Friday, August 23, 2013

50,000 Pageviews!

I'm excited to have hit a pageview milestone (50,000), but I'm actually more excited that the Kiva microloan for Christopher has been fully funded.  So the two microloan projects I talked about last post are a done deal.  Christopher will expand his farm with a dairy cow, and Ruth will expand her pig farm with new pens.  So if you did contribute to either Kiva microloan, thanks.  Here's hoping it changes someone else's life for the better.

Lately I've been cranking on roleplaying games over at the other blog, organizing a second gaming group I may not have time for and making modular dungeon tiles for a game I'll likely not run in a very, very long time.  In all seriousness, the other group will happen, and I actually have been approached by some additional people interested in playing, so that's good.

But I'm also a wargamer, one with several projects languishing on the worktable right now, so I am spending a chunk of my day off today painting ACW figures.  I'm holding off on the "Not Quite the Seven Years War" figures because honestly I'm trying to figure out a color scheme.  In the meantime I'll be filing and gluing the 40mm figures to bases and maybe priming them.

As always, thanks for following. 


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Doing something better than frugality

Right now, I'm reading the book The International Bank of Bob: Connecting Our Worlds One $25 Kiva Loan at a Time  It's about a travel writer who gets involved with the microfinancing organization Kiva (which also happened to win a Nobel Peace Prize) after seeing the gross disparity of wealth and poverty around the world.  With $25 loans to individuals who are seeking to improve their lives and build local industry, it got me thinking about the fact that I can drop $60 on a copy of the new Star Wars RPG without difficulty, and what that means.

So here's what I decided to do.  I took the remainder of my hobby budget for this month and gathered my two children around the computer.  They each got to pick a single $25 loan to make to an individual.  Kiva loans have a very high rate of repayment, so I will actually get the money back within the next year or so.  After talking a bit with them about this and letting them look around at various individuals who were looking for loans, they each picked their person.

Christopher is a farmer in Kenya who is looking to add a dairy cow to his farm to increase his revenue stream.  Ruth Mery is wanting to build pens for her pigs that she raises to support her family.  Between the two loans and processing fees, I'm out $57, which again I'll probably get back.

So no more games or miniatures for the month, but two people are a little closer to having their lives better, not through charity but locally-organized loans.

I don't get a lot of traffic on this site, but I thought it might be a neat idea to see if others who maintain a gaming budget might be interested in dedicating a portion to Christopher or someone else on the Kiva website.  Since making my loan, Ruth got all the funding she needed, which is pretty exciting.

If you do so, let me know.  And thanks in advance for considering this.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

July Wrap-Up

Looking back, I'm surprised how much stuff happened this month.  My children were gone for most of the month visiting grandparents, which probably didn't hurt, but I felt like I had more non-hobby stuff going on.  Anyways, here's the recap.

  • Did two RPG sessions, one of Marvel Heroic Roleplaying with the regular group and one of Mutants & Masterminds with a half-old, half-new group of people.  The MHR game felt off, mostly I think because of the players and me being out-of-sorts for loads of reasons, and the M&M game was a pretty typical introductory story (slightly rail-road plot, heavy on combat).
  • Painted 26 miniatures, although 20 of those were mostly painted at the very end of June were just finished in early July.  That's still an impressive number, even if they were my someone simplistic ACW Confederates.
  • Unveiled a whole new project, my "Not Quite the Seven Years War" army.  I've cast about 36 or so miniatures using Prince August molds, and will soon be moving into painting them as soon as I figure out a paint scheme.
  • I also attended KantCon, getting in an RPG session (13th Age) and a table-top pseudo wargame in.  That was about the only wargaming I did all month, though.
  • I completely obliterated the budget for the month, making it a couple of high-consumer months in a row.  Now I've got a negative layover into August.
While not exactly hobby-related, I also saw Pacific Rim, which I really liked, although I thought that the main character was probably the weakest link in the acting chain.  Like many others it was too bad that more wasn't done with some of the side characters, but that mystique has led to a lot of fan interest (call it the "Boba Fett Syndrome").

What am I doing next month?  Well, I need to sort out which supers RPG I'll be doing.  I could stand to focus on one miniatures project or another, since I really have about three going all at the same time--ACW, NQSYW, and GASLIGHT.  That's a lot of acronyms.  The good news is I don't really have anything I need to buy right now, so maybe my budget can get a bit of a breather.

Thanks for continuing to follow along.  Hope you're enjoying your hobbies as well.


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