Print Story Super Summer Wrapup!
By georgeha (Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 12:26:51 PM EST) hexity goodness, busy, gaming, Irish_girl (all tags)
It was not very productive summer, unless you count driving up to two hours a day to and from a pool as productive.

Plus wake of the flood, cat incontinence (you can train a cat), teachers have the best parties, a decent Canadian beer, my daughter the boyscout, the problem with a tap in the summer, new jobs,  and less.

Media reviews of The Help, Restrepo, The Korean War, The Dragon of Lonely Island, The Face of Battle, Red, White, Black & Blue, Body of Secrets, and Let Me In.

Game reviews of the Awful Green Things from Outer Space, Storm Over Dien Bien Phu, Twixt, the expanded High Frontier map and Target Arnhem.

MultiPoll: How was your summer? The Help?

Summer is over. I got my bike on the street, but only up the corner before it stalled out. There's some sort of fuel flow problem, but I never got around to diagnosing it. I also never fixed the garage roof and gutters, or painted the porch. Mrs. Ha got a new job, I got a new job, there was lots of new job paperwork (some still in process). 

OTOH, fifteen year often got to go to two swim practices a day, at the park fifteen minutes away. That adds up.

I do have an Ithacan vacation diary coming up, too.

The problem with a tap in the summmer

I like my beer tap, it's up there for favorite appliances (contending with refrigerator and coffee grinder), it saves times and money when brewing, and keeps the quantity of empties down (even two a day add up quickly). But when we get our annual fruit fly infestation in the summer, yuck. They're drawn to the malty goodness, and I often get a few when I pour a pint. Good thing their bodies float.

Finally, a decent Canadian beer

In additional beer news, I finally found a decent Canadian beer, Brewmaster's Collection from Labatt's, a case of Porter, Red Lager, Marzan and Brown Ale. It's not Saranac, but still pretty good, for the price of $17 per case. I should buy a six of Moosehead and see if it's still as good as I recall from my high school years.

new job one

Mrs. Ha took a new job as a nanny for two young kids, the older boy goes to kindergarten, the younger girl goes to preschool.  The mom is an accountant, and the hiring contract is satisfying accountant like. Her paychecks are very helpful in slowly reducing debt.

new job two

The prescription benefits are better, I have two corporate emails and twice the paperwork. Fortunately, I have not had to travel yet.

Wake of the Flood

It's been a wet second half of the summer. My parents have been taking the girls camping a few weekends this summer. These two events coincided.

After a relaxing, kid free weekend my parents brought the girls (and a niece) home. Fifteen year old went up to take a bubble bath and shower while we were having a torrential downpour. So torrential that underpasses were under a few feet of water, and the storm and sanitary drains were backing up. Did I mention that the cap for the main drain cleanout was loose?

So, the basement ended up with six inches of warm, soapy water, and cat turds. Uggh. Eventually the drains started working again, and I pushed what was left into the drains, along with clean water. I did want to mop the basement floor.

Did you know the pilot light on our water heater is less than six inches from the floor? Yeah, it went out, and was damp, so I had to remove several plates to dry it off and relight it.

In between I went to the grocery store, driving the Camry through inches of water and got home safe.

Cat incontinence

The flooded basement emotionally scarred the long haired female cat. She was never great about using a litter box, but she did her business in the basement, near the litter boxes. That was good enough, until the flood.

My wife printed out an article on retraining a cat, as we suspect the long haired female was never properly litter trained, pissing and pooping on a vinyl floor that smells of bleach might just remind her of the shelter. I'm glad to say that the cats are not my responsibility, it's good to have one thing in the house I'm not responsible for.

Anyhow, we locked her up in the Harry Potter bathroom for a few days (with food, water and litter checks, of course), and she learned how to use the litter box. Or she understood the odds of an incontinent, unfriendly cat being adopted from the pound.

Teachers have the best parties

Years ago ten year old had a bff in K and 1st who lived a few streets away, af_girl. Her dad was in a 3 1/2 year PHD program at RIT, when he got his degree he deployed to NoVa to work in Chantilly. It was hard to see them go.

They came back for a weekend, and we agreed to meet at art_girl's house for an impromptu party. It ended up being a fun time, seven adults, four fifth graders, two kindergartners, two third graders and a seventh grader. Six bottles of wine too, but spread out over five hours. It was nice to shoot the shit and drink wine with adults and let the kids run amok, while talking about labor, baby raising, stupid shit we did as teenagers and being a roadie.

Despite my encouragement, Mrs. Ha and fifteen year old chose not to go, when I filled them in, they regretted that choice.

My daughter, the Boy Scout

Fifteen year old joined Boy Scouts. There's a co-ed group called Ventures she joined, to meet more people. It's mostly girls, many of whom she knows. More running around.

Irish_Girl update

She came over a few weeks ago. She's not yet married, still involved with her fiancee, and it's complicated.

Media reviews

Red, White, Black & Blue, is a documentary on the Aluetian's campaign in WWII, mostly focused on veterans of the campaign. Some of the survivor's are upset at the huge titanium star the Japanese erected on Engineer's Hill on Attu. I enjoyed it, but found some of the director's tricks a little too distracting, for instance rather than interview a veteran overlooking a valley on Attu, there was a TV overlooking the valley, playing the interview. Why?

In a similar vein I saw Junger's Restrepo, which was good. Recommended if you like looking at topless fit young men, or guns, or wacky Afghanis. Seriously, the Afghani's beards were as red as my alcoholic, malnourished grandmother hair. Why?

One weekend when the girls were away I found Let Me In on Netflix. It's an American remake of the scandinavian Let the Right One In. I haven't seen the original, but this one was good. Recommended if you like horror films.

Mrs. Ha read The Help and was determined to see it on the big screen. It's a good thing Emma Stone is so attractive, as most of the pic is a closeups of her. There were no magic negroes, but there was a sassy one. Recommended if you like comely Lindsey Lohanesque redheads, or a period piece, or you feel guilty about being white.

In milhist news, I picked up Body of Secrets at the branch library close to my job, while I was picking up dragon books for ten year old. Anyhow, Body of Secrets is a follow on to the Puzzle Palace about the NSA. There's scary stuff in there, as well as closeted Conservative racist creeps, like Edwin A Walker. It's hard to put down. I'm glad I didn't live through the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Ten year old asked me to get The Dragon of Lonely Island, it was a favorite of hers from school. It was cute, and probably the best book I've read about school children finding a reclusive three headed dragon.

At a new thrift store chain, Saver's, I found Keegan's The Face of Battle. It very good, and unusual. Rather than a high level view of Agincourt, Waterloo and the Somme, it's a low level view, going into the details of the individual soldiers, how they fight, how they die and what the battle was like. Highly recommended.

At another thrift I found Hastings' The Korean War . Was there ever a more shameful time for the US Army than during the Korean War before Ridgway showed up? OTOH, letting South Koreans live under North Korean rule for a few months sure shored up support for Rhee. Maybe we should have let the VC and VM take over Saigon for a few months.

Game reviews

How often you can live a 30 year old dream for $4?

I've been curious about Twixt since I first saw it in an AH catalog 30 years ago. Never curious enough to buy it new, but always wondering about it. One day at a new thrift store (Savers in Webster) I found a copy for $4, with the pieces still in bags, but the bags were open. That was odd.

Another item scratched off my bucket list. I played it a few times, I liked it.

In more retro gaming news, back in the 80's my buds and I would occasionally play The Awful Green Things From Outer Space, the magazine version. Steve Jackson released a new version, with a hard mounted board and diecut counters.

A few quibbles, the map doesn't fit on my dinner tray (and I even put away Invasion of Malta), and the weapon effect counters should not have been backprinted. If the backs were blank, one could set up all the weapons at get go, and turn them over when first used, to save space. I guess that might cause a problem with multiple untried weapons. Still fun after all these years.

Unusually, I got to Millennium for last month's monthly gaming meet. Even more unusually, I played a wargame twice, and won both times. I played a playtest copy of Storm Over Dien  Bien Phu. Mark being more experienced player, let me take the French. Maybe it was being tired and hangover (Irish_girl stopped by the previous night and I had beer and wine), or maybe my really good rolls and Mark's really bad ones, but the French easily won. We squeezed in a second game, it was more historical, but the French hung on to win.

But that's not all! I set up Target Arnhem to celebrate September, and tested an Arnhem centric setup. As it is, the 82nd can grab the southern end of the Arnhem bridge while the 1st Airbourne grabs Arnhem (Gavin would approve). The 82nd supply point is positioned so that the 82nd can put a regiment or two in Arnhem and still be in supply, which will help fight off the SS. I have to decide if I want to drop the 101st closer to Nijmegen and make it harder for the Guards.

Clustering the paratroops around Arnhem and Nijmegen seemed to help. Next time I need to manage the Germans better, with an SS armored unit they were able to cut the road on the third (armored units only) segment. If I can keep some armored and other units back, and have them all go for the road at once, it might work.

Then again, it's a small, short game, I can try both ways.

In final gaming news, my big copy of the new High Frontier map showed up. Hooray, Kuiper Belt objects.

< Decent enough weekend. | All's Well That Ends >
Super Summer Wrapup! | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden)
Has that motorcycle ever run further than a block? by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 01:42:52 PM EST
Body of Secrets is a good book, his follow on, ". A Pretext for War", is too screechy. He went a bit Glen Greenwald.

I've got a couple Keegan books, will have to look for that one.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Oh sure, in the first year by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 01:48:30 PM EST
when I couldn't find a stock air filter and used pods, and tried to restrict the air flow, I got about 3,000 miles.

That was years ago, maybe 2003, and my life was much simpler then.

From what I've read, Faces of Battle is probably Keegan's best work.

[ Parent ]
yay Moosehead -nt- by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 08:28:24 PM EST

??? by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 08:40:10 PM EST
I am sure I remember "the awful green things from outer space" being in the TSR catalog that came in the basic set.


[googles] looks like they are listed as one of the publishers over time (considering it was in the Dragon, hardly a surprise). Also not surprising that Tom Wham made it.

It must have been the Dragon by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Oct 12, 2011 at 09:03:20 AM EST
that my bud got his copy from.

It's still good.

[ Parent ]
1. Tap & baggie & rubber band by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 09:50:38 PM EST
2. The crossroads of pan-asian military antics and soldiers LOVE local pussy.

3. Yes, Germany during the Vietnam years. Race riots, heavy drug abuse, fraggings, with even shittier morale. The Colin Powell Battalion CO days.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Super Summer Wrapup! | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden)