The 2016 EU Referendum – Brexit

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This week the United Kingdom makes one of the biggest choices it will ever make by public vote. To leave the European Union or to remain in the European Union. On Thursday 23rd June 2016 voters will turn out and decide with a result which will decide the future of the nation. It has been a constant for me for months now and after all the ‘fun’ of the Scottish referendum of 2014 which lasted many months I am frankly tired of it all.

This short posting on my own personal blog is not exhaustive by any means and it is not meant to be either. The whole matter is so complex that it is virtually impossible for any mere mortal (believe me I have watched and read so much it is a joke that any normal person would subject themselves to such dry torture) to make an informed choice as to how to vote. What I know for certain is that you have to choose if you wish Westminster to be sovereign in law making, if you wish to have politicians who are accountable to be voted out if you do not like them, if you believe fundamentally that diversity is vital, if you think political expansion over all other concerns is the goal and so on. In the end do you side with a corrupt but expansive market or with a smaller corrupt but accountable one. Certainly no one in power who has a vested interest in remaining in the EU gives a toss about normal people; that has been plain to see. I think the EU has been a bain upon the normal poorer people of Britain (and other member nations) who have born the brunt of its policies in the last twenty years in many areas while the wealthier have reaped the benefits. If you are liberal and see it as all and only good then you see only half of it; which is your choice. There is room enough for all argument in a future too vague and wide to see properly. I think the Euro zone will collapse and that Turkey is a mistake which will be made by the EU. No more political or economic integration.  Enough.  This island is full and diverse enough.  We have enough unemployed of our own and the world is not our problem.  If we remain the UK will regret it…in ways too horrid to list here.  Sad I had to say that but it is what I think will happen based on investigation.

For me issues of sovereignty are paramount and that is how I came down during the 2014 referendum (I voted to stay in the UK if you are interested). A political choice for me and on that basis alone I will vote Leave with my one ballot paper. I think to be able to decide things on our own is better. Better for me, for my children and better for Britain. I respect your choice if you respect mine. Don’t call me racist or xenophobic. I am not and it makes me sad you might think that for speaking my refined opinion which I am entitled to. I give to charity and I have friends all over the world. Ask anyone who knows me I am a great guy and very helpful to those who need it. It is my choice and I have made it based on months of thinking and reading. The last item here and longest to finish but well worth it to understand macro power structures like the EU…

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So what will happen? I will make my prediction so that I can point back to it rightly or wrongly after the 23rd what I thought would occur openly. I think that this week the UK will vote to Leave and it will be down mainly to the bulk of the silent population being fearful of immigration and that the Westminster village has once more, as it did with the last general election, totally failed to read the mood of the nation correctly. Was I right?

Two points to finish on before I sign off. Another prediction firstly that on November 8th 2016 in the American presidential election that Donald Trump will win. He is coming to Turnberry up the road from here in Girvan to open his golf resort personally on Wednesday 22nd June and from what I know has done a lot of good for the people here in terms of jobs and pride. If Clinton wins then America is tragically racing for the cliff edge. Secondly a very sad admittance that all the politics are actually a side show to something much larger and more sinister and that is the world now. There are structural challenges in population shifts, wealth going to the 1%, climate change, religious radicalism and so on which threaten us all regardless of our geographical location….fun eh.

I prefer wargaming and writing books so normal service resumed in the next post here. I just had to make my statement.

GBS

Patrol Angis and Callsign Taranis will be larger format books!

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Do you like what you see? I do…and I have seen the finished art that this sketch was the beginning point for. There are great things a foot at The Ion Age. In a few weeks time we will be all about Callsign Taranis the book and the pre-order offers too. Before that we will put the new and improved production method IAF035 Adder Combat Cars (all six different models) back on the website shortly and we will tell you just what is in Callsign Taranis the expansion to Patrol Angis. But first this little article by way of introduction to what will come.

Both Patrol Angis and Callsign Taranis will be published as A4 larger format books moving away from A5. We have responded to customers and shortly the smaller A5 format Patrol Angis will be removed from our website meaning that if you have one of them it will be a collectors item for there will be no more smaller format books in this growing series. If you want the smaller format book get it now as it will be removed with the pre-orders begin or sooner if stock is exhausted. Simply put I placed so much value and word count in Patrol Angis (and Callsign Taranis) that it needed more space for everyone to be able to enjoy it properly!

I have shown the cover art of both books before and now I will tell you that those two great pieces of art are NO LONGER the cover art for the books. Sam Croes the lead designer and artist at The Ion Age has created two new much larger works of art for the covers. So in conclusion the existing Patrol Angis rulebook will be re-issued as a larger format with new covers but with exactly the same content and Callsign Taranis will be larger format too and will have new cover art and totally new content. Hope you liked the sketch.

GBS

p.s.  This article is taken from the blog for The Ion Age and marks my small return to my own website here after a haitus which saw illness, joy and sadness as well as accomplishment too.  More to come.

A Hiatus Posting – December 2014

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Hello Everyone!

As you all might have noticed I have posted here a lot less now than I did before while my work on the blogs I support at Alternative Armies, 15mm.co.uk and The Ion Age has increased a lot in the last six months.  Well due to a number of factors I no longer have the time to make my own posts here on personal matters and on work matters.  There are other channels I can be found on including my own email (feel free to contact me the link is on the right) and my facebook page as well and I always welcome feedback and enquiries.

So I am not here, but I am here and work and life continues.  Thank you all for your comments and support over the last two years.  I may well return…..

See you all in 2015!

GBS

DerMead is DerMighty!

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Today saw the start of the festive season for Alternative Armies (15mm.co.uk goes for it next week and The Ion Age on 1st December) and in the tradition that makes wargaming miniatures great we have a Christmas figure!  Yes these days its not as popular as it once was for a variety of reasons which is sad but the loyal audience for Flintloque that continues to walk the path with me year after year deserved something nice so something nice they got.  Follow this link for the full story but in short the image here shows you a Dwarf character in 28mm which while good for festive is also good all around too.  52014 Heinz DerMead the brewer!

It is a goal of mine to keep the fun in wargaming and the originality of it too.

GBS

Galactic Knights..what will be chosen?

Over on the 15mm.co.uk blog today I put up a short post about the possible expansion of the popular HOF105 Galactic Knights pack of miniatures along with the top suggestions for what the extensions might be.  The extension depends on reaching the magic number of 500 packs sold.  I am sure this will happen.  We were thirty off when I put the post up and as of right now we are twenty one packs short.  So with that settled what will the expansion be?  Read the link before continuing.

While it will depend on feedback in total I have my own guess.  My own guess is that everything and more than was suggested will be asked for but the majority will ask for support weapons and also a female pack of Galactic Knights with a possible bare headed or command type bolt on.  Will I be correct?  We will see end of this month or so when the numbers are tallied.  Sam Croes is keen to make more of these unique humans in 15mm scale but he has totally deferred to public input on this.

I would like to thank everyone of the hundreds who email us and comment and react every month about our products.  Your energy keeps me smiling.

GBS

Remembrance 2014 – 100th Anniversary of WW1

“At the going down of the light and in the morning we shall remember them….”

It is one hundred years since the beginning of World War One and today that is most salient with me as it is Remembrance Sunday.  Silence to remember those who fell in all the conflicts from that day to this in wars all over the world.  I have done my part with fund raising and donating for the correct Poppies that came my way in the street from hands both young and old.  Remember them, we owe them that much.

This day holds significance for me as I make my living from ‘war’.  Not real war.  But the kind of pretend conflict where when the sun sets everyone stands up and returns home.  This life of mine is only possible in part due to the sacrifices made by soldiers of days now long gone and more recent. They ensured our freedom.  You can disagree with the motives of war of the goals of war but for the men who leave and never return there should only ever be respect.  So let this life of pretend war of mine bring excitement and joy to thousands across the world but for today let it be tempered with the horrid reality of battle.

GBS

Ten Years a Resident of Girvan

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I have now lived in the town of Girvan, South Ayrshire, Scotland for ten years exactly.  This anniversary kind of crept up on me really since I had kind of forgotten how long I had been here but since I was reminded of it by my lovely wife I decided a short blog post was in order to celebrate.  So ten years.  What does that mean to me?

I came to Girvan knowing nothing of it.  Not even a name on a map.  A total unknown.  I came with no expectations of the place more than the purchase of a place to live.  In the time that has passed since then the town has changed and I have changed and do you know what we have both had problems and triumphs and I feel that we fit together well.   The town is friendly and the people hardy and industrious too.  Crime has not touched me and the summers have warmed me and the skies and seas nourished my children.  To know the names of many people you pass in the street is wonderful and to have the chance to assist the community is great too.

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My work keeps to tied to a computer screen almost all the time and I have done well and achieved much in the environment that this little town has given me.  I am happy here.  I have brought people here from the rest of the UK and Europe as well as North America and further afield as guests and they have all enjoyed their time in Girvan.  Admittedly those who came in the summer enjoyed it more!

I will not get into politics or problems as this post is about my ten years a resident and I am sure some people reading this will disagree with them and point out issues.  Issues like the Swimming Pool and empty shop units for example but those are by the side for me.  All places have issues and I much prefer being here rather than in any city.  Eyes bright and cheeks rosy.

So ten years in Girvan…here is to ten more years from this man who was once a son of ‘Maither Glasgow’.

Thanks for your time.

GBS

All You Need is Kill or Live, Die, Repeat Review

I treated myself to a night at home not doing any work and rather spending time with my good lady and watching a science fiction film.  I know…how dare I!  Moving on from that the film we choose to buy (I tend to just buy DVD’s as renting them is now very difficult and downloading does not suit me) was Edge of Tomorrow or Live, Die, Repeat or All You Need is Kill.  Take your pick of the title.  Though the last title is the book the film is based upon.  So sitting in the dark with a beer or two how was it?

Well as an adaptation of the book it was quite a bit different which was sad really as the setting in All you need is Kill was to me better than a d-day recreation set in London and northern France.  As a movie though Live Die Repeat was very good with a nice look and a lot of action.  Here is the synopsis:

“The epic action of “Edge of Tomorrow” unfolds in a near future in which an alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world. Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop-forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again…and again. But with each battle, Cage becomes able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt). And, as Cage and Rita take the fight to the aliens, each repeated encounter gets them one step closer to defeating the enemy.”

It is well worth checking out when you have a chance if you are a science fiction film fan.  Also it was good to see Bill Paxton back in the army!

So the book.  I have owned the book since near its English language translation date in the VIS Media edition in 2005.  I always thought it would make an excellent Manga but never thought it would be a Hollywood A lister live action film.  Here is the synopsis of the book:

“The story is told from the perspective of Keiji Kiriya, a new recruit in the United Defense Force which fights against the mysterious ‘Mimics’ which have laid siege to Earth. Keiji is killed on his first sortie, but through some inexplicable phenomenon wakes up having returned to the day before the battle. This continues and he finds himself caught in a time loop as his death and resurrection repeats time and time again. Keiji’s skill as a soldier grows as he passes through each time loop in a desperate attempt to change his fate.  After several dozen loops, he realizes his fate is tied to that of Rita Vrataski. He uses his knowledge of the day to get close to her and her mechanic, from whom he gets a copy of her massive axe, a weapon he learns to use well given the boltgun normal troops use runs out of ammo and jams easily. Realizing he is a fellow looper, Rita confides in Keiji, telling him of the system the Mimics use. There is a central nexus that can loop the day, as well as several antennae, all of which signal the loop to reset. Contact with an antenna is what trapped Keiji in the loop. Only by first killing all the antennae and then the nexus can Keiji escape. The Mimics constantly adapt to Keiji’s attacks, but he and Rita manage to eliminate the nexus, only to have the loop reset. After telling Rita this, she acknowledges that they missed one antenna. On the last loop (#160) they proceed to eliminate the antennae again, and then Rita attacks Keiji, explaining that being trapped in the loop has modified their brains so both of them are similar to the antennae, meaning one of them has to die before killing the nexus, else the loop will continue indefinitely. Keiji manages to kill Rita and then the nexus, and is hailed as a new hero of the Unity Army.”

Its a very original novel and its story works very well as a text, better than as a film if not using a narrator.  Confusion and despair mixed with a foreboding of events that will happen, have happened and will happen again.  If you have the inclination to read the book then you should and do so before you see the American adaptation of the book.

A last mention needs to be made of the alien creatures ‘Mimics’ which are described in the book but the film brought to CGI life.  It is a shame that no ‘making of’ book exists to be bought since I would purchase it.  The work that went into the design of the aliens was large and done in tandem with the designs of the armoured suits worn by troopers in the movie.  I got this information from two short documentaries included on the DVD.

GBS

School Daze a report from October 2014

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Parent’s Evening.  Its an event that most parents don’t look forward to.  A couple of times a year you attend the local school at a given time and then the teacher tells you all about what your little darlings have been up to in class.  What they have really been up to, not what they have told you after school each day.  This was the event for me last night in Girvan.  Now that only two of my three are at primary school for the first time it meant only two appointments rather than three which meant less running about making to a room on time.  So how did the Poet and the Warrior do….

How they did was a ringing endorsement of the parenting that myself and mainly my good lady made an effort to keep to.  Rewarding effort and initiative and punishing bad behaviour while giving the children as much responsibility as their ages can allow and not treating them as anything less than capable within their own limits.  It works.  It really does.  Both were given top marks with remarks made about their healthy attitude to life and high scores in tests and group work.  I may have to rename the Poet since his tendency towards mathematics and numbers is becoming ever greater and the Warrior is so sociable that his name may also change.

In short happy days.  Well done my sons!

GBS