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Cranky Dog

House Procrastius
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Everything posted by Cranky Dog

  1. Cranky Dog

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    As I left work today, the sun was setting and the moon was rising. A FULL BLOOD RED WOLF SUPER MOON!!! If someone's not trying to fulfill a prophecy at the moment, I'll be very disappointed in them.
  2. Not sure what model tires I have... yet. It's too cold outside for me to even care. Less grip on older winter tires, even when the tread wear is good? Hmm, hadn't heard about that one, but it does make me wonder about my last car. 11 year old tires, and they did *feel* less grippy while driving. And I lost control on a slip, which led to the accident, and the new car. (i.e. Now he tells me! ) As for lane assist, when I discovered I had it, I turned it on. As it turns out, my car drives so smoothly that as soon as I looked away (as I was fiddling with my new sound system), it easily drifted one way or the other by barely leaning on the steering wheel. Something that never happened in my last car. Then again, this was in the first three hours of me owning my car, as I was still getting a feel for it. After ten hours of driving, I was properly staying in my lane even without the warning. But with dirty, snowy roads, the system is hit or miss. I wasn't sure if I'd like the automatic high beams, turns out it works surprisingly well. I don't know if I have heated mirrors. Maybe I do, maybe I don't. I haven't read the manual yet. Again, because it's too cold to go outside and get it. I may have a ton of other small features I'm not aware of yet, though I think I got all of the major ones.
  3. No pics, but I got my new car Friday evening. A 2018 Toyota RAV4 LE hybrid (base model). Having access to a car broker, I got the model I wanted, with a set of wheel mounted winter tires (Yokohama), for about $1.5K-3K less than the local car dealerships, with the caveat that I had to go get it near Montreal (an 8 hour bus ride). It gave me a good excuse to see my brother, do a bit of shopping, and get a leg up on breaking in my car. I haven't bought a new car in 11 years, it's a amazing to see everything that's now considered standard equipment on some vehicles. Backup camera, heated seats, lane assist warning, automatic high beams, real time fuel consumption, etc.
  4. Cranky Dog

    Raise your hand if it's snowing

    Were I still in Montreal, I would've gotten heavy snowfall. But I drove back home up north where blue skies were waiting for me. The downside was that the further up north I was driving, the more the temperature dropped, and fast. Last night, temperatures dropped to -41°C (-53°C with wind chill). That's a good "stay indoors" temperature range.
  5. Cranky Dog

    Randomness XIV: THE FLOOR IS LAVA!

    It's -33°C this morning, -43°C with wind chill. Everyone is celebrating because it means FLY SEASON IS FINALLY OVER! Stupid bugs...
  6. I'm of the same thought. Too gimmicky to be worthwhile. Though I can appreciate the rubber band clamp for its simplicity, the rest of the handle that needs its own stand is bad design. Though I can appreciate more light while painting, having the USB lamp itself in the way (since having my miniature backlit while I paint is not helping) is just going to make it worse. Anyone else suddenly want to eat a carrot while looking at the prototype?
  7. Cranky Dog

    Weight Loss Support Thread

    With the holidays over, I also went back on the keto diet almost as a second thought. I finished my last bag of tortilla chips and salsa, and my fridge just happened to be filled with keto friendly foods, so I told myself "Why the hell not?" So since Saturday, and for the next week, my menu is a mix of aged cheddar cheese; a whole turkey; home made vegetable soup (with fresh turkey stock); spaghetti squash; shredded cabbage salad and sauerkraut. Add olive oil and butter when required. I forgot how much pee it produces in the first day or two. Couldn't sleep properly because of that.
  8. Cranky Dog

    Too many players (RPG)

    After [looks at calendar] decades [Yikes!] of gaming, I still find that four players + GM is the sweet spot for the balance of role playing and action. And generally speaking, most published adventures are designed for four players. At three players, the game moves extremely fast, with very good engagement, but is easily at risk of a TPK after just a few bad rolls. At two players, the game feels very personal as you're part of the action constantly. Good for deep story telling, bad for combat action. At five players, the group's survivability is much greater, but the pacing starts to suffer when you want to give everyone a chance to participate outside of combat. During combat, if the number of foes or their abilities isn't re-balanced, battle can feel like a cakewalk for the characters. Due to economy action, a single foe made more powerful may still not compensate for the extra actions an additional player can add in the same way as adding one extra enemy of equal strength as the characters. At six players and more, you start getting people less engaged in the overall scheme, easily distracted and not really paying attention. Or you get great engagement from everyone, but with a GM running on overdrive in risk of quickly burning out. I've run the full gamut of number of players, be it home games or large tournament groups, and four to five players is still my preferred group size, be it as a player or GM.
  9. Ooh, I didn't even realize they were already reaching their destinations. I was expecting mine much later in the month... because Canada. I'm expecting good things from the post office (mostly because of my Reaper order from December).
  10. Cranky Dog

    Randomness XIV: THE FLOOR IS LAVA!

    Update from my car accident from before Christmas: Hooray, I'm getting a new car! i.e. Insurance company says costs of repair are greater than value of vehicle (2008 Honda Fit). This means that though the damage looked superficial, in all likelihood the car frame got bent. A shame, I really liked my little car... except in winter. Insurance will give me the current market value (which *should* be around $5-6K CAN). Current prospect is a Toyota 2018 RAV4 hybrid. I always knew my next car would be a hybrid, and living in the North, something with AWD is a must. So this was the only reasonable choice.
  11. Hmm, I'm going to try reverse psychology on myself and say: "For 2019, I will *stay* in a rut!" That way, if I stay in a rut, I can say I kept my resolution. If not, then I painted minis! WIN-WIN! More seriously, I need to cut down on distractions (a web connected 47" TV in front of me is awfully tempting), and improve the lighting in the room. If it's brighter, my brain feels like it wants to be active. Whereas when it's dark, my brain just wants to rest and let the TV/internet do the thinking.
  12. Cranky Dog

    Randomness XIV: THE FLOOR IS LAVA!

    So this is how my Saturday drive ended: TLDR below. I was already driving on a road that doesn't have a stellar reputation of being well maintained, it snowed the previous day and was partially cleared, top of hill, curve, sudden gust of wind... 10 seconds later I did a 180° and hit the ditch across the road. I luckily missed the pickup driving towards me. A surprisingly gentle impact (deep loose snow). I've ridden bumper cars that hit harder! Anyway, I'm uninjured, and none of my belongings broke (though the passenger side doors opened as snow got under the handles. But very, very stuck. Snow was knee deep, most of the wheels weren't even touching solid ground. One tire was losing its air. An hour's driving from the closest city... But plenty of drivers stopped by to help. Highway patrol contacted, tow truck contacted. I got a ride to town from a couple heading that way. I managed to get a rental car on a Saturday when they are normally closed. Tow truck brought my car to town it was already late afternoon. With Christmas, the body shop and insurance guys won't be in until next Thursday, and from the look of my car (front bumper basically just snapped off, not actually broken), I'm driving the rental for the next two weeks. My insurance should cover most everything. So it's getting dark fast. Road conditions still bad. Tired, and knew I still had over 6 hours of normal driving before I reached home for the holidays. So I did the smarter thing and took a hotel room for the night. Next day, road conditions were much improved. Smooth drive. Arrived earlier than I expected. And for the first time in my life, I'm seriously considering changing cars. I love my little car, but it is not made for driving in snow (even with winter tires). And everyone in this part of the country agrees that an AWD car is almost a necessity because of the heavy winters we get. Because of my age (47), I think I'm supposed to have a mid-life crisis and buy something fast, impractical, with the word turbo appearing several times in the description. Of course it will be RED (or whatever is today's fastest color). Oh, and toupee or hair transplants! TLDR: Hit the ditch. Safe and uninjured. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
  13. A modest first order. Placed 10/24/14, $43.98 Items: 01544: Chibi Halloween Sophie (7.99) x1 08906: Learn To Paint Bones Kit (34.99) x1 Since it was an October order, I probably got a Ghoulie bag and my first bottle of Breast Cancer Awareness Pink paint.
  14. Cranky Dog

    SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT...

    They still got some metal ones if you really want to.
  15. Cranky Dog

    SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT...

    Nice! Two days too late in my case as I already placed an order last Monday with no Johan (and it already shipped). But I'm sure those extra Johans will quickly find nice homes.
  16. Cranky Dog

    Randomness XIV: THE FLOOR IS LAVA!

    Friday, I'm driving home for the holidays to spend time with the family! [Looks at weather calling for 25-30cm of snow...] Friday, I'm sleeping in!
  17. Lately, and for the past two years, I'd be the tablet game Clash Royale. Prior to that, it was the arcade style racing game Asphalt 8. In my youth, LEGO blocks was king. Lifetime, I'd have to say D&D/Pathfinder spread over the different editions. Hard to give a breakdown of which edition dominated since I played a lot of most of them. I don't have as many occasions to play RPGs anymore, but would if possible.
  18. Cranky Dog

    Randomness XIV: THE FLOOR IS LAVA!

    Would this help? https://youtu.be/MlsOytEHStk It's guaranteed to wake you up fresh and angry!
  19. Cranky Dog

    Caravan to Reapercon 2019

    This got me curious. I was surprised to see that from my home to Denton, it's also roughly 2000miles, 31 hours driving. Still, I have frequent flyer miles just for ReaperCon, so flying expenses are kept to a minimum. Besides, I prefer two days of round trip travel instead of needing a whole week.
  20. Cranky Dog

    Randomness XIV: THE FLOOR IS LAVA!

    I've been doing wrong all these years? Curse my friendly genuine niceness!!! I bow to your mastery. [Please don't hurt me! Oh wait, you just said you liked my shoes. Man, this'll take some getting use to.]
  21. Cranky Dog

    Randomness XIV: THE FLOOR IS LAVA!

    Of course it's easy to speak. Just talk as if you're angry and pissed off at everything , but slower. Note: This if from a French Canadian perspective (also a can of worms to speak properly), who also took a semester of German in university, and knew some German exchange students.
  22. Cranky Dog

    Randomness XIV: THE FLOOR IS LAVA!

    My mother is strangely in the other camp. Due to decades of choir singing with the symphonic orchestra which often featured many German chants, she mastered the pronunciation, even if most of the time she didn't have a clue what she was singing about unless she looked it up (and often did). It served her well when she visited Eastern Europe several years ago.
  23. The only game store I know in the area is over 150km away (about 100 miles), and it takes me under 2 hours to go there for an afternoon of D&D until the store closes at 5pm. Turns out I regularly find it too far for just that. Game lasts ~4 hours, total travel time, also ~4 hours (no highways in this area). It's not too bad in the summer time when days are still long, and it's still bright outside by the time I get home. But in the winter time, sun sets early, and driving on winding country roads, with trees all around, sometimes poor visibility, and poor radio reception (a few dead zones for my favourite stations)... It gets tedious. Now if I have extra errands to do in town, then it's almost a no-brainer. It makes it worthwhile. But I don't always need to, or sometimes I had to go during the week when there was no game. But just the game, *and* $25 in fuel use (and I own a fuel efficient car), not normally worth it. Of course I make the occasional exception, but justifying that time would require something exceptional.
  24. Cranky Dog

    Randomness XIV: THE FLOOR IS LAVA!

    Hooray, that's good! No wait, that's bad. I know the feeling as the same thing essentially happened to me last year. Laid off in early December. No real explanation ever given, but the non-essential/redundant excuse is quite likely. I do know a lot of my coworkers disagreed with the decision. Sooooo, Merry Christmas?
  25. Now that the weekend is over, I can say that it was good. We had the company Christmas dinner . Music, food, some dancing, thank you gifts and prize draws, plenty to drink, a popular drinking song with the lyrics modified to fit the company theme, and a stand up comedian (who's also a known radio host, TV/movie star). And when I say there was plenty to drink. I mean that at 8:30pm the HR director announced that it would be open bar for the next two hours. And boy did people make good on his offer. We were about 10 per table, and most of the guys went to the bar and came back with 10 drinks, be it vodka coolers, beer cans, or shots of whatever, like scotch; "Sour Puss" (it was blue); and something minty (tasted like candy canes). I haven't drunk this much in ages. And I was surprised at how "reasonable" I stayed despite everything offered. Compare this to some of my younger coworkers who did go beyond the reasonable limit (and got sick). Yes, I was quite tipsy near the end, and knew when to stop drinking every single thing offered to me. Though I hate wasting food and drinks, I also know my limits well and when drinking more will not make it more fun. BTW, like most of the town, I live within walking distance of the reception hall, so getting home by foot at 2am was no trouble (we had a rider service for those who needed it). Next morning, though a bit wobbly, I was right as rain, with no hangover (which surprised me). Also won a $500 gift card at a furniture store. Even though I don't really need anything, I'll look into display cabinets just in case. All in all, the most amusing bit was probably seeing the paramedic serving drinks at the bar. How new is 'new'? I got the new Dungeon Dweller sets at ReaperCon and some Scale75 metallics and such that I haven't really tried yet. Though at my "normal" painting speed, they'll all be old by the time I use them.
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