Thursday, 24 July 2008

In praise of Bloggers

This post has been undertaken at the request of Mr Steve Gill. He has communicated to me that the details of his defeat have stood for too long at the head of this blog.

I am not sure I share his viewpoint but nevertheless I shall endeavour to oblige.

I stand lost in admiration for those souls who have managed to find something interesting to write about week in and out over years. Unrewarded and often abused I feel that bloggers embody the real spirit of wargaming. Motivated purely by a wish to share their enthusiasm and ideas for the benefit of the hobby.

I confess myself to be a most imperfect Blogger, but as imperfection is a part of the human condition I shall once more take up the pen and seek to emulate the deeds of others. I fear that my first post must be to deal with the absence of any further news on the Marlburian army.... But first just so that you know it really is me:

AIRMAIL CHARGES



Over the last few months I have been taking advantage of the dollar in order to make a few purchases. Isn't it easy, when you think back to the sixties? Scruby figures could just as well of been produced on the moon for all the chance of buying them in this country. Now you click on a website, key in your credit card and and a few hours later the goods are underway to you. How twenty first century, well except for those bastards who operate the airmail services!

A small parcel of a couple of pounds typically takes about £14 ($28) in postage. What world do they live in? One hands it over at the desk, the assistant whisks it to the back in awed tones, "Certainly sir, we will dispatch a courier to Southampton immediately with a bit of luck it can be on next weeks Imperial Flying Boat. I am sure we can take a little of the emergency fuel out to accommodate the extra weight."

As the young people say "Hello?". The skies are crammed with planes begging for ballast. I can go to the supermarket and buy a couple of pounds of fruit flown here by express refrigerated container for a third of the price that I pay for my figures and I get the fruit thrown in for nothing!

And did I mention the customs?

8 comments:

Andy Mitchell said...

I have to agree that finding a topic is sometimes very hard to do: although on the positive side this has motivated me to get on with various projects.

My sympathies for Mr. Gill though perhaps he should be grateful his opponent wasn't a Roman Emperor like Trajan: the Dacians must be really fed up with that column by now.

Fitz-Badger said...

Good one, Andy! lol

Yes, doing the blog and trying to come up with things to post is one of the things that keeps me going. That and all of the inspiration I get from reading many other blogs.

Anonymous said...

How nice to see one of my favourite blogs bouncing back after a brief 11-week break.

Andy, don't put ideas into his head :-) Happily, I understand the Snowdonia National Park authorities have refused permission for the proposed Edelweiss Cairn to be erected at the summit of Cader Idris.

To be fair, the battle report rather generously glosses over some of my worst errors!

I agree about airfreight costs. It would be cheaper if we clubbed together, bought an old Dakota and ran our own wargames airline.

Steve Gill

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

..good to see you back John, I'd say it was twice as hard for you as us "mortal" bloggers, as you also have to think things up for Battlegames as well now! ;o))

..air charges - bah - someone tried to suggest I pay over £12 for airmail postage on one issue of Wargamers Newsletter from the US!

Bluebear Jeff said...

Welcome back!

I confess that I sometimes find it difficult to come up with a good post myself . . . particularly since my health (and that of my wife) have been less than grand recently . . . so time and energy are spent on health issues instead of gaming.


-- Jeff

Grimsby Mariner said...

Nice to see you back John. Always good to read your prose.

Airmail charges and duties are a bane of the hobby, especially when the pound is so strong (no really it is - nevermind what the papers may say). whe it comes to duty I'm afraid you're in the hands of the Customs & Revenue - they can charge what they like when they like in the full knowledge that it will probably cot you more to appeal.

And the reason why your bananas are so cheap in comparison - bulk purchasing from supermarkets and the low labour cost of the exploited farmers in far off countries (and I can feel a rant coming on so I'm not going to say anymore).

Gallia said...

For decades I've not had issues with customs, duties, the exchange rate or postal service turbulence. I go with the flow. However, I seem to have entered a stormy sea lately, if I may companionably commiserate with you John.

First: A package of painted tribesmen was mailed to me in June. Perhaps John you will remember my colonial campaign was to begin in June with their arrival and also the 10th Hussars. Said package arrived in my community but was whisked away to son Ryan's new home in another state one thousand miles away. I accepted the reason for this with stately demeanor after filling out required corrective paperwork four times. My wife did the fifth version hopefully benefiting from my earlier errors. Nope. Read on.

Son Ryan dutifully mailed the box back to me. I was recently informed said package arrived in my home town again, but because I did not go to pick it up, it was returned to Asia where it will likely sit at customs for five weeks. Really true. There the recipient is already on notice to return it to a different address taking two weeks to get back to me. Slow flying boat. Never mind the extra postage I will pay. Thus, I will see the package in September thereby causing some ugly remarks from the Native Commander (the Guru in Gunga Din) who needs the box contents to commence his invasion of India. Naturally the postal authorities contended they gave me proper notice - twice. Yes. One went to son Ryan's home after my corrective paperwork and my wife's. The other was never seen. My fault naturally.

2. The other is the Eureka 100 Club. A fine thing actually. A+ people and concept. It's the changing exchange rate. I am told the Australian dollar has significantly strengthened versus my currency thereby making all the stuff I am to receive much higher in cost. Not just a little I am led to infer later in the year. Who knows? Not me.

Just another day of international turbulence. Actually my first ever in forty years of doing business beyond the USA.

No big deal. I will spend August getting the rest of my Imperials ready for the Guru's secret attack in September - I hope.

And so it goes....and I remain cheerful.
Bill

Bluebear Jeff said...

Here in Canada the postal service (sic) is notoriously slow and quite expensive . . .

. . . so much so that the saying is that the high cost is easily explained because all of the "storage" Canada Post has to pay for.


-- Jeff