Sunday, September 18, 2011

Interesting Google Challenge

As part of my work or with volunteer activities with professional actuarial bodies I get to travel a few times a year.  Normally before I leave I do a simple google check for hobby and games stores in the area.  I've found that searching with "wargames stores XXXX" works well in most cases when XXXX is Chicago, Vancouver, Toronto, Seattle etc.  However, last week I was hit with an interesting challenge.  I was part of a CIA (that's the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, not the waterboarders) panel visiting the premier actuarial science school in Canada at the University of Waterloo.

So try Googling for a wargames store in Waterloo Ontario see what comes up!  I  google's search routine the weight of wargames links to the battle of Waterloo far outweigh the wargames links to Ontario!

Anyhow to make a long story short, I found that using Waterloo's twin city of Kitchener worked like a charm.  However, while there was a store close to the hotel I was too busy to make it there.  UWaterloo is just a few blocks away from Laurier University, which has a music school that my 16-year old daughter is interested in and an oboe instructor/dealer that she wanted to meet.  So we spent my free time touring the Laurier campus and meeting up with the oboe guru.

A good trip all around. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Span-Am Veteran USS Massachusetts

A quick shout out to  who have an entry on this predreadnought battlewagon.  She was coaling up and missed Santiago, but was very active on the blockade and engaged both the Colon and shore batteries. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Torpedo Gunboat On Manouvers With A Flottilla of TBDs

No new models, that's my metaphor to describe my first spin cycle class of the semester.  The class is filled with mostly fit 20-somethings plus yours truly and another one or two in the same decade of life.  I'm decidedly older, heavier, slower, crankier and more apt to run out of steam.  Really feeling the extra klics on the Oldometer!

However, it keeps the cholesterol down, the spare tire under control, boosts the immune system and strengthens the wonky knees - all good stuff.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back on the Blogging Trail

And back at the hobby work bench too!  I've been largely dormant blog-wise for the summer, but with the Labour Day weekend behind us and first day of classes dead ahead it was time to get back at it.

Last night I hauled out my WW2 1:2400 ships and got some the unpainted ones clear of flash, assembled (where required) and based for painting.  There's two battleships (HMS Warspite and a Cavour class), two    AA cruisers (ex-WWI "C" classes) and 12 destroyers (3 each of "J/K", Hunt, Ciclone and Turbine classes).  I'm now at the point where I'll be repeating ship models in different scales  (I have a WW1 Warspite in 1:3000, and C class cruisers as well).  At least the ships were modified extensively between wars so that it's not complete deja vu all over again.

On the home front, the house and occupants survived the basement work.  This involved jackhammers in the basement so as to allow the steel bracing to be anchored into the floor, more jackhammers on the driveway and and yet more jackhammering to remove the concrete front steps.  We were feeling very much like Quasimodo (the bells the bells,..) by the end of it.  Plus we entertained the neighbour hood kids (and seniors) with the bobcat and mini-excavator used to dig the out foundations down to the footing.  It was looking like plates from Chris Duffy's "Fire and Stone" and some points - complete with drawbridge over the ditch to allow exit/entry via a sally port (ok the back door).

Having spent vast amounts of money to make the place look much, much worse than it used to, we're cleaning up the basement and hoping the grass seed we sowed takes before prairie winds low it away or winter hits.  Right now the "lawn" looks rather much like Passchendale.  The local Regina clay has amazing cling and clump properties (a local gardening expert describes it as having the consistency of frozen creamed cheese) and a walk across it leaves the soles of one's shoes with mud platforms that remind me of Elton John's Pinball wizard footwear.