It's been a rough week. Calendar week, at least.
Last weekend, on the way back from Florence, I noticed the car felt a little weird. I switched the Miles To Empty monitor to Tire Pressure, and my left rear tire shows 33 psi instead of 37 like all the other tires. I was only a mile or two from a gas station, so I whipped in and aired up and proceeded home. I left the Tire Pressure monitor up so I would remember to look at it. Each morning the left rear would have a little less air in it. Maybe a pound. Maybe 2. Maybe it was the change in weather (wouldn't all the tires be affected though?). The car sat over a long weekend (reason is below!) and on Monday morning there was 29 psi in the left read, while the other tires had 35. A call to Decatur Hyundai after I got to work found me at Decatur Hyundai after lunch. The tires are rated for 50-60k, and 3 of the tires have 53k miles which puts me in the zone to worry about them. I tell the guys working if the tread's in the worry zone, just replace it/them instead of plugging it. Hypothetically they checked, and then we replaced them. Now I have tires that I shouldn't worry about for 50k miles!
In the above trip back from Florence, my left shoulder stopped working. I'm not sure why, but after I left my grandparents it hurt (at the rotator cuff) to lift my left arm. To the point I had no strength to lift my arm. Not that big of a deal driving back from Florence. The next Sunday morning it became more of a big deal, as I honestly couldn't lift it at all. Something was out of whack which I knew could be cured chiropractically, so I shot a message to Trevor to ask how soon Monday morning he could see me. Luckily he said "first thing". I slept fitfully Sunday night as it's amazing how a sore shoulder can keep you from getting comfortable enough to sleep. An hour here and there was what it felt like I got. Monday morning I make it in to Trevor and he tells me the ligaments between my collar bone and shoulder are super abducted - so, "tight". He pushes, pulls, pokes, gets the cold laser and zaps me, then tells me to follow up with ice and sticking a rolled up quilt in my armpit and squeezing - this will help stretch those super abducted ligaments. I did that. I slept pretty good Monday night. Tuesday morning I go in for what was expected to be Round 2, but was more regular shoulder-adjusting along with ultra-sound zapping. On Thursday I could shove a pillow off the bed behind my back. Amazing what I can count as normal!
Speaking of Thursday, I awoke at 1 am and didn't feel right. Achy. Slight headache. Throat was a little sore. I took my temp, and instead of my normal 97-ish it read 99.7. Based on the last time I felt like this, I have the flu. Not a lot I can do at 1 in the morning. I go to my regular walk-in clinic doctor, Dr Mayer, who I've been going to since 1995. I get to the office and the receptionist is there. Just her. No doctor. No nurse practitioner (which is something they must have started since my last visit in June). This does me no good! The receptionist says I should go to a Doc in a Box, or she can call some other doctor who's down the road and see if they have an opening. They have an opening, but it's in 2.5 hours. I guess it's about time for me to go to my first ever Doc in a Box. I pick the one closest to my house - it's at 72/County Line - and enter, fill out paperwork, and am in the back telling a nurse "I think I have the flu" within 30 minutes. They take a flu test and it comes back negative, but the Dr who looks like he's 15 says they get false negatives in the first 24 hrs 20% of the time. So there's a good chance I have the flu. he then looks at my throat and says it looks like I might have strep. They take a strep test. I have strep. Well great, now my self-diagnosed flu symptoms might also be strep, for future reference. I grab my antibiotic prescription and take it down the road to Publix, where they tell me there's currently a little over an hour wait on filling prescriptions.
I knew at 1 am I was sick. It took until 1230 for me to get drugs, which I took in the parking lot of Publix. I don't go to the doctor often, but when I do and need real drugs, I start taking them right away. I was hoping to get a little work done Friday and over the weekend to make up for my body fighting me. Friday was the day I discovered strep is more than a sore throat. Saturday and Sunday my brain didn't want to work, no matter how much work I made my eyes look at. But by Saturday I was back to feeling normal. This was also the stretch, from Thursday on, where the car didn't move and served as a good test for "is it the tire or is it all in my head".
There was a sneak peak on the last blog for the plastic model kit of the tank I had started painting. I ended up not adding as much visible detail as I thought. This was mainly due to details made the camo look less.... camoey. I messed around with some weathering and washes. The washes didn't go too well and left way too many streaks. Hopefully the streaks will come across as weird scratches or shadows.
This tank was a learning kit. What's the right way to put a model together after not really making one in 35 years? How much to put together VS when to start painting? I'm still not sure about that part. Now the zombie apocalypse has a tank. I can play the Walking Dead Governor Attacks The Prison scenarios now.
Here's a quick "what's been going on" lately.
I broke my first screen on an electronic device a few weeks ago. I use an Amazon Fire 7 Tablet for playing match-3 games and random audio goodness to lull me to sleep. On of those lulls left the Fire in the bed as I flopped around and learned it is not soft and fluffy like the mattress. A slight *snap* and parts of the screen cracked. It's still perfectly usable, except I can't stand a cracked screen. JeffyB knew this and put the Fire 8 on sale 2 days later. The memory card of the Fire 7 (above, right) wasn't recognized by the Fire 8 (above, left) so I'll have to start progressing through my random match-3 games again.
I've also got a perfectly fine Fire 10, but it's a bit too big for 1 hand manipulation, which evidently is a thing for me.
One of the Xmas $5 sales I picked up was a 1 year subscription to Reader's Digest. I used to always read this on visits to my grandparents (the jokes were great bathroom reading). I forget when they stopped getting it - probably 20 years ago - but I always kind of missed it and told myself I should get it. Subscription sale came along, and in supporting turning elderly in the coming months I purchased said subscription. The first issue arrived last week.
I hope it still has Humor In Uniform, it was was my favorite.
Dots and lines with the airbrush at home. Grey dots were the day of my airbrush lesson. Brown dots were after getting more stuff to paint better. Speaking of, I mentioned to Christian I'd tell him about the Quick Connect Coupler with Valve, so if you're reading this, that's what I was talking about! Tweaking the pressure at the airbrush instead of the tank works a lot better for me. And remembering to release the moisture trap, too.
I put together my first plastic model in a decade or 2. The tank I've been mentioning off and on. Making a model as a grown up is a lot different. Sprue cutters and sanding instead of twisting crap off. Taking 2 weeks of leisure time instead of cranking it out in an hour or two. Waiting for glue to to dry before attaching the next piece. Having to use tweezers to place and hold some stuff because my big-man fingers couldn't get the job done.
It's not perfect, but it wasn't meant to be. That's part of why I've got a 2nd copy of the kit. Just to get it over with, I ended up spraying some camo-esque patterns with the airbrush. I'll still go back and pick out some details and weather it, maybe add some battle damage to cover up a big gap in the back. Overall it was a nice re-entry to learning how to make a model.
Let's start off the the second hobby update of the year! By going backwards!
With my net gain of 13 minis painted over the course of 2018 I move forward by updating the spreadsheet by adding 11 minis to the "To Paint" list. I can blame Daniel, as he wished to purchase Mecha Paint from Miniature Market, and I always have wishlist filler for free shipping thresholds.
Last week I took my first airbrush class at Lowe Mill without finding an excuse to put it off or not go! I learned how to take the airbrush apart and put it back together without breaking it. This was what I really wanted to learn. I painted dots, and dots, and lines. Hardly any were what I was trying to paint, but you've got to start somewhere. I did lots of things wrong. I may have done some things intentionally wrong so I could ask questions. In the end, I did a lot of stuff wrong and a couple of things right. Then I came home and practiced. At home I noticed all the stuff I didn't have that was making everything harder than it was during my lesson. A regulator coupler for the airbrush instead of fiddling with the compressor. Light. If I'm doing this at home in the garage, I need better light. And other stuff. Other stuff is always good too.
Stuff was ordered from Amazon. Stuff took a while to arrive, and 1 shipment is stuck in Mesquite, TX for an extra 2 days (so far) for no good reason.
Even though I'm still painting dots and lines on paper, there are now 5 primed minis from Zombicide to practice on. I have zero faith these will be usable in any way. They're for practice.
My painted mini spreadsheet doesn't include everything, so it may be a little misleading. I'm leaving off little, inconsequential scenery and scatter items. WizKids has pre-primed minis, and I'm drawn to their furniture because I think of all this gaming scenery as a glorified doll house! These blister packs have all sorts of little doodads. I've picked up a couple of library sets along with other miscellaneous furniture packs, some of which may be prime "how's this wood color airbrush paint work?" candidates.
This is also the week I'm going to start putting that model tank together. The box has been opened. The plastic bags have been split open and sprues of plastic are ready to have parts clipped and glued! I'm definitely getting my $35 worth out of this tank.
Back during this year's Black Friday shopping (maybe), my Miniature Market order needed a little padding to reach the free shipping threshold so I tossed in the Plast Craft Games Urban Furniture set.
Plast Craft makes a nice little assortment of low-effort scenery. Slightly high density foam with pre-printed graphics along with laser cut wood accents for the buildings that I've gotten so far. Interestingly, for each building I've made I always do something wrong but manage to cover it up well enough. That kept true this time.
Compared to the cover pic, the 2 Bus Stops are mirrored from how they should be. My fountain is a little Pisa inspired. A couple of the wooden pieces on the benches didn't get cut very clean. Way to start off 2019!
None of this is horrible. I added my favorite water feature to the fountain, but I got air bubbles I couldn't completely get rid of. I can touch up the marred wood with some paint here and there and it will end up lookng fine. My real reason for making this my quick one-off project to start off the year is that now I'll force myself to make the 4Ground Playground pieces Keith gave me a year ago. The Potham City Park needs a child friendly area... for the zombies to find snacks?
Upcoming on the hobby front:
- This Sunday I take my first art class in decades as I follow through with "How to use my airbrush". I'll save whatever details there may or may not be until later.
- Next actual hobby project is a 1:48 Tamiya M1A2 Abrams Tank. I'm not sure when the last time I made an actual plastic model was. I picked this up on my trip to HobbyTown last July-ish.
- My map-tile making project has stalled out and I'm going to see why I've lost my gumption there.
It's that time of year to reflect back and plan forward. I like planning forward as having a goal helps to keep me from sitting like a knot on a log. But I shall start with looking back and checking off that reflection part.
This year Russellmania was more of a hobby blog than anything else. It helped hold me accountable for making progress on all the stuff I've accumulated to paint over the years. So how'd I do?
Green rows had more minis painted than I started the year out with; Yellow rows are the inverse; The other rows had no change
118 minis got painted.
105 new minis got bought.
Net gain: 13 minis painted.
That doesn't feel very productive.
The crux of those additions come from the Star Trek Adventures RPG game (52 new minis). A game I'll likely not play, but I do want to paint those minis. Zpocalypse might be a typo along the way, unless there was a good sale somewhere that I forgot about.
This doesn't include any of the scenery I made this past year. Scenery was something I didn't start out tracking so I don't really, at least easily, know how much progress I made there. I did make a lot of stuff, printed out a lot of stuff to go with it, and enjoyed it.
The rest of the 2018 - honestly nothing really stands out. I'm ok with that.
What does 2019 bring?
Hopefully more than a net gain of 13 minis painted. The first thing associated with that is that I'm going to look into taking a mini painting class at Lowe Mill which will force me to finally take the airbrush out of the box! I visited the place last week forthe first time, and think I would be comfortable learning from the folks there. The last time I took any type of art class would have been circa 1980. I'm still enjoying painting minis and scenery, so for now that's still going to be my hobby!
This is also a big year for me in other ways. I've had Russellmania.com registered for 20 years, and a bug chunk of that has been my blogging hither and yon. At one point I had all the old version of the site saved off where I could reach it/them, but to be honest I'm not sure where those burned cds have gotten stashed to. In March I'll turn 50, and although I have no big celebratory plans I'll no longer be able to joke about being old. I'm going to be old. A couple of months after that, I'm scheduled to make my final mortgage payment. Now that is seemingly a big deal. With luck, the house won't fall apart before then.
2019 also brought something I've been expecting for a year and a half. At 7:30 this morning, my wireless router died. Luckily, I had a replacement waiting in the garage since something happened in April 2017 that made me think the then-8 year old router was going to die.
The router ended up lasting a good 9 years. This morning while watching Supergirl on Netflix, the wireless connection went down and all the lights on the router were out. An hour later the new network was up and running. It took and extra hour and a half to get everything that's supposed to use the wireless network re-connected. Smart lights, Echo Dots, tablets - I just have lots of wirelessness. And I just remembered 2 laptops that have to be connected.
That was a good router though.
As always, correct spelling is optional in any blog entry. Keep in mind that any links more than a year old may not be active, especially the ones pointing back to Russellmania (I like to move things around!).
Tags have been added to posts back to 2005. There may be an occasional old blog that gets added to the tag list, but in reality what could be noteworthy from that far back?
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