31 Dec 2015

The musings of a dreamer

This year a lot has changed.

My current day job has expanded and evolved and I finally fell comfortable in the position. My other job – the army one, has grown in both responsibility and status. Lady Bear and I spent time killing our debts and not saving money. We stayed in budget for the most part but we did not save a penny for the cottage, our dream. After the last three years with all the ups and downs, we decided to put ourselves in a good place, enjoy life, and be ready for the coming months.

Next year we will save and scrimp to build up that down payment, to make our mortgage more manageable. Next year we will buy the land on which a dream will be built on, but that is next year…

This year we are builders of tables, bookshelves, and smoker shelters. We are collectors of nerd stuff, readers of new comic books, and finders of old music that feels new. We’ve gamed online with friends and many more enemies. We’ve build libraries of spells and Magic to face off against other planeswalkers; to rise by eating dreams, and fall to greater plays. We’ve tested the near future in Infinity and searched to Unleash the beast within us. We’ve backed and pledged projects from Leafs, TOWELS, Scyth to things like Boss Monsters, and elastic laces.

Wee baby bears are no longer so wee, still babies but they are growing. We’ve lost family as well as is life. We’ve tried to be better friends and yet we find ourselves pushing bad friends away. We’ve reached out to old friends and met new friends along the way. We’ve found angels, left Facebook, and tried to keep up the writing.

It’s been a hell of a year. Next year will be filled with just as many ups and downs.

Tomorrow is a new day.

- Cheers

Dozer

29 Dec 2015

Ace of Spades

So I'm behind with my scenery painting. Lady Bear got sick but I did comeplete a slew of other projects around the house. Still getting ready for my last day of the year open house... pulled pork (smoked), two home made BBQ sauces (from the Den Mother and Mama Red), and baked to order prtzle buns.

Today was suposed to be a supply run for all of the stuff I need to cook up this Thursday storm. Instead Ottawa was hit by a litteral storm. So I plugged into work - did a quick update to my blog post... and re wrote the whole thing.

You see Lemmy died. I saw this on my news feed and my whole post went bye bye.

The voice and base behind Motorhead is dead. He was once a former roadie for Jimi Hendrix and known for jacking his mic high so he sings looking up instead of down at the crowds. He was awesome.

Recently I'll know him as my most loved character from Brutal Ledgend - "The Kill Master". The base playing healer who says "Thick as a baby's arm". It's also an achievement that worth 15 points.

Cheers

Dozer

26 Dec 2015

Enjoy - BREAK

I'm taking three days off from the world.

I'm going to enjoy them.

So far I've enjoyed Game of Thrones a Telltale Game... it was so fucking dark but so fucking good. My score was proudly fierce. I hear they are making a season 2. The amount of alternate endings will make the next game interesting and I'm looking forward to playing it even if it feels like it could very well falter under it's own weight.

I'm finishing up my Terrain from Impudent Mortal, I'll be putting some heavy work on them tomorrow and I'm going to be happy it's all done. Otherwise I'll be playing some Just Cause 3, spending time with Lady Bear and Moby Bear, jabbering about Episode 7 (which is good by the way), reading, writing, and doing what I want for the next three days.

Cheers

Dozer

18 Dec 2015

R2-KT "The Pink Droid" - Movies

Today the new Star Wars film is being seen by fans across the great white north (Canada – my home) and many parts of the world. Now this is a big deal, I married Lady Bear (or did she marry me... hurmm...) who's born May the Fourth. My first gift to her was an Episode 5 mug that is still only used by her - if you come over use anything else but that mug. She wrote her first not to me on a Vader post it.

I'm a Star Wars fan... sadly today and forever it’s missing a fan.

Let's talk about R2-KT.

R2-KT is the campanion of Katie Johnson? Who? Well she is the youngest daughter of Albin and Kathy Johnson. They have three children: Allie, Emily and Katie.
They have a family site here

Albin is also the founder of the 501st.

Yeah the 501st, the worldwide super club of folks dressed up as Stormtroopers – he started that. His personal log as TK210 is here.

Don't know them? They are a charity group that works around the world dressed up as various troopers from all six films (now seven - I keep forgetting that today we got a new film) of the Star Wars film franchise.

They have a code of conduct, it's simple - don't be a dick.

In 2004 Timothy Zahn used the 501 in one of his stories giving the unit the name Vader’s Fist. They became Darth Vader’s personal legion of soldiers.

In 2005 Lucas approved it and used the 501 in his movie Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith. They are now offically part of the Star Wars universe.

Albin is a fan who's going around raising money for folks who needed it. Sadly he was one of those folks.

Katie sadly passed away in her sleep after fighting brain cancer for nine months. In 2005 for her final nine months she had a great ally – R2-KT.

R2-KT is pink R2 Astromech who folks will see in the movie that is premiering today. R2-KT has already been seen in the Clone Wars cartoon series (ignore the change in name). She was built by the R2 builders club – think 501 but folks just wana make astromech droids.

R2-KT is not 'pinkwashing'. Pink is simply Katies favorite colour. R2-KT stayed with Katie until the end and now travels around the world visiting kids and sick fans. R2-KT raises money for cancer fighters - they fight, they don't just survive. They are active participants in their own fate. They struggle with the everyday as they also battle sickness.

Star Wars fans have lots of hate, and lots of joy. Lady Bear and I are fans who like Star Wars (even if we dislike the odd movie of the franchise). We try to be the ones with lots more of the joy...

I’m gona like them, show them to the wee Bears, and remember my own personal moments of joy as I watch them over and over.

I’m also going to look forward to seeing R2-KT, evidence that we (the human race) can be nice to each other once in a while.

- Cheers

Dozer

15 Dec 2015

Holiday Hobby Plans - BREAK

Seems I did this last year

I’ve been a busy these past days. Both my jobs running at full speed and only getting faster before puttering out in the new year. 23 November I started working the crazy hours and that’s finally coming to an end this Friday 18 December. With only last Sunday and 30 November off the long hours and the lack of days off have started to take their toll – I’m slowing down.

I’ve done this before and I can keep going I just need to reach out and work through the madness. I’m forcing myself to take the downtime I need in order to keep going. Hence posts have started to come out again.

This Friday I’ve got my last work holiday dinner – it’s for the day job. Once that’s done the slower pace starts on Saturday, 19 December, when Ontos, Longsword, and maybe Pale Rider (he might have to host a mate who’s been away for over ten years) join me in playing a boardgame for a few hours.

I’m really looking forward to this weekend and a lot more…

11 Dec 2015

The Unleashed Reviews – Table Top

With the holiday's around the corner there is a seasonal shopping binge and folks who are not nerds have a hard time looking for new toys. So here is a set of reviews I've had on the burner for a while.

Before I get into this pair of reviews I need to address a new scoring system that I’m using. Charging Pun suggested to me a while back that instead of using STARS or a numerical score to use a statement score. I used it way back when I reviewed some of the major miniature wargames currently in style. Sadly since that post Anima Tactics is no longer a supported game.

In all of my upcoming reviews I will be looking at the following:

Form – how well the book is bound, durability of the book, choice and quality of hardcover or soft cover, page stock, quality of accessories

Art – Coloured or black and white, well drawn, inspirational, shows the setting, coordinated well with the rules

Ruleset – Game play design, easy of play, depth of play, mechanics, conflict resolution (combat, social, etc), character generation, character development

Fluff – Background information, is there enough info to role-play in the game, inspirational, setting history, current events, various racial or social POVs.

LOAD – Layout, Organization, Aesthetics and Design; how well the book is organized, easy in finding information, display of information, use of sidebars, index and tables.

Synergy  – How well does this book work with other products of the same setting or with other products in the same game

Standalone – Is this product enough by itself or does it need other products to work

FUN – How much FUN a player has.

A while back Privateer Press released a starter box for their new game Iron Kingdoms: Unleashed. A few months back I got the full core rule book Iron Kingdoms: Unleashed and Unleashed: Skorne. I want to review all three products and go over how this new core rule set matches with Iron Kingdoms: Full Metal Fantasy.

Iron Kingdoms: Unleashed is to Iron Kingdoms: Full Metal Fantasy as Hordes is to Warmachine. It focuses on the wilderness aspect of the setting with large Warbeasts, tribal races, and theme of survival and exploration over armed conflicts and material gains. It uses the same game mechanics which are a more granulized set of rules taken from the table top game.

Players will taken on the roles of savage races with careers focused on survival, foraging, and tapping into the inate savagery of the setting. It really sets itself apart from Iron Kingdoms: Full Metal Fantasy by looking the 'monster' but making them so approachable that players can devle into a truly different mindset leading to a greater gameplay experience. The idea is fresh and avoids the whole evil party and having players fight each other - they may still do so, but at least it's for a reason and not because they are 'team evil'.

Lets take a look at what we have.

9 Dec 2015

A series of comments – Video Games

The end of the year has come quickly. With both jobs getting busy and the holiday season coming around the corner I've been doging my video game reviews. I’ve got a few game review drafts up and unfinished and I figured instead I’d just throw out a few comments – good and bad, and kill it with an overall score as per the side bar.

I'll always mark my largest con with the title 'The BIG BITCH'. So you get a sense of the weakest element of each game.

See you in the trenches

5 Dec 2015

I Am Not Old - Art

I Am Not Old
I am not old…she said
I am rare.
I am the standing ovation
At the end of the play....
I am the retrospective
Of my life as art
I am the hours
Connected like dots
Into good sense
I am the fullness
Of existing.
You think I am waiting to die…
But I am waiting to be found
I am a treasure.
I am a map.
And these wrinkles are
Imprints of my journey
Ask me anything.
 - Samantha Reynolds

3 Dec 2015

Shitty Day - BREAKING NEWS

OK this is not good.

I was trying to finish my blog post on art. It’s been almost ready to go for a while but then over lunch I read this.

I’ve already posted twice about police and escalation of force. I’m not doing that here, I’m just reacting.

I don’t know what happened that led up to the start of the video. I expect that the LCBO surveillance and other systems close by will be tapped as evidence and the public will be shown one of two things:

1. The officer caused the incident and was in the wrong
2. The officer acted as per the law and the suspect started the incident and is wrong

I don’t see this going any other way because we the public who is drowning in bad cop cellphone videos will want to lay the public opinion on someone.

So what went wrong and what went right… well the cop didn’t draw his weapon and start killing folks. He kept his calm while being harassed and in same cases in the video, assaulted. He called for backup and did his job. He didn’t fight his way out, he was a rock.

The crowed on the other hand was less than helpful and some folks acted in a manner that could still get them arrested.

Don’t get in a police officer’s way, do not obstruct his duty, it’s a crime. If the cop was in the wrong I have to believe that it would be sorted out later. I have to trust the system because the current alternative which is currently sweeping cities across my southern neighbour is not better for anyone. Being angry does not allow you; give you any right, to do wrong.

It’s sad that this is happening. The world is already shitty in too many places and yet where we have so much, folks are breaking down and turning on each other. It's true this morning (since I wrote this post yesterday) we had a mass shooting down south. Plenty of people are being shitty human beings, why add to the problem.

I’m upset that this has to happen and it will only continue to happen until a solution occurs.

Adding an opinion injection, I think issued bodycams would be a great solution. Keep everyone honest. Make sure the cops are following their training in enforcing the law within the bounds of the law. Keep the public informed and while placing them (or allow them to suffer) under the same level of scrutiny the police are currently weighed down with.

All in all I wish folks were a bit nicer to each other. The next post will be about art, something more pleasent and creative.

- Please get along

Dozer

25 Nov 2015

Civil War - Media

So the trailer is finally out for Captain America: Civil War.

Looks like the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: The Winter Soldier have come to this.

Looks like Bucky Barnes; the childhood friend and protector to pre-Super Soldier serum Steve Rogers, wartime companion of Captain America, fallen member of the Howling Commandos, and former cybernetically enhanced - mind controlled - cryogenically frozen legendary cold-war assassin called the Winter Soldier is in trouble. Folks think he's still a bad guy after escaping the control of HYDRA.

Cap is his friend and he's come to help even if that puts him at odds with the new rules that govern folks who act as 'Super Heroes'. Seems that in saving his best friend the Captain is pulling his teammates in two directions - stick with the law or stay loyal to your friends. Iron Man is leading the other side hoping that his friend will come around and keep the peace.

So that's my run down and thoughts... so maybe I'll show off the trailer. Be warned that the fight sequence at the end of the trailer looks simply epic.

- Enjoy

Dozer




19 Nov 2015

dozer:~$ ifdown eth0

ifdown eth0 is a Linux command to stop the network interface - I found it to be a great title for today's post.

This post has less to do with my recent issues of having a regular post and more with why I’m not on Facebook, GChat (Now called Hangout), and why you can’t text me during the day.

You see where I work I have limited outside access. My internets are limited. So no Facebook and no services outside of the basic Gmail – everything else does not work. When it loads up I have to click on 'load basic HTML' at the bottom right of my browser every morning when I bring it up.

My phone is locked away and it NEEDS to be turned off when I get to work, so no texts. If you need to get a hold of me during the day, gmail or phone my desk… even then that’s if I’m not somewhere else.

That’s the reality of my situation.

So why am I off Facebook?

16 Nov 2015

Paris 2015 - Conflict

These posts are the hard ones. Il est extrêmement difficile de trouver les mots et d’écrire. It's hard to find the words, to write down what I'm thinking.

Paris 2015.

Two days after Canada paid homage to soliders and the costs of war. I feel like I need to acknowledge the attack...

I feel that it is a failure of humans, thinking that doing this (the attacks on Paris) is ok. That it is justififed in some minds.

It is NOT ok.

These are the nightmares and I feel we will continue to see attacks like this as long as people feel that hurting someone else is the right thing to do.

Yet, I will not allow fear to rule my day to day. I grin when I see the fottage of the football fans leaving the Stade de France singing "La Marseillaise" after being released from the pitch. Spirits wounded and filled with fear yet surounded by a resolve to move forward as one nation, one people...

Je me suis retrouvée confrontée à ces actes immoraux. I am reminded of last year when a single man did evil and afterwards sitting with members of the Cermonial Guard."Fuck'em, put us back on post" was the common statement of many a member who was not standing on guard after Cpl Cirillo died the day before.

The troops were eager to get back to work, to conitue to do their assigned duty. To work in the face of an attack. To go on and meet the task in the face of an attack.

Show them you can bleed, show them you feel pain, show them you are wary... even show them your fear as you move forward.

Do not let fear rule you.

French speaking children all know this retort même pas peur - Not even afraid.

It's bombastic, it's bravado. It's a lie that acknoledges the fear but the defiant fib grants the speaker that courage to move forward. It's a battle cry, a call to arms, a rallying sound that moves the young forward. France is not stopping, or slowing down. It's hurt, angry, but like the folks leaving the Stade de France singing "La Marseillaise", the French have a resolve.

"Même pas peur" is floating around the internets these days and I like this response.

Je suis Dozer, et j'ai même pas peur.

- Salute

Dozer

12 Nov 2015

Quiet Yesterday

It was quiet yesterday.

It was 11 November 2015.

Folks showed up, watched, and paid homage to those who left and were lost in the service of Canada.

I spent the morning with my wife and getting my uniform ready for work. At the parade I met folks who've left the service and those who moved on somewhere different in uniform. It was a good time.

After the parade I spent time with Yasha - a vet who's been out in the suck a few times. We grabbed dinner, saw the new Bond film, and yammered. I picked up, installed, but did not play the new Fallout game, Fallout 4. The night eneded on the couch with Lady Bear tired from a day of being a bit more quiet.

It was a good day.

I spent it with folks in uniform and their family.

I remembered.

- Cheers

Dozer

6 Nov 2015

Because it’s 2015... - Media

Of course this happens the day I post about being in a slump.

Yesterday in my last post I wrote that I’ve been reading the news a lot more. You need to understand that I rarely read the news in the past. I was not hiding from the world or indifferent to the activities around the globe. I picked up my facts and stopped reading most times because I didn’t care for the bias or the sensationalism that most of the mainstream was pushing down to readers.

I always caught a whiff of something not right in most news posts, articles, and media segments. It bothered me most times. When I wasn’t feeling the bias I realized this was the exception in my own personal experience and not the rule. Add that to Lady Bear’s job which is media related and the house we live in is news free.

This year has been transformative in how I absorb my news. I listen to FOX news during the day while I type away on my PC. It keeps me from zoning out and it’s far too often entertaining. In a sad misguided way. I like reading Charles Krauthammer, he is smart and his writing is pragmatic and lacking the zeal found in many ‘conservative’ opinion writers. I like reading about my hobbies and the environment but in a way that present solutions or new ways to look at problems rather than scream only doom at the audience. Hence I voted Green – yep I knew my candidate didn’t win but nothing from other parties was interesting enough for me to vote in their favor, for their candidate.

Today after getting in this morning early to work I hear my line of the year.

5 Nov 2015

The slumps

I’m in one of those slumps.

Plenty of drafted posts on the burner but none are reaching the light of day.

A few reasons for the lack of updates from the top of the head-

Last week was a burnt out Dozer sitting on the couch watching Persons of Interest instead of playing through the back half of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pains. I’ve taken a break because the reward of the play was lost to having to go back and redo missions with limitations – a pet peeve of mine because it feels like half-assed game design. I’m already going back to redo the missions in order to complete the side objectives and get the S rank for each mission. Having to do again is simply fucking lazy. The time delay for R&D is getting ridiculous. I have to play for hours in real time to have some things unlocked after paying a cost of various collected resources that already took time to gather. I’m feeling like I just want to get it over and come back to the game when I have time to spare. I’ve never been so shocked half way through a game (which took hours of play) regarding its quality. Don’t get me wrong the game is brilliant but now to move along in my style of play I need to invest even more hours into a game and it’s started to feel more like work and less like play.

Both jobs are ramping up work wise. There is always a push in November to put out a huge effort before things slow down to a crawl in December due to holiday leave and winter season work gatherings. Also with my primary job, I’ve taken on much more responsibility and it’s a great chance to prove I can work at a higher level. I’ve got the CV, the education, and plenty of experience now I’m making that experience more solid and stepping up to greater challenges.

I’ve tried to start actively reading again. After 14 months of solid reading at my old job the new job has allowed me to get away with less reading. I want to change that so I’m starting with comics and moving back into full blown pieces of fiction and non-fiction. Right now I’m reading (or reading again) The Activity by Nathan Edmondson, Lazarus by Greg Rucka, and Kurtis J. Weibe’s Rat Queens. I’ve got a few more on the block to read and now I’m looking at some classic sci-fi to start reading. Hopefully the ready will get the writing juices flowing.

I’ve not run the smoker since Thanksgiving and I’m disappointed that I’ve not put aside time to keep smoking foods. Sergeant gave me a book last night at WIN on smoking recipes and I’m thankful for the generous kick in the ass to get cooking. I’m looking at picking up a small brisket this Friday and cook something after work on Sunday or Saturday.

I’ve been reading lots of articles in the news these days. Sheroes Hangout – a café run in India staffed by victims of acid throwing. I’ve been reading articles on the new prime minister and his cabinet – Canada had a general election a while back and we have a new head of state. The news has been rife with interesting tidbits and I’ve been reading it which is not the norm.

Lastly it’s November and in the Bear house you do not mess about in November. The eleventh of the month is Remembrance Day in Canada, and that’s a big deal.

So excuse me please as I pull my head out of the slumps.

- Cheers

Dozer

23 Oct 2015

The Hope of a Syndicate - Video Games

Assassin’s Creed is a favorite series of mine. Assassin’s Creed: Unity did not do well in bringing the series main launches from the seventh generation systems which birthed the franchise into the new eighth generation of consoles.

Today Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate will be released and I’m avoiding the reviews. Since the first game I am not picking up the game upon launch. Assassin’s Creed: Unity poisoned the well and made me think twice about picking up the game right away. Also I have no need to get it right away, I’m busy.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is giving me plenty of an open world, semi-stealth game with an overdone plot in a semi-historical setting. It’s also looking like Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will be able to last me or I may still be in the midst of completing it by the time my life goes deep into the world of Fallout 4. Fallout 4 is my anticipated game of the year.

Yet I feel the tug. The slight movement as I’m asked by ghosts from afar, maybe the First Civilization from the game’s own mythos, to pick up and play the game.

So we know what’s coming, let’s go over why Assassin’s Creed deserves a second chance… knowing that might not happen until after the holiday season.

19 Oct 2015

A place for everyone - Video

I spent over 48 hours with a couple of Dozen junior ranked NCO's of the Canadian Armed Forces. We lived outside sleeping in improvised shelters, practicing our annual list of military skills. It included navigation with map and compass - not GPS, CBRN drills - aka the gas hut, and remembering that Canada gets cold. It dropped past zero celsius. Wake up to -2 celsius in an improvised shelter and you find out how fast you move when woken up... I was waking folks up.

So today I've taken today off and I spent the morning after catching up on sleep watching the internet and their funny videos.

Come see.

15 Oct 2015

The Bust - BREAK

Well it seems this week is a bit of a bust.

Monday was recouping from two days of pure social activity, cleaning, and prepping. On Saturday and Sunday we cleaned the house, got some stuff sorted, and got ready for the two Thanksgiving events; Saturdays was at the in-laws and Sunday we hosted LiR, Red, Tambourine and their two boys collectively known as the wee Reds. By the time leftovers were issued and folks departed, me and Lady Bear were done. Monday was written off. Tuesday was back into full swing and in my case that means going to work, coming home to only leave for work again. From 7am to 11pm with a two-three hour window break in between. I turned WIN offline because Lady Bear is leaving tonight and tomorrow night I’ll be away in the woods at my second job. We both will be back by Sunday afternoon – tired and ready to start a brand new Monday.

So excuse the lack of posts this week but here is a rundown of what’s on the go.

9 Oct 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 - BREAK

Well folks up here in Canada it’s the October long weekend, aka Thanksgiving.

Saturday, I will be spending with Lady Bear and her parents. On Sunday I’ll be smoking a Turkey with Lady Bear, Moby, Tambourine, Red, and the wee Reds (Tam and Red’s two boys).

Monday I will relax.

There are a few Kickstarters coming to an end as well. Battle Chasers: Nightwar will end on Saturday morning. c2cup will end on Sunday. Both are neat projects and might be worth your time if you're interested.

I'm still tracking the Infinity: The RPG kickstarter which broke 200k as of this posting and we're about 7k away from finishing off the rest of the Human Spehere source books before we jump into the alien races with the sourcebooks for the Combined Army (230k), and the Tohaa (245k). So far I'm really liking the new d20's they are sporting. Note that the Combined Army dice is now white numbers rather than black numbers. Also the final design for the d6's are looking ok. Normal d6 show the following six faces: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. The Infinity RPG d6 will show the following faces: 1 pip, 2 pip, 3, 4, 5, N. It will still allow you to use the d6 as a normal d6 but it will also speed up the tally of extra damage (1 or 2 extra damage), blank faces (3, 4, 5) or effects ('niffty Infinity styled N).

I'm painting my JSA which are coming along and looking great. They will be the focus of my painting for the next few months as I gear up for the winter. Looking forward to November releases, one because I'll be able to afford them, and two it will include JSA Domaru Butai 4 mini box set.

Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain has been bright and fun. I've been at it, a bite at a time and it's going pretty well. Hint for new players - the water gun is a great silent way to put out fires, and electronics like generators, radio dishes, and communication centers - I havn't tried it on Camera's yet but it's been brilliant. We're a month away from Fallout 4 and that will kill my game clock.

Well that's what's up with me. Enjoy your weekend

- Cheers

Dozer

7 Oct 2015

Heinz - Cooking

I've been dreaming a dream...

The snow has freshly fallen; the air is cold and crisp. The sounds are sharp, the daylight is that much brighter off the snow, and the world seems clean. Through the layers of clothing the cold creeps in inching it way against the extra heat being made from the extra effort of walking around through the snow with the extra layers of clothing.

You smell a fire and the cooking of meat. The scent of fragrant smoked woods, well cared for meats, and the seasoning gently slips into the air. The closer you get to the houses in front of you the stronger the smell mixes with the winter air dancing to be at the fore of your senses.

When you’re finally a bit worn, tired from the haul in the snow with the cold finally touching you through all the layers of protection you reach the house. It’s inviting with warm light, filled with laughter of cheer, cheers, and marry play. You walk in you strip off the warm clothing letting the warm seep back into your core, a warm drink is passed to you and you join in all the fun.
Heinz - in it's place of birth

Food is laid out, hearty full of flavour and freshly smoked from outside. It too has made it in from the cold after spending hours cooking slowly in dancing smoke. Your drink is replaced something less hot; a red wine given time to breathe, a cold dark beer or cool stout, maybe something fruity and sweet.

Friends who are more like Family, comfortable inviting places to explore fantasy worlds or talk about personal utopias entrenched in this world. The room is filled with conversations of busy days and expressions of where and when folks will be next. The sharing of life when gathered, letting others slip into fond memories of your life.

Good drink, good food, good people, community.

Good life.

Sunday Wolf, Big Red, Sergeant and I with some help from Moby (who made a smell), Pale Rider (all dressed up in white, supervising) and Lady Bear (who made smoothies, hot chocolate, and brought out a snack) built a home for Heinz.

5 Oct 2015

The Cinema ‘Wanas’ – Media

With the slew of flicks coming out this winter I’m eager to see the following flicks:

See you after the break.

3 Oct 2015

What's on my Mind - Ideas

I’m supposed to be writing a post about anything else. Instead I feel my mind fill with a flurry of ideas that escape into my language. The ideas and drafts I had planned for this week fell away to other priorities or simply being not happy with the posts.

I have to work on a new post but instead all this came to mind.

1 Oct 2015

Old and in-Prison - FU

The former Governor General of the province of Quebec is sentenced to 18 months of prison time. The 76 year old wheel chair bound former representative of the Queen was convicted of spending and claiming over $700,000 in expenses for personal use.

She’s quoted of saying to the judge “Since my youth, I’ve always helped everyone. … I can’t imagine that my grandchildren will have a memory of their grandmother being treated like a thief,”
When charges were first laid in 2009 her defense team tried to throw the case out. The reason was based on grounds her role entitled her to “sovereign immunity” which applies to the Queen and the “Queen can do no wrong.”

It had to go all the way up to the Supreme Court for it to be cast aside and have her face the courts. If you’re only defense is “I am above the law” when that fails expect the response to be severe.

28 Sep 2015

Weekend Break - Table Top

So this weekend was busy, outside of the odd Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pains mission it went down like this.

Red's birthday - Friday

Recover from Red's Birthday - Saturday morning
Build Table 2.0 - Saturday afternoon

Dog park - early Sunday morning
Hang out with Lady Bear - late Sunday morning
Battle for Zendikar pre-release - Sunday afternoon/eve

So today's post is more of a place holder as I draft how the pre-release went and the current state of the lab with the new gaming table.

- Cheers

Dozer

23 Sep 2015

What a week! – Break

Ignore the lack of images – I’m having trouble pulling them from other sites today.

Well first on the list is the Infinity RPG Kickstarter from Modiphius. Last night we broke 155k and my second favorite faction the (JSA) Japanese Sectorial Army will be unlocked upon reaching the 200k mark. Once more it seems that the JSA is saddled with the Yu-Jing, it seems to have become less of a habbit and more of the norm. Seems I’m just going to have to live with the two factions being forever entwined.

Aside: For those not into Infinity, Yu-Jing is the actual faction and the JSA is a sectorial (sub-faction) made up of Japanese insurgents and criminals who live under the oppressive Yu-Jing rule. As a JSA supporter, I can never openly accept that they are one faction…

Last Sunday, we (Lady Bear, Dutchman, Yasha, Sarge, Wolf and his lady) finished the fourth part of the Immortality series of adventures for Iron Kingdoms: Full Metal Fantasy aka as IKRPG. There are only two parts left in the series and I’m looking forward to running them. Part 5 is a really nice running combat while lost scenario that ends on a real high point as the players arrive for the final boss fight. The summer break really killed some of the player knowledge but we muddled through and got what we wanted out of the session.

Anyways, more non-Infinity news is after the break.

21 Sep 2015

Infinity RPG: Kickstarter, Oscar Tango Mike - Table Top

What can I say I am loving this. Twice have I jumped up and down in excitment as Yasha and Ontos were able to snatch up pledges at the BOSTRIA Art Master. Yasha was able to snag a spot in the Core Book while Ontos is happy to be a supplement book.

If you're wondering what the duce I'm going on about. Here is the Kickstarter - take a look.

So we (Modiphius and us folks who pledged) started last week and the Kickstarter is off to a great start. At the time of this post we've unlocked through pledges the following goals:

 * Print option for the Core Book
 * Print option for the Player's Guide
 * Access to the limited run miniatures
 * More Art in the Core Book
 * Gamemaster Guide
 * Campiagn 'Shadow Affairs'
 * Faction Book: Nomad
 * Bonus Content for the Player's Guide
 * Paradiso planet Book
 * A printed Player's Guide with each printer Core Book

The next set of goals to unlock are looking very nice:

155k - Faction Book: Ariadna
170k - Faction Book: Panoceania
185k - Faction Book: ALEPH

On top of all of that backers are looking at also getting:

- Digital Wallpapers
- Form Fillable Character Sheets
- Conversion Rules for RPG to Table Top
- 4 pre-generated characters from the Corvus Beli Founders
- An orgional adventure of 24 pages played by the Covus Beli Founders

The BOSTRIA Art Master Pledge was expanded from 30 to 40 backers on the weekend after Modiphius released two other interesting pledge levels. ALL THE BOOKS IN PRINT and PDF for 300, and the FACTION FANATIC for 18.

So far Modiphius has said that the following books are what they have planned for. Some may be combined into larger books but each of the above titles are looking at a minimum of 112 pages of material and art.

Collectors Edition Core Book, Gamesmasters Guide, Shadow Affairs Campaign, Paradiso Planet Book, All Faction Books (Nomad, Ariadna, Panoceania, Aleph, Yu Jing, Haqqislam, Tohaa, Combined Army), Technology Of The Human Sphere, Ships Of The Human Sphere, Tactical Armoured Gears, The 0-12 Files, War Market Mercenaries Sourcebook, Acheron Cascade Campaign, Adventures In The Human Sphere Collection, Nebula Of Mirrors Campaign, Hypercorps & The Players Guide.

Gotta say this is looking real good in terms of upcoming products. Also the new updated BETA set of the rules are due in the near future. With some fancy formatting, art, and adjustments from all the feedback we provided duirng the testing periods. I'm looking forward to taking the crew from WIN back into the Infinity RPG, and seeing what it can do with the second scenario they released with the last set of testing packages.

Good luck Modiphius and fellow backers.

- Cheers

Dozer

Corvus Belli's INFINITY Roleplaying Game -- Kicktraq Mini

17 Sep 2015

Spending time on the Mountain

There are many shity aspects of my hobbies.

The cost is not always cheep. There are monopolies in many cases. It takes up lots of time. People can be dicks justifying their behaviour on the competative nature of the game or with the lengthy history of that fictional character. Sometimes the buisness wins over the fun, sometimes to make money... sometimes to make enough money to keep making the fun. Egos can take over and folks create wee empires and exclusive groups of people.

This is all reflection. It stems from thinking about the upbeat comments section of the Infinity RPG Kickstarter. The common negative quality is missing and posistive tone of the comments is the norm. A rare thing in the land of the internet. Once more I'm surounded by folks who just want to play and enjoy a game.

Last night was WIN (Wednesday Infinity Night) - edit: I should call it the Weekly Infinity Night. Me and Yasha played Nomad sectoral vs Nomad Sectoral. He was from the former prison ship Corregidor, while I was playing the folks from edge of anarchy Bakunin.

It was a messy fight and one lucky exchange early on put me on good footing. Most of the match was Yasha getting in close with his Moran, Maasai Hunter - a unit he is learning how to use while avoiding the glare and following reactive fire of my Sin-Eater Observants. It was a really good game. Yasha was playing his force it was maybe his tenth game of Infinity since picking up the faction. For me Bakunin has been a home since 2010 and I pulled out some tricks that only Bakunin has while also relearning how some of them work.

Afterwards we have a 2v2 game. Yasha and Sargeant vs Me and Big Red. 100 points - simple objective and we walked slowly through the rules. Sargeant and Yasha have some games under their belt but some rules are still rules and not a rote train of thought. Big Red was playing his second game ever. It was a good set of lists that Sargeant put together, I fell in love with my Domaru Butai all over again and Big Red enjoyed himself. We played two hours later than normal - a rare thing in my house since Lady Bear and I need to wake up early on most days.

The hobbies are about folks trying to have fun.

Lady Bear was up when I got to bed and we talked about the game. She mentioned I was happy before she curled up and passed out.

She dosn't mind the hobby because it's about community and good gathering.

Let me tell you when she figured that out...

16 Sep 2015

Infinity RPG Kickstarter UPDATES - BREAKING NEWS

Here is the Kickstarter - PLEDGE NOW!

DAY 1 - STRETCH GOALS UNLOCKED

As of this post we've unlokced the following goals. I'll have more posts going up as the Kickstarter continues and I'll have more up to date lists of unlocked goals.

A collection of Q&A's is after the break.

16.SEP.0944 EST
*Print option for the Core Book
*Print option for the Players Guide
*Access to the limited run miniatures

16.SEP.1115 EST
*More Art

16.SEP.2330
*Gamemaster Guide
*Campiagn 'Shadow Affairs'



Infinity RPG Kickstarter is LIVE! - Table Top

'Bout time! It's here and it's live.

Ontos and I have been refreshing our gmails at work and have kept each other posted as we got updates on the launch of this Kickstarter. It's been a long and eager wait and finaly it's here.

With an expected release of Feb 2016 for the first wave of products and a successful record of three previous Kickstarters, I trust these folks to get the job done and done right.

I'll get a video up and running when I can but until then, I'll have the Kickstarter Widget running in the side bar.

I've already put forward my own pledge but I expect to increase it as the Kickstarter stretch goals come alive.

Since it's WIN (Wednesday Infinity Night) I feel like some stars have aligned in my favour. I also got to muck about with the ALPHA and BETA.

I had Wolf and his lady, Ontos, Yasha, and Sargeant all play the first scenario with the BETA rules and I really liked the asymmetrical resource mechanics of Heat and Momentum. The dice mechanics are a bit odd ball but once you get into the flow the game really flows.

My wish list are the d6 add on are not normal d6 (showing 1,2,3,4,5,6) but instead showing the mechanical results (1,1,blank, blank, blank, EFFECT). Also I’m looking forward to breaking the 40k stretch goal so I can get me some sweet, sweet miniatures!

Expect Updates as they come

- Cheers

Dozer

15 Sep 2015

Legend of the Five Rings SOLD! - Table Top

Long ago, Dozer and many of the people he still plays with today ran an annual event called Gamers Heaven. We would meet during the winter holidays or during a summer break, some years we met on both occasions.

Folks would show up for two or three days of solid RPG gaming. After a few years we became more organized, with schedules for the three eight hours blocks (two games sessions and sleep), menus, pub night, Halo multiplayer LAN at Bloodgulch… Two games started that event: Warhammer Fantasy RPG and Legend of the Five Rings. Sadly Gamers Heaven only lasted eleven years and sixteen events.

Charging Pun brought Warhammer Fantasy RPG, on the tenth anniversary of Gamers Heaven we bought him the limited leather bound edition of the Second Edition publication so he could start another game.

I brought Legend of the Five Rings RPG and we played a campaign that spanned generations that started in the First Edition of the game and continued with the Third Edition of the game. There was even plans to carry it into a new generation and a new edition (Fourth Edition) when Gamers Heaven would start up once again – maybe 2016! (we`ll see).

I’ve played the RPG over three editions (I skipped second edition) and even picked up the CCG for a time. The history is huge and the game is brilliant. I even have Love Letter: Legend of the Five Rings. I love this setting and I love the RPG.

So why the preamble? Well the two games that started Gamers Heaven were both taken over by Fantasy Flight Games! Yes that is true AEG has sold off their intellectual property Legend of the Five Rings to Fantasy Flight Games.

The makers of Citadels, Elder Sign, REX: Final Days of the Empire, the various Warhammer 40k RPGs, the three Star Wars RPGs, and old games like Midnight and Fireborn. Ontos, Ferrus, and slew of my mates are playing Star Wars: X-Wing, Star Wars: Imperial Assault, and Star Wars: Armada – a set of games I’ve also enjoyed but alas there is only so many mini games I can own. I’m more a fan and regular player of Netrunner, Twilight Imperium, and the Game of Thrones: Board Game.

Fantasy Flight games has made some of my favorite games and RPGs over the years with only a few stumbles. I wish them luck and look forward to see what they have planned for RPG and the upcoming Living Card Game – maybe even a few more games using the setting.

I’ll be keeping watch from up here, much like my favorite Toritaka (the Falcon Clan, later absorbed and become a Crab Family) even though I’m more often a Scorpion when I play.

- Cheers

Dozer

14 Sep 2015

Goodbye Captain Jack - Loss

This is not what I had planned for my first post back.

Ishman Jack: August 17, 1972 – September 12, 2015

Ishman died from Hodgkin's lymphoma on Saturday 12 September 2015, at 2330/1130 pm EST.

For those of you who knew him, he was someone so sought out fun. You'd always see that wide smile of his. He was a superman, larger than life, he could lift the world on his shoulders and crack a joke.

The world seems a big heavy now that he is no longer here.

Folks he was a good one -

I wish everyone who is close to 'Ish' my condolences.

Donations to The Waupoos Foundation appreciated.

Friends may pay respects at the Kelly Funeral Home,
Barrhaven Chapel
3000 Woodroffe Avenue, Nepean,
ON K2J 4G3

Interment at the Beechwood Cemetery

"Hey ho, Captain Jack
Met me by the railroad track..."
- Common campfire & marching song

9 Sep 2015

Hey Listen! - Break

So I've been off the air for a bit.

In my last post I mentioned a surgery and yesterday I had my post up check up - let's say everything that could have gone wrong did (except the loss of life, brain infection, and loss of eyesight).

I've got a few posts ready to fire off after a few twists of work to do but until then here is a run down of what I've been doing.

1. Healing - seriously the surgery sucked

2. Batman: Arkham Knight - pretty good

3. Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pains - WOW

4. New Smoker! - Wait till you see this thing

5. Infinity RPG - I've been on top of it since the stuff went semi-public with the Alpha and the Beta, Kickstarter starts this week!

6. WIN (Wednsday/Weekly Infinity Night) - back in the groove with the slow death of summer

7. Fant4stic - Is really not that good, and that makes me sad

8. Warmachine Errata - eHailey got nerfed, and how

So there are a few of things I've been doing, more to follow once I get some me time to get it out.

Next Monday I'll be back!

- Cheers

Dozer

25 Aug 2015

In the face – Health

So I had to get a nose job – aka Rhinoplasty.

These can be easy like getting wisdom teeth pulled. Go in the morning, wake up in the afternoon, go home, and have the bandages taken off the next day.

Complication #1 – Sleep Apnea
I snore, I also stop breathing. This is bad when your face is jammed with packaging and the nose is fully blocked. So I’ve bene told I’m staying overnight. My choices are a private room for 400$, a shared room for 200$, or general ward (6-8 beds/room) for free. I picked the free option as I can ignore folks really easy.

Complication #2 – Resistance to sedation and general anesthesia
Sedation and general anesthesia are actually two different ways to put someone under in order to perform surgery. Seems I have a record of waking up from both – great for me if someone trying to knock me out. Bad if someone is drilling bigger holes in my face after fixing the inside of the nose.

Complication #3 – Damage
So I’ve had my face kicked in more than once; sometimes from work, sometimes for fun, and sometimes because I couldn’t avoid whatever hit me in the face. This added to the work of fixing my deviation with my septum which led to the first bad thing.

Bad Thing #1 – The level of work
When the Doc tells you it was a much larger job than expected understand that means in many cases that the Doc pauses checks with the surgical team and ensures they are prepped for the extra work ahead of them or do they need to regroup and try later with more staff and supplies. So they stopped, checked, and did the work.

Bad Thing #2 – Trauma
Do to… well everything above. The surgery was much harder and much more evasive and traumatic on the inside of my face. So I do get a private room in the Intensive Care Unit. When I asked my nurse why was I hooked up, she checked my chart and came back looking like I do when facing the troops. In no uncertain terms were orders given and there was nothing else to do but sit there and take it. Seems my chart, file, whatever… was not good. The slew of complications and the danger to my life warranted to bed me in the ICU for 24/7 monitoring due to the trauma.

I was told to be ready to take a few days off, go in Monday, stay over Tues for sleep and maybe take Wed off. Well my doctors note said 7 days off! Also the recovery has been rough on the body which is fucking tired with all the healing it’s doing. So I've been using those 7 days off... passed out in front of my Xbox One or in front of the TV, when sleep takes over and claims me.

Bad Thing #3 – Infection
On Monday I get back to work and suddenly I can’t breathe from one half of my nose and it starts swell on the one side. I rush back to the Doc’s and found out I subject to a ‘major infection’ after just finishing a round of antibiotics. So now I have ten days of taking meds, I ve got my check up appointment pushed up by two weeks, and I’m having problems breathing.

Add in the slew of restrictions which is simply no physical activity for 4 weeks. Lifting anything of real weight and vola my nose starts to bleed and I get vertigo.

So yeah – last week was a real pain in the face week.
I'm doing well and Lady Bear is taking good care of me.

Thanks for the drop from the Dutchman, the pick up by Dawn Seeker, and the check up rides from Mama Bear.

Love to my wife for being awesome. She travelled and shopped for all my needs and I wanted not during my whole time healing.

Lastly even though they may not get this. Thanks to Maya Cast (Tom and Kip) for keeping me sane in the late hours of the night in the ICU. Thanks to Privateer Press for a great read with the Skorne Empire IKRPG Unleashed Book. Thanks to rocksteady for Batman: Arkham Knight for keeping me sane during the last week in recovery.

- Cheers

Dozer

17 Aug 2015

It will be a Monday - Break

I'm writing this post after a interesting trip to Algonquin Park, where I stayed a 24 period off Opeongo Lake. I learned a few things:

1. Don't get drunk the night before you leave and pack your bags under the spell of over a half dozen extra spicy Mott's Clamato Caesars.

2. Ask the Park staff how the weather was the past 48 hours, so you can buy wood in case the deadfall is not good for the camp fires... instead of showing up the after a huge rain storm that forced campers on Friday to return to the outfitters to buys bags of wood.

3. There is a place called Tickle Island Farm - it also has nothing to do with small children and very touchy adults.

4. Foodland is a thing - seriously there is place called Foodland. It's a grocer.

Tomorrow will be Monday (the day this post is launched... so it's today) and I will be getting surgery, and I'll be staying overnight at the hospital due to possible complications. I get to come home on Tuesday and I will probably be a big fucking mess of a human after having my nose rebored for better holes.

Lastly and the best news - Mayacast (Tom and Kip) did a mailbag episode and they got to my e-mail pretty early in the podcast (at 34:05). They have huge news on the Dire Seas event coming next April in 2016. Oh and last thing before I go on about the awesome sounding Dire Seas event, for all the folks who play WIN - expect a shout out around 40:35 mins into the podcast after they read out my long winded question.

See you after the break.

14 Aug 2015

The Apology – My Take

A quick and simple history lesson here my Mother, Mama Bear, is German.

Her father my Opa is a Romanian Gypsy with blond hair and blue eyes – deciding between death or joining, my Opa fought for the German Forces in the Second World War. He didn’t fight very long as he got himself captured.

My Oma (grandmother) met Opa after the war, he changed his last name to a more German sounding name and they had my mother. They immigrated to Canada to start somewhere fresh, my Mom arrived in Canada and was very sick for the first few years – she almost died.

So my family, at one point, were the ‘Bad Guys’

I am an advocate of Peace.

“Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, political and economic change. … What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am an advocate of Peace, yet sadly I’m more pragmatic or cynical – you pick. In my experience, sadly some folks just want to fight.

“Being at peace with yourself does not mean the world is at peace with you.” ~ Me

Moving around the world every two years led to the wee lad Dozer to getting the stuffing knocked out of him pretty frequently. Brother Bear was much better at making friends, while I was better at taking a kicking.

I showed up every time to the new school happy but also very nervous to meet new folks. Mama Bear would always take Brother Bear and I clothes shopping for new duds each year. I was known for being shy until I felt more comfortable then the energetic and imaginative nerd would boil out from the top and my new class mates would stop, look at me, and make fun of me. Those who wanted to do more than make fun of would come after me.

I was always the smallest kid in class, so I learned to dodge. I also learned how to sprint, to quickly put distance between me and those kids until I found a teacher or safe place. When they caught me I learned how to take a hit and I was smart enough to know when I had to hit it had to be a statement and an application of force that would end the fight. My early years shaped my opinion on conflict and my experiences since have continued to evolve that opinion.

War is not good, it is bad. – Fact.

There is no way to change that. Armed conflicts may generate a victor but everyone suffers. If possible they should be avoided.

“Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

With that sorted providing some context let’s get down to why I’m here today.

I’ve just finished reading the English transcript of Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, statement on the 70th anniversary of the end of Second World War here is the link, but it will also be at the end of the post.

11 Aug 2015

Xbox One, almost 1 year - Video Games

- Sorry folks seems my post went up a wee bit late. Also my images are coming later.

Gona sell my soul here in a sec. I was writing a post about my Xbox One and what I’m enjoying and what I’m looking forward to and then I saw the following deal.

Between 9-15 Aug Best Buy is running a deal for the Xbox One. 40” 1080p TV with a 5000GB Xbox One that comes with the Halo: The Master Chief Collection. You can find the deal here but don’t forget it is a limited time only.

Now that I’m done whoring myself out to big box central – let go into the rest of my original post.
So I’ve had an Xbox one for almost a year – how’s it been? Since it’s been losing the console wars less and less by catching up in sales against the PlayStation 4 I have the time to put in some solid game time and form up some opinions on what’ve played and what I’m looking forward to seeing.

6 Aug 2015

RIP Silver Snail (Ottawa) - Comics

Pale Lady, the Pale Rider’s partner in crime (life), was the first to send me the notice. Throughout the day people brought it up when we met, folks at work asked if I had heard, and my news feed on google slowly filled up.

It seems my history with comic shops has led folks to think I’d care about the ‘crazy’ news. The Silver Snail was closing.

When I was 12, I found work for Anne Billows who owned Orleans Gum Cards and Comics, her husband Don Billows owned Capital City Cards and Comics (it was on Sparks Street across from where Lady Bear work's today!). Each week I earned a half dozen or more comic books, two or three bags of candy from the bulk shop nextdoor, and the odd five dollar bill. When you’re in the seventh grade getting bulk candy and new comics every week was a fucking dream. Over the two years I helped out, I ran into the fine folks from the Comic Cave (now a minor part of the Hobby Center – but still the same gents) at the local comic conventions in the years that Superman died and Image Comics became a thing.

After the Billows shut their pair of doors I worked (for money) for Curt at RGB Comic Corner when I was 14 and 15. After a falling out around 16 years old, I helped out at Comics Xcetera in Orleans working for Murray alongside Serge who also got me working the odd shift at the St Laurent location for Paul. Paul owned the St Laurent location of Comics Xcetera and half of the Orleans location. Murray over ten years ago bought out his store completely and renamed it Entertainment Ink. During this time I also helped out at Kindred Cards and Games which replaced RGB Comic Corner when Mr. B (Greg) bought out the place and after a year closed shop. It was sad to see him close the doors since he's the most pleseant shop keep I've seen over the counter in a comic book shop.

Another alum from the St Laurent location of Comics Xcetera is Dave who owned the Wizard’s Tower at the University of Ottawa, University Center and was forced to relocate. He now runs his shop in Barhaven. Since moving Dave's sold his stake in the Kanata location, to be bought up by the fine folks who owned the other half and since renamed the shop Kobolds Corner. I’ve hung out but I never worked with the gents from the Comic Book Shope, I always take time to chat with Randy (who plays the 40k with Ontos and Rocko) from the Merivale location and last time I saw Paul (not the same Paul from Comics Xcetera) from the Bank Street location, I was coming off a flight from BC and he gave me a big old hug (this is a big deal – I dislike touching folks) and we jabbered before his sister surprised his two kids when she came off her flight.

So I am familiar with comic shops and the ones in Ottawa in particular. I've seen them come and go. I've seen them change names, move locations, and die out - softly with grace or suddenly and without warning.

So the Silver Snail in Ottawa is closing down after 25+ years. Due to the popularity of comic book stories in mainstream media and the age of the store, folks are making such a big deal about it's closing. If this store was so important, all of these people crying lamentations for the Silver Snail should have bought from that store. If they would have done that, the shop would still be open. That's sad about this - it's only getting attention because of Hollywood and the popularity of the comic book 'based' films and not because it's some 'pillar' in the nerd community.

3 Aug 2015

BBQ 3 - Food

So a few things happened this weekend. 

We didn't stay all weekend long at Rocko's family cottage. It was getting cramped and the weather was forcing all the folks inside. We had been there since 1400 on Friday and we left at 2200 on Saturday. 

The place looked great.

Dozer loves his beer in his camping mug

When we arrived on Friday, Me and Lady bear lounged, relaxed, and set up for cooking the next three major meals. 

The smoker turned out well enough even though my DIY smoker is officially dead. I also didn't get any images but lets say I've got a really good handle on my Texas Style rub. Very simple and very easy to put on. 

What a bloody great view

Once the rain kicked in, and the population started to double - plus some fun with my guts. Me and Lady Bear left the cottage. We left the rest of the food for Sunday with Rocko and enjoyed a night drive home.

Since we got back, we've enjoyed the rest of our time and we're looking forward to the coming weekend. So my happy moment with the cottage was the Low Country Boil...

29 Jul 2015

BBQ 2 - Food

Working the smokers
So Rocko's final summer cottage is coming up in a few days. As per norm Lady Bear and I always make sure we plan dna have plenty of food for Rocko and ourselves. We also ask if anyone else is interest in jumping in to share the load of the food.

So I have 3 dinners and 3 lunches to prep and plan for.

I've convinced the Dutchman, Dawn Seeker, Pale Rider and Pale Lady to join in the fun. Together by ow collective powers combined we will make this final hurrah at Rocko's cottage a unforgettable fun filled long weekend.

Step one - take off Friday from work.
Step two - hit Costco in the province of Quebec in order to collect the meats, supplies and cheap booze that only a Costco in Quebec can offer.
Step three- drive the 1.5 hours to the Cottage enjoying the vistas of rolling hills, pine forests, and rising mountains.

Allow me to show off this weekends menu.

Friday -
Dinner: Low Country Boil

Low Country Boil - newspaper and table
Fuck the plates - bring the sauce and napkins
After watching Mind of a Chef, Season 2, Episode 7 - Low Country BBQ, I've always wanted to have me some Low Country BBQ and get in on the table covered stew that is also known as Frogmore Stew.

Cottage Life Volume 28, Number 24 just so happened to have a Canadian version of the Low Country Boil. The use beer and water for the base, and it has potato, kielbasa, chicken legs, shrimp, and mussels. Serve with melted butter, pour it on the table covered in newspaper or butchers paper and vola - communal feast dig right in.

Why would you not want to eat this...
because you're the devil and you're lame
It takes 45 mins in the boiler, serve it with beer and vola that should make my Friday at the cottage that much simpler.


27 Jul 2015

The Artists 'painters' – Table Top

When I look at painting my miniatures I look at it as I would a chore. I’ve spent all of my years in the hobby working at making it easier to paint my minis and to have them not look like a painted turd on a plastic base.

Since I jumped into Infinity and I was building Lab 2.0 I decided to be a better painter while keeping the main quality of time appreciation at the front. I picked up an air compressor, gun cleaning kit, a box fan with a furnace filter, a badger 360 with the Game Colour paint kit from Vallejo. Add that to my always growing collection of paints and various brushes I was set to get painting.

So I started to slowly figure out how to apply colour with the airbrush. I tried blending and layering colours. When Angel Giraldez published with help from Corvus Beli and Vallejo paints his book Painting Miniature from A to Z, Master Class vol-1 I had to snag it. I wanted to be better and he’s in my opinion a leader in the small world of miniature painting.

So this post is about talking about those who rule the brush. Those who’s skill I will never duplicate. True artists who have built a community around making miniatures of various sizes look damn pretty.

See you all through the rabbit hole.

23 Jul 2015

Getting my Blue On - Magic

So I love playing me some Blue.
Phenax, God of Deception
by Wizards of the Coast

Seriously I'm a annoying, dickish, jerkward, dirty Blue player.

I've been playing alot with Tambourine, Big Red, and Lady Bear a bit more these days and it's been a blast. I got an ok pool with the pre-release when I was paired with Pale Rider for the Two-Headed Giant. Alas Dawn Seeker drew a great fucking Blue card pool for the event that definitely made me a bit green, due to jealousy not because I have a need to play Green, the magic colour.

Last night, I'm writing this on a Sunday morning, Lady Bear played with my Blue/White 'Jail' Deck - my deck with a huge focus on board control and found a inkling of love for the colour Blue.

In short I'm loving the colour Blue these days.

Yet I loves it. Below is a video from of Spellslingers (episode 2 of season 3) where a fellow Blue player who is playing my favorite combo, Blue/Black aka Dimir player or worshiper of Phenax.



Great game lets look at what Blue spells really took my attention with Magic: Origins after the break.

20 Jul 2015

Ant-Man: Film Review - Movies

Dear Marvel: Bravo

I just saw Ant-Man the last movie of your Phase Two project.

Ant-Man
by Marvel
I know Phase One was trying to bring heroes and their unique challenges to life. Iron Man and Iron 2 is how technology can change the world while simultaneously changing individuals. The Incredible Hulk tells us that the within every human being is a monster while within every monster is a human being and that struggle is heroic. Thor is a tale of wonder and redemption while discovering what is really important. Captain America: First Avenger is about staying true to yourself when the world and circumstances conspire to change you.

It ended with Avengers. When the many are greater than the individuals and everyone has a place.

Phase Two is littered with themes what a hero is how they grow and deal with their lives. Iron Man 3 is about a man who knows everything and is confident in himself only to fear the world that he's now aware of and the cost of that fear. Thor: The Dark World is a return to what's important at the cost of tradition and change. Captain America: Winter Soldier is about the hero learning how dark the world can get and how hard it is to keep our own light alive to make sure you never lose your way. Guardians of the Galaxy speaks of evolution as a right of passage that makes a person a greater person. Avengers 2: Age of Ultron teaches consequences of successes and of failures.

Ant-Man has themes about old heroes teaching new heroes, between children and parents, and the cost of those relationships when change happens.

Ant-Man was fun it was a great movie...

16 Jul 2015

BBQ – Food

I love me BBQ. Apply fire to meat, add a great sauce as needed… sometimes no sauce is better, sometimes the sauce elevates the whole thing, and enjoy with some fresh veg.

Don’t forget the beer.

You see I built me a smoker with my buddy Big Red. This is how it happened.

My DIY Terra Cotta Smoker
Big Red's DIY Terra Cotta Smoker
A while back I decided that once I moved into the current house, I’m still trying to not call it the new house, I wanted to meet my goal – or was it a vow?

If I got a backyard space I would get me a BBQ.

When I visit Charging Pun and his wife Lady J (aka Julia from the Weathervain Sisterhood), I look forward to his steaks or ribs. Together they prep a good meal of fire cooked meat.

I love Ottawa Ribfest, it being only time I can get some great Beef Ribs done right, as it passes through town taking up all of Sparks Street. I normally grab a spot somewhere easy to access, last couple of years has been Three Brewers which is located on Sparks Street. The building Three Brewers resides in has underground parking making it easy to get into the downtown core, park, walk up into the bar and grab a patio spot. I invite anyone to join me through the whole day. Three Brewers and most of the patio and non-patio easting spots on Sparks allow you to enter with your BBQ ribs IF you buy a minimal number of drinks…

That’s easy. I grabbed Big Red and Sergeant (who is called that due to his family name, not because he sports the same rank that Big Red and I have been awarded in the Canadian Armed Forces) at 2pm to join me a Three Brewers. I ordered a pair of pitchers, solving the drink minimum and than some, and we sent out rovers to collect the meat with pooled money. As the day went on, Big Red left but I was joined by Pale Rider, Pale Lady, the Dutchman, Dawn Seeker, and my favorite person Lady Bear. I continued to order pitchers of beer, bottles of wine and folks left and returned with great BBQ.

Pork Butt - Smoked by Big Red and Dozer
Pork Butt - Smoked by Big Red and Dozer
The day was a great day, a few good drinks (not too many), plenty of great food, fantastic folks, brilliant summer weather… it was a perfect afternoon, evening, and night. We all split up into smaller groups and went about enjoying the night. Some danced on Bank Street for Glo Fest, some yammered with Coffee people watching, others met with ladies and gents making sure to find people and enjoy the night that awesome with company.

That was the start of my summer – that’s an example of what summer means to me. BBQ is a key component to summer. It’s like Christmas without the lights and rouladen, a Magic the Gathering event without the tailgating, or visiting Charging Pun without staying up way too late.

So then I found out that what I thought was BBQ was not BBQ.

What the fuck?

6 Jul 2015

Magic Origins - Magic

So for  those of you who don't play Magic the new set is coming out in two weeks. This set will be the last of the core sets for the foreseeable future. This set is designed to be the start of the story focused sets that will follow. 

There is also a whole new season of my favorite show on Geek and Sundry (with Table Top being a very, very close second. Day 9 is showing up with some more fun filled matches which also looks like it will include a game of Two-Headed Giant. 



In the past you got one core set and through the rest of the year you got a block made up of three sets; one large set followed by a smaller set, and ending with another larger set. The core sets did little to the over arching story of Magic. It was mostly used to update players on the current situation of the characters that were absent from the last block. The blocks are the story filled power behind the game and the plot goes forward. So once a year you get a short story and a update...
Fancy animated image that shows the new rotation to be used
by Wizards of the Coast

Now with the two set blocks, coming out twice a year you get 2 stories a year. So Wizards of the Coast is making this core set a special core set. With some new mechanics, fancy two-sided planeswalkers, and giving us a story that crosses over ten planes - Some are old favorites like Ravnica and Theros while others have only been mentioned in the fluff; like Vyrn - with Kaladesh being the brand new plane to that which is Magic the Gathering.

More after the break.

29 Jun 2015

Monday before Canada Day - Break

I’ve been away.

Today is Monday and Canada Day is this coming Wed.

On this coming Wed, I will rise after sleeping in… so 7am. I’ll open up a breakfast beer, pull out the first batch of brine and remove the meat inside. I may start with a Beef Brisket. I’ll let it dry while I got outside and start the fire for my DIY smoker. Once the fire is going and the heat is rising, I’ll go back inside and apply my rub to the slab of meat in front of me. By the time the whole piece of meat is done, I’ll put it in my smoker and go back inside to start making coffee. Through the day I will sit by the smoker tending to the heat.

Then folks will come...

22 Jun 2015

E3 2015 part 1 'XCOM2' - Video Games

Well last week the wee little convention or 'expo' if you will called E3... well it's really named the Electronics Entertainment Expo but no one calls Jeb Bush, John Ellis Bush. Get it John Ellis Bush, J.E.B. is more of an acronym than a nickname. Fucked up no?

This week I will go over some of the major releases and put out feedback on what came out of E3 2015.

So XCOM2 looks fucking good.



Do You Wish to Continue? - XCOM 2 is PC Only

19 Jun 2015

Exhaustion - Sleeping and Good Sleep

Sorry for the lack of posts.

Sleep apnea has been a problem over the last couple of years and it’s been getting worse. I’ve been on the 8 month waiting list since Feb, until then the Doc can do very little for Dozer.

Also I have bad allergies and while taking normal drugs like Arius I also need to use a steroid twice a day to be able to breath. Now this year has been the best summer I’ve had allergy wise in Ottawa but my sleep apnea is getting worse. I’ll pass out at 2130, wake up the next day at 0730 (late) and still be exhausted.

I've not done much outside of read the new Warmachine: Reckoning, play some Fallout Shelter, and watch TV (which I will pass out to through the afternoon). No painting, no shelf projects, no writting... nothing else.

So I have lots to say about e3:

Fallout 4
Dishonoured 2
Halo 5: Guardians
Rainbow 6: Siege
Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
No Man’s Sky
Starwars Battlefront
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
Last Guardian
Etc…

…but not this week.

- Cheers

Dozer

15 Jun 2015

E3 2015 Bethesda - Video Games

I just finished watching the first showcase at e3 2015. It's also the first showcare by Bethesda Softworks - the developer and publisher for a slew of popular games: Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Dishonored, Doom, Wolfenstein... some of these are considered big names for video game type folks.

So they blow the doors open on the whole e3 event and it was a start that no one should have to follow.

First off they showed DOOM. Looks good, violent and bloody. Looks crazy wild. It's the granddaddy of FPS (First Person Shooters) and wow is the new DOOM looking pretty good. I'm not a fan of the franchise but I understand the reactions of the fans as DOOM filled our senses. I'm a Canadian who lives in Canada - I also hate Hockey. I don't like it, I loathe it but I can understand the rest of my country's obsession with it.

Next was some shitty, alpha footage of Battlecry. A 3rd person battle game that is trying to sport loads of character ala Team Fortress 2. It showed up last year but this year the showing was really... not good. It was the weak point of the show and I can see it being a sore spot for the Battlecry PR team. They will really need to bring it as the game comes out if it hopes to get in front of Blizzard's new IP: Overwatch which is showing buckets of character with the video below.

Looks like Team Fortress 2 had sex with Pixar and it looks like they both had a good time. Just take a look at the gameplay.



Nice - well too bad, back to Bethesda.

When the folks from Arkane studios showed up and shows us this my night went from, good show so far to brilliant fucking showing!



No word on when - but we will have a remastered 8th generation console version with all the DLC of the first game this fall season.

Playing as a female or male character in a victorian age, steampunk colonial setting is looking great. Each of the two main characters have their own set of unique powers. You play Emily the daughter of the Empress from the first game. She rules of the empire of the isles while Corvo is originally from Karaka (the southernmost of the isle nations) before he became the loyal guard of the Empress.

Coming back to this new IP after such a brilliant first game really shows that there is room for new IP's if they are crafted with a focus on quality and depth. The reward for gamers is a better game and that in turn through sales means the creators earn the resources to keep making games that they think we, the gamers, will pay for and enjoy.

Before I leave for the break I have to say I'm happy that Bethesda is leading a two games where my nieces will be able to play as themselves - as women who enjoy games about women. Bravo Zulu!

More after the break

12 Jun 2015

E3 2015 Prep – Video Games

This is the year for the eight generation of consoles.

Last year we had a great lineup of great games;
Dragon Age: Inquisition, Far Cry 4, Dying Light (which is still on my play list), South Park Stick of Truth, and Middle-earth: Shadows of Mordor are great examples of a good introduction to th eighth generation of console games.

The surprise from last year’s slew of games comes from EA with Battlefield: Hardline. The main story was the best single player campaign in the franchise and the multiplayer was really good. I’m looking forward to seeing what Battlefield 5 or Battlefield 2143 (the sequel to my favorite of the series Battlefield: 2142) when it comes around.

Foreplay is over – time to nut up. This year the eighth generation needs to step up and show the goods or our consoles are gone stay lukewarm and unsatisfied. After the break I’m listing my favorite games that will be the topic of the press conferences starting Monday. 

10 Jun 2015

To my Moby - Family

I have a dog named Moby. I was not a dog person until I met Lady Bear and she introduced me to her first and origional life partner - Moby. When we snuggle in for the day he love sticking close to her. when she's sick - try and move the bastard and you'll be annoyed that he's sticking close to her.

He gets the most camera time in this post.

Moby was a dick yesterday but I don't think dog so I may be misunderstanding he intentions outside of food, poop, and sleep. I love the big guy even when he's a pain in my human ass. I love him and when I read about pooches that do great things I always think about Moby.

Today I read this.

Seems a Blind Service dog, golden retreiver named Figo was with his owner, Audry Stone (age 62) when a small school bus was going to hit Audry. Figo was going to have none of this.

The good boy, put itself between the bus and his owner, to shield her from the bus that was transporting two kindergardeners. Figo and Audry were injured and when responders arrived Figo refused to leave Audry's side.

I don't blame Figo, he just took a bus for the lady. Why stop there, Figo is fully commited at this point.

It's not the first time he's taken a hit for Audry either, as he stops shopping carts from crashing into her while they spend time at the grocers.

Figo is one of many dogs who help us.

In war there are service dogs, I've written already once about Cici and her owner and former parter, Sargeant Bos.

Dogs are unique as they are innocents, like a child. They are also full of potential to do great deeds and become partners.

Dogs time on this world are short, I like this kid's reason. I like to think this kid has got something right with his reasoning.

To all the pooches that guard us, work with us, and love us. Welcome to the family, enjoy the treat and 'Good Pup, here's a treat.'

- Cheers

Dozer






5 Jun 2015

Sense8 - Media


I am a fan of  Andy and Lana Wachowski. I love the Matrix, Cloud Atlas, and Speed Racer. Jupiter Ascending and V for Vendetta. I also love me some Babylon 5, Midnight Nation, Squadron Supreme, and the nominated film Changeling… all works of J. Michael Straczynski.

Sense8 is at the new baby of these three minds powered by Netflix. Most critics who posted their reviews today had only watched the first three episodes. Only one of the reviews I found had watched the whole series. 


"And here's the thing: I like a show with diversity. I like a show with ambition. I like a show with balls. I like these characters. I like "Sense8." And I am 100 percent interested in seeing what happens next.” Liz Shannon Miller, Indweller, June 5, 2015 at 12:22PM

But the final lines of Liz Shannon Miller’s review sums up my opinion since I finished episode three with Lady Bear on the couch after a long day/week of work. 

Surrounded by the last Jalapeno Poppers, half empty Domino’s Boxes, some Newman’s Grape Juice, Moby on a rainy Friday afternoon… that's a good afternoon. 

Sense8 is a great show. I feels like I’m watching Lost. Same languid pacing that gives you  just enough to keep you hooked but slowly taking its time to peel back the layers of the plot and the premises. 

I love the multinational thrust of the show and the humanity it’s expressing. With a slew of interesting primary characters. 

Watch this show - this is Netflix trying and it’s a win. Vote with your coin and I hope Netflix supports a second season. 

Enjoy the trailer

- Cheers

Dozer