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Showing posts from March, 2016

Pocket Hole Jig

I keep looking at the Kreg pocket hole system. I like what I've been hearing about the K5, but it looks cheap to me. Also, none of the home centers have that one, everyone is still carrying the K4. But then, I was at Menard's, I saw this Porter Cable jig, and it looked far more robust than the Kreg jig. I like Porter Cable, they make good stuff, and I was curious. So I started researching and it seems this is a pretty sweet tool. I could go on about it, but this video seems to cover all the bases, so I'll just let you watch this Workshop Addict review. Get the Porter Cable Quik Jig 560 on Amazon: So there are now three more Porter Cable tools on my list to pick up; this Quick Jig, their belt sander, and their router. I have their plate joiner sitting in my 'gift closet' already. (That's the closet where I put things I've bought for Lady Ronn to give me as gifts at the appropriate times; Christmas, Father's Day, Bi

Electra Woman & Dyna Girl

Okay, I can honestly say that I both watched and remember these two Sid and Marty Krofft characters. Electra Woman (played by Deidre Hall) and her teen sidekick Dyna Girl (Judy Strangis), they were a female Batman and Robin in the 1976 Krofft Supershow. I do not remember what powers they had, or if they even had any. But I do remember, that much like the Batman of television fame, everything they had was branded “Electra”, so we had the ElectraCar, the ElectraBase, their ElectraCams, etc… I remember enjoying them more than some of the other Krofft shows. I did not know that the WB commissioned a pilot for a new version of the show in 2001 starring Markie Post as Electra Woman and Anne Stedman as Dyna Girl. This is probably because the pilot never aired, though I did stumble upon rumors, that it is available on YouTube. (I did not look for it.) Which brings us to this morning when I saw this… They're rebooting the duo, this time with Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart as the stars of the

Life Calling

Truckcast #111: Politics, Easter, and Movies

Here's hoping that everyone enjoyed the Easter weekend. I'd like to talk about mine, maybe share some insights into movies and sports, oh, and explain my thinking on the Supreme Court nomination. Yep, it'll be a pretty typical Truckcast. Have a seat and take a listen.

Baenrahl is Romantic Rivalries & Love Triangles

There is much carousing and consorting in the tales of Jovan Dorr and one would expect no less in a world whose cities house so many people in such close proximity. The great density of population on Kirrac tend to make the Baenrahl Papers rife with decadence, infidelity, and a certain laissez faire attitude toward sexuality. This is not to say that there is no love or that romance is a rarity. In truth, there is much romance in the Baenrahl Papers and it is as much a driving force as drink or honor or gold. Jovan Dorr is a man who is easy to love, who loves easily, and is frequent in his affections. Admittedly, these romances tend to be short lived, but they have spurred him to do great and brazen things in the name of his love or the love of his companions. Their short duration is most often a result of the difficulties and problems that must arise from such involvements. There is always a great deal of spice in these relationships, which inevitable occur with members of high aris

Stuck on an Idea

A combination of things has gotten my creative juices sloshing around. I spent a good part of the weekend listening to The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast talk about the strange and creepy stories of Lovecraft written during the early 20th century. It's a very well done, professional podcast by a couple guys who are big fans of Lovecraftian stories, movies, comics and the like. They have a subscription model, but most of the early podcasts are free to listen. Last week I started listening to Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye on audible. It's a story I've listened to before, but the version I listened to was abridged. They cut a lot out in that version, 2h 24m vs. 11h 43m. It doesn't even feel like the same story. I'm enjoying it, but the narrator, Ray Porter, isn't quite selling me on that vintage dialogue the way Elliot Gould did. Of course, he's giving me a lot more of it than Gould had to sell. And then there's the fact that I was looking thro

Happy Easter

[caption id="attachment_7018" align="aligncenter" width="625"] Vintage Easter Card[/caption]

Where to Start

I Know You Have One

Flash a-ah...

Savior of the Universe Flash a-ah He'll save every one of us Flash Gordon has taken his place on the shelf alongside Buck Rogers. You can see, quite distinctly, the broken sword scabbard and the badly repaired name plate. I'll probably tackle the sword repair at some point in the near future, but for now, from my desk, it's hardly noticeable. The Ebay seller offered me a fair bit of cash back for the damage that occurred during shipping. I wrestled with it a bit before deciding that I can live with it and I'm not 'collecting' these things for their monetary value, but for the roll they play in influencing my development as writer, geek, and whatever else you might want to call me. Only recently have I started watching the old serials, but I recognize that the Luke Skywalker of my youth and the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century I watched on TV both owe much to both of these classic heroes. Besides; jetpacks, swords, and blasters.  Enough said.  

Another Old Map

Another old map that I was trying to do something with sometime ago, apparently. I really don't remember what the plan was. But it was a hand drawn map that I tore up, based on the less than crisp edges on the thing, and then scanned into the computer. Where I realized the edges didn't quite line up, but never actually finished 'repairing'. I did finish the water, which was yellow in the original map. The map itself, I believe, dates all the way back to when Lady Ronn and I lived in an apartment on Walton Blvd... that's like 1989. Anyway, enjoy a little piece of RPG history from my files.

Testing the Ebay Guarantee

My latest purchase from ebay came with three distinct flaws, i.e. broken bits, that were not listed in the sellers ad. The ad distinctly says, "excellent condition" and "no returns". Which would otherwise mean, "you're screwed." So I'm going to see what I can get out of the Ebay Guarantee. If nothing comes of it, I'll be disappointed, but I'll live with it. If I can return it and get my money back to buy another, less broken statue, I'll be happy. If I can get my money back and keep the statue I'll be equally happy.

Old Stuff, Shared

I've been going through some of my old Corel files that I can once again open now that I have a valid copy of their software. Just opening each and saving them again in the most recent file format, so that I don't get into trouble again... I have an entire folder full of stuff I did in CorelDraw or CorelPaint 3 that are either corrupted or so old they're unopenable, but that's neither here nor there. Here is one that I like. It's a collage of pieces from artists that are not me. It is an attempt to duplicate for my D&D campaign, a piece of artwork from the Player's Handbook that I liked. These are the races that I choose to populate the Baenrahl setting on the world of Kirrac. The dinosaur fellow on the left is a lacertilian, inspired by the Jurassic Park movies. Then you have a regular ol' human, because you have to include a control group in any fantasy setting. Behind him is a minotaur, straight out of Greek mythology, but slightly less monstrous and

Baenrahl is Carousing

It would be fair, I think, to say that of the impressions and knowledge most of us have of the early 17th century come from the swashbuckling romances of Alexandre Dumas or are from such issue as to be directly influenced by those stories. So it would be fair to assume, knowing as we do that Jovan Dorr lived on Earth during said time period, that we have a certain grasp on him and the life he led. And in my reading of the Baenrahl Papers two things become quickly evident; first, that Dumas was not far off when describing the lives of 17th century courtiers, and second, that despite leaving earth and travelling beyond known space, Jovan Dorr, did not much change his lifestyle or habits, despite being on another world. If one were to find himself amongst the company and comrades kept by our erstwhile narrator, it is certain that life might be said to be one of leisure and lust. The lifestyle of the rich is one of indulgences; drugs, alcohol, sex, and gambling have as much a place, and an

Another Email from Host

I don't know what they think I'm going to do with all this garbage. I just host a WordPress blog. They are the host. Anybody have any ideas. I think I've shut off or gotten rid of everything that the interweb says might be causing a problem. I shut off trackbacks and pingbacks tonight. I'm out of ideas. Stats for 19 Mar 2016: --------------------------------- CPU Usage - %1.81 MEM Usage - %0.01 Number of MySQL procs (average) - 0.05 Top Process %CPU 66.00 /usr/bin/php /home/ronnm0/public_html/arohen/index.php Top Process %CPU 56.00 /usr/bin/php /home/ronnm0/public_html/arohen/index.php Top Process %CPU 54.00 /usr/bin/php /home/ronnm0/public_html/arohen/index.php Stats for 18 Mar 2016: --------------------------------- CPU Usage - %4.26 MEM Usage - %0.01 Number of MySQL procs (average) - 0.07 Top Process %CPU 109.00 /usr/bin/php /home/ronnm0/public_html/arohen/index.php Top Process %CPU 106.00 /usr/bin/php /home/ronnm0/public_html/arohen/index.php Top Process %CPU 84.00

Makes an Ass Out of You

Play Hard

Wounded Goblin Repair

I picked this little guy up from a little while back and the seller had the foresight to mail it in one of those bubble lined envelopes. I imagine that he ran into some difficulties en route and arrived in three very distinct and obviously unintentional pieces. I'm giving the benefit of the doubt here, as I would be very disappointed to realize that he went into the envelope in that condition. I probably should have sent him back and demanded a new one, but where's the challenge in that. So I decided to fix him. In this picture you can see the three distinct pieces and the rather ugly crack in the arm. All of which I hope to fix. So let's break out the super glue and get at it. The repair was pretty simple, made even easier by using 10-25 second glue instead of the 5-10 second stuff that never lets you get things positioned right. I'm happy with the results. So now that he's whole he can go back up on the shelf as a reminder of all those years and all the

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Truckcast #110: Stitching Things Together

It took a little longer to edit this one together, as it was made from a bouquet of individual recordings done throughout the day. But there is some stuff in there and it definitely adds up to a Truckcast...

Creed of the Lone Ranger

From the very inception of the character by Fran Striker, the Lone Ranger has conducted himself by a strict moral code. The creed of the Lone Ranger: I believe... That to have a friend, a man must be one. That all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world. That God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself. In being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for what is right. That a man should make the most of what equipment he has. That 'this government of the people, by the people, and for the people' shall live always. That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number. That sooner or later...somewhere...somehow...we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken. That all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever. In my Creator, my country, my fellow man. And so inspired by that

Political Correctness

Just as the primaries start to wind down and you find yourself thinking that the candidates for either party lack a little something, I offer you one more option. A more optional option. Someone who remembers that there is more to America than just Mexico and Canada, and some more places in the south part. Lets put the US back in America. Vote Ronn.* [caption id="attachment_6949" align="aligncenter" width="840"] It's where we are[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6947" align="aligncenter" width="840"] Healthcare, yep, I've got a card for that in my wallet.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6948" align="aligncenter" width="840"] Is there a 401K?[/caption] * You probably won't see it on your ballet, but there will probably be a space there somewhere to write it in. If not just scribble it at the bottom. That'll probably work.

Happy Pi Day

1,000 Digits of Pi 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679821480865132823066470938446095505822317253594081284811174502841027019385211055596446229489549303819644288109756659334461284756482337867831652712019091456485669234603486104543266482133936072602491412737245870066063155881748815209209628292540917153643678925903600113305305488204665213841469519415116094330572703657595919530921861173819326117931051185480744623799627495673518857527248912279381830119491298336733624406566430860213949463952247371907021798609437027705392171762931767523846748184676694051320005681271452635608277857713427577896091736371787214684409012249534301465495853710507922796892589235420199561121290219608640344181598136297747713099605187072113499999983729780499510597317328160963185950244594553469083026425223082533446850352619311881710100031378387528865875332083814206171776691473035982534904287554687311595628638823537875937519577818577805321712268066130019278

Baenrahl is Spiders & Stratagems

The world of Kirrac, as presented by Jovan Dorr, is one of swashbuckling action and adventure, he and his cadre of comrades are constantly confronted by challenging foes who inevitably have more influence, money, and power than they themselves. But such is the life of a courtier to be bathed in politics and constantly faced with the malice of one’s rivals. It is a life that should be full of wenches and wine cups, but is instead fraught with distressed duchesses, betrayed barons, and endangered emissaries who turn to these flashing personalities for protection and justice. Being moved to action in the affairs of such notables means confronting powerful individuals who can threaten a courtiers’ aspirations and way of life. A jealous princess will destroy a reputation without a second thought and with even less remorse. A thwarted guild master will conspire to evaporate an adversary’s personal wealth and then use that same wealth to orchestrate a revenge. An angry Templar can imprison an

Spiders are Yucky

Just put up my Sunday post for . Today's article clocks in a just under 800-words. Also, I don't think I mentioned it, but Doug pointed out that if you didn't type your browser wouldn't find the site. So typing would just bring up a page saying there was no such page. Which is dumb. I can't remember the last time I had to type the www. Anyway, I fixed that. You can get there either way now. It was just a check box in blogger that make the redirect happen. It wasn't hidden exactly, but it wasn't terribly obvious either. Thanks to him for pointing that out. Here is a bit of a teaser for today's post. Baenrahl is Spiders & Stratagems The world of Kirrac, as presented by Jovan Dorr, is one of swashbuckling action and adventure, he and his cadre of comrades are constantly confronted by challenging foes who inevitably have more influence, money, and power than they themselves. But such is the life of a courtier


Getting the Van Back on the Road

Did that last podcast pique your interest? Did you check out the archived podcasts, only to find that they were all broken? Well that is no longer the case. I have taken some time today, quite a bit of time actually, to put all those old posts back together in a way that makes them usable. The Truckcast is back on it's wheels and running smooth once again. At least I think it should be running smooth. There might be some rough spots in the road, I did bust through the 109 posts just about as fast as I could. If you stumble across anything that doesn't work leave a comment and let me know. But as of this writing all the images, links, and mp3 files should all be working for anything tagged as truckcast. Now if only I could say that about the rest of the site.

Lady Ronn's Rule

Nerf Herder, Rockingham

I've enjoyed most everything I've heard from them and the new album is out now. I'm talking Nerf Herder here folks. There songs are clever and funny and maybe a little bit raunchy, their music is catchy, and their beats, well, their beats get dropped. **yeah, I don't know what I'm saying there** I think this falls solidly in the Geek Rock category. You should check them out. Here's a sample from the new album, Rockingham .  Buy it for me... just kidding... kinda... no, not so much. Buy it for me.

Truckcast #109: Let's Vote

Here's a return to the Truckcast, this time around we're going to talk about the primary vote and my experience with it. There's some other stuff as well, but then isn't there always. The quality of my Bluetooth microphone isn't quite what I hoped for, but I tried to make it better in Audacity. The results were mixed, mostly bad, but better than the original file. Let's just say that the Bluetooth is not going to be used for future podcasts. Take a listen and I hope you enjoy.

A Map a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Today, I woke up and decided that I had some things to take care of, so I took a little bit of PTO. It was nice to have a little bit of a break from the day to day. I'll get back at it tomorrow. Among the things I did today, conferences at school, worked in the garage, talked with my brother, dinner at Applebee's with the wife, enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather with the windows open, and I drew a map for the Baenrahl  world setting. I'm pretty happy with this map. I hand drew it, inked it, scanned it, and then I started deleting things and adding other things, because that's what computers are for.  Here's a shrunken and truncated bit of the map that will, in some form or another, end up over at my blogger site. That probably won't happen for a couple weeks, being as I only publish there on Sunday and I have the next couple posts already planned out and partially written. In other news, I've decided to give up fast food and soda. I've done it in the

Advice from Ernest Hemingway, 1934

“The most important thing I’ve learned about writing is never write too much at a time. Never pump yourself dry. Leave a little for the next day. The main thing is to know when to stop. Don’t wait till you’ve written yourself out. When you’re still going good and you come to an interesting place and you know what’s going to happen next, that’s the time to stop. Then leave it alone and don’t think about it; let your subconscious mind do the work. The next morning, when you’ve had a good sleep and you’re feeling fresh, rewrite what you wrote the day before. When you come to the interesting place and you know what is going to happen next, go on from there and stop at another high point of interest. That way, when you get through, your stuff is full of interesting places and when you write a novel you never get stuck and you make it interesting as you go along.” And here is a list of fourteen books and two short stories which Ernest Hemingway suggested a young writer should read, as drawn

Vote. Yes, I Did

I put my two cents into the primary pot this evening. And realized while I was doing so, this may very well have been the first primary I've voted in. Which seems strange, given the number of elections I have had the opportunity to vote in. Ah well, it's done. I will say that the number of hoops I need to go through to vote is ridiculous. First, fill out a form that includes my name, address, date of birth, signature, and party of choice. Which makes me uncomfortable to begin with because there is no reason for them to need any of that and certainly not when you consider what comes next. Then give this form to the clerk who compares it to my drivers license before sending me to the next table. At the next table, I give over the form and drivers license again. Only this time they keep the little form, swipe my drivers license, enter the ballot number I'm using into a computer, and hand me my ballot. All of which makes me think there is no chance that my vote is confidential

Quotable Paul Gallagher

The only advice that’s worth a damn when it comes to writing is to sit down and write. There are no quick fixes, no cheat sheets, no words that will bring around some grand epiphany. Good writing is earned from experience. It comes gradually through practice. Asking “how to write?” and “where do ideas come from?” are the wrong questions. Only someone who doesn’t write would think these questions important–like quizzing a surgeon how he knows where best to make the incision. A writer can give advice on technique, discipline, and what to read. Books teach how good writing works. --Paul Gallagher

Writing Advice

[caption id="attachment_6487" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Kermit the Frog Typing, source unknown[/caption] Paul Gallagher on writing, 2016 The only advice that’s worth a damn when it comes to writing is to sit down and write. There are no quick fixes, no cheat sheets, no words that will bring around some grand epiphany. Good writing is earned from experience. It comes gradually through practice. Asking “how to write?” and “where do ideas come from?” are the wrong questions. Only someone who doesn’t write would think these questions important–like quizzing a surgeon how he knows where best to make the incision. A writer can give advice on technique, discipline, and what to read. Books teach how good writing works. Advice from Ernest Hemingway, 1934 “ The most important thing I’ve learned about writing is never write too much at a time. Never pump yourself dry. Leave a little for the next day. The main thing is to know when to stop. Don’t wait till you

14 Week Pre-Boot

This is a 14 week program designed to get you ready for Air Force Boot Camp. Do these exercises 3-5 times a week and follow the schedule and you'll be ready for boot camp. I was never planning on joining the Air Force, but I thought it was a good program to ramp up to more intense exercise. Air Force Pre-Boot Camp Workout by Stew Smith Here is the Air Force's recommended workout schedule. It's designed to prepare you for the rigors of basic training and help you to get the most out of it. We recommend that you work out at least 3-5 times per week, and at least six weeks prior to Basic Military Training. Note: for your health and safety, it is recommended that you consult with your doctor prior to beginning any physical fitness regimen. Week 1 Complete the following in one session 3-5 times a week: 5 minute stretch/warm-up 2 minute sit-up/push-up intervals 5 minute walk 1 minute jog 5 minute walk 1 minute jog 3-5 minute walk 2 minute stretch Week 2 Complete the following i

The Program

This is an exercise routine I used to perform in my garage. I found it to be an enjoyable and effective routine. There is some explanative text after the routine, if you find the activities confusing. You will need a few things to do this routine: Jump rope Heavy bag & some sort of hand protection (gloves or wraps) Some sort of floor padding might be nice I can not remember what I based it on or where I found it, but here it is. ACTIVITY & DURATION JUMP ROPE, 3 minutes REST / JOG IN PLACE, 1 minute JUMPING JACKS / SQUATS / STRETCH, 3 minutes: 20 seconds each, then rotate. REST / JOG IN PLACE, 1 minute SHADOW BOXING, 3 minutes. Alternate 90 seconds each: 1) Be your own trainer. Watch yourself in the mirror to correct stance, hand position, punching mechanics, footwork. 2) Stick and move around an imaginary opponent. Don't punch hard; you can't knock out the air. REST / JOG IN PLACE, 1 minute BOXING: ROUND 1 - HEAVY BAG, 3 minutes One minute: Work on individual jab, hook

Baenrahl is High Society

While there is no lack of poor and downtrodden peoples on Kirrac, the Baenrahl Papers do not tend to reflect accurately the reality of that world. The great cities of the Regents are divided most dramatically between the haves and the have nots, but even outside these great metropolises in the contested and shared cities, towns, and villages the division of rich and poor is stark. One does not freely move between the two and no one is encouraged to try. Jovan Dorr and the bold companions that surround him tend to be people of means, men and women arising from the higher classes or from the aristocracy itself. Even when stripped of wealth or title, through circumstance, imprisonment, or slavery, the privileged upbringing of these individuals is shown to shine brightly through in both word and deed. So much so that they are constantly interacting with the aristocracy, getting embroiled in the issues of their betters, and being pawns in the struggles of the regency. Because none so love

Gout Diet

This is taken from a paper given me by my doctor on 5/19/2015 Gout is a painful condition caused by an excess of uric acid, a waste product made by the body. Uric acid forms crystals that collect in the joints. This brings on symptoms of joint pain and swelling. This is called a gout attack. Often, medications and diet changes are combined to manage gout. Below are some guidelines for changing your diet to help you manage gout and prevent attacks. Your healthcare provider will help you determine the best eating plan for you. Eating To Manage Gout Eat Less Of These Foods Eating too many foods containing purines may increase the levels of uric acid in your body. This increases your risk of a gout attack. Try to limit these foods and drinks that are high in purine: Alcohol, such as beer and red wine (you may be told to avoid alcohol completely) Certain fish, including anchovies, sardines, fish eggs, and herring Certain meats, such as red meat, hot dogs, luncheon meats, and turkey Organ me


I began getting gout attacks in my late 20s. At that time I had not heard of gout and had no idea what gout was. I was working a job that had me doing a lot of manual labor and often left me with a schlew of minor injuries; sore back, sore knee, cuts, bruises, just generally beating myself up. So my foot would get sore and swell up and I would assume that I had kicked something or dropped something on it and tried to go about my business as best I could. Adding to this malaise, my doctor did not recognize it as gout and would usually give me a pain killer or anti-inflammatory and send me on my way with the advice to be more careful. This went on for a long while. It wasn't until I changed jobs and moved across the state that a doctor in a clinic took one look at my foot and said, "looks like you've got some gout going on there." Just that easy. I mean this was five or six years into this problem. So I had some tests and now I'm on a daily pill. My doctor tells me

Sunday Updates

I've been a busy little beaver this morning. I fixed/replaced a few of the galleries that have been broken for awhile. I added some information about gout to the fitness section. I sorted through all the papers on my desk... wait... that's not website related. Sorry. I put up a couple back dated posts over at Baenrahl and started on today's post. And I put together next weekends image posts.

Where Do Ideas Come From?

KDL Writers Conference

Checking email tonight I see that Kent District Libraries are putting on their 5th annual writers Conference. I've been to the last three and I think that I will be going to this one as well. I'll take inspiration and education where so ever I can find them. The fifth annual event features Michigan authors and publishing insiders sharing their experiences with new and aspiring authors on getting started, ways to be a paid author, how to promote yourself and more. All genres and skill levels are welcome. Pre-registration is required. For teens and adults. SAT, APR 16 AT 9:00 AM, GRAND RAPIDS, MI Also, from the KDL newsletter, I see that I can access e-editions of three writing magazines, Poets & Writers  , Writer's Digest and The Writer .  I'm a fan and sometime reader of Writer's Digest and have on occasion picked up The Writer. So this is very cool.

Just Do It

New Photo Scanner

We have very many photos in my house. I'm not talking a photo book or five, I'm talking about thousands of photos. Boxes of developed film envelopes. Albums of pictures. There are a lot of them. In fact, I still have almost 200 rolls of undeveloped film in a shoe box. Lady Ronn is a chronic picture taker and since going digital, I think she may have gotten even worse. It's like a disease or an addiction, actually those are the same thing I guess. She takes a lot of pictures. The bright spot of this is that I have an almost unbroken line of documentation of our time together. That's a lot of pictures of me. And I'm sure it's something for you to look forward too. :) Last week I picked up a dedicated photo scanner. [caption id="attachment_6144" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Epson Perfection V550 Photo[/caption] The Epson Perfection V550 Photo. It will scan at up to 6400 dpi resolution  and can scan film, slides, negatives, photos