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Some Additional Terrain Features. . .

 An aerial view of six new Hotz Mats felt fields (available in packs of four 25mm fields or four 15mm fields), which disguise the edges my Woodland Scenics mats nicely.

Kind of quiet around Stollen Central the last couple of days as far as our Battle of Doltz game goes.  School begins for everyone in two weeks during the week of the 29th, so we have been involved with several preparatory meetings with new teachers and related staff at his school for the Young Master as well as our own stuff on campus.  Summers are always relatively carefree, but then you come crashing down to earth like Icarus every mid-August!  

Now, the uninitiated might say something like, "Quit your complaining!  It must be nice having 3.5 months off each summer and month at Christmas and New Years."  And that is true.  Yes, it is.  But things have a way of evening out.  We pay for those chunks of what seem like totally free time once a new semester starts when life gets very, very busy.  We also reliably bring work home with us in the evenings, there are classes to plan four or five days a week, and we are always reading in our respective areas of (ahem) expertise with the aim of publishing articles and books to help advance the thinking in those areas.  That's not even taking service to the institution into consideration which is not only time consuming, but sometimes dealing with petty, neurotic colleagues is not exactly easy either.  I wouldn't trade the academic life for anything however as it has made things extremely interesting, brought about all kinds of new opportunities, and, in some ways, made working life rewarding even in view of the occasional frustrations.

Anyway, I plan to return to the Battle of Doltz this evening and carry on with Turn Four.

In the meantime, the mail lady delivered a small package from Eric Hotz, proprietor of Hotz Artworks, earlier this afternoon.  It contained four felt and flock 25mm fields and four of the same but in 15mm size.  See for yourselves, but I think they will help to break up the broad, golf course like expanse of the Woodland Scenics Ready Grass mats.  The felt fields not only add considerable visual interest to the tabletop, but they conform nicely to the slopes beneath.  You can also cut them into odd shapes like American gamer Bruce Weigle has done for his 1866 games.  There are many examples of his stunning terrain on the Hotz Mats website by the way.  Now, if only my additional two packages of fields would just arrive.

Ok, back to syllabi revision or me.  Still a few hours of work let this afternoon.

-- Stokes

 Here is another shot across the valley separating the two armies.

And a third one, this time a little less dark as the clouds have blown away.  If you are seeking durable, realistic, and easy-to-use scenic items to dress up your table top, I would heartily suggest these felt fields Hotz Mats.  They are also reasonably priced!


Phil said…
Well done Stokes. Such a simple but effective way to present fields. Nice!
Robbie Rodiss said…
Very effective Stokes, a neat looking battlefield. [ Thats an English neat by the way as in tidy ]
My Dear Heinz-Ulrich, Greetings!

Your description of the academic life is spot on target. For many years I worked as a University instructor and public school teacher (later department chair). The vaction days were often spent doing school work - grading papers, publishing a school yearbook, taking course work mandated by the state to keep my teaching license valid although I had permanent tenure. So while the calendar officially said "vacation" I was something rather unlike two weeks in Tahiti.

In fact, your description of meeting with your son's new teachers is illustrative of that point. The school calendar says "vacation" but the fact is that those teachers were working with you to be able to provide the best possible educational experience for the Young Master. That is wrapped up in the term "vacation" as defined for people in academia be it something as "low level" as pre-school and kindergarten or as advanced as post graduate work. As your son's teachers are using this meeting to prep for having him in class, I can only imagine the work you are doing to prep for dealing with your college students.

I was in education for 35 years before being obliged to retire for financial reasons. I look back and can count the days I regret on one hand. The exposure to a life of the mind was irreplaceable and allows me to continue with my scholarship now that I am here retired alone at a keyboard. In what other circumstance can I have come into contact with people who think and write and discuss their findings?
Life is good in academia and to go back to the point you raised earlier, the calendar may say "vacation" but we know that it is actually time spent preparing for the next episode in our academic lives.

With greatest respect,

Gerardus Magnus
Archbishop Emeritus
Conrad Kinch said…
Those fields look rather tasty Stokes. Very nice indeed.
Anonymous said…
As a matter of interest Stokes, what is your "ahem" area of expertise?
Morning General,

Scandinavian languages and literature, film history, and pedagogy. But there is always more to learn, hence the "ahem" because I hardly consider myself an expert on anything, more a jack of all trades, but master of none.

Best Regards,


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