Monthly Archives: June 2010

Cambridge Journal: Day -3

So here it is three days before I board the plane to head toward England and my summer studies at the University of Cambridge. I’ve got a lot of stuff to do between now and then, and here I sit blogging while I should be getting started on it. But you’ve got to start these things somewhere, so I thought I’d start this journal during the preparation activities.

The first half of the summer semester is just about over. I’m currently maintaining a 96% in that class (Principles of Human Geography) according to the Blackboard website, and reckon it’ll probably stay around there. Tomorrow is the last day that class will meet, and I’ve got a couple of one page papers to write, a short answer question of some kind and a couple of online quizzes. It’s been an interesting class, much more so than I expected it would be.

I don’t even own an appropriate suitcase to go to another country with, is the funny thing. I have an old piece of luggage that I was using for my kendo gear, but I think it’s probably much too big since I don’t want to have to pay extra luggage fees. I borrowed a suitcase from my parents today, one I think they bought for their cruise last year. I know what clothes I want to take, and have an idea of what other things, but I don’t know how the weight is all going to pan out. Airlines have got crazy about weight limits and fees since oil prices started climbing.

So anyway, like I said I’ve got a ton of stuff to do, and I need to get on it. I will be updating a “Cambridge Journal” probably fairly often, so if you’re curious or just plain miss me (like I will miss you), it will be here for your reading and viewing enjoyment. I will maybe do another one tomorrow, probably do another one Friday, doubt I will do one on Saturday, and will definitely do one on Sunday. Sunday, the 4th of July, is when I will be arriving in London and moving into Trinity Hall, so at the very least I will post something saying I’m there as soon as I can. I don’t know what the internet situation will be like, so I can’t actually promise when things will show up, but I will definitely write something to post at the earliest possible opportunity.

Reviresco!

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Filed under Cambridge Journal, Learning, Right Living

1000pts Seize Ground CSMvIG

The warband of Jarl-Captain Bolverk and the 55th Cerberan Armored Guard clashed in deadly combat again today. The battle this day was to deny the enemy valuable assets while waiting for reinforcements from the Fleet, who were engaged with the Imperial Navy further out in the system. The two combatants arrayed against one another in spearhead formation, fighting for three strategic points amidst the bombed out ruins of an outlaying settlement. The 4th Wælheim Free Company brought the 4th & 8th Assault Squads (8 Berzerkers, Champion w/PF&MB), The Jarl’s Comitatus (6 Terminators, 4PF, 1RAC, 1 PW), the 1oth Armor Squad’s Defiler, and the Jarl himself accompanied 4th Assault Squad “Bone Eaters” carrying his Bloodfeeder Axe. The Imperials brought 4 Leman Russ tanks variants, a Company HQ squad, a Platoon HQ and 3 squads of Veteran Infantry. The Chaos Marines won the initiative and rushed to seize the first objective as they set up to receive the enemy, and the Guard came rumbling straight in to meet them.

The first round of combat saw the 55th attempt to seize the initiative from the 4th and fail. The Jarl ordered his Comitatus to lay their Reaper behind the boulders on the hill and surround the first objective to protect it. The 10th’s Defiler swung out to position itself to bring its battle cannon to bear, and the 4th and 8th squads rushed toward a second objective in their Rhinos. The 55th Armored split off into two thrusts, each supported by two tanks in squadron formation with the infantry out in front. A few shots were exchanged by both sides, with the 4th drawing first blood, albeit not much. Most of the firing this round was ineffective, though the Defiler was stunned by some heavy blows from the Guard tanks, which may well have been decisive.

In the second round of combat the Teeth Grinders (4th Squad) and the Shield Biters (8th Squad) pushed forward in the Rhinos and debarked to screen the objective and manoeuvre into a position from which to assault. The Defiler crew were helpless from the hard hit they took the previous round and were taken out by the meltaguns of the advancing infantry. An assault on Rhino 108 was attempted by the Guard, which failed miserably. Some other shots were traded, the most significant result being the Teeth Grinders losing seven Berzerkers from a Demolisher strike.

In the third round of combat things got interesting. Rhino 108 cleared a path through the Guard making a mad drive toward the enemy tanks. The Shield Biters followed in its wake, completely bypassing the confused Guardsmen who had been pushed out of the way. The 8th rounded on the 55th’s Platoon HQ and ground them to pieces with bolt pistol and chain-axe. Rhino 104 manoeuvred a bit and downed a Guardsman with its twin-linked bolters, right before the Teeth Grinders, or rather the Teeth Grinder’s Champion and Jarl Bolverk, charged into them and unleashed the bloodlust of Khorne upon them with a startling number of attacks due to the Jarl’s Daemon Weapon. The Shield Biters were still hacking the Platoon HQ to paste when the 55th dropped a barrage of revenge down, annihilating them. The Comitatus and the Guard traded shots, and one of the Jarl’s Thegns was among the casualties.

Reaper’s-eye view of the 55th Cerberus Armored moving in on the middle objective.

Jarl-Captain Bolverk and Huscarl-Leftenant Gapthrossnir of the 4th Assault Squad (Teeth Grinders), journeyed to Wælheim this round courtesy of an enormous ordnance round. They died doing what they loved: chasing the enemy across the battlefield. Rhino 104 moved into the woods at the objective in attempt to both deny it to the enemy and gain cover from the big guns on the tanks. It was not enough, unfortunately, and 104 was finally blown up.

After four rounds of intense fighting the battle was unexpectedly ended. The 55th received word from the Naval Command that their fleet had been ordered to withdraw, so the battle would not be a decisive one this day. The Comitatus had held true to their oaths to the Jarl and were standing fast on their objective. The infantry of the 55th were dug in on the middle objective, and nobody was anywhere near the third objective except the remains of Huscarl-Leftenant Farmatyr and his crew scattered around the burnt out hulk of 104. It was decided that it was a tactical draw.

“The Thegn paused to watch as the Imperial lifter departed the battlefield as the Fleet’s transports came in low and fast. On the horizon the smoke glowed eerily with flashes as the orbital bombardment of the hive commenced. Whose bombs were falling on the city? It didn’t matter anymore, the entire system was doomed. Naval troopers from the transports were loading the fallen Astartes into stasis pods and thralls were scouring the wreck of the Defiler as fast as they could, overseen by an anxious tech-priest. The bombardment would be here in minutes, but they’d be gone. And then they would do it all over again in some other luckless system. Yes. The blood would flow again.”

This is a work of “fan fiction”, and is not authorized or endorsed by Games Workshop Ltd. For a fuller explanation of copyright see this website’s legal disclaimer concerning third party intellectual property.

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The Big Catch-Up Blog

It’s been hectic. Yeah, verily. Getting my new laptop and then cleaning the house after the burglary and all that. Still finding things missing, but I figure I’m about 99% accounted for and moving on with my life. I’m almost halfway through the first term of the summer sessions, finally found all my software and installed it on the new laptop and have been living life at full speed again. Here is where I start catching back up with Romantic Antihero. I’ve been doing a lot of fun, positive things, I just haven’t been in a position to document it all. Cameras here, cell phones there, laptops who-knows-where and finagling new stuff to get it where I want it and all that. So this is going to be a mish-mash blog of cool stuff I’ve done, mostly in picture form.

This is the front of the Leavenworth Riverfront Community Center. Once a year there is a Veteran’s Administration ‘volunteer appreciation luncheon’, and as a VA volunteer I got invited. They give out awards for various things, and I’m pretty sure I worked over 100 hours (thus qualifying for a certificate), but I’m also pretty sure that I fail to turn in my hours quite a lot, so no certificate for me. I did get a neat key-chain and free lunch for myself and my father.

The food was good, which honestly surprised me, and the random company at our dinner table was pleasant. There were speeches I could hardly hear, and then a performance of a song that someone local wrote. It was very patriotic and fairly looong, though I always appreciate the sentiment that goes into such things.

Another random shot of people at the luncheon.

I tried, I really did, to get a better shot of the Leavenworth H.S. JROTC honor guard. There was a fair mix of people in the way, and by the time I could get to them with my camera this was the best I could do. Fun fact: this is the oldest Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps in the nation.

Once again I attended another fascinating General Meeting of the Kansas City chapter of the Japan-America Society. I was sure I had notes on my iPhone, but I can’t seem to find them right now, so I will have to fill in names and dates later if I can find them. But this was a great presentation on Japanese popular character design. Absolutely everything and everywhere in Japan has a mascot character, and as an industry it generates trillions of dollars a year. Trillions.

Leaving the JAS meeting and walking through the parking lot I hear this sinister mechanical voice. ‘Attention. You are being photographed for your own protection…’ What? I looked around expecting to see ED-209 or something, but finally identified the creepy robot-overlord voice as this box attached to the light pole. Which of course made me imagine this:

Of course it’s not the ever increasing presence of robot enforcers that worries. It’s their unseen nanite masters…

The week before the summer session at KU started I accompanied my parents down to Cairo, Georgia (KAY-roe, in the local vernacular, not like its namesake in Egypt), which is a charming little town that also happens to be where my paternal side of the family comes from. It was my father’s 50th high school reunion, and here he is in the lobby of the high school discussing where in the hell their trophies from the 1960’s got off to (Pa was a jock).

A lot of schools have generic nick-names that have nothing to do with the local community. Cairo is home to the Syrup Makers. Because making syrup was a local industry. It may still be, for all I know, but the point is I think it’s totally cool they have a name like that instead of some dumb thing like ‘Cairo Lions’ or ‘Cairo Tigers’ or ‘Cairo Bears’. Oh my. But anyway, this is an original syrup making rig assembled from different local historical pieces. There is a plaque on the shed saying where the parts come from, and while I was standing there some of the old guys were talking about watching some old guy walk a mule around one of these back when they were children. Behind where I was standing is the football stadium, and whenever a touchdown is scored fireworks are shot out of the chimney there, or so I was told. Neat.

My father and his youngest brother. It’s always good to go ‘down home’ and see family. I call it ‘down home’ even though I haven’t lived in that town, and haven’t been a resident of either Georgia or Alabama since I was five, but there it is, I guess it will always be ‘down home’ and Kansas will be ‘back home’. Life is complicated when you’re an Army brat.

If I am recalling the conversation correctly, this is the grave marker of my father’s grandfather. According to his birthdate he would have been around my age at the outbreak of the Civil War Mr. Lincoln’s War. The following artifact may have belonged to him:

This interesting artifact is in the possession of my uncle. It is a home-made plaque that was affixed over the door of a relative during the Civil War War of Southern Independence. It looks like it was made from a dog eared fence post, perhaps. There are three little holes on the bottom where it was nailed to the top of the door frame, and it looks like the design was poked with the tip of a small pocket knife or a nail. It was very cool to hold it and hear the story behind it. There was also an old family Bible with hand written birth and death records that was neat to look through. Pa claims there is a piece of paper somewhere in my grandmother’s things (she is deceased) that traces our family lineage all the way back to the Scots refugee who arrived in New York in the 18thCE fleeing from English retribution for ‘certain activities’ in the Borders region.

Time for some random stuff. This is my cat Bob. He lived on my parents roof before they moved out to the county. That was YEARS ago, and now he is a half deaf, fussy old codger of a feline. But also very sweet.

This is a ‘blue grass’ (wasn’t sure it fit, personally) band called Larry and His Flask, and they absolutely rock a live show. I just sort of happened into this show, mostly because I’m friends with people who work in the local music industry, and was bored with the people playing urban cowboy dress-up and posing attitudes when this band got up on stage and just made me forget how much I hate the hipster scene. They got up on stage and said, ‘We’re Larry and His Flask and we came here to dance, and I hope you did too!’ And boy were they not kidding. As soon as they music started the bass player, the STAND UP BASS player, grabs his instrument and jumps off the stage into the crowd and starts whirling around like a madman, playing his stand up bass the whole time. It was awesome, and they took turns jumping off stage and running around the venue while they played. And they were also very good.

I missed this tour, unfortunately, but it lives on in sticker form. Maybe I will get to see some ska greats when I’m in England next month.

Not a statue, though he’d like to think of himself as statue worthy. Just walking around KCMO in the middle of the night reflecting on life, breaking the seriousness of that with goofing off like we all used to before we got old…

This is a bust in the earth sciences building at KU. I took the photo because I thought it was totally weird that this guy’s nose was all shiney, and then found out the very next day that it’s touted as some sort of tradition to rub his nose before a test for good luck. My Geography professor claims she’s never seen a student do this, and proposed that only the tour groups do it. I never went on the tour, but after class I heard a tour group right outside the class talking about this supposed tradition.

I normally keep my gaming activities in the private area of the website, but this guy deserves some public mention for his epic heroism. This is the Bone Champion of the my Warhammer 40k army’s 2cnd Berserker squad. He had a rough day, but never let it get him down.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I expect to be making individual updates in the intended style soon.

Reviresco!

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Filed under Event, Family, Folk, Learning, Personal Reflection, Right Living, The Heathen Gods, University of Kansas