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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Went The Day Well? + UKdirectseller

No, not really. Today has been a woefully unproductive day. UKdirectseller is possibly the worst eBayer I have ever had dealings with. If you are going to buy something on eBay don't buy it from them. I have finally got the money to post it back. I have had to go and buy a printer after I found out my existing printer has died, it took me nearly two hours of farting around before I decided it had died. Then I have spent an hour and a half trying to find a replacement and another hour setting the new printer to print out the paperwork for the return.

Then I didn't get to the FabLab. This has been about the only thing I have been looking forward to. Kids and maths exams got in the way. So what time I did get to myself to work on CorelDRAW to prep for the FabLab has been completely wasted. Some days are definitely harder than others. today has really turned into one of those crisis of confidence days. I have an early start in the morning and I am majorly wound up so i am not going to get any sleep.






Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Heat, eBay, And FabLab (And Stuff)

I did my best to get an early night. I was asleep just before midnight and had till about half seven this morning. The cat decide that she wanted to go out at around 5a.m. and I just couldn't get back to sleep. So I am hoping for a better night tonight, after locking the cat outside.

Another day of training. Being shut in a room with no aircon, a tiny amount of open window, with ten people has to be a form of torture on a day like today. Still the last training, for a little while at least, We have had some rain as well so the temperature has dropped just a bit and tomorrow the temperature should drop just a bit more. No almighty thunderstorm yet although that might still happen. So things are on the up.

Having played Spike's quick WW2 game over the weekend I saw something about the One Hour Wargame rules on YouTube early this morning. This seems like a nice idea and I keep thinking I should give them a go. I was thinking I could use some Spanish Civil war figures id did years ago buT I just can't find them. The garage is now fuller than ever and whilst I think I know where they are, there is just no practical way to get to them, unless I want to spend a day clearing out the garage.

Having waited the week that eBay gave me to resolve the problems I have had to ask for them to get involved. Now I have to wait another five days before either the company will give me the money to pay for postage (which despite being a purchased from within the UK, the new return address is now in California). When you want to start something, like a business, you really want to get it going. This is not helping.

Since last Thursday I have been putting off looking at what I did in the FabLab last week. It turned out really badly and I was very disappointed with myself. Obviously I hadn't done it right. Different materials lead to massively different results. Now that I have had a look at them I have come to a different conclusion. The machine seems to have cut a lot of it on a diagonal rather than a straight line. I can only assume this is something to do with the power used but I will have to ask when I get there tomorrow,

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Another Day In Hell/Paradise

Well I thought I'd get on and start typing a bit early. Having had to work exceptionally hard to stay awake during training today, I am sufficiently tired that I think I might try and get an early night with the hope of getting some sleep. Despite the heat of the day, the ambient temperature here has dropped a fair bit so outside is not almost pleasant. So perhaps I might not fry in bed tonight.

On and off I have been looking at stuff to do with Scythe online especially YouTube. I had forgotten that it was also a solo game when I brought it. Now I am thinking that I might give it a go over the weekend or maybe even towards the end of the week. Once the temperature drops in the conservatory so that I don't get baked alive, I think I am going to give it a go. Hopefully, it will live up to the hype and it will be a great game.

Despite not having had much time today I have done a few bits and pieces on Underground. The kids are about to go to bed so I should get an hour or two of peace. I am doing about the fifth rewrite of the bestiary. Once I have done that, I might give people a chance to look at it and make some comments.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Heat And Work Kill The Day

Today has been the hottest I can remember for a while. It has topped out at 30c which is pretty warm for where I live. It was maybe a five year high. It is a big part in me not sleeping and my body clock is all over the place as a result. I got a lot done today but nothing finished off/ This I am not liking. I have spent over an hour putting the laser cutter back in it's box and another hour dealing with the company that keep trying to screw me over. Still back to the real world tomorrow. My mate is off home and I am due on training during the day. That should be a lot of fun, locked up in a cramped room with ten people and no air-con/ Hope everyone brings some deodorant.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Sunday, Sunday

Yesterday was more about playing games than today. That was more Saturday, Saturday. We played through one of my friends ideas about a World War 2 game. It was quick and but needs a lot of work doing to it but it wasn't all bad. Then we had a go at Castle Panic again. We nearly lost the game but just about managed to pull it make it back in the moments. There was a lot of tooing and froing but is was clear from the get go that I was not going to win they game but surviving is sometimes all you can hope for.

It's been very warm here today. The game room has been to hot to go in without the sweat pouring off you. A copy of the Scythe board game has come into my possession along with an expansion for Tokaido. So I am guessing that I am going to give these a try. I haven't play Tokaido with the first expansion yet. I am still getting used to the basic game. It seems better to play it through a few times before adding new things in to keep it interesting. This may take a bit of time.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Phalanx

Spent a bit of time at my local show Phalanx today. It's more a chance to catch up with a few people and have a brew. It's not the biggest show by I like it. That said I am not sure that this is the show I have spent the least money at but it's probably not far off. I got some 6mm Napoleonic stuff which appeared to be quite cheap. Then, when I got home, there were a lot of Parthians and colonial British and a lot of odds and sods.
 For some reason the only thing that really took my interest were two winter games. this is a newish samurai game with a few fantasy overtones. The figures seem really nice and they had a guy dress up in a full suit of samurai armour. For a long time now I have been thinking about running a fantasy far east, journey to the west meets samurai game. These figure might just pursuade me to do it.
The other game I saw was a world war two game. Seems nice enough. I think it's a Warlord games Bolt Action demo game. Whilst I like the idea of Bolt Action I am not sure I have the time in the painting queue to get anything any time soon. That said, I would be happy enough to have a go.
Now I'm off to play a wargame followed up by some wargames. Should be a good evening.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Boardgames

With a couple of friends over at the house the evening has pretty much been all boardgames. I play Tokaido again. This time I won and by a fairly comfortable margin. I managed to start of a lap of honour on the victory point track. Which is always fun. Then we played Roll For The Galaxy. This is a game that I usually do quite well at, I lost it but only because I thought I had won. Somehow I had missed a special ability card and from the look of the card I am pretty sure that I was never going to win with what I had. Then we moved on to Exploding Kittens. this is a nice quick little game. As we had forgotten one of the rules it started to take on an almost epic nature. What I thought was going to be over in ten minutes took over an hour and became the longest game of the evening.

time for bed again and then up for Phalanx and bacon sandwiches in the morning.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Another Day at The Fab Lab

I've had a good day and got a lot done. There has even been beer involved which is a bit of a novelty. The morning was spent working on the stuff for printing at the FabLab. It's not come out as well. Different materials and different advice seem to have taken me back a step or two. Still the concept works and I will have to work out the problems when I get a machine that works.

Pub again tomorrow and gaming and a game show over the weekend. I guess that means good times are here.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Underground

The end of the world seems to be Underground at the moment. Well in the Underground if I am being literal. I am just about to finish the content of the first thing I think I could actually publish. There is plenty books right behind it as, whilst I work on one book, the ideas for another come in tandem. So the bestiary is just about done. There is an equipment and crafting guide not far behind it and a number of smaller works on robots, humans, diseases, vehicles, flora, robots and the truly odd and bizarre. There are a few more ideas but these are not as well formed.

I may have a couple of mates around tomorrow and I can see the weekend being busy. This should be good for the blog as I might have something more interesting to look at.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Blabbering

Not much done today, well nothing that is tangible. After working on the Underground background again, I thought it was time I did a bit more on the laser cutting front. I have worked out some more ideas. Having kind of gone overboard with the fallout crafting thing, my mind keeps running back to the way they construct terrain. I have already worked out how to do some rickety looking post-apocalyptic fencing I thought I would try a raised wooden platform. It took a little while to work out the geometry but that is done now.
This is a picture of one of the monsters that will populate my ruined version of London, Hogzilla. Although there are plenty of wild pigs running around London, hogzilla is something different. A true beast, more the size of a car than a pig.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Busy Doing Nothing

Not been feeling so good today. I am struggling sleeping again so I haven't felt much like being active today. So I have spent a lot of time doing stuff on my roleplaying ideas. At some  point in the future, I am hoping that something might come of it but we will see.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

End Of The Week And Tokaido

It was about ten years ago whilst reading a book about Japan that I first heard about people walking along the Tokaido. I am not sure if the word pilgrimage is the right one but it has a status in Japan a little like a spiritual version of the Pennine Way or the Inca Trail. These have become three walks that I want to do. When I heard that there was a board game about it, it was a certainty that I was going to buy it. Then I couldn't find the damn thing in the shops or online (well not at a price i was going to pay).

Then the day after my mum's funeral I was in Liverpool and there it was. the deluxe version with plastic figures. So I got it and kind of hid the receipt for a bit. It is a thing of beauty. having always like Japanese woodcut prints, the artwork was just perfect. The figures have the same artistic licence of the artwork and will sooner or later join the paint queue. hell, it even came with metal coins and the build quality is just fantastic.

Having watched it played online a few times (I am sad enough to watch people play board games online but only because there is very little I can watch because of the kids) so had a handle on the rules. It is easily what I call a round-robin-shaftathon. It is all about getting points but it is better to get points in a way that most infuriates the other players. This is therefore a game most of my mates should like.

So I got a chance to play it today. As a two player game I was a little disappointed. There is a mechanic to add a non player character to the game but it does not facilitate the shaftathon element as much as I would like. Next weekend there is going to be at least one more player so hopefully should be a better game.

Anyway, the end of the week is here. I got to the FabLab yesterday and have nearly sorted out all my problems with the laser cutter so should hopefully get my money back and get another one soon. I have had another play about with the bits I got cut yesterday and developed a few more ideas in CoralDRAW today to follow on from what I learnt yesterday.

Whilst it seems that I done nothing but laser cutter stuff this week, that would be a lie. I spent a bit of time playing Witcher III which is a game I play for a bit and then leave but I always want to return back to it. Having thought about it I am not sure what the allure is but it is similar to other games that I like, these all seem to revolve around collecting bits to craft other things. As a lot of it involves plants I have been using the phrase Combat Floristry a lot. Even though I have been playing awhile, I seem to be levelling up quite slowly and this means I am not really capable of taking on the bigger, badder monsters and that I die a lot.

I did do some work on my Underground post apocalyptic background for Savage Worlds this week. As time goes by, I get a torrent of ideas and start to work on them. What I should really be doing is finishing one idea off and starting on the next thing. There is the scope for about half a dozen to maybe as many as a dozen PDFs which I am going to see if I can get published online. When they are done.

Anyway, the week ahead is looking good. I have a mate due at mine for a long weekend so I should get some gaming done. My local show is on over the weekend so I will be out spending money there, but not too much. I should get to the FabLab on Thursday and hopefully try out my latest ideas.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

FabLab And Modular Buildings

I have spent a fair bit of time developing my skills on CorelDRAW just lately. The aim of this is to develop some ideas for laser cut buildings. I am quite pleased with the results. Using the laser cutter properly for the first time in the lab was great. I feel a bit more confidant about my skills and the results were a lot better.

From there I have a few moe ideas to work on. My mind keeps thinking back to Fallout 4. Modular walls and fencing were a big part of that game and I am sure I can use that as some form of inspiration. I worked a on a few ideas which seem to work out on paper. Next week I might give these a whirl if I don't get too much time taken up with fidget spinners.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Late Night

I think I might have missed my deadline for posting. It's been a busy day and my battery is about to die. I have worked on my post apocalypse London setting a fair bit today. Mostly it has been filling in missing chunks on charts and tables. There is something strangely pleasing in finishing stuff off for me. In the past I was told I was gifted at filing. This is oddly not a career advantage apparently.

The results of the election are in. Although I think I would have liked a Labour victory, I am not sure that it was a great time to get elected. The post of Prime Minister seems like a bit of a poisoned chalice at the moment with Brexit and the recent terrorist acts around the country. It did seem like a good result in other ways. The Scottish Nationalists seem like a lot less of a threat to national stability and that they might actually become part of the solution. UKIP now seem as irrelevant as they always should have been. Just to balance things out, hard line religious politics is set to rear it's head in the form of a voting arrangement between the Conservatives and the DUP. This worked out so very well in the nineties that I really can wait for it to happen again. This is also going to cause problems in Northern Ireland just when things over there seemed relatively trouble free.

What concerns me more is the immediate future. Coalitions seem to breed failure and more extreme politics. Turbulent times are ahead and I am not sure how long this situation will remain.






Thursday, 8 June 2017

Too Tired To Sleep, Too Wired Not To Turn The TV Off

Instead of going to bed I am watching the election. The run up to the election has been slow from my point of view, Trump seems to have been getting more of my attention. This has been mainly down to me thinking I was not going to like the result much. I can't say that it's going to be the best election night for me however it is starting to look a lot I might start tomorrow without frowning too much.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Scrappers

Osprey games always seem like a good idea and I got this game about a month ago. It was a bit of an impulse buy although it was always odds on that I was going to get a set of the rules. Being the thorough type, I wanted to read it all before I did a review of it. So, after a few intense burst of reading it, it has become my toilet reading.
Image result for scrappers osprey
As an Osprey hardback book it's a good quality piece of work, with a solid cover and high quality paper with full colour art throughout it. The photographs are well put together. I would have liked a few more pictures and maybe covering a wider range of figures but this is a fairly minor gripe.

Like a lot of game books, the background is nice but I can't help but think that more would have been better. There are three groups that you can chose from and all are fairly typical for a nuclear apocalypse. It does come across as a technological version of Frostgrave with a little less charm. There are a lot of quoite similar games about on the market. I have read and played a few of them. Whilst I would say that these are a nice set of rules they offer nothing to differentiate them from the others. They look slicker and come in a hardback book which is a definite plus. Given that they are osprey, there is bound to be a bit more about them online.


Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Dead Beat Ebay Idiots

I am trying to get my money back from the clowns that sold me a metal box full of junk electronics. They are playing the usual games of those who don't want to give the money back. The first clue was when they told me that they want me to e-mail a non eBay address. So I am e-mailing both through eBay and the requested e-mail address. They have asked for a video of the machine in operation so they can tell me what is wrong. As it just sits there, this seems pointless and just another delaying tactic. On top of everything else, it seemed to take forever to get the video in format and size for it to work and fit in the e-mail.

This idea is a central part to my immediate future and not being able to act on that seems to driving me up the wall. Over the last few days I have watched dozens of videos about the machines. Although a few show some niggles, all of them seem to work. The fact that mine does not is even more galling. Up to now, I have put in about twelve hours of trying to get the thing to work and trying to get my money refunded. What a waste.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Six Hundred Posts

This has been a busy year for the blog and for me. The first year of the blog was 2012 and I only posted for about nine months. That was the busiest year until now, I guess there was a bit more exuberance back then. I have already surpassed that total this year and hope to keep going with it. 2012 saw me doing a lot of what could be called pseudo adds.

Now I am largely about my own content. It has become more about documenting my nerding life. Possibly less marketable but probably more fun, for me at least. The urge to do the daily posting is still there but it is getting harder and harder although I don't see that changing anytime soon.


Sunday, 4 June 2017

End Of The Week, Frustration & Laser Cutting And Terrorists

Another terrorist attack in the UK. More dead and it's all homegrown. Somehow it would seem easier if the killers were foreigners. I guess that pretty much all terrorists in the UK, in the course of my life time are homegrown. I worry less about the dead and those that are almost certain to die in future attacks, I worry more about the nature of my society and the future of my country.

My week has been focus has been setting up a business. At the end of the week my Laser cutter arrived. It took me a day or two to get to it. I have had a few things to buy to set the thing up safely. So Today I have got my chance to get it set up and it's dead as a door nail. No matter what I do and what the net tells me I can do the power is just not there.

So my focus for the last two weeks has been a waste of time. On top of that I feel that I have wasted a whole load of money. Now I have to sit back and wait to see if I will get my money back. I don't fancy paying for postage. Despite what the add seemed to imply, it came from Germany. I ordered a slightly more expensive one because I thought it came from the UK. When I paid for it, the money seems to have gone to a Chinese company. This makes me worry.

Anyway, next week should be better I hope.


Friday, 2 June 2017

Chimpanzee

A picture paints a thousand words....

Words do okay too...

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Frustration & Laser Cutting

I have had the new toy for about a day and a half now. So far I have not been able to turn it on. Let alone get anything printed out. I need to add a water supply to keep the laser cool enough that it does not explode. Finding something that I can use as a container is currently defeating me. I need a closed container that will admit a submersible pump. So far, having done a tour round town, I have drawn a blank. I am currently think that maybe a fish tank or a home brew barrel might be the answer but these are not cheap. It would be almost cheaper to buy a ten litre paint can and throw the paint away and even then it's not got a seal around the cable.

There are no end of things wrong with it. This is apparently the way they are built. I still see it as better to buy a £400 laser that will require a little work than a £2400 laser that will work out of the box (but will still require a water container).

Missed It Again But There was A Reason In A Very Big Box

My laser cutter arrived yesterday. I was so busy farting around with it that I dozed off early. Then when I woke up in the early early hours (the magpies were screeching for hours) the internet was off.
So, time to catch up.

When the delivery arrived, I got two boxes. The smaller box is a free pink makeup case that came with it. There are some odd things bundle with them. The bigger box is a lot larger than I was expecting as when I have opened it up I found that the dimensions were also a bit off which came as a bit of a surprise. There first problem I encountered was that there was no way that the machine was going to fit on the workbench with the fan attached to the back. It has casters on the bottom of it with a wheel lock on them half of them just don't work and the other two casters require so much effort to get the, to close that I am sure that they won't last. I am currently in two minds as to whether to replace them with something better of just take them off and replace them with some wooden runners. There is a gap in the bottom which I assume is an air intake so I am guessing that blocking that would be bad.

The biggest issue I think I am going to face is the manual. Back in the day I remember seeing shows which featured Chinese people talking in  a way that always sounded like propaganda. That was just propaganda right? Chinese businesses have this idea that the best way to make money is to save money in the first place. So rather than getting someone to translate the paperwork then run it through google translate. This may give a very literal translation (I am not qualified to comment, just to take the p**s) but it doesn't read like English.

Anyway, I am back in the garage now and hopefully I'll have something up and running and more importantly in production by the end of next week.