Eben Brooks is a kickass filk artist who has proclaimed himself the superhero of San Diegio.
I picked this song for the advent, not only because it is such a positive representation of polyamory, but because I think it captures me, and I am someone who has never mentally aged beyond seventeen.
Megan has been pestering me for weeks to reorganise my desk, specifically by getting rid of my Citadel Painting Tray.
Well I followed her advice and I have to say, she was right, so now I have a hit more space on the desk and a permanent home for the Switch dock.
Plus it really does look a lot tidier, and you can see the RGB effects from the speakers a lot better.
I did also reconfigure the setup for the speakers, because the Xbox One and Switch connect to the monitor via HDMI, they bypassed the speakers. Which meant that I only had the option of hearing them through the crappy inbuilt speakers or by plugging in a headset to the monitor.
So what I did was grab a 3.5mm cable and plug the monitors headphone socket into the 3.5mm socket in the speakers.
I moved the cable organiser from the side of the desk and put it on the back, this now holds the 3.5mm extension from the PC, and a 3.5 mm extension that heads to the side of the desk to keep the headphone cable from trailing over the desk.
So somehow trying to reduce wires and faff under the desk, I actually added more wires!
I am still trying to figure out how to be able to listen to the music from Pretzel when I stream and feed it all though the Mixer, so far the solution involves physically feeding the music through an audio cable from the PC to the mixer. Which is not how I want to do it, the mixer is a USB one, I can hear the music through the headphones, but it just won’t record in OBS, quite frustrating and I just can’t quite figure out what’s going wrong.
Sunday was spent pottering about mostly, I rerouted a few cables around the back of the desk to make the whole setup look tidier.
On Wednesday I put in place a monitor stand which would allow me to slip the keyboard underneath it when not in use. And I also swapped the HDMI switch for one with a remote and extended IR receiver so that I could locate the box under the desk.
What I Am Modelling
The first things I painted this week were a squad of Intercessors and Inceptors for my Blood Ravens.
The Inceptors are armed with Plasma Exterminators and the Intercessors are armed with Stalker Bolt Rifles.
All I have outstanding for them is the Indomitus box, a set of Intercessors I added earlier in the year and the Terminator Chaplain and Librarian that got released this year, oh and a Stormhawk Interceptor.
I then moved on to a squad of Death Korps of Krieg Grenadiers for Niki, along with two Heavy Flamer teams.
Blood Ravens Intercessors with Assault Bolt Rifles
What I Am Reading
I read The Fractured Void by Tim Pratt and I will be getting a review up in the next couple of days.
What I Am Playing
On Friday I did four hours of BioShock, I am getting on well with the game and probably will be finished in a couple of weeks.
I was supposed to stream The Witcher III on Monday but Megan was expecting a phone call from the doctors and was very nervous, so she asked me to hang out with her instead.
On Friday night I tried Among Us for the first time, which was a lot of fun, although I kept getting voted off even though I wasn’t an Imposter!
I had a couple of games of Apex Legends on Saturday to try and test out how my new setup would work for streaming more intensive games, the bigger monitor with higher refresh rates is pretty taxing on my modest GPU.
First off I ran a new Heaven benchmark, whioch gave me a score of 3725, which is lower than what I got when I was running at 720i, but that’s expected I suppose.
Before the GPU I was getting and FPS of 52.8, with the GPU I got up to 217.0, but now with the bigger screen I am getting 147.9, but that’s still pretty good I think.
Anyway here are the videos of the live streams.
On Tuesday I played a single two hour session of The Witcher III.
And I also played a little bit of Star Wars: Squadrons that night as well
What I Am Backing
I am back Wyrd Science on Kickstarter, it’s got some articles in it by friends, and I am happy to jump in on this because I really want it to fund.
What I Am Cooking
On Thursday I made our teas a Colcannon Cottage Pie, which was really nice.
I want to try it again but with lamb instead so it’s a shepard’s pie and throw in some marrowfat peas. I think that this is a dish I would cook for nibbling as it’s jam packed full of veg.
Since last years musical advent was such a huge sucess, I think its only right to bring it back this year!
So lets start with one that got cut from last years list, but only because I ran out of days, plus the artists had already been featured a few times!
I give to you today, This is My Jam by The Doubleclicks, a song which is really about loving things and being cool with people loving different things.
Take consoles, I am absolutely on team Xbox, but in no way do I look down on folks who play Playstation, that’s simply what they prefer. For me its all about the controller, Sony have never made a controller that I have found comfortable to use for myself. Plus I love Game Pass.
But if you like Playstation thats awesome too, I have no reason to hate on anyone who likes what they like, and I wish other people would act the same. We all like different things, and as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá says
Behold a beautiful garden full of flowers, shrubs, and trees. Each flower has a different charm, a peculiar beauty, its own delicious perfume and beautiful colour. The trees too, how varied are they in size, in growth, in foliage—and what different fruits they bear! Yet all these flowers, shrubs and trees spring from the self-same earth, the same sun shines upon them and the same clouds give them rain.
It fell to the forces of Chaos, specifically those of Khorne and Nurgle, and since then has been abandoned, a pale shadow of its former glory, inhabited only by scavengers, and followers of the ruinous powers.
But it holds a secret, in his wisdom, Sigmar hid away in Stormvaults, relics and artefacts of such destructive might, that could change the course of all of life in the Mortal Realms.
In the aftermath of the Necroquake, the Penumbral Engines began to fail and the call of the weapons secured within was heard across the realms. Warbands from all the great races began to converge on the city, and Sigmar feared that the Stormvaults could be potentially breached.
Esasa is but nine days march from Vindicarum, and thus Sigmar dispatched a force to retake the city, lead by the Stormcast Eternals of the Celestial Vindicators.
This Armies on Parade board represents the moment when Lord-Celestant Invari Shadowborn claims the first Stormvault from a small force of Nighthaunt trying to breach its many mystical wards.
As they begin to set up camp, a force from the Vanguard Auxillary Chamber led by Elden Wolfforged is able to link up with them, having arrived in the city some weeks earlier as a scouting force.
Lord-Celestant Invari Shadowborn sits on his faithful Dracoth Gulvar Flametongue as his Lord-Relictor Abron Gravewalker recites prayers for those warriors returned to Azyr to be reforged.
His is guarded by Knight-Questor Lindan Swifthand, who has been taked with his protection from all might harm him. A capable warrior though he is, the threats that face them within Esasa are numerous and should he fall, they may be undone.
There is a contingent of warriors from the Sacrosanct Chamber in the force under Shadowborns command, lead by Lord-Exorcist Galbreth Wraithborn. Here he attends to a crypt where many of the Nighthaunt defeated in the battle fled to, as he chants prayers to seal the spirits back in their tombs and to sleep in peace.
Prosecutors have been instrumental so far, able to scout forward and access the nature of the forces arrayed against the Stormcast Eternals, and then striking from above to break their lines.
Here they return to the Stormvault, ready to begin patrols in the area to ensure its a safe place to set up camp.
Knight-Venator Ula Broadsword was instrumental in the battle, using her arrows to take down a Guardian of Souls, which broke the lines of the undead assailing the Stormvault.
Errant-Questor Firland Hornwind is the survivor of an early quest to Esasa in the Realmgate Wars, and has pledged himself to slay all those who stood against his retinue of Liberators. Although they were all reforged and now serve on the frontlines of the Soulwars, Firland was forever set on his quest.
Having recently been reforged, he found himself joining with Shadowborn as they had common purpose. Only when all those who oppose Sigmar are slain will he take up in place in his retinue again.
The Sequitors of the Sacrosanct Chamber proved invaluable in the battle against the Nighthaunt, led by Knight-Incantor Shearlia Aznent they were able to force the wraiths back and weakened them enough to allow Liberators to banish them.
The majority of troops led by Shadowborn are Liberators, ready to fight to the last to bring the city back into Sigmars domain.
Here a retinue accompanies Knight-Heraldor Vesti Prideheart as he returns to the Shadowborns side having used his battle-horn to herald the return of righteousness and order to Esasa.
Shadowborn decided to set up camp around the Stormvault, to allow them to rest and regroup whilst they await the reinforcements following shortly behind them, and to begin to form a plan to retake the rest of the city with information from the scouts of the Vangaurd Chamber.
To guard the camp, her ordered Lord-Ordinator Leriv Cindereyes to set up some Celestar Ballista to guard the camp against attack, here two are set up at the base of the Stormvault.
Accompanied by their companion beasts of Azyr, Lord-Aquilor Elden Wolfforged arrives at the aftermath of the battle. They have been in Esasa for some weeks, having set out ahead of the main force to scout the city and gather information about the forces arrayed against them.
They have of course not been simply observers, but have struck out at warbands of Orruks and Chaos Cultists who have made their home in the ruins of Esasa.
Elden has a burning desire to return Esasa back to Sigmars bosom, once having been known as Elric, a lowly labourer who has risen up to defend the city against the forces of Chaos, before being betrayed by one of the cities mages, who had sold his soul to Nurgle.
Meanwhile in an act to show those lined up to oppose them, Knight-Vexillor Kolkerel Deadreaper flies the banner of the Shadowborns Chamber. This is a declaration that the reconquest has begun and soon the banners of Sigmar will fly from all of the towers of Esasa.
I know its a bit corny, but I just love imagining the stories behind the models in my head!
Anyway, I have no hope of winning, but its been fun putting this entry together.
I then actually began work on The Grymwatch because to start on the Intercessors I first need to put in a base coat using the airbrush and when I was ready to, it was late at night and the girls would kill me!
I got those finished Sunday night/Monday morning and am pretty happy with them.
With the RGB lighting in my PC, we decided that we wanted it on the desk and put it in the centre.
But this has had the effect of very much restricting my arm movement on the desk and has given me a few anxiety attacks as my claustrophobia got triggered by it.
So we decided that the rig would move to the end of the desk next to the printer, the reason for this was to make my mind a lot calmer, and let Megan see the pretty lights.
To do this I was gonna need a bunch of USB cable extensions, but we decided in the end it would be easier and cheaper to just order a USB hub and place that under the desk, it also freed up a bunch of USB ports in the back of the PC for other stuff.
It’s has ironically made the HDMI extractor redundant as it has a built in headphone jack, so yeah I guess that’s a bummer, but I didn’t think I would get these so soon.
The biggest pain in the bum is that the speakers on it are so much weaker than those on the TV I was using, to the point of being practically unusable.
So an alternative pair were sourced from Argos, a pair of Creative Pebbles, but annoyingly although advertised as V2s they are actually the much weaker V1s, so they were promptly returned.
So it’s back to the drawing board for speakers and I think I will wait until I get paid next and get a better pair then.
I can listen to music on an old soundbar and game sounds through my headphones.
At the same time I installed a new power extension tower to replace the four extension leads I had daisy chained off one another and was branded by Lindsay as a massive fire risk!
I did also order a couple more cables, a pair of micro USB cables, one to stretch from the USB capture card to the under desk USB Hub and another to replace my desk cable that is in very bad shape.
A USB A to B cable was also ordered for my Dymo Label printer so it reaches the hub properly. These arrived ahead of schedule so I was able to get me fitted and fantastically my set up is so much neater and tidier now.
All in all the desk area is now a lot better and a lot more ergonomic, Megan gets a view of the pretty lightshow and it’s easier for us to both watch things on the screen whilst downstairs.
What I Am Modelling
I started the week by priming the rest of the stuff to have the next ten projects ready to start.
And then I picked up the tenth project on the list, the Aeronautica Imperials Lightning Fighters, and they didn’t take very long at all.
It was really nice, apart from the fact that Lindsay kept freaking out about the chicken. She has a real fear of eating undercooked chicken and she usually only ever eats chicken breast, but I used chicken thighs in these.
She kept almost throwing up when she was cutting into it, really knocked my confidence just as I am getting into the swing of cooking again.
I know she can’t help it, heavens knows she is super understanding if my autism making certain textures difficult for me to eat.
On Sunday me and Megan made Kansas City BBQ Chicken Wings, I marinated the chicken wings in my Kansas City BBQ sauce and Megan made a lovely bacon potato salad.
I had already set up the PCI-e 9 pin power cable on Sunday, so that was l ready to go.
I also took advantage of having the case open and optimised my cable management a bit more so it looked a bit better.
It was supposed to arrive on Wednesday but never actually arrived until Thursday annoyingly.
And weirdly, despite being a GTX card it says in the side that it’s an RTX card, but GPU-Z is clear, it is absolutely a GTX 1660 Ti, so I am guessing it’s been refurbished with the RTX heat sink, it is after all B-Stock.
The card just slotted in and is very short, but quite wide, taking up 3 slots, and has DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort sockets, I am going to be using the DisplayPort and HDMI sockets.
Once it was slotted in and attached to the case, I powered up the system and Windows installed drivers, but I downloaded the drivers direct from Nvidia to make sure I had the most up to date drivers possible.
In anticipation of its arrival I ran some benchmarks in Heaven using the APU on both High and Ultra settings and the results were ok for what it was as you can see below from the Ultra benchmarks.
But damn, when the GPU went it, oh boy did my performance shoot up, just compare those numbers. Bear in mind of course that right now I am running my system not even at 1080p.
So yeah, really pleased with this but I still need to power up some good games with it yet, might give Tomb Raider a go!
I have sold a few other bits and bobs this week and will hopefully be ordering a pair of monitors towards the end of the week.
Although stock levels mean that my first couple of choices are not gonna happen, but there is a very good third choice which is probably gonna happen.
I want an IPS panel monitor with at least 144mhz, but it’s got to be 24” to fit in the space and therefore is limited to 1080p.
I have seen a Viewsonic one, which fits the bill, I would prefer it if it had a built in USB, but alas it doesn’t.
What I Am Modelling
The week started with something secret so I can’t share photos of them until they are all done, but I am very happy with them!
Then I completed the Zone Mortalis Walls and Columns, was a long hard slog, but worth it in the end.
This allowed me to then turn my attention to some additions to my Necromunda stuff, specifically the Palanite Enforcers from Dark Uprising. That is 5 Engorcers and 5 Subjugators, plus a couple of Ambots.
On Monday I also did a little building to get me to the point where the next 10 projects were all ready just to paint. I plan on priming them tomorrow.
So what’s next for me then?
Zone Mortalis Terrain
Palanite Subjugators x 6, Palanite Enforcers x 5
Stormcast Eternals Lord-Aquilor, Lord-Exorcist and Gryph-Hounds x 6
Blood Ravens Intercessors with Stalker Bolt Rifles & Inceptors x 3
Death Korps of Krieg Grenadiers x 12
The Grymwatch & Rippa’s Snarlfangs
T’au KV-128 Stormsurge
Ork Megatrakk Scrapjet
T’au Barracudas x 4, Tiger Sharks x 2
Aeronautics Imperialis Lightnings x 3
What I Am Reading
Not much in the way of prose, but I did listen to a couple of audiobooks.
First was Sons of Behemat which was very good, really interesting to listen to.
Not much this week, The Witcher happened as normal, but I didn’t stream Bioshock as I had some recording to do for the podcast.
I also had a game of Carcassonne and Star Wars Squadron on Twitch, both of which were a lot of fun and were done to test out the NVENC Encoder on the graphics card.
What I Am Backing
Nowt, but the backerkit for Chai: High Tea was charged, we ended up grabbing a the acrylic tokens, bags and playing mat for it.
What I Am Cooking
Not much this week other than beans on toast a couple of times.
I did assist on helping make tea on Friday, when we made Indian Spiced Chicken Wings, served with green beans, naan breads and cous cous.
What I Am Spending
Not a lot this week, I bought some stickers for my PC case which arrived.
There is a reason for this, a bloke on a PC forum I lurk in started getting abuse from someone on eBay for putting a Windows 10 sticker on the PC he was selling. He had the fella quite upset and was threatening with the police arresting him for copyright violations.
Turns out the bully was selling similar systems but more expensive and was trying to terrify the competition.
I also bought my new monitors today, they are a pair of the Viewsonic XG2405 and will replace the 10 year old 720i TV I currently use and the 15 year old HP square monitor.
My requirements were for the monitors to be at least 1080p, have at least a 144Hz refresh rate, AMD Freesync and preferably an IPS panel, and if possible a USB hub.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, PC parts and components have been in short supply and prices have remained high, the monitor I did have in mind, an AOC one, has been out of stock most places for months and those places that do have it in stock have added an average of £50 to the price of it.
So I went with the Viewsonic one, I haven’t had a Viewsonic monitor since the 90s and that was an amazing monitor. This particular monitor uses the same IPS panel as the AOC one, the only thing it doesn’t have is a USB hub.
So yeah that should arrive next week, in the meantime I ordered the cables to hook it up, because I am moving the rig and need longer cables than I have at home, so a 3m DisplayPort and HDMI cable have been ordered, along with a USB hub to be used instead of a bunch of USB extension cables.