Miniatures: Secrets of the Third Reich

Until relatively recently I wasn’t overly aware of miniature figures. I’d seen my dad’s old cowboy and Native American figures but these were mass-produced toys rather than something that you had to assemble or paint yourself.

My lack of knowledge is my only excuse for not knowing better when my other-half said that he wanted to start playing again (he’d given up before we met) and assured me that it would be cheap hobby.

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It turns out that there are an awful lot of different types of miniatures and some are scarier than others.

Fairly high on the list of scary things are the models from ‘Secrets of the Third Reich: 1949‘, also known as SoTR. These are a range of 28mm figures, produced by West Wind Productions.

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As far as I can tell it is World War 2 with monsters. So you have Russian, US, British and German forces with added zombies, mechanised walkers and monsters – both natural and created.

V-gas rockets led to zombies, vampires and werewolves are rife, as a casual observer I haven’t worked out where the yeti-things fit in – but that is a minor issue.

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In case you were wondering, it is certainly not a cheap hobby.

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My cat drools and he likes it

My household has two cats – G and F.

F is called F because of his very large and obvious (censored!), his (censored!) has been apparent since he was a kitten. Also since he was a kitten he has drooled when stroked.

It is more of a steady drip of drool than a stream of dribble, but it is certainly very soggy if he sits in one place for long enough.

kitten drool
At first the drooling was a cause for concern as there are a few possible medical causes:

  • For example mouth problems such tooth damage, gum disease, ulcers or similar.
  • An adverse reaction to plants, household cleaners or medication.
  • Potentially nerve damage, internal organ damage and rabies all deserve a mention.

So there are a fair few medical reasons which need ruling out!

A vet can and should be engaged to check out drooling and to give the cat a clean bill of health. One question which they may ask is if the drooling has developed suddenly or recently. In F’s case the answer is no, he has always been a gusher.

So with no sign of a medical reason and a healthy mouth this opens up the possibility that the drooling is due to being happy. Apparently some cats drool when relax and content, they get so happy that they go floppy, their mouth opens and they dribble!
Some research and a lot of experimentation seems to suggest that F likes being stroked behind the ears to the extent that he dribbles – but only when my other-half strokes him!

Some people on the internet suggest that you should avoid stroking any trigger spots, but I am unsure why avoiding making F happy just because of a bit of sogginess would be a reasoned or fair response.

So F will continue to be adored and stroked where he likes and I will be grateful that he prefers to sit on my other-half!

Copyright © WhereEvilThoughts 2013 – excluding pictures! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WhereEvilThoughts with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Cooking my knee will fix it? Why a diathermy machine is my new best friend

As my patella femoral joint pain continues my physiotherapist starts getting desperate. Let’s call him Bob.

According to Bob it shouldn’t hurt this much – however the swelling and clicking when he manipulates that leg speak for themselves, as do my frantic squeaking noises when it all gets too much.

So Bob pulled out the big guns – or at least the machine that looks like 1940 Soviet-era space technology, a diathermy machine.

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Basically a diathermy machine uses high-frequency electromagnetic currents to electrically induced heat, with this heat then relaxing the muscles and attempting to reduce the under knee pain.

It can do other things too, for example it can coagulate bleeding vessels and cut through tissue! This is called electrosurgery or electrocautery. Apparently Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) use these functions.

My physio, ‘Bob’, was telling me that about 40 years ago when this technology was being fine-tuned there were instances where people had body parts effectively cooked – as it wasn’t understood at the time that too much heat was bad. He says that now this isn’t a problem.

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I do hope that Bob is correct it now being safe, I rather hope that he is wrong about people being cooked!

The internet tells me that there have been reported instances of flash fires in operating theatres – something to do with the combination of heat, chemical flash points and lots of oxygen from the anaesthetic equipment.

So far I haven’t been cooked, set fire to or even felt that much heat from the machine. It has however reduced some of a swelling and pain – for a day or so, which makes this machine almost worth a £1 per minute I am paying!

Copyright © WhereEvilThoughts 2013 – excluding pictures! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WhereEvilThoughts with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book: ‘Hush, Hush’ – sexless angels and teenage angst

There seem to be a lot of Young Adult (aka teenage) books featuring angels these days. Angels with wings, angels so fallen that they are now demons, dark brooding teenage angels –  who aren’t really teenage at all, nephilim, evil angels… so on and so forth.

In most of these books the term nephilim is mostly used to cover the children of angels and humans – of as Genesis 6 put it “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them.” Right after this point God gets annoyed with humans and tries to drown them all – apart from Noah.

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The charity shops seem to have a lot of these books too, which is good because cheap books mean I care less about the quality!

For example buying both ‘Hush, Hush’ and ‘Finale’ by Becca Fitzpatrick cost me under £2. There are four books in the series – ‘Hush, Hush’, ‘Crescendo’, ‘Silence’ and ‘Finale’. The series was originally meant to be a trilogy – but I guess that as people were still buying the books so you may as well shove another one in the series!

In ‘Hush, Hush’ there is some iffy prologue that sets out some groundwork for fallen angels and nephilim – which gives you a good hint of where the book is going! Talking of hints, there are probably spoilers in the below text – frankly anyone with the brain of a hamster could work out where this book is going, but SPOILER alert anyway!

The plot is a teenage girl, Nora Grey, lives with her mum in the middle of nowhere. Mum is often away on business and daddy is dead (in ‘Hush, Hush’ anyway). She has some class (something science related ostensively but they kept going on about sex to the degree where it certainly wasn’t the UK school syllabus!) a boy at school whose name is, apparently, Patch.

Hush,hush

It isn’t love at first sight and Nora’s best friend is a vacant slapper called Vee – in the later books she gets a bit less of a slapper but I didn’t see much sign of the brain vacancy being filled.

Nora hasn’t read (or watched) Dean Koontz’s ‘Hideaway’ so goes to a creepy local amusement park and gets in minor trouble and starts hallucinating randomly – she also meets to more creepy men, Elliot who screams date-rapist and his quiet grumpy mate Jules who seems to be channeling his inner anti-social serial killer.

At this point the book start wandering through mild teen peril territory, with Nora having a bad vibe about Elliot and Patch but seems unable to keep away from either. Nora and Patch have some sort of chemistry but can’t communicate to save their lives – in the most literal sense!

Oh and a ride called ‘Archangel’? Uber subtle

.Lilith

 

Patch really should kill Nora as he’d be truly human, or something, but he decides to fall in ‘love’ with her instead. As with most Young Adult books the angels, fallen or winged, seem to be sexless – they certainly don’t act like most teenage boys around teenage girls! There is zero risk of teen pregnancy; thank goodness as Nora really is a doozy cow, I think she would actually put her baby in the microwave.

So Patch ends up being a good guy – with a stupid name, and Jules is the bad guy. Wow who didn’t see that coming? Life lesson – the creepy quiet guy probably isn’t a good person to play hide and seek with in school after dark.

So I then skipped two books and moved onto ‘Finale’ – I can sum this one up very quickly: it is pretty much the same as the first book! Nora and Patch still can’t communicate to save their lives, Nora still trusts all the wrong people – any guy she finds attractive seems to be a psycho killer, she is still a whiney immature brat. There is an unintentionally funny drug addiction message in the book – let’s call it devilcraft then the kids will really get the message! Honestly I wish I was making this up!

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The happy ending is cobbled together:  the bad people get bad things happen to them, Vee gets married to some random guy that we first meet in the chapter where they are getting married, Nora and Patch are implied to be getting down and dirty – but as Patch is as anatomically correct as a Ken doll it isn’t very fulfilling and Nora has to go to the shops for batteries.

As with every Young Adult book published since ‘Twilight’ someone has bought the film rights – apparently LD Entertainment have bought the rights to the ENTIRE series. No release date and if we are lucky the scripts will be stuck in development hell forever.

Copyright © WhereEvilThoughts 2013 – EXCLUDING images! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WhereEvilThoughts with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

If anyone know who to credit the photo of the Weeping Angel statue to (which is apparently in Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans, LA) do let me know – I’d very much like to know as it is a good shot! The other photos are just as uncredited so I technically have the same interest – but would anyone want to be known as the pervert who took a photo of a Ken doll without pants on?

 

Revenge – where can season 3 go?

This may contain spoilers so if you haven’t seen all of Season 1 and 2 I wouldn’t advise reading on – unless you like spoilers!

The plot of ‘Revenge’ is fairly simple and apparently was partly inspired by The Count of Monte Cristo. Amanda Clarke’s father David was framed as a terrorist/money launderer/all-round white collar criminal when she was nine. She started to grow up in foster care – believing him to be guilty, and he was murdered in prison.

Amanda gets framed by a fellow foster child for a fire at their ‘home’ and is sent into juvenile detention.  When she gets out she is picked up by Nolan Ross who knew her father and who whole-heartedly believes him innocent. He also has a rather large sum of money for her – which is rather handy!

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Amanda swaps identities with a fellow member of juvie – Emily Thorne, and sets off back to the Hamptons area of New York to see revenge on everyone who was responsible for what happened to her father – and to her of course. This is rather a lot of people including the Grayson’s who happen to live right next door!

Revenge is a soap opera so plots making sense is often optional. Half the appeal is wondering how to earth these people got into these situations and the strange way in which they will emerge – usually having learnt nothing from the experience!

The first season was fab, the second was less so, but there is still enough going on to mean I am counting down to the next season!  The trouble is I have rather lost track of what exact revenge was wanted by Emily.

In season 1 she makes a large number of people very unhappy – most of them could be argued to have deserved it (if you believe in that sort of thing!). This built up to a season finale where  Victoria Grayson boards a plane with evidence to take to a Washington DC trial which would have incriminated Conrad, the plane then blows up.

So you’d expect that from the start of season 2 there would be a concerted effort by the Federal Government – and Emily, to rebuild the case and to get to the bottom of the exploding plane.

Seemingly not! In fact Emily goes off on a little tangent including (in no particular order): going to Japan, finding a new chap, faking a breakup with the new chap, getting re-engaged to Daniel, planning to move to Paris with Daniel, finding her mother, sending her mother away, prompting Jack to ask faux-Amanda who the baby’s daddy is, faking the paternity test, lying to faux-Amanda about who the baby’s daddy is, revealing to faux-Amanda who the daddy is, stealing hospital uniforms, getting shouted at by Jack because he is stupid, saving Nolan, needing saving by Nolan (well by his computer wizardry) and throwing into the sea the laptop with all her evidence on!

Ok, so Emily has no evidence anymore, she’s ruined the Grayson’s social standing as they’ve all been arrested and generally look like scum – I mean Conrad has been elected Governor of New York which seems a bit like being the King Rat. So is Emily going to kill all members of the Grayson family instead? Maybe, she certainly stopped Jack killing Conrad in the season 2 finale!

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As ruining them socially and legally doesn’t seem to be Emily’s end-game I guess she wants them miserable then dead. Perhaps in season 3 she will lure them all to a jungle and then hunt them down one by one, I can’t see how else this is going to make any sense – even for a soap opera.

For those looking for parallels with the Count, in the end he gives way his money and runs off with someone who had previously been sold into slavery. So, interpreting slavery in a modern setting as being anyone who has spent a prolonged time stuck socially lower/subservient to someone else, that could be almost anyone. Just please don’t be Jack.

The Third season starts in the US on September 29 (2013).

Copyright © WhereEvilThoughts 2013 – excluding images! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WhereEvilThoughts with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Animals nails – warning these may eat your soul

Due to a stress-related incident my nails are currently a little bit too short to bother painting with anything too fancy.

So as an incentive to avoid more stress-related incidents I sought out some funky animal nails!

The zoo animals from AdventuresInAcetone would probably look best on my niece (or anyone under 5!) but I can’t image her sitting still long enough!

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I love the idea of JanuarySublime’s penguins and the age range probably goes up to a solid mid 20-something years of age! I personally prefer the yellow feet to the orange.

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I love the way this snake from Sonoma dances across the hand, it looks dangerous and elegant!

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All of the above are fab, but these demonic sheep take the prize.  Never before have I been truly scared of nail art but these floating blank-eyed sheep with glitter grass are fantastically creepy. I have never wanted to paint my nails so much in my life!
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I may get hate mail from the mani artist for saying this but these nails remind me of the film Black Sheep – photo below, probably not for the squeamish.

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If you gave a cat £11 million would it learn to fish?

The Cats Protection charity were in my local shopping centre trying to get people to sign up a Direct Debit to their weekly lottery

I make no comment on the work that the Cats Protection people do, I just remember that they had over £11 million in an Icelandic bank when it collapsed.

This £11 million being a mere 16 per cent of its reserves. That is a sum on money most of us can only dream of – even my spoilt brat of a cat would be hard-pressed to spend that!

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Just because some charities seem to have more money than sense. donating to charity is certainly not something that should be dismissed, but it is something that should be taken seriously. On an average Saturday in a high street near me there are usually five distinct charities – or things that look like charities to the casual observer, wanting money.

This is excluding the Christian chap screaming abuse through a megaphone who has a collection bucket, the Big Issue sellers, the nice people to want to me to attend a rap concert for God, the people with the ‘free’ Koran stand, the blind chap who whistles with a collection bucket, the chap with the ginger cat who has a collection bucket or the man selling wooden toys “from Jerusalem” who has a handwritten sign with a charity number on it – I’ve not looked up the number but if it is really his then I’d be very surprised.

So a fair few people want my money – and possibly my soul, but working out which ones are meaningful to give to is tricky.
The Charity Commission lets you download annual reports from over 30,000 charities in England and Wales, which lets you see how much money has been raised and work out (somewhat crudely) how it was spent.

There is an American site called Charity Navigator which says it evaluates “the Financial Health and Accountability and Transparency of 6,000 of America’s largest charities.” I have no idea if it manages this but they do have a good guide to donating sensibly and efficiently!

One of my favourite points being to check the Executive pay, apparently the average CEO pay is around $50,000 – to me this is a fantastical figure that surely must eat into the donations raised!

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Of course a job done well must be rewarded and to attract the best people you need to pay, however in a sector that is often called “non-profit” that is sounding like a lot of profit for certain people in the organisation!

There is no magical answer, you just have to find a charity that works for you, give them time/money/whatever and hope they aren’t crooked or wasteful.

Copyright © WhereEvilThoughts 2013 – text and thoughts! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WhereEvilThoughts with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.