Monthly Archive: November 2017

Logo Removal: A Success & A Failure

Over-obtrusive branding bugs me. Especially if it’s on something that I ends up in my eyeline for extended periods. I decided to do something about two offenders – my mousemat and my headphones. My mousepad is the Corepad Deskpad XXXL, which is a great product. It’s enormous, so you can spread mouse and keyboard into whatever position is most comfortable and use the mouse on lower sensitivity easily without falling off the desk. Two gripes with it – it shows dust up a lot and the logo is enormous. The first problem is fixed with cleaning and the second…well let’s see.   Please excuse the dust and…a hair? Housekeeping aside, you can see there’s no trace of a logo. What I did was simple – I soaked the end of a cloth in a little bit of acetone and it scrubbed right off. Easy fix, took about 5 minutes! Motivated by this success, I turned to my headphones…turned out this was a really bad idea. Acetone dissolves plastic, which I should’ve thought of if I’d paused for just one second to consider the plan. I avoided doing anything but cosmetic damage by cleaning it off quickly, but the result…isn’t pretty. I…
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Foamcore Insert: Discworld Ankh-Morpork

This is a major learning process and I knew I didn’t have the skills required starting out to do this one justice, so I saved it for game number 4! Discworld Ankh-Morpork (unfortunately out of print since the death of Terry Pratchett, the author of the Discworld books) is one of my very favourite games (only one that gives it competition is Cosmic Encounter!) so I wanted to do right by it. After learning a bit about removable parts of inserts while doing my Codenames insert, and my Mysterium insert I decided I wanted to incorporate that idea into Ankh-Morpork too in order to speed up set-up and improve the use of table space. I started out by making a base box that fits into the main box with a sizeable notch to put the gameboard and instruction manual into. Very happy with the cleanliness of the cuts here! Step 2 was to see how things fit into the box. Here you can see me brainstorming a bit. I want to keep each category listed below separated in the box. The core component categories are: Each player’s coloured pieces (12 minions and 6 buildings each) 12 trouble markers 4 Demons…
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Lessons From Buying a House: The Mortgage

So You’re Going to Buy a House Money is kinda important in the house-buying progress. You might be lucky enough to be able to buy a house with cash, but most people need a mortgage to do so. Please note that I am in no way qualified to give financial advice, this is all based on my own understanding of the mortgage process and my own experiences of same. If you follow my advice and end up in debtor’s prison or indentured servitude, that is completely your own fault – absorb this information at your own risk! The important factors affecting a mortgage are LTV, down payment, interest rates, and the term of the mortgage. I’ve put together a spreadsheet that calculates all the relevant factors. You can access it to get your own copy HERE. I’ve included the values from our example below as default, but you can play with the numbers to make it relevant to you. How Much Will the Bank Give Me? Your bank will look at your salary to determine how much to give you. The general formula is 3.5 x total salary. The linked mortgage spreadsheet has a calculator for maximum mortgage values if…
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Foamcore Insert: Codenames

This one turned out extremely well! I improved my cutting technique, so I don’t have the rough edges of my Mysterium insert and I made the angles a bit less of a headache than in my Avalon insert. The big strength about this insert is that it reduces setup time to…nearly zero. You take the card box and main insert out of the box, plonk them in front of the spymasters and lay out the cards. Makes for nice quick cleaning up too. Inspiration drawn from Gonzalo Viqueira over on Boardgamegeek. He provided plans and measurements too which…I didn’t even look at apart from seeing that he cuts angled notches to support the floors, which, after Avalon, I had no intention of doing! Below is how I reduced my angled insert headache. I cut and measured supporting triangles to rest the flat parts on rather than cutting slots in the walls to slide them into. Waaaaay easier! Some close-ups. I messed up the draw-box for the main cards by initially cutting notches in the wrong side of the box, so I had to cut notches in all the sides, but it still works fine and has the advantage of being able to…
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Foamcore Insert: The Resistance Avalon

  No in-progress shots of this one, unfortunately. I learned a lot of lessons from my Mysterium insert and I’m much happier with the finish on this one, though I do have some unfortunate glue spill-over around some of the joins. The big challenge with this insert was the angles for the separators for the big cards – major heartache getting those right! Inspiration from Mike Holzman over on Boardgamegeek, but I added the angled piece for the Lady of the Lake and Crown cards which allows them both to be seen at once. My core desire for this insert was that I wanted as many different components as possible to be visible at once to allow for easy grabbing. I’m very happy with how this one turned out, it lets you see all the components in one go and keeps everything nice and separated for a quick and easy set-up and teardown.