Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Getting Ready For Historicon

Practicing loading the car to maximize the amount of stuff that I can take to Historicon.

The other day I cleaned out my wife's Volvo SUV and worked at stuffing it full of empty plastic boxes and containers to figure out the best way to pack and get the maximum amount of figures and terrain into the car for my trip to Historicon in July of this year. Once I am able to figure out the best packing configuration, this tells me how many containers I can take. Knowing how many containers I can carry informs me about what I can take to the convention. In a word, if I can't fit it into the containers then it isn't going to Historicon.

One of my objectives in packing is to keep the front passenger seat empty
so that I have a place to put my duffel bag (for clothes) and a cooler for cold drinks.

In addition to maximizing the number of containers in the car, I also want to make sure that I still have an unobstructed view from the rear window of the vehicle. I also want to keep the front passenger seat open so that I can have a place to put my duffel bag for my clothes and be able to put a beverage cooler on the seat.

Another objective is to pack as much stuff into the car and still be able to see out of the back window without obstructions.

Side view of backseat on the passenger side.

Side view of the backseat on the driver's side.

As I recall, I can put five larger plastic containers with pull out drawers. Seven medium sized plastic containers to hold some of the figures. Four cardboard boxes to hold individual building models for Khartoum. And one large plastic tub that will hold one or two paddlewheel steam boats for the game. There is also a considerable amount of open space underneath the seats where I can stuff in more terrain pieces and game mats.

Finally, I will attach a roof pod to the Volvo and carry some items there on the roof. I didn't include the storage space available inside the pod when I listed the types of containers that I will be able to bring. It looks like I can put two medium (20" long by 14" wide) containers in the pod and still have room for my folded table mats for the game.

Since I ran the Khartoum game at Little Wars, I am pretty much done with making things for the game and can concentrate on how to pack terrain and figures for the games at Historicon.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

We're Back From Italia (Pompeii & Herculaneum) and Rome


Florence, Italy

My daughter, Lelia, and I are home from our two week visit to Italy. It was her first visit to the country (and only her second trip to Europe) and I really enjoyed seeing her reaction to all of the sights for the first time.

First stop: Naples

Lelia was keen to see Pompeii and so we made Naples our first stop and stay on the trip. The Pompeii and Herculaneum sites are within an hour's drive of Naples. We had a driver and guide for our visits to both cities, which made the trip much easier.

The central train station in Naples

Pizza was allegedly invented in Naples, Italy so we had to try some of the local fare.

Narrow street in the old part of the city

Our visit to Pompeii

We spent the whole morning of our first day of sight seeing in Pompeii. I had been there back in 1963 on a family vacation and a significantly larger portion of the city has been unearthed in the intervening years.

Plaster casts of some of the victims - very poignant to see

The main arena in Pompeii

The main central street the runs the length of the city. Lelia and our guide are mugging for the camera.

A restaurant in Pompeii, evidenced by the countertop with holes for clay pots that kept the food warm.

I was quite taken with the bright colors of the frescoes that have been preserved.

That afternoon we visited a local winery on the slope of Mount Vesuvius and had a wine tasting.

Our visit to Herculaneum

Our second day found us traveling to the site of Herculaneum, one of the other cities that was wiped out by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The town had once been on the sea coast but the volcanic flows had pushed the coastline further away from the city.

The boat houses had been at the waters' edge at the time of the eruption.

The skeletal remains of the people who attempted to escape by boat.

Colorful frescoes on the walls of buildings.

One of the main streets in Herculaneum

An amazing amount of the structures are still standing.

One of the temples in the city

A view overlooking the city ruins of Herculaneum.

We later visited the National Archeological Museum in Naples. Since it was on a Sunday, there was no admission charge. The museum has an extensive collection of artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum.

This scale model of one of the temples in Pompeii is giving me some ideas 
for making my own buildings for war games.

Visiting some of the emperors.

Here's an experiment with embedding a GIF into my blog. One of my favorite scenes from the movie Casablanca.

Lunch in Rome with Coke Zero. Diet Coke is not available in Italy 
so we grew used to Coke Zero during the trip.

Lelia and our tour guide at the Roman Forum.

The Roman Forum

The Basilica of Maxentius. I'm always gobsmacked by the size of this structure.

Another view of the Roman Forum

Dad and Lelia at the Colosseum 

Easter Piglet accompanied us on our trip to Italy

The basement of the Colosseum , where everything was prepared for the next act in the arena.

Outside view of the Colosseum .

St. Peter's and the Vatican

The Pantheon

The old Roman city walls

I like some of the tiny automobiles that one sees in Rome. When you see some of 
the tight parking spaces you realize why a small car is better than a large one.

The ruins of a Roman apartment building.

Lelia (bless her heart) made the climb up these stairs leading to the Capitoline Hill and Museum.
We could not find the handicapped entrance so we had to climb from the street level.

One of the views from the Capitoline Hill. Roman ruins have become part of an apartment building.

I try to visit the Capitoline Museum every time I visit Rome
just because I like viewing the statue of the emperor Constantine I.

The view from the Capitoline Hill. St Peter's is in the middle of the three churches 
seen in the distance.

Inside the Pantheon

Proof that the Romans also invented the cell phone.

Inside the Borghesi Palace in Rome

I could see setting up some wargaming tables in this room.

The ceiling in one of the rooms at the Borghesi Palace.