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Rob Dean

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About Rob Dean

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  • Birthday 03/26/1961

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    Miniature wargaming (historical and fantasy), roleplaying games, board games, baking

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  1. I’ve been using my Instant Pot quite a bit the past year. It is relatively simple; the killer application from my point of view is the ability to cook with dry beans in a reasonable amount of time. Mine has a slow cooker/crock pot setting in addition to the pressure cooker function, but I have not tried it.
  2. I just got around to getting back to doing it, but my public library has been doing curbside book pick-up through most of Covid. You just have to browse the catalog (I almost said card catalog, showing my age...) instead of being able to browse anything. The Neanderthal book I’m reading was borrowed from the library.
  3. Certainly yes to the first...I was known to all of the librarians at my local public library and the school libraries. The library was the first important destination I used my bicycle to reach. School was not perhaps as challenging as it might have been, so through junior high and high school I was usually carrying an extra book for some personal reading. That was 40+ years ago, of course. Nowadays, I suppose it depends on what you mean by “much”. Considering only books (which have always been accompanied by miscellaneous side reading in magazines, newspapers, and, more recently, the net), I started noting what books I had FINISHED in 2001 as a result of participating in an online book club. I liked the habit, and have kept it up, so I have books counts for the last 20 years. It’s never gotten better than 2001 when I finished 141 books (including rereads), and the worst years were 2016 (at 31) and 2010 (at 33). <Aside: 2010 was the year my son was skating competitively, so I know why I was busy...I really have no idea what the problem was in 2016.> 2019 and 2020 were both at 66, which is five and a half per month on the average. (Is that much?) This year, though, is different. My wife and I listen to Getchen Rubin’s “Happier” podcast during our commutes. (We’re down to one day a week, but it is on Wednesday, when “Happier” drops.) She proposed a challenge to listeners to read 21 minutes a day for the year, since so many listeners have commented over the years on wanting to read more. That seemed like a manageable goal, so I rearranged my schedule to start with a book in the morning with my first cup of coffee rather than scroll the news. Reading regularly again has triggered a desire to do more of it, so I am back to squeezing additional reading elsewhere in the day and cutting back on net time, and have had a couple of serious weekend binges already. So, at the end of February I had logged 23 books, a pace that would rival 2001. This morning I’m reading Kindred by Rebecca Sykes, a 2020 survey of what we now think we know about the Neanderthals (not to be confused with Kindred by Octavia Butler, a time travel slave narrative, which I read last month). The stack is getting a little deep; I’ve got bookmarks in a book on the French Revolutionary Wars, one on early colonial conflict on the Atlantic seaboard, and one in a collection of Cordwainer Smith short stories as well. (And I dipped into The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson for unknown reasons last night.) Hmmm...I guess the answer is “Yes and Yes”. With two moves since 2013, my collection has been culled considerably. The last time I counted it was under 800 books...
  4. “Monday Best” is a new term to me, too. My office has adapted to the pandemic by sending most everyone home, so, since last July or so, I have been physically showing up only on Wednesday. So, for a work-at-home Monday, it’s usually a geeky t-shirt, fleece, and blue jeans at this cold time of the year; geeky t-shirt and cargo shorts duirng the summer. I have to have pockets...
  5. And, finally, yesterday I cleared off my desk, unlimbered my travel paint kit, and finished ONE Prince August home cast orc archer. I don’t even want to think how long this guy has been sitting around since he was primed. (5-6 years, I think...) So, painting block broken...? We’ll see.
  6. I am not sure why it has tunred out this way, but this has been a dead month for hobbies. I am taking a break from clearing my desk and re-ordering my travel paint kit, but no brush has been dipped in paint in ~3 months. I think next month I will take a break from announcing any goals...
  7. In 50 years, probably...but it does depend on how one defines the hobby. Most recently, we brought on a few new people at work because most of us are of retirement age, and one of them was coming to wargames club meetings just before everything locked down. I didn’t have him trying to paint yet, so it’s too soon to tell. I feel like the real answer, though, is that I brought my children up in the hobby. Currently my younger one is preoccupied with grad school (in chemistry), but he’s continuing to read and research for hobby stuff, as well as play Magic and board games, so I expect him back eventually. My older son (31 next week) is pretty committed. His current painting project is Mayans (in 1/72 scale) as part of a Mayan/Aztec/Spanish matched opponent armies set for the compact battle game De Bellis Antiquitatis. Here’s a workbench progress picture he sent last week:
  8. Bridges are pretty useful in miniatures games, so I have a collection ....
  9. That came out well. The community supported agriculture greenhouses have apparently been growing chard this winter; it’s been so good that I’m sorry I never experimented with it in earlier years.
  10. Long lead element of dinner (roast potatoes and turnips) is in the oven; now I need to figure out which order to do the pork chops in the cast iron skillet and the sauteed rainbow chard in ...
  11. I love Fringe. I watched all of Once Upon a Time, but have to say that the quality was a bit variable...
  12. It’s Ellen Stone, isn’t it? Ellen Page is the former name of the actor whose proper name I can’t recall this morning. I have one of those I did in green as an alien, to make use of the not-quite-human face...
  13. Like others, I expect that Stargrave will up my interest in painting SF figures... Sounds like a challenge, though ... Find something to do with those figures, even it’s a “Barrier Peaks” style thing for your D&D game...
  14. Nothing worth mentioning...my parents were always very supportive of me and my brother, so we were signed up for classes or lessons as it appealed, they attended all our shows/concerts, and Mom made snacks for all the D&D players perpetually in the basement...
  15. Back around to the Year of the Ox, are we? That’s my sign, and 1961 was apparently a metal year, so I guess I should use this guy more often: (It’s an ancient Grenadier figure, W-61, from about 1976...)
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