28 December 2015

2015 Reflections

Another year comes to a close and its time to reflect on what hobby stuff I have achieved over the last 12 months.  Living and studying in the US without all my 'stuff' has made hobby time a relatively barren affair, with a few bright hotspots to reminisce upon.

I had a rather banal set of New Years resolutions so for the first time I achieved 100% of them!
Thats because I set myself a relatively low set of bars of:
1. Attend a major US Wargaming convention - tick
2. Try and meet some other bloggers - tick
3. Buy stuff - big tick!
4. Paint nothing (not laugh too loud, do you know how hard it is not to do ANY painting and modelling for a year an a half when you have bought yourself lots of new shiny?!)
My wife's lack of buyer's remorse is clearly contagious!
So 3 and 4 were achieved in spades, but in reviewing what I bought I made an interesting observation.  When all you have to do hobby wise is surf the web for eye candy and buy stuff, one gets even more distractible than ever.  I have ended up with such an eclectic mix of gaming genres and scales that at this end it seems rather ludicrous.  As bad a gamer compulsion toward 'shiny' appears, its far less when you have a project on the go to focus on.
A boy and his first OGRE
So my biggest gaming achievement of the year was the double header of getting the Lad off his computer (voluntarily) and attending Fall-In together.  That really was a blast playing all those different games together (Fall-In: The Games and Fall-In and X-Wing: The Next Generation) and it has reinvigorated him in gaming (not just X-Wing either).  That was very timely as his new school has a Historical Wargaming Club which he is very interested in participating in.
Red-5 standing by!
Fall-In was great on many levels, as I posted at the time (Fall-In: Random Eye Candy).  In particular it was fantastic to put faces to several names (Fall-In: Convention Overview) and the highlight of gaming with Mr Miles over a few adult beverages.  Awesome stuff and yet another reminder of the awesome blog community we have going.
Good times with new friends - smiles all around!
...and beers with old ones too - catching up with David in London just before Christmas
We followed that up with a very fun day with the New England Epic gamers "Adeptus Ineptus" which was great experience too (An EPIC day out).  That was the day that the Lad played his first game of epic and uttered the 2015 quote of the year: "I have lost so badly that I have shamed our family"
The "shamed one" takes a good ribbing for the gaming group with a smile - well one indeed lad!
Blog wise its been fun to keep my hand in the hobby despite not much actual productivity and I've managed to keep up with an average of 3 or so blog posts per week.  The Tanktober competition was quite a bit of fun too: http://tasmancave.blogspot.com.au/search/label/Tanktober
This year's Tanktober challenge was a bit of fun along the way
On a separate note, I did another Goodreads reading challenge this year for the third year running (my daughter and I challenge eachother).    Between the War College and my Master's Degree I really pushed the envelope but there was a few novels in there to keep me sane too.  I'll do it again next year but at a much more sedate rate and with more hobby and relaxing reading.

Next year, I will be back in Sydney and moving upward and onward with work which will keep me busy.  After I have found somewhere for the clan to dwell I can set up the new Man Cave and get back into everything.  Of course, domestic priorities will mean that the Cave will be the last thing established but its nice to stay married...  Best of all, I will again be in the same city at Alan aka Dux Homunculorum and his Odin's War-game club which I am looking forward to and we have lots of projects planned.

I trust your 2015 was great Hobby wise and I'm looking forward to sharing my 2016 gaming experiences back in Australia with you.

24 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

I hope Santa is good to you all and that 
your day is filled with good cheer!

21 December 2015

20 December 2015

A visit to the Houses of Parliament

...to find this chap looking down disapprovingly at me! I think he can sense my Royalist tendencies...

18 December 2015

Farewell America - it was a blast!

Today after 18 months, my family and I are departing the US.  In fact we are in the taxi enroute to Boston airport as I write this.  We are breaking up 16,000 km journey with stops en route to enjoy London, have Christmas with friends in Norway and then be home in Sydney for New Year's Eve.

Its been a fantastic time both professionally and personally.  I've made some amazing new friends and have visited 18 different states which has been a blast.  I also have a new Masters Degree and my son is going home a newly minted and proud Eagle Scout!

So thanks indeed America and the many here who made our visit here so special. To (badly) paraphrase General Patton:

It is foolish and wrong to mourn that the time here is ended. Rather, we should thank God that such times were had.

PS The 400 odd craft beers I sampled here were excellent too!

08 December 2015

Aussie Bloggers Meet-Up: CanCon 2016

OK Aussie bloggers, time to get together to put some faces to names and blogs - those Poms do it all the time so CanCon seems a good opportunity for us to do likewise!

1pm at the Board Games section in the Northern Hall (not the main traders one, that will give us a bit more space)

Come for an hour or come for 5mins, its all good.  Tentatively planning for there to be a second session later that evening with some adult beverages - stay tuned for more details!

Spread the word!

Cheers to Millsy for making up the graphic