Friday, February 26, 2010

Cultural Shirt - phone

I grew up in the seventies and eighties. Even then there had been a large cultural shift in technology. Since then there has been another shift.

Everybody had a phone – at home. There were payphones around that cost a quarter and you could use if you were out and about. If you were away from home people either got no answer when they called or a few people had an answering machine. If you were home and the phone rang, you couldn’t find out who was calling unless you actually answered the phone. A mobile phone meant that you had a phone in your car. Pagers allowed people to keep up on important messages – you would have to call in to find out what the message was though. Later models allowed a simple message to be displayed. People also were getting into cb radios that would allow you to talk to strangers while on the road.

Now most people have a cell phone and some don’t even have a regular phone. Most of the phones also take photos, send text messages and even allow access to the internet. Call display and voicemail are standard features on phones. If you are in a car accident, not only can you use your phone to call for a tow truck but you can also take pictures as well.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Drop Pod goodness

With the exception of the weapon, I finished assembling the drop pod model. My alignment is every so slightly out. Not enough to cause problems but just enough that all of the doors don’t close perfectly. Even with that small issue, I am very impressed at the level of detail and ingenuity involved in this model. The pieces fit together well and the bits are certainly great for scratchbuilding as evidenced by all the parts on ebay.

I’ve actually been able to pick up another drop pod in bits – although with all the shipping charges it works out to only a slight savings over just buying one from GC-Minis. I’m really looking forward to painting up this model once it warms up enough to prime it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Wolfman delivers

Some people are coming down on the new The Wolfman movie. We saw it on Tuesday and liked it a lot. Of course, I'm usually pretty easily satisfied by a werewolf movie. My checklist is pretty small - is there some violence (check), a werewolf transformation (check), running through the woods/fog (check/check), a hot babe (mostly check). So it worked fine for me. Shan's a big fan of the gothic horror so she thought it was a truly great film.

Some people may not like the flatter-faced wolfman but I thought it was a good version based on the original wolfman makeup design. But then, I've been spoiled by werewolf films from An American Werewolf in London, Howling, Dog Soldiers, both Teen Wolves and the Ginger Snaps series. I also liked Wolfen, An American WereWolf in Paris, Cursed, the Underworld series and Wolf Park. I wasn't such a fan of the Werewolf TV series, Wolf, or the later Howlings though.

So, I may not be the most critical in this genre but I certainly enjoyed it. There were a lot of nods to the original movie in it. You should probably see the original Wolfman to be able to compare it better. It still pretty good to watch - and neat to see the total lack of a full moon scene.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wayne Gretzky is a Torch hog!

We watched the opening ceremonies on Friday night. We thought the digital effects that they were projecting on the floor and pillars were stunning. We were quite amused at all the small countries with 1 – 5 athletes. The big finish at the end the three of four pillars still looked impressive. Wayne Gretzky carrying the torch to the outside cauldron though – he used up a bunch of torches.
He swaps one on the way out and swaps it again in the back of the truck. If he also did part of the regular torch run then he had used four torches. That seems a bit greedy to me. It was funny listening to the announcer though - going on about how he must be using a special torch as they normally only last 15 minutes. I suppose he missed the part on the back of the truck where Wayne has a torch in each hand.

We also took the kids to the mint on Saturday. They had some of the medals on display there. They are quite heavy. Since it’s been over twenty years since the last ones in Canada, I thought it would be keen for them to see.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cultural Shift - music

I grew up in the seventies and eighties. Even then there had been a large cultural shift in technology. Since then there has been another shift.

Music had changed from radio and records to 8-tracks and cassettes. Now it has changed to cds and mp3s. Transistor radios allowed people to not have to sit by the old floor radios.
We had shifted to Walkmans and boom boxes which allowed us to take the music we wanted with us but there was always a limit of battery length and quality of sound – the walkmans and even later Discmans were bad for speed changes if jostled.
Now the shift is for ipods and mp3 players – which are tiny, have a great quality of sound, and can store days of music. Bill Cosby used to joke that, as kids, they always used to hum their own theme music – people today can actually score their life.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Painting log - Jan update

I haven't actually painted anything this year yet but I am getting pretty close. I have picked up some extra paints at Dollarama in preparation of going at it. I also picked up a few more figures.

Starship Troopers Missiles – 2
Cowboys/Indians - 72
Jan figures bought – 74, figures painted – 0

So it seems like I've heavily weighted the new year already to start but once I get going I have hopes of being on a roll for painting. The plastic cowboy figures are very cheap - at $0.75 for 24 in a tub. I have to see how much trouble they are to paint up though. I've washed them first so I'm hoping they paint as well as the army figures I used for the upsized Car Wars.

Running total 2010 – figures bought 74, figures painted 0

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Warhammer - placeholder sets

I started with Space Hulk and got sucked into Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trooper (1987). Warhammer Fantasy Battles had already been out for several editions at that point. I only started getting involved with the 4th edition of WHFB (1992). This is the edition when they started with the army list books. 40K had a bunch of separate rulebooks - the Chaos books (which I never did get), the Ork books (which I did). Then they consoladated these into the 2nd edition rules (1993) and came out with the codex.

I did get most of those codices but when they cranked out the 3rd edition (1998) I only got the rules as a ‘placeholder set’. That is the basic rules to keep up with changes but not getting all the codices to fully keep up with it. When the 4th edition came out in 2004, I got a boxed set for my son but didn’t get the rules for me until recently.
Now that the 5th edition came out (2008) I am looking at trying to keep up with the codices – so far there have only been four – Space Marines, Imperial Guard, Space Wolves, and Tyranids. These are also some of the main ones I am interested in – I may delay picking up the Blood/Dark Angels. The others that I am keen on (and have figs for) would be Orks but I do have a bit of interest in Sisters of Battle and Necrons – both of whom haven’t had a new codex since 3rd edition. Army-wise, I could probably still field a Space Marine army and a passable Tyranid army – heavy on the Genestealers. I have a lot of Imperial Guard, Marines, Orks, and Eldar but not a lot in the way of vehicles for any of them.

In Warhammer, I did get all the 4th edition (1992) army books as well as most of the 5th edition set when they cranked that out in 1996 as there wasn’t a lot of overlap. When they churned out the 6th edition in 2000, I didn’t even get a placeholder copy. With rumors of an 8th edition to come out this year (2010), I figured I should get a copy of the 7th edition (2006) boxed set before it disappeared as it came with Goblins and Dwarfs – both of which I could use to fill out my armies. I can field an Undead army – which would now have to be a Vampire Counts army. I have enough figs for armies of Dwarfs, Empire, Bretonians, Orcs and Goblins, and a passable Lizardmen army but would need to paint all of them in order to field.
Depending on which way the rules slant, the 8th edition may be another placeholder set as well. Especially if I start trying to catch up on my 40K armies. Since they seem to be churning out a new WHFB set every 4 years - I can probably wait for the next one. Unles the boxed set has some cool figures. We will have to see.