Dio-Bolical Monday No: 22 – “News Update No: 3”

My last update was written in June – “News Update No: 2” and since then I have achieved my primary storage objective.  Specifically, I have managed to find a safe storage method for all the models and figures that were on temporary view in the below display case in order to leave it now empty.

My storage issue was bigger than this alone but until I could clear out the display case I didn’t have a hope or prayer of contemplating getting started on the diorama I have planned.  With the UK summer behind me it is now time to give serious consideration to what I would like to do.

In my previous update I mentioned how I had purchased some more fantastic buildings from Tabletop World.  I’m not sure all four of them will feature in this diorama, I suspect one will be used in something else, but now that I can play around with the base I can begin to work out just what I might do.  I have a vague idea because that’s what I based my purchase on but, as I think we have all experienced, it’s only when playing around with the bits and bobs that you really get a sense of what is possible.

The basic concept of the diorama I have in mind is a rustic medieval scene featuring three of the buildings – Watermill, Stable, Blacksmiths – and various figures from the Footsore Baron’s War third kickstarter when they become available to buy later this year.  As a working title the diorama will, for now, be called “Death and Taxes” but I expect that to change.  In fact the whole concept might change if I’m being honest.

So where do I go from here?  Good question.

The aim at some point in the next month or so is to reintroduce “Dio-Bolical Monday” posts and chart my progress as I embarck on a diorama which will takes weeks if not months to complete.  At the same time I aim to juggle my normal Wednesday and Saturday posts too so I suspect my “Dio-Bolical Monday” posts will not feature every week as my gut feeling is this is a tall order when I consider what else I have going on.  Much will also depend on the weather.  The more I am confined to being indoors the more I’ll get done but She Who Must Be Obeyed also has decorating plans for me and of course before we know it Christmas will be upon us.

I could make quite an extensive list of potential distractions but essentially progress will be what it is.  That said I am excited to be able to at least think that I can get things underway.  There is a fair bit of planning to do and more purchases to be made as and when I can identify the items I need to buy.  I’ll make some bits where I can but have no plans to reinvent the wheel, if I can buy it then this time around I probably will.

Hopefully my next “Dio-Bolical Monday” post will be the commencement of the project but quite when then will be is anybodies guess right now.

TIM

“Indianna” – 28mm Hasslefree Miniatures

Last week, and for the first time in a very long time, I painted something other than a Footsore Baron’s War knight figure.  It proved to be a welcome break and something I enjoyed so this week I painted the partner in crime for “Jones”, the aptly named “Indianna”.

As I very much consider them to be a pair I elected to go with more or less matching attire and identical base work to keep things simple.  My only real deliberation when I started painting the pair was whether or not to base them together or seperately.  In the end I went for seperate bases knowing I could always place them side by side if Iwanted to.

Images of “Indianna” below along with a coulple of her alongside “Jones”.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 124)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is a Footsore Baron’s War Bannerman.  I’ve intentionally been ignoring the Bannermen until now, not because I don’t like the figures but because I hadn’t been motivated to making and painting the banners.  They are an easy enough thing to do, especially if you keep them as simple as this one, but I do have to be in the mood to make and paint them.  Having taken so long to get in the right frame of mind I made five banners so all I have to do now is paint them and the remaining figures going forward.  Simples.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Footsore (Again!)

I seem to be on a role with Footsore which I’m honored by.  Much to my surprise yet again Mark Farr elected to give me another shout out, the 4th I have now received, when he wrote the following in his most recent newsletter.

Ordinarily we like to share the wealth when it comes to our community spotlight but this week we are sharing more of David Green’s work. He shared these group shots over on the Barons’ War Facebook group and they are too good not to share. That he said something nice about me has nothing to do with it…

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Give Me Five

I thought I would stick with the theme of selecting my favourite 5 films of an actor or actress whose career has produced an extensive list of memorable movies.  This week I decided to take a look at Gene Hackman and came up with the following films.  In no particular order:

  1. Mississippi Burning (1988)
  2. Superman (1978)
  3. Unforgiven (1992)
  4. The French Connection (1971)
  5. The Firm (1993)

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TIM’s Plan

As the UK heads towards the autumn and winter months and the inevitable wet weather and shorter days so my mind has wandered towards my hobby plans.  Of course there isn’t a hope or a prayer that everything I aim to do will get done but at least it is a well intended aim.

Finishing my Baron’s War Army remains high on my list of objectives and my initial emphasis will be to get the remaining foot figures done.  These are quicker and easier than the mounted ones but it is a realistic goal.  I also have a modest pile of Hasslefree, Knuckleduster and Reaper figures in need of my attention and these I plan to integrate with the Baron’s War figures so I have a bit of variety going on.

I’m also keen to resurrect “Dio-Bolical Monday” as I have a couple of dioramas that I would like to get underway.  I don’t anticipate posting every week, certainly not to start with, but it would be good to get back on track.  I suspect any initial posts will be more about planning than painting and building but you have to start somewhere and we will see how things go.

Finally, if I can be asked, I’d like to sort my blog out.  There are some areas of the site that I would really like to reorganise in some way and if I really get bored then I might divert my attention to this at some point.

All in all I have no reason to get bored while I wait for Spring to show its face once again.

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  This week TIM has been listening to …

“Cat’s In The Cradle” by Harry Chapin.  Adjusting to my daughter having gone to University is proving a challenge for me.  She isn’t a daddy’s girl but she is my daughter and of course I love her very much.  The lyrics to this song relate to a father and son but they still feel relevant.  I think I need to play some rock very loud!

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Gunpowder Milkshake” starring Karen Gillan who I find very easy on the eye.  A pretty good film and an easy watch following a knackering few days.

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Remember …

If you want to save money at Christmas now is the perfect time to tell the kids Santa didn’t make it through the pandemic.

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TIM

A Beginners Guide to Painting Freehand Straight Lines

I thought I would do a quick post on freehand painting, specifically straight lines, with the aim of sharing what I have learnt so far.  The first thing I must clear up is I am not an expert freehand painter.  This is not false modesty just a statement of fact.  If you don’t believe me just do some Pinterest or Google searches and you’ll see just how expert some figure painters are. That said I am pleased with the progress I have made, albeit that advancement has been slow.  One reason for this is I have found very little in my searching, either on YouTube or Google, which deals with the subject from a beginners point of view.  Hopefully this post will provide some very basic assistance to anyone thinking about giving freehand a go.

So why do freehand painting in the first place?

Well I can only answer that question from a personal perspective.  For me it is simply down to the fact that I like the idea of making a figure truly unique where I can.  Freehand doesn’t suit everything but where it does it can make a figure stand out from the rest.  Decals are of course an option but they aren’t suitable for everything, stripes being a example, and the purist in me prefers the idea of avoiding them if I can.

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Getting started with the basics there are a few things you will need.

  1. Liquitex Flow Aid
  2. A good brush with a nice point
  3. A steady hand and/or something to rest on like a small been bag
  4. A good eye or some form of magnification visor
  5. Patience
  6. An eye for detail

A bottle of Liquitex Flow Aid will set you back about £10.00 but the bottle will last you a life time even if you are buying it in your teens!  Used with acrylic paints (I mostly use Vallejo Model Color paints) it does what it says and improves the flow of the paint but without diluting the pigment.  Used with a good pointed brush it is possible to paint very fine lines and detail.  As a medium it is also ideal for colour blending too because it keeps the paint wetter for a little longer.

When it comes to brushes it’s very much each to their own.  Along time ago now I invested in Winsor and Newton series 7 brushes and have never looked back.  More expensive yes, but cared for they last much longer so they are cost effective.  Typically I only ever use two size brushes when painting figures, size 1 and size 000.

When it comes to a steady hand I guess you either have one or you don’t.  If your hand waves around a fair bit then freehand is going to be much tougher.  You can however do things which help.  My hand is pretty steady (for a 64 year old!) but whenever I can I don’t hold what I’m painting (when painting a 28mm shield for example I just keep it flat on a piece of sponge) and I always keep my elbows (and wrists where possible) firmly placed on the desk I work on.  This was a tip I picked up watching how signwriters work, they always keep their elbow and wrists supported whenever they can.

These days I work almost exclusively in 28mm/32mm scale and my eyesight isn’t what it used to be.  As a consequence I use a magnifying visor.  It’s not the solution to everything, the figure might appear bigger but so does the brush!  The main thing is the detail stands out.  Furthermore, if the end result looks good wearing the visor it will look perfect to the naked eye.

Patience you’re most likely going to need in abundance.  Either you have it or you don’t.  For figure painting I do, for everything else in my life I don’t!  Weird I know but it is what it is!

An eye for detail.  This is all about your satisfaction level and when you decide things are good enough.  As a general rule I’m rarely if ever satisfied but I have to stop somewhere.

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Now let’s move on to painting stripes.

Painting stripes or straight lines is about as simple as it gets for freehand by my reckoning.  By simple I mean it’s easy to comprehend but practice is still required.  Before I started on a figure I just spent some time getting the paint and medium balance right (you don’t need very much of the medium) and settled eventually on 50:50 or there abouts, I don’t tend to measure things out,  and then just painted line after line on a piece of paper for practice.  After about 10 minutes it was time to try things out on a figure.

My logic told me to paint light coloured stripes over a darker background colour.  That way any touching up and evening up of stripes would be more easily addressed.  These days I don’t think it really makes much difference.  Another thing I learnt, particulalry when painting stripes on trousers/legs was to start on the outside of the leg first and work right to left and left to right but always leave the inside of the leg until last.  With some figures it’s not always easy to get a stripe on the inside of the leg and if there is one place where inaccuracy will notice less its here.

I always paint stripped trousers/legs first and then do feet/shoes and shirt/jacket (or whateaver constitutes the two end areas abutting the stripes) afterwards.  This Way you can start and end the stripe outside of the area you are aiming to paint to get the flow started and simply paint over afterwards.  It does take practice but once that has been achieved the door is open to do so much more.  If you can paint stripes you can paint hoops and if you can paint stripes and hoops then you can then paint checks.  Stripes can also be painted diagonally and thick and thin, all of which can produce much variation.

I don’t tend to worry too much about shading, applying a wash can generally deal with that to my satisfaction.  Highlights I tend to limit to the original colour and do sparingly as the last thing I want to do is mess up the freehand work I’ve just done!  Looking ahead shading and highlighting is something I might look at improving but for now I’m happy with the results I’m achieving.

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Below are various images of stripes and straight lines and how I have used them.

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This Knuckleduster figure didn’t need stripped trousers but adding some just makes it stand out more.

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if you can paint stripes you can paint hoops.

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If you can paint stripes and hoops you can paint checks.

If you can paint vertical and horizontal lines then you can paint diagonal lines too.

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Stripes and hoops don’t have to be thin lines, they can be thicker ones too.

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If you don’t fancy stripes straight away then why not start with getting the lines straight and working in larger blocks?

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A with so much of this hobby there are few short cuts.  When all is said and done it comes down to practice, patience, persistence and simply being prepared to give something a go.

TIM

“Jones” – 28mm Hasslefree Miniatures

As many of you will be aware I have over the last several months pretty much painted and based nothing but Footsore Baron’s War knights.  An army building project I set out to achieve which has seen great progress but remains unfinished.  I’m far from bored with the project but have reached the stage where I am in need of a palette cleanser here and there.  I also need to get started on other projects too but more on that in a future post.

There are a great many figures sitting in my lead pile waiting to receive my attention and I have decided that now is the time to do something about it.  The aim is not to neglect the army project but to try to add some variety to my modelling scheduled.  Looking at the figures lovingly looking up at me I decided I would start on a Hasslefree figure which goes by the name of “Jones”.

It seems so long since I painted something other than a Baron’s War figure that for a brief period I was left wondering quite where to start!  I had to remind myself how to do camouflage trousers by looking back at figures I had painted some time ago.  Once I got started things started to slot into place and the old grey matter began to start working and then I was away.

Not a great deal to say about the figure itself.  As always the castings from Hasslefree are bang on the money and the figure was a joy to paint, all the more so because it represented something different again.  I deliberately kept the base simple as I felt that was all the figure really needed. As and when I get back into painting dioramas and vignettes this is a figure I may well look at doing again.

Unfortunately the photographs aren’t quite as sharp as I would like them to be but then again I am looking at them on an old laptop.  They look a bit better on my tablet at least.

Images of “Jones” below.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 123)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is another double bill.  This time two Footsore Baron’s War spearmen.  I’m making a concentrated effort to stay focused and to at least finish the 20 or so foot figures I still have to do while trying to start work on a few other figures at the same time.  I need to clear the decks a little more before I can seriously consider starting a diorama or two otherwise I will simply have to much stuff everywhere.  Although the end is in sight for my army’s foot figures there is a very long way to go in respect of the mounted ones.  Still it all remains fun and that’s the most important thing.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Footsore

As you may have read in previous posts I was delighted to get a mention, not once but twice, in the Footsore emailed newsletter in respect some of my recently painted figures.  Well it turns out I was on a hat trick as Mark Farr gave me a third mention!

“As the nights get darker in the UK we are seeing more Knights at night. Something like that anyway. This particular Knight is painted by David Green over on the Barons’ War Facebook group. With custom heraldry and an excellent blue colour he is definitely a knight ready to fight for what’s right at night.”

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Landmark

It seems I recently hit a landmark.  According to WordPress my previous post was my 500th.  I had very few goals when I decided to start my blog and to be honest I still don’t but it has provided me with a great deal of pleasure.  As well as being an audit trail for my own work, which was initially my aim in getting started, it has been a wonderful source of encouragement from those of you have been kind enough to follow me and comment.  I thank you all.

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Weather

The weather in the UK, and certainly in West Devon where I live, is set to take a turn for the worst.  Not entirely unexpected for this time of the year but a clear indication that summer (did we have one?) is over and and a wet and windy autumn is very much on the horizon.  This of course is a mixed blessing.

On the one hand the outside jobs that still need doing will be even more of a chore, on the other hand more time spent in doors will provide greater time for modelling.  It is therefore time for me to start putting some sort of plan together once I get me head in gear.  I’ll let you know what I come up with in due course.

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Give Me Five

I thought I would adopt a slightly different approach for this week, and maybe for some weeks to come, and focus on actors and actresses who have appeared in a significant number of films.  We all have our favorite actors and actresses and one of mine is Tom Hanks.  My top five films of his, in no particular order are:

  1. Sully (2016)
  2. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  3. Apollo 13 (1995)
  4. Road To Perdition (2002)
  5. A League Of Their Own (1992)

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Something Else” by Sid Vicious.  Some people are meant to die young and Sid I reckon was one of those.  Twenty one is no age to die but at least he left this track behind.

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This week TIM has been watching …

“The Dry” starring Eric Bana.  A mystery drama set in Australia which turned out to be a good watch.

The Dry (2020) - IMDb

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Remember …

If you die and get cremated get your ashes put into an hour glass, that way you can still participate in family games night.

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TIM

Sir William Ingle

Another day another Knight!  My penultimate Footsore Baron’s War knight in the set of figures with two handed weapons.  They will bring out more in due course I’m sure but for now I’m nearly there with this part of the range.

This is another figure with made up heraldry, well as far as I know it is and with it a made up name taken from my family tree.  Whilst the paint work might look fiddly, and to some extent it is given the 28mm scale of the figure, the reality is I’ve gotten reasonably used to painting what amounts to little more than straight lines.  As for the colour scheme I thought I’d have another go with a blue and yellow combo as I really think they go well together.

Images of Sir William below.

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 122)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature is another Footsore Baron’s War Foot Sergeant.  The shield design goes by the name of “Party Per Chevron”.  A neat and simple design but one I rather like.  I manged to get the figure started last week and just about found the time to finish it these past couple of days.  Little else to add but at least it is one more done and off of the lead pile.

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Give Me Five

This weekend just gone we took my daughter off to Oxford for the start of her University experience. She was emotional, not so much for me or She Who Must Be Obeyed, although I’m sure she’ll miss us, but more for her boyfriend who’d previously left a couple of weeks ago to go to Bristol.  The joys of young love!  Which leads me nicely into this weeks choice, Teen Movies.  I think this genre is one of my favourites, so many great films.  If I’d known life would be as good as over when I’d reached my twenties I’d have put so much more effort into my teen years. In no particular order:

  1. The Perks Of Being A Wall Flower (2012)
  2. Some Kind Of Wonderful (1987)
  3. Ferris BuellersDay Off (1986)
  4. The Kissing Booth (2018)
  5. The Edge Of Seventeen (2016)

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Hitting The Wall

I’ve enjoyed my journey thus far with regards to my Footsore Baron’s War project but I’m reaching the point where a brief hiatus is called for.  I’ve a pile of other figures I want to paint, a wish to do some basic base work, a need to prepare for the IPMS Nationals and a growing desire to begin work on planning and building a couple of dioramas.  Something has to give but I am determined to finish what I started so in the coming weeks expect to see a few figures interspersed with the odd Baron’s War figures for a while.

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IPMS Telford

I thought I’d give a heads up to anyone who might be considering going to Telford this year.  The event takes place on the weekend of the 13th and 14th November but as a consequence of Covid some changes to the format have been announced already.  I must stress these might be subject to change and up to date information will be on the IPMS website but as things currently stand admission is via advanced ticket sales only unless you are an IPMS Member.  ALL attendees are required to provide evidence of double Covid vaccinations too.  Feel free to contact me for further information but as I say the website is the go to place for full details.

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Smoke On The Water” by Deep Purple.  I thought I would take a dip into the past and have a blast!

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This week TIM has been watching …

“Let Him Go” starring Kevin Costner.  I think it is fair to say that I have enjoyed most of Costner’s films.  I hadn’t heard of this one though, probably because it came out it 2020 and passed under the radar due to Covid and lockdown perhaps.  In any event it turned out to be a good watch and a little different too.

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Remember …

Pleasing everyone is impossible but pissing them all off is a piece of cake.

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TIM

Saturday Knight!

Time this week has been at a premium.  As you read this I am on my way to Oxford with She Who Must Be Obeyed taking She Also Thinks She Should Be Obeyed to the start of her new life at University.  As expected anxiety levels for us all have gone through the roof in the lead up to this dramatic change in our lives and as such modelling has had to very much take a back seat.  I did however mange to just about get something together for this post and get another figure underway which hopefully I’ll get finished in time for next Wednesday.  Time will tell of course.

What I managed to get done was another foot knight and one which I kept simple on every front.  No deliberation on colour scheme, plain white was good enough.  No fancy name given to the figure and therefore no proper title for this post either, although I did indulge in a bit of basic freehand for the shield.  Not entirely sure where the idea of a castle turret came from but it works of a fashion and is different to anything else I have done. 

Next on the agenda is my dad’s 95th birthday next week which will further restrict what I can get done but hopefully, fingers crossed, things might settle down a little after that.  Then I really need to take stock of where I am and where I’m heading as right now I haven’t got a clue!

Images of the knight with no name below. 

TIM

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TIM’s Miniatures & Musings (No: 121)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!

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This weeks miniature isn’t.  Well it is but it’s actually four figures with an added bonus.  This week I managed to churn out four Footsore Baron’s War Levy’s and, as well as taking a couple of photo’s of each, I also managed a group shot of the four of them.  In fairness these figures were, in contrast to just about everything else I’ve done to date on this project, quick and easy.

So what of the added bonus?  Well, not quite what I had intended but conscious of the fact that I needed to do something, I took a group shot of the seven mounted knights I have completed and another one of the foot knights and sergeants too.  I’ve still to work out any form of base that works for me and of course I haven’t included a photo yet of the spearmen, archers, crossbowmen and levy’s.  Hopefully this is something I will eventually put right but for now it provides an indication of the progress I have made to date on part of the project.

 

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Well It Made Me Laugh

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Give Me Five

I never appreciated just how big the “Biopic” film category was.  As far as genre’s go this one is one of my favorites, I do like a good true story (even a Hollywood interpreted one).  This time around I’ve placed no parameters on the genre but as and when I revisit it I will look to break the category down.  In the meanwhile five films, in no particular order, which I have watched more than once and will doubtless watch again.

  1. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  2. Schindler’s List (1993)
  3. The Social Network (2010)
  4. Philomena (2013)
  5. Into the Wild (2007)

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This week TIM has been listening to …

“Fake I.D.” by Big and Rich Featuring Gretchen Wilson.  I have to say I enjoyed the Footloose remake and this particular track, not least of all because it featured Julianne Hough, a very hot young lady who is on my hit list of potential wife replacements. 

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This week TIM has been watching …

“The Green Book” starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali, neither of whom I’d ever heard of before.  The film won Best Picture at the 2018 Oscars although I confess to knowing little if anything about it until I watched it.  Turned out to be a good film and one which was based on a true story.  Well worth a watch if you haven’t seen it already I’d say.

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Remember …

To err is human but to blame it on someone else shows management potential.

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TIM