Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Behold My Top 5

Okay, nothing much in the way of updates. I found a way to display one's top 5 CoolMiniOrNot minis, so I included it on my blog here. It's on the right, a little ways down.

I still can't figure out why that Black Templar sergeant has the best score. Sadly enough it's probably more the subject matter than the paint job.

Side note: my spell checker doesn't like the word "Templar." It suggested, among other things, "Exemplariness" as a possible replacement. I cannot imagine a situation where using "exemplariness" would be the best word choice. Who knows? Maybe you, the reader, use it daily.

Monday, February 26, 2007


My truck is 12 years old and 30 miles shy of 100K. It still looks nice. It still seems to drive okay, especially for a 4-cylinder. It has been basic, reliable transportation for quite a while, and only the odd catalytic converter, muffler, blown gasket, etc., has kept it off the road.... until this past November. On the way home from work the battery light came on. I observed that the volt meter on my dash had dropped from its normal 15v or so to about 12v. Oops. I hypothesized that it was probably the alternator. We really didn't have the money to fix it with Christmas coming up, so it sat.

Last Sunday, my neighbor helped me out and took a look at the car. He surmised that the battery might be the issue, and took it to an auto parts store where they verified that the battery did indeed have a bad cell. I bought a new battery, and the volt meter was back up at 15v! Hooray!

Based on how much text is left in this entry, you can probably guess that new battery is not end of story.

Within a day of driving, the voltmeter dropped back to 12v and the battery light was on. I figured what the heck... I'm gonna drive it to work and see what happens. All week long the truck took me back and forth to work without issue. Even starting the truck was unchanged. My (faulty) logic was that if the battery was draining then starting should sound progressively more strained over the course of the week.

My coworker Buck invited me to go hear Scott Hahn speak. On Saturday morning I was driving out to meet Buck when things turned significantly south for the truck. The volt meter started a steady downward trend... 12v... 11v....10v.... uh, oh..... 9v. I start looking for an exit so I'm not stuck on the side of the road. Ah! Zeeb Rd. Good. As I approach, the engine RPM's to maintain speed increase, and I'm now fearful that the transmission is failing as well. I manage to nurse it into a parking lot off Zeeb Rd and give Stef a call. She comes out and charges the battery for me for a while so that I can try to nurse it home. I get as far as the freeway before it quite enthusiastically dies on me.

It was about 10am when I hit Zeeb Rd. It was about 3:00pm when the tow truck pulled up to my house. I missed the Scott Hahn thing (grumble) of which Buck gave rave reviews this morning. Sunday, neighbor Brian and I changed my alternator in the freezing rain. Well, it was more him doing the work and me squinting and handing him tools, but I learned a fair bit. We took the old alternator to the auto parts store to make sure it was bad, and it failed all the tests... whew. If it had passed we would have been quite puzzled.

But now, drum roll please, the truck is really fixed! I have my wheels again!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Warm and Fuzzy Details

I worked for hours on that one eye. I wanted it to be squinty rather than wide open like many others are done. If this fellow was going to wear bunny slippers, then he was going to look grumpy, not crazed.

The slippers eyes are sculpted as buttons. I highlighted the rim edges of the button to emphasize the depth, but I think the button holes got lost a little in there.

I think sometimes the scale of these things is lost on the non-miniature painter. They are small.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Warm and Fuzzy

So, I got around to painting the free Night Goblin that came with White Dwarf magazine months ago. One of my coworkers suggested bunny slippers over the regular cloth boots, and I just had to give it a shot.

I'm selling it on eBay as well. After all, what use have I for a single Night Goblin wearing bunny slippers? Hopefully someone with a real Orcs and Goblins army will pick him up. The sad part is that after being up on eBay for a good 12 hours at a paltry $0.01 starting bid, I haven't gotten a single bid.

Friday, February 16, 2007


I've borrowed a digital camera, and taken a wip pic of one of the Wraithlords that I'm painting for the Eldar commission army.

So behold the first photo I have included in ages on this blog. Yes, I know the gems on the gun are unfinished.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Smoked, then Soaked

So Saturday was the first Warmachine/Hordes tournament around here. I ponied up the $5 to enter, then played for a good six hours at the local hobby shop. Of the four matches I played, I only won one of them.

In game 1, an assassination scenario, I managed to trap the enemy warlock between two sets of troops, but then failed to roll any significant damage. Sigh. In game 2, a land grab against my regular opponent Brian, neither of us gained any points for grabbing land and he won by kicking the crap out of everything I owned. In game 3, in which the object was to control three specific spots on the table for as many turns as possible, my opponent could not overcome my numerous infantry and I won. Game 4 was another assassination scenario, and I nearly, nearly won.

So more about game 4. Each game goes on for one hour, and then "last round" is called. If the player who went first is playing when last round is called, then the other players gets a turn and the game is over. If the player who went second is playing when last round is called, then the game is over at the end of his (I'd say "or her", but who are we kidding?) turn. If neither player has accomplished the scenario objective by the end of the game, then the player who scored the most victory points (by destroying enemy units) wins. As the end of the game was approaching, I was vastly ahead in victory points and in position to blast the two threats nearest my warcaster (the object of my opponent's assassination plans) and then kill his warcaster with my own troops near the other side of the board. My warcaster easily blasted one of the threats (a Skarlock Thrall for those Warmachine players) but I totally forgot to blast the other, and more serious, threat... a Pistol Wraith! I then proceeded to somehow not kill Skarre, his warcaster, thanks to some record breakingly bad rolls. On his turn, he stepped up and
popped my poor Grand Scrutator Severious, rolling very high damage and killing the old man. If I hadn't forgotten to blast that thing I would have won game 4, and put myself in the running for maybe third place in the tournament. Oops.

Okay, enough wargaming talk. That was the "smoked" part. On to the "soaked" part.

After coming home from small group last night and putting the kids to bed, I was in the kitchen and heard a faint trickling sound. Not faint like a small trickling, but faint like a pretty strong trickling at a distance. A little investigation indicated that the sound was emanating from the basement, and my first thought was that a pipe had burst. It wasn't a burst pipe. It was water pouring from the temperature/pressure relief valve on my water heater. I looked around for a bucket to catch the scalding stream, but apparently all of the buckets had made their winter migration south. I ended up dumping toys out of a plastic toy bin and using that, all the while standing in my socks in the pool of water that had formed on the floor. I figured adding cold water to the water heater would alleviate the over temperature, so I had Stef run the tub hot (which later resulted in a bath for her. Silver lining.) The pouring water reduced to a trickle, then stopped entirely, but not before the bottom drywall of our bathroom down there got pretty soaked. Whee. I ended up lowing the temperature on the water heater, which somehow was up at "B"...for what that's worth.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Aught Seven tain't no Ninety Four

It's cold here. Really cold.

Let's talk about how cold it is, shall we? I think we'd all agree that 32 degrees is rather cold, right? I mean, we can all agree that ice is cold, can't we? In addition, I'll assert that 70 degrees F is a pleasant spring day, and even rather warm for a summer night. 70-32 = 38. So the difference between a nice spring day and cold is a differential of about 38 degrees.

This morning it was -7 when I got up. -7 - 32 = 39 degrees. The difference between cold and the bitter cold of this morning was the same differential as between cold and a pleasant spring day. Yeah, it's cold.

As cold as it is, it doesn't compare to 1994. I was working midnights in EMU's operations department when the temperature was down in the -20 range for nearly a week. Just walking from the car to the office left me aching from the cold. It's not like To Build a Fire or something, where spit freezes in mid-air, but it was cold. Far colder than today. And today is cold.