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Everything posted by Thoramel

  1. My wife is one of the lead judges for the water quality portion of our State's science fair. Normally this means going to the fairgrounds expo center on a Saturday and spending the day listening to middle through high school kids give you a presentation on their research. This year, with everything being closed down, the kids are instead doing write ups on their research and then they are being judged on that. I've been reading through some of them so she can get them organized and out to the other judges. I have to tell you, I'm pretty impressed with some of these kids. One 12 year old spent months last summer going out to a beach on Lake Erie every day and collecting the garbage, determining how much there was on any given day, and where it came from (fast food, nearby amusement park, fishing refuse, etc...). She was then able to correlate increases in littering with days when tourism spiked based on local economic data. It looked like she needed a small amount of help on her statistics, but nothing that would invalidate her work. That's not just impressive for a 12 year old, that's impressive for a lot of college kids. Another young lady built a functioning methane digester, buried it deep enough to not have to worry about cold temps in the winter, insulated it with household items, and then used it to help heat a small structure on her family's farm. One of my college advisors received a large grant to do the same (albeit on a bigger scale) and was never able to get it to work right. Some days there are kids that make it so you can't help but have hope for the future.
  2. A couple of other options for finding a good, inexpensive ride if you live near a large metropolitan area: Police Auctions, lots of bikes in my city get picked up in theft cases and the owner never comes forward. These end up going up for auction after a set period of time and you can find some really nice road bikes for a decent price. If you have a large university nearby some of them will have bicycle auctions at the end of the school year. The quality on these is typically lower because they're the bikes that graduating seniors didn't have room to pack or didn't need wherever they are moving to so they just leave them chained up and abandoned on school property. I know the university I did my grad work at would go around once a year and collect all the bikes that had been locked up for multiple months and then auction them off. I know of at least one used bike store that gets about half of their bikes from this. Then they put a little work into them and they have a great second hand machine for sale. Look for bike co-ops. There's a couple around here that take in old bike donations from the public and then resell them for very little money. One I used to volunteer at actually had multiple repair stations and all the necessary tools where you could come in and work on the bike you bought, or even your personal bike, for free. There's also usually some bike nerd there willing to help with repairs and many of them offer classes on repair. I picked up and repaired a late 90's Iron Horse mountain bike this way for like $50. Put a $100 into making it a commuter bike and it was my primary ride for several years. This one's a bit more iffy, but if you know when a brand of bike is releasing their new model go find a local bike shop that's an authorized dealer for that brand and check it out about a week after the new models come out. Occasionally they'll price down the last year's models at a steep discount. My wife picked up her Kona road bike that way for about a 33% discount for a brand new bike. Regardless, you're going to be amazed at the difference a good bike makes. That loop will seem like nothing and before you know it you'll be doing 100 km rides like they were nothing. Good luck bike shopping! That is a beautiful Centurion. A friend repairs classic bikes and resells them as his retirement hobby. One of his primary rides is a Centurion. It's such a clean, comfortable looking bike I'm always just a tiny bit jealous when I see him on it.
  3. That would be a nice alternative. Unfortunately we have a 120-ish year old home with 2 chimneys, 2 flat roof sections, 2 covered porches, and 4 different dormers with a multi-gabled roof. The only way to make it look like it all belongs on the same building without replacing the whole thing is to just re-shingle the parts that need it. Although the flat portions that no one can see are getting a modern rubber roof. I'm just thankful that it's not the slate roof that was probably on here originally. I could probably buy a small house with the money it would cost to replace one of those.
  4. Just paid the down payment for a new partial roof. We knew this was coming, but we were hoping to hold off on it for a couple of more seasons while we addressed some other things we wanted to fix up. But the last couple of weeks have seen some pretty heavy rains and I'm starting to see the faintest amount of failure around a flat portion of the roof that a former owner had used something other than roofing materials on. Had a guy come by earlier in the week with a drone to get up to some of the hard to reach areas on the third floor roof and saw that some of the flashing and grout work around one of the chimneys is looking pretty rough as well. About 65% of the roof still looks great (according to the roofer) and should hold up for as long as I plan on owning this house. But, regardless, it's become a "do it now or risk a bigger bill for rain damage in the future" situation. Luckily, since we bought an old house and knew what we were in for, I've been saving for this for quite some time now. And I was saving as if I would have to replace the entire thing. So even though this isn't going to be cheap, it's still coming in about $10k less than we anticipated. So I may end up going with some new gutters and security cameras while I'm at it. Ah, the joys of owning a home.
  5. I'm not a big costume guy but occasionally I'll dress up and ride a bicycle around the city with others. Either in parades or in organized group rides. There's the tweed ride where we all dress up like dandys, that's good clean fun that I do every year. There's the Doo Dah parade where I've dressed up as everything from a super hero to a road warrior and then ride around with about 1000 other people riding, marching and driving on a hot day in July. That's good holiday fun. But the most fun I've ever had in costume doing bike rides has to be my bumblebee outfit (consisting of wings and antennae) that I've worn a couple of times for the WNBR (this is a family forum so not describing that one, but feel free to look it up on your own), and that's just ridiculous, crazy fun. I haven't done that in years, and this year's WNBR was cancelled. And even though the organizers are encouraging us to get out and ride on our own, something tells me that's less likely to be as fun.
  6. That is a neat miniature and a great paint job. Love it.
  7. This was a surprisingly fast paint job. I'm typically not a fan of wizkids stuff, but I'm definitely a fan of gross bone constructs. This will fit in well in just about any game I run.
  8. I'd like to interrupt things to bring you some plants. Morning coffee spot. When it's not pouring down rain anyways. Here's a Columbine I planted a while back that finally bloomed dramatically. The rest bloomed about a week or so ago. These are coming up through a couple of my garden beds. I've been keeping them pulled but planted one just to see what comes up. I'm leaning towards cucumber. Dianthus. If there ever is a flumph miniature from Reaper, and I truly hope there is, this will be my model for color. These were my wife's roses a couple days ago. Today. Cheers all.
  9. I don't know, Fowl-rog rolls off the tongue easier.
  10. I've never had a cavity. Also, I have a bunch of tattoos, but they aren't anywhere visible to anyone but my wife. There's a whole bunch of other stuff. But trust me when I say that none of it is appropriate to discuss on here.
  11. Here's the Formorian giant from, I don't know, Bones 3 maybe? I was never too interested in it. It looked pretty weird in the bones white. Like it didn't quite fit together. I finally decided to put a little paint on it recently and discovered I quite liked it. It all went together much better than it initially appeared. But I think what really made me like it was the face. That's some serious ugly there.
  12. Depends on the time of year. Early morning and evenings in the summer. Early mornings to get out and avoid the heat and early evenings because I like to sit outside and see the bats hunting above my backyard. In the spring I love the midday when its not cold. Fall is good for afternoons and dusk with turning trees and beautiful sunsets. And winter? Who cares? it's cold and I'm generally stuck inside. House slippers, but it's not a hard rule or anything. I'm not a big "interested in meeting famous/industry/notorious people" kind of person. I did play a game of Illuminati with Steve Jackson a couple of years ago at Origins. He seemed like a nice person, but not really any more interesting than playing a game with some other, less well known, stranger. He did give me a stuffed tentacle though. So that was kind of cool.
  13. Blew my last keg of homebrew the other night. So it's all day brewing today. On the right is an imperial stout and on the left is a tropical IPA. Or at least the grain for both. The IPA is now resting at a comfortable 152F on my stove while the starch converts to sugar. When that's done it'll get pulled off and turned into dog treats, which I'm also getting low on.
  14. Still getting the hang of my phone's camera, so here's a few more that I set up under different light conditions to see which I liked best. This is from a box of bones kickstarter minis I didn't have a use for, occasionally I'll grab one out at random and give it a quick paint job. Can't go wrong with more townsfolk. I wanted to paint some elves without green. I kept subconsciously reaching for the green. Something about elves I guess. This guys happy. And he wants to let the happy out in everyone he meets. Preferably through a hole he just made with his spear. My wife said this space mousling looks mercenary to her. So I told her she can't have it until she bakes me cookies. Third time I've painted this guy, favorite so far.
  15. No, I'm more than happy to let any player adopt any monster they find in the field. The fun really starts when it follows them back to town!
  16. So I've always seen this type of underdark critter described as being dark in color. And I thought, "you know, starlings look black to me, but to other starlings they're explosions of colors not really visible to my eyes." So what if this particular brand of horror is actually quite colorful to others of its own kind, with the ability to see into other wavelengths? Well, here's that idea...
  17. So. I stopped posting completed minis because I dropped my phone about a week ago and it broke the camera. I'm going to miss that phone, but it was beyond time to replace it. So long live the new phone! Anyways, I took The suggestions to heart and darkened up the soil of the terrain mini, then gave it some excess vegetation. Thanks for the comments because I really like the results. I'm still figuring out the new phone camera so it may be a bit before I get photos of everything I've recently painted that I'm happy to post. But here's something I'm pretty satisfied with...
  18. Not rude at all. I start every mini by "priming" it in grey scale like this... And then for the kobold skin I go over that in a thinned layer of Vallejo orange brown, then drybrush with reaper explosion orange, then hit it with some thinned Army Painter light tone. That's it. Cheers and post your results, I'd love to see some of them painted up.
  19. Electric Heavy Metal Tuba. I imagine it would look something like this...
  20. I'm painting a lot more miniatures. I started a WiP thread of everything I've finished since this began, but haven't posted there in about a week because I broke my cellphone and no longer have a camera. I think I'm just north of 100 minis since I went into isolation on March 12. I'm definitely not going to be hurting on storage space for unpainted minis when Bones V arrives next year. I'm brewing more beer as well. Mostly low alcohol stuff that comes in around 3.5% abv (Miller Lite is 4.2% for reference). That's because I find I'm drinking more beer these days and if I'm going to have a few beers in the evening I'd rather they were around that potency than the 6 to 12% stuff I would normally buy in stores.
  21. There's a couple of things I lack. Rhythm and shame. So not only do I "dance" when no one is watching, but also whenever or wherever the urge strikes me. Life's more fun that way.
  22. Ha! That sign is just on the other side of downtown, about 2 miles, from my place. They've been changing it to something different on a regular basis. So far my favorite has been (paraphrasing) "Even after this is all over there's some of you I don't want to see again."
  23. My head immediately went to the Peanuts cartoons on that subject, but since Ladystorm already went there I'm going to say happiness is a well drained garden (we got several inches of torrential rain overnight).
  24. Anything where I get to spend time out of doors, preferably in a forested wetland without trails. But any place with lots of native flora and fauna that's big enough to not see the edge of it from the interior will do. It recharges me emotionally and I generally feel good physically after spending a day hiking (or splorching around in the mud). Also, any hobby where I end up producing something. Mini painting, homebrewing, gardening, etc... I just enjoy being sort of productive. Teleportation/transporters. I generally hate long drives. I believe they called it the 3 R's when I was a kid. Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. I also learned to read a compass in grade school which has been very useful given my answer for the 16th above.
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