Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hold the Phone... Change of Plans...

I have a problem.  A big one.

I can't go to Blue Table Painting's Valhalla in August this year.

The problem stems from a conflict with getting my oldest daughter back to college.  Her school is starting their Fall semester later than they had been the previous 2 years, which we just found out about this past weekend.  The wife and I worked through all the available options, and it came down to either my youngest daughter would have to miss 3 or 4 days of high school (she'll be a Junior this year) as she'd have to go with my wife, or she would have to be home alone for a few days.  Neither of these are acceptable options (at least not to us).

So, there's no way for me to go to Valhalla in August this year.


I will be going to Valhalla in October of this year, instead.


I knew when my wife and I were trying to work out the details of trying to get me to Valhalla that there were no more suites available (which is what I had reserved for August), and that even if there were, the October prices were higher than the August prices.

I also knew that there was only one Drop Pod left for October, and therein lay the other problem:  I was not going to Valhalla alone.  My good friend, John, was also going to the August Valhalla.  What we had worked out was that I reserved a suite at August Valhalla, and for an additional $50 the BTP folks were going to provide an additional twin bed to the suite.  The suite already comes with 2 event passes, so I was going to pay a little more and take the queen/king bed in the suite, and John was going to take the added-on twin bed, and then we'd only have to share a private bathroom with each other and not two other people, as would be the case in a Drop Pod.  This worked out to be only $50 more for John than being in a Drop Pod with 3 other people, and $450 less for me from my original plan of getting a "captain's quarters" private room (these are smaller than the suites, but share a bathroom with at least one other private room).

But I the last time I'd checked the BTP store's website, there was only one Drop Pod slot left in October, and I wasn't even sure that was still available.  Dilemma.  Either John or I would have to downgrade to an event pass and get a room in a hotel in nearby Heber City, UT (about 15 minutes away from the Valhalla site), and since the problem with not being able to go to Valhalla in August was mine, I didn't feel right about asking John to take the off-the-premises room, so that meant that I'd have to get an event pass and get a room in Heber City.  And, I'd have a significant balance with BTP, as I was pretty sure they wouldn't issue a refund for the difference in what I'd paid and the price of just and event pass (although I wasn't certain of this).

So, I emailed my contact at BTP, Shannon, on this past Sunday night, and explained the situation to her, and asked if there were any suites that had become available, or whether there was more than one Drop Pod left for October.  To my amazement and delight, she replied within a few hours saying that someone had just exchanged their October Drop Pod reservation for an August one, and there were, in fact, just 2 Drop Pod beds available, and that she would hold them for me!


Unfortunately, there are no suites available at this time, and there is someone ahead of us who has requested a suite should one become available, but we're 2nd on the list should a suite become available.  (And even at the higher October prices, splitting the cost of a suite plus the extra twin bed would be less expensive than the cost of each of our Drop Pod spots.)

Also, unfortunately, John and I will each need to pony up another $250 each to cover the cost of accommodations that are not as good as we'd been expecting, but, this may be a blessing in disguise.  Why?  Because it means that I can let up on my helter-skelter schedule of painting every spare moment I have, step back, take a breather, maybe get a few games in, and get everything I wanted to get painted done in time for October, plus be able to do a few extra things, like build, convert and paint a proper Nurgle Biker Lord to lead my Death Guard, rather than the Night Lords Biker that I currently use.

So, the journey continues, albeit with a minor speed bump.  I figure I'm not going to be spending much time in my room at Valhalla as it is, and it kinda sucks that I have to pay more for less, but I've still earned enough from writing for Seeking Alpha that I've covered these costs, and then some, and I can slow down a bit and get everything done that needs to get done before heading off to the Wasatch Mountains in October.

All's well that ends well...



  1. Good to hear that you've got yourself sorted in the end mate. I want to go to Valhalla so badly but the plane tickets from the UK are just ridiculous.

    I'm liking the army though, lot's of plus++ rep for the plague marine conversions. Have you tried out the forgeworld conversion set for plague marines? They look brilliant but desperately need some green stuffing and I have some issues mounting weapons in a way that looks natural. I keep wondering if anyone else has the same issues or if it's just me!

    A quick question off topic if you don't mind me asking, but how did you get in to writing for a financial site? Just curious to hear other people's experiences as I've nearly finished my financial diploma over here in the UK and financial journalism was always something I've wanted to dabble once I had significantly more experience.

  2. Thanks so much for your comment. Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you.

    For the Plague Marines, I did in fact use the Forge World Death Guard conversion kit for them. Each conversion kit comes with 10 bodies-and-heads, each unique, and 10 sets of shoulder pads (2 X set of 5). From 3 of the kits I made 28 Death Guard Plague Marines. However, having only 3 sets of the conversion kits and 4 squads of 7 Death Guard, I had to find a suitable model for the Aspiring Champion of the 4th squad; I ended up using the AC from the Havocs box set, as he looks suitable Nurgly.

    As for writing for Seeking Alpha, I've always been a writer at heart, and after reading a number of articles (and posting a lot of comments on others' articles), I decided to try my hand at writing for them. I just write about how I'm managing my own portfolio by myself, without any "professional" help, and people seem to like what I have to say. It's almost like a buy-and-sell log/blog, but I try to add a bit of humor to it and keep it interesting. It can be hard to get your first article accepted by the Seeking Alpha authors, but once they've started publishing your work, as long as it contains "actionable items" for their readers, and your writing stays of high quality, they will tend to accept and publish future articles that you submit. (I got lucky, and the first article I wrote and submitted was not only accepted, but was selected as an "Editor's Pick" for that day.) I've written 68 articles for SA, and have never had one rejected (although a few were kicked back for corrections/editing based on their suggestions), and three of them have been Editor's Picks.

    There's links all over SA inviting people to write for them; all you have to do is click, read their guidelines, and give it a shot!

    Best of luck, and thanks again for the comment!