I’m terrible at Christmas. It’s the busiest season of the year for most of the priests I know with everything we do during Lent crammed into 4 weeks instead of 6. So normally gifts consists of gifts cards or leaving it to my sister to pick stuff up for me. This year I had the idea to actually make my nieces and nephew their gifts. It started with the toy soldiers for my nephew. I have seen some sets out there were the soldiers were made from a cloths pin and then customized with look the part. I decided to make the American Revolution; British Grenadiers and American Continentals, not that a three year old would know the difference. The cannons were made from PVC pipe and wood and they fire a 1 ½” cannon ball. They turned out pretty good and of course it took him all of three seconds to find the weak spot and break the firing mechanism on the cannon but that was an easy fix. He needs a little more coordination before he will be killing his foe. I also made him a tent because I’m a bad uncle and did not have it ready for his birthday the month before. His sisters got a tent as well so he will need someplace to call his own. It’s a simple A frame tent made with small trees cut down and lashed together to form a frame. It came out well but its pretty dark in […]
As the Lunar eclipse was taking place this morning I was climbing a tree and trying to get in some hunting between life and the rainy weather. Before the eclipse was over I had a doe down on the ground. It was the quickest hunt I have ever had. Between waking up and taking the shot it was 40 minutes tops. I had only been sitting in the tree for a couple of minutes before two doe and two fawn worked their way to me. My guess is they were heading to their beds and the tree I was in was on the way. The first doe was little more alert and actually spotted me in my stand 30ft up. She made her way behind some trees. Doe two was not looking around and she stood broadside to me at 20 yards. Clean shot, easy track, quick recovery and fresh meat for the winter. I’ll be sharing her with some friends this Sunday who will be playing a game and watching the new season of a great show. I’ll be fixing the tender lions of doe two and I’ve been inspired by MeatEater to fix the heart so I’ll be trying that for the first time. Beautiful morning watching a beautiful lunar eclipse and getting some beautiful fresh venison. St. Hubert, pray for our safety and success.
My annual trip to Gen Con was a great one this year. The geek fest for RPGs, board games, miniatures, and fans of fantasy and SciFi stuff attracted about 50K people from around the world and certainly the most of the United States. The club I belong to puts on games during the event and I put on about 11 games in 4 days so while fun it is exhausting. My games went very well and I only had a couple folks who tested everyone’s nerves during play. The 3D Game of Thrones board went over great. Lots of folks gawking and taking pictures. I also put on a couple of 10mm American Civil war games as well as a couple of made up game of 2nd American Civil War with the scenario concerning a communist attack on docks in Chicago. Lots of fun and lots of hours at the game table (about 45 hours playing games in a 96 hour period) The gaming hall was huge this year and I strained my voice while running games with 10K people around me playing games as well. The dealer hall was packed every day at all hours and they had some stuff there that is hard to find at any other time. I am always amused at the coverage that Gen Con gets in the news. They always seem to focus on the Cosplay folks (people wearing costumes) but this year felt like to me there were fewer of these but […]
This spring I’ve done a lot of habitat improvement at the woods. With the help of a friend I cleared some scrub area to plant some small food plots in clover and did some hinge cutting to create thicker areas for deer bedding. By doing so I’ve already seen an increase in the number of deer and turkey on my trail camera. While checking my camera pictures last week one caught my eye and when I went back to it I laughed because in the shot it looks like a cross in the middle of a deer’s newly growing antlers. Of course I immediately thought of St. Hubert who as the story goes was chasing a deer when suddenly he saw the deer appear with a cross in its antlers. It was a life changing moment for Hubert. While this is not a life changing moment for me it is a nice reminder as to why I go to the woods and why I hunt and ultimately a reminder as to what I’m really chasing in life. Psalm 42:1 As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.
Before I put the boat in the water and really start fishing I go turkey hunting. It’s been a bust since I left seminary and the happy and plentiful hunting grounds of southern Indiana. To be fair I really didn’t have a place to hunt my first three years but the last three I have had a place and while I don’t have the free time I had I still am able to get out a few days a season. I’ve always tried to take the week of the opener off because it always falls after Easter and I’m usually ready for a few days off to recuperate from the slam that comes during Holy week and the last weeks of Lent. This year opening day happened to fall the Wednesday after Easter so I went to my woods and friends woods to look for turkey and some quite time away. It turns out that normally there is another season that coincides with turkey season and that is mushroom season and this year it turned out to be my best season. Our woods holds what are locally called the “Black” mushrooms. This subspecies (I guess they are subspecies but I really don’t know) are the earliest to come up and I have heard that if you have these you don’t normally have the other types which are “Yellow” and “Grey”. Well I found a lot this year. My first day out found about 50 and then the rest of the […]
During the Easter Vigil one of the first things we do is bless and candle that represents the light of Christ. Normally parishes buy them already made but a few years ago I learned how to paint them. It’s very easy. Get blank candle, sand it with very fine sandpaper so that it has a matte finish. Then paint it to your liking. There are a few elements required for its use. A Cross in the center, an Alpha and Omega at the top and bottom of the cross, the year placed in the quadrants of the cross, and the night of the vigil 5 nails are placed in the candle to represent the 5 wounds of Christ. Everything else is fluff but it does go a long way to make it more beautiful. During the Easter season the candle remains at the ambo where the reading are proclaimed and during the rest of the year it is placed by the baptismal font and it used during the baptism and funerals. This year’s candle is pretty simple but more colorful than my past candles.
This past Sunday was the 5th Sunday of lent. It has become the weekend that my parish has a 40 hour devotion which has us doing adoration before the Blessed Sacrament for 40 (or so) hours straight. To cover the overnight hours we invite your youth group, confirmation class, and this year our young adults to have a lock-in with these folks taking turns adoring our Lord. Along with being a great thing for our parish it gives me an opportunity to spend some extended time with this group. Over the last three years I have always put on a miniature game. This year was no different. The past two weeks have been very busy and so I really didn’t have an opportunity to set up a big game. This year I amazingly pulled of a Napoleonic naval game. To my great surprise the kids loved it. So much so that we played two games. The rules were very, very bare bones. I had built and painted the ships so that the sails could be removed as damage was taken. The number of sails was used for shooting and movement. And the movement was modified based on the wind direction. It was I-go-you-go initiative system. The game was fast pace and bloody with lots of dice. In fact the second game I up the damage and they rolled lots of dice. And the other receiving player rolled a save to try and alleviate the damage. We played a game of […]
A simple follow up post with more pictures of the tracts and and details of the board and pieces.
I have had a number of projects this winter. One of course is the 3-D board game that is complete and I should be posting some new pictures of it in about a month or so. Another project this winter was a shrine to St. Hubert at the woods. I’ve been wanting to make this for a number of years but just never go around to it. A couple of years ago we cut a poplar tree down but left the stump nice and high so that we could do something with it. I had thought of carving it but I really didn’t think I had the time or the skill to do the job that would like to do on a statue. Instead I settled on a shrine to St. Hubert. For those who do not know St. Hubert is the patron of hunters, which is ironic since his conversion had him give up the hunt. Over the years I have begun to incorporate him in and his intercessions into my prayers particularly when I hunt or am at the woods. This past year was a great year of hunting. I saw lots of deer nothing big but it was always a nice time in the woods whenever I would sit. For me seeing nature and spending some safe and quiet time in the woods is more important than getting “monster” buck. Don’t get me wrong I’d love to see a big buck but realistically with my schedule it’s more likely […]
Last GenCon I had a brain storm to turn the Fantasy Flight Game “Game of Thrones” into a 3D map board and use 15mm miniatures to represent the troops. The idea came from seeing a big map board of an old game called “Kingmaker” at some gaming conventions about 10 years ago. The guys who made it used miniatures to play the game and that sight always remained in my mind. So after playing “Game of Thrones” for a couple years I realized that I could make a pretty cool thing by turning this 2D map into a 3D map board. I emailed Fantasy Flight Games and got permission to do the project and I think they also plan to sponsor some games at this coming GenCon that our Club will be putting on. The Board has come along nicely. It is roughly 2 ½ times the size of the board game map. I began by buying the base board. I then cut out the map and the provinces and kept gluing them to other poster boards and building up the layers. This gave it a topographical map look and after this part was finished I added mountains and various terrain making materials to make the map to make it look life like from a ravens view, all be it a space ravens view. To represent the game components such as castles and strongholds I sculpted the pieces and then cast them. The figures I purchased and painted up to match […]