Wall of Shame: Minor Progress

Well “progress” is debatable but at least I got out some of my Protectorate of Menoth models (Warmachine) and the Ogrun Assault Corps to paint last night. My hobby room is still backed up with boxes so 80% of my time last night was setup and finding tools. I never did find my 30mm back arc marker though. Hopefully I will make noticeable progress every night for the next ten days until Kingdom-Con starts.

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Geocaching Milestone: #200

I had a tremendous amount of fun finding my 200th geocache yesterday (12 April 2014): GCTDBJ A Bridge to Nowhere which ended up being a great choice for a milestone.

Below is what I logged at GC.com for this find:

I wanted something special for my 200th find and this one certainly did not disappoint. I parked at a wide spot in the road and had a fun walk in to GZ.

I had fun scrambling over rocks and around bushes to make my way to GZ. The view was awesome and I am really glad that I had gone out of my way to come out here.

I found my #200 milestone at 1420 but spent over 20 minutes in the immediate area just looking around and taking pictures. I was so distracted I forgot to log a discover on the TB.

Major props to the CO for hiding this here, giving it a favorite is a no-brainer. I can’t believe that in eight years this one only has 70 finds, everyone caching in San Diego county (heck even up in Riverside county) should make the trip for this one.

Funny epilogue, I was so giddy making my way out that I made an ill-advised leap from a small rise and totally biffed the landing. I left with a couple of bloody knuckles and a dinged up knee but still couldn’t be happier. (Rated 5 stars with GCVote)

A Bridge to Nowhere GCTDBJ

A Bridge to Nowhere GCTDBJ

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North County Real Estate Mogul

Geocacher düg had his North County Real Estate Mogul series published on Sunday March 23. It consists of 18 traditional caches, six series of three houses each. Each set of houses has clue that combine to reveal the coordinates of a hotel. Finding the six hotels will reveal clues to the location of the final puzzle cache, Advance to Go!

There was a flurry of activity the first three days. Amazingly The Thirsty Ladies group (Trixxster, Silver Horde and The Lost Clan) somehow had the stamina to drive over 130 miles in 13 hours to complete all 25 caches in one day and nab FTF (first to find) on the final puzzle.

I wasn’t able to start my hunt until day two but I have found at least one house per day for five days straight and am having a great time working on the series. I hope to finish up on Sunday. I have two houses, six hotels and the final puzzle left to complete.

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Creative writing via RPG

For some reason I suddenly have a craving to write fantastic fiction and my brain is telling me that the best way to do it is by writing a campaign for a roleplaying game.

This seems like a cheat but it allows me to not have to start from literally nothing. There will be an overall setting with at least some background material. The character generation system helps come up with at least basic character outlines and possibly some detail.

Right now my top three settings are all sci-fi (more or less) but the third is a bit more horror. Stay tuned for the list in future updates, hopefully I can write enough to justify a full post for each.

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Finally hid my first geocache

Last week saw the publication of the first geocache that I have hidden myself, Nearly Caged Quail (GC4XXPG). I kept to my pledge to wait until after at least 100 finds before placing my first (it ended up closer to 140) and I started off with an easy park & grab near home. If conditions are right (i.e. no marine layer) you can catch a nice sunset from ground zero (GZ). I included a few of my signature bottlecaps and a Where’s George tracked dollar bill for the first to find (FTF).

I realized after the fact that I should have put more fun information into the description so I added this image and text today:
“When we first moved into a condo up on this hill in 2000 the south end of Mission Gate Drive was right about at GZ and none of the single-family homes were here. We had a nice area of coastal sage scrub on either side of the road and could see quail families (Callipepla californica) in the brush or even crossing the streets several times each year. Shortly thereafter in 2003 lots of new housing was built and I haven’t seen any quail up here since then.”

California Quail courtesy of the National Park Service

California Quail

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Still enjoying geocaching

I am still having a lot of fun with geocaching. I am up to 147 finds and had a streak of 20 straight days with a find before real life stopped the streak. I also got a First to Find and missed another one by about two minutes. I am looking forward to getting a dedicated GPS receiver some time this year since my phone is sometimes very jumpy and/or inaccurate.

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Good day of ‘caching

I had a pretty good day today geocaching, on my run to Home Depot I found four caches within an hour or so. The last one looked to be really tricky since there was a ton of leaf litter (below) that could not only be hiding the cache but it also made every footstep really loud so I had to be extra careful of muggles. I ended up going around the long way but found it as my 4th of the day. I had to skip another one since a muggle was walking up the street towards me and I would have looked suspicious getting out of my truck there. Go figure, same person walked by just as I was going to grab that last cache so I had to pretend that I was examining the foliage until he passed by.

Lots of leaf litter

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Geocaching Signature Item

I decided that while I generally won’t take anything from a cache I will leave a signature item if the container is large enough. I decided on beer bottle caps since craft beer is one of my other hobbies. I created a small note to include that points the finder to my new page Geocaching. This way they can look for the cap they found on that page and click through to the brewery. Thanks to my friends in the Facebook group I bought 2″x2″x4mm bags and I’m glad I went with 4mm since they are nice and sturdy.

Bottle Cap Note

Finished package with note and bottle cap

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Book Review: Einstein Must Die!

I just finished Einstein Must Die! by Chris Kohout. Really well done, I enjoyed it a lot. It starts in 1910 and has the classic Tesla vs. Edison rivalry. You can read the synopsis and my full review on Goodreads at the link below; I had spoilers that I had to remove for this post. I suggest it for anyone who likes alternate history (reminded me a lot of some Turtledove stuff) or steampunk/dieselpunk.

Disclaimer: I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway contest. I was very impressed with this first novel in the new Fate of Nations series. I would consider it part alternate history and part dieselpunk (a bit more advanced technology than steampunk). I liked the characterization, several of the main characters were developed quite nicely. The first part of the book about Tesla really set the stage for him and created some empathy in me for the character.

The mix of different levels of technology was interesting although I had to consciously suspend my disbelief for one particular invention. The Tesla vs. Edison rivalry is in full force here and causes some very interesting plot twists. It’s always interesting to see how politics can influence science and this was a perfect example of that.

I am very much looking forward to the next volume in the series, this one ended with a nice lead-in for whatever happens next.

Einstein Must Die!

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Hobby ADD: Geocaching

I just recently took up Geocaching as yet another hobby (see my stat bar on the right side of the page). It has lots of interesting aspects from searching the web sites for caches to add to my list, traveling to the site and then doing the actual search. I have been doing urban caches near my house lately but want to start going to the mountains, desert etc. to look for the wilderness hides.

Here are some good resources to start with if you are interested:
Geocaching.com – corporate site run by Garmin including optional premium membership
OpenCaching – open source alternative to Geocaching.com
c:geo – great Android app that can download caches from Geocaching.com
GeoLex – The Lexicon of Geocaching, great summary of acronyms that you will see in cache logs and elsewhere

Here’s a cutesy video by Geocaching.com:

A related sport is Munzee, this one doesn’t use physical containers, just labels with QR codes. The only way to log a find is to scan the QR code with your device. I haven’t done any of these yet but want to try a few in the next week or so. This one keeps scores, has level ups etc. since you can’t really cheat like you can with traditional physical caches.

Munzee – 21st Century Scavenger Hunt. Find. Capture. Reward.

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Recycle your library with Paperbackswap

I have found Paperbackswap to be a great resource for me. I am able to trade away my older books that I don’t plan on reading again for credits to get other books to read. In the last two years or so I have mailed out 31 books and received 23 back in return. The other 8 credits just sit in my account until I’m ready to order a new book. The only down side is that some of the popular books might have hundreds of people in the queue so it can take a long time to get a particular book (if ever).

If it sounds interesting use the linked image below to sign up so they know Doppelbock sent you.

Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap.

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Literary Giveaway Blog Hop!

I ran across the Words for Worms site today and it looks like a great site for heavy readers. The giveaway is only running for two more days but the site looks like a trove of information.

http://www.wordsforworms.com/2013/11/09/literary-giveaway-blog-hop-that-means-free-stuff-yall/#comment-10655

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Painting Backlog i.e. Wall of Shame

I have gotten into a really bad habit of continually buying models without finishing what I already own. The closest I have to 100% complete models would be my Protectorate battle box that I bought in the summer of 2008. I had them about as done as I could by the end of that year and clear coated them but didn’t ever highlight them. I also need to go back and put the Sanguine Highlight color on the Menofix symbols since I started doing that for the entire army a while back.

Beyond those my models range from the base coating being almost done all the way down to bare metal glued on the base. I really do prefer to play with painted models but sometimes when I get a new model I just want to get it on the table so I slap it on a base to get playing.

On somebody’s blog this year I read a good idea for a painting goal: average at least one model completed per week for the entire year. That won’t get me entirely caught up but would make a good dent. Since I have at least three Warmachine units to finish those will probably get done in groups of 6-10 which will help.

At any rate to help me reach at least that minimal goal I figured I would employ the age old technique of public humiliation. I am posting my collection below with the current status of each model. I will try to get at least a few pics of the partially completed models up soon. Then I’ll post periodic updates with completed pics as I get models done. I created a static page for the list and update it as I make progress; I will move completed models down to a separate section so I can see how much progress I have really made.

Warmachine Backlog
Mercs
Rupert – 95% base coated, needs arm glued on
Eiryss – 25% base coated
Gorman – 40% base coated, sand base needs drybrushing
Taryn di laRovissi – 25% base coated, sand base needs details
Rutger Shaw – 25% base coated, sand base needs details
Buccaneer – base coated all blue, one arm not attached
pMagnus – primed
Ogrun Assault Corps x5 – primed

Cygnar
Captain Jonas Murdoch – 70% base coated
Storm Tower – assembled except arms, not primed, need to move to resin bases
3 Stormsmiths – 60% base coated
Junior – 25% base coated
pStryker – 50% base coated
Storm Blades x6 – assembled on resin bases
Storm Blade UA – assembled on resin bases
Storm Blade WA – assembled on resin base
Charger – 75% base coated
Lancer – 70% base coated
Firefly – assembled
Stormclad – assembled except banner
Ironclad – 70% base coated
Heavy Plastic Kit Defender/Cyclone/Ironclad – not touched yet, will be magnetized

Protectorate of Menoth
Choir x4 – primed
Choir x6 – 70% base coated
Reclaimer – 15% base coated
Zealots x10 – 75% base coated
Monolith Bearer – 90% base coated
Idrians x8 – 65% base coated
Idrians x2 – primed
Idrians UA – primed and some base coating done
Hierophant – 30% base coated
Vilmon – base coated, needs highlights and washing
Paladin – 70% base coated
Vassal Mechanic – 65% base coated
Vassal – needs highlights/shading
Vassal – 15% base coated
Errants x6 – 95% base coated
Errants x4 – 10% base coated
Errant UA – 60% base coated
Flameguard x12 – primed
Flameguard UA –
Gravus – 40% base coated
Gravus mounted – 70% base coated
pKreoss – needs highlights & washes, sand base needs details
eKreoss – 80% base coated, banners not attached
pSeverius – 40% base coated
Redeemer – needs highlights & washes, sand base needs drybrushing
Revenger – needs highlights & washes, sand base needs drybrushing
Repenter – 99% base coated, needs highlights & washes, sand base needs drybrushing
Reznik – 65% base coated, wrack not attached
Wracks – base coated, people & chains not touched
Crusader – 95% base coated, needs highlights & washes, sand base needs drybrushing
Castigator – 75% base coated
Exemplar Seneschal – 50% base coated
Errant Seneschal – primed
BoV – 75% base coated
Bastions x5 – assembled
Avatar – assembled
Heavy Plastic Kit Crusader/Templar/Vanquisher – assembled but needs stronger magnets

Malifaux Model Backlog
I have set Malifaux aside for the moment since the new 2nd edition is in the middle of the release cycle so not all models have updated stats yet.

Resurrectionists
Masters of the Path boxed set – not started
Rotten Belles x3 – base coated, need highlights, shading and washes
Crooked Men – partially base coated, mounted on partially painted resin bases
The Hanged – mounted on hill base, partly base coated
Copycat Killer – partly base coated, mounted on partially painted resin base
Zombie Chihuahua – partly base coated, tombstone on base
Sybelle – almost done base coated
Seamus – 80% base coated
McMourning – 10% base coated
bête Noire – 50% base coated
Canine Remains – 3 solid base coated, 1 primed
Mortimer – 50% base coated
Von Schill – based on cork, flesh & boots base coated
Night Terrors – 2x solid base coated, mounted on cork bases
Flesh Construct – 70% base coated

Arcanists
Soulstone Miner – base coated in translucent silver
Steamborg Executioner – mounted on resin base (25% base coated) 70% base coated
Female Gunsmith – primed
Ramos – resin base base coated, 75% base coated
Mobile Toolkit – resin base base coated, 90% base coated
6 Arachnids – mounted on resin bases, base coated
Arachnid Swarm – resin base 25% base coated, spiders base coated
Johan – 10% base coated
Electrical Creation – resin base 70% base coated, 90% base coated
Hunter – partially assembled

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Short album review: Junkyard by Rust

I found the band Rust via a quick posting on the Ripple Effect blog and the one track they had in the post was so good I went and bought the whole album at Band Camp. The first minute or so of Horse Head sounds a lot like classic Black Sabbath but there’s a lot more to the album than that. If you have five bucks to spare and like sludge/stoner rock do yourself a favor and grab this album ASAP.

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Big Beer Buy for September

I finally spent my groupon at Holiday Wine Cellar, here’s what $100 of beer looks like to a beer geek:

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