Friday, 19 September 2014

Scotland: Phew!

I am rather pleased that voters in Scotland have decided against independence. I am not triumphant about it, just quietly pleased. I really didn't want to see the Union dismembered, but if it had been the will of the folk living there, it would have been a sad but necessary thing to accept. Happily, that has not happened. Nonetheless, my sincere sympathies go to my friends who were in favour of independence. However, the division in support is so marked that it's clear voters in Scotland are distinctly unhappy about the present state of politics in the UK. Many spoke of voting for independence as though it was about escaping the clutches of unpopular London, which is probably a perspective shared by much of the country. That is to say, there is a feeling that the capital disproportionately sucks talent, people and money from the rest of the country.

Some years ago, the Labour government came up with the idea of regional assemblies for the UK, which didn't fly in part because folk weren't keen on another layer of untrustworthy politicians slicing off taxpayers' money. Given how successful the Scottish devolution campaign has been in acquiring additional powers and funds for such a small proportion of the inhabitants of the UK, however, I would wager this notion, were it resurrected, would see more support this time around.

That and other considerations are in the future. For now, I'm simply pleased voters in Scotland decided against leaving the Union. Hopefully we can try to sort things out together.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Fantasy Flight Games - Star Wars: Armada

Last night, as I write this, I just received the best news ever. In addition to X-Wing, which deals with fighter combat in the Star Was universe, FFG are set to release a capital ship combat game in early 2015. I have been wanting and waiting for an official SW capship game since I read Timothy Zahn's first Thrawn book in the nineties, so more than half my life. This is the most exciting hobby news I have heard in an age. Announcement here. The initial look of the box is three pre-painted capital ships (Imperial Victory-class Star Destroyer, presumably Rebel Nebulon-B Frigate and Corellian Corvette) with some unpainted fighters denoting squadrons. Squinting at the display of contents, I can make out cards for Grand Moff Tarkin and General Dodonna, a character in white with an Imperial Naval Trooper behind him (so perhaps Yularen of Intelligence), a woman in front of what seems to be an Imperial-style window (so possibly Daala or Isard), and a load of cards I can't identify. If these cards are the same size as those used for FFG's X-Wing game, enterprising folks should be ale to get a idea of the size of the VSD and other modes. The scale of the capital ships looks a bit inconsistent to me. I wouldn't expect the fighters to be to scale, as they'd be fighting angels for room on the head of a pin. This may be inevitable, as the iconic corvette is only one sixth as long as this small Star Destroyer (and only half the length of the Nebulon-B) if rendered in the same scale. We'll see. Anyway, may the Force be with you, folks!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

The Keyboard Curse

Even I have to admit to being less than balletic in my movements. So when I accidentally tipped a glass of coke over my laptop some time ago, it was infuriating, but hardly unpredictable. It didn't much matter that half the keyboard was killed, happily, as I've a wireless USB mouse and keyboard connection. However, when the keyboard subsequently died of old age (was it perhaps as old as four whole years?) it was a bit of a pain. Especially as we didn't seem to have any spares in the house. After a week or two of bashing at the on-screen keyboard, it turned out Dad hadn't heard me, so I'm back with a brand old keyboard. I'll try to get some things up shortly.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

A little renovation

We've been doing a spot of carpentry here. The painting is largely finished, although a couple of external windows are getting a bit of special attention. Here are some shots of a downstairs door. The duller portions of blue hadn't seen a lick of paint since some time in the '90s, apparently. The other picture is the carpentry I mentioned. From the garden I realised the wood on one of our windows had quite rotted away. Like a flash my brother had removed it, and we spent three hours removing the damaged section and fashioning a replacement. The refurbished part is going up in an hour or two. Prospective burglars reading this should note that there are four of us in the house, and they'll need Spiderman-like agility to reach the missing window! I'll do my best to get a shot for comparison, but the weather's gone a bit grey here, so a similarly sunny picture might demand a day or two.

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