Thursday, November 27, 2008

NaNoWriMo - No

So, with not getting the laptop, I didn’t get in to the NaNoWriMo this year.
I suppose I could have tried to do it longhand but that seemed like quite a bit of a hassle. I was hoping to get a good chunk started while on holidays but that ended up not happening.

Hopefully a new computer will be in the cards for the new year.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Meat Head - ingredients

From the Monster list of Halloween projects – there used to be a link (which has since faded) that explained how to make this. We have done it a few times now, mostly for G/L Halloween parties.
This is what you need to get together:

-You will need a skull (or equivalent) – I use an old plastic model skull I have from decades ago. I would have bought more but cannot find any anywhere. Be sure that this is well washed and okay to put food on – you can always cover in saran wrap to be sure.

-Sliced meat – thin slices work best. I’ve use both packaged as well as regular deli meats. Ham, chicken, turkey, and roast or corned beef all work fine – depending on the look you are going for. Depending on how thickly sliced the meat is and how thick you put it on, plus the size of your skull, you will discover how much you will need. Get extra just in case – you can always use what is left for lunches.

-Red fruit roll-ups (cherry or strawberry). The original instructions said to use red jello made with half the water to make it more rubbery. This has the added advantage of slowly liquefying and leaking red. We tried this the first year and found it very unwieldy to use. We had an epiphany the next year and used fruit roll-ups. They are much easier to handle and work with. It also gives a bit of tack to help hold the first layer of meat. (One thing – with jello or roll-ups, this will flavor the layer of meat directly touching it.)

-Something for the eyes. We have previously used the yolks from hard boiled eggs and cut a wafer-thin slice of a carrot for the iris. This year we tried olives pushed into tiny peppers to hold them in the eye sockets.

-A tray on which to create it. This makes it much easier to move to the fridge and bring out when needed.

-Leaf lettuce is a nice garnish for the bottom of the tray but it is optional.

-This year we also sprinkled the finished head with a small amount of rice (to simulate maggots). This again is optional, but a nice touch for those who have seen the meat-head a few times.

-This year we also added ice packs inside the skull, since it came apart.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Corporate tool

For the G/L Halloween party I was able to pull together my Captain Hammer costume. Shan was originally going to go as Dr Horrible but we were unable to find a good lab coat. We’ve since picked up a pattern that we should be able to modify. Instead she went as Penny.

G/L as Freddy and victim.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Our polar bear died

Per the CBC news, Debby, the Polar bear at the Winnipeg Zoo was put down.
cbc link
She had been the oldest living polar bear. She had born in the Russian Arctic in 1966 and came to the zoo a year later. Per the article, 'at the age of 41, Debby entered the Guinness Book of World records as the oldest living polar bear. At 42 years of age, she was within the top three longevity record-holders for all eight species of bears, the zoo said.'

Due the enclosure no longer fitting the provincial standards, it may be a while before we get another one. Not that one could really replace her. These pictures were taken this October - she was still pretty active.

She's been at the zoo for over 40 years - longer than I've been alive. She's always been there. Since losing the wolves, which happened when I was quite young, this is going to be one of the biggest missed ones for me.

Monday, November 17, 2008

clean up

So Shan pushed a bit of a clean-up in preparation for the holidays. She usually does this a couple times a year and it’s always hard for me. Maybe it’s because of all the moving I did as a child, but I’m quite attached to my stuff. I have got several boxes in my room that have had their contents in them for well over a decade. Granted, a lot of these are games or figures that I simply don’t have room to play right now.

Being a gamer doesn’t help. I’ve had to purge many boxes of plastic bottles and Styrofoam bits that would be perfect for scenery, modeling, or costuming but that I won’t have room to use for a few years yet. I’ve got well over 6 boxes of figures, rules, and scenery for Warhammer and 40K alone. Plus with my proclivity to upsize, this just makes for more space needed.

I’m hoping the upgrades on the house will help. Depending on how much we have to downgrade our big plans, I may have to make some hard cuts sooner than later. Ideally, I’ll have enough space to do some serious projects and will be able to make use of many of the boxes. The rest, I should be able to sift into something much more usable.

All that said, after four trips to drop off stuff at Value Village, the basement does look very nice – for now.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mission Statements

It always struck me as overly pretentious when companies come up with a big buzz-wordy mission statement.
“We are going to capitalize on the market paradigm with the green shift through out-of-the-box thinking and leveraged processes.”

Why don’t they just say “We want to make as much money as we can, for as long as we can – legally.”

Just saying is all

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wizkids no more?

According to their website, Topps, the parent owners of Wizkids, is closing Wizkids.
It sounds like they will be trying to find a home for Heroclix and one other property (Star Wars or Pirates?) and the others may just drop off.

We'll have to see what kind of an effect this has on my finishing sets. So far, I had been making good progress.

This does leave Horrorclix, MechWarrior, and the others in a bit of a lurch though - similar to Crimson Skies.

We'll have to see where things end up.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Valleycon - postdate

So, back from holidays. I had last week off up to Tuesday of this week. I was able to finish the costumes for Halloween and they wore them at Valleycon. Another shared win for them both in the children's catagory.
I ended up wearing my Captain Hammer Saturday night but not going into the costume contest - it seems I left the boots back in the city and they already had a Horrible/Penny/Capt Hammer group (both guys had goatees though).

We got a picture from Tracy Scoggins - she seemed very nice to talk to - quite the sci-fi keener.

I did get a few games - finally got some Monsterpocalpse, the Serenity RPG, and Starship Troopers miniture rules.

Downside - it seems that I have lost my digital camera. I've had no luck tracking it down and can't even narrow down when it was lost. Major drat - I was really enjoying taking progress pics of the projects.
The one upside - I had transfered the pictures on the card to disc last week so only really lost the Halloween decoration pictures and the Valleycon pictures. Still annoying though.

(no picts to follow)