Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Geocaching

I haven't done much geocaching in the last few months, and written about it even less, but today was a "must do" in terms of getting a cache, if at all possible. I suspect there are a great many geocachers out there who felt the same way. I am not aggressively going after filling as many empty dates on the calendar as possible, but I am adding a few here and there. Since I began caching less than two years ago, this is my first Leap Day opportunity, and if I failed to get a find today my next opportunity would be in 2016. I hope to be a lot closer to filling in my calendar by then. As it turns out, my having been mostly inactive for a while means that I had a number of newer cache hides that looked like they would be easy to get. With rain  forecast for the afternoon, I decided to stop for one on the way to work. It was as easy as expected, and so with very little effort, I get to check Leap Day off my list...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Day at the Circus

Julia had gone to the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey circus this past Thursday evening with a youth group from the Mary Campbell Center. She loved it, came home all excited, and begged Amp and I to take the whole family this weekend before it left town. So that's what we did.

We got four tickets for the 3pm matinee show this afternoon. We got best available seats, which turned out to be one section over and the same row from where Amp and I had Flyers season tickets for 4 years (3 of them in this building).

The show was very similar to what I remember the last time we went several years ago. Clowns, many different kinds of acrobatic acts, lions and tigers, elephants, more acrobatics, trained dogs and cats, and more acrobatics. Two of the more interesting things were me were the horse riding acrobatics and a motorcycle stunt where they had as many as 8 little motorcycles riding around simultaneously inside a small metal spherical cage.

I think we all enjoyed ourselves, to a point, although we liked different parts of it. Amp and I liked the acrobatics and the stunts. In that respect it was a little bit like the kind of thing you see at a Cirque de Soleil show. The kids liked some of that, but liked the animal tricks. That part I could for the most part have done without. Training cats and dogs to do all sorts of wacky stunts is one thing (and that part was entertaining), but I have no interest whatsoever in seeing majestic wild animals like lions, tigers and elephants roll over and pay dead on command, or jump around on little stools. Something about that strikes me as wrong. Or at least unnecessary. And that is without even getting into the whole discussion of whether the animals are treated well or not. The protesters outside every show with their gruesome pictures would have you believe the animals are virtually tortured. I hope that is not true.

One way or another, I don't think we will be going back to the circus anytime soon. It was ok, but we have now done it twice with the kids, and twice is enough for me. And I don't think the kids loved it so much that they will be pushing hard to go again. But you never know...

Painting Table - February

I have been painting again recently after one of my periodic bouts of inactivity, and I was noticing the other night that right at this moment I have to have to oddest collection of stuff that I have ever had in progress on the table at one point in time. I gathered up a few samples of each bunch and took a picture.

On either end of the front row is a medieval knight figure, flanking a few Warhammer fantasy Empire archers. Off to the left are 3 Warhammer 40k Tyranids (science fiction bug-things like in Alien or Starship Troopers). These go along with the Imperial Guard walker at back right. Empire fantasy Knights in blue and red schemes are in the middle. The are sandwiched between pieces of a Vampire army for them to fight - almost completed Dire Wolves in front and assembled but un-primed skeleton cavalry behind. Each of these samplings is the tip of its own iceberg.

Why the fantasy and sci-fi figures all of a sudden? Good question. I'm not really sure what possessed me to take the plunge other than that I have always had wide ranging interests, and that despite the ridiculous pricing, I have always been greatly impressed with the quality of Games Workshop's figures. I have periodically bought a box of this or that over the years, but never really done anything with them other than assemble some of them. For whatever reason, the thing that got me out of my painting doldrums this time around was the decision to pull out some of these figures and paint something completely different. And these are completely different...