Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmassy Stuff

Another Christmas has come and gone...a little less stressful this year since Tracey and I decided to not worry about buying anything for each other. I bought two games which I wrapped and put under the tree for myself - 'Revolution' and 'Blood Bowl Team Manager' - the latter I could not resist the 60% off price as I was shopping on Amazon, although it looks like it is more complicated than the darn miniatures game.

The kids got a 'Kinect' from Santa, and it did not take long before something was broken in the basement - one of Liam's Beatles glasses I told him to put in the sink. Irelynn was a bit too excited in one of the games and kept moving too far forward for the Kinect sensor - she eventually bumped the table with the glass and glass tends to not do too well against a concrete basement floor.

The parents each received Kindles from my brothers, so I ordered cases for them and set them up with access to my Kindle/Amazon account, which gives them access to all the books that Tracey and I have bought in the last year. There are plenty of public domain books available for both right now - Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes for my Mom; Zane Grey books for Dad. They also each have Scrabble as well - that is one nice thing about the Kindle - being able to link multiple units to one account.

In the days leading up to Christmas, I watched my favorites for the season - The Office (British) Christmas Special and Christmas Story on TBS (don't need the dvd much anymore). Continuing in my zombie research, I also watched the original 'Dawn of the Dead' which is still a classic - I love the biker gang dude that keeps going back to the 'Blood Pressure' machine...I guess he just had to know? It always amazes me in these movies how long power is still operational in the Zombie Apocalypse.

I usually watch the Father Ted Christmas special (Christmassy Ted) as well, but my disc is cracked - I guess I just need to by the updated boxed set when the price drops again on Amazon - it is quite amazing how much they play around with their pricing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

IT Crowd - Great RPG Scene from Season 4

One of my new favorite British Comedies...with a classic RPG scene.

The subplot is the Jen is the new entertainment manager - the clients are used to going out to strip clubs and being set-up with hookers; Roy is distraught over his GF breaking up with him.









Saturday, December 17, 2011

North Coast Gamers - Holiday Bash 2011

Well - the week got away from me and I meant to post this sooner...but last weekend, I attended the Holiday Game Bash hosted by the North Coast Gamers (December 10).

I left Toledo eventually, and arrived in Richfield, OH right around noon.

Walking into a room full of strangers is never the most comfortable thing for me to do, but I was fortunate to be pulled into a game with 3 great people.

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/50750/belfort

The first game we played was 'Belfort'. Normally, I do not really like worker placement games (Puerto Rico, Agricola), but I do enjoy area control games. This game is really a well balanced game the involves both and works quite well. You have a pool of dwarves and elves that you use to get resources - the resources are used to buy buildings, and you place your buildings in the 5 districts to get majority control and victory points. There are also gnomes that you can purchase to unlock additional functions for most of the buildings. This is definitely on my list of games to buy.

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/34887/revolution

We took a lunch break and then played the game 'Revolution'. I remember playing this some time ago for some reason. It is a neat game where you are using tokens representing Blackmail, Force, or Bribes to influence people into supporting you revolutionary group. There is an area control aspect as well. Click on the link above to BGG.com to read a better explanation than I could ever come up with. Somehow, I did manage to win this game.


http://perytonpublishing.com/perytonrpg.htm
 Tom and Robin showed up - Robin was running her 'Other Tower' game using her Peryton RPG D20 rules. Tom was able to play for a few hours before having to leave for work. I really like some of the new features Robin has put into Peryton RPG that separate it a bit from other D20's; and the twist on the end of the first adventure is making me definitely look forward to 'InConTroll' coming up in January.

The North Coast Gamers really had this planned well. There were over 60 games on the raffle table - unfortunately, I did not win a thing. There was also a huge table of games there were given away to one lucky winner - alas, that was also not me.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weekly Rant, 12/4/2011 - Late Edition

Busy busy busy with work, the holiday, and once again flooding in Toledo.

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New Tom Waits album that I have been listening to. Some stand out songs are 'Bad as me' and another classic anti-war song, 'Hell Broke Luce' - which may be his most powerful song yet.







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And my favorite Christmas song from the Pogues...when Shane McGowan could still actually sing...for the most part. Look for the semi-famous actor playing the role of a policeman.



And since we are talking the Pogues...musically, maybe the best band out there.



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Just completed a double sleepover for the kids...UGH!

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

For the Record...

Toledo has been hit by alot of rain lately - so much so that there is a whole lot of flooding in the area and especially in my flood/back-up prone neighborhood.

Now - we do have the 'Storm Sewer Back-up Preventer' doo-hickie that stops water from the sewers backing up into the basement. The problem is, it truly only goes one way.

By experience, we get one flush - that lets us know something is wrong as the drain in the basement begins to back-up. That lets me know that the water in the street/sewer is full. When the drain is blocked, this also means that if the sump-pump fails, the water has nowhere to go but in the basement. So if say the power goes out and the sewers are flooded, water all over the place. Well - I noticed this a 6AM.

Where am I going with this?

The storm sewers have finally went down - try going 16 hours in your home without flushing or using anymore than a few drops of water here or there...it sucks!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Weekly Rant, 11/18/2011

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...do you have any idea how low our expectations are?



...you are a factory of sadness!

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Sad news from the NBA...a bunch of thugs are not going to be getting their paychecks because they figure being millionaires while playing a game is just not good enough. I will be the first to confess that I hate basketball...so I would personally enjoy a world where I could avoid even seeing a pro basketball game by accident while flipping through the channels.

I just feel bad for the out of work cheerleaders...


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What is the purpose of this 'news' story? It should be OK to break the law if you are elderly or pregnant?

http://news.yahoo.com/pregnant-teen-elderly-woman-among-pepper-sprayed-113054448.html

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Tom Waits has new album. It was funny hearing one of his songs pop up on 'Dancing with the Stars'...I was not watching, of course. I was helping the boy with his homework when I heard the TV. The song was 'A Little Drop of Poison', which also happened to be in one of the Shrek movies.



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Bowling, 'Jerry's Kids' won the First Third with a dominating record of '30-14'...average after the first 11 weeks is a stable 182...but was killed by the oily lanes this week, and now down to a 181.

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What kind of Wood does not float?

http://movies.yahoo.com/news/official-says-wagner-not-suspect-wood-death-191033537.html

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Monday, November 14, 2011

BASH Con XXVII, February 17-19, 2012



The one convention that I have attended for the longest amount of time is coming up in February - Bash Con 27. It is so nice having a solid convention in your backyard. I also do not get a chance to get to the University of Toledo all the much anymore except for the occasional sporting event, so it is also a nostalgic weekend where I can revisit some of the sites from my undergrad days.

BASH Con has some definite advantages compared to some other conventions, the first being its location on the grounds of UT. Parking is FREE, and the convention is relatively cheap ($15 for a weekend pass) since the BASH is a student organization and can use the facilities in the Student Union for next to nothing. I believe their biggest expense is paying for the security/off duty UT Police. And the guy that usually does it is a gamer, so he is always present for the Games Bazaar (auction).

The one thing to be wary of is the organization of the convention, which can be spotty at times with the students that are in charge. Registration has seemed to have gotten worse year after year - the concept of 'Pre-Registration' seems to be a difficult one to understand. They do not take the opportunity to print anything out in advance, so the Pre-Reg line takes longer than the regular line because they actually have to find the information in the computer before they copy it by hand onto the badges and the tickets. So if you do plan on attending, give yourself plenty of time on your arrival date - because the line will be long. Maybe, just maybe, they will figure it out this year, but I won't be holding my breath.

Despite that, the one thing the Con does have is a die hard group of people that show up and run games year after year. There is a large Mayfair Games presence along with a usually large number of board game events, along with plenty of everything else including some video games and LARP zombie game with NERF guns that seemed to be popular last year.

Event Registration should be up soon...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Stroh Con 2011

Where: At the beautiful Stroh residence on Choctaw Lake in London, Ohio
When: November 12, 2011

I immediately realized I messed up at home by leaving the Halloween Candy bowl on the stove within reach of the dogs. They have been increasingly annoying in their old age lately - getting into any food they can reach in the kitchen. This is oddly a very new behavior in my increasingly senile dogs.

Got to Ed's a bit past 9am. We stopped at McDonalds to get some greasy sammiches for the road, but some stupid woman in the double drive-thru line almost crashed into us in her hurry to get in front of us in the line after placing her order. The staff confused the order; we got her 2 inedible Egg McMuffins while she got our food. We drove back and got our orders correct, but I hope this ruined the McMuffin lady's day.

Ed had directions, but we were not paying attention and soon passed up the exit we were supposed to get off at. We ended up taking a bit longer to get there, and stopped off in Urbana, Ohio to get lunch (thinking that John would only have finger food at his house). We stopped at KFC, and I unfortunately ordered the Popcorn Chicken that was not very good and way too expensive for what it was...lesson learned.

We got lost again trying to find John's house - luckily Ed called and got directions , otherwise we might still be driving around central Ohio. Ed said he had been here before - I don't know if I should believe that.

Finally arriving, there were a few groups already playing some games, so Ed and I played a quick game of 'Carcassonne' (Ed won).
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/822/carcassonne
We then played 'Airlines Europe' (Ed, John, John's brother, and some other dude). John started the run on Abacus Spiele stock first and was able to get the majority payout in the 2nd and 3rd dividends...he finished with 89 points, I had 75...I believe I was second, followed by Ed and the others.

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/90419/airlines-europe
Next we played 3 great games of 'Are you a Werewolf'...10 players in the first two games, and then 13 in the last game as more Stroh family members arrived from Chicago. I was lucky and was on the winning side for all 3 games. The first, I was the Seer; we luckily rooted out the first werewolf by blind luck...I was able to eliminate a few suspects with my Seer ability and eventually we took out the other werewolf. Myself and Ed were the werewolves in the 2nd game - I was almost sussed out by John's brother Chuck, and it came down to me helping convince the other dude that I was NOT in fact the werewolf...which of course I was.

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/38159/ultimate-werewolf-ultimate-edition
The third game, Ed and I were both again the werewolves and a Stroh family member was the third. I was almost lynched right away, but somehow convinced the group I was not a werewolf. I was never suspected again, and Ed escaped an accusation himself. We did lose the 3rd werewolf, but Ed and I prevailed - more than likely due to the fact that no one thought we would be the werewolves again I imagine...I am actually a horrible liar...or am I?

We finished with 3 hands of 'Saboteur' (won as miner, won as saboteur, lost as miner) and then it was back on the road to Toledo...we did not get lost this time.

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/9220/saboteur

Friday, November 11, 2011

Weekly Rant, 11/11/2011 - Veteran's Day Edition

Just for Tom...

And now every April I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me
And I watch my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reliving old dreams of past glory
And the old men march slowly, all bent, stiff and sore
The forgotten heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask, "What are they marching for?"
And I ask myself the same question



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So, gonna take well needed departure from political stupidity this week...just not much else going on right now, other than eagerly awaiting the UPS dude to deliver my 'Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim'...



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Parks and Recreation is still the best show on TV...



... and watch the webisodes...



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Where does SyFy get money to produce a potential stinkbomb like 'Rage of the Yeti'?

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Be sure to thank a veteran today and everyday. I have donated to both the Fisher House and Honor Flight over the years.

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...and woot! Just arrived...




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Going with Easy Ed to 'Stroh Con' this weekend...not really a con, but a friend named Stroh having some people over to play some board games. Will have to have a Jerry-Con sometime soon.

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weekly Rant, 11/6/2011

It has been a busy week for trying to let people know about the 7% of the working population that are affected by Issue 2 here in Ohio. Since opponents cannot stand up to the facts, they are relying on jargon and bullshit to get past those facts. It is amazing to me when I hear a democrat claim that this is something that would only add more government and while he likes a lot of the bill, putting more things in the hands of politicians is not what he is for. I guess Obamacare, the bailouts, and all the other things the Democrats are known for is not considered 'more government' because...shite, I don't think like a Democrat, so I cannot even come up with a good excuse.

Bottom line - collective bargaining is not taken away, working conditions and staffing levels are not off the table - if anything, layoffs will occur when this does go down, because cities with millions of dollars in debt will need to cut...and the cuts will come from the least paid, last ones in. Then who will these zombies blame for not having a job...ah, George Bush - it still works for President Zero and the liberal media.

Anyone who thinks that legislation that will save them money, help reward workers that are performing at a high level (merit pay - like the rest of us), eliminate automatic 'step' increases, remove tenure based systems for laying off workers, and prevent direct payment to the unions for union dues is a bad thing...well, you deserve what we will be getting. The sad thing is - the rest of us do not.

And if I hear one more thing about firemen, policemen, teachers, or any other public service person not showing up to save my life or teach my children...last I checked they were not forced into these positions. Get another job if you think things are so bad. When you are paid off tax dollars, you are subject to the realities of the system - which is less and less people actually working and contributing to income and property taxes while more and more people are using those services.

And teachers...what a bunch there...preaching to their classes about following rules, yet they get away with wearing political buttons at the school (against the law) and brainwashing their students into thinking their parents should be voting against this Issue. The Low Paid Teacher Myth is just that - a myth. I would gladly take my salary and only work 9 months out of the year...would not hear me complaining.

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And I hate animals too because I am voting against the Zoo levy...

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What else happened this week, hmmm? I had a scheduled day off and then had to go into work anyway because I had so much to do...I guess other professions do have to work overtime and from home without extra pay...wow...I thought teachers were the only ones that did that.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Weekly Rant, 10/28/2011

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I have commented on the whole 'Occupy' foolishness before...this sums it up nicely...



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I remember when I was growing up, there was the Halloween scare with people putting razor blades in apples, or otherwise poisoning or doing something with the candy. I think today, hospitals still offer to x-ray bags of candy and so forth. The only thing I ever worried about was getting candy bars. There always seemed to be at least one dentist who handed out toothbrushes and the people that gave you pennies or nickels. Quarters were always acceptable. That paid for a game of Pac-Man or Zaxxon.

I just bought 7 bags of candy for Trick or Treating - Nestle Crunch, Butterfinger, Thousand Grand, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, Kit-Kat, Almond Joy, and Baby Ruth. Still need to buy smarties or dum-dums for kids that are too old or not in a costume.

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I can now download books to my Kindle from the Public Library...there is one government service that I already pay for that I will be using a bit more.

I am reading 'The Stand' right now...still need to finish 'Hood' though...stupid work cutting into all of my free time right now.

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Tracey and I were on the 'Murder Mystery Train' out of Blissfield last weekend. I bought her the tickets for her birthday. The food was decent, and the performance was good...but...a certain large group of people in one of the train cars were way too drunk and ended up 'getting sick' in the bathrooms on their car. So it seemed that everyone was using our trains restrooms during the 3 hour trip...and guess where our seats were?

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Vacation - Hershey and Gettysburg, PA

I took the day off on Friday after a very long run at work without a day off, working weekends and long hours. Bought some items for the trip, got the oil changed in the car, double checked all the directions and printed confirmations for the hotels.

As we started to leave, had a bit of an accident involving Irelynn and Liam's bedroom door - which required a slight detour for Tracey to take her to the doctor to make sure her fingers were not seriously damaged. She was in a such a great mood and just wanted to get one of her dolls from room. She was running her fingers along the wall when they got caught in Liam's door as he was closing it - bad timing, but in the end - we were eventually on our way with her fingers in a splint.

We stopped somewhere in between Cleveland and the PA border, eating at a restaurant named Rockne's - not a bad place - had never eaten at one before. I cannot say no to Fried Macaroni and Cheese.

Back in the car, the kids had just finished watching the 'Zookeeper' and was now watching some Tom and Jerry and Spongebob videos on the dvd player in the backseat. They eventually fell asleep, but not before Liam took off his shoes to reveal the most hideous odor emanating from his feet...yikes! The kids finally asleep, we were able to listen to some Petros and Money on Fox Sports radio, and then some various tunes that we kept only hearing the ends of via XM Radio. This got us through all the tunnels in the mountains and eventually on to Harrisburg, PA - the city that has most recently earned the distinction of declaring bankruptcy. Gotta love it when the home of the state capital cannot manage its money. They even cancelled Christmas!

We drove into Hershey on Saturday and after Breakfast at Bob Evans, we visited Hershey's Chocolate World, where we went on the chocolate tour ride, watched the 3-D movie, and made our own candy bars.





We then when to the adjoining amusement park where I wished we remembered that we had a camera. Irelynn rode a few roller coasters with her hands up on both them, the little daredevil. The park was not quite as big as Cedar Point, but had plenty of rides including about 10 roller coasters.


On our way out, we stopped back in the Chocolate World and picked up some huge arse cupcakes...


Our hotel room at the Courtyard Marriott has some issues with the toilet. For our issues, we had a free breakfast in the morning and I insisted to the front desk the darn thing was not clogged - it was broken. Having a crappy toilet at the house - I know the difference. Also received some extra Marriott points for alerting them to this - so if you are in room 314, you can thank me for the brand new toilet.

On day three, we drove to Gettysburg which was only about 40 minutes away. Unfortunately, the camera ran out of juice because a certain guy by the name of Jerry forget to charge it. They now have a new visitor center (new since the last time we visited back in 2007) which is very nice and state of the art with a new movie theater and updated Cyclorama for viewing the refurbished Gettysburg painting.

Since I have no pictures...this will have to do

We drove the entire tour of the battlefield, stopped off at various spots to look at statues and monuments, and even made it to Culp's Hill and climbed the observatory tower located there - a picture from that would be pretty cool, eh?

We drove into town, ate at the restaurant we ate at 4 years ago - which was alot better 4 years ago...then walked around town a bit, went back to the hotel so the kids could swim in the pool.

The drive back was on Rte 30 and was over the mountains instead of the tunnels through the mountains via Rte 76.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dogs and Squirrels

As we were getting ready to leave on Friday (10/14) for our trip to Hershey, PA...


The squirrels in my neighborhood are getting quite brazen - hanging out on our porch in the front and in the back. I guess it has been a few years since Ash went on his kill spree, where he took down about 5 squirrels in the backyard including 2 in one day.

My dogs are 11 now, so maybe they are just getting a bit too slow.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Weekly Rant, 10/20/2011

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Driving through PA, scanning XM radio and constantly catching only the ends of the songs we like, I thought of an old song I used to love and sung a few lines. Then about 1 minute later, Dr Hook's 'Cover of the Rolling Stone' popped up and we caught it from the beginning...almost woke up the sleeping kids I was so excited.



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Looks like Greece has FINALLY totally run out of other people's money...

http://news.yahoo.com/greece-riots-austerity-steps-1st-approval-195223157.html

...with a Socialist Party and a Communist Party, how could this have ever happened?

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I missed 'Big Chuck and Lil' John' all the years since moving to Toledo...now I miss them even more that they are off the air. One of my favorite skits...




... and Big Chuck's book is a good read, if you have not read it yet.

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I put my bowling ball in the garage for the road trip last week. I rolled into the bowling alley Wednesday and my bowling ball was still in my garage. I used my teammate's left-handed ball and still was able to roll 168-163-193, losing only one pin on my average, dropping to a 181. Now, if only I can stay above 180 for the rest of the season. And for the record, after 8 weeks, 'Jerry's Kids' are a whopping 27-5, but only in first place by 3.5 games.

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Regarding Issue 2...obviously my hope is that is passes...but this is Ohio and people in the big cities tend to vote Democrat, even though most of them could not tell you why. They will vote No on Issue 2, then complain that their taxes are being increased to pay for government services that are unsustainable.

But - IF Issue 2 passes, will this be like any other levy where they will keep bringing it back again and again until they get the desired result? Why do democrats criticize and complain so much when they are not in power, yet take a totally different stance when in power? If the roles were reversed, they would be getting plenty of air time on the Liberal network television stations talking about how the people put them in power and the Republicans should not be wasting time with a recall election...just saying.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

My Weekly Rant - 10/14/2011

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List of things to do next year:

1. Buy a battery powered generator for my Sump Pump before the next rainy season.
2. Get Married

A very short list, but I have my priorities...all my games are in the basement. I am banking on the fact that Tracey does not pay attention to this site.

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My newest board game for the collection: 7 Wonders. I had heard great things and did manage to play it once at work during a lunch break a few weeks back. Need to read the rules and play again soon.


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The things we talk about at work...this week, references to Mega Desk...Kingpin...Princess Bride...



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Vote YES on Issue 2!

Only 13% of the working population in the state of Ohio belongs to a union. If you took that number and figured out what percentage of these people belong to a public union, it would be even less.

Why should I have to take a paycut (in paying more taxes) while I still have to pay Social Security (Public unions don't pay social security with their government pensions) and my own private retirement (while Public employees actually get pick-ups from taxpayers) while paying even more for my healthcare (which does not compare to the public unions healthcare) when they pay next to nothing. Oh yea - public unions are exempt from Obama Care along with the representatives and senators that supported it - funny how that works, eh?

When and if Issue 2 does get turned down, will these same union people be complaining about getting layed off when there is no money or way for jurisdictions to negotiate realistic contracts? First one in, last one out; so the people making the most money keep their jobs while the ones making the least will get laid off. What about union solidarity and everyone taking a paycut for the greater good?

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While in Toledo, rallying other developmentally challenged individuals against Issue 2, Junior Hoffa said that he would like to 'Run Governor Kasich over with a truck'.

Stay classy Jimmy - violence is the normal way Teamsters like to settle disagreements.

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"Labor unions would have us believe that they transfer income from rich capitalists to poor workers. In fact, they mostly transfer income from the large number of non-union workers to a small number of relatively well-off union workers."

~ Robert E Anderson

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Reaper Miniatures - October Deal

Reaper Miniatures at reapermini.com has a deal this month. Order $40 worth of stuff and get a neat little grab back of treats including 4 pots of paints, some candy, a deck of cards, and a trick or treat miniature. Also - Reaper always has FREE SHIPPING for any order $25 or more.


While I typically shop online with 20-30% discounts, Reaper's website does offer many out of circulation miniatures as well as a great selection of 'bits' at really great prices.

The website stated that there is a 30% chance that you will get a 'Trick'...guess what I got?



Actually kind of cool that they packaged it the way they did.

I may just have to place another order before the end of the month for some Christmas presents...

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad season finale was a treat. There are very few shows that can really do what this show does. Every episode is tense and the writing is truly amazing. I don't know if the writers had all of this planned from day 1, but it sure seems that way. Everything flows together, from season to season, and just like in real life, there are no black and white characters. Everyone is a varying shade of grey.



Found this interview with the writer, Vince Gilligan...interesting to read about some of the very things I had just written above. Warning - Spoilers included in the link.

Here is the link to the official site at AMC where you can get more information.

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Weekly Rant - 10/07/2011

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Current Work Status - 12 straight days of 8+ hours...hopefully get some time off this weekend.

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RIP Charles Napier. We were talking at work, and this is the image I fondly remember from the Blues Brothers - the rest of the Good Ole Boys in the top bed of the camper during a chase scene...


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"France has neither winter nor summer nor morals. Apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country."

~ Mark Twain

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I hope every single imbecile that decided to 'Occupy Wall Street' puts this little hiatus from work on their professional resume.

Here are some of the 'Demands' these yahoos are making. They are all so unrealistic, I cannot even pick a favorite.

"Tea partiers didn't block traffic, sleep on sidewalks, wear ski masks, fight with the police or urinate in public... Then they picked up their own trash and quietly went home. Apparently, a lot of them had to be at work in the morning."

~ Ann Coulter...on the Lib Media comparing this to tea partiers...

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I created a monster for Tunnels & Trolls I am calling the 'Woe Hound'. I painted some GW Warhammer Fantasy miniatures that did not really fit into any monster type that I have used for any system. So, I came up with my first monster design for T&T. I will have a separate post for that later.

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Kindle Fire looks pretty cool. But, then I would have to finally update to wireless internet at the house...

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Obscure Lyric of the week:

"Crawlin' on her belly and Shakin' like jelly and I'm getting harder than Chinese Algebra"

~ Tom Waits, 'Pasties and a G-String', Small Change

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Comic Book Corner: All Star Western #1

What is light years better than anything Grant Morrison has ever written?

Anything written/created by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray.

I have been a fan of Jonah Hex since I first bought Hex #1 way back when thinking he was some kind of rip-off of Mad Max, the Road Warrior.


Being so long ago, I would like to think that at some point in the 18 issue series, I realized that he was an old time DC western character, but heck, I was like 15 years old and thought Road Warrior was the best movie ever.

What really got me interested in the character was the more 'Weird West' tales written by Joe R Lansdale (later of 'Bubba Ho-Tep' fame) and illustrated by Tim Truman. 'Riders of the Worm and Such' and 'Two Gun Mojo' blended the Old West with the supernatural. I have never played the Deadlands RPG, but I have to believe these books probably inspired that world a bit. Zombies and other supernatural beings take on the scarred gunslinger in some of the best comics ever written.


While I always kept my eye out for the original Jonah Hex stories, I never really read them until I finally bought the black and white reprints.


The most recent Jonah Hex series by Palmiotti and Gray was great. The emphasis was on single issue stories and there were very few exceptions where a storyline stretched multiple issues. The series was one of my favorites over the last 5 or 6 years as both DC and Marvel slowly drove me away from super-heroes in general.



Grant Morrison ruined Batman, JSA was destroyed by horrid writing, and DC in general just went from one too many crises to another for this guy. So, when DC decided to relaunch all 52 books in September 2011, I only had interest in a single one, and that was All Star Western.

The artwork by Moritat (whom I have never heard of) was near perfect and once again, P&G deliver on a great story, staying true to the Hex character and also showing a very cool Gaslight version of Gotham City. It reminds me a lot of Chicago as depicted in 'Devil in the White City' by Erik Larson (not the comic book Erik Larsen). Mayor Cobblepot, and mention of the Wayne family should neatly tie things together into the DC Universe..but of course, I want nothing to do with the rest of that stuff going on in the DC Universe...those bridges have been burned down by poor writing and worse editing for good.


As long as Palmiotti and Gray are writing, I will be buying Jonah Hex.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Weekly Rant - 9/29/2011

Work is really stinking, it is raining, and judging by the stinkage at work, this may be the only time I have to post this, so my weekly rant is a day early...

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And since I am stuck at work, what the feck is up with Ohio born Pittspuke Steeler fans? If you are from Pittsburgh or PA, so be it - understood. But if you are from Ohio, knowing full well that the Steelers are the big rival for both Ohio teams - are you just deciding to be arsehole? "Hey - I am gonna pick the team that everybody hates because I am a jackass." And I am now living in Toledo, so these jackasses are front running morons who can't even say they are geographically closer to Pittspuke than say some other team like Detroit. I can understand not wanting to root for a losing organization like the Browns...but that is like some jerky in Columbus deciding to be a Michigan fan...just to be an arse.

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Happy Birthday Tracey!!! Love ya kid!

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One of my favorite Tea Party songs...



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"Evil Dead the Musical" returns to the Valentine Theatre. We will be going back again. The director says that there will be some slight changes, but the same cast is back. Groovy!

If you are buying tickets, be sure to call the box office to avoid the internet fee.

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Dreams are weird enough at times, but why are even weirder situations thrown in? Like, you notice you are missing your shoes and you are walking around barefoot? Or, you get on a train and you travel faster than the speed of light and reach your destination in seconds? Or, you know the person in your dream, even though it may be someone you have not seen or remember seeing for years...

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"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."

~ Ronald Reagan

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Last year I had my credit card account hijacked when someone tried to purchase something in California at a Microsoft computer store...now I have an unauthorized purchase with some of the Microsoft Points from my Xbox Live account...if these people spent the time actually learning a skill and getting a job instead of trying to figure out how to cheat other people...just saying.

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The difference between work and recess...



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"I am for doing good to the poor, but...I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed...that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer."

~ Benjamin Franklin

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Am I a Hoarder?

So this weekend I decided I needed to reorganize my Board Game collection since it was expanding its borders like Israeli neighborhoods into the disputed territories. The plastic shelving was just not designed to carry the massive weight of 10 years of uncontrolled board game hoarding.

I bought some new wire shelving to better contain some of my smaller box games and reorganized the mess. I even started a sell pile that I will unload at an auction in the near future, or offer to some co-workers and friends first.


But then I realized...well, not so much realized but was faced with the grim reailty that I was repressing...I have a problem.

Well - I know I have problems...but regarding my comic book collection...


...my miniatures...


...my role playing games...


...and my board games; the only thing separating me from 'hoarder' status is that my stuff is confined to the basement and is well organized.

Also, I think that by definition, a hoarder refuses to get rid of anything. I am OK there. I have been selling and giving away my stuff for many years. I just need to be a bit more proactive, like selling comics on ebay without worry of how much they sell for.

If you are interested in getting your hands on a huge runs of Batman, Detective, Flash, and many other super-hero comics, let me know. The price will be right.

For my miniatures - I think I will always have the delusion that I can paint all the cool stuff I have bought.


And my DVD collection has not really grown all that much recently since I put in place my 'must watch it at least once a year' rule...my recent purchases are more in support of my fascination with BBC sitcoms and MST3K.

Just don't ask me to get rid of my Bruce Campbell movies.

Monday, September 26, 2011

House Issues 2011 - Part 5, The End Result

Here are the final pictures...ordered some new furniture, put up new curtains, and rearranged the room putting the TV on the inside wall.


We also got a new dining room table...which I will get a picture of eventually.

Heck - I even fixed the darn doorbell!

Next - the mailbox!

~JT

Friday, September 23, 2011

My Weekly Rant - 09/23/2011

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Ron Swanson quote of the week:

"An hour ago an entire fireball consumed my entire face and it was far preferable to spending another second with you."

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Here is my T&T "Simplified Hits Table" that I created some months back. I need to start testing it...



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I believe that all fans of the Cleveland Browns are in some form of purgatory...constantly suffering and surrounded by morons rooting for Pittspuke.

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The boy was watching MAD! on Cartoon Network and this made my day much better...



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Pentacon is really making me angry. The boy and I had a great time last year, and many of my Gen Con friends attend this convention. However, their inability to make updates to their site and actually have a functional registration system is getting tiresome. May have to switch to Con on the Cob afterall for my Fall convention, but not until next year. We will be in Hershey, PA on vacation on that weekend this year.

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My song of the week - Happy Belated Birthday Nick Cave...



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Might need to listen to Murder Ballads...gonna be a long weekend...

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"You can have equality, you can have prosperity, but you cannot have both."
~Ann Coulter, on the local Toledo radio show on 9/19/2011

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"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the industrious out of it. You don't multiply wealth by dividing it. Government cannot give anything to anybody that it doesn't first take from somebody else. Whenever somebody receives something without working for it, somebody else has to work for it without receiving. The worst thing that can happen to a nation is for half of the people to get the idea they don't have to work because somebody else will work for them, and the other half to get the idea that it does no good to work because they don't get to enjoy the fruits of their labor."
~Adrian Rogers

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Of Best Laid Plans and Other Nonesense

Yea - so really - nothing too much is happening on the creative front, other than spending way too much time working. Just completed a stretch of 12 days straight, albeit one Sunday was only 2 hours...but the way the Browns played on that day (Week 1 vs the Bungals), it was less stressful to go into the office for a few hours ...

I have been painting some miniatures. In process are some Mariliths (below) for my next AD&D session and the T&T minis I am painting for Tom and Robin. 'Kopfy the Mad Mage' is just about done ...

Had some cool dreams last night - of course they are already fading from my memory. I need a dream recorder...a new season of Red Dwarf is coming, so I gots that going for me ...

Worldweaver released the first Kindle version of the 'Lone Wolf' series of solo adventures. Purchased that today, will have to cruise by a library to download it since I don't have wireless at home. I am finally getting some use from my tax dollars to support the library system  ...

The aforementioned Browns "play" again today. Trying to decided if I want to waste my time watching those hacks or just use 3 hours of my life in a more fruitful way. Will more than likely paint some miniatures while watching the train wreck. At least I am used to being a loser ...

"The Tower" that Liam and I have been working on for past year or so is almost complete. We have a few things to touch up here and there. I used balsa wood from a craft store, textured paint for the walls, and a combination of Fat Dragon downloaded graphics (glued to balsa wood) and painted metal/hydrostone miniatures for the interior. I will have compete pictures a bit later, but here are few sneak peeks ...


I need to go to the hobby store and pick up more wood and materials for Irelynn's house...she plays with the Tower alot, but she wants the house that I have promised to make for her. At last check, I think she is expecting 6 floors ...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

My first Solo Adventure

I am attempting to write my first solo adventure for Tunnels and Trolls. The theme is Halloween, so I am watching Frighteners for some inspiration around the idea I have.

I have rediscovered a childhood addiction which was the Fighting Fantasy books - 3 are now available on the Kindle which has been very cool. The company (Worldweaver) that is doing the Kindle conversions announced on their website that they will be adapting the Lone Wolf books as well.

This site has done a great job of converting the Lone Wolf books to HTML...but the kindle will roll the dice for you, which makes things a bit easier.

So - I have plenty of experience playing solo adventures, with the world of T&T solo adventures expanding my horizons a bit.

We shall see how it goes...

Friday, August 12, 2011

House Issues 2011 - Part 4, The Home Stretch

Not much left...

Here are the results of the painting...all went smoothly and was completed in 3 days. I re-attached all the switch covers and grates for the Heating/AC.

I have a few pieces of trim to replace on the front wall and I would like to get some quarter round stained and installed to finish room.

The kichen will be getting new floor soon as well.

Now we just need to hang the curtains and get the room re-populated.


We also took the opportunity to get rid of the paneling in the kitchen that we were in the process of removing/replacing...



Thursday, August 11, 2011

House Issues 2011 - Part 3, The Repairs

So - many weeks later, living out of Tracey's mom's house, driving to the house every morning to shower and get dressed for work, and stopping by after work every day to get mail and such, I finally pulled the trigger and started getting the work done.

Waiting for insurance to deny my claim and some trips that I had planned delayed the work.

The same company that did the clean-up gave me a quote for the structural repair, drywall, and replacement of the insulation. I contacted them on July 11, but they were not able to come out and get me the estimate until July 18, and then not start work until July 25.

They repaired the trusses, and put up new drywall.



They then textured the ceiling and the walls.


I hired a guy to refinish the hardwood floors. (He was great!)


I also re-contacted the company that did my repairs in 2006. They committed to coming out the week of August 8 to seal some spots in the foundation and replace some topsoil that had settled on the corner of the house. This to address the driveway side of my basement wall that is getting some moisture on the supposedly waterproofed basement.

Finally, I hired a friend of a friend to paint the ceiling and walls in the hallway, living room, and kitchen. He gave me a quote on August 9 and stared work the same day.

NEXT: Part 4