Monday, September 25, 2006

Old Friend, New Success

This post has no other purpose than to congratulate the one and only Tim Eldred on his accomplishment. His book "Grease Monkey" has been nominated by the American Library Association in the category of Best Book for Young Adults!

Apparently the nomination won't be on their site until October 1, but here's the link:

When I think of people living out their dreams, I know two guys named Tim who have done it. (The other one is artist Tim Albee, in case you wonder, care, or have arrived here by searching on Tim Albee's name... Hi, Tim!) You, Tim Eldred, are an inspiration.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Done and Started

The standard bearer is done and shipped to the owner. The thing that torques me is now that it's gone I can see flaws in the picture that I really want to fix. The globby things near the top of the standard, for example. I have a quote in to the customer for a squad, so if I get that job I'll ask him to return the standard bearer to me for repairs.

I'm now working on another mini for Aether Drip, a Hordes mini. This fellow is a "Titan Cannoneer" from the Skorne faction. The normal mini has the cannon pointing down, so this is a bit of a conversion. Titans look big and dumb to me, so having his tongue sneaking out while aiming appeals to me.

I feel like I have something deep and meaningful that I should be posting here tonight, but I really can't think of it.... oh, well.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Aether Drip

I am now semi-officially a member of Aether Drip Painting Studio. My first piece, the aforementioned Circle of Orboros box, is now listed in Plainswalker's Magic Bag eBay store. I already have some Skorne (a Titan Cannoneer, a unit of Praetorians and Archdomina Makeda) that Angelos gave me to paint up in addition to all my other work. I'm going to be busy, but hopefully it will be a nice income supplement.

The "Legion of the Damned" standard bearer commission is coming along well. Obviously the hardest part will be the freehand on the standard. I like the way the black armor is coming along. Doing black that doesn't just suck the light out of the room is challenging.

Forecast for Today: Rain

Last night the EMU faculty union decided to give up the strike and go back to the bargaining table with the administraiton. I would defer to for some insight on why. My prediction is that we will have a few days of faculty in classrooms, but if nothing is resolved by the time the rain clears up they'll be back on the picket line. At least until it gets cold.

I used to think the faculty contract expired just as the school year starts so that the faculty could have extra bargaining power. Now, I just think it expires then so that it won't ruin faculty summer vacations to strike.

Many of the striking faculty were carrying signs reading "I'd rather teach." Yeah, for $80k with summers off, I'd rather teach, too.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Each night my wife sings "Good Night, My Someone" to my 2-year old son while he rests his head on her shoulder. He sings back, mostly in sounds rather than words.

It is absolutely the sweetest thing.


The Circle of Orboros box has a 7.1 on CMON, tying for the best mini I've done. I'm pleased.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Fire and Forget

So apparently a new game store is opening around here called "Planeswalker's Magic Bag." Mark talked to the owner, and he gave Mark two Hordes starter boxes for me and him to paint up for sale. I put the finishing touches on mine tonight. >>CMON link<<

I've got to hand it to the guy, trusting someone he's never met with $80 worth of merchandise won him a few points with me. Apparently the deal is that he sells the painted figures somehow, and gives the painter the sale price minus the retail price of the minis. For him it's no different than selling an unopened box, so I'm not really sure what the benefit is for him other than to have painted minis to display. I'm not even sure he has a site for the new store yet! Well, he trusted me with merchandise, so I'll trust him to pay me for whatever the painted minis sell for. If all goes well, I'll hand him minis and later he'll hand me cash.

Next up for painting: Space Marine Standard Bearer commission job. After that, in no particular order, a Usagi Yojimbo "Gen" mini, lots more dwarfs, a Skorne starter box, and finally my own Menoth minis if I get some time. And I really should get around to painting the minis that the very generous Naukhel sent me for Mini Exchange 8.

The faculty are still on strike here. Their proposed compensation changes are outrageous, in my not-so-humble opinion. So now they walk a picket line in front of the classroom buildings, but classes go on anyway (not all faculty are represented by the local apparently.)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Miscellany 2

Yesterday was a beautiful, cool, relaxing summer day. If 3pm on a clear, low-70's Labor Day isn't the perfect time for a nap, I don't know what is.

The faculty here at EMU is on strike, and classes start tomorrow. Considering all the problems we've had recently I am irritated at both sides, since a strike can only hurt enrollment. Enrollment is what we need to build to flourish here. (shakes head) Our local negotiates after the faculty, so they shape our contract a great deal. Anything they concede we are forced to concede, for all intents and purposes. Anything they get affects how much is available for us to get.

Sunday was Sarah's last day in children's church. From now on, she's in regular church with us, unless Stef and I are in nursery (which is probably 3 Sundays in 5.) I'm a little pensive of her ability to sit somewhat still for 40 minutes, but hoping for the best.

I don't typically take celebrity deaths with any level of personal involvement, but Steve Irwin makes me feel a bit of loss. He was just some likeable guy who loved his job, and happened to ride the zeitgeist for 8 seconds and win the rodeo while doing it. Somehow he made being a TV-average looking (much better than non-TV average looking) alligator wrestler seem like an everyday guy. Go figure. And anyone who says "he died doing what he loved" has never been killed doing what they loved... I'm sure it sucks.

Saturday, Stef called me over to the front porch to see what she thought was a hummingbird. "If that's a hummingbird, it's the smallest bird that I've ever seen," she said. It was flying exactly like a hummingbird, hovering as it went from flower to flower. Upon close inspection, it appeared to be more like a little lobster with hummingbird wings. Stef caught it in a little bug net, and we put it in a jar for observation. It was indeed some sort of moth, with membranous wings like a fly or a cicada. After releasing it from the jar, it alighted on Stef's hand, and Stef and Sarah both petted it for a minute before it flew off to feed again. A quick google on the words "hummingbird" and "moth" yielded the animal's name: Hummingbird Moth. Go figure. How cool. The picture attached is the spit and image of what we saw; just imagine the wings as a blur.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Back in Stride

I have been having trouble painting lately. For more than a week now it has been work to pick up a brush, so much so that I've set my painting supplies a couple times this week and then just did nothing.

Last night changed that.

I started by doing some touch up work on the Argus models (the two headed wolves) that came with the Cirlce of Orboros box that had been so much work for me lately. I then started highlighting the WarpWolf (the larger wolf model) and things just started... I dunno... flowing. It was dark in the house, and silent except for an occassional sigh or cough from my wretched dogs, and I sat under the unnaturally bright Ott light and just painted. I went to bed actually a little excited to wake up and see what the models look like in more natural light. I'll probably have all four models completed sometime tonight, and then move on to the next commission piece, a Space Marine Stardard Bearer.