July 8, 2020

Not Again

We spent last week in Birmingham Alabama helping my daughter and son-in-law with home remodeling projects. They bought a 103-year old house. It is in a good shape in a great neighborhood. The home has a view of the city sky line to the west, including Sloss Works. In fact, the original builder of the home was a owner of a coke by-products factory.  The trip was a lot of fun, and we got several home projects complete. I made a short video showing some of the fun including some trains

We were home for a few days, when once again we suffered an intense rain storm. I don't think I have ever witnessed a lightning and thunder storm as long and sustained as this. In the midst of that, our air conditioner failed. Luckily that was a simple fix as it needed a new starter capacitor. But around midnight, our sump pump again was overwhelmed. I woke up in the morning to puddles and silty clay residue from about 1 inch of water in the basement.  

Fortunately, the ceramic tile was unaffected. and no expensive stuff was destroyed, just a few old pictures that were inadvertently stored on the floor in a closet. The restoration crews have installed dryers and fans. Tomorrow, we will find out if they need to replace any sheet rock or moldings.  On Saturday I have a contractor coming in to discuss how to reengineer the basement to prevent this from reoccurring. Obviously, the measures we took last fall were insufficient. 

Meanwhile, I starting hosting a play by email game for eight for my friends and family. The game is a conversion I  did of Johnny Reb III from miniatures to hex board game. Yes, I was inspired by the Gettysburg game that I am still playing. I actually started this project over 20 years ago while my friend John Hill, the designer of Johnny Reb I, II, II and IV,  was still alive, but never got it finished. Now John is gone, but his game lives on. My version of the game is tactical and based on the Battle of Brice's Crossroads in Mississippi. It was a decisive victory for the rebels, but was actually much harder fought than the result indicated. We will see how it goes in our replay. 

One really cool aspect of it is that my friend Don Ball converted my graphics to a VASSAL module. That means we can play the game using a map and counter on our screen versus using paper and pencil. Don has lots of experience with VASSAL and he did the conversion in a very sort time. He is also playing one of the Union commanders.

If we like this game, it would not be hard to develop other scenarios.

Example of what a portion of a typical game might look like.





1 comment:

  1. Awww, sorry to hear about your basement. That really sucks. When we were looking for our house a couple years ago, I insisted it needed a "Dry basement." Not a "big basement" or "open basement" but dry. I am scared of water damage too. Even still, I always wonder. Hopefully your situation will not be too serious.

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