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Friday, October 12, 2018

Hi Ho! Hi Ho! A moving we will go!

Time to take a hiatus from blogging as my beautiful bride of 32 years and myself have bought our dream home and it's time to move - and yes!  I will have a war room all my own.  I'm not sure when I'll be back with the blog, but you can be sure there will be pictures of my new room.

My beautiful bride, Chief of Staff and Minister of Finance.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

'Soldier an' Salor Too'

As I was spittin' into the Ditch aboard o' the Crocodile,
   I seed a man on a man-o'-war got up in the Reg'lars' style.
   'E was scrapin' the paint from off of 'er plates,
     an' I sez to 'im, “'Oo are you?”
    Sez 'e, “I'm a Jolly—'Er Majesty's Jolly—soldier an' sailor too!”
    Now 'is work begins by Gawd knows when, and 'is work is never through;
   'E isn't one o' the reg'lar Line, nor 'e isn't one of the crew.
   'E's a kind of a giddy harumfrodite—soldier an' sailor too!

An' after I met 'im all over the world, a-doin' all kinds of things, Like landin' 'isself with a Gatlin' gun to talk to them 'eathen kings; 'E sleeps in an 'ammick instead of a cot, an' 'e drills with the deck on a slew, An' 'e sweats like a Jolly—'Er Majesty's Jolly—soldier an' sailor too! For there isn't a job on the top o' the earth the beggar don't know, nor do— You can leave 'im at night on a bald man's 'ead, to paddle 'is own canoe— 'E's a sort of a bloomin' cosmopolouse—soldier an' sailor too.
We've fought 'em in trooper, we've fought 'em in dock, and drunk with 'em in betweens, When they called us the seasick scull'ry-maids, an' we called 'em the Ass Marines; But, when we was down for a double fatigue, from Woolwich to Bernardmyo, We sent for the Jollies—'Er Majesty's Jollies—soldier an' sailor too! They think for 'emselves, an' they steal for 'emselves, and they never ask what's to do, But they're camped an' fed an' they're up an' fed before our bugle's blew. Ho! they ain't no limpin' procrastitutes—soldier an' sailor too.
You may say we are fond of an 'arness-cut, or 'ootin' in barrick-yards, Or startin' a Board School mutiny along o' the Onion Guards; But once in a while we can finish in style for the ends of the earth to view, The same as the Jollies—'Er Majesty's Jollies—soldier an' sailor too! They come of our lot, they was brothers to us; they was beggars we'd met an' knew; Yes, barrin' an inch in the chest an' the arm, they was doubles o' me an' you; For they weren't no special chrysanthemums—soldier an' sailor too!
To take your chance in the thick of a rush, with firing all about, Is nothing so bad when you've cover to 'and, an' leave an' likin' to shout; But to stand an' be still to the Birken'ead drill is a damn tough bullet to chew, An' they done it, the Jollies—'Er Majesty's Jollies— soldier an' sailor too! Their work was done when it 'adn't begun; they was younger nor me an' you; Their choice it was plain between drownin' in 'eaps an' bein' mopped by the screw, So they stood an' was still to the Birken'ead drill, soldier an' sailor too!
We're most of us liars, we're 'arf of us thieves, an' the rest are as rank as can be, But once in a while we can finish in style (which I 'ope it won't 'appen to me). But it makes you think better o' you an' your friends, an' the work you may 'ave to do, When you think o' the sinkin' Victorier's Jollies—soldier an' sailor too! Now there isn't no room for to say ye don't know— they 'ave proved it plain and true— That whether it's Widow, or whether it's ship, Victorier's work is to do, An' they done it, the Jollies—'Er Majesty's Jollies— soldier an' sailor too!

Friday, October 5, 2018

IHMN: Teddy Roosevelt and the Wild, Wild, Wicked Witch of the West, Part 2

In our last episode we were at the half-way point in a game between the Wicked Witch of the West (WWW) and the Knights Templar supplemented with some heroes including Teddy Roosevelt, Special Agent Thomas Sawyer, Marshal Wyatt Earp and the Bounty Hunter. The Knights Templar would be tasked with killing WWW while the WWW company would need to recover the treasure of the  helmet and breastplate of Jason of the Argonauts.  Both sides received reinforcements: the Templar reinforcements were on the train and the WWW reinforcements were the dreaded Wolves of Oz arriving from from the North edge of the board.  Current Score: Templars 8, WWW 2.

 The Bounty Hunter puts out the fire on his duster and confronts WWW: "I don't think it's nice, you laughin'. You see, my hawk don't like people laughin'. Gets the crazy idea you're laughin' at him. Now if you apologize like I know you're going to, I might be able to convince him that you didn't mean nothin' by it..."

 The Winkies have the Train! (Sounds like a catchy children's song).  Round 6 between the flying monkey and the hired man.
 Special Agent Thomas Sawyer takes one for the team . . . will evil win this one?  And where did the Winkies learn to shoot? (Note: I forgot to mention earlier that the stream is fordable every where and just slows your movement a little)

Wyatt Earp: "All right, Mr. Gargoyle ... you called down the thunder, well now you've got it! You see that? (pulls open his coat, revealing a badge) It says United States Marshal! 
Wyatt Earp:  You die first, get it? Your friends might get me in a rush, but not before I make your head into a canoe, you understand me? POW POW POW POW KACHING! (That's the noise pistols make when you roll two "10's" and you are shooting using the gunslinger talent.)

 Crying.  That's the sound the gargoyle makes when he fails both pluck rolls.

 Just a pile of rocks.
 Grandmaster Sir Hugues de Payens takes out a wolf with his sword.

 And the hired hand (this is embarrassing), disengages from the winged mechanical horror, leaps down from the train, and breaks his fall with his neck.  Exit the hired hand.

 Sir Hugues sneaks up on WWW with a pale of water while the Bounty Hunter engages her in witty banter, pistol shots, and a sword block of her magic broom.

 WWW decides to fly away as that water gets a little too close for comfort . . .
 The Winkie grabs the treasure while Teddy Roosevelt (just barely seen) tries to stop another Winkie.

 The helmet and breastplate of Jason of the Argonauts.
 "A man's life in these parts often depends on a mere scrap of information," says the Bounty Hunter as he pursues WWW.
 The wolves continue to do their mistresses bidding as they attack Sir Hugues, Sir Ralph and Billy Bearclaw.

 "You gonna do somethin'? Or are you just gonna stand there and bleed?"

 "I guess you're just going to bleed."
 A winged monkey attacks the Bounty Hunter.

  “When you're at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on.”

 "One bullet riddled wolf. Having the armor helped too."
 Sir Hugues slays another mighty beast . . .

  . . . while Billy Bearclaw thinks he should've joined the wolf clan when he was younger.

Teddy uses his Bowie knife against the Winkie: "I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit."

 You have got to be kidding me!  The monkey wins?

 WWW just remembers that a flying mechanical monkey might be better at getting the treasure away instead of a walking Winkie.

 Sir Hugues advances with his bucket to slay the foul fiend.

   “A man who has never gone to school may steal a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.”

"How about a little fire, Marshal?" Marshal Earp advances and dodges a ball of flame.
 While Wyatt engages WWW the Templars advance.

 "When you play, play hard; when you work, don't play at all.” KAPOW! The last monkey is taken out by Teddy.
 Slash and bite. Exit Billy.

 "Hmmmm," thinks the Winkie, "Everybody who grabs this gets shot."

 "So, you won't take warning, eh? All the worse for you tin man. I'll take care of you now instead of later."

 The monstrous wolf attacks Sir Ralph from behind.
 “Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don't have the strength.” 

 WWW wounds Wyatt Earp with her own gun . . . 

 . . . and then smacks him with her poisoned broom. Wyatt rolling a "1" for pluck kinda helped too.

 TR plugs another Winkie.

 Sir Ralph defends himself with pistol and sword.

 "Witch. I will not suffer your evil to continue."
 “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” 

 Looks like the final showdown between two mighty beings.

 An overhead shot as the game reaches its climax.

 Sir Ralph kills the last wolf.

 WWW disengages from Sir Hugues and flies to the treasure.

 WWW attempts to mesmerize TR but fails and is surrounded by our heroes.

 Sir Ralph guns down the "Last of the Winkies."

 Discretion being the better part of valor, WWW disengages and flies away on her broom screaming, "Curses, curses! Somebody always helps that girl. Shoes or no shoes. I'm still great enough to conquer her. And woe to those who try to stop me!"

The surviving heroes.

Wow. What a game!  The monkeys used to be the red shirts of WWW's company but came into their own (-4 to hit while flying) and the Winkies are more durable than imagined.  The surprise attack of the wolves almost tipped the scales but the game started to slip away from the bad guys when Wyatt Earp gunned down the gargoyle. Neither team achieved their objective though and the final score was Templars 26, WWW 15. The question is, with the Witch King locked up, WWW loose and the Professor pulling the strings from the center of his web, where will evil strike next?  Will the ruby slippers and a certain consulting detective show up soon?