Sunday, June 24, 2012

Death of a Hero and other ways to fritter a weekend

Spinner says Grendel killed the Hero.

Spinner is our Whippet who has filled in as "big dog" for most of the decade since our last Wolfhound. The Hero in question was not a Geat but rather an HTC smart phone.  The tooth prints on the casing definitely indicate someone munched it, much the same as various remotes etc that have, on rare occasions, been  accidentally left over night on a coffee table in the family room. Spinner claims that a fog comes over the room, he falls into a deep sleep and when he wakes, well there it is, must have been Grendel.

Now to be fair, the phone isn't really dead, there's only one button not working, the "go back where you were" button and, anyway, the more than 2 years old phone has been having increasingly frustrating issues already. Not to mention  that the USB cord used for charging and uploading pictures is looking a little worn and may have shorted out the other day (I've been planning to replace it for a while...) which may explain the 3 goblins dancing across the phone when I tried to turn it on yesterday. They're gone now, mostly, but the "Not so smart phone", as I have come to call it, has now been relegated to e-reader and I spent a fair amount of time on Saturday downgrading my cellular plan and re-activating a nearly new Razr that was my wife's phone for several years. Luckily for me now, she hated it, rarely used it and replaced it as soon as possible. I loved mine and hers has the battery bought just before my well worn phone was retired to make way for a Hero.

Amazing how much time that all takes. In the end, I once again have a phone that actually works as a phone but will have to make do again without internet access everywhere I go.

Gratuitous shot of largely RAFM 25mm figures along with Corvus, Benassi, Minifig and Garrison.

However, I still found time to work on my Ancient rules (See Gathering Blog).  The main focus yesterday was command control and after exploring various carrot and stick options, the final decision was that the Initiative roll is all the Friction that I really need. Units (and commanders) can get caught short when there is a flip in sequence. Units don't arrive in time where they are being sent, allowing the enemy to exploit an opening or to pug a gap, other units might be caught in flank or not deployed properly and so on. Actually, the Order check can work against this providing a form of Double Jeopardy which has been a  bug bear for me for the last year or so.  Expect a ripple over Hoft sooner or later as Brigadiers perhaps go back to just allowing  coordinated groups of units as well as rallying and leading in combat.

I also found time to base up some super cheap HO trees (as in 16 for a $ + $5 shipping) from ebay. Shame, shame, shame on me. I am philosophically opposed to buying cheap plastic trees from China, probably made from radio active plastic by someone working 70 hour weeks for next to nothing. It was a moment of weakness and frustration. The trees are about what you would expect. It said Pine trees, they look more like some sort of Aspen or Poplar and are smaller than I would have liked, but a drive along our road showed me several very similar trees of both small and medium height so they've been based and added to my ACW collection. (Now to produce those 6 feet of wooden fences.)

Last but not least, I started work on making a mold of my forthcoming Scruby compatible 1812 British Officer. I had to stop though when his head came off. (I confess, its not my head, its a Scruby one so that he matches his men.) But I'll get that fixed and get back to him this week. His US counter part is slow to come out of an awkward growing stage but hopefully he'll be also be ready to take the plunge before long.



  1. Hmm. Grendel, eh? A likely story...

    Those trees look pretty tree-like, whatever their provenance...

    1. If you could look in his big brown eyes, you could see just how sincere he is.
      The trees looked much better based then they did squished in an envelope.

  2. In my household, I'm at the bottom of the food chain for phones; I get the hand-me-downs, which usually just do the talking bit and then only if I'm lucky :-)

    We probably buy a lot of stuff unwittingly which has been made in bad conditions, so don't beat yourself up too much about the unethical tree-shopping; they do look good.

    I see what you mean about how the previous order checks may well have been a case of double jeopardy.

    1. I'm not usually away from home long enough to really need mobile internet and in some ways it'll be relief not to feel obliged to check it when I am. Its certainly a relief not to have to pay for it!

      I'm going to scratch build fences to make up for the trees :) esp once the 2nd bag arrives:)

  3. I have a mixture of feelings about the phone story. Naturally I am very sorry that you should have lost your phone and been inconvenienced in this way, but a dog that destroys personal communication appendages is an attractive idea. Does he do commissions? Can he specifically target Blackberry Curves or Crapple products? Could we train more dogs to do this? Could we train them to bite people who walk along the road checking their texts?

    On balance, I feel strangely exhilarated...

    1. I secretly suspect that being without mobile internet is actually a blessing but one doesn't want to be caught expressing such views in public. If its plastic coated and mouth sized, we can arrange for decommissioning of virtually any device but only if there are no witnesses so biting people who text and trot is out. Perhaps a Westie could be subcontracted?

    2. As I state on my own blog whenever I get anything resembling an excuse to do so, I live in a place where there is no mobile reception. When I drive away from my house, all the texts I've been sent since last time I was out come chiming through. I am a real nuisance to people who cannot understand this. We cancelled an account we had with Santander Bank because their shiny new internet banking security procedures required me to receive a pass code via text message to my mobile every time I wished to log on, which, of course, doesn't work when I'm at home. They couldn't understand this at all. I often am unable to open online accounts or sign up for support, because without a working mobile at this end their procedures do not work. The geniuses who design these things cannot cope with such a bizarre scenario.

      I do not have a problem with mobiles - I think they are great, and useful - why, you can even speak to people on them. What I have a problem with is the global plague of moronism which has grown up around them. We need lots of dogs, trained to handle this plague in the way you describe, and we need them soon.

      Time for my medication.