Tag Archives: RPG

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.

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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.

A good race, and a good game

The Rolex 24 hours of Daytona was quite the race. There were 2 out of 3 classes that were separated by seconds after more than 2000 miles of racing over 24 hours, and the leading class was only one lap apart. And every class set a new class record for speed. I mean what more could you ask, tight competition at record speeds, and the reason they set the records was there were very few wrecks, so more tight racing and less wrecking. It was perfect, or as perfect as it could get.

Then we played Shadowrun. We finally finished the run to take a magic artifact to be analysed. My character, “the Old Man”, doesn’t do much, and that’s good. When I go into action during a run, I’m pulling asses out of fires and people are getting hurt. I’m armed to the teeth even in my sleep, there is a thought-controlled shotgun in my left arm, the one I lost fighting to save my TI pension when TI called up the troops to fight off a really hostile takeover. Someone from the other company threw a grenade into my machine gun nest. Like I said, really hostile takeover. Anyway, I spent the whole run standing in the door of the chopper ready to literally drop into the battle, while our tech people did their sneaky tech things sneakily avoiding conflict so I could only kibbitz over the commlink. That’s my role-playing part of the RPG.

And I got paid from one of my gigs today, the gift card came in the mail, $100 I can spend in literally dozens of places, but not everywhere in compliance with the tax law that just expired. I think there might be a buck or 2 left in my account, but not enough to cry about if Trump takes it away. First place I’m going to spend it is the Red Robin a bit over the way when Mrs. the Poet and I celebrate 40 years of wedded bliss(?) over burgers and shakes. Plus I have the app that gets me discounts and free food from Red Robin. So spending money there is not like spending somewhere else. But it still pisses me off that the new tax scam takes away my compensation for this job. Damn you, Donald John Trump! I get paid little enough, almost nothing, but now you’re taking that away from me. I average $6 a month on this gig, but the new tax law makes that illegal. Not because it violates minimum wage laws, but because they don’t take taxes out of it. I mean how much tax are you going to take from $6/month? The accounting costs are going to be more than I get paid on average.

I have been looking at the weight for the Chevy 7.5″ rear end compared to the Ford, and the Ford is like 30% lighter than the Chevy rear. I mean the weights between the Chevy 8″ 10 bolt and the 7.5″ are within a few pounds of each other and the 10 bolt is so much stronger, the 7.5 must have been a ton cheaper to make, because otherwise I can see no justification for building it otherwise. I mean the reports are that it sheds teeth from the ring gear from a 200 HP 305 SBC smog motor with a 2 barrel carb on street tires. Not what I’m looking for when I can get stronger for less weight. I’ll keep you posted as more information becomes available.

My hip hurts

I really need to replace my futon, because I lack padding on my right hip and when I sleep on my right side I get a painful not-quite-a-bruise on my hip. I never in my life though I would ever say I wasn’t fat enough, but … I really need a new bed.

I’m doing the channel bounce as there is a F1 race and a Monster Energy Cup race on at the same time, and the NHRA race just started broadcasting. I’m mainly sticking with the F1 race as Hamilton had a flat tire on the first lap and there is a ton of drama because he went all the way to the back of the field and he could clinch the championship this race depending on where Sebastian Vettel finishes, unless Hamilton finishes 5th or higher. As I type this Hamilton is leading the points by running in 9th with Vettel in 3rd at the finish to clinch the driver championship two races before the end of the season.

Watching the Monster Energy Cup race now from Martinsville.

Just got a text that the Shadowrun game we had going tonight was dropped because the GM has another class to attend, and one of the players for our group is having some kind of health issue. This makes me slightly upset, but not totally broken. As the saying goes, shit happens. I’m just getting tired of shit happening to me.

Speaking of that, I didn’t win the lottery again last night. So I’m still p’, too impoverished to buy a vowel.

Not doing anything worth writing about

Yesterday was grocery shopping and race watching day, which is pretty boring to write about. We are playing Shadowrun tonight.

There is a Monster Cup race on from the concrete mile in Dover DE. Today is what they call an elimination race, where they go from 16 cars in the Playoff to 12. So there are going to be 4 drivers driving their butts off trying to not be knocked out of the playoffs.

During breaks in the race I have been watching more YouTube videos of people building cars, pretty much at random, looking for inspiration for the TGS2. I didn’t find anything for the TGS2 but I did find stuff to inspire the motorcycle engine powered Solo racer, the side-mounted Vee-twin chain-drive racer with the Mini-Sprint rear axle and either a really light tube axle or IFS.

And now I need to get ready for RPG so this post is done finished or not.

Yesterday was busy

No post Sunday because I was out doing things. I wasn’t doing anything earth-shattering but I was away from home and any device I could use to make a blog post. I was at a role-playing group, but we were missing a player vitally important to the current storyline because she was not monitoring the message channel when we decided to have a game session.

So instead of playing the current game we spitballed possible directions where the game could go in the future, including deciding if my character’s December Bar-be-que will be in-game or out-of-game. In-game I died again about 3 years from now and Mrs. the Poet died with me, but unfortunately she didn’t revive on her own like I do. A few years after that TI asked for retirees with military experience to help defend the company from a corporate raider with a promise of executive-level pensions for survivors or lose pensions if TI lost. My character lost both legs and one arm like the protagonist in the “Six Million Dollar Man” except I wasn’t flying an experimental lifting body, I had a grenade dropped into my machine gun emplacement. Corporate raiders in Shadowrun had heavy weapons…

I have been following a YouTube channel called “How to Build a Racing Car” that has inspired me on how to deal with the body panels on the front of the TGS2. I will use the existing bucket to build a plug, pull a mold off the plug, then pull the final body panels off the molds, ending up with a custom body that weighs less than the bucket alone does now. That would be because the bucket is 47 pounds of resin-heavy chopper-gun fiberglass, and the body I’ll get will be less resin and more actual glass fiber cloth that is stronger and weighs less. Plus this will solve the problem I was having getting the body around, inside, and outside the frame. The plug will be easiest to mold in 3 pieces and a nose made separately, then assemble like a big model kit.

It’s late now, sp I’m cutting this one short.