Here we go again! Yup I’m writing a new blog post which will no doubt include plans for the year ahead which will quite easily be forgotten about within a few weeks as life takes over and the joy of eating a deep fried chicken leg overtakes the feeling of pain from doing 20 press ups at 6am in the morning.
I say this but this time I will stick to it… I will … I promise. I intend to sue this blog to ensure I stick at it, to ensure I loose some weight. I recently hit the grand old age of 45 and I am ever increasingly aware that I’m at least half way through my life, and if I want to ensure I have another 44 years I have to improve my health and overall fitness. I used to work on my feet all day in retail however during the past 5 years I’ve became a desk jockey, looking at a screen and answering phone calls. I’ve turned into a couch potato in all aspects of my life which I know isn’t healthy or good for me.
So what are my goals and plans?
Exercise- I will lay out a 6 month exercise plan using a fitness tracking booklet (on its way from the wonderful Amazon) where I will note calories and exercises done each day along with measurement’s on my body monthly. I hope to see changes here.
Reading- I don’t read. Simple! so any reading I do is an improvement, I at a minimum want to rad a book a month so 12 books a year. I will use the Goodreads reading challenge to show this which I will link here once setup. I feel this will help my chill and reduce any stress from work or life.
Support- I’d love to see the readers of this page work along with me as I follow this journey. I will be putting up how I’ve done and what I’ve done to achieve any results I get (or what I have to change should those results not happen). If your working alongside me then shout out. Get in contact or use the hashtag #grumpfitness on twitter.
So let’s see how we do with updates every Sunday starting 8th January 2023. Wish me luck!
Well my last post worked well didn’t it? Those weekly tracker posts of how I lost all that weight went well didn’t they? Erm no no they didn’t!
So why I have to ask myself, why when I had good intentions didn’t they go well?
Why didn’t any of my ideas stick? Let’s see…. Coffee van man, podcaster (of three podcasts now), Grump Geek YouTube channel, tourism channel, Ghibli channel, video producing etc etc
I have come to the conclusion after 43 years that I am just lazy. Bloody lazy. I want success that matches wining the lottery and it never happens. I can’t even win the lottery correctly either. It never happens as I never put the effort in. I never stick with ideas and force them through.
I am however full of excuses which I play to myself constantly. No one will listen. It won’t make a difference. How do I do this? I don’t have enough money. I can’t be arsed!
Just lazy! I’ve listened to a lot of celebrity autobiographies… the ones who are successful of course not people who are famous for being on Big Brother only. They all make it clear that hard work is the key and giving it all drives success and I know this… yet I’m lazy.
I enjoy my relaxing in front of the sofa, feet up after a solid day at work watching a new Marvel series thinking how I could podcast on this and tel the world my thoughts. I do t do this however as the next series is starting and I need to watch that.
My dilemma is how I get myself out of this mindset. I kind of know where to start and that’s with exercise. I need to boost my energy by loosing weight and getting myself fit.
This requires effort!
So where do I come from here? I don’t know. I want to start exercising and just need to do it. From there we shall see, maybe even more posts here. Who knows?
So here I am again writing the same thing I know I’ve written before but I don’t want to have to write again. The post is about weight loss and generally being overweight. I’ve been a larger lad for as long as I can remember. I’ve always and legs that would stand proud in any forest.
I’ve never been sporty. At school a played some rugby, mainly used as a prop to push the opposite team away but little in the way of running with the ball or being in the correct positions. I never actually enjoyed sport much, with the exception of tennis, so just didn’t do it. This is probably due to being overweight and not being as quick or fast as others. Stamina would also of been an issue.
I did spend some time on the gym earlier in the decade and lost a fair few stone building up muscle. I was so proud of my achievement however I didn’t do this correctly. I ate low calorie on purpose but this food wasn’t something I’d choose to eat. It was fuel to stop me being hungry and that was all. Due to this I slowly went back to old routines. The gym went away as I become lazy and the weight returned.
Lock down has also not helped as has moving from retail where I was always on my feet to a desk based job the past three years. Weight has piled on, to the point where for the first time in my life I feel unhealthy. Age I’m sure isn’t helping but if I’m to enjoy my life, enjoy social times and be the best person I can be I need to loose a lot of pounds and it needs to happen now.
So what’s the plan? Well I need to get fitter first of all. The plan is to build muscle initially from home using resistance bands. I can feel it working already and intend to work on this three times a week. I’m also not massively changing my diet. Breakfast is poached eggs to fill me up and keep me going all morning. Lunch will be some sort of salad with nuts, fish or humus to fill me up. My evening meal will be whatever’s being cooked until he house but in smaller quantities. I need to make this last, not just be a diet.
I how to do regular posts on this and show improvements as well as how this is benefiting my mentally and within the geek hobbyscape too. Untill then….
So I thought I’d do a quick update post on how it’s been in the land of Games Workshop and searching for the mystical Indomitus box set. After loosing out to a copy I actually managed to get multiple options of getting hold of a copy at RRP, which has been amazing. My friend and I will have our two copies on or around launch day as planned.
Games Workshop however have now introduced a print on demand option so those that missed out can order one copy and have that soon (not for launch). This response is perfect and I thank GW for doing this.
This also should slow down the eBay scalpers as they will now be sat with stock they can’t sell at a high price which is superb. Anything to make them suffer and reduce their profit margin. So, yeah, brilliant role on July 25th 😊
Well Games Workshop, I listened and took everything in you’ve spouted the past few weeks. The announcement of 9th edition and the Indomitus box set was so exciting and the hype that GW built up was superb. I was excited, my friends were excited. The box set was set a price of £125 which was a fair price, a very fair price. The plan was for me to buy two, which were to be split between my friend and I so we both got loss of models and a rule book each to dive into 9th edition with a huge smile on our faces.
Then yesterday (July 11th 2020) happened. The preorders were set for 10am and everyone who was into 40k was ready to grab their new toys. Understandably websites went down as they couldn’t handle the traffic. I was sat ready to order direct from Element Games as they are known for good prices and quick delivery. I could not get onto the site at all as it crashed but I kept trying. I also tried the main Games Workshop site and had no luck as that kept crashing as well. I decided to try some other sites and managed to get onto Goblin Gaming and order one (they were only allowing one per person which is fair enough). I then also managed to order from GW with a lot of refreshing and back tracking.
All good then yes? Well no… the story continues as around 5pm I get an email from Goblin Gaming to advise their sales system had messed up and they had oversold. Now these things happen and I get it, but to have them tell me so late in the day was annoying when they knew much earlier. If they’d of told me quickly in the morning I could of tried alternative options to get hold of a copy but no, by the time they let me know all options were gone so we are now left with one copy which is better than nothing but not what we wanted.
So what’s gone wrong? Games Workshop have been pushing this as a limited product yes, but one that was more time limited than stock limited. They had made it clear there is a lot of stock… a lot. It was made out that it wouldn’t be an issue getting one if your quick. Having a two week preorder time period makes out that’s there’s time to get what you need.
They also had a lot of stock going to independent retailers but then pulled back on the numbers the day before preorder cutting numbers for these shops reducing the profit they would make in the process. Let’s be honest they’ve messed up. They’ve built up hype and then not had the product in sufficient quantity to back it up and thus they have upset and wound up their loyal customer base. They even advised initially you could buy 6 at a time which was reduced to 3 which only happens as people moaned eBay sellers would grab them. This is another factor that says they have plenty of stock.
Now onto eBay sellers. People have managed to get hold of copies and are selling them at silly prices online. There’s a lot of these with rumours going on that some have managed to buy silly amounts of copies via many different retailers. I’m not sure how GW could stop this other than having a LOT of stock which is what should of happened.
Overall the community are unhappy with a company who has built up all this excitement and I’m really annoyed personally with both GW and Goblin Gaming. Writing this won’t get me anywhere however I hope it adds to the backlash online and that GW will make amends to this and bring out more copies of this box set. We shall see…
I thought, in the typical age of lists that the internet lives on, I’d start doing my own. I thought I’d keep it to a top 3 and so this starts today with top 3 Warhammer 40k Space Marine models. These are my own personal opinions of course.
Primaris Vanguard Librarian
I adore this model. Space Marine librarians have always felt a little uptight. Designed to sit back and fire off warp energy to buff your units or blow up the minds of the enemies. This however has a movement about it in fitting with the vanguard marines. These guys are usually found up front on the battlefield hidden away ready to sneak out and destroy whilst the main force is moving up the battlefield.
With Space Marine HQ options they often have these lavish cloaks that are attached to their backs via a huge collar. Whilst looking amazing they always seemed a little bit of a hindrance. The cloak or shawl that this librarian has on feels like it’s doing something. Designed to assist in hiding the character it feels a useful moveable piece of clothing that is there for a job, not for show. This then leads to his force sword which finishes off this model to perfection.
I love dreadnoughts, love them. They are the reason I play as Iron Hands (no not because there were powerful for a minute there), no because the lore states they use a lot of dreadnoughts. Back in third edition when I started playing they were one of the few armies that could have a dreadnought as a HQ choice (if I remember correctly).
I had to decide however which of the dreadnoughts I liked the most. The new Redemptor dreadnoughts are huge beasts and are of a much better scale than the older models. They certainly fit better with Primaris marines and are the size they should be, however there a little too clean and neat. The original dreadnought & venerable are good looking still but there’s something about the Ironclad that stands out. It’s bulky, and unwieldy but I can imagine if this lumbered over you you would be scared. There’s nothing you could do to stop it. Whilst not the best model rules wise, I do like the rules and often due to its size it’s ignored in favour of the Redemptors which is a mistake as when it gets up close, your dead meat.
Deathwing Knight Terminators
Terminators are such great models however sadly there rules just don’t cut it anymore. They have their uses however there’s newer models that can do similar things but better. I will say however that if I ran a Dark Angels army these guys would be in the army no matter what. They look so dark and fearsome with a hulking frame and huge weapons but with a strong religious overtone towards the Emperor that says don’t mess with us. Everything about these models screams powerful and if they deep strikes behind my lines I know I’d throw every gun possible at them until they were down.
Also the fact the Flail is such a powerful close combat weapon also adds to this awesome looking unit. In fact when I initially considered coming back to 40k I bought the start of a Dark Angels army purely on this unit.
The internet is a wonderful place at times and there are some amazing communities covering all areas, especially Warhammer. Sadly amongst these great communities there are many negative (toxic) people who’s life long struggle is to whinge and moan about a topic they are supposedly a huge fan of.
Games Workshop have made mistakes in the past, huge mistakes. There was a period of time where they actually shut themselves down, deleting all social media accounts and seemingly focusing on nothing but sales. They changed their magazines to essentially regular catalogues and seemingly ignored any customer interaction at all. In some ways you can’t blame them. Prior to this they had forums on their website which were nothing more than a toxic minefield of ‘fans’ complaining which they moderated. The depressing comments and whinges would be enough to put anyone off having an open system.
So what were people complaining about? Exactly the same things as today. When’s my army coming out? Why’s this so expensive? This isn’t fair… that isn’t fair… it was better when… why don’t you… whinge whinge whinge. Now don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to an opinion and we can all state our opinion but if your a fan of a system why be so negative about it?
Some people seem to have the opinion that Games Workshop is the enemy. They are out to drain our bank accounts but do so with little or no care to the customer what’s so ever. You see this with comments with people saying their not surprised at certain actions or stating that the company doesn’t care. Now, lets look at the company. Yes its essentially governed by shareholders all chomping for their pennies at year end however its run by hobby fans. The bare bones are a core team of people who are trying there hardest to make rules and models that people will love. They don’t want us to hate them, they want us to enjoy their products and buy more of them. The sculptors are working hard creating models they hope we will love, and they arnt always successful however they are trying. Whilst its all fair to state you don’t like a model, fans tend to go way over the top on disliking it. The writers are creating fiction and rules that they hope will work within the game and sell models and trying to balance this at the same time. Mistakes are made yes and whilst the company was slow to act on these in the past, they are now much quicker. Imagine trying to balance a system with so many units, armies and rules as well as keeping it fun to play, fit within the lore and have all the armies feel different.
I think what annoys me is not people who complain about certain rules or models, but those that complain with an anger and hate towards the company. If you feel like they why play their games? Why join fan groups? If you hate the company and what it does stop giving them money and go and play a different game as if the only enjoyment you get is moaning to people who do enjoy the games well, we don’t want you in what is a great community. I will say this, there is under all moaning a great community of gamers who enjoy the games they play and really this is what we should focus on. Until next time…
Edit: I just want to add after numerous comments that I’m not sitting here stating we have no right to moan and should just buy all the products. You have the right to feedback, say what you enjoy or don’t enjoy and criticise this company and any other. That’s very different from the hate that I’m discussing here. Very different. I even took out the word ‘toxic’ as someone stated that wasn’t a good word to use. I actually disagree now. The people who I’m discussing here are toxic and it happens in all forms of fandom sadly. The internet is mainly to blame for giving faceless people a platform but unfortunately it ruins it for others as they spout their pointless hateful drivel to all. There, rant over…
Something I’m trying to do is work more with video and have a few ideas I want to try out. I filmed a walk around Kendal in preparation for a short documentary on how local residents have dealt with the lock down but that’s gone by the way side, so instead here’s a short video of some of those recordings of a quiet Kendal.
For the past couple of years, with the aid of my better half Nikki, we have been running the Lakes International Comic Art Podcast. The podcast was setup to help promote the festival of the same name (minus the podcast of course) and has opened up a whole new world for us. The most surprising part of the show however has been the guests we have been able to get on which has excited and scared us in equal measure. I thought I’d have a run down of some of the guests that stood out for reasons you will see.
The first one I’d like to mention and also our latest gust was Dan Abnett who’s work includes Sinister Dexter for 2000AD, creating the Guardians of the Galaxy, writing Gaunt’s Ghosts and kicking off the mammoth Horus Heresy series of books as well as continuing to create stories for the series). As with many gusts I simply sent him a message asking if he’d like to be on the show. I send these assuming it will be a no as these people are far too busy creating this amazing worlds, yet, as usually happens, they soon reply saying yes. Dan was an amazing person to talk too. He so obviously loves what he does and strives to create the best stories he can whether through a novel, through comics or games. The chat with Dan will be available on June 1st.
Charlie is best known for drawing the Walking Dead comic from issue number 7, 15 years creating zombies. Many of the TV shows characters are based off his work so to have Charlie as our first ever interview was scary as hell. He was, and still is however a true gentleman and happily explained how his career came about and the comics he’s created. He came back again on episode 46 to discuss his time as Comics Laurette and again he was a true gent.
So lets get this right, we create a podcast based on comics and one of our earliest interviews we get to chat to one half of the creators of Games Workshop who also created Fighting Fantasy books which you loved reading as child. Never in a million years did I think this would happen, yet on just episode 3 it did. Ian came on to discuss the comic adaptation of his Fighting Fantasy book Freeway Fighter which had been written by Andi Ewington. The chat featured Ian, Andi, artist Simon Coleby, executive producer Matt Mastracci plus Titan brand manager Chris Thompson. It was so hard not too just focus on Ian, but we did get a little bit on the creation of GW from him.
There have been other amazing creators, in fact everyone weve interviewed has been amazing. Its been a learning curve and we still make mistakes now when we interview. I remember when we got to interview crime novelist Ian Rankin I managed to say the incorrect number of books that he had created which he didn’t seem too amused about. I also remember on just our 2nd episode making an issue that women weren’t covered enough in comics with Emma Vieceli which she’d been asked so many times, well it didn’t go down well and she teased me on the spot.
Our worst mistake, well mine was doing an interview with editor John Freeman face to face, and having the hand held recorder incorrectly setup so it didn’t record. Luckily he didn’t live far away so we could redo it, but it definitely taught be a lesson on checking the tools before the interview.
I look forward to the future and what it brings and thank every one of our guests, as well as the podcast contributors Pete, Mike & Tom plus of course my co-host Nicole. Its been a great ride. Find out more about the podcast here, and until next time…
After yesterdays tournament look back, it generated a lot of chatter about Warhammer 8th edition so I thought I’d look back at the game and look at the good and bad points of this edition. The group of people that played the game were generally great fun and whilst many had a serious side to playing, at the end of the day they wanted to have fun and that was what mattered.
The game itself however was certainly far from balanced and was never intended as a tournament style game. The game in its basic form revolved around movement of units and pre planning to ensure your units could be at certain places doing certain actions to ensure the goal was met. Usually this meant your main unit being able to charge first against your opponents main unit and so have the upper hand.
The difference to most modern wargames was the rank and file setup of your army. Most units were packed together in a square/rectangle formation getting bonuses depending how wide and deep they were. Some units, such as orcs, were designed to have up to 40 models in a formation charging forward never running away and getting extra dice in close combat. Others such as high elves, were better in smaller units as they always fought first and could whittle down any opponents close up.
You also had ranged attacks from archers or huge war machines such as the Empires cannons or the skaven’s warp lighting cannon. Some of these were exceptionally powerful, and often a bit too powerful, which was my first frustration. Monsters in 8th edition looked amazing and I loved having a huge beast on the battlefield. Cannons and other similar machines made them pointless however as a cannon or two could destroy a monster very quickly. Whilst it made sense, it didn’t make it fun and so it stopped the use of monsters. Exceptions to this were the Dark Elf Hydra as it had invulnerable saves against such machines, or dragons that could fly and get into combat quickly.
Movement was the biggest difference between this game and others such as Warhammer 40k. Because the units were in block formations they had to wheel and move so couldn’t just turn on the spot (well they could with some dice roles, but lets not go into the finer details). This made the game particularly tactical as you had to consider this when planning charges, moving round terrain or lining up to shoot. It did however allow some very gamey moves such as being able to put a small cheap unit at an angle in front of a big unit forcing them to either charge that unit, sending them off out of the way or sit there for a turn and do nothing. It didn’t make sense but it was so powerful most people used this. It was so frustrating and could ruin games very easily and suck a little bit of fun out of it. I still used this tactic however ill admit, but I wish it hadn’t of existed.
Magic.. oh magic. Magic was a vital part of playing Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition. You as the caster would roll two dice and the number would be your dice pool for casting. Your opponent would roll one dice and that would be their dispel amount of dice. Each spell had a value ranging from a small so one dice roll could achieve it (say a 5) to vast that requires multiple dice to roll for it. Obviously the higher the role required generally the more deadly the spell. Some spells made your units better and tougher, others could destroy a unit outright.
Ok so I’m going to moan here about some of the spells as they made for some annoying games. If you rolled a double 6 when casting a spell the opponent could block it in any way. Some spells were so over to top that successfully casting could mean the death of a whole unit. An example was purple sun, which created a template that passed over a unit a random length. Each model in that unit took an initiative test and if failed they were destroyed. Some units had to roll either a 1 or a 2 meaning that death for the majority of the unit was inevitable and it didn’t matter how many wounds they had each. Dead! This made the game sometimes all abut whether the wizard could get a spell off or not by rolling 6 dice. Again, I used this trick so shouldn’t moan, but some spells were just too powerful.
I had to laugh many times however as a roll of a double 6 or double 1 did mean that your wizard could blow themselves up and out of the game. This was such a funny part that whilst annoying when you did loose your wizard, it was so cinematic it was worth it. The games were wizards blew up are the ones I remember the most. I blew many wizards up!
Something Games Workshop still struggle with to this day is power creep, and 8th edition certainly had its fair share of this. When a new army comes out they obviously want it to sell well and so the rules tend to be particularly good for them. A good example of this would be Ogre Kingdoms which came out late in the life span of 8th edition. They had a unit, the mournfang’s, that were deadly and could wipe out most units in a charge and were tough enough to withstand most fire power (maybe not cannons or purple suns). This happened often and whilst it changed the meta and made people change their lists, sometimes it was frustrating. I don’t however feel this will ever change, as the Iron Hands for 40k have shown us, but at least Games Workshop are a lot quicker to try and fix issues such as this now (maybe too quick, but that’s another complaint not for today).
Overall however I enjoyed 8th edition Warhammer fantasy. Games Workshop eventually destroyed the whole system which created Age of Sigmar. The biggest issue with this was that they now expected models to have round bases instead of square and the game played much more like 40k than what we all loved. The game has gone on to be a great game in its own right but it dispersed the community who went on and found their own games. I eventually landed back on 40k, which I started my gaming on, and others have stuck with AOS but it does feel like the old days will never come back.