Month: April 2014

X wing, wave 1 the tie fighter and x wing expansions

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So, it’s been a while since I did a hobby post, this is probably down to the fact that Iv not actually done any hobby in quite some time, but here goes, the first two of the wave one ships for x wing. The x wing and the tie fighter.

So, thoughts? Well, the models and paint schemes are the same as come in the starter box, so there’s not a huge reason to get more than one of each, the value of the core box is that good. The only difference is access to some new unique cards, so let’s have a look

First the tie fighter,

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As said, the model and paint scheme are the same, this isn’t an issue for the tie because they’re all the same anyway. The additional pilots are nice; winged gundark, howl runner and backstabber. Each have some useful special rules that make them better than your standard pilots. The big thing for this set for me is the swarm tactics card, it allows you to daisy chain pilot skill from ship to ship. This makes swarms better, which is useful as ties are always flown in swarms.

Next up, the iconic ship of Star Wars, as well as the inspiration for the game. The x wing fighter,

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Again, same model, same paint scheme. This is more of an issue for the x wing as it was for the tie because the x wings are traditionally more individual. Obviously the model staying the same isn’t an issue, but the colours kind of are.

What’s in the set then? Well, some new unique pilots, namely wedge Antilles and garven dreiss.

Wedge is one of those imteresting Star Wars characters that became a cult hero without doing much in the film (aside from taking down both Death Stars obviously) in the same way as boba fett he’s been expanded on hugely in the expanded universe.
Dreis was the leader of the x wing squadron that went against the first Death Star.

This expansion also includes some unique astromech droids, the generic r5 unit and a named r5 unit. Both are useful and unique to the kit.

So are these expansions worth it? Well, yes. The names pilots are good, and give more options so you’ll want them at some point. Personally I bought one of each, any others I need can come from additional core sets now I have the cards. The only real reason to buy multiples will be for the r5 astromech in the x wing, but it’s not that big a deal.

Il get to the other two ships soon the y wing and Darth vaders tie advanced

Life, argument avoidance and niggles

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So, I hate arguments, really hate arguments. Well actually, I don’t hate them, I just feel there’s a much better way of dealing with problems than shouting and getting personal. This is by far the worse thing about am argument, when something completely irrelevant to the discussion comes up, plus arguments allow for it to move beyond the point of the argument to an excuse to abuse each other.

No, I don’t like arguments because they just don’t achieve enough, effort vs reward.

The other issue is that they normally occur in public, this is a major issue, nobody wants the embarrassment of a couple screaming at each other. In my experience women use this to great effect to gain an immediate psychological advantage over the other half. You’ve all seen that man clearly annoyed that he’s being spoken to like a child in public, it’s a downbeat fed up shoulder slump that’s immediately recognisable.

I should point out, I mean this in no way to be a sexist statement, I’m sure men can be just as guilty, it’s purely based off my experience of women

If an argument must happen (it mustn’t) then it should be in private, not in public because this just increases the chances that it becomes personal. But as Iv said, I don’t feel the effort vs reward makes it worthwhile, it should be a sensible discussion without resorting to frustration and anger.

Now, my partner loves an argument. Well, I’m sure she doesn’t, but her immediate response to anything that could be a spark sets her off. The problem is that she has a short fuse and is easily frustrated, so small things become an argument very quickly. This means that I have a choice, if she has done something that upsets or frustrates me I can either tell her directly- which leads inevitably to an argument, or I can ignore it- which means I get more stressed and frustrated and can’t tell her why.
Such as the other day, I have mentioned that she had upset me when essentially telling me to snap out of my ‘mood’ because it makes her feel worse, I could have told her then there that it was a little insensitive and that Iv been doing my best to support her, and a little support would appreciated in return, or I could let it go, not helping my ‘mood.’

Just last might before she went away, I asked her to bring the boy back to the kitchen after she’d let him out, she walked past him, called his name and said “I tried”. Well, at this point it would have been an easy option for me to start an argument because I was already frustrated with her about several things (another weekend away, not eating, exhausting herself) and at that point (ahead of me being solely responsible for then children for the weekend) I had to do it myself, but I didn’t, I held it in, because I don’t want to argue.

Now, I love my partner, very much, and I’m very happy. But very often she does things that annoy and frustrate me, this is normal, if you’re in a relationship where you aren’t annoyed by something, then you clearly don’t know each other very well. The key to these annoyances is to learn to love them (Iv done that, or at least coped with, the dribbling when she sleeps, the cold feet regardless of situation), let it bother you but only in a minor way because it isn’t a life changer (farting, buying unnecessary gadgets for the kitchen) or you communicate to them that it’s an issue and get it dealt with, this is where the problem lies. I don’t feel I can tell her about the bigger things because
1. She often doesn’t listen anyway (stroking my hair in bed)
2. She doesn’t always hear exactly what you’ve said (hearing “I’m very tired” as “you have made me very tired”)
3. She takes it as a personal attack (not getting as excited about planning something as much as she is)

What this means is that I tell her, it’s a frustrated tell, and so leads to arguments and then nothing’s achieved, or I don’t tell her and then nothing happens, except my stress levels rise.

So, things need to change, I am going to be telling her when ok frustrated, when she has annoyed me, and when I just can’t take any more. She’ll likely turn it into an argument, in which case I will be do my best to diffuse it, or she’ll take it personally, in which case I’ll reassure her.
The key will be to tell her when I’m happy, she’s done something positive, and when alls good, I wouldn’t want it to be a complete negative

Life, thoughts on packing away

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So, this is one that’s been on the list for ages, since we were packing away to move in fact.

When I was packing away it occurred to me that I have quite a lot of stuff, stuff that I don’t need. Stuff nobody needs.
This will come as no surprise to anyone that has ever moved home, we all end up with masses of junk, sentimental items, percieved values, potential use.

But it feels as though mine goes further, I’m not a particularly sentimental person, I don’t keep much without any value (I know what I spent, and any if the car boot sale tat my mum buys me normally goes straight to the bin) and potential use is not the same as actual use, the only potential use items I keep are restricted to my toolbox.

No, my items are things i keep just because I want to.

But that’s not really what got to me; it’s more the symbolicalness of packing (symbolicalness apparently is a real word), I can’t really explain it, perhaps it’s about endings and beginnings, or some deep death related thought, or something else. I felt a little down whilst packing, and I just don’t know why, because I was looking forward to moving, and it was something to focus on, not to mention that my OCD really enjoys packing boxes, and I can’t work out why.

Films, the expendables

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So, you had advance warning of this one. Iv just finished it and I have to say I’m pleased and disappointed equally

I really like the idea; combine a whole host of classic action film actors, and let them beat each other up and use the military arsenal of a small nation shooting into the air, it’s awesome. It’s exactly what a lighthearted fun nostalgia trip should be
Unfortunately it doesn’t feel like any of those action films that we all love have been replicated particularly well in this.

There are so many 80s action films that stick in my mind as enjoyable gun toting fist fights, and this tried so hard, unfortunately, it just doesn’t work, I feel the politics was too much, it was too dark (literally, not thematically) and nothing actually happened, I pretty much zoned out when the bullets were flying

The biggest thing was the politics, I get it, politics is a huge deal, and allows for a really straightforward antagonistic element to most stories, but when it overshadows the explosions, fists and crappy dialogue it’s not great.

Life, things to say but a nothing to write

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So, Iv been maintaining a list of things I want to talk about as blog posts, some of them serious life things, some of them ordinary hobby bits and others just little things that occur to me that I have something to say about.
This list started at a point when I couldn’t spend the time writing, and expanded from there, and now it’s causing me problems,

The first problem is my OCD towards completing things, I get a real satisfaction from finishing a toilet roll, or reducing the pile of books i haven’t read yet, though I also like to add to these things (not the toilet roll, but the books). Whilst I can write about something on the list and then cross it off, it will then spark a replacement or trigger a whole load of additional things to talk about.
This then leads me onto the next problem, with so many things I want to talk about, vent, explain, discuss I then either can’t decide which to do next, or lose the point of what I wanted to say, or at least the stimulus of the topic isn’t there so I lose the ability to do so.

Right now the list is quite extensive, but as I’m currently sat here doing very little I don’t have that need to write about them. To tell the truth, my partners away for the night to attend a dentistry course in Cardiff, whilst I’m led on the new (and very expensive sofa) drinking beer and watching the expendables (another post on the way then).
The sink is full of dishes, there’s washing to go out, the dishwashers beeping for attention, but last night the boy was awake most of the night, whilst mummy did her best impression of a corpse- aside from the snoring, that’s a giveaway. This meant it was daddies job to look after him. I’m not complaining, I’m his dad and I’d do anything for him, but it’s now left me a little tired, so I’m not capable of doing much beyond lying here vegetating.

Anyway, Jet Li’s just had a punch up with Dolph Lundgren and it’s getting violent, so I need to get back to it

Life, a really awful first date

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So, writing about our first date made me think about a first date I went on that I was kind of forced to sabotage

I met a girl on a night out with Sainsbury’s, she worked there too but we’d not met before that we had a good night and talked a lot. I was very drunk, so it was much easier. A few days later we agreed to meet for a coffee.

Now, Iv never really grasped the coffee shop idea, I don’t drink a lot of coffee and when I do it’s sugared so much that it doesn’t matter if it’s cheap instant or really expensive freshly ground goat poo granuled mega coffee, and although I drink a lot of tea, the options tend to be regular or large.

So, I arrive, get a tea; it was a large one as it happens, which incidentally is ridiculous because I just looked like a moron with my pint of tea. As I was finishing she arrives and immediately goes to get a coffee, I didn’t offer to get it myself, and I waited until she returned to go and get a second tea for myself.

You see, whilst drinking my tea i had come to the realisation that there was nothing even remotely likeable about this girl which sounds terrible, the truth is she was nice enough, pleasant friendly etc, all those things that make a night out with dull work colleagues enjoyable, but she wasn’t what I was looking for as my girlfriend, so I had to get out of it. I couldn’t just leave, that would be awful, and I’m a gent, plus I had a bucket of tea to finish, so I had to make sure sure she didn’t get attached.

Cue me switching off the charm, I let her get a coffee, then get my tea and then spend our time talking mostly about things she’s not interested in, and work, whilst only half listening to what she had to say.

Was it worth it? Well actually no, because there were a few girls at Sainsbury’s I wouldn’t have minded dating, but I gained a reputation as a really crappy first date.

Fortunately I know what I’m capable of and i made the first date with my partner count.

I had many dates between these too (i say many, I had dates between these too)

Films, the break up

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So, we watched a film, it was about break ups, I hope she’s not trying to tell me something.

I say we watched, she watched led out on the sofa whilst I moved furniture around

It was a standard rom com, nothing special, with no mega moments and nothing beyond the standard feel good recovery at the end.

Having said that, towards the start when jennifer aniston and Vince Vaughn were arguing the double standards of couple arguing were masterfully done, as well as the realities of differing approaches.

Her- I want you to do the dishes
Him- ok il do them
Her- I don’t want you to do them because I asked, I want you to want to do them
Him- why would I want to do dishes?

Her- can you do this now?
Him- yes, but I want to relax for ten minutes first
Her- you never do as I ask

Her- you never go with me to the ballet
Him- I don’t like ballet
Her- you should want to do it for me
Him- ok, but you don’t want to go to sports games
Her- why would I want to I hate them

Yeah, you get the point. So the arguments are well constructed, the rest of the film is an average rom com, I don’t really like rom coms, but I watched it because she wanted to watch it

Books, yes man

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So, the latest book is done, I read yes man by Danny Wallace.

I picked this one up in a charity shop (not unlike most of my pile of ‘books to read’) after finally deciding to give it a go. My worry before- having seen it numerous times in various charity shops- is that it was a movie tie in, and Iv read enough novelisations to know it’s just not worth it (with the strange exception of revenge of the sith), but as it turns out the book came first. I did enjoy the film by the way, even if it was a little too similar to liar liar, and it felt like a nostalgic jim carrey trip to the 90s
So, it’s allegedly a true story, I’d be certain there’s a good amount of artistic license in there, but it’s not Wallace’s first book of a similar nature so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, he agrees to say yes to every ‘opportunity’ he is given for six months. This isn’t just real opportunities, but any time anyone asks him a direct yes/no question, from do you have a minute to talk about charity, to will you go to Texas.

Reading the book gives you plenty of introspection, when have I said no when I could have said yes? what have I missed out on? What could I have achieved? And I’d even go as far as to say if you allowed yourself you could plan the same thing, saying yes to every ‘opportunity’ that comes along- and probably bankrupting yourself at the same time.
I didn’t have the same thought, well actually I did, in a if I was younger, singler, childless, etc etc etc way of thinking. Yes, I can accept this was a no, and opportunities are what you make of them, but the risks are just not worth taking for a slim chance you won’t ruin everything.

So what did it make me think? Well, the basis of the message still sticks, I should be more open to opportunities and shouldn’t just plod along.

Will I? Who knows

Life, a good day out with the boy and some daemons dealt with

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So, typically, just after a post about depression not being a case of good days making it better Iv had a good day.
My partner (no name yet) hobbled off to work, we took girl to school and then jumped in the car and drove. I didn’t know where I was heading, but we ended up in exeter, which is nice because the last time I was making the same drive with the boy it was to see mummy in hospital (daemon 1).
We had a wander up the street and were able to potter around a games shop (new games, which will be talked about soon) and charity shops. This was pleasant because Iv come to realise over the last few days- and specifically after a late night talk with my partner- that it’s been a while since I had a focus. Now, walking around charity shops isn’t a focus, but it’s a bit of normality and doing something that makes me happy (or eases my mind in a weird way). (daemon 2 not really a daemon, but a restoration point).
Then we made our way into the local games workshop, as I have explained previously, I’m not bitter about leaving, but it’s still strange, it’s been a long time since I was on the other end of a 10C conversation. (I did pop into the Cribbs causeway store a few weeks ago, but that’s people I know and that won’t try the sales patter). So yes, it was strange to be on the receiving end of it, but I realised three things

1. Knowing it from both sides makes it much easier to resist spending
2. If I were to go back to GW I’d be better at the conversations (yes, from one experience of it I’d be better)
3. It’s a really pants system, I mean, it’s not, it’s ok, but it’s a basic guideline that GW focus on as the be all and end all of every interaction with every person that comes into your shop. I knew this before, and maybe it’s my experience of using it that makes me more aware of the clunky conversational steps.

I should point out that I won’t be going into detail on the 10C’s, it’s not my place to, but go into a GW, pretend you’ve never seen it before and you’ll be taken through step by step.

Anyway (daemon 3)

On the drive home the boy fell asleep and I was left to my own thoughts (not always safe) when it dawned on me we were nearly home, I’d made it without really focusing. You see driving doesn’t excite me, or even interest me, I don’t like doing it, whereas my partner quite enjoys it, or at least enjoys it more than being a passenger. Funny enough, she’s the worst passenger Iv ever had.
But recently she’s been less able to drive so Iv been the chauffeur. It’s been ok, but Iv felt almost as though Iv lost my driving sense, my confidence on the road. Today I felt better. (daemon 4).
So, we’re home, it’s school run time, and I make a sensible choice, I could walk to the car, get the buggy, put the boy in, then walk back to the house and onto the school. Ok. Or I could walk the boy through crowds, roads and chaos. Not easy, but preferable. Or I could pop him in the baby carrier and carry him. Yeah, it’s easier. I’m still not a huge fan of it, but the practicalities definitely make it easier.
Also, given that it’s something of a peculiar look- a dad essentially pregnant- it can take a lot to actually do it, and Iv not had the confidence to draw attention to myself in some time (daemon 5).

So, all in all a good day, there’s a few hours left and the girl is doing her best to drive me mental, but I’m coping.

Life, referring to my partner

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So, Iv been calling her my partner on the blog here, but it feels a little impersonal, I need something a little more specific to who she is and what she means to me.

I offered her the following options

My bit
My piece,
Woman
Gash

To a surprising level of aggression. (I expected negativity, I was just poking)

So i thought harder,

Grump
Grumpelstiltskin
Grumpy lumpy

Again, negativity, not so much aggression this time, because it’s a little more affectionate, as well as being true, but she didn’t approve,

So I thought again,

Sperm receptacle
Sausage wallet

Back to aggression on these, though she did have a nostalgic moment of the first time I called her a sperm receptacle as a joke.

I thought again

Other half,
Boss,
Mummy,

Too generic.
Back to the drawing board

Leprechaun

Most aggression so far, her being Northern Irish, not Irish

Terrorist, IRA

no no no, whack

So I asked for her suggestions

Her name- nope, I don’t want it to be that personal
Wife- yeah that’s a long way off
Lovely- you know, sometimes she is, but not personal enough.
Cripple- yes, again she is, but although it’s perfect I don’t want to be defining her by that definition

So that’s me out of ideas, she’s going to have to remain my partner for now, il revisit this when other options come up