Monday, May 27, 2013

The Monday Papers: Part the Fifth

Cat reading Newspaper by Chris Scalf
Thieved from here.

The Men who would be King

Wargaming it should come as no surprise to anyone who reads this blog is my favourite pastime. There is a great deal to recommend it, the extensive preparation, the considerable expense and the rock and roll lifestyle most of all. However, every so often one comes across a group who changes how one views the hobby and in a small way how you view life. Major General Tremorden Rederring's Colonial-Era Wargames page is a wonderful example of that. A collection of battle reports, how to articles and opinion pieces written by a group of friends who've used wargaming as a way of spending time together, keeping in touch and having a wonderful time.  I'm sure other pastimes have their consolations - but if I ever had to sum up the attractions of what I do for fun up in a single webpage, this is the one.

This link is to and is of a cached version of the site. The Ouargistan Group aren't updating it at the moment for a variety of reasons, but I have it on good authority that it will be migrating to new webhosting shortly and that the band is still together.  To think of the fun they had.

Working Nine to Five

As someone who came to his calling late, I am often fascinated by why certain individuals end up in certain occupations.  There are myriad reasons and they are often wildly divorced from what you might think.  My own father, who was an extremely gifted teacher only became one because of a chance conversation in a pub. The avenue that he took simply isn't open any more, he was offered a job in the pub on Friday and started on Monday. One has to be much more deliberate these days.  But if he hadn't been working in that bar at the time, I could easily have born in a different country and under very different circumstances.

I often meet people that do jobs that I simply wouldn't be capable of, the palliative care nurses in the local children's hospital spring to mind - they are women whose courage and endurance are humbling.

Dan Ariely is an Israeli chap who delivers this brief piece on why people work with his usual charm and rigour. It is well worth watching.

A Little Knowledge

Capability Savage has a line that I've grown very fond of.

"I don't understand it - therefore it must be easy."

This particular idea is usually trotted out when Savage, a Graphic Designer, is told by a would be client that his son/nephew/cousin has Microsoft Office on his computer and that Young Johnny can put the webpage/flier/poster together.  In this age of instant information, we seem to forget that skills are more than a simple collection of information, but the product of knowledge, hard work, experience and ability.

I am often fascinated by specialists and craftsmen. My father inculcated a respect for craft in me at a young age and it has never left. Most skills have certain  rules that are bread and butter to practitioners and a revelation to laymen.  I'm always a little giddy when I learn one; it's no substitute for actual skill, but it does give one a little window into a different world and that is always interesting.

For those of us who try to tell stories with pictures, this snippet of information might be worth knowing when trying to compose or frame photographs.


  1. Oh, that's cool news about the Major-General's site! It was a site I, like many others I'm sure, drew lots of inspiration from. It will be great to see it start updating again.

    1. Mr Helber has been otherwise occupied - but will be returning to the fold before too soon. Fingers crossed!

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I thought the Maj. General was lost forever. Welcome back Alf Company, Beezel the Bandit and the Great Bunn!