Most Popular Posts in Thomo’s Hole

Amazingly it has been 14 years or so that Thomo’s Hole has been in WordPress in one form or another. Regularly I see the statistics for the day, and there are one or two posts that turn up regularly.

The top post is one from 7 May 2007, concerning Korean Soldiers in WW2 German Army which has had 26,914 views. When I posted it initially, it was from a article I picked up off a blog from Korea.

However, some time after posting this, a Korean Romance movie was produced about a Korean soldier who ended up being separated from his lover in much the same way. Someone was searching “Korean soldiers in German army” and this blog post popped up. They posted a Reddit and suddenly I had 14,000-odd hits in a day, which really screwed my stats for that month 🙂

For the record, Yang Kyoungjong (양경종) is supposed to be the name of the real Korean soldier who apparently fought in the Imperial Japanese Army, the Soviet Red Army, and later the German Wehrmacht during World War II.

Number two on the list was published on 31 July, 2003 and so far has had 14,394 views. Each day this post gets 30 or 40 views. It is Fire and Fury: Idiots Guide to Painting American Civil War Figures. I must admit to being somewhat amazed that a very simple guide for painting American Civil War figures gets so many views.

The third on the list, with 8.966 views, is an old poem I remember from my Infant School days, so the first time I heard it would have been in the 1960s. I posted this on 21 April 2003 and it is the tale of a small child who increasingly behaves more an more like a motor car, The Sad Tale of a Motor Fan by H. A. Field. It seems that many folks from my generation remember that poem from H. A. Field, along with others he wrote.

“Young Ethelred was only three
Or somewhere thereabouts when he
Began to show in diverse ways
The early stages of the craze
For learning the particulars
Of motor bikes and motor cars.”

Number four on the list with 8.966 views was posted 20 February 2008, in fact, it was me re-posting some information provided by my mate Mal Wright concerning Colour Schemes of WW1 Warships. A very informative article and one I refer to from time to time when painting World War One warships.

Number five on the list was posted on 3 December 2005 when I was working in Mongolia. It was winter at the time and bloody cold. Still it has had 3,976 views and deals with When Your Snot Freezes.

Honourable mentions go to Lightning War – Easy Play Rules for WWII Land Warfare  with 3,140 views. There is also a copy of some downloadable rules there.

Funnily, one with 2,500 views is actually a simple recipe I published on 4 October 2003 — Sausages in Tomato Sauce.

On 16 January 2012 I previewed some of the drawings of some World War 2 ships in camouflage, drawn by Mal Wright and included his books on the Paint Schemes of British and Commonwealth Warships of World War 2. There have been 2,293 views of World War 2 Naval Camouflage,

Last on the list of the honourable mentions with 1,958 views is the book review of Mal’s Paint Schemes of British and Commonwealth Warships of WW2 – Review.

Interestingly, yesterday, Fire and Fury: Idiots Guide to Painting American Civil War Figures and Colour Schemes of WW1 Warships had the top views.

Thirty-three percent of 2020 has Past (Passed)

Passed or past? For the grammar Nazis reading, I will plead a moments confusion. I do use “passed” as the past tense of “pass” but as time passes, has it passed or is it in the past?

I will admit, it is not quite 33% at the moment, but it will be at the end if next week so near enough. Back on 9 February I noted that One Twelfth of 2020 has Passed. Back in January there were three COVID-19 cases only in the Philippines  and life didn’t look like it was going to be too inconvenient.

Today we have been in enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) for 38 days with technically another nine days only to go. However there is talk now of adding at least another 15 days to the period, to ensure that the curve that is being flattened here is well flattened, doubly as important in the Philippines as there are many less hospital beds per million of population that in developed countries.

Should the ECQ be extended to 15 May then it will have been a full two months in Metro Manila. Some Barangays and Cities here have been put under full lock-down for periods ranging from 48 hours to seven days, generally because residents are not following the rules of the ECQ. In fact, a few days ago the Police had warned 130,000 ECQ violators and arrested 30,366. So many folks re not following the rules which maybe why the extension.

On that previous posts, I noted that since being in the Philippines I can tick off from my list:

  • typhoon
  • earthquake
  • volcano

To that list I can add … pandemic!

Work-wise, it has been both good and bad working from home. The bad is basically being locked up and not able to get out and just take a walk and the like. The first month was super hectic as well getting work from home organised for staff. The second month has been hectic as well but more for completing tasks. Currently I do not have a good area to work in but rather share my painting table (which is actually a mobile computer table). That keyboard is not my laptop but just a Bluetooth keyboard connected to my laptop which sits under the table. When I want to paint, keyboard and mouse are moved. Later this year I will, I hope, have an actual room I can use which will be much better.

Back in January I planned on getting the book reviews completed for the three books I have read and post those reviews here. I have achieved that for three (Battle of Manila, Miguel Miranda – ReviewArmies of Celtic Europe — 700 BC – AD 106 by Gabriele Esposito — Review and In Action with Destroyers 1939–1945 — The Wartime Memoirs of Commander J A J Dennis DSC RN — Review).

I planned to finish that damned 1/35 scale tank and paint it and then get back into some figure painting. Well, I finished the build but have not started the painting yet. The Anglo-Saxons I was working on are basically unchanged as I have not put a lick pf paint on them, although I have looked to add then to another project.

I kept reading the historical fiction and as expected, that has led me down the path of yet another project (Damned Historical Fiction – Sub-Roman British and Arthur!) And, since I have been locked down here in Makati, I have not spent any time with my local family. By the time I get to see them it will have been three months or longer.

So, overall, it has not been the greatest year in my 65 completed so far but we live in hope for the 66th year!

Time Passes

I was checking some contacts in LinkedIn, or rather LinkedIn was offering me suggestions from my address book – not just the office address book but also my private gmail address book. It started to become a somewhat disturbing exercise as some of the names offered up to connect with had passed away over the last ten years or so. In a couple of cases, about 20 years ago.

That had me thinking (apart from thinking about how mortal I suddenly was). I started to wonder if it was somehow disrespectful or suppressing a memory of these folk to delete them from my address book. After all, I had known many of them for quite a few years. There were still email conversations with some of them in my inbox and sent mail folders, at least ever since Google starting keeping every email I ever read or wrote.

To delete or not to delete? Something to ponder over a single malt one evening soon.

Thomo’s Hole – Some Changes Coming

My hitherto free online storage is coming to an end shortly as number one technical genius at Thomo’s Hole decides to spend the money on more important things … like life 🙂

As a result, the Hole will be moving.

I’m not sure how many of you have tried to move a Hole before, especially when there are so many things in the Hole to move along with the Hole itself but I suspect the next few days will be interesting and in some respects, a little challenging.

All should be settled again by Monday of next week. I am not certain today whether I will retain the web address or whether I will end up with a Blogger or WordPress address. It is a matter of economics I guess.

Once the move is complete I will update the various feed services that take a feed from Thomo’s Hole.

And lastly, thanks Jeffro for the efforts over the years – now the technology B team will be taking over – Heaven save us all! 🙂

… Thomo the Lost

A Day in the Life

Some folks get the idea that travel is fun (which it is) and therefore business travel must be more fun because someone else is paying for it. It isn’t. Following is my journey from Macksville to Jakarta.

2013-01-07 13.20.14

It started with the XPT train journey from Macksville Station. Temperature was about 30 degrees and a bright sunny day. The train left Macksville on time at 1:30pm and headed south at a stately pace. We stopped at a number of stations on the way to Sydney, including Kempsey, Wauchope, Gloucester and such. By the time we got to Maitland we were running about 5 minutes early so got to sit around there for five minutes longer than necessary.

We passed long coal trains (80 coal wagons) and some pretty countryside but the worst part of the journey was the child screaming all the way to Sydney.

We arrived at Central Station in Sydney at 9:06pm on time.

A taxi to Jeff’s where I spent the night.

A taxi was booked for 7:15 the following morning to take me to the airport.

Sylvester Stallone: "I heard you were bitten by a cobra".

Chuck Norris: "I was but after five days of agonising pain the cobra died".

From the in-flight movie, the Expendables 2.

2013-01-08 09.37.49Tuesday was flight day – up at 5:45am to the sound of Frodo throwing up on Jeffrey’s carpet. Back to sleep and up at 6:30 for a shower and a taxi to the airport at 7:15.

Having a bite at the airport the amusing sight of the day was the bloke who spills a full cup of coffee over the table and his wife. A quick clean off of her skirt and she’s off to the toilet to clean up. His next move, remorselessly, is to pick up the coffee cup and drain what is left before worrying about any sort of clean-up to the table and surrounds.

Aircraft boarding call is made and we board. Disconnect from the air-bridge and commence taxiing on time. We then sit on the taxiway for about 30 minutes, plane in front of us and six more queued behind us. We eventually get to the runway and are airborne.

By the time we are half way to Denpasar, the Expendables 2 movie is almost finished. We have also had an almost continuous stream of turbulence and altering of course and height to try and avoid the turbulence. Seems the great heat of Australia on Tuesday is also affecting the weather 10,000 metres above ground level.

The big plus on this Garuda flight is the in-flight immigration. Brilliant!

We arrived at Denpasar, collected bags, passed customs, handed the bags to the transfer desk then walked to the domestic terminal.

Denpasar domestic terminal is being rebuilt so inside it the temperature is thirty something degrees, there’s no WiFi, no air-conditioning, lots of building works, sweat is dripping from my fingers and my new Popeye t-shirt is melting. Also the flies are Australian in their persistence and annoyance.

Bored, bored, bored, bored, bored. Sat in that terminal for five hours waiting for the next flight. There was no point taking a taxi into town (I’ve never really been to Bali) as it was raining and the traffic was too heavy.

Finally it was time to board. There was the ride out to the plane on an airport bus. The door I was leaning against flew open as the bus turned. A quick death grip on one of the poles and a few choice adjectives helped in regaining the main cabin of the bus.

2013-01-09 12.18.10The outside air was cooler than the terminal and the inside air of the aircraft was just wonderful.

Finally arrived in Jakarta and headed out through the maelstrom of "private" taxi drivers to the peace of a White Horse taxi – there was a queue at the Silver Bird stand.

We then zoom along the airport road until the toll gate and the Jakarta traffic slows us to a pace a bullock cart would be pleased to achieve. It takes about the same time from the airport to the hotel as it does from Bali to Jakarta.

Finally the peace and tranquillity of the hotel. I’d been up for 19 hours getting from Ashfield to Jakarta and had 8 hours travelling by train the day before – just another normal day for Thomo. It was definitely time for a glass of Dr Feelgood.

Oh, and lest you think it all gets better at the hotel – the last photo is the view from my window!

Christmas in Brisbane

2012-12-25 14.03.26Christmas was spent with the lady, Mum, my sister and brother-in-law and niece in Brisbane. It’s been a couple of years since we had Christmas here. Mum had decided to accept my sister’s invitation for Christmas to be out of the house when we were bringing in boxes and such so caught the train and bus to Brisbane.

We followed a couple of days later.

Lunch was terrific – just enough of everything to satisfy, not so much as to be greedy or overeat! ((well, except for the cashews))

It was great catching up with my sister and BIL as well as my niece.

Next social function is off to Canberra for New Year’s Eve.

Thomo’s Macksville Home – the Great Move

2012-12-28 17.28.03As many of you will be aware, I shut down the Sydney home. I will be residing in Singapore full-time for the foreseeable future. This has meant that there is no need for the flat in Sydney any more and rather than continue to pay AU $400 per week for what is essentially storage only, we cancelled the rental.

I am pleased to announce that at the age of 58 ((if you can actually believe that I am that age … I could be lying after all)) I moved back home with mother 😆

Well, the lady needed somewhere to live whilst studying and there is space under the house for storage so with a little assistance from number one son (thanks for the garage space Jeffro) we moved. What an experience that was. Over a Friday and a weekend we moved. I called two men with a truck for some rented muscle and hired a one tonne Toyota Hi-Ace. The men and truck were to move the furniture and the Hi-Ace was to move the books, clothes and other stuff we wanted to keep.

What an experience! The hired muscle arrived in a grumpy mood – they’d been pulled over by the police on the way to the job. We loaded the furniture whilst the lady and I continued to pack boxes for the Hi-Ace. We delivered the furniture to Jeffro’s whilst the lady continued to pack boxes. We filled the Hi-Ace then drove the 476 kms to Mum’s.

We slept, unpacked and drove the 476 kms back.

We packed the rest again filling the Hi-Ace to the roof (well, with some extra stuff filling the back of the car).

We drove the 476 kms to Mum’s, unpacked and then drove the 476 kms back to Sydney where we checked into a motel just around the corner from the old home. Up early on Monday morning to return the Hi-Ace to the renters whilst the lady cleaned the apartment. I worked that day which meant I needed to be in the city by my 10 am meeting so it was late in the day when the keys were returned and we officially bid farewell to the Sydney residence.

The rest of the week in Sydney was spent in the motel (the Marco Polo at Summer Hill, cheap, great security and funnily enough, quieter than the flat was). Friday night came and so we squeezed into the front of the Falcon and drove the 476 kms to Macksville.

Saturday … slept.

After that it was 478 kms to Brisbane for Christmas (see separate post), then 478 kms back to Macksville. The last drive this trip will be a drive of 770kms to Canberra for the New Year, then 770 kms back to Macksville. Finally I will catch the bus to Sydney to catch my flight back to Singapore (that bue/train trip I am actually looking forward to).

2012-12-28 17.27.48By the time I leave Oz for Singapore again I will have driven 4,876 kms at least (there was a couple of short trips for Boxing Day sales and pizzas and such that would have put the total over 5,000 kms).

Let’s see my Pommie mates get their heads around those distances (driving the E30 in Europe, London to Moscow is only 2,887 km)!

I do have a painting space in Oz still – in my father’s old train room. Once Dad left us the trains were sold off, mostly to his peer group of railroaders and so that area under the house houses my library and wargaming stuff that I have not taken to Singapore. Mum also uses it when cutting out for new quilts. The picture above is the view from behind the painting area. The picture to the left is the view the other way.

Thomo has a new Oz Hole!

A New Look Hole


Thomo’s Hole has had a certain appearance for a few years now and as a result of the usual widget creep you find in blogs, it was starting to get slower and slower. I decided it was time to clean up the appearance and make it both a wee bit more elgant and a wee bit quicker.

Being the lazy sod that I am, I went looking for a theme rather than write my own. I found the Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha and this is now the appearance for Thomo’s Hole.

I will be tweaking a bit over the next few days, especially in the area of links etc., as there are way too many of them. As a result, you may see the some odd things happening from time to time. Nothing to worry about, wait about 5 seconds and try again and everything should be back to normal.

Now, back to finishing the washing and then the 15mm ACW basing.

Thomo’s Hole – Technical Issues

We’ve had a few technical issues back here at Hole Central. Not quite sure what has caused the issues although Hole Tech Admin noted:

Looks like it’s running out of network buffer space. Weird traffic profile just before… Steady 600kB/s inbound then nothing.
I turned the numbers up. Will see if it helps.
We will indeed see if it helps.
In the meantime, my apologies for the downtime but we are back and I promise that I will absolutely get around to catching up with the posts I have in the draft pipeline.

Blogs – a Connection to the Past

I never really looked on my blog as a view into my past until tonight when I noticed that the archives went back to 2004 – 7 years. Actually, nearly exactly 7 years really as the first post was on 23 December 2004 and was when I first started playing with a Microsoft product which I have forgotten the name of but which became Live Spaces. The post said nothing, other that it was the festive season.

Interestingly, the second post in January 2005 turned out to be predictive in opposite ways as 2005 was a period of personal turmoil and pain all of which has left me in a far better place these days.

Around April 2005 I went to Mongolia so the blog followed my time on the steppe and in the Gobi. Late 2006 through 2008 was a lot of tales from Saudi Arabia and sprinkled throughout was some wargaming and some historical pieces.

Lately it has been a mix but mostly wargame related as I concentrate my downtime on my hobby. Have a look back through the archives, there are some interesting posts back there – some still generate a lot of comments (in particular Korean Soldiers in WW2 German Army which certainly has the most vitriolic as well as some of then most thoughtful comments – see also Korean Soldiers in German Army Part 2 for details of the movie made by Koreans about this story). Others are just general nonsense I’ve noticed.

One thing disturbs me a little though – in this digital age I find I am reading less. This kind of worrying but to compensate, I am trying to write more, they are related skills after all. I have a few days relaxing coming up so I will try and catch up on some blog posts – finish the Cancon DBMM 2011 reports (yes Douglas, well, maybe Douglas), post some information about the Sri Lankan painting service I am using and the process I went through there, and an update the status of the lead pile.

In the meantime, have a wander around Thomo’s Hole, feel free to comment (I generally don’t censor comments) but mostly enjoy snippets from the last 7 years of my life. After all, living vicariously is still living. 😆