Thursday, September 24, 2009

Adeptus Comicus

This little bit of silliness came about after I build my first drop pod and wondered how a dreadnought would be loaded on one. The troop carrying guts of the thing seem too integrated into the structure to be easily converted.

Anyway, the idea of how dreads might actually use a drop pod gave me a tickle, so I'm sharing the initial pencil with you. I plan on cleaning it up and inking it now that it's digital.

In case you can't read my chicken scratching, here's the script.

Technician: Brother Awesomenus is scheduled for drop assault but our last drop pod has troop restraints installed.

Brother Awesomenus: Fear not, brothers. I shall go into battle in the manner of our ancient forefathers.

Yes, I realize I wrote "manor" instead of "manner." Deal. Also, I have no real concept of whether an ancient Space Marine Dreadnought would call an Adeptus Mechanicus tech "brother." Same response... deal. I liked the dread calming the fretting tech with his kind words of wisdom. So there ya have it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Can you ID the Mystery Elf?

My wife bought this for me at a garage sale a few years ago. I have not been able to identify it yet. I thought she might be a witch elf or Drow, but all my searching has not turned up an answer.

  • She was mounted on a GW square base with a 1991 copyright
  • Cut marks on the bottom of the feet are consistant with a GW "slotta" base.
  • She does not appear to be made of lead
Any ideas?

EDIT: Solved!

A Day in the Life

This will be edited all day. Feel free to live vicariously.

7:22 AM: woke up. realized I had turned alarm off. freaked out getting kids up for school
8:13 AM: dropped kids off at school without breakfast. MEAP is today.
8:28 AM: call from Stef to see if I'm okay, since I was so freaked out getting the kids to school
8:37 AM: determined perl daemon process I started last night is still running. so far so good.
9:05 AM: dumped about 20 lbs of recycling off my trash-hole desk
9:22 AM: call from 800 number at desk phone. didn't answer
9:37 AM: off for my third cup of coffee. is it time to go home yet?
9:45 AM: minor panic attack thinking about the fact that the code we are just about to move to production works in Zimbra 5 but not Zimbra 6. Our hosting provider for Zimbra is planning on upgrading from 5 to 6 in about 4-6 weeks, giving us a narrow window to come up with something new. Current project took about 4 months to complete.
9:52 AM: taking a minute while Ann Marie gets her code moved to a test server to refine repackager process for EMU Today. Just prettying up the presentation a little.
9:57 AM: putting on my magnificent "bose triport" headphones to listen to Abbey Road again. This makes about 100 times in the past three weeks.
11:09 AM: Apparently Ann Marie and I have been working on a different schema assumption (mostly because I didn't change the table creates in the svn repository) so we're getting that ironed out. hooray for unit tests.
11:16 AM: Whoops. killed my daemon by dropping the primary event table. I need to change the query code to try and autorecover from a db connection error rather than just die.
12:05 PM: Walked up to the student center. The mural of pandas on the wall where "Panda Express" chinese take-out used to be is odd.
1:20 PM: Fifth cup of coffee. EMU Today harvester is done and on beta tab. Next stop, public beta opt-in.
3:50 PM: Our little cabal of technocracy has decided that our vendor is insane, and we've decided to do the work ourselves. It will be a metric crap-ton of extra work, but the OT won't be half bad and the result will be a system that we can use in a timely manner for a lot less money. Also, cup #6 of coffee is cold and nearly empty. I guess "cup" isn't really the correct term. It's a travel mug that holds about two mugs worth of coffee. Does that make this cup 12? Just finished listening to the Beatles rooftop concert on youtube.
4:22 PM: Back to trying to get what I was working on before the 2:30 meeting going.... can't seem to get the channel app to read the ldap attributes passed to it. There are other working channels here that do it, so I must have a configuration option wrong. Rule One of Life: if it doesn't work it's probably not someone else's fault.

Monday, September 21, 2009

My New Best Friends

It's been a long time since I've worked in any industrial settings. Back in those days I used to carry around things like safety glasses and earplugs all the time, since I regularly needed them.

This weekend, I came to love earplugs again.

I've been having trouble hearing people lately. It just seems like select people are mumbling most of the time. Asking them to speak louder doesn't help me, since loud doesn't seem to equate to clear. As we packed the family into the car Saturday morning to head to a nephew's birthday party I grabbed (on a whim) a pair of earplugs from my travel kit. I had a bit of a headache and the kids were pretty riled up so I was already expecting a loud ride. Add to that Stef's recent fondness of playing books-on-tape type stories for the kids in the car using her little speaker she bought and the earplugs seem more and more attractive.

What I didn't expect is that they would help me hear better. With the road noise and most of the incidental passenger sounds pushed down, I was actually able to hear and understand voices better. In Manchester, MI later that day I was able to understand the announcer with the bullhorn just fine with the earplugs in. Without them her voice was just an incomprehensible buzz/echo.

The only downside is that people think I'm avoiding listening to them when I wear the earplugs, an irony I'd say since wearing them results in me understanding more. I think wearing earplugs is less detached looking than wearing headphones, since headphones always give the impression that you are listening to something else, whereas earplugs mean you are just listening to less.

Monday, September 14, 2009

One in a Million Rolls

I have never seen this happen. Ever. Well, I have now and I don't suppose I will again. We're still not sure how it happened. Inspection of the table afterward showed nothing that would have obviously caused it.
Here's the same roll from another angle. After gawking at it for a while, manager Brett came over and bumped the table edge so it fell on its side. What was the end roll? A one. On a roll to wound. I asserted it should be a rending wound for being so unusual, but since I wasn't playing nobody cared what I had to say. ;-)

Saturday I actually played a game at the Paint Creek Crossing GW store. I had intended to participate in the Headhunters event, but instead of running at 1 PM and 4 PM apparently they only had one run at 2 PM. Oh, well. I still got a 2k pick-up game in with my Skaven. My opponent refused to play anything less than 2k and I found out why... he had a Vampire Lord on a dragon that constituted about 1/3 of his points. I shot the thing like crazy but couldn't seem to do any damage to it, not even with two characters blasting warp lightning and 8 jezzails. My opponent didn't really know the rules very well, so I was just sort of letting him call the shots; I hadn't played in over two years, and I was just looking to have fun. I wasn't really doing him any favors I know, but I didn't really feel like arguing. Another fellow who wasw willing to point out rules saddled up to the table and started pointing out errors, but soon after that my opponent ran out of time and had to leave. Having gotten a taste of playing again I think I will be back. My ten year old daughter came with me and enjoyed it, so I'm hoping this will be the start of her gaming experience.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Quote of the Day

On the fact that mnemonics are no longer allowed in certain schools...

Foil! First, inner, outer, last! It's always worked for me!

--Ann Marie

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

How To Win Customer Loyalty

I have to hand it to Brett at the Paint Creek Crossing Games Workshop store. He has always been a pleasant fellow with whom to interact, and I mean that with no sarcasm. He's a salesman without giving the hard-sell. The way he handles the painting competitions there is just one example of his professionalism.

When I found out there was a painting competition last weekend I finished a couple of models to enter, and my daughter, son and nephew (between the ages of 5 and 8) all did the same. My daughter really loves painting, so to enter her first competition was a big thing for her. She asked what sort of prizes you get for winning, and I told her at this level that it's just for fun and you'll get a certificate if you win (like in past competitions there.)

We all submitted our models, and my dreadnought won in large model. None of my kin won, but they didn't seem to mind. Brett then surprised me by handing me a prize... one of those bolter ammo box miniature cases! I don't even know if you can get those anymore! The winner of the contest got a battleforce of his choice!

So, between making my GW experience a pleasant one (again), giving my kids a category in which to compete (even if just for fun) and doling out unexpected prize support, Brett has certainly impressed me.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

I Rage Against "Limited Edition"

I want Space Hulk. Ya hear, GW? I want to spend my money on your product. The problem is that I don't want to buy it now. I want to buy it, oh, more in the February time frame.

"Don't wait!" says GW. "Space Hulk is limited edition and will only be available for a short time!"

You know what? Hogwash. Plastic figures cost a ton to tool, and if GW has gone to all the trouble to make new dies for the Space Hulk figs, then they are planning to sell a lot of them. I'm guessing that means more than will fly off the shelves on 9/5/09. So either they are looking to spend a ton of money developing a new game that will be impossible to buy in a month or they plan on releasing an unlimited edition later. I can wait until then. If they don't plan on producing it after this limited release, then forget it. I don't want another unsupported game (cough*bloodbowlnecromundabattlefleetgothicmordheim*cough).

Seriously, guys. I pre-ordered Black Reach because it looked so great, and it wasn't limited in any way. Space Hulk looks great, but the idea that I might miss my chance to buy it because I don't feel like ponying up $100 right before my kids go to school really grinds me.