Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How many Daleks do you need?

I dunno. How many Daleks are there?

I’m on a list for the Dr Who Miniatures game. They had mentioned that the Doctor Who Adventures magazine had plastic Dalek figures coming. The magazine is targeted towards kids and usually has a neat add-in each issue.

I checked around and was unable to get it locally but was able to get someone over there to buy them for me and send them over. The issue came with 17 of the new Daleks in fabulous technicolor! There were 5 red, 5 blue, 5 orange, 1 yellow and 1 white. The following issue came out with a pack of 8 Cybermen and 8 Judoon. While these weren’t as nice as the Daleks, they’ll do nicely to bulk out the forces in a game. So I got three of the Dalek issues and two of the Cyberman/Judoon issues.

Of course, they’ll need a touch of paint to complete them, but even without they look pretty nice. They’ll look nice with the old Citadel Dalek/Cyberman boxed set I have from decades ago.

What am I going to do with 51+ Daleks and 16+ Cybermen? I’ll probably paint up one as a stone Dalek and a few as the Ironsides Daleks. I may even be able to run the War of the Daleks from the Salute site.
The rest? Someone on the list suggested that they could easily be used as a Necron force in 40K. Now that really gets the mind churning. It’s definitely being added as a project.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Renovation plans – there is another

I had the day off yesterday and had my eyes checked. It’s been 6 years since my last visit – the optometrist gave me warning about glaucoma and said I need to come more often. But my eyes are fine. My prescription has improved again slightly – one of the benefits of being myopic in my youth – as my eyes age and my lens flatten out, my eyes get better.

I met Shan for lunch and went to Dairy Whip (had a Fatboy, Fries and Chilli – hmm, happy belly). While there, Shan came up with a third option for upgrades. We could still do the second floor changes (extra bedroom and bathroom), and part of the wing (basement and game room), deck, roof, siding, etc. We would skip the extra bedroom over the game room.

Hopefully our numbers come in okay for everything.
If not, we still have this option which includes my workshop, gameroom, and Shan’s deck. As a second choice, this should crunch through the numbers and still give us what we need.
Otherwise, the second floor only addition should clear the numbers as a last resort.

Interesting times.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Western Town - test pieces

I drew the upsized buildings on a piece of posterboard then cut them out and glued them together. I’m starting with a few test pieces – a shed, an outhouse, and a log cabin. If they prove too difficult to work with I can stop, if they seem to work okay I can proceed with upsizing some of the more complex buildings.

The posterboard seems a bit flimsy right now. I am hoping when I glue on the roofs and bases they will firm up. Then I will glue on the match sticks for window frames and stir sticks for planks.

For the log cabin, I found a set of dowels that are the same scale as the pattern printed on the Hotz Artworks design – 10 logs high. I am not sure if I want to rough them up a bit or not to better simulate logs. I also have to decide if I want to sand the backs flatter to make them easier to glue.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Road Trip - Gimli

We used to know when we getting near to Gimli when we could see the distillery.

Gimli used to be a little community about an hour north of Winnipeg. Over the last decade or so, it has had some real growth. While there is still a lot of people using it as a cottage town, there are also a lot of people living there year-round. They still have a movie theatre and a lot of restaurants for their population.

They have done extensive upgrades to the beach area. They still have the big wall to calm the waters of the Lake Winnipeg for the Harbour and for fishing. They have moved around some of the big monuments including the plane that used to be at the end of the main street.

The Viking has been around for many years, and is now tucked away in his new location.

They run the Icelandic days festival in the late summer and have recently added a waterpark to their main park.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Renovations - funding - flag on play

We had an appraiser come out to check out our current house and give a value for the upgrades we want. It seems that the numbers don't come in as quite as nice as we had hoped. We're valued at about $195K and throwing $200K in renovations only brings us up to $335K. Considering we are only adding a bathroom, two bedrooms, and a mass of square footage, as well as new roof and siding that's not too bad. The deck, basement and game room don't add much in the way of 'value' to an appraiser even though they are highly valuable to us.

When the bank is crunching the numbers, they don't get the values they want. They have to submit it through CMHC to see if they will give it their blessing. It's a bit frustrating to be so close to a game room and now have it possibly be whisked away, but it's hard to fault them. Part of the reason we aren't having the housing trouble that they are in the States is because we are stricter about these numbers.

If they don't approve them in their entirety, we'll probably able to do the second floor upgrades now and will have to see about the wing later.
On the upside - we will have less disruption and it should take less time.
On the downside - it will end up costing more and we will have to go through renovations twice. But the wing addition should be less disruptive if done later.

Now, if we hit the numbers on LottoMax, this all becomes less of a concern.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pictures - followed

I had a bit of time and went back and updated a bunch of the 'pictures to follow' posts from last year by adding the pictures to them. You can check them out here:
Olympic medals at mint
Fabric for Hit-Girl costume
Hit-Girl costume updates
More Hit-Girl costume updates
Even more Hit-Girl costume updates
Updated the ValleyCon pictures
New Hit-Girl costume updates - Tactical vest
Work on Hit-Girl costume and Sonic screwdriver
More Hit-Girl costume updates - Tactical vest
and Halloween

Hopefully I shall get the next batch soon and be able to update some more.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Road Trip – Pinawa

Pinawa is a small community on the edge of the Whiteshell. It was a former company town – with the nuclear plant being the main industry. There is a park near the old dam and a lovely golf course. They also have a small suspension bridge. In addition to the beach, they also have a swimming pool.

In town, they have a wonderful large sundial.

In addition, there is often a deer population that roams the streets – and have become quite blasé about people.

Friday, March 11, 2011

No pennies for your thoughts

Just so you know - I blame you.

Again they are talking about phasing out the penny. Since it costs more than a cent to make a penny and they have to keep making them every year. Like all coins, the penny doesn’t wear out as fast as the paper bills do. This is why we changed from paper ones and twos to the coin loonies and toonies. The problem is people aren’t spending the pennies and putting them back into circulation so there is always a draw on them. This hasn’t been helped by the revisions to the currency act which only allows you to pay up to $0.25 in pennies at a time.

So where are the pennies ending up? Some people keep them in jars or plastic tubs. Some people keep them in big bottles. Some people drop them into penny campaigns or donation boxes.
Me? I keep them in a film canister with my nickels and dimes and use them when I make purchases to ensure the change that I get back works out to even quarters. This usually confuses the clerks who can’t do simple math but often they understand when they punch in the amount and the cash register tells them how much to give back.

I’m also older, so I have memories of the folks getting together to play Michigan Rummy for pennies. This was back when people smoked so I have memories of the top half of the room being filled with blue-grey smoke. We all kept tubs of pennies to be able to use to play. I keep meaning to get people together and play again – it’s more an excuse to hang out and chat but the money kept it fun. We had tried it with nickels two decades ago when we were younger but losing up to $2 in pennies wasn’t that much while losing $8 in nickels was more noticeable.

The concept on phasing out the penny only affects those people who pay by cash. People paying by cheque, credit cards or debit would pay the actual total. People paying cash would have their total rounded down to the nearest nickel if the total ended in .01, .02, .06, or .07 and rounded up if it ends in .03, .04, .08, and .09.
If you are for this plan then you don’t have to do anything. If you’d rather that they don’t phase out the penny, then start using some of yours. Or roll some and cash them in to the bank. Or, at the very least, get a baggie of 20 or 50 or so and donate them the next chance you get – most stores and malls have a bin for some cause, as does the zoo, museum, planetarium, and so on. It’s not that hard to get rid of them if you really try.

I’m doing my part. If we lose the penny, I blame you.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Diablo - update

While I still haven’t taken a run at Diablo himself, I did manage to complete one of my goals. I finally was able to upgrade my gems to have all six perfect gems and use the Horadric cube to change them into a resist-all amulet.

On the down side, it looks like the resistances top out at a max of 75%.

On the up side, it clears up a lot of space in my stash.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Road Trip - Petersfield

Coming back from Winnipeg Beach, we stopped at the Petersfield duck.

There's not much of the town itself but they have a nice little park where you can pull over and see the duck and take some pictures.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fig painting total - Feb

I was doing fine for figures bought this year – with nothing I purchased in January completing any sets and only 11 sets completed in February – until I came across some farm animal sets in BJ Super Toy Sales. I’ve been looking for 1/35 horses and cattle for the upsized RWNN and haven’t been able to find any at Dollarama or Michael’s. At $1.50 a bag, it was worth picking up two bags to see what was usable.

It was a good find – with 2 horses (1 foal), 3 cattle (1 calf), 3 pigs, 3 sheep (1 lamb), and a goat. 5 to 10 bags should give enough head of cattle to simulate a decent herd come to town, enough horses, and even enough sheep to make a cattle/sheep war viable. Especially if I can find the bags for less.

Also, I’m hoping to use these figures to hone my painting skills for the regular figures.

40K Battlewagon (in bits) – 1
40K Carnifex (in bits) – 1
40K Raveners (in bits) – 3
40K Tyranid Warriors (in bits) – 6
2 sets Farm Animals (1/35 scale) - 24
Feb figures bought – 35, figures painted – 0