24 December 2007

Oh, and in the spirit of Christmas...

Here's a little video for everyone. It's called "Don't Shoot Me Santa" by The Killers. It's pretty decent.



I am anticipating all of my free time in the near future being taken up by the game Medieval 2: Total War and its expansion. And there is a little voice in the back of my head talking about what sort of miniatures applications this could lead to. It's all speculation right now, as my wife is standing pretty firm in her decision not to let me open it until Christmas Day. I really would like to get into Warhammer Ancients, but I'm not sure where to start and I'm probably not prepared for the jump into a new game. The whole jump into WWII didn't go so well, and I imagine that it will be a similar situation for Medieval wargaming.
I printed off the Mordheim rulebook. With all the minis I picked up I should be able to fill out warbands for the Sisters of Sigmar, Witch Hunters, and I can use my Skaven figures from Warhammer to field a Skaven warband. I also printed off some optional rules for Orc warbands, so once I get some Orcs painted up I can use them too.

Orcs & Goblins Update

I've been struggling to come up with a theme for my Orcs and Goblins army. I want them to have plenty of variety and a lot of color, but I also want them to look like they all belong together. I didn't really want to do red or green or brown as I already have various forces in those colors. I read a bunch of articles on themed armies and greenskin tribes in particular, but didn't really see anything that jumped out at me. While I was painting the straps on the armor for my first few Orcs I came up with an idea for using blue colors to tie the army together. After some more thought I came up with an idea that incorporates the comical aspects of the Games Workshop version of Orcs as well as a unified color theme.
I present to you the Blu Jeenz tribe, led by the famous Savage Orc Pantsmaker Lurv-Eye Stross. That pretty much sums it up. It makes me laugh and it's given me the motivation I need to paint these figures. I even have some ideas for customized banners that will hopefully turn out all right. The blue pants can unify the army, leaving me free to paint shirts, helmets, and other clothing in whatever colors I want. Here's a work-in-progress photo:

21 December 2007

New Feature

I added a music player to my blog with most of the songs I've been listening to recently. So if you want to have a musical experience for 23 seconds while you read my blog, feel free to check it out.

18 December 2007

Posting From My Phone

I worked on my Warhammer Orcs today, finishing up the skin tones on several figures. I am leaning more toward quick army-painting methods than anything extremely detailed, as I have so many different projects I want to work on. I don't want to spend 1 1/2 years on each army like I did for the Skaven.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

17 December 2007

I finished up the goblins I've been working on, so here are a couple of pictures of them. I still need to do something about their eyes, perhaps dot them with pupils or something. And as I typed this I realized that I haven't painted the rock that the big boss goblin is standing on. Not much else going on hobbywise at the moment.


The week isn't going extremely well in Fantasy Football, but depending on how the Vikings do tomorrow against the Bears I may still have a chance to earn some trophies this year. We'll see how it goes.

10 December 2007

Barring a 50-point performance by Drew Brees tomorrow, my Fantasy Football teams went 3-1 this week. Unfortunately, my one loss happened to be in the first round of the TMP Fantasy Football playoffs. I went in as the second seed and got destroyed by the seventh seed, knocking me into the consolation bracket where the best finish I can make is fifth place. Wins by my other three teams put all of them in the regular Yahoo! League playoffs, so I've got a couple more opportunities to grab trophies.

06 December 2007

I worked on some more goblins tonight. I should have finished them, but got sidetracked by message boards. My new goal is to have these seven figures painted by the end of next week, and possibly to have the Cave Troll assembled and primed so I can start work on him the following week. After that I may work on some Mordheim figures or the box of Easterlings I picked up last week. Warhammer figures have kind of taken a back seat right now with the nerd drama that caused the Boise Warhammer group to implode. I don't really have any opponents to play these other games with either, but the projects are small enough that I can bounce around without getting bored. Whenever I get a real job I hope there is a nice group of gamers nearby, as this lone gamer stuff is awfully boring. I like the painting and planning, but sometimes I think I would like to play a game with some people who can carry on a conversation and have fun.
I am considering a ceramic heat emitter bulb for the tortoise. The UVB lamp gives him the UV rays he needs to process his vitamins and the other bulb puts off some heat, but I don't think it's enough. And he's supposed to have night cycles with the lights off. The ceramic heat bulbs are supposedly good for 5 years, and the fixture and hardware to hang it are $10 at Home Depot, so I'll probably need to make that happen next week some time.
I've been writing up 500-point army lists for several of the Lord of the Rings factions with the objective of having several forces ready for the map-based campaign I mentioned a couple of posts ago. Most of the lists can be made using the army boxes that are available and one or two blister packs. Once I'm done with the Moria force I want to go after the Dwarf box set that Hobbytown has had on their shelf for a long time. They are traditional enemies anyway, so it seems like a good army to build next.
My wife has some secret present that she wants to get me for Christmas. I have promised not to guess out loud what it is, but that hasn't stopped me from postulating in secret. My real dilemma is deciding what to get for her. Her main hobbies (knitting and crocheting) are similar to my own hobbies in that there is too much variety and specialization for someone outside the hobby to accurately guess what to buy. I don't know what sort of needles she needs, what kind of yarn is the best, how much yarn it takes to make an item, what color of yarn to get, or even if she wants hobby-related items. And she has remained absolutely silent on the issue, leaving me to my own devices. So if anyone who knows her has a suggestion, please send it my way.

05 December 2007

Owen

Here is Owen, the Russian Tortoise, eating his food. That's not dirt on his lettuce, it's a supplement to make sure he gets his vitamins and minerals. I really should take a video of him eating, as he is surprisingly ferocious and aggressive toward his food. He really likes his new home; he spent the first full day in it racing around the edges to the point that he carved a little track out in the substrate. Hopefully we'll find him a rommate soon.


04 December 2007

In this post I mentioned the series of auctions that are going on so a little boy can get some hearing aids. My minis all arrived this week; five Mordheim blister packs and an old Skaven Screaming Bell. I am very seriously considering several more packs from the Mordheim range, so I can fill out warbands for the Sisters of Sigmar and the Witch Hunter factions. Several miniature companies have donated rare or studio-painted figures for the auctions, and they've been fetching decent prices.
In the latest White Dwarf magazine there is a little article for a map-based campaign in the Lord of the Rings universe. You can find the map here. I think it looks like a lot of fun, even just as a motivation to paint a few hundred points of models from several different armies. The LotR minis are pretty nice, especially at the price point they have for basic infantry ($23-25 for 20-25 figures).
My Fantasy Football teams didn't do so well this week, going 2-2 to bring me to 34-18 on the season (11-2, 9-4, 7-6, 7-6). That wouldn't be so bad, except that the teams that already had playoff spots won and the teams that were fighting for a berth lost. One of my 7-6 teams is barely clinging to a playoff slot and the other is one slot out of playoff contention right now, but with tough matchups next week it's going to be very hard for them to stay in the race.

30 November 2007

Not much going on tonight, as there was yet more overtime at work. Winter is supposed to be the slow time in the freight industry, but that only seems to apply to the part-time workers. With bad weather starting to delay trailers, the full-time workers end up staying late to work on the late-arriving trailers. It's good for the pocketbook, I suppose.
Tomorrow I will probably wind up running errands, so I don't anticipate getting any painting done. I've moved the remaining Moria Goblins to my desk in preparation for painting them. I had originally intended to paint the Cave Troll, but he's going to require some assembly and sculpting work that I don't feel like doing. Better to stick with the things I'm motivated for than to get bogged down with a task I don't feel like doing. I need to get the electric fence set up as well. Buddy has been doing very well for a couple of months now, so we'd put off putting the electric fence in the yard. He's been getting into mischief again over the last few days, so I can't put it off any longer.

29 November 2007

I've finally finished off the basic warrior models for my Moria force. There are eight goblins with sword and shield, eight with spear, and eight archers. I only have thirteen more figures to paint before my 500-point force is done.






I put together the Tortoise Table tonight, and it certainly dominates the middle of the living room. I probably should have waited to build it until I'd cleared out the spot I plan to put it in. But my tendency is to get overexcited about whatever my next big idea is and tuck in to it before I really have the time/money/space for it. So we've got a huge table in the middle of the living room and no place to put it as of yet. At least it has evolved somewhat from being just a pile of wood on the floor.
I think all I have left on the Moria Goblins is a couple of highlights and the ends of the archer's arrows. I'll probably finish them tonight, but first I think I have a couple of scores to settle in the land of Magic: the Gathering.

27 November 2007

I have scattered wood, tools, and sawdust all over the living room and the Tortoise Table is probably 35% complete. I imagine my wife will be so happy to see the state her house is in when she arrives home after work. "Oh boy!" she will say, "This frame leaning on the couch blocks all access to my knitting supplies! I sure hope I get a splinter in my hand when I try to move it! And the floor is so muddy, I sure hope Chris had fun stomping around in his work boots!" I suppose I have some cleaning up to do. The Moria Goblins are almost done. I don't think the neighbors want to hear my circular saw going at one in the morning, so I'll probably do some quiet painting tonight after work and hopefully post some pictures.

26 November 2007

Not a very eventful day today. We spent most of it running errands and dreading the prospect of going back to work tomorrow after the long weekend. We did have quite a time at Home Depot, picking up lumber, hardware, and tools. I even replaced the showerhead in our bathroom, as the old one wasn't up to snuff. Tomorrow I should be able to start work on my table; hopefully I'll at least have all the boards cut before I go to work. In my free time I was able to make a lot more progress on the Moria Goblins. If I hurry I could probably have them finished before bed tonight.

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Cash Advance Loans

25 November 2007

My wife and I travelled to Utah for the holiday weekend. On the way there we stopped in Pocatello to see my middle sister and her husband, as they have a new house that we wanted to check out. It's a pretty nice place and we had a good visit with them.

We ate Thanksgiving dinner with my wife's brother and his in-laws. The food was good and we saw our niece for the first time. She's four months old, I think. They warned us that she's not too keen on guys, but after a few minutes of holding her she snuggled into my shoulder and went to sleep. It appears that my uncle powers are still working. She's a cute kid. We also played Apples to Apples, a card game by Out of the Box Publishing. You can see a video of how the game works at the link in the last sentence. I won't brag about who was the champion of the evening, but the Force was definitely with him.

I'd never done the shopping on the day after Thanksgiving thing before, but faced with the prospect of sitting around doing nothing while my wife went to Jo-Ann Fabrics with the girls, I decided to brave the crowds and go with her. I'm lucky I did, as there was a 50% off sale on plastic storage bins and I picked up several sets of these modular stacking bins from Snapware. As soon as my camera battery charges I'll post pictures of my Skaven army, which fits very well into two of the boxes. Even the Warhammer Slave Giant fits into the box with a bit of headroom. My wife is lucky that I came along with her as we left around 11:20. The other family members were waiting in the fabric-cutting line and didn't get out of the store until 4:30.
After we got out of there we hit up the Dragon's Keep game store and I got some Magic cards, some frivolous accessories, and the Warhammer Siege book which I believe is outdated (but it was a steal at $0.99). We also visited the Crazzy Canuck, where my wife got some Canadian candy to try out. At some point we went to Home Depot and I selected a few power tools that I need for the Tortoise Table I'm building tomorrow.
After checking into the motel, we decided to try out The Living Planet Aquarium and see what they had to look at. We both love animals so we try to go see nature exhibits whenever we can, although we still haven't been to the Boise Zoo or the Birds of Prey Center here in Idaho. The aquarium is fairly small, but there were some pretty neat animals there. I think the highlight for us was the Giant Pacific Octopus, which was very large and fun to watch. The Moray Eels and Stingrays were pretty fun as well.
After visiting the aquarium we were in the mood to eat some seafood, so went out to eat and each ordered a platter with lobster, prawns, and shrimp.
On TV we saw an episode of Man vs. Wild, a survival show on the Discovery Channel in which a guy named Bear Grylls strands himself in dangeroue survival situations and extracts himself from them. While there are articles stating that some parts of the show are not as real as they are made out to be, it still makes for some good watching and was almost enough to convince us to start up a satellite or cable television service. I'd recommend checking it out.
On Saturday morning we headed out to see Mike, Jamie, and their son Vessel. I knew Jamie in high school and we've kept in touch since then, but aside from that none of us had ever met in real life. Luckily there was no Battle Royale and we all got along without any sort of fisticuffs. We went out for pizza and talked about life and stuff. All too soon it was time to go and we got on the road for home.
Today we picked up our dogs from the kennel and they smelled awful, like they had been rolling in something terrible for four days, probably something that was not far from the truth. We had to bathe them when we got home, which is always an experience. They were tired from the vacation, so they've been asleep all day.
All in all it was a pretty good trip. It was nice to spend several days in a row with my wife, as we don't see each other all that much since we work different shifts. It was good to see my sister's new house and see the new niece on my wife's side of the family. And it was nice to see Jamie and meet her husband and their son. Now it's back to the grindstone.
As promised, I am posting a photo of the storage bins I bought this weekend as well as some other photos that I found on my memory card. This first picture is of my dog sleeping on the couch. I realize that this is the equivalent of showing random people photos of grandchildren they'll never meet, but I posted it anyway.
And here is the storage bin that contains my Skaven army. You can see the Giant in the upper left portion of the photo. The top section contains mostly units in movement trays, and the bottom section has a bunch of dividers in it to separate the various skirmisher units. These trays are a lot more handy than the trading card boxes I had been using.

And this is just a photo of some of the Goblins next to a penny to give a sense of the scale I'm working with on these figures. Mike and Jamie had asked me a little bit about the hobby and I couldn't recall if I'd done any comparison photos since they started reading my blog, so I threw this in because a picture explains it a little more easily than I can.

That's about it for me tonight. I've got the bulk of the time-consuming stuff painted on the remaining minis from this batch, but I need to take a break and make up a list of things I need for my big project tomorrow.

I had a decent week in Fantasy Football. The Monday game doesn't really have much effect on my games, so I'm exiting the week with a 3-1 record and an overall record of 32-16 (10-2, 8-4, 7-5, 7-5). It seems like whenever the Broncos win I have a terrible week in Fantasy Football, and whenever they lose I do pretty well. This week they lost, which puts them in a tight spot. I don't know if they'll make the playoffs this year. They just can't finish games. It's very sad.
My sister has caught the Magic bug, so I have another opponent to play against. I doubt if I'll be able to get into a game store and play in tournaments because of my work schedule, but I have plenty of competition between my sister and her husband.
I was able to get a little more work done on the Moria Goblins tonight, and once I'm done posting my vacation report I'll probably get back to that.
We're home from our vacation. I'll probably post a full update sometime tomorrow.

21 November 2007

As usual, whenever I have particularly ambitious plans for the evening, there is overtime at work and I arrive home too tired to do much of anything. It is unfortunate. I hope I can wake up tomorrow in time to finish the Moria Goblins before work, as we leave for our trip on Thursday morning, then I will be caught up in building a Tortoise Table, and after that it will be drill weekend. I also have various items of homework to attend to. I would hate to have to wait for two-plus weeks to finish these Goblins, especially since I took so long to finish the first batch. I suppose we'll see what happens.

20 November 2007

Another trip to the dentist today, and another three fillings. That should be all the dental work I need for the time being, so that's nice. Today when the dentist hit me with the anesthetic he missed or something, because when he started drilling it hurt so much I wanted to jump out of the chair and challenge him to fisticuffs. The second time around he must've got it in the right place and then some, as I couldn't feel anything in my mouth for several hours.
I've started work on the last 14 regular Moria Goblin Warriors. I'm saving the character models and the Cave Troll for last. I also still need to get my hands on seven Moria Goblin Prowlers to complete my 500-point list. Now that I've got a method down for painting these guys, the rest of the warband should go together well. At some point I'll get my Uruk-Hai and Mordor Orcs in the mail and start in on a couple of warbands to do battle against these Goblins. I suppose I could paint up the Fellowship miniatures from the starter set, but they don't excite me as much as the other Lord of the Rings miniatures. Except for Gimli, of course.
My Fantasy Football teams went 3-1 this week, to bring my total record to 29-15 (9-2, 7-4, 7-4, 6-5). With this week's games all of my teams are in playoff spots, but need to hold on for a couple more weeks to ensure that they keep those slots. Denver won tonight and pulled into a tie with San Diego for the top spot in their division. San Diego holds the tiebreaker, so Denver really needs to keep playing like they have the last two weeks and hopefully make the playoffs. I don't really see any team besides New England winning the Super Bowl this year, but I'll be happy if Denver can get into the playoffs.
I have an interesting project planned for the week after Thanksgiving. I'm going to build a Tortoise Table. For my birthday I'm getting a couple of Russian Tortoises, so I'm going to have a go at building them a habitat. Hopefully I'll have pictures of that to post at some point in the near future.
And over on the Wyrd Miniatures forums is this post, which I will quote here:
"After 12 months of constant doctors and testing, they have finally decided to give my two-year-old son hearing aids. With a consistent vocabulary of only three words, hearings aids are essential so that he can finally acquire language. The downside is that after a year of expensive tests and doctors, he'll need one in each ear and his insurance will not cover a cent.
To help defray the *massive* expense of the hearing aids, both Ann and I will be clearing out the majority of our miniature collections. We are starting with the painted miniatures and the still-sealed miniatures. Over the next few weeks, we'll be adding lots of loose, packaged, unidentified, old and in general, lots of miniatures. I will add items onto ebay as fast as we sort them. Items can be viewed here."
I think they need $5000 for the hearing aids, and the auctions are pretty reasonably priced. There are some Games Workshop, a whole lot of Reaper figures, a bunch of figures from Hasslefree, and plenty of figures from several other manufacturers. I ordered several packs of Mordheim minis, and have my eye on a few of the Reaper sculpts as well. If you need to buy something to feed your lead addiction, you could do a lot worse than buying some discounted miniatures to help a kid get his ears working properly.
I think that's all the news I've got for today.

19 November 2007

I've finished up the first ten Moria Goblins. They look decent, especially from tabletop distances. Now I suppose it's on to the next ten.

16 November 2007

One of the kids who my brother-in-law works with helped him organize his deck, and there are rumors that he has even won a game with the new arrangement. It sounds like we'll be duking it out this weekend. No mini painting tonight as I did my grocery shopping for the week and went to eat at the all-night cafe with my sister and her baby. I am itching to pull out the paintbrush, so I'll probably be rushing through my homework tomorrow morning in an effort to free up some time for painting.

15 November 2007

Collectibles or Game Pieces?

I've found that my perceptions of Magic cards have changed with this most recent foray into the game. In the past I had no real opponents to play with, so I viewed the cards more as collectibles than as actual pieces for playing a game. I was more concerned with set numbers, rarity, and values than with the rules printed on the cards. The decks I constructed followed this line of thought, as I focused more on using my rare cards than on actual playability. With my new interest in the game I still notice these things, but I have found myself paying more attention to the rules printed on the cards and the ways they interact with each other. I am also less driven to purchase more and more cards simply as a means of building a collection. I suppose I am more focused on simply building my deck with whatever cards I have on hand. Yes, I would love to buy more cards in order to have an increase in my choices, but I am not driven by a need to collect as an end in itself. For me it is a major change in perception, as most of my gaming collections have been fueled by this collector mentality, Heroclix in particular.
I have actually spent most of my time thinking about my brother-in-law's deck. When I put my deck together I took out a lot of the complicated cards and focused on simple cards that are mostly played during the main phase in the game, either as creatures or as equipment for those creatures. Green and Black cards seem particularly well-suited to this style of play. My brother-in-law's focus on Blue/White cards has potential to be effective, but I think it involves more finesse to use effectively. I don't think his deck as it stands now has the card mix to be balanced. It always seems like he can either keep my creatures off the table but not attack, or he can only play smaller creatures that eventually will be unable to block all of my creatures. It is a perplexing problem. Most of the internet sites I've found so far talk of game-ending combinations of cards that require no skill, rather they depend on the luck of a player drawing and playing a certain unblockable combination of cards at some point in the game. This seems to me a sort of cheap power-gaming that has no place in casual friendly play, which should focus on the social aspects of the game as well as sportsmanship and smart play. That is why I am so focused on finding a solution for my opponent's deck, as I feel I am winning only because I have a fairly balanced deck and not because of any sort of superior play on my part. Maybe this weekend we will have some time to sit down and work through our various cards to come up with a balanced Blue/White deck that has a specific set of goals in mind for various stages of a game.
I typed up a post last night but Blogger had an error and ate it. I found some time to work on the Moria Goblins last night, and they are starting to look all right. The people who wanted my 300ZX came and picked it up today, which is good as the trailer park managers were threatening to tow it away as I had taken the license plates off in anticipation of the sale. They don't have the courage to talk to the tenants so they communicate by taping yellow signs to your car or your house. At least they moved to a bigger house near the entrance recently, so we don't see them very often anymore. Anyway, now we've got our Thanksgiving vacation paid for and that's a good thing.
El Grego commented on my ACW project, which is mostly just an idea right now. Last night I thought a bit about figure ratios as the sheer number of troops involved in these battles is mind-boggling, especially when I have previously focused so much attention on skirmish-level games in which 1 figure equals one man on the battlefield. For ACW to be practical I may have to move to ratios like 1:20 or 1:100.

13 November 2007

My Fantasy Football teams played very poorly this week, but I was able to at least split my games at 2-2 to bring my season record to 26-14 (8-2, 7-3, 6-4, 5-5). I should have lost all four games for the week, but my opponents forgot to set their lineups and ended up using players who were on a bye week against me. They were embarrassing victories, but at least I won a couple of games. I won one of them 61-58 and the other 66.55-60.05. Not a great week for me, and it looks like my players are getting ready for their playoff slump already. The good news is that 3 of my four teams are still clinging to playoff spots and the 5-5 team is still only one slot out of playoff contention. The other good news is that the Denver Broncos were able to win a game this week and they actually looked all right doing it. Jason Elam didn't have to kick a last-second field goal to save them this time.
In Fantasy Basketball I'm doing fairly well, but with most of my focus on football at the moment I have neglected my teams a fair bit. I should still do well, though, and I am happy that the Houston Rockets are at least momentarily living up to my expectations. They beat the San Antionio Spurs recently and for now look like championship contenders. That's something that hasn't happened for a long time.
I haven't done any painting recently as I spent most of the weekend with my wife. I also rediscovered an old hobby of mine. My brother-in-law asked me if I knew anything about Magic: the Gathering, as he works with troubled youth and they play the game quite a bit in their free time. I've been in and out of Trading Card Games since the mid-90s so I have a general idea about the game, but I'm not extremely familiar with the mechanics and which sets are current at the moment. We picked up a couple of themed decks and some boosters and played a couple of games today. When I was younger I was never really able to comprehend all of the rules and the way things work in the game, but we were able to get most of it worked out in our two games. Tonight I had a Green/Black deck with a lot of nasty creatures. His Blue/Red deck was able to keep my cards off the table, but he couldn't draw any strong spells or creatures to knock me out so we went through a lot of turns of me playing a big creature, him returning it to my hand, and so on and so forth. I was eventually able to knock him out, but if he had had more offensive power he would've taken me out much earlier in the game. I don't think either of us is ready to be hardcore or anything, but as a casual game it's pretty fun. Now I just need to get in and build my World of Warcraft Hunter deck.

09 November 2007

Upon realizing that I use up a lot of free moments habitually visiting the same web sites over and over, I used the scheduling feature on my Blackberry to set up a general schedule of events for each day of the week. The tasks are modular in nature, so I can pull out a couple of time slots if I have an appointment or a pressing need, but it basically ensures that I will spend a few hours each weekday doing important things like homework. I have left most of my weekend time open, so as to be free when my wife and I are both home together. Hopefully having some organization in my life will allow me to do more of the things I have planned, but just don't find the time for. I figure I'll give it a couple of weeks and see how things go.

Patrick McManus is coming to the Hastings store in Boise next Tuesday to sign his new book, Kerplunk! I won't be able to make it because of my work schedule, but I think my wife is going to go and get the book for me. I don't think my wife has read any of his work, which is a situation I hope to change. His stories are laugh-out-loud funny and I'm pretty excited that he's coming to town.
Due to the schedule restructuring I didn't work on the Moria Goblins this morning, but I have time reserved at night before I go to bed for hobbies. I'm planning on working on them tonight, hopefully to finish up weapons and remaining clothing. Then I'll paint hair and faces and be done with this batch.

08 November 2007

Even though I had to make a trip to the DMV today, I was able to put in a solid hour of work on the first batch of Moria Goblins and finish up their armor. It looks pretty messy at the moment as I drybrushed the Boltgun Metal color on and went outside the lines everywhere. Once I clean it all up and paint the details in they'll look a lot better. Hopefully I'll be able to finish these guys up tonight or tomorrow before work and check off ten more boxes on my little checklist sheet.


My wife was able to bring home a large portion of the apple pie she made the other day, so I've been enjoying that. Probably the best thing I ever did was marry a girl whose cooking skills are exceptional.
The DMV is located next to the bookstore, so I stopped in to have a look around the used books and found a book on Irish-American Gangsters that was on my wish list. That was pretty cool. I also found a general history of the American Civil War with some nice-looking battle maps in it. Hopefully I will find a battle inside that I'd like to do more research on and build up some miniature forces to try my hand at Civil War generalship.

07 November 2007

Here's a little shot of my "motivational corner." It basically consists of minis I'm proud of or minis that I don't have any place to store at the moment, but the purpose of having some finished minis out on the table is to act as a motivator to paint more of them.


I am still plugging away at the Moria Goblins. At the moment I'm working on a basecoat for the armored parts. I'm considering breaking them up into groups of ten and finishing them out in that manner. Doing a single step at a time on thirty figures gets to be too boring and I find my break time winds up being longer than my actual painting time. The armor looks pretty shiny and brown at the moment, but I'll be adding some rust and corrosion effects to tone it down quite a bit. So I'll try finishing the ten that I've got armor basecoats on and see if that goes a little easier.

I think I found a buyer for my 300ZX. He came and looked at it today, so that should be nice. I'm not selling it for a whole lot but it'll at least take some pressure off of us so we can enjoy our trip to Utah at the end of the month without me complaining about money the whole time, as is my habit when traveling. We're planning on seeing my wife's brother and his family while we're down there. They've got a new daughter that we've never met, so my wife is excited about that. We'll probably spend a couple of hours with my friend Jamie and her family as well. And I may look up one of my old missionary companions from my days in San Diego, if I get the chance. It should be a decent break from working, but I wonder if I'll spend any time wishing I was back home painting with all that time off?
I've been bitten by a new bug in the miniature wargaming world. I've begun looking at the various small-scale ACW (American Civil War) figures, either the 6mm Baccus minis or the 10mm GHQ models. It would be my first real attempt at larger-scale gaming, meaning figure ratios greater than 1:1. I've always had some interest in the ACW, probably dating back to a giant book of Civil War pictures that my dad had and the trips we made to various battlefields in my youth. I think what I'd like to do is read some history, choose a battle, paint up the units that participated, build a general representation of the terrain, and fight it out. From there I could decide if I wanted to do more. It seems to be an easier period to get into than WWII simply because of the smaller scope of equipment and geography that is represented. Anyway, I've been looking at that a little bit. My first interest in wargaming was historicals, but I have yet to actually paint anything historical. The closest I've come is my pirate figures, but they are semi-historical Hollywood figures at best.

06 November 2007

My wife made an apple pie but I am under strict orders to stay away from it, as it is intended to be taken to work tomorrow for a work party. I have been trying to devise a way for the pie to be accidentally disturbed in such a way that a piece of it falls onto a plate and gets eaten by me, but so far I haven't come up with anything plausible.
This morning I made a little progress on the Moria Goblins. If I keep at it for a couple of days I should be able to finish the whole lot off by the end of the week. For me it would be a serious morale boost to get the project done. Then it's on to the forty or so other minis that are cluttering up my desk. From there I can try degunking the messed-up Space Marines in my drawer, the random Orcs and Goblins I've got in another drawer, and the various Warlord minis that I've got stashed in a cardboard box somewhere. Oh, and the two boxes of LOTR Orcs that are in the mail somewhere between Portugal and Idaho at the moment. So I've got around 225 minis in my unpainted pile. If I paint everything that current;y resides on my desktop I'll be just over my Pledge percentage (25% of the lead pile) and theoretically be able to buy more figures without guilt. I am actually shooting for a slightly more lofty percentage, but 25% is the official figure.
Games Workshop has released a limited-edition boxed set containing a full company of Space Marines. Our Hobbytown store got one of them, and I saw it on the shelf yesterday. The box is massive, and even with the $50 discount it still carries a price tag of $400. My real problem with the item is that it contains 9 transport vehicles, which I don't really want. I could probably sell them off on eBay or something to recoup some of the cost of the box, but it seems like a lot of trouble. Of course all of this postulating is worthless as I have no mechanism for actually obtaining this item. We have decided to skip my birthday and probably any major Christmas purchases for at least this holiday season. Between my new phone and my new truck I have probably accounted for several holiday seasons worth of good fortune. But it is certainly fun to window shop at the hobby store.

05 November 2007

My New Ride




Yes, I purchased a truck this week. My old car just wasn't cutting it, and the final straw was it's failure to pass emissions this go around. We'd been thinking about getting me a new ride for a while, as we were recently able to upgrade my wife's vehicle situation and needed to do the same for me. So rather than dumping a bunch of money into my 300ZX, we took the money and went truck shopping. I was looking for a Toyota truck of some sort, but after looking all around locally I couldn't find one that I liked. They all either looked like granny rides, had a million miles on them, or were way out of our price range. While looking at a Toyota at one dealership locally I saw this F-150 on the price sheet, but the salesman was trying too hard to push me into buying something, so I held off and went home to look at other options. A couple days later I went in to look at the Ford again, and after going through all the negotiations and whatnot, took it home. So now I've got a truck. My little brother discovered yesterday that it' even got a 6-disc cd changer, a fact that escaped everyone else as it is tucked away in a cubbyhole by the back seat. So that's a bonus. It's a 1998, which makes it ten years newer than any of my previous vehicles. Sometimes I go out and stare at it or have an impulse to go drive it around for no reason. I've been making up excuses to take various family members on rides so I can show it off. It's rather silly as it is still a ten-year old vehicle, but I really like it.
The wife and I had dentist appointments today, the first time I'd been in several years. I got 3 out of 6 cavities filled, a cleaning, and a replacement half-tooth from a marble fight in my youth. It was capped when it happened but about a year ago the filling broke off and needed replaced. Fun stuff. I have to go back in later this month to get the last three cavities filled. I'm not a big fan of dentists, but at least the folks at this office don't talk to me the whole time they're working.
My Fantasy Football teams went 3-1 this week, moving me to 24-12 (7-2, 7-2, 5-4, 5-4) on the season. The Denver Broncos got destroyed by Detroit this week, making it almost embarrassing to be a Broncos fan. To balance that out, though, the Houston Rockets are off to a 3-0 start in the new NBA season. A couple of basketball magazines have them picked out to win the championship this year. I doubt that will happen, but you never really know.

01 November 2007

I got the local comic shop's weekly newsletter the other day, and one of the specials for the week was the Onyxia's Lair Raid Deck for the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game at a 66% discount. So I woke up early and went to the shop to buy one. That was pretty cool. I think my wife and I have enough cards to put together some rudimentary decks for our chosen classes, plus maybe a couple more for other classes. Each raid deck contains a pack of special treasure cards which you're not really supposed to open until you beat the big boss card with your group of players. But I opened ours as soon as I got home and found that almost all of the loot cards were equipment for either Hunters or Druids, which happen to be the characters my wife and I play. So it was a pretty good deal all around.

30 October 2007

My Fantasy Football teams went 2-2 for the week, better than last week but still not as good as I'd like. I'm at 21-11 for the season (6-2, 6-2, 5-3, 4-4) and am not out of contention in any of my leagues. The 4-4 team is not quite in the playoffs, but another solid win or two will put it in the playoffs. Denver lost to Green Bay tonight, which makes me unhappy. With the NBA season staring up tomorrow, I hope the Houston Rockets can find it in themselves to win some games and make up for the Broncos poor season.
I finally managed to do some painting tonight, finishing up the base skin color on all of my Moria Goblins. It's slow going, but at least I'm making progress. I'm still working on army lists for some of the other factions. I like these little 500-point warbands, as they allow enough points to have some variety in force composition, but don't have so many models that it's prohibitive to collect more than a couple of factions.
We finally saw the Transformers movie. The dialogue was awful throughout, and the Transformers looked a bit too pointy for my tastes. I realize that they were going for a certain look, but I didn't really care for it.

24 October 2007

I have finally killed my last Warmaul Ogre and collected my last Obsidian Warbead, netting me enough reputation with various World of Warcraft factions to purchase gear from their respective vendors. In the process of killing several thousand Ogres I have also netted enough gold to buy some other fancy stuff. If you're really interested in my progress to this point you can visit my player page on the WoW Armory site. I've been killing those Ogres for several months now, and with that finished I really am at a loss as far as what to do with my game time going forward. At one point I had a list made out of all the items I wanted to get and the various attachments I wanted to put on them, but it has disappeared into the pile of lists that fill every spare notebook and scratch pad in my house. For now I am grinding in the PvP instances, attempting to upgrade my boots into something a little more epic. I imagine I'll continue doing that until I find something else I really want. I will admit that the gear I'm chasing is not uber or anything, but I'm going for the most awesome gear available to someone who doesn't play WoW 40+ hours a week. And I'm going for stuff that I can get by playing solo, for the most part. It's really a compromise between wanting to have a character all decked out in Epics and wanting to have a life outside of WoW.
Long story short, I want to have some awesome gear for my online self, but I don't want to devote my entire life to it. And I recently achieved a goal I had set to get some of that gear and wanted to crow about it a little on my website.
I have to go to the dentist next week. I'm not really looking forward to that. We actually had checkups from the military dentist this past weekend, and I was surprised to hear him say that my teeth are in decent shape healthwise. They could use quite a bit of cosmetic help, though, and with my insurance coverage I may actually be able to get braces soon and get my grill sorted out.

23 October 2007

It was not a very good week for me in Fantasy Football, as I went 1-3 to bring me to 19-9 for the season (6-1, 5-2, 5-2, 3-4). Those records are still good for one 1st-place team, two teams in 2nd place, and one team in 8th place in their respective leagues. I am worried about the one non-playoff team I've got. They are playing about like the Denver Broncos this year. I've got extremely good players at every position, but they're just not getting it done. Hopefully next week will be a little better for me.
Speaking of the Denver Broncos, they barely won this week. Jason Elam kicked a field goal at the last second to give them a win over Pittsburgh. All of Denver's wins have come on Elam field goals in the final seconds of the games. Without him on the team, Denver would be in Miami's position, having yet to win a game on the season. It's a sad time to be a Broncos fan.

In good news, I was able to keep up with my teams all weekend with my Blackberry. There were problems getting a connection in some areas, but for the most part I was able to use my phone's internet service for the duration of the weekend. So that was good. So far I don't have too many complaints about the phone.
I'm thinking about going to the Emerald City Comic Con again rather than attending a miniature gaming convention. Going around and meeting the artists is a lot of fun, especially when you can get them to do a sketch for you. I'll probably decide for good once a few more names get added to the guest list.
I really don't have anything to post about tonight. I just thought I should post something so maybe my readers would stick around. Of course, after reading this post everyone may be so bored that they never come back anyway.

18 October 2007

After 6+ hours of trying to get the T-Mobile Wing to play music last night and a couple more hours of going at it again today I decided that Windows Mobile 6 and I just don't get along. It was a bit more frustrating and violent than all that, but the phone survived long enough for me to take it back to the store and exchange it. My old flip phone didn't make it through the day, though. It gave up the ghost as a sacrifice to my e-rage. It is far better to throw the free phone than the $300 one. I did some reading online and found that my problems with the Wing are not uncommon, and it seems to be mostly the fault of the Windows Mobile operating system. I really liked the touch screen and the stylus, but with none of the programs working correctly I couldn't live with the phone anymore. If I spend $300 on a phone I expect it to dance and sing when I tell it to.
So I took the phone back and exchanged it for a Blackberry Curve, which had generally good reviews. So far so good. I really wish it had a touch screen, as scrolling through web pages with the trackball gets a bit tedious. But I think there are buttons you can push to make it scrill a bit faster. The software disc actually worked when I put it into my computer so I didn't have to search some website for the software I needed, a step up from the Wing's software disc. My music files loaded up without any trouble and played when I wanted them to. The songs I loaded into my ringtones folder work as ringtones, and they can be used in my alarm clock mode. The rest of the utilities are fairly intuitive, moreso than those on the Windows O/S. The keypad is a bit small, but I have skinny fingers so that's not really an issue for me. All in all it seems to be a much better phone than the Wing. I really wish the Wing would have worked out, and I think that with a different operating system it would, but I can't handle the frustration of the Windows software. And since the Blackberry is $50 cheaper than the Wing I was able to get a Bluetooth headset for my wife's phone. That way she can crochet and talk to her family or listen to music at the same time.
On a gaming-related note, I bought a pair of Crystalhide Handwraps and a couple of Delicate Living Rubies for my World of Warcraft character. Hopefully I will finish upgrading my character to a sufficient level before the expansion comes out. There is no release date set for it yet, but I would like to have sweet epic gear in all of my gear slots sooner rather than later. Most of my gear isn't wxtremely awesome, but I'm working on acquiring all the stuff that is relatively attainable for a solo player. I still need to kill about 850 more Ogres to get my second epic dagger and an epic necklace. I've been plugging away at it 15 or 20 minutes at a time for the last several months.

17 October 2007

I Forgot One

How I Feel About Electronics, and an Angry Hotel Guy





The specific convention my wife and I were looking at is ConQuest NW in Bellevue, Washington. Unfortunately, there is no real information on the website as to the schedule of events. There is also GameStorm 10, although by the looks of some online galleries I found, that convention centers mostly around boardgames and role-playing, not my main interests. We've also got Enfilade!, which is all historical miniature gaming and still has the 2007 web page up.
All of these fit the approximate time period and location I'm looking for, but I have reservations about the whole thing. I think a large part of it is my own social anxieties. I am socially awkward, especially in new situations. If I attend a gaming convention I will probably sign up to participate in a few games, and the combination of new rules, new figures, new people, and the crush of people moving around will probably be enough to reduce me to a quivering mass of nerves. And I really don't want to be the guy who the other players go home and post about on their blogs as ruining the game. You could argue that I would go to a convention to gain access to the vendors and flea market area. I have a relatively set number of projects and interests, and I somewhat doubt that after driving several hundred miles, paying for a hotel, paying for registration, and whatever else that I'll have any money left over to make any substantial purchases at a convention. It's almost worth it to stay in my little cave and use all the con money on a new army. Of course, that is negated by the fact that the wife wants to go on a vacation anyway, so we will be going whether I like it or not.
We could go to the Emerald City Comic Con again, as we've been twice so far and had fun both times (aside from the cool guy we met in line for a sketch who suddenly turned into a creepy stalker and made things uncomfortable for me, my wife, and my brother-in-law, then sent me several e-mails wanting to hang out some time even though we live hundreds of miles away from each other). Unfortunately, now that I've dropped out of comic book reading altogether it seems a waste to go to a convention all about comics. It's a lot of fun to get sketches from the artists, but I've already got a couple hundred dollars tied up in sketches that have sat in our closet ever since we got home from the last convention.
All this adds up to me being unsure if it's worth it to me to go to a convention of any sort. I would like to, but I don't know if I'll be able to overcome my social hangups enough to have an enjoyable time. I would prefer not to meet any more creepy people.
But the real issue here is my new phone. I can't get the Media Player to work. At first the player wouldn't recognize the songs I had on the memory card. Every time I wanted to listen to music, it would tell me there were no songs in the Library, so I'd have to go to the memory card and queue up the music folders manually. Even if I paused the music for a few seconds, the player would stop recognizing the music. Or it would stop and say there were too many programs running, even though there was nothing running aside from the media player. So I hooked it up to my computer and moved the music folder around to different folders, trying to find the right spot. Nothing. So I deleted the music from the memory card and now I'm trying to resync my playlist onto the phone. It's not working. It'll get about 40% through the list of songs and then freeze up. I hate hate hate working with problems on my electronics. I have to leave the room periodically to keep from throwing the phone through my monitor. There is just no reason that the songs shouldn't work. I was playing them fine yesterday. They played this morning. I may have to take this phone back and get something less technologically advanced, because at least my free phone from the last contract worked all the time.

16 October 2007

Tonight I went through the various boxed armies that are available for the Lord of the Rings game and tallied up the points contained in each army. Pointswise, the Legion of the White Hand (Isengard Uruk-hai) and the Wardens of the Westgate (Dwarves) come in as the best value, at 718 and 703 points respectively. The Host of Cirith Ungol (Mordor Orcs) comes with 519 points of models, and the Defenders of Minas Tirith (generic Gondor list) is a lightweight at 430 points. I didn't figure up the points for the Rohan box, as I'm not interested in a Rohan army. I may end up figuring up the points for it anyway, in the interest of having a complete set of lists. I also saw a couple of additional boxed sets on the website that I may add up as well.
I'll probably spend tomorrow getting a haircut and working on some more history homework. It should be a real blast. I'm thinking that if I get all of my stuff done early in the week I'll have most of Friday to paint these Moria goblins. That's the plan, at least.
My wife and I are looking for a gaming convention to attend in the spring of next year. It can't be on the first weekend of a given month as I've got drill to go to and it needs to be somewhere in the Northwestern portion of the US. We'd prefer that it be somewhere near a large city, as my wife would like to have something besides gaming to keep her occupied. That leaves us with like 2 choices. Unfortunately, the websites for most of these little conventions don't have much information at all in the way of what games are played, what vendors will be attending, and stuff of that nature. But we're in the process of looking for something to attend in that time frame.

15 October 2007

There were no Monday miracles, so I went 2-2 for the week in Fantasy Football, bringing me to 18-6 (6-0, 5-1, 4-2, 3-3) on the season. Once the bye weeks get over with I expect that my teams will do much better. I had a lot of key players out this week, and my two losses were by large margins. I suspect other players are feeling the pinch as well, as my two wins were fairly lopsided in my favor. I expect to make the playoffs in all of my leagues still, although my 3-3 team isn't looking too great. Hopefully next week my quarterbacks do better for me than Kurt Warner did this week.
Not much to talk about as far as the weekend is concerned. It was a disappointing week for me in Fantasy Football. Unless Brandon Jacobs really goes off tonight, I'll be 2-2 for the week. Adrian Peterson helped me destroy my opponent in the TMP Football League, but he killed two of my other teams by playing for the opposition. Kurt Warner helped me lose those two games as well, scoring -2 points for me before going off the field due to injury. I imagine Kurt Warner helped ruin a lot of Fantasy days, as he was touted as this week's hot pickup on pretty much every expert blog out there. I played him on three different teams, unfortunately. The team that didn't lose because of Warner had LaDainian Tomlinson and his 4-TD performance to balance out my poor QB performance.
I also had a Fantasy NBA draft this weekend, and I think it went pretty well. The team projects out to be even better than the last team I drafted so I should be able to be pretty competitive this year, barring catastrophic injuries to key players. Since I've had approximately the same pick in every draft, I'm heavily invested in a couple of players. Two of my rosters are almost 50% similar.
I've been trying to concentrate on homework this weekend, as I have two drill weekends within a three week period, starting this weekend. What I really want to do is paint miniatures and write army lists, but it keeps getting put off for more important things. Hopefully I'll find some time during the holidays to play with my miniatures.
The new internet phone is getting better. I got a memory card for it last night, so now I've got some mp3 files on it and most of my contacts have their own ringtones. The little scheduling utility is cool, but I never do anything, so I have to make up tasks and appointments so I can have important reminders flash up on the screen from time to time, accompanied by beeps and buzzes. It also automatically notifies me when I have a new e-mail and I can read my e-mail from the phone.

13 October 2007

I got my internet phone today. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. I haven't figured out how to post to my blog from it as of yet, but I'm getting closer. I wish I could just log onto Blogger from the actual website, but the links on the log-in screen don't work. The Yahoo! Mobile Fantasy Sports interface is a bit clunky. I'm still deciding whether having internet access on my phone is worth it. I'm working my way through the PDA features on the phone. I think those will become more useful as I get them sorted out.
All of my Moria Goblins are primed, and I began painting some of them. My eyes gave out pretty rapidly, though, and I had to quit for the night. I picked up a Goblin War Drum, a Shaman and some Goblin Captains today, so I only need 7 Goblin Prowlers to finish out a 500-point Moria force. The Plastic Moria goblins are pretty bad sculpts. It's incredibly difficult to tell where the transitions are between skin and armor. There are some big flat spots that could go either way. Still, it shouldn't be too hard to get these 40 figures painted to a wargaming quality. Then I'll focus on building up some sort of opposition for them.
I find myself leaning away from cavalry-heavy armies, and this seems to be true across all gaming systems. Even in armies with cavalry options I prefer to stay away from them and concentrate on war machines and infantry. I'm not sure what the implications of that are, but there it is.

12 October 2007

Tonight I cleaned up a bunch of Moria goblins and attached them to their bases. I didn't feel like going outside, so I decided not to hose them down with primer tonight. Perhaps tomorrow I will start putting paint on figures again. Or I will get an early start on my homework so the weekend isn't filled with schoolwork. Not sure yet what the plan is. I did a test fit of the Cave Troll pieces. They don't fit well at all. I'll probably have to do quite a bit of work to get it looking somewhat right. I haven't started on the Fellowship figures. For the most part they are one-piece miniatures, so I'll just have to clear out the mold lines and glue them to their bases. There are a couple of arms I'll have to attach as well, but no major work. The sculpts in the Mines of Moria set aren't that great, but I don't mind all that much. I'll just be excited to be painting something again. It's like therapy or something. At the very least it probably costs as much as therapy.
I found the charger for my mp3 player, so I've been listening to some music. After hearing a song from the British band Supergrass I went and visited their website. Specifically, I visited their online merchandise store. They are still selling a couple of shirts that I've wanted to buy since approximately 1998. With the exchange rate being what it is, I just can't bring myself to buy them. Back in the day they would have cost me $30 each. Now it's closer to $36 apiece. Someday I will have my McVicar and Carlos shirts. Someday. I like t-shirts.
Last night I took a Fantasy Basketball magazine and projected out the stats for every team in one of my Fantasy Basketball leagues to see what my chances of wining are. When I figured up the points, I was ahead by one point. I guess you could say my draft went well. Of course, all that will change as soon as the first week of the season comes around and all the projections go out the window. I feel pretty good about my chances, though. At least I know my team will be competitive.
And now I need to go to bed.

09 October 2007

I Hate to Wait

Our cell phone contract is about to expire, so we've been looking at different phones and service providers. I am about to take the mobile internet plunge. For my birthday I will be getting a touchscreen phone (with a stylus!) that slides out to reveal a keyboard and unlimited internet service on said phone. We'll end up paying about the same for the new plan as we were paying for the old service, but we'll have the additional features added on. The main perk of this is that I won't have to be without my beloved world wide web during drill weekends. But I have to wait until 11 November for the new service to kick in. I don't want to wait that long. I want my internet superphone now.
I considered prepping my Moria Goblin miniatures for painting tonight, but instead I worked on my backlog of English class homework. I'm going to try getting my History homework done tomorrow so I can spend Thursday and Friday playing with miniatures, but we'll see how it goes. I also need to write up some army lists and purchase plans for some Lord of the Rings armies. I may have to paint some sort of one-off figure again to get me going on a painting kick again. There's a barbarian dude on my desk that may be a good candidate. My attention span is such that I can't even agree on what I want to do from day to day. And even if I do decide on something, by the time I get started I'm so distracted that I've forgotten waht I set out to do in the first place.

08 October 2007

Gaming

My little brother was over for the weekend. I hope he enjoyed himself, as I was exceptionally dull for the duration of his visit. We'll have to have him over on one of the upcoming holiday weeks when we're both out of school and I've got time off from work. I've been extremely slow about painting anything, so I still don't have enough figures for opposing forces in any game. He is really interested in miniatures, but his limited budget makes for some difficulty. I've been trying to think of a way to help him build an army of his own for some game or other.

He really likes the Warhammer Dark Elves, which happen to be one of the most expensive armies around, due to all of the metal figures in the range. There are also rumors of a new army book being on the horizon very soon. I don't really like the Dark Elf fluff, but the models mounted on big lizards are cool enough. Really, any Warhammer army is cost-prohibitive for any kid who doesn't get free piles of money from his parents. He'll probably have to wait until he's out on his own with a job for any Warhammer armies. Even the Warhammer Skirmish rules require a bit much spending for his budget, especially when you throw in paints and other hobby supplies.

I was doing some math for the GW Lord of the Rings game last night and with the relatively low cost of basic troops ($25 for 25 figures, less with a discount) in several armies, you can put together a decent-sized force for under $100 easily. I'm thinking that might be the way to go for my brother. If we played 500-point games he wouldn't have too much trouble fielding a force, and there are several different armies to choose from. As an example, the Dwarf army box can be had at Hobbytown for $75 and it contains over 700 points. For painting on a budget, there are plenty of cheap acrylics at Wal-Mart. It's an idea.

For myself, I wrote up a list of Lord of the Rings armies I would like to build. I think there were six armies on the list. I'd probably build them out to the 500-point limit, and from there just add on whatever else I felt like painting. The Alliance system is pretty free, so you can combine armies together for bigger forces. It's pretty exciting stuff and the miniatures look good.
In Fantasy Football it looks like I'll go 3-1 for the week. That's not too bad. I'll be at 16-4 (5-0, 4-1, 4-1, 3-2) for the year. Tonight's game won't have any real impact on my games this week, unless Patrick Crayton scores -2 points.
I need to paint some minis this week.

06 October 2007

Yay!

Holy cow! I finally finished my short story for my fiction writing class. Talk about a pain in the hindquarters. Now I've got just under four hours to sleep before I have to get up and go to work again. I'm not really looking forward to that. It's almost to the point where I don't know if I should even go to sleep as I want to be sure I'll wake up to my alarm. With anything under five hours it's pretty hit or miss for me in that department. I hate being late for work. It's embarrassing. At least my story is written.
Not much else to post about tonight. With Fantasy Baseball over with, and Fantasy Basketball not started yet, I don't have much to write about in the Fantasy Sports realm. Next week I'm going to try to paint some miniatures. I think it will be relaxing.
I suppose I'd better go get some sleep. Saturdays are long days even when I get seven hours of rest.

05 October 2007

After reading this post on the Grimsby Wargaming blog I got to thinking about my own projects and interest levels.

Warhammer Fantasy Skaven - I've got a complete 2250-point Skaven army finished, but have stalled out on increasing it to a full 3000 points. I think I'd be more motivated if I actually purchased the miniatures that comprise the rest of my list.
Warhammer Fantasy Orcs and Goblins - I've got 2 Orcs partially painted. I'm not too happy with the way the skin turned out, and don't have a lot of motivation to paint them at the moment. I've probably got a thousand points or so of miniatures, and still want to finish the army to at least 2000 points.
Warhammer 40K - With school and other projects taking precedence at the moment, I stalled out on planning my Chapter of Space Marines. I would still like to do the project, but I'm in a holding pattern until I have a bit more time to work on it. At the very least I'd like to get together a couple thousand points so I can play games. I figure a full Chapter will take many years to build up. I've also soured a bit on the Space Marines due to the primer incident, in which several figures came out crusted with primer.
Pirates - I've painted most of what I have, and will probably add at least one of the Foundry Horde deals to my collection someday. I purchased 40 Old Glory pirates recently, but the sculpts looked so terrible that I put them in a drawer. I don't think I'll be painting them. I also need to build a tavern and maybe a pirate ship. And I need to add a few more civilians, town guard, tavern employees, etc.
Old West - I want to purchase one of the Foundry Horde deals for Old West as well. I think there is a manufacturer of cardstock buildings that I could purchase, and an Old West town gaming mat from Hotz Mats. I've also got a list of minis from other manufacturers that I could mix in for some variety.
Gladiators - Again, I'd like to pick up the Foundry Horde deal for these. I could make do with a sand-colored mat, but it would be neat to build a little Coliseum and maybe paint up some lions and bears for the gladiators to fight.
Hordes of the Things - I'm thinking about dragging the wife to the Tactical Solutions convention in Spokane, Washington next year. We couldn't go this year due to cost and the fact that I'll be at drill that weekend. Rumor has it that they play Hordes of the Things at the con, and I think it would be nice to paint up a Viking/Barbarian army.
Superheroes - I've got a list of superhero miniatures that I want to start purchasing and painting. I like painting supers, as you can go a little crazy with the colors and designs. For terrain I can use all my old Heroclix maps.
World War Two - I've been putting this project off for quite a while, as it's hard to justify all the stuff I want to buy. Also, the research is intimidating as it's the only "real" historical period I'm interested in. Technically Pirates, Old West, and Gladiators count as historical, but for them I'm going for the Hollywood feel. For World War Two I'd feel a need to go for something fairly accurate. Perhaps not down to actual unit markings, but forces that represent a typical unit from whichever army I'm painting.
Lord of the Rings - I've got the rulebook and the army list book. I still need a few of the other sourcebooks. The starter set came with a couple hundred points of Moria goblins and a Cave Troll, as well as several hundred points of Good heroes from the Fellowship. Ideally I could fill out my favorite forces with two or three of the boxed army deals and a couple blister packs here and there.
Reaper Warlord - I like the miniatures, but they lost me with the rule changes and the army pack nightmare. I may still fill out my forces, but just as generic fantasy units for use with other game systems.
Other - I've flirted briefly with dreams of the AWI (American War of Independence) and the ACW (American Civil War) in 6mm scale, but don't have any real plans for the projects. I would love to do some sort of ginat stompy robot game in the Mechwarrior or CAV vein, but don't really have any current plans for that, either. Pulp adventure games and Victorian Science Fiction look like a lot of fun, but I think you really need to have a good gaming group to get the full amount of enjoyment from them. And last but not least, there are tons of miniatures that I like, but don't fall into any real category. I've got a list of them in my notebook, and I'm sure I'll pick some of them up over time. I'd like to add more historicals to my list, but I'd need to get into the history books a little more and find something that strikes me as interesting.

Visit beards.org!

03 October 2007

It's a lot easier to think about writing a story for class than it is to actually write a story for class.

02 October 2007

Well, Chad Johnson scored 5 points instead of 8 and I went 3-1 for the week in Fantasy Football, bringing my record to 13-3 (4-0, 1st of 10 teams; 4-0, 2nd of 10; 3-1, 3rd of 14; and 2-2, 3rd of 10) for the season so far. It sure seems like a lot of players are getting injured this year, and between injuries and bye weeks it's hard to set up a competitive lineup. At least it keeps the games exciting.
I had to do homework tonight, which will probably be the theme for this week. I have a short story due in our fiction class by Thursday or Friday, as well as my reading and quizzes for History class.
I haven't had much time to look through my GW Lord of the Rings books yet. Foundry just sent out the e-mail announcing their Christmas sale. The part that interests me is the 20% discount on certain of their Hordes collections, as well as free shipping. The free shipping is sort of a moot point when ordering Hordes, as you get free shipping anyway, even when the Hordes are not on discount, but the 20% discount is nothing to frown at. The collections that interest me are the Cutthroats Rampaging Mob (Yarrrr!), the School of Gladiators (Ancient Arena Combat!), the Old West Characters (Main Street at High Noon!), and to a lesser degree the Viking Legendary Warriors Horde (Pillage!). Of course even at a discount they are still expensive, but I had a great time painting the few Foundry Pirates I've got, and getting a couple of these Horde deals would pretty much set me up with plenty of figures to play all those periods. Still not sure if I'll pull out the wallet and pony up for any of them, but it's sure fun to think about.

A Couple of New Takes on Thriller

First, we have the inmates of a prison in the Philippines. There are several videos featuring these inmates, but this is the best one.

And here we have Indian Thriller!

And this one isn't Thriller, but it's got some awesome dance moves.

01 October 2007

There's plenty to post about tonight, so I guess I'll get right into it. First off, I just had another large piece of the apple pie my wife baked. She bakes a mean pie, using my mother's recipe, so I don't even have to get used to a new taste. It's the same pie I've always eaten.
It's been an interesting week in Fantasy Sports for me. I'll start with baseball as this was the last week for Fantasy Baseball. My teams placed second in both of my rotisserie leagues, which was no real surprise. The first-place teams have been well out of reach all year, and the other teams in the leagues haven't really challenged me in the standings for a good month or so. Probably sometime in mid-August a few teams in both leagues actually passed me up and I fell to 3rd or 4th place in those leagues, but I recovered the points and held on to finish out the season. So that's two silver trophies for me.
In the TMP Fantasy Baseball League my team, the Baloney Bullfrogs, was in the championship round playing against the Monday Knights. After the first couple of days things were not looking good for me. My team went into a slump just as his team peaked, and I was losing 2-7-1. Throughout the rest of the round I was able to make roster moves and work my way to finish the week tied at 5-5, but the Monday Knights won the tiebreaker statistic (ERA) and I will only get the 2nd-place trophy for the TMP League. The Monday Knights manager will get the gold trophy and the pile of miniatures thateveryone sent in as a prize.
It was a similar story in my other head-to-head League. This time I was in the 3rd-place game. I started off pretty strong, leading much of the way. But the other team caught up to me and today he tied me. Of course when the final scores came out his ERA was lower than mine, so again I lost a tied game via the tiebreaker rules. The other team gets a bronze trophy and I go home in 4th place.
Overall it wasn't a bad year for Fantasy Baseball. I'd like to have some more gold trophies in my collection, but three 2nd-place finishes and one 4th-place finish isn't really that bad. The Monday Knights had better watch out because I'll be gunning for them next year.
Another bad week for the Denver Broncos, and it's shaping up to be a good week for me in Fantasy Football. I should win my game in the TMP Fantasy Football League unless Tom Brady really goes off and outscores Stephen Gostkowski by 34 points tomorrow night. Two of my other teams should have easy wins, and the last team will win if Chad Johnson scores 8 points against New England. I really like my chances to go 4-0 this week.
And since this is supposedly a blog mostly about miniatures I will post something miniatures-related. I was trying to decide whether to buy into the Games Workshop Lord of the Rings miniatures game, but I wasn't sure about what to do. My wife went and bought me the Mines of Moria starter set and the Legions of Middle-Earth supplement book, so now I've got a start on the game. If I could just get back into a painting rhythm I'd be doing pretty good.

29 September 2007

I can't breathe through my nose, so I can't get to sleep. I've checked my Fantasy Sports lineups about 352 times already, so maybe I'll post something up here. In about 3 1/4 hours I have to get up and go to work. The AM shift undermans their Saturday shift, so the PM guys have to come in early to help them finish up their work and then go to the other side of the dock to move our freight. It makes for a long day, considering we do our PM shift from 3:30 to midnight on Friday and then have to be back to work on Saturday at 8 AM.
Sometimes I wonder how some of the new kids at work survive from day to day. Moving freight isn't exactly rocket science. You pull the freight out of the trailer, check to make sure it's not damaged, fix it if it is damaged, get your paperwork, scan the paperwork in the computer, take the freight to the destination trailer that the computer designates, put the freight into the trailer, scan your paperwork, and if it needs it, tie the freight to the wall. With Hazardous Material shipments you have to do some extra paperwork, put pallets or plywood around the shipment so no one can inadvertantly puncture the freight, and maybe put some placards on the trailer. I have just described almost the entirety of the dockworker job. It's not that difficult. But some folks just can't figure it out.
I am thinking of one person in particular as he was in my way all day today, and things on the dock would move so much faster when he's not there. I imagine that watching him work feels similar to having a killer amoeba feeding on your brain.
On a slightly less ranty note, I've been thinking a lot about the Games Workshop Lord of the Rings miniatures. Hobbytown has got a Wardens of the Westgate boxed set that I've been looking at for several months now. I am reluctant to purchase it, however, as buying that box of miniatures will mushroom into the purchase of at least two or three books, an army of Gondor miniatures, a boxed set from the Isengard or Mordor range, and extra miniatures to fill any holes that the boxed sets miss. I think I will end up buying the Dwarf boxed set and starting the snowball down the hill, but I need time to prepare my mind for the real cost of the project.
And no post would be complete without a little bit of YouTube. This one goes out to all the righteous homeboys:

28 September 2007

My premonition was correct, and I am indeed quite ill now. So far I haven't noticed the DayQuil having any effect, and I wonder if I built up an immunity to it in my troubled youth. Since I am feeling so sick, there is sure to be overtime at work today and tomorrow, as there is never any work when I'm feeling good and always plenty of work when I'm sick and just want to go home.
I planned to post about a lot of stuff tonight, but I can feel an illness coming on and didn't feel like doing much of anything. It's a good thing we bought some NyQuil and DayQuil the other day for my wife, because I'm probably going to need it this week. I tried out a glaze on a couple of Orcs tonight and I didn't really like it. For the greenskins I almost like a very pronounced contrast between the layers of color, something akin to the "Foundry Style" of painting. And that's really all I've got for now.

27 September 2007

Taking a cue from El Grego, I've decided to post a picture of my World of Warcraft character, Chonk, and his pet scorpid, Hasselhoff. Chonk is a level 70 Dwarf Hunter on the Turalyon server. Hasselhoff is a level 70 killing machine, and he's dead sexy to boot. At the moment I'm not playing much, but if I were playing I'd be in Nagrand trying to get enough Ogre Beads for this and this.

Mr. T puts the "T" in I.T.

Even better than the mere existence of these next few videos is the fact that there seems to be some sort of storyline connecting them. When it's all said and done, even you will want to buy a Hitachi Midrange Storage System!




Get Some Nuts!

26 September 2007

I think I've finally turned the corner and overcome whatever it was that was blocking me from painting my Orcs. It will still be slower than painting Skaven, but I should be able to power through this first unit of Orcs so I can move on to the other unpainted stuff that's cluttering up my painting area. I've finished the skin tones on two of my Orcs, and tonight after work I'm going to try finishing the skin on eight more. From there it'll just be a matter of painting standard details, and I can do those pretty quickly. The only things I'm anticipating trouble with are the wolfskin cloak that my Orc Warboss is wearing and the huge flag my Battle Standard Bearer is carrying.
The Fido-Shock Pet Deterrent Kit came via UPS today, so I'll probably set that up sometime in the near future, after I get some more wire. The fenceposts that came with the kit are a bit shoddy so I may have to get some better posts as well. Either way, we are only a few steps away from being able to let the dogs spend more time unsupervised in the yard.
I did a little bit of painting on some Orcs tonight. I am incredibly frustrated at how slowly Orcs paint up compared to Skaven. For the ratmen I just slap on a medium brown basecoat for the fur; a light brown for tails, hands and feet; and hit the whole thing with a brown ink wash. After that the figure is mostly done and all that's left is armor, weapons, and a few little details. For Orcs I have to paint on a basecoat, then I have to paint the midtones, and finally I have to paint the highlights. It goes slowly because I can't just slap the paint on all over. I have to "stay in the lines" and only hit certain areas with each progressive coat. And that's just the skin. Perhaps once I've got a few units put together and painted I'll have a method developed and they'll go a lot faster. For now I think I'll just work on 5 or 10 figures at a time so as not to be completely burned out by the end of each step.
I've been hiding the primer-encrusted Space Marines in my drawer, not wanting to think about trying to fix the damage. I don't think I can paint the parts on the sprue. In theory it makes sense, but in practice I need to have the figure mostly complete in front of me before I can work on it. Painting random parts on a sprue just isn't inspiring enough for me to actually sit down and do it.