hesitation in putting out some of the most outrageous stuff. Usually I just ignore it, but some of the time it just catches me for some reason. I don't know why. Although I learned my lesson in trying to correct a highly rabid person. He mis-quoted President Washington (a mis-quote that is all over the internet) and I sent him a note with the correct quote. He took it as an attack on his political position and I received a two page reply of vitriol. I just deleted it and took him off my list. Several others are nearing that same point.

.....Someone posted a seriously inflammatory image on Raphaella's Facebook page yesterday and I had to think seriously about whether or not it was time to clean house on my Facebook account to make sure I don't have 'friends' on there who would do that sort of thing. In the end though I stuck to my timeline. But from now on people only get one chance with me. I don't mind viewpoints I find unpleasant. But when used to bludgeon me I call foul and clean up begins.

.....Tomorrow the Mid Level Boss goes away on leave for a week and a half. I was put in charge for the time he was away. Usually he puts one of the Execution Managers in that spot. But it does mean I can't call in sick tomorrow and make it a three day weekend like I was kind of thinking of doing. :-) But all of us in the office are on leave next Thursday and Friday. There is a large scale security drill happening over the next week and it's been advised to take leave if possible. No one needed to ask me twice. :-)

.....If I want to go to Fight Practice, I suppose I'd better start pulling myself together.

.....Aaron / Arontius.

Arrivals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....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.
arontius: (Default)
.....The roads were rather passible actually. The only times I had trouble at all were when I had to start up at green lights (I always seemed to manage to fishtail), and when some fool would speed up to my side just to pull into my lane and slow down. Argh!

.....The Shipyard authorized a two hour delay this morning, but with most of the crew in Norfolk I really wanted to be in on time and I don't think the roads were going to get any more passable in two hours, especially with the added congestion of traffice. Then again, Master Ralg did remind me last night that I am not exactly a smart person and had no friends so maybe waiting would have been the better idea. :-) It would have meant another hour or so in bed. But I found that I wasn't alone in the getting started early department. There were a few less cars in the garage, but a lot of the regulars were already parked in location.

.....News reports are mixed, but NOAA is stating that we're not going to get the drastic accumulations predicted earlier. It's supposed to taper off later today as well. I may try to get out of here an hour or so earlier this afternoon. There is a Fight Practice scheduled tonight at the OSSC. I normally do my best to go, but may decide to stay home instead. We'll have to see what happens with the Pearl's meeting scheduled for Thursday.

.....Did not see many plows on the road, nor sand on the streets. Warren Ave., Wheaton Way and Waaga Way (the main thoroughfares) had a substantial layer of snow / ice on them. But it wasn't hard packed nor seriously slushy, so it wasn't much of an impediment. Was coming down as very small granules, but thickly so, like some white dust or sand storm. The windshield wipers were able to keep up with it rather handily.

.....Many of the crew still here are calling in to say they will not be coming in to work today. Looks like it might be a quiet office for the day. I'll be able to get caught up on a few things. The heater is chugging along, although the radiator is spitting rather dramatically on ocassion. :-) Will have to remember to position to space heater so that it does not get wet.

.....It's rather pretty here at the Shipyard with the snow fall, which is strange to say. The raccoons and rats are out in force though. Their tracks are all over the place in the snow next to the dry-docks. I'm sure they are jockeying for the best locations next to the steam lines running through the service tunnels. I would just assume not meet any of them face-to-face though. :-)

.....I hope that Talon and Jenae get home O.K. today. Or, stay another day in the hospital. Although Jenae sure looked good yesterday in her pictures for just having delivered. She is one fit trooper. All ready to run her next marathon already. I'm not worthy! :-)

.....EDITED TO ADD: AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!! THE SHIPYARD JUST CURTAILED ALL ACTIVITY FOR TODAY!!!!!! I've got a 10AM Telecom I have to do, then I'm going to get my rear end home. :-)

.....Aaron / Arontius.
arontius: (Default)
.....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.
arontius: (Default)
.....You know, I was cautiously optimistic on the prospects for Peter Jackson's interpretation of 'The Hobbit'. The scope is much narrower than 'The Lord of the Rings'. The amount of emotional territory it covers is much less than LotR. The prospects for creative imagery greater in scope (think Smaug or Beorn). Morgan Freeman makes an excellent Bilbo. The Dwarves look great in their roles.

.....Then...I read this article tonight on a report someone wrote after watching the latest trailer for 'The Hobbit'. All of a sudden all the anxieties returned. There is potential for another travesty in the making.

.....Here is an excerpt:

....."So when it comes to the Hobbit trailer, I don’t mind Galadriel showing up. We knew they were going to make The Hobbit into two movies, which meant we were likely to see Gandalf be Gandalf and take on the Necromancer. Nice! I like epic wizard battles, and I like the idea of the white counsel placed on film. But …

.....I can imagine no reason the Galadriel I know from the books would ever touch Gandalf like that. More than that, I can imagine no reason the maia (demi-god) Gandalf would ever, ever look at any elf with the kind of need you can see in that clip. Uh-oh!

.....My friends, Peter, Fran, Phillipa, I beg you, please don’t make Gandalf needy! Please do not wreck his nobility. You have already done so with two other of my favorite characters. I just ask you, don’t mess with Gandalf’s motivations. Don’t make him unsure of himself, and don’t let Galadriel be his guide or his girlfriend: partner, yes; girlfriend or guide, no. Just don’t do it! If you already have done it, you can still save it. You have a year. A quick one day re-shoot, and I bet it will be all better — OK, now I am begging, I will stop. But after the flaws in the LotR adaptations, I am concerned. Trust is easily broken and difficult to repair. Getting this right would go a long way — I hope you do."

.....Read the entire article and prepare to be frightened. It is located here: <http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2012/01/hobbit-trailer/>.

.....Already making arrangements to see one of the first showings on December 14th, but now I'm a little worried. Oh, well, I'm sure the pendulum will swing the other way, at least for a while. :-)

.....It was rather a long week, coming off of Twelfth Night like it was, with its own long drive. But the traveling was not so bad. The hours on the road went by fairly quickly with TBT, myself, Madrun, Gwen and Tsuruko all sharing the drive. The only time the drive started seeming long was when we were almost home and we were all just DONE with the weekend. :-)

.....Lots of good things at Twelfth Night itself. And even managed to get some work done. Made progress on September Crown site location there. Supported an event for a member of the Dragon's Laire Populace who has a good idea on running a Kingdom Level Feast. Looks like it is almost in the bag as the Kingdom was willing to actually sponsor after reviewing the numbers. I'm looking forward to seeing the concept come into fruition. It's one of those events that is almost as fun to plan as it is to execute. Interesting without being huge and overbloatedly complex. He should have a good time with it I am thinking.

.....The work week was all about getting the Team ready and out the door to go back to Norfolk the Tuesday after the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday. Which it looks like is going to happen fairly easily. Looks like my travel to site will happen sometime in February. If I can time it just right I should be able to avoid traveling over Candlemas, Madrone A&S, and Kingdom KAS / KBC, or at least I'm hoping so.

.....Government keeps getting leaner and meaner. I wrote up an award for the crew who performed an installation this last summer, way under cost and ahead of schedule. Which is saying a lot considering the size and complexity of the work done. When my award write-up went upstairs, we were given the bitter truth. All awards budgets were stripped almost dry before the Fiscal Year had even started. The Mid-Level Boss and I had to reduce the group award down to an award for just a few of the very best performances. Who'll receive only a few hundred dollars for all their efforts. It was rather agonizing trying to pare down that list.

.....But I continue to count myself as relatively lucky. News reached me this week of someone I knew at work who had been stripped of his security clearance. Told to report to security where he was asked for his badge, and then escorted to the gate. He's in the process of hiring a lawyer now, but DoD does not mess around with these things. Unless and until he can prove his absolute innocence, he is out of a job.

.....Tuesday was the first June Faire Board meeting of this year. It was rather pleasant actually. Everyone on the Board was engaged and had good ideas to present. They all worked well together. There was still the Dragon's Laire tendency to talk over each other in their excitement. But it was a pleasant excitement versus the frenetic type of excitement we sometimes see. This bodes well for what we'll see in June.

.....Wednesday was Fight Practice at the OSSC. Brighid and I argued over Pelican notes. :-) But it was still a good conversation.

.....I started seriously playing in the SCA in 1991. I received my Pelican in 2005. A span of fourteen years. Which I'm told is just a little longer than average. I'm not entirely sure on that and probably should do some research. But where I was headed was that someone told me at one time that I might have been delayed for a little because of my weight, that I was maybe viewed negatively in an unconscious way because of my being grossly overweight. I don't know whether that was true or not, and there is certainly no way of ever proving it (nor would I want to do so), but I read an interesting article today on how being overweight affects your chances of landing jobs or job promotions. I have a feeling there is some truth to the article as I noticed that my promotions at work came more quickly after my gastric bypass surgery. I was also wondering about that connection in the SCA as well.

.....Take a look if you are interested: <http://www.bankrate.com/finance/personal-finance/money-motives-to-lose-weight.aspx?ec_id=cmct_03_comm_pf_image_headline>

.....Thursday was cleaning up and catching up at home. With a run at the new episode of 'Project Runway'. I'm not sure just why I'm a fan. I don't sew. I am certainly not a fashion snob by any means. But for some reason the show has struck a chord with me as it is the only regularly scheduled show (other than the news) that I actually watch on the Tele these days. Last night's episode was all about clothing for the Opera. With only one or two exceptions, everything created actually looked interesting.

.....Next week's episode could either be interesting and funny, or rather weird, as it looks like the challenge is to create fashion for Miss Piggy of the Muppets. Hmm.....

.....A whole three days of a weekend upcoming. With nowhere we have to be! Huzzah. I need to finish the Doomsday Report for The Crier. Need to finish my overhaul of the Western Region Pelican Notes. Have some e-mails to send out and some September Crown stuff to organize. So, it'll be a fairly busy weekend. But not frenetic, which is good. I'm sooooo looking forward to sleeping in for a while tomorrow morning. :-)

.....I think I'll go and read something for a while before bed. :-)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.....Aaron / Arontius
arontius: (Default)
.....When I was first hired as an apprentice in the Shipyard in 1987, part of the deal of the recruitment were the promises made to me. And it was a recruitment. The Shipyard went to Olympic College and touted what a great deal they were offering; with a college degree, medical benefits, retirement benefits, the opportunity to travel. To a desperate college student who spent as many hours begging for money as he did actually attending classes, this looked like the gates to heaven. I was hooked.

.....Here it is, almost twenty-five years later, and a lot of those promises are evaporating rapidly. I did get an Associate's degree. But every year I'm being asked to pay a larger percentage of my health care, and I'm being told that I'm giving up more of my retirement benefits. We're currently under a two year pay freeze (about to be extended to five).

.....I understand that the country needs to get on better financial footing. I do understand that. And I'm willing to do my part. But at what point do I draw a line in the sand for the promises made to me in 1987? How much am I really willing to give up? I suppose I should be really grateful that I a.) have a job period, and b.) it pays rather well. But that gratitude is only going to go so far.

.....Proposals under serious discussion for us government workers:

* Pension formulas shifting from the current 'high three' to 'high five'.

* Increase the percentage required by FERS (Federal Employee Retirement System) as their contribution by 6.2%.

* Eliminate the FERS plan for new hires entirely and go to a defined contribution option payable at Social Security age to supplement the Thrift Savings Plan.

* Limit the FERS minimum supplement to employees subject to mandatory retirement. This is the option where those retiring before the age of (62) would be paid a percentage of the difference between their retirement pay and Social Security. The current proposal eliminates this completely and basically states you get paid nothing if you retire before (62) until you reach (62). I knew this one was coming though. It was only a matter of time.

* Reduce the Federal workforce by 10% through attrition, hiring one new worker for every three who leave.

* Extend the current pay freeze through 2015 (which basically adds another year to the current plan).

* Eliminate periodic step increases within pay grades.

.....I think that pretty much seals the coffin on the earliest I'm getting out of here. And it's looking like that day is at approximately eighteen years from now. Ouch!

.....I will have put in over fourty years of service by then. I'll have twenty-five of them next July, at which point, according to the current RIF rules, I have to be retired rather than laid off. But I'm not so sure even that is sacred to any degree. Earlier this week I read the first serious discussion of mothballing the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) Aircraft Carrier. It's only twenty years old. That's young to go into the Inactive Fleet. But if the Department of Defense is looking to cut that deep, I wonder just how far they are going to cut its workforce before all is said and done.

.....Off to pick-up Lobelia from Imperial RV out at the airport. They winterized her for the year, and fixed the retractable step. It was closing, but not completely without help, and they had to make some adjustments to it. So now she comes to the house to finish out the laundry and put those things inside that we'll not need until next year. Must remember to put some Dry Air Crystals in her. I'll have to pull out the containers for those from beneath the sink.

.....Then we'll have to run off to the new Fight Practice at the Pendergast Sports Complex to try out our new indoor site. It's heated, brightly lit, has restroom facilities. And? You can buy beer on the premises. How can you go wrong with that? :-)

.....We're kicking the practices off with Tournaments for the Heavy and Rapier Combat crews. Given by TBT of course. :-) We need to remember to pack the largesse bins before we take off for the evening. Master Ralg donated a really nice turned bowl that will make an excellent prize. But I haven't looked in the largesse bins for a while, so there are probably other really cool things in them as well.

.....Had good conversation with one of those opposed to the new indoor site. Not so much that he was opposed to the fighters going there for practice. He was opposed to the 'suggested donation'. His viewpoint being that the fighters should be supported as much as the rest of the Barony was for their Social (at the VFW Hall) and at the A&S Day Camps, where little or nothing is actually charged to those who attended.

.....I could see his viewpoint. Although I think it was eye-opening for him to hear our side of the story on why we are currently on a more 'fiscal responsibility' kick. Even though he'd been told how much effort we've gone through over the past handful of years to find a usable indoor site, I don't think it really made a connection with him until we went into more detail of our searches and why we are being turned away so frequently by all the local groups and facilities.

.....Everyone these days is concerned about liability. As well they should be. One good lawsuit can destroy an organization if they are not careful. If you are a small, local church or school, you often have to weigh the relatively small income you are going to potentially receive from groups who use your facility versus the possible risk of someone becoming hurt (or abused, or molested, or worse) on your property and the victim coming after you for compensation simply because they have nowhere else to go.

.....Like I said, good conversation. Wish we could have had that on a Baronial scale earlier.

.....Aaron / Arontius.

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