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


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.



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.



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


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


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