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Everything posted by Thoramel

  1. Nope, that's not nearly enough. Besides, I plan on dying at 103 in a hang gliding accident. Or something equally stupid for an old man to be doing. I'm only kind of joking here. The men in my family all live in to their 90's and above and more than a few of them died while enjoying something they should have given up on decades before. Looking forward to it!
  2. I don't take any responsibility for this conversion... Here's an actual WiP pic for a change. A close friend in my gaming group also plays in a 2e-ish Spelljammer game. His Spelljammer is crewed by an iron golem mechanic with cannons for hands. His name is Howie and he wanted me to convert something to match him. I asked how he does stuff like fix things or load his arm cannons if he doesn't have any hands and he responded with something like "don't mention that to my GM." So I called his GM, who is also in my gaming group, and asked him how he could let something like that slide. To which he replied with something like "yeah, I'm just waiting until it becomes a critical thing and then I'm going to call him out on it." Well, in the spirit of friendship I got them to modify Howie so that he has at least one hand. The player has declared he won't be sneaky anymore and the GM said he'd point out inconsistencies in the future before they become an issue. But, because I know the GM has plans on trying to destroy Howie in a future session, I agreed I'd make him a pile of golem pieces some time soon. Anyways, after that I'm never trying to modify Wizkids stuff again, the primer stuff is terrible and the material is next to impossible to cut through without power tools, or at least that's my opinion...
  3. Bit of both. My wife and I made a decision to get our degrees in our late twenties and we both pursued scientific fields. I had originally intended to get a PhD in a conservation or ecosystem research field. But I quickly found that those doors were closed to me since I took a non-traditional route to get my 2 undergrad degrees. That wasn't a drawback to every program and the Agriculture, Environmental and Development Economics department at OSU decided to fully fund my pursuit of a grad degree. Not necessarily the direction I was aiming for, but I'm good with math, and there are a lot of opportunities to do wetland research in the env econ world. So I was satisfied. The thing I didn't expect is just how petty academicians can be. After 2 years in that program I decided I'd rather go work in a regulatory capacity than do ivory tower research with a bunch of people I didn't like or much respect. So I completed the requirements for a Master's degree, discovered some new ways to determine how people value ecosystem services, and then started shopping myself around to regulatory agencies. Originally I got into my state's EPA using the data analysis skills I picked up from the econ program to track hazwaste shipments and disposals in my state. That was a satisfying few years, I uncovered and removed some serious human health threats and at one point got a daycare center illegally built on a hazardous waste disposal site (vapor intrusion for this location was high enough that adults shouldn't have been breathing the air for more than an hour, let alone babies) shut down. So lots to be happy with, but still not wetlands. Eventually, the surface water portion of our agency decided the lady doing the job I'm doing now wasn't up to the task and moved her somewhere better suited. That's when I was able to finally get into working in wetlands. It's not the research carer I had planned on. But I do get to do some small amount of research, and I get a lot of satisfaction knowing that my work lowers costs for water treatment in my state by around 4 to 6 million dollars a year and improves, at least in a small way, the health of my fellow citizens. I've even coauthored a couple of research papers with one of my former grad school advisers (only one of which has managed to get published so far). It's very similar to the path I chose, but circumstances being what they are, is also different in a bunch of ways. I'm happy with it though and will likely stay here for as long as my body will let me keep stomping around outdoors looking for bugs and such.
  4. Found some time late last night and today to do some hobbying. I managed to prime a bunch of stuff. And made some progress on a couple of projects. Stuffed mice. Frog Squad. And today I spent the morning barefoot, drinking coffee, weeding my garden, and taping up my tomatoes. My assistant wasn't very helpful and had to be grabbed out of a tree at one point. I have no idea why, but he wouldn't leave my kale alone. I also kegged a beer this afternoon. But no picture of that.
  5. Anybody ever seen Poison Ivy flowers? They're pretty neat. The one vine I let grow on my Basswood flowered today. Not something I see too often. Mostly because I'm usually not this close to it.
  6. Haven't kept up with this lately. Life's gone a bit crazy around here the past week and dealing with it has been kind of exhausting. It's been hard finding the energy or inspiration to paint. But prior to all that I did finish some stuff. A couple of which I posted in Show Off. Those are here... I also got these done around the same time. I wouldn't mind getting a couple more of these. From bones 4 on the left and on the right is a circa 1988 Ral Partha figure I found in a vintage toy store. Some bones 4 scenery. I tried writing in the open book. But my hand isn't terribly steady. I've got a few things half finished on my hobby bench, maybe later this weekend I'll pick up the brush and see if anything interests me.
  7. That fur looks great!
  8. I had a hard time not taking them all. Here's a couple of pieces from the bits bag. If for no other reason, giving me the guns to mod another bones goblin for my time traveling goblins made this worth it.
  9. Here's what I grabbed out of the box. I took a tiny bit of all the different basing vegetation and some of the small rocks and mixed them together for some premade basing veg. And here's what I put in. Fun exchange!
  10. It's donut week around these parts. Since no one can really hold any kind of festival one of the local donut places teamed up with a brewery to do a take-home beer and donut pairing. You ordered online and then picked up a four pack of beers and donuts. Some friends of ours took part in it with us and we had a little virtual tasting with them last night. I've been reluctant to leave the neighborhood recently because lots of roads around here are being blockaded at random. But for donuts, I decided to risk it. I mean, I also used the opportunity to stock up on supplies I actually need and picked up a cart full of canned goods and rice for our local food pantry. But yeah, the donuts were a very important item. Very important.
  11. Wow, very nice. I was on the fence on getting this mini, but I think this just made me decide to get it. Thanks.
  12. Bingo. Our expensive GPS unit is shared by a bunch of people who don't always treat it very well. I'm not relying on that thing to get me out of anywhere. But likely not so fast that it's going to leave me stranded in the woods trying to figure out what just happened! Good point, topographic maps are definitely part of the equation when navigating with a compass in nature. I can look at a compass and tell you that the prominent hill over there is due north, but unless I have some sort of reference where that hill fits in with the rest of the landscape that knowledge won't do squat to get me back to my car. A few years ago I was surprised to find that none of that batch of interns could read a Gazetteer, let alone a topographic map. Now, it's one of the basic skills we hammer into them during their brief training period.
  13. Cooking from scratch - most all of our nightly meals are made from the basest of ingredients with a few small exceptions (I don't grind my own meat and rarely make my own pasta). I enjoy gardening and preserving my own veggies and herbs (to a certain extent, space is limited). My beer brewing setup is decidedly low tech - someone from 100 years ago would easily be able to brew on it no problem. That might get even more "old fashioned" in the future as I recently ordered a book on historic brewing techniques. At work, I'm one of the last people to take all my field notes by hand. Management keeps trying to get me to take this expensive tablet/camera/GPS unit into the field with me and want me to take all my notes on that. And I keep explaining I've left writing utensils in mud puddles across the entire state and there's no reason to believe I wouldn't do the same with an expensive tablet. And using a compass to navigate in the woods instead of relying on a map on my phone or something. I'm always surprised that very few people know how to use a compass any more.
  14. Hard to choose, but I think I like 10 best.
  15. Letting my Brother in Law take lead on a hike through the woods. I'm glad I did it though because for the last 24 years whenever he says "let's go this way" on a hike I can respond with "Remember December 28, 1996 where you led us on a hike in West Virginia and we didn't see another road until we were in Maryland?" Agreed. My wife loves gin but I can't stand the stuff. She can't make drinks though so I'm always stuck mixing her martinis for her. I use my wife's gin as a food safe sanitizer solution in the airlocks of my homebrew fermenters. No infection is getting through that. My wife does not know this though. Working for my state's EPA when folks come to me for help it's because someone upstream from them has filled in a wetland or stream, dumped some sort of horrible chemical or agricultural waste into a water body, or in one instance piled up a bunch of trash along a stream going through a quiet suburb then lit it on fire and pushed it in (his excuse was he was trying to take care of the beavers). Then they find their homes or properties suddenly underwater or their streams inundated with dead fish or manure. Then I put on the mean face, bring in our contacts at the Army Corps and go scare someone until they clean up their mess. From a non-workplace stand, I'm a bigger guy so I get requests to help move heavy objects up stairs pretty often.
  16. Same. Tense situation. Stay safe.
  17. I was raised by Quakers and the Pentecost itself represents a special day for them. The second day of Pentecost though isn't something that I ever remember "celebrating." Modern Quakers are slightly different than the ones I grew up with and so this may have changed over time. I'm very private when it comes to my own religious beliefs and observances, and therefore today is no more special to me than any other day. I do like the idea of gathering with friends for a shared meal and having a nationwide reason to do so. Therefore, I hope you enjoy your Gourmetten (a term I did have to look up) Glitterwolf, and if possible post pictures of the spread. I'm guessing it will be delicious!
  18. Discovered a funny little quirk of social distancing and masks. Had to make a quick run to the hardware store today. Stood in line about 6 feet from everyone else, all of us in masks, for about ten minutes. When I got to the cashier I looked back and noticed the guy standing behind me had a charity bike ride shirt on from a very specific and not well attended event, not a shirt you see every day. Then I took in the size and shape and general baldness of the guy behind me and said "Daryl?" Guy looked me over and said "Tom?" Turns out it was a fairly good friend and we'd been standing next to each other the whole time without realizing it. I'd even walked past his wife who was watching their bikes out front of the store on the way in. This is making me wonder if I've not recognized folks before. Now I'm going to be unintentionally eyeballing folks trying to figure out if I know them.
  19. That was one of the craziest nights I can remember. Fires, gunshots, sirens and unidentified loud bangs until about 2 in the morning. National guard on the streets this morning. But we're here, the sun is shining, and life goes on.
  20. I miss the fieldwork portion of my job. I'm lucky to be able to work from home. But for the foreseeable future all field visits have been suspended. I'm really missing all the interesting, natural places that I usually spend this time of year hiking around in. I miss having a group of interns I can teach stuff to. I miss finding that rare flower or bug I haven't seen in years. I even miss getting up in the middle of the night so I can drive three hours with a carful of sleeping interns to be on the north coast when the sun's coming up. I'm still outdoors a lot walking the dog, riding my bike, gardening, or just drinking beer on the porch. But it's not the same. And even though I know I'll get back to it sometime in the future, I still get sad when I stop to think about it. But, because I want to end on a positive note, my quarantine beard is rocking. Thanks for all the questions!
  21. OK, so I'm down to the last couple of hundred that I'm considering throwing at this KS. And 100 of that is for a second ship. I was seriously considering just saying "meh, one is probably enough." But now I'm wondering if I'm going to need 3 or more? I mean, it's only really going to be a challenge to paint once right? After you get one done you just copy what you did the first time with some minor changes and painting them should get faster and faster. And I can probably just sell a single painted one online to recoup my costs, right? Please note: these are just rhetorical questions that I'm using to talk myself into buying another one.
  22. Fresh fruit cobbler with vanilla ice cream.
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