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Rob Dean

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Everything posted by Rob Dean

  1. Probably...Note that I never claimed to be able to type. ...
  2. As painting goes, I would certainly agree that the lines blur a lot. As far as painting for D&D goes, I feel like there’s a basic commonality to all things that we’ll be playing with (as opposed to shelving) and would feel they all belonged under the heading of “tabletop”.
  3. Just within the US, we received a Christmas card mailed on 21 Dec the day before yesterday. I’m not sure that the last of the Christmas cards has yet reached us.
  4. Yes. My day job has the job title of “chemical engineer”, and that’s what my degree is in, but my side job is/was freelance proofreader. When I say side job, I do mean in the official “receive 1099s, fill out a Schedule C” (US tax documents for our non-US readers)sort of way. Like many things in life, I just fell into this. My ex-wife and I married in 1987; she had been working in NYC for Bluejay Books, a F/SF publisher who went out of business about that same time. So she was tied into the publishing world, and was doing proofreading to tide her over before the weeding. Afterwards, she kept it going. Looking over her shoulder, I opined that it didn’t look that difficult. To make a long story short, I got a try out with a publisher that way, and once you’re working you can use the usual networking techniques to expand the pool of potential jobs. Necessary skills included excellent spelling, attention to detail, and a solid commitment to getting jobs back on time. (Typically two weeks...) For those not versed in the ins and outs of publishing, it goes like this: 1) Author writes a book and is assigned to an editor, who makes overarching suggestions like replacing characters, adding chapters, removing extraneous plot, etc. 2) When done, a manuscript goes to a copy editor, whose job is to clean up the spelling and grammar and do basic fact checking, produceing a marked-up manuscript. 3) The marked-up manuscript goes to a printer, who enters the text into whatever system they will use for printing and formats the pages, producing a proof copy 4) The proof copy and the marked up manuscript are sent to a proofreader, like me, whose job is primarily to ensure that the printer hasn’t messed anything up, but, the real world being what it is, one sometimes encounters problems that *should* have been fixed by the copy editor. I mark up the final copy with those cryptic proofreaders’ marks, and send it back. The printer then makes the corrections. 5) If changes were extensive, sometimes a second proof copy goes out, to ensure that the erros were all duly corrected and no new ones were introduced. This would usually be a different proofreader than the first, but it’s also a proofreader job. 6) After that it’s time to print and distribute. I haven’t been chasing work lately, so the last time someone requested my services was late 2018. So that’s where the Is/Was part comes in; I’m haven’t announced that I’m done, but I haven’t worked in two years either. Judging from the books I’m reading, I’d say that companies have been trying to do away with parts of this process for a while. Computer tools can help, but you can end up with situations where the computer introduces new errors such as turning the italics on to emphasize the word can, and then never turning it off again until you get to some other word that you needed to emphasize. Back in the late ‘80s, when I started, errors were often of the sort of random typing issues that you’d expect, given that they were literally re-typing the books (garbled words, entire dropped paragraphs, etc.), but more recently it’s been things that the copy editors should have caught (e.g. homonyms, or other properly spelled but incorrect words that will pass a computer spell checker) , or problems introduced by computers like the italics example, or stacks of hyphenated word breaks on sequential lines. My last ten years of work were mostly done for an academic publisher and the books were supposed to meet the American Psychological Association style guide (6th ed) for things like article citations. I feel like my gaming background was good training for remembering arbitrary rules like the one about how many authors a paper need to have before the first reference to it could be in the short form (e.g. “Smith et al.) versus spelling them all out. (6 is the answer, btw.). On the other hand, as I say, the copy editor was supposed to have dealt with that... That ended up being longer than I had intended. Income was pretty variable, and I couldn’t have lived on it, but it did pretty handily finance my miniatures hobby.
  5. Although the question of how it is that people’s monthly goals ended up landing here and including the “art” painters as well as the “speed/army” painters is valid. I think it was already that way when I wandered in back in 2013, so I just went with the flow.
  6. I think that’s vague enough to avoid spoilers. I am as far as digging out the box, plus several containers of ‘spare’ miniatures, and I will be repacking. For those in my circuit, keep an eye out for the international shipping donation envelope, which I will start by tucking into the log book. I’ll be retiring the current log book and starting a new one, I think; it’s been doing the rounds since Round 5 and there are only a small handful of pages left. It looks like the box should survive at least another couple of legs. I do have a feeling that I won’t beat the mail delivery today, so this will probably end up going out on its first leg on Tuesday. As an aside, there were a number of drawings in the retired logbook. I’m presuming that everyone who added one is ok with me sharing them with the group?
  7. After soaking my head in hot water for a while to loosen up my thoughts, I believe that the author of the article was Phil Olley, and that it was published in an early issue of Battlegames magazine. Here’s a discussion of a similar Olley bit of advice: http://grandduchyofstollen.blogspot.com/p/painting-large-units.html?m=1 (Later) OK, found it, “A Project Too Far” Parts 1 and 2, Phil Olley, Battlegames magazine issues number 2 and 3, May/June and Juily/August 2006. Available on Wargames Vault, one of the DriveThru RPG branches.
  8. Following a recommendation from a hobby magazine years ago (perhaps I’ll remember later where/when), I have sometimes grouped things in an orderly painting plan so that units are followed by heroes/vignettes; that is, the reward for doing the tedious painting is the fun painting.
  9. That seems like a good plan in general, although I usually only manage to execute it on packages going into the freezer (e.g. vacuum bagged meat and bulk-prepared soup). I haven’t gone full-prepper, but, after 2020 my Maximum Credible Event for readiness went from being a 2-week hurricane event to being a 2-month pandemic lockdown event. I still need to ensure that I cycle the medium shelf-life items, and writing dates seems like a “could do” level of habit...
  10. In addition to minis, I am also hoarding molds for minis, both current and vintage. For example: I need to spend some time getting the mold library organized before spring, so that I can find what I need when it’s time to cast it. I also am a bit of a book hoarder, but with two moves since 2013, I’ve managed to keep that a little more under control. At least they are on shelves, with the history organized chronologically and the fiction alphabetically by author. At this point, I’m under a thousand volumes, down from a family peak of about four thousand. That side of the library is probably 60% of the total shelf space spread over two rooms.
  11. Yes, but I don’t want the cause of death to be “being crushed under a sliding stack of lead” ...
  12. Is it Tuesday already? I set up a remote game with a friend in Nova Scotia on Sunday, using my home cast 40mm 18th century collection. That part of it was fine, and I was glad to get the first game for 2021 in the log book. Even digging the troops out wasn’t bad, because I am very good about getting the figures back into their proper labelled regiment boxes after the game. No, the depressing part was trying to find where all the scenery, markers, and auxiliary tools (such as magnetic movement stands) had gone. I have not yet found the movement stands. I need a week (or two) to tackle the storage situation and make sure that everything has a labelled home so that I can find it when I need it. This feels like a year to retrench. Less is probably more...
  13. I feel like this deserves a topic of its own. With Reaper not doing starter sets for games, at least recently, at least talking people out of buying more is mostly Reaper-neutral. (The part about what possesses one to buy a new starter, that is ... )
  14. Almost none...I have been in this hobby now for 50 years, and have seen the new hotness in gaming come and go so many times that I don’t get excited by new boxed set sorts of games. They’ll be gone before I get around to painting them. My vast hoard is built in the other direction, by period/genre, and what *I* end up accumulating are new rules that might be used with existing miniatures. I think the most recent time I caved in and bought the new exciting thing was The Great Rail Wars box for Deadlands. I did get all the figures painted, but never played. That said, I did pick up an Age of Battles box last year at the flea market at Cincycon, since I got it for less than the two boxes of Zvezda figures would have cost at retail. But it’s basically just raw material...like all of the boxes it’s stacked on, full of 1/72 scale scale medievals/fantasy/ancients.
  15. I need to get the box packed up, but the way this week is going, it will be Saturday before it goes out ...
  16. Daily, if possible...I don’t actually track it, but I do try to at least keep my sense of wonder from scabbing over, and putting on ice skates or roaming around on a bicycle with no expectations never gets old.
  17. Yes, it’s time to split some of them in two. Every box I saw the year before last was packed to the gills... So, generally, I think if you are new to the hobby, feel free to take somewhat more than you put back.
  18. You don’t know what you are asking. I resolved, without walking downstairs first, to open the top box in the middle row (since I had no idea what order they were in) and grab one from there. Turned out to be vintage Minifigs historicals, and the grab turned up a sorting bag of DA23, Irish Dark Ages Chieftains.... I don’t specifically have a catalog number by catalog number inventory in my head, but I am generally aware that I have a cache of Minifigs DA figures.
  19. None. I’m thoroughly trained to be up by 0500 no matter what...
  20. The pieces all look great...any idea where I look to figure out where the wings go?
  21. I might note that I was in that boat as well, as the University of Michigan had 40,000+ undergraduates when I was there, but I have attended a couple of alumni gatherings of the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club. That's a much smaller group with plenty of esprit, but so much so that when they gathered an alumni chorus for the 150th anniversary, the 400 guys were spread over 60 years of alums. Overall, though, it was still a great time.
  22. I went to my 30th high school reunion. It was ok, but noisy and somewhat awkward. There were enough people I hung out with (so to speak) to make it interesting. As far as I know, they didn’t organize a 40th, so I didn’t have to decide. 50th is still a while from now, so we’ll have to see. I’d be inclined to let the past go...
  23. @ManvsMini, there were pictures of @Crowley’s storage etc back in this thread: https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/74963-small-space-gaming-and-hobbying/ subject to recent revisions, of course...
  24. My son did that, and posted the results to his blog on the 1st: http://junkyardplanet.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-little-things-that-count-wrapping.html I’ve got a log of what I’ve painted, but the results are generally too dispersed into storage boxes to be worth digging out.
  25. The most nagging unfinished 2020 project I have is this unit of 6 40mm cavalry home cast from Nuernberger Meisterzinn molds. They are intended to be British 1792 light dragoons, and I decided I would enhance their acuracy by extending the helmet crest around to the brim with green stuff, as on the front figure. Clearly I am not cut out to be a sculptor, since procrastinating on that pretty simple little project has kept me from finishing all last year. Once I finish these guys, the NEXT unit should be simple and straightforward by comparison. The previous unit I painted took only a few days.
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