This last pound took 2 months


This past week should have been my 9-month post-op doctor visit, but I opted not to go. The 9-month visit is the same as the 3-month visit. All the doctor does is weigh you, shake our stomach to check for gall bladder stones, and in my case say that I'm not losing weight fast enough (which as I've stated here before I agree with, but as I'm still losing weight and have suffered ZERO negative side effects I ain't a gonna worry 'bout it). I also had a job interview to prep for, so that gave me enough of an excuse to skip the doctor. At the 1-year post-op I have to get blood drawn and tested, so I'll plan on that counting double to make up for missing this appointment.

Yesterday I finally hit the goal I've been going after for months. For the first time in at least 18 years, my weight has dipped below 300. Granted, it's only by 6/10 of a pound. I had yet to eat or drink anything for the day. It doesn't matter, it counts!

Mentally, 299 seems like a bigger number to me than 300. 300 has 2 zeros, which are nothing. 299 has 2 nines, which are big. It's silly how my brain works.

Now to keep myself under 300. The next goal is 291 - not that far away! 291 would make for a total of 150 lbs below my max from last February.

gastric sleeve

Still on that break...


Last week I showed off my Red Yana mini from Dust and mentioned how I finished it after deciding to take a break from painting my Dust minis. When I primed my last batch of Dust, there were 2 other hero figures that were left to be painted. In the back of my mind, it bothered me that I had 2 primed minis just sitting there, so before I moved on to whatever the next batch of minis is going to be, I thought I would go ahead and paint those two too.

The guy in the middle of the pic, pointing, is Nikolai. Thanks to a combination of green wash and brown wash, the recesses and pinstripes on his uniform pop out well. On the right is Yakov sporting a flame-thrower of some type. Yakov didn't come through the painting process as well as I had hoped. He has lots of curvy bits, especially the hoses. My brushwork didn't cover him as well as it should have. If nothing else, Yakov has convinced me it's time to move on to something else for a little while.

Next is either going to be the figures from Descent or the space ships from Firestorm Armada.

Descent is painting people and monsters, so it's a continuation of the techniques I've been picking up with the Dust painting. That means it's also very similar. Firestorm Armada is small scale space ships, so mechanical transports which I've yet to try and paint anything like. Totally dissimilar, but there's going to be a learning curve with it.

I'm leaning toward the space ships today.

gaming miniatures hobbies

I was on a break


Not 2 days ago I mentioned taking a break from painting Dust minis, yet this morning I find myself with another painted Dust mini to add to the brigade.

It began innocently enough. I doled out some paint to try tweaking the motorcycles in my Moto Grand Prix game to allow for 6 2-bike teams. It appears that adding water-based paint on top of finished acrylic paint just doesn't work. My doled paint was still fresh, and although it was only a few drops of water- thinned paint I didn't want to waste it. How often was I going to use "Goblin Green"? So I went to the gaming closet and dug out the primed Red Yana and used my paint.

Then I decided to go ahead and paint the rest of her.

After months of pseudo-assembly line painting, it was a nice change to paint 1 figure all the way through. I seemed to pay more attention to the little details (there are belts on the jacket!) and was more careful with where I put the paint brush. Instead of smearing the paint on and making sure I got everything covered, I tried to be a little more precise to where I wouldn't have to go back and correct where I had crossed the lines.

I also had a little more fun with washes. For most of the figures I paint, I give them a heavy wash of brown (technically "Devlin Mud"). I like the way it settles, it brings out shadows well, and it gives these armies a suitable tough-and-dirty look. Although I still used the Devlin Mud on the brown jacket, I used a sepia wash on the skin (which managed to smear some of the ink detailing I tried to add beforehand) and a green wash on the pants. The wash on the pants turns out a lot better than I expected as the pants have a good amount of detail still visible.

My basing is still pretty standard - rocks, low grass flock, static grass. I see bases with really fluffy static grass on the internet from other people, but I have yet to find a good method of getting those tufts of grass to stand up. Any time I look for a tutorial, people glue the grass, blow on it, and the grass stands up. I'm messing up one of those 3 steps.

Now I'll go back to my break from painting Dust minis.

gaming miniatures hobbies

Painting & Job Hunting


In the middle of April I primed a batch of Dust minitaures to paint. This past weekend I finally finished them!

I hadn't really noticed that I had 29 figures to paint. That's a lot when I stop to think about it - a lot of the same colors and paint schemes. As it is, I'm a little burned out on painting Dust figures for now. I've learned a lot since I started painting these things, and my washing and dry-brushing skills have come a long way (thanks mostly to YouTube). I'm not sure what I'll pick up to paint next. I've still got a closet full fo things to paint. I've got some 10mm and 15mm miniatures games with vehicles to paint - mostly sci-fi type stuff. That's a big change from WW2 era soldiers. I've also been thinking about painting the miniatures included with Descent, as Keith and I had fun playing but the figures just beg to be painted to add some color to the game.

It's also finally come time for me to start job-hunting again. Thanks to a combination of the government contract I've been working under for the past 5 years finally ending/being awarded to a different company, along with nothing happening with the new contract we were working to get me set up under, I've once again been laid off from Spiritus. This makes me the only person to get laid off twice, and I was the only person to get laid off once up until last year.

I'm not that worried. Yet. Or maybe I'm in denial? I've seen this coming for a while, but I told Jim I was staying on the project and with Spiritus until the contact was over and done with. Saying that kept me from looking to jump ship, but Jim's taken extremely good care of me over the years and I feel a certain amount of loyalty to him, so I was glad that I stayed as long as I could. Technically I'm burning saved up vacation right now so I can stay covered under the health insurance for another month, so I haven't completely left yet.

I've been emailing out my resume. So far I'm sticking to the jobs I'd like to have based on the type of work (usually PHP-based) and/or the specific company. Just for fun, I'm throwing in long-shots just for a change of pace. Disney in Florida is looking for Web Developers. On paper I've probably got too much experience which would make me too expensive, but all it took was a little of my time to go through their application submission process.

Soon, with luck, the interview process will start. I had to get a new dress shirt and pants for a funeral with Gina's family last week which will double as my (eventual) interview clothes. The last dress shirt I wore had a 24" neck. The new shirt has a 20" neck. Granted, I've lost 140 pounds, but 4" of neck???? Yeah, that's a good feeling.

gaming miniatures programming/interweb

Small World


Last night was a semi-impromptu game night at Keith's as he celebrated his wife and youngest daughter vamoosing for a week. I joined Lord Ford and Squire Brady for a game of Small World, which none of us had played against other people. iPads, sure. In fact, I've never come close to winning on the iPad. Against the AI. On easy. I wasn't holding out much hope against people. Real people.

The best thing about playing a real board game vs an electronic version is that although the electronic version will keep up and enforce the rules, there are tangible parts that I, as a player, tend to overlook when playing the electronic version. While playing the physical game Sunday night, I learned that the most important part of Small World I had been overlooking was the special attributes of the race(s) played during the game. There's no [easily found] reference for the race traits on the iPad, while the game we played had nice little reference sheets. Perhaps even more important, I would study those sheets while Keith and Brady were taking their turns.

At game's end, I managed to come out ahead:

After the game, I was re-strategizing my final turn since the final scores were so close. On my final turn I picked a race that came with a 1 point bonus, which was donated by Keith the previous turn in order to skip that race and pick the next. When randomly picking evil forces to overthrow on my last turn, I attacked one of Keith's which gave me 1 point and took away 1 from Keith.

If the above 2 actions hadn't happened, I would have scored 2 less points and Keith would have score 2 more points. Hence:

We were all learning how to play for real, but the game was almost decided by a couple of options on the last turn. I'm not sure if that's good - players don't know each other's scores until the end of the game, so you can only guess how you're scoring relative to each other. Then again, a close game is more fun to play than one where someone runs away with the win. As it was, I think it was a fun little game, though.

Of course, had those 2 points between me and Keith played out differently, Brady probably would have scored an extra 10 somewhere.


Blog Archive

As always, correct spelling is optional in any blog entry. Keep in mind that any links more than a year old may not be active, especially the ones pointing back to Russellmania (I like to move things around!).

Tags have been added to posts back to 2005. There may be an occasional old blog that gets added to the tag list, but in reality what could be noteworthy from that far back?

Blog Tags

3D Printer (26)
4ground (31)
4ground-mall (40)
action figures/toys (10)
airbrush (7)
Amazon (12)
antenocitisworkshop (11)
Battletech (1)
belt sander (12)
Blood Bowl (4)
boardgames (76)
books/comics (19)
computers hate me (5)
conveyances (15)
diet (53)
dreams (7)
fallout (1)
Foundry (3)
game dev (22)
gaming miniatures (208)
gaslands (10)
gastric sleeve (34)
Green Stuff World (2)
Hasslefree (6)
Hero Forge (1)
hobbies (101)
kevin smith (1)
malifaux (2)
mckays (1)
models (8)
mom (32)
moon light (5)
movies/tv/dvd (60)
ninja division (1)
pilonidal cyst (5)
plastcraft (2)
programming/interweb (41)
rambling (59)
random (364)
random maintenance (3)
reaper chronoscape (29)
renovation/remodelling (24)
road trip (26)
salesforce (1)
sarissa precission (2)
scenery (15)
studio miniatures (3)
ttcombat (12)
video games (51)
walking dead (33)
wargame foundry (3)
work (6)
wrestling (45)
zombicide (1)
Zombicide Invader (19)
zombie mall (23)