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 of “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 in about 10 years ago. The guys who made it used miniatures to play the game and that sight always remainded 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 to glue everything to. 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 […]
Our youth group has a Halloween party every year and since coming to my parish I always put on a zombie game for the kids. Zombies are all the rage right now and there are plenty of kids who are interested in playing. It also allows me set up some the things I’ve made lately and somewhat play a game since it’s very hard for me to get together with friends to play because of distance and schedule. It was a very basic game with simple rules to play fast to try and keep their attention. 12 players split in two teams. One team was trapped on the roof of the post office. The other team was in the other corner defending a safe zone and the goal was to link up in the safe zone. The best part of the zombie game is that all the players work together to try and win. As with most games the kids played two different styles. There were the players who tried and sneak around and make their way to the safe zone and then there were the players who charged head long into danger and tried to fight their way through. The team in the safe zone tried to clear the way for the others as they moved. Sometimes they were successful. By the end of the game about five of the players had meet their end while the others made their way to the safe zone. Fun was had. And […]
I’ve always been fascinated by sailing and after going up to Lake Michigan for a couple of years I interested in learning how to sail. Lucky for me a couple at the parish had an old Sunfish sailboat sitting in their garage. The one problem was that the fiberglass body had a big hole in it so they have lent it to me to use as long as I patch the hole. Well the hole has been patched and I have gone sailing the last two Mondays. There has not been much wind these days but today was little better than last Monday. It’s fun to go out for a couple of hours and learn the ropes and learn how little wind can push me and a small boat around the lake.
My friend Davin and I had a chance to get out on the water Sunday and Monday. Sunday was carp fishing and he was the only one who ended the day with a fish. Lots of shots but just couldn’t get them to eat. Monday we took Piscis down the river for the first time and had the best day ever on the river. Caught tons of fish. The normal size was 12″ but some 2lbers and a 3lber were taken. we even landed a 4lber and lost another. Overall an amazing day despite the rain. In fact I caught more fish Monday than I caught in the last years combine and more than doubled my biggest small smallmouth.
Yesterday we traveled north from Richmond to visit the Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania battlefields. All very nice and well taken care of, Fredericksburg has suffered the most over the years. Only a small amount of it remains, but what does remain is very interesting. The old stone wall that Lee’s troops used is still there and after seeing it you can understand why the confederates won. It is a battle that stayed with the union troops because they chanted “Fredericksburg” as the confederates came at them in Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg. At Gettysburg the union troops had the stone wall and they won. Chancellorsville was a nice battlefield and well preserved this is the battle in which Jackson was shot by his own troops and would later die. We saw both the wounding site and the place of his death miles away. The wilderness is my favorite battlefield and battle. While it is unknown by most is was the start of Grant taking control of the eastern theater of war and so the beginning of his march to Richmond and Petersburg. Spotsylvania was his next battle and it stretched about a two week period however both The Wilderness and Spotsylvania had 15,000 casualties but unlike Spotsylvania The Wilderness only lasted two days. To end out the day 3 we raced home beating the storms that were rolling through. We got home just in time to see it roll into Richmond and as we watched out our window we lost […]
Today we traveled down the Peninsula. We first visited Fort Monroe on an island off the tip of the peninsula. We were unsure about this stop. It has just become a National Park and the army and the park service are swapping out duties. The old fort is pretty amazing to see. It’s in great shape and the fort’s history spans Jamestown to the present. So every war has some history at the fort. There is also a museum in the old casemates (the areas that contained the old fort guns). The museum was nice and well taken care of they did have the actual cell that Jefferson Davis was kept in after the war. On our way out we got to see an aircraft carrier coming into Norfolk. It was the George Bush and it was huge. As we ate lunch we watched it make its way to the naval base. After the fort we traveled to Newport News and visited the Virginia Maritime Museum. It had a lot of nice things that again spanned the whole history of Jamestown it the present age. The main attraction was the USS Monitor. It was the first Union Ironclad. The Monitor battled just off shore with its confederate counterpart and so made all other wooden navies obsolete. There was a large section dedicated to the artifacts from the wrecked Monitor and it even had the turret and some of the cannons. They had many examples of what ship life was like. […]
We visited all the sites around Richmond. Starting at Cold Harbor and Gainesville and working our way south to the Tredegar Iron Works in Downtown Richmond the place where almost half of the confederate cannon were produced. The interesting thing about these sites around Richmond is that they normally overlap two different campaigns; McClellan’s Peninsula campaign in 1862 and Grant’s last campaign in 1864 and 1865. Another interesting aspect to these sites is that they filled with defensive works similar to what we would see in World War One. Most of the works are still visible by their earthen mounds. One cool little thing was that we figured out that Jeb Stuart was mortally wounded just a mile from the hotel and so we found that historic site. Tomorrow we hope to go down the Peninsula and visit some sites there.
My father and I decided to take a whirlwind civil war trip through Virginia mostly centering around Richmond. Since I lived in DC for a couple of years we have seen most the big battles up there. We wanted to hit all the out of the way places that we have heard about but never really seen. We left Sunday afternoon after masses and couple other events and then drove half way and stop in Beckley, West Virginia. Today we woke up and got on the road finishing the drive through the mountains and hitting Appomattox Courthouse, the place of General Lee’s surrender. It was really out of the way and there was not much there beside the Mclean house and basically the whole village that the National Park system acquired over the last hundred years. Kind of cool but really more interesting to have just made it to the place where the war all but came to an end. The road that we then followed into Richmond was basically the route that Lee’s army took on its retreat from Richmond. We stopped for a few other sites. Saylor’s Creek was another small battlefield that was the place of General Ewell’s men surrender. They served as a rear guard for Lee’s army and the loose of 7,000 men was a devastating blow to the Army of Northern Virginia. The other site near Saylor’s Creek is a placed called High Bridge. A Very aptly named bridge that spans about 2,500 feet […]
I was able to go fishing yesterday. It was really the first all day test of the boat and it worked great. It was windy but still a nice day to be out. My friend at flatswalker caught a little guy on the surface. Video link below. https://vimeo.com/64122944