Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jack of Cakes?

My wife had ordered a Madagascar birthday cake for G at Safeway for her party. When we went to pick it up the baker told us that there hadn’t been any notes on the order so she made a standard cake. I said I was sure that the wife said that she had ordered a Madagascar cake but she showed me the order sheet. I said that should be okay but asked if we could get the figures anyways. When she checked for them she found the other order sheet with the order for the character cake.

I thought we could make the best of it but the baker felt bad. She caught up with us at the checkout and changed the pricing – only charging us for a quarter slab instead of the half slab. I told her that she didn’t have to but then noticed that my daughter’s eyes were starting to well up.

In the car she started to wail. She proceeded to wail while we dropped D3 off at my folks and continued when we got home. Since Shan had ordered it over the phone, G was upset “that I didn’t even get to see it.”

I did a quick check on the internet showed us what the cake was supposed to look like. That seemed to calm her down a bit. We went back to the kitchen and I proceeded to take off the icing flowers. I moved some of the icing leaves together to make bushes and G put on the sprinkles - blue for the water, yellow for the beach, and green for the jungle. The fact that the stripes were going the wrong way gave her a bit of concern but I explained that it worked better this way with the lettering. She put on the trees and animals and it was all fine again.

At the pool party, none of the kids noticed anything odd about the cake. Even thought G cut large, 3” x 3” pieces, all were eaten and most of the cake went. After the party we went to get her an ice-cream cake for the family party. I asked where the figures were.

Shan thought we had them but it looked like she had thrown them out with the dirty plates. I checked with G to see if she wanted to keep them so we went back to the pool.
They were closed but I was able to get in and they let me in the back. They hadn’t cleared away the trash from the party area yet so I was able to find the figures mixed in with a bag of plates.

Friday, January 22, 2010


We’ve mostly finished assembling the Rhino/Razorback as well as the Drop Pod. The Dreadnought is ready to paint as are the Ork Nobs, Stormboyz, and Defkopters. It’s just a matter of being able to prime them.

As well, I’m looking to paint some of the cowboy figures for an upsized Rules With No Name. Hopefully, I can paint them without having to prime them but we’ll see soon enough.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


The kids got a bird feeder this summer and had been feeding the birds (and squirrels) until fall. The bag of seed for the feeder had been kept in the shed. My daughter later tells me that she had ripped the bag with her kick stand of her bike. When the wife put some of the new summer items from Christmas in the shed she found two frozen mice. So now it’s my problem to solve.

I swept out the seeds in front and added warfarin to the list of things to get at Walmart. When I got some I checked out the shed again. The seeds had been spread across the entire floor. I pulled out lawn mower and bikes and swept out the seeds from the back corners as well. I put some warfarin in the corners and was sweeping in between some racks when this foot-long brown creature goes shooting out the door.

To my credit, I did not shriek like a girl. Shan was watching from the house and can verify. But I did have get out of the shed for a moment to work through a shiver. I had been watching for small grey shapes scurrying around when sweeping but the squirrel that had made its home in our shed was a bit of a surprise to say the least.

Monday, January 18, 2010

in Hot Water?

I was woken by my wife on Saturday morning with the news that we had water in our basement. It didn’t seem to be the sewer or even melting snow. It turns out it was the water heater leaking. Luckily we still had hot water to shower but we had to get a guy out to check it.

Short version – we have a new water heater and another $1000 added to our renovation bills. We had been thinking about replacing it when we added a second bathroom but would have hoped it would have lasted until then.

On the up side, in moving the whole shelf of boxes out of the way so they could access the heater and then moving all the boxes back, I was able to gain a little more space on the shelf. This helped to absorb some of the new games from Christmas.
The down side is that that $1000 hit will have a major impact on my game fund as well as our costume plans for this year.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Life savers / Certs

Remember when we were younger? The impulse candy at the checkout was much different than it is now. We used to have the whole product line of Certs and Life Savers available as well as the Tic Tacs.
Nowadays, if you are feeling nostalgic, you may have a hard time trying to get your flavor. For me, Mixed Fruit was my Certs flavor. For Life Savers, a Butterscotch was occasionally nice but I always liked the Five-Flavor rolls (cherry, lemon, lime, orange, and pineapple). In Canada, we still have this line-up although it seems that it was changed in the states. I fondly remember the three flavor rolls that we used to get at Halloween – with the stop light colors (cherry, lemon, and lime).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Heroclix overview

Instead of focusing on Heroclix last year, I worked away at a few other systems – Starship Troopers, Monsterapocalypse, and Horrorclix. So I didn’t get as much filled in as I had hoped. Plus, one of my best sellers on ebay became flakey about halfway through the year. Still, I did meet some of last year’s goals.

I only managed to finish off one set – finally getting the Magog I needed to complete Unleashed. I’m still close on Ultimates (6+7), Mutant Mayhem (3+9), Legacy (6+11), Fantastic Forces (0+3), Armor Wars (11+1), Collateral Damage (8+1), Supernova (10+0), Avengers (0/3), Justice League (0/7), Mutations & Monsters (1/6), Crisis (0/12), Secret Invasion (2/7) and Arkham Asylum (0/8). I’m still working away at Sinister (21+3) and Origin (23+0). A new set finally came out in November and I picked up a brick and have a good amount of Hammer of Thor (11+8). Right now, I need 188 figures – 102 REVs and 86 U/SRs.
I didn’t manage to pick up any more big figures, but did get Thor’s Mighty Chariot when it came out last September. They are planning to release 3 more sets this year. I hope to keep up with the sets, ending the year still under 200 figures and keeping the Uniques/Super Rares under 100 figures. I’m still hoping to get the Spectre, one of the Fooms and maybe a Phoenix.

On Horrorclix, I greatly exceeded my goals. I completed the base set and Freakshow
(I just need one card). I only need 1 figure from The Lab and 3 figures from Nightmares plus 1 LE. I’m hoping to either be down to the 1 SR from Nightmares that I need or even finish the entire set.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Books Read 2009 - Sept to Dec

Challenges for Game Designers by Brenda Brathwaite and Ian Schreiber
Playing for Keeps by Mur Lafferty
The Howling III by Gary Brandner
Anatomy for Fantasy Artists by Glenn Fabry
How to Succeed in Anything by Really Trying by Lyman MacInnis

Bad Bosses, Crazy Coworkers & Other Office Idiots by Vicky Oliver
The Big Idea: How to make your Entrepreneurial dreams come true, from the AHA moment to your first million by Donny Deutsch with Catherine Whitney
Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded by Simon Winchester
Maps and Legends by Michael Chabon
The Survival Handbook by DK Publishing
Watching the Watchmen by Dave Gibbons, Chip Kidd, and Mike Essl
Inkspell by Cornelia Funke
Web Marketing for Small Businesses: 7 Steps to Explosive Business Growth by Stephanie Diamond

The Game Makers: The Story of Parker Brothers from Tiddledy Winks to Trivial Pursuit by Philip E Orbanes
Action Anatomy for Gamers, Animators, and Digital Artists by Takashi Iijima
Why we Suck: a feel good guide to staying fat, loud, lazy and stupid by Denis Leary
Math Doesn’t Suck: how to survive middle school math without losing your mind or breaking a nail by Danica McKellar
Design Your Life: The Pleasures and Perils of Everyday Things by Ellen and Julia Lupton
The Original Duct Tape Halloween Book by Jim and Tim, the Duct Tape Guys

Thirty-Nine Years of Short-Term Memory Loss: The Early Days of SNL from Someone Who Was There by Tom Davis
The City Dog: The essential guide for city dwellers and their dogs by Sarah Whitehead
180 Tips and Tricks for New Teachers by Melissa Kelly
Forbidden Lego: Build the models your parents warned you against by Ulrik Pilegaard and Mike Dooley
Drawing Cutting Edge Anatomy: The Ultimate Reference Guide for Comic Book Artists by Christopher Hart
Cartooning – Create your own world of cartoons, caricatures, comics strips and magna by John Byrne
Was Superman a Spy? And other comic book legends revealed! by Brian Cronin
Drawing Vampires: Gothic Creatures of the Night by Chris Hart
Drawing Cutting Edge Comics by Christopher Hart
Kiss My Math – Showing pre-algebra who’s boss by Danica McKeller

Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 Figure painting total

In October I picked up:
5 Ork Stormboyz
Klingon D-7 model
Oct figures bought – 7, figures painted – 0

Nothing happened in November but in Dec I got:
2 Ork Defkopters
5 Ork Nobs
Marine Commander
10 Goblin spider riders
Warhammer boxed set - 119 figures
40K boxed set - 46 figures
Arachnids – 3 Hoppers, 3 Blaster/Blister bugs
Dec figures bought – 190, figures painted – 0

I wasn't doing too bad until December. I never did get around to painting anything at all this year. Since Christmas though, I have partially assembled the Droppod and defkopters, and cleaned a bunch of the figures. I am very hopefull that I will be able to paint something soon and with this batch added to my pile, I should have a better showing in 2010.

For the end of the year, my total is 331 figures purchased, 0 figures painted. It seems a bit disappointing until you think about all those figures acquired.