And So It Begins…

A 2022 Grumpy Gnome

Here we are… 2022! It has been a challenging 2020 and 2021 so it is a bit daunting to think about what 2022 will bring. However, one thing I have learned in life is that you have to deal with whatever comes and soldier on. “You can not stop the clock.” You have to “embrace the suck”. Remember that, “It ain’t nuthin’ but a thang.” “Pain is only weakness leaving the body.” And plenty of other pithy military fortune cookie witticisms.


I have seen a stream of year end holiday season blog posts, often with very similar themes. Most folks seem to be doing well but with a lot of unfinished projects. Most of these blog posts seem much more organized and planned than what I do. Spreadsheets, bullet points, pie charts, graphs, rank upon rank of painted and unpainted miniatures. I feel a bit bad not being quite as thorough in this blog post but I am just not that well organized.


If you have been following this blog you know I have a very ambitious desire to play a lot of different games, painting miniatures and terrain to suit… perhaps too ambitious. I really need to pare a few things down, the challenge is deciding what.


Frostgrave has been progressing well for me and Mrs. GG. We definitely need to finish our Games Workshop Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game Battle Companies campaign. Also, we have to get our Core Space gaming started! However, free time together has been the biggest challenge to our gaming.


But we have gamed, at least a bit.


And Little GG has joined us for his first ever role playing game yesterday, Little Monster Detectives.



We investigated a monster infested house and Little GG saved the day with great courage… earning a badge to acknowledge that achievement.

Little GG showed great courage in capturing a scary monster!

Speaking of other Little GG firsts…. he painted his first miniature and gave it to me as a Christmas gift! Proud Papa here!


Completely his own three year old artistic vision with the paint scheme, apparently he was resistant to aesthetic suggestions from Mrs. GG, although he took a little help with the base…

Little GG decided I needed a robot for X-Mas!

…..still, it warms even my grumpy Gnomish heart every time I see it on my painting desk.

As for other painted gifts…

A X-Mas Dragon for my Mother…


… and…


A X-mas Hobbit Pirate Cook for my Brother-in-Law…

Mrs. GG and I have been very fortunate with the generous gifts from our families.

2021 X-Mas Gifts to us…

Of course that means we have an even bigger backlog of work to do now though!

I have been remiss with not sending out snail mail Christmas cards this year. Is this a custom going out of fashion thanks to the Internet or is it just me? We did not get as many cards as previous years but I think that is in part due to my last few years of self-imposed hermitage and departure from Facebook. Covid lockdowns do not help either.


The third vaccine shot has me feeling a bit poorly but it is a necessary sacrifice in my opinion. As is the isolation… which I realize is easy for me to say as a 50+ year old grumpy, Gnomish Hermit.


One place I have been reaching out is the new Wargames Atlantic Forum. It would be great to see and hear from you folks there.

https://wargamesatlantic.com/community/xenforum

In other news we watched Jungle Cruise which was an enjoyable mashup of African Queen, Romancing the Stone and Pirates of the Caribbean. The only thing we really did not like was the casting choice and writing for Prince Joachim, Jesse Plemons is a decent actor but he did not make for a compelling enough villain and was easily overshadowed by all the other villains in the movie… even his own crew.

I have to admit I really like the Rock… which is why I think I also enjoyed Jumanji: The Next Level.

Hardly great cinema but entertaining in a popcorn snacking adventure kind of way.


The Expanse and the Witcher continue to do a good job of entertaining us. Some annoying bits in each but mostly really good shows, especially considering so much of the competition. I will be particularly sorry to see The Expanse come to an end.


Wheel of Time by the final episode of Season 1 was a dismal failure for me. Mrs. GG was not quite as critical but for me it has ended up only marginally better than the Shannara TV series. Hopefully it gets better in future seasons but I doubt it unless they replace the showrunner.


Here is a spoiler filled interview with the showrunner explaining changes they made from the book and why….

https://decider.com/2021/12/24/the-wheel-of-time-season-1-ending-explained-showrunner-interview-seanchan-moiraine-amazon-prime-video/

Warning, possible spoilers to follow but I will try to avoid big ones.

The first episode reminded me of the Mandalorian… in that it is filled with tropes but at least the tropes are generally well done. This is a changed Boba in my mind, more empathetic. It looks like they are going for more of a redemption story than I originally expected.


I am not a fan of glamorizing criminality in general but I am not blind to how the world works. As a former cop I have had my runs ins with a lot of different kinds of criminals. I prefer those with certain personal standards or rules compared to the truly random, utterly selfish types.
And to be honest for some reason I have thought Boba Fett was cool since I was a kid. Cool but very much still a villain in my mind… in the original trilogy that is. Which is interesting because he is a law abiding bounty hunter not a criminal assassin.


To be honest I was unsure how I felt about the Jango backstory with the Prequels but casting Temuera Morrison in the role helped sell it to me. Then the Clones over the course of all the movies and TV shows have helped me empathize even more with Boba. Although to be fair I thought he was not a Mandalorian but rather that the armor was a trophy like his Wookie scalps… something somewhat controversial.

And now, at the very least I expect him to end up an anti-hero from this TV series from what we have seen so far.


It was nice to see some stereotypes broken. Older (and also some heavier) fighters fighting to a decent standard but at a cost and perhaps not quite like they used to. Boba is a badass of sorts but not a crazy good, some might say unrealistically skilled, fighter. As he said in The Mandalorian, “I was aiming at the other one.”


There was a lot of exposition, perhaps a bit much from Boba himself as it seemed odd to see him talking quite so much after decades of only a couple of sentences from him. But I like him. I like the actor and the character. I can identify with him.


The writing could be a bit tighter. I was a bit confused about just how close Boba and Fennec have become as their dialogue is a bit inconsistent in their intimacy with each other… but perhaps that is intentional.


Boba surviving the Sarlaac Pit felt a bit like art school cinematography 101 for “character change through a new rebirth moment”, especially as one of the most feared bounty hunters in the galaxy, the guy who can talk back to Darth Vader without consequence, now seems to have a soft spot for underdogs. I took the first episode as showing Boba has been knocked down a few pegs by his experience, that he has some new empathy and humility compared to his previous life experiences. And I am ok with that. I like flawed protagonists…. I say protagonist because I am struggling a bit to think of Boba Fett as a hero… even an anti-hero.


And as I was writing this blog post, looking for videos to link I came across this one…


… sounds like I was not far off base.


But what do you think of these things? Games, movies, books, whatever… share your thoughts in the comments.

I am going to leave you with a music video from my best friend Paul, who is the lead singer for the band “The Gathering Crowd”. As children we were inseparable. Sadly, we do not see each other much these days with an ocean between us but he is still my brother from another mother… and he sings much better than I do.


And I hope you have a brilliant 2022 ahead of you!

16 comments

  1. Happy New Year! Love that little mini from Little GG. Awwww.

    I was thinking of you watching this cool video linking the present, Waterloo, and the ancient past:

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My go to saying is “Suck it up, Buttercup”

    I’m impressed with Little GG’s painting, especially the highlights on the rivets. Set him loose on your terrain!

    Nice Christmas gifts, will be interested with what you do with the Rohan set, one big building or several smaller ones? I’ve had my eye on the house kit for a while, I would probably leave off the horse heads, they seem to me too large in proportion to the house.

    Finished the second season of The Witcher, overall happy with it, only complaint I have is I feel that the actor who plays Cahir lacks the gravitas to be an evil leader.

    Enjoyed the first episode of Boba, minus the parkour chase scene. Agree that Boba seems to have changed from how depicted in the movies, looking forward to future episodes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suck it up, Buttercup… yeah, sounds about right. I am repeating that to myself right now.

      Little GG told me to say “Thank you“ to you.

      Part of me wants to use the kit to create one big meadhall but I think as Rohan is really Mrs. GG’s thing we will make several smaller buildings instead… but she will not want each to be identical so we may end up a couple smaller and a couple bigger ones. If it goes really well maybe one day we will get another set and build a big meadhall.

      Only one more episode of the Witcher to go for us. I am so glad they improved the Nilfgaard armor. It looks like polymer armor from Norton Armories or Wyrmwick rather than real metal plate but at least it looks cool… especially compared to the black leather testicle armor of season 1. That said Geralt’s new armor just is not doing it for Mrs. GG and me. Not distressed enough, too synthetic High Fantasy larp looking for us. His kit looked better in season 1. Mrs GG and I enjoy larp, we have done quite a lot of it in the UK and in Germany. Maelstrom, Empire, Dumnonni, Drachenfest, Mythodea, Epic Empires… We know larp. It has its pros and cons. A number of times now we have been watching the Witcher and thinking certain things come across as very… larpy. I do wonder if any of my old, long lost mates are working on the production team.

      As for Boba, yeah the Parkour scene was too Parkour, it took me right out of the moment when I thought that during the scene.

      I do very much look forward to the next episode and you can be sure I will share my thoughts. Even if I am something of a Boba fanboy the show will not get an easy pass from me. It will need to earn my praise.

      Like

      • Will hold you to that (sharing thoughts)

        If you want an enjoyable movie to watch, try Army of Thieves on Netflix – a prequel to Army of the Dead in that it’s about the safecracker. Only a few scences of zombies. More of a crime comedy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I saw the trailer and despite liking the character I was put off by how bad Army of the Dead was. However if you say it was enjoyable perhaps I will give it a try. Mrs. GG likes the actor of the safecracker but hates zombies… maybe we will chance it together.

        So, it looks like we will get a new shared universe IP afterall?

        Maybe an explanation for the robotic zombies in Army of the Dead?

        Like

  3. I have always appreciated the eclectic breadth of your posts. Even though I’m not much of a TV watcher, your comments and insights are interesting to me.

    Little GG’s paint job on that robot is classic noir. By next Christmas, he will surely have exceeded my own American Primitivist standard.

    Here’s hoping 2022 is a great year for the GG family!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am glad you like my rather long winded, meandering monologues mate.

      Little GG is very pleased with the compliment and says, “Thank You!“ in a very loud voice.

      Wishing you and yours a great 2022 too!

      Like

  4. It sounds like your year has gotten off to a good start so far and I fully support your goals for the new year. I don’t think I’ll be setting any goals for myself this year. I have too much to do and not enough time so just having fun will be my focus. Though I’m certainly guilty of having a spreadsheet 😀

    Those Christmas gifts look very nice indeed. I think you got more hobby stuff than I did so I’m a bit jealous! 🙂

    As always, I enjoyed reading your thoughts on cinema. Jungle Cruise wasn’t on my radar but I bet my wife will enjoy watching it based on your description so that will be in our queue when I get Disney Plus again. I’m curious about Boba Fett because he was a very popular character in Star Wars fiction and comics. I think he had some of the best Star Wars comics before Disney took over and I felt that way somewhat begrudgingly. He was an anti-hero, kind of like a Clint Eastwood character in the spaghetti westers, I reckon. I think Boba Fett as a character is really overrated and barely does anything in the original trilogy but he captured imaginations so well that he has grown into a real player in Star Wars. I’m going to have to get Disney Plus soon so I can catch up on all this stuff. You’re helping me stay motivated in that regard which I appreciate!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well to be fair the Christmas gifts are not just mine, they are joint gifts for Mrs. GG and me together. And also include a couple of things that are gifts to each other. While Mrs. GG is not interested in my current 20th Century gaming fad she does love her Middle Earth and Frostgrave world building.

      We enjoyed the second episode of Boba Fett. Definitely feels like a redemption story. Lots more old Wild West tropes but done well. Disney+ has definitely been worth the money so far. I have more I want to watch than free time to watch.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey rick, nice summation. I have only watched one episode of Bobba so far but I find it interesting although somewhat derivative and cliched to date. A typical Disney origin story. But it could go somewhere. If i remember the Mandolorian was slow to take off as well. … Yes I think they have a Dexter type problem if they are trying to show him as a good guy; more expecting the disillusioned, maverick type who acts as soon as his leech is loosened. Lawful evil alignment type; maybe chaotic lawful? if such can be so. … anywho i shall watch for your next post.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think it is more clear where they are going with Boba in episode 2 thanks to continuing flashbacks with the Tuskens. I quite like it. It surprisingly made me want to larp as a Tusken-like character…. although I could never role play that stoically quiet a character for any real length of time. It is filled with old tropes but I think it does them well most of the time. I find the Mayor and his Majordomo surprisingly entertaining.

        Like

      • That is a fair point. I’d say even between the two of you, you still did very well indeed. That does sound intriguing, mate. It is getting harder and harder to resist resubscribing! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Guru PIG Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s