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Catman Jim

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Everything posted by Catman Jim

  1. Ral Partha had a mini in their Ravenloft line, "The Great White Stag". It shows up fairly often on Ebay, as there never was a stag prominent in the Ravenloft storyline. I've always thought it should have been in the Dragonlance line instead, as a stag led the adventurers to the Darken Wood & the ForestMaster. Anyways, I see one listed on ebay now: http://cgi.ebay.com/Ral-Partha-11-108-Rave...1QQcmdZViewItem
  2. Thank you to all for the well-wishes, we had a great day! That is what we love about having our children all grown-up, it freed us to travel. Last year, for our 24th anniversary, we went to Paris for a few days following another Swiss business trip. Matterhorn at Zermatt, Switzerland Paris
  3. Today is a special day for me, and I just have to let everyone know. Today is my 25th wedding anniversary. On December 19, 1982, Andrea & I started our life together, and are still going strong with three grown children & one granddaughter. We celebrated our anniversary last month; following another two week business trip to Switzerland, we took a week vacation to Italy. We visited Florence, Pisa, and several Tuscan hill towns. Here's a few pictures of us: Chateaux Chillon castle in Montreux Switzerland Leaning Tower of Pisa On top of the Tower We are spending today together Christmas shopping, she doesn't know yet but I will be surprising her with jewelry tonight at dinner (I just need to insist that we do a nice restaurant, after all, it's only our Silver Anniversary once!).
  4. I for one have never been fond of limiting rakshasas to exclusively tiger-headed forms just because the Monster Manuals state they must be. Way back in the '80's, Grenadier put out elephant-headed & crocodile-headed rakshasa minis, and a rhino-headed "rhinshasa", and I have kept this theme in my campaigns. I use any Asian-type animal as the "head"; tigers, apes, elephants, rhinos, crocodiles, water buffalo, lizards, snakes, etc.. I am currently using these three from Reaper as rakshasas (and others from other companies, including "traditional" tiger-headed ones that Ral Partha put out many years ago); http://www.reapermini.com/gallery/album14/3013_G http://www.reapermini.com/gallery/album14/3020_G http://www.reapermini.com/gallery/se/1411_G
  5. I have Eldest Son, and rate it as one of the best intro mods ever made. I bugged the powers that be here for years every Halloween asking when the next module would finally be released, the gothic horror-themed "A Vicious Circle", but finally gave up in disappointment.
  6. I had my 47th birthday 2 weeks ago, and considered myself quite lucky to receive a new iPod as a gift from my wife.
  7. I have. I know who lives & who dies. It is a little surprising, some of my predictions came true, but others were complete surprises.
  8. That didn't work in my case I stated above. I also use Paypal through a credit card, the problem I encountered is that by the time it took to realize that the seller was never going to send my minis (they did send the initial invoice & replied to my first email), several weeks had gone by. It took over a month for Paypal to 'investigate' my claim, by then, when I contacted my credit card, they claimed too much time had gone by & they wouldn't refund my money.
  9. I buy things on Ebay all the time, and almost always use Paypal. I am always aware that I am at risk, and I have just one bad experience in over 5 years. A while back, I was high bidder on a couple sets of West Wind Games figures for their Rippers Wars setting. I paid $50, but then never received my minis. No reply from the seller, it turned out that it was a game store that was going out of business. I contacted Paypal, as they claim they have thousands of dollars in "buyer protection". After their investigation, they concluded that I had been ripped off & sent me a statement that they would refund my money. Simultaneously, they also slapped me with a $50 "investigation fee". That's right, I ended up still being out my money, and no minis. I've had over 500 satisfactory transactions with Ebay/Paypal, this was my only bad one. I chalk it up now to experience, and never bid anymore than I'm willing to lose.
  10. I'll join the crowd of aspiring liches here. I'm 47, I got into D&D in 1978 when I left my small hometown for college and discovered RPGs in a more metropolitan area. I was heavily into gaming through college, and my early married years in the 1980's. I stopped gaming when family & work needs took a lot of my time. As my kids grew older & needed me less, and I attained all I wanted with my career, I did get into MTG during the 90's. I sold all my cards after about 5 years, as I refused to keep investing in every new card set that came out, mostly in anger that the cards I had already bought lost value so quickly. I got back into D&D with 3rd edition, and am 're-living' my college years now, so to speak. I have had a life-long interest in 'monsters', yes, I was one of those kids back in the 1960's that ran home from school everyday to watch "Dark Shadows", so D&D, especially the gothic horror setting "Ravenloft" has been a natural fit for me. I have a huge collection of D&D material, and a ton of minis going back to the '80's, most unpainted. I am an R&D supervisor for a major international corporation, and travel through out the US frequently. I always make it a point to stop in at gamestores in every city I travel to. Last year, I had to travel three times to Europe (Switzerland, France, & Italy), and was disappointed at the lack of D&D material I saw there, everything I saw catered to the manga crowd instead. Yes, this does all make me feel quite old, just like last week when I was showing my grand-daughter the Gargantuan Black Dragon pre-painted plastic "mini" I bought on Ebay.
  11. Like the Ironworker, I also joined in 2002 (I thought I was the 31st person to join this forum, the second day it opened). In 4-plus years, I've only posted enough times to make me #272 on the most-poster list here. Some people reply to everything, I only post when there is something I can contribute. I actually spend more time on other forums, and only come here about once a week, and usually then just to see if there are any new greens posted.
  12. I'm definately old-school, I've had a charcoal grill for nearly 25 years. Our family believes it has better flavor than gas grilling. I cook every weekend during the summer months, my wife really appreciates it. Yeah you do need to plan mealtimes better as it takes longer, but beer fills the time waiting for the grill to get hot. And seriously, lighter fluid is for sissies, real men use gasoline. Throw a wood match at it from about 10 feet away & make sure the grill is at least ten feet from the house & deck with a hose handy just in case. There's nothing like that fireball & rising mushroom cloud to get the charcoal going quickly. (These stunts are done by trained professionals and should not be by anyone, anywhere, anytime) I've got timing down to an art, I'll grill an entire meal on it. My wife loves the potatoes I grill. The family really likes the BBQ chicken I make, I'm more fond of beef & pork, I'll BBQ ribs any chance I get (and that's wet BBQ, not dry!). I've never considered it worth my while to cook brats over charcoal, unless I have a lot of folks over & can do a lot of them. I used to do kebabs fairly often, but my oldest daughter took my good skewers when she moved out.
  13. Yes, when the license for Ravenloft reverted back to Wizards of the Coast, Arthaus/Sword & Sorcery/White Wolf had only until June to sell their remaining stock. Discount bookstores like Hastings bought it up. I picked up 3 Tarroka decks for $8 each at my local Hastings, and sold them for $40 each on Ebay! I'll join you in that happy dance! Hey, Ontario, Oregon, I've been there once. I lived in Seattle before moving to Kansas City. I seem to recall a heavy influence of "Ore-Ida" there...
  14. Thanks Cu, I've actually taken the day off from work, but appreciate the sentiment. I just got back from a week-long business trip to Geneva & Lausanne, Switzerland, but managed to spend one fun afternoon in Montreux. My French is only so-so, but most everyone there speaks some English, so it turned out to be a very sucessful trip. I haven't told my family anything they could get me for my birthday, telling them that I had to spend too much already for a new suit for my trip. The truth is, and what they don't know, is that I spent way too much money on Ebay two weeks ago. I am a rabid Ravenloft fan, and have an impressively complete collection. Something that is very hard to find are the Adventurer's Guild game modules that were distributed to game stores back in 1999. I managed to get two of the 7 that were for the Ravenloft setting, for a combined total of $250. I'm considering that my own gift to me!
  15. You have my deepest & most heart-felt sympathy.
  16. Sorry, the first question is proprietary, I can't comment. As for your second question, Yes, definately! I wouldn't get usable information from unhappy kitties! My current ratio is 1 person for every 35 pets.
  17. And I was happy because my kids bought me a new Playstation 2 game, and my granddaughter crayoned me a picture for Father's Day!
  18. Out of curiousity, I just looked at the demographics of my cat colony. I only have 5% that are over 15 years, and as I said, they receive daily veterinary care & all my cats are with me for life. They participate in feeding trials as long as they are healthy, and then we keep them in a 'retirement' area for the remainder of their natural lives.
  19. I had a similar thing happen last week with one of my cards. I have an American Express Corporate Purchasing card that I use to buy things I need at work. I do get quite a few things online. While doing my weekly reconciliation, I discovered a $665 charge that I know I did not make. While investgating it, I discovered that it was a charge to Paypal, for an Ebay auction for jewelry in Hong Kong on 6/6/06. I contacted the card company, and had the charge voided, and have to have that card account changed & a new card issued. I have spent the last week explaining to my boss & our financial department that I did not charge this, that most likely one of the sites that I made a purchase on was compromised & that's how my card information was stolen & used. An inconvienience for me, I can appreciate that you had your own monies taken! For what it's worth, I am the supervisor of the third largest "cattery" in the United States, overseeing feeding trials for the world's largest petfood manufacturer. I can't divulge how many cats we have, but I can say that 15 years is a fine age for cats to live to. I start losing cats at about that age, and have only had a handful live beyond 20 years, and that is with daily veterinary care. I wish you the best in keeping your dear pet with you for as long as it is humane to do so, and that you find strength when you must decide between your desire to keep her & when she shows signs of suffering, and that you will find comfort when she is gone that you know you did everything you could for her in your responsibility as a pet owner. I am going through something similar now with my 10 year old Labrador. We discovered several weeks ago that she has developed Cushing's disease. This week, she started a medication to basically burn out her adrenal glands. Once she finishes, she will be on medications for the remainder of her life, probably up to another 4 years would be average in Labs. I have spent about $500 this week alone in meds & vet bills, and received a few comments at the pharmacy (this is for a DOG???), but we love her dearly and would never consider doing anything less.
  20. ...and he played that preacher for two seasons on the HBO series, 'Carnival'.
  21. I'm in the small city of St. Joseph, Missouri, about halfway between Kansas City and Omaha. I'm originally from New England, but I moved here 16 years ago after I was transferred from my job of 8 years in Seattle, Washington. I try to get up to Omaha every other year or so, just to visit the H.D. Zoo. I usually visit K.C. about once a month, as my wife has hated living in the Mid-West and especially in a rural area from the day we moved here. We have vacationed usually twice a year, always to places like Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Florida, the Pacific Northwest, anyplace that has mountains, ocean, or a culture different from where we are. I work at a great place in pet food research & development for the largest global petfood manufacturer. I have been able to work with people from 28 different countries, get to travel on the job about every other month, and have been with the company for 26 years now and would never think of leaving. I'm actually at the point now where I'm making more money on my 401K than I am in my salary (and I pull down twice my age in $k's/year!)! At least once a year, my wife threatens me with divorce if she has to stay here any longer. I have my work, but she only has the endless cornfields, the small-minded, closed-minded, & low-educated locals that have never travelled beyond 50 miles from where they were born, the lack of variety, selection, & choices that come in a more metropolitan area. We tried joining churches here, but gave up after being asked to leave from three different churches as we were seen as too progressive and would challenge the traditionalists. I have to admit that one of the greatest challenges I have is finding suitable employees, whenever I interview for new staff, I am amazed at the resumes I receive from the locals. The prevailing mentality here is 'job-focused' vs careers, folks here relied on factory-type jobs that required no education and little skill. Those jobs have left to Mexico & overseas, and the Mid-Westerners that I come into contact with have not yet adapted to the change in the job market by gaining the skills required for more high caliber jobs. To balance this out with some positivity, I have a much nicer & larger house here than I've ever had, as housing costs are much lower in the Mid-West. Most costs of living are cheaper as well. I have yet to be troubled by tornados, have just seen a few funnel clouds, and winters are much milder here than my home state. Summers aren't all that bad, very hot & humid, but I spend most of my time indoors anyways. I was glad to put my three children through smaller schools away from the big city, but found that even here the kids form 'gang-wannabe's'. I have two kids in college now & the costs are not outrageous for in-state tuition. My daughter & grandaughter now live in Oklahoma City, I usually see them a couple times a year, but isn't that a long boring drive through Kansas! I imagine I will be here another 20 years or so until I retire, keep taking vacations whenever I have to get away from the monotony, and am picturing retiring someplace south one day. I was offered a transfer to the main corporate offices in St. Louis, but saw that as a lateral move without anymore potential for advancement, and at the same time we have been challenged to double the size of our facility here and have been given $6.5 M and a deadline of Dec. 2007, and I am much more motivated by that. Would I do it again if I could do my life over? Yes, but I think I would have taken even more vacations out of state to keep my wife happy!
  22. I saw the show; so what mini was it that she whacked? It was hard to tell from the damage, plus the close-up shot was too brief.
  23. I dislike Eberron because it is so very different from traditional D&D fantasy. I have been playing D&D in various low & high magic settings from almost the very beginning of the game, 1978. I also played Magic: The Gathering for about 5 years, but gave it up somewhere around 'Urza's Whatever'. Eberron from what I've seen just seems too much like M:tG/D&D. I understand that the goal was to come up with something new that would appeal to new, younger players that are more into the anime/manga, but it has so far had no appeal to me.
  24. There are a number of cities in the US that have 'Ripley's Believe It or Not' museums, I'm sure they would buy it if it's real. I went to the Ripley's in Key West last year, it was quite 'entertaining'.
  25. I was on a jury last year, a DWI. The defense tried to claim that the arresting officer wasn't a doctor, so how could they know the difference between drunk and various medical conditions, (The defendant had refused breathalyzer & other tests.) but never claimed any medical conditions or proved the same. Jury selection & the trial lasted all day, we deliberated less than half an hour, and found him guilty unanimously. I later looked up the guy's court records online, and found that this was his second trial for the same offence (defense attorney got a mis-trial), and that this was actually his third conviction in as many years. He ended up getting 6 months jail, and a bunch of fines & permanently revoked license. I felt pretty good about getting him off the streets. I got paid $25 for service and can't now be selected for another two years.
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