Sunday, January 30, 2011

Busy Saturday.

I took a van full of students up to Moeraki and Shag point today. The weather was really windy and all the Yellow Eyed penguins seemed to be hanging out onshore. I have never seen such a contingent (about 5) so I guess the numbers are picking up a bit. I still think they are endangered though. After Shag Point we headed off to the Moeraki boulders for a quick look. Unfortunately the tide was in so most of the good boulders were under water. After that we headed off to Lockies fish and chip shop for fish and chips (which we ate at the beach.  I got back at about 2 and spent a good part of the afternoon stripping wallpaper off Josie's bedroom walls. It is a messy and time consuming job. At present Josie's room looks like a bomb site and she wants to sleep in the lounge because of the unsightliness of it. On a more exciting not I have finished basing my light infantry. This means that the job (for this batch anyway) is officially half complete. Now comes the time consuming 'touch up' phase and the eventual ground painting,grassing and magnetic basing.
A battalion of Imperial Guard at the front from Zvezda (Russia) and Hat Industrie (US) work well.
Zvezda French Voltiguers looking cool. I might do three more boxes both in 3 figure formations to represent column formation and then larger based "free form" to represent skirmishing

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nothing to blog about...

Unfortunately as the busy year ramps up I find that all I have to blog about is work and that makes for pretty boring blogging. I have job interviews today and three new students sitting and doing placement tests. The weather is absolutely beautiful outside and I wish I was at the beach. Life at home is pretty normal with the kids enjoying the last week of the Chrissie Hols. Josie and Mari stripped the wallpaper in Josie's room yesterday in preparation for Josie's room makeover.  I am getting ready to base the first 150 of my light infantry and will order about 200 more pretty soon. It looks like my "year long project" could be finished in as little as 3 months.

At its conclusion I aim to have about 50 battalions of French Infantry equaling about 900 foot figures and about 150? Cavalry. That should be more than enough to do battle with my finished Russian army of about the same size. I have the rule book for the board game called "Shako" but have never seen it played and don't know the rules. I doubt I will actually ever war-game with my toy soldiers. For me the enjoyment lies in painting them - putting them in boxes and storing them away forever. Strange eh?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Call of Duty 2

Yay! I made it to General and now I can start going for prestige!! Unfortunately my nephew told me that if you go for prestige you lose all of your weapons and perks and you basically start off again armed only with default weapons. Although this is terrible news I am fully resolved to give it a go. I am continuing on with my project to paint my light infantry and I am getting back into my viola practice as well.  I promised Mari that this year I would go for a grading on my viola so I will spend a portion of every evening (not much though!) doing viola practice. I plan to do a grading at the end of the year so I do have a little bit of time up my sleeve to prepare. Hopefully it wont get in the way of the important things in my life like Black Ops and painting my light infantry.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A busy start to the year.

Over the past couple of years we have always started the year with a very healthy level of enrollments.  This year is no exception. In fact this year might be our best year yet.  We might even need to look at hiring another couple of teachers if current trends continue.  It all seems a little strange since the $NZ is rampant verses the major currencies so surely more of the established English language markets must be more economically favourable for the prospective student. As it stands now, we have a diverse range of students all paying pretty high fees for our school so perhaps NZ's competitive advantage on price is still sustainable even with a high dollar. It seems that the longer we operate the more people know about us in the community. Already we have the reputation as being the school which "gets you past the exams" so that goodwill is worth a great deal.  The only thing we need to do is build on this at the same time as reaching out further afield.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The end of bachelorhood.

Today Mari and the girls will come back from holiday. Just for a week I have had the running of the house and it has been wonderful. I have managed to give the rooms a clean and organise things the way I want them to be done. Unfortunately I will soon be back to ear destroying violin and piano practice and  children and wife who don't know how to tidy up after themselves. I think I should work towards a two story house. The top for me and the bottom for Mari and the kids... heaven.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Modern Warfare 2

For anyone who reads this blog who is familiar with MW2 here are some of my thoughts....

I am on level 64 of MW2 and I can't unlock any of the prestige badges.  I can't figure out what I am doing wrong but I have unlocked a big pile of the achievements.

I hope to get at least half the prestiges accomplished before I move on to Black Ops after my birthday. Before that my aim is to unlock double barrel shotgun akimbo and become a hater "tuber". Usually I have an ACR with perks of Scavenger-Commando-Lightweight Pro.  I  think I will change to Bling Pro (with grenade launcher) Lightweight and that one less killstreak perk. Usually I sit an the middle of the scoreboard because I am a camper who uses claymores. If I have a grenade launcher at least I will be motivated to move around the map a little more. If I get really good ....a Barret with a Thumper???

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Preparing for 2012...

As I have blogged before the big project for 2012 will be my British army of the Napoleonic Wars circa 1811.  I have just picked up my reference books from Osprey publishing. I really love Osprey because they have such talented artists and really put a great deal of effort into researching every little detail of the uniforms of the Napoleonic period.  I have most of their early Napoleonic titles but they are too expensive to buy on a whim. I picked up five this week to nearly finish my British collection.  All I need now are a few books on Artillery uniforms and the uniforms of the Scottish regiments 1811.

I also picked up a book on Napoleon's Specialist troops which I have been after for a while. Yey!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Blogging in class.

Here I am sitting in the classroom blogging while my students are doing a writing test for IELTS. What a terrible teacher I am. I am now into the second day of being a bachelor and I have run out of food.  I am going to have to actually shop for things to fill my stomach.  What a strange ant terrifying prospect. Tonight I will cook fish with rice and perhaps use kimchee if I can find any at the supermarket.  One of the strange things about being married to a person not of this land is that you end up becoming accustomed to foreign food and to a certain extent lose the taste for the food you grew up with.  I don't really think I could sit down to a meal of sausages and potatoes at this point in my life.  I am more at home with "sam kyop saal" and "Dwen jang kook".  Of course I haven't lost the taste for fish and chips.  I think that will be Thursday's dinner!

First Day Back.

Well yesterday was the big day.  I got to see who was going to be in my new class and I got to see who passed their exams and who didn't. Actually it was good news all around. My class is looking pretty healthy and diverse and the exams in December went really well. We only have 5 people waiting to pass from the Indian nurses now out of the 15 enrolled. On the management front we decided to do a real shake-up of the marketing role. Ginny is going to be the new traveller with trips this year to Vietnam.China (in April?)and possible Japan and Korea in October.  Kelly will do the internet side of things and keep in touch with the agents via email.  I am going to work on the web and the new content for our brochures. Jessica has come back to teach part time after her baby boy and we are really happy to have her back.  All up the teaching team is really strong and we are looking forward to kicking proverbial arse on the exam side of things.

On another non-school note I recieved my 1st edition Armada (1965) Doctor Who and the Daleks book today!! This will be the jewel in my collection. These books are really rare and a Doctor Who fan pays good money for a copy. Me - I paid $4 from an unsuspecting bulk second hand book trader on Trademe.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Painting my light infantry

Santa gave me 7 boxes of French infantry for Christmas and I have been busy trying them out (in painting terms). The Russian Zvezda box of light infantry are fantastic and I have been painting these just for fun. Hat Industry have 2 boxes of light. Unfortunately the quality of the boxes are a little mixed.  The 1809 (pre-Bardin reforms) box is really good quality but are reasonably unusable in my army because it is supposed to be post 1812.  The Voltiguers are ok but a little chunky.  The other boxes like the middle guard aren't very well sculpted. Still then I am by myself for the week I hope my project can move ahead at pace.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

School on Monday

Well that is the end of my 3 week break. It has been one of the better holidays.  The girls are off to Nasby this week so I will be a bachelor for a while. Yippee!! I get to play online games when I get back and eat what I desire! I promised Mari that I would restart my viola practise this year so during my time of solitude I plan to hit the strings. The school is starting with a hiss and a roar so I will be pretty busy over the next few weeks.  It is all good though.  I have also started on my Napoleonic light infantry. This job should last me well in to the April. I plan to have 300 figures painted and based by the end of the year thereby signalling the final completion of my 1812 French army. 2012 will see the massive effort towards building a British Waterloo army. That will see me with 3 complete Napoleonic armies with a combined total of well over 7000 figures.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

To Oamaru

We had so much fun a couple of days ago that Josie and I decided to ride to Oamaru. We started off at Waikakarua (at the Mill House) turnoff and headed along the coast road.  It was a really great ride and Josie did it at much faster pace than last year.  We started at about 8.20 and got to Oamaru at about 11.30. It really took us about two and a bit hours of riding because we stopped to eat lollies at Kakanui and walk at the beach abot 5 ks before Kakanui. We met Mari in Oamaru and we had an early luch at a cute cafe near the old town.
We are heading back down to Dunedin tomorrow so for me this has been the end of my Christmas hols.  It has been one of the better ones but I am still looking forward to the new school year.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

To Palmerston

Last year Josie and I did a trip from Wainakarua to Oamaru. It was a really great ride so this year we decided to go the opposite direction from the Trotters Gorge turnoff to Palmerston. We had a really fast trip actually especially after I fixed Josie's back brake which had been slowing her down for the first 5 kms.  During the entire trip we didn't see any other trafic on the road and the silence going through the gorge was amazing (as was the scenery). We climbed a 250 metre hill to the summit of Horse Range Road  and after that had a great ride down to Palmerston.  It took us just under 2 hours and we got picked up by Mari.
Next year we might do Oarmaru to Timaru if I can find the appropriate back roads to travel on. I didn't take any photos unfortunately but I did do one video. Unfortunately Josie doesn't want it loaded so it will just have to stay on the home computer.