Tag Archives: RPG

Breaking News: My hands are still borked

Well, hand singular, as the right hand still functions within tolerances. And that is a call back to how my business partner and I used to greet each other when we were in the same room instead of just the same country. “How ya doin’?” “Functioning within design tolerances if not design specifications. How about you?”

Yesterday we role-played the barbecue with the orcs and trolls and hangers-on, with much karma and contact points accrued. I got mine because you don’t give away 4 tons of real meat to starving people used living on soy and bugs without someone appreciating you for it, and the rest of the party because of whatever the inverse of guilt-by-association is, maybe halo effect? Anywho they got level one group contacts with one loyalty, I got level 3 with 3 loyalty. Mine are not quite take-a-bullet, but high enough. I have access to most of the gang activity on the east side of the DFW Sprawl and most of the rest of the sprawl, with multiple “favors” owed, because I. Take. Care. Of. People. They’re just Different-looking People. Which is just like I am IRL, easiest role-playing I ever did.

Now we are going to make a run where we steal a dog so it can be bugged and record the owner’s activities 24/7 by a third party hacking the dog’s RFID chip. And yes I know that can’t happen in this world, but this is Shadowrun with tech that interfaces prosthetic genitals to relay real sexual pleasure so of course the ID chip can be hacked into an audio-visual listening device. The hard part will be making sure the dog is awake and looking in the desired direction when something of interest to our employers is taking place, but that’s their problem, not ours. Ours is just to grab the dog from the owner’s purse and deliver it to the employer, then return it without getting caught. I’m going to suggest that on the return we claim we found it wandering the street near Casa de El Poeta and saved it from being somebody’s dinner and when we scanned the ID chip we found out who owned it. And if I bring it back I think it would be more likely to be believed, because I would be in my Benevolent Philanthropist role, not my Runner role.

And that pretty much covers the weekend for me, how are you?

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I must be getting old

I’m getting old, I can feel it. I get tired easier, things hurt that didn’t hurt before, and I take longer to recover from doing things. Yesterday I did the walk to the RPG session, and I had some issues with the legs getting tired on the way, then today I woke up and the legs were stiff and didn’t work right, which put the kibosh on my plans to get a jump on paying the property taxes. Also I’m getting something annoying from my dent, a weakness and tingling sensation radiating from the dent down the trap on the right side to the deltoid and up through the cervical muscles I don’t know the names for any more. Basically the muscle the dent formed in and the two adjacent muscles are acting up and it feels like there is a nerve involved someway. I knew back when the tumor was removed there was at least one nerve trapped in it that was damaged during removal, but the amount of damage wasn’t related to me at the time. I keep talking about how terrible it is to get old, because I also know how terrible it is to not get old (well more boring than terrible, but you get the point).

So this is like a cascade effect from two sources. The one source was the hip damage I got at the exercise and meditation class before Dad died that got better but never really all the way better, my range of motion never really recovered, and because of that I need a step-through frame to get on a bike. The other source was the tumor I called Chris Christie, because it was a useless lump of fat that mainly got in the way. Somehow it did something to the nerves going to the trapezius muscle and to the other muscles on either side, but only on the right side of my body. Both contributed to my decline in stamina. One because most of the aerobic exercise I have been doing was on bicycles, and the other because I use my cane in my right hand and anything that affects my right shoulder also affects my walking because I no longer have the strength to catch myself with my cane. The result is I’m feeling a lot older than I should.

Speaking of the RPG group, yesterday was not so much a game session as an administrative session, getting stats cleared up, karma points totaled up, money straightened out, stuff like that. Shadowrun requires more of that than D&D does, so every so often between runs we have a mini session to get all that cleared up, and as we had one player who had to be present for First Night celebrations for Hanukkah (or Chanukah if that’s the spelling you prefer) so he had to be in temple before sundown which is much earlier than we normally shut down on Sunday so not enough time for a game session but plenty for the administrative BS that has to get done that we have been ignoring lately. So, the barbecue is getting set up, my character is buying mesquite and apple wood for the smokers and roughly 4 tons of pork and KillDeer has to be thawed and smoked in about a week. In game most of that meat is going to get frozen again for the food pantry but about a ton will be eaten during the party. And part of the administrative things we had to take care of was the karma points and street cred this event was going to add to my stats. And as it turns out a ton of karma points but not much street cred. That’s a rules thing but in game we are going to go with there is not much of a connection between my good works which gets reported under my real name and what I do as a runner which gets spread around by my street name of The Old Man. Not many people connect Opus the philanthropist to The Old Man the Shadowrunner. And in game the pork is from my hobby/training for running gig as a feral hog disposal specialist. The feral hog population is a real problem in the DFW area because for some reason magic and feral hogs get along like peanut butter and jelly, resulting in damages like you would not believe and bounties like you would not believe, but my character does it mostly for the meat and the shooting practice. The money and most of the meat go into keeping the food pantry running. At some point the barbecue is going to be a thing in game, I’m hoping as a place where the rest of the group can develop contacts in the Orc and Troll gangs that meet to negotiate during the feast. In game my house is neutral territory where fighting is prohibited and poor people can get food when things are tighter than usual and children are protected from any feuds while they are in my compound (see my backstory, link at the top). The Basic Rule is there are no gangs, no orcs, no trolls, no humans, no elves, just people, in my compound. And I. Help. People. And if you can’t abide by that you have to leave the compound. And in-game things are working out so far.

And IRL right now I’m having a Really Bad Neck Day, it is never a good neck day but today I have a really restricted range of motion and lots of pain at the limits. I think I have about 60 ° left and maybe 45° right horizontally and I can barely get my head all the way up. So at some point I will probably have to have a lie down with either my phone or tablet because I can’t read sitting up.

I think world peace is only marginally more difficult than scheduling an RPG

Well, I was supposed to be playing Shadowrun about now, but another player got called in on her day off, so I’m pecking at the keyboard and trying to maintain low enough levels of blood in my caffeinestream (yes I have caffeine with blood in it instead of the other way around) instead of slashing my way through monsters and solving puzzles.
But we have rescheduled for Friday it looks like right now, with Thursday as the alternate if we can’t get Friday to work.

I’m really looking forward to finishing this dungeon crawl so we can get back to DFW and solve some things we left undone, and I can spend some karma points on kicking my skills up and maybe getting more contacts. Right now my skills are what would be max for character creation, but I have enough accumulated karma points to raise one or two another point and get some points in skills like Observe, and probably Negotiate. I have already maxed out my levels in Badass, which does help in negotiation rolls, but actually having that as a skill would be an asset as well. Right now my character uses his money and willingness to spend it on making people’s lives better as his primary negotiating tool.

And speaking of spending money helping people I really need to finish setting up the Solstice Barbecue and Pig Roast or I’m going to have about a hundred angry trolls and about the same number of orcs standing around the house expecting to be fed and no meat cooked for them. And I have to finish this Run and get back to DFW from Egypt if I want to do that. In game this is an annual event that I have been doing for decades now, and a big part of why the gang wars in Garland don’t get fought in my neighborhood. We have a DMZ of sorts for several blocks around the house, and there is a Pax Opus on people going in and out to use the food pantry, or the homeless shelter in the basement. That’s what most of my running fees go to, and a good chunk of my TI retirement in-game. In-game I’m almost-rich from all the times I got killed but didn’t stay dead and sued the person who killed me, and got a fvckton of money from TI for keeping them from getting taken over by a much larger corp, which I wasn’t supposed to survive but guess who can’t stay dead in-game? 👿

On the Mini Sprint-T I’m going with the SBC and the 700R4 transmission because that is the most complete engine and transmission combination I have and also the most likely to be installed as a crate combination should I get the money. Also, I don’t have a 1/25 scale Subaru to stuff in there. The Subie is actually cheaper and the same power as the SBC not to mention hundreds of pounds lighter, but Not Generally Available outside a kit, so no Subaru engine. 😛

Negative campaign ads just make me want to shoot all of them

Seriously, the politicking this year makes me want to just go out and kill every one of them. I’m just reaching the limits of my endurance and tolerance for my fellow-man. But there is a huge gap between want and do. So if you read about some political rally blown up with a mini nuke, I don’t have the money to buy the parts to do it. Nor the supply chain to get the parts even if I had the money. Nor the foggiest notion of where to look. So if it happens, I didn’t do it. I have been thinking about building other things, mostly.

Now what I have been thinking about when I’m not thinking about using WMD to level the political playing field has been another A-Mod build using the Predator 670cc V Twin from Harbor Freight and a “torque converter” CVT. The great thing about this is the engine and torque converter are right at 100 pounds together, and all the CVT needs to survive the 22 HP V-Twin is an upgraded aftermarket belt and adjusting the engagement speed via weights and springs. I can hang this in front of the right rear tire and move the driver left of center to balance the car and stay under the 900 pound minimum weight leaving room to ballast up and adjust the front-to-rear balance and also keep the CG low.

One thing I’m not going to do is use a steel straight tube axle. After my last post where I either calculated, actually weighed, or weighed “at the catalog” every part in the front suspension for the Sprint-T/TGS2 and discovered I had an absolutely ghastly sprung/unsprung ratio at the front end of the TGS2, I’m going for light weight over “stout” when it comes to front end bits. I’m going back to my composite days and using moldless foam core composite construction to create a flyweight straight tube or double a-arm front suspension. Now if I wasn’t concerned about banging off curbs or potholes I could make an axle you could carry with one hand and still have two or three fingers left over, unlike the 23 pound behemoth I bought for the TGS2 that takes all 5 fingers and careful handling to prevent wrist damage because of the polar moment from its 58″ length. I might do that anyway because it would be easy to make and not super expensive when compared to steel. For this build steel fabrication would be the economic benchmark, because of raw material costs and fabrication costs. And because I have the most experience recently with steel fabrication, that also makes the process my benchmark. At this point my composites experience is about 30 or more years old. I built some parts for the CVCC race car. And if you know what CVCC means you know the car would now be eligible for vintage plates.😁 And this was also the first car I bought new back in 1978…

Everything for this car would have to be built except consumables like tires, wheels, and brakes, plus brake pads. Virtually nothing could be bought “off the shelf”. Even the steering would have to be made because available boxes are too heavy and slow and rack and pinions are either heavy, slow, big or all of the above. What I envision for this build is basically a go-kart with power steering that has the pitman arm on a pivoting shaft connected directly to the steering wheel through an electric assist, with stops mounted to prevent more than about 80° motion in either direction. I see the prototype made from steel, with subsequent versions made from aluminum or composites, or a combination of materials. Get the clearances and motion paths and the places that needed more material worked out first, then build the expensive version from exotic materials, like unobtanium and noweightium. Even the chassis I’m looking at welding up the tub from sheet steel as a mockup then pulling a mold off that and building a composite tub. In fact back in the ’70s I sketched up an idea of laying up composites in a female mold, then injecting expanding foam to make a foam core and also press the laminate together and into the details of the mold, but before I could sell the idea the state of the art passed me by, making the idea interesting but ultimately useless. But getting back to that welded sheet steel tub, if it’s under the minimum weight I’m just going to leave it at that. No sense building an expensive lightweight chassis just to bolt lead in it. Or tungsten because lead is too plebian for a composite chassis. But if it’s floppy and flexible then the foam and fiberglass come out to replace the steel, because I know they are rigid from working on airplanes and other people’s completed airplanes. The process is also used on things like boats and surfboards. It was possible to buy pre-molded cores to apply your own fiberglass skin and make your own surfboard back in the day. but we kids just used the cores as floats…

And 1) I’m starting to wander about the verbal landscape and 2) I have a Shadowrun game later and I need to get up early-ish for it. so this would be a good place to call it a night…

Fixed what I could about my Shadowrun character

We had a break in the RPG group schedule that prevented us from playing, so I took the downtime to take care of stuff I should have but didn’t know how at character creation, specifically my contacts. I worked with the GM from my backstory to establish my guy for guns and armor at the TI armory, José. Basically José and I hang out sometimes and he asks me to evaluate new stuff because my character can shoot anything designed for a single human to carry and shoot, and a few things that are usually permanently emplaced, like weapons that straddle the line between “heavy machine gun” and “light automatic cannon” or the line between “anti-materiel rifle” and “light artillery”. Current examples of that are the M2 heavy machine gun in 15mm instead of .50 cal, and a Polish rifle chambered for 20mm Bofors that is usually set up on a tripod instead of a bipod like the Barrett BMG anti-materiel rifle. Also he has me check out lightweight armor but not as often. Anywho, when I need a new gun or an old one repaired I go see José. José is like everyone else in the game, much younger than I, but because we are both nerds about cars and guns we get along fine. In-game my character is 117 or 119 depending on if we are playing in 2075 or 2077. Right now I’m 117, and a major bad-ass. Also José is trying to talk me into doing a mod to make my CyberShot a belt-fed fully auto shotgun, that I could swap for the 12 round external magazine. As in plug this into my arm and I have even more massive firepower.

We also played a card based RPG that is an evolution of Settlers of Cataan, called Rivals of Cataan. It assigns resources based on resource cards that get advanced depending on a d6 roll, and a second d6 that has events printed in symbols on it instead of pips. I had an extremely luck draw initially and managed to get loads of resources early in the game and then used those resources to basically win the game without trying. That burned just about all the time I had, so we had cold drinks and a snack, then I walked back to the bus stop and came home. I got home just as Mrs. the Poet finished the mashed potatoes, so I didn’t have to wait for dinner, or put it in the microwave to reheat. So another score for today being close to perfect.

Negotiations have been made

Mrs. the Poet and I have negotiated a peace for our time. She has agreed to a date for the trip to the upscale burger place so I can get my free burger and I can buy dinner and we can sit down together and share a meal out. The problem is Mrs. the Poet has a back problem that causes her to drag her foot and finds the 0.4 mi. walk to the bus stop uncomfortable at best, with varying levels of pain when it’s not the best, and I have funds that I have earned from various gigs that I wish to spend on her, taking her out to dinner. The compromise is sometimes she has to go out and do financial things in person at the bank, and when she has to walk the 0.4 mi. anyway she might as well go out with me. I know that doesn’t sound like much for some people, but I count it as a win.

Yesterday we had a RPG session/dinner. I have noticed a tendency for my fellow party members to insist I do the tank thing because “the Old Man can’t be killed” which is “not factually correct”. My character can be killed and has been killed once in session, and three times in back story, and getting killed is “not pleasant” for me/him. I mean seriously, if my character wasn’t already insane but functional, getting killed over and over would push him over the limit. Of course the game setting we are in human or other sentient life has minimal value to the society, so they are just playing the way the setting dictates. The dinner part was the guy who hosted the game had attended a catered soiree and got to take the leftovers home, then they had dinner, and we got to have dinner from the leftovers of his leftovers, and were sent home with the leftovers from our dinner. That’s a lot of leftover.

Something else that has been “fun” has been the paperwork for signing Mrs. the Poet up for Medicare, which she has to do this year or else face a financial penalty. They can’t call it a “fine” because fines are either a criminal or civil punishment for breaking a law and require a court judgement, and this just gets assessed without going to court. Of course almost none of the docs we have been reading are in English, American or otherwise, but are in that opaque dialect most of us call “legalese” which is close to actual English, but some of the words don’t mean the same. In fact some words in legalese are the exact opposite of the same spelling in English, being the meaning they had 200 or 300 years ago when legalese was declared the official language of laws. Anywho, wading through the paperwork has been so much of an exercise we could count it as an anaerobic workout.

And one of the things about building a car from nothing is there are so many sub-systems that require planning that they are separate projects in and of themselves, like the fuel system. I have been looking at the fuel pumps and fuel fillers for the 16 gallon fuel cell blanks Speedway Motors sells, specifically the one that has a long dimension of 25″. I have been thinking of putting that behind the rear axle on the left side to clear the center section and QC gears that will be offset to the right to line up with the engine that is offset to balance the driver on the left for racing. Street driving is not as critical about left to right balance compared to racing, because street driving almost never gets to lateral accelerations or transitions where that degree of control is important. So I can put the heavy gas tank on the same side of the car as the driver for the street as long as I drain the gas out before going racing and switching to a tiny tank that has just enough capacity for one or two runs that doesn’t change the balance of the car as the run progresses. And I could use another blank cell as the trailer storage tank for holding the gas while I’m racing or driving ridiculous distances between gas stations. I think 32 gallons total should be enough to cover the distance between gas stations no matter how far apart they are in the real world. Seriously, the 16 gallon US tank will be enough capacity to get me anywhere east of the Mississippi River without fear of running out of gas, and doubling that will take care of west of the Mississippi without range anxiety. Also I have been looking at a Holley part that bolts to a fuel cell in place of the plate that holds the filler cap and functions as a filler and also holds the pumps and the connections to external plumbing to feed the engine, but there is a snag with using it for the way I want to orient the blank fuel cell in the Sprint-T. The standard assembly from Holley only works up to a 12″ deep tank, and as I want to use it the tank will be 17″ deep. Normally this tank is 25″ wide by 17″ long by 9″ deep, but I want to rotate it to make the 9″ dimension the length and the 17″ dimension the depth. In reality it would be less expensive to use separate components for the filler plate, pumps, and pickup, and do the same thing performance wise as the Holley assembly, but it would be less tidy, especially since I will have two tanks to feed from. Using just one external pump with switched pickups between the two tanks will be cheaper and less complicated. There is a 3/8” hole in the center of one face of the 25″ by 17″ dimension that was formed by the manufacturing process used to mold the cell. This would be the perfect place to route the line from the pickup to the pump as for street use it wouldn’t be that much of a restriction to have two right angle fittings on either side of a bulkhead fitting. Inside would run to the pickup, outside to the switching valve between the two tanks and the fuel pump. Installing the filler plate would be the same as installing the Holley assembly except without the falderal of making sure the pickup on the fuel pump(s) reach the bottom of the tank.

Now on the trailer tank the 3/8” fitting will probably be used as a drain to transfer the gas back to the car after the race day is over. And the pump doesn’t have to be the same high-pressure/high flow pump used to keep the fuel injection fed on the car, it just has to move gas at a reasonable rate at no pressure in particular from the trailer to the car through a filter. Gotta use a filter transferring from one tank to the other, the transfer from the car to the trailer likewise has to go through the fuel filter so the gas going to the trailer is free from dirt so the filter going from the trailer to the car doesn’t have as much work to do. If I could put a filter on the filler I would do that, too. Dirty gas is very bad for injectors.

And now I need to read my e-mail before the battery dies.

A good day role playing…

Beats something or other.

The toxic shaman went after us, we didn’t need to go hunting her. Yes, her. She’s a 12YO girl with terminal cancer caused by a radioactive waste dump too close to her village, which triggered her going toxic as a shaman.

And I just faceplanted in the keyboard, after falling asleep on the toilet a few minutes ago. I can take a hint that I need to go to bed. I don’t think I damaged the laptop any further than I had already, but I definitely need to get to sleep. I have errands to run tomorrow, and need to be rested in the morning.

I really need to get the AC unit installed

Little steps, I have moved the unit next to the window it’s going to be installed in. And I need to get it installed quickly, the outside temperature is currently 85°F while the office is a frigid 90°. That’s right, it is cooler outside than inside an air-conditioned house with the AC running. But on the good side, I am basically doing a cleanse every day, sweating the toxins out of my body constantly. If you believe that kind of thing I should have a toxin-free body by the time I get to my next appointment with the Lab Rat Keeper. Of course that also means I smell like I just finished riding the century course at the HHH and just barely cleared Hell’s Gate before they cut off the full course so I got the full effect of the sun and any humidity. TBH I reek of sweat.

And while the subject is my body, the good news is the deep-tissue massage I got on Thursday did a beneficial number on my wrecked leg. My foot did not swell up either Friday or today, and was free from cramping since the massage. I even managed to bypass the ibuprofen and still get to sleep at a decent time last night.

And I found out why my BP meds got changed, the base medication is Valsartan, and most of the world supply was contaminated a few months back with a known carcinogen, so since I can sort of control my BP with other meds, I got moved to other meds. The other meds aren’t as good at controlling my BP as the Valsartan, so my systolic has jumped to 135-140 where it had been 112-120 depending on how much news I had been reading. If I need to get my systolic up all I need to do is read the @realDonaldTrump twitter feed. And also on that subject I got another letter from the nice people running the SPRINT study I was involved in, their data showed keeping the systolic pressure below 120 reduced the incidence of a precursor to Alzheimer’s called MCI or Mild Cognitive Impairment. Not everybody who has MCI gets Alzheimer’s, but everybody who gets Alzheimer’s had MCI, first. And according to their tests I don’t have MCI, yet.

And I have a RPG group tomorrow, where I’m going to get more explanation of my (character’s) immortality. As it stands now my character has been killed at least 3 times, once with the truck and the idiot that I went through, once with my character catching a grenade during the Battle of Central Expressway that wiped everyone else in the machine gun nest, and the most recent with the KillDeer incident. I’m in deep conversation with Kokopelli about the how and why, as well as questions about why my customer loyalty card for Charon’s Ferry has 6 round trips punched when I can’t remember dying that many times. And will I have to stay dead to get my spa day at the Elysian Fields Resort? Or just stay dead long enough to get my treatments at the spa? And why am I the only one who can see the card? Does it have something to do with resurrecting without external assistance, while other people who died and come back had medical intervention from trained professionals to revive them. I have to say I love being able to see the reactions on people’s faces when I say “Ow, was I dead again?” when I resurrect. I couldn’t do that with the first two times I died, because I didn’t stay dead long enough the first time, I came back before the medics arrived for the second one, but I was definitively dead and about to get buried this last time, so I had an audience when I came ashore from Charon’s ferry.

And I really need to put this to bed and take a shower and put myself to bed, so write you later.

Interesting RPG group session yesterday

Yesterday’s RPG session almost didn’t happen, because my back was acting up and because grocery day got postponed because of my ride getting an invite to participate in a play test of the next edition of Magic the Gathering card game. So after getting groceries I was asked to log into the Discord server to participate remotely.

But first, groceries. I picked up a whole bunch of frozen things for keeping cool, store brand obviously, because I need something to cool me off and I don’t have ice cube trays to make my own cheaper. I got the store brand popsicles, and ottr pops, and also a gallon of the store brand ice cream. If I don’t get crazy there should still be some left when Mrs. the Poet gets back from Upstate NY. I also got a coupon for 3 free 2 liter store brand soft drinks. I also picked up a couple more cans of veggies for mixing with my ramen noodles for a more authentic ramen experience. If you don’t know how that works, it’s easy. Just drain a 14-16 oz. can of veggies into a measuring cup and add enough water to get the 2 cups needed to cook a typical package of ramen noodles. pour the veggies over the noodles before adding the liquid, bring to a brisk boil for 3 minutes then add the flavor packet and maybe a little soy sauce, and voila, dinner. I really enjoy a hard boiled egg on the side, too.

And now the game. The mission was invasive species control in a large park. A predator called KillDeer (not to be confused with the bird that does not have the “Deer” capitalized) was decimating the deer population of a park outside Ft. Worth, to the point that the park rangers decided to call runners to “take care of it”. As described by the GM, KillDeer are essentially carnivorous deer, and the two are very difficult to differentiate from each other. The two primary visual differences are the antlers on KillDeer have needle-sharp tines, and the lower jaw is larger with carnivore dentition and the lips open further back like a dog or wolf. They hunt in packs like wolves and they aren’t picky about prey, opportunistically attacking anything remotely edible by their standards.

Since they also scavenge carcasses we “borrowed” a small hog carcass from the Solstice Bar-b-que my character holds as a peace meeting for the orc and troll gangs whose territories converge at my house. But that’s a different plot line, along with the bit that I have a side gig collecting the bounties on feral hogs and keep the kills except for the parts required to prove the bounty, so I currently have about 3 tons of pork in the freezer waiting for this shindig. So one big pig would hardly be missed. We planned on setting up a blind downwind of the bait and shooting the KillDeer when they approached the dead pig. That didn’t work because the pig was still mostly frozen and not very smelly and not attractive to the KillDeer or any other scavengers. So we used our astral plane sensing person to locate animals and they were about 5 miles from our camp. So we went to where the animals were in hopes that at least some were KillDeer. On the way to the place where our astral sensor detected animals we came on a fresh kill, an unfortunate hiker who was still twitching as the KillDeer ate his head. So still alive, but not for much longer and not that we had a chance to save him. Since we had been walking upwind and not making much noise the KillDeer had not been alerted to our existence yet. The idea was we would do the same thing with these KillDeer as my character does with feral hogs, kill them, remove the bounty parts, then add the rest to the big bar-b-que in a couple of weeks. So our mage cast invisibility on me and I took my katana up as close to the pack as I could, about 10 feet. Then our mage launched a stun attack against the pack from cover and I would rush the pack and slit as many deer throats as possible and get back out without getting attacked. I got two, but not deep enough to kill instantly. It slowed them up, but the rest of the pack managed to cut off my escape route and started trying to eat me. Long story short, I blew completely through my damage pool and deep into overflow. Technically dead, but because my character is The Old Man and lived through The Crash as well as what I lived through before the start of the game, I can’t die dead. I die and depending on the damage I regain consciousness a few seconds to several hours later. When I caught the grenade in the Battle of Central Expressway I was really messed up with both legs removed immediately and my left arm was too damaged to save. That’s why my character has two artificial legs and an artificial arm that has a shotgun inside. But anyway, I died there but was semi-conscious by the time help arrived so I got the repair parts I needed. This one was much longer, about 5 hours. I don’t know if this time was so long because my character is 117 years old in-game now, and was only about 80 during the Battle of Central Expressway. Anyway, the fact that I self-resurrect is only known by the people who were in the team that went on the KillDeer hunt.

Role playing game yesterday was fun, but it made me cancel my trip today

I was doing pretty good on the back pain issue until I caught the bus home from yesterday’s game session. There was a hole in the grass that the mower just skimmed over disguising it as a perfectly flat surface, and of course I stepped in the hole. What causes me the most pain is not the uneven surfaces I know about, it’s the sudden drops into places I can’t see. Stairs are usually no problem unless the surface I’m stepping on is not the surface I will be walking on, like a loose stair that is actually sticking up that I expect to take my weight immediately instead of the milliseconds it takes the stair to bottom out. Well hidden holes in grass are the same thing, I expect the solid surface to be in one place and it’s an inch or so lower so my back is not properly set up for the landing, which then really hurts.

On the T-bucket front, someone suggested another engine family that would work, the Subaru EJ. It’s compact, about 28.5″ wide and about 15″ long for the 4 cylinder versions, about 22″ long for the sixes, and has dual overhead cams and 4 valves per cylinder, and later versions have VVT (Variable Valve Timing) and some 4 cylinder models had factory turbos. Now the best combo for the GoodGuys events is the VVT and the turbo, which has good low RPM torque combined with high RPM horsepower. That’s because VVT adjusts intake and exhaust events for best power at each RPM point and the Subaru engine lets the computer adjust intake and exhaust separately for even better low speed power and response. This lets the turbo spin up quicker which improves mid-range and upper RPM breathing and power. Engine weights are reported to be about 200 for the 4 and about 300 for the 6 NA engines with the factory turbo adding about 50 pounds to the 4, and not available on the 6. There is an active aftermarket for both versions but biased towards the 4 cylinder, so light weight and lots of power can be had. The stock NA and Turbo versions do very well in SCCA Solo racing, so GoodGuys in the bucket will be mostly matching gear ratios and transmission ratios so the engine is in the best part of the power curve when power is needed. Most of the engine weight is at crankshaft height which helps keep the CG low which aids handling. The debate is does the low RPM grunt from the 6 offset the higher weight and reduced power because of no turbo? There are kits to install the turbo from the 4 on the 6 that are reputed to retain the low end grunt while exceeding the power available from the 4. And there are kits that purport to give the turbo 4 the same low-end grunt as the 6, without increasing the weight over the factory turbo or reducing ultimate power produced. But in any case the main advantage is the low center of gravity offered by the horizontally opposed cylinders of the Subaru engine.