Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Heroclix overview

I didn’t pick up much this year – Heroclix-wise. I got a few LEs at the beginning of the year and some of the Fast Forces and the Doctor Manhattan for Christmas. In between, they cranked out another three sets and my numbers only increased. Even though all three sets were Marvel based, I still didn’t pick up any of them.

Again I finished no Heroclix sets. I’m no closer than I was at the start of 2011 but rather farther back due to the new sets.

I’m still close on Ultimates (6+7), Mutant Mayhem (3+9), Legacy (6+11), Fantastic Forces (0+2), Armor Wars (11+1), Collateral Damage (8+1), Supernova (9+0), Avengers (0/3), Justice League (0/3), Mutations & Monsters (1/5), Crisis (0/11), Secret Invasion (2/6), Arkham Asylum (0/6), Hammer of Thor (3/8), Brave and Bold (8/7), and Web of Spider-Man (9/11). I’m still working away at Sinister (18+3) and Origin (23+0). I haven’t picked up any of DC 75 (33/11), Giant-Size X-Men (45/13/6), Captain America (47/11), or Incredible Hulk (36/10).

Right now, I need 413 figures – 274 REVs and 129 U/SRs. This is close to where I was at the start of 2008. Any bricks would have brought both of these much closer. I have also started counting figures needed by Wizkids or Neca – 155/258.
I did manage to get the Dr Manhattan as well as the reprints of the Apocalypse and both Sentinels from Giant-Size X-men. They look like they’re cranking out at least another three sets in 2012. I’m going to try and keep up with the sets, and pick up some of the previous sets as well as some figures to work at finishing the older sets.
I still need the Spectre, two Fooms, and the Phoenixes as well as the original Manhattan and Galactus. I also need all the new maps – from Hammer of Thor onwards. As well, I am going to try and pick up the other Fast Forces sets – which also come with maps.

I still need that one last LE from Horrorclix. I’m going to try to get that to finish that off. If I can, I’d like to get another map from the Cthulhu set.

Where did I spend all my Heroclix money? I picked up more 40K bits – more Tyranids plus a bit of Tau. I also got the entire set of FASA Crimson Skies rules, and some more Babylon 5 Call to Arms books. I picked up a bunch of Arcane Legions and a lot of Tron toy for use at Keycon. I got a bunch more Dr Who mini figures and a few other books and games.

I hope to get more 40K codices – being caught up on the rest of the fourth editions I am missing. I’m still looking for the Babylon 5 Call to Arms and Earth/Minbari War books and some of the Starship Troopers RPG books I am missing. I still want to get that final ARC-170 from the Star Wars Miniature Battles figure as well as the Power of the Force Luke’s Snowspeeder. I still might even get a bunch of Snowtroopers and Hoth Troopers. I also want to get the All Your Base set from Monsterpocalypse and maybe even a few more of Monsterpocalypse Now. I’m definitely hoping to pick up a Voltron set.
I am also hoping to work away at the Cheapass games as well as pick up a few new games.

Since I don’t have the game room I hoped I would, I don’t have the incentive to chase down the Heroclix big figures as I don’t have anywhere to display them. The storage unit does allow me to pick up some more goodies and store them away - but it's not quite the same.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Arkham City / Asylum

Arkham City just came out for the xbox 360 and the boy was pushing hard to get it. We picked it up for him right away, for Christmas. But he kept on pushing hard for it. We had to tell him that they didn’t have it at Walmart (which they didn’t) and that we have bought all the Christmas presents already (which we had). When we went out on Dec 16th, we told him that we didn’t buy it that day (which we didn’t).
We told him he could always download it if he gets xbox live points but he wailed that it’s not available on download yet – only on a disc. He was quite worked up about the possibility of not getting it.

While we were out, we saw that they now had Arkham Asylum in the discount bins. I told the wife that we should buy it, and give it to him all excited-like to see his reaction in thinking that we misunderstood him. She said that would be evil and mean. Funny, but mean.

So I picked it up on the 20th at Future Shop. The clerk had one in the back room. He agreed that it was mean – but in a funny way. While wrapping it we showed my daughter who, not understanding the difference, felt that he will be excited to get it.
- - -

Usually, on Christmas day, the kids don’t wake up super-early. Usually, they drag themselves downstairs by 8 or 9 in the morning. This year the boy was up by 6am and all excited to open gifts.

After opening the stockings and Santa gifts, we started handing out the presents. To his credit, when he opened Arkham Asylum, he didn’t look disappointed. He did tell us that it wasn’t the right one though. Then we opened the soft gifts – clothes and such. That’s when he said he was starting to get tired and looked a bit like he had lost some energy.

So we let him open the other one. He was much happier with that one. He started playing the Arkham City first. As of yesterday, he had finished the basic game – he still has additional missions he can play. He has started playing the Arkham Asylum.

He does appreciate the humor in the way it was done but he thinks it would have been more fun if we had done it to Gee instead.

Friday, December 23, 2011

40% off your next free game

I’m not sure how I missed it but sometime this year Cheapass games has finally updated their website. They are giving away the pdfs of their games and you can donate back to them.

I had made up a list last year of all the Cheapass games and had made another list of the ones I had when we moved around the basement this summer. I haven’t had time to cross reference the two lists yet to find what holes I needed to fill.

I came across the new version of Give Me The Brain now being made by Steve Jackson Games so I decided to check out the Cheapass site to find out what was up. And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but most of the missing games on free pdfs.

I pass it along to you out there, as my Christmas gift to the world.
Also, a small donation has been made in your name to the Human Fund – Money for People.

Monday, December 19, 2011

More cycles found

While out and about on Friday, doing some almost-last-minute shopping, I was able to find a few more Tron cycles at Toys R Us. I picked up two more Kevin Flynn retro cycles. They were even on an unmarked sale so ended up being about $3 each. At that price, I also picked up another Clu Sentry cycle and another Sam Flynn cycle. So I should be in a good position for a light cycle game.

I was also able to get another Sam Flynn at London Drugs for about $4. While I would be happier with a few more figures, that should give me a good half dozen to use.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy Holidays 2011

Merry Christmas (as applicable) to you and yours from me and mine.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tron Grid Games - Disc Battle - advanced rules


This version requires a bit more record keeping as well as at least two dice. Use the Basic rules with the following changes:

Programs now have Levels. Basic Programs start at Level 1. A Program’s Level will have an effect on the number of Action Cards it has as well as how many Actions Card can be held. High level Programs also have the option of being able to use two Discs in battle. The following chart shows the points required for each Program Level and the number of Action Cards they get, as well as how many Action Cards they can hold during the game and how many they may start the game holding.

Points Level Action Cards May hold May start held Other
Start at 0 Level 1 - 4 - 1 - 1 - 1 Disc
8 points Level 2 - 5 - 1 - 1 - 1 Disc
16 points Level 3 - 5 - 2 - 1 - 1 Disc
32 points Level 4 - 5 - 2 - (1 - 2) - 1 Disc
64 points Level 5 - 6 - 2 - (1 - 2) - 1 Disc
128 points Level 6 - 6 - 3 - (1 - 2*) - 2 Discs*
256 points Level 7 - 6 - 3 - (1 - 3*) - 2 Discs*
512 points Level 8 - 7 - 3 - (1 - 3*) - 2 Discs*
1024 points Level 9 - 7 - 4 - (1 - 3*) - 2 Discs*
2048 points Level 10 - 7 - 4 - (1 - 4*) - 2 Discs*

* A Program may use two Discs. If a Program chooses to use two Discs, they remove one of their Action Cards from the battle and start the game with 1 less Action Card held instead.
[Example - A Level 7 Program using 1 Disc has 6 Action Cards and can start the game with up to 3 of them held. A Level 7 Program using 2 Discs has 5 Action Cards and can start the game with up to 2 of them held.]

During Setup, a Program always starts the game with at least 1 Action Card held. They may hold additional Action Cards at the start depending on their Level. After Level 6, a Program may use a second Disc in a battle. If they do use a second Disc then they must remove one of their Action Cards from the battle and start the game with 1 less Action Card held instead – but they must always start with at least 1 Action Card held.

Skill Test
In the Advanced game, some actions now require a Skill Test. Some tests will give you a number and some Actions, like Block and Dodge, require an opposed Skill Test and will be made against another Program.

To make a Skill Test against a number you roll a die and add the Program’s Level. If the result is equal to or higher than the number needed then the test is passed. If the result is less than the number needed that the test is failed.
To make an opposed Skill Test against another Program you both roll a die and each Program adds their Level to their roll. The Program with the higher total succeeds.


Block – If you have your Disc and another Disc Marker or Disc Movement Base crosses your Action Base you may spend an action to attempt to Block it. Make an opposed Skill Test against the Disc’s owning Program.
If you succeed or tie then you are successful - Roll the Direction Die and place the small end of the Disc Marker against your Action Base in the direction shown on the die.
If you fail the Skill Test then you are struck by the Disc.

Dodge - If another Disc Marker or Disc Movement Base crosses your Action Base you may spend an action to attempt to Dodge it. Make an opposed Skill Test against the Disc’s owning Program.
If you succeed or tie then you are successful - Roll the Direction Die and place the small end of the Disc Marker against your Action Base in the direction shown on the die.
If you fail the Skill Test then you are struck by the Disc.

If you have no actions and want to Dodge then make an opposed Skill Test as above. If you fail then you are stuck by the Disc. If you succeed then you become Prone. If you are already Prone you may not Dodge.

Disc Movement
When moving a thrown Disc, you now can arc it instead of throwing it in a straight line. Instead of placing the Disc Movement Base flush with the end of the Disc Marker by the arrow you may choose to place it at an angle. Place the Disc Movement Base at the angle you wish and make a Skill Test. If the angle is up to 45 degrees you need to make a Skill Test of 6. If the angle is between 45 degrees and 90 degrees you need to make a Skill Test of 10.
If the Skill Test is passed then move the Disc Marker to the other end of the Disc Movement Base. If the Skill Test is failed then move the Disc Movement Base back to be flush with the end of the Disc Marker and then move the Disc marker as normal instead.

A Disc that belongs to a De-Rezzed Program may only move in a straight line – it may not be arced.

Recalling a Thrown Disc – The owning Program may choose to recall their Disc at any time it would normally move. To Recall the Disc you would need to make a Skill Test of 6. If the Disc Marker is more than 4 Action Bases away from the Action Base of the owning Program, then the Skill Test required is 5 instead of 6.

Programs start at Level 1 with 0 points. They gain points as below by competing in matches. Programs may increase their Level between matches if they have gained enough points. During a match, at the end of every turn, when the Action Cards are shuffled, the scores are saved. If a Program is De-Rezzed, any points they have earned from the last save are lost.
Points are gained for the following:
De-Rezzing a Program – their Program level

In addition, Programs gain the following bonuses for winning:
Winning a solo match – your Program Level x 3
Being part of a winning team – your Program Level x 2

Any Programs that do not gain any points gain their Program Level in points just for being in a match.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Greetings programs!

While out and about yesterday I popped in to the Dollarama on Taylor. I was able to pick up two more Tron figures - a Clu and a Black Guard.
With the two Clu Sentries I had found earlier, as well as the other figures I had snapped up when they first hit Dollarama, I should be okay for the Tron - Grid Games - Disc Battle. I will need to repaint the energy lines on these so that it is more clear that they are different than the regular Clu and Guard.

If I could get a few more Kevins, Sentries, or Clus I would be a in better place.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tron - Grid Games - Disc Battle - basic rules

Here are the basic rules. They are pretty fleshed out at this point. I'm still in the process of making counters and advanced rules but this is the gameplay from which I'm basing it.
Tron - Grid Games - Disc Battle

Each player controls a program in the games. They must battle each other until only one remains.
Alternatively, they can play as teams of 2 - 4 programs until only one team remains.

Programs - Each Program has unique icon to represent it. You may either use a figure or even one of the 2" program discs. You will need one Program for every player.

Action Base - Each Program also has a 4" Action Base. These are the same for all Programs. You will need one Action Base for each Program plus at least one extra Action Base for movement.

Disc Marker - Each program has a corresponding Disc Marker to represent a thrown Disc. You will need one Disc Marker for each Program. In the advanced game some Programs may have two Discs instead of just one. The Disc Marker is 1" wide and 2" long with an arrow pointing to one of the smaller ends.

Disc Movement Base - You will need at least one Disc Movement Marker in order to move thrown Discs. The Disc Movement Base is 1" wide and 6" long.

Grid - The playing surface is known as the Grid. This is a clearly defined area that can be as small as 12" x 12" for a quick two-player game to 4’ x 4’ or even larger for a multi-team battle. A Grid with sides between 2’ - 3’ long is big enough for up to 6 players.

Action Cards - You will need 5 Action Cards for each Program.

Direction Die - This is a die with arrows on the faces. If you don’t have a Direction Die, every time you would have to roll for random movement of the Disc instead use the direction back to the owning Program instead.

Set up the Grid.

Each player takes an Action Base and a Program as well as the corresponding Action Cards and Disc Marker.

Each player places their Action Base on the Grid and places their Program on top of their Action Base. Try to place the Action Bases so that there is room for at least one Action Base between them. If you cannot decide how to place the Programs on the Grid, take an Action Card from each program and shuffle them. Flip the Action Cards over one at a time and place the corresponding program on the Grid at that time.

Each Program starts the game with one Action Card held for reactive actions and the remaining cards are shuffled together and placed face down.

Turn Sequence:
Flip over the top Action Card. The corresponding Program may either perform an active action at that point or hold the Action Card to perform a reactive action later. Players may only hold a maximum of three Action Cards. Actions Cards may be held from turn to turn but once held they cannot be discarded unless used.

After every active action played, any Discs that are already being thrown move. A Disc that was just thrown this action does not move again.

Once all the Action Cards have been turned up and either used or held, reshuffle the used Action Cards and start the next turn. Action Cards that are being held are not reshuffled. Action cards belonging to De-Rezed Programs are removed unless they still have a Thrown Disc in play.

The last player or team with an active Program when the others have De-Rezzed wins.

If you unable to Block or Dodge a Thrown Disc or are unable to Dodge an Attack you are struck by the Disc. You are De-Rezzed and your Program is removed from play as well as you Action Base. If you De-Rez and your Disc is being thrown it De-Rezzes after it hits a wall or another Program or after another Program Blocks it. A Program struck by a Disc belonging to a De-Rezzed Program will still be De-Rezzed before that Disc also De-Rezzes.

Each Program has five Action Cards. Each Program starts with one Action Card held for reactive actions. Shuffle the remaining Action Cards.
Programs take actions as their Action Cards are turned over. They may either perform an active action at that point or hold the Action card to perform a reactive action later. Programs may only hold a maximum of three actions. Action Cards may be held from turn to turn but once held they cannot be discarded unless used.
Once all the Action Cards have been turned up and either used or held, reshuffle the used Action Cards and start the next turn. Action Cards that are being held are not reshuffled.

The actions are:
Attack, Block, Catch, Dodge, Move, Stand, and Throw.
The active actions are Attack, Move, Stand, and Throw. These actions may only be preformed when the Program’s Action Card comes up.
The reactive actions are Block, Catch, and Dodge. In order to perform one of these actions you must have an Action Card held already and have your Action Base crossed by a Disc Marker or Disc Movement Base or by another Program’s Action Base.

Attack - If you have a Disc and your Action Base overlaps a portion of another figure’s Action Base you may Attack them. They may Dodge your Attack if they have an Action Card held as above.

Block - If you have your Disc and another Disc Marker or Disc Movement Base crosses your Action Base you may spend an action to Block it. Roll the Direction Die and place the small end of the Disc Marker against your Action Base in the direction shown on the die.

Catch - If your Disc Marker or Disc Movement Base crosses your Action Base you may catch it by using an action. If you don’t have any actions you may dive for it - you catch your Disc but now are Prone.
If you moved your Action Base over your Disc Marker you still need to spend an action to make to the catch or you may dive for it. If you dive for it you catch your Disc but are now Prone.

Dodge - If another Disc Marker or Disc Movement Base crosses your Action Base you may spend an action to Dodge it. If you have no actions and want to Dodge then you become Prone. If you are already Prone you may not Dodge.

Move - Place a new Action Base adjacent to the one that your Program is currently on and move your Program to that base. If you are unable to place a new base adjacent or you don’t want to move that much, you may place the new base partially covering your current base. If your move causes your Action Base to cross a portion of your Disc Marker you may also attempt a Catch if you have a held action.

Stand - If your Program is Prone, the only action it can perform is to stand up. If you are using the program discs, flip it over to indicate that the Program is no longer Prone. If you are using a figure to represent the Program, then stand the figure back up to indicate that it is no longer Prone.

Throw - If you currently have a Disc you may throw it. Place the one of small end of the Disc Movement Base adjacent to your Action Base in the direction you wish to throw and place the Disc Marker flush at the other end of the Disc Movement Base with the arrow pointing in the direction of the throw.

Disc Movement
When you Throw a Disc, the small end of the Disc Movement Base is placed adjacent to your Action Base in the direction you wish to throw and Disc Marker is placed flush at the other end of the Disc Movement Base with the arrow pointing in the direction of the throw.

After every active action played, any Discs that are already being thrown move. A Disc that was just thrown this action does not move again. Starting with the Program who just played an action, move the Thrown Discs of the Programs clockwise around the table. To move the Disc place a Disc Movement Base flush with the end of the Disc Marker by the arrow. Then move the Disk Marker flush to the other end of the Disc Movement Base.

If a Disc Marker or Disc Movement Base crosses a Program’s Action Base and the Disc belongs to that Program they may attempt to Catch it.

If a Disc Marker or Disc Movement Base crosses a different Program’s Action Base they may attempt to Block or Dodge it. If they successfully Dodge it then it has no effect on the Disc Marker or Disc Movement Base. If they successfully Block it roll the Direction Die and place the small end of the Disc Marker adjacent to that Program’s Action Base in the direction of the arrow on the Direction Die.

If a Disc Marker or Disc Movement Base crosses the another Program’s Action Base and that program is Prone then that Program is hit and they De-Rez. Roll the Direction Die and place the small end of the Disc Marker adjacent to that Program’s Action Base in the direction of the arrow on the Direction Die.

If a Disc Marker or Disc Movement Base crosses the edge of the Grid then use geometry to match the incoming angle with the angle of reflection. If this is too hard then roll the Direction Die and place the small end of the Disc Marker adjacent to that Program’s Action Base in the direction of the arrow on the Direction Die.

If a Disc Marker or Disc Movement Base crosses the another Program’s Disc Marker then nothing happens in the basic game - Thrown Discs ignore other Thrown Discs.

Recalling a Thrown Disc - If a Disc Marker is more than 3 Action Bases away from the Action Base of the owing Program, that Program may choose to Recall it. When the Disc would normally move, place the Disc Movement Base flush with the end of the Disc Marker by the arrow. Instead of moving the Disc Marker to the other end of the Disc Movement Base, turn the Disc Marker around and place the other end of the Disc Marker against the Disc Movement Base. Then turn the Disc Marker so that it points toward the owning Program.

If a Program is Prone the only action it can perform is to Stand. If a Program is Prone and Attacked by another Program or hit by a Disc then that Program De-Rezzes.
If you are using the program discs, flip it over to indicate that the Program is Prone. If you are using a figure to represent the Program, then lie the figure down to indicate that it is Prone.

- - -
Still working on the size of the Disc Markers and Disc Movement Bases - originally 1"x4" and 1"x8".
Also originally allowed holding 3 Action Cards but changed to 2 as too hard to De-Rez a program that turtled.
The ‘advanced’ rules include more dice rolling for skill tests - Block, Dodge, Prone as well as the ability to gain levels for bonuses - like using 2 Discs, being able to hold more Action Cards or even starting with more Action Cards held, as well as getting more than 5 Action Cards.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Monty Hall problem.

The set up is based on the old Let’s Make a Deal scenario. You are given a choice of three doors. Behind one door is a new car! Behind the other two are zonks – dummy ‘prizes’ – usually a goat or animal or a wrecked tractor.
You pick one of the three doors. The host (Monty Hall), who knows what is behind which door, then opens one of the doors to reveal a zonk. He then turns to you and offers you a chance to switch your pick to the unrevealed door.
The question is, should you change your pick?

As proposed on Mythbusters, in the movie 21, and in various YouTube videos, they say that you should.

The key thing is in the explanation - in picking originally you have a 67% chance of being wrong. After being shown the zonk door, in switching to the other door you now only have a 33% chance of being wrong (or if you don't believe the math, a 50% chance of being wrong). Both beat the original 67% chance you had.

I still believe that the assumption is wrong though. Once you open that extra door, why would your 1/3 odds still remain at 1/3? Once a door is shown, why would it not change to 1/2? Think of it this way, at the beginning, whether you have picked a zonk or a car, Monty will still show a zonk, leaving the other door either a zonk or a car. The fact that you only had a 1/3 of guessing the car right from the start does not change the fact that when he offers you the choice to switch you now have a 50% chance of the car being behind either unshown door – one of which you have already picked. The key point in this is that you can now not pick the one door that he has shown you not to be a zonk.

Another example is flipping an unbiased coin heads 3 times in a row. At the onset, you only have a 1/8 chance of success or ½ x ½ x ½. However, after already flipping heads twice your odds of the third flip also being heads doesn’t remain at 1/8 but now becomes 50%.

Since the internet seems determined about this think of it this way - Try reversing it - pick two doors at the start instead of one. This gives you a 33% of not picking the car. Monty then opens one of your doors and shows a zonk and offers you a chance to switch.
Since you haven't done anything to the other door that you originally picked you are now being offered a 50/50 chance again between the remaining two doors - one of which you had picked at the onset.
- - - - -
Nope - turns out they were right all the time.
After arguing on the Mythbuster forum I come to this:

You pick door 1 - you have a 1/3 chance of being right at the start and a 2/3 chance of picking a wrong door. Monty removes 1/3 of the doors - 100% of the wrong one and 0% of the right one, 0% of being the door you picked.

However, at the time of the choice, you now have two doors each of which was originally only 1/3 a chance of being the car.
If you had picked the car to start (1/3 of the time) and now switch you have 0% chance of winning. If you hadn't picked the car to start (2/3 the time) and switch you now have a 100% chance of winning.

That's what I get for questioning Mythbusters.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tron - Disc game - figures

There are two sizes of Tron figures that would work for the Tron – Disc grid game. Both the poseable 4” figures as well as the 3” figures would work. You could conceivably use the 6” or even the 12” figures for added realism, but you would need a lot more space. The rules will scale upwards without too much trouble.

While the 3” figure sets never made their way up here I did get one through the mail in a pack with a light cycle. The figures (and cycles) in these packs come on 2” hexes. I did pick up a bunch of the 4” figures at Dollarama when they appeared for $2 each. Now that I want more I can’t find them anywhere. Although after checking 4 stores I was finally able to find two more Clu Sentries that I can repaint for the Grid. These 4” figures also come with a stand that is 2” in diameter.

Since I plan on making zone-of-control discs to put under the figures, the same ones will work for both the 3” and 4” figures. You could even use counters if you wanted to. I suppose I could always make a 2” counter to replace the figure if needed – like the pogs in Heroclix or Crimson Skies. But, since any figure that would fit on the disc could be used, you can use Star Wars figures, superheroes, or even the small GI Joes.

While I could use the discs that come with the 4” figures for the game discs, I will probably end up making some out of either layered styrene or even cardboard. If I was more proficient with molding I could make a gang mold of them and cast up discs to use.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tron - Disc Battle - first thoughts

Because you never know when an idea will strike you, I keep a small notebook in the car. This way when I am out and about, I can jot down notes. Case in point, coming home on Friday I got stuck in the traffic who had forgot how to drive in the fresh snow. While waiting I came up with a foundation for a Tron disc battle game.

Whenever I come up with a game the tipping point is usually how the movement works.

In this case, since I already have to make a game grid for the Light Cycles game I am making I was thinking about how it would work for figures on a disc battle – especially with how the discs would move. The figures could move on hexes or squares (or even triangles like my Jugger game) but the discs would need to be more freeform.

I was thinking about how they would move on the grid when I realized that they didn’t have to move on a grid at all. They could move independent of the board which would allow the board to remain in a nice grid pattern.

To interact with the figures I decided that the figures would be placed on a separate base that would define its zone of control and that the discs would be on their own counters. Movement would work by putting a new zone of control marker touching the current one and moving the figure to the new marker.

This is what I started with:
Tron – Disc battle

Thrown – return after 10 spaces

Move – 5 spaces per turn

Can catch own disc


Can Block if have disc.

Figs – [move up to 3 bases?]

5 actions per turn

Move, Throw, Catch, Attack, Block, Dodge

If Dodge and no actions then prone.

I also had drawn a little sketch of a figure on a round base and a disc on a bent wire attached to a rectangular base.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Figure painting Oct - updated

So I was able to count the Dreadfleet figures to add to my October list.

As packed as the box is, it only contains 42 paintable figures.

There are 10 main ships, 7 small ships, a dirigible, and a dragon.
There are 6 islands and 5 shipwreck pieces.
Also included are three extra figures - a leech wyrm, sea giant, and bone hydra.
As well, there is a wind gauge, 2 ship's wheels (for turning), a navigation rod, and 5 mini trophies.

Once put together, they may even be able to fit back in the box without too much trouble.

Oct figures bought – 285+42, figures painted – 0
Running total 2011 – figures bought 536, figures painted 0

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oct Figure buying / painting total

So the buying total takes a big hit due to Arcane Legions purchases. If I could figure out a proper number for the Dreadfleet, it would be in here as well.

40K Tau Devilfish - 1
Arcane Legions – starter – 120
Arcane Legions – Roman infantry pack – 40
Arcane Legions – Egyptian infantry pack – 40
Arcane Legions – Han infantry pack – 40
Arcane Legions – Roman Cavalry – 14
Arcane Legions – Egyptian Cavalry – 15
Arcane Legions – Han Cavalry – 15

Oct figures bought – 285, figures painted – 0
Running total 2011 – figures bought 494, figures painted 0

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Shopping for Tron

So I finished cleaning up my stuff out of the kitchen last week and moved it downstairs. But I just didn't shift the mess, I also sorted a bit more so I now have my stuff contained. I'm still in a bit of a pile on my desk, so I need to move a few boxes before I can work and move them back when done.

While shopping last week I picked up a Tron Recognizer on Tuesday for $15 at Zellers and the Tron racetrack at Winners on Thursday for $10. This now gives me 4 of new light cycles for the racetrack game.

I also picked up Light Bikes online. It looks simple enough but not quite what I was looking for. I'm still going to modify my SNAFU rules.

I also popped into Games Workshop. It seems that, even though I have a subscription, I had missed the June issue. Mark was nice enough to hook me up with one - at no charge. I picked up a water pot and would have snagged some liquid green stuff but they were out.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

ODST - rain delay

I got outside yesterday and did some more work on the armor. The bondo I had must have been pretty old as it wasn't runny. With the resin added I was able to get it to pour but it was still very thick. I was able to pour it into the chest piece and spread it around most of the back.
I was also able to put a layer of resin aound most of the inside of the helmet except for the top. The weather was cool but with no wind so I left the outside to cure.
I did some work in the basement and when I came up to bring them inside it was raining. I brought the pieces in to dry off and finish curing.

The chestpiece seems to be fine but the a bunch of the seams on the helmet have given way overnight. The resin in the top also seems to still be tacky. I'm hoping it will dry enough to reglue.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Shopping across the border in the USA

We were in the states for Valleycon and to do some shopping. I had a few specific items I was looking for and was mostly denied in many of them. While my shopping trip to the states was a bust in what I was looking for, it did pay off in unexpected ways.

I was hoping to pick up some of the Heroclix Giant Size X-Men big figures from Toys R Us but they didn't have any.

I was also hoping Target or some other places might still have some Tron light cycles for the Tron game I made but was unable to find any anywhere I looked. I was able to pick up a Jarvis figure to go with all the others I had picked up at Dollarama.

I also wanted to get some more socks from Scheels but they didn't have any of the multi-packs. I was able to pick up another four pairs but it was a far cry from the dozen I was hoping to get.

I did pick up the Tetris card game - which looks interesting and has rules for solo play.

One of the dealers at ValleyCon was Paradox and they were blowing out their stock of Arcane Legions. They had the starter for $10, the army boxes for $4 and the boosters for $2. After much consideration, I fiured I'd give it a try. I picked up the starter, an infantry and cavalry army pack for the Romans, Egyptians, and Han armies, and one Roman booster and two Han boosters. This was almost all they had left.
If this wasn't cheap enough, when I was unable to convince any friend of the value of this and decided to buy it myself, it was a further 20% off. This meant that I got the starter, 6 army boxes, and 3 boosters for $32. I figured that I could always use the figures for Bushido and Valley of the Pharoahs at the least but the game seems solid enough. It will be a big hit to my painting versus buying total but the value was too good to pass up.

I also picked up the Warhammer 40,000 Apocalypse rulebook - which was still covered by the 20% off.

Dreadfleet is the newest Big Box release from Gamesworkshop. While it has a lot going for it, I wasn't going to pre-order it or rush out to get it. That said, if this had been a rerelease of Man O' War, I would have snapped it up. I had the original Space Hulk when it came out and snapped up the new set when it came out.
I had missed the boat when Man O' War first came out but was able to get the rules for them later. I haven't played it nearly enough to chase down all the figures on ebay. We did upsize it for one of the Wincons - I made a Dwarf fleet and JP made a Bretonnian fleet. But, since he didn't use the magic rules when he ran it, the Dwarves crushed the Bretonnians.

Dreadfleet is its own game. The beautifully detailed ships are larger than the Man O' War scale. The plastic islands look nice in the pictures. It is certainly a tempting set - but not enough to tip me into a buyer - not at the price it is listed at (over $100). However, with the lack of other purchases, I decided to get the Dreadfleet. With the 20% off that would cost $85 but when I went back, they had raised the price from $115 to $150. I couldn't justify it at that price. We went by the store itself which was also was giving the 20% off for convention members. They had it listed there at $115 but said it was excluded from the sale. The wife was okay with it though so we still picked it up.

All-in-all a worthwhile trip, even though I didn't get what I was looking for, I did get some cool stuff.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ODST - breaking eggs

I was able to finish pepping the top chest armor last week and was able to put a coat of resin on it on the weekend. I was also able to start putting some resin on the inside of the helmet. However, since I did this on Sunday and it was super windy I had to bring in the chest piece and let it cure inside. I was able to leave the helmet to cure outside with some rocks inside it to hold it down. I checked back on it often and it was fine but when I went out to bring it in it had blown off of the table and had cracked the top slightly.

I was able to repair it but I am not sure how much more resin work I can do before the weather breaks. I am hoping to be able to rondo it (a mixture of bondo and fiberglass resin) next week. I am not sure how much more of it I can finish before Halloween, but it is a solid start to the costume.

I also started in on Gee’s sock monkey costume. We cut the bottoms off the legs of the sweats and used the material for ears and the tail. We sewed the tail and ears to the hoodie.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

helmet fibreglass coat worked!

The outside coat of fiberglass seems to have worked fine. It partially soaked into the paper and dried a pale blue color. I finished off fibreglassing the bottom half of the helmet outside yesterday and brought it in from the coolness to cure. I wedged a few skewers inside to help round out the bottom part and make it easier to put on.

I still have to put a layer of resin on the inside and lay in some fiberglass matt. That should make for a light, solid layer. I will have to try and mold a visor – either from a soda bottle plastic or even a face shield.

I have also printed out the chest armor to pep. If I can get both pieces and the shoulders done by the weekend I can harden those and then attach them to the straps. I’ll also have to see if I can pep a weapon for him.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Solid helmet or a sticky mess?

I finished pepping the helmet on Saturday. Today we picked up some vinyl gloves, brushes, and plastic cups and I started fibreglassing the top of helmet. The resin I had was a bit old and it was a bit chilly today so I had a few concerns about it not curing.
I has been a few hours and it seems to have mostly dried but it is a bit tacky still. I brought it inside to see if it will cure overnight. I can then harden the rest and lay in some fibreglass mat inside.

It's promising. If this works as it should, then this opens up many options of what else can be done.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Costume status pre-Thanksgiving

Shan’s friend has dyed her hair red and decided to be Jean Grey this year instead of Alice from Resident Evil. This means that the leatherwork for her shotgun holster is off my table for this Halloween.

I do also have to do some work on Gee’s sock monkey and see if I can tape out a pattern for the Human Spider sweatshirt this weekend. Also I have to see about sewing on the red stripes on the sweatpants while we’re watching shows.

Out of the 20 pages that the ODST helmet prints out on, I have put together 12 of them. I have another 3 already cut out and ready to assemble. I should be able to finish assembling the helmet tonight. This will allow me to start with the fibreglassing this weekend.

Otherwise, I can start ‘pepping’ the chest and shoulder armor, as well as working on a foam weapon for him. If all above goes well, and the Thanksgiving meals don’t take too much out of us, I can see about foam legs. Depending on how much gets done this weekend, next weekend is the final crunch time for creation and painting. Then I can assemble belts and straps during the next week. Whatever doesn’t get done by the 22nd can be finished up the following week when I am off.

Monday, October 3, 2011

pre-Halloween costume baseline

On Saturday we popped in to Value Village and got some grey sweats and a grey hooded sweatshirt for Gee’s sock-monkey outfit. Shan also picked up some felt for the details.

I cleaned the desk a bit and tried on the pieces of the Human Spider costume. The sweats will be a bit snug but should be passable – I can sew the red piping on the sides if I have time. The sweatshirt is fine – it just needs the pattern. We were also in Walmart and we picked up some black fabric paint that will work. The balaclava fits fine and while I don’t have the right gloves, the ones I do have should work fine – I will try to shrink them a bit though.

I got off to a good start on the pepakura helmet for D3’s ODST. Even though I am using a highly detailed pattern, I am hoping that the extra time spent in making it will save time in detailing it after hardening. With only a few hours into it, I am quite impressed with the look. It should prove workable.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I’ve already been peeking around the 405th site and two options have come forward - pepakura and foam matts. Pepakura is a papercraft program that takes 3D files and unfolds them to be made from paper. Then you can use fiberglass resin to harden the paper. You can also use the Pepakura patterns to make the armor from foam matts by cutting the matts and using hot glue to stick them together. You can also carve details in the foam with a dremel or even exactos.

Both methods have merits. I’ll probably end up doing a mix of both styles. I’m leaning towards making the helmet and main chest armor with pep and fiberglass and the legs and arms with foam. I’ve got experience with making buckles from the Hit-Girl costume, foam work from the foamie Stormtroopers, and working with fiberglass from the Tusken Raider ‘teeth’.

Depending on how much trouble it is, I can then make HALO Spartan armor for us or even Star Wars Clone Commandos

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pre-halloween plans

I was able to get a bit of sifting done on the desk over the weekend. Shan wants more done in the pantry so that will need to be completed as well.

Aside from that, I am now transitioning into pre-Halloween mode. Gee’s costume this year should be pretty basic. Presently, she wants to go as a Sock Monkey. Shan found instructions online about making from a sweater and sweats. As long as she doesn’t change he mind in the next three weeks, we should be fine there.

Shan’s thinking about getting together a steampunk look, so that should be fairly easy as well. I might have to work at some bits and bobs for accessories as needed.

With the room-switch, I even found some of the pieces I had been collecting until critical mass was achieved on the Human-Spider costume. Now that I have the red balaclava I can sew the pinstripes on the blue sweats and paint the sweatshirt. This shouldn’t prove to be too difficult either.

I even told one of Shan’s coworkers I could make her a Resident Evil 3 backpack/holster. That shouldn’t take too much time.

D3 is going to be more of an issue though. At the beginning of the year he had wanted to be the Green Hornet which would have been a simple trip to Value Village for a green suit and coat. Then a bit of leatherwork for the mask and some quick building to a gun would have completed a light year of costuming.
However, he has changed his mind and now wants to be a Halo ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Trooper). Normally this would be too much to do at too late a date but with everything else being so light, this isn’t impossible – merely very difficult. The other point in his favor is that there is a lot of good help online with this through the 405th – which is the Halo version of the 501st – which does Stormtroopers.

Monday, September 19, 2011

pantry, table

I picked up some metal rack from my folks and set them up in what used to be the comic storage room. D3 and I then moved over all the canned goods from the pantry shelf to the racks in the new pantry. Then I was able to clean off the table in the family room by moving stuff to the shelves.

That opens up 3/4 of that room at this point. By clearing the table we can now get to the games behind them and even play them on the table. It also gives me an extra space to clear the desk albeit very temporary as I need to keep it clear at the end of the night.

We picked up a new dvd player (as the old one went to G with the old TV) and hooked that up as well. I confirmed it worked by watching the first disc of Red VS Blue season 6.
We took another small load to the storage unit. We are getting pretty close to our limit until I resort the skid of extras. I also packed up another box of books.

Now I just have to sift my desk to clean it down enough to clear out the stack in the kitchen. I’m hoping by the end of this month – maybe even by the end of the weekend.

Then I can start ramping up for Halloween costumes.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Floating City soundtrack

In the Floating City, as you collected and traded cargo you completed songs. Completing a song gave you the download code for that song. Once you completed all 9 songs from an album you got the download code for that album. Even though I am still missing 5 pieces, I had managed to borrow the pieces I need to collect all the songs. Or at least the codes for all the songs – as I haven’t downloaded any of them yet. Actually, I haven’t downloaded anything yet so this will be a first for me.

With completing all the albums, we also were supposed to get a code for a fourth album, Oceanea, which wasn’t part of the game. This code came but it has an expiry date of two weeks. So if I want it, I’m going to have to try and download them sooner rather than later.

I was planning on trying to download them this weekend anyways. This just puts a bit more impetus on it. I’ll let you know how it works out for me.

Update - I got another email asking for my info for an address - it seems they may mail me an actual CD - so a bit of the download pressure may be off.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Frozen City wrapup

So the Floating City finished up on the last Sunday in August. It had been a good game. I certainly spent much more time on it than I should have but it was good fun.
My tribe, the Frozen River, was in the lead when I joined but drifted into second about mid game. Then we slipped into third after the alliances started happening.

Some of my favorite moments were in figuring out parts of the game itself. We weren’t really given a lot of information about scoring or game mechanics beyond simple instructions on trading. We were based in ships, trading cargo for movement. The cargo was divided into songs – with five items completing a song and nine songs completing an album.

I got to know a lot of the players in my tribe and some from other tribes. I want to thank Skipper2501 for telling me about the game – since I’m not a huge Dolby fan I never would have heard about it. My first trade was with Dog Gone back on June 29. I missed the very beginning of the game but was able to catch up. I found a nice trading group with Lee Marvin and Dog Gone and we started to make good distance but then we drifted apart. Gunther Prelude and I were online at similar times and we covered a great amount of distance with flotsam trades. He was supposed to miss game time for work and traded me a bunch of his cargo and t (to do with as I wanted - with no strings attached) but never really missed time. I was glad to give him back the money needed so that he could buy a blimp ticket.
Some of the big names in our tribe when I started were, Ya Arrg, Ronnie Raygun, Pax Luminous, and the Doggedlys – James, John, and Jo. They were all very active on our forum. It was very exciting to finally catch up to them and cross them off my list as I made trades with each of them. Flatrock, Captain Chaos, Captain Merlania, Cap’n Tron were other familiar faces as was Yankee White, Kaigun Chusa Yakamoto, Villamouri, umo, Stacey Quiche from the ‘person above me’ thread. Athena, ian kanai, Captain k-man, Prof Xenia Hitchcock, Nerissa Panic, and Gypsy Fox were others.
Hulu Zoon and Monkey D Luffy were the first players to make a dedicated break for the pole. We were all heading Northwards but they were the first to really devote trades to getting there. Other tribe or not, we all cheered them on and were very excited to see the new achievement of the first two Floating Citizens. I made sure to get at least one trade in with both of them.

Some of the players kept in a persona more than most of us. Haunted Dolls kept in character through the game as far as I could tell. Ya Arrg as a polar bear expressed concerns over the warming arctic and LindseyKai’s ‘just a cat in a boat’ always made me smile.
The other tribes had interesting people as well. Andromeda Strayne was another I traded flotsam back and forth with. There was some confusion about one of our trades when the cursed items came out but we worked it out and I made sure to keep filling in her cargo where I could. When our tribes aligned, we were on the same team!
Lulu Garou, Picup Andropof, hobvias sudoneighm, A. Nomalous had some great names.
Of the people I invited, only a very few accepted and joined. I tried to send messages when they joined to help guide them but most were not very active. My sister Ditch Hopper did become active enough – and did pretty well considering she started the game late. I’ve spoken to her more on the phone in the last year over this game than anything else.

I’m sure I’m going to miss many of names that I should mention but I have to give a special mention to The Cannon. She was fun and enthusiastic and I was glad to finally catch up with her but unfortunately she had to leave the game and missed the formation of the City. We hoped she would make it back in time for the ending but she never did.

A special thanks to the GODs as well – notably Soot Sparrow, Andrhia, and Europa/Verre Darkly. A great big thanks goes out to Captain Smith – besides all the work he did in coding, he was also helpful with a few good trades in the later parts of the game. I was also able to make a trade with Europa directly after the first trial for the elusive Honey.

Even though I am still missing five pieces of cargo, through trading I was able to complete all the songs. Thanks to Dolby for this. I haven’t really heard much of him prior except for She Blinded MeWith Science so this was a nice exposure. For many of the Sorties in the game, they would play a song and you had to decipher the items from the lyrics. I will try and get some actual CDs as I’m still leery about this whole downloaded-music thing. I look forward to downloading them in the near future – they will be my first downloads.

While I didn’t do as many patents as some (Ronnie Raygun, Always Pining) I did enjoy coming up with patents to match the required challenges (birds, pirates, acid rain, curses). I love Lars Elk’ liquid courage anti-squid patent and was honored to see my OSHA curse patent make the Gallery. It certainly helped me to learn the new version of MSPaint – as timing was critical to sketch and scan. The linking to a picture was a bit tricky to get to work though – but I also got to learn WindowsLive’s (Hotmail’s) SkyDrive.

As I’m sure all tribes did, Ronnie Raygun had a set list of the songs we knew and the items contained within. I kept getting him to fix the lists to match they way they were presented in the cargo. Then I had my ‘a-ha moment’ and noticed that the items were always alphabetical.
When we finally started getting a fourth column of songs, I noticed that the songs themselves were alphabetical as well. I had issues with Firefox for a bit and had to use an older version of IE. In that I noticed that if you shrank the songs, they left gaps where later songs would come out. This allowed us to quickly figure out which songs were the likely ones to fill in the missing spaces.

Around this time I also noticed that some songs gave downloads and some didn’t. By making another list we sorted out that it was only songs from 1st column that had no downloads. This made sense as the 1st column was songs from the new album.

Working out where each of the IP addresses sorted into tribes from my Pushing Boundaries thread helped with knowing who I could send invites out to – so they would still be sorted into the correct tribe and we could get the points for inviting.

Working out the different achievements was fun as well. The rampant speculation over how to get the Tidal Master achievement was amusing. As was locking down exactly when the Stealthy Trader was achieved. Luckily they hadn’t fixed the message links yet and I was able to recover all my deleted messages and sort it out.

The ending came as a bit of a letdown. We had been putting together clues and scraps of intelligence throughout the game and the actual final challenge was a lot less difficult than we had thought it would be. It ended up being more a matter of who could get the answers in quicker than the others.
Our alliance of Poison City/Frozen River/Delta ended up in last place. 17 Hills was the one tribe who ended up not aligning with anyone else and they finished in a close second. The winning tribe was the multi alliance of Eastern Bloc/Clubland/Northern Seaboard/Mulberry/Mulu who also won the controversial Book of History challenge.

All-in-all, it was a fun diversion for the summer. I met a bunch of new people and heard enough of Thomas Dolby’s music to decide I liked his work. The game was involved enough to keep interest up and yet didn’t have to take all your time. Good times.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Figure painting total - Aug

I have a few other figures that I have most of the pieces from but not all. That is the downfall of buying in bits. I'm really going to have to work at getting the final pieces. Still I was able to get these:

40K Carnifex (in bits) – 1
40K Hormagaunts (in bits) – 16

Aug figures bought – 17, figures painted – 0
Running total 2011 – figures bought 209, figures painted 0

With (most of) the room shuffle done, I have to work at clearing down the desk to be able to work on it. That should let me get some of these done before we open Christmas presents.

Well, in theory at least.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Books read May to August - 2011

Building Decks by the Editors of FineHomebuilding
Spicy Air Tales, Vol 2 – includes The Great Helium War by Robert E Vardeman and Manhattan Mayhem by Loren L Coleman
The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber

Make it Right: Kitchens and Bathrooms by Mike Holmes
How to Create Fantasy Art for Video Games: A Complete Guide to Creating Concepts, Characters, and Worlds by Bill Stoneham

Badass – a relentless onslaught of the toughest warlords, vikings, samurai, pirates, gunfighters, and military commanders to ever live by Ben Thompson
Damn You, Autocorrect! Awesomely Embarrassing Text Messages You Didn’t Mean to Send by Jillian Madison
When Gadgets Betray Us, the Dark Side of our Infatuation with New Technologies by Robert Vamosi
Eddie Trunk’s Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal by Eddie Trunk with Andrea Bussell

World of Geekcraft: Step-by-step instructions for 25 super-cool Craft Projects by Susan Beal
Ridiculously Simple Furniture Projects: Great Looking Furniture anyone can build by Spike Carlsen
The Japanese Grill – from Classic Yakitori to Steak, Seafood, and Vegetables by Tadashi Ono & Harris Salat
Vampire Forensics – Uncovering the origins of an Enduring Legend by Mark Collins Jenkins
Time – Albert Einstein – The Enduring Legacy of a Modern Genius by TimeLife Books
Enemies & Allies by Kevin J. Anderson

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Slide puzzle - basically done!

The family-room-shuffle went much better that I had thought. On Saturday we moved over the TV, and pulled out the toy shelf. We moved over the desk and pulled out the bed. We moved over the game shelves and table. We only had to half-empty each one before moving it and then put the games back afterwards. Then we were able to set up the bed again.

All told, it took Shan and me about 4 hours to do all this. This was almost half the time it would have taken if I had to empty out everything before moving it myself. We started early in the morning and were done well before the boy finally awoke at 3pm. We found that the small desk wouldn’t fit behind the door after all so we would have to move a bookcase there. We were much too tired by that point to continue moving furniture on so we took a break and I worked away at boxing up books. We also went out for supper and to get more bins. Gee spent Friday night through Sunday over at a friend’s so at least she wasn’t underfoot.

On Sunday afternoon we got back downstairs and moved the bookcase behind the door. Then we moved the books from the next bookcase to that one and moved that bookcase aside. We then moved over the toy shelf and then took everything off the small desk and then moved it next to the toy shelf. We put the bookcase on the other side of the doorway where the small bookcase had been and moved over the books from the last bookcase into it. Then we took out the extra bookcase. D3 and I did two loads to the storage unit to get rid of the books and newly purchased bins now full of toys.

Having moved the last of my stuff out of his closet and desk, D3 was able to move down his legos, clothes, and toys. I worked away at cleaning down the stuff piled on the bed and Shan worked away at Gee’s room. At this point, the kids are mostly settled, the main part of the family room is back to usable quality again, and my stuff still needs to be sorted and cleaned from my desk. There is a bit to be done on the table and I need to go through and pack away some of the games we have that we aren’t likely to actually play soon. But we’re mostly done.
Quite the weekend (and summer).

Then we can start gearing up for Halloween.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Begin the slide puzzle

Last night I popped in to Walmart and Home Depot on the way home and bought some outlet covers, childproof plug covers, and some flat ended extension cords. I fixed the one cover behind D3's bed and put plug covers on the outlets except one - which I plugged in the extension cord for a light and his clock.

I finished emptying the books out of the first bookcase. Even though he said he didn't need one, we moved that bookcase into the corner of his room. It was a tight fit but it's there. He actually slept down in his room for the first time last night.

Now I can begin the slide-puzzle moves to get the rest of the family room usable again. I have to move the TV where the bookcase was and move the toy cupboard so I can put my desk in that corner. I can move the bed and pile games on my desk so I can move the game shelves where the bed was and then put the bed where the game shelves were.

Then we can work at emptying another bookcase and moving them down so we can put the toy cupboard on the bookcase wall. That may take a bit longer.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Room - basically done.

We picked up the bed and dresser last night and brought it over. I had to glue two of the drawers but otherwise it was in pretty good shape. We set the bed in and put the dresser beside it. We moved the metal cabinet over by the desk and turned the TV so it was viewable from the bed.
It’s starting to look like a room.

I still need to work away at cleaning out the desk but he can start moving his clothes in to the dresser and closet and start getting settled.

Task 1 – basically done. There is still a bit of stuff on the extra desk that needs to be moved but that is now a lower priority.

Still need to get G’s room adjusted once his stuff is out of it. That is not a big change.
Still need to finish cleaning and rearranging the family room.
Then I can move the stuff from the kitchen down there.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Desk out!

I was able to put some good time towards it on Friday night and we took a load to the storage locker on Saturday. I did the last little bit on Sunday and was able to clear my desk right down. We took apart the spare bed in the family room and the boy and I were able to fight the desk out of the room. That took a bit of effort.
We had to take all the shelves out and we were unable to take the desktop off so we had to flip it on its side and slide it through the doorway. Even with that we had to take the door off of the hinges.

The only part of the carpet that was damaged was in the corner where we had some wood piled up when it had flooded years ago. The rest of it looks passable. Since that corner will be covered by the bed we should be okay with keeping it for now.

My folks had previously said that we could have my old bed and dresser to use for D3. I called my folks on Sunday about getting them. They still had to clean off the stuff they had piled on it. It seems even though we had told them weeks ago that we would take them, they hadn’t cleaned it off yet either. So we’ll try and get them this week – ideally tonight.

With the desk in the family room, the push is now on to empty out a few bookcases to start the slide puzzle that will need to happen. To that end, since we were unable to get the bed last night, I packed up another box of books. I could pack them away much faster but I am writing up cards for the books that are going into storage so we can find them if we need to.

Friday, August 26, 2011

more headway

I got downstairs last night and put some more work into it. I cleared off the bed in the family room and packed down a few more boxes which got moved into the storage room. Which I suppose is technically ‘my new room’. I also picked up some nice packing boxes and put a few together for use with the books.

If I can get some of the books boxed up tonight I can take them with the boxes I have to the storage unit tomorrow. I need to empty out two bookcases worth. One of the bookcases will go into storage and the other will go into the boy’s room. With those two out of the family room, it should free up enough space to tuck the other desk behind the door and then I can move my desk out of D3’s room.

The carpet is looking not too bad so far. With a carpet cleaning, it may be able to be kept for now. That means that he can start moving clothes downstairs into the closet. We can take over my old bed and dresser from my folk’s place and he can decide where everything goes.

This should give him a week or two to settle before school while I plug away at the family room.

Monday, August 22, 2011

What weekend?

Where did that last weekend go? On Friday my brother came over. They had recently moved and we got their old stove to replace our older, flat-element one. The previous owners had also left behind an older washing machine so we got that to replace our washing machine – which has been having issues. With fighting unsuccessfully to remove the stove door and then having to remove the side door and then hooking up the washing machine, that ate up most of Friday night.

Saturday we were busy at Cindy and Alain’s nuptials. It was a very lovely ceremony at St Vital Park by the duck pond followed by a nice reception at Harbour View. The meal was very nice and G would have danced all night if she could have. We wish the happy couple all the best.

On Sunday I had some vital issues to deal with on The Floating City. I missed out on an important sortie but was able to cast my vote in the trial. We’re coming down to the last few weeks and the storylines are winding up. It has been a very exciting game – I can see how people can get caught up in these sort of games.
I was also able to get downstairs and put another two hours into cleaning the family room. A few more hours tonight and we should be closer. I’m fast running out of time on this.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The dog ate my homework

To no-one’s surprise but mine, I’m still not done yet. We ended up having an issue with the white car – in the belt/flywheel area. Haven’t had time to get it looked at but it created a lot of squealing and then smoke.

The other computer finally went. It’s been hobbled together a few times in the last 10 years and finally gave in. So we popped over to XS Cargo on Saturday and bought a refurbished Dell for $99. It’s not great, but it has 1GB RAM and I spent a chunk of time getting it connected for the kids.

Plus my dad’s been a bit short of breath for the last while. We finally convinced him to go in and get it checked. No heart damage but he had an angioplasty done to clear two blockages – one was 95% and was 70% blocked. So we popped over on Saturday to see how he’s doing. He’s much better now.

Our neighbor came over last week to talk about our crab apple tree. Some of the branches are over his yard and dropping apples onto his lawn. We haven’t pruned back the tree in a few years. The last time we did he complained about how much the missing branches opened up his shade. But we spent about three hours on Sunday climbing a ladder into the tree and we cut off a few branches. Then we cut them down and took them into the back. The kids helped with that, more or less grudgingly.

Also, the bumpers on one of D3’s Xbox controllers were not working. A check on the internet showed that this was a simple problem to fix – as long as you had the right tool to open them, a T8H torx screwdriver. I checked and don’t have one yet – I have torx but none with the security hole. I ordered one off of ebay but also popped in to Digikey while we were in the area on Saturday at XS Cargo and picked up a set of torx H screwdrivers for $10.
On Sunday, I got him to open up his controller and we put small pieces of duct tape on the back of the bumpers as the internet instructed. He sealed it back up and it seems to be working fine again. Problem solved.

I did manage to get down there and put a few hours into it. With a bit more tonight, I should have enough for another load to the storage unit and should have cleared out a lot of the mess from the family room.

But we’ll see.
My dad, who's not really supposed to be doing anything this week and next, popped over and looked at the white car. He thinks it's coming from the air conditioning unit. The one we just had fixed.

Friday, August 12, 2011

closet cleared

So, it took all of the extra six bins to pack away the model kits. That makes twelve bins of models, plus a big box, plus a bag of three kits. There are still three kits that didn't make it but they will hang around for now.
We took them all to the storage locker and they stand in two big rows of blue bin happiness.

So I hope to clear my desk and move it out of the room by tomorrow. Then we need to decide on the carpet - maybe clean it, maybe pull it out. Then we can move the bed and dresser in there. Then the boy can start moving his stuff down while I finish moving the furniture in the family room.

It's like one of those sliding puzzles. I have to move this to move that, in order to move this over there. Then I have to move it all back.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

cubicly packed

It's a term I often used to describe my room. It's definitely appropriate to describe the closet. I had packed the closet with model kits. I mean seriously packed.

Home Depot is having a sale on bins. I had picked up 6 of the flip top ones to clean up the assorted bits from my desk and to have solid boxes to put on the bottom of the stacks. I had gone back and picked up some regular bins for the model kits. I don't need super strong ones as the model kits aren't that heavy. When I found some big ones for $3.99, I picked up 6 of them.

While it made a serious dent in the pile, it didn't clear out all of them. So I went back last night to get another six bins. I can't help but feel a bit of smug satisfaction when I think about all the kits I have stored away. That and a bit of apprehension about the amount of space the take up.

The boy has expressed an interest in doing some models when we have the time. That was part of the reason I had picked up all the kits when I could find them on sale. I figured they would come in handy at some point.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Room excavation

I’ve gotten into the corners and gotten most of the boxes out. At this point, I still have the closet full of models and the two desks to clear off. I picked up some more tubs from Home Depot and took another load to storage. I did more work on Saturday morning and more on Sunday afternoon. Hopefully tonight I’ll get some more big tubs to pack away the rest of the models and keep plugging away at the desks.

I have also cleared a bit more out of the family room where I have been pulling the boxes into in order to get to the rest of them. It’s also a bit of a staging area that I am using to sift the boxes together before taking to storage. I’m combining stuff that has been put in different boxes over the last 8 years together into the same boxes.

By this weekend I hope to see what we’re doing with the carpet and move the bed into that room for the boy. When I cleared into the corner, I also cleaned an end off of the desk that we are leaving to put in the spare TV. He’s got it hooked up to his x-box so he’s been spending quality time in his new room already.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The week so far

Monday I had to take the white car out to get the air conditioning fixed. It should cost between $200 and $400.
The tire in the van had been low after work and I drove slow on it until I could get it filled.

On Tuesday morning it was flat again so Dad swapped cars with me so he could have it looked at while we went to work and the movies. It turns out the sidewalls were in rough shape. He ended up getting both the rear tires replaced. The cost - $260.

On Wednesday I drove out to pick up the car. The cost - $500, so far.

So, it doesn't look like I will finish cleaning out the room before this weekend. I'll see what I can get done on Monday.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, Endeavour

I remember when Enterprise took its flight off the back of an airplane way back in 1976.
We’ve followed the shuttle program since then, although it has become less riveting as the successful missions piled up. It’s always been cutting-edge dangerous but repetition made us blasé.
They had a fleet of 4 shuttles in service. Columbia was the first, launched in 1981, followed in 1983 by Challenger, in 1984 by Discovery, and in 1985 by Atlantis.

Then Challenger went and blew up on liftoff in 1986. The missions had been going off so well they had even brought a school teacher along for the ride. Besides bringing home the inherent danger of riding a missile, it also created a bunch of jokes that those of us of a certain age will always remember.
What was the last thing Christa McAuliffe said? - Hey, what does this big red button do?
What does NASA stand for? - Need Another Seven Astronauts.

After a suitable delay, the missions went on. They launched Endeavour in 1992 to bring their fleet back up to 4 shuttles and missions progressed again. In 2003, Columbia disintegrated upon reentry due to a failing of its thermal shield. That caused almost a two year delay before the next mission.

Rather than risk more accidents, they have phased out the remaining shuttles this year with Discovery finishing her 39 mission in February, Endeavour finishing her 33 mission in May, and Atlantis just finishing her 25 mission today.

It’s the end of an era.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Floating City

Lately I've been immersed in the Floating City.

Thomas Dolby (She Blinded Me With Science) is releasing a new album. He created an online game to help promote it.

It's set in an alternate version of the 1940s. WWII turned out differently with a global energy experiment having gone haywire. The Earth’s magnetic fields have been reversed, and the planetary climate system violated. The world is flooded and we are trying to get to the North Pole.

You create a persona, with a boat, and get items that group together in sets. In trading the items you complete sets of five and that unlocks a code to download the MP3 of that song. Finishing the tutorial trade with the purple ship will complete the song 'She Blinded Me With Science' - Chemicals, Spheres, Trench Coat, Tubes and Wires, and Careful notes. There are nine songs on each set - getting all nine will unlock an album - with three albums being available.

Trading will move you on a Google map of the world, with your tribe working to move their way north. As you complete trades you get points for you and your tribe. At the end of it, the tribe with the most points is supposed to win a free release concert in their area in which Thomas Dolby will perform the entire album.

I'm listed as Frozen North (Canada) so it will probably end up being in Toronto and out of my reach - but so far we are leading.
vate concert at which Thomas Dolby and his band perform the album in its entirety.

This is my referal link:
If you sign in through here I get a few extra points and extra cargo bits. This will put you in the Frozen River tribe though - so central and Northern US and Canada.

Otherwise the regular link is

It's lovely looking from a graphics view with sepia newsletters and design. From a marketing standpoint, for someone who hasn't really released an album in 20 years, it's making pretty good use of technology. I'm not what I consider a big Dolby fan, but the combinations are intriguing me and I'm definately going to noodle around in there for next while.

Check it out.

Monday, July 4, 2011

X-Men First Class

Unlike some of the other Super-Hero movies that have come out, I did read and follow X-men. I started with the new group and also read a lot of the classic ones. With the depth of history and various configurations of the groups I was quite excited to see a movie about the original group. X-men First Class is not that movie.
That’s not to say that it’s not a good film. It’s one of the better stories and the characters are all well represented. It’s just that they play fast and loose with the history and characters. Most people who have only ever been exposed to the X-men through the movies will not be bothered by this.

The Hellfire Club is well represented and the White Queen is basically wearing her comic costume. As a matter of fact, the accuracy to comic costumes is quite close in this one. Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw was a fine choice as a villain. If only Oliver Platt had a character name other than “man in suit” to match his fine role.

As super-hero films go, even as action films go, it’s quite good. If you have no preconceptions of who would be in the ‘first class’ of X-men, and don’t know who designed Cerebo, the Blackbird, and the yellow and black costumes, if you don’t know when Hank turned blue and fuzzy, when Xavier ended up in a wheelchair, and when Banshee, and Havok joined the X-men and when Shaw, Mystique, and Emma encountered the X-men and when Emma gained a diamond form, and if it won’t bug you that Moria and Banshee are no longer Scottish, then you should have no trouble with this film.

I knew all this going in and it’s probably what prevents me from liking this film more. I liked it quite a bit, but could have liked it even more if some of these had been closer to what I already knew.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

oh, and another thing

Peter Falk died.

He will be known forever as the rumpled detective Columbo. I remember watching him when I was young and watched the movies when they brought him back. As Colombo, he was always underestimated and yet kept plugging away at the inconsistencies until he revealed the killer. Even with the glass eye and gravelly voice, he was a true star. I will miss both him and his character.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blood Bowl redux

While I have been enjoying the Blood Bowl over the last few weeks, Shan has been a bit snarky about it. Even though I specifically bought the laptop to be able to watch TV and play games and do the internet in the living room. But it wasn’t entirely just normal surliness – and now I found out why.

Over a month ago, before I had even bought the Dark Eldar version of Blood Bowl for the computer, she had picked up the regular version of Blood Bowl for the x-box. Talking about it and about getting the Legendary version of Blood Bowl only highlighted the fact that I had already bought a gift that she had bought me for my birthday.

Truly though, they are completely different. As the x-box is not ours but rather our son’s so my playing on it is dependent on his whims. Plus I wouldn’t be able to play and watch TV. On the upside, I can now play easily against him and he can learn how to play without having to use the computer.

Plus, the thought counts for a lot. As we had been looking for the DS version of it for the last year and haven’t seen it. She had to get it from EB Games. Normally, I’m pretty good about not buying things in the month or two before my birthday or Christmas due to these very reasons, but the game wasn’t really on one of my lists. That’s what I get for having a wife that knows me so well.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Red River Ex

We went to the Red River Ex on Saturday. The kids and I got all-you-can-ride wristbands and Shan got the admission. In addition, two of Gee’s friends came along with ride passes as well. This meant that I didn’t need to ride the Polar Express with her.

We did the Crazy Mouse and there was a great picture but someone had thrown a drink at the camera after us and they were unable to get the computer to print.
We did the Drop of Doom. Gee was tall enough last year but we decided to skip it so she has been looking forward to it all year. I hadn’t been on it before either so it was a first for me too. Not being afraid of heights, I didn’t find it too bad. The drop itself is neat but it only lasts a second or two before it starts slowing down. We even did it again later in the day.

We managed to see a nice aerial act and we got to see David Smith being shot from a cannon. Shan was very excited. D3 and I watched the dog show and the girls went to the farm.

The only bad thing was that it started to rain about 11:30pm as we were leaving so the parking lot became jammed. People weren’t merging properly and we didn’t manage to get out until 12:30. That’s right – it took an hour to get out of the parking lot.

These pictures are all from last year.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

In brightest day, in darkest night

Again, while I have read some Green Lantern comics, I didn’t follow Green Lantern avidly. The movie hit all the points I was expecting, galactic adventure, Green Lantern Corps, Guardians, OA, Abin Sur, Sinestro – all are in here. It’s just what they do with them.
Ryan Reynolds manages to pull off Hal Jordan and Green Lantern. The costume is still recognizable to the comics. But with all the time in space he doesn’t convey any sense of wonder to us. Even a test pilot should have some awe at flying under his own power and that doesn’t come across.

A hero is defined by his villains. Green Lantern does have a great villain, a true challenge but, while he does appear briefly in the film, he’s not the villain. Instead we have a big black and yellow cloud called Parallax and a big-headed guy called Hector Hammond.

The ring allows you to create anything, limited only by your mind. Using it to bring the beat down on a wheelchair-bound big-headed balding guy does not make for good visuals.

All in all, a passable enough film but only a tease of what the second one might be. We saw it in 3D and again it wasn’t used enough to justify the additional cost at the ticket counter.

There was nice scenes with him trying "the oath", and with Carol Ferris recognizing him in costume. I really look forward to the next film - with a full-on Sinestro and Star Saphire.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

lil' Tuece coupe

For Father’s Day I got a pair of T-shirts and some movies – including Tron Legacy. We had gone to my dad’s for a barbeque and I climbed up and retrieved my Apple IIc boxes from the garage rafters.

In packing away my Tuece (Apple IIc) for storage my daughter said that my keyboard was “broken”. She is learning keyboarding already in school. I explained that my keyboard was fine – what I had done was changed the layout to Dvorak.

The Apple IIc had two dip switches on top. One would let you change your monitor resolution from 40 characters to 80 characters across. The other would toggle between Qwerty and Dvorak. I had to fix a key and I ended up removing a third of the keyboard to get access to it. At that point I had changed over to Dvorak. My then-girlfriend could touch type when she needed to use the keyboard and I could hunt and peck as it was.

Good times. Good memories of GEnie, and many hours of Lode Runner, Ultima III and Ultima IV, and Moebius.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Blood Bowl

We used to play Blood Bowl a lot. We even had a league going one year. I ran an Undead team - using Warhammer figures - an Undead Blood Bowl team still maintains its position on my want list.

While at XS Cargo I found a copy of the Dark Elf edition of the computer game (with 9 teams) for $6. I'm super impressed with it. But then I’m only playing the classic game – not their real time version. I'm finding it very true to the rules I remember - including the campaign rules.

It took me a few games to remember the rules enough to be dangerous. I’m playing campaign – I lost the first tourney (of 4 teams) and have won the next three cups. The last one was pretty close though; I’m playing Humans and my Ogre was sent out on the first turn of the final. But I still squeeked out a win.

The only odd thing is (possibly due to the British-ness of it) you often have to right click to confirm. That might be changed in the Legendary edition. The Legendary edition also contains 20 teams - including my Undead team.

I'm putting it on my want list as is my son - who is putting the x-box version on his want list.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Snafu - intellivision

Back in July of 2009 I had posted this to Game Design Concepts Forum for the game design course I was taking at the time.
We had to take an older video game and translate the rules to be a board game. I didn’t post it here as it is a very simple game. It could also be done with laying tiles into a gridded board.

What has caused me to revisit it though was the new Tron movie and some other games that people have made with light cycles. Using the diecast lightcycles as models and acetate sheets as the trails, this makes it much more visibly interesting. I’m going to have to look at this again with that in mind.

- - -


Players: 1 or 2

There were 2 main versions of the games (trap or bite) with 16 variations of these on the cartridge. You (and up to 1 other) could control a head that would either create a trail that you would use to block your opponent’s trail to force them into a collision [very similar to the lightcycles in Tron] or in the bite version would try and nibble away at the opponent’s tail. In addition to the two trails that could be player-controlled, there were also an optional two trails that were computer controlled.
I will do the trap version.

The game board is 37 squares across by 21 squares down. In the prototype this is very easily drawn out on a piece of paper and photocopied for the trap games.
In trap games, the trails are represented by marking in the squares with colored pens (crayons/markers) in the variants where the trails remain after a collision. In the variants were the trails disappear after collisions, you could use erasable pencils (or marking in letters for the different-colored trails and erasing the appropriate ones.) Alternatively, you can draw the grid on a dry-erase board and use dry-erase markers for the trails.
You would also need a 6-sided dice.

The four starting spots are as follows:
The green trail starts 19 in and 5 down. This is optional and game controlled.
The red trail starts 6 in and 11 down. This can be a player controlled trail.
The blue trail starts 32 in and 11 down. This can be a player controlled trail.
The yellow trail starts 19 in and 33 down. This is optional and game controlled.

The basic rules:
1. Each turn fill in a new square attached to the end of your line. (You may not wrap around off end side to the other).
2. If there are no squares for you to add to the end of your line you have a collision and your game ends.
3. If two trails want to enter the same square – both trails roll a dice – with the higher roll getting to add that square first. A tie would mean that both trails have a collision with each other.
4. The last trail still able to play wins.

The game controlled lines always move in a straight line if possible. If doing so would cause a collision, then they move to a random non-colliding space. If they have no valid spaces in which to move, then they have a collision.
The starting direction is decided by rolling d6. If diagonal lines are allowed, then a second roll is needed - 1-3 diagonal, 4-6 non-diagonal. If diagonal then roll again - 1 up left, 2 up right, 3 down right, 4 down left, 5-6 roll again. If non-diagonal then roll again - 1 up, 2 right, 3 down, 4 left, 5-6 roll again.

The variant rules:
Players – the red and blue lines are always in play. The variant would allow all four lines to play. [In a board game version – all 4 lines could be player-controlled.]
Movement – all lines only move to adjacent horizontal or vertical spaces. The variant would allow diagonal moves.
Trails – normally the trails remain after collisions. The variant causes the trails to be erased after the trail has a collision.
Obstacles – Obstacles are 2x2 square boxes that are placed on the board. Trails may not move through obstacles. Normally there are no obstacles on the board. The variant allows 5-8 [4+1/2(d6)] obstacles to be placed on the board.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Garage sale

My daughter wanted to have a garage sale. Shan and I have been involved with them before and know what is involved and don’t believe the time spent outweighs the value earned. But, since G is young and because she has pretty much ground down our will, we said she could have one. So, we have been saving a few things for a garage sale instead of putting them out for the ‘free give-away weekends’.

Luckily Shan’s friend Erika called about helping her out with her garage sale. She has had garage sales before so we packed up the van and went over to help. Her sale was scheduled only from 10am to 1pm so it wouldn’t take up too much of our day.
We got there a bit after 9 am to find she hadn’t set out anything yet. We unloaded the van and then helped her bring out an endless supply of items. By 9:45 people were flocking in and we were still bringing stuff out.

By 11am G was already getting bored so we did a walk around the block to check out another garage sale. By 1 she had picked though Erika items and bought a curling broom and some rub-design toys.

She was really impressed by all the money in the cash box (the float) but ultimately we only sold a few things – a bike, some toy guitars and music set, a few books, and some outgrown costumes. Total haul – between $10 and $15. None of the large yard toys we had priced for a couple of dollars went.

We packed the remaining items back in the van and reloaded Erika’s stuff back into her house. The leftovers were taken to Value Village. We did keep a few things – G had enough fun that she wants to have another one

Friday, June 3, 2011

battle of the dinos!

With the cleaning I'm going through old boxes and came across a box of my old artwork. The kids thought it was neat to see how I used to draw and how I had improved over the years.

Here's one from July of 1993 - it would have been around the time of the American Godzilla release. We had been chatting about how the creature looked more like a T-Rex than Godzilla.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

So we lost about 20

We watch a lot of TV. We’re willing to give a lot of shows a chance and we check out shows that contain people we like. Usually they don’t last but they have been more lenient about giving them a chance since the writer’s strike.

This year we watched and are losing:
Breaking In, The Cape, Chaos, The Defenders, The Event, The Good Guys, Hellcats, Human Target, Lie To Me, Life Unexpected, Mad Love, Medium, Mr. Sunshine, No Ordinary Family, Off the Map, Outsourced, $#*! My Dad Says, Smallville, Tudors and V.
Of these we’re really going to miss The Good Guys, Human Target, Off the Map, and Mr. Sunshine. Outsourced and Smallville were both good as well and Hellcats, Breaking In and Chaos were also fun newcomers.

For whatever reason, Desperate Housewives and One Tree Hill (both of which we watch grudgingly) both made the cut and are coming back – even though One Tree Hill had a great final episode that wrapped up all its loose ends and would have been a great ending to the show.

Monday, May 30, 2011

stored and sore

So we were able to get another three loads taken to the storage locker on Saturday. On my last load I noticed that they had some carts to use to help unloading. This would have been good to know on Friday when I had carried boxes of books down the hallway to the locker.
Then I helped Shan turn the soil in the garden so she could plant before the rain started.

On Sunday we took the back seat out of the van and took two loads of comics to the storage locker. Shan and D3 carried them up the stairs and we loaded them in the van. This filled one of the skids 6 layers high with longboxes and regular boxes. That's almost 6 feet of comics - the stack towers over the rest of the family.
(We have a lot of comics).

So we have emptied out the storage room and the comics room and still haven't filled half of the locker. That means I will have plenty of room to move over a bunch of boxes from my room. The funny thing is, because this was all in our storage room and the comics were in the storage closet and hidden from view, even with these moved over it doesn't look like we've made a dent yet. My room will be the same way.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Pack away your troubles

It's not really that I can say that we're now the proud owners of a storage locker but rather necessity has driven us to have one. I have a 10'x10'x8' temperature controlled unit. It's costing us $200 a month. In four years it will be $10,000 gone away with nothing to show for it instead of being paid towards renovations done but gang aft agley.

I took a load with me when I went to register Friday morning. I wanted to make sure we got one before they all filled up at the end of the month. The unit came with two skids in it that we will put to use. I was able to get three more loads done in the rain and now our downstairs storage room is over half empty.
We'll try and do another few loads on Saturday, and then see about moving over the comics on Sunday when the rain stops. After that, I can make a start at emptying out my room and we can see what condition it is in.

It's not the best solution but we're trying to make the best of it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Game Day

Some friends had a games day on the holiday Monday. They invited us and two other couples over to play some games. While some played some longer games we banged out a bunch of the smaller games - most of which we hadn't played. At the smaller table, we sat down with Lee, G, and another daughter of one of the friends.

We started with a couple of quick rounds of Toss Up. I've played it before but we like it. It's quick and simple. Of the two games we played I won one.

We followed up with Scrabble Slam. It's another simple game. Of the two games played I won one.

Next we played two games of Feed The Kitty. It belongs to the friend's daughter but is simple and fun. The nice thing about it is that when you are out, you still have a chance to get back into the game. I won one of the two games.

We played a game of Uno Junior and one game of Zombie Dice. After these the kids went off to play and tried some of the newer games.

We tried Spooks. It takes a round to get used to the variations but it was fun. Of the three round played, I won the last two. We didn't try the Master rules but it is definitely one we'll be playing again.

We tried a game of Gloom, which I won. While it seems like a neat game, the cards are difficult to read and I suspect will get harder once they start to scuff. I won but Shan had been confused about the scoring - even though we had gone over it a few times. So we didn't play a second game.

While Lee went to make supper we switched around players and played another three games of Scrabble Slam - which I won another two. Then we played five quick games of Cthulhu Dice. While I only won one game, madness was had by all.

It was a fun day. With good friends and games played - we need to do this more often.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spring chores

A few things have interrupted my western town building of late. The first is finally getting a new laptop – which means that I can finally play Hellgate after all these years. So far, I’m liking it!

The second is having the possibility of a game room in our renovation plans dashed by the bank. It was a long shot but as the time went along I got more and more used to the idea. The vision of being able to spread out a game and walk away from it afterwards – cleaning it up later became more and more appealing. With that off the table for now, we’ve had to take a bit harder look at our current set up and have decided we need to put a lot of stuff into storage for now. Not just some of the non-played games (that we want to keep) but also older toys, and other stuff.

That said, we’ve never done off-site storage before. I’m figuring that we probably want a heated/cooled unit. Has anyone out there done this before? Our basic storage unit is a printer paper box. Would these hold up? Anyone have good experiences or is storage always a bad step before just getting rid of everything?

Finally, now that we've gotten some nice weather (and having no renovations to interupt us), we have yard work to do. We did our first mow of the year on Monday. Shan raked the front yard yesterday - we still have the back to rake. We'll have to turn the garden, move the last composter to the back, and see if I can cut the metal pole by the back gate to make room for a shed. I'm thinking about removing the pole for the old pool cover as well.
Then we have to decide if the summer will be warm enough to set up the pool.