Saturday, June 30, 2007

knights of the air

I was able to pop into Spare Time Hobbies. They were very helpful and have been there for about 3 years. I managed to pick up a Revel SPAD XIII and Nieuport 17c, an ERTL French SPAD XIII, an Airfix SPAD VII, and a Warbirds vacuform Junkers D.1. With the paper Fokker Dr 1, Fokker DVIII, and Albatros I found on the web, we should have enough planes to start. So, I will definitely be able to try out the Canvas Eagles rules - once I build these up and assemble the stands.

I just missed out on a Tamiya 1/48 Panther G at a great price. At least now I know it is the right kit I need for a scratchbuilt Jedi Training Remote. He will see if he can get another one in for me.

Gooch's is able to get a few more of the Revel 1:72s in at a decent price. Spare Time is also checking. I'll see what I can get. I'm busy reading through a pile of WWI aviation books from the library right now.

Friday, June 29, 2007

another year older

My birthday was nice and quiet. I had the day off so I spent it driving around with my daughter looking for 1:72 WW1 models to use for Canvas Eagles.
We went to Cellar Dweller to get the summer issue of Robot and check out the models.
Then we went to a cowboy boot place to see if they had a girth belt I could use for Boba's belt - no luck there, and it caused my daughter quite some trauma that we didn't buy her cowboy boots.

From there we picked up my birthday cake at Jeannes. Mmmm - always love Jeannes cake.

We popped into the Western Canada Airport Museum. They had nothing in 1:72 scale but did have a nice set of planes by NewRay in 1:48 at $10 each. I'll keep it in mind if I can't find anything better.
Michael's had a few models but all in WW2. That was all we had time for that day.
We went to Pizza Hut for supper. Mmmm - pan pizza.

For gifts, I got some movies - Catwoman, and the January Man, some Horrorclix and Heroclix boosters, and the Connor MacLeod vs Kurgan figure set that made it to the top of my list ever since I found it while searching around on ebay. I got a Giant Amoeba and, to my surpise, one of the Origins chase figures - the Wizard Shazam! A very nice haul indeed.

Yesterday, I shopped around a bit more before work. Walmart had the NewRay planes for $5 - but they only had the WW2 ones. Toys R Us was fruitless, and Gooches had none of the WW1 planes but could order some in.

I also found out about a place that might be able to help, Spare Time Hobbies, out near Kildonan Place. Their web site makes them seem like they should be useful. I'll try and check them out tonight.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

on the floor

Pulled out the Battle Masters set this weekend and tried to teach the kids. They weren't as keen on it as I thought they would have been - it's got cool figures and a huge map. But the wife and I did manage to play the first three games of the campaign.

We watched the end of Them. It definitely holds up much better than a 50 year old science fiction film should. The pseudo-science doesn't grate as much as some newer films and the ants aren't too hokey. I enjoyed it and will be watching it again sometime with a view of making a wargame out of it. When I find time.

For those who followed Jericho, it has been brought back from the brink. It had been cancelled but is being given another half season to see what they can do with it. The "nuts" campaign seems to have worked. It was one of the ones we enjoyed and it brought back memories of Twilight 2000. It makes me want to dig out The Last Battle and see if we couldn't do a Jericho scenario. I'll add it to my list should I come across a mess of spare time.

I started some paper aircraft to see how they look in 1/72 scale. I'm getting into Canvas Eagles/Blue Max a bit. It's a WWI aircraft battle game. In some shots, they use the Battle Master maps as upsized boards - good thing I bought 4 sets back when they went on sale. Depending on the feasibility, I'll modify for Crimson Skies. This is moved near top of my list.


Friday, June 22, 2007

drop a dime

Last night the kids and I started watching Them. I had never seen it before but I think it still holds up fairly well (I'll tell you my take on the Exorcist someday). We only got to the part with the ants on the ship when we had to stop so I still have to see how it ends, but I'm still impressed with the story so far.

The pay phone rates here are went up from $0.25 to $0.50. The reporters are trying to get the people up in arms but I believe most of us knew it was coming at some point. I'm not old enough to really remember making phone calls for a dime but I do remember that, back in the early eighties, you could make a phone call, play a video game, or ride a bus (student fare) for a quarter.
The bus is now well over a $1.50 for students, most video games (if you can even find them) are $0.50 or 2-3 for $1, yet the pay phones were still a quarter. I think most people knew it was time.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

inchworm, inchworm, ...

This should have loaded back on June 20:

The cankerworm season finally seems to be over. Latin name paleacrita vernata, the spring canckerworm, loopworm, or inchworm can really hit a tree-laden city like we have. It was supposed to be one of the bad years but the rain helped keep the ickyness factor down.

I remember as a kid, having to change my route home from school for those two weeks to a route with more widely spaced trees to avoid the dangling worms. Finding one crawling on you wasn't as bad as the silken threads that you could feel but not find to remove. Even to this day, I'm willing to let the lawn go a bit rather than mow under the trees. That or bundle up and keep an eye out while mowing.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Suit Up!

The Red River Ex went well. The weather held, which is unusually as it used to always rain during the Ex. The kids both had wristbands and loved being able to go on the rides over and over again. We were there from about 1pm through to 11:30pm and the kids didn't really tire out until we got back in the car for the ride home.

The nice people at Bandai were very helpful and sent a PDF copy of the rules for the Teen Titans CCG. We will have to try it out to see if we need to pick up more boosters. Currently, I am 2 cards short of a full set – and each of the kids have one of the cards I need.

For Father's Day, I got some nice cards, a BBQ brush that screws on to a bottle, and season one of How I Met Your Mother - we started to watch this and dropped it when the others shows got busy. It is very funny, and I look forward to catching up. "Suit up!" became part of my vocabulary due to this show. Plus it has Alyson Hannigan - she's always a sweetie.


Friday, June 15, 2007


On one of the sites I hang out at, the passing of Mr Wizard came up and how with Mr Rogers gone, except for Bill Nye, there really isn't anyone to replace him for the kids.
See, I grew up in Canada. I have only vague memories of Mr Wizard and I never really watched Bill Nye. Who I do remember is Julius Sumner Miller - the professor from the Hilarious House of Frightenstein. He has also left us, but can be found on you tube and some reruns.

On a side note, even with my showing in the ice cream eating contest at work, where I finished 6 frozen dixie cups in 3 minutes, (I was on a pace for 5 minutes but they decided to shorten it after about 2 minutes) I am still down to 237 lbs. It makes me think the 247 was an aberration but we'll see how that survives the Red River Ex this weekend.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

visual proof

These pictures show what the load looked like. This is the before picture showing the old picnic table in brown and the pool supports in white. You can also see the composter on the right. It's actually quite big. The wood under the table is the old composter we used to have. It was just 4 pieces of plywood nailed together at the corners.

The after shot gives a better shot of how much we took away. Our yard actually goes as far back as the wood fence - the chain link fence separates the side with the pool from the other side of the yard. The blue roll in the upper right corner is the old pool cover. The new pool is round so it doesn't quite reach that far back.

On Friday, I finally got the box of Heroclix that I had bought back in April on ebay. Over 20 figures, bringing my Icons and Indy sets to very close.

At BJ Supertoys, they have the Teen Titans CCG boosters on sale for $0.25 each. Naturally, we have picked up quite a few of them. Between the kids and I, we have a full set. Now we just have to find a starter set to see how it actually plays.

The other exciting thing that happened on the weekend was that the tie rod in the car broke on the way home. Luckily, it held together enough until we were just backing into our driveway. Dad was able to fix it yesterday. With the fix, the rattling sound from the front end is no longer there. We were looking at getting a newer car this summer but this puts a bit more of an incentive to get it done.

Friday, June 8, 2007

To the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump

I had the day off yesterday due to working last Saturday so I was able to borrow my dad's truck and take a load to the dump - the old picnic table (came with house, now rotted), wood from the fence that we had replace last year because it was rotting, plus the rest of the siding and frames from the pool. It came to a loosely packed load, nearly filling the bed of the truck - easily worth the $4 tipping charge at the dump. I took pictures of the pile, I’ll try and add them later.
Downside was that I snagged my jacket with one of the pool supports and ripped out the front panel, dumping the pocket. I was able to stitch it up but it was a great spring jacket – light, with lots of pockets. I need a lot of pockets because I carry far too much stuff. I always have, ever since elementary.

I also swung by the local Laird plastics to get some styrene for the R2 and some foam core sheets. The prices on the plastic had increased by about +50% since I had last checked at the end of April. To make matters worse, they didn't even have the .040 I needed for the skins ($14.19 to $21). I was able to get a sheet of .060 ($20.75 to $28) and a sheet of black foam core ($15.75 to $19.25). I was going to get a white sheet but, with the increase ($10.75 to $16), the black was easily worth the now-smaller extra. I had to pick these up while I had the truck as a 4x8 sheet won't fit in the car. I can always roll the .040 when I get it later.
I'm building an astromech - probably two - an R2-D2 and a R5-D4. I've been a member of the R2 Builders group online for a few years and am almost at the point where I start the main assembly. I can also use the styrene for vacuforming for the son's Boba Fett costume for Valleycon.

In the mail on Wednesday I got a DVD from one of the other groups I belong to, the Aliens Legacy - with the USCM at DragonCon 2006. I have the helmet base, the boots, and I had won one of the MR Motion Trackers for a quiz on the RPF. I have papercraft plans for making a pulse rifle that I can start on now that I have some styrene. I'm saving up for the uniform and will see how the vacuforming goes to work on the armor.

Woot! I just won an Iona shoe polisher on ebay. This is the base for a PK Detector from Ghostbusters - which is one of the costumes I have actually finished. I do need to update the belt items and fix the backpack though.

Hmm, R2, costumes, marines, props, ghostbusters, games - is there any wonder why I am short on time?


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Tricky Times

In going through my email, I noticed two people sent me the Tricky Times update. This basically goes on about how at three minutes and four seconds after 2 AM on the 6th of May this year, the time and date will be 02:03:04 05/06/07. This will never happen again.

Being me, I had to respond with:

Well, it will happen next year at either June 7th or July 6th (depending on whether you make your dates American or Canadian) - 03:04:05 06/07/08

And each year following until either Dec 11 2013 (Canadian) or Dec 13 2014 (American)
04:05:06 07/08/09
05:06:07 08/09/10
06:07:08 09/10/11
07:08:09 10/11/12
08:09:10 11/12/13
09:10:11 12/13/14

I think someone updated it from last year when it would have been 01:02:03 04/05/06


Plus I got some more ebay goodness - a box of Heroclix pogs. I now have the Marvin and Wendy and the Sineater, 2 Legacy pogs, and the set from Armor Wars. The only LE pog I now need is still the Aunt May. It's on my list.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Garage sale goodness!

A recent trend here has been for garage sales to open on Friday and Saturday instead of Saturday and Sunday as they used to be back in the day. I was never a big garage saler, as I'm not really one to haggle. Some people, my dad in particular, loved to haggle, but I never got into it. If the price listed wasn't in my range of what I felt the item was worth, I'd leave it.

Our neighbors had a sale last weekend. I didn't check it out, but the wife went over and came back with an early Father's Day gift. They had Elasund for $10.

I hadn't heard of before either, but the person selling it had thought it was a Settlers of Catan expansion, punched it out, played it once, and was selling it. Like a lot of Eurogames, it looks beautiful, with nice thick pieces and a plastic insert that holds everything. I confirmed that it was complete and look forward to playing it.

The only bad thing is that it looks easy to upsize. In fact, on the BGG site, someone already has done so. That seems to be a problem lately, in that I see how easy it would be to upsize some games. Having gone to Gencon for several years back in the day, as well a running a local game convention, I've been exposed to a lot of upsized games and have seen the impact they can have.

The main drawback is usally the space needed to keep it after we are done. Games we have upsized and kept are:
- Car Wars - We did a race on a track made out of panels cut from refrigerator cartons laid out on six 8 foot long tables and using 1/32 scale model cars. The huge turning keys are still amusing.
- Assault on Hoth - Using the plastic model kit dioramas, we redrew the map larger. I am well on my way of upsizing this again using the SW minis game pieces - 3 AT-ATs, 2 AT-STs, and 3 snowspeeders aquired so far.
- Devil Bunny needs a Ham - This is a simple, little Cheapass game that we upsized to use people as counters. We redrew the map onto vinyl tablecloths using masking tape and made pairs of chef's hats for each team in diferent colors.
- Man o' War - JP and I upsized this by 6 - making the 1" ships become about 6" long. He finished the Bretonnian fleet he was working on but I didn't finish all the details or paint for the Dwarve fleet I was working on in time for the convention.

Space and time nonwithstanding, I'm still currently toying with upsizing Star Wars Starship Battles, Faerie Meat, Icebergs, and RoboRally. Some will likely get done before others. I'll let you know how we're doing.