Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I used to be hyperthyroidal in my formative years. It had both pluses and minuses. I always felt like the room was about 5 degrees warmer than it really was (nice in the winter but killer in the summer); I used to be able to eat vast quantities and yet was never over 150 pounds (which has skewed my portion sizes and diet since); and I was able to go without as much sleep (and would often read into the wee hours until I would finally pass out, or not). About twice a month, I would lose a night’s sleep by staying up reading or playing computer games until I was required to interact with a new day.
In my late teens, I was diagnosed, medicated, and ultimately treated for this by drinking radioactive iodine. The nurse puts the lead apron on you, brings out this tiny pill bottle-sized container encased in the center of a 6 inch diameter lead canister and then tells you to drink it. I did, and it seems to have worked fine. Sometimes it kills off too much of the thyroid and one becomes hypothyroidal, again requiring medication.

Sometimes I miss the not being as affected by the lack of sleep. Now, for instance. Although considering how much of a sleep debt I have accumulated these last two weeks, I am not doing too badly.

Quick status report: Helmet done and painted, all armor pieces glued. Not much time left and a lot left to do to pull everything together. A lot has been started, need to finish more.
With the Slave of Starro tournament finale tonight, I’ll have to work late again tonight to have a chance of finishing up tomorrow night. I was able to watch the Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back dvd commentaries while painting.

Friday, October 19, 2007

costume progress

I’m alternating late nights (or early mornings) while working away on the costumes. Last night I finished modifying the gloves for G. The dollar store gloves are close to the right color but way too big and long. So I trimmed and sewed the fingers and thinned the palms. The cuffs were elbow length but, rolled twice, look right.
Mom has sewn the main outfit already and it looks good on G. She’ll finish the cape and hem the skirt tonight. Dad already made boots out of leatherette that she can wear indoors. I still have to make the bat symbol for her chest, finish the mask, and do a belt.

For D3’s Boba Fett, I started making the armor plates by laminating sheets of cardboard. I’m taping then to a bucket while they dry to give them a bit of a curve. I have a lot of soft parts to work on over the next week – vest, gloves, pouches, belts, as well as the spats and extra pockets. The backpack may be out of the picture for next weekend. For this weekend, I want to finish the helmet enough to start painting, start the armor/vest, and make good headway on the gauntlets.

While working away the hours, I usually have some DVD commentary running in the background. Lately, I’ve been rewatching episodes of Firefly and finally going through the Alien Quadrilogy features. I'm going to sleep between 11pm and 2am nightly. So far, I haven't had to pull any allnighters yet. I remain optimistic.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

costume update - good shape?

The weekend was beautiful so we finally were able to pack down the pool. We barbequed up some burgers for dinner on Sunday and set up some of the basic Halloween yard decorations – the leaf pumpkins and yard spiders. I also did some touch up work on the face on our tree as it was getting a bit soft in a few spots. My can of mistint paint that I use as my base color started to rust solid so I won’t be able to touch up for too much longer without a complete repaint.
In the hands, there are small holes as if a bird had pecked into the tree limbs. These have been patched and need to be painted and covered with urethane. They’ve downgraded the forecast for this week – it was supposed to be nice all week and now they are saying rain. So I can’t really leave it for the weekend again.

G wants to go as the new cartoon Batgirl. This shouldn’t be a major problem as we found a pattern that should work with minor alterations and we picked up fabric. Mom is sewing this and dad is making some boot covers out of vinyl. We picked up some purple gloves that will need some minor sewing and some yellow plastic plates for her belt. She wants this done for Boo-at-the-Zoo so we’re in not too bad a shape for the parts I have to do. The bulk of it is out of my hands though.

D3 wants to go as Boba Fett. I’m working away at his costume. If I had more time, I would sew a proper jumpsuit, as we finally found a pattern. Instead, we picked up some pants and a shirt at Value Village that we can alter. (We will use the pattern later for an upgrade and for sewing newer Ghostbuster jumpsuits.) The helmet details are coming along nicely – I have to remember to finish up in time to paint. I am ready starting on the gauntlets and will do the backpack this weekend. He wants to go to Boo-at-the-Zoo in a different costume so I have a bit more time on his.

Friday, October 12, 2007

why I love the web

This morning I was browsing the web and checked out Steve Jackson Games’ state of the union for 2007.

While there, I found a link to a site where the cover the Lord of the Rings as if it were an AD&D campaign. It’s very clever and true.

When I got to the part where they confront Saruman after Helm’s Deep (How long of a pause? Longer than six seconds?), I was laughing too hard to breathe.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

pre Halloween

Another tourney – another loss, win, loss. I had a good pull this week (drew a Lobo!) but had 6 figures over 100 points with the remainder all 60 or 70 points – making it hard for me to throw together a team. I settled on either Lobo and Captain Boomerang or Luthor and Aztek. I ended up playing the Lex/Aztek combo. I believe part of my problem is that I don’t know the DC characters as well as the Marvel ones and so am not positive who I should be focusing on to attack.

I am working away at the kids Halloween costumes. Well, I gave the pattern for my daughter’s costume to my mom to sew. The son wants to be Boba Fett. I’m finishing the side details of the helmet and have the plans for the armor, wristbands, and backpack from . I’m going to be close for time with finishing and painting. I’m hoping we can find some pants and shirt we can use at Value Village instead of having to sew that as well.

Luckily, my evenings and weekends are mostly open now. I do have two more Slave of Starro tourneys, and we still have to finish putting away the pool and getting the yard decorated.
We’re big into decorating for Halloween. The kids are still young, so the gore factor is way down. I have to touch up the face on our tree (that’s held up very well this last year), hang out the skeletons in the tree, and set up the gravestones. Closer to the date, we put out the lights and figures. We have done a Nightmare before Christmas theme for the last few years, building on to it each year. We have the Pumpkin King scarecrow, the tree with the skeletons, gravestones (including Witch Hazel and Deadly Nightshade ones), a floating Zero, and an eight foot tall Jack Skellington. As well as the normal pumpkin and spider garbage bags.
I have a fog machine and made a fog chiller (you need to chill the fog so it hangs on the ground instead of rising up) but it wasn’t as useful without a timer – which I got last year. That’s another thing I’m looking to try out this weekend.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

slave of Starro

I'm certainly more of a Marvel fan than a DC fan. Although, when I think about it, I started reading DC first. That said, I don't chase the DC Heroclix sets as much as the Marvel Heroclix sets.
Notwithstanding, I am playing in the Slave of Starro event as well. The completest in me likes being able to get the extra slave figs. Last week I lost the first game, won the second, and lost the third. This week I won the first game, lost the second game, and won the third.
I had drawn a Superman as my pull and teamed him with Gypsy for a Stealth shield. On the upside, I finally understand how Hypersonic works - it's evil.