Quality Cadian 412th Time

I thought when my son put down his Warhammer 40K Imperial Guard army last year, after building half of it, he was done with 40K completely. He'd collected a decent sized Chaos Marine army and attached them narratively and physically with their paint scheme to my own Space Marines, saying his army was born of my fallen-from-grace Marines. I was flattered enough as a dad not to be pissed off at the thought of MY Space Marines turning from the Emperor of Mankind and the Golden Throne! (He was irritated when I decided to convert those same Marines from vanilla codex to Slamanders Chapter; understandably. He can thank Vulkan He'stan for that move).

It's February 2011 and I suddenly find myself with time in the post World of Warcraft world in which I now live. So I picked up his lone sentinel, primed it and set about painting it in the scheme of his beloved 412th Cadian regiment as introduced in the Dawn of War videogame series. Out of nowhere, my son's interest is back and he sits down with me, putting together the rest of the models at a furious pace.

Why? He doesn't have to paint them ofcourse! How did I not see that months ago?

So the nerd cave in the basement was remade into our Guard rallying depo and the PS2 found post PS3 relevance acting as our DVD player as we indulged in:
...all the while building and painting like crazy. Then we got to kit bashing and the boy got to thinking and threw this tasty group of hardcore veterans together: One flamer, 2 grenade launchers and seven shotguns! Yes, I know it might make more sense to take a heavy flamer, but he's making them grenadiers so the point costs are better served on a squad-wide 4+ save. With a Chimera that has a heavy bolter turret, hull mounted heavy bolter and heavy stubber up top, this could be a beautiful anti troop unit, dice rolls permitting ;) Time well spent all around. Can't wait to see them painted and fighting!



Quadragesima, 40 Days, Lent. Today is Ash Wednesday the beginning of the season of Lent that leads up to Easter. As it began, I've had one friend accosted by a Bible Thumper online and my wife made fun of at work for having ashes on her forehead. Interesting.

No one would fault a Yogi for meditating for months at a time, no one dares say a word against Muslims praying 5 times a day, the neopagans and wiccans celebrate the spring equinox freely, nothing much is made out of Jews celebrating Passover, but smear some ash on your Catholic forehead and offer to give a little something up for 40 days and suddenly the Earth spins off it's axis. Curious.

Lent as we know it began early in Church history as adults fasted and went through the rituals to become full members of the Church. By the 4th century, the practices began attracting particiption from people already baptized alongside those waiting for admittance. Between the 6th and 8th century, "Confession" or Reconciliation became the focus of absolution for personal sins and the 6 week period of Lent began to take serious shape into traditions we'd recognize today in the 11th century. Though some of the severity of the fasting and abstinence were gradually removed, it wasn't until 1966 that modern guidelines governing the Season made them less stringent.

Why do it? So many people from Baby Boomers on down make the statement that it's all ritual and no spirituality in the Church. Yet here's a tailormade spiritual season of 40 days leading up to Christians' most important holiday and the very tools that in any other religion would be seen as key to kick off and/or enhance the physical and mental process of embarking on a spiritual journey are ignored, mocked or generally disregarded as outdated practices with no modern application.

For whom is there a spiritual vacuum?