Monday, October 31, 2011

A Work Place Hazard

Today I went down to the basement of the UofR student union building where the art store is kept.  It's a nice feature of working on campus - they run a store with decent if less expensive art supplies including artist acrylic paints (my weapon of choice) and brushes.  Even better they had a 25% off deal on some colours I actually needed.

Back during the summer purge of excess basement strata I down sized my paint box by tossing paints I thought I wouldn't need again (famous last words).  So now I've restocked on yellow (needed for voltigeur collars etc), bronze (my old one must have dried up), crimson and white (OK I kept the white tube but I'm not happy with the one I had in stock).
This could be an expensive place to visit.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Single Handed Admiral Plays Multi-player Games

Disproving my own moniker, I actually made it to the monthly games night for the first time since April (being out of town 11 weekends out of 14 will do that).  I played a series of board games as follows:

  1. Witchs' Dance (actual title was German, unpronounceable and impossible to remember) a kids game that was a really difficult memory game.  Each player had 4 witches to move around a track and off the board.  First kicker -the tokens were identical except for a coloured sticker on the bottom which could only be viewed if you rolled a 6 and forwent movement.  Second kicker - if you landed on another witch, you bumped her back 7 spaces with resulting chain reactions.   After a few moves no one knew which witch was which.  I won literally because other players moved all 4 of my witches by accident (thinking they were their own tokens).
  2. Infinite City (plus an expansion, although how one expands and infinite city is beyond me!) - tile placement game that I really enjoyed - especially since I won it!
  3. Midnight Party - another kids Halloween themed game that was the most fun of the evening.  Your party going guests race around trying to avoid Hugo the ghost.  The trouble is that the 2 of the die's faces moved the ghost instead of the players tokens.  I started well but finished back in the pack.
  4. Puerto Rico - loved the game, but I was playing 3 players with a lot more experience at it than I, so I was thoroughly thrashed.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Back At the Painting Table

I did some actually modelling this week.  Plus for once, I'll be able to attend the monthly games day tonight -I'm actually in town and without social commitments!  

Inspired by a re-read of Black Powder, and online blog posts, I hauled out the Victrix and Perry plastic Napoleonics boxes from my basement and went to it.  So new projects include a unit of 8 rifles (assembled and primed) and a unit of 24 peninsula era French line infantry (assembled, primed and about 1/2 way painted).  

Other than usual issues with me an plastic models, they went together nicely.  OK well it turned out that I gave one pour monsieur two left arms in error so he's holding his fusil in his left hand and waiving his other left hand on the right side.  Oh well I'll put him in the back rank and hope no one notices.

This is a project that's like going way back in the time machine.  I painted the obligatory Airfix Waterloo boxes back in the (gulp) seventies and 15mm Austerlitz era figures in the eighties, but haven't touched a Nappy figure since then.  Most of the figures I've painted in the last 10 years or so have been medievals, so it's a pleasure to paint actual uniforms for a change.  I'm actually amazed that I never got around to the peninsula at some point in the last 30 years!

Other semi-modeling projects include relaying the front walkway and rerigging the wooden steps to link up to the walk way properly (I'm remembering exactly why I became an actuary rather than an engineer), and helping the daughter make rat shaped cup cakes for two friends having a joint birthday party tonight.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

When Work and Hobbies Meet

I've been silent on the blog for the last month which has been quite a whirlwind - I was away on CIA (actuaries) business three weekends running, I'm planning and organizing a 4 day tour to Banff for a 60 member youth orchestra, and I'm trying to engineer a new walkway and front steps to replace the ones backhoed and jackhammered to death with the foundation work.  Oh yeah and I teaching two university courses!

Anyway, there's the personal Venn diagram shows two items in the union of  Hobby Space and Work Space (okay I'm obviously fully back into academic mode this term).

1. My assignment for my 4th year class on fitting actuarial models to real life cases (life mortality tables).  I've split them into two groups Team Anson and Team Bourgogne and given them the data from Anson's circumnavigation and Napoleon's invasion of Russia as their case studies.

2. I've been outed to the University Community at large.  Apparently, my blogs got spotted and I'm going into a UofR wide social media directory.  Oh well, any one who knows me has long ago decided if I'm eccentric or just plain interesting.