Effective

Aug. 10th, 2016 08:27 pm
tegyrius: (snark ORLYsaurus)


Yep, that'll work.

Nope

Jul. 23rd, 2016 03:33 pm
tegyrius: (Ol' Velvet Nose)
Wow. Reading /r/childfree is like mainlining validation.

Monitored

Jun. 25th, 2016 02:37 pm
tegyrius: (Warning Ubiquitous Surveillance)
For the last two years, I've been tracking my runs with a Suunto Ambit 2R GPS sports watch, which I also wore as an everyday digital watch. The Ambit itself has been reliable but in the last six months, both the charging/sync cable and the chest strap for the heart rate monitor have needed replacement. I'm also not a fan of the user interface on Suunto's associated exercise data site, Movescount.

About six weeks ago, I picked up a Garmin Forerunner 235 as a possible replacement for the Ambit. I'd gone around and around on this versus a couple of other products. What finally sold me on the 235, quite frankly, was my annual REI dividend - enough to effectively get the watch for free. But the feature set was one I wanted in an upgrade: Bluetooth sync so I wouldn't have to jack with a cable after every run, an optical heart rate monitor to remove the need for a separate chest strap, and notifications from my iPhone.

Was it worth it? )
tegyrius: (Warning Motivation Hazard)
Occasionally, my brain does strange things with syntax. Such was the case when I recently became aware of the peacock spider. If we have peacock spiders, I asked, why can't we have spider peacocks?

So in my headcanon, the spider peacock is now a thing in the 7th Sea game setting.

It started out as a Montaigne attempt to breed a mute peafowl that would be decorative without disrupting garden parties with its shrieks. The result wasn't a mute bird, but rather one with raspy, rattling vocalizations - sounding, quite frankly, like a woman being strangled rather than one being knifed. As if that weren't enough, the breed's plumage lost much of its coloration, becoming silvery grey and the dark red-brown of dried blood. This might have been the end of the experiment if not for the elaborate patterns on the fowl's tailfeathers, which resembled unique, intricate spiderwebs when raised in full display.

While a few eccentric Montaigne do still keep flocks of these "spider peacocks," the primary market for the breed is, unsurprisingly, Vodacce. There, they are cherished pets, allowed to freely roam their owners' estates. Some Vodacce believe that spider peacocks also can sense when a sorte strega tugs the strands of Fate in their vicinity, and that their ubiquity in certain nobles' presence is more than simple ornamentation or ostentation.

Anklet

May. 2nd, 2016 07:42 pm
tegyrius: (gunstuff deepthoughts)
Over the years, regular readers will have figured out that I am licensed for concealed carry (since early 2001). I don't typically discuss the specifics of firearm selection or holster placement or tactics and decision processes in public because of the potential for misuse of that information by other parties. So this isn't going to be about those topics - not quite.

I'm also a firm believer that if you are carrying a tool to make people bleed, you should also carry the tools to stop people from bleeding - and have the skills to use them effectively. In 2011, I took the excellent three-day medical course offered by Kerry at Dark Angel Medical (when it was still Magpul Dynamic Shooter Aid). Subsequently, I spent several years going between imperfect solutions for incorporating a minimal gunshot medical kit into my concealed carry rig and hanging far too much crap off my belt. In the process, I amassed a nice collection of tourniquet carriers that will never see use again.

A little over a year ago, a thread on one of my preferred forums led me to what is, for me, the perfect answer. Tactical Medical Solutions offers an ingenious ankle wrap that holds a tourniquet, a chest seal, and a pack of hemostatic gauze (and, as this video shows, the wrap itself can be used as a pressure bandage). I am not a fan of ankle carry for a firearm but it's turned out to be amazing for ancillary equipment that needs to remain low-profile. I've worn it with everything from jeans to a suit without raising comment.

CRS-8

Apr. 8th, 2016 05:36 pm
tegyrius: (Ol' Velvet Nose)
Today, I watched SpaceX make history by soft-landing a Falcon 9 first-stage booster on a drone ship after putting a Dragon capsule into orbit.

Still can't stop grinning. That was amazing.

Loa

Feb. 14th, 2016 01:49 pm
tegyrius: (WWGS keep calm)
Cleaning my desk. Ran across some handwritten notes on a Changeling campaign that never happened. This is disturbing:




The net is a realm of dream too. How can you tell where its Hedge begins? Is it the same Hedge? Or is it the border of another Arcadia, one whose inhabitants hold no Contracts binding them to the material world? Ancient sleepers stirring in the starless cyberspace. Under neon skies, Bobby Newmark's loa are coming. Korea was first. Addicted gamers in cybercafes never come back, not entirely. Online, no one can tell if you're a dog - or if you just have the head of one.

Sectoid

Feb. 7th, 2016 08:38 am
tegyrius: (paranormal tongue-in-cheek)
I could use no other avatar for this post.

One of my players in my XCOM-derived play-by-post campaign asked me for my thoughts on the newly-released XCOM 2. In case anyone else is interested...

It would make an excellent RPG setting in its own right. The premise, if you have not heard, is that it's the outcome of playing the 2012 game on Impossible Ironman mode and losing.

It's 20 years after the fall of XCOM. Earth lies under the heel of an alien-controlled puppet government which is slowly driving the Avatar Project, a shadowy master plan toward probably apocalyptic ends. A global propaganda campaign recasts XCOM and other resistance groups as terrorists and the aliens as benevolent elder space-brothers.

Members of your core command team have kept the flame lit. They've recruited a scattering of willing operatives and have established a mobile base in the hulk of a downed UFO. Your mission is to unite the scattered resistance groups still fighting across the globe and use that network to seek out information on Avatar with the eventual intent of bringing it down.

Technically, it's running okay, though our gaming machine is five years old and is choking out on framerate. We have a new rig on order, originally bought so we could play The Division at max graphics; XCOM 2 should be screaming fast on it. I'm supposed to pick it up sometime this week. I have seen quite a few annoying typos in the game text, which leads me to believe no professional writer was involved in the dev effort (cue professional-offended huffy cat face).

Strategic gameplay is a bit more complex than XCOM. You have multiple resource types: space in your mobile base, power to run the facilities in those spaces, communication links to resistance cells (analogous to satellite control facilities in XCOM), alien alloys, elerium crystals, scientific staff, and engineering staff. It's easy to get sucked into an incident pit where you're short on multiple resources at once and struggling to get yourself back to operational viability.

And time. Oh, gods, time. Time is a resource and the whack-a-space-mole nature of not being able to solve all the problems has been turned up so far the dial broke off.

Tactical gameplay is very familiar, with the addition of a simple but beautiful stealth/ambush mechanic. If you start an op in stealth - and not all missions will allow you this luxury - the enemy forces operate in laid-back patrol mode until you walk into their vision range (which is clearly indicated when you plot movement). This allows you to put most of your squad on overwatch, then have one shooter start the party. The resulting cinematic kill-cam action as your other troopers pop up and mow down the aliens as they scatter for cover... that will never get old.

You have to fight smart, though, because the AI is much smarter and the enemies have some much nastier abilities. And many missions have timed objectives, which means you can't hunker down in defensive positions and wait for them to come to you. You have to keep pushing forward. And your people get shot to shit. Many times, I have had to recruit new resistance fighters because I had so many people in med-bay or in body bags that I couldn't field a full squad.

All of this may make it sound like a horrible play experience but it's really not. It's a lot of fun. The challenge level is just high enough that when you pull a mission success out of your ass, you feel like you've accomplished something.

Roland

Jan. 24th, 2016 07:36 am
tegyrius: (Ol' Velvet Nose)
Happy St. Zevon's day, all.

Enjoy every sandwich.

Overgothed

Jan. 7th, 2016 09:37 pm
tegyrius: (paranormal tongue-in-cheek)
"What is your character concept?"

"Invulnerable black-clad moody lone wolf in a black trench coat wielding twin titanium monokatanas and smartlinked Desert Eagles firing incendiary moonsilver depleted uranium cold iron explosive tracer bullets while a bloodthirsty yet mournful heavy metal soundtrack wails distantly over the incessant rain that falls like the tears of a thousand fallen angels crying over the heart's mournful lament for a lost paradise."

"Um... no."

Iron 4

Dec. 26th, 2015 08:26 am
tegyrius: (Warning Cognitive Hazard)
I spent some time yesterday thinking about how to do an IK-to-5e conversion of the warcaster. )

Iron 3

Dec. 25th, 2015 10:40 am
tegyrius: (Warning Self-Evolving System)
The next low bar for converting Iron Kingdoms to D&D5 is races. )

Iron 2

Dec. 25th, 2015 10:22 am
tegyrius: (Warning Antimatter)
Next up in my IK-to-5e tinkering, some equipment conversions. )

Iron 1

Dec. 25th, 2015 09:28 am
tegyrius: (Warning Chaotic System)
Doing a bit of tinkering for a lightweight port of Iron Kingdoms into D&D5e. First up, the gun mage. )

Traffic

Nov. 18th, 2015 05:29 pm
tegyrius: (catfood)
Sometimes at work, I listen to the fire department channels when something interesting something with the potential to escalate is happening. Today, there was a minor structure fire.

Ladder 2: Please advise the homeowner that we're closing the door and leaving the cat inside.

Command: Is the cat accounted for?

Ladder 2: That's affirmative. It's under the bed. It doesn't like firefighters.

Mutineer

Oct. 12th, 2015 06:24 pm
tegyrius: (Ol' Velvet Nose)
Well, damn. Archive.org has 112 live Warren Zevon concert recordings.

I don't even know where to start.

Board

Jul. 29th, 2015 09:19 pm
tegyrius: (Warning Ubiquitous Surveillance)
Want to know what my peeps in Lexington Fire are doing right now?

http://fire.lexingtonky.gov/open/status/status.htm

Truthified

Jul. 11th, 2015 12:50 pm
tegyrius: (gunstuff most interesting man)
Just saw the open carry activist asshole movement referred to as Second Amendment cosplay.

Humidity

Jul. 1st, 2015 08:36 pm
tegyrius: (snark harden the fuck up)
I hates it so.

I've gotten bad about posting here since I started running. Part of that is the dwindling LJ audience and the commensurately reduced social rewards for posting. I think I have two or three readers left. Everyone else seems to have fucked off for the chaotic ubiquity of Facebook (or social media platforms that aren't even on my radar). But I've also fallen into the trap of thinking my private run log posts are sufficient activity, even though no one but me sees them.

This has been a bad year for running. 2014 was... not good, by the standards I set for myself, but encouraging. I went from nothing in summer 2013 to being technically capable of a 5k by April 2014 (Couch to 5k worked, holy shit). In high school, my PR for a 5k was 21:55 - thoroughly uncompetitive but at least I was doing it. I've accepted that I'm never going to see times like that again. But last fall, as the humidity sloped off and morning temperatures dropped into the fifties, I was regularly posting sub-9:15 mile averages. On October 16th, I set an adult PR of 3.17 miles in 28:48 - a 9:04 average. We were regularly hitting the road three days a week.

Everything went to hell over the winter and really didn't improve during spring. Illness, holiday overcommitment, shitty weather, losing Dad, and [livejournal.com profile] elalyr's miserable tax season beat us down so badly that between mid-December and the beginning of May, we averaged less than one run a week. There were a couple of stretches in which we didn't get in a single run for over two weeks.

The winter of 2013-14, we maintained some conditioning. Last winter, we went completely to shit. When we restarted in May, it took me a full month to get back to the point of doing 5k without a walk break.

Then... summer. And it really is the humidity, not the heat. It's not enough that the thin, hot air carries less oxygen. Oh, no. In top of that, it's been so humid that sweat won't evaporate. I weighed myself on Saturday before and after running and I lost 1.8 pounds of water over 3.28 miles. I think all of that quart was still in my clothes or dripping off my skin when I finished. Which means no evaporative cooling. Heat management should be an issue for overclocked computer processors, not me.
tegyrius: (Ol' Velvet Nose)
Finally back on a regular running schedule. For the last four weeks, I've gotten three runs a week logged. Not great. I've lost a lot of cardio. Did 3 miles today but 0.25 of that was a walk, so it doesn't really count as a 5k. But it's more than I've accomplished since December.

Also accomplished today: )

Whew. And now it's flake o'clock.

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