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12 July 2011 @ 10:23 pm
Warriors and Warlords XVIII  
It always amazes me how quickly Warriors and Warlords flies by when one is in a staff position! After six years as Baroness and two as Autocrat, I'm not sure how next year will go - it will be so odd to have the ability to choose my own schedule. Very strange...

Anyway - this year! Due to the Fourth of July being Monday, the set-up week was truncated to just two days instead of the usual 3-4. I do not recommend this. :P However, our other options were limited and poor due to other activities that already had the park reserved, so we planned on minimal new projects, recruited heavily for work week, and went to work with gusto bright and early on Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, some of that going to work with gusto involved my lovely oak Oseberg bed meeting my right index finger at speed. o.O I don't deal well with digit-squishing injuries, so I had to lay on the grass for a few minutes to keep from fainting or puking. After a few minutes, I was able to get back up and carry on with set up, though. There was still literally EVERYTHING to set up, so I sucked it up and grabbed a hammer. Set up proceeded pretty smoothly, but it was long, hot work. I did my best to remain active and useful, however, by late afternoon, a light rain rolled in, limiting set up to things that could be done at the pavilion, and my finger still hurt, so I toddled into town to run some errands and visit the Urgent Care. I was seen promptly and told that there was no break, just a quality bruise, and that I had exceptional finger bone density. (Gee, you think I do much with my hands? ;P) They taped me to a splint and then set me loose into the wild. I picked up some list poles, watercoolers, and the site booklets and then I returned to site where we worked on little projects until the mosquitoes, dark, and exhaustion drove us all to bed. Me voluntarily in bed and asleep before 11PM does not often happen, but I was promptly out cold.

Wednesday, the set-up continued and happily my co-autocrat Vidi is brilliant. He came up with a great plan for making placing the roads MUCH less physical labor and MUCH faster. Apparently, they make *giant* drill bits that will screw into a standard drill and make a hole about 5/8" wide and 18" deep. Who knew? This meant we needed more drill power/charging stations, but next year placing the roads is going to be a breeze... Plus we decided to increase the space between the flags - I thought I remembered it being 15' spacing, but they were way too close together. We will try 30' next year and between that and the drill, it should go nicely. Roads went up, carports went up, pavilions went up, showers went up, food magically appeared then quickly disappeared... I have to say it is a joy and a blessing to work with a crew that has a lot of institutional memory. There almost always were enough "old timers" around that I could assign a few newer folks to an old hand and things would get done as if by magic. THANK YOU to all who helped with the set-up, in any capacity.

Thursday bright and early the site opened and people began pouring in. We finished the last few tasks, but they were largely cosmetic/decorative things that remained. Unfortunately, my deputy Seonaid picked up an injury early in the day, which prompted lots of jokes about wrapping Vidi in bubble wrap as the last remaining autocrat without injury. :P From Thursday onward things sped up considerably, at least from my point of view. However, things went smoothly enough that both Vidi and I got a Friday afternoon nap and we each got to go "play" for certain activities we were interested in attending. I was not feeling well on Thursday, so Warda's party was hosted by Eithni this year, there just was not enough energy to make Marion appear, but we still had a lovely time. Friday, the A&S Display seemed to go quite well, and the new plan of lighting the Main Pavilion with Christmas lights was lovely and effective. Saturday, a highly anticipated event and one of the highlights of the event was iarroganti  being put on vigil for the Laurel. I was so happy that swords_and_pens  was able to be there and beg the boon. :D I had wanted to participate in the Dance Ball, but kept getting pulled away on Official Business, and really only got to dance two dances, one of which I was distracted during due to the radio going off. Still, it was pleasant to be able to end the night sitting at Shadewes and chat with folks while some kind souls gave me a celebratory foot rub. :) The night ended with an Incident, but the Courtesy Patrol and Chirurgeonate got it under control and I did not need to get out of bed to address the situation directly.

Saturday night the take-down began with dropping all the site canvas, and that turned out to be a huge blessing on Sunday morning. Vidi checked the radar and it showed the ugly red crescent of storms headed Right For Us. Eeep! It certainly motivated people to get the hell off site quickly, though! At about 9:30AM, I decided there was no way I was going to make it and gave up on tearing down my camp. Instead, I shoved everything into one tent and started running around the site with my Fit picking up all the canvas items and getting them under cover or into water-tight bins. Happily, the storm broke up in such a way that it just skimmed us and I was able to pack up mostly dry. Tear down went quickly, due to campers clearing out with all speed and a fair number of volunteers.  Autocrat staff was the last off site at 2:30, and we had been lollygagging, waiting for the last of the campers and merchants to get off site.

Overall, I think the event was a success. The Stoopidity Quotient of gentles at the event was limited until Saturday night, when most of it hit in quick succession - happily, for the worst of it, I had exactly the right staff on Courtesy Patrol. Still, no sirens of any sort for the event, and I personally accounted for 1/ 4 of the ER visits. Attendance was low (774, I think), but hopefully our attempts to be frugal and limit projects will allow the numbers to shake out OK in the end. I donated the painted parts of new parking signs and the pretty new flutters for the rapier field were made from scraps from last year's road triangle project, so I think the only expenses for "improvements" were new ropes for the rapier field, new ropes and stakes for the TW field, stakes for the parking signs, the materials to convert the showers to choose-your-own-temperature, and the giant drill bit for the roads. The rest of the budget was pretty much inelastic, necessary things like portas, hay, and dumpsters. The one thing we completely and utterly spaced out on was glow sticks in the portas. We had them and the zip ties and somehow it just failed to occur to us until almost midnight on Saturday night. *facepalm* Oh well, there had been no complaints and if that was the most profound fail of the event, I'll take it.

In addition to all the official thanks, some personal ones:
To corvusjoyous  for, yet once again, saving my ass - this time by helping me make new tent poles when I discovered that my poles and stakes had gone AWOL. And for being one of my set-up rock stars, as usual (Toussaint, too!). AND for just being such a kind and effective person under all circumstances. You inspire me, lady.
To ego_id_non_feci  for being the bundle of energy that helped keep my spirits up, even as long hot days and hard work wore me down - you were always like a drink of fresh air.
To Marian and Niklaus for being such steady and useful helpers - you're some of my most reliable, reasonable point-and-shoot volunteers and it was so nice to be able to say "please put up the Christmas lights" and to have you take charge and figure it out. 
To the Kegslayers, who agreed to pull the difficult 2-4AM Sunday morning Courtesy Patrol shift and who gracefully handled a much more difficult shift than they anticipated. I could not have anticipated how Saturday night would end, but I could not have picked a better crew to have at hand.
To my Chirurgeons, who bore the brunt of the Stoopidity Quotient of the event and did so capably and well.
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Ulfhildr: approvalyuri_shoujo on July 13th, 2011 03:50 am (UTC)
It was a lovely event. (: Thanks for autocratting it.
marwen42marwen42 on July 13th, 2011 07:21 pm (UTC)
I know that Dean was pretty happy to have the Nordskogen pavilion stowed on Saturday evening, and it made Sunday so much better!

The christmas lights really were perfect -- soft, but enough light to see by. :-)

Thank you for being autocrat! You've done an excellent job!