Friday, January 18, 2008

The land of the deluded

The Missus and I were sitting around this morning with our coffee and wondering when, exactly, the shitstorm of stupid started. We didn’t manage to quite track it back to Ronald Reagan before the kid started torturing the cat, but we did manage to come up with a number of extremely aggravating thoughts.

Our first topic was what the hell has happened to the standard of medical care in this country that we’re now reading reports and statistics that look like they come out of a third world country? Ol’ Dr. Sanjay was on the TV talking about “What you should do if you’re in the emergency room and nobody is paying attention and you think you’re going to die.” That’s All American, ain’t it?

In the last 14 months both of our fathers have passed away, and I’ll tell you right now that out here in middle America their ain’t no “House” coming in with a miracle cure. Not even much in the way of “Marcus Welby” around to keep up with things.

So my wife asks me this morning:

“Why am I staying awake nights trying to figure out how to protect my Mom’s financial assets from the government?” Hmmm. Mostly because the government her parents (and mine, for that matter) paid taxes and social security to, supported and believed in would have her expend all of her assets (except domicile) before paying substantially for her medical care?

I notice that former senators and congressmen don’t seem to have the same concerns with their government-issue, taxpayer-funded insurance coverage.

Later on, driving in to work I’m listening to NPR and a little interview with John McCain about the economy. I’ll pause for a moment to point out that McCain is the only GOP candidate I have even a shred of respect for, and that’s because he’s the only one with enough of a moral compass to take a stand against torture as government policy. The rest are little more than slavering boot-licks that toady to a pack of self-deluded bigots who have forgotten so much of what America once stood for that they believe they are Americans.

But I digress.

So McCain’s solution to our economic woes is to reduce the corporate income tax rate.

That’s fucking brilliant. That will finally resolve the problem of that long line of corporate CEOs down at the bank who are all begging for loans to make the next payment on their Benz. Or have I missed something? My take on things is that a lot of what could be corporate profit (‘shareholder value’) is ending up in executive compensation packages.

Personally, I would like to be able to screw up my job so badly that my company loses billions of dollars in one quarter and then get fired with a multi-million dollar severance package. And I won’t even ask to use the company jet. Anybody else want in on that deal with me?

I don’t pretend to be a wizard at macro-economics, but please don’t shit on my head and then tell me everything will be allright if I’d only help you eat some more steak-n-eggs.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Feeding the monster

It’s probably some kind of mental illness. Try as I might, I can only go so long without springing for some new-ish type of wargaming stuff. The longer I resist the urge to purchase something, the bigger the explosion when I snap.

Up until the holiday season, I’d been doing OK for the last few months. But then those placed-months-ago pre-orders (Eisenbach Gap and Asia Engulfed) landed on my doorstep and it was all over but the shouting. I HAD to feed the monster again.

Fortunately, feeding the monster has become somewhat cheaper over the past few years as I’ve matured enough in my decision making to only focus on items that I might actually play someday. Gone are the days of large acquisitions based on vain hopes and distant fantasies. I will likely never play a four-map anything again. Heck, getting the oversized map of Red Star Rising onto the table is challenge enough.

Anyway, this is all a round-about introduction to the newest additions to my game closet. Chances are good that these games will get more mention in the weeks ahead because, as I said, they are all ‘players’.

The list of incoming titles is short: Corps Command: Totensonntag (from LNL Publishing), A Victory Lost (from MMP) and two minatures rules sets, AK-47 Republic and The Men of Company B, both from Peter Pig over in the UK.

Totensonntag will probably hit the table after I’ve had my fill of Eisenbach Gap. It’s got a small footprint, low unit count, short rules and it’s been getting very good reviews. The miniatures rules will have some lead time because I’ve got to twiddle up a way to play them. It’s very, very, very unlikely that I’m going to pony up for any kind of new figures, so I’ll need to put together a cardstock set for them. A Victory Lost is one of those mystifying ‘why didn’t I get this a year ago?’ games. East Front, interesting system, good reviews, comparatively cheap. Just never got around to it. Now I can.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Welcome to 2008

I can’t let the New Year get along too far without a blog post, I suppose, even if the post is to declare that there hasn’t been much going on that’s blog-worthy.

Real-life family matters (along with the usual Work Stuff) have been consuming most of my time. And I’m just old-fashioned-y enough that I won’t be discussing any of that online. I know there are plenty of bloggers out there who spill their guts to the world daily, but I’m not one of them.

I may have a bit of fun writing about my kid as he discovers the world around him, but that’s about my limit. Everything else stays on my side of the keyboard.

Sorry. Can’t help it. I’m Lutheran.