Thursday, September 21, 2017

Pride Goeth...

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. - Proverbs 16:18

A few years ago, Kitplanes Magazine published an article looking at the accident rate for homebuilt aircraft.  One of the most interesting data points was that the accident risk is not a straight decreasing slope: accident risk starts high at the first flight, decreases gradually over the first forty hours, then spikes again before decreasing!

You'd think I'd be able to handle one of these by now.
I don't have statistical data to back it up, but I suspect there's a similar trend among motorcyclists. The first year sees a gradually declining accident rate, followed by another spike from overconfidence and cockiness as riders start writing checks that they don't yet have the skill level to cash.

At least, that's what happened to me. They say confession is good for the soul, right? Here we go: it started with a partial drop on the way home from working a new story for Airline Reporter (story coming soon). I was tired, and distracted, and forgot to put the kickstand down before reaching for my wallet. I was saved by the gas pump, and the only damage was a bit of skin scraped off my left thumb.

Lesson learned, I had my first drop, no more, right?

Two weeks to the day later, I rolled into the parking lot at work, executed a tight right turn to drop into a parking space, and just kept leaning farther right. There was nothing to catch me this time. It was one of the slowest, gentlest drops you could possibly manage, but it still saw me ending up with a motorcycle on its side, puking half a quart of oil onto the asphalt.

At least there wasn't any further damage.

A week later, I was at a Harley Demo Fleet event, test riding most of the new 2018 models. I figured I'd give the Sportster 1200 Roadster a try. I know the Sportster, how much different can this one be? I forgot to put it in gear, then dumped the clutch too fast and stalled it trying to roll out of the parking lot. Oops.

Properly chastened, and hopefully with my major incidents out of the way, here's to a plan where my accident rate can start declining again. Ouch.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Backlog Burndown #25 - In the Army Now

Marooner's Rock took a week off due to technical issues, but we're back! And it's Wednesday, so it's Backlog Burndown time! This week I took on Army Gals, a visual novel from Dharker Studios.

I guess the pants have something to do with the Army? Sort of?

Monday, September 18, 2017

Road to 10k - Week 9 - Back on Track!

Back on track! That took a couple more weeks than I would have liked, but I can finally move on to more challenging training!

The four mile run actually felt pretty decent. With an average mile pace of 10:14, it wasn't fast by any stretch of imagination, but I definitely could have pushed harder. That wasn't the point though. The point was to get the distance. Pushing faster will come later.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Let's Play Minecraft: Story Mode - Season 1, Episode 6 - The Great Youtuber Massacre

The most irritating episode of the season. Or the best, if you love cameos by popular Minecraft youtubers. I guess it's really just not my thing.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Let's Play: Minecraft: Story Mode - Season 1, Episode 5 - New Adventures?

Gameplay videos are back! We pick up with Episode Five of Minecraft: Story Mode, with The New Order of the Stone seeking new and exciting treasures! What could possibly go wrong?

Find out over the next two weeks!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Road to 10k Week 8 - Maybe Fewer Beers?

10k Training Week 8 came in with a my renewed determination to get back on track. I kind of got there.

Along the way though, there were free motorcycles to ride, beers with brothers to drink, and still some general slacking.

But most importantly, new Harley motorcycles!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Dryer Repair - Or How To Turn a 15 Minute Job Into a Five Hour, Four Day Task

One of the first tasks in the new home was to hook up the dryer. Simple, right? Just plug the cord in, tighten down the vent hose, and walk away.

Ah, not so fast...

This is not going to work. Ever.
Problem Number One, the dryer has the wrong cord. The last two houses I've lived in had dryer outlets installed after new codes went into effect in 1996, mandating a four-prong grounded plug. The Hydra House was built and set up well before that, so it has the old three-prong outlet. No problem, just go buy the correct cord from your favorite big box home improvement store. Remove the cover on the back of the dryer to reveal the connections for the plug, unscrew the old cord and screw in the new cord.

Finally installed and buttoned up.
Mind you don't drop one of the screws somewhere inside the dryer where you can't ever get it back. Definitely don't do that when the stores have all closed for the night.

Problem Number Two, you've lost one of the screws you need to attach the new cord. No major issue, just go to your favorite hardware store and purchase a replacement of the correct threading and length. Don't drop that one in the same spot you dropped the first one. Whoops.

Problem Number Three, you've dropped the replacement screw inside the dryer as well. No trouble, remove the top and of the dryer and the rear access plate. Hey, this one fell somewhere you can reach it! Great! Finish installing the cord, plug it into the outlet (AFTER SWITCHING THE BREAKER OFF, JUST IN CASE!), turn the breaker back on, and make sure the dryer works properly. Great! Oh, better plug the vent back in. Oh, that doesn't fit at all. Definitely don't do your first test fitting of the vent after 10pm, when all the hardware stores have closed for the night.

DO NOT, and I cannot emphasize this enough, attach fittings that are going to take heat with regular Duct Tape and most especially not packing tape! These are not heat or flame resistant, and dryer lint is seriously flammable.

Problem Number Four, the previous homeowners decided that the proper solution for attaching the dryer vent was a combination of aluminum pipe, duct tape, packing tape, and prayer. No sweat! Remove the layers and layers of tape with the handy box cutter knife that you bought at your favorite home improvement store. Now add a proper 4" connector fitting to the new aluminum vent hose you also purchased, connect the two with heat resistant dryer tape, tighten the fittings down at the connection and at the dryer, and viola! Simple!

There we go, no longer a lint trapping fire hazard.
And that's how you turn a fifteen minute job into a four day task. At least my Smarter, Prettier Half was happy when it was done and she could run laundry again.