Month: May 2015
so, yesterday the landlord was in fixing a minor wallpaper tear (it was a tiny one but of course the children picked at it) and of course my stupid brain incorporated it into my broken sleep
The landlords just left after patching holes in my house, which is converted from my old games workshop store, and I go upstairs to find someone has snuck in, taken the wallpaper and made two large holes in the wall. As well as this they’ve graffitied two words ‘twit’ and another I can’t recall now (equally tame). As I’m wondering how I can fix it without upsetting the landlord a group of builders turn up with chipboard and cover the wall entirely. Apparently a different landlord has fixed it as part of a regeneration of the buildings in the street. At this point I remember there are high value toys behind the walls and consider how to get to them without rebreaking the wall.
So, The End Times is done. I finished the Lord of the end times by Josh Reynolds. It’s hard to say how I feel about it as one or two rumours left it a little predictable, even before the book spent a lot of time telling us the world was ending.
The books set into three sections, as Middenheik falls, the incarnates plot and finally the plan to save the world is set into motion. However the three sections as far simpler-
Part one is a seemingly endless stream of cameo appearances as a means of covering pretty much everyone and killing them. If a models metal or finecast there’s a high probability they’re killed in part one. A few plastic models get killed too. Part two is a political battle between the remaining ‘heroes’ or ‘incarnates’ as nobody can decide what to do next, whilst beastmen hordes which have turned feral hurl themselves at the forest the forces of order are holding. Finally part three throws the remainders of the humans, dwarves, elves, orcs and undead into the wreckage of Middenheim to save the world- another chance to kill off characters before the climax.
The book was ok, the first section at first annoyed me, but the fast pace felt as though it were segments of battle as opposed to a conveyor belt of death. The politics of part two were a nice change of pace, though the beastmen assaults felt a distraction from the key plot more than anything. Finally the ‘final battle’ was ok, it was probably the weakest part of the book but in fairness ending a series is always tough. I felt the ending should have been less predictable- or at least not been heavily hinted at from the start.
A few interesting paragraphs came up
This felt like either a nod towards the approach taken in 40k- keeping the universe on the edge of ruin and maintaining that position. The idea of TheEnd Times has long been anticipated within 40k but never happened, instead happening in warhammer fantasy.
This a hint at the creation of the next works perhaps? The potential to create a whole new world is of course interesting instead of trying to shoehorn new elements to a long established timeline. The cynical side of me could read it as ‘less burdened by the previous designers and their creative properties’ but I think I’ll see it more as ‘less burdened by poorly selling lines (and armies)’
The series overall has been interesting, the killing off of so many established characters (and entire forces) is a brave step and hopefully has a long term consideration in place, whilst the entire resetting of the lore and background has the potential to upset a lot of long time fans. Having said that the fresh page approach should allow for a lot of freedom to create something brilliant.
My feeling on the series is that is was far too rushed, whilst the book contents were about right so many events were skimmed over or completely ignored (I hear more information was in the gaming books but I’m not spending £50-£70 on books I won’t use/ won’t need all of/ will be obsolete in a few months). Whilst a series that lingered on forever (Horus heresy) would stagnate I’d want a few more books to ensure everyone gets a final story. It would also have allowed for more spacing of deaths to prevent things feeling like a clear out.
So, previously I looked at last years cup final and my predictions (which weren’t a million miles away), You can read it here. this time I’m looking ahead to Saturday’s game and what we can expect to see.
Going into this game things are different, gone is the 9 year wait for a trophy, in have come some truly talented players. A decent season (despite the raft of injuries) even if we started slowly and didn’t challenge for the title. Having said that, we dropped points in the last few games which cost us second place.
We’ve also had a good run of form and beaten Man City, Liverpool and Man United, as well as not losing to Chelsea. So confidence is high- however the last few games hint at fatigue making the lineup a little unpredictable.
Last season there were few doubts about the strongest lineup, and largely it’s the same again, however things have changed in recent games. It’s also a worry that for the second season running our goalkeeper situation is uncertain.
Here’s how I’d expect/hope to lineup
Bellerin Koscielny Mertesacker Monreal
Ramsey Ozil Alexis
In goal Ospina gets the nod based on game time, he’s been solid since taking over from Szcesny in January though has had a few wobbles recently. I prefer the Pole but his lack of game time isn’t going to be helpful.
Defensively things largely pick themselves at the minute, an injury to Debuchy opened the way for Bellerin who hasn’t really looked back aside from a few early issues, so he’ll start. In the Middle Mertesacker and Koscielny are the top two centre backs at the club, despite some solid performances so far from Gabriel. left back is the only area of doubt, Monreal has been far better than Gibbs this season so should start, though Gibbs’ attacking threat may be more desirable.
In midfield things are also fairly decided- probably not what pre season predictions would have been. Coquelin has been another player given his chance by injuries to first team players, he hasn’t put a foot wrong that I can recall, feeling like a huge upgrade on Flamini. Alongside him Cazorla has been impressive from a deeper position and his form seems unlikely to see him replaced. Ahead of them sees Ozil, who’s form has been good this year, Alexis who has an ability to turn a game, though has looked jaded recently, and Ramsey who’s doing well enough out of position that he can’t be dropped.
Upfront is an uncertainty, Giroud has improved again this season and would have been a certain starter, however five games without a goal and Walcott getting a hat trick in the last game casts a little doubt over the position. Does Wenger want Girouds ability to bring others into play or Walcotts speed? I’d opt for Giroud for his experience and overall form over the inconsistent Walcott.
Jack Wilshire is another player who could come in having impressed in his previous game, but once again a season of injuries has held him back. I said last year this could be a breakthrough year of his ankle could stay strong, yet he’s now not even necessarily first choice off the bench, let alone in the starting XI.
On the subs bench I’d expect to see
Sczeszny, unless he starts
Gabriel, a potential sub if we need fresh legs in defence
Gibbs, not likely to get on.
Wilshire, another potential sub if the more direct option is needed
Walcott, the alternate to Giroud if Aston Villa play high
Rosicky or Oxlade Chamberlain, dependent on the fitness of the latter.
Outside chances go to Chambers (who had a decent start but tailed off) and Flamini (who’s likely to be gone in the Summer as his forms dipped), as well as Debuchy and Arteta dependent on fitness.
The match itself is really hard to call, Aston Villa seem an Arsenal lite- potential for defensive nightmares but plenty in attack, so the worry is a repeat of last seasons start, however equally likely could be a few arsenal goals. Either way I’d anticipate a high scoring game, hopefully this time with less stress and drama.
A 4-2 score could be worth a bet
So, Mays infinity crate just arrived cancelling my planned trip to the post office as I had to tear it open right away. This months theme was Loss, so I expect batman to figure prominently. The box is again a bit small, but as you can see well packed again
This months pop vinyl, Ygritte from Game of Thrones. I hadn’t considered Game of Thrones as a Loss theme, but it makes so much sense, especially in Ygrittes case. The box is a little battered which is unfortunate.
Tattoo sheet, I’m not going to use them but there’s a decent mix there and my daughters already eyeing them up.
A batman wristband, another she’s got an eye on
A cool Mario poster, and Eleanor trying to poke her nose into the rest of the box
A walking dead
window sticker apparently a car vinyl, not for me but I’m sure it would appeal to some.
A hobbit badge, it can join my upcoming project.
As usual the highlight of the box is the Tshirt, this one being particularly cool.
All in all, a decent box, better by far than the MyGeekBox offerings so I’m happy enough
so, last year I took a brief moment out of focusing on my life and my hobby to take a look at the upcoming FA Cup final between arsenal a Hull City, which you can read here.
As you’ll see, I anticipated a lineup of
Sagna mertesacker koscielny Gibbs
I was wrong on a couple of counts, firstly in goal. At the time there had been uncertainty about the starter due to Fabianskis performances previously but as he was leaving it seemed odd to potentially disrupt the confidence of Sczeszny- but Wenger opted for Fabianski anyway.
I also expected to see Flamini in to help with the anticipated ‘roughing up’ from Hull (this isn’t to detract from the,, I merely felt as the underdogs they’d be organised and try to disrupt our play). Wenger opted for Podolski instead, which I found odd given his indifferent form over the season.
The match itself did not go to plan, as Hull hit hard and fast (almost like the arsenal of old) and were 2-0 up very quickly, leaving arsenal on the ropes- I’m almost certain there was call for a third too. Arsenal then recovered- or rather started the match- and came up against the anticipated stubborn defence of Hull, only a fantastic Cazorla free kick giving us hope at 1-2 at half time.
As play resumed arsenal had clearly had a bollocking from Wenger and kept the pressure on Hull, however as penalty appeals were denied and chances missed it felt as though it was too little too late, until Yaya Sanogo (On for the anonymous Podolski) hooked the ball out and the referee
mistakenly ruled for a corner. Up rose Koscielny and thumped the ball into the net. Typically, with Hull seemingly some we missed chances to end the game and we reached time at 2-2
After a short break it was down to extra time, and as an arsenal fan this worried me, we have this terrible habit of pushing and pushing before being caught by a single goal, and with tired legs and time short this seemed a distinct possibility.
As time dragged on and Giroud and Ramsey missed chances Wenger went for the more direct approach, taking of Ozil and Cazorla for Rosicky and Wilshire. Finally a break through was made as Ramsey got his goal and put us ahead midway through the second half of extra time, meaning we just had to hold on for a bit longer. Typically it wasn’t without drama as Mertesacker (solid most of the game) slipped and we suffered flashback of Birmingham in the League cup final, making matters worse Fabianski came flying out of the box leaving the goal open for the hull player- in a stroke of luck he hit it wide, his legs probably gone.
The final chance of the game again went to Hull as Fabianski redeemed himself for charging out by saving the shot in the last moment of the game. Arsenal had won- not on the style of have liked but still a win is a win.
Another strang r,one that occurred as ‘club captain’ Thomas Vermaelen lifted the trophy despite spending the season warming the bench, whilst it was a nice touch it wasn’t necessary.
Within days Vermaelen, Sagna and Fabianski were gone.
In the next post I’ll look ahead to this years final Arsenal vs Aston Villa
So, just in time for my writers block Iv been involved in an incident whereby Myles’ thumbnail gouged a chunk out of my cornea leaving me unable to see out of my right eye and in near constant pain.
For this reason (and that it hurts to stare at the screen) posts may be minimal for a while in the hope of regaining vision
so, I just had a short nap that felt far longer and this occurred
I was putting the children to bed in my grandfathers house and after doing so led down for a short one myself .
Upon waking (in dream) I found the boy at the top of steep stairs and the girl having some kind of fit and sweating a white powder.
Following this I entered the kitchen to find a variety of women I’ve known- some important some not, some related some I’ve barely met- preparing a meal.
Having now woken up it occurs to me I have indeed just put the children to bed and had a short doze, I should check them
The children are fine and there isn’t a harem of women in the kitchen either, mores the pity
So, there hasn’t been a dream post for a while- Iv been dreaming but not remembering them beyond vague memories on waking. I also haven’t been sleeping well so probably less dreaming anyway
I’m running around my old university campus with Myles in my backpack to get him to an important hospital appointment but everyone I ask for directions gives me a different direction. After getting stuck in a locker room and bumping into polar bears and penguins I finally give up as its half an hour after my appointment.
I reach reception to let them know I won’t be making it and bump into two French people I lived with in my final year (they were awful). I take off my bag to show off the boy only to find he’s gone. Running outside I see him excitedly sprinting towards a bus. He trips and the bus goes over him, completely missing him.
As it passes I lift the boy and worry about Rox finding out.
So, I misbehaved a little. The plan was to reassess my x wing collection (it’s a little excessive) before adding anything new, especially the new Scum and Villainy faction, but I may have accidentally added a new box to my collection. The Scum and Villainy Most Wanted box.
This is a whole new faction for the game, adding the smugglers, bounty hunters and other miscreants that don’t fall on any side of the galactic civil war between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance- unless the price is right of course.
Pulling them out of the box (which was unnecessarily huge by the way) I was impressed at the paint schemes. Recently Iv felt the schemes to be basic at best but these really impressed me, specifically the YWing
These of course are ships we’ve seen before (I genuinely am not going to be adding any more until Iv cut down a little) but it seemed a good place to start as it also provides new cards for current ships
At the top you’ve got a dial for each ship (as you’d expect), plus another YWing dial, a firespray dial and a HWK dial, meaning I can fly a scum and villainy faction right away without just piling points into the three ships in the box. And it’s not just token addition, there’s loads of options
Look at all those pilots; six Z95 cards, four Firespray cards, six YWing cards and four HWK cards which actually means I could probably jump straight into epic play with the models I already have.
But that’s not all of course as upgrade cards are in here too
Some of these are unique to the Scum faction but mostly they add new additions to the existing forces, the Andrasta title for the firespray for example adding bomb space and the Bomb load out on the YWing. I don’t use bombs a great deal as they tend to be disappointing, but this expansion definitely seems to want them to become more prevalent so I may give it a go.
Overall a fantastic expansion, three nicely painted models and a whole host of options for them, plus the cards and dials to ‘retrofit’ current models into the new faction. My only complaint is that the box had no scenario, which is always a nice addition to the expansions and promotes use of the new bits and pieces
so, it’s happening again; Iv got writers block, the blog posts I have planned haven’t changed in a few weeks (maybe months) as most of them are personal posts that I just haven’t got to yet. I’m beginning to doubt some of them will ever get written.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, perhaps if I haven’t got the motivation/ inclination/ ability to write them then the reason for planning to write them isn’t there anymore- hopefully for a good reason. The issue is of course what if the reason I haven’t/ can’t/ won’t write these posts is that the underlying reason for planning the post has moved beyond my conscious thought to a deeper more damaging level. Perhaps I’m becoming neurotic.
My personalities definitely changed, I’m less relaxed and calm on a day to day basis, I get frustrated more easily and my brain seems to fog over at time when previously it would have done its weird thing and kept me functioning. Of course tiredness comes into this- I haven’t had a decent nights sleep in years (part and parcel of being a parent). Early wake ups are a regular occurrence and daytime naps are a long forgotten student luxury. I could go to bed early yet my brain won’t allow it; Rox goes to bed between 9-10:30 on a normal day (abnormal days far earlier, game of thrones days later) and it should be easy to go with her and drop off, yet by that point Iv spent so much time watching kids TV or playing with toys that I need some time to myself to reestablish some balance. This means 11, 12, 1 o’clock I’m into bed knowing full well by six I’ll be up again. And that’s assuming no nighttime wake ups from the kids- and occasionally Rox.
My patience, calm, logical behaviour has been completely distorted by having children around, there is no patient time, no calm time, no logical action beyond a child’s warped logic. It’s become apparent that my brain is not compatible with having children, all of the required planning whilst allowing for complete spontaneity and chaos is a complete shift away from anything I have ever done. Even now I know I’m trying to create a suitable analogy yet I just can’t find one, my time in various retail jobs should be an easy point of reference but the spontaneity is accounted for, the chaos doesn’t happen beyond anticipated ‘busy periods.’ It just doesn’t fit. What makes it harder is the shifts- there are no warning signs for an increase/ decrease in activity- it just happens.
At this point I have nothing else to write. That writers block kicking in midway through a thought process. Funnily enough this is another issue Iv been having- attention span. Iv started and not finished books, blog posts, painting projects. I’ll be sat watching TV and feeling agitated and with a need to move. I leave the room and look in the fridge ‘just in case’ some exciting new food has materialised.
Yep, maybe you see the problem.
So let me know- what do YOU want me to write about? Comment with a topic and we’ll see if we can kickstart my writing.