Wednesday, June 08, 2022

World Pet Memorial Day

 Apparently today is World Pet Memorial Day.  I think I like this day.

There have been more, but these three were mine.

Silver, my Little One, how I've missed you longer than I had you, but so long as I draw breath you will never be forgotten.

Now for Star (black), who was my Whisky Buddy, the pretty girl full of purrs.  Her brother Tyr, the Dude, who both were my sweet, beautiful housebeasts.

Always with me, all of you.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

2022 Goals

 Made some goals for 2022, now that I've had a chance to sort through a few things.

1. Writing - Put words down, finish the first draft of Queen's Legacy

2. Gaming - keep to a regular plan and schedule for games

3. Hobby - Pick one army, work on it before all else

4. Fitness - time to get back to lifting weights and cycling more

5. Shooting - join the South Island Action Shooting club and do some matches

More to follow as I work my way through all of these.  I figure these are the five pillars for 2022 to work on.

Tuesday, February 08, 2022


 Well, that was a year and a half or so.

Like last time, I had no ability to post for a bit.  2020 was a tough year.  That was the year my Dude, my baby man, passed away on 2 November, 2020.  I haven't wanted to put anything up until I could write this, as (like with Star) he is more important than anything else I put up here.  And it hurt, damn it.

It was in 2004 when we got Tyr and Star, as I mentioned.  Here is his photo from that employee post wall back at F&P.

That's my Dude!  Of the two, he was less curious, but also more flexible.  Within a short time, he connected with me and was fast becoming a 'daddy's cat.'  We didn't notice until my wife was home on maternal leave after our second was born.  She noticed that this guy would do his rounds of the house until about 0830 or so, then up to bed in our bedroom.  In those days, we had a lower bed and he would creep under the overhanging blankets and snooze away under the blankets, all nice and toasty.  Then, hours later, she would hear the ka-thump of a cat hitting the floor.  He'd trot down the stairs and that's when she knew my truck was on our street, because he heard it and it was 'daddy time.'

Many an evening was spent with Star on my footstool and Tyr on my lap in the library in the house in Orangeville.  I could read for hours with the two of them snoozing away.  

Then, the big move.  Coming out west was the biggest move they ever made.  Tyr was the most relaxed in the car.  Star, while curious, was nervous and that first night needed some serious cuddles in the hotel room.  Tyr was happy if his people were there, because that made everything okay.  We had the setup in the back of the Jeep where they had the whole cargo area to themselves.  One day, getting out of the Jeep, he didn't want to come out of the cat condo.  So, instead of fighting him, I just picked it up, rolled the opening against my chest, and carried it and him inside!  Silly dude.

Here he is in one of the hotel rooms on the way, wondering when the noms will be put down.  All he needed was his people.  That curious look on his face was the norm.  He had a way of looking at you, where you knew he knew what you were about.  A curious face, confident that the world was his to explore.

Either that, or the eyes of judgement.  He also had a look where you knew he was judging you.  We called him the Dude of Judgement.

This pic is a bit later, in 2019.  He was also the one who was a creature of ritual.  Around 2030 at night, he would be sitting at the top of the stairs, waiting.  If we didn't come to bed, around 2100 he would wander down to the living room, staring as if to tell us it was time for bed.  If we still didn't get up, around 2130 he would come into the room and meow at us, telling us it was time to come to bed so he could have cuddles and people to sleep with.

This one's actually from the Library, but the face is the same.  

He was a bit chonky, but not too bad.

Tummy rubs were one of his favourites.

So were sunlit window sills.  The house we're in now has 2x6 framed walls, providing cat-sized ledges at every window.  

As he got older, he became even more of a daddy's cat.  When Star passed in 2017, I think he held on even closer as both of them were 'my' cats.  This was the cat who had to come to bed with me every night.  There he would curl up next to me and I would wrap my arm around him for some scratchies before falling asleep.  This was the way.  

He was also my constant sidekick.  Always hanging out in whatever room I was in.  Judging everyone else as they came and went, but happy to just be with me.  He was the one you could talk to in a normal voice, and he'd look at you like he knew what you meant.  

He was also having some sort of trouble, and we had him in to the vet for ultrasounds and other investigations.  As we were getting to the bottom of what was wrong with him, I had to deploy in August 2020, with a return in December of that year.  I knew he had some sort of health issue, though aside from diarrhea and weight loss he was no different.  No pain, no discomfort.  I spent extra time with him before I left, but it could never have been enough.

While I was deployed, we kept up with the vet appointments, and it appeared there was something in his gut, possibly a tumour, but not entirely clear.  More follow-ups were needed.  I was on the other side of the planet.  He took a turn for the worse, and when my wife took him to the vet, whatever it was had clearly advanced.  He rebounded that weekend, and seemed to be coming back to his old self.  Then it came for him.  He couldn't walk, could barely lift his head.  It was time.  My wife and daughters took him for his final ride on 2 November, 2020, while a part of my soul died that day, in a darkened cabin aboard HMCS Winnipeg, and I begged any deity that would hear me for one last chance to hold my Dude, and tell him I love him so much.  That it would all be okay.

I think I spent most of 2021 recovering.
Fly free, my baby man.  Fly free until we meet again in whatever holds us beyond the veil.

He always loved the 'warm,' a cozy seat by the fire.

One of more handsome looks.

Having a seat on the dashboard.
All three of them.  Tyr, Siam and Star, in their catpile.  All are waiting for us on the other side of the Bridge.  

Fortunately we have other housebeasts to give us comfort.  They can never be replaced, but we have more to love.  There was a meme I saw once, and it asked: "What's the hardest part of having a cat?"  and the answer was "the goodbye."  Truer words were never said, but I wouldn't trade any of those moments with them for anything.

I'm going to have a good, stiff drink, probably get no more writing done, and look at some photos.

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Photo Setup Improvements

Finally got about to trialling a new setup for miniatures photography.  Took two desk lamps and replaced the bulbs with 'daylight' grade LED bulbs.  Massive increase in brightness and a bright white hue as well.

The result: a dramatic increase in brightness and proper colour.  Witness below, some Eldar models (three warlocks and a Bonesinger).  Much better colour than some previous photos.

This last one I cropped it a bit and touched the brightness up a hair, so there's room to improve.

Granted, still needs some work on tweaking the grey behind (it's actually a white page).  I have some references for setting the white balance on the camera, so that will be the next step.  This was a simple setup on the gaming table with the models on a bright white piece of paper, and two desk lights aimed at them camera A/B style.  Keeps the shadows to a minimum.

Some Reaper Miniatures minis had the same effect, though backing away a little and zooming in seemed to work a bit better.
A lovely rogue mini that just yelled 'red' at me when I was choosing the colour.

The photos are much better, you can see the green mildew at the base of the stone wall.

This Succubus was a tough one to paint.  Flesh tones, especially on a model that is little else, are harder than they look.  Turned out fairly well, though in my experimentation I found a slightly darker skin tone I can use in the future.  More of an olive-skinned look.

I'm going to have to revisit this guy's varnish a bit.  He's a bit shiny, and I'm not sure what happened there. The photo came out well though.

That went well, for some quick experimentation and a very quick setup.  More fiddling around is needed but I'm on a much better path than before.  This post is Ironclad-approved!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Slinging Paint

A few quick hits as I sling some paint on the last day of the Thanksgiving weekend.  Working on a bunch of things, though I realized if we're planning to play Pathfinder next Saturday, and I'm away at sea the whole working week, then I had best paint up the miniatures I plan to use.  Sorta makes sense...

The lighting isn't great, but there's a bunch going on here.  From L to R, there's a dragon's wings, some Daemonettes of Slaanesh for my Hedonites army, a succubus figure (with detached wing) and two mummies for our next Mummy's Mask adventure path session.  Somewhere back there are the two pilots for my Space Marine Land Speeder for my Blackbirds Chapter of Space Marines (also Warhammer 40000).

Some detail on the mummies and succubus.  And a well used paint palette.  I need the mummies for next week's game, and the succubus is there to work on while I wait for ink washes to dry and such.  Seldom do I only have one model (or group of models on the go) at one time.  Usually there's a few things so I'm always filling the time while other stuff is drying.

Over to the 'working desk' I've got the aforementioned Land Speeder, then a sphinx model I'll need for a future instalment of Mummy's Mask.  Then the green dragon (Reaper's Everblight) who is the owner of the wings above, the Fane of Slaanesh (a terrain piece for Warhammer Age of Sigmar) and a unit of Seekers of Slaanesh, the next part of my Hedonites army.

That's the state of the desk right now.  Going to sea for a week I hope to get back to some writing but we're preparing for a big deployment next year, and as a HOD (head of department) that means lots and lots of prep work.  [sigh]  And it will be bouncy this week (4-5m seas)!

See y'all in a few days...

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Off to the Con...

Off to RustyCon this weekend!  Should be fun, and meet some writerly types.  More when I'm back.

Friday, January 04, 2019

Happy 2019!

I hope you all had a good holiday, having much food, merriment and gaming.

I, for one, had an excellent holiday, filled with gaming, skiing and relaxing.  Fortunately, I was able to take three full weeks off during the holidays.  In fact, I don't go back to work until Monday.  Eat your heart out...

Despite a few issues, such as having to get our hot water heater looked at for a low flow problem, the holidays were super smooth.  We eschewed any major parties or events, aside from a short ski trip to Mt. Washington over New Year's Eve.  It was good.  Relaxing by the fire, good food, good wine and other libations.  Makes for a relaxing holiday.

As always, my ambitious to do list suffered.  Always figuring I have more time/energy than actual, but at least I managed to pick away at a few things.  Sadly, very little painting got done, but the new year shall bring more opportunities.

This year will be more models, more gaming, even some more writing, as well as some more philosophy as I feel like writing it.

May the coming year bring us more free markets, smaller government, less taxes and more prosperity!