Month: December 2014

2014 in review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 33 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Hobby projects, my first kickstarter adventure militia miniatures

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so, after missing a whole host of kickstarters for games I’m interested Iv begun to follow it more closely and came across the following models that interested me.

made by Militia Miniatures they were already funded before I jumped on board and had some interesting enough poses that I was willing to invest in them

the kickstarter went smoothly, with the models arriving well within the predicted time (something of a rarity I gather) and the models were these

imageConnor, a well armoured and seemingly well equipped trooper judgingby the webbing

imageCharlie, a female soldier who isn’t your stereotypical female miniature (huge breasted and scantily clad) but judging by the casual pose and combat gear she kicks ass

imageRodriguez, I can’t help but think ‘machete’ every time I look at this model, I assume it’s a deliberate design choice

imageGhost, a camoed sniper. I’m assuming ghost is a nickname due to his ability to slip unseen through the environment in search of his perfect shot.

imageMason, another well armoured trooper. This guys definitely getting a red beret.

imageBennett, with his backwards facing baseball cap he’s either a cocky american or a civilian turned fighter, I’m going with the latter when I get them painted

imageGranger, my pick for field commander of the squad, there’s something about the authoritative pose that suggests your standard authority bucking stereotype

imageStrike, I’m torn on this guy, I initially thought of him as a communications expert, but now I’m thinking that he’s a ‘howling mad’ ace pilot, temporarily seperated from his wings, and his sanity

imageAnderson, definitely going to be an out for himself character, with just the slightest sliver of a conscience.

imageBy far my favourite of the models, Goldman, I can’t decide whether to think of him as a wealthy employer or an intelligent leader with something to hide. The other option is another civilian, with a briefcase of some value who’ll do anything to protect it.

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A couple of extra bits were included in the pledge (I can’t remember if they were stretch goals or just additional but still a nice addition). The sandbags are always going to be useful and the other equipment bits  will have uses elsewhere.

overall the quality ork he casts is excellent, with minimal flash and mould lines. There are a few pits on larger flat ares, but nothing liquid green stuff won’t fix in a few minutes. A little pittings to be expected with the process anyway and it’s far less than Iv seen on many other models. It can also work to scruff up the painting of my weary band

The packaging is also nice, simple and clear with a full view of the models inside.

Iv no no idea what I’m going to do with the models once they’re painted- which I had planned to get done before Christmas snuck up on me- but I olay plenty of skirmish games that they’ll find a place in.

When end I do finally get some paint on them a follow up post will be available.

books, malus Darkblade warpsword by Dan abnett and Mike lee

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so, book four of the series and the fourth relic is being hunted for, this time in the city of executioners.

again it was a good story if a little repetitive in terms of it’s plot, Malus has been in the open for a few months, gets where he needs to be, lies and kills to get information, finds what he needs, is shocked, gets grievously hurt, heals, fights beyond pain, gets hurt, changes plan, uses the daemons power, kills some more, gets his relic.

still, there was a little more going on in this one, with the politics of the dark eldar again playing a part as the executioners fight amongst themselves for their own purposes whilst also against Malus’ brother Urial.

there was a point towards the end of the book in which Malus acknowledges that time is short, so I suspect the final book will lead to him finding the relic fairly early at which point he’ll be betrayed by the daemon T’zarkan and spend the rest of the time dealing with that whilst suffering a massive mortal injury that will eventually go away

my geek box December

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so, my December geek box arrived. I wasn’t allowed to open it until Christmas, it being a Christmas present after all.

the theme was ‘geekmas’ so I was expecting geeky Christmas themed stuff and here it is.

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So so as with last month it’s nicely crammed with goodies.

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This months t shirt, a nightmare before Christmas themed one. It’s not as cool as last months red dwarf themed shirt but that’s a personal taste.

 

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A talking Christmas yoda, it makes a vaguely yoda like noise.

 

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Last Christmas my partner got me a lightsaber bottle opener that has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth, this pacman one is hopefully not going to disappear.

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I have lots of stress, what better way to ease it than to crush Optimus prime

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A christmas decoration filled with sweets and a funny picture of the Star Wars cast singing their Christmas songs- flashbacks of the Star Wars holiday special can’t be avoided.

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The girls been nagging me about teaching her to juggle, I feel Death Star juggling balls could be the perfect way of doing it.

 

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And some nice chocolates to finish off.

 

 

to be honest I preferred novembers box, and it felt better value, but a lot of that is down to personal tastes between the boxes. The kids however loved both equally, having now added a talking yoda to the talking dalek of last month.

 

Books, Lord Loss by Darren Shan

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So, I just finished a “young adult” book that’s been sat in my pile for ages and really enjoyed it.
A young boys family are murdered by a daemonic creature (Lord loss) and he goes insane. He then moves in with his uncle who teaches him about the daemons and how to fight them.

It’s nothing groundbreaking of course, and follows a fairly generic plotline, but still it was a good read.
Iv had another book in my pile for months too- Mister Monday by Garth Nix, which I picked up after recognising the cover from when I was younger. It wasn’t the book I thought it was, but it was one I knew, but despite the young adult level Iv struggled with it. Persevered to about halfway before getting bored and putting it down.

The difference between the books (and in many fantasy writings I suppose) is the creation of a new world, whilst not overdoing it and making it too complex to fit into the writing.
Lord loss stuck with the real world with flashes of the daemonic world, whereas mister Monday merged the real world with the other world before dropping the reader into the alternate world with no real establishment of how things worked.

I’ll be moving onto a more adult book next

Life, a rambling post on family

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So, it’s strange; Iv not written any posts about my father. It’s a fairly complex situation. Well actually no it isn’t- he cheated on my mum and they divorced- a fairly standard scenario. The complexity comes from the resultant effect on my family.
Now, Iv not written about him for the simple reason that I don’t care, my ‘family love’ for him ended long enough ago that shutting him out of my life was a (perhaps psychopathically/sociopathically) simple process. The issue is that I always feel as though I give the impression it bothers me, this is compounded by the denial- by declaring I don’t care I am essentially confessing that I do.

So now I’m going to attempt to work through it.

In fact, no I’m not. I don’t know where I planned to go with this post, I seem to have lost my train of thought.
The fact is I do of course have ‘daddy issues.’ Of course I do, Iv already admitted I didn’t like him. From a young age there was an issue between us- maybe he didn’t like me, or he was jealous of something (a theory put forward by a few significant family members) or I was a reminder of his wasted young life. It’s not important, essentially there was an issue. I can’t explain it and regardless it’s too late. Iv had that ‘father figure’ gap for long enough that Iv adapted/grown/suffered/coped and now I have what I have and am what I am and it all becomes rather trivial.
So he cheated, yes he’s an arsehole, but the real arse was my sister. I should give her one allowance- she was a daddies girl so it obviously had an impact on her at the time. At a time when I was away at university someone needed to be there for my mum and she moved away. Three hours away, whilst he was still in the same house. For that alone there is no forgiveness coming from me. She gets worse- I won’t bore anyone with the details but she’s actually a complete dickhead.
This post is going to become even more of a loose ramble of thoughts now as I reflect on her recent comments. In recent times I have been accused by her of being many things, such as;
Selfish
Arrogant
Ignorant
A benefit scrounger
A failure
A waster

All fantastically accurate adjectives to describe me if you apply a tabloids lack of context thinking to them.

selfish yes I am, absolutely in that I don’t care about her. In that case I come first, in reality I can think of at least three people who are more important than me
arrogant again, yes. And actually I will concede that I can come across as having an air of arrogance about me. The truth is I don’t think I’m better than anyone, however I do allow my self esteem to pick faults in people until they are worse than me.
ignorant not too sure she grasps the meaning of the word. I make it a point not to criticise or mock anything I don’t have an awareness/education on, otherwise I’m open to being called on it by someone more intelligent than me.
a benefit scrounger I get £61.35 a week for full time (and the rest) work, it’s far from scrounging. In fact my hourly rate works out at £0.37. Scrounging is what I should be doing.
a failure dependent on context and point of view she could be right, from hers it’s in a working environment so she’s absolutely correct. I’d say having a fantastic family counterbalances that fairly successfully.
a waster of opportunities she implies. Yes I have a degree I’m not using. Yes I have management experience I’m not using. Yes I’m very good at working. But I now work harder than I did in any job Iv ever had. In reality I waster more time when I was studying and working than I have the chance to now,

Honestly I don’t know where im going with this post so I’ll cut it short (although it’s already fairly long).
There are subjects her I’ll come back to, I’m smart enough to understand there are clearly some issues I have to deal with from my past.

Books, Gods of Mars by Graham McNeill

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So, book three of Graham McNeill’s Mechanicum series Gods of Mars. A year ago I finished the second book. To summarise, book one saw a group of outcasts on a mechanical miracle ship heading to the edge of the Galaxy, book two saw them leave the Galaxy and seek the ships creator.

(SPOILERS AHEAD)

At the end of book two they found the creator and he was somehow still alive.

Book three begins at the end of book two with the story moving forward as Telok takes the mechanicum and friends deep into the planet and reveals he’s insane.
What follows is a lot of battles within electricity, ice monsters, a running imperial guard war, loads of tanks, space marines, eldar and more ice monsters smashing each other to bits.

The book was enjoyable, as has been the series on the whole. It’s been interesting to read about the mechanicum as a progressive force, not just as an overseer of technological decline.
It was also nice that Graham McNeill added in previous characters of his or made reference to events that tied his stories within the universe together. The only issue I had was in the forced alliance between eldar and black Templars, whilst I felt the tension and clear antipathy for each other, the black Templars were probably a poor choice, given their hatred for psykers and aliens, not to mention psyker aliens, but it evolved well and grudging respect was well placed amongst lingering mistrust and hatred.

My first ‘famous person’ tweet came from Graham McNeill himself as he confirmed (ahead of my reading this book) that an idea had spawned during his writing for potentially more of the story. Clearly this would be some way out but I’d definitely pick up future elements of this series- even if I can’t see exactly where he’d go with it,