Saturday, 28 February 2009

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Dwarves v Formori

Saturday I went play a AscendancyLRP wargame at Chimera, this was short small game, with 3 units a side, we played it out for about 4 hours, getting in around 10 turns.

Sam and Jak turned up to watch but were roped in, the scenario had been sorted out by AndyL, so Jak played the Formori General while I played the Dwarf Commander, Jonty turned up to help us with the rules, saving us looking everything up.
Sam meanwhile was writing up the battle and adding her influence to the Dwarf side since she has characters that are allied with the dwarves.

The game went smoothly for me for the 1st 5 turns, then a top of pile nasty anti hero command figure turned up out the blue on the Formori side and started to bring Formori troops back that I had routed, and things then started to look a little dodgy until I a had couple of lucky dice roles (or Jak a couple of bad ones) that sent this anti-hero running for his mum.

In the long run AndyL gave me a medium victory, although he also gave Jak and his Formori a minor victory since they nabbed off with a sample of the mines unique ore.

During the battle we played mostly with Mike's figures specially painted for the shop, with couple of dozen of mine to provide decoration and objectives.

Later we went back to Andy's, met up with Heather and then ordered in a Chinese meal, which I was ready for, before playing a mass game of Magic Cards for 4 hours, which Heather won, possibly because she was having so much bad luck with her cards that everyone ignored her until the end, then she nibbled off our toes with one point hits.

Photo 8 of 52

Devil red eye cat photo eating its prey

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Picture of my day.

Today for work I was in a Boots manufacturing building and the Boots engineer who was showing me around was feeling very talkative and gave me a fascinating history of the building in the photo below.

Building D10 on the Nottingham Boots estate is a grade 1 listed building which is probably the highest rating for a actual fully functioning factory, the picture below shows one half of the central section, the rest was behind me when taking the photo, built out of concrete in 1933 the architect won international awards for his design.

The roof which you can see in the photo (click photo for larger image) has 56,000 dinner plate size glass discs, 50mm thick each hand made and cast directly into the concrete and even today they can't work out how they did it without them cracking or shrinking loose, no silicon seals, no rubber gasket's just a case of casting the concrete around them.

I took this photo because the sun was shining through the roof and it just looked pretty.

The same architect built the building next door Boots building D6 a grade II listed building which is some form of unique cantilever design, apparently a Spanish architect believed it would collapse and phones up every year to see if its still standing.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Photo 7 of 52

Picture of my car window as it started to defrost, followed by same picture tweaked with contrast and colour.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

New Parking Tax

I have been sent this email from our transport manager at work, what do you think?

The government is planning on introducing a tax on parking at work. This will affect all of us who bring our cars to work.

The tax would start in 2010 at £185 a year, going up to £350 in 2014, and I, for one do not wish to pay this.

If you wish to join me in signing a petition to stop this happening, please go to the link below and enter your details on the petition to stop this.

Much like the road use schemes, congestion charges, other toll road schemes it will easily gain support against its introduction because no one wants to pay extra tax, but is it actually a good idea, it will certainly make me think about using a bike or car sharing, it might keep a few cars out of city centres, but those travelling a distance or from remote places don't have a choice, also will it make people park on the roads congesting roads more, without thinking too deeply I can already see lots of holes in the idea, so as always I can see this latest scheme being shot down in flames, there must be a good idea out there, perhaps it should be the opposite to tax, a incentive scheme to swap to walking, cycling, bus, tram use or car sharing, I suppose like Nottingham they can't build the tram until they raise the money, no one will invest and tax on cars is one way of doing it.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Trip up North

On Saturday I was supposed to go down South to Coventry and then on to Bristol for the Larp fair, but this was cancelled due to the weather, well not really the weather but health and safety concerns over people slipping and falling over.

Anyway the trip was also to help DaveP celebrate his birthday and then go for a meal in the evening, so with no trip to Bristol Me, Julie, Dave and Nat decided between us to go up North to the Royal Armouries at Leeds and then go for meal local to me in Derbyshire rather than travel back down to Coventry, which since it was only the 4 of us would not be problem.

The Royal Armouries as can be seen from the photo (the building right at the end with the tall window) below blends into the all the flats and shops around it, the building just did not look impressive and the doorways even managed to look boarded up from a distance.

Free to get in although parking was hefty seven quid for 4 hours, the museum is packed to the brim with weapons and armour from nearly all periods and regions.

Julie and Dave looking at big matchlock guns.

Taking photos in the museum is quiet difficult, mainly as Julie pointed out it is all the reflections from all the glass cabinets and poor lighting, just look at the photo below which is typical of those I took, you can see half the other exhibits in the room reflected in the glass.

The museum is full of giant diorama as this one is of a hunting scene from the back of a elephant.

After a few hours wondering, you eventually go gun/amour/sword blind from all the weapons on display and can take in no more information, its also quite tiring when your not used to being on your feet. The museum is full of spots to take a rest, Julie as seen below decided to get a rest, me and Dave weren't far behind in joining her.

Once we had finished we decided to call in a Royal Armouries Shop, where Nat found a short sleeved chain mail Hauberk for almost half price, me and Dave both thought a bargain and Nat found it irresistible to buy, The small manikin it was sitting on did not fill me confidence it would fit, so Nat needed to try it on.

Nat with a little help struggles into the hauberk

Yep it fits.

Once Nat had made his buy we headed home to Derbyshire, before going out for meal to local restaurant where we ate until full and discussed Vampire Camarilla larp, and bit table top role play, I must admit it all sounded fun, but I did feel like I had really missed out on some good gaming, possibly because I was with 3 people who had all gamed together for quite a few years.

Happy Birthday Dave.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Photo 6 of 52

Tree stump photos for my photo of the week

Could not decide between them and since they both of the same subject I posted both

Thursday, 5 February 2009

My Snow Pictures

I took a couple of pictures but when you only see daylight on the way to work you don't chance have to pick and choose good subjects to photograph.

8am the snow has only been falling few hours and is coming down heavy

The road to work normally lined with parked cars it seems many decided to stay at home although I was surprised how many actually made it in considering all the slipping and sliding I witnessed.

Shining Cliff

Over the weekend during my walk I passed through Shining Cliff a place we use to Larp in and what once contained a useful youth hostel to sleep in and provide toilet facilities.

The hostel has now been taken over by a youth trust, who work in conjunction with the Grith Pioneers who own part of Shining cliff. The hostel and woodland have seen extensive refurbishment, a lot of dead wood has been cleared, with extensive stocks of logs lying about, the main path to hostel appears to be being used by vehicles and is now vehicle width all the way to the point we left the track, the awkward car park has all so received attention, all looks good but they want the area for themselves and consider walkers a pain that have to be allowed through so long as they don't stray and Larper a serious hazard to the undergrowth since they will no doubt stray from the paths and ruin the forna.

Following the link to the former hostels web site I get the impression for now at least there will be no way of renting it, the poster on the path says they are protecting the rare species of trees, ferns and mosses, for scientific interest, I don't know perhaps they are I want to protect such things also, but I feel they just want the area for themselves, whatever the reason I don't see us larping in that part of the woods anytime soon and will follow thier rules about visiting, the rest of the woods still remain fair game for all, that includes trail bikers tearing up the paths.

The Poster.

The path to the hostel

The Lake at the bottom of another path

The hill down to the lake

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Walking day

Today I went for a walk around Derbyshire after my one hour practise walk last weekend.

I went with my friends Andy, Linda and Freda from their houses in Nether Heage across Cromford canal towards Crich across to slopes to Whatstandwell then back across the Derwent valley towards Alderwasley before making our way through Shining Cliffs and back to their home all told a 6 hour walk with a 1/2 hour stop for refreshment at the Derwent Arms.
I would guess around 10 miles up and down steep and in some cases muddy slipper hills, it wasn't to cold at 1st walking despite the -1 temperature, but once you got into the fields the wind just sucked the heat of you, especially went you stopped took your thermal gloves off to take photos.
The weather was dry-ish although about 4 hours into the walk it started to snow, small flakes blowing horizontally in the wind, but the last hour as we got near the Hurt Arms it started snow bigger flakes, and started to white over the ground.
I finished the end of the walk as it was getting dark by getting a lift up the very steep hill to Nether Heage from Katy in her mini and was glad of it.

Photo below me and Linda about a hour into the walk just above the A610, wearing my woolly hat made by Julie, Linda was sporting a silly hat I bought her few Christmas's ago and come to think of it Andy was wearing a another hat I bought Linda, perhaps I failed and they where useful gifts after all.

I followed them down this steep drop trying to take a picture, nearly a bad mistake since I wasn't watching my footing.

Linda and Freeda, Freda has a bad knee and was told to take steady after injuring herself at badminton, this was not taking it easy in my book.

Mallards in the Canal

This duck was hiding

While walking I spotted this colourful garden full of pot animals

This is near Alderwasley about 3 hours into the trip, notice the tree stump in the background I thought it looked like a guarding knight.
One of Andy & Linda's dogs escaping from hollow tree, in fact part of the one the previous picture.

A brief bit of sun shining over Crich Stand.

We were just reaching the outskirts of Shining Cliff here around 3pm

The step across the overflow of Shining cliffs big pond.

About half past four as walk down past the old Wire Work factory, my camera needed its flash and this made the snow flakes look bigger.
Wire Works.
A blurry picture I think my hands where too cold.
I took quite a few more photos, a couple of interesting ones which I will save for my photo of the week.
Looking outside now with the road white over and promise of heavy snow tomorrow, I think I might take my camera to work.