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Fun with precedence

I've spent the last... not quite a week working with the baronial order of precedence.  What a mess.  Mind you, it's been a mess for years, but I don't think anyone quite as obsessive as I am has gone after it with Excel before.  About a year back I took my first crack at it.  I hadn't meant to get that involved, but well - I obsess.  I started trying to match awards up with events, and rapidly noticed that aside from being incomplete, a lot of the entries were just *wrong.*  I would try to match them up to an event, and the dates would be off by a few days.  Checking past calendars online, I found a lot of aways apparently given out on Tuesdays and Thursdays and such.  That couldn't be right.

Well, one thing led to another, and I ended up going into the crawlspace and pulling out our archive of past Pikestaffs, which goes back to 1988.  I started just matching up dates, and then changed my mind and started over - I figured as long as I was going to go through the effort of going through all those old newsletters, I was going to cull as much information out of them as I could.  So I added a sheet to my spreadsheet and started capturing information on all of the barony's past events - I was thinking that it would be a good reference for sites, and I was able to compile a VERY good record of all the events in the barony since 1988, and then I cross referenced it to the OP.  That let me correct a lot of the dates, but not all of them.

Then I crawled through the Kingdom OP one letter at a time and searched on "BBM," "holly," "sun," "soil," "defender," and "oak" - every key word that I could think of that might return results I may have been missing on our list.  We were actually pretty complete.

The problem was that I still had awards floating out there that didn't match events.  So I asked Evaine if she would let me borrow the archive of baronial newsletters to cull through for information - I was hoping that awards might have been published at the time.  I sweetened the deal by offering to scan them while I was at it (at the time I had access to a scanner with a document feed.  Oh well - I'll do it the slow way.)

Last week I needed to take a break from sewing, so I got out the big blue bag, and started sorting.  That was fun.  The pasteups are just too fragile to handle at this point - Evaine showed a lot of trust giving them to me.  Almost the entire run was there, from the first issue in 1986 to 2007 when Jane took over.  It's missing Summer '94 to January of '96, four issues from 1996, and two from 2007.  Then once they were sorted and shuffled into files by year, I started going through them.

I understand why our OP is so messed up - obviously the court reporting went terribly wrong from the very beginning.  Nonetheless, I pulled a lot of information out.  And again - while I was at it I started grabbing other info, so I'm compiling lists of officers and champions, and a partial list of demos.  Hey - why not?

So I've made the obvious corrections that are obvious to me - dates on Fridays when the event was on Saturday, dates that clearly contained transposed numbers, etc.  I've made some corrections that are a little sketchier, but still have internal consistency, and in one or two cases "it was sometime in 1978 or 1979" - I just assigned it a date so that it would sort.  We have NO records of any sort from the late '70s/early '80s.

I have one anomoly from 1987 that's driving me nuts, and a couple of names that I'm pretty sure are duplicates, but once I figure those out, I think it's as good as it can get.  I'm entirely certain that we're missing a bunch of data.  Our heralds have clearly not been very diligent about submitting court reports.  But at this point - it was long ago, those people and their friends are clearly no longer playing, so - that's just how it's going to be.  I can only do so much.  As it is, I've managed to attach every award that we have a record for since 1986 to a published event.  That's from Salaamallah's first court to the present.  I think that's pretty damn good.  There's so few people left from Balin's time that I'm just going to say "here be dragons" and let it go.

I'm going to take what I have to the barony meeting in March where some of our oldest members will hopefully be, and see if we can all put our heads together and figure out the last anomolies.  Then I'll publish it in the newsletter and have Sisuile put it on the website.  And them I'm going to send it to Rowan as the definitive list to be integrated into the Kingdom OP.

But for right now, I'm done fussing at it.  Because my eyes might not uncross for a week.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 24th, 2016 06:48 pm (UTC)
I have to put together an OP for the shire of Quintavia, and now I'm really glad that we're a shire, not a barony, and have no precedence bearing awards. I just have to figure out our order of march based on kingdom awards, and trust that what is in the kingdom OP is good.

Here I am, pushing two years after this project was proposed, and still waiting for a list of paid members of the shire from the seneschal...
Feb. 24th, 2016 07:02 pm (UTC)
LOL - well, I'm glad that my pain is serving as a cautionary tale for *someone.* ;-)

All I can say is that if you guys ever go barony, assign someone to keep track of all this stuff at a local level - they'll thank you in forty years.

To be fair, no one *asked* me to do this - I took it on myself, and then it's possible that I got a wee bit obsessed...

An order of march is a cool idea, although I'm not sure we'd want to pay for the mailing list to do it. It's a fun idea to keep in mind for a couple of years from now when the barony has to poll for our successors, though. Neat!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )