End Of Year Painting


I've been lax in my hobby painting. I've wanted to, but the gumption to follow through has been lacking. This past week I finally took some leave from work and decided that I wouldn't lounge around and waste the time away. I had lots of little projects I'd been putting off for one reason or another. This was my time to finally make some headway.

I've been stocking up on minis to paint for a while (fine, years). I don't get minis to play with a specific game, I just some one (fine, some) that look like they would be interesting to paint and don't worry about a game. I don't claim to be a good painter, but I enjoy it and I enjoy watching the techniques of people that are a lot better than I am. The drawback there is that a lot of times I'm too intimidated to actually get the paint out and start on a mini. But the only way to get better is to mess up a few along the way - that just might be one of the reasons I've got a closet full of random minis to paint.

Instead of trying the assembly line method that I used when I was painting Dust figures I'm instead focusing on quality of details instead of just trying to crank everything out. With that, my plan is to prime 3 minis, finish painting them, and then move on to 3 more. I grabbed a handful of packaged minis in the closet and ended up picking out 3 from the Reaper Chronoscope line. The 3 I started out with were:

Over the course of a week I went through and took my time, playing around with various washes and finding out that different brush lengths really do make a difference - long brush bristles aren't bad like I thought they were! I made mistakes, then I would see if I could turn those into happy mistakes and discover something good along the way.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how these turned out. Janus the cybertech guy is my favorite of the batch, probably because he turned out the closest to how I originally imagined. I played around a lto with skin shades, which had him looking like a zombie for a little while. That turned into some happy mistake discovery afterward. Those discoveries could have been happier, but it turned out ok for the level I'm at right now.

I picked 3 more to prime to work on next. Karate Guy, Not Doc Savage, and Chick With 2 Guns. The first thing I did was follow something I saw another painter do, which is apply a light dark wash after priming. The purpose of this wash is to bring out the details so you can better see what you're painting - a big plus for old eyes! I also decided to try out some of the Secret Weapon bases that I'd picked up to get away from the normal grass/rock flocking I always do to the bases afterward.

I don't think I'll get all 3 of these done in a week, but I've got them ready to work on when the mood next strikes. Maybe I should get out the calendar and schedule that mood, just ot make sure I don't get in another rut.

gaming miniatures

Xmas Nap?


For Christmas I'd like to stop waking up at 4 in the morning.  This has been going on for the better part of 2 months, and at least 5 times a week I'm lucky to sleep past 4.

Work has been busy (it IS that season, after all) so there's been a little extra stress there. I started a regimented workout routine, for which my body likes to remind me that I'm old and out of shape and it would rather not do that, but I don't listen to my body. I'm aware of all of this, so there's no reason to keep waking up so early.

Especially since most days this leads to me really wanting to take a nap when I get home from work. Regardless of whether I take that nap or not, it doesn't appear to affect what time I wake up.


2 DealYears


Today is my 2nd anniversary at Dealnews, where I've survived 2 Black Fridays without bringing the site down. That last part was a bit more of a challenge this year, as I actually had relevant code that had to be published to the live site on the busiest days of our year.

This time last year I was still learning. A year into a new job, in a language I thought I knew well as I'd been using it for over a decade, and I was still fumbling about. Joe had told me after 3 months that it usually takes new hires at least 3-6 months to get comfortable with the way code works at Dealnews. I still remember the day I finally didn't feel like an idiot - I'd been there for 14 months. That means for the last 10 months I haven't felt... well, I can't say stupid because there have been plenty of instances of that. Maybe it's best to say that for 10 months I've felt like I've finally started to earn at least a little of my keep.

2 years in and I still enjoy going to work and the work I do. The company is changing a little - but all companies do over time as they grow and evolve. So far none of those changes have appeared negative to me. Oh, one's coming as we're scheduled to change offices to downtown Huntsville. To a building I know well as it's the ole YMCA where Spiritus was. It's only negative to me because it doubles my commute and there's no good way back to avoid the traffic jam that is Madison. The move keeps getting held up because the bank currently in the building has federal regulations as to where it can move, and anything with "federal" in it is going to take more time. In the interim, I get to keep my current commute.

Now to see what happens at 3 DealYears!


Holidays Nigh 2016


Wow, no interesting pic this time. Kind of a let down, huh?

This was my first Black Friday at work where I was actually productive and helpful. Even better, I didn't break the website during our busiest time of the year. Oh, there were some bugs I had to fix, and at least 1 thing that was broken in a way that only I noticed (and it was something I wrote). That something I wrote also had a pretty big bug that was letting changes the writers were making get overwritten by the original entry. It's almost funny, because following the path of what was happening led to "well of course that's what's happening, that's exactly the logic of it all."

One of those cases of not knowing the logic of an actual workflow before writing a bunch of code to implement said workflow.

Work has been keeping me busy enough that I haven't been Iron Tribing as much as I should, or want to. For the past couple of weeks I've only managed 1 official workout per week instead of the 3 I'm paying for or the 2 I strive to attend. I think things will get a little more normal next week. Being a morning person, I was thinking of going to the morning workouts when I first approached this whole organized workout cult. Based on how tired I am following the workout, and continue to be tired and worn out afterwards, I don't think trying to workout and then be productive at work is something I can manage just yet.

As is my way, I hit Black Friday online sales for board game supplies and DVDs. I've really cut back on board game purchases through the year, and most of what I get now are little bits and pieces to expand or pimp out the games I have.

With that in mind, I've been talking to Jer about, well not so much making our own game(s) to play, but using other games as a base and pick out what we want to use in order to make it fit our play style. We're currently in year 2 of Not Playing So Much (normally a 10 year cycle) but most games have become so involved in either setup or play time that neither of us really have the urge to play anything. Hopefully soon I'll have a post about some of that changing. With links and pictures!

Now that things have slowed down a little I have to see what I've ignored and overlooked for the past 3 weeks.


Slow Reading


A couple of months ago I switched to reading some fiction as opposed to the biographies or business history books that I tend to lean toward of late. Dr Blondie introduced me to first of the Lisa Lutz Spellman books which I thoroughly enjoyed. I enjoyed it so much I went on straight to the second book in the series. Dr Blondie didn't have the third book when I finished the second, so I switched gears back to my old fictional go-to sci-fi category and read a Star Wars book that had been sitting on my shelf for a few months.

The Star Wars book, Scoundrels, featured 3 known characters and roughly 2 dozen new characters in a grandiose heist. The characters were split between 3 factions to keep up with, and of course they had appropriate alien Star Wars names. Luckily the first page of the book had the key players and who they were associated with, but I kept losing track of who was who (or with who?). It took me a while to get through the book, and there were a couple of key points I had to have skipped because I just kind of ended up at the end of the story.

Partway through reading the above Dr Blondie showed up with Spellman Book #3. Post Scoundrels I started Spellman #3 but couldn't get into the proper mode of reading through it. 4 or 5 pages in and I'd put the book down, and usually go to sleep.

I don't think it's the story or writing that not keeping my attention, but more likely it's a combo of pre-holiday work stress that makes me want to sleep more + time for a fiction break. With that said, I'm more than 100 pages into Spellman #3 so I feel obligated to finish it up, even if it's 5 pages at a time.


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