Driving and Smashing

I just finished painting and weathering an MDF building I got from BP Laser Terrain.  It looks pretty damn good if do say so myself, but unfortunately I dropped it on the way to photograph it, and it smashed.

So as soon as I rebuild it I’ll put up some pictures.  This happens to me so often I just have to laugh, really.  I hold my finished model up to the light, basking in the fruits of my labour, and then suddenly it’s on the floor in pain-stakingly painted bits.  Tragic.

Also, I’ve made a resolution to finally get my driver’s license.  Not having one may not seem all that strange to anyone reading this who lives in Europe or even the US, but in Australia it’s a rite of passage to learn to drive.  A lot of people do it as soon as they legally can (16) and pretty much everyone can drive by the time they are in their mid-twenties.  The distances between our towns (and within them) make it difficult to just up and go somewhere when you feel like it unless you can drive.

There are lots of reasons I never learned, and for once “being contrary” isn’t actually one of them.  I’ve always felt it was a sort of discipline to have to rely on my own two feet and my wits to get to places.  And I’m certainly fitter than many people my age, without ever setting foot in a gym or playing sport.

But it’s starting to seem a bit selfish to rely on my not-wife to drive me when necessary, now that we have a kid and a busier life.

More importantly, I never get to play Infinity because my local store is an hour-long bus ride away and my gamer friends only want to play Warhammer 40k.  Although one of them just announced that he’s quitting, so that’s a good sign.  If I could drive I could go and join in, and even entice others perhaps…

18 thoughts on “Driving and Smashing

  1. Thuloid says:

    Argh. I do that too–get something really nice and then just mangle it. I spent a good chunk of time this summer working on some new techniques on some Empire cavalry, got them looking really great, and then basically threw them into the air in the middle of a parking lot. My wife says I “dropped” them, but I’m pretty sure I flung them skyward, somehow by accident. I was not happy.

    Actually, not having a driver’s license is exceedingly strange in the US, outside of New York City. In most of the country, the distances are just too great for anything else to be practical. I was unusual for not having one until I was 18. I have been without a car for certain stretches in my adult life, and that was complicated–only under unusual circumstances could I make it work. Certainly I couldn’t game without a vehicle.

    • beat ronin says:

      Yes! That’s what happened to me. I was just walking along holding it, and then it was like my hands just released their grip and tipped it away from me for no reason.

      That makes sense about the driving. I guess I was just thinking of a few weeks ago when SinSynn said he didn’t have a car. But then he lives in NYC. I certainly get a lot of astonished looks when I tell people around here that I’ve never driven a car.

  2. Thuloid says:

    Right–Sin lives in a very dense city with extremely well-developed public transportation. I live (for another 2 weeks) in a sprawling metro area of nearly 4 million people spread across 16500 square kilometers (if the internet is to be believed, approximately 33% larger than the Sydney metro area). Oh, and the temperature outside right now is -17 Celsius . The current snow will likely be on the ground until March. We have no subway system or much in the way of passenger rail. A car is simply a necessity.

  3. kaptainvon says:

    I’ve never bothered to learn and I’m not exactly unique in that, but the generation prior to mine – those who hit adulthood in the late 70s and 80s – were among those who were sold The Freedom Of The Private Motor-Car as a major piece of social mythology. In Thatcher’s Britain you were a failure if you rented your home or took public transport, end of. The driving licence is also among our most ubiquitously-accepted forms of ID, so it’s not that unusual for people to learn to drive even if they don’t plan on owning a car.

    Me, I never bothered. I’ve always taken the view that it’s better to live where you work than not, and I’ve gravitated to areas where that’s possible (like, say, London). Plus I get sick in cars. For the few times a year when I’d actually need one, it’s just not worth the hassle and expense. I would LIKE to learn, but I don’t feel I NEED to, if you catch my drift.

    • beat ronin says:

      Wow sorry for the late replies, all my spare time got chewed up prepearing D&D for this week.

      Hey, Von, yeah I think it’s pretty similar here except that even now most Australians I know own (if they’re my parent’s generation) or aspire to own (if they’re younger) their own house, and they can all drive except me. None of the younger people really own their houses though. They have enormous mortgages, which means if they stop working they have to move out. To me that just seems like renting.

      Anwyay I get the serious willies thinking of going into a debt that large: I wrote my Honours thesis on the ethics of usury, and I object to mortgages and credit (I don’t have a credit card either) on ethical grounds. So the long and the short of it is I’ll probably never own a house. But so what?

      It’s amazing what you can do if you save cleverly and avoid debt. My not-wife and I, who have been together for nine years now, have never worked a full time job longer than three months between us. And last year we bought a new car up-front with savings.

      If people generally still lived within walking or public-transport distance of their work the world would be a very different place, but that genie is out of the bottle unfortunately.

  4. Bush Craft says:

    Wood glue for MDF, not white. It’ll take a shotgun blast after that.

    Man I had to get a second car once my kids were born. My wife and I were doing some very creative time management so that I could get to work on time and she’d still be able to get groceries, OBGYN appointments, and whatnot since we live out in farm country a day’s walk from about everything. I alleviated some of it by riding a bike to and from work (20 km! At 5:00 am! The things I do for this family!) but then winter rolls around and suddenly I can’t feel my face or legs.

    I guess morale of the story is: Yeah, get that license, “Dad” 😉

    • beat ronin says:

      Hey BC, just after my son was born I had a second job working nights in the freezer at a supermarket and I used to ride my bike. Winter was a killer. I felt a hundred years old on the ride home at 6 am. I had to give the job up anyway because the baby wasn’t a good sleeper and my not-wife couldn’t cope alone.

      It’s amazing the sorts of things you’ll do though. Now I know which of my principles are ones I will actually hold to, and which were luxuries born of not having anyone relying on me.

  5. SinSynn says:

    I actually used to drive, having been handed a series of company cars…which is what actually made me stop driving. In my line of work, having a company car is like a curse. You’ll get called at all hours of the day and night and sent to the ends of the earth. I was more than happy to give up my drivers license, actually.
    Never again. Sitting in traffic in NYC is just hideous. And I like what little personal life I have…

    Hope everyone is well. I’m only 9 days away from a day off! Woot!

    • beat ronin says:

      Hey Sin, how did you get out of your license? ‘Sorry boss I “accidentally” got hammered and rear-ended a bus and the cops took my license. Tough luck hey?’

      I mean you couldn’t just let it expire right? Not without looking like you were trying to avoid the company car deal.

      If you don’t get a chance to reply to this, enjoy your day off, and I hope Baby Jesus/pagan winter god/Consumero* bring you nice gifts.

      *Consumero is of course the secular god of capitalism. I just made him up.

  6. SinSynn says:

    And please- don’t get me started on ‘dropping stuffs.’
    I am like THE KING of dropped stuffs. Captain of a thousand broken troopies.
    That’s me.

  7. Bush Craft says:

    If only you had some kind of indestructible case to keep them in.

    If only…

  8. SinSynn says:

    That doesn’t stop me from breaking ’em when I’m gaming, BC. I need some of those old school, one-piece metal jammies from back in the day. I’d still prolly manage to break ’em though. I’m dumb like that.

  9. Thuloid says:

    I try to be so careful with my guys most of the time. I don’t crush them, I don’t pack them poorly, and then I do something horrible and stupid and random with them. Or the cat does. Today, in the middle of packing up my home office, he jumped onto a high shelf where I had located a bunch of minis after moving off the books. Nearly knocked an old school metal doomwheel onto the floor from 5 feet up.

    In other news, this move is killing me. Ok, the move, the brother almost dying in the hospital the other day (note: do not challenge one’s liver to a deathmatch), and another major event I have coming up Saturday are killing me. Seriously, I’m tired, and want to be in Pennsylvania already. Technically, these are “days off”, meaning that I am unemployed for a couple weeks. Practically, it’s much more work than having a job.

    • beat ronin says:

      Thuloiud, I hope the move turns out well for you. I’ve been unemployed before (for months) and it is harder than work, because you feel like there’s no divide between what has to be done and what you want to do, and it’s also emotionally draining in a way that work isn’t. All the best. I’ll reply to your email probably some time over the xmas break – I get about a week off, which is a double-edged sword as I’m a casual worker, so no pay on my days off. But generally I’m willing to take the hit 😉

  10. SinSynn says:

    It expired.
    You hafta renew it like every 3 or 5 years or whatever, and I didn’t,
    Oh, well…no more company cars for me.
    It’s a trap, I tell you!

  11. SinSynn says:

    And yeah, my bosses were a bit miffed about it, but I’m Union. Waddayagonnado?
    You can’t fire me for not wanting to be responsible for a company vehicle, or for not wanting the nonsense that comes along with it.
    Parking in NYC? Forget it. Midtown is like 30 to 100 bucks a day, and a lot of companies expect you to lay it out, and then they reimburse you. What this results in is you having a bunch of money wrapped up in this revolving door process. It comes back, and immediately goes back out again.
    And ohmygod, dude, driving every day in NYC will make anyone crazy. It’s brutal.
    Now I just get on a subway and chill. Read a book or newspaper or sumpthin.’ Relax, have my coffee. Enjoy the sights, if there’s some pretty ladies on the train, and there frequently is. Chat with all kindsa people. Complain about the subway…

  12. Thuloid says:

    Right now, the move is last thing on my mind, though thanks for the good wishes. It turns out, barring sudden and unforeseen change, my brother is dying. He has probably a week or so left. He’s 46. This is such a strange, difficult time–big move, new job, and this. But I’ll be interested to see your response to my last email.

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