Sunday, January 25, 2004

More updates

I've finally finished painting the Spartans! 3 days of eye-squinting, back-aching labour, but at last I've finished the lot!


I've been having such a wonderful time doing nothing over this Chinese New Year that I didn't even realise someone had left a comment on my blog, until K pointed it out to me. So here's an update on what has happened over the past few weeks.

Busy as heck. The less said the better.

Iffy has shrugged off all traces of illness and malnutrition - she's such a spritely kitten that I can barely imagine what she looked like when we first found her (or perhaps I should say, when she found us - as all of our cats have). I should have taken a photograph of her when we first picked her up, but it didn't feel right to photograph such a sad-looking creature - and there was the fear that she would not survive, and I'd be haunted by an image of her. Thankfully, she has survived, and even more luckily for us, gets along perfectly with Patch. Or rather, Patch tolerates the little toe-biting furball. Here's a picture of the both of them. As you can see, they're both on the bed. Our bed. Which for some reason they prefer to their own beds. It's cute and everything to have a cat snuggle up to you at bedtime, but it's not so cute when it's a feisty kitten with sharp claws who gravitates towards warm spots on the body. I've gone to bed with Iffy lying across my throat before (a tricky situation - you don't really want to move when she's likely to panic and grab on with her claws) and woken up with her in my armpit. Thank god she doesn't crawl under the blanket for other warm spots on the body. She purrs like a Harley - I kid you not, it's this amazing rumbling, rattling, Harley Davidson revving sound. Especially when she's sticking her snout into your ear at 1 am in the morning.

This has gone almost completely on hold, what with T off in Vietnam, and Chinese New Year enforcing a break on my wargaming. I've started to painted up all my spare lead, so you can see a few pics of what I've been working on these few days. (This link goes to the Napnuts Gallery - mine is the one called Wahj's Gallery). I've been painting the 15mm Spartans from Xyston that I bought half a year ago. I'm rather happy with these, as I've never spent quite so much effort on 15mms before. Most of the time, I've operated on the principle that in 15mm you don't so much paint in the detail, as suggest the detail. My entire Polybian Roman army was painted on that principle, which is why I managed to paint the whole lot in 3 days. This time, I'm going to a fair bit of trouble. Skin, for example, which I used to paint in one colour, I've painted in 3 successive layers - dark brown over the black undercoat, light sand over the brown, and a final highlight of medium flesh tone. Will anyone see it? Probably not. Will it matter to how the figures game? hmmm ... maybe. I've always been a rather irrational and intuitive gamer, and everyone knows better painted figures do better in battle ... right? = ) Anyway, i've got a whole series of projects lined up after this, starting with the sailors for the Victorian Sci-Fi game, then the Warriors of Minas Tirith and Orcs from the LoTR set, then probably moving on to all the rest of my 15mms - the Carthaginians, Spanish, and Gauls.

Right, it's off to find some breakfast then.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

The magical number 7

I've known this piece of "folk wisdom" for some time, but here's the original article that laid the foundations for this piece of thinking.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004


For all out there interested in typography, this is a pretty cool website.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Meme Tree

I must confess, I still don't quite understand how this works. But it looks impressive, = ) so here's the link anyway.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

A sense of achievement

14 discs, 2.30am - rather better than I had predicted. Right, off to bed now.

(Cat update: Iffy managed to worm her way out of the bathroom. She's chasing Patch around the house now.

yep, you heard me right. Our Patch is running away from a 5-week old kitten. Gives new meaning to the term "scaredy cat". Patch oh Patch oh Patch ... whatever will we do with you? = )

Friday, January 09, 2004

It's been a week

Habitually posting when tired, and in the wee hours of the morning, must surely make for tired-sounding posts

(can you hear the weariness yet?)

Here at last at the dreg-end of a long week at work. I had to rush home today to let in the water-heater repairman AND the TV repairman in (for some reason, they both chose to call at the same time) (oh, and the gremlins have been afoot as well: in this last month, the appliance casualty count in my house has been: two TVs, one DVD player, one water heater, one iBook, and one iMac. whimper. my trusty old Sage friend, for whom it was never easy being green. sigh). My wife had to rush to get the kitten to the vet before they closed (no emergency - just her first, vital, immunisation). Then we all, plus mom, had to drive down to my uncle's for the wake (my aunt passed away this week. very sad. she was always very kind to me).

Oh wait. One more to add to the appliance casualty list, though it's much more than an appliance, and it's not really the appliance that failed. Sometime during lunchtime today, my iPod "lost" all its songs. And I mean lost: the files are still on the hard drive, but it seems the iPod doesn't recognise them anymore. Not sure how it happened - sneaking suspicion someone played with it. "ooh pretty iPod, let's touch it" etc etc. Grrr. Had to endure the commute home without the buffer of my iPod.

And so we come at last to the reason why I'm awake and bloggin when I should be asleep like a loggin. (damn. I should never blog tired ... can't resist innate corniness when defences are down): I am backing up every single MP3 file on my iPod onto CDs. I'm at No. 8 now, and I estimate a maximum of 16 might be needed. (speaks quite well of the efficiency of MP3s: that's my entire audio CD collection, last estimated at 500+ CDs, in 16 discs). Thank god my LaCie is built like a brick and runs like a sports car engine - the fella burns CDs lightning fast.

gawd, hope i can finish before dawn.

Stealing time from lunch ...

... to blog. It's been such a hectic week that this is the first time I've been able to sit down and post. I promised to tell Patch's story, so here it is.

Patch came to us as a kitten 1 year 1 month and 16 days ago. And when I say "came to us", I mean it - she found us, not the other way around. I woke up one Saturday morning to find my mother complaining about some cat having taken a dump on our doormat. When I went out to investigate, I realised it was the same kitten that I had seen just the day before at the ground floor - and we live 17 stories up!

My wife and I both figured that any kitten that could climb 17 stories (or had the intelligence to take the lift!) was probably meant to stay, in some mysterious fated way. And so it was that Patch came into our lives.

We called her Patch because she had a bad case of ringworm when she found us, and there was a proiminent bald patch on her back (it would later be joined by one on her head as well). It took us a few months to get rid of the ringworm, but since then she's been a happy, if extremely introverted cat.

[how introverted? the last time the man came around to service our air-conditioning, Patch took one look, went under the bed, and only emerged gingerly 5 hours after he left]

Patch gets very lonely during the day: all of us (me, my wife K, and my mom) work, so Patch used to sit for hours staring out the window. Hopefully, Patch will get along well with Iffy (the new kitten) and they'll keep each other company.

(more about Iffy Anklebiter to follow)

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Iffy Anklebiter, Slayer of Toes

We have two cats in the house currently. The first is Patch (whose story I'll tell at a later date - here's a photo in the meantime), but the second is Iffy -

- who I shall dub "Iffy Anklebiter, Slayer of Toes". We found her very sick huddled by the side of the road one week ago. When we stopped the car to check on her, we saw that her eyes were gummed shut with dried mucus. The vet confirmed later that she was suffering from a case of cat flu, and the eyes were probably a result of conjunctivitis. K and I took her in to help her get better, and about 4 days later, with daily medicine and care, she made a turnaround, and got better.

Much better. Hence the anklebiting and toe-slaying. For this little kitten is a feisty little furball of ankle-level mass-destruction, a one-kitten whirlwind of chewed toes, pounced-upon-feet, and scratched ankles. And we wouldn't have it any other way, because it is a joy to see her up and on the bounce, eyes bright and open. It's nice to know that we saved her from a certain and terrible death by disease, or most probably by being run over by the next car that came by.

Monday, January 05, 2004

How much time do we waste because of computers?

In the wake of K's problems with her computer, I found this article by Marshall Brain particularly interesting. I've never had the patience to log exactly how much time I've wasted on problems with my computer (which, thankfully, have been few, bless the ol' powerbook) but he has. It comes up to 11+ hours a month.

Which is a scary thought.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

"Thirty Pounces - the Fotolog"!

This is turning out to be quite a night for *loggin of all kinds.
Having started a blog, i have also started a flog.
(... must post daily, must post daily, he mutters darkly to himself ...)

The First Pounce

Reading Celia Haddon's book One Hundred Ways to a Happy Cat, I came across the following:
"Cats do pounces, not walkies. A cat in the wild makes thirty pounces a day to catch prey ..."

Seemed as good a title as any for a blog, so here it is. Inaugural post - "I declare thirty pounces open".