26 September 2006

I finished up those five Clanrats today, bringing my number of completed unit up to four. I've got 90 miniatures painted, so only about 105 more to go until this army is done. I also redid the standard bearer for the Clanrat unit, as I have never been happy with the way the banner turned out. It looks a lot better now and fits in better with the rest of the army.
I also had my first Fantasy Basketball draft today. It went all right, but I don't know if my team is good enough to win this year. At least I got two good Centers who I might be able to trade for some better players at other positions. I guess I still have a couple more drafts to try to get it right.
I posted some photos, which you can view below. I have a group shot of the Stormvermin as well as a couple of individual shots of the unit leader and standard bearer. I also posted a picture of the Clanrats I'm working on now along with the example figure I'm using to ensure that they match the rest of the unit.
And finally I have a photo of my desk after a day or two of painting. It gets pretty crowded, especially with bottles and glasses. I've found that painting with a beverage on hand is essential to my success. If you get stuck on something and you don't have a beverage, you just have to sit there and be angry, but if you have a drink on your desk, you can take a refreshing break and return to your work after a few comfortable moments of leaning back in your chair and enjoying your drink.

Painting Progress

I finally finished my unit of Stormvermin, and they don't look too bad. I'm always surprised at how many colors I end up using on a group of miniatures. Just looking at them, you'd think I'd only used maybe 10 or 12 colors. But I must have 20 or more paint pots on my desk. Off the top of my head, I used 4 browns, 5 or 6 different metallics, 3 greens, 3 pink/purples, a couple of reds, 3 inks, a white color, and a couple of blues just on this unit of Stormvermin. Unfortunately, my camera battery died just as I was about to take pictures, so I have to wait until later to put photos up.
Since the picture-taking thing wasn't working too well, I started some Clanrats to fill in a unit I'd already painted most of. After I painted the first 20, I made some changes to my army list and added five more rats to that unit, so I have to paint these ones to match the others. So far I have their fur finished and I might be able to finish them up tomorrow. Things go a lot faster once you've already got a color scheme to go off of.
I've been thinking about a car project, but I don't really know what I want to do. I'd like to get my 300ZX up to the point where everything works a little better. It isn't running terribly, but it sounds rough and things like the windshield washers, A/C, and hatch hydraulics aren't working. I also need to do something with the headliner and a couple of loose parts on the interior. Also, the passenger mirror fell off yesterday on the way to church. My wife had her arm out the window, so she was able to catch it, but I need to put it back on. It's a pretty fun little car, but I don't know if it's worth putting a whole lot of time and money into beyond keeping it running and functional.
I've thought about buying an older Z-car to mess around with, but I don't know if that's really what I want to do, mostly because I have recently thought of an even more awesome project. My dad has a 1951 Ford F-100 that would look really nice if someone took the time to clean it up. I haven't talked to him about it yet, but I think fixing up an old truck like that would be a lot more rewarding and infinitely cooler than working on a Z-car. I've been looking at a few similar projects online and the idea isn't really much more than a "wouldn't it be cool if..." thought yet, but it's something to think about.
After three weeks, my fantasy football teams are a combined 8-4 (all 4 teams are 2-1). Not the best record, but I am competitive in all of my leagues. It's also the last week for fantasy baseball. In my rotisserie league I'll probably finish second. In one league I'm already out of the playiffs, having finished in sixth place. And in the leagues that I'm still playing in I'm fighting for a championship and for third place. Not a terrible season overall.
I've all but lost my desire to play World of Warcraft lately. It was a lot of fun pushing to get to level 60, but now that I'm there it seems like I waste so much time trying to get into a raid group for instances that it's pointless to play. In the last couple weeks I've probably put 3 to 4 hours into trying to get a group together with nothing to show for it. If that's how it's going to be I'd rather just paint miniatures or something. I think my camera is charged, so I'm going to go take some pictures.

19 September 2006

Fight my imp.

You need to scroll down right now and fight my imp. You know you want to.

10 September 2006

I am sick of PuGs on World of Warcraft. I think I need to take a break from it for a while or something, because games should be fun. Maybe I'll paint some miniatures or catch up on some sleep this week.

08 September 2006

Today I had a booger that looked like Pikachu. Also, there was a fire at my job, but I was not involved as I was moving some pallets on the other end of the dock.

04 September 2006

It has been a pretty busy week. I spent most of today cleaning up the living room, as we had sort of let things go recently (like for the last three months) and it was pretty cluttered. It doesn't help that the dogs have dug holes outside and drag in tons of dust every day. It's like living in Iraq again, with a coat of dirt on every surface in the house. We're slowly battling the dust, but we need a more permanent solution for the bare dirt outside. We're researching a way to get grass growing out there again, so the roots will hold the dirt out there where it's supposed to be. Anything we do to clean the dirt out of the house is just treating the symptoms, because the dogs will track in more than we can ever keep out.
I had a terrible time getting my emissions checked this week. I've always lived in rural areas, so I'd never done an emissions test before, but I knew the basic way it was supposed to go. I pulled up to the emissions booth at some local repair shop and an old man came out to do the test. He hooked up his equipment and whatnot to get the test ready. It took a while, but I figured that he was lucky to be moving around at all at his age.
Once everything was hooked up, he told me to take my car to 2500 RPMS and hold it there, so I did. He kept sticking his thumb out for me to rev it higher, so I bumped it up a couple hundred, as tachometers aren't always 100% accurate. He continued to hold his thumb out and then began thrusting it violently upward. As a test I took the car almost to redline, and he still was signaling for me to go higher.
I took my foot off the gas and he ran out and got in my face saying, "I can't administer the test if you won't get it up to 2500 RPMs." I explained to him that I had it all the way up to 5000 and if I went any higher I was going to blow my engine. He refused to believe that I had been up that high and then told me that I was idling too fast for him to administer the other part of the test. I told him that maybe we should try it again. He went back into the booth and again he wanted me to go way north of 2500 RPMs. When he came back out to ask me why I had stopped, I told him I wasn't going to blow out my engine for his stupid test and that I'd like him to unhook his equipment immediately and I would go down the street to get tested.
He refused and said, "You should have decided to go somewhere else before you came here. Now that you've started it I'll have to fail you and report you. The Air Quality Board will come down on you and take your car. I'm just like a police officer." I let him know that I didn't believe any of his baloney and that I had until the end of the month to get a passing test, so if he wanted to fail me he could do it and I would go to the van down the street and get tested there.
This argument continued for quite some time, with him telling me about how I was going to get arrested if I couldn't hold my engine at 2500 RPMs and that any mechanic could get my idle low enough for him but it was too late now because I'd started the test and now I was in deep trouble with the law and me letting him know that his computer was obviously messed up and I didn't give a flying mallard if he called George Bush himself to order me to stay there at his stupid booth I was leaving as soon as he unhooked his sensors. At some point I exited the car and was having violent thoughts while continuing to argue with him. He retreated into his booth and argued with me through the window.
Just as he was letting me know for the 900th time that the test was irreversible once started, his computer booted him out and aborted the test. So he turned it back on and started filling out the information again. On the screen where you enter engine size, he put it in as a 4-cylinder, and my wife happened to notice his mistake and tell him that the car was a V-6. He looked around suspiciously and yelled, "Are you sure it's a six-cylinder?" We assured him that it was, so he made the change and told me to rev it up to 2500 RPMs. I moved the car a little to where I could see his screen, and sure enough, when my tachometer said 2500, his screen said the same thing. For the idle test, my car was running about 25 RPMs over his limit, so I had to put it in gear and let the clutch out a hair, but that passed too. He seemed quite embarrassed about the whole thing and didn't say much as I paid and got the paperwork. I'm just glad everyone was able to get through it without bodily harm being done because things got pretty heated.
In other car-related news, I got to do my first real mechanical job yesterday. My wife's car has been having trouble starting lately and with the noises it was making I thought it might be the starter. So we got a manual and the part and took it out to my parent's house to switch it out. My dad looked at it and helped me work out how to get the bolts out and everything, but most of the stuff I was able to do on my own. I had to take out the battery and battery bracket as well as the cruise control mechanism before I could get to the starter, but it wasn't too hard of a job. Unfortunately, the problem doesn't seem to be solved. We're going to take the battery in again to be tested and probably just buy a new one. If that doesn't work it may be a problem with the wiring or the alternator, so I may get to do some more work on her car soon. My car's power steering just went out. I think it's just a fluid leak, but I still need to get in there and dig around. We also have to think about getting the transmission fixed or replaced relatively soon. And I think my windshield washer pump is out. I'll have to look at the wiring on that as well. So there is plenty of stuff for me to work on and build my skills, because chicks dig guys with skills.
I'd really like to paint some miniatures, but I haven't made time for it lately. I did get all of my miniatures put into storage boxes so the dust would stop collecting on them. Now only the five that I'm supposed to be working on are out. I saw a little chest of drawers at Fred Meyer the other day that would be awesome for miniatures. It has maybe ten or twelve drawers that are a couple of inches tall, and each drawer is divided into maybe 24 compartments. I'm thinking about getting one just so I can avoid having boxes stacked everywhere.