30 November 2008

Even though my wife, the critter and I were all sick with some sort of head cold this weekend it was a pretty good holiday. Thursday we had the big Thanksgiving feast at my parents' house with all of my siblings present. I don't remember Friday at all; I think we spent the day taking medicine and trying to sleep. Saturday the girls had a baby shower for my sister (an even that I thankfully did not have to attend) and I went out to the farm to shoot guns with my dad, my brother, and my brother-in-law. They had the whole collection out so we got to fire a variety of different weapons and enjoy each other's company. There were several other groups of guys out there in roughly the same area doing the same thing, so I guess maybe a Thanksgiving weekend shoot is a common tradition out there.

About the only thing I've done on the hobby side of things is write up a couple of 1000-point lists for Flames of War. The critter has been keeping very odd hours, so the wife and I spend a lot of time trading off so we can both get a little sleep here and there. It's interesting how carrying around a new baby is like an invitation for strangers to start conversations with you. At Wal-Mart the other day we probably had four or five groups of people talk to us about the kid. Most folks comment about his full head of hair.

Once again I have stayed up way past my bedtime. I was up a little too late anyway, then I remembered that I had to give myself a haircut so I wouldn't be a hippie at work tomorrow, then because of the haircut I had to take a shower, and then I wanted to post on my blog before the week starts. Now it's midnight and I have to wake up in just over five hours.

Three of my four Fantasy Football teams have made the playoffs, including the important ones from the office league and the Miniatures Page league. The team that didn't make it has scored a lot of points but due to matchups always played the other teams on their best weeks, so that team is sitting at 8th place out of 10 teams. Hopefully I can win some trophies this year.

26 November 2008

Yesterday morning I started feeling the tickle in the back of my throat that for me generally signals a pending illness. By the time I went to bed last night my throat was swollen to the point that I had difficulty breathing and speaking. In the morning I woke up long enough to call in sick and went back to sleep. It's spread out now, so I hurt everywhere and get a little woozy just from walking around. I'm still fighting it off; hopefully I'll be able to take some TheraFlu tonight and sleep it off in time to have an appetite for Thanksgiving. The wife and baby had been sick all week, so it's only fair that I come down with something too. On the plus side I was able to spend a little time today taking care of the baby, so the wife was able to get some important stuff done (like take a shower and bake some pies). The Thing really is a good baby. We like him. The dogs have been a little mischievous lately; probably because we've been ignoring them a bit as we lavish attention on the kid. Hopefully they'll calm down as they get used to their new places in the pecking order.

Not much else to write about, really. I can't even think of a good second sentence for this paragraph.

23 November 2008

There isn't much going on at the moment. We got the new Supergrass album on mp3. It's pretty good. Apparently Kings of Leon came out with a new album in September, which is pretty cool. I hope it's good, as on their website they look like they've gone a bit too far over to the emo side of fashion. I hope it doesn't creep into their music. I liked them much better as dirty bearded vagrants.

My parents gave us a TV as a Christmas present. I think the screen is about a foot larger than our previous television and the sound is a great improvement also. The previous TV was already old when my wife rescued it from a dumpster seven years ago, so it's pretty nice to watch a movie or show and actually be able to see and hear everything all at the same time.

I got one of the Citadel (Games Workshop) battlemats as they have received very good reviews in just about every conversation they come up in. I haven't had much time for anything hobby-related as the new baby is demanding a lot of time and attention. Even when I'm not directly interacting with him I'm trying to get caught up on other stuff. It's going to be even worse come January as I've signed on for a few classes at Boise State. I've gone back and forth about finishing school, but I feel it's something I need to work through and finish. Back on the subject of hobbies, I'm thinking about trying to assemble a few small forces for the Warhammer and Lord of the Rings games and playing games on my table at home with unpainted figures just as a way to actually get some use out of my toys and learn the systems a little bit.

Today was my birthday. We didn't do anything really special for it, as I got my present a long time ago and we really didn't feel like doing anything outside of our normal Sunday routine. I spent all day yesterday at a recruiting event for the National Guard, supervising a bunch of high school kids while they played paintball and got pumped up about the military.

17 November 2008

I've been meaning to make a post for a while now, but my wife and I are pretty well baby-shocked and haven't been able to get up to much besides essentials. I did find time to inventory all my figures, both painted and unpainted. It wasn't as depressing as I anticipated. I've got about 1020 figures in all and 28% of them are painted.

Hobbytown continues to place more miniatures on clearance, this past week it was Skaven and the big Orc & Goblin army box. The Orc & Goblin box is a great deal with about $250 in figures for $114, but I already have all the figures I need for maybe 4000+ points of greenskins. So I get to take a pass on that. I did get the Plague Monks and Jezzail teams I need to finish my 3000-point ratmen list, though. There is a whole section of Reaper figures on clearance, but it would take forever to dig through it all to find the gems. None of the Reaper games are put together well enough to try playing them anyway. I am hoping Hobbytown's mass clearance is just an attempt to clear out slow-moving stock and not a sign that they are cutting out gaming altogether or in danger of going under. Although we've had problems with some of their staff in the past, they have the best prices on gaming stuff locally and are usually pretty helpful.

Now it is way past my bedtime, so I'm going to try getting some sleep.

10 November 2008

We took our baby to church today and blessed him; basically the process by which a kid gets added to the church records. After that we had a get-together at my sister's house with much of the local family in attendance. It was a pretty good time.

I have not had any time to even think about hobbies this week, for obvious reasons. I have changed a lot of diapers. That's been an experience.

I added a link in my sidebar to Massad Ayoob's blog. He is perhaps the foremost authority on home and personal defense, and has a lot of interesting things to say if you're into that sort of thing. I recall as a kid in 3rd and 4th grade reading his books In the Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection and The Truth About Self-Protection. Pretty heavy stuff for a young person I suppose, but definitely influential in my life and my outlook on the subject of firearm ownership and self-defense laws. I don't want to delve too deeply into politics here, so I'll leave it at that.

05 November 2008

We've got about a million Aunts and Great-Aunts clamoring for more pictures, so here are a couple we took last night and throughout today. The wife was feeling well enough today to walk down to the nursery, so we went down the hall for Ben's first bath. He didn't like it very much, but the nurse brushed his hair into a very fashionable combover-miullet. He sleeps a lot and keeps his eyes closed much of the time, but this evening just before I left to come home he opened his eyes up and looked around for ten minutes or so. In this first picture you can see that his hairline goes all the way down to his eyebrows.

Here's a picture of him with my wife's mom. This is during a rare moment today when I wasn't holding him. I think I spent about eight hours today carrying him around with me.

Here's me and my mom and me a couple hours after Ben was born. His parents and his grandmas were pretty well wiped out at this point.

04 November 2008

After 20+ hours in the hospital waiting for him to arrive the natural way, the doctor deemed that the chances of Benjamin getting out on his own were pretty slim. So at 10:35 p.m. on 03 November 2008 he was born via C-section. He's a hairy little feller, 20 1/4 inches long and 7 pounds, 12 ounces.

03 November 2008

It Looks Like Today's the Day

My wife's water broke last night, so it's pretty much guaranteed that we're going to have a baby at some point today. I had to run home and let the dogs out, so I thought I'd put up a quick post about it. At least it'll be easy to remember our anniversary, because it'll be the same as Ben's birthday.

01 November 2008

The mother-in-law is arriving in town at some point tonight to help with the baby; hopefully he makes his entrance in the two weeks she plans on being here. We stayed up late last night watching the latest Incredible Hulk movie, which was pretty good. I think there were a few scenes in the film that set up an Incredible Hulk sequel with the Leader as the main villain, an Avengers film, and quite possibly an appearance in the Wolverine solo film. I guess the Wolverine encounter could be in the next Hulk movie as well.

We slept in this morning and spent the bulk of the afternoon and evening running errands and cleaning house a bit. It was very exciting stuff.

I've been waiting for the Army Builder files to come out for the new Space Marines codex, but so far they've only been released in French. I can't read French, so those ones aren't much good to me. I lost my original handwritten Space Marines list, so I had to come up with another one. I don't like it very much, unfortunately, so I'm going to have another go at it.

My Imperial Armour - Model Masterclass Volume One book finally arrived from Forge World a couple of days ago. The pictures are certainly exceptionally pretty and so far it seems like a lot of the advice and methods described and shown in the book will improve my skills a fair bit. And since I apparently ordered one of the first 500 copies sold, the book was autographed by the book's main contributors.

My next step is to trim some flash off of the Assault on Black Reach sprues, prime the Space Marine parts, and slap some paint onto the Dreadnought. Once I get him finished I'll have a whopping 185 points of Space Marines painted up. That total goes up to 275 points if I repaint some details on the half-squad of Marines I finished a while back. I also realized recently that the new Land Speeder kit does not actually contain the parts for the Land Speeder Storm (the variant that carries 5 Scouts around the battlefield and gives them bonuses in assaults), so I'll have to wait for the Wave 2 releases to get my hands on that model. That's all right, though, as it means I won't have to paint up a unit of Scouts for a while. Before I finalize my lists for Orks and Space Marines I'm thinking about using empty bases and vehicle-sized bits of cardstock to play a few sample games and see how the different weapons and rules work together. We'll see how it goes. Pretty much all of my army lists for any game system are based on models I like rather than any pretense of in-game min-maxing. I figure I spend 99% of my hobby time planning and painting, so I might as well be working on models I like.

I got an e-mail from Games Workshop today featuring all of their new releases for November 1st. The most exciting things listed are the new boxed army deals for the Lord of the Rings. They've got armies for the Eastern Kingsdoms (with a Mumak!), Gondor (big blocks of troops!), Mordor (2 Trolls!), Rohan (Cavalry!), and Isengard (Warg Riders!). They're a bit pricey (between $135 and $343 depending on the set and the number of models) but come in at a pretty big discount from buying the components separately. I did the math and they come out to right at $2 per model for each set. That seems a bit high, but the discount comes into play when you figure that the special characters and large models run from $17 to $60 purchased on their own. I probably won't be getting any of them, but it's nice to see them coming out with some nice big Lord of the Rings boxed sets. It seems like I've already got an avalanche of models that will take at least a couple of years to paint unless I really make some amazing strides in my painting speed. I imagine my free time isn't going to increase anytime soon with a new baby in the house.