Friday, September 28, 2012

Bested in Combat by a Cabbage

Yes, sad to say my plans for modelling this weekend will be deferred by a week.  

The local farms (especially Mennonite farmers) grow these massive (I mean 10 lbs or more) cabbages that are great for cabbage rolls.  I didn't weigh this one, but it wouldn't fit in our lobster pot.  I was assigned the job of taking the leaves off, which turned out to be quite a challenge.  Too much of a challenge as the knife slipped and I took an all expenses paid tour of the local clinic.  Three stitches and a tetanus shot later, I was back home in time to enjoy the cabbage rolls.  Yummm!

Scene from sleeper where Woody Allen meets the modern farm.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Movie Night Out

My wife and I had a real old school movie night last night, as we drove the 75kms down the road to take in Vertigo as part of the Hitchock festival at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre.  It was held in an old style movie theatre that's been taken over to be the local all purpose theatre.  This gave us a real old time feel (gorgeous ceilings, very comfy seats, steeply sloped floor and a balcony.

The film itself is considered not only one of Hitch's best, one of the best ever.  In fact just in 2012, Sight and Sound 's critics poll named it #1 of all time.  Personally I waffle between Rear Window and North by Northwest as being #1, but could blather on in my typical enthusiastic yet uneducated way.  For me Vertigo has it all - creepy psychological plot involving deception and obsession, gorgeous 1950s colour, a regular guy caught up in something way over his head, an unobtainable blond....

Ms. Novak drops in for coffee at Mr. Stewart's

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Conversation About Books

We did a quick family clear out of the book shelves yesterday.  Fear not no books were harmed in this process - a few were marked to donate to charity book sales while others were relegated to the basement book shelves.  Any the following conversation took place

Self:  Hey cool, I didn't know that we had a copy of "The Man in the Iron Mask"*!  I've always wanted to read that.

Spouse (much better read than I): Oh yeah, you'd really like it.  It's a great read.

Self:  You know I don't know much about this era.  I've never gamed it but....

Spouse: On second thought don't read it!

So the Dumas has made it to the on deck position in the reading pile.  At bat right now is the Swedish novel "The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared".  It's appealing to my inner curmudgeon and it's nice to see a Swedish novel that doesn't involve nasty murders (I've read a lot of Wallender, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Camilla Lackberg over the last 2 years).

* I do own a copy of the Billy Bragg "Man in the Iron Mask" - love the guitar lines and creepy lyrics!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rumours of My Death...

...are premature, but it's been the first full week of classes.  I teaching 160 first year students in a STAT class, a feeder one that has been dumbed down to the bare minimum and catches everyone who can't handle or doesn't want a more challenging one.  So far I still sane and my family is enjoying the stories.

There was talk of a game at Curt's but it we delayed it due to light participation.  I was planning to get the colonials out for some MacDuff action on the North West Frontier.  Next week then...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Not In Over 30 Years (Yikes!)

I played a game over at Curt's last night using his beautiful 28mm Napoleonics - a bridge demolition scenario from about 1808 with the Brits hoping to hold a bridgehead long enough for their engineers to set their charges properly.

This morning I realized that this was the first time I played with 25/28mm Napoleonics (a scale and period I would describe as bread and butter of wargaming) since I was in high school. Now I feel old (this was when Carter was president and likely Joe Clark was Canadian PM).   Napoleonics since then- yes (many, many 15mm games but not for 15 years).  25/28mm in the intervening years yes - but with Ancients, Medievals, Seven Years War, Colonials.

Long story short, it was fun.  Sylvain and I had two brigades - 6 battalions, a Dragoon regiment and a battery- facing a lone British brigade (3 battalions and a horse battery).   Sylvain took a beating before I arrived, but we had pushed the British back on the bridge and they would lose most of their troops on the wrong side.

The rules were a Heinz-57 mix concocted by Curt and Stacey - not perhaps the way I would have done it , but they gave a good game for a Table Top Teaser scenario.  If some else does the work and the rules get the job done then I'm a happy camper.  To me getting he job done means that they give a good game that is intuitive enough to use and has the appropriate rewards for table top decisions.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back from Vacation in Halifax, NS

I've been silent on the blog for the past 10 days due to a family vacation back to our original home town of Halifax, NS.  I was able to touch base with Ross, with evidence of a game played in person at Battle Game of the Month, as well as visiting with friends an family.

Many of the tourist attractions in Halifax concern its Naval history, and while I didn't do many of the sites I did take photos of the following historic ships.

CSS Acadia, a hydrographic  survey ship built in 1912 in Scotland, and appearing in the 1914 edition of Jane's (among others).

HMCS Sackville, the last remaining Flower class corvette.

If your children are of the right age you may recognize Theodore Tugboat (here with my family).