Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Saturday, March 21, 2020

A Comprehensive List of Things to do While in Isolation.

Recent developments would seem to indicate that we wargamers are likely to be spending even more time in our rooms than we generally do. Sadly, as much as we would like to, we can't spend all that time painting, gaming, and reading up on armies and battles old and new. It would get boring.

Here then is a Comprehensive List of suggested other things a wargamer can do to while away the hours of isolation when between games, paint jobs, or books.

Learn an instrument. Were you bullied at school because your parents thought it would be splendid for you to play the concertina? Now is your chance to knock that trauma for six. You can even do it with help from the internet. As the Wiki How website says:

"While how easy the concertina is to learn depends on the type you use, you can be playing some folk tunes in no time!"

That's right - folk tunes in no time! What's stopping you? Not Buttley of the 4th anymore, that's for sure! This is the moment to demonstrate exactly how little effect his taunts still have on you several decades later.

Make a video. Continuing the musical theme, why not follow the heartwarming example of relatively minor celebrities medleying 'Imagine' while pretending to be in isolation? Combining with wargame buddies to make a similarly heartwarming cover of a similarly totemic composition, such as 'Number of the Beast' or 'Ace of Spades', would be a glorious opportunity to raise profiles while also seeming like fun and empathetic people.

What could be a better way to show that we're all in this together than hum-howling the opening riff of, say, 'Smoke on the Water' and then turning it over to a mate to hum-howl the next four bars, another the next, and so on? And all this before even getting to the vocals or the guitar and organ leads, which would obviously be the highlights of the song.

Get blind rotten drunk. If people say that this is unbecoming for a middle-aged-guy-who-is-indisputably-carrying-a-few pounds-too-many demographic, stuff them. It may not be a good look to get rolling drunk and dribble on yourself, but who's going to see you (provided you do your drinking and your video-making on separate days, of course)?

It could be great way to let down a remaining hair or two, and as a bonus it has the potential to lead to a need to stay in bed for a day or so afterwards - the odd bolt to the bathroom notwithstanding - thus bringing the end of isolation closer.

Leave commentary on online news articles. When you find a news article online written from a perspective that you disagree with, let the author know about it by leaving a comment. The author may well take heed of your thoughts and publish an updated form of the article which addresses your concerns, removes any hint of partisan bias, and renews faith in the unrelenting efficacy of  logic.

Be witty on social media. It's not only on news sites that you can put your keen powers of observation to good use: social media also provides boundless opportunities to contribute good sense and good-natured banter.

Good situations to drop in on might include your teenage niece's conversations with her friends (she will appreciate your sense of humour, and her friends probably will too), your self-made school friend's house and land renovation picture diary (he will love your jokes about how far he's come), and your partner's friend's travel pictures (she will be glad to be reminded that she won't be able to do any more of that sort of thing for a while, and most especially if you can include a pun or two).

Make some new friends. Judging by advertisements on the internet, there is a surprisingly large number of lonely women from exotic countries in my area who would love to get to know people in the vicinity, and I daresay it is the same for other male bloggers. For our female wargamers, I gather there is an abundance of somewhat older gentlemen with a lot of money and very busy lives who would be eager to make their acquaintance with a view to cultivating long-term friendship.

Now that we have some time on our hands it might be a good chance to chat with these people, get to know them a bit, and invite them along to a family barbecue once all this is over.

Video call fellow wargamers. This could be just the moment to get to know other wargamers who - to this point - you know only from reading blogs. You can share awkward periods of silence matched only in awkwardness by periods of simultaneous talk; you can experience lagging internet connections in real time; participate in bouts of sneezing; explore mysteries of idiom, dialect, and tongue.

That you have skype, messenger, facetime (or whatever) doesn't mean that you shouldn't use it.

Publicly reveal that you are a wargamer. Perhaps this is the best opportunity you will ever have to put a positive spin on wargaming to people who would normally think it was weird. While various people in isolation are struggling to read 'Ulysses' or learning to appreciate jazz, you can smuggly extol the virtues of a hobby that has already accustomed you to long periods of time alone and exacerbated anti-social tendencies that some are only now coming to comprehend.

Just breathe. I know it's one of those cod psychology catch-phrases that at first, second and third look appears stupid and pointless, but when you think about it, breathing is quite important, and perhaps it is something we could consider continuing to do?

At any rate, I hope that this list will provide some helpful ways to fill fellow wargamers' quiet times over the next week or two, when you need a break from painting, gaming and reading about the same.








31 comments:

  1. That's quite a list.
    I'm not sure if I'm ready to "reveal myself" yet and my family would kill me if I started leaning the Trombone, the others I will carefully consider.
    Have fun, best wishes,
    Jeremy

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  2. Is this your plan for next week I wonder?

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    Replies
    1. So far I'm still a working man, but who knows when that will change? Best to start preparing in advance, Ray!

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  3. I'll take #3 for four-hundred, Alex.

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  4. Are you insane?!?

    BREATHING is how you catch IT!!!

    Holding your breathe.
    That's what you should be telling people to do.
    HOLD. YOUR. BREATHE.

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  5. Playing the concertina (folk songs and tunes) was exactly what I was doing just a little while ago...

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    1. Excellent! Are you up to moving on to #2 I wonder?

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    2. Are you going to have me work through the whole list? When will I get any painting done?!

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  6. "you can smuggly extol the virtues of a hobby that has already accustomed you to long periods of time alone and exacerbated anti-social tendencies that some are only now coming to comprehend." Yay, me! :-)

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  7. Hello Aaron,

    I got to the bit in the first paragraph when you wrote "we can't spend all that time painting, gaming, and reading up on armies and battles old and new. It would get boring." and wondered what drugs you were on to write that :-) I guess I don't get a lot of time to do all of these so if given the opportunity would do a lot more of them (I am now working from home for work but work is busier -I am in ICT in healthcare - and my commute was never very long).

    However, my wife in the last two weeks has taken up "Leave commentary on online news articles." with a passion :-)

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    Replies
    1. I actually spent a fair bit of Saturday getting my ducks in a row - spray primer, spray painting tray, wet palette paraphenalia, spray varnish - so that if God grants me two weeks off work I can make full use of it! :)

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  8. Actually, our group is starting to get into virtual meetings/visits via Zoom--in a good way. You also might add blogging to the list :)

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    1. Hmm, Zoom? I might have to check it out. I'm a year behind at the moment!

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  9. My wife is trying to learn the piano , I'm looking at divorce lawyers on Google .

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  10. Funnily enough I am thinking about using Zoom, too.

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  11. Thanks all for your comments. To be serious for a moment, please all do take care of yourselves and your families, and let's make sure we all get through this to game another day.

    Best wishes to you all, Aaron

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  12. Although Monday is the last day that we will bwe seeing patients in person in the ofice,m we will be doing virtual and phone visits, tracking cases etc. Definitely slower than my usual 12 hour plus work days, but definitely not off. Depending how bad things get, we may get called into the hospital to assist there. No talk of that yet but...

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  13. Maybe I should force my daughter to teach me trombone, having paid for trombone lessons for the last 10 years? Delightful diversion, thank you very much!
    Best Iain

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  14. I've gone the blind drunk path, but then it only takes two drinks to get me there;)

    May you continue to write your witty posts and help us keep our morale up!

    Cheers mate,
    Kevin

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    Replies
    1. You're too kind (or should that be 'two'?) Kevin! Cheers to you too, bud!

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  15. Aaron,
    Surprised to find that you did not offer or suggest the following:

    Write an article for Slingshot and submit it for consideration.

    I suppose that one could make it interesting and combine one of your ideas with this suggestion, but I think it would be difficult to type up a report or some such if one were seeing three keyboards - and blurry ones at that!

    Hope all is well over there.

    Cheers,
    Chris

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    1. Thanks Chris. You never know, seeing three keyboards could be a positive asset!

      Cheers, and hope you're keeping safe too.

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  16. Got quite a chuckle out of your post, Aaron! I especially love the application of logic to change a point of view on the internet. So crazy it just might work!

    On a side note, did you get my last e-mail? I saw you couldn't get through. I had a "canned" spam filter I pulled down from the web and the guy that developed it must have had some problem with hackers in New Zealand because he blocked anything with .nz. Hmmm. It's fixed now.

    Hope you are changing the minds of millions of people on the web, all while painting more lovely miniatures!

    Stay well,

    John

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