Imaginings, Illusions & Illustrations

So many words, so many ideas, so many opinions. Only one self.

“Unprecedented times” is a phrase I’ve heard or read far too much this year.

“New normal” is also another.

Along with “I just want things to go back to normal”

I’ve heard today a political spin merchant seriously use the phrase: “I think we may disagree on what facts are true”

Because I daydream, because I explore ideas, concepts and patterns, just sometimes I have what alcoholic’s call ‘moments of clarity’ and ancient man use to call ‘visions from |insert deity here|’

Yet I find it so easy to be distracted, to be filled, even overwhelmed with information. There are many things we are as a species. At our core I’d argue we are a slightly hairless monkey, with methods of transmitting knowledge and material wealth both on an inter-generational and intercontinental basis.

We, in my post-industrial landscape, mostly live in a world based on our imaginings and illusions. The illuminating illustrations of factual information is there.

I don’t see it as the driving force. Maybe nor should it be. Status, appearance and virtue signalling do seem to take priority to actions and results.

Bending reality to fit your desires – or retreating into an imaginary controllable, limited and safe delusions – is something afforded only to the insanely wealthy, children and mad people.

How much time are people spending on social media out bursts? I miss the days when the internet was mostly cats – and everyone knew the default option was to distrust everything on the internet. I’m careful, I prefer to offer some comedic slight or a slight insight on life. The angry rants are rare, because as an action they rarely create a positive, sustaining result.

Often, even inside groups and networks I’m in, it’s not a meeting of different individuals with different skills and needs coming together to create something which benefits the whole group – more than it limits the individual.

There are actions comments and reactions to online activity that just would not be tolerated in the real – face-to-face – world.

Could you imagine if someone walked up to someone they didn’t know in public and screamed “I DON’T LIKE WHAT YOU THINK, I’M OFFENDED YOU ARE INHUMAN AND NEED TO DIE!?!?!” a mild exaggeration for demonstrative purposes – but not a false analogy?

Online however it seems like there’s a need, a drive, or behaviour patterns which massively exaggerate positive or negatives – and remove nuance.

Why do we have social manners?

Because we know that we need to get along with our fellow earth ship dwellers…

I am disturbed by a wider trend – that of the social or ideological bubbles that are forming, and that an expression that does not fit the group is not just a disagreement – but treated as a threat, an attack or a absolutist destruction of any humanity or value in the ‘Offender’/’Outsider’

As Stephen Fry stated – “You’re offended? So fucking what?”

I’m trying real hard to remain constructive and build connections and consensus. But like all good habits, I definitely find it harder to maintain than the easy bad habits.

The extreme reach in me wonders if its a side effect of something else that’s going on in wider societal trends?

Looking at history, without being histrionic, societies & empires have collapsed due to inability to cope with natural disasters. But also when the division between the the groups of a society no longer have a bridgeable gap.

The internet, information and social media are all human inventions that we are not genetically – or even socially adapted to. All technological and ideological changes are destructive and disruptive, but if nothing ever changes then the whole system is doomed.

Will current trends be the disruptive wedge that creates the illusion of security of the self while the multitude of groups we all rely on slowly break apart?

It illustrates to me that as a collective group, our en masse behaviours, we’re still some hormonal teen who can’t self regulate and attacks or adores in equal measure with acceptance rarely seen?

Will we adapt fast enough to avoid a collapse? Has anyone noticed that the Globo-Corps like Google, Facebook or Amazon – who answer to no individual or government – are possible the only groups to come out of this worldwide pandemic circus stronger? And they aren’t even people. The people are only there to support the legal entity that is a corporation.

What happened to protecting the individual selves through co-operation? Isn’t that why we as monkeys have a collective?

Yesterday chasing waterfalls refocused & revitalised me – perspective is everything. If waterfalls can carve rocks, I’m still willing to hope our species will learn lessons before we hit an exam we can’t pass. Just my individual self will only be the smallest fraction of change.

I’m probably due another break from all this. I’ve spent most of the day listening to music and looking deep into how deeply the capitalist experiment to get China to follow a Anglo-European philosophy has failed..

Like with all changes, it’s a function of energy, time and context.

Worrying, Wondering & Windmills

Is there a windmill of your mind?

Some of you right now are struggling. Struggling with longing for things you can’t do. Struggling against a fear of things you cannot see. Struggling against things you cannot control. Some of us have  been in the ‘windmill of the the mind’ before. More than once.

How does this ‘windmill’ work? Why the analogy?

Right now the ‘sails’ of your mind are being blown and pushed by ‘winds’ you do not want.  This in turn is spinning each of your ‘cogs’ – all the way to the ‘grindstone’ – and hence crushing the ‘grain’ of your hopes into ‘flour’  – which then blows away in the ‘winds’.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

You could try disconnecting your ‘sails’, and servicing the ‘cogs’. Explore how your ‘windmill’ works.  Then try putting it back together – let the ‘winds’ blow.

Turn that ‘flour’ into life sustaining ‘bread’

#ymmv

Meaning, Mathematics & Mantras

Sometimes a big lesson needs a long test.

I’ve had the first picture as my phone background for nearly two years, I found it expressed in maths last summer.

It’s something I now realise my parents have taught me by example since I was a kid – I just didn’t see it.

Thanks Alan & Kathleen. It’s been re-emphasized by my in-laws John & Georgina over the time I’ve grown to know them.

Instead of going hell for leather into a new idea or project and burning out – it’s a little reminder to myself to just keep trying.

It all adds up.

It was also the last money I had left for payday – I put the deposit down months ago. Left me £15 for food for work. All accounts empty until payday. Easy. 3 days and nothing to buy.

*touches wood*

QED = “quod erat demonstrandum“, literally meaning “what was to be shown” or “quite easily demonstrated”

In my words:

If every day you put in the same effort you always have,

after a year you’ll still be where you started.

But if every day you put in an extra 1% effort,

after a year you’ll be almost 40 times ahead of where you started.

The logic is undeniable.

Today I attempted the last removal experience in my new old home – to sort and re-box all the Lego I’d bought for ‘TheWifeWhoHasManyFaces’.

She’ll be keeping her precious pirate ships – the rest I originally planned to box and sell on. In the end I actually gave them to an Autistic Kids Care Home.

Once I laid it all out to begin I could not stop crying. So I messaged family and friends. Planned to go for a walk and then eat.

All those Lego Movie toys represented a huge investment and a statement of feeling and intent on my part. – and I’d managed to locate every single Lego Figure & Set from that movie over the last 6 years.

On the 14th of February 2014 after watching the Lego Movie with ‘TheWifeOfManyNames’ my universe changed, my outlook changed.

She’d watched it earlier with a friend as I couldn’t get out of school, and had booked the tickets before my placement had started. She said she loved it even more the second time.

This was the day I focused myself on being a better human, a better partner, and allowed myself to begin to dream about starting a family, with someone who I chose to shower in love every day. I hoped one day I would marry this woman I’d found.

That to me, is the loving and nurturing environment, and is the best place to bring up the next generation of people – who will continue this relay race of human existence.

As far as I am concerned that is all most of us can ever hope to leave behind.

If we’re lucky we may invent, or create or discover something that spreads beyond biological and social connections . No-one knows who lit the first fire.

But this human relay race, against time, disease, and accidents, is all the brighter for it.

Since last June I’ve had to face a lot of little deaths of the self, my dreams, and my memories. But as I like to remind myself, a tree can have deep roots. It can storm all seasons. It will regrow in spring, and have blossomed before summer is out.

Even in the harshest conditions some small growth will occur. And barring events outside of the trees control, it will persist.


““Life is nothing but a continuing dance of birth and death, a dance of change.”

(aka Existence through many changes, “births and deaths”)


I have made some slow and steady changes since before ‘TheWifeWhoCreatesHerOwnDestruction’ started with her small revelations – and way before I turned from an emotional victim into a dispassionate scientist – looking at the nature of identity, human relationships, lies and truths.

However many of these changes are not new thoughts to me.

This intermittent blog, my two year dormant FaceSucks & Twatter accounts revealed to me that I have been seeking, sorting, and occasionally succeeding at finding small moments of enlightenment for as long as I can find.

The are many moments of happiness and enlightenment I’ve forgotten, but that must have happened for me to sit here and type these words.

Today while walking away my anguish at my loss, thoughts arose. Thoughts linked back to my 10 Happiness Helpers but formed into something far more personal.

  • “Say YES” – when the costs are negligible nor life endangering.
  • “Just ASK” – the universe will provide if you ask
  • “Reuse. Re-purpose. Recycle” – new things are wasteful, given what already exists
  • “Gratitude” – perspective – for that overpowers loss or want
  • “Create” – put in more than you take out from the human relay race & the planet
  • “One Percent Every Day” – Maths doesn’t care about my feelings, but I care about results

On that note before I continue to box up this Lego I’m going to make something for the home using some cheap tat, and a bit of imagination. Being a professional weirdo is all about combining things together and putting you’re stamp on it.

Those that get it will be attracted, those that don’t will be clueless, and those that get offended or upset by it – well those cunts can fuck right off.

Staring Ingredients:

2020-03-03 16.05.39

  • One Horribly Tacky Outdoor Solar Light Buddha
  • One Candle Holder
  • One Brass Incense Holder
  • One Tin Matt Gray Varnish
  • One Tin Army Painter Dip
  • One Bottle Matt Varnish

The Aloe Vera plant looks lonely on the kitchen window ledge after a month of de-cluttering and re-thinking my home.

I use this space to do my yoga each morning. So a little Buddha to remind me of the cycle of life and self reflection one side, and a clean and tidy space to burn my “Namaste” incense to aid meditation and lessen distractions on the other.

This is a nice bit of self-love before I cross back into a necessary self-hurt session.

And don’t panic, all these thoughts didn’t come out like this – I’ve been sorting early morning ideas and notes.. the buddha and the incense holder – that was most definitely embracing the moment. Following through is the easy bit!

Thanks for reading, I bow to you.

Namaste.

Statistics, Maths & Elections

Ah.. Elections.

Final national results are in for the recent Local Elections for councillor seats.

Con

Lab

Lib Dem

Other

Green

Ukip

Net Change

-1,269

-63

676

285

185

-36

Hold

3,477

1,776

668

764

77

11

Gain

82

244

683

435

188

20

Lost

1,351

307

7

150

3

56

Total

3,559

2,020

1,351

1,199

265

31

I’m not sure why most reviews ignore the continued growth of Independent seat winners, or the fact that electoral Boundaries have changed since previous election cycle, or why UKIP receives more reporting than Independents or Greens. But all of those are all thoughts for another day.

93 (-45) Councils are primarily dominated by the Conservatives

71(+36) Councils now have no overall dominant group.

60 (-6) Councils are primarily dominated by Labour

18 (+11) Councils are primarily dominated by Liberal Democrats

4(+3) Councils are primarily dominated by Independent Control

2 (+1) Councils are primarily dominated by Resident Association Control

FYI Greens are highest @ 2nd place in various councils. But no overall controls.

FYI UKIP are highest @ 3rd / 4th in various councils

What I continue to be focused on is the problem of our “Winner Takes All” aka “First Past The Post” (FPTP) system. How it effects who gets elected, how people vote, and how invested voters are in this democracy.

So as these are Local Elections I’m going to local into the available stats via the Wigan Council Website.

And then see what I can conclude, and to see what happens if I take these single person votes and apply a Proportional Representation (PR) system to the votes cast. No change in the ballot papers, and no crazy alternative vote system , or single transferable vote systems, which people bring up to confuse how simply a proportional system can be applied.

To be transparent before I work on the stats here are some of the thoughts I struggle with.

Was is JUST a Protest?

Was it a Brexit Protest?

REMAIN parties were – Liberal & Green. LEAVE parties – Con & Labour & UKIP

Politics & voting has always been a mess. We want transparency but the FPTP system creates a feeling of opacity. Local elections TEND to opposition parties – NOT governing party

Generally the National Turn out for Local elections is around 35%.

The last General was 69%.

The 2015 Referendum was 72%

We are NOT a 2 party system – but we use FPTP system.

Winners are responsible for ALL people in their constituency- not just their voters

People will not participate if they do note feel their vote has any effect

Do people Vote for what they want? Do the Vote against NOT what you they want? (Tactical Voting?)

Why do people reject PR – I often get told voting for PR, instead of voting for a person – they want to KNOW the individual? Do they think councillors and MPs work alone and aren’t always forming alliances?

Parties already ‘Parachute’ MPs/Councillors into ‘safe’ seats

Wouldn’t it be more constructive if councils worked on alliance of interest and problem solving – not tribal/party power?

You work with people you don’t agree with every day – isn’t that what builds a civilised society!?

These thoughts will effect how I read the statistics from the local Wigan election.

But as ever the mathematics – the numbers – cannot be faked. What they mean is up to you.

Wigan’s Population is estimated to be 320,000, with the Registered Electorate at 238,646. The Votes cast 64521 – or a Turnout 27.04%

25 Seats were contested. 4 Areas only had 3 options. 8 Areas had 4 options. 13 Areas had 5 options.

No Conservative in Pemberton. No UKIP in Bryn, Hindley Green, Worsley Mesnes, Standish. Liberals in 13 areas. Greens in 6. No Independents stood in Wigan Central, Worsley Mesnes, Orrell, or Lowton East.

*COULD YOU CONCLUDE THAT PARTIES ARE NOT INVESTED IN ALL AREAS IF THEY DON’T FIELD A CANDIDATE?

How did the numbers pan out across all 25 areas?

Median

Position

Party

Average %

By Area

Highest % By Area

Lowest

% By Area

Vote

% Overall

Electorate

% Overall

Residents

% Overall

1

Labour

41.89%

58.53%

21.23%

41.01%

11%

8%

2

Independents

26.28%

54.75%

6.51%

21.22%

6%

4%

3

UKIP

17.68%

27.81%

9.33%

14.26%

4%

3%

4

Conservative

15.73%

60.02%

4.80%

16.40%

4%

3%

4

Green

10.12%

13.17%

7.03%

2.39%

1%

0%

5

Liberals

7.39%

18.14%

2.77%

3.83%

1%

1%

Spoilt

0.87%

3.82%

0.24%

0.89%

0%

0%

100.00%

First column shows the most common position each grouping finished in.

As is clear there is an overall Labour dominance. But beyond that things are not as clear.

Despite most often coming 3rd. UKIP received the 4th largest votes overall. The Conservatives got more votes overall, but finished worse positionally under FPTP. There are similar patterns with Liberals & Greens.

I did notice almost 4 out of every 100 voters in Worsley Mesnes spoilt their ballot paper – given a Con/Lab/Lib ballot only – this was massively outside all the other spoilt ballot counts. I have spoilt ballots in the past because I could not vote for any of the options I was given. I have to wonder if this outlier is related here.

4 out of 10 active voters, but only 11 out of every 100 registered voters actually voted for Labour.

That hardly seems like a dominant group does it? Why is that? If the councillor chooses to only represent their voters, there are choosing to only act on behalf of 8 out of every 100 residents.

I’m not surprised people are disillusioned given these results.

What percentage of votes in each area were needed to get to each position?

1st Place % Average

1st Place % Max

1st Place % Min

45%

60%

31%

2nd Place % Average

2nd Place % Max

2nd Place % Min

27%

39%

18%

3rd Place % Average

3rd Place % Max

3rd Place % Min

15%

25%

7%

4th Place % Average

4th Place % Max

4th Place % Min

11%

25%

5%

5th Place % Average

5th Place % Max

5th Place % Min

6%

11%

3%

So it was possible to win a seat with as low as 31% of the vote in an area. And below that there is overlap in each category. On average 45% to win a FPTP election means that more than half the votes are negated. So more than half the voters would be entitled to conclude their vote means nothing in the end.

From the raw data only 7 Seats had a first place with a 50%+ Majority 4 Labour 2 Independent 1 Conservative, For 18 other seats more people didn’t vote for the winner than did. Their vote was negated.

What were the results?

Actual Seats

Vote

% Overall

Electorate

% Overall

Labour

20

41.01%

11%

Independent

3

21.22%

6%

Conservative

2

16.40%

4%

UKIP

0

14.26%

4%

Liberal

0

3.83%

1%

Green

0

2.39%

1%

Spoilt

0.89%

0%

100.00%

There you go. Four fifths of the seats went to Labour, with two fifths of the vote, and only one tenth of the electorate actually actively choosing them.

What would happen under PR?

There are various PR methodologies – I’m not going to delve into the mathematics unless requested.

But here are the results.

 

Actual

Straight %

Webster

Sainte Lague

De Hondt

Vote

% Overall

Electorate

% Overall

Labour

20

10

10

11

41.01%

11%

Independent

3

5

5

5

21.22%

6%

Conservative

2

4

4

4

16.40%

4%

UKIP

0

4

4

4

14.26%

4%

Liberal

0

1

1

1

3.83%

1%

Green

0

1

1

0

2.39%

1%

Spoilt

0.89%

I would love to know how would voting change if people knew their vote for something would count. I know that although I don’t agree with all parties, a PR result more closely represents the actual votes cast. Especially given that 7 out of 10 registered people didn’t even vote.

FPTP is not representing the will of the voters.

I have all data & calculations on a spreadsheet if anyone wants it.

Oldhammer 40k – When Fun Beats ‘Rulez’ Pt. 1

1. Setup

What happens when two Oldhammer fans catch up for the first time face-to-face in too long?

Models get busted out. A shed gets filled.

And dice plans don’t work out the way you expect.

This weekend over two nights two games were played.  Both games were Dan T.  Aka “The Indestructible Celt”  Vs myself Shaun A. Aka “Ming The Mirthless”

2. Marines Advance2.1 Marines Advance

We ended up settling for some Imperial Guards Vs Space Marines the first night – calling them Renegade Imperial Guard, as they were Ming’s team you could even suggest a chaotic taint. Thus the Space Marines were a small advance ‘Purifying’ team sent in to check for signs of chaos taint.

Note to self: Don’t I have an entire box of Chaos Cultists & Proxies somewhere as yet un-built?

These were all based on stats and equipment from the Rogue Trader Compendiums – including original 1st Edition Space Marine stats [T-3] – marines just used to have better equipment and weapons choices – so that’s how we modelled the set-up.

FYI a certain evil Ming once got his Chaos Marines equipped with Nukes and Viral weapons and virtually wiped out an entire Guard platoon in a few shots. Ah… Blood for the Blood God.

Renegade Imperial Guard:

  • 1x Commissar Major Hero – basic and standard equipment
  • 2x Tactical Squads – basic and standard equipment
  • 1x Ogryn Squad – basic and standard + mesh armour and ripper gun for the leader

Purifying Space Marines Advance Team:

  • 1x Major Hero Tech Marine – basic and standard equipment + multilaser rapier gun platform
  • 1x 5 Marine Tactical Squad – basic and standard equipment + multimelta, leader with chainsword and jump packs
  • 1x 5 Marine Assault Squad – basic and standard equipment + 1x power fist, 1x power axe, 1x flamer, 1x heavy bolter

The Marine Assault Squads had a pretty non standard mix of weapons, but we decided to just use the oldest metal marines The Indy Celt had.

So yes that’s all original late 80/ early 90s metal on the game table – and then play it WYSIWYG.

3.1 Guard Advance

We’re both more that capable of mis-remembering rules, using rules from another edition, game or inventing mechanics on the spot.

We have both over the years become frustrated with UGO-IGO. But instead of a simple alternating unit actions – the suggestion this time from Indy Celt was using playing cards.

  1. A card for each squad for one team in red.
  2. A card for each squad of the other team in black.
  3. Shuffle the deck, then pick and activate a unit.
  4. When all cards have been picked, shuffle the used pile and start again.
  5. Squad dead? Take a matching coloured card out.
  6. ????
  7. Profit aka Fun!

6. Woods For Cover

There was a lot of initial scurrying around – with the Ogryns marauding around very slowly through rivers, Marines jumping around from cover to cover – either of walls or woods. And the Imperial Guard made their way uphill.

At one point the Comms tower seemed important. I suspect in hindsight it’s an old chess habit of control the centre, control the game.

Afterwards I  argued a few angry Ogryns stomped out the chance of the Marines calling for backup. Or they might have just knocked out the wires in passing. They are relatively dumb after all.

7. Orgyn Advance8. Marines Side Sweep

Just as there was about to be some significant melee between Ogryn & Marine units – The Tech-marine with Rapier weapons platform rolled into line of sight of the Guard units up on  the hill.

The first roll by the advanced & very well equipped Tech-marine was a 1. A fluff  – with the biggest & deadliest weapon in the field.

The Renegade Guard had no idea what had occurred.

And even if they had, they most likely would have run!

9. Rapier Miss - More 1s10. Grenades!

The Tactical Marine Squad picked off wood hiding Guards with ease – and the retaliatory grenade went off target. 3 blood markers for lost Guard – 1 blood marker for a lost Marine. Yes, that’s the Guard taking themselves out.

It was at this point Indy Celt suggested use of some extra game elements to keep things interesting.

The card selection for turn move was already keeping things highly unpredictable – as a good battle should be.

11. Orgyn Stomps

The new element?

A nice giant roaming Dinosaur – a T-Rex nicked from his daughter’s play box – So in the end we did put a plastic model on the table – but at least it was fully painted.

12. Dinosaur Spotted

The Giant Dinosaur is in the rule book on Pg.221. Rogue Trader has all sorts of scenario & plot & campaign elements built in. But non of it is compulsory.

One of the early compendiums even has rules for programming robots with auto commands. But that’s a whole other story from another game…

13. State of Play

At this point the battle field had been split into two areas – Renegade Orgyns all shouts and smashes on top of  one remaining Tac Marine squad.

On the other side the Renegade Commander was performing an ‘Operation Meat Shield’ with his troops to avoid the wrath of the pursuing zealous Purifying Marines

17. Rapier - Miss Again

As the cards continued to randomise which unit got to act, or react, the Tech-marine fired his multi-laser rapier at the scurrying guard – but if you’re paying attention, yes that’s another 1, another complete miss!

18. Marines Run!

The battle continues to spiral into the madness that is the fog-of-war – smashy Ogryns actually routed the marines – who proceeded to run from the battlefield. (!?!?!)

19. Plucky Guard - Direct Hit

Next the solitary Lascannon Trooper  – and really the only high yield weapon on the Renegade’s side – one shotted the rapier as it was moved into line of sight.

I could feel the fuming Tech-marine across the battlefield.

20. Orgyn Swimming.

At some point in every game, the best laid plans devolve into chaos.

The previously panicked Marines regained their resolve, but at the same time, the Renegade Commander became increasingly emboldened, and with numbers attempted to swamp the remaining Marines on this side of the battlefield.

21. Guard Full Attack22. Marines Dance

Whilst this occurred on the other side of the table – the Tech-marine and the remaining Assault Marines began to sweep out of the way of the T-Rex and the howling Orgyn.

The Red Mist aka the hint of Khorne, finally shows itself in the Renegade Guard.

They turned, and shot straight at the Dino.

23. Itchy Trigger Finger24. Orgyn SMASH

The multi-melta Marine on this side of the battlefield was seemingly battle weary & wandering around directionless.

The Tech-marine failed to act, and was savaged by the raging Orgyns, while at the same time the T-Rex thundered across the battlefield towards the tasting looking Guard.

25. Dino Charge26. Guard Panic!

For once the Guard performed as expected, and turned and ran! Who wouldn’t given the scale of the attacker? – the Renegade Commander wasn’t present to shoot deserters.

27. Ogryn Atttack Big Green Thing

With a roar the Orgyns continued to stomp around and rear assaulted the T-rex – but that didn’t really matter as they couldn’t actually hurt it! They are indeed to stupid to care.

The random cards then enabled both players favourite shot of the game – the Lascannon Trooper who’d aced everything else – took aim, and shot the T-Rex down first attempt.

We both couldn’t stop laughing… while we laughed, the Orgyns tucked into a ‘dinner’ meal of scorched T-Rex flesh. And well deserved their feast was.

28. Las-Hero!

There aren’t photos of just how many troops that one Lascannon Trooper shot – but to borrow a Starship Troopers reference – he would absolutely be the lead character in a promotional video – sadly he’s a Renegade – so it’s more likely Khorne would grant him a gift. And the Realms of Chaos books have some amazingly useless ‘gifts’ that would likely be bestowed.

Battle Summary

  • I absolutely loved the variation to the ebb & flow of battle the card based unit turn system created. Every change in the flow created the need to recalculate. It even created the swamping effect of numerical advantage, but also allowed for that ‘lucky run’ which the eventually outnumbered marines unluckily didn’t capitalise on. I would love to use this mechanic again.
  • The dice rolls were extreme, with one model almost every turn hitting maximum hit, and the most powerful unit on the field missing EVERY time. Statistically running this game again, it would be almost impossible to recreate.
  • The army lists were not ‘balanced’ – the whole game was more a “What if Scenario” imposing a narrative onto the game structure – and the non-player element of the Dinosaur reminded me why I used to like having random Terrain obstacles & effects to further randomise the mix.

And no we didn’t play all rules correctly. But the players are the ultimate arbiters of what they do – not the rulebook. I don’t think we even looked after recording some basic stat lines

  • Playing a game against an opponent who isn’t focused on optimal Math-hammer gaming is something I miss & that definitely killed my feel of later editions of W40k. Maybe I just don’t believe that gaming needs to be even or even fair. It just needs to be agreed. This game had a narrative – and that made the whole evening much more memorable.

And that’s why I’m still modelling, painting, and trying out games.

My inner man-child still likes to have fun.

LATE EDIT: I’ve just been reminded that the multi-laser rapier had follow on fire hitting on 2+.. so yeah The Renegade Guard definitely had a chaos blessing that night!:

NEXT TIME…

The same weekend we constructed a scenario to see just how tough a 10 man unit of Terminator Marines would be when assaulting an infinite supply of Genestealers on a Genestealer hive…. Unbalanced? Yes? Fun? Hell yes.

 

Insomnia, Internet, & Inspiration

Well some things change..and yet..

4 years after starting renovating a house, 2 years after being forced from a job I loved, but most importantly 6 months, and a smattering of days after I got married, I find myself unable to sleep.

And it’s not like I’ve tried or don’t know how. Sadly I think the off script mediation from the doctors has had the opposite effect. Rather than sleep, I just can’t stop the mind whenever I stop focusing on breathing.

Is it universal irony that earlier this evening I was talking to a Mike about better sleep strategies?

I know too many Mikes according to the wife & I freely admit that sometimes I keep which one it is unclear to see if she can work it out.

So as a wise man once said many years ago to me in my IT days: “I have taken a dump, and everything seems to be ok now” Sadly he didn’t see the unintended double meaning. .

So here I am dumping my head out, the final attempt to get actual sleep and not just deep mediation on my breath and body for hours on end.

And I’ll begin the dump at the end, and work backwards.

I’ve just discovered while resetting the login credentials for here that while the Website for CACK Wargames club is defunct – it seems they are still active on Facebook. I haven’t been active on there since 2017, I abandoned Twitter in 2018

I’ve made progress on my models over the last two months, almost 90 models painted to a completed level I am happy with. I even spent the evening sticking my balls in their bottoms. PVA glue and cheap 3mm metal ball bearings provide a nice load.

I’ve sorted 2 boxes of other models. Repaired one for painting and found one to paint. I seem to be enjoying painting, which is odd. But my fine motor skills are definitely better than 3 years ago. I wonder if all that late night gluing has done its sneaky trick again..

Which then brings me back to making lists and notes, even tonight I’ve filled a post it note in 5 minutes, thankfully this year I may have a tool to prevent note paralysis. It’s called ‘Trello’ and Mrs Ming has even started using it for work.

It has definitely helped me control both my ability to procrastinate, and my habit of starting new projects when others are incomplete.

Let me just leave a Pros & Cons Analysis of my recent life and wellbeing status in this pre-dawn, post meditation, purely train of thought flow

PROS

* Removing fried foods, pastry, hard fat, cheese, milk, & sugar as anything but mouthfuls from my diet is a hard long term set of habits to be having success in changing. Also wow; Vitamin B supplements…why have I never taken you before?

* My daily goals of 2+ litres of water, yoga, cleaning twice , & hunting out a good conversation gets easier the more I repeat it. I’ve also started on a new daily foreign language challenge.

* De-cluttering the home has not de-cluttered my mind. I think I’ll always spin mentally like an orchestra made of one man bands all in a different key, but I’ve re-found my ability to make my thoughts sing for me, and not I to be forced to dance to my thoughts

* I’m so lucky to have a strong, caring, beautiful, passionate, and driven wi-fey who loves and supports me. I’m so happy I’ve sorted my diet. I’m lucky I’ve found a decent job that fits around her need to get her business to be successful. Also 4am erections.

* I have only 8 working days left this month, and lots of plans in the making.

* I’m having fun with my hobbies of gaming, wargaming, yoga, reading, & music

* I’ve spoken more and spent more time with family and good friends than I have since, well, ever!

CONS

* My post gall bladder operation pain is not going anywhere. I am going to need to find a solution I haven’t tried yet in the last 2 years. I am open to suggestions, however BUPA is my next expensive step.

* Improving my sleep routine so I more often get 4 hrs in a night is better now that any time post op. And yet despite taking enough meds to knock out a blue whale here I am at 6:30 am..

* I still don’t have all the answers to life, nor the time and energy to ask the right questions of my life. I can count 4 serious breakdowns in my life. I may never be free of them.


NB To Future Ming

1) Your happiness helpers work for you, use them

2) You only have so many fucks to give in life use them wisely

3) If people don’t like what you say, do, act like, look like or believe, and that’s an issue they have to try and force you to change, tell them to fuck off.

4) Focus on finding connections and similarities. Despite the attitude of the majority these days, most people have more in common than they have differences

Ming’s 10 Happiness Helpers Mk.2?

My own words, but not necessarily original ideas.

#YMMV

3 Years Ago I made these:

  1. Live & Let Live
  2. Be Giving Of Yourself To Others
  3. Proceed Calmly
  4. Consumerism Breeds Anxiety
  5. Take A Family Day Every Week
  6. Find Dignified Work
  7. Respect & Care For The Earth
  8. Stop Being Negative
  9. Don’t Preach Just Dialogue
  10. Work For Peace

Last Night trying to repeat from memory I wrote these:

  1. Live & Let Live
  2. Proceed Calmly
  3. Work For Peace
  4. Take A Family Day Every Week
  5. Respect The Earth
  6.  Be Giving Of Yourself
  7. Be Gentle With Yourself
  8. Speak Your Truth
  9. Learn Something Every Day
  10. Do Something That Scares You.

 

Some things change it seems, some things stay the same.

To be fair I’m not looking for all the answers.

I’m still working out better questions.

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“Any system without the means to change, is without the means of it’s own survival” Anon

___________________________________________________

 

 

Tick. Tock. Tick Tock.

This picture of dots is not my idea.

But I do think it’s an elegant expression of one major piece of the puzzle every living human being has to deal with.

Our time is, individually, finite.

Start at 0, the birth of a new life, and reading left to right the weeks add up. Each row going down represents another year.

All of my problems I know do not take up all those dots, but they will always be there.  The knack is, literally, remembering to look at the bigger picture.

The second step has been to remember not to forget that it could all be over at any moment.  But I’m still just a partially hairless monkey. So while I’m not perfect, I’m persisting, so I’ll try to make something of the current and future dots!

There’ll be no more freebies from me. For anyone.

I no longer have the time. And I currently do not have the patience.

Unless it’s my love and passion.

At least one person in my life gets that for free.

 

Misinformation, Moments & Mentality

I question information given to me that I did not seek out.
I see so many people trying to fight for a better world.
I hear about so many people trying to protect all our lives.
1 read about people fighting systems bigger than individuals.

I feel there is so much good intent in all these actions.
I take small steps affect my corner of this wide wide world.
I reflect on how I act to improve how I interact with others.
I doubt the certainty of a good answer over a good question.

I fight to defend people who do not believe or act as I do.
I believe in debating and disagreement without loss of respect.
I dream that I can change myself.
I embrace my limits of my form and experiences.

I wonder at infinite possibilities of actions in every moment.
I define myself as the freedom to react to moments in my Life.
I try to choose my Life’s moments.
I know Life’s moments happen regardless.