21 Jan 2018

21 days in

This year has been a tornado of activity and it's only been 21 days. I'm in Victoria, BC ending my first of three weeks living here for my job. Work wise this has been the best of the trips so far and I'm not only making mention of the brilliant weather and great views. The clients have been very receptive and positive where in some of my previous visits it has been a less receptive reaction from the local client.

I've had some time to focus on what I'm doing and how I've been spending my time. Right now I'm getting close to 13 April the one year anniversary of the other site I work on; Canadian Tabletop Gamer. It's a place I put together that focuses on tabletop gaming and something my friends could help out with. Well being away and everyone also being busy has led to me writing most of the posts in the last couple of months. Not a bad thing but getting closer to the one year mark I'm taking note if this does what I want it to do.

The idea behind the site was to work on my writing style and clean it up. I spent more time editing myself there than I have here. I focused more on the quality of the work and the writing. Some posts I'm happy about and some I am not. I tried out some new ideas like walking through character creation for a role playing game or visiting the local game stores while I criss cross the country. Both series of posts have been great fun to work on even if the traffic is low.

Honestly the traffic for the whole site is very low. I'm ok with that. What I am not ok with is wasting the time if it is not leading to something and that's were reflection comes into play. When I get to 13 April 2018 will I decide to keep working on it or close it down into something else.

Canadian Tabletop Gamer was a reboot of parts of what I'm doing here in tandem with an exercise of branding. I may have aimed to high and the quality of the posts are not always to my liking but thats the ok part when you start something new.

I'm still hopeful that it will go past the one year mark but it will depend on other folks contributing instead of just me. That's where I am standing now and I may be somewhere different at the year mark.

Outside of that project I have six chapters of a first draft of my first novel. I've never gotten this far before and I took a break over the winter holidays. I'm eager to get back to work and pound out some work. I'm not sure if it will ever get published but I may do it myself if I want, I'm not sure but it's been fun writing it so far. I've never walked so close to this dream and it feels good working to fulfill it.

I've got a short story in me right now that may take up some time next week. I'm gona scratch some things out and see if it's worth the time working on it. So far my last couple years of writing have been non-existent or very rewarding. I'm really hoping it's the second thing.

Video game wise I've played through Dying Light as well as Hitman and both have been great time sinks. Battle Chasers: Nightwar has also been fun and I look forward to chilling on my couch to put some more time into those games. Right now the only video game I'm really looking forward to is FarCry 5. I've also put some time in on Hearthstone but I'm being very casual about it.

On my film viewing, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War are both on my list for this spring along with Solo. Alita: Battle Angel, Sicario 2: Soldado, and Super Troopers 2 are also on a short list. Most of the films I'm eager to see are films I missed last year.

I've got two non work trips, Rumble on Route 66 and GENCON 51. Both are about my gaming hobby and I'm ok with that but I think this year will be the last year I delve this deep in hobby travel. Next year I'd like to travel to the UK with my wife and Japan the following year.

All of this is nothing to what comes in May. I will be a home owner alongside my life partner and wife.

This is year is 21 days in and I'm already looking forward to September.

- Cheers


31 Dec 2017

Cheers 2017

2017 is about to close. So I'm going to ramble on here...

Today is the last day of the calendar year. It started with sheer luck and chance. Lady Bear was still beside me sleeping peacefully. We woke up and listened to some music together as I started my day with a glass of Du Bois maple whisky. I then had my early breakfast of rouladen, mash potato, beef peppered gravy, and spaetzle. Coffee followed as I turned on Battle Chasers: Nightwar and played a few hours as we got closer to mid morning. I paused when Lady Bear provided a bowl sized cup of home made ramen for brunch which I chased down with a bottle of Innis & Gunn: Bourbon Cask Dark Ale to fuel the clean up of my brand new Szalamandra.

Tonight I will venture into the home of a best friend with another best friend. We shall say goodbye to the year before leaving for another mates home. He is away on duty while his wife hosts us to ring in the new year around a table of some easy to play games.

I'm sad to say that I've missed quite a bit with the pace of work, life, and the sheer amount of travel I've had over four months. I've missed out on some great movies Movie Bob has a good list to look at below. Movie wise I was very happy with the cyber punk entries with Ghost in the Shell and Blade Runner 2049 Star Wars: The Last Jedi was another good film but I have a post on what I would have changed. This movie is making it clear that this film was for my nephews to love and follow in the same way Star Wars: A New Hope was for me when I was old enough to watch it.

I've started to read the Expanse series completing the first three books over the last couple of months. I've also caught up on the Injection a new series by Warren Ellis. Lady Bear helped me out by finding the two volumes I was missing of Kenichi Sonoda's Gunsmith Cats. Kirkman's Invincible is coming to an end. Volume 24: The End of All Things, Part 1 was due out last week and I've not yet picked it up from my local comic shop Entertainment Ink and I'm not in a rush to read it since the final volume is not due out until the end of March. I was very happy with the Infinity manga Outrage, if you're a fan of the game or cyber punk manga this is a read for you to pick up. Lastly I gave Ancillary Justice a go and it was a good book but I'm not going to read any more of the series. 

I've played a few games, Dying Light is the most recent completion even though it's a few years old. It's worth picking it up this is the zombie survival game we've asked for. The DLC The Following is worth every penny. I finished the current run of the Dishonored franchise at it was awesome. Mass Effect: Andromeda was disappointing as was Lego: Marvel Avengers but I finished the Lego game and I've not gone back to Mass Effect. I also came back to Dues Ex: Mankind Divided  and played through quite a bit of the DLC that I never got around to. Dex was another game that I latched onto and quickly played through. I must admit to spending more time on my Steam Account instead of my XBox but that was purely logistics due to my travels. 

I went to GENCON 50 and Rumble on Route 66. GENCON was the first time I played with fully painted minis and the work I did on those minis sparked a paint scheme I've been able to keep up. Simple and slick looking with the touch of my custom bases my Nomads look awesome. This year at Rumble I will have another fully painted force including my Szalamandra I mentioned above. 

I traveled with Lady Bear a few times this year, who I'm supper happy to still call my life partner. We've started the process to purchase a house and we will be closing the deal in May (long story about the long wait). When I'm finished all the planned travel this spring I'll be moving into our new home. I'll need to do some work around the house including building the shelves and creating my ultimate gaming space in the basement. 2018 is scary looking but it comes with some hope and happy moments. 

2017 may not have been the year we wanted but it was a year that changed the way we look at things and how we valued things. Lady Bear is reading Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay on the couch as Alt-J plays in the background. I feel lucky to have a job and afford everything I have. I feel blessed to live in Canada where we are not facing the same issues and troubles that many other nations and people face. 

2018 I hope you're better than last for the folks that did not have it as good as I did. I hope the world feels a bit less crazy and folks act a bit kinder to each other. I hope the losses are not so harsh and the gains are long dreamed off lofty goals. I hope you are able to find folks as we close up the year, and reach out to each other with the positive rather than the negative. 

I hope you all have a good year. 

- Cheers


24 Dec 2017

Happy Holidays

Hey folks.

Things have been busy. So busy in fact that as of a day and a half ago I was told that I was no longer allowed to work until the new year. So when I landed on the 15th I was ready for a weekend of friends and relaxing before I had to work my last crazy week.

I saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi (a good film, but I would have made a few changes - more on another post later after Monday), hung out with Lady Bear and our friends from her youth - Brisky and J-Rex. We visited the House of Targ, ate some perogies and came home to watch one of the best holiday films of all time - Die Hard. Our friends had not yet scene it and so that had to be changed.

We played four games on Pandemic: Legacy Season 1. For those who've played the game, here is what went down: We failed early Jan, won late Jan. We followed up with two more wins; Feb and Mar. The Black Virus is the virus to note in our game. No has a scar, we've made each virus a bit easier to deal with upgrading each one, and we dropped a permanent lab in Asia.

So with that I was back and then I worked like crazy all week until I was told to no longer work. This weekend, I played my first game of Neo Angeles with Sarge, Wolf, Lina, Doc, and Sleeves. We did not lose to the Federalist, but only Sleeves won the game.

The weekend was filled with moving furniture, killing a mattress, and cooking the family dinner for tomorrow afternoon. Lady Bear and I played some board games with my parents while we waited for the food to finish in the oven. We got in a game of Monarch and two runs of Five Year Mission before we headed home to online chat with my in-laws and get ready for tomorrow.

Next week will be a whirlwind of board games and getting ready to paint some minis before I leave for three weeks in Victoria, BC.

- See you after the holidays


10 Dec 2017

Battle Angel coming to theaters

First thing go watch the trailer below.

Now understand the following thing. In the 90's when Anime was peeking and punching through into the North American markets it was also changing because of the new audience. I was used to shows like Bubble Crisis, and Evangelion - not the recent remakes. 

I also was reading manga's like Blade of the Immortal, Gunsmith Cats, Akira, and Battle Angel Alita

This was one of my favorite mangas of all time. It was small and slowly grew into a massive epic that spanned nine trade paperbacks. The action was dynamic and brutal. The stories had heart. The characters we fleshed out and complex. 

Now there is a film and getting Christoph Waltz to play Ido is awesome. Ido has a level of depth to him that is slowly exposed as the series goes on and you need an actor with some serious skills to present that character. 

This looks promising and once more Cyberpunk is getting another bump. 

- Cheers