Wednesday, 5 April 2017

A break from research

I've finally finished reading all the Minutes of the 1920 to 2000 meetings of the Masonic Lodge whose history I am researching. I now have a membership database with the details of over 3,500 people on it and a file of notes about each of the 165 meetings (both regular and emergency) that took place. All that remains is for me to go through the records of the Lodge Committee Meetings ... and my pre-writing research will be completed ... for the moment.

I'm rather 'researched out' at present and need to have a bit of a change, and so the last of these tasks will have to wait for a few weeks before I resume my work. Over the next few days I'm going to try to do some more work on my Napoleonic project and to spend the odd minute (or hour) working on the text of the next PORTABLE WARGAME book ... but for the rest of today I hope to just sit and do very little.

10 comments:

  1. Hi Bob,

    It has been my experience that if being able to rest, relax, and recharge is an option, a better final product is the result...rather than slogging on through to the finish and letting the chips fall where they may. I'm looking forward to seeing further developments of your "Portable Wargame"!

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    1. Martin,

      I've always been a great believer in taking regular breaks, if only to reduce fatigue and to ensure that fewer mistakes occur.

      I'm making slow but steady progress with the next book, and already have over forty pages written.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. That sounds like hard work and a well earned break. Good to now that an expanded edition is in preparation but I hope you are leaving time to absorb more feedback on the first edition. I know I'm not done exploring yet or wondering about this or that.
    At any event if you want any feedback or playtesting pre-release my table is always open.

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    1. Ross Mac,

      It was great to end this rather intense part of my research ... and I am really looking forward to doing something a bit different.

      The next book will contain a set of generic Ancient rules and a developed (i.e. more complex) version of my mid-twentieth century rules ... and I will be looking for some play-testers for both! The current draft of the latter contains changes that result from your previous feedback, and I will send a copy of both to you when the drafts are finished.

      I also hope to include some simple add-on air rules, some simple ironclad naval rules, and a mini-campaign system.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. Hi Bob,

    Happy to help if needed - the blocks stand ready!

    All the best,

    DC

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    1. David Crook,

      Thanks for the kind offer. I'll send you copies of the draft rules as soon as they are finished.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. I do not envy you at all in this endeavour. I have just suffered my lodge's committee meeting on Tuesday. About 15 minutes discussing what ceremonies we are doing for the next 12 months, officers etc and then about an hour with an old boy moaning about the dining arrangements and what happened over the last 50 years. Even when we had a vote and he managed to muster 1 vote against everyone else, he still didn't stop! Thankfully we will not have another for 12 months.

    Guy

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    1. Guy,

      I've sat on many Masonic and non-Masonic committees during my life, and learned one or two tricks from some masters in the art of chairing them. As chair, make sure that you state clearly at the beginning of the meeting that no member can talk to an agenda item for more than three minutes ... and time them. When they have spoken for two minutes, tell them that they have sixty seconds left ... and signal to them when their three minutes is up.

      I saw this done at a high-level education committee where we got through over twenty agenda items in less than two hours. The usual 'moaners and groaners' soon got the message, and it ended up being a very productive meeting. At the next meeting the discussions were even briefer, with people coming with notes about what they were going to say. By the third meeting the chair did not even have to tell attendees that their time was up. It was a master class in how to run a committee.

      The problem with Masons is the democratic way we try to run things ... BUT we elect a WM to 'rule over' the Lodge, and that is what they should do in committee. Many don't because they don't want to offend anyone ... which is understandable but can leading the sort of situation you described.

      All the best,

      Bob

      PS. Your plight puts me in mind of two Masonic jokes, both of which start with the question 'How many Masons does it take to change a light bulb?'

      Answer 1: Three. One to change the light bulb, one to record that the light bulb was changed ... and one to go on and on about how it used to be done so much better in the past.

      Answer 2: CHANGE?!!!!!!

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  5. Exactly! He wouldn't take any note of the wishes of the WM, the incoming WM, the 2 remaining founders etc so as secretary I had to rely on our by-laws and insist on a vote. It was v difficult to shut him up mid rant!

    Guy

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    1. Guy,

      And don't forget, it'll be your fault that the vote didn't go the way he wanted!

      All the best,

      Bob

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