Rotary

Jul. 3rd, 2017 05:47 pm
tegyrius: (Default)
So. First bike commute today. Picked this date for low expected traffic, as I figured a good portion of the city took the day off. Campus was certainly a wasteland.

Out: 7.04 miles in 40:45. Average speed 10.4 mph.

Back: 6.97 miles in 38.28. Average speed 10.9 mph.

I figured I'd shave off more mileage on the return leg with the altered route I took, but that did not happen. Hm.

My legs are dizzy.

Probably won't do another one this week due to gym and gaming schedules, but I think I can handle this.

Cropped

Jun. 25th, 2017 04:06 pm
tegyrius: (Default)
Jesus Fucking Christ. Every single chain barbershop wants digits and/or email so they can spam me and monetize me, and all of the locally-owned ones are filthy refuges of chain-smokers who gleefully brag about how many times they've been cited for violations of the local anti-smoking ordinance. It's fucking impossible to just peacefully walk into a place, hand over money, not feel filthy, and walk out with less hair.

Daytime

Jun. 18th, 2017 03:14 pm
tegyrius: (Default)
Happy Father's Day to my friends who are responsible dads raising pretty cool kids.

And for those who aren't fathers, let's hoist a frosty beverage to having zero kids and three money. ;)

Unscheduled

Jun. 4th, 2017 12:25 pm
tegyrius: (Default)
E has been out of town all week, visiting family. I am reminded of what an incomplete human I am without her. Especially where food is concerned.

I've gotten a surprising amount of stuff done around the house and yard, though, and I've kept up my exercise schedule. Not sure how well that would work in the long term. Fortunately, she's due back tonight.

I've also spent a fair amount of time doing nothing productive. I'm eight episodes into The Expanse. It's a pretty good adaptation of the novel series. The visuals are fantastic, albeit a little poorly-lit at times. I only have a couple of gripes. Some of the dialogue is unclear, and I'm not sure if that's the audio quality or my rapidly-aging ears. And I'm not very happy with the fact that it took the main crew seven episodes to start acting like a crew, in large part due to the ham-handed characterization of Amos (which I suspect is on the writers - the actor's doing a fine job with what they've given him). But things seem to be evening out as the situation on Eros begins to go sideways.

I've also spent a handful of hours this weekend on the fresh beta release of the new Battletech PC game. It's limited to 4v4 matches against the AI, so that's not going to hold my attention for long... but based on what I've played so far, and Harebrained Schemes' track record with story for the Shadowrun Returns series, I have high hopes for the finished product. I've been playing mainly in the lower end of the weight range, with light/medium lances totaling 15M C-Bills (the balancing system for this mode), with occasional forays into the 20M bracket. MVPs so far: Centurion and, surprisingly, Commando. And a full backshot from a Victor is just as spectacular as it should be.

T&E

May. 28th, 2017 10:28 am
tegyrius: (Default)
Spent most of the week on the road for work. It was a good trip - a conference on emergency management in my current focus area - but I had to be socially on constantly. Got back around dinnertime Thursday night and was basically useless all day Friday, even with a half-day off (we put in some extra hours during the conference for various reasons). I did get in one run Thursday morning but otherwise it was a week of too much restaurant food and not enough exercise.

After a week of not being here, I resumed the bike experiment today. This morning's ride was 8.5 miles at just over 9 miles per hour. That includes a couple of stops to talk to E, who was out walking (and conducting digital gladiatorial battles with Japanese pocket monsters), but it's still not the sort of speed I need to sustain if I'm going to commute this way.

The bike shop warned me that bike tires lose air faster than car tires, and they weren't kidding. The tires on the new ride are spec'd for 65-100 psi and they were sitting around 50. Found out that the floor pump they sold me didn't come with an adapter for my valve stems, which pissed me off, but the compressor from my car kit took care of the job quite nicely. I still have some adjustment issues with the front brakes and the front derailleur, but I'll let the professionals handle those next weekend.

Wildlife seen on today's ride: the resident snapping turtle in the creek in the park. Two yard ducks. Most interestingly, a Cooper's hawk soaring across a residential street in front of me and pulling up (and through tree branches) to parallel me for a few seconds. I heard a lot of bird-squabbling around that time but didn't see anyone pursuing or being pursued.

Also tested today: bike shorts, which look just as ridiculous as you'd expect but do significantly increase comfort thanks to the built-in nad pad (a term which I am now trademarking). As they do not include pockets, I also rode with the chest harness I use to hold my phone and ID and keys while I'm running. It, too, looks mildly ridiculous, but it's far more secure than the pockets of any normal shorts I own. So two successful gear checks there.

Undefined

May. 14th, 2017 05:45 pm
tegyrius: (Default)
So. Mother's Day.

Handling it by not looking at it. Which only works as long as I stay in motion.

I wish I'd known her.

Cyclic

May. 13th, 2017 06:14 pm
tegyrius: (Default)
So... cardio has been really hard to acquire and maintain with thrice-weekly runs the past couple of years. And I have this university job on a campus where they're trying to discourage excessive car use (in no small part because the parking infrastructure is twenty pounds of shit in a ten-pound bag). And, based on Dad's example, my joints aren't gonna hold up to running indefinitely. And I've been looking for other ways to stay less-unfit.

So I bought myself a bicycle.

I think the last time I was on a bike was 1992. I probably didn't ride more than a dozen times after I got my driver's license (which may explain why my junior year cross-country season, when I didn't have a car, was far more successful that my senior year...).

This has the potential to be an epic debacle. The eventual intent is commuting. I'm definitely gonna have to build up to that. I did a 3.5-mile test ride around the neighborhood this afternoon. I didn't fall off but I wasn't exactly displaying laser-like precision, either.

On the plus side, holy shit, an aluminum-frame bike is a lot lighter than anything I remember. 24.2 pounds for this thing. And these indexed shifters that have become a thing in the past 25 years beat the hell out of the old ratchety ones.

Crossbreed

May. 7th, 2017 06:11 pm
tegyrius: (Default)
I've been fiddling with some D&D character concepts lately (see previous post about tabaxi). As is usually the case with D&D, character concepts lead into worldbuilding, because I like to have some backstory about a character's origins.

Something triggered a memory from a thread on /r/dnd, and I wish I could provide attribution, because this one throwaway line suggests a lot of really cool setting work. The premise is that humans are the result of elves and orcs breeding.

This neatly explains why you can get half-elves and half-orcs, but no other racial pairings in D&D result in half-breeds. It also implies a very interesting history of how and why elves and orcs once got it on in sufficient numbers to produce a viable human population. This feels more mechanically-supported in D&D5 than in 3.x/Pathfinder/OGL, given the former's lack of racial attribute penalties... notably, making the average orc no less intelligent, wise, or charismatic than the average human. And that change also neatly undermines the traditional setting design assumption that all orcs are barbarians, incapable of creating and sustaining civilized cultures.

Hmm.

Furry

May. 2nd, 2017 09:28 pm
tegyrius: (Default)
So, D&D5 character concept in search of a campaign.

I really want to take a tabaxi from Volo's Guide to Monsters and give him a cosmetic rework as a snow leopard.

And then take the kensai monk subclass from this week's Unearthed Arcana posting.

And play this character:



Because how fucking badass is a snow leopard samurai?

(Actually, I'd go Tibetan rather than Japanese for cultural inspiration, because snow leopard. But that's some great artwork.)

Lateral

Apr. 23rd, 2017 08:26 pm
tegyrius: (Default)
New job starts tomorrow.

I'm still not convinced this is the right move for me. The new place has some very high expectations. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to live up to them. Nor am I certain that the social environment is going to be one I find particularly welcoming.

On the other hand, I am pretty well convinced that staying where I was would have been a wrong move (so to speak). It's become pretty clear over the last few months that the organization is going to remain ineffectual, if not outright crippled, until something drastic happens at a very high pay grade. I would not have been in a position to effect meaningful change, and I do not do well when I'm not allowed to unfuck problems that are within my capacity and willingness.

Boogerhook

Apr. 18th, 2017 09:34 pm
tegyrius: (Default)
Dammit, Hollywood, stop producing movie posters depicting shitty trigger discipline.

Avian

Apr. 14th, 2017 06:51 am
tegyrius: (Default)
Out of the park, XKCD. Out of the fucking park.

Relocated

Apr. 6th, 2017 07:36 pm
tegyrius: (Default)
New ToS over at LiveJournal. Not real comfortable. Haven't been real comfortable for a while.

Let's see how things are here.
tegyrius: (gunstuff deepthoughts)
I have a lot of blogs bookmarked. I check very few of them daily. Hognose's, over at weaponsman.com, is one of the few that's an essential part of my morning routine. Dude's a retired Army Special Forces NCO now living in New Hampshire, homebuilding his own airplane, collecting guns, and writing prolifically (I eagerly await his book on Czech/Czechoslovakian firearms for my own reference). For a gun blog, there is refreshingly little political commentary (though he does seem to have it in for the Veterans' Administration medical system - justifiably so, IMO).

Despite being a lifelong shooter (first learned around age six) - or perhaps because of it - I have a lot of problems with American gun culture. As a body, American gun owners have a lot of attitude and safety problems. These, in turn, drive our overall negative image among people who don't share our proclivities. Put simply, we are our own worst enemies in the political arena.

The safety aspect shapes a lot of my own practices. I've pretty much given up on going to commercial shooting ranges because of the complete lack of training and safety on the line, combined with an absence of oversight and intervention from the so-called "range safety officers." And most shooters have no idea how dangerous they are. The Dunning-Kruger Effect is strong at the range.

Anyway. The reason for this little rant is Hognose's recent post on applying aviation safety concepts to firearms training. There's an aviation saying that the rules are written in blood. Well, in gun culture, we keep making the same damn lethal mistakes without changing the rules. That's unacceptable, folks. If we do not fix our body count ourselves, fixes will be imposed from outside, and they will be both less effective and less palatable than anything we can come up with.

Hognose makes the case more eloquently than I can. It's worth five minutes of your time to read the whole thing.

Changes

Oct. 22nd, 2016 11:39 am
tegyrius: (cars Outback)
I'm seriously considering a change of primary vehicle. I'll be selling the Outback, which is currently at 93,600 miles.

Body is in average condition for age and mileage. It has a few scratches and door dings, one weird dent at the bottom of the driver's door, and the imprint of someone's trailer hitch receiver on the front bumper. No structural issues.

Maintenance is current and I have full records. Issues to date have been new constant-velocity joints, head gasket replacement, and an airbag sensor - all resolved.

Tires have less than 10,000 miles on them.

Available extras include a full-size spare (I still have the donut), a rooftop cargo pod (never used), an iPod/iPhone integration kit (using the proprietary pre-Lightning connector), and a Canvasback cover for the cargo area.

If you're in the market, ping me.

Quantrell

Oct. 9th, 2016 10:19 am
tegyrius: (cars Outback)
Quantrell Subaru's service department has failed me for the last time. After five years of consistent inattention to detail, I will no longer allow them to touch any vehicle my household owns.

The Outback will be up for replacement in the next one to two years. Despite the Subaru Forester and Volvo V60/S60 Cross-Country being near the top of the list for potential replacements, I am highly unlikely to purchase any of those vehicles if Quantrell remains Lexington's only option for Subaru and Volvo service.

Fourth

Sep. 15th, 2016 08:26 pm
tegyrius: (snark ORLYsaurus)
Oh, look. A scholarly analysis of Jay-Z's 99 Problems from a Fourth Amendment legal perspective:

http://www.slu.edu/Documents/law/Law%20Journal/Archives/LJ56-2_Mason_Article.pdf

No, seriously.

Steps

Sep. 5th, 2016 11:06 am
tegyrius: (Warning Self-Replicating Device)
I may have blogged before (I'm too lazy to go back and check right now) about my Garmin ForeRunner 235. It's a GPS running watch with some other functions. One of those is an accelerometer-based activity tracker.

One of the problems with a wrist-based tracker (as opposed to, say, a waist-clipped FitBit) is that it only picks up steps when you're swinging your arm. So activities like pushing a grocery cart - or, mowing, which is worth about 4,500 steps in my yard - don't get tracked accurately.

However.

I've discovered that my ankle is just slim enough that I can put the watch on it at the very last notch in the band. This is enough to get an accurate accelerometer trigger on each step.

Downside? Black electronic device strapped to my ankle while I'm out mowing. I'm pretty sure some of my neighbors think I'm under home incarceration.

Incendiary

Aug. 26th, 2016 05:21 pm
tegyrius: (Warning Chaotic System)
"Attention, Engine 10: respond to the vicinity of Georgetown and Citation. Caller advises she thinks she saw a bird hit a line... of some sort. After the bird or whatever hit the line, it fell to the ground. It is on fire. The grass is on fire. Near a bus stop."

Empowered

Aug. 13th, 2016 04:25 pm
tegyrius: (Warning Antimatter)
Although I'm unlikely to ever go on a transcontinental expedition, I follow a couple of offroading blogs because they're well-written and interesting. Last year, one of them recommended the Antigravity Batteries Micro-Start XP-1. It sounded interesting enough for me to put it on my "do want" list and [livejournal.com profile] elalyr bought me one for Christmas last year.

Holy crap, folks. This thing underpromises and overdelivers like nothing I've seen before. I recently started the VR-4 for the first time since February. The car's battery, as you might expect, was deader than disco. Usually, jumping that vehicle requires me to hook up the cables to the Outback and wait a good 15 to 20 minutes to build enough charge to crank.

With the XP-1? 30 seconds from hooking up the leads to starting the VR-4 on the first try - and the battery pack still was showing 4/5 bars of charge afterward. And that was after charging the XP-1 in December and leaving it in the Outback's cargo bay (parked outside, I remind you) with no top-off charging for eight months.

If you ever go anywhere that a jump-start or emergency power (it also comes with a metric assload of adapters for personal electronics) might remotely be necessary, make one of these things part of your car kit. Order today. I'm not kidding.

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